The pleasure of living and the pleasure of the orgasm are identical. Extreme orgasm anxiety forms the basis of the general fear of life.
—Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) Austrian Psychoanalyst
Embraces are cominglings from the head even to the feet, and not a pompous high priest entering by a secret place.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
Whoever named it necking is a poor judge of anatomy.
—Groucho Marx (1890–1977) American Actor, Comedian, Singer
As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Eroticism is assenting to life even in death.
—Georges Bataille (1897–1962) French Essayist, Intellectual
I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me.
—Bette Midler (b.1945) American Actress, Singer
Love is just a system for getting someone to call you darling after sex.
—Julian Barnes (b.1946) British Novelist, Critic
A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.
—Zsa Zsa Gabor (1919–2016) Hungarian-born Film Actress
Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.
—Gloria Steinem (b.1934) American Feminist, Journalist, Social Activist, Political Activist
Because her instinct has told her, or because she has been reliably informed, the faded virgin knows that the supreme joys are not for her; she knows by a process of the intellect; but she can feel her deprivation no more than the young mother can feel the hardship of the virgin’s lot.
—Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) British Novelist, Playwright, Critic
Sex appeal is the keynote of our civilization
—Henri Bergson (1859–1941) French Philosopher, Evolutionist
The more developed sexual passion, in both sexes, is very largely an emotion of power, domination, or appropriation. There is no state of feeling that says “mine, mine,” more fiercely.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
—Marilyn Monroe (1926–62) American Actor, Model, Singer
Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.
—Sophia Loren (b.1934) Italian Actor
As I grow older and older
And totter towards the tomb,
I find I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom.
—Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957) British Crime Writer
There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.
—Florynce Kennedy (1916–2000) American Lawyer, Civil Rights Leader, Feminist, Activist
Frigidity is largely nonsense. It is this generation’s catchword, one only vaguely understood and constantly misused. Frigid women are few. There is a host of diffident and slow-ripening ones.
—Phyllis McGinley (1905–78) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Writer of Children’s Books
Hair is another name for sex.
—Vidal Sassoon (1928–2012) Anglo-American Hairstylist, Businessman
I believe that organic sex, body against body, skin area against skin area, is becoming no longer possible, simply because if anything is to have any meaning for us it must take place in terms of the values and experiences of the media landscape. What we’re getting is a whole new order of sexual fantasies, involving a different order of experiences, like car crashes, like travelling in jet aircraft, the whole overlay of new technologies, architecture, interior design, communications, transport, merchandising. These things are beginning to reach into our lives and change the interior design of our sexual fantasies. We’ve got to recognize that what one sees through the window of the TV screen is as important as what one sees through a window on the street.
—J. G. Ballard (1930–2009) English Novelist, Short Story Writer
The ability to make love frivolously is the chief characteristic which distinguishes human beings from the beasts.
—Heywood Hale Broun (1918–2001) American Journalist, Commentator, Actor
Sex is a bad thing because it rumples the clothes.
—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929–94 ) American First Lady
Back in the days when men were hunters and chest beaters and women spent their whole lives worrying about pregnancy or dying in childbirth, they often had to be taken against their will. Men complained that women were cold, unresponsive, frigid. They wanted their women wanton. They wanted their women wild. Now women were finally learning to be wanton and wild — and what happened?. The men wilted.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I’d sooner go to my dentist any day.
—Evelyn Waugh (1903–66) British Novelist, Essayist, Biographer
Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horse pond.
—Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866) English Satirist, Novelist, Author
Older women are best, because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.
—Ian L. Fleming (1908–64) English Novelist, Journalist, Naval Intelligence Officer
Every man has been brought up with the idea that decent women don’t pop in and out of bed; he has always been told by his mother that “nice girls don’t.” He finds, of course, when he gets older that this may be untrue — but only in a certain section of society.
—Barbara Cartland (1901–2000) English Popular Romantic Novelist
A woman is handicapped by her sex, and handicaps society, either by slavishly copying the pattern of man’s advance in the professions, or by refusing to compete with man at all.
—Betty Friedan (1921–2006) American Feminist Author, Lecturer