The human body has no other parts as fascinating as the sexual organs. Venerated and vilified, concealed and exhibited, the human genitals have elicited a multitude of varied responses. They have been portrayed in every art form, praised and damned in poetry and prose, mutilated with religious fervor, and amputated in insane frenzy.
Many of us combine a lively interest in the sex organs with an equally compelling tendency either to deny such interest or to be ashamed of it. There are [people] who have been married for years, who have engaged in sexual intercourse countless times, but who never looked frankly and searchingly at each other's genitals. Nor is this aversion merely a matter of prudishness. To many people the sex organs appear neither beautiful nor sexy when viewed directly. Unfortunately, although concealment may promote desire, it also perpetuates ignorance.
Herant A. Katchadourian
and Donald T. Lunde
Our scientific understanding of human sexuality is largely confined to anatomy and the reproductive process. Very little is known about sexual response outside of reproduction. More than twenty centuries ago Aristotle observed that the testes were raised inside the scrotum during sexual intercourse; not until the 1950s did Masters and Johnson confirm this observation in the laboratory. It seems incredible, giving the universality of sex, that we should know so little about it.