‘Mine’s better than yours’

Sex in the Past, the Present and the Future

Be a good wife. Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready for his return from work. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs.

Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed. Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives. Gather up school books, toys, papers etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables. During the colder months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order and it will give you a lift too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first, remember his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he arrives home late or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax. Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner, or even stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange the pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice. Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise this will with fairness and truthfulness. [*] When he has had a chance to have his evening meal, clear the dishes and wash up promptly. If your husband should offer to help decline his offer as he may feel obliged to repeat this offer and after a long working day, he does not need the extra work.

Encourage your husband to pursue his hobbies and interests and be supporting without seeming to encroach. If you have little hobbies yourself try not to bore him speaking of these, as women’s interests are often rather trivial compared to men’s.

At the end of the evening tidy the home ready for the morning and again think ahead to his breakfast needs. Your husband’s breakfast is vital if he is to face the outside world in a positive fashion. Once you have both retired to the bedroom, prepare yourself for bed as promptly as possible. Whilst feminine hygiene is of the utmost importance, your tired husband does not want to wait for the bathroom as he would for his train. But remember to look your best when going to bed. Try to achieve a look which is welcoming without being obvious. If you need to apply face cream or hair rollers wait until he is asleep as this can be shocking to a man last thing at night. When it comes to the possibility of intimate relations with your husband, it is important to remember your marriage vows and in particular your commitment to obey him. If he feels that he needs to sleep immediately then so be it.

In all things be led by your husband’s wishes; do not pressure him in any way to stimulate intimacy. Should your husband suggest congress then accept humbly, all the while being mindful that a man’s satisfaction is more important than a woman’s. When he reaches his moment of fulfillment, a small moan from yourself is encouraging to him and quite sufficient to indicate any enjoyment that you may have had. Should your husband suggest any of the more unusual practices, be obedient and uncomplaining but register any reluctance by remaining silent.

It is likely that your husband will then fall promptly asleep, so adjust your clothing, freshen up and apply night time and hair care products. You may then set the alarm so that you can arise shortly before him in the morning. This will enable you to have his morning cup of tea ready when he awakes.

Purports to be an extract from a Home Economics textbook of the early 1950’s entitled The Good Wife Guide. The part up to [*] is supposed to have appeared in Housekeeping Monthly dated 13 May 1955 under the heading ‘The Good Wife’s Guide.’

From an early Van Heusen advertisment for shirts


Have you ever imagined what it will be like to have sex in the future? Will space-age sex be different to the way we make love today? Experts believe it will. Indeed a 21st century sex revolution could change the way we live. So let’s take a look into the future and look forward to having SEX IN THE YEAR 2000.

Over the years, attitudes towards sex have changed dramatically. Well, those attitudes will continue to change. By the year 2000 Victorian values will be a thing of the past. Gone will be inhibitions and prudish attitudes towards sex. Instead making love will seem as natural as lighting a cigarette – strangers will do it at bus stops, on trains or wherever the fancy takes them.


The out-dated Indecent Behaviour laws will have been removed from the statute books – instead the police will actively encourage people to make love. Sex will be so commonplace, our clothes will be specially adapted so there’s no need to take them off when we have sex.


At work, coffee and tea breaks will be replaced by sex breaks. Bosses, following the Japanese example, will realise that sexual stimulation increases productivity. Profits will be up, and Britain will boom to the sound of bonking.


New healthy attitudes towards the subject of sex will mean the end of seedy sex shops. Instead families will visit huge out-of-town sex hypermarkets, with free parking for over 2000 cars, selling everything you could ever need for sex. From sexy underwear to a pair of skimpy briefs. And sex hypermarkets will be open on bank holidays too!

Sex will no longer be an awkward, old-fashioned show of affection between two people that takes place behind closed doors. People will have sex at all times of the day, in all sorts of places, and in any numbers. At football matches whole crowds will have sex together to celebrate a goal. And new attitudes will mean no more complaints about sex on TV. Instead, old ladies will sit down and enjoy the Eurovision Sex Contest. A grey-haired Terry Wogan will present the show, and couples from all over Europe will have sex on screen, hoping to win the competition. Indeed, competitive sex will be the sport of the future with top athletes, at the peak of their physical fitness, going for gold in sex – the most popular olympic sport of the year 2000.

