This sex manual, translated from the original French and published in England in 1680, is racy, lewd, and hilarious. Appendix Journal’s Benjamin Breen recently posted about the document after digging it out of Google Books, which offers a fully digitized copy. (Full title: The School of Venus, or the Ladies Delight, Reduced into Rules of Practice.)
In his introduction to an anthology of 18th-century “libertine literature,” literary scholar Bradford K. Mudge points out that written pornography was not uncommon in England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Novels, travelogues, philosophy, and even botanical treatises contained extended erotic passages. In many cases, books with sexual content were published with different title pages or covers to fool authorities who might not approve.
COMMENTARY by indie publisher KATHLEEN K.
Please follow the link to see the frontispiece of this centuries-old libertine literature. The women aren’t pretty although generally fit, there isn’t a (whole) man in the picture, but the dick-centric message is clear these hundreds of years later.
Nothing is new, folks. Calm down. Contemplate. Take a moment and consider your sexual framework.
My search for the rowdier reader is going well. I ask those who don’t think of themselves that way to pass my name on to the readingest reader they know. Within that subset lurk my fellow verbaholics.
I am laying claim to authorship of a sexotic collection of books, I sidestep the erotic designation because I have given up on guessing what turns people on. Of course, I use erotica as a keyword shortcut, but as you go deeper into my collection you see a world of orgasmic opportunity not often enough celebrated. Just think about this… or those in there… or that on fire. Think about it. It’s pretty basic: I set up a saucy vignette buffet and you take as little or as much as you have an appetite for, for now.
We’ve contorted our desires into bizarre socially-approved configurations; we emphasize science and law at the expense of craft and choice. My goal is to evoke thoughts of sex, yes, but is it “sex” as defined by a weed-smoking lover man or by a dutiful housewife being mounted twice-weekly by her husband as scheduled? Honey B. is a fictitious whore with a distinctive vocabulary and engaging style; Jamie is a spoken-porn simulator with a clear conscience. It’s all about the permutations of a single theme in libertine literature.