Evolutionary Sexual Morality: From Sex Drive to the Pair Bond

The Evolutionary Morality of Sex 

Prologue

I started writing this essay late last year, immediately upon reading the book Mercenary Mom.  I liked the author. I had become fond of her as we all become fond of good writers. Her story of a sexual assault set me off upon this essay. I didn’t realize that I was writing the first major essay on evolutionary morality until I annunciated that concept in the previous essay. This one is not written in quite the same concept set as that one as a result.

Thesis

We were evolutional-chemo-emotional-moral under foraging hunter gathering long before we became cultural-econo-philosophical-political-moral under civilization. How, when, and why did we impose all of those artificial moralities?

This will be a fun ride. Here we go:

“…(they) have no truck with women except as fee’d or forced vehicles for their lust.”1

Fee’d

Our crew was installing a Cray super computer. One of my co-workers was a crusty old Dane who took his lunch at a nearby sandwich shop along with a beer or two. One day a woman sat next to him at the bar and began complaining about poverty, kids, and bad jobs. Pete looked at her for a moment and said “What are you bitching about. You are sitting on a gawdamn gold mine!” Well, that’s Pete for you. Not a politically correct bone in his body or thought in his head but he understood fee’d sex. Maybe he had bought some, who knows.

A woman I know well was divorced with two young boys, no child support and no job. She said that she would have slept with the devil to feed her boys. She remarried. She found the devil, or did the devil find her? In exchange, I got two step-sons and a gaggle of grandkids and great-grandkids.

Richard McKenna, in his percipient novel, The Sand Pebbles,2, a young missionary woman upbraids a sailor for purchasing sex at a brothel, accusing him of rape. He replies “but I paid for it.” She angrily retorts “you rape them with your power to buy their starving bodies.”

Avram Davidson, who was stationed in China during World War II, describes those brothels and their fee’d women as “…short sessions in rabbet warren rooms with bodies which moved and asked for money but showed no other signs of sentient life.”3

How did civilization arrive at such a sexual nadir? In my previous essay4 I wrote about the ability of civilization to care, to expend vast amount of care. This whore house is something else – an absolute non-care. There is, within civilization, two utterly immiscible behavioral complexes, morality and immorality –care of special needs individuals with a damaged bodies and minds, and rape with the power to buy starving drug racked bodies.

Fee’d sex is next of kin to forced, economic power next to physical power.

Forced

Neryl was raped.5 She had a coupla drinks with a fellow mercenary soldier and one was drugged.

I barely read the awful story, skipping over the details, rushing to the end of the chapter to get away from the details of the event. He was a serial rapist using date rape drugs and had three prior rape charges but all had been dismissed. He had so far escaped trial and conviction, and was not prosecuted for this rape. His sexual behavior was out of control.

‘Agnes,’ was raped. Her mistake was to open the door for the gardener of the apartment complex.

I had adopted her as my honorary daughter. She needed someone to talk to. I was her ear. I was devastated to learn of her rape. I could only listen, there were no words to say. Thinking of it still brings tears to my eyes for I was half in love with her.

Dr. Hope Jahren edited the 2017 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing and included several essays detailing the harassment, assault, and rape endured by some female scientists. Kayla Webley Adler wrote an essay titled “Female Scientists Report a Horrifying Culture of Sexual Assault,” which portrays some classes and labs as the academic version of the famous Hollywood ‘casting couch.’

Women around the world have gathered together in the MeToo movement to out males who have harassed, molested or raped them. A Wikipedia article outlines the enormity of the problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_Too_movement

I have six granddaughters. I remember the days when I would arrive home from work and there would be a gaggle of grandkids (including one grandson) running around the yard. I had rigged motorcycle tires in the tree for swings and I would push them until they were tired, but they never seemed to tire before I did. We would play run and chase, hide and go seek, and when we adjourned into the house, we would play horsey and dog pile. They are adults now, and out into that great big world beyond our front yard. I think about them, now and then. How are they navigating that world? Are they in danger?

Neryls’ and Agnes’ rapists were little dogs in this great big world, but sexual harassment, assault, and rape are not confined to the small dogs. Jeffrey Epstein, charismatic and wealthy, ran with the big dogs. He used his fortune to build sex compounds and rape underage girls. Harvey Weinstein, a big dog, is currently on trial for rape.6 Priests and bishops of the mighty Catholic Church, self-appointed arbiters of many behaviors and in particular sexual behavior, have violated their norms.

