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8 Sex Tips From The 17th Century

Warning: surprisingly graphic.

Originally written by an anonymous French author and published in English in 1680, The School of Venus, or the Ladies Delight Reduced into Rules of Practice was the Joy Of Sex of the Restoration era.

The 166-page manual aimed to elucidate the “this mysterie of fucking”, and was so startlingly graphic that MP and diarist Samuel Pepys burned his copy immediately after furtively reading it. School Of Venus has been digitized by Google Books, which means we can now present to you the filthy highlights.

1. First, a quick anatomy lesson.

2. Practice contraception, the natural way.

3. Failing that, wear a condom. Of sorts.

A pig’s bladder: the closest thing the 17th-century gentlemen had to a packet of Durex.

4. Give compliments — but understand that sometimes actions speak louder than words.

5. Nothing wrong with a bit of, er, manual stimulation.

6. Never underestimate the power of the French kiss.

7. Use plenty of lube.

Pomatum being a kind of hair oil, in case you were wondering.

8. When it comes to dirty talk, less is more.

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