The book was translated into 54 languages and sold in 52 countries and ultimately reached more than 150 million readers. In 1972 it was loosely adapted by Woody Allen into a comedy film of the same name.
Although considered revolutionary in its day, the book contains many outdated notions and outmoded methods, as well as significant inaccuracies. Reuben writes of homosexuality as a mental disorder and a "striving for the impossible", that male homosexual encounters are entirely impersonal, and that through therapy, a gay man has "every chance of becoming a happy, well-adjusted heterosexual." Reuben wrote the book at a time when the American Psychiatric Association declared homosexuality a mental disorder; today, such views are rejected by the mainstream psychiatric community He also wrote that prostitutes and lesbians were one and the same, that Coca-Cola makes an effective douche (despite the risk it poses of encouraging yeast infections), and that circumcision improves sexual pleasure. The book includes some very pronounced strict Freudian analysis by Reuben and addressing "problems" like frigidity in women.