The ending: Homo eroticus

We have seen how human sexuality is shaped in a long, evolutionary perspective. We started from the first hominins, which developed already some features of assimilating them to the man and separated from the rest of the hominid lineage. We tried to figure out how it could look like their sex life, juxtaposing messages about their life to lifestyle of great apes and baboons, as well as traditional tribal customs. We tracked the changes that have occurred in times of Australopithecus, and then during the next form of human existence. We noted both the changes in the anatomy and physiology, as well as the collective organization of life. We looked at the events that laid the foundations for modern civilization and shaped the present form of our sex life. In many cases, the mere listing in the long term and in the wider context facts found by a variety of specialized disciplines led to a better understanding of the nature of changes that have taken place, or to help reach a hypothesis about the events of which we still lack knowledge.

It turns out that excessive fragmentation of science, divide it into more numerous and more narrow specialization can remove from view many important aspects. This does not mean that inevitably progressing comminution the research process in science is incorrect. Disadvantageous is the one-sidedness of this tendency, no counterweight in the form of offsetting this trend, an interdisciplinary perspective - both comprehensive and complementary way to combine the detailed arrangements of the various scientific disciplines and subdisciplines into a coherent knowledge. In the field of human sexuality, we undertake such efforts. It is postulated the transformation of the former sexology, the science of medical jam, in sexology more general, a kind of of sexual anthropology. Similar actions are taken under the banner of "sex research" to try broaden and diversify the range of research interests. There are, however, only the first, tentative steps in that direction. If reading this book gives the impression that such an interdisciplinary approach to the issue of sexuality is inspiring and useful cognitive, the goal of this work will be met with interest.

The essential question, which accompanied us from the beginning, is how much the specificity of our species, our human nature defines a linkinig beetwen the man and the rest of the living world, and how much - its individuality, uniqueness. I will not forget my biology class in high school many years ago, where I had to continuously recite a list of 17 features that distinguish from animals. Even then, some items of this list appeared to be artificial and irrelevant to me. To date, almost nothing remains of this list. he very first hominins were upright, the tools have been producing by the australopithecines, the beginnings of cultural behavior, the so-called proto-culture, was observed in several species of primates.

It's likely that any simple speech before us was used by the Homo erectus or Neanderthals. Something that until recently seemed to be specifically human traits, on closer acquaintance turns out to be properties that we share with other species. This also applies to the sexual sphere. Non-reproduction sex practice to some extent the other hominid, and bonobos little inferior to us in the richness of sexual life. It seems that our species uniqueness in this respect rather not within the sphere of anatomy and physiology. It relates more to the issue, which highlights the special role of our highly developed mind, our intellect, the ability to create culture. This is a culture in the broad sense - as a whole objectified, widely recognized and established products of the human mind, both tangible and intangible, symbolic. Perhaps other species are also capable of producing culture or proto-culture. But our culture and civilization is ours - the only one and unique. It makes us uniqueness, it is something which is impossible to forge.

Earlier we asked the question of what man has done with the sex drive, when he was gifted with intelligence. Now, as we could excellent see, he gave an impressive cultural robe, and depth of mental, spiritual experience for the drive. But it's no wonder. This fanciful creature does this with every natural and simple as it might seem, a biological device, which he received. From instinct to satisfy hunger, he made himself a sophisticated culinary arts. From the need to cover the body from the cold he brought the complex customs of dress and fashion, along with a gigantic industry that supports it. With persisted, intensified passion and protectiveness, covering a sexually matured person, he drew - love, a kind of mystery, the separate world. Who knows if - paradoxically - in the sexual sphere, so closely connected with our biological, do not show the best this barrier between man and beast - the ability to transform the experience of sexual life in a deeper, spiritual nature, the ability to transform a purely biological facts - in the mental, cultural and intellectual events.

This balance may be cast by the concept of eroticism. The concept is complex and ambiguous. For example, the Dictionary of the Polish language (by the Polish Scientific Publishers) lists three different meanings of sexuality: 1) the sensuous love, 2) sexual excitability and 3) the subject of love. Different fields of science could add to that some other meanings. However, this date may be most useful to distinguish the naturalistic, biological side of sexual life of man from the cultural, mental side. Without going too much into the intricacies of definition, one can assume that erotic is all that is penetrated from the realm of biological sexuality into our lives through the broader culture. In this sense, a man leads a life quite different from the rest of the life of living beings, and the difference is best described as Homo eroticus, man creates eroticism.

The translation form Polish.