Monday, September 3, 2012

Between the sheets: Top 10 most provocative books out this month

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM

The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex
by John A. Long (9/21/2012)

Publisher's Description: In 2008, paleontologist John A. Long revealed his discovery of a placoderm fish fossil, known as “the mother fish.” At 380 million years old, this fish offers the earliest known example of internal fertilization. Placoderms are now considered to be the first species to have had sex as we know it—sort of. Inspired by this find, Long began a quest to uncover the paleontological and evolutionary history of copulation and insemination. He takes readers on an entertaining and lively tour through the sex lives of ancient fish and exposes the unusual mating habits of arthropods, tortoises, and even a well-endowed (16.5 inches!) Argentine Duck. Long discusses these significant discoveries alongside what we know about reproductive biology and evolutionary theory, using the fossil record to provide a provocative account of prehistoric sex.

The Chemistry Between Us: Love, Sex, and the Science of Attraction
by Larry Young and Brian Alexander (9/13/2012)

Publisher's Description: All those complex behaviors surrounding human bonding are unconsciously driven by a few molecules in our brains. How does love begin? How can a man say he loves his wife, yet still cheat on her? Why do others stay in relationships even after the romance fades? How is it possible to fall in love with the “wrong” person? Physical attraction, jealousy, infidelity, mother-infant bonding—all the behaviors that so often leave us befuddled—are now being teased out of the fog of mystery thanks to today’s social neuroscience.

Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal
by J. Jack Halberstam (9/18/2012)

J. Jack Halberstam attempts to make sense of the tectonic cultural shifts that have transformed gender and sexual politics in the last few decades. Using Lady Gaga as a symbol for a new era, Halberstam deftly unpacks what the pop superstar symbolizes, to whom and why. The result is a roadmap to sex and gender for the twenty-first century, that holds Lady Gaga as an exemplar of a new kind of feminism that privileges gender and sexual fluidity. Part handbook, part guidebook, and part sex manual, Gaga Feminism is the first book to take seriously the collapse of heterosexuality and find signposts in the wreckage to a new and different way of doing sex and gender.

Like A Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex
by Aarathi Prasad (9/16/2012)

Publisher's Description: An romp into the frontiers of reproductive science. Biologist and science writer Aarathi Prasad tackles inconceivable ideas about conception, from the “Jesus Christ” lizard’s ability to self-reproduce (it walks on water, too) to the hunt for a real-life virgin mother in the 1950s. Prasad then transports us to the labs that today are inventing the equivalent of “non-sexual selection,” from egg-fertilizing computer chips to artificial wombs for men.

Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America
by Nancy L. Cohen (9/11/2012)

Publisher's Description: Cohen exposes the surprising role of right-wing women in undermining women’s rights, as well as explains how liberal men were complicit in letting it happen. Cohen uncovers the hidden history of an orchestrated, well-financed, ideologically powered shadow movement to turn back the clock on matters of gender equality and sexual freedom and how it has played a leading role in fueling America’s political wars. Delirium tells the story of this shadow movement and how we can restore common sense and sanity in our nation’s politics.

Touching Encounters: Sex, Work, and Male-for-Male Internet Escorting
by Kevin Walby (9/15/2012)

Publisher's Description: Often depicted as deviant or pathological by public health researchers, psychoanalysts, and sexologists, male-with-male sex and sex work is, in fact, an increasingly mainstream pursuit. Based on a qualitative investigation of the practices involved in male-with-male—or m4m—Internet escorting, this is the first book to explicitly address how masculinity and sexuality shape male commercial sex in this era of Internet communications. By looking closely at the sex and work of male escorts, Kevin Walby tries to reconcile the two extremes of m4m sex—the stereotypical idea of a quick cash transaction and the tendency toward friendship and mutuality.

Sex Lives of the Kings & Queens of England
by Nigel Cawthorne (9/4/2012)

Publisher's Description: Sometimes history is made on battlefields, sometimes in bedrooms. The ribald, raunchy, and sometimes sordid affairs detailed in this humorous but meticulously researched exposé of royal sex scandals give a whole new meaning to Shakespeare's famous line, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” Nigel Cawthorne chronicles an unbroken line of sexual misbehavior—and its political repercussions—across the centuries, from Hal the Horny (Henry VIII) to Edward the Caresser (Edward VII) to the present-day antics of the House of Windsor.

An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage: Religious Freedom, Sexual Freedom, and Public Expressions of Civic Equality
by Emily R. Gill (9/15/2012)

Publisher's Description: Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one's personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.

Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction
by Claudia Black (9/11/2012)

Publisher's Description: Those in an intimate relationship with someone struggling with sex addiction will find hope and relief as they work through the exercises in this self-help workbook. They will also develop a better understanding of what is happening in their lives and find a path to healing and recovery.

Guide To Getting It On!: A Fun and Mostly Wonderful Book About Sex
by Paul Joannides (9/16/2012)

Publisher's Description: You will be hard-pressed to find a single page of this revised and updated sex book that doesn't bring a smile, a blush, or a moment of awe. Few books on sex are as satisfying. Winner of seven book awards, including the 2009 Book of the Year Award from the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists.

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