A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

My previous post was a book about the history of sex. This one is too. While both are introductions to this history, this one isn’t quite as cheeky. It is a more straightforward approach with more scholarly references. Dr. Kate Lister, the author, is a lecturer at Leeds Trinity University. She won the Sexual Freedom award for publicist of the year in 2017 and is on Twitter as @WhoresofYore and @k8_lister.

The text covers a variety of topics and their intersection with sex and its history. These include:

  • words
  • vulvas
  • penises
  • food
  • machines
  • hygiene
  • reproduction
  • money

The details within these areas include sexually transmitted infections, words for body parts, the selling of sex, and why we considers some body parts “icky”.

The text is easy to read and very informative. While delivering the information, it never feels like a textbook or a lecture. There are photographs and illustrations throughout. While the previous book I reviewed touches on the more controversial aspects of sex history, this book addresses the nitty gritty and quotidian aspects of the subject. They complement each other nicely.

My rating: 4/5

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