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How Sex Changed the Internet, and the Internet Changed Sex
The prevailing, rapidly accelerating narrative of sex on the internet is one of control: who has it, over whom, and to what ends. Do we control our own sexual desires and tastes? What about our freedom of sexual speech? Do we even own our own faces?
Much has been written on how sex sells, online and off. Even more’s been said about the explosion of technology in the last 20 years, and how Silicon Valley’s changed almost everything about our lives. But how has the world’s oldest pastime—sex—and its newest revelation—the internet—worked to shape each other into the world we see today?
How Sex Changed the Internet, and the Internet Changed Sex is an illustrated collection of essays that chronicle the ways life online has altered how we do it IRL, from a variety of social, technological, and cultural perspectives throughout history.
🍑 🍑🍑 Advance praise for How Sex Changed the Internet 🍑🍑🍑
“Cole’s book is one of the first ever histories of sex on the internet: a history that has been mostly erased and whose pioneers have been overlooked. It’s an essential read for anyone who has ever been online–which is most of us.”
– Hallie Lieberman, author of Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy
“In this book, Samantha Cole showcases the wildly rare combination of being intensely literate in the internet, conversational, and straight-up cool as hell. How Sex Changed the Internet and the Internet Changed Sex answers so many of my lingering questions about how we see, touch, and experience one another today, and I’m going to rely on it as a sexy touchstone for years to come. Highly recommended for anyone who likes sex, going online, or both at once.”
– Amy Rose Spiegel, journalist and author of Action: A Book about Sex and No One Does It Like You
“Truly necessary for anyone who wants to understand modern sexuality *or* the internet. Approachable, brilliant, and deeply informative.”
– Jessica Stoya, writer, actor, and author of Philosophy, Pussycats, & Porn
“The history of technology has always been intertwined with sexual expression— and it’s the push-pull of expression and censorship that drives the Internet. Cole’s history of the internet isn’t told ‘through a sexual lens,’ but shows there is no divide. It’s a tour of our sexual and technological history that shows that despite VR, the metaverse, real dolls— and whatever else we invent— the future of sex is always tied to our corporeal humanness.”
– Susie Bright, performer, sex and culture critic, and author of Big Sex Little Death
“Samantha Cole’s incredible reporting gets to the heart of the matter, that sex isn’t a product of the internet, the internet is itself the product of our obsession with getting off and the everlasting search for sensual human connection. It’s the liberating, erotic, terrifying and essential alternate history of the internet, a must-read.”
– Lindsay Goldwert, journalist and author of Bow Down: Lessons From Dominatrixes on How to Get Everything You Want
“A deeply fun, smart, and sophisticated look at the history of sex online, written by a groundbreaking reporter on the sex-tech beat.”
– Tracy Clark-Flory, journalist and author of Want Me: A Sex Writer’s Journey Into the Heart of Desire