Sex at Dawn

Exploring the evolutionary origins of modern sexuality

Name This Book!

Mayday! The book's written. What should we call it?

We're almost ready to publish our book. What should we call it? We're coming down to crunch time on our book (publisher expecting to receive the manuscript any day now). While the writing is going very well, there's a minor detail still to be determined: the title!

We like Lust in Paradise, but not enough to stop the flow of new ideas. For me, it's got a whiff of pulp-fiction, Fabio on the cover in a torn shirt... But maybe that's just me. When I asked friends what they liked, L.I.P. was the favorite, so maybe I've just got a Fabio complex.

Knowing that PT readers are a savvy lot, we proposed to our editor that we include readers of this blog in the quest to come up with the perfect title. Any and all suggestions will be most gratefully accepted. Remember, even if your idea isn't quite right, it could trigger another idea that is, so please don't hold back. We'll take your preferences into account when we make the final decision and if anyone comes up with something new that we ultimately go with, we'll send you a signed copy of the book when it comes out, mention you in the acknowledgments, and name our next cat after you.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

For readers who aren't clear on what the book is about, I'll paste in a brief description below. Then, below that, I'll paste in some ideas we've been working with to get you started.

What the book's about (from our first blog entry):

The model of human sexuality we’ve developed questions some of the central assumptions you’ll find in most evolutionary psychology – particularly the centrality and universality of what many anthropologists insist on calling marriage and the importance of sexual fidelity. At the center of these theories is the assumption that there’s a basic exchange fundamental to male/female relations: the female trades exclusive sex for access to the man’s resources: status, protection, meat, help with the kids, tickets to the Lakers game, etc.

We think that’s pretty much bunk. We’ve concluded that this isn’t really the way humans evolved; it’s just how many of us behave now, in societies characterized by particular economic and political conditions that make it very difficult for women to secure these things directly for themselves without trading on their sexuality.

We talk about the sexual practices in exotic cultures around the world, the nature of sexual jealousy, how primates deal with sexuality and raising their young, and just about every aspect of human life in prehistory (politics, economics, diet, health, war, etc.).

The book is primarily about the origins of human sexuality in prehistory -- before agriculture, in other words, and argues against the currently accepted model.

-----

The subtitle will be something along the lines of "The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality," so the title can be more obtuse. Here are some of the leading contenders:

 

  • Lust in Paradise
  • Paradise Lust
  • Sex at Dawn
  • Sex, B.C.
  • Sex Before Civilization
  • Uncivilized Sex
  • Sex Before the Fall
  • Hard Core in the Stone Age
  • Sex Before Shame
  • Sex Before Science
  • Prehistoric Passions
  • The Manufacture of Marriage
  • The Cultivation of Human Nature
  • Sex Before History
  • Adam and Even in Bed
  • Sex Among Omnivores
  • Pagan Love
  • Original Lust
  • First Love
  • Sex at First Light
  • The Dawn of Desire

As you can see, the operative words are: sex, lust, before, dawn, desire.

Many thanks for any suggestions.

 

Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., is co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality (HarperCollins 2010).

more...

Subscribe to Sex at Dawn

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?