Author of the 'Joy of Sex' bestseller dies at 80

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The Independent Culture

Alex Comfort, the author and academic who wrote the bestselling book, The Joy of Sex, has died aged 80.

The author, who also wrote poetry and campaigned for nuclear disarmament, died last night in Horton Hospital in Oxfordshire. He had suffered a series of strokes and was living in a nursing home in Chacombe, Northamptonshire.

The Joy of Sex, which brought Dr Comfort's notoriety when it was published in 1972, sold 12 million copies worldwide and was translated into 24 languages. Billed as the "gourmet guide to love-making" and with line-drawing illustrations, the book became a classic.

With its 1963 forerunner Sex and Society, the book gained him a reputation - unfairly in his supporters' views - as a promoter of promiscuous society.

It was one of 50 book written by Dr Comfort, who produced novels, poetry, scientific textbooks and philosophy. He had been a leading anarchist and pacifist and was a conscientious objector during the Second World War.

Dr Comfort's second wife died in 1991. He leaves a son by his first marriage, Nick Comfort, and three grandchildren.

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