Sex Advice Before Masters and Johnson

vintage illustration doctor and couple 1930s

Vintage Ad- “The New Eugenics-Ethical Sex Relations” Pioneer Publishing Co 1934
Banish Fear and Sex Ignorance Forever . The naked truth stripped of all prudery and narrow prejudices.

Before Masters and Johnson’s ground breaking research liberated sex from the closet, frank discussions about sexual behavior was done behind closed doors.

Talking about what went on in the marital bedroom (that being the  only circumstance where sex was sanctioned to occur) was frowned upon and sex advice was furtively dispensed by small publishers placing discreet ads in pulp magazines.

How Sex Ignorance Could Ruin a Marriage

photo of vintage woman crying over wedding picture

Vintage Ad Zonite Feminine Hygiene 1948

Even as Alfred Kinsey quietly took the pulse of America’s sexual response in the 1940s, discussing intimate details of sexual behavior was disapproved of..

Pity the young wife who had no one to advise her about those intimate matters.

Poor Dora Dukes was one such wife.

In 1940, life should have been a bowl of cherries for the pretty and perky newlywed, but things had turned plain sour after only 8 months of marriage. Her husband Dan was the dream guy all right, with his quick ready laugh, wavy chestnut hair and swell job down at the plant.

Dora had been over the moon to be married to a catch like Dan. And like every girl since Adam and Eve who has had  a deep and natural desire  to be married, Dora had a deep desire to live happily ever after-after the honeymoon.

But Dora was in the dumps.

Dan was giving her the cold shoulder…and how!

In recent months, Dan avoided her embrace. He was  no longer happy in their marriage, constantly makes excuse to avoid the romantic intimacy of their honeymoon.

How a wifes false modesty can freeze her husband’s affection

If only poor Dora realized that a wife’s ignorance or false modesty about the intimate facts of life often lead to an increasing coolness on her husband’s part.

If only every young woman could realize from the beginning of her marriage how important it was to know the facts.

vintage photo mother daughter

Vintage Ad Zonite Feminine Hygiene 1949

Dora had only been 20 when they married and she was terribly inexperienced.

Fear gripped her on her wedding night, it was not the thrilling experience that was her birthright

Perhaps it was her mother’s fault . every daughter has the right to know intimate facts before she marries.

But when it came to the true facts about sex she really was a dumb Dora.

She had been too shy to ask her friends. And maybe just as well, as they might have given her half-truths and unscientific advise.

Poor Doras ignorance would lead her to shame despair worry and remorse.And she knew in her heart it was just this sort of ignorance that so often breaks up a happy marriage

Dora was in the danger zone

Learn the Naked Truth

photo vintage ad couples kissing

Vintage Ad 1934 for book “Sex hHarmony and Eugenics” Pioneer Publishing
At last a famous doctor has told all the secrets of sex in frank daring language.

It was time Dan thought,  Dora learn the naked truth.

One evening while Dora was darning his socks, Dan sat down on the arm of the big Bumstead chair where she was seated. “What are you thinking of?” he asked gently. He hadn’t a coat or tie on and his open shirt showed his strong tanned throat. A shiver went over her, a warm glowing shiver.

“Nothing-of us,” she muttered, her fingers closed tightly on the arm of the chair. She wasn’t going to tell him of the fear she felt  that she  might not come up to all Dans dreams of the ideal wife.

“I would die of shame if I ever failed him,” Dora sighed to herself as she  buried her head in her arms and sobbed. She was a slave to ignorance and fear…. the rapturous delights of the perfect physical love would forever elude her.

Delicately Dan revealed an advertisement  he had cut out from Keyhole Detective Magazine. “The Forbidden Secrets of Sex are Daringly Revealed! screamed the headline.  The shocking ad was for a manual offering secrets of love and marriage.

“Would you like to know the whole truth about sex?” her husband offered delicately.

Color rose to Dora’s cheeks as she  closed her eyes as if to shut it out. But slowly she read the words that she knew in her heart would serve as a detour to divorce:

Masters of Sex

sex books manuals ads 1930s

Vintage ads for Sex Manuals 1934
(L) “The New Eugenics” now only $1.98 (R) Sex Harmony and Eugenics ( Now only $2.98) Both published by Pioneer Publishing Co. NYC
“Love is the most magnificent ecstasy in the world…know how to hold your loved one…don’t glean half-truths from unreliable sources. Now you can know how to end ignorance…fear…and self denial!”
These book are NOT sold to minors!

