Culture of Love

The price of love: two of your closest friends

Falling in love comes at a cost that does not include flowers or bar bills. In the first experiment of its kind, scientists have discovered that starting a romantic relationship typically costs two close friends from the inner circle of intimate contacts that most people rely on for support and advice.

The G-Spot and other myths about sex

No sex please, we're British. As tight-lipped as the average person is about discussing sex, there are loads of rumours about the act - probably stemming from the playground - which seem to have worked their way into the mainstream.

A brief guide to erotic fiction

From the tender to the grotesque, throughout history, erotic literature has offered us a private space in which to celebrate and contemplate the intricate workings of human sexuality. Here, we explore some of the key works of this genre.

Click the image on the right to launch.

Taboo-busting writer sets Germany abuzz

She was born in High Wycombe, raised in Germany and now her scandalous novel about sex, personal hygiene and almost every conceivable part of the female anatomy has taken the Teutonic literary world by storm. Charlotte Roche found the inspiration for it while sitting on the loo in a girlfriend's flat.

Love: The great tradition

Love and sex may come naturally to us, but our attitudes towards them have been shaped by centuries of erotic cultural outpouring. The result, argues Boyd Tonkin, is a curious ambivalence

A brief cultural history of sex

Some things never change but sex isn't one of them. Marcus Field looks back on some surprising episodes in the centuries-long evolution of Western sexual attitudes, from the ancient Greeks to the present day

Love Letters of Great Men – for real

There is scene in the film Sex and the City that has sent its mostly female fans crowding into bookshops, only to emerge empty-handed. Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, is lying in bed next to her lover, Mr Big (Chris Noth), reading extracts from an interesting-looking book called Love Letters of Great Men.