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

The best books on sex, sexuality, and gender (re)released this July.

Fetishism in Fashion (7/2013)
By Lidewij Edelkoort

Publisher's Description: This book investigates the evolution of taste from birth to adulthood, the elevation of shoes through ever-higher heels, the psychology of branding, the effects of infantilism, the power of the colour black, the fetishising of objects, and the interaction with skin and the body. With visually-rich — and sometimes shocking — photography and essays by established authors discussing art, clothing, design, textiles, food and beauty, this in-depth publication sheds new light on the fetishism phenomenon.

Sex and Buildings: Modern Architecture and the Sexual Revolution (7/15/2013)
by Richard J. Williams

Publisher's Description: Massive modern skyscrapers, obelisks, towers—all are structures that, thanks to their phallic shape, are often associated with sex. But other buildings are more subtly connected, as they provide the frameworks for our sexual lives and act as reminders of our sexual memories. This relationship between sex and buildings mattered more than ever in the United States and Europe during the turbulent twentieth century, when a culture of unprecedented sexual frankness and tolerance emerged and came to dominate many aspects of public life. Part architectural history, part cultural history, and part travelogue, Sex and Buildings explores how progressive sexual attitudes manifest themselves in architecture, asking what progressive sexuality might look like architecturally and exploring the successes and failures of buildings' attempts to reflect it.

Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love (7/30/2013)
by Thomas Maier

Publisher's Description: Showtime's dramatic series Masters of Sex, is based on this real-life story of sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. Before Sex and the City and Viagra, America relied on Masters and Johnson to teach us everything we needed to know about what goes on in the bedroom. Convincing hundreds of men and women to shed their clothes and copulate, the pair were the nation’s top experts on love and intimacy. Highlighting interviews with the notoriously private Masters and the ambitious Johnson, critically acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier shows how this unusual team changed the way we all thought about, talked about, and engaged in sex while they simultaneously tried to make sense of their own relationship. Entertaining, revealing, and beautifully told, Masters of Sex sheds light on the eternal mysteries of desire, intimacy, and the American psyche.

Women, Sexuality and the Political Power of Pleasure: Sex, Gender and Empowerment (7/23/2013)
by Andrea Cornwall (Editor)

Publisher's Description: This pioneering collection explores the ways in which women's sexual desires are experienced by them and how this experience effects women's empowerment. It shows that an exploration of pleasure can have a hugely positive impact for women at the personal, social and political levels. Traditional gender and development discourses tend to engage with sexuality in relation to violence and ill-health. Although this has been hugely important in challenging violence against women, over emphasizing these negative aspects has subsumed women's sexualities under violence, danger and fear. The media, the pharmaceutical market, pornography and the market more broadly on the other hand celebrate the pleasures of sex in ways that can be just as oppressive, often implying that only certain types of (young, heterosexual, able-bodied, HIV negative) people are 'eligible' for sexual pleasure.

Having the Best Sex Ever: How to enjoy and enhance sexual performance, with expert advice and inspirational techniques, shown in over 500 photographs (7/16/2013)
by Nitya Lacroix

Publisher's Description: This book features specific guidance on key topics such as exercises for sexual fitness, understanding the way the sexual body functions, sex positions and techniques, keeping alive the long-term relationship, and sex in maturity. Providing an informative and inspirational guide to improving and enhancing your sex life, this is an invaluable resource for both the individual and couple.

Prose and Lore: Issue 2: Memoir Stories About Sex Work (7/10/2013)
by Audacia Ray

Publisher's Description: There are as many truths about the sex trade as there are people who participate in it. In this collection of creative nonfiction, people who’ve tangled with the sex industry write about the complications that arise in the mix of sex and money. From the accounts of love and loss, occupational hazards and tricks of the trade to personal stories of hope, resistance and survival, Prose & Lore is a fiery collection of narratives by people who have walked the walk, and are now telling their tales.

On My Knees: A Memoir(7/2013)
by Periel Aschenbrand

Publisher's Description: A brash, bawdy, and downright ballsy ode to the ups and downs of life and love, On My Knees opens with Periel Aschenbrand—still reeling from a breakup with her longtime boyfriend—chain-smoking her days away on a plastic-covered couch and watching reruns of Law and Order while she squats in her dead grandmother's apartment in the East Village. Armed with her wicked wit and a motley cast of characters that includes her hovering Jewish mother, an eccentric uncle, and her neurotic best friend/wingwoman, Aschenbrand embarks on a Dante-esque journey through the many rings of single-girl hell involving crazy one-night stands; an unhealthy attachment to a dental hygienist; a run-in with Philip Roth; and, in the end, a trip to Israel and an encounter with the man who just might be the one.

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book (7/16/2013)
by Saiya Miller

Publisher's Description: As teenagers today navigate increasingly fluid identities and choices, there is a demand for an accessible, interactive tool to help share knowledge about sex and sexual health; one that demystifies the facts and speaks frankly about experiences whose lessons often fall into the grey areas. Since 2008, Miller and Bley have held an open call for young people to create comics that address a variety of topics involved with sex education. They have since produced several issues of a sex-ed comic. The work is chosen from a vastly varied group of submissions and attempts to challenge hetero and gender normative practices in sex education. The comics address topics like body image, safer sex, consent, and relationships, from positions that have historically been left out of sex education.

The Silver Chain (Unbreakable Trilogy, Book 1) (7/2013)
by Primula Bond

Publisher's Description: One dark evening in London, photographer Serena Folkes is indulging her impulsive side with a night-time shoot. But someone is watching her — mysterious entrepreneur Gustav Levi. Serena doesn’t know it yet, but this handsome stranger will change her life forever… Serena is fascinated by Gustav, the enigmatic owner of the Levi Gallery, and she soon feels an irresistible pull of attraction. The interest is mutual, and Gustav promises to launch Serena’s photographic career at his gallery, but only if Serena agrees to become his exclusive companion.

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Night Terrors: Sex, Dating, Puberty, and Other Alarming Things (7/2/2013)
by Ashley Cardiff

Publisher's Description: From getting kicked out of Bible study to metaphysics with strippers —a misanthrope’s wickedly witty observations about the ridiculous, raunchy, and frequently disturbing impulses that propel human existence. Ashley Cardiff spares no one—least of all herself—in an absurd and relentlessly funny journey of sexual development. Cardiff reflects on her introverted, awkward and too-smart teenage years to her slightly bolder (but still uncomfortable) adult relationships, all while exploring the rich anthropological terrain of sex and love. Expounding on dating Mormons, the inherent weirdness of adolescent development, sexual nightmare-fantasies about Prince, family members’ sex tapes, and narrowly avoiding a teenage orgy, Cardiff recognizes sexuality for the anxiety-making force it is.

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