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You have in your hands the most rigorous, complete and readable book ever written about the fascinating science of human sexuality. This book goes beyond the well-worn sexual education advice and the usual evolutionist psychology. After The Brain Snatcher, Pere Estupinyà comes back with the first popular science book on sex aimed at a wide audience. While there are some tips for the more adventurous, there is also a wealth of new information to be discovered.

Distancing himself from the many books on advice or techniques, Estupinyà brings sex to another dimension by combining popular beliefs and science. Do you want proof that our decision-making in the “heat of the moment” is less rational than we think? Did you know that mind and vagina each go their own way? Are you interested in learning about the effects of yoga on sexual pleasure? Did you know about the attempts in the 60s to “cure” homosexuals with electric shock therapy, the chemical analysis of female ejaculation, or the fundamental relationship between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system? The author has spoken directly with asexual and intersexual individuals, fetishists, multi-orgasmic women, women who never have orgasms through penetration, and men who have no refractory period. He has also participated in sadomasochistic events; learned tantric techniques with a couple of coaches, spoken with porn performers at Barcelona’s Bagdad, and attended workshops in which a woman teaches how to have orgasms with your mind and breathing. The result is an incredible miscellany of information that appeals to both the scientific community and the curious.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Sex in Our Cells

Abstract
Sandra and Jacob are naked in an empty room. They don’t really know how they got there, or what they’re supposed to do. They are complete strangers. They have never seen each other before, so it’s all very confusing. They also have no idea that I am observing them and taking careful notes on their behavior, nor that the researchers from Concordia University, in Montreal, have ensured that Sandra’s hormonal levels will make her aroused and receptive to “mating,” as they like to call it.
Pere Estupinyà

2. Sex in Our Genitals

Abstract
Reaching climax is harder when we’re tipsy, for the same reason we’d have trouble reacting if a car came rushing at us: our nervous system is inhibited and unable to activate the sympathetic nerves responsible for both unleashing orgasm and making our body react to sudden stress.
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3. Sex in Our Brain

Abstract
Scientific knowledge progresses through rigorous investigation and new technologies that allow us to observe the previously invisible. But also through hunches, unexpected discoveries and a willingness to think differently from those who’ve come before us. It is a marvelous adventure filled with intellectual feats, both personal and collective, like those of neuroscientist Barry Komisaruk, which I find enthralling. His work is an example of deep rigor, the application of new technologies, intuition, unexpected discoveries and provocative ideas, all within a unique and fascinating scientific trajectory.
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4. Sex in Our Mind

Abstract
Sex is not a rational act. Let’s imagine we are single: would we go to bed with someone we found attractive but who we know has had unprotected sex with ten different people in the last 2 months? If we ask the question hypothetically and not in the heat of the moment, the answer might be no. Why take the risk. But what if we’re asked the same question while being shown the smiling face of someone we are very interested in? Not even then, right?
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5. Sex in Our Bed

Abstract
I remember the last evening of the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) conference, held in August 2012 in Chicago. I was having a conversation with an experienced psychiatrist who knew absolutely everything about the history of sexology, who had worked directly with Helen Singer Kaplan, had many scientific publications and extensive experience as a therapist in the clinic he himself ran in New York. He was one of the conference’s big names. I confessed to him that I had mixed feelings about the event, because I had heard many discussions of sexual dysfunctions, hormones, psychological problems and medical treatments, but few on pleasure, satisfaction, the range of sexual expression or ways of improving intimacy within couples. He burst out laughing and told me, “Oh, of course! If you ask my wife she’ll tell you I know nothing about sex!”
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6. Sex in the Doctor’s Office

Abstract
It was 1983 and researcher Giles Brindley was giving a conference on erectile dysfunction at the meeting of the American Urological Association held in Las Vegas. Doctor Brindley had already published various studies suggesting that the direct injection of vasodilating substances into the penis could stimulate blood flow and generate a hard, lasting erection in seconds, but his work had been highly criticized, and there were rumors that the photos of more or less erect penises in his articles may have been rigged.
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7. Sex in Nature

Abstract
If we think human sexual behavior is diverse, let’s take a look at nature and be humbled. No erotic ritual matches the sophistication and ingenuity of the hermaphroditic flatworms’ penis fencing.
Pere Estupinyà

8. Sex in Evolution

Abstract
There are two great mysteries in women’s sexual nature, at least for evolutionary psychologists who believe that our behavior is conditioned by instincts that favor our chances of survival and of leaving descendants. The first mystery is why women feel desire to mate outside of their ovulation periods. For pleasure, obviously, but no other species does this. If you think about, natural selection shouldn’t allow women to feel eager to invest so much energy and risk when there is no reproductive possibility. A bit further on we will look at the evolutionary motives that made hominids an exception within the animal kingdom.
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9. Sex in Bars

