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What does female sexuality tell us about evolution and pre-historic sex?

(116 Posts)
Ava5 Mon 08-May-17 16:37:56

The fact that it's so complex and responsive to patient, fear-free stimulation and so easily hurt by the wrong kind of handling? Women's bodies can be played like violins by a skilled partner: we have clits, we're sexual from head to toe if properly caressed and there're the multiple orgasms. All this seems like a total evolutionary waste if Homo Sapiens have always primarily engaged in the rapey patriarchal model of sex.

Is it all just a carry-over from our bonobo DNA? Is it supposed to facilitate pair bonding (maybe the 2nd trimester horniness is part of this)? It also all seems really excessive if it was all just intended for making babies. Just musing here.

splendide Mon 08-May-17 16:45:11

I have always assumed it facilitates pair bonding. It isn't "supposed" to do anything unless you are a creationist.

TheElephantofSurprise Mon 08-May-17 16:50:27

I have no idea but I like that you've raised the issue.

Perhaps we really are here to enjoy, to go smiling.

fiddler

DPotter Mon 08-May-17 16:55:12

Its worth remembering that just because a characteristic exists, doesn't mean its has been positively useful in survival and therefore evolution. It just means the characteristic didn't reduce survival, adaptive behaviour etc. It could just be a something hitching a ride on a useful bit of DNA.
Female sexuality is a highly complex set of behaviours and responses - some of which may have actively contributed to evolution and survival and other elements not. I doubt its the product of just one gene

GuardianLions Tue 09-May-17 10:04:28

I think the patriarchal (under the guise of religion) demonising of female sexuality + misogyny + enforcement of male dominance has really skewed sexual behaviour and driven out eroticism if favour of this spectrum of BDSM and rapeyness.

It is interesting that women get turned on by watching male singers, instrumentalists, artists and other creative at work.... the inference is "ooh I bet he'd be amazing in bed".

That makes me think there is a component in human sexuality a bit like other species - where the female judges the males' singing, dancing or nest-building skills.

I also think that the build-up to female sexuality suggests bonding - and possibly lesbianism - like bonobos - I heard some where that lesbians tend to have epic, long-lasting sessions.

I also think there might be a means of selecting out the males who have no tenderness, flair or sincerity towards a female from breeding.

However - I contradict my own hypothesis there, because the bloke who was the best in bed for me was also an incredible artist - but I didn't want his kids - he was too arty-farty and impractical for me....
musing....

Elendon Tue 09-May-17 10:49:40

Some examples of Patriarchy. Perhaps it's because of jealousy that women can have multiple orgasms.

Jealousy that women are the the life givers, but it's their choice.

Subjugation. Subjugate women and their menfolk feel that as well.

Some examples of freedom from Patriarchy.

Perhaps men were not socialised so much to have sex every day.

Perhaps sexuality was expressed in bi sexuality, thus relieving the onus on a woman to be perpetually pregnant.

I'm sure that prehistoric sex, I'm presuming you mean heterosexual penis in vagina, was a rare thing, perhaps once every two or three years. I'm sure that men were in one group and women in another. Both coexisted but the twain had respect for each other. Shared ideas and healed.

GuardianLions Tue 09-May-17 10:55:51

Elendon
I agree - i'm sure it means a lot less piv and less pregnancy.

Miffer Tue 09-May-17 11:35:49

It isn't "supposed" to do anything unless you are a creationist.

I think female orgasms are the most convincing evidence for creationism.

SomeDyke Tue 09-May-17 12:17:02

"Women's bodies can be played like violins...."
I reject this type of language, that our bodies are something that need to be played by someone else!

If bonobos are anything to go by, sex in terms of a secondary 'purpose' (i.e. non-procreative) is an old part of our history and evolution. The fact that bonobos have sexual interactions amongst the group, male-male, female-female, as well as male-female, shows that our current PIV male-female is rather retstricted from a bonobo point of view. Also old given that humans are more than willing to engage in sexual activity when a woman is fairly unlikely to conceive.

"I heard some where that lesbians tend to have epic, long-lasting sessions." As one myself, I can of course confirm that the answer is YES (YES, YES, yes, YES,.............) smile.
Although this is of course something that anyone could achieve with a woman if the whole shebang wasn't required to stop when he did, or require the active participation of a penis......................

GuardianLions Tue 09-May-17 12:32:54

YES (YES, YES, yes, YES,.............)
grin

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 13:21:47

"Women's bodies can be played like violins...."
I reject this type of language, that our bodies are something that need to be played by someone else!"

Umm, we can play them ourselves or with a device. I actually stole this quote from someone famous I can't remember. The violin's a difficult instrument to play - it can sound amazing when done right or like a cat's wail when done wrong. Hence the metaphor.

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 13:46:54

I think the realisation of how human babies are made is crucial here. Several pre-historic and stone age cultures had no idea that PIV produced them. The Australian Aboriginals were one of those.

