Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How Sex at Dawn is blowing my mind in about 64 different ways

Human female displaying
mating behavior
I'm reading Sex at Dawn and, as I mentioned one sentence ago, it is completely blowing my mind. Would you like to read it with me? I'm feeling an overwhelming urge to discuss it with smart people! (That would be you.)

If you haven't already read it, here's the basic premise: the assumption that humans came from sexually monogamous ancestors and are thus naturally monogamous creatures is, perhaps, completely wrong.

The book is filled with all kinds of crazy mind-fuckery like:

 --maybe humans are inherently  non-monogamous creatures, and that by insisting that we are monogamous--we are monogamous, damn it, we are!--we are denying our true sexual natures.  
--maybe sexual jealousy isn't as normal as we think, but is instead a social construct.
--maybe the narrative of women bartering sex for security (i.e. woman marrying a high-status, responsible guy who will help her raise the young) is wrong and women actually have sex because, um, they like sex.
--maybe our ancestors weren't hair-grabbin', woman-draggin' brutes, but rather peaceful foragers who shared food, child-rearing and sex.

Sex at Dawn authors Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha are not saying that we should all rush out and bang the nearest hot mess (well, maybe they are. I'm not quite sure...), but suggest that we should at least examine why we are so fucking desperate to promote and conform to a monogamous ideal that, quite frankly, doesn't seem to be as "natural" as we're all constantly told. 
Deep conflicts rage at the heart of modern sexuality. Our cultivated ignorance is devastating. The campaign to obscure the true nature of our species' sexuality leaves half our marriages collapsing under an unstoppable tide of swirling sexual frustration, libido-killing boredom, impulsive betrayal, dysfunction, confusion, and shame. Serial monogamy stretches before (and behind) many of us like an archipelago of failure: isolated islands of transitory happiness in a cold, dark sea of disappointment. And how many of the couples who manage to stay together for the long haul have done so by resigned themselves to sacrificing their eroticism on the altar of three of life's irreplaceable joys: family stability, companionship, and emotional, if not sexual, intimacy? Are those who innocently aspire to these joys cursed by nature to preside over the slow strangulation of their partner's libido?
"Slow strangulation of their partner's libido"--Hey, happy Valentine's Day everyone!

But it's not all depressing, in fact, it's fascinating. Here's a wee sampling of stuff in Sex at Dawn that made my head explode:

--In some South American societies, there is the concept of shared paternity. A baby is created, not from one sperm/one egg, but from an accumulation of sperm. A woman mates with a variety of partners to give her child, say, the sense of humor of one daddy, the good looks of another, the character of another and so on. Different sperm continue to influence a baby's development until the actual birth. So having sex with more partners during pregnancy is not counted as general sluttiness, but just good parenting. "Far from being blinded by jealousy as the standard narrative predicts," write Ryan and Jetha, "Men in these societies find themselves bound to one another by shared paternity for the children they've fathered together."

--The Mosuo, a matrilineal, agricultural society in China, keeps sexual relations separate from family relations. Starting at age 13 or 14, a Mosuo girl gets her own babahuago (flower room) with a private door leading to the street. At night, she can have as many different lovers as she'd like and there is no expectation (or really a place for) commitment. Guests have to leave before sunrise and people are discreet about their lovers. Any resulting children are raised in her mother's house with the help of her brothers and the rest of the community.
  
Writes Cynthia Barnes, a travel writer who visited the Mosuo in 2006:
Sassy and confident [a Mosuo girl will] grow up cherished in a circle of male and female relatives...When she joins the dances and invites a boy into her flower room, it will be for love, or lust, or whatever people call it when they are operating on hormones and heavy breathing. She will not need that boy--or any other--to have a home or make a "family." She already knows that she will always have both.
--The female reproductive system decides, on a molecular level, which sperm it wants. Each woman's body can judge different men's sperm quality--that is, sperm quality for her, based on genetic compatibility. She'll help along the sperm she likes with a more inviting cervix, contractions that propel sperm deeper and orgasms that create a sperm-friendlier vaginal pH. Sperm from less desired suitors will get doused with unhospitable acidity, a cervix that filters them out, and contractions that send them back where they came from.

--Women have erotic flexibility throughout their lives. But once men imprint on what turns them on, it tends to remain the same their whole lives. (Sex at Dawn notes the prevalence of men stuck with, and unable to overcome, unworkable and/or inflexible fetishes like pedophilia.) Men, in other words, want to do the same thing over and over but with different people. "Novelty itself is the attraction," write Ryan and Jetha.

