- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
More copies of this ISBN
O: The Intimate History of the Orgasmby Jonathan Margolis
Synopses & Reviews
Orgasm is one of society's most compelling shaping forces — and most of us probably think that we are living in its golden age. But are we? The history of the orgasm is as elusive as orgasm itself can be, for sex rarely makes it into the historical record. Now acclaimed British journalist Jonathan Margolis delivers an authoritative, witty, and stimulating mixture of fascinating facts and in-depth analysis of this most compelling and enigmatic of phenomena.
On the surface, there's not much to an orgasm — just an explosive burst of 156-mph nerve impulses. Most people manage just twelve minutes of orgasmic bliss per year. Some never experience it at all. Yet the urge for orgasm rules much of human life, across national and cultural boundaries. How much have we learned about female pleasure since the 1558 discovery of the clitoris? How has the drive for pleasure, and the fear of it, shaped various societies? How much does the sensation of orgasm differ for different people?
Drawing on the orgasm's biology, literature, anthropology, psychology, and technology, Jonathan Margolis delivers the final word on both male and female orgasm in an enlightening history that is a pleasure to read.
"According to the World Health Organization, more than a hundred million acts of sexual intercourse take place every day. In this immensely entertaining and informative book, Margolis lays out in glorious and rich detail the widely varied human experience of sex beyond the simple and necessary act of reproduction. From straightforward biology of the human body to the mind-bendingly various cultural norms and practices within human civilizations past and present, Margolis presents a beautifully written, deep-focus view of human sexual pursuit, gratification and frustration. According to Margolis, the orgasm has been cherished, misunderstood, feared and pandered to throughout the ages. He cites anthropological research indicating that while the innate human tendency toward 'pair bonding' holds true, sex and pleasure were once free and synonymous. Orgasm, with its white-hot physical pleasure and consciousness-altering effects, was worshiped in many developing cultures. As civilizations became more sophisticated about reproduction and, sadly, property rights, orgasms and who gives, receives and enjoys them, became increasingly regulated. In the West particularly, the female orgasm — always a mystery to the mostly patriarchal power structure — was increasingly seen as a threat to the advancement of social development. In the modern age, science has taken a front seat in the understanding and exploration of this most basic of human experience, with mixed results. While women have made strides toward orgasmic equality, in Margolis's view there is still some way to go. Neither leering nor squeamish, Margolis has created a fresh, compelling work guaranteed to ignite much late-night conversation. Agent, Jane Gelfman. (Nov.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[W]ell-paced....Glib and entertaining." Kirkus Reviews
Acclaimed British journalist Margolis delivers an authoritative, witty, and stimulating mixture of fascinating facts and in-depth analysis of the orgasm, a most compelling and enigmatic phenomena.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:
Other books you might like