Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Joy of Sex: Fully Revised and Completely Updated for the 21st Century, Compact Edition” as Want to Read:
The Joy of Sex: Fully Revised and Completely Updated for the 21st Century, Compact Edition
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Joy of Sex: Fully Revised and Completely Updated for the 21st Century, Compact Edition

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  1,914 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Nothing compares to The Joy of Sex

Since 1972, more than 8 million people have come to this wise, witty, and uninhibited bestselling guide to lovemaking and found all they wanted to know about achieving greater sexual satisfaction. They have discovered how sex can be playful and imaginative, erotic and passionate, pleasurable and exhilarating. Now, with this fully revised 3
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 11th 2003 by Crown Archetype (first published 1972)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 12, 2008 Malbadeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joy - seriously, her name is Joy.
I read this too young and I particularly remember a part that talked about not wearing spiked boots during sex, because while it may be a visual turn on it can cause some unintended physical pain in the long run. I felt it was a good point and made a note to my prepubescent self to not have sex while wearing spiky boots.
Beth F.
Dec 23, 2008 Beth F. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teenagers who find the copy their parents were hiding
--When I was 15 and found this book hidden in the basement, I read it and it gave me quite a thrill.
--The 70's version is awesome and disgusting and awesome, awesome, awesome!
--The hairy man beast who was prominently featured in the original version of this book may be entirely to blame for my disgust of facial hair (thank goodness my husband shaves daily!)
--I’ve never seen the new version with the modern couple and don't care to. It would totally ruin the magic.

Here is a joke based on this book.

(You have some visible injury - cast, eye patch, bandage, etc.)
Person A: "What happened?"
You: "You know the book the Joy of Sex? There is a typo on page 137."
Henry Manampiring
Sep 12, 2007 Henry Manampiring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sex illiterates
I received this book THREE times as gifts. Do I look like complete sex-idiot?
Jul 26, 2016 MAI rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kesukaan
ini kayak buku sex for dummies. kalau sex for dummies justru lebih banyak menjelaskan seputar organ reproduksi laki-laki dan pria (tentang fakta, penyakit, cara penangulangan, mencegah) dan sejenis itu (tapi dibahas dengan bahasa yang tidak menjijikkan dan sangat edukatif), kalau buku ini benar-benar membahas seputar sex,,TAPII, menggunakan bahasa yang sedikit puitis tapi tidak menjijikkan juga.

Penulis menggambarkan bagian tubuh atau adegan sex seolah sebagai kegiatan yang wajar dan ya bia
Ok, ok, I know... Everybody's heard about it. I figured I'd read it to see if this book by Alex Comfort was in reality what I expected it to be. If all you expect upon opening this book is a racy book full of exotic photos, you'll be surprised. The Joy of Sex is actually very down-to-earth and not really at all titillating (pardon the pun). It's almost like a Chilton's guide to heterosexual sex. That being said, this book is most likely to be of help to relatively inexperienced couples, but even ...more
Aug 09, 2008 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find this rather G-rated in a hardcore world. I would probably feel comfortable giving this to my age 18 children if I had any. If you are really looking to reignite the spark, I don't know that this will do it, but you will know if you crack it open and find yourself saying 'been there, done that'. I do not consider myself kinky or used hard and put away wet, I probably fall more into the PRUDE catagory.
Mar 03, 2014 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
This is the second book about sex that I have read; the first being "She Comes First". Overall it wasn't a bad book and it was a quick read, but the format was sort of confusing and odd to me. There were four sections: Ingredients, Appetizers, Main Courses, and Sauce & Pickles, and each section had multiple excerpts about different topics. Basically, there'd be a paragraph or two on an idea or topic and then it would move on to another one. It didn't flow very well and didn't seem very compr ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Nilchance rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Heterosexist, all Caucasian illustrations, and a bonus dose of fat-phobia. Good times.
Crystal Black
I did not read this basic how-to until college around 2006 I believe. I majored in Ad/PR and my advertising campaigns professor assigned us this book to read and present in a book marketing campaign. It definitely held my attention--lol--compared to other material that was assigned. I've always been fascinated with sexuality ever since about 5 years old like many others, so I was glad to be interested in this assignment:)

To me, it's a nice basic overview of sex and sexuality. Nothing groundbrea
Rebecca Barrow
Dec 02, 2016 Rebecca Barrow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm married so this is God education for better relations for hubby and I :)
Aug 26, 2016 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I debated on whether or not to record this as something I have read, but I have decided to go for it.

