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Sex, as we know, is a heat-seeking missile that forever seeks out the newest medium for its transmission. --(Gerard Van Der Leun, 1993)

"Human sexuality is, quite apart from Christian repressions, a highly questionable phenomenon, and belongs, at least potentially, among the extreme rather than the ordinary experiences of humanity. Tamed as it may be, sexuality remains one of the demonic forces in human consciousness - pushing us at intervals close to taboo and dangerous desires, which range from the impulse to commit sudden arbitrary violence upon another person to the voluptuous yearning for the extinction of one's consciousness, for death itself." --Susan Sontag in the Pornographic Imagination via Styles of Radical Will p. 57, Picador USA

By gender: men - women

The SEX clothes shop on London's Kings Road which Malcolm McLaren started with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

Related by word: Sex Pistols

Films with sex in the title: sex, lies, and videotape (1989)

By medium: sex in advertising

Related: adultery - arousal - BDSM - consent - desire - erotica - eroticism - fantasy - fetishism - frigidity - gender - genitalia - heterosexuality - homosexuality - impotence - incest - intercourse - kinky - libido - love - lust - masturbation - nymphomania - oral sex - orgasm - orgy - paraphilia - perversion - pornography - prostitution - pregnancy - Psychopathia Sexualis - rape - reproduction - romance - sensuality - sex crime - sex education - sex film - sex history - sex manual - sex object - sex shop - sex toy - sex philosophy - sexism - sexual hygiene - sexual revolution - sexology - sexploitation - sexy - simulated vs unsimulated - zoophilia


The word sex usually refers to human sexuality, in particular sexual intercourse. It can also refer to gender. Human reproduction is almost wholly dependent on sex. The study of sex is sexology.

Human sexuality

Human sexuality is the expression of sexual feelings due to genetic predisposition or one's own personal experimentation. Sexuality can be influenced by hormonal changes in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. Sexuality influences social behavior. Human sexuality can also be understood as part of the social life of humans, governed by implied rules of behavior status in quo. Gender identity (which is more inclusive than sexual identity) can be molded by the social environment to which one is exposed, e.g. an authority figure giving a little boy a toy truck to play with, and a girl a doll. Human physiology makes sexuality possible, but it does not predict sexual behavior or behavior regarded as gender-appropriate in any way.

Sexuality molds the environments in which we live, influencing print, audio and video.

Human sexual choices are usually made using cultural social filters. Some may choose to abstain from sex before marriage because their religious creed goes against such actions. In some Eastern cultures it is acceptable for a man to have many wives, while in Western culture bigamy or polygamy is frowned upon. This summation is made using the cultural filter. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexuality [Feb 2005]

Etymology of sex

image sourced: here.

USA advertisement for Succubus (1968) - Jess Franco

sex (n.)
1382, "males or females collectively," from L. sexus "state of being either male or female, gender." "Commonly taken with seco as division or 'half' of the race" [Tucker], which would connect it to secare "to divide or cut" (see section). Meaning "quality of being male or female" first recorded 1526. Meaning "sexual intercourse" first attested 1929 (in writings of D.H. Lawrence); meaning "genitalia" is attested from 1938. Sexy first recorded 1925 (as an Eng. word in Fr.), originally "engrossed in sex;" sense of "sexually attractive" is 1932. Sex appeal first recorded 1924; sex drive is from 1918; sex object and sex symbol both first attested 1911, the former in ref. to Jesus. Sexpot is from 1954. Sexpert "sex therapist" is from 1924. Sexploitation is attested from 1942. --http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sex [May 2005]

Sex & media

Sex, as we know, is a heat-seeking missile that forever seeks out the newest medium for its transmission. William Burroughs, a man who understands the dark side of sexuality better than most, sees it as a virus that is always on the hunt for a new host - a virus that almost always infects new technology first. --Gerard Van Der Leun, 1993, http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1.01/cybersex.html

The History of Sexuality (1976 - 1984) - Michel Foucault

The History of Sexuality: An Introduction - Michel Foucault [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Three volumes of The History of Sexuality were published before Foucault's death in 1984. The first and most referenced volume, The Will to Knowledge (previously known as An Introduction in English - Histoire de la sexualité, 1: la volonte de savoir in French) was published in France in 1976, and translated in 1977, focusing primarily on the last two centuries, and the functioning of sexuality as a regime of power and related to the emergence of biopower. In this volume he attacks the "repressive hypothesis," the very widespread belief that we have, particularly since the nineteenth century, "repressed" our natural sexual drives.

The second two volumes, The Use of Pleasure (Histoire de la sexualite, II: l'usage des plaisirs) and The Care of the Self (Histoire de la sexualité, III: le souci de soi) dealt with the role of sex in Greek and Roman antiquity. Both were published in 1984, the year of Foucault's death, with the second volume being translated in 1985, and the third in 1986. A fourth volume, dealing with the Christian era, was almost complete at the time of Foucault's death, but there is as yet no indication that it will be published. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault#The_History_of_Sexuality [Mar 2005]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) - Woody Allen

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask (1972) - Woody Allen [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) is a comedy film (1972) written and directed by Woody Allen, consisting of a series of short sequences inspired by the book of the same name.

    The film was an early smash for Allen, grossing over $18 million dollars in the U.S. alone against a $2 million dollar budget.

    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_You_Always_Wanted_to_Know_About_Sex_%28But_Were_Afraid_to_Ask%29_%28film%29 [Jan 2006]

    See also: Woody Allen

    Sex: An Intimate Companion (2001) - Stephen Bayley (Editor)

    Sex: An Intimate Companion - Stephen Bayley (Editor) [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    An exploration of sex and sexuality. It consists of a selection of thematic articles, ranging from 2500 words down to 250, written by "Erotic Review" contributors and a few major international writers such as Norman Mailer and Camille Paglia. The articles cover a range of topics, from the snake in Eden to cybersex and Lara Croft, drawing on themes from aphrodisiac to fetishism, and relationships to prostitution. It is illustrated from the archives of the Erotic Print Society. Other contributors include Clive James, India Knight, Jonathon Green, Michael Bywater and Simon Raven. --via Amazon.com

    It's the best-ever account of sex, with over 250 eye-popping illustrations (many of them rare) and utterly frank contributions from over 20 distinguished writers-including award-winning novelist Philip Hensher on dance, British Museum curator Catherine Johns on the eroticism of classical art, and Will Self on sex, drugs, and virtual reality. Architect John Pawson (designer of Calvin Klein's flagship Manhattan store) looks at the sensuousness of space and buildings. Trevor Beattie, creator of some of the hottest advertisements ever, reveals his inspirations. Yasmin Alibhia-Brown discusses Indian sensuality, while Lesley Downer explores the role of the geisha in Japan. Victoria Coren asks (and answers) what women want, while Ronald Hyam wonders "whether size matters." From religion and civilization to law and manners, sex and the arts to the body and technology, it's the most fun you can have.with a book in your hands. Bonus: a chronology of sex. --via Amazon.com

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