Bibliophile | Sara Pascoe on what matters: ‘Sex Power Money’

Sex Power Money
by Sara Pascoe
Allen & Unwin

Highly acclaimed comedian, writer and actor Sara Pascoe has turned her attention to all things that matter to us human animals – sex, power and money – concentrating mainly on how evolution has molded human sexuality.

Noticing that the male/female dichotomy is imposed from birth, she wonders why we should care about maleness or femaleness so many years before people are ready to breed. The labels change the way caregivers, teachers and complete strangers treat youngsters based on the genitals they’re born with, affecting more than their reproductive potential.

Delving into numerous scientific studies as well as significant cultural artifacts such as popular culture including the film Indecent Proposal and Sex and the City, Pascoe cites her own often hilarious life experiences and conducts her own research. The results are presented with relatable examples and sharp humour.

There are some survival instincts that no longer serve humanity and Pascoe see the explosion of porn having a huge negative influence. Her extensive research traces porn from its difficulties in 1998 – slow loading speed made a quick wank “a tantric two-hour self-loving session”.

Looking at other animals on this planet, she finds survival reasons for limiting male sexual urges and sees that “a few years of liberalism and hash-tagging is not going to reverse” the “hundreds of years of pre-civilised barbarism”.

Pasco spends quite a lot of time investigating sex, pointing out that that foundation of gendered expectation and behaviour leads to patriarchal ownership and the connection between status and money. It’s an interesting and entertaining read that presents solid arguments and provocations while never getting too bogged down in heavy theory.

So if you’re wondering why men who are attracted to men and women who are attracted to women still assess potential partners on criteria that have breeding as the prime focus – youth, health and body shape, spend some time with Sara Pascoe’s Sex Power Money.

Lezly Herbert

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