Read Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles by Robin Baker Online

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Published to acclaim and controversy a decade ago, Sperm Wars is a revolutionary thesis about sex that turned centuries-old biological assumptions on their head. Evolution has programmed men to conquer and monopolize women while women, without ever knowing they are doing it, seek the best genetic input on offer from potential sexual partners. In this book, best-selling autPublished to acclaim and controversy a decade ago, Sperm Wars is a revolutionary thesis about sex that turned centuries-old biological assumptions on their head. Evolution has programmed men to conquer and monopolize women while women, without ever knowing they are doing it, seek the best genetic input on offer from potential sexual partners. In this book, best-selling author Robin Baker reveals these new facts of life: ten percent of children are not fathered by their "fathers;" less than one percent of a man's sperm is capable of fertilizing anything (the rest is there to fight off all other men's sperm); "smart" vaginal mucus encourages some sperm but blocks others; and a woman is far more likely to conceive through a casual fling than through sex with her regular partner. It's no wonder that Sperm Wars is a classic of popular science writing that will surprise, entertain, and even shock....

Title : Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles
Author :
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ISBN : 9781560258483
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 375 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles Reviews

  • Manny
    2018-11-20 06:52

    'Hello Tom.' 'Oh, hello Mrs. Harding. I'm sorry, my parents aren't at home...''Laura. I told you last time to please call me Laura. We worked out that I was only eight years older than you, remember?''I'm sorry... Laura. They've gone to...''Yes, of course. They've gone to the premiere of the play that I have been looking forward to all week, except that my bloody husband had to cancel and go to a terribly important meeting when the bloody taxi was already standing outside. Sometimes I wonder why I ever married him. I suppose it must be because he's so bloody rich and successful.''Oh, ah, I'm sorry...''Would you mind if I came in? It's freezing out here.''Ah, yes, please do...''Thanks. That's better. I'm sorry if I sounded brusque. I was horribly disappointed and decided I would have a little chat with my private bottle of Macallan 25. We're almost the same age you know, we feel very close. But after we'd exchanged a few confidences, I decided that I needed to talk to some real live person instead. So here I am. I hope that's OK?''Ah, yes...''It really is a lot warmer in here. May I take off my coat?''Um, of course...''Thank you.''....!''What? Oh, of course, the dress. No no, please stare. That is the whole point of this dress. I was looking forward to having several hundred men stare at me all evening, but that clearly won't happen now, so you will have to do all the staring for them. I hope you feel up to it?''Uh...''Oh dear, I'm teasing you again. I shouldn't do that. Let's talk about something else. When your parents so kindly invited us over to dinner last month, I remember we had a very interesting chat about cosmology. You lent me a book by Martin Rees which I positively devoured, I was quite unable to put it down. It was nice to meet someone who understood I have a brain, you'd be startled to know how seldom that happens.''Oh, I'm sure you're very intelligent...''Well, I wish everyone else was that sure. You'd imagine a first from Oxford would be enough to convince them, but apparently not. Anyway, aren't trophy wives supposed to be intelligent these days?''Er, I don't...''I must stop complaining, where are my manners? Let's get back to books. I'm certain you've acquired some interesting new books since we last met. Why don't you show them to me?''I don't think I've got any more cosmology...''Well, I bet you have something good anyway. This evening is starting to improve. I've had my little tete-à-tete with Ms. Macallan, and now you and I are going to have a pleasant chat, and then you will lend me something thought-provoking and I will curl up cozily in bed and read it until I feel I can face the world again. How does that sound as a plan?''It's nice that you like books...''Without them, my life would be completely intolerable. I am not exaggerating. So where do you keep your stash?''Ah, they're in my bedroom...''Well, we had better go there then. Hm, it's tidier than mine was when I was your age. Good for you. You do have broad-ranging tastes, I approve of that. What did you think of La Peste?''I didn't really think it was that great...''Neither did I. Overrated and smug, I'm not surprised Sartre stopped speaking to him. Wait, I don't believe it. Sperm Wars. I didn't think anyone else had read it. Oh, you are clever, you've put it between The Selfish Gene and Erotic Short Stories. That's quite funny. Did you like it?''It's, er, interesting...''Just what I thought. I used to have a copy once, but my boyfriend borrowed it and never gave it back. Probably something to do with me leaving him to marry George. I thought it rather small-minded of him. I just have to look through this again. Oh yes, all the rather controversial stuff about rape. I had a huge argument with a friend about it. I said that the fact that female mink can only get pregnant if they are raped shows that the question of whether or not women may enjoy rape is a contingent truth. She called me a gender traitor. My guess is that she didn't know what "contingent" meant but wouldn't admit it. What do you think?''Um, I think you were using the word correctly. It's conceivable that there is an evolutionarily stable strategy in which most men don't want to commit rape and most women don't want to be raped, but a minority of both sexes feel differently. It's an empirical question whether that is true or not.''Thank you, exactly so. I told the stupid bitch that personally I would like to cut their balls off, but that that wasn't the point. How pleasant that you got it too. Oh, this is such an interesting book. Before I read it, I just had no idea that most sperm was designed for killing other competing sperm, it really gives you a new perspective. And all those terms he has for sexual strategies. "Topping up". I read that bit, and then the next time my boyfriend and I shagged I couldn't stop thinking that he was topping me up. It was a bit of a passion-killer to be honest. What did you think of all the stories?''Um, some of them were quite good...''Yes, well, he does go on a bit though doesn't he, the randy old goat? You can tell he's enjoying it. Pretending he's talking about evolutionary biology but actually just writing porn. Still, it made the book more fun. I think my main objection was that some of his arguments were so speculative. Like male masturbation for instance. He says it's all about keeping your sperm fresh, but come on, there are simpler explanations. Like, there are lots of teenage boys who don't have any chance of acquiring a girlfriend, and they'll be doing it all the time. Right?''...''Oops. What an absolutely awful faux pas. Why can't I ever learn to keep my big mouth shut? I am most dreadfully sorry. Well, now we have a medical emergency, but luckily I know everything about soothing damaged male egos, so if you'll just let me take care of this it will all be fine. Trust me.''Uh, I think, really you should...''No, you shouldn't think at all right now. It's worst possible thing you can do. I am going to carry out a standard procedure, it's not in any way risky, but I will need your informed consent. Is that alright?''What are you going to do?' 