The understanding that women can be consciously imprisoned by their biology by forcing PIV on them, and that the father's identity is unknowable was an evil genie let out of the bottle. That alone might've given birth to the patriarchy even without agriculture.

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 13:54:45

What really befuddles me, however, is the common assertion that making women property was the only way for a man to know that his children were really his.

But since when do men care all that much about children? For most of human history they had nothing much to do with them - they were just collateral damage of their orgasms (especially the girls).I get that you need to feed them, but men have frequently shirked that too (which led to Child Benefit being paid directly to the mother). It just doesn't seem like enough of an incentive.

BestZebbie Tue 09-May-17 14:00:48

Ava5 - They care a lot about not being taken advantage of by other men, for example having to put effort into supporting a child that someone else fathered.
Later on, inheritance became a big deal for people with something to inherit, because it continues your status on after your death in the form of your son.

splendide Tue 09-May-17 14:01:34

But since when do men care all that much about children? For most of human history they had nothing much to do with them - they were just collateral damage of their orgasms (especially the girls).

I don't agree with this. The idea of the heir has been important in many (most?) cultures that I have read about. And the need for more bodies to work the land and so on.

SomeDyke Tue 09-May-17 14:09:50

"Umm, we can play them ourselves or with a device."

Right, now I'm stuck with an image of myself holding a violin bow, and wondering what to do with it! smile. Not a great improvement!

I guess I'm objecting to the myself (and my body) as separate, and my body being a thing that needs playing. It's all me, and someone better get my head included before they start fiddling(!!!) with the tuning knobs..................

Or maybe I'm just not very musical..............

As regards the 'those babies are mine' line for supposedly explaining why men need to be possessive, I'm just reading Cordelia Fine Testosterone Rex, and the 'males compete for female' line isn't going so well for humans (chimps and bonobos 'cheat' a lot). Amongst chimps, a male being willing and enthusiastic to hold and carry babies makes him a lot of female friends, and improves his prospects. The simple big strong man brings home the bacon (or mammoth steaks), and laydees just want a big, strong hairy man to protect her from the sabre-tooth (and she'll expect him to be possessive and jealous cos how else will he know the babies are his) line is seeming to be a story that men told to explain their existing behaviour (hurrah, Darwin says it's just evolution!) -- but seems not to be the case when anyone actually measures stuff.

SylviaPoe Tue 09-May-17 14:53:16

I think the realisation of how human babies are made is crucial here. Several pre-historic and stone age cultures had no idea that PIV produced them. The Australian Aboriginals were one of those.

This is untrue. There's no evidence of hunter gatherers not knowing there was a link between PIV and pregnancy. The Aboriginal claim from 1920s anthropologists was biased and later shown to be incorrect.

GuardianLions Tue 09-May-17 15:12:04

Also the fact that human males have relatively large testicles suggests that human females would mate with more than one male during ovulation (larger testicles = more sperm to drive out the competition). Gorillas in contrast have small testicles because females only mate with the dominant male - so there is no competition for the sperm.

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 15:15:01

"Or maybe I'm just not very musical.............."

I guess not grin

Xenophile Tue 09-May-17 15:22:12

Several pre-historic and stone age cultures had no idea that PIV produced them. The Australian Aboriginals were one of those.

This is categorically untrue. The belief is based on some seriously racist findings from a genocidal government study. Given what we know various Australian Aboriginal groups knew about various things, the suggestion that they didn't work out that PIV might equal babies is laughable. And racist.

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 15:22:33

"This is untrue. There's no evidence of hunter gatherers not knowing there was a link between PIV and pregnancy. The Aboriginal claim from 1920s anthropologists was biased and later shown to be incorrect."

Thanks for pointing this out. This is such a murky field.

I guess what's more believable is that men didn't much care about parentage back in the days when the children were raised communally in a tribe and there was no property to pass on.

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 15:29:16

Please let's not drag race into this. I got an anthropological detail monumentally wrong - sorry. Skin colour didn't enter my my mind. They were a stone age culture isolated from the world - they might've communicated with aliens for all we know.

VoidoidDash Tue 09-May-17 15:31:48

There are some suggestions that multipul organisms can induce labour. May have been a 'safety mechanism' in that respect?

Ava5 Tue 09-May-17 15:37:38

Also, considering all the really silly birth control myths that people have bought into over time (and still do thanks to religious nuts in the USA), the exact way reproduction works seems to have eluded all kinds of people everywhere.

Elendon Tue 09-May-17 17:01:00

Abortion methods are as old as pre history itself. Nor did it actually harm women and they were effective. This happened pre religion.

Multiple organisms did not produce labour unless you believe in aliens. Swallowing sperm doesn't make you have your baby earlier but having sex post water's breaking might just result in the death of the baby (by introducing infection).

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