Book Review: Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E.B. White

https://i0.wp.com/www.harpercollins.com/harperimages/isbn/large/8/9780060733148.jpgYes, it’s the same author who did Charlotte’s Web.  However, I was expecting something completely different from this book.  It turns out that this book is a parody.

Imagine 1929.  In the field of sexuality, Freud was the man.  Ellis was gaining a reputation, and Kinsey is about to begin his sexual experiments.  Many people don’t think of the 1920’s as a sexual time in history.  But I guess people were eventually getting out of their Victorian slumbers.

At any rate, Freud and others made sexuality into a science.  Thurber and White take advantage of this and write a book that mocks the whole scientific outlook on sex.  At some moments, it’s humorous.  But both of the authors wrote for The New Yorker and so their humor is very dry.

Just to give you a sampling, they mention that when a woman makes fudge, it’s a good way to entice a man.  They made up a condition called “Recession Knee” for the man.  “Recession Knee” is when the man pulls his knee away from the woman in order to get away from her.  It’s kind of like his own version of frigidity.

If you’re in the mood for some New Yorker humor, that deals with sex, and mocks the science of sex, then this book is for you.

About shaunmiller

I am an assistant professor (LTR) at Dalhousie University. My ideas are not associated with my employer; they are expressions of my own thoughts and ideas. Some of them are just musings while others could be serious discussions that could turn into a bigger project. Besides philosophy, I enjoy martial arts (Kuk Sool Won), playing my violin, enjoying coffee around town, and experimenting with new food.
This entry was posted in Book Review, Relationships, Sexuality. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Book Review: Is Sex Necessary? by James Thurber and E.B. White

  1. mike says:

    “Many people don’t think of the 1920’s as a sexual time in history.”

    Many people are misinformed. The 20s was more about sex than any previous decade in American history. Flappers with short skirts and hip flasks going for rides in the new fangled closed cars thought about it.

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