“In this book, I talk about an infinite number of scientific studies that offer a broader and more profound study of sexuality.” Spanish author and science journalist Pere Estupinyà clears up many of the doubts and answers questions about sexuality in his new book La ciencia del sexo (The Science of Sex) published by Vintage Español. During his research, he interviewed scientists and visited laboratories and universities, but he also went to swingers’ clubs and S&M venues. Estupinyà is well known in Spain as he regularly appears on TV and participates on radio shows. TintaFresca recently spoke with his as the U.S. edition of his book was published.
Why is it so difficult to talk about sex?
Because it is something so personal and intimate. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, because it lends an air of mystery to the entire concept of sex. Problems arise when there is a lack of communication between partners, or when people have doubts and concerns that they don’t want to share with anyone, not even to look for professional help. Precisely for this reason a Spanish sexologist and I started an online sex consulting service, S=EX2: http://www.consultoriosex2.com/, so that people could anonymously contact a variety of specialists with their questions about sex.
In the book you focus on the fact that scientific researchers, contrary to what might be expected, seem to be restrained when speaking about sex. Why is this?
Because science is part of society and, if society is reluctant to speak about sex, science will also be hesitant. This happens especially in the U.S., which can have puritanical attitudes about sex as well as conflicting moral values. That said, in this book I talk about an infinite number of scientific studies that are very thorough and offer a much more complete explanation of sexuality. I think the readers will be able to understand themselves better and thus make improved choices about their sex life.
Do you think the Hispanic community is well informed about matters of sex?
The Hispanic community in the U.S. is so diverse that I haven’t found a common sexual pattern established throughout these various groups. The reality is that in general there is an absence of good information about sex, although this lack of knowledge is more prevalent in some socioeconomic groups than in others.
Many countries today are still very homophobic. Recently, for example, the president of Nigeria approved a law that makes homosexuality a crime. Why do you think that even though the practice of homosexuality dates back to antiquity, it is still considered taboo in many cultures?
Homophobia should be a criminal offense, not homosexuality. The ignorant leaders of Uganda and Nigeria who violate human rights should be imprisoned. Most of the blame lies with religion. Religious groups have persecuted homosexuals, yet the pedophiles within the churches, a situation that is so much worse, have been protected. I am a strong critic of Christianity-which is the faith I know best-for this reason, and so I think it must change. Fortunately, Pope Francis seems to be taking some steps in this direction. Homophobia within the church is shameful and does so much harm.