--Thrusting of the flared head of the human penis, besides being quite delightful in its own right, creates a vacuum in a female's reproductive tract that can expel previously deposited sperm. It doesn't expel its own sperm because conveniently "upon ejaculation, the head of the penis shrinks in size before any loss of tumescence (stiffness) in the shaft, thus neutralizing the suction," write Ryan and Jetha.

--And this one is for the men: Among primates, your dick is, like, huge. HUGE. About 12-13 centimeters. A gorilla? 3 centimeters, maybe.

Oh, I could go on with this talk of huge dicks, suction-neutralizing heads and whatnot, but I want to hear from you. If you've already read Sex at Dawn, I'm so very curious to hear what your thoughts were. If you haven't read it yet, please consider getting the damn thing and joining me in this virtual book club. Read it, then come back to this post and tell me what you thought.

My brain is spinning with all kinds of freaky thought spirals spurred on by the book. Like what, really, are our true sexual natures? And how are men's different from women's (if they are...)? If we were to try to work more with rather than against our true sexual natures, what would society look like? Do men really want to do the same thing over and over, but with different partners? And why are women so vocal during sex? Why is it that humans have such lengthy sexual sessions? (I mean, I know because it's fun, but why evolutionarily? Chimps, by contrast, do it for 7 seconds.) And finally, was it weird that I was sort of turned on by the lengthy descriptions of "the human penis"?

xoxox
jill

(photo source)

45 comments:

bettyfokker said...

Gorillas are "harem forming", a nd since their is ONLY one dude who can bang the ladies they can have small dicks. Nobody's looking for an orgasm there. This is why men who fear women's sexuality or want to marry virgins SO desperately either have, or afraid that they have, a tiny dick. Sweet Babou is VERY okay with women's sexuality, if you get my drift. I'm not having any trouble embracing monogamy.

bettyfokker said...

ACK -- I spelled "there" as "their"! For God's sake fix that for me!!!

Unknown said...

Check out the Savage LoveCast with Christopher Ryan as a guest. It's awesome. http://www.thestranger.com/SavageLovePodcast/archives/2010/10/27/savage-love-episode-210

Hardin Reddy said...

Finally got the book a few weeks ago and hoping to read it during my upcoming vacation. At a nude resort.

Anonymous said...

Loved the book. It seems as though the more we return to our tribal, pre-agricultural roots, we become more happy. This is in contrast to our cultures' super-sexual repressiveness, and it's going to be a difficult thing to change, because culture may be the most difficult thing to change in peoples' lives.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Sex at Dawn. It changed the way I view the world, and turned me into a skeptic overnight. The book is jam-packed with great stuff, and along with The Ethical Slut, has really changed how I look at women's sexuality, from a male's perspective. There is one thing however, that after becoming a skeptic and educating myself further on the subject, I can't help but to be bothered by upon returning to read and ponder on Sex at Dawn: The sometimes one-sided negative view toward males.

If cultural monogamy, and the way that families were structured through it, were the things that followed after the advent of agriculture, why should it all be blamed on males?

I've learned that women are not as weak, stupid, and controllable as feminism would like us to believe that they are. (You can call me a post-feminist male.) So why wouldn't the authors give women equal responsibility for allowing things to turn out the way that they did? Have you ever read about how women around the world have ended local conflicts by going on sex-strikes? If the women present at the advent of agriculture, and at the imposing of cultural monogamy, truly disagreed with the new arrangement, why did they allow it?

And honestly, something that I've noticed after getting rid of monogamy in my life, and being open about it with others is that plenty of women seem to be incredibly resistant to the idea that you could have fulfillment in one hand without having your partner's balls firmly gripped in the other. That's just my take though. I'm aware that there are many different people who disagree with different ideas put forward by the book, so it might just be a thing of individual knowledge and preference. Hell, there's some feminists that think that the book is just a promotion of more patriarchal crap!...

in bed with married women said...

addendum: oddly, I lost several followers by posting this--just from studying the idea of monogamy. damn.

Zannie Q. said...

This is my first post on your wonderful blog. I find this whole subject fascinating (the anthropology, biology and dirty, dirty history of human sexual and romantic relationships) and intend to go out and purchase this book ASAP, whereupon I cannot wait to come back and discuss it in the suggested 'virtual book club' format as I've noticed you have some pretty interesting and intelligent people commenting regularly here, and the ensuing discussion should prove most titillating (tee hee). Thanks for the exciting (tee hee) subject matter. It's a god damn shame you lost a few followers, though. Their loss, really.

