Being three years older than me, Rebecca often provides me with wise insights and words of wisdom. Since I moved to Boston, she had proved an indispensible resource. Her witty, insightful words of advice about local bars, concerts, skeptical events, and the best places to buy joke gifts for your friends have been very useful. Rebecca is good at selecting presents. Recently, she gave me three excellent birthday presents: a “Choose Your Own Religion” information wheel and two books which are reprints from the 1930s. The two books are, as seen below, “How to Make Love” and “The Art of Kissing.”
Isn’t Rebecca such a good older skepchick sister? She’s trying to help me choose a religion (an informed choice, of course) and help me become more skilled in bed. She’s really watching out for me!
The religion wheel has proven the life tool that is easier to use. I have spun the little wheel around and learned about all of the world’s major religions as well as about some minor ones. I was tempted by the Rastafarianism, Psychoanalysis, and Snake Handler (briefly– many of their members seem to be killed by poisonous snakes) religions, but I think I’ll stick with atheism for now.
The love advice books I am finding somewhat less useful. There isn’t much useful information about positions, sex toys, orgasms, et cetera. Actually, there isn’t anything in these books about these subjects. Mostly, the text consists of a bunch of boring, psychological, or sexist (and highly entertaining) advice, such as:
“Yet, how are we to tell the difference between an infatuation and true love at the onset of a love affair? Some people react to disillusioning infatuations healthily. They allow them to roll off their backs, forget them immediately and go on in the search for true love. Others, more sensitive than the rest, brood disconsolately over the loss of what they thought was true love, become hypochondriacs and suffer torture and agony. Oftimes, they allow their sorrow to prevent them from ever loving again. That, in most cases, accounts for the multitudes if bachelors and spinsters.”
Hang on a moment. What sort of analysis is this? I feel as if Trixie Belden broke up with Jim or Nancy Drew broke up with Ned. Shocking! I mean, most people who have a bad break-up never make love again. Certainly, people never have one-night stands or jet off to Vegas for “whoops” weddings. People never make mistakes (or have adventures… depends how you look at it) like that. And people are never single by choice, right? Marriage is an ultimate society goal!
Honestly, I hope that Trixie dumped Jim, Nancy dumped Ned, and the two of them teamed up and opened a women’s detective agency. Sort of like Skepchicks, maybe, but with 1940s and 1950s flair. Maybe I’ll write a sequel…
Another gem of a quotation:
“Naturally, in choosing a mate, it is imperative that he or she be healthy. The ailing woman is a menace to any love affair. She should be strong enough to do housework, she should be strong enough to bear children, she should be strong enough to do the work necessary toward the building of a home. Again, the same should apply to a man, but even more so, for he is going to be the main support of the future family… money is a very important factor here as it is in practically everything else. And the young girl, before she falls in love with a young man whose intentionals are serious, as they should be, should make herself doubly certain that he will be able to take care of her and himself after they are married.”
What is this, an ethnic cleansing book? Also, “intentionals” sounds like a euphemism. Maybe that’s it… all the good sex advice is hidden in the form of euphemisms and 1930s lingo I don’t understand. I must re-read and re-interpret. Or, perhaps, just go buy the latest issue of “Cosmo,” which is a 2000s era version of this same bullshit but at least has decent sex advice, now and again.
And a final quotation:
“Be well groomed and you will be a groom sure enough.”
I’ll let that last quotation speak for itself. Thanks for the fun presents, Becca!