Orgasm is one of society's most compelling, shaping forces -- and most of us probably think that we are living in its golden age. But are we? The history of the orgasm is as elusive as orgasm itself can be, for sex rarely makes the historical record. Now acclaimed British journalist Jonathan Margolis delivers the definitive history of the human orgasm, of sex for pleasure as well as conception -- from prehistory to Viagra. Most people manage just twelve minutes of orgasmic bliss per year. Some never experience it at all. Yet the urge for orgasm rules much of human life, across national and cultural boundaries. How much have we learned about female pleasure since the 1558 discovery of the clitoris? How has the drive for pleasure, and the fear of it, shaped various societies -- from Saint Francis of Assisi and the thorn bush, to "primitive" tribes who embraced maximum pleasure for both sexes? How much does the sensation of orgasm differ for different people? Drawing on the biology, literature, anthropology, psychology, and technology, Jonathan Margolis delivers the final word on both male and female orgasm in an enlightening history that is a pleasure to read.