When I was ten years old, my mother sat my brother and I down and told us about sex. “When a man and woman love each other very much and are married,” she began, “the man puts his penis into the woman’s vagina, and that makes a baby.” I frowned. “Did you and Dad do that?” “We don’t talk about that,” my mother replied, visibly uncomfortable. “Do you and Dad still do that?” “Ariane, I’ve said we don’t talk about that!” she snapped (no doubt because, when she was growing up, people really didn’t talk about sex).
When Wallpaper* graces 13 of its elegant pages with a feature on The Tom of Finland Foundation, you know that this extraordinary artist has finally acquired the Seal of Good Housekeeping: next stop House & Garden?
Sexologist. Neuropsychologist. TV personality. Ann-Marlene Henning is one accomplished woman. She adds a fourth string to her professional bow with the release of her first book, Sex & Lovers: the no-nonsense teen sex guide with a heart. Nusa Bartol-Bibb grabs a slot at the start of the UK book tour to talk porn and sex-positive parenting.
There are or were a few Pacific islanders who had no idea that sexual intercourse produced babies and who therefore enjoyed sex for its own sake. This made life for visiting sailors great fun until they (the sailors) infected everyone with syphilis. But in general, the societies of the world have tended to create systems in which the female’s primary role is to produce (male) children and the male’s job is to keep them safe from other males, much as stags do with hinds. In between the activities necessary to the main tasks of breeding and cooking, the women picked berries and danced to keep the men of their tribe entertained. Men merely killed animals – and each other – and made up epic verse about their deeds to recite when drunk.
“Which was Brooks Newmark’s greater offence?” the Sunday Mirror might have us ask: marital disloyalty by indulging (with apparently misplaced optimism) in some online ‘cheating’ or showing the sort of naivety and lack of worldliness that signally contradicted his job description? It’s hard to say. The first betrays his wedding vows; the second his party’s expectation of him to behave in such a way to show that he was fit for office and that he was taking his work seriously. So far so good: there is a nice moral clarity about all this. But then…
"So basically," explains Phil. "You set up a profile and then men send you pictures of their cocks and if you like what you see you can arrange to meet up and fuck. I've fucked two guys this week and this little cutie is coming round to give me a massage tomorrow - obviously it will end in fellatio." "Wow!" I marvel. It seems incredible to me that by simply posting a photo and professing to like George Michael, Turin Breaks and Châteauneuf-du-Pape* Phil is in contact with all the sexually available men within a 200 mile radius. Imagine if such a thing existed for heterosexuals...
From the thrillingly explicit to the oblique, from the heartwarming to the tragic, from the ridiculous to the sublime: fiction's great scenes of sexual initiation come in many guises.But as the existence of the Bad Sex Awards attests, that doesn't make them easy to write. ER takes a look at the authors who've overcome adversity to produce perfect passages on surrendered virginity, inceptive masturbation, and uncharacteristic abstinence.
Why was there sex at the Front in the first place? What, in those unprecedented conditions, were the young men of Europe fucking for? And what did they achieve? The mind floods with facts of human biology, sure. Remembers itself toppled by the irrepressible march of libido. The answers seem self-explanatory. But things not always being what they seem, it’s worth looking elsewhere before accepting their explanation. It’s worth paying attention to the poetry that blossomed at the Front and its suggestions that sex played a part in the War far more interesting— and far more important— than all that.
I have taken to going for morning runs with my housemate Rita. She is a superfit West Coaster with a lithe athlete's body. I am a flabby Londoner with a penchant for cheese and ale. Ibiza, I have come to understand, does not tolerate excess flesh and our route along Talamanca Beach takes us past rows of bronzed babes in bikinis, with tits that would have Newton refuting his own theory. Whilst I long ago abandoned the idea of ever being one of these pneumatic RoboBarbies I still believe that a little bit of exercise is probably a good thing as long as I know there's a slice of cake waiting for me at the end of it.
The last word she spoke onscreen was 'vagina', in Fashion Police, having just torn apart Amber Rose and her ultra revealing Laura Dewitt chainmail dress. "Amber looks so much like a chain link border fence that 5000 Guatemalan children tried to sneak across her vagina," said the woman who sashayed across the world of entertainment for laugh-out-loud decades, leaving unfillable Manolo-Blahnik-designed comedy footsteps as she went - dainty in front with a dagger thrust following. She was honest and she was fearless and a comic cannot be much better than that.