Raunchy Self-Help Book Returned to the Library--After 54 Years

Illustration for article titled Raunchy Self-Help Book Returned to the Library--After 54 Years

The New York Public Library recently received an extremely tardy return—54 years after it was originally due. Even better, it was a how-to on sexual satisfaction in marriage. Heavens to Betsy!


Via Gothamist: staffer Billy Parrott has revealed that last year, the NYPL received this very late volume from Arizona. It was a copy of Ideal Marriage, by Th.H. Van de Velde, M.D., originally due August 17, 1959. And apparently it's a corker. Parrott describes it as "a very wordy and very scientific instruction manual for sexual activity written in 1926. However dry and scientific, it is certainly more juicy than Tropic of Cancer!" Consider this your regular reminder that raunch predates the 1960s.

"There was only one sentence underlined dealing with men who 'only care to relieve their own tensions and care nothing for their wives as an individual or mate,'" he added.

The book was sent with a note of apology:

We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law's things. Funny thing is the book didn't support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage... it failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!

The New York Public Library asks everyone to please return their overdue library books, no matter how late or embarrassing.

Photo via Bokic Bojan/Shutterstock.



I actually remember flipping through this book a couple of summers ago at a college library. The main thing I remember is seeing something about "love-bites".

From the book:

"Women are conspicuously more addicted to love-bites than men. It is not at all unusual for a woman of passionate nature to leave a memento of sexual union on the man's shoulder in the shape of a little slanting oval outline of tooth-marks."

I am so happy that people have discovered this book!