I should start by saying, that what drew me to this book wasn't it's content, but more of the cultural and historical significance of the text. While not something that people talk much about, "The Joy of Sex" is a book that, while I might not say changed the world, it certainly had its impact.

It was a national best seller for many weeks. Couples, perhaps intrigued by the taboo nature of the text
Now days many people in America read urban books involving sex, drugs, and violence. However they also read other books out there, but surprisingly several of them are banned because of it’s religious beliefs, violence, and sexual content. Personally I believe every book that’s out there should be available to the public.
One reason I think books should be available is because of its religious beliefs. At times people tend to question god, some are not quite sure who he/she is, and others may n
Usagi Tsukino
Aug 02, 2014 Usagi Tsukino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want better communication with their partner on a sexual loving basis.
Need to reignite fiery sparks of passion in your life? Master a few old tricks whilst learning new? Wanting to re-establish communication on all levels with your partner? – Then this book is for you!

Need in-depth knowledge on sexual experiences and an easy how-to-guide for that which you haven’t learnt yet? Just want to understand Woohoo a little better than you did before? Or are looking for advice/ideas/comfort and reassurance if you haven’t had any experience yet? – Then this book is certainl
Aug 06, 2016 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I can see how this book might have caused a stir back in 1972, to my modern eyes it seems hopelessly dated and rather dull. Most of the information in the book is of a very basic, nuts-and-bolts kind that most modern readers will already be aware of. It is written in a quite matter-of-fact and unsexy (and at times inappropriately humorous) style which I did not much care for.

The frequent use of terms like "squares" and "straights" and other 60s/70s slang date the book considerably, as do
Jun 15, 2013 Maddy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steamy-romance
Don't get me wrong, this classic book is very good in SOME departments. If I ever had kids, or had read this when I was much younger, I felt it would be a very insightful book. This book does a very good job of explaining respect for sex partners. What it doesn't do is explain anything outside of heterosexual lovemaking.

This edition is meant to be an updated one from the 70s, so I was expecting more from this classic. It really doesn't touch on toys in the bedroom, BDSM, homosexuals, or transge
Oct 07, 2014 KennyO rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good, as far as it goes, that being heterosexual couples. You'll never please everyone, so those whose proclivities aren't covered here will, of course, be displeased about their omission. The omission is defensible in that a comprehensive volume couldn't be hefted, rendering it less than useful or enjoyable and offending those who are already at the edge of their sensitivities. Refer, please, to the opening clause of my second sentence.

Alex Comfort published a book that neatly and with d
Sep 08, 2016 D added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patchouli-scented hippies (and their children who steal it from their drawers)
oh, my god! does it count as "read it" that as TOTAL ADULTS i and my friend stole her mom and dad's vintage '70s copy and laughed our asses off over the seventies line drawings? #SoMuchPyoobz #IAmTwelve

not really clear on what the text covered tho . . .
Writer Kate Figes has chosen to discuss Alex Comfort's The Joy of Sex on FiveBooks as one of the top five on her subject - Sex and Marriage, saying that:

"It seems so innocent really now, all those daring explanations of S and M and positions, but it was before Aids and people were so optimistic. It was as though we’d discovered sex and free love."

The full interview is available here:
Evan Dower
It was a new edition, with revised content to update it, but as a friend mentioned, it wasn't really written for my generation or gender. Also, the writing is confusing. There was a sort of half-assed attempt at a dictionary format, so some sections start with just a noun phrase and some start with a full sentence. The inconsistency is confusing. Then, there are sentence that start with "For her, ..." but it isn't clear if they're talking about advice "for her" when she's doing something for him ...more
Oct 25, 2014 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was comprehensive if you are a heterosexual interested in knowing more about heterosexual sex. The lack of mentions of LGBT individuals and the assertion that all humans are bisexual when each individual has autonomy over their identification seems problematic. Much of the information and opinions provided could be found through other online sources, such as Columbia University's 'Go Ask Alice.' The illustrations and intimate and honest tone are extremely beneficial, though.