Why do we have these self-appointed arbiters? Why do we have TV hosts making money off the misfortunes of women? Why do we have advice columnists telling us how to behave? Why are norms set and violated? Why are proposed norms so varied, for example, could one say that there are Catholic sexual norms and Protestant sexual norms, similar but not quite congruent? Why are there sexual norms outside of those big sources that are even less congruent such as the sexual revolution of the late 1960’s et seq? Why is sexual behavior moralized and legalized? There are various sources of sexual moral codes, but the major enforcer is our legal system with its laws and punishments. Is punishment of sexual offenders effective and efficient? Some/many sexual offenders do not age out – these are lifetime behaviors. There are many treatment systems claiming to reform offenders but the rates of recidivism are depressing. Why don’t we know how to behave? Why cannot we learn to behave?

Is it social class? No, out of control sexual behavior occurs among all social classes. Is it our loss of religion with its comprehensive behavior controls, and our increasing secularization with loosened constraints on sexual behavior? No, sexual misconduct occurs in churches and cathedrals. Is it a lack of education? No, women scientists have suffered in silence to advance their careers, as have actresses and other women in male dominated venues. Is it a problem of heterosexual males? No, there is homosexual assault. It is a male problem.7 Why?

Reproduction

Of course, all this drama is the fault of self-reproducing molecules, specifically the genes in our DNA.

If I could reify reproduction, give it the mind and voice of our DNA, and then ask “how did you do it? How do you get life, get individual humans, to do your bidding? How do you generate those behavioral storms, falling love and having sex?”

“I have to confess that sexual reproductive behavior was a bit difficult to generate even with powerful hormones, for unlike breathing, drinking water or eating food, sexual behavior is not immediately necessary for the survival of the individual. While desirable, sex is unnecessary. Many individuals live quite successful lives without reproduction or sex. And for some species, reproduction entails death of the individual(s). Sex for them is deadly.

“It takes two to tango, and two to braid a new double helix. Sex only benefits the genes that tangle to replicate into successor individual lives. You can understand the difficulty that this presents. I push you together. I force you together even in the face of death. Without this drive you might not project your genes into the future. Given what I had to work with, I think I did a pretty good job of things.

“I can tell you this much: I do it with sexual drive and discomfort – a positive and a negative. The positive is a drive, a desire, sex hormones take care of this. The negative is discomfort, and some physiological processes generate this.

“I cannot tell you why carbon chemistry causes compulsion. I can suggest that what passes through you is information, the instruction set for another unique individual. You, as an individual, are principally a transmission channel for the information encoded in your genes, and a test kit for the quality of the information that will form your offspring. You have the rewards and agonies of love and sex for being an experimental evolutionary animal.”

Our intrepid interrogator considers this and replies “I grant your ingenuity, success and your bragging rights. And I understand drive, desire and discomfort, and rewards and agonies. But in humans, something appears to go wrong in sufficient numbers as to raise the question, ‘why do women suffer so from the pricks of men? Why do men become molesters and rapists with out-of-control sexual behaviors?”

“You human primates, as do all animals, have a drive, a compulsion, to live, to breath, drink, and eat. Those drives are simple. You also have a compulsion for sex and/or reproduction and they are much more difficult and complex. Reproduction by fission is simple by comparison ….” That was the last word as the reified vision faded away leaving me thinking of many things – thinking that evolution and reproduction had some explaining to do.8

Lust: I want you!

I chose the word lust because it has an immediate impact, a pejoration, and a summarization of the behavior problems illustrated by stories told in the introduction. By its first definition, lust is a desire to satisfy the senses. Lust is also defined as an inordinate, excessive, or improper desire, commonly used for sexual desire, both moderate and immoderate. Yet desire to satisfy the senses is a foundation of life. Acquiring resources, using them, and excreting waste, is a critical process of life. Desire is a motivation for the effort of acquisition and processing.

Desire is essential for reproduction. Individual humans are not sexually self-sufficient; we do not reproduce by fission. We need another individual. So, I want to acquire your half gene set. I want you! Male sexual lust appears to be relatively straightforward as it is mostly simple sex – the more the better. Female lusts are more complex as they lust for a child as much or more than for sex. For some females, sex is secondary to a child, a means to that end rather than an end in itself.

