O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm

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9780099441557: O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm

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.

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From the Inside Flap:

The secret history of the orgasm, from its evolutionary beginnings to its current iconic status.
When, in 1558, an anatomist called Columbus discovered the clitoris, a whole new world of sexual pleasure opened up - and it was a steady progress climaxing in the present Golden Age.
That at least is the official history. Here Jonathan Margolis produces evidence to show that in Europe and America progress was extremely slow while in other places the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. The book draws on orgasm's biology, anthropology, psychology, technology and sociology. Revered in ancient societies, by the 13th century, modesty ruled: St. Francis of Assisi would throw himself into a thorn bush to disguise unwanted erections and avoid all possibility of orgasm. Victorians still regarded the female orgasm as a form of hysteria and, in the 19th century, women were strongly advised against riding bicycles for this reason. Later, in Edwardian Britain and America, vibrators were routinely advertised in respectable women's magazines as a form of handy household appliance. Margolis considers the effect of the Pill, feminism and Viagra on the state of the orgasm in the 21st century.
Packed with fascinating facts and insights, Margolis's mischievous history of the orgasm will both amuse and inform.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Published by Cornerstone, United Kingdom (2004)
ISBN 10: 0099441551 ISBN 13: 9780099441557
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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1558 an anatomist called Columbus discovered the clitoris, and so a whole new world of sexual pleasure began to be opened up - and it was a steady progress that culminated in the present Golden Age. That at least is the official history. Here Jonathan Margolis produces evidence to show that in Europe and America progress was extremely slow whilst in other places the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. The book will draw on orgasm s biology, anthropology, psychology, technology and sociology. The orgasm was revered in ancient societies, but by the 13th Century modesty ruled: St Francis of Assisi would throw himself into a thorn bush to disguise unwanted erections and avoid all possibility of orgasm. Victorians still regarded the female orgasm as a form of hysteria - women were treated for hysteria and, by the 19th century, were strongly advised against riding bicycles for this reason. In Edwardian Britain and America, vibrators were routinely advertised in the respectable women s magazines as a form of handy household appliance. Margolis considers the revival of open, public interest in sex in the late 1950s, and the effect of the Pill, feminism and Viagra on the state of the orgasm in the 21st century. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099441557

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In 1558 an anatomist called Columbus discovered the clitoris, and so a whole new world of sexual pleasure began to be opened up - and it was a steady progress that culminated in the present Golden Age. That at least is the official history. Here Jonathan Margolis produces evidence to show that in Europe and America progress was extremely slow whilst in other places the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. The book will draw on orgasm s biology, anthropology, psychology, technology and sociology. The orgasm was revered in ancient societies, but by the 13th Century modesty ruled: St Francis of Assisi would throw himself into a thorn bush to disguise unwanted erections and avoid all possibility of orgasm. Victorians still regarded the female orgasm as a form of hysteria - women were treated for hysteria and, by the 19th century, were strongly advised against riding bicycles for this reason. In Edwardian Britain and America, vibrators were routinely advertised in the respectable women s magazines as a form of handy household appliance.Margolis considers the revival of open, public interest in sex in the late 1950s, and the effect of the Pill, feminism and Viagra on the state of the orgasm in the 21st century. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099441557

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Book Description Cornerstone. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. In 1558, an anatomist called Mateo Columbus discovered the clitoris, and so a whole new world of sexual pleasure began to be opened up. This work provides evidence to show that in other places, other times the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: HBTB; VFVC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 26. Weight in Grams: 280. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099441557

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Book Description Cornerstone, 2004. Book Condition: New. 2004. New Ed. Paperback. In 1558, an anatomist called Mateo Columbus discovered the clitoris, and so a whole new world of sexual pleasure began to be opened up. This work provides evidence to show that in other places, other times the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. Num Pages: 416 pages. BIC Classification: HBTB; VFVC. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 129 x 26. Weight in Grams: 280. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099441557

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Book Description Cornerstone. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm, Jonathan Margolis, In 1558 an anatomist called Columbus discovered the clitoris, and so a whole new world of sexual pleasure began to be opened up - and it was a steady progress that culminated in the present Golden Age. That at least is the official history. Here Jonathan Margolis produces evidence to show that in Europe and America progress was extremely slow whilst in other places the secrets of the orgasm created almost unimaginable worlds of pleasure. The book will draw on orgasm's biology, anthropology, psychology, technology and sociology. The orgasm was revered in ancient societies, but by the 13th Century modesty ruled: St Francis of Assisi would throw himself into a thorn bush to disguise unwanted erections and avoid all possibility of orgasm. Victorians still regarded the female orgasm as a form of hysteria - women were treated for hysteria and, by the 19th century, were strongly advised against riding bicycles for this reason. In Edwardian Britain and America, vibrators were routinely advertised in the respectable women's magazines as a form of handy household appliance. Margolis considers the revival of open, public interest in sex in the late 1950s, and the effect of the Pill, feminism and Viagra on the state of the orgasm in the 21st century. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099441557

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