Terry said...

Trying to define what is 'natural' for humans is probably self defeating. I suspect there are several 'styles' of relating that can work well for a society. Trying to force fit everyone into any mold is likely to cause pain somewhere. Much better to accept 'different strokes for different folks'.

Anonymous said...

I've read it, and read the ethical slut, and find it to be a a very persuasive argument for humans, for most of our development, have likely been non-manogamous, or more properly perhaps, polyamorous. It is a threatening subject for many people, and many people in the evolutionary psychology movement have committed to the polar opposite opinion, that humans, and especially human females are naturally monogamy seeking. As with many debates, it has a lot to do with where you yell start, are we talking about behaviours which would have been advantageous 10, 100 or 1000 generations ago. One issue with the model espoused in Sex at Dawn is that it's proposing that hunter gatherer societies are where this was an advantageous behaviour, and monogamous behaviour may have become advantageous (at least for men) in agricultural society. In some area's hunter gatherer behaviour might have been dominant till only 5 generations ago (now displaced), whereas in others it may have been 500+ generations of agricultural fostered pro monogamy behaviour. One thing we seem to see is that to the extent that our behaviour may be driven by evolutionary pressure, it also may be much faster to change under evolutionary pressure than physical characteristics, so that 500 generations may not be enough to change a physical characteristic in humans (skin colour), but it may be enough to change a behaviour. So we may as a species, not have a homogenous behavioural pool, with some people having a greater or lessor predisposition towards polyamory. To the extent that's true in a culture, it may be estimated by the preference of a culture toward multi actor pornography. In cultures where porn favoured by men, has multiple men with one woman (many to most cultures in the world, then it could be argued that the behaviour must have recently been advantageous to men, and their social groups.

Unknown said...

S@D (hey, it's the acronym the author uses) is that shot of scientific justification we in the polyamorous crowd had been craving. I didn't encounter anything in it that didn't jive with my own experience or intuition.
The Sex at Dawn Facebook page is an ongoing source of related info.

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled to see so many people reading, and raving about, this book. Next we have to persuade our boyfriends, brothers, etc. to read it, too.

Personally, I can't even tell you how many of my friends' favorite books I have read -- because there have been just that many. And yet to date, markedly few of these friends have returned the favor.

Now I'm going to mandate that they read Sex at Dawn. ;)

I say mandate because ... I really don't think anyone can know me or, for that matter, this world we live in -- short of reading this amazing book.

Sarah said...

Check out "Sperm Wars: Infidenlity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles", Robin Baker (1996, 2006). We want the security, therefore monogamy, but our bodies can override the tightly held ideal. Sometimes even thinking about "temptation" can scare the monogamous. Sad you lost followers. What were they expecting?

Adria said...

I haven't read the book, although it is on my list to read. In no way to I disagree with the ideas I have read about from the book, but I find that I agree with Terry's point of view. I suspect that there are various ways to have relationships, whether love, sex, or some wonderous combination. For myself, we have been monogamous for over 27 years and although we aren't closed to someone else, don't feel that it would be exactly fair to another *because* of the history we share.

Dan W said...

The interesting thing to me about the shared parenthood cultures is that it takes single motherhood off the table. Every child always has enough people in their life as parents and every parent has help.

That said, part of this esprit de corps that allows this structure to exist is a real tangible community created by a tribal identity and a shared struggle to survive.

In the absence of that tribe and shared struggle, it is hard to see how any such model could be workable in the modern world.

The lesson of the book to me is that it is perfectly natural to struggle with monogamy.

mjs said...

First of all I would like to see a stupid spatula write this post...it can't. Fuck that spatula.

I love this book and wish that it was required reading for teenagers along with, "Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasy" by Michael Bader, "Mating in Captivity" by Esther Perel, and "Sex, Time and Power" and "Alphabet vs. The Goddess" by Leonard Shlain.

reclaiming our access to the way we spent the vast majority of our human evolution in diet, in work/play patterns, in shoes, in our relationship to light and dark and in relationships (and fucking) will give us a fuller sense of our range and capacity and more movement towards being whole.

Not all of those ranges need to be inhabited all the time but we must know about them and be able to go there...at least mentally and hopefully a few times experimentally.

But the pull of culture is strong and distorting and even though everyone is different and "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks" is true culture makes a new level that is hard for some to change.