Lust: Sex Drive and Compulsion

I was running a rack of big conduits up a concrete wall when a concrete finisher came by to repair a large void in the wall before I got into his way. We got to talking and I learned that, desiring to be more spiritual, he had spent some time in an ashram in India. He left after about a year saying that he wanted “a cigarette, a doobie and a woman; and not necessarily in that order. A hamburger, too.” Spirituality and asceticism were not the virtues he had hoped them to be nor did they dissolve his ‘base’ desires.

About 45 years ago, Playboy magazine published stories of men who went to extraordinary and inexplicable efforts for sex. A sailor in the US Navy was stationed on a small boat on a river in Vietnam – the brown-water navy. In a fit of testosterone fury, he “borrowed” a boat and went upstream through Viet Cong infested territory to one particular woman in one particular brothel. He had to have her and only her and now. For purchased sex, he incurred danger to his life from the Viet Cong and danger of military discipline for absence from duty and unauthorized use of US Navy property. Lust. Out of control behavior.

This was only one of several such stories of exceptional and compulsive mating behaviors. Not all men and then only a minority exhibit these types of behaviors, so we are looking at behavior distributed over a curve. Harassers, molesters and rapists are out at one end of the curve.

Once upon a time and many years ago, I was riding my bicycle through a park. Right there, next to the sidewalk, a couple were heavily necking. Really heavy, for her dress was pulled up, her panties were missing, and she was masturbating with all her relevant anatomy in plain sight. They were oblivious. I wonder how they arrived at that location with that powerful emotion, out of control, at least by the moral calculus of our time which prescribe that most of our sexual acts be private and hidden.

I remember my first falling in love. I was hammered, no longer my old familiar self. Something different had taken its place. I was compelled, forced, and bewildered. I was hurting in a painless exciting hurt, wordless beyond possible description and surpassing all understanding, a mélange of titanic fear, guilt, hope, and excitement, at once enervating and motivating. I didn’t so much fall in love as I was pushed. I was only near an available female who I, the I of my conscious ego, barely knew. But underneath that I, was a more primitive me who had taken control and was driving me toward reproduction.9

The novelist, Vince Flynn, wrote it better than I ever could in his novel American Assassin, “…it was unlike anything he’d ever experienced. It was like every great emotion he’d ever felt rolled into one euphoric wave and it scared the crap out of him, because he instantly knew that he was not in control.”

“And nothing, from the first moment Hermie saw her, and no one who had happened to him since, had ever been as frightening and as confusing or could have done more to make him feel more sure, more insecure, more important, and less significant.”10

Sex drive is a nearly overwhelming emotional and physiological upset. It is an inner compulsion which may shade into aggression, principally but not exclusively in men. ‘Sex compulsion’ is perhaps better. One primate ethologist commented upon a female chimpanzee being driven crazy by her first estrus, presenting to every male in the troop. I observed a 14-year-old female who was in thrall to her hormones and lip-locked with her boy-friend. I kindly suggested to her that she should occasionally allow him to come up for air. Lust: I want this, I need this.11

The male has to be entrained in the female reproductive requirements and driven to thrust a portion of his body into a hidden orifice of the female and tighten his nethers, force himself into a thunderous climax. The first time this is a novel and unprecedented action, but once experienced becomes addictive.

Of course, it is all the fault of those self-replicating molecules, but how and why self-replication should generate compulsion is an immense puzzle. Why were those molecules not content to quietly mix it up in some warm pond, replicating casually rather than causing us so many problems, is, so far, beyond our comprehension.12 Carbon chemistry causes compulsion – the four bonded carbon atom at work. Why? My reified voice of evolution could not provide an answer and it remains a puzzle to this day.

The Big T

Most animals are incapable of reproduction immediately after birth. It takes time, a period of growth is required, before the sex organs mature and become capable of passing their instruction set to the next generation. Maturation for male H. sapiens is a function of the hormone testosterone, the Big T. And with the Big T comes the wide range of morphological, physiological, endocrinological, emotional, and behavioral changes of puberty – in particular the activation of sex drive, dominance behaviors and aggression,13 sexual dimorphism, and the production of sperm and semen. Big T sets the stage, fills the cistern and primes its pump. And with semen and cisterns come a problem:

Blue balls!

