Quotations about:
    sex


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Questions about the reproductive system should be answered as naturally as ones about the railroad system.

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Marcelene Cox (1900-1998) American writer, columnist, aphorist
“Ask Any Woman” column, Ladies’ Home Journal (Feb 1946)
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Added on 5-Dec-22 | Last updated 5-Dec-22
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She’d stopped reading the kind of women’s magazine that talks about romance and knitting and started reading the kind of women’s magazine that talks about orgasms, but apart from making a mental note to have one if ever the occasion presented itself she dismissed them as only romance and knitting in a new form.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens, “Wednesday” (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
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Da Vinci Folio A. 10 r.
Da Vinci Folio A. 10 r. Red bracket to the right side of the quoted text (which is written in mirrored form). (Source)

The art of procreation and the members employed therein are so repulsive, that if it were not for the beauty of the faces and the adornments of the actors and the pent-up impulse, nature would lose the human species.

[L’atto del coito e li membri a quello adoperati son di tanta bruttura che se non fussi le bellezze de’ volti e li ornamenti delli operanti e la frenata disposizione, la natura perderebbe la spezie umana.]

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) Italian artist, engineer, scientist
Notebooks, De Anatomia, folio A. 10 r. [tr. McCurdy (1939)]
    (Source)

Windsor Anatomical manuscript A., folio 10 r / R. L. 19009R (Source (Italian)). Alternate translations:

The act of procreation and everything that has any relation to it is so disgusting that human beings would soon die out if it were not a traditional custom and if there were no pretty faces and sensuous dispositions.
[tr. Brill (1916), after Freud (1910)]

The act of procreation and anything that has any relation to it is so disgusting that human beings would soon die out if there were no pretty faces and sensuous dispositions.
[Variant tr. Brill (1916), after Freud (1910)]

The act of procreation and everything connected with it is so disgusting that mankind would soon die out if it were not an old-established custom and if there were not pretty faces and sensuous natures.
[tr. Tyson (1961), after Freud (1910)]

The act of coition and the members employed are so ugly that but for the beauty of the faces, the adornments of their partners and the frantic urge, Nature would lose the human race.
[tr. Dalwood (1962) after Bataille (1957)]

The act of copulation and the members employed are so repulsive, that if it were not for the beauty of faces and the adornments of the actors and unbridled passion, nature would lose the human race.
[tr. Armstrong (2013), after Nancy (2009)]

 
Added on 28-Sep-22 | Last updated 28-Sep-22
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Do you ask me why this girl prefers
Eunuchs, that race defiled?
She’d rather get her fill of sex
Then fill her belly with child.

[Cur tantum eunuchos habeat tua Caelia, quaeris,
Pannyche? Volt futui Caelia nec parere.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 6, epigram 76 (6.76) [tr. Marcellino (1968)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Pannicus, dost wish to know
Why thy Gellia favours so
The priests of Cybele? To sport
She loves, and pay no suffering for't.
[tr. Anon.]

Do you ask, Pannicus, why your wife Caelia has about her only priests of Cybele? Caelia loves the flowers of marriage, but fears the fruits.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

Do you ask, Pannychus, why your Caelia consorts with eunuchs only? Caelia looks for the license of marriage, not the results.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

Why, with eunuchs, is Caelia beguiled?
Because she wants sex, with no chance of a child.
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

Your Celia keeps company with eunuchs:
Pannychus, do you find this odd?
It’s the child she hopes to be spared,
Pannychus, not the rod.
[tr. Matthews (1996)]

 
Added on 15-Jul-22 | Last updated 15-Jul-22
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That I ne’er saw thee in a Coach with Man,
Nor thy chaste Name in wanton satire met;
That from thy sex thy liking never ran,
So as to suffer a Male-servant yet;
I thought thee the Lucretia of our time:
But, Bassa, thou the while a Tribas wert,
And clashing — with a prodigious Crime
Didst act of Man th’ inimitable part.
What Oedipus this Riddle can untie?
Without a Male there was Adultery.

[Quod numquam maribus iunctam te, Bassa, videbam
Quodque tibi moechum fabula nulla dabat,
Omne sed officium circa te semper obibat
Turba tui sexus, non adeunte viro,
Esse videbaris, fateor, Lucretia nobis:
At tu, pro facinus, Bassa, fututor eras.
Inter se geminos audes committere cunnos
Mentiturque virum prodigiosa Venus.
Commenta es dignum Thebano aenigmate monstrum,
Hic ubi vir non est, ut sit adulterium.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 1, epigram 90 (1.90) [tr. Sedley (1702)]
    (Source)

"To Bassa". This epigram is often untranslated or omitted in collections. Martial thought lesbian sexuality perverse, though he enjoyed and wrote highly of pederasty, as any good Roman male would. (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

