Book Summaries Psychology

Sex at Dawn Summary (7/10)

Sex at Dawn is a book that argues that polygamy, far from being controversial or harmful, is the most natural kind of relationship for humans.

From Hunting to Agriculture

Thousands of years ago, sharing was natural, because it made economic sense. Societies that shared resources and helped each other were not utopian, but far more peaceful than the agricultural societies that came after. More importantly, these societies survived.

After agriculture, wealth disparity was created. The new diet from agriculture contributed to worse health and less sharing of partners. But the only way to keep wives monogamous was to publicly scrutinize infidelity.

The Standard Narrative

A male looks for youth, fertility, and absence of prior sexual experience. He searches for a healthy, fertile young mate with many childbearing years ahead of her and no current children who would drain his resources. A female searches for signs of wealth, or possibilities of future wealth, physical health, social status, and a strong mate who can protect her and her children. Her mate must be capable of materially providing for her, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Monogamy is not natural

Infidelity is too common for it to be unnatural or “wrong.”Men instinctively lose interest after orgasm; women have an insatiable appetite after orgasm. This suggests that it is unlikely that monogamy was the natural state of being for our ancestors – it is more likely that partners were shared.

There are more cases of polygamy are appearing in the U.S. There is less strife and conflict in polygamous relationships.

Testicle size, female copulatory vocalization (women moaning loudly is a sign for further men to try and fertilize them), and a universal appetite for sexual novelty suggest that polygamous inclinations are hardwired into us. Porn has a wide array of categories because novelty is a primary factor when it comes to sexual arousal.

Jetha and Ryan give the example of a computer engineer who was in a relationship with a woman he loved. Eventually, he made a lot of money, and was suddenly attracted to other women. He explained that it wasn’t that he had lost his love for his wife, but that he needed novelty, it was too powerful an instinct to ignore, and when he finally had the ability to act upon it, he did.

You are as monogamous as your situation forces you to be. There are too many examples of men, who after they have become financially successful, seek novel experiences and cheat on their partners. Are these men morally bankrupt, or are they overwhelmed by their biological wiring?

The Demonization of Sexuality

Masturbation was thought to be a health hazard for many years, but it’s harmless, even useful and necessary. The stigmatization and denial of our sexuality has led to so much unnecessary suffering.

Women were (and still are) persecuted for having a sexual appetite. Men, not long ago, thought that a woman who enjoyed orgasm was sick. In fact, if women were to have orgasms at all, they should be administered by a doctor, and should never engage in auto eroticism.

Yet women have libidos just as strong as men, and their sexuality is more fluid and complex.  

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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