Sex at Dawn-Did our bodies evolve for something other than monogamy?

Mrs. - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Earlier this year a book came out called, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. I kept reading about it on the net or hearing about it. I have yet to get my hands on a copy but the ideas behind it fascinated me. Then I heard my neighbours having loud sex once again and it struck me it might make an interesting topic on CoM.

The main theory that I kept thinking about was about the human body/evolution of the species and wether monogamy is what we are bred for, in summary (from a Newsweek article):

" And now we come to the orgy. “Survival of the fittest” applied to our ancestors only at a spermatic level. “The idea is simple. If the sperm of more than one male are present in the reproductive tract of the ovulating female, the spermatozoa themselves compete to fertilize the ovum. Females . . . have various tricks to advertise their fertility, thereby inviting more competitors” (page 220). Rather than men competing with one another to win “entrance” to a coy female looking for the best mate, the book argues that lots of men had sex with the same woman and let their sperm duke it out in the vaginal canal. Even to this day, the initial spurt of human ejaculate contains chemicals that “protect the sperm from chemicals in the later spurts of other men’s ejaculate. These final spurts contain a spermicidal substance that slows the advances of any latecomers” (page 228). That explains, the authors argue, why women take so long to get revved up and men finish so quickly. It explains why women are louder during sex (the so- called female copulatory vocalization [page 255])—it served as a mating call of sorts for men in the area. The survival benefits were immense: since there was no way of telling who fathered which child, children were raised by the community of foragers rather than single monogamous pairs. Everyone had lots of orgasms (women most of all). Women weren’t used as property or bartering chips, which led to more equality between the genders. That’s why men today are more interested in pornography featuring group sex scenes with multiple men and one woman, and why many people have a hard time staying faithful. It’s just not natural. Whew!"

I'm including the link to the other topics the book explores (though I know these links don't always work). Still, I'm wondering people's thoughts on this. Does this theory ring bells with you or make a lot of sense? Do you think marriage/monogamy is a modern construct that really doesn't work (although the authors don't say that exactly as they themselves are married, they just don't think "cheating" is the deal breaker it's made out to be)? Thoughts?



http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/we-read-it...

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Tara - posted on 12/29/2010

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This is a new take on an old theory, earlier proposed through the best selling book "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris. (one of my favourite books of all time.)

I believe in nature, I believe in the fact we are animals and our behaviours still reflect that on many levels.

Sex is one of our most primal drives and it makes sense that in the past polyandrous relationships were the norm and in some places still exist despite societal changes in what we deem a relationship, this is largely because it keeps populations in check and ensures that children born into those relationships will be well cared for and provided for by more than one father.

While I believe in the theory, I also think we are always evolving as a species, and that means adaptations to our more primitive base urges. I don't think cheating is a deal breaker, but I do think our emotional relationships are becoming a lot more complicated than our biological relationships dictate. And because of that we have strife and infidelity and marriage break down etc. whereas in the past cheating was a moot point, now it has way more to do with our emotions and not our survival as a species.

:)

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Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010

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Well, I'm getting married in September...I gotta post that on YouTube if we put that in our vows.

Let's see: Do you take this man to chat about orgy fantasies and possibly have group sex if need be?

I do.

Naw, I think it'd be wonderful thought to hear it that way:

Do you take this woman and promise to go down on her the way she likes, sometimes playing with her boobs?

I do.

[deleted account]

So long as it is equal, all parties are in agreement etc...I don't see the point of a marriage in that case, but if that's all your alls desire and it is stated in your vows, whatever...my vows did not read that way and in no way shape or form would I change them...not my cup of tea.

Mrs. - posted on 12/29/2010

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I agree my in-laws, if that's the couple you are referring to, had problems and that's what helped fuel the affair. However, what I don't agree is that they are better off not trying to work their issues out instead of an automatic dissolve of a decades long marriage that had many good points. They are not, in any way, better off for not doing it. They still have all these issues, none of which are resolved and have yet to move beyond it.



