Wednesday, September 23, 2009

South American Pregnant Sex, or, What Lovers Leave Behind

You only clicked on this because it said South American Pregnant Sex, right? Filthy, dirty minds, all of you........I like it.

I'm only a chapter in to 
Marriage, A History...and already I'm seeing a theme, which is that our traditional, modern-Anglo definition of marriage


  1. Has little to no bearing outside of our hemisphere, and 
  2. Has only existed for about 200 years (meaning the Conservatives who want to "protect the sacred institution of marriage" by keeping gays from marrying really just want to protect the questionably sacred, relatively new institutions of their great-grandaddy's marriages...guaranteeing another generation of Republican women who’ll end up like Anne Coulter because no one cares if they orgasm. But I digress...).

One of the most interesting factoids so far hailed from South America, where some cultures allow and encourage women to take multiple lovers during pregnancy, believing the sexual contributions of the men will manifest themselves in a healthy, happy child with all of the males' best qualities (this is what I believe they they were trying to achieve in the immortal film Twins, a la the scientists' “sperm milkshake”). Allow Stephanie Coontz to explain:

"In these groups, people believe any man who has sex with a woman during her pregnancy contributes part of his biological substance to the child. The husband is recognized as the primary father, but the woman's lover or lovers also have paternal responsibilities, including the obligation to share food with the woman and her child in the future. During the 1900s researchers taking life histories of Bari women in Venuzuela found that most had taken lovers during at least one of their pregnancies. Their husbands were usually aware and did not object.

When a woman gave birth, she would name all the men she had slept with [and you thought airing dirty laundry on a blog was edgy...] since learning she was pregnant, and a woman attending the birth would tell each of these men: 'You have a child.'"

(That last section is Maury Povich's wet dream. Can't you see it? Beautiful Sorjuana has birthed an equally beautiful baby, now suckling at her sexy teat. At the other end of the room stands Sorjuana's husband, five other men, and a studio audience of people who voted for Sarah Palin. An envelope-toting Povich is in front of them. Maury clears his throat. "Juan, Mao, George, Roberto, Santino and Alexjandro: In the case of 5-minute-old ARE the father." Studio audience goes nuts.)

This is an interesting piece of sociological maneuvering. The woman, body throwing off pheromones like manic perfume spritzer at Macy's, attracts lovers with her glow and the assurance his seed lives on in her baby. The lovers, in turn, feed and protect the woman and her child, increasing the survival rate of both--who are usually the first to fall ill and die in poorer cultures--during tough times. The husbands are cool with it, because it takes the pressure off him as lone provider.

Clearly this wouldn't fly so well in the States. We’re quick to look down our noses patronizingly and go, “Tsk, tsk. I took biology and sex ed. Don't you know throwing a lover’s load on an already fertilized egg is like throwing more sauce on a finished plate of penne vodka--it’s fun and tasty, but you’re not adding anything special to that entree.” 

BUT...and this is a stretch, I know...when you think about it, lovers (the standard kind, not the ones you bang while pregnant) do leave a piece of their substance with us after sex, even if its not absorbed by our unborn babies. 

Whether its an emotional scar, a song that stupid makes you think of them (damn you, Coltrane), a new bias against a certain kind of guy, or the knowledge of where your G-spot is, lovers leave things behind. And these things stay with us. They fill our baggage, for good or bad. What lingering pieces have your lovers left behind?

PS: We do eventually pass that baggage/bias/song/book (not the G-spot--that’d be weird) down to our children through the naturalistic practical joke which is parenthood. Go figure.

I don’t have kids. But in the spirit of the Bari, I’d say there’s at least a few lovers out there who owe me some food. So get cooking--I think I'm in the mood for grilled cheese...with tomato and bacon...yeah. Bacon.


Hipstercrite said...

Very very fascinating. Thanks for sharing. Should I check out the book? (P.S. I'm typing this after drinking a vodka on the rocks before boarding a plane to NY because I've become scared shitless to fly after reading the gory details of plane crashes). Wow, I think I typed everything correctly.

Erin said...

Very interesting! I think this is one part other culture's misinformation (obviously more sperm when you're already pregnant does nothing) and one part other culture's expecatations of men. Maybe our culture could stand to have the same expectations- if you donate your seed, prepare to donate your food as well.

Chef Green said...

Annnnd this line just takes the cake: "...guaranteeing another generation of Republican women who’ll end up like Anne Coulter because no one cares if they orgasm. But I digress...)."
So freaking hilarious.

That's really awesome though about the tribal sperm shakes. What a lovely idea. Even though no productivity was expected of any of my unions...I think I should at least get a pile of cheeseburgers for the shame of my sexual past. For real, yo'.