How Junk Science Has Shaped Our Beliefs on Female Sexuality - An Interview With Dr. Wednesday Martin

How Junk Science Has Shaped Our Beliefs on Female Sexuality - An Interview With Dr. Wednesday Martin

What follows is a transcript for the podcast HomeGrown Humans - Wednesday Martin, Ph.D. - Sexuality - Hosted by Jamie Wheal.

Topics within the interview include: 

  • Female non-monogamy across cultures and species
  • The case for a reclassification of the scientific term “alpha male”
  • Cultural shifts from plow agriculture to polyamory
  • Defining and exploring the Orgasm gap
  • The link between female sexuality and gender inequality

Jamie Wheal: Well, welcome to our latest edition of HomeGrown Humans with Neurohacker Collective. I am super stoked to welcome Dr. Wednesday Martin, the New York Times, number one best selling Author of Primates of Park Avenue. Her most recent book Untrue, about basically ripping the cover off women's sexuality and infidelity. She has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic and pretty much every other major publication you can think of and has been the host of a successful podcast of her own and super psyched to have you here Wednesday and happy to jump in.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Thank you so much for having me on Jamie. Looking forward to talking to you and connecting with your listeners. Thanks.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. It occurred to me this morning that both you and I have written what I might call permission books. A few years ago, I wrote a book called Stealing Fire, which came out six months before Michael Pollan's How to Change Your Mind. It was also speaking of burning man culture, transformational culture, all of these things and fundamentally the role of ecstatic peak states, in otherwise healthy non deviant lifestyles and [inaudible 00:02:59]. Right, it had a very strong reception and even though that wasn't the thesis, what it turned out to be in real life was a bunch of people giving their book to stodgy spouses or bosses or founding partners or parents and going, "See, see? Validation, because science." Right?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah. It's so important, your point about validation, because science, because I think what we do, is a little different. Stepmothers who are struggling or women in a mean girl culture, a mean girl mom culture or women who struggle with monogamy, I always say it's one thing to just tell them, "Oh, it's okay. It's okay, that you feel that way. Okay," but when you give people permission with the data that say, stepmothers have the hardest role of the family system or with the data that say actual, real stuff about maternal behavior and intersexual competition or worldwide ethnographic data, about the prevalence of monogamy versus non-monogamy, then you've given people permission on a deeper level with some substance to it and I think you and I are both really about setting people free to feel more comfortable with themselves with data, as opposed to just affirmations or, "It's okay," or, "You be you." Yeah. I see the connection between our projects there.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah and we've also got lots of overlapping friends and colleagues, everyone from Chris Ryan, to Helen Fisher, to folks in that evolutionary psychology, biology, sexuality space, Nicole [inaudible 00:04:45], a bunch of folks and I'm super curious on that theme of permission books, what was your experience having researched and then written Untrue and then it dropping into and in my sense, there was somewhere a continuum, of where Untrue lands with Esther Perel's work, as well as Sex at Dawn, as well as the burgeoning, non-conventional or non-traditional relationship space.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Right.

Exploring Female Non-Monogamy Across Cultures and Species

Jamie Wheal: What was your experience from 2018, doing the research? I'm imagining wood shedding. You're a solitary Author doing your thing. Speaking with subjects, but then it goes out into the world, it lands and then it takes on a life of its own. What was that like for you and what'd you notice?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: It's so interesting. First of all, I just want to underscore that you and I look at cultures and by the way, I've always wanted to go to Burning Man. I've never gone. It's such a specific culture and I know that there's micro cultures within Burning Man, but I love that you wrote about it. It's such an important niche to look at, in terms of how people form identity and what can happen with sexuality in these spaces, where you create an ecology where there's less stigma. Yeah. You and I like to write about culture.

Obviously, when I wrote Primates of Park Avenue, I was writing about a very specific culture, wealthy mothers of young children, preschool-aged children on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and that was a very specific culture and then when I wrote Untrue, I found myself in yet another culture, which was the culture of sex positivity sometimes or sometimes, it would be the culture of a specific sex party. Sometimes, I was immersing myself in the worldwide ethnographic data about female sexuality. I would interview somebody like Brooke Scelza, who's the world's leading expert on the Himba and the Himba, who live in Northern Namibia, have the highest rates of extra-pair paternity, of any small scale society anywhere, meaning the Himba have...

Jamie Wheal: And is it known or is this cuckoldry?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Oh, it's known and it's open. It's an openly accepted fact among the Himba, that approximately one in three pregnancies of a married Himba woman, is a pregnancy with her boyfriend versus her husband. There's a very high rate of extra-pair paternity and a very high rate of tolerance for it and it's an accepted fact. Also, I was immersing myself in different cultural beliefs and traditions around what we might call fidelity, a term I hate or monogamy and it was such a shock really, to go from being a stealth social scientist socialite on the Upper East Side, to going into these cultures and studying sex, permission, prohibition, rates of sexual activity, rates of exclusivity versus extra-pair involvement and it was a shock to the system, but it was such a relief.

I remember my husband saying, "Oh my God, this is so much more fun than the last book," when I was writing Untrue, because really I had been studying women who were highly anxious, who were experiencing a lot of intersexual competition, whose lives were really fueled by anxiety and ambition, on behalf of their children. I went from that, to what you might call more ecstatic contexts or just day to day lives, where there was less constraint and it was an amazing process and Untrue was a quieter book than Primates of Park Avenue. Primates of Park Avenue made a huge splash and got a lot of attention and it was a top down phenomenon.

It was almost like Primates of Park Avenue was imposed on people, whereas Untrue being a book about women in non-monogamy or female non-monogamy across cultures and species, it is a stigmatized topic. It didn't get covered as much, but what was fascinating was watching it find this organic audience and watching people find it and you're aware of this, the passion that people feel when you give them permission, when you validate their life experiences and their feelings with data, with science, is so incredibly powerful. It was so gratifying to enter into these other cultures, to be welcomed in, to be welcomed into a secret sex party. That's an act of trust.

To be welcomed into a community like Open Love New York, which is a support system and social opportunity, a place where poly and open people across the country, do open love meetings and stuff. To be welcomed into these cultures, to talk to all these anthropologists and experts and primatologists and to talk to real women, people who identified as women, about their sex lives. It was such a privilege and a thrill and then it was such a privilege and a thrill to watch people slowly find the book in their own way, as opposed to what happened with Primates of Park Avenue.

