The Randy Victorian’s Guide To Sex

Published March 22, 2015
Updated March 15, 2019

Becklard's Physiology was surprisingly sex positive given the time in which it was written. To believe it, you have to read it.

Becklards Physiology

Source: Etsy

Who would have guessed that one of the most sex-positive and progressive perspectives on copulation would come from a Victorian how-to guide? Becklard’s Physiology, as it was so called, was really just the nickname given to the real title, Physiological Mysteries and Revelations in Love, Courtship and Marriage by Eugène Becklard. And oh, what mysteries abounded within those well-worn pages. While Becklard was by no means the go-to expert on the subject, his book–akin to “pop psychology” books today–would likely be found stashed away in many Victorians’ bookshelves.

Today, finding a copy of Becklard’s Physiology in the flesh (so to speak) would be an extreme historical find. Very few print copies exist outside of archives, but the tome has recently made its way onto Google Books. Now we can all enjoy the (slightly misleading but well intentioned) wisdom of Mr. Becklard. Here are some of the gems:

The Randy Victorian’s Guide To Sex
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Abby Norman
Abby Norman is a writer based in New England, currently writing a memoir for Nation Books. Her work has been featured on The Rumpus, The Independent, Cosmopolitan, Medium, Seventeen, Romper, Bustle, and Quartz.