The Book and What I’m Up To; Nothing Should Go As Planned

It’s no secret that my blogging is decidedly “off.”

There are paleo bloggers out there kicking my ass in terms of much that matters: diet lifestyle, published studies, and even considering quotidian news media bullshit — my own forte.

I remain resolute, in that I have done this long enough; and its time to do something else while only blogging about the stuff & shit I really care about (…and I have to blog about paleo coming in last of 20, for diets). So, a couple of months back, I wrote a post about doing a book. Of course, nothing does — nor necessarily should — go off as planned.

The good news is that I’m finally writing in earnest after some months of reflection: passionate, captivated, and can think of almost nothing else. I’ve become absorbed in the subject, writing an average of 2-3k words per day, towards a goal of about 100,000. It’s coming surprisingly easy to me. That was essential.

It’s a memoir spanning countries and continents. It’s about what I learned during my 20s being a “Back Door Man” over three — and a very short-term fourth, resulting in the single pregnancy I know about — relationships with women who were with others. There’s slight overlappage, but not on the same continent. Other than the occasional “fling,” from the age of about 22 to 32, I maintained non-exclusive sexual relationships with single women in various degree of relationship with other guys. If you reflect on that, you might begin to understand what kind of perspective that gave me, given this was nearly my whole experience with women in a serious context. For, it was at the very beginning and all I had ever known sexually (I was a virgin until 21). …And if you think women are somehow naturally monogamous, you might wonder what a woman might be like who’ll sooner fuck you on a Sunday morning instead of go to church — outcompeting God; that’s what I call it. They exist. And later, they may raise a family. And it’s often a good family.

I’m having a blast, so just checking in with idle and, not-so-idle, thoughts…always putting it down in a way that must certainly shock someone into realizing that they may have been living someone else’s values forever, and not their own.

Or, the deeper problem: that the person living and pursuing someone else’s values likely has none much of their own — values they themselves forged from their own mind, experience, and judgment.

The men don’t know,
But the little girls understand.
Well, all you people there tryin’ to sleep,
I’m out there making it my midnight treat — yea,
‘Cause I’m a back door man.
The Doors

Update: I almost forgot. The story in iteelf is only half the book. The rest is my reflection on the religious baggage that I ultimately dumped, but had profound power over me even as I was violating its tenets. I’ll save the political baggage for a subsequent book and the diet and paleo for the last.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Steve Macey on June 11, 2011 at 23:41

    The book sounds very intriguing. I’d love to read it, can’t wait until you finish.

  2. Justin on June 12, 2011 at 00:10

    Looking forward to your thoughts about Paleo coming in last out of 20 diets. I read the article and thought it’d be perfect fodder for your blog.

  3. julianne on June 12, 2011 at 00:12

    Looking forward to your book – so many parallels with my own life experience. My religious upbringing, the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll rebellious late teen, early 20s freedom (actually it was the punk rock clubs where I hung out) and dealing with my baggage: shyness, strict religious upbringing, …

    • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 00:25


      You see? Paleo is a unifying principle for everything. That’s why I decided to write not just another diet book. I have a solid three books in me, and I’m gonna take it a step at a time.

      I want to energize, to overuse an overused bromide.

      I intend to go forth with some style, and I want to tell a story. And that’s the hard part. The story is of course, interesting to me, something I visit and revisit. I have yet to test my hypothesis that the story is worthy of the attention of others.

      If I didn’t suspect it would be, I would not cary on.

      • Brett Legree on June 12, 2011 at 00:42

        The most interesting stories are the ones that are most real. Your story will be very real, and hence, it will sell.

        I know this, because I, too, have a story I am telling. I started to write it about three years ago, then threw it away, put it to sleep for a year, and now have started rewriting it with a renewed passion.

        This time, it is without polish – raw, unedited, pure truth – and I know it will sell.

        Can’t wait to read yours.

      • julianne on June 12, 2011 at 01:57

        Yes – it’s interesting – the more one shares ones own real experience the more we find there are others who benefit from the fact that we shared it. Sharing unites humanity.

