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

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

Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (3/11/2014)
by Melissa Gira Grant

In Playing the Whore, journalist Melissa Gira Grant turns these pieties on their head, arguing for an overhaul in the way we think about sex work. Based on ten years of writing and reporting on the sex trade, and grounded in her experience as an organizer, advocate, and former sex worker, Playing the Whore dismantles pervasive myths about sex work, criticizes both conditions within the sex industry and its criminalization, and argues that separating sex work from the “legitimate” economy only harms those who perform sexual labor. In Playing the Whore, sex workers’ demands, too long relegated to the margins, take center stage: sex work is work, and sex workers’ rights are human rights. @melissagira

50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM (3/18/2014)
by Tristan Taormino

A helpful how-to that is the perfect beginner's guide to the realm of kinky sex and can also serve as a wonderful refresher course. Whether readers want to get up close and personal with blindfolds, crops, and paddles or are just looking for some inspiration to keep things fresh in the bedroom, 50 Shades of Kink is ideal for everyone and their lover(s). Included are techniques and creative ideas for bondage, spanking, flogging, sensation play, and rough sex; lessons on how to eroticize power, cultivate deeper connections, and incorporate kink into one’s sex life; and role-playing fantasies from the popular to the taboo. @TristanTaormino

From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage (3/14/2014)
by Michael J. Klarman

After looking at the treatment of gays in the decades after World War II and the birth of the modern gay rights movement with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, Klarman describes the key legal cases involving gay marriage and the dramatic political backlashes they ignited. He examines the Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling in 1993, which sparked a vast political backlash—with more than 35 states and Congress enacting defense-of-marriage acts—and the Massachusetts decision in Goodridge in 2003, which inspired more than 25 states to adopt constitutional bans on same-sex marriage. Klarman traces this same pattern—court victory followed by dramatic backlash—through cases in Vermont, California, and Iowa, taking the story right up to the present. He also describes some of the collateral political damage caused by court decisions in favor of gay marriage—Iowa judges losing their jobs, Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle losing his seat, and the possibly dispositive impact of gay marriage on the 2004 presidential election.

Love, Sex and Everything in Between: Fact and Fiction from a Sexologist (3/7/2014)
by Dr. Martha Tara Lee

What are the sexual problems faced by most Asian women? How do you choose and wear a condom? Why do I feel the urge to masturbate even though I have regular sex with my wife? The answers to these and many other questions on love and sex are found within the pages of this new book. Presented as a series of articles interspersed with Questions and Answers on related topics, Dr Martha Tara Lee draws on her experience in this field to educate and inform readers. Written in a straight-forward manner, and no topic is taboo and readers can seek explanations to many “personal” problems and clear any doubts they may have. @drMarthaLee

Confessions of a D.C. Madame: The Politics of Sex, Lies, and Blackmail (3/19/2014)
by Henry W. Vinson

A firsthand account of how public officials and other well-connected individuals have been compromised or blackmailed by their sexual improprieties, Confessions of a D.C. Madame relates the author’s time running the largest gay escort service in Washington, DC, and his interactions with VIPs from government, business, and the media who solicited the escorts he employed. The book details the federal government’s pernicious campaign waged against the author to ensure his silence and how he withstood relentless, fabricated attacks by the government, which included incarceration rooted in trumped up charges and outright lies. This fascinating and shocking facet of government malfeasance reveals the integral role blackmail plays in American politics and the unbelievable lengths the government perpetrates to silence those in the know.

Same-Sex Marriage in the United States: The Road to the Supreme Court and Beyond (3/28/2014)
by Jason Pierceson

Same-sex marriage has become one of the defining social issues in contemporary U.S. politics. State court decisions finding in favor of same-sex relationship equality claims have been central to the issue’s ascent from nowhere to near the top of the national political agenda. Same Sex Marriage in the United States tells the story of the legal and cultural shift, its backlash, and how it has evolved over the past 15 years. This book aids in a classroom examination of the legal, political, and social developments surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage in the United States. While books about same-sex marriage have proliferated in recent years, few, if any, have provided a clear and comprehensive account of the litigation for same-sex marriage, and its successes and failures, as this book does.

Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution (3/21/2014)
by Eric Schaefer (Editor)

Sex Scene suggests that what we have come to understand as the sexual revolution of the late 1960s and early 1970s was actually a media revolution. In lively essays, the contributors examine a range of mass media—film and television, recorded sound, and publishing—that provide evidence of the circulation of sex in the public sphere, from the mainstream to the fringe. They discuss art films such as I Am Curious (Yellow), mainstream movies including Midnight Cowboy, and sexploitation films such as Mantis in Lace; the emergence of erotic film festivals and of gay pornography; the use of multimedia in sex education; and the sexual innuendo of The Love Boat. Scholars of cultural studies, history, and media studies, the contributors bring shared concerns to their diverse topics. They highlight the increasingly fluid divide between public and private, the rise of consumer and therapeutic cultures, and the relationship between identity politics and individual rights The provocative surveys and case studies in this nuanced cultural history reframe the "sexual revolution" as the mass sexualization of our mediated world.

Wicked Cinema: Sex and Religion on Screen (3/15/2014)
by Daniel S. Cutrara

From struggles over identity politics in the 1990s to current concerns about a clash of civilizations between Islam and Christianity, culture wars play a prominent role in the twenty-first century. Movies help to define and drive these conflicts by both reflecting and shaping cultural norms, as well as showing what violates those norms. In this pathfinding book, Daniel S. Cutrara employs queer theory, cultural studies, theological studies, and film studies to investigate how cinema represents and often denigrates religion and religious believers—an issue that has received little attention in film studies, despite the fact that faith in its varied manifestations is at the heart of so many cultural conflicts today.

Love Between Men: Seductive Stories of Afternoon Pleasure (3/18/2014)
by Shane Allison (Editor)

Filled with romance, passion, and lust, Love Between Men offers irresistible erotic fun while celebrating the coming together of souls as well as bodies. Two traveling husbears meet a willing twink in Jeff Mann's "One Afternoon in the Bible Belt." A sneaky environmentalist gets sandwiched between hedonistic mountain men in Bob Vickery's "Loggers." Two partners share a leisurely Sunday morning with scintillating surprises in Hank Edward's "Breakfast in Bed." Rob Rosen's "Skyrockets in Flight" is particularly delicious, with naughty bits in every line. Perfect bedtime reading for gay couples, Love Between Men is an inspiring and enticing testament to same-sex love.

Mindblowing Mornings, Naughty Nooners, and Wild Nights: Mindblowing Sex Anytime, Anywhere & A Couple's Round-the-Clock Guide to Sizzling Quickies (3/1/2014)
by Emily Dubberley

Spontaneous sex can be hot, intense, and incredibly satisfying. Whether you are a new couple who can't keep your hands off each other or married with kids, quickies are the perfect way to stoke your libido, beat predictability and performance pressure, and add another dimension of excitement and trust to a relationship. Quickies are also a necessity to a regular sex life for those of us with little time and privacy for extended lovemaking sessions on a regular basis. Quick sex doesn't have to be less satisfying—it just requires some mindblowing techniques for getting it on fast and good. Fast sex isn't always about positions or orgasms—it is about the thrill of the lusty contact done semi-secretly—such as a hot hand job underneath the table at a restaurant or quick blow job in a public restroom or waking up your husband by riding him in the Cowgirl position.


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