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A Brief History of Human Sex

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Posted on Jul 28, 2006

To get an idea of how we humans might act if unfettered by cultural restraints, we could look at bonobo chimpanzees, which engage in frequent sexual acts ... “a fairly quick, perfunctory and relaxed activity that functions as a social cement,” according to an expert.

Live Science:

Birds do it, bees do it, humans since the dawn of time have done it.

But just how much has the act really changed through the millennia and even in past decades? Are humans doing it more? Are we doing it better? Sort of, say scientists. But it’s how people fess up to the truth about their sex lives that has changed the most over the years.

Humans have basically been the same anatomically for about 100,000 years?so what is safe to say is that if we enjoy it now, then so did our cave-dwelling ancestors and everyone else since, experts say.

“Just as our bodies tell us what we might like to eat, or when we should go to sleep, they lay down for us our pattern of lust,” says University of Toronto psychologist Edward Shorter. “Sex has always offered pleasure.”


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By Hilding Lindquist, July 29, 2006 at 9:32 am Link to this comment
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Ah, Mr. Anderson ...

If only I lived in the Trobriand Islands! ... I just thought you would know that I didn’t. My mistake. I apologize. My view is that of a Northern European Protestant Christian heritage male in my late 60’s now living in the United States ... New Jersey, if that helps.

And I am really not much of a social anthropologist ... or primate zoologist ... but my anecdotal experience and the little I have read, seems to indicate a substantial role of the alpha male in distribution ... but I could be wrong ... again.

And my reading of Judaic-Christian literature tends to make me think it was the men who wanted to control property and lineage ... but then again I am no expert, and merely giving my view of the elephant ... as are you?

Anyhow, thanks for the viewpoint ... dialogue is so much better than monologue.

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By G.Anderson, July 28, 2006 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No hunting and gathering cultures that I know have a division of the kill at all, everyone shares everything..

There was never any leadership, that we would recognize as such, in these sorts of cultures.

All religions are not the same, and many do not repress sex at all. Malinowski studied the Trobriand Islands, where sexaulity had very little repression, they considered us perverted for our repressed sexuallity..

Heightened sexual activity can actually act as a form of birth control.

Actually it was the women who figured out that they could control men by turning sexuality into a means of controlling property, by controlling the lineage through infanticide, just as they do now.

And of course Bonobo’s don’t have lawyers.

The inexperienced often do not have sufficent knowledge and experience to demenstrate that they are effective hunters and that they can provide for a family, expecially when the average life expectancy of a neolithic hunter was 16, it took a lot to make it to 30. 

In a disposable society, of course we make a cult of youth…

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By Hilding Lindquist, July 28, 2006 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
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And then old men figured out that if they controlled access to sex through shame ... and the division of the kill from the hunt ... they could put off relinquishing control to the young ones ... voila! religion was invented.

I think it is really sad when folks finally wake up to the joy of sex after living a life denying it. Then we can’t go back to what it’s like when we are young and the rules of simply caring about your partner(s) and the consequences of whatever you do together are all that are needed.

The wisdom of old age is NOT wisdom. It’s old age.

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By jhm, July 28, 2006 at 5:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

read The Third Chimpanzee By Jared Diamond.

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By TomChicago, July 28, 2006 at 4:07 am Link to this comment
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...and, if memory serves, it’s not at all limited to heterosexual activity.  Bonobos clearly need reparative therapy. Ex-gay bonobos, rescued from perversity.

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