Roman physicians told female patients they should sneeze out as much semen as possible after intercourse to avoid pregnancy. Historical treatments for erectile dysfunction included goat testicle transplants. Sex has changed in a million ways since Adam and Eve, the original awkward virgins, and in a million others it hasn't. With unstoppable curiosity and mischievous humor, science writer Rachel Feltman debunks myths, breaks down stigma, and uses the long, outlandish history of sex to dissect present-day practices, attitudes, and taboos.
The wildly entertaining Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex is as much an act of reclamation and redemption as it is an eye-opening stroll through a rather colorful evolutionary history of sexual activity ... It would seem that Feltman has left no stone unturned when it comes to facets of gender, intercourse, masturbation, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, performance anxiety, pornography, kinks, etc ... After such a kaleidoscopic ride, Been There, Done That resolves without being especially titillating, nor didactic. It shines, instead, as an irreverent invitation to be enchanted by one's body, rather than ashamed; to be present in desire, rather than dislocated from it; to cast off the veil of insecurity and embrace one's whole self.
A playful, myth-busting survey of human sexuality and the history of reproductive science ... Enlivened by Feltman’s keen sense of humor and affirmational tone, this is an entertaining and informative catalog of 'sexual expression and queer existence and horny exuberance through history.'
A snarky romp ... This raucous book is sure to have something to fascinate most readers—even those who think they’re experts on all things sex-related ... The chapter on human reproduction is especially well detailed, taking the standard 'sperm-meets-egg' story and complicating it almost to the point of absurdity, and Feltman’s exploration of animal biology and reproductive habits is similarly eye-opening. Many of the author’s choices are affirming and diverse ... Some of the humor is grating or overworked, including certain sections that will confuse older, less-internet-savvy readers, or will quickly become outdated, as in passages of meme-ready language. Feltman’s jokey tone works well for shorter pieces but becomes exhausting over a full-length book. Consequently, many readers will choose to read a chapter or two at a time. On the whole, though, the book is entertaining and educational.