The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight

 

Translated by Sir Richard F. Burton [1886]

The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight is an Arabic sex manual and work of erotic literature written in the 12th century by Sheikh Nafzawi at the request of the Hafsid ruler of Tunis.  The reputation acquired by this work in the Arab world was similar to that of the Arabian Nights.

 

The book presents opinions on what qualities men and women should have to be attractive, gives advice on sexual technique, warnings about sexual health, recipes to remedy sexual maladies, and the interpretation of dreams. Interspersed with these are a number of stories which are intended to provide context and amusement.

CHAPTER 19

 

Instructions with Regard to Pregnancy and How the Gender of the Child That Is To Be Born May Be Known--that is to say, Knowledge of the Sex of the Foetus

Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that the certain indications of pregnancy are the following: the dryness of the vulva immediately after coitus, the inclination to stretch herself, accesses of somnolency, heavy and profound sleep, the frequent contraction of the opening of the vulva to such an extent that not even a meroud could penetrate, the nipples of the breast becoming darker and, lastly, the most certain of all marks is the cessation of menstruation.

If the woman remains always in good health from the time that her pregnancy is certain, if she preserves the good looks of her face and a clear complexion, if she does not become freckled, then it may be taken as a sign that the child will be a boy.

The red colour of the nipples also points to a child of the male sex. The strong development of the breasts, and bleeding from the nose, if it comes from the right nostril, are signs of the same purport.

The signs pointing to the conception of a child of the female sex are numerous. I will name them here: frequent indisposition during pregnancy, pale complexion, spots and freckles, pains in the matrIx, frequent nightmares, blackness of the nipples, a heavy feeling on the left side, nasal haemorrhage on the same side.

If there is any doubt about the pregnancy, let the woman drink, on going to bed, honey-water, and if then she has a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen, it is a proof that she is with child. If the right side feels heavier than the left one, it will be a boy. If the breasts are swelling with milk, this is similarly a sign that the child she is bearing will be of the male sex.

I have received this information from savants, and all the indications are positive and tested.

 

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