This book i
Victoria Williams-Fisher
I have always wanted to read this book! And finally did. I found it a timeless classic and I learned a few things. I was actually doing a little "research" for my latest novel, THE WARRENS. When you are writing about the sex life of a younger couple, you want to make sure you are not missing out on anything! I was happy to find that I am quite knowledgeable and not much has changed! This is an updated version and the photographs are absolutely stunning.I enjoyed it, it was a quick read because o ...more
Rebekah M.
This was available on bookbub and the title caught my attention since Dr. Gottman referenced it in his book I read a week or two ago, so I figured why not. The book reads like a dictionary with each chapter providing a word or phrase followed by a few sentences (5 paragraphs, at most) describing that word or phrase. There are pictures and while it's obvious it was written by a male, he does try to emphasize respect and equality. An extra star earned in the rating because he quotes some of my fav ...more
Lynn Smith
Aug 08, 2016 Lynn Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A classic book which has been updated several times. I got it on a Kindle sale some time ago for $1.99 or less but hadn't gotten around to reading it. There are lots of topics/chapters and each one is 1-2 pages, maybe 4-5 at most. You don't have to read the book cover to cover. And you don't have to try everything in the book. Some chapters you'll want to skip as it doesn't interest you. Some you just might want to read and then decide that topic isn't for you. It never hurts to keep an open min ...more
Samantha cole
Feb 26, 2008 Samantha cole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
aw come on!!!!!!! i don't think i have this particular version, but they keep reprinting it, and it just keeps getting better. i can't really recommend a particular chapter, cos then you'd know how kinky i was/am, but hey, everyone should have a copy on hand for various reasons...either for yourself on those cold winter nights, or when you think you've done it all and here comes another position! if you can find the version that has the pics of the hippies of the 60's, it's awesome to see how 'a ...more
Feb 19, 2016 Monicaaa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random-nf
This is a very general introduction to sex. I understand how it made a stir back in the 70s because it was the first major book of it's kind. But to me with all the information about sex being constantly bombarded at us nowadays, there was nothing new in it. Yet if I had kids going through puberty, this would be an excellent book to give to them when they're going through puberty. One that they can read and then discuss with me later if they have any questions.

All in all, a very general introdu
May 19, 2016 Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I could summarize this book, it would be "Relax. Don't feel too uptight about your sexuality. Have fun & enjoy it. Communicate and be open with your partner and be open to their desires too. Try new things. Don't feel pressured to please and don't put pressure on each other. HAVE FUN."

Not really a "how-to" book, there's a lot of breadth, enough where I think most people could gain a new idea or two. Not a lot of depth on each topic but enough to let you know what's safe and what's not.

Mar 19, 2016 Allison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anf, classics
When I found this book as a donation at my library's booksale, I HAD to get it. I always remember my mom talking about this book but not being able to find a copy of it -- she and a friend had snuck away with the friend's parent's copy and got caught by my grandmother. It will be an excellent surprise Christmas present but, of course I had to read it first!

While extremely outdated, the 70's artwork is wonderful and so are some of the very dated practices/beliefs. It was certainly an interesting
Aug 03, 2016 Evgenia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx, non-fiction
Наверное, в семидесятых эта книга была прорывом и откровением, но на сегодняшний день есть книги и поинтересней.
Замысел автора создать нечто вроде "мини-энциклопедии о сексе", мне кажется, не удался: обо всём по чуть-чуть, в итоге чаще всего получились довольно поверхностные пару абзацев о том, о сём. Всё сводится к тому, чтоб внимательней относиться к себе и к партнёру, что, наверное, сегодня пишут даже в глянцевых журналах.
Jess Scott
Apr 22, 2012 Jess Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my version of this book is a slim version (dark purple cover). simple but gorgeous pencil illustrations accompany the text in the version i have. i found the writing style witty, and not that "dated" actually (despite this being a book that was originally published in 1972). there are certain "facts" that will always hold true, and the information was presented in an engaging, witty and concise manner [very good combination for an enjoyable reading experience--for me at least :)].
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male
  • The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written
  • What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex
  • Guide to Getting It On!
  • A Child of the Century
  • A Hand in the Bush: The Fine Art of Vaginal Fisting
  • Grover Cleveland (The American Presidents, #22, #24)
  • Unsafe at Any Speed
  • The Joy of Gay Sex
  • Hot Sex: How to Do It
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex: But Were Afraid to Ask
  • The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968
  • Within the Context of No Context
  • The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women
  • Tickle Your Fancy: A Womans Guide to Sexual Self-Pleasure
  • Sex For Dummies
  • The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips
  • Sensuous Magic: A Guide for Adventurous Lovers
Alexander Comfort, M.D., Ph.D. (10 February 1920 – 26 March 2000) was a medical professional, gerontologist, anarchist, pacifist, conscientious objector and writer, best known for The Joy of Sex, which played a part in what is often called the sexual revolution. He was also the author of many other books on a variety of topics.
More about Alex Comfort...

Share This Book

“The things that stop you having sex with age are exactly the same as those that stop you riding a bicycle.” 3 likes
More quotes…