No culture is ever completely successful or satisfied with its
synthesis of romantic love, companionship, and sexual desire.
Whether the setting is a busy metropolis or a quiet farming
village, a tension always exists between a community's sexual
habits and customs and what it believes to be the proper context
for love. Even in Western societies, we prefer sexual passion to
romance and companionship, and no study of any culture has shown
that individuals regard passion and affection equally.
The pursuit of love and sex has generated an infinite number of
ambiguities and contradictions, yet every community hopes to find a
resolution to this conflict either by joining, dividing, or
stressing one act over the other. In this follow-up to Romantic
Passion: A Universal Experience?, William R. Jankowiak
examines how different cultures rationalize the expression of
passionate and comfort love and physical sex. He begins by mapping
out the intricacies of the love/sex conundrum and the psychological
dilemma of reconciling these competing forces. He then follows with
essays on sex, love, and intimacy among Central African foragers
and farmers; the love dyad in Lithuania; intimacy among the Lahu of
Southwestern China; the interplay of love, sex, and marriage in the
High Himalayas; verbalized experiences of love and sexuality in
Indonesia; love work as it relates to sex work among prostitutes;
intimacies and estrangements in the marital and extramarital
relationships of Huli men; infidelity and masculinity in
Southwestern Nigeria; and the ritual of sex and the rejuvenation of
the love bond among married couples in the United States.
Subjects: Sociology, Anthropology, Population Studies
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