Abstract
Social psychologist Viren Swami, from Westminster University, selected two homogenous groups of young men for her experiment. She asked one group to show up to the lab on an empty stomach and the other to arrive nice and full. Then she separately showed them the same series of photographs of women, all of them pretty and fairly similar, but some of them a little more filled out than others. The volunteers were just asked to rate the attraction they felt for each image, and the results were clear: those in the hungry group significantly preferred the women with more body mass.
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10. Having an Orgasm with the Power of the Mind

Abstract
I am sitting with my legs crossed and my back straight on the floor of the main room of the Atmananda yoga center, in the very heart of Manhattan. Barbara Carrellas asks us—the 5 men and 16 women attending her workshop “Erotic Meditation and Sexual Ecstasy: a tantric approach to love and life”—to spend 4 min breathing as quickly and deeply as we can, focusing as if each intake of air could reach the base of our genitals and caress them. If we do it conscientiously, we can feel a slight tickle and have the sensation that it is actually happening.
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11. Pornography: From Distortion to Education

Abstract
It’s one in the morning and I’m having a coffee with the porn actress Sophie Evans in a bar near Barcelona’s Sala Bagdad, where I’ve seen her naked on stage just minutes earlier. I also witnessed one of her coworkers putting a condom on a member of the audience to try to fellate his shrunken penis, and watched how a couple of actors had sex with all the coldness, overacting and male dominance typical of pornography.
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12. Let’s Do It Tonight, Dear, I have a Headache

Abstract
Another thing that the book Lucía read says, in case you are tempted to use the same strategy, is that it’s not like taking a pill that you just have to swallow and rapidly starts to take effect. A quickie isn’t going to do it. You should know if you are planning to use the analgesic excuse on your partner, that you have to at least help them have an orgasm.
Pere Estupinyà

13. Sex in a Wheelchair, for Love and Pleasure

Abstract
Quico is a young, robust, smiling, lively, handsome, chatty young man, who has a lot of success with women despite having been in a wheelchair for the last 14 years.
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14. Science in Sexual Orientation

Abstract
What I transcribe here is a literal quote from a scientific article, published in 1968 in the prestigious British science journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, about therapies to correct sexual deviations. I discovered it when I was searching for old research to analyze how science viewed homosexuality decades earlier. Imagine my surprise when I read this in the introduction:
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15. Learning from S&M Clubs

Abstract
There were three things that particularly intrigued me on my visits to sadomasochistic clubs in New York, and in my meetings with members of The Eulenspiegel Society for BDSM (Bondage Domination Sadism Masochism) education: (1) The exquisite communication over boundaries and sexual preferences between those who practice sadomasochism, so much more fluid than in most conventional couples. (2) The very well delineated roles in dominance and submission. They take it to an extreme, but when incorporated into the erotic play of non-S&M couples it can also be exciting. (3) Physical pain as a trigger of arousal. I found some of the practices frightening but, again, within your own personal limits it can be a very interesting ingredient. And, this last point does have a lot of meat to it, scientifically speaking. That our brain interprets the same stimulus as painful sometimes and pleasurable other times has a basis in the profound distinction between physical emotion and feelings.
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16. Disorders of Obsession, Impulsivity, and Lack of Control

Abstract
Melissa’s downtime is all about sex. At 45, with no kids and several relationships in her past, she says she has given up for the moment on having a stable partner. She prefers to satisfy her intense sexual desire with a list of lovers that she manages in a very organized way. She meets most of them on the Internet. She asks for photos and always demands real names and links to work websites, Linkedin or Facebook. Yet she never gives her personal information straight away, and only sends photographs where you can barely see her face. If a guy doesn’t accept her conditions, no problem, she’s got plenty of other candidates. When a woman in New York wants sex, she can have as much as she likes.
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17. Sexual Identities Beyond XX and XY

Abstract
Martin is a tall, slim guy about 35 years old, with very pale skin, a wide forehead, thinning hair, and a strong resemblance to the singer from R.E.M. “I get that a lot,” he says with a smile during a meeting organized to bring together people of different sexual tendencies and expressions in the New York area.
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18. Marrying Social and Sexual Monogamy in Swingers Clubs

Abstract
I’m sitting with María on a red sofa in, supposedly, one of the finest swingers clubs in New York City. When we went in and told them that we were both new, they explained that the most important thing was respect, and told us not to worry, that no one was going to pressure us in any way. Couples come there to have sex with other couples, to have sex with each other but surrounded by other people, to touch and be touched by strangers, or simply to watch. We could do what we wanted. Each swinger establishes his or her own boundaries and strictly respect the limits of others. The club had a common area with a dance floor, sofas and a couple of bars serving drinks. They don’t serve alcohol, but they let people bring their own. In that area we could be dressed and chat with other visitors, and even have dinner if we were hungry. That night the buffet included salmon, some kind of stew, salad and vegetables. Everything was included in the 125 dollars per couple entrance price. It was a Saturday and unaccompanied men were not allowed, but single girls could come in for 20 bucks.
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Erratum

Without Abstract
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Backmatter

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