The Origin of the World: Science and Fiction of the Vagina

Front Cover
Reaktion Books, Jan 1, 2005 - Health & Fitness - 304 pages
3 Reviews
The Origin of the World is a revealing, intimate, and ultimately liberating study of female sexuality at its heart: the vagina. Working from the assumption that sex is pleasurable and fulfilling insofar as its participants fully understand how it works, sexologist Jelto Drenth gives readers a guided tour of the complex, challenging, and often misunderstood "origin of the world."

Drenth describes the workings of the vagina in simple language, enriching his description throughout the book with the imagery, mythology, lore, and history that has surrounded the vagina since the Middle Ages. The Origin of the World moves from basic physiognomic facts to the realms of anthropology, art history, science fiction, and feminist literature-all in the service of mapping the dark continent. Drenth's journey takes him from Renaissance woodcuts to vibrators, clitoridectomies to "virginity checks," fears of the vagina (the vagina dentata) to its celebration. Part medical exposition covering the function of female genitalia from orgasm to pregnancy and part cultural history discussing contemporary and historical views of such aspects of the feminine as pubic hair, Freud's theories of coitus, and slang terms for the vagina, The Origin of the World is encyclopedic in its breadth, fascinating in its content, and familiar in its subject.

This lightly written exploration can be seen as both an owner's manual and a guide for the perplexed. Women and men alike will benefit from its entertaining erudition and from its fundamental mission of demystifying sex and sexuality in the service of greater understanding and, from that understanding, greater pleasure.
  

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It's nice to be assured of the fact that vaginas are just a figment of the devil's imagination, and that they are the portal to hell itself in theory but a myth in reality

Review: The Origin of the World: Science and Fiction of the Vagina

User Review  - Agnes - Goodreads

Everyone should read this (not only women but men). Read full review

Contents

On Femininity
7
Searching for Words
10
The Facts
20
On the Sexual Function of the Genital Organs
41
Virginity 5 8
58
The Power of Freudian Ideas
82
On Reproduction
102
Womens Sex Problems
159
The Vibrator
227
The Scent of Women
238
Fear and Loathing of Femininity
248
Idealization and Worship of the Female Genitals
267
References
290
Bibliography
295
Acknowledgements
303
Photo Acknowledgements
304

Clitoridectomy
185
The Physician and the Uterus
215

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Jelto Drenth works as a sexologist at the Rutgers Foundation in Groningen, the
Netherlands.

Bibliographic information