It's just been so gratifying to watch. You know how it is as a writer. People reach out to you and they literally say, "Oh my God, you changed my life." What a privilege is that? What a privilege? I get a lot of women giving me credit saying like, "You inspired me to get a divorce," or, "You inspired me to..." and I'm not always sure how I feel about that, but I think that you and I, we're in a similar position where we have the privilege of changing people's thinking and changing their lives and what an honor is that? Sorry, did I answer your question?

Jamie Wheal: Well, this is great, because all we're doing is sowing the seeds, to pick up certain threads. You even talked about the Himba and you talked about extramarital lovers and mates and now, we're just going to get deep nerd anthropology for a second.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Let's go deep nerd about extra-pair fraternity among the Himba.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, because this reminds me of Jared Diamond's, Why is Sex Fun, which is actually not nearly as fun a book as you would think with a title like that, but nonetheless, he's talking about hey, mating strategies and I'm interested in laying over our conversation on Chris's Sex at Dawn, pros and cons of the thesis and the modeling, anthropological critique, et cetera, but basically just the idea that women might have, in paleolithic times, had lovers on the side, because it was nice to have fundamentally, someone else who might be a better hunter, who might share with her and her children, just the idea of hedging one's bets, which is amazing.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah. Hedging, well women and female hominids, have always run a social calculus and I might suggest that your readers, instead of Jared Diamond, maybe read Sarah Hrdy, who is a lot more footnotes, a lot more depth. I really appreciate how Jared Diamond has crossed certain ideas into the mainstream, but I think in terms of some real rigor about these ideas and going much deeper and challenging mainstream ideas about sexual selection and correcting confirmation bias in sexual selection theory, I would really recommend Sarah Hrdy's work and it wasn't ever just about choosing one great guy and locking him down. That was never the strategy. If that were the strategy, if that had been the social and sexual strategy, for most of our evolutionary prehistory, women would not have a forward face richly innervated clitoris and women would not struggle in the aggregate more than men do, in sexually exclusive cohabiting relationships.

Jamie Wheal: Well, exactly. Let's get to that, because I wanted to set up.

The Case for a Reclassification of the Scientific Term Alpha Male

Dr. Wednesday Martin: I love getting into the nerd. Oh and let me just say, because you asked about the Himba Jamie, there's this fantastic anthropologist named Brooke Scelza and she's probably one of the world's leading experts on the Himba and she went there and just studied what happens with female reproductive success among the Himba and it's a much more subtle finding than this, but she found that it might actually work against women's reproductive success, to limit themselves to one partner, which is a finding that would bear out much of the revisiting of very dated sexual selection theory, that finds that females of almost all species like males, benefit from mating multiply as opposed to, we projected onto females, this strategy of locking down an alpha male.

We know that even the idea of the alpha male is really problematic, when you look at the actual science of male sexual and social strategies across species and across cultures. I really wish we would stop using that term in science, because alpha males and beta males, this is just a thing that people really indoctrinated into hierarchical thinking, are people highly invested in this idea of alpha males and beta males or alpha females and beta females and it really is not born out in the science. What we see is that the males that we call alpha males, actually what they're best at isn't chest beating and impregnating. What they're best at is coalition building, baby holding, negotiation, soothing people and compassion, which are all...

Jamie Wheal: But, that's a reclassification of what people would think of as an alpha male. Is that correct? You're not saying...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Exactly. When you look at actual successful males across species and even among humans, what scientists are finding and Frans de Waal's work is really good on this and so is Amy Parish's work, absolutely incredible and what we call alpha males, actually, most of their social strategies have to do with coalition building, have to do with cooperation, have to do with reducing conflict, have to do with literally in many species, holding babies and soothing con specifics and being empathic and compassionate.

That needs to enter into the conversation, so does the whole idea that this idea of the alpha male is based on some literature, some lupine research, research on wolves and the scientist who coined the term alpha male, alpha male said, "I was wrong. There's not an alpha structure among wolves. The alphas are actually the parents and it's about parenting behavior, not about fighting behavior," and I think we really need to revisit this idea of the alpha male and I took us into a little bit of a cul-de-sac here, but I think it's one of the most important places to start thinking about received notions about sexual selection theory and creating an opportunity for people to look at the literature that's emerged in the last half century, but has not really crossed over, about female and male sexual and reproductive strategies and how that impacts social behavior.

Cultural Shifts from Plow Agriculture to Polyamory

Jamie Wheal: No, exactly and just to go meta on your comment, you were mentioning dated and outdated evolutionary theory and then you were suggesting counter...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Sexual selection theory.

Jamie Wheal: Sexual selection theory and the whole evolutionary biological shit show, which we will get into, as far as the public sphere, the Jordan Peterson's and the incels of the world and everybody having a dog in this fight and then using what we... Because, at first you rather nicely but potentially innocently said, "Isn't it nice that we're providing permission via scientific evidence," but the reality is, is this is a hotly contested space and raw shot bloody as all get out, in the sense of what people project into evolutionary biology as this is the way it is, or this is the way we get to be. Everybody's interpreting it through their presentist lens and the dogs they have in the fight.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Well, a lot of people, when it crosses over into the mainstream, it's usually not evolutionary biology. It's usually evolutionary psychology, which to me is not much of a science.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, much more plastic and corruptible.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah. Well, I really like you framing it that way. Thank you for that, because I think what happens with evolutionary psychology and one of the reasons that people seize on it so much in the mainstream and that it appeals so much to the layperson, is that a lot of evolutionary psychology is these just so stories, that are this circuit of things are the way they are, because things are the way they used to be, which is the way they should be.

Jamie Wheal: And any effort to fight it, is silly or foolish or woke or whatever the pejorative is.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah and what happens is, they're starting with a very weird, culturally and historically specific wrinkle, in the long arc of human evolution, for example, the dyad. I like to say that through the lens of evolutionary biology and cultural anthropology, a monogamous dyad is a kink for exclusivity, because if you look at the long arc of human sexual and social behaviors and hominid sexual and social behaviors, what you see is that cooperative breeding, really was the soup that we were cooked in. 12,000, 10,000 years ago, our friend Helen Fisher tells us we had this shift toward agriculture, the worst thing that ever happened to women, she says. I concur with my friend Helen there and this thing that's only 10 to 12,000 years old and I get into this a lot in Untrue, this idea that women are men's property.

