Sleeping with Someone Else "Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá"
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Hello there, Kevin here with another episode of the Feel-good English Podcast, the only podcast that is helping you become more fluent in English and more fluent in life. And today I’m going to help you become more fluent in sex.
Uh-oh, don’t be scared, actually I’m going to talk about some fascinating concepts from a book and we’re going to go more into the evolution of human sexual behavior in an attempt to understand why we deal with sex the way that we do.
Some questions that will be answered are things like are we naturally monogamous? Monogamy, monogamous, is an important word in this episode. Monogamous means having one partner only. The book answers the question, are monogamous relationships natural, the way they should be, or are they impossible to keep based on our instincts?
Also going to talk about how casual sex was crucial to our ancestors’ survival, casual sex meaning not committed relationships.
And lastly, I will also talk about how agriculture ruined our health and happiness.
This lesson is actually kind of related to last week’s lesson, we’re talking about how humans were created and how that affects us today; so kind of connected. You could say two of the lessons this month are based on instinctual human behavior, hope you enjoy this.
If you’re new to the podcast, I’d like to let you know there is a free course on my website, feelgoodenglish.com based on the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So if you want to go deeper into these lessons and you don’t know where to start, that’s where you start.
Go to feelgoodenglish.com and download the audio course on The Seven Habits and start learning why basic life habits are also the habits that will bring you to English fluency.
And without further delay, let’s get into the book Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan.
Learning about prehistoric communities can help us understand our communities better; learning about our behavior thousands of years ago can help us understand why we act the way that we do.
Humans are quite instinctual; often we act on things impulsively without really knowing why.
But we’re animals and our bodies often react to certain situations based on the way that we were developed.
So the first point here is back in the hunter-gatherer days and if you remember from last episode, hunter-gatherer, those that would roam the earth hunting and gathering food, they would roam around in tribes and sexual promiscuity was the rule. Sexual promiscuity, promiscuity is to have multiple partners, to not be monogamous.
Now again monogamous is having one partner. This was the norm back then, back in the day. Why? Sharing in prehistoric communities was mandatory, including sharing your sexual partner.
Besides sharing food, shelter, child care taking care of the kids, they also shared sex believe it or not; they would sleep with whoever they wanted to, have intercourse with whoever they wanted to, and that was for men and women and this was just a way to keep peace within the tribe, so people didn’t get crazy. So they would share partners and you would sleep with whoever you wanted to, to maintain balance as well.
This obviously isn’t the way that it usually works today amongst humans and, according to the book this is because agriculture, the invention of agriculture and religions have attempted to diminish our desire for sex. We have more rules and standards that we’re supposed to live by, and even some cultures and religions punish promiscuity, punish you for sleeping with multiple partners.
But the human sex drive, the drive, the motivation, what’s inside of us, continues to express itself, you can’t suppress that forever. But most societies today don’t give in to these sexual desires, they try to keep a little more order within their families, within their communities for better or worse.
Another reason for this is promiscuity helped ancestors survive by sharing fatherhood among the group. Interestingly enough, if you think about it, because all of the members in the tribe were having sex with each other, they didn’t really know who the father was, so fathers had to take care of all of the babies.
Also, because everybody is sleeping with each other, there was a lot of deep connections made. However, this didn’t last, mostly due to agriculture; the Agricultural Revolution changed everything. Instead of roaming around the earth hunting and gathering, now people started owning property, they started owning the area around them and it was their farm and their resources, so they worked there, they created food that was theirs.
So for the first time in history, because of the Agricultural Revolution, people started to get rich, others started to get poor, greed came into play, people wanted more because they had more than they needed and jealousy started to creep up into society as well.
Why? Well now not only did the farmers, did the landowners want possession over their land but they also wanted possession over their family. Who would keep the land? Who would inherit the farm after the father died? Who would get this property?
In order to be able to pass it to whom they knew was theirs, they needed to be more monogamous and have less partners and be certain that the woman was not going to have other children, so his property would go to his children that he had through his woman.