As for the comment above about women and their role in acquiescing to the changes in relationship patterns...well it was probably done in inches so "they" never saw it coming.

And suddenly we were monogamous and people forgot about the way it used to be. These things happened while other huge shifts in society were happening as well - agriculture and alphabetic literacy and if you read Leonard Shlain you can learn how much this changes women and the place women has in society.

Liza said...

I have heard mixed reviews of this book, but definitely interested in participating in a book club context.

Sudden Disruption said...

May take so far:

http://suddendisruption.blogspot.com/search/label/Sex%20at%20Dawn

But I'm working on a longer version. this is a significant book in so many ways. Thanks for your post. Well said.

Sudden Disruption

marydelta said...

My husband read this book and summarized it for me... I think it's pivotal. He's the idealist, and I'm the realist, however... he's ready to rush out and change the world with some sort of mass non monogamy wave, while I think the first step is to acknowledge our obviously non monogamous nature while figuring out how to reconcile this with our culture one step at a time.

Can't keep anything to myself said...

Awesome post. As always. Don't mourn the lost readers; they were obviously too close-minded anyway.
I can't wait to buy the book though! It sounds like a great read.

Vesta Vayne said...

Interesting. I'll have to check it out.

I must say that I am always torn. Biologically we aren't meant to be monogamous, many cultures practice polygamy, blah blah. But I still want that lifetime commitment. It's funny how societal constructs can trump logic and nature.

Ninja Mike said...

Idk why but I already sort of assumed you'd already read this book... I read it about 2 years ago. It made a lot of what I did make sense. I got sexually bored with someone I believed to be my soulmate... and once the sex went, the relationship went too. Happy ending tho...well maybe. We've rekindled our soulmateness and have agreed to bring others into the bedroom... which is all I wanted in the first place. I don't mean to sound arrogant-this is all still very experimental for me-but, after this book, I'm wondering if that's not how sexuality should be. We may even go the polyamorous route although its not the plan. Evidently, the proper label for us is 'swinger'. I look forward to more insights/discussion from you.

Literally just started this but the plan is: whomever we meet and are attracted to will have the chance to have sex with us and maybe even actually date us. But we come together... like those movie two packs except we're both awesome. :D

Dan said...

now this is serendipity..i actually found it at my local library the other day n thought...fugg it, im getting this tome..
fan-fucking-tastic stuff eh? and i just know that it will blow the lid off a lot of established ideas and social constructs and indeed ruffle a few feathers...
im sure i will return to this post 'n see how it all unfolds...

Ninja Mike said...

Oh also, if any of you are really taking a liking to this type of research, I recommend looking into Evolutionary Psychology. It's basically... this book. Big figure in the field is Geoffrey Miller. He did a study on sexuality involving strippers... need I say more?

Check the study here: http://www.unm.edu/~gfmiller/cycle_effects_on_tips.pdf

JLW said...

Well those facts make me glad I'm not a female gorilla! "Evolution of Desire" by David Buss is another good read on this topic.

Liza said...

This turned out to be a pretty timely post, as I have started what will be a series of posts on my own blog about monogamy and jealousy, why monogamy vs. non-monogamy, etc. It's hard stuff to wrap your head around when you've only know one thing your entire existence. alwayseachother.blogspot.com

Cagey-C said...

[I've got break this into two parts; apparently, there's a 4,096 character limit that I exceeded. Which is unusual, because I don't usually say very much.)

I'm late to the party, as usual. The book sounds incredibly fascinating, although my current must-read pile is far too high for me to add anything else just now. I'll have to eavesdrop on the proceedings as an interest observer. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor.)

I'll confess up front to being a little skeptical that there is something that could be called 'our true sexual nature,' as if there's some isolatable element floating around inside us that, if we could just get a good look at, would usher us into a realm of sexual salvation, satisfaction, or what have you. Yes, we've got biological impulses--but biology doesn't entirely dictate destiny.

For me, the more important questions might have to do with our social sexual scripts--something explored in depth by John Gagnon, who was part of Kinsey's team. We've got a sexual nature, sure--or sexual natures, or however it's best to express that--but those always ever interact with the various social scripts we've learned, whether we're blithely following along, actively rebelling in a way that ironically still ties us to the scripts we're attempting to reject, or some hybrid. In other words, sexuality is filtered through social constructs and social structures.

