Vicki León certainly seems to have an ability for discovering and unearthing the bizarre and unusual, no matter what moment in history it seems to be from. She has written and published books for children, as well as adults, known for her popular anecdotal volumes, Uppity Women and Working IX to V, she now turns to a hotter and more illicit subject in The Joy of Sexus. Many people have heard certain “things” and “rumors” about what certain Romans, or Greeks, or Egyptians or people of the ancient world were up to during those pre-Christian times. In this book, León puts this all to rest with supplied evidence and confirmation or denial of what you might’ve heard or thought you knew to be true.
León is methodical in her approach with The Joy of Sexus, categorizing and laying the details out in an organized manner. She begins with “The Birds, the Bees, & the Body Parts,” covering subjects like aphrodisiacs of the ancient world, circumcision, contraception, pregnancy, and abortion. On numerous occasions León begins with the history, and then links it with either contemporary times or particular times when some of these strange practices were en vogue. Each entry is usually only a couple of pages long, giving the reader the salient and lascivious details, but not dawdling on for too long. Some of the other subjects covered in this book include: masturbation, pornographers, prostitution, Helen of Troy, eunuchs, hermaphrodites, adultery, divorce, gladiator sex lives, menstruation, sexual preference, and so much more.
Perhaps the key to The Joy of Sexus is that it is a short (320 pages) and small book that can easily be concealed in public, and by the same token with the short entries and thorough and exact contents listing, a particular section can easily be turned to and read, and the book quickly secreted away again. Whether you intend to take snippet reads of this book during your daily agenda, or plan to hide out somewhere and read it from cover to cover, the knowledge you will learn from this book will make you the envy at every gala and ball. The Joy of Sexus is also a great ice breaker and conversation starter for parties and social events, or perhaps even a first date.
Originally written on February 19, 2013 ©Alex C. Telander.
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