By Joann Ellison Rodgers
First off, Sex
is not what you think. Second, read it anyway.
Rodgers romps not on satin sheets but in the biological swamp of chromosomes, fruit flies and voles. More familiar creatures also come up: "Symmetry," she writes, "is why Elizabeth Taylor, Denzel Washington
and Nefertiti are universally recognized as full of sex appeal."
From her analysis of why women like to be courted energetically to the history of aphrodisiacs (Ovid relied on liquamen, made from rotting fish guts; Montezuma guzzled 50 cups of chocolate a day before visiting his 600-women harem), Rodgers is the biology teacher you wish you'd had. (Times Books, $32.50)
Bottom Line: Everything you always wanted to know about sex