Today everyone and their grandmother – yes, even your grandmother - is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. But it it is hardly the first book about sex to make the bestseller list…
In my mother’s bedside table, under a bunch of woman’s weekly magazines and an enormous box of Maltesers was a worn copy of The Sensuous Woman by the anonymous author, “J.”
The subtitle of this 1971 bestseller was “the first how-to book for the female who yearns to be all woman,” but for me, a little gay boy from the east end of Hamilton, it became my own how-to book for the young gay boy who yearns for some inside sexual info on men from a real professional.
In J’s book, she informs the reader that she too led a wretched sex life until the moment in Gimbels bargain basement when she has some kind sexual epiphany among the marked-down merchandise and figured out her own “sensuality program” – which, of course, she now believed should share with others.
Now she is not talking about the type of sexual epiphany some of you may have had in a Sears bathroom… but I digress.
As a boy I would skip past the boring sections in A Sensuous Woman (for example, the section that discussed female self-gratification (turn the page! turn the page!) and the chapters that taught women how to fake an orgasm ‘to make their man happy’ and where J explained why women must wear makeup to bed) and study with great interest the best part of the book: J’s sexual techniques section.
It was here, in the pages of J’s book that I learned that whipped cream can be more fun when smeared on a partner’s fun bits than dabbled on lime Jell-o and how to stimulate a man’s genitals both manually (“using both hands”) and orally (“watch you do not bite your man”) until, as J promised, he literally “went wild.”
In fact, a few years later when I had my first same-sex encounter, I remembered J’s book and, to hide my inexperience and clumsiness, I used her infamous “butterfly flick” technique – with great success, I may add.
As the years passed, your humble blogger utilized (and, dare I say, perfected) many of J’s techniques (this was before your humble blogger met and married the Husband, of course). And though The Sensuous Woman obviously did not get into the finer details of sex between men, it did give me a starting point chocked full of the good information this young gay boy was craving.
In later years, “J” would come to be unveiled as female writer, Joan Garrity. I was a little disappointed when I learned it was actually written by a woman. I was sure “J” was a Jacob or Jeremiah since they seemed to know their way around the male equipment a tad too well.
But today I’d like to thank Joan (as can any of those “pre-husband” gents that may be reading this blog).
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom