Alex Comfort


Alexander Comfort, MB BChir (10 February 1920 – 26 March 2000) was a British scientist and physician known best for his nonfiction sex manual, The Joy of Sex (1972). He was an author of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as agerontologist, anarchist, pacifist, and conscientious objector.

Comfort was educated at Highgate School in London. While a student there, he attempted to develop a superior concoction of gunpowder. During his experiments he inadvertently exploded his left hand, of which only the thumb remained. (Later in life, he claimed that his left hand proved "very useful for performing uterine inversions".) This story is used as evidence of his single-mindedness.

He matriculated at Cambridge University's Trinity College to study medicine, qualifying during 1944 with both theConjoint diplomas of Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP) London, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) England and the Cambridge Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery or MB BChir degrees. All in all, he accrued six degrees.

Comfort had a passion for molluscs and joined the Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland when he was eighteen years old and made many contributions to the literature.