And at this time too, because farming was done by men, women had less to do, so they started taking care of the children. The men would be outside doing the grunt work while the mothers would be around the house taking care of the children. As you can see, the shift from crazy tribes of nomads wandering the earth doing whatever they please, to staying in one place, farming, creating a family, creating possessions and creating gender roles.
The last idea the author brings up in this book is that true love and monogamy can make us depressed and it can cause us to even have disease. Yes, you heard that correctly, according to the book, being monogamous gives you diseases. Uh-oh, that should probably be explained.
Yes, well often we think when we find that right person, we won’t ever need anyone else, sex will always be special and everything will always be great. Well, if you’ve been in any sort of long-term relationship it’s not quite that way; if you’re young and naive like we’ve all been, you believe it’s that way. But after growing up, having a few relationships, you realize there are ups and downs and it’s not always amazing.
You ever heard of the expression “The honeymoon is over”? You get married, you go on a honeymoon, which is where you go to the beach or you travel right after your wedding to celebrate and then after that you go back to reality. Sometimes we use the expression “The honeymoon is over” when we talk about the best times are done and then we go back to a more level, balanced feeling and a more level, balanced state.
The author says that just because we feel deep love for somebody doesn’t mean we’ll continue to desire that person forever; biologically we’re programmed to seek out sex with different partners. However, these days most societies say you should be with one person forever. The disparity between the two can lead to profound unhappiness.
Think of all of the bad situations this has caused, when either somebody is in a bad marriage and then they go and cheat they secretly hide things from their partner or they just stay in that state and they just stay sad and they’re never really inspired, feeling that they’re forced to be in a relationship that they don’t want to be in.
The author says we confuse love and sex and we often think that desiring somebody, lusting ( to lust ) for your partner is the same as loving them and if you don’t have the desire, that passion, you don’t love them as much.
Well, that’s pretty much a media thing right, media has created this connection, this idea that sex and love are the same thing; but they’re not. So this all sounds depressing, but what can you do about it? Is there any way out? Does it mean you just have to go start sleeping with anybody you want, acting like animals? Or does it mean you have to just put up with what you have and expect to never have passionate exciting sex ever, ever again?
Well, the author has an idea on what you can do. The main problem according to the author is that cultures promote monogamy, that media, culture, society, religion, promote monogamy but our biological desire for sex doesn’t. Or, we have a desire for multiple partners, so this disparity causes a lot of problems. So how can we deal with this?
Well, he says we should openly talk about it, we should have more open conversations, couples should talk about their desires and fantasies with each other, what they would like to do, what they think. And, the authors think we should experiment more and try out different things, see what works for us, see what we enjoy.
And finally, even though sex is important we shouldn’t take it so seriously; some people’s lives are absorbed by sexual thoughts and feelings and actions and of course some cultures are much more sexual than others as well. Media, all day long we’re inundated with images and advertisements, but the author says don’t take sex so seriously, it’s a biological impulse and it’s part of our nature. And we shouldn’t confuse impulses and behavior with long-term love.
Summarizing here, both men and women are promiscuous by nature, that’s how we evolved, to have sex with different partners. However, today’s nuclear family structure, a mom, a dad, kids, doesn’t fit with our natural tendencies. And the false beliefs about sexual fidelity and true love prevail and lead to a lot of frustration.
In general, the authors recommend just having a more relaxed casual and liberal approach to sexuality, being more open and having more conversations with your partner, and having the courage to try to make things better when things aren’t great.
I don’t have an opinion, strong opinion on this, I haven’t been married that long, I don’t have children. However, I know that it’s a struggle for a lot of people and there’s no right answer, not everybody has to be monogamous. And for a lot of people, not being monogamous and doing whatever you want would be impossible in a very stable relationship. Difficult issue to tackle, however knowledge is power.
The book is great, Sex at Dawn, go find it.
If you want a transcript to this episode, you can get it at feelgoodenglish.com, learn how to get transcripts there. And until the next episode, keep learning, keep becoming better, keep controlling your urges. And speaking of urges, how about a joke, a joke on marriage?
