The Shortest History of Sex: Two Billion Years of Procreation and Recreation (Paperback)

The Shortest History of Sex: Two Billion Years of Procreation and Recreation By David Baker, PhD, Simon Whistler (Foreword by) Cover Image
By David Baker, PhD, Simon Whistler (Foreword by)
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A wild—and satisfying!—ride through two billion years of sexual evolution. The Shortest History books deliver thousands of years of history in one riveting, fast-paced read.

From the first microbial exchanges of DNA to Tinder and sexbots, how did sex begin, and how did it evolve to be so varied and complex in humans? What influence do our genetic ancestors have on our current love lives? And what might sex look like in the future?

With acuity, humor, and respect for human diversity, The Shortest History of Sex reveals where the many facets of our sexuality—chemical, anatomical, behavioral, social—come from. Chasing down our evolutionary family tree, from the first aquatic creatures to primate societies, David Baker sheds light on our baffling array of passions, impulses, and fetishes, and guides us toward a clear understanding of one of the deepest, most abiding forces of human nature.

The Shortest History of Sex also charts how sex changed for humans across the foraging, agrarian, and modern eras, showing how, even as our biology and sexual instincts have remained the same, the current nature of our sex lives has no historical or evolutionary precedent.

The result is a revealing, utterly unique insight into history and human behavior—and the profound forces of nature and nurture compelling our most intimate relationships.

About the Author

David Baker is a history and science writer who holds the world’s first PhD in Big History (the field that explores patterns in deep time and across the natural and social sciences). He is an award-winning lecturer, has written educational videos seen by millions of people, and is the author ofThe Shortest History of Our Universe. He lives in Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

Simon Whistler is a leading voice in the world of online education with over 10 million YouTube subscribers and billions of views, in a wide network of channels and podcasts such as BiographicsMegaprojects, and The Casual Criminalist.

Praise For…

Eye-opening and informative . . will captivate readers from start to finish.
— from the foreword by Simon Whistler

With a keen eye for the absurd, and a deep-time view of our origins, David Baker’s book entertains and informs in equal measure. If you’ve ever felt that sex was confusing, messy, or slightly ridiculous, this book is for you.
— Emma Byrne, author of Swearing Is Good for You

This is a well-researched, superbly written, often punchy, sometimes speculative, and always entertaining ‘big history’ of the sexual activities that keep all species going from generation to generation. . . . By describing sexual behavior at the largest possible scales, Baker helps make sense of the revolutionary changes in sexual behavior taking place today.
— David Christian, bestselling author of Origin Story and Future Stories

This amusing romp uses sex-themed irreverence to lure casual readers into learning about the evolution of Homo sapiens. . . . The cheeky delivery of serious scientific research helps the narrative speed through the millennia. It’s a frisky look into humanity’s messy origins.

— Publishers Weekly

Take the ever-fascinating topic of sexuality, explore it within the rich context of the evolutionary and social history of humanity, sprinkle on intriguing facts and figures along with regular shots of humor, then deliver in an accessible but never trivial writing style . . . David Baker’s wonderful book offers information, entertainment, and insight.
— Susan Quilliam, coauthor of The Joy of Sex: The Ultimate Revised Edition

The Shortest History of Sex masterfully traces the fascinating story of sexual reproduction to illuminate the evolutionary forces driving modern human behaviors and desires.

— Dr. Tiana Pirtle, ecologist and reproductive biologist
Product Details
ISBN: 9781891011344
ISBN-10: 1891011340
Publisher: The Experiment
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English
Series: Shortest History