Book Review: A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

Book Review: A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

Genre: Non-fiction, sex, history, women’s history, feminism.

Publisher: Unbound

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Be prepared to have your hair on both ends of you to blown back and rearranged into a merkin. The History of Sex is like one prolonged literary orgasm and I mean that seriously. It’s a delight and a treat, a flirtatious and salacious journey into the history of sex by sassy and feminist sex historian Dr Kate Lister.

La toilette, oil on board, 1889 Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec  via Wikipedia

There are some eye-wateringly cringey, embarrassing and downright gross parts as well – because after all, we are charting the history of our own pink wobbly bits and all that is squirted out of them…which in the harsh light of day is less elegant and Hollywood sexy, but rather a bit of a vulnerable and pathetic sight. When they are not throbbing with turgid ardour that is.

Enough of that nonsense, this book is incredibly witty, hilarious, informative and riveting from the first page until the last. Chapters are organised by topic rather than chronological history and this adds to the engaging nature of the book.

Freedom and whores are the most cosmopolitan items under the sun.

~ Georg Buechner (1813-1837), German dramatist
Henri de Toulouse-LautrecSalon at the Rue des Moulins, 1894

Topics include: gay male sex, lesbianism, cross dressing and trangenderism, prostitution, contraception, periods, menopause, bondage, BDSM and fetishes, vibrators and sex toys, aphrodisiacs and anaphrodisiacs, penises, vulvas, a history of the word cunt, sex and cycling as a form of Victorian feminist rebellion, virginity tests, douching and smelly fadges, hairy clutches, sex and language…and on and on. If it sounds exciting and intriguing to you and maybe a little bit daunting….then I’m sure you will like it.

Crowd-funded and self-published by a massive swarm of Twitter supporters and fans from Kate Lister’s immensely popular Twitter channel @WhoresofYore – The History of Sex is a triumph and I highly recommend it. Although not a book for prudes or religious folk you know, they will no doubt object to the tawdry literary porn laying within its covers. I found this delightful, playful, rebellious and enchanting.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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