History of Sex Manuals The Perfumed Garden Part 1

About the history of the Perfumed Garden, history, overview and advice from the sexual manual.

The Development of the Sex Manual


Instructor: Shaykh Umar ibn Muhammed al-Nefzawi (probably 16th century). Not much is known about the author of The Perfumed Garden except that he lived in Tunis during the 1500s and wrote the book for a minister of the seventeenth ruler of the Hafsid kingdom. Much of his material is derived from ancient Arab books on sex, and after his death other writers modified and added to the work. About 1850, a French officer stationed in Algeria found a manuscript copy of the book and translated it into French, leaving out a chapter on pederasty (homosexuality involving a man with a baby). He ran off 35 copies on official French army printing machines before he was caught. Counterfeit copies floated around Paris, and one was read by noted author Guy de Maupassant, who wrote to a Paris publisher suggesting that the original edition of the book--with its chapter on pederasty--be reprinted. Arabist Richard Burton, who had achieved the fantastic feat of making the trip to Mecca (forbidden to non-Muslims) by disguising himself as an Afghani, translated the book into English from French. In addition, he had started to translate the entire manuscript directly from Arabic, adding his own annotations, before he died. The unfinished work was the "crown" of his life, but unfortunately his wife later burned the manuscript. Another edition, containing the chapter on homosexuality, was published in 1907. On the title page was written: "`This is no baby's book.' (Sir R. F. Burton)."

Overview: "Praise be given to God, who has placed man's greatest pleasure in the natural parts of woman, and has destined the natural parts of man to afford the greatest enjoyment to woman." So begins The Perfumed Garden. It goes on to describe the physiology of foreplay and intercourse, as well as remedies for various sexual difficulties. A large part of the book needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Example: "As to coition with old women, it acts like a fatal poison." And some others:

* Intercourse on an empty stomach may cause the eyesight to weaken, while intercourse on a full stomach may rupture the intestines. (False.)

* Intercourse with a menstruating woman is detrimental to both man and woman: "If the least drop of blood should get into the man's urinary canal, numerous maladies may supervene." (False.)

* A good way to deaden desire is to use a camphor mixture, preferably one used to wash dead bodies. (It might work for obvious reasons.)

* To increase the size of the penis, wrap a piece of leather smeared with hot pitch around it. (Not recommended!)

* Use cow dung as a female deodorant.

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