Love vs Sex 111

Penny wanted to explain, but she was exhausted. Instead, she lay back, sinking deeper into pleasure as he petted the glans of her clitoris. He described how the short clitoral shaft descended into her skin. Using gentle pressure, he traced the shaft to where it divided into two legs which he called “crura.” These legs, Maxwell explained, wrapped around her vaginal cavity.

He said more, a long, rambling travelogue about a land Penny had never visited. A history lesson about the world contained inside her.

Maxwell explained how physicians from the time of Hippocrates until the 1920s had always been formally trained in how to bring their female patients to “paroxysm.” Using fingers and oil, it was standard practice for doctors and midwives to treat hysteria, insomnia, depression, and a host of other conditions common to women. Praefocatio matricis it was called. Or “suffocation of the mother.” And even the great Galen recommended that the vagina must be vigorously manipulated until it readily expressed the accumulation of fluid.

Vibrators, he claimed, were among the first household appliances to be powered by electricity. In 1893, a man named Mortimer Granville built a huge fortune when he invented a battery-driven vibrator. A full range of such sex toys were commonly sold through national mass-circulation magazines and the Sears, Roebuck catalog. It wasn’t until they appeared in the crude pornographic films of the 1920s that vibrating dildos became shameful.

Galen. Hippocrates. Ambroise Paré. Penny couldn’t keep the names and dates straight in her mind. After the sixteenth century, she fell asleep. She dreamed of plummeting from the top of the Eiffel Tower. She was falling because Maxwell had pushed her.

Beautiful You

Chuck Palahnuik          2014

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