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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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31 July, 2007

Why we have sex

In an entertaining article, “The Whys of Mating: 237 Reasons and Counting,” John Tierney points us to a study by Cindy Meston and David Buss titled “Why Humans Have Sex” (pdf link). Some of the reasons are quite joyous—for example:

I thought it would make me feel healthy.

The person had beautiful eyes.

I saw the person naked and could not resist.

I wanted to see what all the fuss is about.

I wanted to get a raise.

I wanted to be used and degraded.

It would damage my reputation to say no.

I wanted to hurt an enemy.

And so on. The most infrequent reasons for having sex are also noted, and No. 1 for women is “I wanted to give someone else a sexually transmitted disease (e.g., herpes, AIDS).” That’s a relief.

You will note, of course, that all this is just proximate causation.

PS: Tierney’s piece also has a sidebar linking to Andrew Marvell’s magnificent poem, “To His Coy Mistress.” Lovely. No one should be coy.

Posted by Amit Varma in Miscellaneous

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