363: Dr. Chris Ryan | Sex at Dawn


science / science 697 Views comments

Sex has long been about relationships, not procreating.

"Monogamy is like vegetarianism: it doesn't come naturally to our species."-Dr. Chris Ryan

The Cheat Sheet:
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  • Monogamy may be shrinking your testicles: true or false?
  • What's one of the least sexually liberated countries in the world?
  • And so much more...

Monogamy is what we've all been told is the norm for human sexual relationships. But is that the truth or are we happiest in open relationships? What role does biology play in our preferences? And do women really desire as many sexual partners as men do?

Hear to discuss the answers to all of those fascinating questions, and much more is Dr. Chris Ryan. Dr. Ryan holds a PhD in psychology and has co-authored the book Sex At Dawn. He'll tell us all about that and so much more on episode 363 of The Art of Charm.

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More About This Show:

Dr. Chris Ryan earned an undergraduate degree in Literature, and then experienced some life-altering events that convinced him to forego his academic career and travel the world for 15 years. When his vagabonding was complete he revisited academy and earned a Masters degree and doctorate in psychology.

In his psychology programs he spent much of his time looking at the roots of human sexuality to better understand how our ancestors' sexual experiences have impacted how we have evolved into today's current sexual climate.

He's done that by studying our biology and physiology today; he says our bodies tell us our ancestors' sexual activities. For example, men's testicles are on the outside of their bodies and their sperm is released in mass quantities because they are in competition to impregnate women. Competition takes place at the cellular level, not at the physical level.

Along those same lines, the DNA that controls the volume and size of sperm and overall ejaculation is some of the most genetically-responsive DNA in our bodies. That means it responds and changes within our environment faster than any other DNA we have, so we can see what evolutionary changes are happening by studying this particular type of DNA.

Dr. Chris also shares why humans seem to have sex for reasons other than procreation. If you study other mammals about 99% of them only have sex when the female is ovulating, but not humans. Mammals in general have sex about 12 times per birth, humans about 1,000x per birth.

So why is that? Because sex is about social relationships. Human sexuality has been co-opted over time to be used for building and maintaining complex relationships, something we do very well as a species. We build communities together, and sex has played a pivotal role in doing so.

On this episode we also why open relationships can lead to healthier, happier marriages, and why some native tribes participate in partible paternity where multiple men father the same child.

But the final thought Dr. Chris leaves us with is the importance of respecting women. He gives scientific and historical evidence to show why shaming their sexual behavior and choices is like poisoning your own drinking well. When women are respected and can feel safe expressing themselves everyone in society wins.

Dr. Chris had so much knowledge to share, it was great to have him here! A big thank you to him for joining us for this episode of The Art of Charm. As always, thank you for being here too. We'll see you next time.


If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Dr. Chris know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter:

Click here to thank Dr. Chris on Twitter!

Resources from this episode:

Dr. Chris Ryan's web site Sex At Dawn, by Dr. Chris Ryan Dr. Chris Ryan's Ted TalkDr. Chris Ryan's Podcast, Tangentially SpeakingChris Ryan on Twitter

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