‘Sex Lives of the Interlake Hutterites’ by David Hofer-Cassidy

Book Reviews

Reviewed by Bender Hamlet

Critics notoriously sneer at self-published books. The recent plethora of Hutterite, Mennonite and Amish tell-alls have exacerbated this problem. But I would argue that the elegantly conceived and written Sex Lives of the Interlake Hutterites should be an exception.Expertly edited by retired Winnipeg TV weatherperson Barvel Black and filled with the Tyrolean linguistic equivalents of popular sexual positions (Hundefeiertag, for example), this book holds great anthropological and historical interest.

Some readers will rush to the illustrated section of this book, which was rather carelessly added to the reprints when Hofer-Cassidy’s work became a national bestseller. The more sophisticated will spend their time reading the text.

The opening chapters contain advice to young Hutterite men on how to meet girls from colonies beyond the Interlake (hay rides), how to relax them (reciting scripture), and how to seduce them (marry them, assuming not more closely related than first cousins).

The meat, as it were, of the book, describes, again with charming Tyrolean vocabulary: foreplay, marking with nails and teeth, spanking (with a leather-bound Bible only), and 64 sexual positions (although half of these are only recommended for younger Brethren).

Again, experienced readers will notice that the number of positions coincides with that of the Kama Sutra. Missing here, however, is any advice on courtesans or the seduction of other men’s wives. All sex in Hofer-Cassidy’s book is strictly within a monogamous and married context. Intriguingly, though, the chapter on Accessories suggests methods for shoplifting duvets and other bedroom items from department stories during the holiday season.

The final chapter on occult practices will be of much interest to everyone. Women who lack desire are advised to eat raw eggs garnished with nutmeg over a three week period. Men who are sexually frustrated are advised to practise better oral hygiene.

While the advice in this volume may seem dated at times, much is surprisingly contemporary. And while the point of view is predominantly male, a useful chapter on Healing Your Man of Gay Thoughts by Wearing a Small Black Dress at Home provides some variety.

Big Dress Press | 24 pages, paper | $99.95 | ISBN 666-020624-8060


Bender Hamlet

Bender Hamlet is a Winnipeg psychiatrist, trumpeter, and bon vivant.

Copyright 2010 Great Plains Publications/Enfield & Wizenty