This idea that because men have more upper body strength, they should rule the world. This idea that women should be indoors at the hearth and men should be outside. This idea that a dyad is an ideal way to raise offspring. We know it's not, we know it's hard as fuck. It's impossible, because it goes against the groove in our head that we really do need lots of people to help us raise our children, all these weird culturally and historically specific new ideas. Evolutionary psychology often tends to take an idea like that and say, "Yeah, because well, that's how it was in caveman times, because that's the way it should be, because that's the real natural way." Too often when evolutionary psychology crosses over, it's in this, I call it a circuit of illogic and too often, it is just propping up the way things are now, "Oh, men like women in high heels, because it creates this appearance of lordosis and it's sexy." Well, it's sexy here, in one specific culture, where women are disempowered relative to men across many metrics, but...

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. It's the reverse. It's propter hoc ergo post hoc, because it used to be.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Exactly and it's also just looking at one specific culture often and drawing conclusions from one specific culture and one specific, weird set of cultural practices and then trying to naturalize it and tag it onto something that happened in our past. Yeah, evolutionary psychology. I prefer [inaudible 00:22:30].

Jamie Wheal: It comes with some asterisks.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: For sure. That's a nice way of saying it.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. Well again, just to stay on the commentary of your comment, which is, you're saying, "Hey, there's an established body of what almost passes as commonsensical folk wisdom on sexual selectivity," most of it and the counters, with the exception of Frans de Waal, everybody you've mentioned has been a female researcher. There's...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Frans de Waal, Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah and he's the Dutch Primatologist, who's done all kinds of fascinating work in that field. My sense is, there's also some element of gender looking at gender and what's the capacities and do you know David Buss at UT Austin? Are you familiar?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. I'm very aware of David's work.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. Listening to his podcast with our buddy Andrew Huberman, the Stanford Neuroscientist, I was just laughing to hear his statements and then to wonder what you think. Just to go back to the original options and I want to give you a third to define for yourself, but the old school one was that dual mating strategy, that women are hedging their bets via sexual favors, to basically increase their survival fitness and that of their offspring and then, Buss was arguing that actually he's in favor more of a mate switching strategy, because at least the research he cited, was that 70% of women having extra marital affairs or outside the pair bond affairs, are actually falling in love with and developing deep feelings of attachment to these partners.

He has the idea of mate switching, that fundamentally these are can opener affairs and I'm going to jump to the other guy if he's a better bet, which to me has an echo of what Helen has said, where she says there's no such thing as casual sex, just because of the neurochemical priming and pair attachment that happens in orgasm and/or extended intimacy. If you've got a choice between dual mating strategy, mate switching strategy or fill in the blank and define your own, what do you think is the most prominent driver? Because, you've expressed women seeking variety, seeking novelty, seeking pleasure. There's a whole host of additional things that you've been advancing and advocating for. If there is such a thing as a singular category or hypothesis, how would you describe women's sexuality in light of those other two?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: First of all, the view from anthropology, as you know and maybe many of your listeners already know, is that and I like to say this over and over, I'm a broken record about it, we evolved as extremely flexible, sexual and social strategists and it may well be the reason that we're here and Australopithecus Afarensis, bit the dust. I might have the name wrong. There's so much new, exciting research about the homo lineage and precursors ancestors, but my basic point is the only consistent thing about human sexual strategies and sexual strategies and homo lineage, is the inconsistency. The only thing set in stone, is the flexibility thereof. What we see when we look at the worldwide ethnographic data, is that women and men alike can thrive in many different ecologies and relationship containers. Many different sexual and social strategies work for us.

We see women doing okay with polygyny, when a man has several wives. We see women doing well with polyandry, which is when a woman has more than one husband or a partner, as we see in some parts of China, Tibet. We see some women thriving in intentional sex positive communities, in Brooklyn say. We see women finding ways to thrive or do well or get by, in contexts where... Heterosexual women having strategies, where there are very high rates of male incarceration. We see women developing sexual and social strategies around that. We see women doing well and men doing well, being asexual. We see people doing well in a polycule or in a monogamous dyad. My first point, is there's no one way, because we evolved to be flexible, sexual and social strategists.

That's why I always say to people, "Your kink is not weird. Your kink is the watermark of the tendencies that got us here as a species. Your kink, for example if you like feet, if you like being peed on, whatever it is that your kink is, if you like being cucked, as some people like to play with this idea of the coupled lifestyle, if you like being slapped, if you like being tied up, your kink is really the trace of what got us here as a species, which is that we evolved to like many different things and strive and excuse me, to do well or even to thrive in many different ecologies, including relationship ecologies." That's the first thing I'll say.

As for dual mating strategy or the dyad, what we know is that this nonsense about the caveman bringing back the food for the woman and the baby is so much retrospective conjecture and hypothesis based on the weird way that things are now and to be clear, the weird way things are now, is a departure from the long arc of egalitarian social strategies. Here's what I think.

I think that women are wired to seek out pleasure and that includes, I throw my hat in with the scientists, who have corrected confirmation bias and sexual selection theory for the last 40 or 50 years, starting with Sarah Hrdy, when she came up with this idea that, "No, females of most species aren't just trying to get a male to provision them, although that's one thing they're trying to do. They're just trying to up their odds of reproductive success." She looked at Langurs. The Langurs of Abu was her first big contribution to evolutionary theory and she saw that females were mating with males who came in and killed their babies, within infanticidal males. Why would they do that? Why would the males kill the babies and why would the female...

Jamie Wheal: Wait, that this was in human populations or primate populations?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: This was among Langurs in Abu India, where she did some of her early field work and that's how she came up with the infanticide hypothesis, which is largely accepted now, although some people want to revisit it, that female sexual strategies among non-human primates, include just always having counter strategy to male violence, coercion and control. The males were coming in, seeing that a female was capable of reproducing, because there was this offspring and the male Langur would kill the offspring, usually by biting it or dashing its head on something and then because she was no longer breastfeeding, no longer lactating, she would go into estrus and then he could mate with her and sire his own offspring and there's some speculation that infanticide is so prevalent among male and infanticide is so prevalent amongst so many mammals species and non-human primates, that it would be a stretch to think that it wasn't part of our lineage as well.

What was the antidote to that? Hrdy noticed that these Langurs and other female primates, were really putting themselves at incredible risk to have sex with males lower in the dominant hierarchy, males from other troops. They were literally risking their lives sometimes, to have sex with novel males and Hrdy's theory is basically that among non-human female primates and I would argue among human women, that female promiscuity is pragmatic, that those infanticidal males would never, ever kill the offspring of a female with whom they had copulated even once. Now, were the females saying, "Oh, let me do this because I want to have a baby that doesn't get killed." Absolutely not. They're doing it, because it feels good.

