Dr. David Reuben
book Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid To Ask)
was both a groundbreaking part of the sexual revolution
and perpetuating some of the same old stereotype
s when it first came out. For many people in the early 1970s
, it was the
source for sexual information about heterosexual
, and other formerly-taboo
topics, discussed in an easy-to-read question/answer style. It stayed on the best-seller list for more than a year.
Reuben even brought these subjects up on talk show
s, having to get special permission to use the word "masturbation" when he went on The Tonight Show
to discuss the book and making TV history.
However, the original book tells readers to douche with Coke, that gay men “thrive on danger” and “generally go by aliases,” that you can create your own condoms out of plastic baggies, and the only mention that lesbians exist at all is a brief bit in the section on prostitution.
A re-edited version was released on the 30th anniversary of the original, but it's still not perfect -- it says women have no sex drive after menopause, that gay men are all having anonymous sex in parks, and that mosquito repellent is as important as condoms in reducing your chances of getting AIDS (most public health people think HIV can't be trasmitted through insect bites).
Having read the original edition and