How to Do It
In 1972 Alex Comfort published The Joy of Sex: A Gourmet Guide to Lovemaking, which used the format of a cookbook (“Starters,” “Main Courses”) to introduce readers to new techniques and unusual sexual positions. The book eventually sold ten million copies. In its wake came The Joy of Gay Sex (1977), The Joy of Lesbian Sex (1978) and The Joy of Solo Sex (1993). Comfort’s closest rival in the manual market was David Reuben’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1969), the first sex manual to become a mainstream bestseller. Reuben presented an inaccurate, disdainful description of homosexuality that confirmed many of the public’s worst stereotypes, just as the gay liberation movement was beginning to have an impact.