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A Curious History of Sex

A Curious History of Sex

by Kate Lister
A Curious History of Sex

A Curious History of Sex

by Kate Lister


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Based on the popular research project Whores of Yore and written with her distinctive humour and wit, A Curious History of Sex draws upon Dr. Kate Lister’s extensive knowledge of sex history. From medieval impotence tests to twentieth-century testicle thefts, from the erotic frescoes of Pompeii, to modern-day sex doll brothels, Lister unashamedly roots around in the pants of history, debunking myths, challenging stereotypes, and generally getting her hands dirty.

This fascinating book is peppered with surprising and informative historical slang, and illustrated with eye-opening, toe-curling, and meticulously sourced images from the past.

You will laugh, you will wince, and you will wonder just how much has actually changed.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783529711
Publisher: Unbound
Publication date: 03/23/2021
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 124,600
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Dr. Kate Lister is a university lecturer. She researches the history of sexuality and curates the online research project Whores of Yore. She is also a columnist for iNews and the Wellcome Trust where she writes about the history of sex. Kate won the Sexual Freedom Award for Publicist of the Year in 2017. / @WhoresofYore

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Sex and words

'Tis Pity She's a Whore: The 'Whore' in Whores of Yore 7

'A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing': A History of Cunt 16

Sex and vulvas

Looking for the Boy in the Boat: A History of the Clitoris 39

Colonising the Cunt: A History of Racial Fetishization 68

'As Easily Made as a Pudding': A History of Virginity Tests 78

Sex and penises

Spilling the Beans: Orgasm and Onanism 99

Gland Larceny: Testicular Transplants in the Twentieth Century 114

Tough Love: Medieval Impotence Tests 127

Sex and food

Staff of Life: Sex and Bread 139

The Food of Love: A History of Oysters 148

Turning Down the Heat: A History of the Anaphrodisiac 159

Sex and Machines

Buzzkill: Vibrators and the Victorians 173

On Your Bike: Sex and Cycling 191

Boys' Toys: A History of the Sex Doll 209

Sex and Hygiene

Don't Hold Your Breath: Sex and Smells in the Middle Ages 225

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: A History of Pubic Hair 238

Filthy Fannies: A History of Douching 254

Sex and reproduction

French Letters, English Raincoats and Mrs Phillips's Wares: A History of the Condom 265

Bringing down the Flowers: Abortion in Eighteenth-Century Britain 277

Period Drama: A History of Menstruation 290

Sex and Money

The Oldest Profession: Sex Work in the Ancient World 307

Public Relations: A History of the Tart Card 319

Feasting with the Panthers: A History of Male Sex Work 332

Conclusion 347

Notes 355

Bibliography 393

Index 439

Supporters 447

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