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Psychology

Essays and videos offering insights into the self, relationships, cognition and neuroscience
Illustration of a person sitting in a room with a bed and various objects. The background is pink, and the objects include a lamp, books, clock, plants, lava lamp, slippers, and a small ball. The person appears to be drawn in a simple, sketch-like style.
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Sex and sexuality

After a sextortion scam, Eugene conducts an unblushing survey of masturbation

14 minutes

Close-up of a woman with blonde hair and a nose ring. She has a serious expression. The background is a foggy landscape with soft pink and grey tones.
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Technology and the self

A deepfake porn victim confronts the pain of having her likeness stolen and vandalised

19 minutes

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Art

More than breathtaking, ‘The Birth of Venus’ signalled an aesthetic revolution

19 minutes

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Sex and sexuality

For ages, solo sex was hardly taboo. What led to its centuries-long dry spell?

4 minutes

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Gender

The ‘sworn virgins’ of Albania who trade femininity for freedom

10 minutes

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Art

All those naked Greeks…

Men in ancient Greek art exercise, fight battles, pursue lovers and mourn lost friends, all without their pants on. Why?

Sarah Murray

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History of ideas

Self-satisfaction

The ancient Cynics taught that masturbation is about more than pleasure: it suggests how to live simply and autonomously

M D Usher

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Stories and literature

The honesty of pornography

Often vilified as a weapon of male supremacy, pornography in fact has much to tell us about ourselves and our culture

Kathleen Lubey

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History of ideas

The invention of free love

Percy Shelley thought romantic love freed men and women from the strictures of monogamy, but did it free them equally?

Neil McArthur

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The ancient world

Sappho’s homoerotic poetry was beloved in ancient Greece – and burned centuries later

5 minutes

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Human rights and justice

The staggering cruelty of Ireland’s Church-run ‘mother and baby homes’

18 minutes

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Love and friendship

Tainted love

Love is both a wonderful thing and a cunning evolutionary trick to control us. A dangerous cocktail in the wrong hands

Anna Machin

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Teaching and learning

The vulva dialogues – inside a sex-ed class that rebels against genitalia shame

11 minutes

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Personality

Art students divulge (and animate) the dating pet peeves they find unforgivable

3 minutes

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Biology

Slow sex, long life

Tokyo’s imperial archives advise what science now confirms: the secret of longevity lies in the gentle arts of the bedroom

Denis Noble

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Sex and sexuality

Idealising the predator

How did certain French intellectuals get away with preying upon young girls, shamelessly, in public and over decades?

Lily Dunn

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Gender

Are men animals?

Diagnosing men as violent and oversexed beasts is tempting but it’s a regressive idea built on dubious analogies

Matthew Gutmann

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video

Human rights and justice

When the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence canonised Derek Jarman

24 minutes

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Sex and sexuality

What does the Dutch model of comprehensive, ‘shame-free’ sex-ed look like?

9 minutes

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Education

Sex on the curriculum

Sex education is a battlefield over morals and young bodies, and has exposed fractures in American life for over a century

Kristy Slominski

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Stories and literature

Literary prostitutes

I self-published erotica to make ends meet. Could I follow in Anaïs Nin’s footsteps or was I doomed to churn out filth?

Sam Mills

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Stories and literature

Shameful

Women who write about their pain suffer a double shaming: once for getting injured, twice for their act of self-exposure

Katherine Angel

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Sex and sexuality

The case of Norman Douglas

He was a literary lion and an infamous pederast: what might we learn from his life about monstrosity and humanity?

Rachel Hope Cleves

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Biology

The penis: a life

Boned, spined, spiked, corkscrewed or double-headed: why did so much variety arise when a simple tube would do?

Emily Willingham