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From phone sex to webcamming: Capturing the evolution of sex

The last time I watched HBO's "Real Sex," it was the '90s and I was covertly masturbating late at night in my parents' living room. That documentary series was my pubescent sex education -- at least until I discovered Internet porn a short while later. It was everything they weren’t telling me in those impotent middle-school health classes. As a result, my erotic catalog is disproportionately made up of images from that show -- a stripper shaking her breasts in a man's face, a couple having sex at a swinging convention, a woman writhing behind glass.

When I saw the premiere this week of HBO’s “Sex//Now,” a new show being billed as the next “Real Sex,” I had to rewatch those old episodes. I was like a grown man revisiting his first issue of Playboy -- so much of the titillation and mystery was gone. What I was surprised to find was that in hindsight, despite the fact that I sometimes joke about perilously imprinting on "Real Sex" like a horny baby duck, the show wasn't the worst education. It showed that, despite my health teacher's insistence to the contrary, sex could be a great many things.

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