Welcome to Throb, a new site exploring the intersection of science and sex. Here you’ll find news and explainers on sex and romance, touching on neuroscience, chemistry, physiology, ecology, anthropology and culture, physics, and medicine. (You’ll also find gear and book reviews!)

I’m Diane, and for a long time I’ve been living a double life as a science writer and a biologist studying sex. I’m really excited to be able to combine both my passions on this site, where we’ll explore sexuality in an open, non-judgmental, kinda nerdy way.

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Sex isn’t just what we do in the bedroom. It affects a lot of our lives as social animals. And by putting sex under the microscope, researchers are digging into how it works and how it affects our brains, our bodies, and our relationships. They’re also learning about the many WTF sexual systems of other living things — which can in turn illuminate how evolution works.

Science shapes everything to do with sexuality — after all, sex is biological. The ways it affects us can be described by psychology and anthropology. It has to work in the real world, which involves physics and chemistry. We’ve roped in medicine to manipulate the hormones that control our sexual systems, and engineering to build sexual prosthetics and toys.

Sex can also be a hell of a lot of fun. Or maybe awkward, scary, frustrating, dangerous, uninspired, or strange. But I think it’s safe to say that most of us want the fun part.

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I don’t think that’s an accident. At least for humans, sex evolved to be fun. Millions of years of natural and sexual selection gave us an anatomy rich with sensory nerves and neural pathways that spark arousal and promote feelings of attachment in our brains. Fun sex was a success for us humans because it made more babies, each of which inherited the biology to have still more fun sex after they grew up. There’s a lot of variation in what people feel is fun and a lot about sex that we don’t understand. And we’re endlessly curious about sexuality, romance, and where it all came from.

I’m going to dig into scientific papers, talk to researchers — maybe even run an experiment or two.

I can’t wait to share what I find out.

You can contact me at diane@io9.com with tips, thoughts, or questions.