Jamie Wheal: Well, I was about to ask you that, because there's the evolutionary adaptive propagation of gene argument and then you've also I think, made quite a strong case with everything from the discovery of the fully anatomical clitoris, to women seeking novelty, decrease in pair bonded sexual satisfaction in a fairly short period for women.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: One to four years, as opposed to nine to 12 years for men. Yes.

Psychological Psychosexual Satisfaction and the Propagation of Genetics 

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, but men are just happy to keep on trucking. Go ahead and link these two together for us. One, is the psychological psychosexual satisfaction of an individual and the other, is propagation of genetics over time.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Right. When people say, "Oh, women just go off sex. They're less sexual," and people talk about, "Oh, in the marriage, he wants to keep having sex and she's just not interested." I wanted to get to the evolutionary underpinnings of that, to the biological and social underpinnings of that and what we know is that, just bracket for a minute, this idea that female promiscuity is pragmatic.

Think about those Langurs mating multiply and let's talk about just for a second, the other benefits that everyone, every non-human primate, every female mammal, including human females, let's just really quickly hit on the benefits that they get from mating multiply, because we were told for years only males mate multiply, because they have all this abundant sperm and females are just all choosy and coy, because they have one precious egg and that somehow gamete production determines sexual behavior.

Absolutely not. We know now that, that's just dated, old think and it's been revisited and what we know now, is that it's not about one sperm and one egg. It's about producing a lot of sperm, so that you can fertilize one egg, okay? Sperm are not cheap. It's costly for males of most species to produce sperm, okay. That's the first thing. Second of all, when a female mates multiply, what are the benefits she's getting? Well, she's upping the likelihood of hetero zygosity, which is the name of the game in heterosexual reproduction, which is...

Jamie Wheal: Means richer gene genetic material.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Right. Enough of a genetic dissimilarity, that you're going to have a robust pregnancy and a robust offspring. She's upping her chances of hetero zygosity. If she's mating with one male, what are the chances? Maybe they're not heterozygous. Mate with many and you'll up your chances of hetero zygosity, thus upping your chances of a robust pregnancy and a robust offspring. Second thing, upping your chances of not just the genetic thing that's so important, but upping your chances of just getting high quality sperm. What if you're mating with one male and he has a low sperm motility? What if you're mating with one male and he's infertile? There goes your reproductive success, boo, hiss, because that's the name of the game, having an offspring that survives to the age of reproduction and reproduces themselves. What are the benefits that you're getting? Well, you could indeed get more males to provision you.

Jamie Wheal: But to be clear, very few of these so far, you're getting into provisioning now and that gets into real time, I'm self aware of my choices and strategies, but everything you've set up until then, is predominantly, largely unconscious, intergenerational behavioral nudges, versus self-aware choice making, wouldn't you say?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: And really what does it matter? When we're talking about promiscuity of very stigmatized social behavior and trying to get at the underpinnings, for me as a comparativist, I have to bring all the strands together, but you make this good point to get back to, which is women and females of other species aren't saying, "Wow, let me have sex with multiple guys," then to your point, what you're saying, "Because then, I'll get really good sperm. I have a better chance of high quality sperm. I have a better chance of hetero zygosity. I have a better chance of warding off in infanticidal males in other species."

Absolutely, that's not what's going on. Absolutely, females across species are doing it, because it feels really good and this is where we get back to the wonderful mashup of the biological underpinnings of sex and the social benefits and social dangers of it and I like to say that female sexuality happens at the intersection of biology and ecology, that human female sexuality happens at the crossroads of the clitoris and the culture. I was talking about the benefits to females of mating multiply, something which we just totally missed for years, because for years we were focused on males benefit from mating multiply and females don't, but we do know that all kinds of advantages are conferred to females, who mate multiply if they're not going to get murdered for doing it.

Jamie Wheal: But, you just introduced the notion of female pleasure, correct? That...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. Right.

Jamie Wheal: Yes, but then what about that study that I just saw a stack ranking and it was basically, obvious gender combinations and it was basically that gay men got off the most, then straight men, then lesbians, then straight women. They were the bottom of the pile, as far as reliable, sexual satisfaction.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. This is a good pivot. Let me just be briefly talk about why it's not advantageous, for males of all species to mate multiply and then let's get to that. Let's get to the orgasm gap, which has everything to do with the clitoris. We always think, "Oh, males can pump and dump and that's awesome for them," but now the newer science is showing us, "Wait, what? No, that is one of those fantasy projections, based on our current ecology, where men do have more power and more sexual privilege than women in the aggregate, still." What are the benefits to males of pumping and dumping? Well, it's hard to find a lot of them.

Jamie Wheal: Well, just to be clear, when you say pumping and dumping, do you mean quick sex and ejaculation?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Exactly.

Jamie Wheal: Okay.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Mating multiply.

Jamie Wheal: Okay.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: As we call it in science. I'm sorry. It's not a sexy term, is it? But pumping and dumping, isn't very sexy either, but we're like, "Oh males, they have all this randy sperm." No, we already know that it's energetically costly, to produce it and we're not talking about one sperm and one egg. We're talking about literally billions of sperm to fertilize one egg and there's this phenomenon called sperm depletion. Okay first of all, a guy who's doing all that, is depleting his sperm. Second of all, a male of any species, including a human male who does that, if you're heterosexual and you're having sex with all these females, unless she's in estrus and you can see, but let's talk about humans, what are the chances that you're going to hit a woman when she's fertile? They're not that great.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. One in 10, something like that. One in...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: And if you're having sex with many females, what are the chances that you're going to like, "Well, why not just stick around and get her when she's ovulating?" Sorry to talk this way, but this is evolutionary biology. Now, we know there are very high rates of spontaneous miscarriage across male species, in some species as high as 40 to 50% and I'm putting humans there, these spontaneous miscarriages that happen early on. What are the chances that you're running around, having sex with all these human females, you're having sex with women, you get them at the right time in the menstrual cycle, now what are the chances that pregnancy's going to hold? After spontaneous miscarriage, God forbid, but it's the normal thing that happens unfortunately, in our reproductive careers, now what are the chances that you're going to be around for that period of heightened fertility, right after spontaneous miscarriage?

