Quote request: the only unnatural sex act is that which one cannot perform (attrib Alfred C. Kinsey circa 1963)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 9 10:21:28 UTC 2013

I have received a request to trace a quotation ascribed to the
entomologist and sexologist Alfred C. Kinsey. The Yale Book of
Quotations has an instance in 1979:

[Begin excerpt from YBQ]
The only unnatural sex act is that which you cannot perform.
Quoted in Barbara Rowes, The Book of Quotes (1979)
[End excerpt from YBQ]

Google Books and HathiTrust indicate a match circa 1963.

Journal: Mattachine Review
Year: 1963
Volume: 9
Page: 12
(Google Books snippet data may be inaccurate)


[Begin extracted text]
I suggest that the varied forms of sexual behavior are simply a part
of nature. I urge others to regard them so. I remember Dr. Kinsey once
said that the only unnatural sex act is that which one cannot perform.
Then let's start accepting the fact, and chuck into the rubbish can a
lot of the prudish nonsense the anti-sexualists are feeding us.
[End extracted text]

Apparently volume 9 of the journal is available at Duke (possibly on
microfilm) and UNC (microfilm) and Yale (paper reprint), and some
other places. If some kind soul is willing to help me explore this
quote that would be great. The results will be placed on the QI

The goal is to verify the above data on paper or microfilm and
construct a complete citation with the name of the article containing
the quote, the author, the year, the month, the journal, the

If you are willing to create scans and email them that would be
fantastic. If you are unable to create scans that is ok. Please
contact me off-list.

I know it is possible to try to obtain this information via inter
library loan, a system which I have used many times, but my past
experiences indicate that direct contact with a friend or contact at a
library is vastly preferable.

With appreciation,

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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