I guess it's not screw monogamy so much as it is a different definition of monogamy based on biology. Many people will not have to sleep with someone outside of their marriage to do that. They can just acknowledge a shared desire and use it as fuel. I'm not at all for going behind anyone's back...just for putting it all out there.

[deleted account]

I think its all hogwash to give creeps an excuse to have no self-control. I understand the premise, I can even agree on a purely animal level, but we pride ourselves on being more then that and therefore, IMO, should be held to a higher standard. I doubt the only thing that made that couple mentioned in the beginning disolve their marriage was an affair. The affair was likely the straw that broke the camels back... it is more likely that so and so fell out of love and found it in a fling...if you fall out of love things start slippin, you don't give your s/o the attention they deserve, etc... just sayin'

Tara - posted on 12/29/2010

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I'm a moaner myself. Sounds very primal according to Steve, and it turns him on incredibly. So he certainly fits the mold...
:)

Charlie - posted on 12/29/2010

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Haha Im a screamer , it just feels natural , I don't think about it the noise just comes out .

Sherri - posted on 12/29/2010

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I agree with Loureen I have a few friends that don't ever in their life time want to be parents actually have made sure they fixed the problem so they will never reproduce.

If my husband ever cheated his stuff would be on the front lawn and it would be marriage ending. New locks would be installed immediately.

Also I don't know about anyone else but my husband and I are very very quiet during sex. I do not understand the reason for screaming and yelling.

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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interesting, i want to read it! i agree that we have evolved past this, but because infidelity and orgies still exist i think it's safe to say that some of that primal instinct still lingers (I DON"T think that is a good excuse for cheating though)

Iris - posted on 12/29/2010

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You really think so Tracey?
I think it would just get us grinning. "Hey someone else is having fun!" wink, wink..

Tracey - posted on 12/29/2010

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Making loud noise during sex is more likely to get complaints from the neighbours than be seen as a local mating call.

Jenny - posted on 12/28/2010

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Well yes but I believe we have evolved passed our simple need to reproduce .

I don't think we have. Reproducing is, at the root, our reason for existing. The whole system of evolution is based upon it. I think our need to breed is as primal as we come. I think if we embraced it and worked with it we would not have the level of relationship failure we have today (yes, among other issues). I mean some women go right to the extreme that porn is cheating or that theat they are pretty much not allowed to acknowledge other women's existance. On the flip side,we don't need to embrace orgies for procreation either though. For me, cheating is not a deal breaker.

PS I know you, Loureeen, are not like that lol but your comment stood out so I ran with it.

Mrs. - posted on 12/28/2010

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Yeah basically Carolyn. It got my thinking. I had this conversation with my mother. We were talking about my fiance's parents. They were married very young and stayed married for decades, then there was an affair and it was immediately broken off. Decades of co-habiting and sharing their lives and one affair-it's over.

Now, my mother surprised me, she's been married for a similar amount of time and is very much a feminist (CEO of a company and mother of 4 no less). She said that she didn't think one affair was reason enough to dump a marriage IF the marriage had more good moments than bad in it. She basically said, it's just sex. It kind of floored me.

I've always thought the same way...just didn't expect my mom to back me up.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 12/28/2010

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I would want to read this as well...just about anything with Sex as the subject is fascinating! :-0)

Charlie - posted on 12/28/2010

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Well yes but I believe we have evolved passed our simple need to reproduce .

Carolyn - posted on 12/28/2010

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but in the context of the book it would not be cheating if you think about it ;)

definitely sounds fascinating and very logical in the biological sense and function of the reproductive system and fluids.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/28/2010

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Huh...this is very interesting indeed. I also would like to read more. Having said that, cheating is a deal breaker for me.

Charlie - posted on 12/28/2010

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Sounds very interesting and biologically makes sense but I think we evolved past this simple need to breed into somthing much deeper .

I would love to read this !

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