An A-Z of Woody Allen’s Advice on Love and Sex

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The auteur's thoughts on the most wonderfully convoluted of human emotions.

For many, Woody Allen is the ultimate philosopher on love. In a career spanning over 70 movies, he has explored the complexities of human relationships with heartbreaking sincerity and tender humor. His movies are the best ones to watch when you’re going through a breakup, because they make it seem as though the tragedy of love is precisely what makes up the comedy of life. And yet, they are also the best movies to watch when you’re in a relationship, as every couple can see themselves mirrored in the verbal sparring and existential spirals of his lovelorn characters.

With his new (awesome looking) movie, Blue Jasmine, premiering July 26, we thought there was no better time to pay homage to the famously fumbling guru, with an A to Z dictionary guide to his witty and wise thoughts on the most wonderfully convoluted of human emotions.

A – Affairs

“I didn't have an affair, it was a brief interlude of infidelity.” – Whatever Works

B – Bisexuality

“Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.”- The New York Times

C – Contraception

“I want to tell you a terrific story about oral contraception. I asked this girl to sleep with me and she said 'No.'”- Stand up

D- Diseases

“The most beautiful words in the English language aren’t “I love you” but “It’s benign!”- Deconstructing Harry

E- Envy

“Penis Envy? I’m one of the few men to suffer from it”- Annie Hall


“I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or Catholics”- Manhattan

G- Gender Roles

““Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with.”

H- Heart

“The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle. It really is.”-Hannah and Her Sisters


““Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in my bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.”- Stand up


"Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing." –Annie Hall


"Is sex dirty? Only if it's done right."-Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex *But Were Afraid To Ask

L- Love

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love, but then, one suffers from not loving. So, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer.”- Love and Death

“Love is too weak a word for what I feel – I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F's, yes.” – Annie Hall

M- Masturbation

“I’m such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own”-Love and Death

““Having sex is like bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.” “Don’t knock masturbation! It’s sex with someone I love!”- Annie Hall

N-New York City

"I can't in good conscience argue for New York with anyone. It's like Calcutta, but I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they're a drunk or a thief. I've loved the city my whole life–to me, it's like a great woman." -Interview


“I just met a a new man. He's fictional, but you can't have everything." -Sally, Purple Rose of Cairo


“I dated a girl in the Eisenhower administration and it was ironic because I was trying to do to her what Eisenhower has been doing to this country in the last eight years.”- Annie Hall


"It's not the quantity of your sexual relations that count. It's the quality. On the other hand, if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it." –Love and Death

R- Relationships

“It reminds me of that old joke—you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that's how I feel about relationships. They're totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”- Annie Hall

S- Sex

“For me, love is very deep. Sex only has to go in a few inches.”- Bullets Over Broadway

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty damn good.”

T- Threesomes

“Sex between a man and a woman can be wonderful, provided you get between the right man and the right woman.”

U-Unrequited Love

"There's only one kind of love that lasts. That's unrequited love. It stays with you forever."

"Only unfulfilled love can be romantic."- Juan Antonio, Vicky Cristina Barcelona


"I have an intense desire to return to the womb. Anybody's." -Interview


"When it comes to the important things in life, you never learn anything. You make a fool of yourself when you’re 20, and you make a fool of yourself at 40, at 60 and at 80. The ancient Greeks were dealing with these problems."- Interview

X- X-rated 

"I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts."-Bananas


"Love, despite what they tell you, does not conquer all, nor does it usually last. In the end the romantic aspirations of our youth are reduced to, whatever works." –Whatever Works


"I should stop ruining my life searching for answers I'm never gonna get, and just enjoy it while it lasts." –Hannah and Her Sisters


Follow Diana Bruk on Twitter @BrukDiana