The Mythic Masculine
The Mythic Masculine
#60 | The Evolution of Masculinity - Christopher Ryan (Sex At Dawn)

#60 | The Evolution of Masculinity - Christopher Ryan (Sex At Dawn)

An exploration into the pre-history of mating, sex, and power of honesty in relationships.

My guest today is Christopher Ryan, an acclaimed author and speaker who has led a diverse and unconventional life, from working odd jobs around the world to earning a Ph.D. in Psychology and being a self-proclaimed “vanthropologist.”

He is the host of the podcast Tangentially Speaking, as well as the author of “Civilized to Death” and the co-author of “Sex At Dawn”, which columnist Dan Savage has called “The single most important book on human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Male.”

When I read “Sex At Dawn” over a decade ago, it had a significant influence on my life path and approach to relationships, as you’ll hear in this episode. As well, we cover Chris’ own journey that inspired him to reach into the pre-history of humanity and find fresh insights into modern relationships, sexuality, and how remarkably similar we are to bonobos. 

We discuss the complex challenges for men & masculinity today, we touch on his observations about the radical peace project of Tamera, and finally, he shares his best (and only) advice on how to live into the future of relationships.



  • Crestone is a unique spiritual community at 8,000 feet with open-air cremations, Tibetan stupas, and diverse spiritual centers.

  • Historical Origins: Crestone's history involves visionary landowners and prophecies of harmonious coexistence among different religious traditions, leading to the creation of spiritual centers.

  • Chris's Journey: Chris's exploration of cultures and alternative lifestyles began in his youth and eventually led him to Crestone.

  • Understanding the Human Condition: Chris's career focuses on understanding human behavior and challenging cultural norms.

  • "Sex at Dawn": The book challenges traditional monogamy notions, examining evolutionary psychology, anthropology, and bonobo behavior.

  • Controversy and Conversation: "Sex at Dawn" sparked debates and opposition by questioning conventional beliefs about monogamy.

  • Career Evolution: Chris shifted from literature to psychology and faced backlash from the academic community.

  • Cultural Biases in Science: The discussion highlights how cultural biases influence scientific disciplines like anthropology.

  • Exploring Masculinity: Masculinity encompasses risk-taking, humor, and courageous conversations, not limited to stereotypical traits.

  • Challenges in Modern Masculinity: Contemporary culture presents complexities, with concerns about toxic masculinity and limited career opportunities for young men.

  • Impact of Toxic Messages: Toxic ideologies exploit the challenges faced by young men and promote disrespect toward women.

  • Rediscovering Cooperation: The future presents a choice between eroding traditional gender roles and rediscovering human cooperation, which may necessitate shared resources and mutual support.


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