Sex At Dawn & the Order to Get Meat

Thanks to the six hours I sat in the court house today after being summoned for Jury selection, I finished up reading Sex At Dawn. In the odd event that you don’t keep up with Dan Savage’s Savage Love and haven’t heard him raving about this book, he sums it up nicely:

“Sex at Dawn is the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948. Want to understand why men married to supermodels cheat? Why so many marriages are sexless? Why paternity tests often reveal that the “father” isn’t? Read Sex at Dawn.”

To sum it up, the book makes the case that to live a longer, healthier life one should eat less, sleep more and have sex more often and with more partners.

For me, the highlight of the book lies within all of the sex-related stories shared from around the world about different cultures and communities. Here’s one of my favorites:

In many societies, such unchaste shenanigans continue well beyond the wedding night. The Kulina of Amazonia have a ritual known as the dutse’e bani towi: the “order to get meat.” Don Pollock explains that the village women “go in a group from household to household before dawn, singing to adult men in each house, ‘ordering’ them to go hunting. At each house, one or more of the women in the group step forward to bang on the house with a stick; they will serve as the sex partners of the men of the house that night, if they are successful in their hunt. Women in the group…are not allowed to select their own husband.”

What happens next is significant. Feigning reluctance, the men drag themselves from their hammocks and head off into the jungle, but before splitting up to hunt independently, they agree on a time and place outside the village to meet later, where they’ll redistribute whatever they’ve bagged, thus ensuring that every man returns to the village with meat, guaranteeing extra-pair sex for one and all.

Furthermore, on the final pages of the book lies the following conclusion, which I feel is right-on: “It’s been my experience that couples who negotiate sexual boundaries…are no less committed than those who keep the gates closed. In fact, it is their desire to make the relationship stronger that leads them to explore other models of long-term love.”

Read it; it won’t disappoint. Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha


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