Well, if you're running around, you're not going to be there for that period. In a species that does well with bi-parental care, like the human species, since we ripped ourselves out of larger communal context for child growing, what are the chances that, that baby's going to do well, if you're not there to help out? Not as good. Although props to single moms, I'm talking evolutionary biology right now and humans can make many things work, but anyway, what I'm trying to say, is there has been a shift in thinking in evolutionary biology, specifically in sexual selection theory, over the last 50 years, but people just haven't really heard about it, but there has been a shift toward an understanding that mating multiply is not such a great strategy for males of many species and mating multiply is a pretty great strategy, for females of many mammal species. Okay? Now, let's talk about the pleasure gap, some people call it. The orgasm gap, some people call it. The sex researcher, Debby Herbenick links it to what she calls the everything gap. All right.

Defining and Exploring the Orgasm Gap

Jamie Wheal: The everything gap.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Let's talk about the role of ecology. Women did evolve to seek out variety and novelty and adventure and the clitoris is the trace of that. The living, breathing, erectile tissue, that shows us how things used to be and how things can be in ecologies where female sexuality isn't constrained. Remember what I said? Female sexuality happens at the confluence of the clitoris in the culture. A Dogon woman's sexuality is very constrained. The Dogon people live in the Bandiagara Escarpment in Mali and a Dogon woman, [inaudible 00:43:04] to a menstrual hut every month. It's compulsory she's clitorectomized and her sexuality is coerced and constrained and her sexuality is consequently muted.

Then you can look at the Himba that we mentioned earlier or these nomadic [inaudible 00:43:28] where female sexuality is relatively unconstrained to such an extent. In the Dogon country, a woman's in a menstrual hut, so that men can keep track of her menstrual cycle and determine whether a baby is theirs or not, whereas among the Himba, nobody gives it a second thought that a woman has a lover and for reasons that I get into in Untrue and that Brooke Scelza outlines in her own work with the Himba, it's very advantageous to males to tolerate their wives "infidelity".

Everything is about ecology and context. We live in an ecology where sometimes people say, "What is patriarchy? What even is it?" Let's be very clear that when we say the word patriarchy, what we're talking about is a cultural context, a social context, that is patrilineal. There are patrilineal naming practices. There are patrilineal inheritance practices or a relatively recent history of patrilineality and there is also the practice of, or the, until recently practice of patrilocality, which is women leaving their kin and going to live with a man. Okay? When we say patriarchy... Now, patrilineality and patrilocality have an impact.

Jamie Wheal: And just to be clear, because these days in popular discourse, patriarchy is almost synonymous with misogyny and are you differentiating? You're taking an anthropological definition and distinction of the social structures of patriarchy as distinct from how women are held, treated, liberated or not.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: I think that they're very interwoven and I was just going to link them, which is I was going to say, when you have patrilineal patrilocal practices, what we see from the worldwide ethnographic data, is that those are ways for men, they do consolidate power, relative to women. Now, how does this play out? To me, a patriarchy is any patrilineal, patrilocal culture or one that was until recently, where there are descriptively, verifiable, meaningful differences on metrics, such as wage, meaningful female labor force participation. I don't mean how many women are allowed to be maids and hairdressers. In the US, that would mean how many women are fortune 100 CEOs. Meaningful levels of female political participation and I'm not talking about just a woman being Vice President. I'm not talking about a woman being the Treasurer of the PTA. These are important things too.

I'm talking about a woman being the most powerful man in the country. Okay and where there are meaningful gaps in education and women have closed that gap, but that's what a patriarchy really is. It is a context where there are patrilineal inheritance and naming practices, where there are patrilocal practices of living and where those practices resulted in descriptively, verifiable discrepancies in meaningful metrics of privilege, like meaningful labor force participation, meaningful political participation and meaningful educational attainment. That's what I mean when I say a patriarchy. All right? In terms of anthropology now, what happens to female orgasm in a context where women are just valued less and we could go on and on about how Me Too oppressed men and ruin their lives and we could go on and on about feminism and that it's allegedly bad for men and we can go on and on about these things that a disturbing number of people in my mind, tend to say about feminism, but...

Jamie Wheal: Did you just say a disturbing number of people say those things?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: A disturbing number of people, to me personally, believe these things. What we can say to those people, is that we just look at the data and we see that the United States among 200 countries, as recently as a few years ago, ranked something like 100th out of 200 countries, for rates of meaningful female labor force and political participation. That's a metric of female power. Don't tell me that women have all the power and that women are ruining... When we can look at the data, which tells us the real demographic situation of women in this country, relative to men. Okay, in a country where men outearn women and out-power women, really in terms of meaningful political participation, what do you think is going to be privileged? When we're privileging men, what's going to be privileged, male orgasm or female orgasm?

Jamie Wheal: Okay. Well, this is taking an interesting turn and it's...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: The orgasm gap is all about the gap between men, in terms of wages and meaningful labor force participation. The orgasm gap is all about the meaningful gap between men and women, in terms of meaningful political participation. These things are all linked, wage gap, political power gap, orgasm gap. In any ecology where male experiences privilege, where men outearn women, where men have more power than women politically, you're going to see that male orgasm and male pleasure are privileged and that's why we have an orgasm gap. There's one study that showed that for every orgasm that a heterosexual woman had in a partnered sexual situation, the heterosexual man had three and people might say, "Oh. Well, that's because female orgasm is more elusive or it's more difficult or it's..." Oh, whatever. No. We know in studies that when masturbating, women get off as quickly as men.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, exactly. They don't even need the 15 to 20 minutes. They know their buttons, they can ring their bells.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. Some people say, some people say, women need 20 minutes to get off from just intercourse alone and some studies have shown that it's more like 12 minutes, whatever it is. Now we're talking about intercourse. Let's talk about how that's part of men out earning women and men out powering women politically. Yeah. 100%, it's linked to that, because we define sexist intercourse. What's the most.

Jamie Wheal: This is clitoris culture or ecology intersection. This is an extended [inaudible 00:51:18].

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Exactly. What is the most reliable route to male orgasm, for the human male?

Jamie Wheal: Friction in a wet spot.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Intercourse. Thank you. Love the way you said that. Intercourse. What's the most unreliable route for a woman to have an orgasm?

Jamie Wheal: Same.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Intercourse. Yeah. Debby Herbenick found that less than 18% of women were having orgasms from penetration alone and that's the statistic that I like to go by.

Jamie Wheal: No, that's anatomy, not patriarchy or would you say the ensuing practices that evolve around the definition given?

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Defining sex as intercourse, the thing that gets men off most reliably, that's about culture.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Now, let's talk about the things that get women off. Let's redefine sex as the things that get women off. Okay, then it's not just intercourse. Then we have a much wider menu, grinding, scissoring, oral, vibrators, digital stimulation, making out. These are things that help get women off, but we've defined sex as intercourse and this is linked and intercourse is the most reliable route to male orgasm and this is linked to men out earning women and having more political power than women.

