I’ll be honest: the first line of this review is relatively damning. But it does get a little better. A little.

The book was written in 1964 (the swinging ’60s – of course!) by Alex Comfort, a pacifist, conscientious objector and Cambridge-educated doctor whose subsequent work The Joy of Sex would earn him fame, millions of dollars and the moniker ‘Dr Sex’. This work, it appears, would not. Bypassing the faint amusement of a book about sex written by someone named ‘Comfort’ and its cover designed by ‘Jock’, it turns out that Sex in Society is, well, a bit old hat.


Addendum: this is our first review all the way from SOUTH AFRICA! Hoorah!

The cover was designed by Jock Kinneir who, alongside Margaret Calvert, designed the brilliant and distinctive road signs we use today in the UK. FACT.

This book is out of print, and deservedly so. The society described in Dr Comfort’s book is far removed from our current fast-changing information and knowledge society. The abundance of information and ease of conducting studies in present society, along with many new considerations (AIDS, improved contraception, etc) would necessitate a re-write. That being said, the book still provides some fundamental insights into the psychology and attitudes towards sex in ‘modern’ societies. Don’t expect an easy read; heavy going with jargon and verbose prose, it reads quite like a lecture, albeit at times a witty one. ‘We may eventually come to realize that chastity is no more a virtue than malnutrition.’

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