Nowadays, the idea of a hard-copy sex manual seems outdated. After all, who needs to crack open a book to read about doing the dirty when we have the Internet? Looking for new positions? There's an app for that. But back in the days of the colonists a.k.a. pre-Joy of Sex, manuals on how to, er, engage in amorous congress were actually quite groundbreaking. New York got a look at the very first version published in the U.S. (it was originally released in 17th-century England, where it was ultimately banned for 200 years), and it is quite a doozie. Among the pearls of wisdom printed in Aristotle's Complete Masterpiece — yes, that's really the title — are warnings of bearing "monster" children (i.e. conjoined twins or babies born with full-body hair) due to parental sinning, like premarital sex.
But there are a few tidbits that prove to be quite provocative, considering the times. For example, it suggests that both men and women, in particular, should be able to enjoy sex, an opinion that fell out of favor for many decades once it was discovered that a woman didn't need to climax in order to get preggers. Take a look through the tome if you're in the mood for more obscure sexual humor, including the olden-days definition of "clytoris." And then thank your lucky stars that we're not still living in puritanical times. Or not. (New York)