That last point makes me wonder: what is particular about the ways we think about and practice sex within our political and economic context of consumer capitalism? How does our conditioned sense that we are primarily consumers whose desires can and should be met through the transaction of material or symbolic goods lead us to behave in the realm of sex and relationships? Clearly, the development of the heterosexual nuclear family has served capitalism in a number of ways--but does the current, let's say more visible, interest in nonmonogamous forms of sexuality reflect shifts in the shape of consumer capitalism, too, and also serve that mutated economic form? I hesitated about writing that, because it risks coming off as an upfront rejection of and judgment on nonmonogamous relationships, which it definitively is not. Rather, it's a recognition that there are also multiple forms of nonmonogamy, and I'm wondering if there is a particular form, or group of forms, that is more prevalent these days, and what that might reflect about wider social conditions.

Cagey-C said...

The other, perhaps only somewhat related, direction of questioning I have has to do with the question of power, i.e. who holds it in relationships when questions of sexual fluidity arise? I'm a believer in Dan Savage's notion of 'good, giving, and game'--but I also recognize that doesn't get around issues of power games. E.g. the idea of a biological imperative to multiple partners might easily be used as a cudgel by one partner in a relationship to try to force an 'intransigent' partner into accepting porous relational boundaries. Is that okay? From the abstract perspective of 'Partners shouldn't stifle each other,' sure. But the opposite may also be argued, namely that partners shouldn't try to force one another into things they're not comfortable with. Or, more concretely, I think of a friend's mother who followed her partner to a new part of the country, deferred education and job experience to raise their kids, and then found herself in a serious hole when he decided she no longer satisfied him and that was opting out of the relationship to follow his sexual desires with utter freedom. Yes, there are larger questions of social organization there, and they should be addressed. But it also leaves the question hanging, Does Sex at Dawn offer anything to help navigate and negotiate some of these questions?

I've blathered far too long already, so I'll cut it off here before I start chasing down another rabbit hole. These are just some of the directions my brain travels, and they may or may not be at all interesting to anyone who has read/is reading the book and planning to be a part of the conversation that develops. But there it is, for what it's worth. And I'll remain, at the very least, an interested observer.

President, HMC said...

Thank you for this post. I recommend Sex at Dawn to anyone who will listen.

One of my many take away points from this book is the origin of male fear (and subsequent insecurity) of female sexuality.

The fear resides, I believe, in the seemingly insurmountable task of one man satisfying a women who is in touch with her natural sexuality. As the book states, the chimps sit around taking turns. The double bind for men is that if they allow the women in their life to pursue other partners, the jealous factor enters. So, either a man should "man up" and work like heck to keep his monogamous partner satisfied in all ways (and still have to deal with the insecurity) or let her roam free and deal with the jealousy/insecurity. Not that either isn't resovled within a loving relationship, but it need be addressed.

As for men unwilling to try new things, I am hopefully the exception to the rule. I don't get that one, honestly.

President, HMC said...

Thank you for this post. I recommend Sex at Dawn to anyone who will listen.

One of my many take away points from this book is the origin of male fear (and subsequent insecurity) of female sexuality.

The fear resides, I believe, in the seemingly insurmountable task of one man satisfying a women who is in touch with her natural sexuality. As the book states, the chimps sit around taking turns. The double bind for men is that if they allow the women in their life to pursue other partners, the jealous factor enters. So, either a man should "man up" and work like heck to keep his monogamous partner satisfied in all ways (and still have to deal with the insecurity) or let her roam free and deal with the jealousy/insecurity. Not that either isn't resovled within a loving relationship, but it need be addressed.

As for men unwilling to try new things, I am hopefully the exception to the rule. I don't get that one, honestly.

in bed with married women said...

I am just standing back and marveling about how fucking smart you all are.

Chloƫ said...

Holy Moley, I'm reading this book. It's either a very well-timed or a very bladly-timed discovery!

Anonymous said...

Sex at Dawn is dubious pop science at best, a fairytale at worst. The authors are psychologists with no qualifications to speculate on anthropology or biology. Check out his published papers -- amateur hour as far as prehistoric sex is concerned. It's pure conjecture and not science.

Also note, someone mentioned Robin Baker's Sperm Wars, which I also read. It made quite a stir in the 1990s. That author quit academy when his fraudulent research started to unravel. His theory of sperm wars has turned out to be fiction. Actually fiction is too kind -- fraud is the right word.

Monogamy and polygamy are part of our history and are indeed fascinating and complex (more complex than they would have it). But please be skeptical of some of these pop science fairy tales. They spin tenuous conjecture into a neat little narrative that proves their initial biases and whatever they like as "natural".

