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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Komiksový bestseller, první svého druhu, zachycuje s erudicí a zároveň humorem dějiny sexu, sexuality a lidské intimity od pravěku až po vize budoucnosti. Obnažuje témata, o nichž víme možná překvapivě málo: co je to vlastně erotika, kde se vzal sklon k monogamii, kdy a kde se pořádaly falické slavnosti, jak to bylo s používáním pásů cudnosti a vynálezem kondomu nebo jak p ...more
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published September 21st 2017 by Paseka (first published April 13th 2016)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  440 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, sex, comics
Very odd, very French project to summarise the social and cultural history of human sexuality in the form of a comic strip. In some other cultures, perhaps, the absence of such a thing might not have been seen as a big gap in the market. The author, Philippe Brenot, is a psychiatrist who has published works on male sexual violence, fantasy, and masturbation, so the text does come with a certain academic cachet – sweetened here by the simple, playful illustrations of Laetitia Coryn, an artist kno ...more
This book had a lot of great information, but some sizable issues as well. There was racism: a Roman slave was depicted as black to contrast with other "white" Roman women, even though race as we know it today came about due to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and stratification in Roman society would be based on class and nation of origin. Rome, having conquered many territories, was made of people we would consider today as black, white, North African, Western Asian, etc. There was also transmi ...more
With a title like that, how could I resist picking this up? Sadly though, Brenot’s humorous historical account of sex was lacking for me.

The first major flaw is scope: unsurprisingly, this is very Euro-centric with some forays in Persia and Egypt. Otherwise, Brenot only examines sex in the Western world, which is fine, but also a bit disappointing. Also, despite this relatively narrow scope, it also felt like Brenot tried to cram too much information into too-short a page count. I feel a bit gui
Mar 01, 2019 marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
this has some really blatant issues with heteronormativity that i could have ignored, but it’s also racist? no thanks
Sep 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was graphic, funny, and informative. Not just about sex and relationships, but with the travel through history, and how society and roles have really shaped the way we look at people, sex dynamics, and just humans in general. I loved the history behind everything.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and ridiculously thorough (*cough cough*).
Some phrasing felt a bit 'off' to me - it seemed a bit judgemental in places that were possibly meant to be satirical - and the book is definitely skewed towards what's considered a western history (a mention of this lopsided view does pop up, I don't remember where), but I do love the illustrations and I'm impressed with a majority of the history the creators covered.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I had the unexpected pleasure of having the chance to read this prior to its publication date. And let me tell you, this is one hilarious read! I was able to read the entire book in approximately 2 hours. It was an unexpected page turner mostly due to the hilarious illustrations and comic book style format. I learned a lot just as much as I relearned information I had read about years ago. It definitely is a Western culture heavy book as it mostly focuses on European and American history, althou ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pretty dense graphic novel, but 100% worth the time it took to read it. I loved the format of the whole thing, but loved most how it takes a subject that we're rarely taught about and makes it interesting. Using history and tying the taboos of sex to it really helps one understand how society's opinion on sex has been slowly cultivated over the years. The book perfectly blends humor and seriousness where it makes sense to keep you engaged. Plus, the illustrations are really enjoyable. ...more
Nate Hanson
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graphically annotated factoids about the history of human sex. Thankfully acknowledges the overwhelmingly dominant waves of misogyny and repression for most of recorded history.

Overall a fun, light read, except for the occasional glaring inaccuracy (namely some outdated or at best contested theories about how, whom, and why our pre-human ancestors liked to canoodle).
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sort of a graphic novel. Excellent info on sex and sexuality throughout human history. It shows that human sexuality is not gender specific but a social construct during the different epochs of humanity. I would use this book in my sex ed class but it might not pass the sex police. And I'm retired anyway.
Perhaps a combination of too much text, uninspiring artwork, and awkwardly edited text, but I was left frustrated with the reading and the flow and stopped a quarter of the way through. Might try again with French version, to see if it's a matter of language and translation.
Antonio De la rosa
I now know how. But why?
Geoffrey Skinner
I quite enjoyed this book and enjoyed learning a few new things about the history of sexuality. The distinctly French take was also fun
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish this book had been around when I was a teenager, or at very least, when I was just starting college and looking for something to major in. Ever since I found one of my dad's Playboys when I was six I've been extraordinarily fascinated with sexuality. it might have been attending a private Christian school where the only "sexual" avenue which was encouraged was "abstinence only," but I think in fact I've always just been a sex nerd.

Phillippe Brenot has provided me a beautiful book then, be
As a fan of medical history, sociology and graphic novels, I was really excited to read The Story of Sex. Unfortunately, this chronicle by Philippe Brenot (psychiatrist and director of sexology at Paris Descartes University) fell a little short for me.

I did find the book entertaining, and I appreciated Laetitia Coryn's jaunty and frequently hilarious cartoons. I also learned some fun factoids.