Incredible advances in technology will begin to change sex beyond all recognition. As well as Access and Visa, people will eventually carry SexExpress cards. To have sex with other SexExpress cardholders, simply pop the card into any High Street SexPoint machine. At the end of the month you will receive a statement letting you know how many times you have had sex, and with whom.


Cinemas will have been replaced by multi-screen Seximas. Having sex with your favourite movie star will become a reality, thanks to special attachments on the seat in front of you. Meanwhile at home watching TV will never be the same again. Special hologramic TVs will allow you to have sex with the newsreader as they read the headlines, or fondle your favourite weatherman as he makes his forecast.

And new technology will also make sex possible via the phone. Simply ring a friend’s number, then plug your telephone into a special socket in your bed. Crossed lines could lead to some thrilling threesomes, or even a fabulous foursome. But beware – these sexiphone sessions are likely to cost you as much as £600 per minute at peak times, owing to inflation.


Sex education will be revolutionised too. The children of the future will learn sex in the classroom along with English and maths. They will be able to visit Sex Museums too, where actors will perform old-fashioned “bedroom sex” – the kind we enjoy today. By the year 2000, sex in bed will be a thing of the past.


Sexual diseases will also be a thing of the past. Doctors will have invented a special new space medicine that tastes like lemonade and stops you from catching any sex diseases. And pregnancy will not be a problem either. Women will be able to swallow a special pill every night, smaller than a smartie, and if taken regularly this will stop them becoming pregnant.

From Viz issue 36, 1989.

When Anna K. bends over the world takes notice

So now, this smiling winter morning, I drink this very strong chai with moloko and spoon after spoon after spoon of sugar, me having a sladky tooth, and I dragged out of the oven the breakfast my poor old mum had cooked for me. It was an egg fried, that and no more, but I made toast and ate egg and toast and jam, smacking away at it while I read the gazetta. The gazetta was the usual about ultra-violence and bank robberies and strikes and footballers making everybody paralytic with fright by threatening to not play next Saturday if they did not get higher wages, naughty malchickiwicks as they were. Also there were more space-trips and bigger stereo TV screens and offers of free packets of soapflakes in exchange for the labels on soup-tins, amazing offer for one week only, which made me smeck. And there was a bolshy big article on Modern Youth (meaning me, so I gave the old bow, grinning like bezoomny) by some very clever bald chelloveck. I read this with care, my brothers, slurping away at the old chai, cup after tass after chasha, crunching my lomticks of black toast dipped in jammiwam and eggiweg. This learned veck said the usual veshches, about no parental discipline, as he called it, and the shortage of real horrorshow teachers who would lambast bloody beggary out of their innocent poops and make them go boohoohoo for mercy. All this was gloopy and made me smeck, but it was like nice to go on knowing one was making the news all the time, O my brothers. Every day there was something about Modern Youth, but the best veshch they ever had in the old gazetta was by some starry pop in a doggy collar who said that in his considered opinion and he was govoreeting as a man of Bog IT WAS THE DEVIL THAT WAS ABROAD and was like ferreting his way into like young innocent flesh, and it was the adult world that could take the responsibility for this with their wars and bombs and nonsense. So that was all right. So he knew what he talked of, being a Godman. So we young innocent malchicks could take no blame. Right right right.

