According to 1965's Sex and the Teen-Age Girl, one out of two American girls hook up outside their species
The volunteers at the Santa Monica Public Library sold us this filthy, insane book for $1.
Each Monday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets around Los Angeles.
Sex and the Teen-Age Girl
Author:Denham S. Farnsworth
Publisher: Council Publishing
Discovered at: Friends Bookstore, Santa Monica Public Library
"In America today many young girls engage in sex purely for intellectual reasons." (page 99).
"We should bear in mind that perhaps as many as one out of two young women in this land have at some time in their lives reached an orgasm with an animal, and perhaps as high as twenty-five percent continued through their teens to find this the most enjoyable, satisfying sex experience that they could engage in." (page 49)
Seriously, it says right in here that one out of two teen girls have "reached an orgasm with an animal."
That means either Betty or Veronica. That means either Mary-Kate or Ashley.
That means exactly one-half of the women you see if you look around your office right this very minute!
Or maybe Denham S. Farnsworth has his facts wrong.
After all, from page one his guide to the wild sex lives of American teens bristles with typos and mis-spellings. Worse, Farnsworth -- seemingly named for some forgotten Groucho character -- opens a discussion of women's sexual drives with "And if one wants to be scientific about the matter . . . "
This does not inspire confidence.
He selects his words with little of the exactitude we expect from a writer or scientist. On page four, describing the "high school sex clubs" that he claims had become rampant by '65, he refers to "widespread, unlicensed sexual behavior," which is really confusing. I mean, you can get a license? And just how wide must one spread to do so?
A page later he considers Lewis Terman's 1930s warning that by 1960 no American bride would be a virgin. Farnsworth observes:
"In a nation of two hundred million people there has thus far been figured out no scientific means of ascertaining whether Professor Terman's prediction has come true."
I call for a new Manhattan Project!
It does not take a scientist to spot holes in Farnsworth's claims.
Yes, from Betsy Ross on, old ladies in America have encouraged their grandsons' poonhounding.
Goofy as it is, Sex and the Teenage Girl is often refreshing. Like many 60s books on the topic of shifting sexual mores, this one is packed with anecdotes and testimonials from vice squads, newspapers, psychiatrists, and the Kinsey Report. Unlike most of those other books, however, Farnsworth isn't in the least bit outraged by any of this.
He'll claim that a national newstand magazine is "devoted to the cause of abolition -- of young girls's maidenheads." He'll claim that after a trip to the movies 84 per cent of women "admit feeling like having a man make love to them" and that 71 per cent of these "took the initiative and invited men to make love to them after witnessing such pictures."
But Farnsworth isn't denouncing these kids. He's celebrating them. He praises America's teens for no longer being "snowed" by the "outmoded beliefs" of their "their parents and their teachers and their community leaders."
And he claims:
Also discovered in the $1 room at the library store: this doozy from America's craziest preacher!
"The only justification for the sexual act is that it brings supreme physical pleasure, a sensation that cannot be matched by any other human experience."
That might seem forward thinking for '65. But since this is Farnsworth,something has to be a little off. In this case it's that phrase "human experience." It turns up early in a chapter titled "Animal Lovers," just a page or two before this:
"There really is no sufficient explanation that can be found anywhere, either in the biologic or psychiatric sciences, for men and women to confine their sex life to the opposite sex of the same species."
From there he's off, envisioning the food chain below us as something of a harem, doling out case studies and statistics in an attempt to convince us that animal lovin' is an everyday phenomenon.
. . . and this, the book that reminds us of the good ol' days when Americans didn't have to lock their bowels at night.
At one point, he rattles off a short list of the inter-special pairings that cannot happen. It is far from exhaustive:
Female eland with ostrich
Male monkey with snake
Stallion with human female
Female chimpanzee with Siamese cat
Cow with human
He insists that he got this list from scientists, but I have my doubts. Why the weirdly specific "Siamese cat"? Can a female monkey get down with a snake?
A couple pages later, Farnsworth includes what he claims is a transcript of a young woman dishing to a police psychiatrist the details of her long sexual affair with Romeo, her German Shepherd. (She says, "My, he was a beautiful dog!")
The transcript is as lusty as any modern Harlequin. Here she reports on an early encounter:
(YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO READ THIS, PEOPLE.)
"I just lay there, like an Egyptian princess. I had the most wonderful experience that I ever have had, before or since in my entire life. I can still feel that long, rough tongue licking at my private parts that had never been touched before except by my own fingers."
After screaming through a climax she worried might wake the house, she claims to have turned her attention to Romeo and "that big strong organ of his bright and red like a gasoline torch."
And, you know, it's that detail that confirms my suspicion. Farnsworth is just cold making this up.
Another clue: asked if she has ever dared relations with animals beyond Romeo, the young woman says
"I certainly have often wanted to and longed for a long time for a stallion, but I could never quite figure out how to make it work."
See, that's the same horse/lady pairing that rounded out Farnsworth's scientific list! She never beds her stallion, but she does go on in full, frothy detail about handjobbing the horses that got away.
Such filthy nonsense was the point. In '65 obscenity laws still forbade the dissemination of graphic sexual material unless said material could prove itself to be something more than prurient smut. So Farnsworth -- or whoever adopted that name -- had to gin up page after page of fake sociology to justify these breathless "transcripts."
Back then, you had to work for sex! It's this quirk of history that explains why same reason skin mags have always had articles, porn flicks have always had plots, and high schools have always had proms.
Concluding a discussion of the "numerous sex orgies" common in Philadelphia, Farnsworth writes:
"One might expect, in the not too distant future, that the City of Brotherly Love would find it necessary to find another appellation for itself, one which acknowledged the love in that city was by no means strictly a masculine business."
Farnsworth pads the book with reprints of congressional hearings, the motion picture production code, and other un-sexy stuff. But it's his fake facts that make this such a masterpiece of Crap. Perhaps his finest:
"Most of the girls -- about 75% -- found that dogs were the best lovers of all."
Hey, you could do worse than following @studiesincrap on the Twitter thing.
Get the Arts Newsletter
Get the latest news and offers from the LA art scene sent directly to your email address. Exclusive events and art related sales you won't hear about anywhere else!