“Away with false modesty!” begins this ad for the Secrets for Love and Marriage. “At last a famous doctor has told all the secrets of sex in frank daring language. No prudish beating about the bush, no veiled hints, but TRUTH, blazing through 576 pages of straightforward facts.”

“Sex is no longer a mysterious sin, mentioned only in the conversational gutters.” Dora read with rapt attention.

“Thanks to this bravely written book, it is no longer necessary to pay the awful price for one moment of bliss. Science now lights the path to knowledge and lifelong sex happiness.”

“Are you an awkward novice in the art of love-making or a master of its technique? The art of love-making takes skill and knowledge. The sexual embrace as practiced by those ignorant of its true scientific importance, is crude, awkward and often terrifying to more sensitive natures.”

Startling Facts

“All of the startling facts that even the frankest books have heretofore not dared to print, are explained in clear scientific manner, vividly illustrated in this revolutionary book. Here at last the naked truth stands forth, stripped of all prudery and narrow prejudice. Old fashioned taboos are discarded and the subject of sex is brought into the bright light of medical science by doctors.”

B&W Illustration from 1934 Sex manual Sex Harmony and Eugenics

Illustration from 1934 Sex manual Sex Harmony and Eugenics

“Lost love…scandal…divorce…can often be prevented by knowledge. Only the ignorant pay the awful penalties of wrong sex practices. Read the facts, clearly, startling told…study these illustrations and grope in the darkness no longer.”

“You want to know…and you should know everything about sex. Sex is no longer a sin…a mystery…it is your greatest power for happiness. You owe it to yourself…to the one you love to tear aside the curtain of hypocrisy and learn the naked truth!”

More than 100 Vivid pictures

“The 106 illustrations leave nothing to the imagination…know how to overcome physical mismatching…know what to do on your wedding night to avoid the torturing results of ignorance.”

“Some will be offended by the amazing frankness of the book and its vivid illustrations but the world has no longer any use for prudery and false modesty.”

vintage illustration Sex manual couple

illustration from 1945 ad for Sex manual “Secrets of Love and Marriage”

What Every Man Should Know

  • The Sexual Embrace
  • Secrets of the Honeymoon
  • Mistakes of Early Marriage
  • Homosexuality
  • Venereal Disease
  • Sexual Starvation
  • Glands and Sex Instinct
  • The Truth About Abuse

What Every Woman Should Know

  • Joys of Perfect Mating
  • What to Allow a Lover to do
  • Intimate Feminine Hygiene
  • How to Attract and Hold a Man
  • Essentials of Happy Marriage
  • The Sex Organ
  • The Crime of Abortion

Homosexuality…Sex Abnormalities

vintage illustration sex manual couple

illustration from 1945 ad for Sex manual “Secrets of Love and Marriage”

Because the book prided itself on scientific truths, they dared go to the darkest corners of sexuality….including homosexuality!

“Everything pertaining to sex is discussed in daring language. All the things you wanted to know about your sex life information about which other books only vaguely hint, is yours at last.”

“Do you know about the astounding world of ‘half sexes’? They crave the companionship of their own sex…their practices are unbelievable to the normal mind….yet you should understand them.”

Vintage Ad 1945 for Mail order Sex Manual picture couple kissing

Vintage Ad 1945 for Mail order Sex Manual “Secrets of Love and Marriage “
“Marriage has thrills that thousands never enjoy. Now you can know how to experience rapturous satisfaction of the perfect love. Everything pertaining to sex is discussed in daring language!”

Send Away For this Book Now

“The sale of this book is restricted to persons either married or contemplating marriage. You send no money just fill out the coupon below and then when it arrives in plain wrapper pay the postman $1.98. keep the book 5 days then if not satisfied send it back and we will refund your money”

Dora would banish fear and sex ignorance forever, thanks to these masters of sex!

© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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  6. “This change is just another milestone in the dramatic transformation we have seen in family structure and family dynamics over the past 50 years or so,” said Kim Parker, associate director with the Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project. “Women’s roles have changed, marriage rates have declined — the family looks a lot different than it used to. The rise of breadwinner moms highlights the fact that, not only are more mothers balancing work and family these days, but the economic contributions mothers are making to their households have grown immensely.”

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