Quotations about   sex

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You grant your favours, Caelia, to Parthians, to Germans, to Dacians;
and despise not the homage of Cilicians and Cappadocians.
To you journeys the Egyptian gallant from the city of Alexandria,
and the swarthy Indian from the waters of the Eastern Ocean;
nor do you shun the embraces of circumcised Jews;
nor does the Alan, on his Sarmatic steed, pass by you.
How comes it that, though a Roman girl,
no attention on the part of a Roman citizen is agreeable to you?

[Das Parthis, das Germanis, das, Caelia, Dacis,
nec Cilicum spernis Cappadocumque toros;
et tibi de Pharia Memphiticus urbe fututor
navigat, a rubris et niger Indus aquis;
nec recutitorum fugis inguina Iudaeorum,
nec te Sarmatico transit Alanus equo.
qua ratione facis cum sis Romans puella,
quod Romana tibi mentula nulla placet?]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 7, epigram 30 [tr. Bohn (1871)]
    (Source)

Alt. translations.:
For Parthians, Germans thou thy nets wilt spread;
Wilt Cappadocian or Cilician wed;
From Memphis comes a whipster unto thee,
And a black Indian from the Red Sea;
Nor dost thou fly the circumcised Jew;
Nor can the Muscovite once pass by you;
Why being a Roman lass dost do thus? tell
Is't cause no Roman knack can please so well?
[tr. Fletcher]

You grant your favours to Parthians, you grant them to Germans, you grant them, Caelia, to Dacians, and you do not spurn the couch of Cilicians and Cappadocians; and for you from his Egyptian city comes sailing the gallant of Memphis, and the black Indian from the Red Sea; nor do you shun the lecheries of circumcised Jews, and the Alan on his Sarmatian steed does not pass you by. What is your reason that, although you are a Roman girl, no Roman lewdness has attraction for you?
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Caelia, you love a Teuton swain,
An Asiatic stirs your pity,
For you swart Indians cross the main,
Copts flock to you from Pharos' city.
A Jew, a Scythian cavalier,
Can please you -- but I can't discover
Why you, a Roman, are austere
To none except a Roman lover.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Barbarian hordes en masse you fuck,
Odd types into your bed you tuck.
You take on blacks and Asian forces,
And Jews, and soldiers, and their horses.
Yet you, voracious Roman chick,
Have never known a Roman dick.
[tr. Wills (2008)]

For more detailed commentary on the explicitly sexual nature of the epigram, see Vioque, Epigrammaton Liber VII.
Added on 1-Aug-18 | Last updated 1-Aug-18
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The deep, deep peace of the double bed after the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue.

Beatrice Campbell (1865-1940) English actress [Mrs. Patrick Campbell, née Beatrice Stella Tanner]
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Describing her recent marriage. Quoted in Alexander Woollcott, "The First Mrs. Tanqueray," While Rome Burns (1934)
Added on 4-Apr-18 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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A good martini, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman … or a bad woman, depending on how much happiness you can stand.

George Burns (1896-1996) American comedian
Dr. Burns’ Prescription for Happiness, “Nine Definitions of Happiness” (1984)
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Added on 26-Aug-17 | Last updated 26-Aug-17
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Phryne Fisher had a taste for young and comely men, but she was not prone to trust them with anything but her body.

Kerry Greenwood (b. 1954) Australian author and lawyer
Cocaine Blues (1989)
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Added on 15-Jun-17 | Last updated 15-Jun-17
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Kissing is disgusting. But in a nice way, like blue cheese or brandy.

Bryan Fuller (b. 1969) American screenwriter, television producer
American Gods 1×03 “A Head Full of Snow” [Zorya Polunochnaya] (14 May 2017) [with Michael Green, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman]
Added on 23-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
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The Woman tempted me — and tempts me still!
Lord god, I pray You that she ever will!

Edmund Vance Cooke (1866-1932) Canadian poet
“Adam”
    (Source)
Added on 8-May-17 | Last updated 8-May-17
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Make love not war.

Gershon Legman (1917-1999) American writer
Speech, Ohio University (Nov 1963)

The coining of the phrase was attested in correspondence between Fred R. Shapiro, The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), and Legman's widow, Judith Legman.
Added on 24-Apr-17 | Last updated 24-Apr-17
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The Christian attitude does not mean that there is anything wrong about sexual pleasure, any more than about the pleasure of eating. It means that you must not isolate that pleasure and try to get it by itself, any more than you ought to try to get the pleasures of taste without swallowing and digesting, by chewing things and spitting them out again.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity, ch. 6 “Christian Marriage” (1952)
Added on 8-Nov-16 | Last updated 8-Nov-16
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“When did life get so complicated?” she wondered to Dimity.