‘Blue balls’ is the colloquial expression for epididymal hypertension, the accumulation of semen and blood in male genitals, an uncomfortable or even painful condition caused by the continuous production of semen. Fluid accumulates and distends the internal male sexual apparatus.

The solution is simple: discharge the causative fluid: semen. Males gotta pump the prostate and seminal vesicle down periodically or suffer.14 There is exactly one way of performing this necessary discharge: orgasm, whether by nocturnal emission, masturbation, intercourse, or other means such as direct stimulation of the prostate gland.15

Nocturnal emissions, lacking tactile sensations, are the least satisfactory of the reliefs. Masturbation has both tactile and mental sensations including fantasy, yielding increased satisfaction. Intercourse has tactile sensations over a wide skin surface but more important is that of the very sensitive penis being totally enveloped in a warm lubricated vagina, a vast improvement over the tougher skin of one’s fingers.16 As my cement finisher friend said, “I wanted a cigarette, a doobie, and a woman; and not in that particular order.”

Vitruvian Man

Leonardo da Vinci drew Vitruvian Man to show the proportions of the human male physique.17 The penis is flaccid. Let’s tweak the image a bit, peek into his internal reproductive organs to find them full of semen, and then color his balls blue. His internal organs are pumped full and ready for discharge. Let’s give him a bit of elan vitale, a touch of life. What does he do for relief? Nothing, and wait for a nocturnal discharge? Take matters into his hand in a do-it-yourself orgasm? Or find a woman? Most adult human males are primarily driven to find a woman. What sets this male mechanism into action? What might turn him on?

Signaling Lust: A Hominid18 Model

In many species the initiating signals emanate from the female who expresses a chemical, visual, or behavioral signal which triggers the male’s sexual response. Chimpanzee males are interested in sex only upon perceiving female signaling. This places the initiative for signaling of lust and sexual desire within the bailiwick of the female. She asks for it. She turns him on. Bonobo and human males can turn on in the absence of a female, and human males can turn themselves by artificial stimulants such as images still or moving, written material (these two are commonly and pejoratively called pornography), or by imagination and dreams.

Female hominids exhibit uro-genital swellings near their ovulation. These swellings signal ovulation, receptivity, and desire.19 Large and colorful swellings are advertising, broadcasting, deliberately and provocatively displayed, saying “here I am, big boy, come and get it!” The male response, motivated by this signal, is predictable, “here I come.” These female hominids ‘ask for it.’ Female chimpanzees and bonobos will ask many, but not all of the males in the troop and multiple times. Males may and do ignore female signaling. Perhaps they are thinking “jeesh, she’s horny again.” So, the story is not one of simple stimulus-response. It is more complex.

Do male chimps evaluate the quality of female swellings as part of their choice of response? Do they perceive the beauty of those swellings and desire it so that their daughters would be sexy, that is, is have sexy swellings and thereby be more likely to be chosen by more dominant males? I’d bet a cup of coffee on it, but not the farm. This is, of course, a morph on the more common sexy male hypothesis where female humans select attractive ‘bad boys’ because they are sexy and their sons will be sexy and selected as mates also.

Sexual swellings are all about “turn on.” The female is inciting the male into sex, something that he had not thought about until she presented her swollen nether regions, frequently right into his face. In the presence of female signaling, their sexual drive ‘turns on’ and they may exhibit response behavior to the female, such as approaching her or waving an erect penis. The female may in turn accept the male for coitus or she may not.

The sources I consulted did not reveal any sex initiated by or forced by males. The only force noted in the sources is that the dominant male chimpanzee may interrupt mating with a subdominant male, but the female and selected male simply go somewhere else. Also, the female does not appear to have a turn off signal for those males she rejects – they are left frustrated as she moves past them to take up with another male.20

Female swellings are honest signals – they cannot be faked – and they must be (somewhat) costly signals, as they are edemas requiring body water diverted from other uses and they may be painful to sit on. They are analogous to male blue balls, both being edemas, and differ in that hominid female swellings are overt and public, and human male blue balls are covert and private. It is not positively known that female estrous swellings are uncomfortable for they cannot report this, but I suspect that to be the case. I propose that presenting their swollen bums to nearby males is analogous to a human presenting an injury for inspection, “lookie at my owie!” Discomfort provides motivation for sexual behaviors, and in this capacity, sex appears to be a form of self-medication.