That with the males thou ne'er wast known to mix,
Nor e'er gallant did envious slander fix;
That thine officious sex thee homag'd round,
And not a man durst tain the hallow'd ground:
What less than a Lucretia could'st thou be?
Ah! what was found? Th' adulterer in thee,
To make the mounts collide emerg'd they plan,
And monstrous Venus would bely the man.
Thou a new Theban torture could'st explore,
And bid adult'ry need a male no more.
[tr. Hay (1755); Book 6, Part 3, ep. 44]

Inasmuch as I never saw you, Bassa, surrounded by a crowd of admirers, and report in no case assigned to you a favoured lover; but every duty about your person was constantly performed by a crowd of your own sex, without the presence of even one man; you seemed to me, I confess it, to be a Lucretia.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1897), "On Bassa"; the "translation" then shifts to the original Latin.]

In that I never saw you, Bassa, intimate with men, and that no scandal assigned you a lover, but every office a throng of your own sex round you performed without the approach of man -- you seemed to me, I confess, a Lucretia; yet, Bassa -- oh, monstrous! -- you are, it seems, a nondescript. You dare things unspeakable, and your portentous lust imitates man. You have invented a prodigy worthy of the Theban riddle, that here, where no man is, should be adultery!
[tr. Ker (1919)]

I never saw you close to men, Bassa, and no rumor gave you a lover. You were always surrounded by a crowd of your own sex, performing every office, with no man coming near you. So I confess I thought you a Lucretia; but Bassa, for shame, you were a fornicator. You dare to join two cunts and your monstrous organ feigns masculinity. You have invented a portent worthy of the Theban riddle: where no man is, there is adultery.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

I never saw you, Bassa, with a man
No rumor ever spread of an affair.
You seemed as chaste as any woman can,
With Lucrece pure you made a worthy pair.
Belatedly I found I venerated,
A woman who a woman penetrated.
You found an amphisbaenic instrument --
To give cunts simultaneous content.
You pose a riddle Sphinxes never knew,
To be a woman and a woman screw.
[tr. Wills (2007)]

Bassa, I never saw you hang with guys --
Nobody whispered that you had a beau.
Girls surrounded you at every turn;
They did your errands, with no attendant males.
And so, I guess I naturally assumed
That you were what you seemed: a chaste Lucretia.
But hell no. Why, you shameless little tramp,
You were an active humper all the time.
You improvised, by rubbing cunts together,
And using that bionic clit of yours
To counterfeit the thrusting of a male.
Unbelievable. You’ve managed to create
A real conundrum, worthy of the Sphinx:
Adultery without a co-respondent.
[tr. Salemi (2008)]

Bassa, I never saw you close to men; no gossip linked you to a lover here.
A crowd of your own sex was always with you at every function, no man coming near.
I have to say, I thought you a Lucretia, but you (for shame!) were fucking even then.
You dare link twin cunts and, with your monstrous clitoris, pretend to fuck like men.
You'd suit a Theban riddle perfectly:
where there's no man, there's still adultery.
[tr. McLean (2014)]

 
Added on 24-Jun-22 | Last updated 24-Jun-22
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Sylvia never gives free lays.
It’s never free — because she pays.

[Lesbia se iurat gratis numquam esse fututam.
Verum est. Cum futui vult, numerare solet.]

Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 11, epigram 62 (11.62) [tr. Wills (2007)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Lesbia protests that no one has ever obtained her favours without payment.
That is true; when she wants a lover, she herself pays.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1897)]

Lesbia swears she has never granted her favours without a price.
That is true: on those occasions she is wont herself to pay it.
[tr. Ker (1919)]

She never gives herself for love? No doubt.
She has to buy her loves or do without!
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "Bought Pleasures"]

Lesbia claims she's never been laid
Without good money being paid.
That's true enough: when she's on fire
She'll always pay the hose's hire.
[tr. Michie (1972)]

Lesbia swears she's never been fucked for free.
True, for when she wants it, she pays the fee.
[tr. Pitt-Kethley (1987)]

Lesbia swears she's never screwed for free.
That's true, for when she's fucked, she pays the fee.
[tr. Pitt-Kethley (1992)]

Lesbia swears that she has never been fucked free of charge.
It's true. When she wants to be fucked, she is accustomed to pay cash.
[tr. Shackleton-Bailey (1993)]

She swears she never puts out for free.
(Though she's the one who pays the fee.)
[tr. Ericsson (1995)]

Lesbia swears she’s never been fucked for free.
True. When she wants to be fucked, she has to pay.
[tr. Kline (2006), "On the Nail"]

Lesbia swears she never gives free lays.
It's true: when she gets fucked, she always pays.
[tr. Kennelly (2008)]

 
Added on 3-Jun-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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Like almost everything else, sex education in Mechanicsburg has its own … unique take. As a result, Mechanicsburg girls tend to be rather forward, know what they want, and have no qualms about asking for it, especially when they are wearing their weasel pajamas.