So a woman says, “I once gave my husband the silent treatment for an entire week. At the end of the week he declared, “Wow honey, we’re getting along ( get along) pretty great lately.”
That’s not funny.
Until the next episode, have a wonderful week. Talk to you soon, bye bye.
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Welcome to the vocabulary lesson for the book Sex at Dawn. Let’s get into it.
First word here is monogamous. Monogamous, now you might know this word, monogamous means having one partner, one partner only. So if you are in a monogamous relationship, you only have one partner. One husband, one wife, one boyfriend, one girlfriend, talking about monogamy.
Also, quick pronunciation lesson here, every English word has one stressed syllable, and if you know which syllable to stress this can really help you pronounce all English words correctly, and sound more natural. In this case the word is monogamy so can you hear the stress there? monogamy, nog, right? monogamy. Knowing which syllable, which part of the word has a stress will really help you. You’ll see in the glossary I’ll sometimes put the stress syllable in bold. It will look stronger so mo amy and put the stress on that syllable. Monogamy, monogamy say it, monogamy. Say it again monogamy, monogamy, no not my not monogamy, monogamy, monogamy.
Next word here’s a verb to roam, roam. To roam means to wonder about, to move around, to walk around, drive around, without a specific destination, without a destination in mind, or maybe you can’t find your destination, you’re just roaming around the neighborhood lost, but most of the time use this to roam, is just to move about without a specific destination and often you will hear this with the preposition around, to roam around. She’s roaming around the mall. She’s been roaming around the mall for an hour.
So think about the last time you roamed around somewhere casually without a specific destination. Maybe it was the mall, maybe it was a park, maybe you were visiting a new city and you were roaming around the city without really looking for any place specific. I love doing that by the way roaming around a new city, getting lost in a new city and just roaming around all day. I find that quite stimulating.
So, just for a few seconds, visualize yourself roaming around the last place you roamed around.
Next one here a quick one norm. The norm, what’s the norm. We often use this with the. I think we always use it with the. The norm, this is going against the norm, or this isn’t the norm. That just means normal, what’s regular. So norm like normal. You’ll see that in a phrase going against the norm or this isn’t the norm. Maybe at work, your boss might say something like, “the way you’ve been dressing at work lately is definitely not the norm. You need to reconsider your fashion choices.”
Next one here is a great idiom, an expression, and this is to give in to, to give in to something. This means to submit or surrender you could say. You could surrender to somebody, surrender to pressure. Somebody is pressuring you, let’s say a woman, no let’s say a man, that’s more common, a man is really pressuring you and wants to date you, so he’s constantly flirting with you, talking with you, putting a lot of pressure on you so you’ll go out on a date with him, and eventually you stop trying to resist, you get annoyed or maybe you start to get interested, so you give in to his demands, you give in to his pressure or you could just simply say “I gave in” and decided to go on a date with him. So surrender, submit, almost give up to a negative force. There’s actually a Michael Jackson song called “Give in to me” believe it or not. I don’t think anybody knows that song but to give in. Often we give in to the pressure, so if you think something’s pressuring you, someone’s pressuring you a lot and you just can’t take it anymore, you’re going to give in to the pressure. Often we’ll have feelings of regret after giving in to something or somebody because it’s not our first choice, it’s not what we initially wanted but because of the pressure or it was annoying or just the persistence by somebody else you eventually gave in. So thinking about this a little more, when was the last time you gave in to someone. This could be for any reason, they wanted you to do something, they kept bugging you, meaning annoying you, putting pressure on you to do something and you finally gave in. Your husband wife girlfriend, boyfriend, think about the last time you gave in to someone else’s demands. Tell me about it. Now think about why you gave into this, what caused you to give in to somebody else’s demands, to the pressure somebody else is putting on you.
Often we’ll have feelings of regret after giving in to something or somebody because it’s not our first choice, it’s not what we initially wanted but because of the pressure or it was annoying or just the persistence by somebody else, you eventually gave in. So thinking about this a little more, when was the last time you gave in to someone? This could be for any reason, they wanted you to do something, they kept bugging you, meaning annoying you, putting pressure on you to do something and you finally gave in. Maybe a husband wife girlfriend, boyfriend, think about the last time you gave in to someone else’s demands? Tell me about it.
