S ex research is a little like sex in that most people who engage in it are more comfortable without an audi­ence. The researchers who invited me into their labs did so at the peril of their funding, their privacy, their academic standing, their sanity. For saying “yes” when “no” was the sensible answer, I […]

“Persons Studied in Pairs”

The Lab That Uncovered Great Sex W hen I began this book, I harbored a naive fantasy that I would find a team of scientists working to discover the secret to amazing, mind-rippling sex. They would report to work late at night in a windowless, hi-tech labo­ratory and have unplaceable accents and penetrating stares. Week […]

Monkey Do

The Secret Sway of Hormones h omo sapiens is one of the few species on earth that care if they’re seen having sex. The impala is unconcerned. The dingo roundly flaunts it. A masturbating chimpan­zee will stare straight at you. To any creature other than you and I and 6 billion other privacy-needing H. sapiens, […]

What Would Allah Say?

The Strange, Brave Career of Ahmed Shafik d r. Ahmed Shafik wears three-piece suits with gold watch fobs and a diamond stick pin in the lapel. His glasses are the thick, black rectangular style of the Nasser era. He owns a Cairo hospital and lives in a mansion with marble walls. He was nominated for […]

Mind over Vagina

Women Are Complicated t he human vagina is accustomed to visitors. Even the language of anatomy imbues the organ with an innlike hospitality, the entrance to the structure being named the “vaginal vestibule.” Take off your coat and stay awhile. Gyne­cologist Robert Latou Dickinson, circa 1910, documented its wondrously accommodating nature, using his fingers as […]

The Immaculate Orgasm

Who Needs Genitals? m arcalee Sipski is an expert in a field with few experts. When I tell you what the field is, you will understand why the experts are scarce. Sipski, a professor at the Uni­versity of Alabama School of Medicine, is an authority on sexuality among people with spinal cord injuries and dis­eases. […]

The Lady’s Boner

Is the Clitoris a Tiny Penis? a woman in an MRI tube has few secrets. The man at the control console knows the size of her heart and the contents of her womb. He knows if she’s had her breasts enlarged or her stomach stapled. He can see into her blad­der and knows whether she’s […]

Re-Member Me

Transplants, Implants, and Other Penises of Last Resort t he AMS Malleable 650 Penile Prosthesis is a high-profit item with a steady demand. You could do worse, in life, than to be an AMS sales rep. On the downside, your sales patter would need to include the phrase “better conceal­ment with less springback.” You would […]