Phil Foglio (b. 1956) American writer, cartoonist
Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle (2014) [with Kaja Foglio]
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Money is like sex. It seems much more important when you don’t have any.

Bukowski - Money is like sex It seems much more important when you don't have any - wist.info quote

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Hollywood, ch. 4 (1989)
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Added on 12-Jan-22 | Last updated 12-Jan-22
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Sex is interesting, but it’s not totally important. I mean, it’s not even as important (physically) as excretion. A man can go seventy years without a piece of ass, but he can die in a week without a bowel movement.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1969)
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Added on 24-Nov-21 | Last updated 24-Nov-21
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I feel more alive when I’m writing than I do at any other time — except when I’m making love. Two things when you forget time, when nothing exists except the moment — the moment of the writing, the moment of love. That perfect concentration is bliss.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
Interview (1983)
 
Added on 23-Nov-21 | Last updated 23-Nov-21
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Whether or not birth control is eugenic, hygienic, and economic, it is the most revolutionary practice in the history of sexual morals.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) American journalist and author
A Preface To Morals, ch. 19 (1929)
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Added on 3-Aug-21 | Last updated 3-Aug-21
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He’d noticed that sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination — but at the end of the day they’d settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
The Fifth Elephant (1999)
 
Added on 10-Nov-20 | Last updated 10-Nov-20
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Here is a dream.
It is my dream,
My own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt,
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971) American poet
“My Dream” (1954), You Can’t Get There from Here (1957)
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Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for the love of it, then you do it for a few friends, and finally you do it for money.

Ferenc Molnár (1878-1952) Hungarian-American author, stage director, dramatist [a.k.a. Franz Molnar]
Quoted in George Jean Nathan, Intimate Notebooks (1932)
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Common form of a quote often misattributed to Molière. It original version actually appears to have originated with Molnar, who, when asked how he regarded his writing, answered, "Like a whore. First, I did it for my own pleasure. Then I did it for the pleasure of my friends. And now -- I do it for money."

More discussion here.
 
Added on 26-Jun-20 | Last updated 26-Jun-20
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Tell him I was too fucking busy — or vice versa.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
(Attributed)

In Hard Times, Vol. 6 (1967), the anecdote is that a messenger pounded on her door for several minutes, having been sent by a New Yorker editor for some promised writing. She finally opened a second-floor window, called down to find out what was the matter, and provided this retort.

In Oscar Levant, The Unimportance of Being Oscar (1968), it's phrased "Too fucking busy, and vice versa."
 
Added on 8-Jun-20 | Last updated 8-Jun-20
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Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.

John Ciardi (1916-1986) American poet, writer, critic
(Attributed)
 
Added on 3-Jun-20 | Last updated 3-Jun-20
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Natural inclinations are present in things from God, who moves all things. So it is impossible for the natural inclinations of a species to be toward evil in itself. But there is in all perfect animals a natural inclination toward carnal union. Therefore it is impossible for carnal union to be evil in itself.

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Italian friar, philosopher, theologian
Summa Contra Gentiles, Book 3, ch. 126, argument 3 [tr. Dominican (1923)]
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Alt. trans.: "Natural inclinations are put into things by God, who is the prime mover of all. Therefore it is impossible for the natural inclination of any species to be directed to an object in itself evil. But in all full-grown animals there is a natural inclination to sexual union, which union therefore cannot be in itself evil."
 
Added on 27-May-20 | Last updated 27-May-20
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THE SERGEANT: When men and women pick one another up for just a bit of fun, they find they’ve picked up more than they bargained for, because men and women have a top story as well as a ground floor, and you can’t have the one without the other.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Too True to Be Good, Act 3 (1932)
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In art as in lovemaking, heartfelt ineptitude has its appeal and so does heartless skill, but what you want is passionate virtuosity.

