Human sexuality is central to our existence and our experience but we talk about it very little and study it in very circumscribed ways. This presentation will explore a series of historical vignettes to illuminate the cultural plasticity of human sexual behavior. We will ask if female sexual freedom among forager-hunter groups was related to their food contributions. We will then look at The Kama Sutra for an early discussion of erotic practices. What happened when western scientists starting studying human sexuality in the early 20th century? Why was Freud’s approach so revolutionary? How has the AIDS epidemic changed our public conversations? How have Michel Foucault’s ideas about power and govermentality jump-started the field of sexuality studies at American universities in the 21st century?