SEX AT DAWN (The Book)

Just finished reading it. It’s now in my top 10 for Rewilding Books. It covers so much. It felt like reading another Quinn book, but like how Story of B focused on Religion, this one focuses on, well, SEX!

Anyone else read it?

I read the book. It made me feel a little better about myself, and a little worse about civilization :P. This book turns over the conclusion in “Marriage: A History” that the purpose of marriage is to enlarge kin networks. The instances of marriage in primitive societies cited in that book seem to be only informal arrangements labeled “marriage” by western anthropologists. It seems that marriage was actually invented by civilization to control women’s sexuality. Most of the beliefs and values about sex in primitive societies felt natural and positive to me, but there was one story that disturbed me. The author told about a man who was hiding from a woman who wanted to have sex with him. Apparently, in their culture it was considered selfish to turn down sex. That story felt rapey to me. In my ideal society, people are free to communicate their sexual desires, but they have to take others feelings and desires into account as well.

I wish that the authors had gone into more detail about gender in primitive societies. We’ve all heard about two spirits, but what does that actually mean? Does anyone know of a book about that? There also wasn’t much discussion of the role of homosexuality except for the claim that women are more “sexually fluid” than men.

I also want to correct an assumption made in “Sex at Dawn” and by other evolutionary psychologists, that breasts are inherently sexual. According to the book “Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives”, out of 190 cultures surveyed, only 13 see breasts as sexual. People in Mali view sexual play involving breasts as perverted and unnatural.

The Roma, historically, don’t sexualize breasts either. Low-cut dresses are not sexual displays, but clothes that make nursing easier. In some stories about Kalderash Roma in America, there was a lot of nipple-tweaking going on between woman, like nudging or elbowing somebody playfully in the ribs. Anyway, there’s lots about this in the book the Hidden Americans.

Hey Starfish,

I thought that same story was a little rapey too.

I also like how they didn’t leave you with instructions or anything, just presented the information. It was sort of annoying at first. It’s like, okay this doesn’t work, this did work… so what do we do? It reminds me so much of Ishmael.