William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

Sex at Dawn on the Savage Lovecast

I've just re-read The Book Nobody Read, but I'm not going to review that just yet. I'm going to re-read Sex at Dawn, and then I will be prepared to write the review for it. I am dithering on it somewhat because when a truly revolutionary book comes along, you don't want to do it any kind of disservice with a review that isn't well-written.

OK, yes, I might also be a bit daunted by the task itself. There's so much in the book that stands what we all thought we knew about sex and sexuality on its head. If I were merely to list the things in point form, I'd be doing the ideas a grave disservice. As Carl Sagan puts it, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

I don't think it's too much to say that this book has the potential to do for popular knowledge about sex what the Origin of Species did for popular knowledge about evolution. Now I must add that Sex at Dawn is not self-contained in the same manner - like other modern books that take science to the masses, the research of many people in many places informs the narrative, and the appropriate references are available. In fact, the book sometimes even encourages the reader to put the book down and to look up a source online.

I guess I am kind of getting into a mini-review, so I'll truncate myself. I will end by saying that no book has ever produced for me so many "holy shit!" moments as this one did. And will again, as I read the book for a second time.


I know some of you don't really like to read.

And that's OK! I never really got into doing math. It's something I like far more in principle than in practice - as an example, I finished first-year calculus this year, age 28. But I was reading when I was 3.

And, even if you are a voracious reader (and I'm not - my own 93-year-old grandmother would put me to shame here), you are no doubt a discerning one. You have to be - you don't want to waste your time with unworthy books.

So! As luck would have it, Dan Savage had Christopher Ryan, the coauthor of Sex at Dawn, on this week's episode of his Savage Lovecast. He's been on before, but this time he stays for the entire episode, and as they take phone calls they have time to go over most of the major ideas in the book.

The sixties hipsters had it right: Make love, not war! Or... as it was with our ancestors... let the little guys duke it out while we concentrate on enjoying ourselves. Listen or read and you'll get what I mean. I don't quite yet have the temerity to spell this out explicitly in a public post. ;-)

Download links:

Savage Love Episode 210 (this week's episode, which covers most of the major ideas from the book)
Savage Love Episode 194 (Ryan's prior appearance)

Library links:

Halifax Public Libraries
Prince Edward Island Public Library
Novanet (I can't find it. Can you? Seems odd that they wouldn't have it.)

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