Sex is a tiny word to embrace such a vast, varied, vibrant, and vital subject. Our written records start with those in the Erech (Uruk), Sumer (Iraq) temple of the Queen of Heaven just over 5,000 years ago, so we must also rely on artifacts and fossils.
The purpose of sex is reproduction and, for some, pleasure is added as an enticement. But, what a dreadful waste most species have evolved. To avoid a dense forest of trees I have just picked up what must be a trillion crab apples, the result of all those beautiful blossoms we enjoyed this spring. I do wonder what pleasure the trees get out of all this because I do know that human pleasures too often create much pain, suffering, persecution, and exploitation.
Fossils tell us that it all started 380 million years ago when a male jawed fish, Microbrachius dicki, evolved a bony sperm transmitter on his side so all he had to do was to find a female who had evolved velcro-like plates on her opposite side to lock him into a receptacle. This sexual embrace continued for some time among related species when, unexplained, the practice was dropped for 40 million years in favour of external fertilization. We evolved from the aquatic species that re-discovered internal copulation.
Artifacts tell us that, from at least 25,000 years ago, the majority of human societies from Australasia through the Middle East to Ireland worshiped female gods. Some 12,000 years ago women developed agriculture and villages arose around shrines to goddesses. Generally, it was a more peaceful time, but female dominance was common. Men did the household chores and queens had harems of males where, in some cases when their impregnation responsibilities were completed, were killed for younger studs.
Goddess shrines persisted until 380 AD when Roman Emperor Theodosius closed them while killing 7,000 in Thessaloniki alone;
Saint Patrick converted the Irish in the 400s AD; and Mohammed in the 600s ended the rule of the Arabian goddess, Al Lat. But, the rot had begun in 1570 BC when warrior Indo-European groups with male gods invaded the Middle East. These included the Hittites who so impressed Hitler that he changed his name and adopted the Hittite word "nasi" for Nazi. They brought Yahweh, a male god of vengeance who tolerated no other deities. Infiltrating Hebrew tribes they invented the Garden-of-Eden myth to relegate goddess Ashtoreth and her serpent of wisdom to Eve and her slimy snake who lost us the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament was written about 1,000 BC, some 7 to 8 hundred years after Abraham and Moses. Wives had to obey husbands. From this Judaism, Christianity, and Islam evolved, all of which treated women as inferior beings, subject to the whims of men. Peter and Paul taught female submission. So did Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Popes. Wives had to love, honour, and obey husbands. The Christian and Islamic clergy led the charge against female suffrage.
Even Biology favoured the male. The female is unfairly burdened, not only with getting less pleasure out of sex, but in carrying and nourishing the embryo for 9 months then raising it for what can be over 20 years. Biology has also failed to give her equal physical strength, resulting too often in male exploitation. Yes, millions of men do provide tender, loving, care, but the number who do not questions the credibility of our given means of reproduction.
The male of our species produces, for much of his life, endless trillions of sperm with almost all allowed only a brief life that is pointless for its designed purpose, yet with a capability of pleasing its host, mainly with anticipation, periodically with masturbation, and rarely with intercourse where from 15 to 150 million sperm charge out on a mission where only one can achieve its objective which is to fertilize the lone egg on duty at the time. Does this not imply a tremendous design flaw plus an evoluntion goof?
Far too many men are cursed with a craving not compatible with dignified living. Women have been considered rightful spoils of war ever since the changed mindset when female gods were deposed. Solomon had 700 women in his harem; Romans kept captive gladiators happy by providing captive women; when faced with an army reluctant to invade Italy, Napoleon reminded them, "You want women" The Italians have millions that are yours for the taking." Millions of women were repeatedly raped in WWII.
Even today, in countries free at home from armed conflict, rape is all too common. Surprisingly, Sweden leads with 66.5 per 100,000 population, followed by Jamaica, Bolivia, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Belgium, USA (26.6), Brazil, Norway, and Finland. There is a big drop to the next 8 that includes Canada at 1.4. These are UN overall statistics. Concentrating on university and military environments reveals higher rates.
We men must be aware that we are in the midst of yet another mindset change. With the growth of contraceptives women are emerging to again be the superior sex. We must be careful to design, while we still can, societies, like the Celts and others did, to eliminate discrepancies and to embrace tender, loving care as the norm. Loving tolerance for each other as equals is much more satisfying than conflict.