On today's episode of Way Too Interested, medievalist Dr. Eleanor Janega talks with Gavin Purcell about her current obsession: The conceptualization of sex. She explains how her field of study has been distorted in the popular imagination, how medieval people thought about sex, and the surprisingly similar way modern internet communities are talking about it now.
Then, Eleanor and Gavin are joined by David Halperin, the Distinguished Professor of the History and Theory of Sexuality at the University of Michigan; he talks about the differing philosophies of sex offered by thinkers like Plato, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Sigmund Freud, and how societies — in both classical and modern times — have drawn lines between "acceptable" and "unacceptable," or "natural" and "unnatural" types of sex. Plus: How definitions of gender, eroticism, and virility have changed over time.
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, including How to Be Gay
and Gay Shame