Jamie Wheal: Well, well. Now, hold tight. I'm going to slow your role right there, but true confession, I had to learn scissoring about from South Park. I was like, "What?"

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Try to slow my role. Good luck.

Jamie Wheal: All right. Let me set up this thought experiment. I think I'm 100% tracking the idea that there's a wide variety of sexual experience. We've seemingly zeroed in and almost fetishized sexual intercourse, but on the other hand, it is the super consequential one. It makes more babies, it makes people. There is some element there, where the gravity of that act...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah, but we know that sexuality is at least as much about social bonding and I'm going to go out on a limb and say most sex that people are having in the United States, is not to reproduce on a given night.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: In any metro pol or community.

Jamie Wheal: Primate grooming behavior.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: We haven't even talked about the reversal of Roe, but okay. I want to talk about, let's just finish up about the orgasm gap.

Jamie Wheal: Well, let, let me give you the thought experiment, because several things, one is there was a Stanford business school study comparing Lyft and Uber gender differences, because it was all the stuff about glass ceilings and women's pay gap and 70 cents on the dollar for a man and all that stuff and the implication and sometimes it was explicit, was there's basically a in the corner office, who's keeping women down. That was the digest narrative. It was patriarchy, misogyny and sexism, that was responsible for that.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: You don't need a guy for that. You don't need a guy for that.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah and you may not need a guy, but the interesting study was Uber and Lyft and granted there's all the disclaimers about biases of the programmers showing up in algorithms, but fundamentally they were gender blind. A ride pops up, someone clicks on it to use it. The drivers make their own choices in a relatively autonomous, mostly free markety kind of thing and they found that not quite as strong as 70 to a dollar, but it was 75 cents, 80 cents, there was still a substantial earnings gap between men and women as drivers on these ride share apps blind, but what they found was three things. They found that women opted not to drive as late into the nighttime. They opted not to drive as far from home and they opted not to drive into as sketchy areas. You're like, "Oh, fascinating," and presumably and they did some anecdotal questionnaires and follow ups and quite often the explanation was, they were responsible for others. They were juggling caregiving roles for elders, for children.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: I was about to say, too many of these analyses stop at the level of, "And women aren't working as hard and taking the risks and that's why they're not earning as much." No, the reason they're not earning as much as Lyft and Uber drivers, is because we have made the world unsafe for women and because we have made women primary caregivers and women are running the social calculus and deciding, like women have been doing forever and female hominids have been doing forever, of balancing their own wellbeing with that of their offspring and potential offspring. They're making that classic life history trade off and it's not about how women naturally are. It's about, put women in a context where life is dangerous and they will seem more hearth bound and they will seem like they're not taking as many risks, because they're facultative strategists and they're realizing that they have to behave differently, if they want to literally survive.

Can we go back to the orgasm gap for one second? I loved our lift cul-de-sac that we did, because it's so important, because it gets to ecology. Let me just briefly say this thing about sexual pleasure and privilege. Privilege is just another one of those words that we're not supposed to say and we think it means nothing. Okay, but let's talk about the orgasm gap and the fact that for every orgasm a straight woman is having, a straight man is having three. Now let's look at other places. How do lesbians do? When women are with women, intercourse is not the privileged way of having sex. Intercourse and sex are not synonymous. Anytime intercourse and sex are synonymous, you're going to see a hierarchy where male pleasure matters more than female pleasure.

Jamie Wheal: But didn't lesbian women rank below gay men, straight men? Then, they came in better than straight women.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah. The important metric for me, is that lesbians barely have an orgasm gap. They're not privileging intercourse. They're doing all the other things. If you will pardon my language, the women who get fucked in the orgasm gap, are the women getting fucked, straight women and bisexual women. Some people might think, "Oh, the orgasm gap, what does it matter?" To me as an Anthropologist with the background in primatology and evolutionary biology, the orgasm gap matters, because it gives us a lens onto the everything gap and other forms of inequality between people who identify as men and people who identify as women, that are very real in our culture, for all the ways that people would like to deny them. When we look at the data, including the orgasm gap, we see who really does still have more power in the aggregate, in our culture. Sex matters, sex matters. Sex tells us so, so very much and I think to your point Andrew, that you made really briefly, but I'm sorry that I called you that. I'm sorry. I know your name is Jamie. I don't know who I just thought I was talking to.

Jamie Wheal: It was probably from Huberman, because we were just mentioning Andrew.

Why Female Sexuality Happens at the Confluence of the Clitoris and the Culture

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. Maybe that's it. I loved the point that you made about the clitoris and how we had this great forgetting. We knew about the clitoris, thanks to for example, medieval midwives. There was a medieval midwife that I wrote about in Untrue and she knew about the clitoris and how extensive it was and she wrote about it in her guide for other midwives and she said something about how, it doth stand up, it doth become erect and make sex delightful for women. We knew about the human female clitoris and how important it was and how extensive it was. It was mapped during the Renaissance and we knew all about it and then there was this great forgetting.

Jamie Wheal: Oh yeah.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: And when I tell you Jamie, that I went to speak to a group of 125 whip smart women gynecologists, in North Carolina before COVID, I held up a model. Hold on. I held this up and I said to a group of 125 women gynecologists and obstetricians, I said, "Could you tell me what this is?" And...

Jamie Wheal: It looks like a prize from my cereal box.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: It looks like a prize from your cereal box. Thank you. I love honest answers and one gynecologist said and I'm not putting anybody down. These are super smart women. One gynecologist said, "I think it's a mouth guard," and the other one said, "Is that a chicken foot?" And the answer is no, this is an anatomically accurate rendering of the human female clitoris and how...

Jamie Wheal: And didn't it take until the mid nineties, for that to actually be...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yes. Yes. What I'm trying to say, is we knew about it and then we forgot about it. It was just that the great forgetting happened for all the reasons that we talked about, wage gap, gap in political participation, gap in education, but there was a great forgetting of the clitoris.

That nobody recognized this in a group of 125 gynecologists, tells a lot about how we prioritize female pleasure. You don't need to know about this if you're prioritizing intercourse and by the way, love intercourse. Fun. Great. Love it, but for most women, it's not the way we get off, but anyway, the great forgetting about this, which motored so much of human evolution. I'm holding up a model of the human female clitoris, since there's only audio here and showing it to Jamie, but he's probably seen it already, but the fact that we are so unfamiliar with this, that it was not mapped…

Helen O'Connell is an Australian Urologist, who matched the human female clitoris, really without any institutional support. Her male Surgeons, Professors were saying, "Be very careful not to cut the nerve supply to the penis," and she said, "Oh my God, that would be a catastrophe, if men lost sexual sensation." How do I avoid cutting off the nerve supply to the clitoris and what really is the clitoris? And they said, "Gee, we have no idea. How about you figure that out with no institutional support or no institutional funding," and I like to say...

