Sex At Dawn is arguably one of the most important books about human sexuality (along with The Kinsey Reports), giving scientific evidence as to why, despite decades of being told otherwise, humans may not be predisposed to monogamy after all. That same support for polyamorous living has recently come to a technological conclusion as well: Kotango, a community and dating site for the poly set.
While Sex at Dawn authors Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., and his partner Cacilda Jetha, M.D. inspired the site, it was founded locally by veteran IT-guy Andrew Sullivan. (No, not that Andrew Sullivan.) Andrew admired the authors' findings, and after hosting Chris for for some media events and a “sexy dance party,” Andrew wanted to push the poly-friendly findings even further. He pitched the idea of a web portal where the community could share information and resources. “I outlined the model to [Chris], he liked it, and that’s where we started to build Kotango,” Andrew explained.
Andrew teamed up with local sex activist celeb Polly Superstar (of Mission Control fame), to create an online space for a community that has thrived for years in the Bay Area. He quickly discovered that the Bay Area's polyamory values were attractive to people outside the 415/510 area codes. "All of a sudden, pockets [of users] started popping in places like Vancouver, Toronto, New York, St. Louis, Chicago; these cities that weren’t really part of our outreach or marketing effort,” Andrew explained.
He added that the popularity of Sex at Dawn and the message of “Hey, monogamy is really difficult and maybe not natural, but I’m not telling you what to do about it,” reached a much broader audience than the usually poly-focused books. All of a sudden, folks who never had words to put behind their struggle with monogamy had facts about bonobos and sperm competition to help explain why they loved their partners but still wanted to get with someone else.
For his part, Andrew is happy to see the Sex at Dawn authors spreading the message beyond famously sex-positive San Francisco and into the rest of the country.
“All of these beautiful, wonderful relationships are crumbling because of these really ridiculous perspectives we have about what it means to stray, what it means to have desires for other people," Andrew said. "It has nothing to do with your love for your partner, at all. If we could just get beyond that, there would be a lot less suffering, a lot more honesty, and a lot more pleasure and joy in life. That’s the undercurrent of this book and that’s the undercurrent of the site.”
While Sex at Dawn is a force in its own right, the addition of Kotango means that people who connect with the book’s message now have a place to congregate, exchange ideas, and support each other in their search for romantic and sexual fulfillment. Whether they’re in the Bay Area or out in Topeka, Kansas, supporters of ethical non-monogamy should definitely join the community and continue the conversation.
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