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Malcove, L. (1941). How to Achieve Sex Happiness in Marriage: By Henry and Freda Thornton. New York: The Vanguard Press, Inc., 1939. 155 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 10:161-162.

(1941). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 10:161-162

How to Achieve Sex Happiness in Marriage: By Henry and Freda Thornton. New York: The Vanguard Press, Inc., 1939. 155 pp.

Review by:
Lillian Malcove

The contents of this book originated in data discussed at meetings of a technical sex discussion group which met fortnightly for two years. The discussions were recorded and revised after suggestions were received from a distinguished American sexologist. One of the two authors of the final form of the material is a psychologist of long professional experience in marriage consultation work.

The book describes in great detail the preparations and practices that enter into adult sexual experiences. Those with little knowledge of reproductive anatomy and physiology and those with little imagination will find ample supplementation here. This supplementation, however, might have gained considerably in value had the authors not chosen to sweeten this very useful, objective and factual book with a rhapsodic phraseology ('sweetest kiss of all', 'sweet and exciting sensation', 'especially delectable', etc.) which becomes at times a bit sticky.

To be sure, in spite of the drawback in the style, the lay reader will find useful information and reassurance on such pertinent subjects as masturbation, homosexuality and other aspects of sexual expression. The discussions of so called normal and pathological sexual functioning, however, are vitiated by many factual inaccuracies. Types of functioning which are adaptations to symptomatic inhibitory forces are presented as normal; for example: 'the contentment of sex satiety comes from exhaustion of sex craving, whether this be brought about explosively by orgasm or slowly through prolonged sex play.

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