Jamie Wheal: Good luck with that.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah. Just like a woman, she said, "You're on," and she did it and she figured it out and the great forgetting was over again.

Jamie Wheal: Well, here's another level, because we have a dear friend, who's a body worker and was doing one of those cadaver workshops and specifically about fascia and she's very sex positive, part of a poly community and an educator/teacher in that space and she started rooting around on the pelvic floor in the connections of the fascia, to the clitoris and basically, wigged out the entire governing body in instruction. They were like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa. What are you doing? This is too much. This is too far," and she found direct connection of the entire pelvic girdle, pelvic floor and the sliding surfaces of the fascia, directly to the clitoral nerve and everything else and no one, even the experts in that space, had any idea about it. This was six months ago.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Isn't it amazing? No, think about this. I like to say we mapped the human genome. We sent a Rover to Mars. We got those amazing pictures of the universe recently, from the James Webb telescope and yet we did not know again, the anatomy of part of the human body until the 1990s. Come on. Don't tell me that forgetting and ignoring, is not political.

Jamie Wheal: Yeah, no. I was shown slides of like Wilder Penfield homunculus, with the different parts of the mouth and the hands and things that are [inaudible 01:04:01], but their junk is little and the clitoris is entirely absent.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Yeah and the clitoris is as big as the penis. It's just on the inside. Women have erectile tissue like men do, women wake up with morning wood or clitoris-havers wake up with morning wood. We get hard when we're turned on. I always say to women, "See if you can feel your clitoris, all of it." There's part of it under your labia. There are crura, that wing back towards your anus. Then there's the clitoral hood, obviously and the part of the clitoris that's visible to the human eye, called the glands clitoris.

The clitoris includes the spongy erectile tissue around a woman's urethra and also some spongy tissue back around her anus. It is an extensive pleasure center and it is very significant to me as an anthropologist. Before I said, pleasure is political. I will say it again. What I mean by that, is that pleasure is yoked to material conditions in a given ecology, including whether it is safe for women to feel and be sexual. Are they going to get killed? Are they going to get slut shamed? Are they going to feel guilty? Is it safe for women to be sexual? Is it safe for women and do women have enough power, that men will prioritize female pleasure?

The Link Between Female Sexuality and Gender Gap

Jamie Wheal: Yeah. It sounds like that almost feels like a rift, in the same way that the conversation around structural racism has risen to prominence and outside legal scholarly studies in the last few years. Structural sexism is what I hear you describing, fundamentally the relationship between...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Really, I just base things in the worldwide ethnographic data and the data that I see and when I review female wellbeing in different ecologies, ranked country by country and our country, the largest or second largest economy in the world, ranks 100th for female labor force participation and meaningful female political participation. I base a lot of my insights about female sexuality, on those fundamental inequities that we see. Yeah. I link all those things together. The pleasure gap is part of the everything gap and we're making some progress, but then we have these huge setbacks, like what happened with Roe and I would say that all of sexual selection theory, attempts to control or coerce female sexuality and female counter strategies.

As we have Roe gutted, so we have women taken to social media to share information about where to get abortion pills or to support women in whatever way they can, to have sexual autonomy and then we will see another counter strategy of coercion and control, for example, social media outlets sharing DMs, for example, of women trying to have access to abortion, which is just women trying to have control of their reproduction. That is really all of sexual selection theory, is that everything has been attempts to coerce and control and then female counter strategies, to get around those attempts to coerce and control and we're really seeing sexual selection theory happening in real time, with what's happening with Roe and what's happening in this country now. It's a fascinating thing to look at and a disheartening thing to look at, through the lens of anthropology and evolutionary biology for sure, but the lesson is that there will always be counter strategies.

Jamie Wheal: Mm-hmm. Well, let's actually, I'd love to close with this. On the one hand and obviously the current legal rulings, those are real and present dangers to female autonomy. This is a major thing and I don't want to diminish that in the slightest. Although I would encourage folks, if you're interested in really getting again, a historical perspective, one is, understand the evangelical religious rights arguments against birth control, when that was happening in the sixties and seventies, because you have almost verbatim arguments and then, you can really establish a stronger link to what this is really about, isn't the rights of the sacred unborn. It's much more closely linked to controlling feminine sexuality and then even just the fact that seventies era Roe V Wade opposition, was actually democratic, Chicago, Boston, Catholic, but it included healthcare, early childhood ed, maternal care. It hadn't been hijacked by far right evangelicalism and...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Right. It was more socially engaged Catholicism like Jesuits and yes, absolutely that. Now, we've had this very big shift in the culture. Yes, thank you for making this point about ecology, it's...

Jamie Wheal: Just so we know, it's the same with the NRA. The NRA was a fucking marksmanship and gun safety, Boy Scout organization for decades and it wasn't until they started consolidating power in the mid to late seventies, that they started getting increasingly agro and drumming up first amendment rights, which really came out of nowhere and are not part of the judicial or cultural record in any way that we experience them today. Just anyway, learn your history folks. It's always helpful, but what I'd love to do, is wave the magic wand, because at the same time that this is happening in our culture, in the last decade, there's been this incredible blossoming of sexual permission, open relatedness, decrease in or more to the point, embrace of a wild variety of genders, lifestyles, relational formats, all these things. If we just wave the magic wand and say, "Actually, your book worked. Sex at Dawn worked. Mating in Captivity worked." They did the thing and yet there has also been what I find, is a fascinating counter movement or backlash and I'm sure you're familiar...

Dr. Wednesday Martin: 100%, let's go back to sexual selection theory. You make such a good point. You can see sexual selection theory happening on social media and then the backlash as sex positivity took hold, as a counter strategy to those evangelical traditions, for example and as a counter strategy to plow agriculture starting 12,000 years ago, as sex positivity took hold in this digital ecology and was expressed.

Jamie Wheal: Yes, but we're also having second thoughts.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: There's a counter strategy now.

