Lit

The Chicago Review of Terrible Books Presents: Orgy Tips from 1969

 

Pictured: A life well-led.

All dem bookies.

I have been a terrible book reviewer, in both ways that can be taken.

I meant well, oh I did. I even have a cadre of shit-lit lined up, from the hyper-racist 1930s pulp Operator 5: Master of Broken Men to a 1973 teenie pop book of interviews with and quizzes about musicians like Three Dog Night, Rick Springfield, the Jackson Five and of course 11-year-old British pop sensation Ricky Wilde (I’m not going to mock Wilde too badly — it looks like he’s had a pretty solid career behind the scenes in the music industry).

There’s 1965’s Secret of a Black Planet (“The most beautiful women and the wisest men of seven worlds sought to solve the riddle of the Strong Man”) and 1955’s Lady Cop (“Her beat was sin street — her body was bait”) and my personal collection of early 20th-century technical manuals because they’re awesome and shut up.

I didn’t read any of them.

I’d flip through them, maybe give the racist Operator 5 another stab, but I had work, I started a small business, Operator 5 literally had a scene where a white man’s mind was broken because he saw a black guy do something he couldn’t and this column has lain fallow.

Photo by Stephen Curry, licensed through Creative Commons

Sorry, I meant a sexiER Ben Goldacre.

Which is why, by way of apology, I’m offering the 11 tips for a successful orgy from the 1969 sex guide The Sensuous Woman by “J.”

I haven’t had the chance to give the book a thorough read, but my flipping through has uncovered some gems, from a list of tongue-strengthening exercises (“4. Encircle your lips in a clockwise motion with your tongue five times and then reverse the motion to counter-clockwise five times.”) to a surprisingly evidence-based takedown of the aphrodisiac industry (“While there has been research done with cattle showing that vitamin E helps bulls to be better breeders, there is no proof that the bull enjoys it more…”).

Aside from some anachronisms and a point where she describes some kinksters as “sickies” — judge not lest ye be judged, “J” — the book seems pretty with it even 47 years later. Like Dan Savage if he used the word “lovemaking” more often, or a sexy Ben Goldacre debunking Big Oyster.

So make yourself a dry martini, light up your 30th Lucky of the day, drop the needle on the sexiest jazz strings album you own and learn J’s 11 tips for the swinger scene in the year we touched the Moon.

"H" writes guides to being a sumptuous woman and "K" shows how to become a sybaritic man.

“H” writes guides to being a sumptuous woman and “K” shows how to become a sybaritic man.

  1. Bring your own grapes—meaning, in this case, a man you know well and with whom you have a good sexual relationship. He must be already familiar with the orgy scene so that he can protect you tactfully from men whose advances you’d rather avoid. Your escort serves a second purpose, which is that, if you don’t like any of the men you meet at the scene, you have brought a good sex partner with you.
  2. Don’t wear a dress that is fragile, as often there are not enough hangers and closets to put clothes in and that beaded chiffon of yours will probably have to be draped across a chair along with two or three other people’s things.
  3. If you are menstruating, stay home.
  4. Do be prepared for the fact that you will be expected to walk around naked.
  5. And also realize that you will not have privacy. Anyone and everyone at the party is likely to barge in on you while you are copulating and anyone may even decide to join you and your partner.
  6. There are sometimes lesbians at orgies who may make passes at you. If you realize this in advance, you should be able to handle the situation gracefully when it arises.
  7. Expect to be nervous at the beginning. It might be wise to ask your escort to be your first lover of the evening. Since he is familiar to you, you won’t be frightened. After you’ve broken the ice with him, then you will feel more relaxed with your unknown lovers.
  8. Unless you live in Hollywood, don’t expect the men to be glamorous movie star types. Most of the males are average in appearance and personality.
  9. Because you are giving your body, don’t expect to be treated like either a princess or a whore. At orgies, equality of the sexes is a reality.
  10. If you are foolish enough to get pregnant from your peccadillo, no one is going to come to your aid financially or otherwise. Especially since any one of several men could be the father. Take adequate birth control precautions.
  11. A last pointer. If it turns out that you love orgies, don’t let guilt spoil them for you. As an adult you have every right and responsibility to find a satisfactory sex life for yourself. If the orgy scene is your cup of tea, relax and enjoy it. Just don’t righteously try to explain your new sexual philosophy and actions to your aging mother in Duluth. Let her rock away in the porch swing in peace.

Read past Chicago Review of Terrible Bookses:

Paul Dailing writes f’realsies at 1,001 Chicago Afternoons, a stab at literary journalism in the vein of Ben Hecht’s 1920s Chicago Daily News column “1001 Afternoons in Chicago.” He runs the Chicago Corruption Walking Tour and will next appear at the “Welcome to the Neighborhood” reading at Printer’s Row Lit Fest.

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