This is a neat SWAG – scientific wild-assed guess – but I like it nevertheless. One weakness is that the estrous female does not present to other females for comfort which might be more reasonable. On the other hand, she has probably watched females with swellings presenting to males and she may have made the connection. There is also the element of hormone driven sexual desire for a male that overrides any impetus to display to other females asking for comfort. In addition, because females transfer from one troop to another sometime during adolescence, they are not closely related to each other, and her mom and sisters are not members of the troop and are not nearby.

There have to be mechanisms that mediate between DNA, nucleic acids and behaviors. I’ve here proposed the ‘discomfort’ mechanism, both male and female, similar in cause and effect.

Summary

Hominid females initiate the male sexual response by signaling at some time during their estrus cycle. She has to tell him that she is receptive, turn him on. He may or may not respond, that is, he may or may not fall in love, and if he does, she may or may not accept his offer. She does not necessarily mate with the dominant male. Female chimpanzees and bonobos will mate with multiple male members of the troop multiple times or she may go adventuring forth and mate in a nearby troop and return pregnant. She seeks variety. The sources I consulted did not cite an example of rape in these two species. Males of both species do not form high levels of attachment to the females or care for the infants they may father.

In these two hominids, the female initial inherent signaling -swellings – is public, broadcast, and unintentional (not choosy). Her behavioral signaling is more selective and intentional: she may choose which males to signal to. The male response may also be selective: he may choose to respond sexually in the absence of her presentation to him. She says no to those responses by ignoring them; this is a further or secondary behavioral signaling and this decision is effective. In the basic hominid mating system, the female is primary and the male is secondary, thus inverting the male social dominance based upon aggression and sexual dimorphism. Male dominance may then be regarded as a signal to the female that “I am the best choice.”

Last but not least, there does not appear to be a female to male ‘turn off’ signal. Chimpanzee males turn themselves off when their response signal is turned down by the female. They may be frustrated but they do not force sex in the absence of female assent. Dominant males may interrupt couplings with beta and lower status younger males, but the pair simply go somewhere else or wait until the dominant is elsewhere. Bonobo sex is so fluid and sex so common that it safe to say that they do not have a turn off signal either. In both species there is no evidence of mate guarding, jealousy, or fights over females. There is no murder over a love affair. We find these in the contemporary human model of sexual behavior.

Signaling Lust: A Human Model

“The only original sin is for a man to refuse when a woman invites him into his bed.”21

The photo of Neryl Joyce on the cover of her book shows a good-looking well-built woman dressed as a soldier complete with uniform, rifle, helmet and accouterments – inherent signals. She intended her daily behavior to signal a military competence equal to the male members of her platoon, hoping, by competence and friendliness, to gain membership in the platoon, a small-scale social group characterized by care and brotherhood. To some males she would be radiating sexual desirability rather than or in addition to military competence. To other males she would have been an irritating pushy broad telling them how to do their job. At one and the same time she is signaling a turn on or a turn off, depending upon the male receiving her signals. These are her intentional behavioral signals – she knowingly initiated and completed these signals and details them in her book. She did not anticipate their inadvertent signaling to one male in particular.

I was in a restaurant. She was leaning forward against the table her breasts pushed well up through the opening of her low-cut blouse, with shining eyes, and talking animatedly. She was radiating sex. She was asking for it with both unintentional inherent and intentional behavioral signaling.

“She was asking for it.” It doesn’t require a trained sociologist, anthropologist, or primatologist to observe female signaling. Men have long observed it and expressed it in those words. It is an accurate observation that females signal. The sentence is also an inaccurate observation, a misunderstanding, arising from the evolution of human female signaling.

Modern female H. sapiens, while they do have a menstrual cycle, do not exhibit episodic ovulatory swellings. They have something even better. Their swellings are paired prominent permanent protuberant signals: breasts and buttocks, sculpted in glorious naked skin – walking talking sexual advertising. They have shapely bodies and attractive faces. These are honest signals of reproductive maturation, desirability and the prospect of healthy, desirable and sexy children. They are inherent and permanent signals to the distress of females and the confusion of males. One woman commented that she was almighty tired of being a sex object until she turned 40 and became invisible. She didn’t quite know which caused her more distress. Males are confused when they perceive attractiveness and respond, “hey baby, how about it” and are vigorously refused by a woman. “She was asking for it and then said no when I put the make on her. What the hell did I do wrong?”

