In my quest to ever evolve around notions encompassing the erotic (nymphobrainia), I have just started reading a non-fiction work, Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, co-authored by Christopher Ryan, PhD and Cacilda Jethá, MD (a married couple, no less, 2010). In 2011 the book was rereleased with a new subtitle: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships, which does seem to more accurately capture the heart of the book. The work itself attacks notions of monogamy and mainstream sexual ideals head-on, taking an evolutionary approach that is truly refreshing. Kate Daily from Newsweek wrote:
This book takes a swing at pretty much every big idea on human nature: that poverty is an inevitable consequence of life on earth, that mankind is by nature brutish, and, most important, that humans evolved to be monogamous. … [Sex at Dawn] sets out to destroy almost each and every notion of the discipline, turning the field on its head and taking down a few big names in science in the process. … Funny, witty, and light … the book is a scandal in the best sense, one that will have you reading the best parts aloud and reassessing your ideas about humanity’s basic urges well after the book is done.
For me, the introduction certainly rang true:
Deep conflicts rage at the heart of our modern sexuality…The campaign to obscure the true nature of our species’ sexuality leaves half of our marriages collapsing under an unstoppable tide of sexual frustration, libido killing boredom, impulsive betrayal, dysfunction, confusion, and shame. Serial monogamy stretches before (and behind) many of us like an archipelago failure…And how many of the couples how manage to stay together do so by resigning themselves to sacrificing their eroticism on the alter 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? (p. 11-12)
Expect to hear more about the dualities that this read instigates…and clarifies, and of course I welcome your feedback along the way .