However, I felt the book suffered from issues around scope, trying to convey an immense period of time
Starting off with the artwork, I did appreciate Coryn's style very much. For a nonfiction graphic novel about sex, you need to hit a very precise mark of being descriptive but perhaps not as pornographic as it certainly could be. Pretty delightful on its own account Coryn's artwork also matches the overall informative but irreverent tone that Brenot seems to have been going for very well.

While only one, my MAJOR complaint with the artwork is the representation of people of color in this comic -
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
the history of sex is the history of the world! unfortunately, in this text, that is only the history of white european culture... i found myself wondering more about - ya know - how other culture's relationship with sex have changed throughout the ages. there are times when the translation (this book was written in French) reads as offensive - specifically when describing transgender experiences, and the consistent depiction of white people. for this, i felt compelled to dock off two stars.

Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. It is very informative. The comic style took some of the severity out of the facts, but I'm glad it did. If it weren't for that, this would have been far more depressing to read.

I'm glad for the progression we've made, and I'm also glad I was born when I was. I would have surely been executed if I was born any earlier than I was.

It's interesting to realize that laws and religion really do shape your sexuality and freedom to express that sexuality. I'm still traumatized by attendi
This was interesting and I did learn things, but there weren't any biblio sources cited at the end, something I only realized when I flipped to the back of the book wanting to learn more about some of the stories he brought up. He also says something about gender orientation that seems widely incorrect, which highlights the problem with a lack of citations. This issue is also tangentially related to a problem I had with the "future" chapter at the end. It seemed like an exercise in fantasy, and ...more
Very good book, enjoyable, informative and very, very funny.
However, some of the wording choices have rubbed me in the wrong way : the term "transsexual" is used consistently and always explained as an "illness" or "mental confusion", even if it's always followed by an explanation of the incredibly harsh discriminations against transgender people and the fact that it's a regular part of human life. In another part about sex appeal "trends", curvier women (Monroe, Sophia Loren...) are called "mo
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the text at the end more than the illustrated portion as the text was clearly an editorial from the author whereas I felt the graphic portion, while being entertaining and somewhat informative, was a socio-political tract denouncing the history of sex more than exposing it. If it had been called "a French critical history of sex" or something similar I would be less critical but with the stories being told as facts without citing the limits and origins of the information presented it's ...more
F J Gilbert
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining and eye-opening cartoon book about the history of sex; I found a bit reductive and questionable in parts. For example it argues that there are four innovations that mark the transition from animal to human sexuality, which are: 1. the loss of oestrus (the red buttocks of the chimpanzee mark the time they are on heat). 2. The loss of the penis bone, which means the penis is longer, thicker, stronger than other animals, 3. The invention of the human loving feeling 4. Male dominatio ...more
David Thomas
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I obviously read the English translation of this. It's a comprehensive history of sex in the West in graphic novel format, staring with prehistoric man. It charts the course of sexual norms and mores through antiquity in Greece, Rome, and Egypt, up through the ages to modern times. My only complaint is that it exclusively deals with sex in the West. They don't even briefly mention anything outside of Western Europe and the USA. I came away mostly satisfied, but I'd love to see something like thi ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
An interesting, amusing look at sex through the ages, with lots of interesting tidbits throughout. I did find the lack of sources a little concerning, though, and I wonder if they were included in the original French? There are some instances of highly speculative bits (that may have been little more than slanderous rumor) presented as historical fact. But, I understand that it's quite a bit of history to go through, so it's understandable that they had to gloss through a few details. Overall wo ...more
The story of sex is covered in great detail in this graphic novel which also has subtle humor built into the comics panels. I learnt quite a bit from this book.
However this book is very Europe and North America focused, and does not mention how sex evolved or the practices during the middle ages, amidst Crusades and colonialism in Africa and Asia - especially when a book as vivid as Kama Sutra existed thousands of years ago, and the graphic detail on the Hindu temples in India. For this, the boo
Paulo Girão
Entertaining, at least. After the History of codfish and the history of beer, I realized that following the traditional nation-history point of view is not allways the best way to get insight about the development of certain topics in human history. This book has an agenda, for sure, but it spices it with a lot of anedoctal facts and also an overview about how (npormal - not the kings and the priveliged) people lived in their everyday lives.
Suzan Dup
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot from this book - its well researched and gives you a lot of information about the history of sex and genders, yet its so funny, I finished it in two readings. Each chapter explains a different time era.
I loved the fact that there was so much new information in so little pages, the writers have a great ability to focus on the important stuff, while guiding you from the very beginning to the what maybe-future of humans and our sexual relationships. So many aha-moments!

Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good one and so much interesting stuff, including historical exchanges between openness and prohibitions, gay and lesbian relationships, histories from Egypt or Ancient Rome. To read.

One star down for the lack of transgender history (outside of transsexual "fetish"). The pictures are real nice and with very funny side connotations, I would just like to note that different drawing of black bodies might have been used.

Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well humoured. Very very euro centric. Left me wondering how the rest of humankind was boning.
Very hetero normative, though it does a fair job of covering homosexual relationships and sex. But there were some parts in the end memo that stood out to me as old fashioned thinking about orientation, identity, etc. Still though, impressive and answered lots of questions in didn't realise I'd had.
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