Friday, July 2, 2010

The Jewel in the Lotus

Today, I'm going to try something a bit new - it seems the modern citizen, bereft of all taste and direction in a world saturated with cultural waste, 0ften needs guidance when it comes to the basics in life - what to eat, what to drink, what to watch, how to read, etc... This journal itself is dedicated to instructing its followers in the general behavioral traits needed in order to call oneself a Rake. However, the clueless mass of today needs "specifics."

People often ask me, Gaspard - how are you so knowledgeable in the rakish arts? Well, aside from a lifetime of raking semi-professionally, I have read literally thousands of books. My youth was spent alone - I am an only child you see. I also suffered, from an early age, with a terrible case of gout. I spent much of my time locked in my father's library, tending to my swollen foot, reading and rereading his old tomes, and committing the more arcane bits of knowledge to memory. These books were not to be found on any common store shelves - nay, most of them were rare editions published by obscure imprints or vanity pressings written by his bizarre group of friends and enemies. This trove has imparted on me a peculiar set of knowledge - one that I am sure you have noted. So today, I am going to review a book for you in the hopes that perhaps one day you will come across it at an estate sale, snap it up, and benefit from its teachings despite its antiquated approach. Here begins a long series of book reviews. I shall begin:

The Jewel in the Lotus: A Historical Survey of the Sexual Culture of the East

by Allen Edwardes, Published by The Julian Press in 1959*

Now, a recent study accuses the author of "more than a touch of prurience," and warns that "the guise of orientalist scholarship clearly gives Edwardes leeway to express a surfeit of subconscious homoerotic phantasy." Not to mention that throughout its 300 pages, one finds a plethora of uncontrolled generalizations concerning the sexual behavior of non-western populations. But therein lies its magnificence.

A chapter listing should give you an idea of what you can expect:

Introduction by noted Sexologist Albert Ellis

I. Woman: Passive Creature
1. Concept
2. Virginity and Marriage
3. Sexual Diversions
4. Creation

II. Genitalia: Symbolism and Reality
1. Female
2. Male
3. Aspiration

III. Circumcision: Blood Covenant
1. Male
2. Female

IV. Autoerotism: Sterile Pleasures
1. Demonkind
2. Masturbation

V. Female Prostitution: Luxurious Custom
1. Purple and Incense
2. The Moslems
3. The Hindoos
4. Anglo- India

VI. Eunchism: Honor in Dishonor
1. Bondage

VII. Sexual Perversion: Matter of Taste then (There is No accounting for Taste!)
1. Sodomy
2. Pederasty
3. Sapphism
4. Bestiality

VIII. Hygiene: Ritualistic Compulsion
1. Sacred Ablution
2. The Calls of Nature
3. Depilation
4. Flatulence

Brilliant stuff! A quick glance at the chapter list is enough to interest even the most amateur Orientalist.

Quotations like,

"By the keen influence of climate and foods and lethargic necessitarian environment, coupled with physical hyperesthesia and innate hysterical tendencies, nearly all Eastern races were naturally masochistic and morbidly sensual." (In reference to sodomy)


"Environment, hand in hand with distinct masochistic tendencies, led them to commit savage and hysterical acts of vengeful brutality. Hence, the moment she applied the knife to her paramours body, the moment her fingernails gouged his scrotum, the Persian female relished orgasm. Sexual congress became vapid and ungratifying in comparison to the joys of sheer sadism." ( In reference to Persian prostitution)

Tidbits like this characterize the work, and although I would like to share more, the rest is considerably more vulgar and is unfit to print on this site.**

Edwardes does not limit himself to sexual acts, here he illustrates the interesting Oriental take on Flatulence: a stance that, as I understand it, has not changed to this day. He writes, "Breaking wind (zirt , fart) like belching (itkerreh), was considered by Arab and Hindoo as an act of purification for it sought to drive evil spirits from the body. Zirteh, a loud discharge was highly civil and proper in the company of others; but the insidious fesweh (fizzle, creeper), with stench, was regarded as an insult. Many an Arab died because of it, especially when vented in the presence of royalty. Such an individual was termed Fezwaun (Fizzler) whereas his counterpart, a man of purity and esteem, was venerably entitled Eboo-ez-Zirteh, or Father of Farts. Simonjeh-el-Hewweh (Breaker of the Wind) was the appellation granted to an egyptian bean-eater who could break wind in tune, a favorite accomplishment of fellaheen boys.

Lastly, he makes his recomendations for a bride based on one's temperment - one of the most brief, but useful chapters in the book

"Verily, a woman should grant her lover all of which she is mistress: by way of excitement, and rare buckings and wrigglings, and passionate movements. Such a woman, the ideal wife or concubine, was called Loolooeh (pearl of union). So, he who desireth to take a female slave for this carnal enjoyment, let him take an Abyssinian; but if he need one for the sake of children, let him have a Persian; and whoso desireth one for service, let him choose a Hindoo."

Edwardes concludes by positing that to judge the Oriental on his habits would be unfair, as "The saint is not to say to the devil: 'I am blessed, thou art evil' For somewhere and at some time the saint is evil and the devil blessed."

This book is an integral part of my library and I encourage you to search out a copy and purchase it, regardless of cost. Where else would one find information on ritualistic masturbation presented in such a thinly-veiled homoerotic and racist manner? If you know, please tell me.

*A bit modern, yes, but as this man seems to have absolutely no touch with the world he lives in, I can therefore overlook the date.

**Suffice it to say his favorite verb is "To Futter" and his favorite noun either "Coynte" or "Prickle."

1 comment:

  1. I too am impressed by this remarkable book. It contains a review of the vast, outspoken and colorful Oriental erotica in all aspects.The book discusses the religious origins of sex practices from temple prostitution to sexual debauchery. The book is serious, informative, and revealing. It is the only book I have found of its kind.