  4. Robert on June 12, 2011 at 00:30

    That actually sounds like something I might want to read.

  5. Ken on June 12, 2011 at 03:13

    Good on you! As one of my ex-girlfriends (who was in another serious long term relationship at the time) said, “A husband gets all of the problems, but a lover only gets the love.” This is a book I will read.

  6. Rafael on June 12, 2011 at 04:36

    So what is all your book about??

  7. Jim Arkus on June 12, 2011 at 05:52

    Sounds very interesting and I”m looking forward to it. But Howlin’ Wolf did “Backdoor Man” first and he did it best. 😉

    • lynn on June 13, 2011 at 10:57

      Should also be mentioned that Willie Dixon is the guy who wrote it.

  8. Neill on June 12, 2011 at 06:06

    Sounds very interesting. I find that whole area “what people project onto reality vs what is really going on” fascinating. Applies to so many areas of life.

  9. MaluhiaKulia on June 12, 2011 at 06:29

    Sounds like your experience will mirror the paleolithic research in “Sex at Dawn”?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 07:39


      I have not read that book but thanks for reminding me. I have begun to poke around for books that might enhance and integrate my perspective, so maybe it’s time to read that, finally.

      • Karen C. on June 13, 2011 at 07:56

        My first thought was “Sex at Dawn” as well.

      • Dr.Bg on June 14, 2011 at 17:14


        Check out Chip Walter’s ‘Thumbs, Toes, and Tears… and other traits that make us human.’

        You might consider a title *haa ah!!* “traits that make us ANIMALS… testicles, tongues, and tribal s*x’

        I’d read that. In. A. Hot. Heartbeat.


      • Richard Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 18:45

        I’ll put that title on the list, DBG, and if nothing else, there are important elements to think about. This was unexpected but the more I think about the whole thing monogamy (to use it in an all encompassing general sense, istead of the various precise terms), it’s not natually important to anyone. It is but a construct that admittedly has served civilization well.

  10. Sean on June 12, 2011 at 09:29

    At first I was thinking religious baggage=boring, mostly because I’ve never had much of that stuff in my life, but then again the WHOLE history of Europe from the late Roman Empire, to the Byzantines through to the modern age is dependent on the development, diffusion and structure of Christianity. And I find European history to be quite fascinating.

    I’m in the middle of reading JM Roberts History of the World for the umpteenth time so perhaps this just looks like a nail to a guy who only has a hammer. . .

  11. wilberfan on June 12, 2011 at 09:41

    Jesus, Richard…that sounds like the formula for a bestseller to me!

  12. Skinny Lesley on June 12, 2011 at 10:01

    2-3K/day – that’s a good steady word count. When I was doing research for my last book (for a UK publisher about the cultural history of lingerie, of all things…which, upon further reflection, kind of fits in an offbeat way with this “sexy” post of yours) I remember reading that Upton Sinclair paid the bills writing pulp fiction serial stories and cranked out something like 8000 words a day. Can you imagine that kind of daily output on one of those old timey typewriters, no less?!

  13. MountainDew on June 12, 2011 at 10:14

    It’s about what I learned during my 20s being a “Back Door Man”

    For a second I thought you meant you experimented with homosexuality in your 20s.

  14. Johan Lindén on June 12, 2011 at 10:20

    Found your blog today. Too bad you are quitting it!

    • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 10:30


      You must have misunderstood. I’ll never quit the blog.

      • Johan Lindén on June 12, 2011 at 11:04

        Puh! Nice to hear. I read ‘It’s no secret that my blogging is decidedly “off.”‘ and that you were going to write your book.

        Well, I’m subscribed to you through google reader. Looking forward to your content!

    • Rikke on June 14, 2011 at 03:47

      I misinterpreted at first, as well, thinking Richard might drop the blogging by the “… blogging is “off”” – second time I read it, I got that it was “off” as in “not the usual”-ish 😉

      You got me scared, too, Richard! Don’t ever stop blogging! You’re so inspiring, and your food p0rn is the best, LOL!

