by Zoë Pollock Jesse Bering has a new collection of essays out, Why is the Penis Shaped Like That? And Other Reflections On Being Human. From a snippet of Rose Lichter-Marck’s review:
The book is a compendium of topics normally greeted with skittishness or repulsion. Premature ejaculation, autofellatio, the chemical properties of human semen, cannibalism, masturbation, female orgasm, suicidal thoughts, pedophilia, zoophilia, foot fetishism—nothing is taboo. Bering’s goofy sense of humor makes these concepts easier to digest. The book is studded with puns and self-deprecating asides about Bering’s own sex life, among them tales of his own attempts to self-fellate, musings about how simpler life would be if he could love dogs to the extent that he could “dispense with all those emotional encumbrances that come with being attracted to” another human and settle down with “a sassy little bitch,” and the confession that as a gay man, the female orgasm seems “exotic and foreign . . . like decorative basket weaving in a small African village.”
We’ll feature the rest of Jesse’s video starting August 20th. Nicholas Blincoe picks some more cocktail conversations starters in his recent review:
Did you know, for instance, that sperm contains antidepressants, and so unprotected sex leaves one with a pleasurable glow that condoms simply cannot deliver? Bering is an evolutionary psychologist, which means that he views all human behaviour as the result of tiny adaptations that brought benefits to our primitive ancestors. To follow him, one has to believe that all the patterns of our life were laid down in the days of the cavemen so that, for instance, running for a bus is the same as running after a mastodon or, to use one of Bering’s examples, our predilection for night-time sex evolved because our ancestors lived in equatorial regions and our sperm would have been damaged in the daytime heat.
You’re confusing monogamy with love and happiness. These things don’t go hand-in-hand—not for every couple, at least. There’s absolutely no reason why you need to sacrifice your non-monogamous sex life for marital bliss and everything positive that goes along with that, such as having a best friend as your spouse and maybe even having children. There are legions of good men, some of whom you’ve probably left in the dust before bothering to have this conversation with them, who feel just as you do about monogamy being incompatible with their needs.