'First I am going to give you a large compliment, and then I will kiss you. Okay?' 'Ah, well, um, I suppose...' 'I'll take that as a yes, we have no time to lose. Tom, you are an unusually attractive young man. I haven't been able to take my eyes off you since I came in. Any woman would be proud to think she was your mistress. Now for part two. You needn't worry, it will be a surgical strike with negligible collateral damage. Please! How do you expect me to operate when you do that? Mwaaah! Hm, let me take a look. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure it worked. The procedure is far more effective if the kiss is, to use a technical term, lingering. Do you think we could try that? Thank you. Mmmmmmmwaaaaah. Much better! However, the perfectionist in me insists that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well, and I know we can do better than that. I could not live with the thought that your poor ego was even slightly damaged by my appalling clumsiness. So let's try one more time and really get it right. If you don't mind, I will arrange us in a maximally effective position. You need to put this hand here, and the other one there, and then lean... ah yes, that's perfect. OK, action stations. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmmm-mmmmmm. Mmmmmm-ahhhh-mmm. Mmmmmmmmm. Mmm-ah! Let me look again. Thank goodness, I believe you are out of danger, but it was touch and go there for a moment.' 'Uh, Laura...' 'I know what you are going to say, and you are quite right. I'm only doing it for medical reasons, so it isn't really effective. If I were sincere, I would want to do it again. That's a good point, and I bow to your superior logic. Let's do it again. Only this time, why don't you put this hand here, or maybe even here, and the other one there? Good. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Mmmm! Ahhh. Mmmmmmmmm. Mmmmmmmm-mmmm-ahh-mmm. Oh yes, of course there is fine, I thought that was clear. Mmmmmmmmmm-ahhh. Ahhhhhhh. Oh! Mmm.' 'Laura, are you sure...' 'Well, it's true, I am rather concerned about this gown. It cost a simply bewildering amount, and I have so far only worn it for about an hour. It would be such a shame if anything happened to it. Here, let me take it off. Luckily that's very easy.' '...!' 'Oh yes, and you'd be surprised how much I paid for the rest of it. Let's take that off too, and avoid accidents. Done.' 'I am obviously dreaming.' 'Mmmm? Well, I have had one thing lead to another before, but I admit it's never happened quite this quickly. Anyway, let's go with the flow. You are now of course hopelessly overdressed for our little party. We should do something about it. Good, that didn't take long. He-llo! I am delighted to make your acquaintance, sir. Should we shake hands, or would he prefer a more Continental style of greeting? Enchantée, Monsieur. Mmmmm. Now, as Princess Fiona says, where were we? Yes yes, just put them back where they were, except that now... yes exactly. Exactly. Though there would be even better. Oh yes, exactly, exactly, exactly right. Mmmmmmmmmm. Ah! Mmmm-ah!' 'Laura, you are so lovely.' 'You're rather lovely too, Tom. Just look at him! Such a fine, upstanding citizen. Well, passons aux choses sérieuses...' 'Ah, Laura, shouldn't I...' 'No, in fact you shouldn't. Just let me be all sérieuse myself for a second please. My bloody husband and I are, as they say, Trying, and looking at that book again suddenly made me feel that I didn't just want his bloody sperm inside me. I'd like some of yours too. Make it more of a competition. If you don't mind. I really hope I haven't ruined the moment.' 'Laura...' 'Oh, thank goodness, I see I haven't. Well, Professor Baker was so convincing about the way a simultaneous orgasm can improve chances of conception, and I am a realistic girl. I think our best shot is for you to lie down on that inviting-looking bed and let me run the show. Luckily I feel completely hair-trigger tonight. So, if you can just manage to do nothing in particular for a couple of minutes...' 'And do it very well?' 'If you can. How nice that you know Iolanthe! Right, so you lie down there, and I will... yes, I think like this will be best. Please keep thinking about the House of Lords and their constitutional responsibilities. How does it start?' 'When Britain really ruled the waves...' 'Oh yes, that's right. When Britain really ruled the waves In Good Queen Bess's time The House of Peers made no pretence To intellectual eminence Or scholarship sublime It has a rather nice rhythm, hasn't it? I never noticed that before. Are you hanging in there?' 'Uh, so far...' 'Well, I think one more verse will do it. Especially if I help matters along like this. You're not shocked I hope? Good. Let's go for it. When Wellington thrashed Bonaparte As every child can tell The House of Peers, throughout the war Did nothing in particular And did it very well. Just like you Tom. Very well. Very, very, very... very well. Oh yes!!' '...!!!' '...!!!!!' '...!' '...!' 'Dear Tom, that was some of the best nothing-in-particular I have experienced in quite a while. What an absolute star you were to manage to wait for me. Now let's have a lovely post-coital snuggle. I think we need your arm here, and it will be so much more comfortable if we just move that pillow a tiny amount... yes, like that I think. Now I definitely want this hand here. Perfect. Oh, this is absolutely heavenly. Mmmm. Are you still there?' 'Mmmm' 'Don't go to sleep yet. I foresee all sorts of complications if we oversleep. If I stretch just a little, I think I can reach your alarm... got it. OK, let's set it for 9.00. This is pm, right?' 'Mmm-mmm' 'Yes, let's sleep a little bit then. I love the way you pull me in close like that. Mmm' 'Mmm' 'Tom?' 'Mmm?' 'I know it's my imagination, but I can just feel those tough little wriggling guys of yours. They're pouring into that great huge gap my orgasm opened up in my cervical mucous and they are completely kicking the shit out of George's army. It's so romantic. Don't you think?' 'Mmm, yes, it is actually. Mmm' 'Mmm' *********************************************** Laura was in fact correct. Tom's sperm, aided both by the advantageous position that his and Laura's simultaneous orgasm had created, and by the fact that they were younger and more motile, easily beat out her husband's sperm, and reached her waiting egg. It is not coincidental that Laura was on the most fertile day of her cycle; apparently random promiscuous behavior of the type she displayed is far more likely on that day and the two immediately preceding it. Eight months and twenty four days later, Laura gave birth to a healthy baby girl, whom she insisted on christening Phyllis. Her husband, George, never suspected that the child might not be his. Six months after Phyllis was born, George was killed in a helicopter crash during a business trip to Russia. Sabotage was suspected but never proved. Laura inherited all of George's considerable estate. A year after George's death, Laura, to general amazement, married Tom in a quiet registry-office ceremony. Shortly afterwards, Tom filed paperwork to officially adopt Phyllis. The couple later had two more children. They also co-authored a book, Existentialism and Evolution, which became a minor cult classic, despite being viciously attacked by several leading French academics. One of the most frequently repeated criticisms was that each chapter, often for no apparent reason, began with a quotation from Gilbert and Sullivan.

