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Sex In History

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780349104867

Price: £13.99

ON SALE: 1st December 1989

Genre: Humanities / History

SEX IN HISTORY chronicles the pleasures- and perils- of the flesh from the time of mankind’s distant ancestors to the modern day; from a sexual act which was bried, crude and purposeful, to the myriad varieties of contemporary sexual mores.
Reay Tannahill’s scholarly, yet accessible study ranges from the earliest form of contraception (one Egyptian concoction included crocodile dung) to some latter- day misconceptions about it- like the men who joined their lovers in taking the pill ‘just to be on the safe side.’ It surveys all manner of sexual practice, preference and position (the acrobatic ‘wheelbarrow’ position, the strenuous ‘hovering butterflies’ position…) and draws on souces as diverse as THE ADMIRABLE DISCOURSES OF THE PLAIN GIRL, the EXHIBTION OF FEMALE FLAGELLANTS, IMPORTANT MATTERS OF THE JADE CHAMBER and THE ROMANCE OF CHASTISEMENT.
Whether writing on androgyny, courtly love, flagellation or zoophilia, Turkish eunuch’s Greek dildoes, Taoist sex manuals or Japanses geisha girls, Reay Tannahill is consistently enlightening and entertaining.


Level-headed...diligent, provocative and fascinating. The book is the most complete of its kind ever written.
Sanity on the subject of sex is all too rare; wit is in even shorter supply; and an engaging style is about as commonplace as eyebrows on an egg. Three cheers therefore, for Reay Tannahill.
A shatteringly wide-ranging survey.