Nowadays, in Europe and North America, the way we think about sexuality is a fundamental part of our identity. To a greater extent than ever, we are defined by our sexual preferences. Sexuality matters more than it ever has before. We need to understand it to understand ourselves.
ABOUT THE BOOK
“Humans have always had sex. But look through the keyhole of history and you will see they have not always had sex in the same manner, with the same kinds of people or with the same beliefs about whether what they are doing is right or desirable.”
So writes Charlie McCann in the introduction to this fascinating study of sex and sexuality through the ages. Beginning with the world of antiquity and ending with the present, she traces our changing attitudes to our bodies and what we do with them, conducting us on a tour which takes in the gymnasiums of ancient Greece, where men seduced boys, to the caves occupied by Christian ascetics, to the fashionable drawing rooms of Georgian London, where libertines hunted for women to prey on, and the clubs of Weimar Berlin, where lesbians debated the nature of their desire.
The Economist: '“Sexuality” is a welcome, entertaining and very smart romp through a complex subject. Sex is always on our minds; this book helps us know what we are thinking.'
“In just 121 pages, Ms McCann cavorts through more than two millennia of fluid exchanges using humour, deft selection of fascinating anecdotes and an admirable resistance to polemics to accomplish what most of her predecessors have failed to do: provide a guide through “the ever-shifting constellation of meanings orbiting around sex in the West”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie McCann is the assistant editor of The Economist’s 1843 magazine, for which she writes about
sexuality and gender identity. She studied history at Pembroke College, Oxford.