  • Brad
    2018-11-16 02:06

    Ok, I have nothing against softcore porn. I hate unsubstantiated psuedoscience. This book crams the two together. I want my science porn free. I want my science to cite sources. I want my science to be free of cultural agenda and bias. Alas, Baker failed me thrice. Much of what he describes is substantiated scientific theory that has been presented properly in other works. Some is rampant speculation. The porn that begins each chapter adds NOTHING to the topic at hand; not even detailed case studies, merely fictional filler designed to spice up his muddled work. Baker fails on every level. Do yourself a favor, pick up a 'Hustler' and a couple of real books on the subject of evolutionary biology. The topic of sexual function and genetics has been well covered by Robert Wright ('A Moral Animal') and Richard Dawkins ('The Selfish Gene'.)

  • Jonatron
    2018-11-14 04:16

    I had been asking sex questions on a human evolution group, and was told more than once to read Sperm Wars. "It explains everything." The book focuses heavily on infidelity and explains the biological basis of sexual behavior. I was a little worried about "knowing too much"; that this knowledge would depress me and ruin my sex life. I bought a copy and lost it before reading it.Recently, it came up in conversation again, and, feeling more along the lines of "not knowing enough" about the biology of sex this time, I bought another copy and pushed myself to read it.After reading it? The biology is interesting, and some of the descriptions of subsequent human behavior are enlightening and make perfect sense to me, but some of the other conclusions are less than convincing. (And some have been disproven. See the comments on this review.) It wasn't exactly life-changing, and certainly hasn't hurt any aspect of my sex life.Although his research found that only 4 percent of conceptions take place as a result of sperm wars, and 9 out of 10 children are born from routine monogamous intercourse, the premise of the book is that this is the "major force in the shaping of human sexuality", and all of our sexual behaviors are explained in relation to it. "Well, people that study sperm competition are a fairly conceited lot actually. They think it explains everything to do with sexual behaviour."He says to read through his scholarly papers if you doubt his conclusions. Instead of just saying "trust me", I'd feel a lot better if he included a brief summary of the supporting data nearby.Most importantly, many of the connections he makes between evolutionary biology and conscious behavior seem a bit too speculative, based on a narrow-minded interpretation of human ethology.The most obvious example to me is the section where he states that men are averse to using condoms, and then goes about explaining why. For instance, men try to have sex without condoms because they "spoil the man's subconscious rationale for having routine sex". A man would only have sex with a condom so that he can trick the woman into having sex without one later. "Subconsciously, his body realizes the futility of casual sex with no chance of conception."Of course, this is silly. Men don't like sex with condoms because it doesn't feel as good. Simple as that. Why doesn't it feel as good? Well, that's where biology comes in. But it's pretty simple: Evolution made men adept at determining whether they are in a real vagina or not, and varies the amount of pleasure they will feel accordingly. Their conscious decision of whether to use one or not is made partially on the basis of the amount of pleasure they will feel. That's it. It has nothing to do with a "subconscious" urge to impregnate women or anything.I didn't understand why the book was so "controversial" until the last third, where he basically says that women's bodies secretly want to be raped, homosexuals are just "practicing" for heterosexuality, and women pursue prostitution as a reproductive strategy.It's easy to use a simple model of individual natural selection to explain a desire to have sex with multiple partners, but how do you explain the fact that I and many of my friends don't want to procreate at all? The fact that some priests/monks have trouble living completely celibate lives is explained quite easily by such a model, but the fact that these men would pursue such a life in the first place, and in the majority of cases succeed, is not. Organisms certainly evolve on this level, but also on many others. He doesn't take into account the possibility of evolved behaviors that are altruistic rather than selfish, and completely ignores the cultural evolution/memetic side of things.Describing human biology is straightforward; it either does things or it doesn't. Connecting this low-level functionality to high-level behavior is not so simple.

