Friday, July 14, 2017

Not my human evolution.

Back in December, I tweeted out some thoughts about a blog post by Jerry Coyne.

A lot of people noticed, including JC (who wrote a few response posts) and his followers (some of whom like to tell me I'm stupid).  And a lot of anthropologists, scientists, and journalists noticed too, and beyond my circles.

A page out of "Think BIG and Kick-Ass
in Business and Life" by President Business
When this happened, I was traveling with my family for the holidays, and only brought my phone, not my laptop. (Despite my laptop being more than a "work" tool, I have fierce work-life opinions so it stayed behind.)

In January, when I got back to my computer, I wrote up something that had been simmering for many years but that started really bubbling when Judd Apatow tweeted out a page on evolution from one of Trump's books, during the campaign. Then it all boiled over with the JC incident.

I knew where I wanted this essay to go and I sent it there as soon as I finished the last sentence. They said yes, then they went to work on editing and finding the right time to post when other stories wouldn't completely overshadow it.

It's up today at the Washington Post. Click on this to go there.

Warning! If you were sitting in our symposium at Evolution 2017 in Portland last month, it may give you déjà vu.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Nasty People: Explicit Content

This is a guest post by Sophia Weaver (University of Rhode Island '16, Anthropology + Gender and Women's Studies), the author and illustrator of 
Nasty People: an Illustrated Guide to Understanding Sex. 

Getting in the Mood 

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Sex is often represented as something that is fast and dirty with lots of eager, panting motions, but it isn’t always that way… Getting turned on is a MAJOR part of sex, a part that is very often overlooked. Different things turn different people on and the process is very complicated and personal. While every person is turned on by different things, the biological process of being turned on is basic:

Before actually doing the nasty, a series of events must take place in order for the experience to be the best it can be. Some research suggests that 30 minutes of foreplay leads to the BEST of the BEST sex (aka an encounter that is chock full of climaxes). However, while aiming for the best is great, sub-best sex is still great. If you think about it, if you only ever had the BEST sex, it wouldn’t actually be the best anymore…

It is important to remember that every person is different in terms of what turns them on and how long it takes them to get in the mood. There are some universal differences between men and women, but there is still a vast ocean of variability between all individuals.  Generally speaking, women are looking more for the “ideal personality” while men are looking for the “ideal look.” This makes sense in evolutionary terms: women are, deep, deep down, looking for a quality collaborator while men are, deep, deep down looking for quality ways to spread their seed. Still, there must always be an emphasis on VARIABILITY, everyone is different even though we are basically all the same…

Suggestion: Ask your partner (or partners) what turns them on…just the act of asking might end up being a turn on…

Arousal is, in essence, a process of turning on the on’s (activating the sexual accelerator) and off the off’s (deactivating the sexual breaks). Accomplishing this depends on every individual whose accelerator and breaks are uniquely molded by their explicit and implicit sexual education. Context matters. Context really, really matters. Just imagine you and your partner are trying to get down to business but there is a baby crying in the next room, no amount of romantic music and candlelight is going to make that context sexy. However, yet again, I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand that everyone is different. The right context versus the wrong one varies between individuals. Sometimes individuals under stress have increased sex drives and others might have a dwindled sex drive while stressed…what’s the lesson? COMMUNICATE. Maybe it’s awkward, but trust me, it is so worth it.

Once You’re in the Mood
The stages...
Excitement: Increased heart rate and blood pressure, increased sensitivity, nipple erection, increased odor, lubrication and erection.

Plateau: Continued increase in heart rate and blood pressure, increased breathing rate, and involuntary muscle contractions.

Orgasm: Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate reach maximum levels, and involuntary muscle spasms.

Resolution Phase: Return to non-excited state.

Physiological responses to sexual stimuli DO NOT necessarily indicate desire or consent!

The Finale
These days we have a bunch of options for birth control so sex isn’t always about making babies. And even if babies are not your thing, it is pretty cool to see how they get made…
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