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Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex Paperback – Unabridged, May 1, 2003
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Finally, a how-to guide, in the guise of a Q&A advice column, for marching, flying, or slithering into the battle of the sexes, whatever your species. In this entertaining and informative book, evolutionary biologist Olivia Judson presents "letters" from sexually frustrated animals, birds, and insects who ask "Dr. Tatiana" to explain some sexual oddity. For example, "Don't Wanna Be Butch in Botswana" writes, "I'm a spotted hyena, a girl. The only trouble is, I've got a large phallus. I can't help feeling that this is unladylike. What's wrong with me?" Each question leads Dr. T. into a fascinating explanation about the sex life of this species, sprinkled with sprightly stories about other species with similar attributes or behavior.
You'll learn why one stick-insect copulation lasts for 10 weeks (to prevent other males from gaining access to the fertile female) and why the black-winged damselfly's penis has bristles (to scrape out his rival's sperm). You'll learn that male and female orangutans masturbate with sex toys fashioned from leaves and twigs, that slugs are hermaphrodites with penises on their heads, and that females in more than 80 species eat their lovers before, during, or after sex. You'll also ponder human sexuality when you learn that "monogamy is one of the most deviant behaviors in biology" (although jackdaws, chinstrap penguins, California mice, and some termites swear by it) and "natural selection, it seems, often smiles on strumpets."
Highly recommended--you'll read this through just for the fun of it and have plenty of odd facts with which to dazzle your dinner companions. --Joan Price --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Those looking for prurient prose may be better off browsing their local adult bookstore, but readers intrigued by the bizarre facts surrounding animal whoopee (and really, who isn't?) should pay a visit to Dr. Tatiana, the alter ego of evolutionary biologist and journalist Judson. While her wryly salacious tone makes animal mating habits and evolutionary biology pretty racy, the book still reads more like a textbook than the Kama Sutra. Judson uses a tongue-in-cheek advice column format through much of the book, forging letters from dung flies, iguanas, sagebrush crickets and rodents ("Like, what's the deal? I'm a sleek young California mouse and am so in heat.") to explore reproductive biology. The device can be grating, and purists appalled by anthropomorphism may find themselves cringing as Judson chastises a male splendid fairy wren for philandering, while pronouncing his paddle crab counterpart a "gentleman." Still, Judson gets high marks for her copiously researched data. Perhaps most compelling is her chapter entitled "Aphrodisiacs, Love Potions, and Other Recipes From Cupid's Kitchen," in which the roots of animal homosexuality are examined. The reader will undoubtedly come away with reams of fascinating factoids, such as the nauseating dining habits of tropical cockroaches during copulation, and the pregnancies of the male seahorse and his cousin, the pipefish.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
For example, a yellow dung fly wants to know how to make its sperm more attractive; a fig wasp wonders why all the males she knows bite each other in half; an elephant is worried because its penis has turned green; a mother manatee frets because her son appears to prefer other males.
It turns out that homosexuality is common in the animal world, that femals are mostly promiscuous and that monogomy is exceedingly rare in nature, (she calls it one of the most deviant behaviors in biology) and that the battle of the sexes is real and can be brutal (and the females often win).
This book is a breezy read. Tatiana is a witty raconteur with an apparently inexhaustible font of knowledge about the weird and wonderful world of sex. The point of existence, she maintains, is to survive and reproduce. Genetic mutations and behavioral modifications that confer an advantage in pursuing these goals will flourish. Species that do not adapt will die out.
Though written in a jokey way, this is a serious book. It provides a wonderful picture of the sheer vast variation of the natural world and the dynamic pace of evolution.
Perfect for the teen interested in science (and sex) and for all curious adults.
For more about me and my book The Nazi Hunter: A Novel, (where the sex is tastefully done) go to [...]