Make Love

Sara Wheeler This stimulating book examines the ways in which legal systems have attempted to regulate sexual activity over millennia, from the ‘slow impalement of unfaithful wives’ in Mesopotamia to the ‘sterilisation of masturbators’ in the United States. ‘I have mapped out the story of Western civilisation’, Eric Berkowitz boldly claims in his introduction, ‘from … Continue reading

Life Without Sex

Now that he’s raised awareness of his lifestyle, David Jay, founder of AVEN, is working to change mainstream beliefs about sex drives RACHEL HILLS But what all asexual people have in common — and what defines asexuality as an orientation — is that, while they may have a desire to connect with other people, asexuals … Continue reading

The Joy of Sex illustrated

Cordelia Hebblethwaite Forty years ago, a London publisher was working on a groundbreaking sex manual – a "gourmet guide" to sexual pleasure, with copious and detailed illustrations. But how could this be done tastefully and legally? Think of The Joy of Sex and chances are your mind will drift to an image of a man … Continue reading

Is There Such a Thing as Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is increasingly seen as a mass ailment like alcoholism that requires treatment, especially in the United States. Self-help groups are also starting to form in Germany. Many psychologists, though, see it as a condition invented by conservative moralizers. By Frank Thadeusz Corbis Crystal Renaud began to masturbate regularly at 10, after finding a … Continue reading

Orgasms unlock altered consciousness

Sex on the brain Our intrepid reporter performs an intimate act in an fMRI scanner to explore the pathways of pleasure and pain by Kayt Sukel WITH a click and a whirr, I am pulled into the scanner. My head is strapped down and I have been draped with a blanket so that I may … Continue reading

Sex, Drugs and Sea Slime

By Ellen Prager Among the organisms of the oceans that are armed and dangerous, there is one elite group of jetsetters that grow fast and are blessed with brains, looks, and a talent for disguise. Though most don’t live long, they can react with lightning-quick speed and deploy amazing defensive countermeasures. They are the stars … Continue reading

The Oceans’ Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter

 Photo: The male jawfish is incubating eggs in its mouth. Steven Kovacs Marine creatures are among the strangest, most beautiful and least known animals on Earth. Their intriguing mating strategies, defensive weapons, shape-shifting and camouflage abilities make for great stories and amazing photographs. Some of the best of those tales and images appear in the … Continue reading

How Did Dinosaurs Have Sex?

Dino-style. By Brian Palmer The American Museum of Natural History in New York will unveil an exhibition of the world’s largest dinosaurs this Saturday. Some visitors may wonder how the creatures could ever eat enough to sustain their size, but the Explainer’s mind is in the Jurassic gutter. How did those monsters manage to have … Continue reading

Naughty but nice

Contemporary pornography is a hideous distortion of the joys of sex. Yet, argues Nina Power, it could all have been so different by  Nina Power What would humanist pornography look like? Chances are that even the most adamant defender of the charms of adult material would struggle to find much evidence of compassion or affection … Continue reading