This post is meant to complement my earlier one commemorating Valentine's Day. Entitled "Love Quotes: The Wisest, Wittiest . . . and Most Cynical," it presented what I thought were the most entertaining--and thought-provoking--quotes available on the topic. Here I attempt to achieve the same thing with the always controversial, ever-intriguing subject of sex.
To me, our culture takes the crucial matter of sex much too seriously. Which reminds me of the humorous (and richly paradoxical) quote from Oscar Wilde: "Life is much too important ever to be taken seriously." So, too, I think it is with sex--obviously of the greatest significance, yet (whether "executed" solo or with a partner) great fun as well. Even when predominantly in the service of lust, it's still a form of pleasure, of play. As such, it's both a welcome and necessary diversion from our everyday chores and obligations.
This is why witty sex quotes--especially those that beguile us into laughing at ourselves--deserve our (at least) "quasi-serious" attention. To maintain our psychological balance, it's essential we let ourselves smile, giggle, and maybe even break up over all the incongruities, inconsistencies, and flat-out contradictions related to what may be our favorite pastime.
After all, what could be healthier than light-heartedly chuckling over our abiding impulses, susceptibilities, and weaknesses. At some level, most of us can appreciate that many comic utterances betray profound truths about ourselves--truths we might not be willing to look at without their being framed humorously. But feeling amused, we may be able to recognize and (however begrudgingly) accept that, overcome by lower instincts and desires, we're quite capable of being like that, talking like that, reacting like that. Our powerful, more animal side can preempt our better judgment, or our higher ethical sensibilities.
Here, for example, are two witty (but also rather cutting) examples of how our sexual propensities may disclose things about us that, though comical, are hardly admirable. The first pokes fun at men, the second at women:
"Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography." (Robert Byrne)
"There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL convertible." (P. J. O'Rourke)
Anyhow, I hope you'll enjoy these quotations. I assembled them--and as much as possible sought to group them--after reviewing many 100s of witticisms, jokes, puns, and assorted drollery on the subject. Finally, I selected those I felt were "choice," the very best of the lot, while at the same time endeavoring to exclude those that seemed rather tasteless, mean-spirited, or overly derisive. Still, I've little doubt that some readers will see me as failing in my attempts here.
As in my love quotes piece earlier, you'll probably find many of them somewhat cynical. And certainly they tend toward the outspoken, irreverent, and at times outrageous. But, however embarrassingly, almost all contain at least a grain of truth about them. Some are quite wise, some almost hilariously paradoxical, and others (I think) simply hilarious. So as you chuckle (while perhaps simultaneously shaking your head), do consider what each quip might possibly say about you . . . as well as--ahem--all the rest of us. And please, do go ahead and have a good (non-judgmental) laugh over the foolishness and folly that so many of them encapsulate.
One last note: I purposely saved all my Woody Allen quotes for the very end. Regarding him as the veritable master of witty one-liners on sex, I thought it fitting to give him the closing say--to allow his unusually clever jests to represent, well, the final climax.
Okay, on with the quotes:
"A dirty book is rarely dusty." ~ Anon.
"Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life is the other way around." ~ David Lodge
"Familiarity breeds contempt--and children." ~ Mark Twain
"It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins." ~ Chinese Proverb
"Sex at age ninety is like trying to shoot pool with a rope." ~ George Burns
"I'm at the age where food has taken the place of sex in my life. In fact, I've just had a mirror put over my kitchen table." ~ Rodney Dangerfield
"I've been around so long, I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin." ~ Groucho Marx
"My father told me all about the birds and the bees--the liar. I went steady with a woodpecker till I was twenty-one" ~ Bob Hope
"I know nothing about sex, because I was always married." ~ Zsa Zsa Gabor
"Anticipation makes the hard-on longer." ~ Itsby Stevintary
"The difference between light and hard is that you can sleep with a light on." ~ Anon
"A promiscuous person is a person who is getting more sex than you are." ~ Victor Lownes
"A nymphomaniac is someone who has more sex than you do." ~ Alfred Kinsey
"Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man." ~ Mignon McLaughlin
"A student undergoing a word-association test was asked why a snowstorm put him in mind of sex. He replied frankly: 'because everything does.'" ~ Honor Tracy
"Sex. In America an obsession. In other parts of the world a fact." ~ Marlene Dietrich
"Men are those creatures with two legs and eight hands." ~ Jayne Mansfield
"Chastity: The most unnatural of the sexual perversions." ~ Aldous Huxley
"Don't worry, it only seems kinky the first time. ~ Anon
"Kinky is using a feather. Perverted is using the whole chicken." ~ Anon
"I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults." ~ Gore Vidal
"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex--they should draw the line at goats." ~ Elton John