  • Callum
    2018-12-01 23:05

    Well this book was always going to split the field, what with it's open, frank and polemical discussions of rape and prostitution. This is a fascinating text that is well worth reading with an OPEN MIND.There are conjectures made that seem to disgust some reviewers on this website. What they seem to consistently miss, however, is that our views on social conduct and our sense of right from wrong is a remarkably recent cognitive development when viewed on an evolutionary timescale. So these conjectures seem wildly savage and archaic, but that is rather the point. we are animals, the same as every other species, what separates us is our ability to appreciate that fact and process complex cerebral sequences. We are, however, still very much governed by really quite simple biological drivers.We all have the desire to eat, sleep and reproduce stronger than any other desire for culture, material possessions etc. The desire for what makes us human has developed over several millennia, whereas biological urges have controlled us for millions of years. That we can read this book and disagree with the points raised is something we have only been capable of for a few hundred years. People who believe we are somehow above the urges explored in this book are really quite blinkered. Of course we are not. We just like to think we are, because we are civilized. If that were true, then people in society wouldn't commit the heinous crimes that they do, and atrocities such as rape and murder would be cast to the past with the savages.We are, however, still animal and our desires are governed as such.Regarding the comments about this being 'psuedo-science', it is clear that people are furnishing their protestations with such a defaming concept to give their opinions credence. There are no references to the primary sources of information because of the audience and purpose this book is written for; it is popular science, aimed at the layman, to be able to dip in and out of without needing an expert background. If you doubt the authenticity of the text, then check out the myriad of Robin Baker's publications in peer-reviewed journals that back up his claims.I realise that many people will only read the first and last paragraph of a review, so- read this for yourself and make your own mind up. What you might find is, if you are willing to accept it, that you may start noticing some of the practices unfold in your own sex life, or even reflect on similarities of some of the stories with your own experiences.

  • Nick
    2018-11-24 23:56

    Oh my gosh this is cuckold porn disguised as a biologists view of the social realities of reproduction.Even in his preface he admits there are many biologists who will view this book as a complete work of fiction, but the first time I read that did not have the same impact it had as when I was done.The entire book is comprised of "examples" he gives about sexuality, and he then explains his point of view on what "transpired" in his imagination, he explains they are not "real" situations, but are there for him to explain his point of view on the subject.After reading it and reflecting... yeah it's just a cuckold porn story book. There is no science, no figures, no statistical references, just a few stories, very lengthy and droning stories, about how he thinks life is exciting if you let your spouse "cheat" on you, that this is how life is, and it's so awesome. It's one big cuckold fetish book. I can't keep myself from smiling and shaking my head about what a waste of time this book was.I've NEVER read a non-fiction book that has so much porn in it. I mean, I like porn, but this is just ridiculous; you think he is going to describe his reason for saying something, but he goes on and on, talking about how fingers go into holes and on and on, and rarely actually gets to his point, and NEVER actually produces any real data, it's all just his opinion, again and again.Also, I have since learned he is the only "scientist" that promotes the idea of "killer sperm", and other biologists find many of his ideas comical.This is a big issue for me; Sperm either kills other sperm, or it doesn't. Baker says MOST sperm kills other sperm (he claims 9 out of 10 sperm go and kill other "non self" sperm), I myself did an experiment in biology class, and ZERO sperm killed other sperm, in fact, nobody in my class witnessed any sperm killing other sperm, and we tried pig, bird and cow; nothing, not one single attack among 22 tests.Our biology teacher proceeded to describe half a dozen studies, all of which debunk nearly all of Robin Baker and his ideas, then he told me he has done this experiment in his class for nearly a decade, and nobody has EVER witnessed a single sperm attack another sperm. Too bad I took this class *after* reading this awful book.This guy is a nut job. It is clear in his preface that he intends to sway public opinion into believing that women should be allowed to cheat, because hey "it's natural". What a dork. He wrote a fiction book along the same lines that I zipped through, everyone gets stranded on an island and guess what? the girls all do it with tons of guys and the guys like it, meanwhile, his "non-fiction" book reads almost exactly the same!This book gives you a dirty "What the heck did I just read" feeling when you are done, and throughout reading it. The only redeeming thing I can say about this book is that I feel amazed and dumbfounded he is an actual biologist, and that he is so much into his fetish that he writes books about it, claiming it is real science, and outright lies in the process. Total pervert with a very, very weird agenda.

