Welcome to "The State of the Sexual Union,"Slate's Sex Issue. Today and tomorrow, we'll publish a series of articles that examine the unavoidable presence of sex in science and culture.
Wednesday, Teresa Riordan presents a slide-show history of our fascination with the buttocks, featuring modern and vintage rears. From current celebutante Kim Kardashian to the bustled ladies of the 19th century, Riordan shows that "fat-bottomed girls" have enjoyed a special sex appeal. Amanda Schaffer asks what more we know about sex a half century after Alfred Kinsey's pioneering research on human sexual behavior. Also, Thomas Laqueur reviews Niklaus Largier's new book, In Praise of the Whip: The Cultural History of Arousal, which details the history of erotic practices. On Slate V, Emily Bazelon and Torie Bosch explore how to talk about sex to kids in the age of the Internet. Finally, Slate selected a panel of sex experts to tell us what they still don't understand about sex—after spending most of their waking moments for years thinking about it. Plus: the best "Human Nature" columns on sex.
Thursday, William Saletan argues for lowering the age of sexual consent, and Daniel Engber follows sex among the elderly. Meghan O'Rourke examines whether the cervical cancer vaccine makes girls promiscuous. Amanda Schaffer investigates how binary mating got started in the first place, and more.
"Oh, That Darling Derrière: A history of the buttocks, in pictures (of course)," by Teresa Riordan. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
"American Sex Portrait: Fifty years after Alfred Kinsey, what more do we know?" by Amanda Schaffer. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
"The Allure of the Whip: The long and curious history of arousal," by Thomas Laqueur. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
On Slate V: "Sex Ed Evolves: Emily Bazelon examines how parents and kids can find useful information about sex in the Internet era (when everything seems to be sexualized)." Posted Sept. 26, 2007.
"Don't Ask the Sexperts: Dan Savage, Dr. Ruth, and other advice columnists on what's mystifying about sex," compiled by Morgan Smith. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
"The Best 'Human Nature' Sex Stories of 2007: Incest, virgin births, gay sheep, and avatar affairs," by William Saletan. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
"Is Mad Cow an STD? No, but the government thinks it is," by Juliet Lapidos. Posted Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007.
"Pas de Deux: Why are there only two sexes?" by Amanda Schaffer. Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.
"The Mind-Booty Problem: Rethinking the age of sexual consent," by William Saletan. Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.
"Cancer Sluts: Does the HPV vaccine "promote" promiscuity?" by Meghan O'Rourke. Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.
"Naughty Nursing Homes: Is it time to let the elderly have more sex?" by Daniel Engber. Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.
"Your Grandmother's Vibrator: A slide-show history of the vibrator," by Teresa Riordan. Posted Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007.