  15. Chris Pinnock on June 12, 2011 at 14:08

    Sounds good to me. Hope you do an ebook edition.

  16. Joseph on June 12, 2011 at 15:33

    Religious baggage is never boring to those of us who grew up with a lot of it. I look forward to reading your book, Richard.

  17. Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 18:23

    Hey readers.

    Well, I have to say that I’m happy with the comments. And I must admit that I got up this morning with some degree of trepidation for checking comments. Not gushing and not slammed, so I’ll take it.

    To Sean and Joseph in particular:

    “Religious baggage” was merely a colloquial term of convenience sine it’s not as though _this_ is the book where I would naturally be more careful.

    In short, it’s all about THE STORY. If the story is crap, it’s all just crap. And so, the religion could more loosely be describes as cultural milieu or something like that. The purpose is to lend some backdrop or raison d’etre for my behavior and even the behavior of the women involved. It is to grease the story, not overwhelm it and certainly not to preach or proselytize. Basically: this is what I was taught, and this is how I behaved as a consequence.

    It took a long time to come to grips with making this attempt but I ultimately concluded that it’s an interesting story, and it’s a story I wanted to write. Memoirs strike me as, by very nature, somewhat presumptuous. On the other hand, like is often stranger than fiction and if one focuses on “all the story all the time,” doing one’s best to refrain from elements of detraction, a mine field for a memoir, in my view, then maybe it could be something fun, interesting, and even instructional.

    Once I had decided to do this I began looking into reading a few memoirs to get a better sense of the good, bad, and ugly, including memoirs with largely sexual themes. This morning I read a good portion of “The Sexual Life of Catherine M.” I don’t know if I’ll finish it because I haven’t yet really found the story. It’s mainly just a description of various orgies and such (by a well known public personality in France). On the other hand, I am interested in how to craft descriptions of sexual encounters, because as part of a true story I don’t want such descriptions to be too clinical, or read like Penthouse Forum, or be gratuitously vulgar or explicit. Explicit and vulgar or “dirty talk” should be reserved for actual dialog, in my view.

    And, I guess I’m going to finally have to read Tucker Max.

    All of this is merely to get a few clues as to style, but nothing changes the story and it’s all and only about the story. I intend to tell it well, with everything I’ve got.

    • Peggy the Primal Parent on June 12, 2011 at 20:22

      Have you read Sho Gun? Their is a whole lot of sex in that tome both between couples and between men and geisha, between lovers and between friends. The descriptions are in-depth enough to be erotic but still tasteful and beautiful.. The sexual relations of the men and women are real, very different from what we in this country deem acceptable.

      I’m excited o read your book. I expect it will be challenging and maybe even a little painful. I like that.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 21:29


        I’ve not read Shogun but have read a number of other Clavell works like Taipan, Noble House and my favorite of all: King Rat.

        This was back in the day, as they say.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 22:13

      And, so , Peggy, also…

      There’s a huge difference between various form of fiction and a true story. Fiction is easy story wise, but hard in the style. Non fiction is simple choices, as I see it. So:


      “Her skin was warm to the touch; her depth, moist. He caressed her dark corse hair as she was overcome with passion for the love she’d felt from him before, and he pleased her once again.”


      “She was so hot she had to have it. She’d had his love muscle before, but this was different. He grabbed her thick, black hair and pulled her head back, as he plunged his manhood into her dark and wet place.”

      My version, a part of the story I’ve not written, yet, so here’s a sample of basically what I’m up to, written on the fly:

      “I came back from the market and I guess the mail had arrived. She was reading a letter. I knew from whom, right away. I dismissed it and occupied myself, trying not to look interested or even, as though I had even noticed. The rule of my stature was that I had no stature, at least that’s the idea that served me well. I was there because I always want her, almost no matter what and, I live by the rules I make for myself.

      “I didn’t have to pretend not to notice for very long because the evident disturbing nature of the letter motivated L1 to occupy herself with doing the dishes. As she scrubbed a knife with a sponge, she cut herself deeply.

