Wednesday, May 23, 1962: 'Sex and the Single Girl'

The book by Helen Gurley Brown is published by Bernard Geis Associates and quickly becomes a best-seller. From the hardcover book flap:

SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL torpedoes one of the most absurd (if universal) myths of our time: that every girl must be married. (How ... when there are four million too few single adult men to go around? Why ... when it can be so exciting to be single?)
In perhaps the first truly honest treatment of the subject, SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL tells the unmarried girl how to be irresistibly, irrepressibly, confidently, enviably single. There is not a coy, sanctimonious or condescending word in this entire book ... only hundreds of practical, workable, specific suggestions written with sometimes shocking candor by a woman who was herself single for thirty-seven years.
The reader is taken on a guided tour of the haunts of men and told how to flush them out "without doing anything brassy or show-offy." (Not for the purpose of getting married but of being contentedly single until she meets a man she wants to marry -- and who wants to marry her.)
One chapter draws a detailed, easy-to-follow blueprint of how to be sexy to every man in eyesight and earshot "except those who respond only to girls who wear hobnail boots and paperclip necklaces or union suits plastered with chicken feathers."
The single woman will discover to sneak up on a fabulous career ("even if you are a slow starter") that can afford her prestige, trips to glamorous places and enough money to drive a Ferrari.
A chapter with a simple title -- MONEY MONEY MONEY -- tells the unfortunate lass who manages her funds abysmally how to hang on to enough of them to buy gold lamé dresses and blue chip stocks at the end of every month.
THE APARTMENT gives specific instructions in locating and decorating the necessary "jewel-like setting in which you will lead your sapphire single-girl life."
THE SHAPE YOU'RE IN itemizes ways to be healthy, sexy and alluring inside as well as out. THE WARDROBE punctures holes in many tired notions about fashion, such as the silly one that smart girls don't follow it. ("They follow fashion like mad.")
In other chapters, a single woman will discover how to have hair that shimmers, how to keep one dousing of French perfume wafting from her bosom all day long, how to serve (without fidgets) breakfast to an overnight male guest, how to give a perfect cocktail party, how to bake a flawless chocolate soufflé. And for the first time anywhere the protocol of THE AFFAIR is discussed -- from Beginning to End.
Long before the reader reaches THE RICH, FULL LIFE, she will be convinced that today's smart single woman, far from being a pitiable creature, can be the most alluring of all females.

* Entry from "St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture" (Gale Group, 2000): @
* Art Buchwald column (November 1962): @
* "Singular Girl's Success" (Life magazine, March 1, 1963): @
* "A Helen Gurley Brown Quiz" (The New York Times, May 2009) @
* "Bad Girls Go Everywhere" (2010 biography of Brown, by Jennifer Scanlon): @
* New Yorker review of "Bad Girls Go Everywhere": @

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