The male interpretation is that constant inherent female signals equals constant signaling of receptiveness and desire, and that what he should do is to catch her eye by signaling back. Chimpanzee males will wave their erect penis, asking to be chosen. Human males may make suggestive remarks or gestures, buy flowers or dinner. More dramatically, they may show off – hold my beer and watch this.22 “Here I am, chose me.”

Constant signaling by these inherent and permanent features, combined with non-episodic, nearly constant physical receptivity, that is, sex is possible throughout the female estrus cycle, is the morphological and physiological basis for human sexual systems. But while possible, sex is not always desirable for a number of reasons so the female may also be signaling “no.” And males are confused by the inherent signals which appears to say yes and at the same time, female behavior which say no. Females are angered by male propositions arising from their interpretation of the inherent signals and ignorance or misinterpretation of behavioral ‘no’ signals. This is the bind in which Neryl must have found herself.

A Nobel Prize winning biologist said “Let me tell you about my problem with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: “You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”23 My Psych 1A professor said that love is at least 75% propinquity, the implication is that availability morphs into love. It also implies that signaling is a critical part of falling in love and propinquity is part of signaling, and that sexual signaling obeys an inverse square law.

She Was Asking for It: The Pair Bond

If we were to stand upon the basic hominid model for sexual behavior, and then look at human behavior, we should be astonished at seeing a female falling in love with one male, preferring him over all others, and not just for impregnation but for the formation of a pair bond extending over time, one of the rarest mammalian and hominid mating strategies. 24 We should also be astonished upon observing that human males fall in love with one female, preferring her above all others, forming a pair bond, and in the fulness of time bonding with their offspring for a lifetime of their care. The pair bond may dissolve, but the offspring bond may endure.  No other hominid does this.

And then, if we stand upon the pair bond as the most common human mating system, we note extra-pair copulations, which are sufficiently common as to be considered an alternative or supplemental mating system. Sex outside the monogamous mating pair is common among most species which employ the pair bond as their primary mating system and humans are no exception.

The story gets even more complicated with the observation that (so far as I know) only bonobos and humans engage in non-reproductive sex: sex when conception is impossible, sex for release of sexual frustration, for social bonding or comforting, recreation, just for fun, or for the hell of it. Recreational sex is unknown in all the other primates.

What is she asking for? A pair bond, an extra-pair copulation, or non-reproductive sex? Or none of the above from you in particular? Chimpanzee sex is entirely about insemination and pregnancy. Bonobo and human females have a more continuous sex drive rather than the episodic (and spectacular) drive of chimpanzee females, and engage non-reproductive or recreational sex. Absent female signaling, male chimpanzees do not appear to have a sex drive. Human and bonobo males exhibit continuous sex drive. Chimpanzees and bonobos do not exhibit pair bonding. Humans do.

Why are we so different from the other hominids? They are our closest relatives and we share virtually all of our DNA with them, yet differ so much in reproductive behaviors. Why do we form pair bonds?   The pair bond implies permanence of some duration rather than transience, exclusiveness rather than variety.25 It is based upon a strong durable emotional attachment and requires mutual intentional behavioral signaling over a long period of time.

Extra-pair copulations – one-night stands and affairs – do not need to be explained. They are part of our ancient evolutionary heritage. Sexual variety is common behavior but our range of copulations is restricted compared to the chimpanzees and bonobos. The question is not why we stray – note the connotation and pejoration – but why we stay. Extra-pair copulations are not cheating but being true to our primordial evolutionary primate heritage.

Afterwords

So far there is not the slightest hint of an endocrinological or neurological control on sexual behavior in chimpanzees or bonobos. They do what they evolved to do. To our standards of behavior, chimpanzees are noisy, vicious, and dangerous, and bonobos are over-sexed. There is no control external to an individual, no authority commanding obedience to a behavioral code. There are no moral quandaries and feelings of guilt. They are sexual and at the same time they are moral.