      “The initial things get done in that situation. Then, I asked her to lay on the bed as I simply comforted her with no suggestion or hint of implication. Was I comforting her over the cut, or the letter? I made no effort to clear up any ambiguity that might have existed.

      “It’s hard to imagine that she believed I was comforting her over whatever displeasing news she received from the guy who held her heart but not the wondrous aspects of her physical being. That was my privilege and it was only a short time until she grabbed my neck and pulled my lips to hers.

      “And then we did what we always did, pretense and pretend, finally stripped away. This was always the nature of the game. It was a new conquest every time and every day and that was the intoxicating, irresistible and addictive nature of the thing.”

      • Peggy The Primal Parent on June 13, 2011 at 09:15

        Both the fiction and the non-fiction examples you provided are dull. I have never read playboy or romance novels so I don’t actually run into that kind of writing too often. Anyway, that’s not my kind of sex scene.

        Your excerpt, on the other hand, is different. The tempo is much more like reality. It is precisely that slowness that is so arousing. Monty Python said when talking about how to turn on a woman, “don’t go straight for the clitoris boy!” It should be the same with writing.

        I guess the best scenes are ones that remind me of the most erotic moments in my own life. The best writer allows the reader to do most of the work. The reader has to have a good imagination to really feel it, and probably even real life experiences to draw upon. Maybe that’s why some people read romance novels or playboy. I’m just speculating here but maybe they haven’t got much creativity or real life experience of their own.

        I’ll see if I can dig up one of my favorite scenes from Shogun for you. Not that I’ve ever had sex with a geisha myself. My experience isn’t quite that exotic but I’ve had encounters that I “shouldn’t” have had and that, of course, is the really juicy stuff, and so I can relate, remember, and even feel the surge of fear and excitement that I have felt in the past.

        By the way, my mom’s favorite was King Rat. That’s why I never read it. While she had great taste in literature she had terrible taste in life choices so I have tended to rebel against her every recommendation. Now that you mentions it, though, I’ll read it.  Thanks.

  18. keithallenlaw on June 12, 2011 at 19:31

    Hey Richard. No ones kicking your ass, that you let kick your ass, or at least decidedly so.
    This is a very unique blog that has a very distinct character in the cockpit, as are the ones who follow it as well. It’s the only one I take time to read and visit. Shifting your energy to the book will be effort well spent, even at the expense of less time here. It will just give us all something to look forward to. Your a great writer with lots of raw wit and honesty. Keep at it and chalk me down for a copy. -keith

    • Richard Nikoley on June 12, 2011 at 21:13

      Thanks Keith, and I _know_ that about you, and many others.

      This blog will always roll along, but I will be God dammed before I ever engage in some of the loathsome bullshit and plain boring shit I see out there in the paleo world, now.

      I’ll do just about anything not to be boring, mundane, a sheep in the flock.

  19. peterlepaysan on June 12, 2011 at 23:37

    There is a very old saying, from many tears ago;

    “Tis a wise child that knows its father.”

    Probably the most memorable, among many similar escapades, was an occasion when in bed with a beautiful women at about 2.00am hearing footsteps and the door to her apartment being tested,

    Her hand went over my mouth, she said “shh”.

    Footsteps faded away.

    “Who was that? I asked.

    “Its ok, that was my fiancee.” was the reply.

    There were many similar incidents.

    Sigh! I am a bit past it now (too ugly and too poor) but hey it was fun when it was on!

    ps. Just received an email from an (alleged) daughter about a news story from USA (where else?)
    Where a pregnant women explained to her returning service man husband that she became pregnant in his absence because she watched 3D TV and it was one of those guys what did it.

  20. Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 00:00


    Good story. I’ll not try to write it with style and it will definitely be part of the book, to include me actually going to the market in the morning to get stuff to make breakfast and shielding my glance from the person sitting in his car outside.

    It was the first time with this French girl, after she had stood me up the first time. We saw Né un 4 Juillet, had some great seafood, went bach and she put in a video which I think is well known, about a bear that gets really high eating mushrooms of something — but I was too busy with her to notice.

