Every few years, decades, and centuries an idea is introduced into the world that challenges the socially acceptable beliefs of the time. In the 1500s, it was Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis. In the 1800s, Charles Darwin and his theory “On the Origin of the Species.” In 2010, “Sex at Dawn” is the book that the powers-that-be do not want you to read. No other book that I have read to date so fully encapsulates the belief system that The Unbreakable Man Laws is based upon. In other words, if there was a UML Graduate course offered at Harvard (and there should be…), “Sex at Dawn” would be the required textbook.
In this interview, we speak with author Christopher Ryan, Ph.D about “Sex at Dawn” which he co-authored with his wife Cacilda Jethá, M.D. We take a brief look at open relationships, soul mates, and whether monogamy really exists and more.
As with previous UML interviews, we asked members of The Unbreakable Man Laws Fan Page questions they wanted to pose to the author. Before we jump into the interview, check out the official Sex at Dawn website, Christopher Ryan’s blog on Psychology Today, the “Sex at Dawn” Facebook Fan Page, and finally twitter @SexAtDawn.
As a special limited time offer, be sure to type a question or comment that you have for the author below for a chance to win a free copy of “Sex at Dawn.” The winner will be selected by Friday, December 3rd!
Ethan Bishop: “Sex at Dawn” suggests that women may have historically been just as open to sex as men– a lot of women seem to have a tough time believing that’s true. What accounts for this skepticism? What ways are men and women really different?
CPR: Well, let’s not underestimate the effect of several millennia of witch burnings, beheadings, beatings, humiliations, and desert stonings-to-death. That kind of campaign can really put a kink into someone’s sexual adventurousness! Women in societies that don’t cast them into the street as whores if they happen to get pregnant while single or humiliate teenage girls as “sluts” for texting a topless photo to a boyfriend seem to have much less trouble believing their female ancestors enjoyed active sex lives.
Having said that, one of the major ways men and women differ is in their erotic plasticity. This refers to our ability to adapt our eroticism to changing conditions. Women have a lot more of this sort of flexibility than men do, in general. That’s why there are so many more nominally heterosexual women who’ve had sex with other women and why basing over 95% of published sex research on American undergrads is insane. A 20 year-old woman is a far cry from an accurate representation of “female sexuality.” This also explains why almost all paraphiliacs are men. Women have illicit impulses, but in general, they can control their impulses whereas men can get stuck with very inflexible erotic associations for life.
Ethan Bishop: Your book indicates that human males are actually “well-endowed” compared to other members of the animal kingdom. Why is that?
CPR: Yes, what Dan Savage lovingly calls the “Plunger Penis” is essentially an adaptation to sperm competition. Our long, thick penises feature a flared head that, when combined with the repeated thrusting that characterizes human intercourse, creates a suction effect that serves to pull back any sperm already en route to the ovum. See our book for juicy details, if you dare.
Ethan Bishop: Does science hold up to the theory of “soul mates?” How do you think this idea came about?
CPR: Science doesn’t say much about it, but it stands to reason that with our highly social nature and advanced intelligence (at least compared to other animals), our ancestors would have had very intimate, spiritually-charged relationships. Science tends to focus on the brain states associated with infatuation (what anthropologist Helen Fisher calls “falling in love”). The sort of spiritual union that is implied by “soul mates” is, I think, beyond the explanatory capabilities of science.That soul-mateship would necessarily imply sexual monogamy is where we differ with the conventional wisdom. It seems to me (and a lot of other people) that you’d want your soul mate to have as much pleasure and intimacy as possible in life unless something cultural interfered with that impulse.
Ethan Bishop: Why are women louder during sex than men? Are they all “faking” or is there some evolutionary reason?
CPR: Scientists refer to this as female copulatory vocalization. Interestingly, it seems to occur mostly in primate species where female promiscuity (and thus sperm competition) is common. Some women may fake it, as it’s a good way to provoke orgasm (and ego inflation) in men. But clearly, a lot of the screaming and moaning is involuntary and thus serves as yet another indicator of our orgiastic origins.
Ethan Bishop: Is monogamy a social construct imposed by government in order to maintain order and property rights? For instance, who owns Property A and whose responsibility is Child B?