“Boys,” said Dimity succinctly.

Gail Carriger (b. 1976) American archaeologist, author [pen name of Tofa Borregaard]
Curtsies & Conspiracies (2013)
Added on 3-Nov-16 | Last updated 3-Nov-16
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What we call ‘being in love’ is a glorious state, and, in several ways, good for us. It helps to make us generous and courageous, it opens our eyes not only to the beauty of the beloved but to all beauty, and it sub-ordinates (especially at first) our merely animal sexuality; in that sense, love is the great conqueror of lust. No one in his senses would deny that being in love is far better than either common sensuality or cold self-centredness.

But, as I said before, ‘the most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of our own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs’. Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity, Book 3, ch. 6 “Christian Marriage” (1952)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Oct-16 | Last updated 4-Oct-16
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Marriage has many pains, but celibacy has no pleasures.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia, ch. 26 (1759)
Added on 28-Apr-16 | Last updated 28-Apr-16
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When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.

West - when im bad im better - wist_info quote

Mae West (1892-1980) American film actress
I’m No Angel (1933)
    (Source)
Added on 29-Mar-16 | Last updated 29-Mar-16
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MICHAEL: I don’t know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They’re more important than sex.

SAM: Ah, come on. Nothing’s more important than sex.

MICHAEL: Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?

Lawrence Kasdan (b. 1949) American screenwriter, director, producer
The Big Chill (1983) [with Barbara Benedek]
Added on 29-Jan-16 | Last updated 29-Jan-16
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‘Why has sex become man’s chief stumbling block?’ But has it? Or is it only the most recognisable of the stumbling blocks? I mean, we can mistake pride for a good conscience, and cruelty for zeal, and idleness for the peace of God et cetera. But when lust is upon us, then, owing to the obvious physical symptoms, we can’t pretend it is anything else. Is it perhaps only the least disguisable of our dangers.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter (27 Sep 1954)
Added on 9-Dec-15 | Last updated 9-Dec-15
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But, Minerva, love is what still goes on when you are not horny.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
Added on 9-Jun-15 | Last updated 9-Jun-15
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Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)

Alt. trans.:
  • "Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all times; may you be intoxicated always by her love." (NRSV)
  • So be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married -- pretty and graceful as a deer. Let her charms keep you happy; let her surround you with her love." (GNT)
Added on 2-Jun-15 | Last updated 2-Jun-15
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I’m not running down sex; sex is swell, sex is wonderful. But if you put a holy aura around it — and that is what you are doing — sex stops being fun and starts being neurotic.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Time Enough For Love [Lazarus Long] (1973)
    (Source)
Added on 26-May-15 | Last updated 26-May-15
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And by the way, in the the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American correspondent, First Lady (1797-1801)
Letter to John Adams (31 Mar 1776)
Added on 22-May-15 | Last updated 22-May-15
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Girls … were allowed to play in the house … and boys were sent outdoors. … Boys ran around in the yard with toy guns going kksshh-kksshh, fighting wars for made-up reasons and arguing about who was dead, while girls stayed inside and played with dolls, creating complex family groups and learning how to solve problems through negotiation and roleplaying. Which gender is better equipped, on the whole, to live an adult life, would you guess?

Garrison Keillor (b. 1942) American entertainer, author
The Book of Guys (1993)
Added on 15-Jan-15 | Last updated 15-Jan-15
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It is only when it takes the form of physical addiction that sex is evil. It is also evil when it manifests itself as a way of satisfying the lust for power or the climber’s craving for position and social distinction.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
Ends and Means (1937)
Added on 17-Dec-14 | Last updated 17-Dec-14
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There is almost no marital problem that can’t be helped enormously by taking off your clothes.

Garrison Keillor (b. 1942) American entertainer, author
“The Old Scout,” The Writer’s Almanac (4 Oct 2005)
Added on 11-Dec-14 | Last updated 11-Dec-14
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An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.

Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) English novelist, essayist and critic
(Attributed)
Added on 19-Nov-14 | Last updated 19-Nov-14
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There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

P.J. O'Rourke (b. 1947) American humorist, editor
Modern Manners (1989 ed.)
Added on 6-Nov-14 | Last updated 6-Nov-14
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I apologize if I get an erection, and I apologize if I don’t.