  • Claire
    2018-12-07 05:04

    Sperm Wars made me realize how evolutionary biology got such a bad rap. Through this book, Robin Baker alternates sexual scenes with explanations of how the physical battle to procreate that happens internally can lead to seemingly irrational, immoral, or simply puzzling behavior, ranging from infidelity, to why the desire of when and how the female has an orgasm changes, to why group rape occurs. Baker provides information on how sperm ratio differs in different sexual contexts, what role the cervix plays in conception, and other biological mechanisms that occur below the threshold of consciousness. This is the part of the book I found fascinating and what made it a worthwhile read.However, Baker falls into the trap of reductionist logic which could have been avoided with more rigorous thinking - this I am sure about because I have read Geoffrey Miller's evolutionary psych tome, The Mating Mind, which succeeds in this. If he had just been more careful in explaining to the reader (which he explicitly shapes as the layman in his Preface) which assumptions to avoid making as he presents facts, this could have been a worthwhile publication.Add to this sin that he bypasses almost all discussion of the female's active role in conception, argues that one of the primary benefits of male bisexuality to the individual is that having multiple male partners of different character types will better prepare him to have multiple female partners of varying temperaments, and his weak chapters on homosexuality, rape, and prostitution...I do not recommend.One last word: one might argue that since this book was published 11 years ago, when it came on the scene it may have been fresh, exciting, and stimulated real thought. That was my own conjecture as I started reading Sperm Wars, and found nothing in the Introduction to the 2006 Edition (starting on page xix) pertaining to this fact other than a pat on the back. I wish it were deserved.

  • Alyssa
    2018-12-10 01:00

    This is the worst pseudo-scientific book I have read since The Naked Ape. It's hard to believe it can be called non-fiction. The copy I was given seems to be a vanity publication. The research seems opinion based and is not scientifically documented at all in the book. There are no references or citations and the fictionalized case studies are nothing more than soft porn. I wasn't surprised to find out that Dr. Baker has been completely discredited by his colleagues in evolutionary biology. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the basis for some of his theories are scientifically founded, but the presentation is ridiculous.

  • Katy Stauber
    2018-11-12 04:01

    It would have been interesting except some basic research indicates that most of the premises upon which this book was written are total crap. Very much of the 'women are evil cows after our vital essence' ideology with some penis envy overtones presented as scientific fact. Totally ridiculous book to have been written in this century.

  • Alex Harmon
    2018-11-27 23:55

    This is one of the most fascinating books I've read in the last few years. In retrospect I am really amused at some of the reviews for this book on this site and elsewhere from women who are, for lack of a more adequate term, butthurt over the contents of the book. Sure, if taken from a certain misandrous point of view the stories written by the author can be seen to be very damning towards women. The trick is that these women (and some self-hating men) seem to be stuck in a (probably religious) mindset wherein the ONLY form procreation should take is consensual sex with the lights off in the missionary position with one's partner in marriage. This is ridiculous and totally ignores the truth of human nature. Jerry Springer's show and the USA's extremely high divorce rate should each be enough to convince any layman that this book contains a LOT of truth. Humans like to have sex. Humans quite often like to have sex with new people. This book explains why. It also explains why some people don't. It's not a one-size-fits-all book and never claims to be. Please go into it with your baggage left at the door. I'd just come off The Myth of Monogamy when I picked this book up. While the former was great at explaining animal promiscuity in general (humans included) I found it was lacking, by design, a lot of the more human perspective that would have made it a great window into how we work the way we work. Sperm Wars acts as the perfect complement by taking the groundwork laid in Myth of Monogamy and making it fit the human experience. I loved the way the author described the scenes in detail, but offered enough restraint (by way of his wife, apparently) that it didn't become a sordid read at any point. The summaries and explanations after each story were nearly all perfectly executed and were always fascinating. All in all, this book actually helped me understand a great deal of why I work the way I work and with that has come a certain level of peace in my mind. I'm going to continue following this subject with great interest. Highly recommended to literally anyone, because there are absolutely zero humans in this world that are untouched by sex. Pick it up and read with an open mind.

  • Sean Goh
    2018-11-18 00:17

    If one reads this book with an uncritical mind, you will be apt to find it very interesting, with many conclusions that make sense.Yet it must be noted that this book lacks references, and anecdotal conjectures (for the evidence, read my other science-heavy publication!) aren't quite the same as scientific hypotheses backed by evidence.A simple search disproves one of the more interesting claims (sperm specialisation) http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/197/1/..., so there.Baker's main thread seems to be the body has plans the mind knows not of, which manifested in various sexual behaviours. Best read with an open, but skeptical mind. Please please please do not regurgitate his findings without reading up more on your own first, that is how ignorance spreads.

  • Dеnnis
    2018-11-16 23:04

    I was "cautiously" enjoying the first quarter of the book when I peeped in reviews here. The one about the lack of proper references stung me. I wrote several academic peer-reviewed papers and I absolutely cherish this tradition. Thus upon reading the review I couldn't continue just flowing with the author.Here and there I started noticing passages and claims for which I'd rather see some sources and quotes of some serious studies behind these, now appearing spurious, claims. Since he kept on showering me with one sensational idea or conclusion after another I grew annoyed and he lost my trust. I gave up the book. You can't treat such a serious matter without some trustworthy sources and stats to lean upon. Otherwise it's just at best your own very private point of view.

  • Jon Finkel
    2018-11-22 06:02

    Absolutely fascinating. I learned so much I don't know where to begin. Did you know that 99% of sperm's primary function is to do battle with other mens' sperm inside the woman, and that only 1% is capable of fertilization? The woman's orgasm is her way of helping the sperm of the man she prefers. 10% of children's real dad isn't the man who thinks he's the father. Just an amazing scientific work, well written, funny, and informative.

