Problems During Puberty? This 1936 Sex Guide Says It's Probably Just Worms
The Bouquet of Life: For Adults Only
Author: Joseph H. Greer
Publisher: None listed.
Discovered at: Nob Hill estate sale
The Cover Promises: "SEX KNOWLEDGE," which I guess is the "bouquet of life," which I guess is not meant to suggest that, after a fine first flowering, we quickly wither with our stems cut.
"Marriage should not be entertained beofore the twenty-second (for girls) and twenty-fifth (for boys) years, as complete naturity is not reached before that time, and if a woman enters the married state before complete physical development has been attained, she is unfit for motherhood; neither are her mental powers sufficiently developed to permit her to assume the responsibility of motherhood."
Before the age when the great media spigot gushed into each home a steady stream of glistening genitals in various states of tumescence, Americans only beheld each other's nudity in the moments between spouses agreeing to perform the sex act upon each other and their prayers for forgiveness afterwards.
Such modesty presented difficulties for the offers of old-timey sex-guides, of course. Dr. Greer, author of The Bouquet of Life, had to find a way to illustrate his subject without stirring up his readers' impure passions. His solution is as fine a depiction of Depression-era lovemaking as you could wish for: a bare bottom, weirdly abstracted and heaped over with guts and hair.
Often, your Crap Archivist has joked that old sex-parts illustrations resemble horrifying monsters, especially those dreamed up by H.P. Lovecraft. This time, though, it's more of an evil dog hand puppet.
His depiction of the secondary sexual characteristics is also clinical:
This is why your great grandfather, when out with his boys, would say things like "That Clara Bow has a fine set of veiny Red Riding Hood cloaks" or "Man alive, would I enjoy a cut-away dissected view of her viscera."