“When we hook up with another, in sex or love (or, more rarely, both) we prove that our isolation is not permanent. In the fullness of time, we may all be linked.”
Carl Sagan’s son, Dorion, on the history of sex millions of years before humanity even existed.
Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite book on love – a sort of dictionary of romance and sexual relationships covering everything from radical-for-the-era topics like birth control and homosexuality to mundanities like bidets and picnics to abstractions like disappointment and excess, originally published in 1963 by Danish husband-and-wife duo Inge and Sten Hegeler and featuring gorgeous black-and-white sketches by artist Eiler Krag.
A formidably research, absorbing, eloquent account of how, contrary to the modern mythology of the 1960s, today’s permissive sexual behavior first developed, seemingly suddenly, some three hundred years earlier, in 17th-century Western Europe. What emerges is a new lens for understanding the Enlightenment as a cultural phenomenon, by connecting this critical sexual transformation to the intellectual, political, and social forces that shaped the period.