I struck paydirt again. Months ago, whilst browsing through another book sale room at the library, I found The Sensuous Woman, by “J.” “The number-one bestseller” is emblazoned on the cover. Back cover describes a “secret, step-by-step program that allows every woman to free her body . . . and realize her tremendous feminine capacity for giving and receiving pleasure.” Publication date? 1969. I pretty much dumped out the contents of my purse for fifty cents to purchase this novelty, nestled innocuously in a basket of other less-exciting books (except for one, but we’ll get to it at a later date).
So, who was “J?” Apparently, her real name is Joan Theresa Garrity, and she worked in publishing. She also struggled with bipolar disorder. Not much seems to be known about her, really.
Our author tells us that, even though she’s not considered by conventional standards, and she never dresses provocatively, she still gets lots of men. Basically, this book is a how-to manual for women to embrace their inner sexiness and become what she calls the “sensuous woman.”
Reading this book with a 2012 liberal feminist mindset, some of the statements in this book seem well-known today; some are wildly dated and sexist; and a few are cringe-worthy, knowing what we know about diseases.
“J” tells us that women should “reap the considerable benefits” of being female, which include being “soft and fragile;” having our doors opened; our packages carried; being able to cry whenever we want; oh, and getting expensive gifts like jewelry and coats! This makes me bristle, but in the next paragraph, she tells her readers that the world is changing, and so are attitudes about sex, specifically, the fact that “nice women” can have orgasms.
The latter part is why I can’t fault this book entirely. In 1969, there was a whole generation of conflicted women who had been brought up to consider sex as just another chore you do for your man. There’s an entire chapter that teaches women how to masturbate, as an in-road to having better sex. For that, I applaud “J.”
However, most of it is still to please a man. And excuses are made for men straying. “Nearly all men are polygamous by nature . . . Therefore, it is natural for a man to have a wandering eye and a fertile sexual imagination.” And we, as women, must learn to live with it, so, if you don’t want it to happen to you, the onus is on you to keep him excited sexually by giving him the adventure he craves. But yet, it’s okay for men to do the same thing every time and you just accept it? “J” does say that your man should reciprocate, and if he doesn’t, he’s selfish, but still, most of the comments in this book are all about the woman and how hard she must work on her sex life.
I guess quite a few of these techniques were revolutionary for their time. She discusses the best way to give oral sex, and even talks about anal sex and orgies. I always cringe reading an old book, where the worst things swingers worried about were pregnancy and maybe gonorrhea. If they only knew . . .
“J” also talks about how to gauge if a man is a good sex prospect (hint: it’s in her kiss), as well as where to meet the men you desire most to meet (even if you’re already married). Remember, men love differently, mainly because you think about him all day whilst you do errands and run laundry, whereas his bank proposals are as far away from imagining you naked as possible.
I leave you with a choice technique, the “Whipped Cream Wriggle:”
If you have a sweet tooth, this is the one for you. Take some freshly whipped cream, to which you have added a dash of vanilla and a couple of teaspoons of powdered sugar and spread the concoction evenly on the penis so that the whole area is covered with a quarter-inch layer of cream. As a finishing touch, sprinkle on a little shredded coconut and/or chocolate. Then lap it all up with your tongue. He’ll wriggle with delight and you’ll have the fun of an extra dessert. If you have a weight problem, use one of the many artificial whipped creams on the market (available in boxes, plastic containers and aerosol cans) and forego the coconut and chocolate.
Definitely worth a read, for the laughs. And remember, ladies, always wear something sexy to bed and never let your man see you without makeup!