CPR: That’s essentially what we argue in Sex at Dawn—and what Engels and others argued 150 years ago. The data indicate that monogamy probably arose around the same time our ancestors started worrying about property, and thus, paternity. Once property entered the picture, a man wanted to pass his accumulated resources along to his sons, not someone else’s sons. The only way to assure that they WERE his sons was to control his wife’s sexual behavior. So we see indications of how obsession with property overlaps obsession with female fidelity: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. Nor his house. Nor his maidservant. Nor his manservant. Nor his ox. Nor his she-ass.” You know, this isn’t about sex, really; it’s about property. Thou shalt not covet thy (male) neighbor’s STUFF—and that stuff includes “his” woman. Throughout history, we see that virginity and female fidelity are especially important among the upper classes—who have the property to worry about.
Ethan Bishop: How should “Sex at Dawn” change the personal relationships we have?
CPR: There are very few “shoulds” in Sex at Dawn. Our book isn’t an indictment of monogamy or a call to open relationships. We say (and strongly believe) that monogamy can actually be a very honorable option. But it’s like vegetarianism. Just because you’ve decided to be a vegetarian, don’t expect bacon to stop smelling good. And maybe you can find a way to make exceptions for the occasional pepperoni pizza and still consider yourself (and your partner) essentially a vegetarian. All we really advocate in the book is tolerance, communication, and a more realistic approach to these issues that incorporates a more accurate sense of what kind of creature Homo sapiens really is.
Place 200 strangers from all walks of life – bloggers, dating/relationship coaches/experts, lawyers, doctors, retail workers, defense contractors, artist, musicians, models and engineers in a confined space and provide them with a small reason to talk to each other. Stir them up, and let them mix.
The idea behind “The UML Social Experiment” of the Unbreakable National Convention (UNC) 2010 originated from my undergraduate days at The University of Maryland, College Park. This particular “couple-pairing” event was one of many social “ice breakers” engaged upon by the students of the University.
As soon as the male participants arrived at the venue (i.e. Hudson Restaurant and Lounge), they were asked to find the creator of the UML blog, Ethan Bishop. Similarly, as soon as the female participants arrived, they were asked to find famous resident guest blogger, Trinie Le Blanc.
Once you met with Ethan or Trinie, you were given a coaster card with a name written on the back. This was your card for the night. If the card said “Juliet,” you had to find the person with the card “Romeo” from the crowd. If you were “Han Solo,” you had to find “Princess Leia.” Contrary to popular belief, your card was not chosen for you beforehand, the card chose you!
If you didn’t know who you were partnered with then tough luck, you had to find that out too through any resources at your disposal. Some chose to ask strangers outside of their group who “Anna Karenina” had been married to, while others simply used Google.
There were wild cards. If you were “James Bond,” you had to physically collect 3 girl’s cards, present them to Ethan Bishop, and receive a free martini, shaken of course. If you received “Queen Elizabeth,“ the Virgin Queen who had no mate, you were allowed to order a drink of your choice on the house. (Editorial Note: James Bond took less than 10-15 minutes to collect all three cards. A record. Queen Elizabeth, also known as The Virgin Queen, had no mate at the party. Therefore, she received a free drink of her choice compliments of Ethan. The recipient of this card obviously frequented The Four Seasons hotel, as she made several attempts at reciting four-syllable drink names to the bar tender before she settled on FireFly. ::ahem:: “God Save The Queen”)
- Juliet is still waiting for Romeo. Women chose to be found. A statistically significant group of women sat down and waited for “Prince Charming” or “Romeo” to find them. Despite knowing that they’re single task for the night was to go out, meet people, and find their “match” they chose to passively wait. Is it socially acceptable for women to approach men in 2010? Or are these women stuck in a romanticized land where Knights arrive in shining armor on top of horses? Sadly enough, horses were not allowed inside the restaurant.
- One card is never enough. Men maximize opportunities. Despite having been given a card at the beginning of the night, more than one guy asked for additional cards. With two or more cards one may be “paired” with multiple women for the night. Is this fair? Should a guy stick with a woman who he was not “happy with?”
