What Does Architecture Have To Do With Your Sex Life?

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Aside from a cold shower, few things put your libido to rest better than a lengthy, academic treatise on erudite sex theory. Fascinating? Yes. A turn-on? Not quite. Be that as it may, we still thought this article by University of Edinburgh professor Richard Williams in Aeon Magazine was worth sharing with you all on a lazy Sunday.

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Like his book Sex and Buildings: Modern Architecture and the Sexual Revolution, this piece explores the relationship between the sex you're having and the place you're having it in — not just your bedroom but your house, your community, and the architecture that surrounds you day-in and day-out. We're the first to admit that getting it on in your cramped East Village apartment, just feet away from your neighbors, is a thoroughly different experience from some lovin' in a light-filled DUMBO loft or, say, a rustic country cabin. Williams goes on to hypothesize that a building's architecture reflects the sexual mores of the society it is built to house, and to that end, he contrasts suburbs and cities, fringe communes and your standard apartment complex. The seclusion of a McMansion bedroom, hidden away where no guest might accidentally glimpse its intimacy, is the stark, conservative opposite of Drop City, an "experimental, counter-cultural community" in the late '60s where the geodesic dome structures were intended to induce a state of "constant orgasm."

Experiments aside, how does this relate to our own lives? If you're not ready to start having orgies in a dome, you might consider writing your local civic planning department about a communal living situation like Sættedammen, in Denmark, founded on the ideal that children should have 100 parents. It's essentially dorm-style living for families — and we all know that dorms are the place to go for uninhibited, sock-on-the-doorknob sex, right? (Aeon Magazine)

Photo: Courtesy of Aeon Magazine.