Between the sheets: top 10 most provocative books out this December

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People's Pornography: Sex and Surveillance on the Chinese Internet. By Katrien Jacobs. Released 12/15/2011.

Publisher's Description: Since its establishment in 1949, the People's Republic of China has upheld a nationwide ban on pornography, imposing harsh punishments on those caught purchasing, producing, or distributing materials deemed a violation of public morality. People’s Pornography offers a wide-ranging overview of the political controversies surrounding the ban, as well as a fascinating glimpse into the many distinct media subcultures that have gained widespread popularity on the Chinese Internet as a result. Rounding out this exploration of the many new tendencies in digital citizenship, pornography, and activist media cultures in the greater China region are thought-provoking interviews with individuals involved.

Sex and Disability. By Robert McRuer (Editor). Released 12/22/2011.

Publisher's Description: The major texts in sexuality studies, including queer theory, rarely mention disability, and foundational texts in disability studies do not discuss sex in much detail. What if "sex" and "disability" were understood as intimately related concepts? And what if disabled people were seen as both subjects and objects of a range of erotic desires and practices? These are among the questions that this collection's contributors engage. From multiple perspectives—including literary analysis, ethnography, and autobiography—they consider how sex and disability come together and how disabled people negotiate sex and sexual identities in ableist and heteronormative culture. These essays shake up notions about who and what is sexy and sexualizable, what counts as sex, and what desire is. At the same time, they challenge conceptions of disability in the dominant culture, queer studies, and disability studies.

Crazy Little Thing: Why Love and Sex Drive Us Mad. By Liz Langley. Released 12/13/2011.

Publisher's Description: Crazy Little Thing is a look at why we want to be in love and the burbling, boiling soup of endorphins, hormones, and neurotransmitters that spill from our brain to make us do things that would otherwise be viewed as insane. Liz Langley traveled the country to research and interview singularly love-mad folks who maimed, murdered, and married. Langley reveals the science of love and lust, as well as very human stories: a spouse who can't stop loving her criminally psychotic husband, even after he threw acid in her face; the sweet romance between alligator-skinned sideshow performers; and a man whose neurons drive his necrophilia. Langley reveals the control our chemicals have over us in a hilarious, confounding — and too strange to be anything but true — look at love.

Policing Pleasure: Sex Work, Policy, and the State in Global Perspective. By Susan Dewey. Released 12/1/2011.

Publisher's Description: Monica waits in the Anti-Venereal Medical Service of the Zona Galactica, the legal, state-run brothel where she works in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Surrounded by other sex workers, she clutches the Sanitary Control Card that deems her registered with the city, disease-free, and able to work. On the other side of the world, Min stands singing karaoke with one of her regular clients, warily eyeing the door lest a raid by the anti-trafficking Public Security Bureau disrupt their evening by placing one or both of them in jail. Sex work-related public policy varies considerably from one community to the next. Policing Pleasure examines cross-cultural public policies related to sex work, bringing together original ethnographic studies from around the world, to offer a nuanced critique of approaches to regulating sex work. Contributors offer new perspectives that move beyond well-established debates between "abolitionists" and "sex workers' rights advocates" to document both the intention of public policies on sex work and their actual impact upon those who sell sex, those who buy sex and public health more generally.

Postal Pleasures: Sex, Scandal, and Victorian Letters. By Kate Thomas. Released 12/16/2011.

Publisher's Description: In 1889 uniformed post-boys were discovered moonlighting in a West End brothel frequented by men of the upper classes. "The Cleveland Street Scandal" erupted and Victorian Britain faced the possibility that the Post Office—a bureaucratic backbone of nation and empire—was inspiring and servicing subversive sexual behavior. However, the unlikely alliance between sex and the postal service was not exactly the news the sensational press made it out to be. Postal Pleasures explores the relationship between illicit sex and the Royal Mail from reforms initiated in 1840 up to the imperial end of the nineteenth century. With a combination of historical details and literary analyses, Kate Thomas illustrates how the postal network, its uniformed employees, and its material trappings-envelopes, postmarks, stamps-were used to signal and circulate sexual intrigue.

Making Marriage Modern: Women's Sexuality from the Progressive Era to World War II. By Christina Simmons. Released 12/1/2011.

Publisher's Description: The nineteenth-century middle-class ideal of the married woman was of a chaste and diligent wife focused on being a loving mother, with few needs or rights of her own. The modern woman, by contrast, was partner to a new model of marriage, one in which she and her husband formed a relationship based on greater sexual and psychological equality. Christina Simmons narrates the development of this new companionate marriage ideal, which took hold in the early twentieth century and prevailed in American society by the 1940s.

Sex Magic for Beginners: The Easy & Fun Way to Tap into the Law of Attraction. By Skye Alexander. Released 12/8/2011.

Publisher's Description: A unique blend of sex magic and the Law of Attraction, this book shows you how to use sexual energy to get anything you want. From intensifying passion to achieving career success, this compact guide presents an array of ways in which sex magic can enhance your life. It reveals the connections between sex, power, and magic and presents rituals, spells, techniques for working with a partner, visualizations, glamours, elixirs, amulets, talismans, and more.

Sex Tips For Girls by Guys. By Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff. Released 12/19/2011.

Publisher's Description: This pocket-sized guide answers one of life's most enduring questions: what do men really want? Sex Tips for Girls by Guys brings together intimate knowledge of male anatomy and sexual preferences with deeply personal revelations by real men about the sex techniques they crave. This book offers bite-sized advice for turning "oh" into "ooooooh," and real-life confessions that offer inspiration for pleasures even he hasn't thought of.

Quickies You'll Never Forget: Fast Sex, Fast Orgasm, Anytime, Anywhere. By Joel D. Block. Released 12/1/2011.

Publisher's Description: It's unrealistic to expect to engage in full-on sex all the time, which is why "quickies" are not optional; they're necessary. This updated edition shows you how to have quick but rewarding sex. Quickies can be even more fulfilling than those long sessions because the thrill involved in having sex unexpectedly and/or in forbidden locations adds an element of excitement.

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The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex and the Brain: The Neuroscience of How, When, Why and Who We Love by Judith Horstman. Released 12/27/2011.

Publisher's Description: Who do we love? Who loves us? And why? Why does some love die while other love lasts? Is it really a mystery—or can the latest neuroscience shed some light on how, why, and whom our brains love? Horstman takes us on a tour of the brain and our many kinds of love—the whole smorgasbord of emotions, including the love of parent and child, the affectionate love of companionship, the passion of erotic love, the role of animals in our lives, and the love of God. She explains why love is good for our brains, how we're hardwired to crave the companionship of others—and how badly things can go without love.

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