Sexy Goddess said...

I shared this post with my guy a couple weeks ago, while he was out of town... He came home yesterday and surprised me with a copy of the book.. One for each of us! We are having our own book club meeting at the end of March..

Excited! Stay tuned for (our) thoughts.

Dusky said...

I must definitely read this book now - thanks for bringing it to my attention! Sounds absolutely fascinating and really important.

Just been reading to hubby the bits you've posted about different societies. It's really interesting to think about how there are a huge variety of ways of structuring sexual relationships and parenting within society. It led to discussion of the warped ways Western society has been overcoming the sexual repression of the 19th century, and how much the monogomous couple model is based on men wanting to own their women & children. Which has neatly led to a wonderful conclusion by hubby that were he to insist on my fidelity, it would be a symptom of his oppression of me. So apparently I can now claim my desire for an open marriage as a feminist stance. Nice. :)

MyTherapistNewYork said...

I talk a bit about the therapeutic and political ramifications of "Sex at Dawn" over at http://www.mytherapistnewyork.info/2012/01/20/sex-love-and-politics-a-discussion-of-scandals-monogamy-and-memes/

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had their mind blown!

in bed with married women said...

MyTherapistNewYork, Just popped over there. couldn't figure out how to comment, but loved what you wrote!

Bonen said...

This discussion is silly. Girls don't like sex. They put up with it for various reasons, but pleasure is certainly not anywhere on the list.

Bonen said...

This discussion is silly. Girls don't like sex. They put up with it for various reasons, but pleasure is certainly not anywhere on the list.

Domanda said...

I suspect you'll get some other readers to fill the gap from those who left back in February since Christopher Ryan just posted a link to your blog on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/sexatdawn (which is how I ended up here). In response to people who still want monogamous relationships even in light of what S@D has to say, I'll paraphrase Ryan by saying that monogamy is a perfectly respectable choice. He compares it to vegetarianism in that it's a way that modern humans can choose to live for very good personal reasons. However, given that humans evolved as carnivores, even if you're a vegetarian, bacon still smells good. Understanding the evolutionary reasons for why bacon is enticing, and similarly why monogamous people are still attracted to others can help people deal with biological urges without shame, while still choosing to live their lives by whatever guidelines they wish.

Meg said...

Bowen said : "This discussion is silly. Girls don't like sex. They put up with it for various reasons, but pleasure is certainly not anywhere on the list."

As a woman: HAHAHAHAHA! That was a good one. My orgasms are illusions!! Needed a good laugh, thanks.

I love the idea of a more sexually open society.

M said...

I'm fortune as 21st century human primates go, I never did buy into monogamy. Sexually active since the 70s, between the feminism developing socially around me, and the stark contrast between what felt good and made sense to me personally and the bleak frankly biased repressive ugliness in the mores of the 'monogamous' good old boys around me - it was easy to choose my own values over some artificial monogamous ideal clearly constructed to control me or limit my behavior and free choice as a human being. I love Sex at Dawn. High time someone offered a vigorous challenge to the lies told by our patriarchal government and anti-woman religions,

in bed with married women said...

Domanda, thanks for the head's up. If anyone is interested in further reading on such things, yesterday's post was about reader book suggestions sparked by this post. Here's the link, if you're feeling it:
http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com/2012/06/reader-book-recommendations-day-2.html.

Meg, that dude thought his comment was so hilarious he put it like 4 times.

M. love the perspective of women from difference era, as well. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love this book - it has changed my perspective on the whole of our society and I now question everything which is enormously liberating.
Like another poster said, I too have trouble getting others to read the book despite my continued recommendations. And I've found that when I openly question social constructs and point them out as such people just don't want to know. We have all been "groomed" since birth to believe a lot of rubbish and I think it's hard for people to acknowledge or even consider that as a possibility.
Oh and if I speak about sex openly, especially really liking sex, oh the stunned and shocked silence! A he'll of a lot of people really do believe that women are not supposed to like sex. Their lose...

Anonymous said...

I like how so many people eat up "studies show" and then treat it as fact.

If you spent any time looking into the studies that people mention in books and take time to analyze sample size and if they even properly designed their studies you would find that there is so much error.

Humans are the worst test subjects for behaviour because there is no way you can control for the millions of factors that come into play in our extremely complex society.

Don't be so quick to hop in with a conclusion that sounds like it would fit the behaviour. But that doesn't stop people from making attractive books to read, even though their methods in determining their conclusions are sketchy at best.

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