  • Mark
    2018-11-23 23:10

    Here's an explanation of the hangover after the free lovin' 60's, and where you got that red hair! So far it seems a bit gratuitous, just partly credible & somewhat unfair to women. Would be a weak echo of the selfish gene, except that SW anticipates that book by decades. On the plus side, huge points for boldly, (if somewhat clumsily) exploring a new genre space, including titillating and episodes which behavior he then ties into the sperm wars.------------------------------------------------------Below, the very crude beginnings of my thoughts: not recommended reading as of yet.The metaphor of battle, complete with armies, strategy ambushes, and of course, maneuvers (!) is rife throughout the book. Baker attributes all the behavior to one's body, a consequence of genetics. There's an aspect of hapless rider on the willful hormonal horse that's going to go where it wants: sperm races and sperm wrestling, and sperm sieges, dalliances with the pool boy and orgies and careful calculation of the optimal load for "topping off" the ducts. Simultaneously a lot of evolved behavior and yet a lot of calculation, dare one say thinking, to determine the course. Partly I think he goes too far in attributing thoughtfulness to instinctual behaviors, what we are is just animals doin' what they do on the discovery channel. And yet, one's "body" cannot be said to see, to count the men, to plan the number of sperm to be launched. The woman's body that's "deciding" to have a preliminary orgasm to stiffen up defensive filter is not so well informed of her spouse's income prospects as all that. The conscious person in contrast is very well informed, but would often deny the strategms in play or may even be in direct opposition to the goals of the sperm war, as in the case of selecting contraception. I'd like to suggest a triumvirate of the plumbing, meaning the body and it's motivating hormones, the conscious person in your head, and the subconscious, processing subliminally, equipped with all the information but not in direct and open exchange with YOU.I have feel myself to be a very conscious person, analytical of my behavior. Recently, I hear of others' degree of consciousness, observe the way people act without knowing why, learn of the subconscious and its participation in our lives. To what degree are we conscious of why we act? Are dogs conscious? How about rats? Were people always conscious? Are people today conscious to different degrees? Is the dividing line between conscious and subconscious behavior a clear one of a matter of degree, a gradual shading?I am headed for the subconscious because I cannot find another place to embed this very specific, reactive, scenario-dependent behavior (which must perforce be connected somehow with mind, and perception) which is nonetheless at odds with conscious desires. This is where we lose our free will, for, if we act at odds with our overt goals and decisions, how are we (the conscious person) not the hapless rider? Are we talking of id and ego here? (I have no formal Freudian schooling, so dunno.) At some point I felt this to be a compelling idea, that (a) the "body" (as the surrogate for the conniving genes) could not exhibit such complex reasoning, while (b) the personwould not (would even deny it!), so (c) where the heck is this behavior coming from: we MUST be "just monkeys" if we cannot control ourselves. [sigh!:] ...this all seemed so interesting before.

  • Ilana Bram
    2018-12-06 07:10

    Baker did his best to show various "reproductive strategies" without moralizing sex. Evolution of "whatever works," human behavior as strategies leaning towards better reproductive success. I love this kind of thinking. This is a great introductory book to evolutionary psychology. Just be careful not to get too attached to the conclusions. Baker takes some observable facts (vagina's PH is hostile to sperm, and vaginal mucus is a sponge barrier blocking the sperm from the egg) and explains his fact with evolution. For example, "women are biologically at war with men because men want many children even if half will die, whereas women prefer fewer well-cared for children. Therefore, women try to avoid pregnancy, rigging the game inside their bodies so that only a tiny fraction of copulations end in conception." Years later we have found that when a woman is most fertile - from to 3 days or so before and during ovulation- the female reproductive system is extremely hospitable to sperm, creating a super highway of slippery comfort for the sperm, storing the lucky group of winners in a special cozy area, even feeding the sperm sugar (I imagine figs and dates) until miss egg is ready to appear and the sperm is needed. We can explain this too with evo psych: "Of course the female is receptive to sperm when she's fertile. Fertile females who are not receptive to sperm will have fewer babies!"A few other ideas turned out to be probably wrong, like the upsuck theory saying that female orgasms increase the likelihood of conception because orgasm contractions suck up sperm (probably untrue), or the idea that men masturbate to keep their sperm fresh and fertile when in fact older sperm is more mature and fertile.Evolutionary Psychology can make it look like all human behavior is somehow adaptive. Doesn't have to be. Not everything is here because it helps us. Some stuff we do (or are) because of chance, drift, behaviors and attributes that have equal pluses and minuses and so cancel themselves out. Still, when you apply the "reproductive success" model to human behavior, evo-psych wins every time. It's a really seductive model, and I don't know a better one. Plus it was a very fun read. It would be interesting to read an epigenetics version of this book: what happens in the brain when environmental conditions trigger the switching on or the switching off of various behavior-strategy genes.. and the degree to which we can manipulate the expressions of our genes with our behavior ..

  • Andrew Calderon
    2018-11-16 02:10

    This book has NO REFERENCES. None. It has controversial theories and sexual vignettes (albeit some interesting ones) that root our sexual instincts and relationship behaviors in purely biological terms. That isn't a novel approach: what is novel is the purported contrivances the female body has evolved to collect sperm; his perspective on homosexuality; and his contention that female bodies are constantly trying to foment sperm wars within themselves. It's all highly cerebral and not very scientific. The best science is studied attempts to extrapolate theory from empirical evidence while addressing competing theories on the topic at hand and using the evidence to substantiate the explanatory power of the theory that explains it all logically. This book has none of that. Perhaps Baker is a fantastic scientists and a brilliant researcher/theorist, but those qualities are not displayed in this particular work.