    Her pants finally came off and at 4am, knock at the door. She handled it. Yea, you know the rest of the story. But of not, I’ll tell it later.

    • peterlepaysan on June 13, 2011 at 00:39

      Not an unfamiliar landscape.

      We all have a network of friends many (most) would have traversed this hunter gatherer territory.

      All is fair in love and war.

  21. Rob on June 13, 2011 at 09:09

    “I largely, monogamously, serviced single women in serious relationships with other guys.”

    You must be so proud.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 09:46

      “You must be so proud.”

      Nothing like a little projection for a Monday morning, eh Rob?

      Alas, I was neither proud, nor ashamed. Nor did I want it to roll the way it rolled (nor did they, the women), it just rolled that way and at times, almost helplessly. The last thing in the world that would make this story interesting to the people I wish to have enjoy it would be those who like a Tucker Max like series of exploits.

  22. Theodore (Ted) Stein on June 13, 2011 at 10:05

    Although like Richard I am an atheist, I want to let any religious paleos reading this to understand that not all of us who disbelieve in God also disbelieve in morality or find Richard’s exploits (as an enabler in violating wedding vows) interesting. I’ll still read what he has to say regarding diet and exercise, but this is one person who won’t be running out to buy his recounting of Don Juan glory days.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 11:06


      While it’s not explicit in the post, I have never been with a married woman sexually or even emotionally in that way, apart from my own wife of 10 years. These were “serious relationships,” but not marriages.

      Moreover, your bit about morality not necessarily requiring religion, while correct, is non sequitur, since I was a believer the whole time. That said, I do not find marriage vows to be nearly as important as many other realms of moral or ethical behavior and in fact, find that they can be counter productive, destructive or, in a word: immoral; when used to hold someone’s life hostage via legal intimidation and/or threats of financial ruin or separation from offspring when they would be better off out of the relationship.

      In terms of Don Juan glory days, I invite you to review this comment from me, posted before you posted yours.

      To be clear, I have no problem at all or impatience with the fact that this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But when has that ever stopped me before?

      • julianne on June 13, 2011 at 13:34

        Haha, more freaky parallels, I’ve been married for 10 years too, (first, wasn’t interested in settling before mid 30’s) and I believe we are about the same age?

      • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 14:38

        Turned 50 in January and still not happy about that. 🙂

      • julianne on June 13, 2011 at 16:59

        I used to be a bit guarded about my age, turning 50 was indeed wierd. Kind of like I’ve reached the top of the mountain and now I’m on the way down, and starting to get the feeling that life’s journey really will end one day. But now I’m nearly 52 and proud of it. The only thing I worry about getting older is how I might be perceived. I love older people who don’t fit the stereotype. Paleo + crossfit is something special. Keeping my figure, health and brain is something I’m proud of.

      • Michael P (@PizSez) on June 17, 2011 at 18:31

        “Turned 50 in January…”

        Me too. I just tell people I’m 29 and 257 months.

  23. Peggy The Primal Parent on June 13, 2011 at 10:53

    While you say you are not religious, you take religious morality as absolute or what? Not everyone lives by religious tenets. I would gander that Richard does indeed have morals. I suspect he doesn’t hold wedding vows to be among them. So what? Most people don’t.

    Wedding vows are great for those that need them, want them, or whatever. But man and woman for all eternity just isn’t important or possible for others. Our society almost demands that we will lie and break our vows (if we choose to take them) at some point. And if we don’t, most of us will not be happy. Sexual morality is forced upon us and is obviously not right. I say obviously because it’s not working and never has.

    There are more moral philosophies available than that set down by religion. Speculations about a paleo moral philosophy might include the sharing of partners (as is common among hunter gatherers). It’s a shame that modern paleo adherents are seen as immoral when we try to live as ancient people might have lived. This is a tough world for us, we sprint up hills, eat strange food, relax, get enough sleep, and engage in sexual activity. That doesn’t sound too immoral to me, but to religious folk I guess it might.