Other Authors and Sources
George C. Scott

Comment to an actress with whom he was shooting a love scene in bed.
Added on 4-Aug-14 | Last updated 4-Aug-14
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When a subject is highly controversial — and any question about sex is that — one cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion one does hold. One can only give one’s audience the chance of drawing their own conclusions as they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
A Room of One’s Own, ch. 1 (1929)
Added on 7-Jul-14 | Last updated 7-Jul-14
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And not a girl goes walking
Along the Cotswold lanes
But knows men’s eyes in April
Are quicker than their brains.

John Drinkwater (1882-1937) English poet and dramatist
“Cotswald Love”
Added on 26-Feb-14 | Last updated 26-Feb-14
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Erotica is using a feather; pornography is using the whole chicken.

Isabel Allende (b. 1942) Chilean-American writer
(Attributed)
Added on 10-Feb-14 | Last updated 10-Feb-14
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Boobs are near the center of the universe, until you turn twenty-five or so. Which is also when young men’s auto insurance rates go down. This is not a coincidence.

Jim Butcher (b. 1971) American author
Ghost Story, ch. 9 (2011)
Added on 4-Feb-14 | Last updated 4-Feb-14
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Morality in sexual situations, when it is free from superstition, consists essentially of respect for the other person, and unwillingness to use that person solely as a means of personal gratification, without regard to his or her desires.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Marriage and Morals, ch. 11 (1929)
Added on 16-Jan-14 | Last updated 16-Jan-14
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If I had no duties, and no reference to futurity, I would spend my life in driving briskly in a post-chaise with a pretty woman.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (19 Sep 1777)

In James Boswell, The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)
Added on 3-Jan-14 | Last updated 3-Jan-14
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It is the passion that is in a kiss that gives to it its sweetness; it is the affection in a kiss that sanctifies it.

Christian Nestell Bovee (1820-1904) American epigrammist
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1 (1862)
Added on 27-Dec-13 | Last updated 27-Dec-13
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Ben, the ethics of sex is a thorny problem. Each of us is forced to grope for a solution he can live with — in the face of a preposterous, unworkable, and evil code of so-called ‘morals.’ Most of us know the code is wrong; almost everybody breaks it. But we pay Danegeld by feeling guilty and giving lip service. Willy-nilly, the code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Stranger in a Strange Land [Jubal] (1961)
    (Source)

In the 1960 "uncut" edition, the passage reads as: "Ben, the ethics of sex is a thorny problem because each of us has to find a solution pragmatically compatible with a preposterous, utterly unworkable, and evil public code of so-called "morals." Most of us know, or suspect, that the public code is wrong, and we break it. Nevertheless we pay Danegeld by giving it lip service in public and feeling guilty about breaking it in private. Willy-nilly, that code rides us, dead and stinking, an albatross around the neck."
Added on 24-Mar-09 | Last updated 11-Aug-17
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PORTER: It provokes and unprovokes; it provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance: therefore much drink may be said to be an equivocator with lechery: it makes him, and it mars him: it sets him on, and it takes him off.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth Act 2, sc. 3, l. 32 (1605)
Added on 22-Dec-08 | Last updated 26-Mar-15
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Alcohol is like love: the first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you just take the girl’s clothes off.

Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) American novelist
The Long Good-bye, ch. 12 (1954)
Added on 16-May-08 | Last updated 5-Nov-15
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Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. That is what makes a marriage last — more than passion or even sex!

Simone Signoret (1921-1985) German-French actress [b. Simone Kaminker]
Daily Mail (London) (4 Jul 1978)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Nov-18
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Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!

Beatrice Campbell (1865-1940) English actress [Mrs. Patrick Campbell, née Beatrice Stella Tanner]
(Attributed) (c. 1910)

Apocryphally a rebuke to a young actress who criticized an older actor who seemed too affectionate toward the leading man in the production. Most famously given in this form in Alan Dent, Mrs. Patrick Campbell (1961). Variants (without or with variant attribution) can be found as far back at 1929 (see here for more discussion).
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Apr-18
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Murder is a crime. Describing murder is not.
Sex is not a crime. Describing sex is.

Gershon Legman (1917-1999) American writer
Love & Death: A Study in Censorship (1949)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jun-16
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