Now think about why you gave into this, what caused you to give in to somebody else’s demands, to the pressure somebody else is putting on you.
Last question here with give in. What about yourself are you pretty persuasive? If you want somebody to do something for you what do you usually do, so they’ll eventually give in to your demands? Are you a little manipulative maybe, manipulative manipulative, manipulative. There’s a fun word. What do you do when you want somebody to give in to you? Tell me about that and don’t worry, nobody else will hear you it’s just between you and I and actually I won’t even hear you because you’re saying this out loud to yourself.
Awesome phrasal verb here, new phrasal verb creep up. To creep up. This is made up of the word creep. A creep, Sometimes you’ll hear somebody called a creep, and a creep is just simply somebody who makes you feel weird, who makes you feel strange, you say “that guy is a creep.” That means he makes you feel uncomfortable. He makes you feel uncomfortable, got it? So this phrasal verb creep up is when something comes up slowly. It could be a thing, a person, a time, a date, comes up slowly without you really noticing. So something is progressing towards you or advancing or just moving forward without you really noticing. Some examples. Age is creeping up on me. Age starting to lose a little hair, starting to have some back pain, these types of things show me that age is creeping up on me, oh oh. You could literally and physically creep up on somebody, if they’re sitting at a desk with their back facing the room, like I am right now. You could sneak up on them silently. Sneak up, creep up, very similar, creep up behind them and then scare them and say, ” Ah!! And you would scare them by creeping up on them. You could talk about a deadline, a deadline when something is due. You have a big project coming at school or at work and the deadline is creeping up. If you don’t pay attention you won’t even realize it has arrived. You say oh oh the deadline is really creeping up we better get started on this project. That test date is creeping up, we better actually start studying. Action step for creep up, action step for creep up, today or tomorrow I want you to creep up on somebody and scare them! Creep up slowly, secretly, quietly and then when you get close you scare them and they’ll say why did you do that and you say I’m practicing my English I’m learning phrasal verbs honey and they will understand. So action step creep up on somebody and scare them.
You could talk about a deadline, a deadline when something is due. You have a big project coming at school or at work and the deadline is creeping up. If you don’t pay attention you won’t even realize it has arrived. You say oh oh the deadline is really creeping up we better get started on this project. That test date is creeping up, we better actually start studying.
Action step for creep up, action step for creep up, today or tomorrow I want you to creep up on somebody and scare them! Creep up slowly, secretly, quietly and then when you get close you scare them and they’ll say why did you do that and you say I’m practicing my English. I’m learning phrasal verbs, honey, and they will understand. So action step, creep up on somebody and scare them.
Next phrase here is grunt work. When we talk about grunt work we’re talking about the difficult, hard, labor intensive work, often that is not recognized so you have the people in the background doing all of the grunt work. Doing the hard things. This happens a lot in sports, maybe. You have the the stars at the front, scoring all the goals and then you have the people behind them doing the grunt work. A good example of this would be in American football. The linemen, the people at the line the big fat guys. They’re always blocking players doing the grunt work, so the other players can get the ball and score points. They’re doing the groundwork, unrecognized, tedious, difficult work.
What about yourself, what kind of grunt work do you do? Do you do any grunt work these days? Do you need to be doing more grunt work, maybe you have been having, have been having someone else do all of the grunt work and you need to take over, meaning take responsibility for. Some of this grunt work or maybe not, maybe you’ve done plenty of grunt work in your life and now you can relax and let everybody else do the grunt work but I want you to stop for 10 seconds, think about, is there any grunt work that needs to be done around your house.