  • David
    2018-11-16 04:01

    I don't usually enjoy books in the field of science, but this one was an exception, even though at times it was could be rather provocative and distasteful. But wow, a lot is going on 'down there,' and it has a greater impact on our behavior than we would like to think. It also provides reasonable explanations for seemingly strange behaviors (sexual and otherwise). The book is presented in a series of 'scenes' which serve to build upon one another in order to introduce more complicated concepts. It certainly is a great deal better than poring over dry, scientific studies. The only real drawback of the book is that it could be rather redundant at times, rehashing the same concept over and over again in successive scenes.

  • Marybeth
    2018-12-11 04:12

    Not really sure what the big deal is. There isn't anything here that isn't in any standard textbook on human sexuality (or at least nothing substantiated). I have trouble thinking of this as a 'science book'; not one footnote, no bibliography, only a back cover allusion to the author's many publications during a 16 year career as a university lecturer.

  • Sara Berinhout
    2018-11-14 02:58

    I found some of the theories to be a little far-fetched (and there are moments when he presents far-reaching conclusions based on seemingly very little evidence) but overall it is extremely entertaining and easy to read-- while still conveying a wealth of scientific information and knowledge that will undoubtedly alter your perspective on human sexual behavior.

  • Mauri
    2018-11-29 00:12

    Very Interesting. My only complaint that it gets hard to read the case studies as the book goes on, since they refer to previous cases by number only, and you have to remember that Case 34 was the one with the orgy (and so forth)

  • Asia Maiden
    2018-12-08 02:58

    awesome book! Revolutionary thoughts. It will change your life and your marriage!

  • Audra
    2018-11-21 03:05

    What DIDN'T I learn from this book?! If you want to find out why your body and your brain are often at odds, read read read this book.

  • Kirsten
    2018-11-21 07:05

    High handed, biased, out of date; I forgot what the 90s were like until I read the line, "Most readers of this book will be exclusively heterosexual." p 282

  • Caroline
    2018-12-08 06:01

    Intéressant pour avoir des pistes de réflexions pour celles et ceux qui cherchent à avoir des enfants - ou au contraire ne pas en avoir ! (bien que ce ne soit pas l'objectif premier de ce livre hein)

  • Count-daniel Fogarty
    2018-12-04 03:09

    One of the most disturbing and upsetting books I have ever read... In saying this, it opened up my eyes and reinforced why eventually I would become a MGTOW!So, ultimately it has taught me to embrace my destiny!

  • Kumar McMillan
    2018-11-15 02:14

    The behavior of human sperm is fascinating: only a small percentage are actually fertile enough to inseminate an egg. The rest exhibit complex features that apparently exist to block or kill the sperm of other males inside the same woman's body.Under what behaviors and reproductive strategies did humans evolve to developer sperm like this? If you're interested in finding scientific answers to that question then this book will disappoint you. It is a collection of made up erotic stories accompanied by "scientific" explanations of why each story seems plausible (to the author). However, there aren't many references to actual scientific evidence that the author is using. There are a few mentions of small studies done in Britain but no actual footnotes to the studies (that I could find).At its very best, this book is a collection of thought provoking erotic stories based on what seem to be mostly logical ideas. They are entertaining and for that alone it's probably worth reading. That is definitely not the author's intention though. I am pretty curious if the author does have more scientific evidence that he held back because he makes up these stories with the utmost conviction.An example of one made up scene starts with a married couple who are trying to conceive but are having problems. The woman encounters an old fling and against her best judgement has an affair with him. After realizing the mistake, she has sex with her husband to "make it right" and ends up conceiving. The inferred science here is that humans have been genetically programmed for certain types of reproductive strategies. The winning strategies have resulted in successful offspring for thousands of generations and this explains why we share similar behaviors in society today. The author has some interesting ideas especially on the difference in strategies between men and women and how those strategies often compete with each other. It would all be more believable if it were based on solid facts rather than anecdotal evidence.

  • Taka
    2018-12-08 04:05

    Interesting but often too roundabout and redundant--Robin Baker does offer an interesting interpretation of human sexuality, but some points he makes seem to be blatantly assumed than based on solid scientific evidence, such as specifically how men gain information about their mates from oral sex (Scene 10), what mechanism men use to adjust the number of sperm in their ejaculates (Scene 4), and how women's bodies could be said to "manipulate" their emotions to reduce the chances of conception (Scene 16).I have no problem with the utter lack of any scientific reference - a common criticism leveled at this controversial book - since the author explains in the preface that all the scientific evidence can be found in his earlier publication, Human Sperm Competition.I have a problem, however, with his presentation. It was simply annoying to having to read "scenes" where unnamed individuals engage in certain sexual activities before reading Baker's interpretation. So before I hit page 100, I skipped all the scenes and had no problem understanding what the author was talking about after each scene.I recommend to skip the scenes; they are extraneous - enjoyable, perhaps, but extraneous. Also, by breaking up the book into scenes with sometimes witty but almost always completely uninformative titles (what can you find, for example in "How Forgetful," "Dark Secret," or even better, "Total Success"???), the author made it extremely difficult to go back and find certain explanations and facts after you read it.Nevertheless, his interpretations of human sexuality - especially of routine sex, infidelity, female orgasm, and sexual "aberrations" (homosexuality, bisexuality, prostitution, and rape) - based on presumed reproductive success is interesting in that it may open our eyes to a reality we were previously unaware of.Bad presentation, a few scientific sleaziness, and some interesting interpretations.

