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The Joy of Sex: Fully Revised & Completely Updated for the 21st Century Hardcover – October 29, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The original Joy of Sex, published in 1979, became the lovemaking guide to intimate discovery and experimentation for a generation of adults. This updated, 30th-anniversary edition is a gorgeous, sensual book that will delight lovers, whether they're discovering sex or renewing passion. Purple print on pale pink and soft lilac pages lend a sensual air before you even start reading. Beautiful drawings (and a few color photographs) of young, smiling, coupling couples (heterosexual only) serve to graphically illustrate sexual positions and interactions. The facial expressions convey affection and tenderness as much as passion.

The nonjudgmental, gentle tone, aimed at both novice love makers and those looking to expand their sensual play, is lyrical and not at all sleazy. The updated content includes safe sex cautions and a section about AIDS. True, this new edition isn't updated enough to seem particularly "new" to readers who came of age with the original edition. The content is still exclusively heterosexual. Surprisingly, vibrators merit only one paragraph (while "foursomes and moresomes" get a full page), and lubricants are treated dismissively. But this book will appeal to a whole new generation of readers, and even readers who still own a lop-eared, 30-year-old Joy of Sex will find sensual sparks rekindled with this lovely new edition. --Joan Price

From Publishers Weekly

Physician and acclaimed human sexuality expert Comfort, who died in 2000, covered sexual liberation 30 years ago with his landmark book, The Joy of Sex. In this revised edition, other than titillating illustrations of a post-millennium couple (say goodbye to the bearded satyr of old) and a certain cheeky charm, there's not much new under the bedroom blanket. Although the book offers plenty of graphic suggestions, few will look daring or new to contemporary readers. (There's a lot of harmless, kooky stuff, though: "playing at horses," for example, or the "Viennese oyster" position.) Comfort's comparison of sexual satisfaction to a full-course meal feels a bit like yesterday's leftovers, and he's not shy about pushing his personal taste either: "Armpit. Classical site for kisses. Should on no account be shaved." Comfort issues warnings about sexually transmitted diseases with the usual suggestions for protection, and some surprising cautions: "Never blow into the vagina," he writes. "This trick can cause air embolism and has caused sudden death." If new information is what readers are after, this revision probably won't do the trick, but for anyone whose 1972 copy is getting a little rough around the edges, here's a perfect excuse to get a new one. 20 full-color photographs, 80 line illustrations.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Crown; Revised edition (October 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400046149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400046140
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.9 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #710,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Saafir on October 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought the hardcover edition of The Joy of Sex several years ago. This morning I picked it up and read it from cover to cover. I enjoyed it greatly. The new edition is beautifully printed with elegant line drawings and full color photographs. It preserves the quirky charm of the original edition, but this may be its biggest flaw.

Alex Comfort essentialy invented the modern sex manual when he wrote the first edition of The Joy of Sex in 1972. We can thank Comfort's pioneering efforts for the sagging shelves of sex books we enjoy in our bookstores today. Still, some of his advice sounds hopelessly dated. My favorite anachronism is a sexual position he calls the "Negresse." I'm not sure how that made it past the editors. Supposedly "completely updated for the 21st century," the book has a distinctly 70s feel. I find it charming, but some of the other Amazon reviewers don't.

Despite its flaws, this book deserves its status as an enduring classic. Comfort's approach to sex is humane and thoughtful. Reading his descriptions, you get the impression of a sensitive field scientist with a knack for philosophising about human nature. Other sex books get so wrapped up in the mechanics of sex and so enamoured with graphic depections of sex that they lose some of the human perspective. Comfort's book holds on to it tenaciously. A book with a wise and unbothered approach becomes even more welcome at a time when you can see images of every imaginable sexual act on the internet. There are better technical manuals on sex. Read Comfort's book for context and for beautiful drawings. Above all, read it to learn how take your time and savor lovemaking in all its varieties.
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This is a fantastic item that every couple should own. I owned my first copy when it was in 2 volumes and I was only 17 years old. Unfortunately, I let my ex-fiance keep it when we broke up. I'm delighted that it is still available and up to date.

The seller I went through sent me a quality item in a very short amount of time.
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By Millie Conlan on January 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is a must for every man alive.Great info and technique..What evry man and woman needs to know about female anatomy.I highly reccomend it
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I had seen an early version of this book, and I thought that newer might be better: it is not. Small print, pink ink on white paper make it very hard to read. Useless large margin make the book much bulkier than it needs to be.
The content are good, this book is a classic, but I am disappointed by the new edition.
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such a great tool for any relationship that feels like they are in a rut or for first timers on their wedding night well written and such great information
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I can't go into great detail about why this book rocks because quite frankly it's none of your business. However, I will say that it's a good read and for anyone in an intimate relationship it will give you ideas and thoughts on how to be a better lover and how to enjoy your intimacy more. Enjoy!
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A friend recommended this and it was great. I had not read the classic version so can't compare but this was full of excellent sketches, clear descriptions and informative techniques. Men and women will both love this book.
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This book is fantastic! The pink/purple text can be kind of harsh on the eyes, but the information is spot-on!
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