Quick one here the ups and downs. The ups and downs of life. I have been going through a lot of ups and downs lately, so this just means the good times and the bad times. The good luck and the bad luck. We all experience ups and downs in our life. Ups Good times, good luck, positive moments, and downs, down times would be a depressing time, sad times, difficult challenging moments. So learning how to deal with the ups and downs of life is very important, and I wrote somewhere it’s one of my main focuses, is being grateful, being appreciative when good things happen and bad things happen. I know it’s a lot harder to appreciate and be grateful for things that we don’t like or when there’s challenging moments in our life, but we have to learn how to disconnect from these moments. We have to learn how to disconnect in general from external things. We have ups and downs all throughout life and if we really attach and connect to those external events, our moods will change a lot, right? If we’re dependent on good things happening to be happy and we get really depressed and down when bad things happen, well we’re not really in control of our emotions, now obviously we can’t be one hundred percent in control of everything that we feel, we can’t be one hundred percent in control of everything that happens to us. We have actually little control over that, but I think we can learn how to be present, be in the moment, disconnect from the external happenings a little bit. I think it’s a lifelong practice, but meditation, being grateful, being mindful, putting things into perspective, meaning, knowing that just because this is happening to you and it seems bad, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, and probably there are much worse things happening to people all around the world at this very moment. So talking about being grateful, being mindful, dealing with the ups and downs in life, and just for a few seconds here I want you to think about how you could apply one little tactic, one little strategy to help you deal with the ups and downs of life. So just think about that for a moment. Think about it in English, obviously.
Next word here is lust. You ever heard of lust for life? There’s a popular song. “A lust for life”. That just has to do with having a strong passion for things. It could be a sexual desire, you lust for somebody, or your relationship is lacking lust. It can also just be a passion for life, or a passion for something. It’s a very strong word. So if you really like something, don’t say you have a lust for tha, use it minimally and use it for sexual things or a lust for life, very common expression. He’s got to lust for life. He really is passionate about life in general but lust.
Another phrasal verb to put up with maybe you’ve heard this before, to put up with something is to to deal with something, to handle something without really complaining or without resisting too much, so you put up. So to put up with something. To put up with something is to deal with it without complaining, and just to recognize that putting up with it is probably better than complaining or fighting or going against it. An example, you are on an airplane and there’s a baby crying the whole time, there’s not much you can do about it. So you just kind of have to put up with it.
When was the last time you had to put up with something? When was the last time you had to put up with something? Tell me about it.
Now reversing it here, what’s something that other people have to put up with, with you? We’re not perfect, we probably annoy somebody sometime, maybe, maybe not but what something other people might have to put up with when dealing with you, you beautiful person?
Next word here inundated, inundated. Remember the pronunciation lesson from the beginning, inundated. The stress is on the first syllable, inundated. So inundated is to be overwhelmed, too much information, too many things, too much stuff. In the podcast they talk about how the media has inundated us with certain ideas and philosophies. They inundate us with advertisements. So inundate pronunciation practice, repeat after me inundate, again inundate.
Last one here another phrasal verb, phrasal verbs are awesome right. Get along, to get along very common. And especially in American English there’s actually a difference here between British English and American English. In American English we often use this as getting along with some body with people. Maybe you could say an animal like a dog. The dog and I really get along well but normally we use it with people. Do you get along with your husband or wife? How do you get along with your boss? Do you get along with your boss well? I haven’t been getting along with my classmates recently they think I’m a kiss ass meaning I try to impress the teacher all of the time. Anyway, to get along is to have good relations, to not get along with somebody means you don’t have good relations with them, you don’t like them, you two don’t connect very well.
So last question here for you, who is the person that you get along with the best? Who is the person in your life that you just get along really well with? It’s easy to be around this person, you connect, you have great conversation, you trust each other, you always get along well. Who is this person and why do you get along so well with them? Tell me about it.
That’s it for this lesson, repeat this as many times as you need, pause in between the different words, make sure you take your time with this. We’re not in a race, we’re not trying to get through this as fast as possible, we’re trying to burn this information deep into our heads and think about the word, connect these words to your life, visualize situations where you can use these words, have conversations with yourself with these words. Try to repeat them as many times as possible, and even more than that, try to feel them. So if you can put yourself in a real situation with somebody and think about these words, use these words, try to fuel them, try to connect emotions to them, that will help you memorize them forever.