Our Book, Their Inspiration: Riffing on "Our Bodies, Ourselves"

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 7, 2010

Over the years, the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves” has inspired more than simply an enlightened perspective on women’s health — it  has also inspired many title adaptations. To wit: “Our Bodies, Our Cars,” “Our Bodies, Our Quantified Selves,” “Our Bodies, Our Stilettos” … the list goes on.

More poignantly, Jaclyn Friedman recently broke the silence around women’s sexual freedom with a must-read post at Feministe titled “My Sluthood, Myself.”

Now comes a new sexual guidebook for the 21st century entitled (are you sitting down?) “Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk.”

The satire comes to us from The Association for the Betterment of Sex, a male collective of sorts that includes comedy writers from “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and the publications McSweeney’s, The Onion and Esquire.

I’ll qualify this by noting I haven’t read it (review copy, hello?), but a few compelling topics include everything from outmoded masturbation slang (“Going on tour with Midnight Oil” is apparently out) to the top five pastry-related euphemisms for female genitalia. The book also lists “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” dry-cleaning services “for freshening up your vinyl fetishwear or adult-sized Tigger costume.”

For a bit of a preview, the Huffington Post has posted a slide show of favorite info-graphics from the book. You can also enjoy short bits of wisdom from the book’s Twitter feed. Most recent tweet: “Ever made love in a cranberry bog? Sound off!” (Where’s the hashtag?)

For a another satirical perspective, check out “The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex,” written by “Daily Show” correspondent Kristen Schaal and her boyfriend, “Daily Show” staff writer Rich Blomquist.

“Given the couple’s impeccable comic credentials and the evident affection they showed during a joint interview at a Midtown bar not far from the Daily Show studios, it’s no surprise that The Sexy Book Of Sexy Sex is a charming comedy love-child, mixing The Daily Show’s textbook parodies with extended prose pieces that riff on romance novels and pornographic science fiction,” writes Sam Adams in the intro to The Onion’s Q&A with the authors.

We’re used to the appropriation of OBOS for satirical purposes. It wasn’t too long ago that Steven Colbert was throwing the latest edition of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” on the yule log as part of the book-burning extras on his “A Colbert Christmas” DVD. And Colbert has long used a skeleton reading OBOS for his “Cheating Death” segment.

You know what they say: A sense of humor is really sexy.

Plus: Speaking of the “Our Bodies, Ourselves” book, we’re in the midst of writing a new edition — the 40th anniversary edition (!) — due out in fall 2011. Watch this space for more info on how to submit personal stories for revised chapters.

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