Jamie Wheal: There are those counter strategies and what I'd love to bring up and hear your thoughts on, is actually women, feminists from within the movement noticing things. I'm sure you tracked Leah Fessler's Middlebury study on hookup culture and how she was like, "Hey, this hookup culture was supposed to be super empowering for all of us girls and now I'm doing this little campus based ethnography and it turns out, not," and then Amia Srinivason, the Professor at Oxford, the feminist who said famously, she wrote in the New York Times, she's written in several other places and had a book on the subject, but basically said, "Hey, I started introducing the concept of pornography to my class and I expected my 2020, 2021 students at Oxford, to be like, 'Boo. Down with Andrea Dworkin and second wave feminism,' and saying that it's bad and corruptible and disempowering for women. I expected them to be all super sex positive and like, 'Yay, PornHub,' and that's not what happened at all." She said, "Actually..."

Dr. Wednesday Martin: You can be super sex positive and say, "Boo, PornHub," for their stuff that they do with letting people upload whatever they want and ruining the lives of people whose videos are on there without their consent. Okay. Yeah. Okay. If I understand the point you're making, which I really appreciate, every woman is not going to be a sex positive feminist and we see cultural shifts and look, here's the larger point. Let's take the example of hookup culture, I'm familiar with several studies, including the original one done in the seventies at Florida State University. We were told that young women like hooking up less than men do and young women are less sexual. There was a big design flaw in that study, which is that young women were afraid to hook up, because they were afraid of getting murdered.

They were afraid of getting an STI. They were afraid of getting pregnant. They were afraid of social stigma. Subsequent studies controlled for those variables and basically created a scenario, in which the young woman was guaranteed that she would have an orgasm, guaranteed that it would be safe socially, sexually, and physically for her and those young women were as likely as young men to say yes to casual sex. All these arguments about young women like sex less than young women do or women are less sexual than men. I know this isn't what you were saying exactly, but yeah, I'm not surprised by the study about hookup culture, because these girls aren't having orgasms, these young women. Only 4% of women have an orgasm in a first time hookup. Why is that? It's not because female orgasm is more elusive. It's not because female women are complicated.

It's not because women need to be in love. It's because we prioritize intercourse and we socialize women to shut up and not say, "Wait, I want to get off. Do this." Anyway, to your point, we will see these shifts. We will see strategies and counter strategies. Yeah and I'm not surprised that we see reactions against sex positivity, even in places where we don't expect to see them, but I am hopeful that this overturning of Roe is going to really radicalize the generation of young people. Once they see that they can't have an abortion and I'm hopeful that sex positivity will just grow to include messages about material conditions on the ground, that make sex positivity necessary.

Jamie Wheal: In a nutshell, the anthropological is political.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: In a nutshell, if you're looking at sex, look at the ecology where sex is happening. Sex is never about some mystical way men and women naturally are, is what we see as we dig further into data and look at newer science about sexuality. Sex is always about the intersection of biology and culture of desire and culture of the clitoris and culture of the penis and culture... Sex happens in an ecology and the more egalitarian the ecology, the more pleasurable the sex is for everyone.

Jamie Wheal: Fantastic and presumably, the more equitable and just the society is, if you flip your earlier critique on its head.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: I would love to see a study of the most egalitarian cultures and rates of female orgasm therein, because I strongly suspect that in egalitarian cultures, there will not be an orgasm gap, because ways of getting pleasure that create female orgasm, will be just as prioritized as ways of getting pleasure, that create male orgasm.

Jamie Wheal: There we have it. The cure for our social woes. Well Wednesday, thank you for going along and thank you for all of your thoughts. It's been a delight to get to jam with you.

Dr. Wednesday Martin: Thank you so much. 


  • BH
    At risk of triggering, which I am not intending to do in the slightest, I wanted to get more information on the following topics mentioned at the end of the podcast. Let me start by saying I an not against abortion. If I had to give an opinion, I would probably be against late term, drawing the line somewhere early in the second trimester or late in the first, but seek further objective, possibly some subjective information on the topic. What information do you have on the modern abortion pushback stemming from religious groups main motivation being "controlling feminine sexuality?" Again, I want to know more from both sides, as I hate seeing the constant fighting in this country and would like to fully understand each argument, in hopes to peacefully resolve the issue in the future. Simply stating that the modern abortion pushback has "verbatim arguments" to the sixties of "rights of the sacred unborn," therefore it must actually be about "controlling feminine sexuality" doesn't seem objective. Maybe it is, I just haven't seen modern proof of this, so if anyone has information on this I will gladly read. From the arguments on the MODERN pro-life side, I simply don't see the reasoning and motivation being to limit female sexual autonomy or rights. People I know that are against abortion, most of which are women, believe that life starts at conception, and from what they tell me really do see abortion as no different that killing a newborn child. I know that sounds crazy to many people, and I'm not saying I subscribe to that opinion. But what I am saying is that having that opinion for those moral reasons doesn’t seem nefarious or controlling in their intent, and I don't believe they are lying to me. Maybe these people are playing mental gymnastics to come to that conclusion, or maybe the other side is in their own way, I'm not sure. But I really wish we could all come together and at the very least agree to disagree, which seems far better than the constant fighting and dividing. I have friends on both sides of the issue, and we agree to disagree and move on. I wish the country could do the same in some form or fashion. I don't see this happening, but bringing the right to abortion down to voters on the county level would solve the transportation issue, as most people are within reasonable distance to more liberal leaning cities/counties where they can get an abortion if the so choose. I know that doesn't suffice to many on the pro-choose side, I am only trying to brainstorm a potential compromise and find some agreeance to end the constant yelling and fighting. Furthermore, to touch on another hot topic: Regarding the NRA comment, I find when you mention "learn your history," it's much like the mainstream media portraying their cringy intellectual moral high ground and saying "we are the science," or the failed war on drugs that for so long banned psychedelics, claiming "drugs are bad", end of discussion." Could you provide any information on your point of the NRA drumming up first amendment rights? I'd assume they would be interested in the second amendment. Just because something started as a club, at time when second amendment rights were not at stake, but now has grown and is focused on the issue, doesn't necessary make it bad. Sure there are ignorant members in the NRA, I've seen it. And yes, they are part of political lobbying that happens on both sides, but I'm not able to follow your argument of understanding your history to discredit the majority of that the NRA stands for. Anyone that responds do not take this as an attack, please try not to respond reactive and emotionally, as I am only trying to have a discussion on these highly sensitive issues, and figured here on Neurohacker I could get an objective view, rather than trying to have this discussion on social media. I've been a long time consumer of your supplements and podcast, keep up the amazing work!
  • BH
    I'm not sure why the indentions between paragraphs didn't go through, so I apologize for that.
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