Sex Habits of American Women

This afternoon I caught a matinee production of The Sex Habits of American Women at the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. The set design was fantastic and the costumes were fabulously 1950. The play was entertaining enough; I’m no theater critic so won’t go on and on. I’m a book girl!

So I ran home to see if I had the book that the play was inspired by: The Sex Habits of American Women written in 1951 by Fritz Wittels, M.D. Couldn’t locate it on my shelves but did find some other post-Kinsey Report titles that I’d forgotten I have:

Sexual Behavior of American Nurses by W.D. Sprague, Ph.D (1963). The back cover text tantalized would-be readers with the following: “In this country, as in almost no other place in the world, nurses are looked upon with a mixture of awe and curiosity. What are they really like beheath those prim white dresses and starched caps?” You’ll have to pick up a copy to find out for yourself.

Or how about this one?

The Sexual Conduct of Men & Women by Norman Lockridge, from 1956. Here’s a little excerpt to whet your appetite, from a chapter titled “What a Man Expects of a Wife”:

Looking for a Little Quiet
If he wants quiet, he expects quiet. He does not expect and he does not have to put up with two “quiet” tables of bridge in the afternoon, with interminable arguments over who led trump, and who trumped what ace, punctuated with gruesome gossip, while he is trying to concentrate. He does not expect to be called upon to play the chevalier in the evening ~ if the evening is when he does his work ~ and squire his giddy spouse around to the hot-spots till all hours of the morning, only to wake up at two the next afternoon with a boiler-factory headache, trembling hands, a mouth that tastes like the bottom of a bird cage, and the sickening recollection of a wasted evening combined with the sinking prospect of another, considering his present state of jitters.

Um, yeah, it’s all HER fault! Sheesh.