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Beacon Books at Audible: Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality by Hanne Blank

Susie Bright, in addition to being a best-selling author, activist, and podcast host, is editor at large for Audible. Susie's blog, The Bright List, keeps readers and listeners apprised of new audiobooks.

Today's post is a cross-post from the Bright List of a roundup of new titles by Hanne Blank, author of Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality.


4443This month brings the Audible release of three titles from one of my favorite independent scholars, Hanne Blank. Blank’s curiosity and thorough, critical thinking have brought fresh insights into the fields of human sexuality and history. Her warm, witty, and clever writing has brought me much enjoyment. 

Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality

The title says it all--here’s the real story on how the very idea of “straightness” is a new, and quite flimsy, category if you look at how people have thought of sexuality all along.

—Funny, brainy, provocative nonfiction. A page-turner.

Like Joan Roughgarden’s Evolution’s Rainbow, Straight addresses gender, sex and biology, but goes on to explore historical and political attitudes, and perceptions of straightness and homosexuality.

Narrated by the wonderful Fran Tunno.

Watch Hanne Blank talk about the invention of heterosexuality.



41UOPLsSQWL._SL175_Virgin: The Untouched History

From the “discovery” of the Hymen in ancient times to abstinence-only education in schools and purity balls today, Blank writes about the history of our preoccupation with "virginity." In her analysis, we can see the social construction of virginity, the sexism implicit in it, and the malleable definition of virginity over time.

Everything you think you know about virginity is up for debate. Blank writes with a great deal of humor and perception: "Of all the countries of the developed world, the United States is the only one that has to date created a federal agenda having specifically to do with the virginity of its citizens."

Narrated with friendly authority by Fran Tunno who also read Straight.


51Wj6w+cQVL._SL175_Big, Big Love: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them)

This is one of my favorite sex-ed books about any subject. I hadn’t thought about it one way or another, “size and sex”-- but there’s a lot to it. This isn’t a PC plea for acceptance, it’s really about FAT SEX, the reality and the creativity!  Skinny people love this book too! 

Big Big Love is a ginormous blessing to people everywhere. Not only is it a superb sex manual, it’s positively radical, fun to read, and life affirming—big time.

"We know that “people of size” enjoy sex as much as anyone, but to talk about it so frankly, to show it, and give explicit details about the ins and outs of it, is as transgressive as it gets in our culture of “thin is sexy.” This book is well worth its weight in gold.”   

—Annie Sprinkle, PhD

Narrated by Johanna Taylor who I absolutely believed as Hanne.