"My girlfriend said to me in bed last night: 'you're a pervert.' I said, 'That's a big word for a girl of nine.'" ~ Emo Philips
"Sex on television can't hurt you, unless you fall off." ~ Anon
"Were kisses all the joys in bed,
One woman would another wed." ~ William Shakespeare
"He in a few minutes ravished this fair creature, or at least would have ravished her, if she had not, by a timely compliance, prevented him." ~ Henry Fielding
"I once knew a woman who offered her honor
So I honored her offer
And all night long I was on her and off her." ~ Anon
"Nothing risqué, nothing gained." ~ Alexander Woollcott
"Be naughty--save Santa a trip. ~ Anon
"I think I could fall madly in bed with you." ~ Anon
"When a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's $3.95 a minute." ~ Anon
"The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs less." ~ Brendan Francis
"Sex: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous, and the expense damnable." ~ Lord Chesterfield
"Sex: the thing that takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble." ~ John Barrymore
"When a guy goes to a hooker, he's not paying her for sex, he's paying her to leave." ~ Anon
"An intellectual is a person who's found one thing that's more interesting than sex." ~ Aldous Huxley
"There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex." ~ Billy Joel
"Masturbation: the primary sexual activity of mankind. In the nineteenth century it was a disease; in the twentieth, it's a cure." ~ Thomas Szasz
"We have reason to believe that man first walked upright to free his hands for masturbation." ~ Lily Tomlin
"The good thing about masturbation is that you don't have to get dressed up for it." ~ Truman Capote
"How lucky we are that we can reach our genitals instead of that spot on our back that itches." ~ Flash Rosenberg
"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth, and you should save it for someone you love." ~ Butch Hancock
"Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't! ~ George Bernard Shaw
"I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty." ~ John Waters
"Men reach their sexual peak at eighteen. Women reach theirs at thirty-five. Do you get the feeling that God is playing a practical joke?" ~Rita Rudner
"The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talk to during an orgasm." ~Anon
"For women the best aphrodisiacs are words. The G-spot is in the ears. He who looks for it below there is wasting his time." ~ Isabel Allende
"I think men talk to women so they can sleep with them and women sleep with men so they can talk to them." ~ Jay McInerney
"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place." ~ Billy Crystal
"Desire is in men a hunger, in women only an appetite." ~ Mignon McLaughlin
"Among men, sex sometimes results in intimacy; among women, intimacy sometimes results in sex." ~ Barbara Cartland
"My wife is a sex object--every time I ask for sex, she objects." ~ Les Dawson
"What's the three words you never want to hear while making love? 'Honey, I'm home!'" ~ Ken Hammond
"You know that look women get when they want sex? . . . Me neither." ~ Steve Martin
"To succeed with the opposite sex, tell her you're impotent. She can't wait to disprove it." ~ Cary Grant
"When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities." ~ Matt Groening
"I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce." ~ J. Edgar Hoover
"Obscenity is whatever gives the Judge an erection." ~ Anon
"Pornography: That which excites, whether from approval or disapproval." ~ Leonard Rossiter
"My reaction to porn films is as follows: After the first ten minutes, I want to go home and screw. After the first 20 minutes, I never want to screw again as long as I live." ~Erica Jong
"The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting." ~ Gloria Leonard
"What's the difference between art and pornography? . . . a government grant! ~ Peter Griffin
"Pornography is literature designed to be read with one hand." ~ Angela Lambert
"Pornography is in the loin of the beholder." ~ Charles Rembar
"Pornography is supposed to arouse sexual desires. If pornography is a crime, when will they arrest makers of perfume?" ~ Richard Fleischer
"There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection is the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted." ~ Judith Martin, in Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
. . . and, lastly, the following from Woody Allen:
"My brain: it's my second favorite organ."
"Don't knock masturbation--it's sex with someone I love."
"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."
"Sex relieves tension--love causes it."
"Sex between a man and a woman can be absolutely wonderful--provided you get between the right man and the right woman."
"Remember, if you smoke after sex you're doing it too fast."
"Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right."
"My love life is terrible. The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty."
[On bisexuality]: "It immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night."
"Sex without love is an empty experience, but as empty experiences go it's one of the best."
"Love is the answer, but while you're waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."
NOTE: If some (hopefully, many) of these quotes tickled your funny bone, please consider passing them on. To read a related post of mine, here's the link to my "Love Quotes:The Wisest, Wittiest . . . and Most Cynical." And, lastly, to have a look at my other writings for Psychology Today, click here.
© 2011 Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.