Most attendees actively participated in “The UML Social Experiment.” While the purpose of the event served as a way for the bloggers behind “The Unbreakable Man Laws” blog to meet the readers, it also created a way for the readers to meet each other! Some of these readers had met through the UML Facebook Page and had never met face-to-face until now. Throughout the course of the next few days, many attendees friend requested each other through Facebook. Will any romantic relationships come about through this event or did they already?
And now, for the moment that you have been waiting for…
The Raffle Winners Are <drumroll>:
Ladies (#8 and #3):
8. Robert Wright Penn
3. Ms. Lovett
Gentlemen (#5 and #3) :
3. Frank Sinatra
Selected from this list of people who signed the post making you eligible to win the raffle:
|Han Solo||Daisy Duck|
|Frank Sinatra||Ms. Lovett|
|Robin Wright Penn|
(Editorial Note: For the card-carrying Mensa members amongst us, the people who completed the final task of completing the F-Score and posting their results in the comments section of the UML post here, were entered on an Excel Spreadsheet. Five men and Eight women posted their F-Score Personality Results. Of the group who participated, two men and two women were selected at random through the following Random Number Generator, http://www.random.org/integers/ . Numbers were randomly selected starting at Row 2, Han Solo and Daisy Duck, through the Maximum Number of Rows with Values. )
In different variations of this experiment, participants are handpicked before the actual event based on knowing their personality. Their cards are selected for them based on their personalities. This variation is more of a “matchmaking” type event. By leaving participation voluntary, only those who chose to participate engaged in the experiment.
We are always looking for Social Experiment ideas. If you know how to throw themed parties, social events and know of other creative social ice breakers, or simply want to get involved for next years Social Experiment, shoot a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Credit to The University of Rochester for providing the Report Format: http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/PhyInq/Lectures/Write_Report.html
by Miss Solomon of The Dating Truth.
I’m a pick up artist and honestly I feel like a unicorn. A somewhat mythical creature that every man, woman and child has heard of but never seen in real life. It could be due to the underground nature that has always shrouded the PUA community but here I am, in the flesh. I only found out a short time ago that I was, indeed, a pickup artist. Not exactly the term that’s held in the highest regard, I wasn’t sure I wanted the label at all. I, like most people, had a perception of women who claimed to be serial daters and I wasn’t sure I wanted to fall into any similar categories.
The truth is I do date often. For years I’ve been going on date after date, having men wine and dine me at will and unable to label my talents. Call it charisma, charm or the power of attraction; I had a knack for getting the guy that I wanted. Unlike a serial dater typically when I meet a guy, or make a pull, there is no potential, possibility, will, want or desire for a relationship. Also, unlike with serial daters, I absolutely never have sex with a target. A female pick up artist just wants to be treated to luxury, which in today’s recession is hard to find in one man. Just as I was unable to classify myself as a PUA until recently, most women who are in my shoes likely don’t consider themselves pick up artists either. They know that they are attractive and they know that men treat them to dinners, gifts and trips but they haven’t yet realized that it’s no accident. All they know is when they want a man they get him, having to do very little than just sit and wait.
Realize that I didn’t wake up one morning deciding to be a pick-up artist. It was at a point in my life when the women I knew were crying woe is me about their dating lives. They were completely miserable and I knew I didn’t want to be like that. I knew that being single was more of a gift and not a curse so I decided to hell with a wedding day, I wanted to date just for fun. In the beginning I used to be a lot more selective about my targets or sarges as known in the world of PUA, they had to “have money.” I started with professional athletes and of course old papaws who craved the attention of a younger woman. I realized that I was limiting myself. There was a world of interesting men with a handy American Express out there and I could make time for them all. What sets me and other female pickup artists apart from most attractive woman, who get hit on, is that we choose the guy. Before he even says, “Hey, how ya doin?” I know he and I have a future date.
