sexuality

In this sweeping history of popular music in the United States, NPR’s acclaimed music critic examines how popular music shapes fundamental American ideas and beliefs, allowing us to communicate difficult emotions and truths about our most fraught social issues, most notably sex and race.

In Good Booty, Ann Powers explores how popular music became America’s primary erotic art form. Powers takes us from nineteenth-century New Orleans through dance-crazed Jazz Age New York to the teen scream years of mid-twentieth century rock-and-roll to the cutting-edge adventures of today’s web-based pop stars. Drawing on her deep knowledge and insights on gender and sexuality, Powers recounts stories of forbidden lovers, wild shimmy-shakers, orgasmic gospel singers, countercultural perverts, soft-rock sensitivos, punk Puritans, and the cyborg known as Britney Spears to illuminate how eroticism—not merely sex, but love, bodily freedom, and liberating joy—became entwined within the rhythms and melodies of American song. This cohesion, she reveals, touches the heart of America's anxieties and hopes about race, feminism, marriage, youth, and freedom.

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.

Lisa Wade is an associate professor of sociology at Occidental College. Her newest book, American Hookup is about the emergence and character of the culture of sex that dominates college campuses today.

American Hookup situates hookup culture within the history of sexuality, the evolution of higher education, and the unfinished feminist revolution. With new research, Wade maps out a punishing emotional landscape marked by unequal pleasures, competition for status, and sexual violence. She discovers that privileged students tend to enjoy it the most, and considers its effects on racial and sexual minorities, students who “opt out,” and those who participate ambivalently.

  "Whoever said you can't get sober for someone else never met my mother, Mama Jean. When I came to in a Manhattan emergency room after an overdose to the news that she was on her way from Texas, I panicked. She was the last person I wanted to see on that dark September morning, but the person I needed the most."

So begins this astonishing memoir ― by turns both darkly comic and deeply poignant ― about this native Texan's long struggle with alcohol, his complicated relationship with Mama Jean, and his sexuality. The book is listed as “Required Reading” in Mary Karr’s bestselling The Art of Memoir and was a Book Chase Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2015.

  Charles M. Blow has been a columnist at the New York Times since 2008. He is known for penning intensely personal pieces and now tells his extraordinary life story in his memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones.

The book explores racial, spiritual and sexual complexities and is Blow’s coming of age story of psychic survival and self invention.

Simply utter the word "perv" and you will get snickers and perhaps nudges- describe someone as a pervert and you smear their name painting him and or her as a monster who derives enormous sexual satisfaction from harming children.

In Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us, Jesse Bering reclaims the word and delves into the subject - inviting readers to unpack the morality and sexual deviance. He argues that as a society we must stop asking what is normal and natural, and instead ask what is harmful.

    Free to Be You and Me is a record/book/theater piece/TV special conceived by Marlo Thomas that challenges gender and racial stereotypes by emphasizing strong positive values such as personal aspiration, individuality, cooperation, self-esteem, tolerance, and comfort with one?s identity.

The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Free to Be You and Me with a live panel discussion with Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda, and Letty Cottin Pogrebin about the empowering children's classic and the difference it made, as well as societal problems that persist for children today and strategies for progress.

Marlo Thomas joins us to tell us more.

When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf, author of the modern classic, The Beauty Mythn, on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain.