Since engaging in sex doesn’t always lead to babies, and there’s a long lead time between the act and the eventual consequences, it makes you wonder when and how early humans figured out that sex is what causes babies. The first clue came from observing animals reproducing and generally noting that women who did not sleep with men, did not get pregnant. Mating is part of our evolutionary process and it is what we have been programmed to do for 4 billion years. Up until the advent of agriculture, humans lived in small bands of hunter-gatherers and one of the first things that early humans figured out was how to have sex. Instincts didn’t need to be taught, as most of the mechanics came naturally, maneuvering two bodies into a position where the external male penetrating organ became close enough with the internal female reception opening to allow for fluid exchange. Since our bodies have the same parts today as they did a long time ago, sex hasn’t changed all that much over the years.
Life was tough for early humans, and every member of the group would contribute to its survival, but sex was not a steamy romance in the beginning, it was done because it was fun for both genders, and there was no concept of gender inequality. Prehistoric humans lived in a shame free zone and nobody went around saying, “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours”, as they all knew what each other had. Women evolved for having sex with multiple partners, and this can be seen in their ability to have multiple orgasms in a sexual session, which resulted in encouraging more men to come and join in, and this also ensured that breeding was successful. If there were more men in the tribe than women, the cave woman would have multiple sexual partners. Some of the men had to wait for their turn sitting quietly in the corner and watching while another caveman had sex with a woman. Watching others have intercourse and learning what felt good, is how we figured out sex, and this is the same way every other species does. After humans reached puberty, their hormone levels increased, and they felt the urge to mate. Many psychologists feel that people have difficulty with monogamy because this concept was not with us from the beginning and this lifestyle goes against our evolutionary imprint of polygamy.
In the Neolithic Period which occurred sometime before 9500 BCE, primitive agriculture first appeared and the imagery of birds and bees pollinating from one plant to the other came shortly after, as humans saw how they fit into the world. Everything changed as early cave man society evolved and it didn’t take long before jealously entered the picture. At first women became distressed by threats from physically attractive rivals, whereas the men were distressed because their rivals had more resources. Men paired with physically attractive women and they exhibited their jealous tendencies in their efforts to guard their mate, whereas women paired with the man they thought would be able to provide more resources for them and they felt the need to guard their man from being taken away by another woman. The original society of human offspring existed without fathers, but after humans became an agrarian society, they realized the concept of paternity. When men finally learned that they were involved in the process of making babies, they wanted to claim them as their own and this instigated jealously. Once committed relationships were established, it was expected that each partner would abide by the rules, but temptation is lurking around every corner for some people who retain the urge to sleep around.
Over time, humans evolved from engaging in copulation with whatever human might be handy to forming couples, pairing off with other individuals, as natural selection favored that we care for one another to survive. They started mating and engaging in sex not just because it felt good, but because it felt more special, sharing their feelings together. No one can say for sure, why so many humans gave up polygamy and made the cultural move to monogamy, by making a lifelong commitment to fidelity by having only one sexual partner. A significant shift from polygyny toward monogamy began about five thousand to ten thousand years ago and although polyandry is exceedingly rare (females who seek out multiple partners), females who are officially tied to one partner may have others in secret. Sex is an important part of life, and although the enterprise of marriage may not be the greatest aphrodisiac, a shocking study revealed that married people are having more sex than single people of the same age.