Why is the Penis Shaped Like That?
by Jesse Bering
Transworld Digital (e-book)
The book lives up to its title. In fact there are many more of Jesse Bering's Reflections on Being Human (as this is subtitled) that could have been used to label this collection of essays on 'inappropriate matters'. A research psychologist, the author declares that his perspective is that of a 'godless, gay, psychological scientist with a penchant for far-flung evolutionary theories'. It is a stance repeated throughout the book, sometimes needlessly, as he broaches such subjects as why we're the only ape that suffers from acne, whether we're designed to be cannibals and the possibility that suicide is an adaptive trait. Bering, who has a humorous touch, also explores sexual paraphilias in chapters that some readers might prefer to skip. Jumping around, however, may cause you to miss fascinating pieces, such as on reasons why the menstrual cycles of co-habiting, sexually active, heterosexual women synchronise but fail to do so with lesbians in similar set-ups. As for the title? It has something to do with retracting the semen of other males. The rest you'll have to find out for yourself.