Encyclopedia of Sexual Knowledge by A. Costler and A. Willy, both MD and others unnamed under the general editorship of Norman Haire MB, Eugenics Publishing Company NYNY 1940 c. 1937. The foreword notes that this book was originally published in French in 1933 and had a huge success.
Certain things about this book immediately strike the modern reader. Like, these guys have a funny sense of smell, believing that semen smells like chesnut flowers, p. 16, and that vaginal secretions smell like vegetable juice, p. 316.
They also have some odd ideas about what causes sexual excitation, like intestinal worms, which allegedly make little girls want to masturbate, p 27. And perspiration, since they report on the belief that holding a handkerchief under the armpit while dancing and giving it afterwards to an unyielding sweetheart, p. 177, or soaking a piece of apple in the armpit and giving it to one's partner, p. 362, being bound to cause excitement. Not to mention the assertion that a glass of cognac with the yolk of an egg and a pinch of paprika is a fine aphrodisiac, p. 369.
As you might expect, they also have kind of weird ideas about girls and women. Like the idea that a girl typically reacts to seeing a little boy's penis for the first time by feeling shame because they do not have one. (Maybe they believe that little girls laugh with shame). Their beliefs about grown women are no less strange. For example they state that in a woman coquetry and the craving to be seduced correspond to virile pride in the man. p.126. And of course that the instinct of domination characterizes the male, while submission coupled with the desire for protection characterizes the female, p. 126. They also believe that a normal girl has "an unconscious need to preserve her physical integrity [that] prevents her sacrificing her virginity," with the result that only those with abnormal sexual development do such things, p. 126.
And of course, as far as they can tell, women are all about babies: "As
regards the woman, her longing for children is an obvious fact since her
organism is essentially fitted for maternity. To be a woman practically
implies motherhood." "The organic need of children, which is latent in
every woman, is so imperious that prolonged enforced sterility drives her
body to revolt, and this revolt may manifest itself if a number of
disorders and growths." "The physiological need of childbirth is
reinforced by a psychological one no less important. The desire for
maternity is born in the need to protect a weaker being, and since this
need cannot find expression in relations with the husband
And while we are talking about women, these guys also have some odd ideas about menstruation as well, stating that the average monthly flow is 30 to 80 ounces, p. 131, and that women should avoid all unnecessary strain, physical and mental, even tiring social engagements during that time. P. 136.
There is also the fact that, while these guys are all for sex, in its place of course, they have very little use for masturbation. While they would grudgingly allow juvenile masturbation, Continuation of the habit by "an adult who has the opportunity for normal sexual intercourse, is evidence of a deviation in the instinct." p. 71. And they generally believe that it is best to give it up, recommemding for that purpose absolute cleanliness of the body, getting rid of intestinal worms, relief of constipation, and a well-chosen diet with a daily ration of sour milk, not to mention avoidance of all stimulants, eating meat sparingly and pork not at all, and avoiding smoked meat, ripe cheese and caviar, not to mention spices such as cinnamon and pepper. One should also go to bed tired and get up as soon as one wakes up. Pp. 92-93 Among the reasons masturbation is bad of course, is that it shifts the center of sexual satisfaction in the woman from the vagina to the clitoris. P. 115, 201.
Did I mention their weird ideas about pregnancy? Or more specifically about sex during pregnancy. The original authors wrote that a woman should not have sex during pregnancy at all, but opined that it was probably necessary to do so so as not to lose ones husband. P. 246. The editor, disagrees, however, saying that sex during pregnancy is fine ("She already has quite enought to put up with as a result of her pregnancy and if she is to be deprived of sexual satisfaction for a period of many months as well, pregnancy will become even more unattractive than it already is") so long as you don't have sex at the times that you would have had your period if you were not pregnant. After sex, the authors state that a couple can have sex after birth as early as the fourth week but "A husband must not forget that coitus may so affect the mother's already strained nervous system, that it will bring about a lasting repugnance to the sexual act, which will be difficult to overcome." P. 268 They also believe that many newly married women have genital organs that are still not fully developed and may be incapable of carrying a fetus to term. But these develop as a result of regular sexual relations. P. 273.
And they have weird ideas about health in general. For example that that blocking the vas deferens can prolong life: "We have seen how an implanted gland loses its twin function and becomes solely an endocrine. If, then, one can operate in such a way as to block the vas deferens and thus curtail the excretory function, the corresponding glands will atrophy, thereby benefiting the puberty gland. This change of equilibrium will rejuvenate the whole organism through the subsequent fresh supply of certain elements to the blood." P. 398 Not to mention that that drinking and drugs cause sexual perversion. P. 489. That taking mercury to cure your syphilis will not hurt you, since, they say, mercury is eliminated by the kidneys and not one particle remains in the organism. P. 510. That a case of malaria will help with the symptoms of venereal disease, though they admit that the process has "not been definitely perfected." P. 511. And that genital warts are not contagious but caused by dampness or bad hygiene. P. 524.
And finally, someone other than the authors (whose ideas about
contraception were too radical to be published in the United States) had
some weird ideas about contraceptives. For example, they spoke of the
development of contraceptive immunization through treatment with a hormone