  • Broodingferret
    2018-11-11 07:17

    This was an interesting read, albeit a bit arduous at times. Baker's thesis is that all human sexual behavior can be explained from a biological stand point, an ambitious view that he doesn't fully succeed in demonstrating. While many of the phenomena he discusses, such as the widely varied orgasmic patterns observed among females compared to the highly predixtible patterns seen among males, can be convincingly attributed to biological causes, others, such as the various cross-cultural taboos against masturbation, take a bit of rhetorical stretching before a biological view can be even half-way convincingly applied to them. The layout of the book was also a bit odd. Originally, Baker, working with another scientist, published all of the same information in another book called Human Sperm Competition, which was a highly acedemic and dry read. Wanting to make the info more accessible to the layman, Baker wrote Sperm Wars and decided to avoide citations, stats and graphs, choosing instead to discuss the info more conversationally, directing interested readers to his other work should they want the actual numbers and research techniques. He also decided to organize the book unconventionally. Each section starts with a fictional acount of a sexual behavior of some sort, followed by a discussion of the whys and wherefores of what occured in the scene. While this approach is engaging, it becomes somewhat difficult to manage, as Baker has a habit of referring to other sections of the book to help make his points, including sections that reader hasn't gotten to yet. This gives the book a continuity that the ostensible "chapters" do little the break-up, making Sperm Wars more like a 350 page essay rather than a book. Overall, however, it was quite informative and generally well-written, and the academic version costs well over $100, making Sperm Wars the more reasonable reading choice for those interested in the subject.

  • Anthony Kozlowski
    2018-12-07 01:21

    One thing that really interests me is understanding the evolutionary reasons for why we are the way we are. What behaviors that drove us to survive and reproduce still exist today? Though we'd like to forget it, human beings are nothing more than animals -- smart animals, but animals all the same.Robin Baker's analysis of human mating behavior is over twenty years old, and to some extent it shows it's age. But like he explains in the forward, the behaviors he describes are thousands of years old and inform us in mate selection even today. Nothing he lists is revolutionary. In fact, most of it makes sense considering our anatomy, tendencies, and reproductive strategies. He just makes it easy to put two and two together. Some of findings err on the unlikely side, but those are few enough that it doesn't do much to harm the book overall. Again, it might be the fault of being twenty years out of date.Beware: this book isn't for the prudish or the easily embarrassed. He speaks candidly about sex and infidelity, trading anecdotes that border on softcore pornography with statistical analysis that unwinds the behavior described. He doesn't annotate the text (and granted he wanted it to be easier for the average person to digest), but he does list his own research for those who want to dive in further. I was so hooked, that might end up being me.Some who read "Sperm Wars" might find it to be misogynistic and pro-infidelity, but read as a piece of scientific analysis, I don't think that's quite fair. To paraphrase Baker, we study history so that we can learn from it and avoid our mistakes in the future. The same goes for our mixed strategy of reproduction.This is a fascinating read for psychology and biology enthusiasts, and maybe for readers who like trashy romance novels too. 3.3/5

  • Leonidas Kaplan
    2018-11-15 01:00

    Took me almost 2 months to finish this book. Each chapter is independent of the others, and starts off with a very vivid story of sex, infidelity, orgies, masturbation, and everything and anything else to do with sex.The stories are well written, and captivating, practically wanting to be shared with friends because they are so sexually interesting. A++ for the stories.But then the second part of each chapter goes into detail of the relevance with sperm and the reproductive cycle in both males and females.From vaginal fluids, to cervixes, to contractions, ovulation, testicle sizes, influence of orgasms, etc etc. The intense competition that occurs between sperm from multiple males is very interesting.The second part can be incredibly detailed, and cyclical as well. At times, I found myself zoning out as the descriptions were hyper informative, and felt like they were repeating the same things.Nonetheless, I commend the sex-stories once again. Some of the best, most relevant, and realistic material I have ever read.This book also explains the biological and genetic relevance of homosexuality, bisexuality, and rape in all species of animals. It is interesting to know that other animals, insects, fish, whatever engage in this kind of behavior. Each with the purpose of passing on their genetics more efficiently or in the face of extreme competition.Ultimately, there is an entire football game, or international WAR going on inside the female vagina, when several men ejaculate inside her. This war came be so random, as to be like a real war... ultimately producing you ;)4/5 Stars

  • Jeremy Silver
    2018-12-05 05:20

    This is the most difficult book to rate I've ever read. On one hand, I found it very interesting. There are a lot of cool ideas and information here. The problem is (as a lot of other people's reviews have pointed out) there is absolutely zero references to show how they are coming to these conclusions. Granted, the author does preface the book by saying there is another book previously written that contains all the scientific data, but to me this is just a cop out. You can't expect someone to go and read a completely different book that is also written by you just to find the proof in the pudding. Regardless, since I did still enjoy reading the book, I was going to split the difference and give it 3 stars. That is, until I got to the last section of the book when he starts getting into rape. This section is no different than the rest of the book in that he is putting a biological purpose behind every sexual act that we do, but when you start using the rape of a 12 year old girl as an example, I feel like you're going way past the point of this book. There would have been absolutely zero difference as far as his point, to have made the girl in her late teens or early 20's. Having to read about men raping a 12 year old was just extremely gross and uncomfortable and like I said, if there was a reason to do it I could somewhat understand, but this was not the case. All in all, as I said at the beginning, this is an interesting read, but if you do read it, make sure you take it with a grain of salt..maybe 2 or 3 grains...and you might want to skip the last chapter unless you want to feel very uncomfortable.