When I’d gone erk erk a couple of razzes on my full innocent stomach, I started to get out day platties from my wardrobe, turning the radio on. There was music playing, a very nice malenky string quartet, my brothers, by Claudius Birdman, one that I knew well. I had to have a smeck, though, thinking of what I’d viddied once in one of these like articles on Modern Youth, about how Modern Youth would be better off if A Lively Appreciation Of The Arts could be like encouraged. Great Music, it said, and Great Poetry would like quieten Modern Youth down and make Modern Youth more Civilized. Civilized my syphilised yarbles. Music always sort of sharpened me up, O my brothers, and made me like feel like old Bog himself, ready to make with the old donner and blitzen and have vecks and ptitsas creeching away in my ha ha power. And when I’d cheested up my litso and rookers a bit and done dressing (my day platties were like student-wear: the old blue pantalonies with sweater with A for Alex) I thought here at least was time to itty off to the disc-bootick (and cutter too, my pockets being full of pretty polly) to see about this long-promised and long-ordered stereo Beethoven Number Nine (the Choral Symphony, that is), recorded on Masterstroke by the Esh Sham Sinfonia under L. Muhaiwir. So out I went, brothers.

The day was very different from the night. The night belonged to me and my droogs and all the rest of the nadsats, and the starry bourgeois lurked indoors drinking in the gloopy worldcasts, but the day was for the starry ones, and there always seemed to be more rozzes or millicents about during the day, too. I got the autobus from the corner and rode to Center, and then I walked back to Taylor Place, and there was the disc-bootick I favoured with my inestimable custom, O my brothers. It had the gloopy name of MELODIA, but it was a real horrorshow mesto and skorry, most times, at getting the new recordings. I walked in and the only other customers were two young ptitsas sucking away at ice-sticks (and this, mark, was dead cold winter) and sort of shuffling through the new popdiscs – Johnny Burnaway, Stash Kroh, The Mixers, Lay Quiet Awhile With Ed And Id Molotov, and all the rest of that cal. These two ptitsas couldn’t have been more than ten, and they too, like me, it seemed, evidently, had decided to take a morning off from the old skolliwoll. They saw themselves, you could see, as real grown-up devotchkas already, what with the old hipswing when they saw your Faithful Narrator, brothers, and padded groodies and red all ploshed on their goobers. I went up to the counter, making with the polite zooby smile at old Andy behind it (always polite himself, always helpful, a real horrorshow type of a veck, though bald and very very thin). He said:

‘Aha, I know what you want, I think. Good news, good news. It has arrived.’ And with like big conductor’s rookers beating time he went to get it. The two young ptitsas started giggling, as they will at that age, and I gave them a like cold glazzy. Andy was back real skorry, waving the great shiny white sleeve of the Ninth, which had on it, brothers, the frowning beetled like thunderbottled litso of Ludwig van himself. ‘Here,’ said Andy. ‘Shall we give it the trial spin?’ But I wanted it back home on my stereo to slooshy on my oddy knocky, greedy as hell. I fumbled out the deng to pay and one of the little ptitsas said:

‘Who you getten, bratty? What biggy, what only?’ These young devotchkas had their own like way of govoreeting. ‘The Heaven Seventeen? Luke Sterne? Goggly Gogol?’ And both giggled, rocking and hippy. Then an idea hit me and made me near fall over with the anguish and ecstasy of it, O my brothers, so I could not breathe for near ten seconds. I recovered and made with my new-clean zoobies and said:

‘What you got back home, little sisters, to play your fuzzy warbles on?’ Because I could viddy the discs they were buying were these teeny pop veshches. ‘I bet you got little save tiny portable like picnic spinners.’ And they sort of pushed their lower lips out at that. ‘Come with uncle,’ I said, ‘and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited.’ And I like bowed. They giggled again and one said:

‘Oh, but we’re so hungry. Oh, but we could so eat.’ The other said: ‘Yah, she can say that, can’t she just.’ So I said:

‘Eat with uncle. Name your place.’

