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Taboos & Tolerance

Friends with benefits

The romcom is going in a new direction: two new movies feature single pals hooking up. What really goes on under the sheets? Jean Hannah Edelstein studies relationships with no strings attached

In praise of perversion

Few instincts are so strong or so widely shared as the urge to condemn other people for their sexual idiosyncrasies. And yet, argues Howard Jacobson, it is when we explore the outer boundaries of our sexual desires that we become most fully human

When sex play goes wrong...

Sexual tolerance has brought many benefits. But there is a darker side to the culture of 'anything goes' experimentation that has come with it, as Sean Thomas knows to his cost

Egalité! Liberté! Sexualité!: Paris, May 1968

It began with a demand by students for the right to sleep with each other. And it ended in one of the greatest upheavals in French society since the revolution. John Lichfield goes in search of the spirit of ’68

Gay rights and wrongs: Hollywood's biggest taboo

When two of America's brightest young actors decided to come out of the closet, there were hopes the industry was learning to practise what it preached. But homosexuality is still the love that dare not speak its name, reports Andrew Gumbel