29 April 2022

Review: A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister

A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister audiobook cover

After reviewing a book about death, I thought my reading schedule could do with a little lightening up and what's the opposite of death? Life of course, but also sex!

Listening to the audiobook for A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister is akin to watching an episode of Embarrassing Bodies; it was informative and educational and I enjoyed the creator's cheeky sense of humour.

Covering subjects like: aphrodisiacs, condoms, douching, impotence, menstruation, orgasms, pubic hair, self care, sex work, sex dolls, STDs, Viagra and vibrators, Lister manages to dispel several myths from the Victorian era, shine a light on stereotypes and attempt to debunk some long held views.

Given my previous reading experience and interest in history, there wasn't much in this book I didn't already know and I didn't find any of the content curious. Had I read this at the age of 20 though, I would have had an entirely different reading experience. I would have found the etymology of the 'C' word incredibly illuminating for a start and seized on the slang terms for areas of the body readily.

Nevertheless, I did enjoy the author's writing style, like this example in the chapter about the history of the clitoris and the discovery that the G spot was actually the C spot all along:
"...like a kind of clitoral Scooby Doo ending to a debate that has raged throughout medicine for centuries." Chapter 3
A Curious History of Sex by Kate Lister is recommended for fans of Ruth Goodman and Bill Bryson and the audiobook narrated by the author herself was a great listen.

Further reading suggestions:
- The Wonder Down Under by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl

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