Biography and Sexual Teachings of Alexander Comfort Part 2

About the author of the Joy of Sex Alexander Comfort, biography and history of his sexual teachings.


ALEXANDER COMFORT (1920- ), Great Britain


In the Preface of Joy of Sex (1972), Alex Comfort described himself as editor of the book, supposedly written by an anonymous couple. He himself is the real author, however, but was afraid to say so at the time for fear of losing his British physician's license.

Joy of Sex, a best-seller at $12.95, was, he says, "the first explicitly sexual book for the coffee table," though some of its passages on fetishism, sadomasochistic games, and other suggested activities might exile it from the living rooms of the less adventurous.

It is written like a cookbook in four sections: "Starters," "Main Courses," "Sauces and Pickles," and "Problems." Almost immediately he tells the reader, "All humans are sadistic, narcissistic, masochistic, bisexual, and what have you--if you stuck on all the labels, you would look like a cabin trunk." To him, normal sex is anything that both partners enjoy, that hurts no one, that isn't associated with anxiety, and that doesn't limit the scope of any participant.

Comfort advocates naked intercourse as well as the use of tantalizing costumes--G-strings, leather outfits, and earnings in bizarre places (on the nipples or clitoris, for instance). He suggests ways of masturbating, of role playing (Roman, gangster, virgin), and of performing oral sex. Subject headings are explicit: "quickies," "anal intercourse," "armpit," "big toe," "feathers," "bondage."

Comfort's sequel, More Joy of Sex, concentrates on activities and concepts with a humanistic psychology orientation--a belief that sexually free people tend to be more compassionate human beings. It discusses things like massage, open marriage, group sex, meditation, sex surrogates, and sex for the disabled and for heart patients.

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