I have found only one account of rape in the primates, and that was among baboons and under an unusual circumstance. Yet we, as modern humans, have out of control sexual behaviors: harassment, assault, molestation and rape. Further, humans have other very unusual behaviors such as murder over love triangles and suicide over love affairs that are unknown among the other hominids.

Even more unusual are the external behavioral controls cited above as lacking in other hominids. We are so accustomed to them that we rarely question how and why they came into being. Some of the earliest moral codes are replete with rules upon sexual behavior. External controls and civilization are inextricably linked.

I’ve set out my understanding of the compulsion, then of Hominid Model of Sexual Behavior followed by a putative aboriginal Human Model of Sexual Behavior culminating in that very odd behavior the pair bond. In the next essay but one,26 I will return to the pair bond for a closer look at the dynamics of our dominant mating system.

 


  1. Fritz Lieber, “Ill Met in Lankhmar” 

  2. McKenna was a machinist’s mate on a US Navy gunboat on the Yangtze River in the 1930’s, making China “safe for missionaries, Robert Dollar and Standard Oil.” 

  3. “Dagon”, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Oct. 1959 

  4. http://jackofafewtrades.com/2020/05/from-utilitarianism-to-an-evolutionary-morality-we-were-moral-before-we-were-civilized/  

  5. Joyce, Neryl, Mercenary Mom: My Journey From Young Mother to Baghdad Bodyguard, ISBN 978-09924658-5-8 

  6. He was convicted. 

  7. To a first order of approximation.  Higher orders of approximation will descry increasing complexity. 

  8. I omitted any reference to plant sex. What is interesting is that they also have hormonal systems and some plant sex hormones are involved in animal sex. This stuff is ancient! 

  9. We had a daughter and have been married 53 years. 

  10. Rauscher, Herman, Summer of ’42 

  11. She is now about 25 years old and no longer driven so crazy by sex hormones. 

  12. The warm pond is Charles Darwin’s suggested location, but other sites for the development of life and reproduction have been proposed including ice, quite the opposite of that warm pond. 

  13. Testosterone is associated with aggression but may not be the direct cause or even the trigger. Many men have high testosterone levels without displaying overly aggressive behaviors. 

  14. I have been unable to determine if the males of other primate species suffer from blue balls. They apparently do not masturbate in the wild. That they do in captivity will be taken up in another essay. 

  15. Evolution did not ‘choose’ to turn production of semen down as the seminal vesicle and prostate filled. There is no feedback signal that the organs are full and that production of sperm and seminal fluid should ‘turn off’, only an episodic overflow or discharge that effectively relieves the discomfort. 

  16. Females, lacking nerve endings in the vagina, are shortchanged in the sensation department. 

  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitruvian_Man#/media/File:Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour.jpg  

  18. For this essay, hominids are extant chimpanzees, and bonobos. I have divided the hominid clade into 2 parts, hominids and humans to make it easier to compare and contrast their similarities and differences. I assume that we can infer a basic hominid model from studying contemporary hominids and the other primates. This may or may not be valid, but the assumption makes my story possible. I also assume that a putative model of early human behavior can be inferred from ‘late’ hominid together with late human behavior. 

  19. The correlation between ovulation and swellings for female chimps is tight. Bonobo female swellings may or may not signal imminent ovulation. Human females do not exhibit uro-genital estrous swellings. 

  20. I did not find any information about the reactions of the rejected males. I extrapolated from human experience in the word ‘frustration.’ 

  21. Nikos Kazantzakis in Zorba the Greek, as near as I can remember the quote. 

  22. These behaviors may also result from a drive toward adventure and mastery, and male dominance. 

  23. Tim Allen, quoted in Adler’s essay cited above. 

  24. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pair_bond This source notes six types of pair bonds, differing principally in their duration and secondarily their purpose. I will use the phrase exclusively for an intensely emotional and sexual female-male attachment which is our principal mating strategy and locus for raising children. And I will collapse several of those types of pair bonds into the observation that the duration of female-male pairing/bonding is distributed on a curve with durations of single event to lifelong. And that, absent economic and social forcing agents, there is a natural peak of duration at four to seven years. 

  25. For variety in the female choice system, I relied on Small, Meredith A., Female Choices: Sexual Behavior of Female Primates. Female choice is often for variety of males. 

  26. http://jackofafewtrades.com/2020/06/are-humans-a-monogamous-species/