The female pick up artist is seen as someone that doesn’t exist. All women want to find the one and get married, right? If a woman pursues wealthy men society is likely to call her a slut before anything else. Women who date a lot are always subject to negative judgments. We are supposed to be meek, fragile and prudent waiting by phone calls for faux Prince Charmings and fictionalized knights in shining armor. We can only date men that we could potentially marry and any woman who accepts a date just for a free meal isn’t hungry she is a gold-digger. Also, the more lavish the dates the harder it is to believe that a man would be so generous and want nothing sexual in return. These are just a few of the many misconceptions about women who date frequently but more so of the pick-up artist that I’d like to put to rest. So what is true about being a female PUA?
We don’t have a lot of sex. I rarely have sex. Believe me I wish this wasn’t the case but being a successful PUA relies heavily on your reputation. The only way to keep it pristine is to be incredibly selective about who you sleep with. Not only do you have to find a man that knows what he’s doing in the bedroom; rare. He also has to accept the fact that you don’t want to be his girlfriend and newsflash, men can be incredibly jealous. When you are known to have several dates in a week sleeping with anyone gets complicated. So while it seems easy enough to sleep with some men and not with others as a serial dater might do, it defeats the purpose of the pick up entirely. Women don’t need to be pick-artists to get laid. I can breathe and accomplish that. A female PUA is focused more of the social aspect of meeting new people and seeing new places. I receive more respect for the fact that I don’t feel pressured to sleep with the men I date, despite how much money they spend. Most of the dates I go on are with men I don’t know and are likely never to see or speak to again. What do they deserve from me that I haven’t already given; my time and gratitude? If a woman gives more than that she’s an amateur.
We date quality men. Traditional male pick-up artists are sometimes seen as players. They seduce women they have no interest in dating just to prove that they can and for sex. Before you pull out the violins for the poor men that you think I am manipulating, please realize that female pickup artists don’t pray on the weak. Get that picture of a hot young twenty-something with a decrepit old millionaire, who is sipping soup while I’m having lobster out of your head. Also, strike the thought of a smoking hot chick with a science nerd who just happens to be stockpiling money from his latest social media creation. My dating roster does not look like the cast of ‘Beauty and the Geek’. Sure I’ve been out with a few less than stellar looking men but for the most part I date the kind of men that most women would sacrifice a goat to go out with. Actors, Grammy winners, doctors, lawyers, young good-looking ivy-league educated engineers and I could go on. No precious stone goes unturned when it comes to a target. Female PUAs set a standard and the only way to keep the quality dates coming is to choose men of a certain caliber. If you target someone completely left from your type, the jig will be up in a second. And again, keeping a reputation as the most sought after young thing in town doesn’t jibe with having a lame on your arm. If someone see’s me on a date with a poor pathetic soul, it makes me look just as pathetic.
We have a healthy self-esteem. Most male PUAs will readily admit that they suffered from low self esteem and prior to learning the game were never confident around women. Female PUAs are just the opposite. Most women who attempt to enter the world of game have always possessed to ability to attract men. Most fPUAs, like me, simply made a decision to take control of that ability. Female PUAs have a certain level of intelligence and we are completely in control of what we are doing, that’s where we get our confidence. We don’t gain our self-assurance by the number of men that we date. Hell, I couldn’t even tell you how many dates I’ve been on because I don’t keep track. We are not constantly dating to gain approval or for validation of our techniques. Female pick up artists date because we love to feel sexy, pampered and adored. We know what it feels like because that’s how we treat ourselves.
We do go on “real” dates. Every man that dates me is not the result of a pull or sarge. From time to time I do find a great guy that I could see myself in a relationship with. It’s usually just circumstance that prevents a relationship from forming. I don’t approach every man that I meet or every date that I go on as an excuse to wear a new outfit and cute shoes. I still have real, legitimate, intimate interactions with men. It doesn’t happen everyday. During the 364 days that quality men are being elusive, I still have to eat.
What a female pickup artist knows, that men believe, is that you can’t put a value on a beautiful, classy woman. I give men credit in knowing the difference between a pretty girl and an intelligent, funny, interesting woman. When a man meets a woman that he respects there is no limit to what he will do. Female pickup artists earn that respect with charm and grace. They don’t scream for attention just quietly command it. The irony of it all is that we choose the man then he picks us up. The ability to know that he will is what separates an fPUA from everybody else and frankly, if being wined and dined and treated to bottle service is wrong then I don’t want to be right.