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Sex, for the entirety of human history, has never been about reproduction. Statistically speaking, only one out of every one thousand sexual acts between a man and a woman will result in a pregnancy. And, as we know, sex does not solely take place just between men and women.

So: what is sex for?

In this wide-ranging and powerful new history of sex, Dr Fern Riddell will uncover the sexual lives of our ancestors and show that, just like us, they were as preoccupied with sexual identities, masturbation, foreplay, sex and deviance; facing it with the same confusion, joy and accidental hilarity that we do today.

By looking at how history has dealt with different parts of our sexual experience, we’re taken on an illuminating and entertaining journey about why we have sex – and what that means today.