Then they viddied themselves as real sophistoes, which was like pathetic, and started talking in big-lady golosses about the Ritz and the Bristol and the Hilton and Il Ristorante Granturco. But I stopped that with ‘Follow uncle,’ and I led them to the Pasta Parlour just round the corner and let them fill their innocent young litsos on spaghetti and sausages and cream-puffs and banana-splits and hot choc-sauce, till I near sicked with the sight of it, I, brothers, lunching but frugally off a cold ham-slice and a growling dollop of chilli. These two young ptitsas were much alike, though not sisters. They had the same ideas or lack of, and the same colour hair – a like dyed strawy. Well, they would grow up real today. Today I would make a day of it. No school this afterlunch, but education certain, Alex as teacher. Their names, they said, were Marty and Sonietta, bezoomny enough and in the heighth of their childish fashion, so I said:

‘Righty right, Marty and Sonietta. Time for the big spin. Come.’ When we were outside on the cold street they thought they would not go by autobus, oh no, but by taxi, so I gave them the humour, though with a real horrorshow in-grin, and I called a taxi from the rank near Center. The driver, a starry whiskery veck in very stained platties, said:

‘No tearing up, now. No nonsense with them seats. Just re-upholstered they are.’ I quieted his gloopy fears and off we spun to Municipal Flatblock 18A, these two bold little ptitsas giggling and whispering. So, to cut all short, we arrived, O my brothers, and I led the way up to 10-8, and they panted and smecked away the way up, and then they were thirsty, they said, so I unlocked the treasure-chest in my room and gave these ten-year-young devotchkas a real horrorshow Scotchman apiece, though well filled with sneezy pins-and-needles soda. They sat on my bed (yet unmade) and leg-swung, smecking and peeting their highballs, while I spun their like pathetic malenky discs through my stereo. Like peeting some sweet scented kid’s drink, that was, in like very beautiful and lovely and costly gold goblets. But they went oh oh oh and said, ‘Swoony’ and ‘Hilly’ and other weird slovos that were the heighth of fashion in that youth group. While I spun this cal for them I encouraged them to drink and have another, and they were nothing loath, O my brothers. So by the time their pathetic pop-discs had been twice spun each (there were two: ‘Honey Nose,’ sung by Ike Yard, and ‘Night After Day After Night,’ moaned by two horrible yarble-less like eunuchs whose names I forget) they were getting near the pitch of like young ptitsa’s hysterics, what with jumping all over my bed and me in the room with them.

What was actually done that afternoon there is no need to describe, brothers, as you may easily guess all. Those two were unplattied and smecking fit to crack in no time at all, and they thought it the bolshiest fun to viddy old Uncle Alex standing there all nagoy and pan-handled, squirting the hypodermic like some bare doctor, then giving myself the old jab of growling jungle-cat secretion in the rooker. Then I pulled the lovely Ninth out of its sleeve, so that Ludwig van was now nagoy too, and I set the needle hissing on to the last movement, which was all bliss. There it was then, the bass strings like govoreeting away from under my bed at the rest of the orchestra, and then the male human goloss coming in and telling them all to be joyful, and then the lovely blissful tune all about Joy being a glorious spark like of heaven, and then I felt the old tigers leap in me and then I leapt on these two young ptitsas. This time they thought nothing fun and stopped creeching with high mirth, and had to submit to the strange and weird desires of Alexander the Large which, what with the Ninth and the hypo jab, were choodessny and zammechat and very demanding, O my brothers. But they were both very very drunken and could hardly feel very much.

When the last movement had gone round for the second time with all the banging and creeching about Joy Joy Joy Joy, then these two young ptitsas were not acting the big lady sophisto no more. They were like waking up to what was being done to their malenky persons and saying that they wanted to go home and like I was a wild beast. They looked like they had been in some big bitva, as indeed they had, and were all bruised and pouty. Well, if they would not go to school they must still have their education. And education they had had. They were creeching and going ow ow ow as they put their platties on, and they were like punchipunching me with their teeny fists as I lay there dirty and nagoy and fair shagged and fagged on the bed. This young Sonietta was creeching: ‘Beast and hateful animal. Filthy horror.’ So I let them get their things together and get out, which they did, talking about how the rozzes should be got on to me and all that cal. Then they were going down the stairs and I dropped off to sleep, still with the old Joy Joy Joy Joy crashing and howling away.

From Chapter 4 of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1962).

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