Women’s Liberation calls it enslavement but the real truth about the sexual revolution is that it has made of sex an almost chaotically limitless and therefore unmanageable realm in the life of women.
—Midge Decter (b.1927) American Journalist, Activist, Author
For the first time in history, sex is more dangerous than the cigarette afterward.
—Jay Leno (b.1950) American Comedian, TV Personality
I married a German. Every night I dress up as Poland and he invades me.
—Bette Midler (b.1945) American Actress, Singer
I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either.
—Harold Pinter (1930–2008) British Playwright
The more developed sexual passion, in both sexes, is very largely an emotion of power, domination, or appropriation. There is no state of feeling that says “mine, mine,” more fiercely.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
Marriage may often be a stormy lake, but celibacy is almost always a muddy horse pond.
—Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866) English Satirist, Novelist, Author
Sex appeal is fifty percent what you’ve got and fifty percent what people think you’ve got.
—Sophia Loren (b.1934) Italian Actor
You can’t remember sex. You can remember the fact of it, and recall the setting, and even the details, but the sex of the sex cannot be remembered, the substantive truth of it, it is by nature self-erasing, you can remember its anatomy and be left with a judgment as to the degree of your liking of it, but whatever it is as a splurge of being, as a loss, as a charge of the conviction of love stopping your heart like your execution, there is no memory of it in the brain, only the deduction that it happened and that time passed, leaving you with a silhouette that you want to fill in again.
—E. L. Doctorow (b.1931) American Writer, Editor, Academic
As I grow older and older
And totter towards the tomb,
I find I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom.
—Dorothy L. Sayers (1893–1957) British Novelist, Playwright, Essayist, Translator, Poet
I find it extraordinary that a straightforward if inelegant device for ensuring the survival of the species should involve human beings in such emotional turmoil. Does sex have to be taken so seriously?
—P. D. James (b.1920) British Novelist
Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
—Marilyn Monroe (1926–62) American Actor, Model, Singer
As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Embraces are cominglings from the head even to the feet, and not a pompous high priest entering by a secret place.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
The ability to make love frivolously is the chief characteristic which distinguishes human beings from the beasts.
—Heywood Hale Broun (1918–2001) American Journalist, Commentator, Actor
Eroticism is assenting to life even in death.
—Georges Bataille (1897–1962) French Philosopher, Writer
Whoever named it necking is a poor judge of anatomy.
—Groucho Marx (1890–1977) American Actor, Comedian, Singer
Sex is a bad thing because it rumples the clothes.
—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929–94) American First Lady, Editor
Sex ran in him like the sea.
—John Masefield (1878–1967) English Poet, Novelist, Playwright
If it weren’t for pickpockets, I’d have no sex life at all.
—Rodney Dangerfield (1921–2004) American Comedian, TV Personality, Actor
If sex is such a natural phenomenon, how come there are so many books on how to do it.
—Bette Midler (b.1945) American Actress, Singer
It is not sex that gives the pleasure, but the lover.
—Marge Piercy (b.1936) American Poet, Novelist, Social Activist
Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.
—Gloria Steinem (b.1934) American Feminist, Journalist, Social Activist, Political Activist
Because her instinct has told her, or because she has been reliably informed, the faded virgin knows that the supreme joys are not for her; she knows by a process of the intellect; but she can feel her deprivation no more than the young mother can feel the hardship of the virgin’s lot.
—Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) British Novelist
That our popular art forms have become so obsessed with sex has turned the U.S.A into a nation of hobbledehoys; as if grown people don’t have more vital concerns, such as taxes, inflation, dirty politics, earning a living, getting an education, or keeping out of jail.
—Anita Loos (1888–1981) American Actor, Novelist, Screenwriter
There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody.
—Florynce Kennedy (1916–2000) American Lawyer, Civil Rights Leader, Feminist, Activist
I believe that organic sex, body against body, skin area against skin area, is becoming no longer possible, simply because if anything is to have any meaning for us it must take place in terms of the values and experiences of the media landscape. What we’re getting is a whole new order of sexual fantasies, involving a different order of experiences, like car crashes, like travelling in jet aircraft, the whole overlay of new technologies, architecture, interior design, communications, transport, merchandising. These things are beginning to reach into our lives and change the interior design of our sexual fantasies. We’ve got to recognize that what one sees through the window of the TV screen is as important as what one sees through a window on the street.
—J. G. Ballard (1930–2009) English Novelist, Short Story Writer
A man in love is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.
—Zsa Zsa Gabor (1919–2016) Hungarian-born Film Actress
All this fuss about sleeping together. For physical pleasure I’d sooner go to my dentist any day.
—Evelyn Waugh (1903–66) English Novelist, Humorist, Writer
Older women are best, because they always think they may be doing it for the last time.
—Ian L. Fleming (1908–64) English Novelist, Journalist, Naval Intelligence Officer
Frigidity is largely nonsense. It is this generation’s catchword, one only vaguely understood and constantly misused. Frigid women are few. There is a host of diffident and slow-ripening ones.
—Phyllis McGinley (1905–78) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Writer of Children’s Books