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A sweeping survey of sexuality in Europe from the Greeks to the present, Desire: A History of European Sexuality follows changing attitudes to two major concepts of sexual desire – desire as dangerous, polluting, and disorderly, and desire as creative, transcendent, even revolutionary – through the major turning points of European history.

Chronological in structure, and wide ranging in scope, Desire addresses such topics as sex in ancient Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, sexual contact and culture clash in Spain and colonial Mesoamerica, new attitudes toward sexuality in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and sex in Bolshevik Russia and Nazi Germany. The book introduces the concept of "twilight moments" to describe activities seen as shameful or dishonorable, but which were tolerated when concealed by shadows, and integrates the history of heterosexuality with same-sex desire, as well as exploring the emotions of love and lust as well as the politics of sex and personal experiences. This new edition has been updated to include a new chapter on sex and imperialism and expanded discussions of Islam and trans issues.

Drawing on a rich array of sources, including poetry, novels, pornography, and film, as well as court records, autobiographies, and personal letters, and written in a lively, engaging style, Desire remains an essential resource for scholars and students of the history of European sexuality, as well as women’s and gender history, social and cultural history and LGBTQ history.

There is great interest internationally in the development of prostitution policies in the Nordic countries after Sweden, Norway and Iceland have introduced general bans against buying sex whilst selling sex remains legal. In addition, there is a partial ban against buying sex in Finland. This is a different approach from that of several other European countries, where we have seen a decriminalisation of third-party involvement in prostitution as well as to that of the USA which criminalises both the buying and selling of sexual services. Thus the Nordic countries are often treated as representatives of a 'Nordic model' of prostitution policies. In this book - the first on the subject - Skilbrei and Holmström argue that these models of policies or policy regimes tend to ignore the trajectories, contexts and consequences of the full range of approaches to prostitution, thus they are too simplistic and static. Prostitution policies in the Nordic countries are multifaceted and dynamic, and cannot be represented as following a straight path and detached from empirical contexts. Their analysis treats Nordic prostitution policies both as a product of history, of current national and Nordic debates, and of international obligations and changes in the international and national prostitution markets. Furthermore they argue that a broad understanding of the relevant context is necessary so as to place Nordic prostitution policies within broader policy concerns related to gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, social welfare, immigration and organised crime, as well as to neoliberal forms of governance.
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