The Waves

The Truth About “Normal” Sex

Human and animal history is queer as hell


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate science writer and editor Shannon Palus is joined by Popular Science executive editor and author Rachel Feltman to talk about sex, baby. Rachel’s new book, “Been There, Done That” explores the quirky, wild, and often queer side of the history of sex. Shannon and Rachel talk about why animal sex is so relevant to human sex, the “loop-de-loop” of sexual evolution, and they ponder the age old question, “Why are even men?”

In Slate Plus, Rachel talks about why Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) may in some cases not be as terrible as you think.


Shannon: Spindrift seltzer 

Rachel: The horror anthology, Your Body is Not Your Body

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Shannon Palus and Alicia Montgomery.

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About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

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