John Barth (b. 1930) American writer
Quoted in Charles B. Harris, Passionate Virtuosity: The Fiction of John Barth (1983)
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Quoted as such in the introductory materials, without specific citation. Barth used the phrase on multiple occasions, including:
  • "My feeling about technique in art is that it has about the same value as technique in love-making. That is to say, on the one hand, heartfelt ineptitude has its appeal and, on the other hand, so does heartless skill; but what you want is passionate virtuosity." [first used, in Alan Prince, "An Interview with John Barth," Prism (Spring 1968)]
  • "Heartfelt ineptitude has its appeal, Dunyazade; so does heartless skill. But what you want is passionate virtuosity." [Barth, Chimera (1972)]
 
Added on 12-Mar-20 | Last updated 12-Mar-20
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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 (7.30) [tr. Bohn’s (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)]

You grant your favours, Caelia, to all races --
Parthians, Germans, Dacians share your graces.
Cilicians, Cappadocians in your bed be,
And even a swarthy Indian from the Red Sea!
From Egypt's Memphis one sails to your door,
And Jews, though circumcised, you'll not ignore,
And that's not all! On his Samartian steed
No Scythian ever passed your door at speed.
You are a Roman girl, so tell me true,
Do Roman weapons have no charmes for you?
[tr. Pitt-Kethley]

You'll fuck a Frog, a Kraut, a Jew,
A Gippo, a Brit, a Pakki too;
Niggers and Russkies all go in your stew
But my prick's a Wop -- Caelia, fuck you!
[tr. Sullivan]

For more detailed commentary on the explicitly sexual nature of the epigram, see Vioque, Epigrammaton Liber VII.
 
Added on 1-Aug-18 | Last updated 9-Sep-22
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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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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”
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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.
 
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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)
 
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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)
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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]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:
  • "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 12-Jul-21
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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)

The first found reference is after Huxley's death, and it's most likely based on a variant by someone else. More discussion here.
 
Added on 19-Nov-14 | Last updated 9-Feb-21
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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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I have never seen anyone who loves virtue as much as he loves beautiful women.

9.18 吾未見好德、如好色者也。

15.13 吾未見好德如好色者也。

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [Lun Yü], 9.18 and 15.13 (6th C. BC) [ed. Lao-Tse; tr. Huang (1997)]
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The phrase is repeated in both locations in the Analects. Alt. trans.:
  • "I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty." [as 9.17 and 15.12, tr. Legge (1930)]
  • "I have never seen anyone who loved virtue as much as sex." [tr. Leys (1997)]
  • "I have never met a person who loved virtue as much as he loved physical beauty." [tr. Chin (2014)]
  • "I have yet to meet a man as fond of high moral conduct as he is of outward appearances." [tr. Ware (1950)]
 
Added on 18-Apr-14 | Last updated 5-Jul-20
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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)

Widely attributed, but without citation. See Pratchett.
 
Added on 10-Feb-14 | Last updated 29-Dec-20
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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 epigrammatist, writer, publisher
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought, Vol. 1 (1862)
 
Added on 27-Dec-13 | Last updated 17-Jan-20
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Someone sends me a clipping from Columnist Lyons with this honey: “They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ‘Would you live with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?’ She said she would. ‘And if be paid you five pounds?’ The irate lady fumed: ‘Five pounds. What do you think I am?’ Beaverbrook replied: ‘We’ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree.'”

Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook (1879-1964) Anglo-Canadian business tycoon, publisher, politician, writer
“As O. O. McIntyre Sees It,” syndicated column (2 Jan 1937)

This anecdote has been attributed to a number of people, including Winston Churchill and George Bernard Shaw, usually in a bawdier form, e.g.:
SHAW: [To a woman seated by him at a dinner party.] Madam, if I gave you a million pounds, would you sleep with me?
WOMAN: I think I would.
SHAW: Would you do it for five?
WOMAN: Sir, what kind of woman do you think I am?
SHAW: I thought we had established that, and were merely haggling over the price.

The above, attributing the exchange to Lord Beaverbrook, is the earliest version found. See here and here for more discussion and research into its origins.
 
Added on 15-Mar-13 | Last updated 31-Mar-20
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Science is like sex: sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not the reason we are doing it.

Richard Feynman (1918-1988) American physicist
(Attributed)

Many variations can be found for this quotation (none of them with citation); the word "Science" and "Physics" are often interchanged:
  • "Science is like sex, it has its practical purposes, but that's not why we do it."
  • "Science is like sex. Sometimes something useful comes out, but that is not why we are doing it."
  • Physics is like sex. Sure, it may give some practical results, but that's not why we do it."
As noted here, Frank Oppenheimer (a colleague of Feynman's) was quoted saying, "There's a lot of practical fruits to understanding, but it's like sex. There are practical fruits to sex, but nobody would say that's why you do it, normally." Feynman and Oppenheimer may well have collaborated on the general phrasing, or taken it from one another.
 
Added on 30-May-12 | Last updated 10-Jan-20
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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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MACDUFF: What three things does drink especially provoke?

PORTER: Marry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and urine. Lechery, sir, 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; it persuades him and disheartens him; makes him stand to and not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him in a sleep and, giving him the lie, leaves him.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Macbeth, Act 2, sc. 3, l. 27ff (1606)
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Added on 22-Dec-08 | Last updated 29-Jun-22
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