Women’s aversion to “disgusting” things
is lessened when they’re sexually roused.
It seems that a lot of women
find sex a bit disgusting.
Apparently saliva, sweat,
semen and body odours elicit
strong feelings of disgust.
Feeling disgusted? For women, chasing away
the stomach-churning emotion may be as
easy as seeking sexual arousal.
Disgust is a powerful feeling that helps
defend people from potentially sickening
Objectively, sexual intercourse could be
seen as one of those circumstances,
involving, as it does, saliva and other bodily fluids.
New research raises the interesting question
of how a vital but potentially icky activity
such as sex can seem pleasant and doable.
Perhaps it’s because sexual arousal
somehow dampens the natural disgust response.
Some typical human sexual characteristics: we are mostly
monogamous, we have sex in private, it isn’t obvious
when females are ovulating, we have sex all the time,
and females also experience menopause, an unusual
and abrupt end to fertility.
As a population, we predominantly engage in heterosexual
encounters, but, to an unknown percentage, also homosexual ones.
This complete set of behavioural and physical characteristics
are rare within the animal world, but some of the individual
Traits can be found across the animal kingdom.
Love has always been the same, right? A man falls
for a woman, they get married, pop out a few
children and stay together in a harmonious and
monogamous relationship for life.
Sorry romantics. This wasn’t, and still isn’t,
always the picture of love. Polygamy – where
more than one spouse is allowed – was the norm
for many of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
Monogamy started flourishing when
our ancestors began to settle down.
A preference for it then appears to have come about,
among many other reasons, for economic purposes.
It made it easier for fathers to divide and share
valuable commodities such as land with their children.
Monogamy became associated with romantic
love by idealistic 19th Century Victorians.
The idea of sexual exclusivity started emerging fairly late in the game.
Even today monogamy is the minority
relationship style around the world.
Cultural estimates suggest as many as 83% of
societies around the world allow polygamy.