    You don’t have to applaud Richard’s sexual escapades. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to include them to impress you but rather to show you what it means to free the animal.

    I really don’t know what you’re attempting to do with your book, Richard. I’m just guessing, obviously. It’s just that as an atheist and philosopher, I take personal offence to that comment.

    • Theodore (Ted) Stein on June 13, 2011 at 10:59

      Peggy, a vow is a vow. So if you take one, regardless of what it is, you are bound to it – if your morality includes being true to your word. Perhaps your moral code doesn’t include integrity or honesty or the courage to get out of a bad situation (rather than sneak around). I just wanted people to know that it is possible to treat others with respect without having to believe in God.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 11:23

        “a vow is a vow”

        Well, see my previous comment to you, but to address this in particular, the problem here is many fold.

        First off, marriage is a hybrid of religious / ethical / cultural practices and legal statutes. Apart from the problem that kids are taking these vows, having been indoctrinated by the society in which they grew up (kids who, I might add, society doesn’t even deem competent enough to seal their own lifelong vows with a glass of champaign…), it’s the other, dual problem that the meaning and terms of these vows evolve over time, both on religious and cultural grounds and more importantly, on legal grounds, that’s the deeper problem.

        In essence, you are taking vows the terms of which can change, over time, by 3rd parties and enforced by 3rd parties.

        I’ve been married only once, my wife as well, and that was not until we were 40 and 41. We’re happy together. I didn’t give a shit about the wedding “vows” or anything, and made it perfectly clear and have always made it perfectly clear that I did it only to make our respective families more comfortable.

        The only vow in this regard acceptable to me is that we remain mutually happy and content together. Were that to change importantly, chronically, it would be self destructive to remain in the relationship.

        If you think “keeping your word” is more important than the health and well being of you or your spouse long term, then I would have to charge you with being the most rigid and dogmatic atheist I’ve ever encountered. Vows, oaths, promises, contacts and such, just like everything else, are _contextual_. Times, places, and circumstances change that warrant either modification or violation of such and to do so does not imply that the original intent of either party was fraudulent.

      • Peggy The Primal Parent on June 13, 2011 at 11:26

        Why do you want to accuse ME of being a liar and a vow breaker? We’re talking about the women that Richard slept with?

        The point is that we live in a world which distorts sexual morality and shoves everyone into the same rigid mold. When that happens people get confused, irritated, angry, depressed, scared. People are less than perfect when they feel that way and they make bad decisions.

        Hopefully the women that Richard slept with who betrayed their husbands learned from their mistakes, or maybe they were immoral bitches.

        I think you are being too harsh. You are condemning people for making mistakes. You are condemning people for searching for their way in this confusing and backwards world. And you are expecting that everyone be perfect all the time and follow the same code of ethics. That’s just not reality.

      • Theodore (Ted) Stein on June 13, 2011 at 12:59

        I don’t think I am being too harsh; I certainly don’t think it is immoral to let the other person know you no longer wish to remain faithful. And I definitely acknowledge that perfection is an impossible goal, but I also think there is a difference between a one night stand and a long-term affair. The former can be considered a mistake, the latter is an attempt to have your cake and eat it too. Is it difficult to cut things off before it gets to the point where cheating is inevitable? Who says doing what is right is the same as doing what is easy?

      • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 15:02

        Of course it’s not immoral to let the other person know and certainly there is a have cake & eat too aspect to it. There’s also a what they don’t know doesn’t hurt ’em aspect.

        Its all imperfect because we’re all hman beings.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 15:06

        Oh, and if you want to bring up the STD issue, while valid, my experience was that after dozens and dozens of encounters over many years including bar girls in exotic places, I got the clap exactly once, and it was from none of these but from a nice Japanese girl who lived down the beach from me in Hayama. Right before hooking up with me she had a short term relationship with a Japanese guy who took a trip to Thailand.

        Go figure.

      • Tracy on June 16, 2011 at 09:56

        “Peggy, a vow is a vow. So if you take one, regardless of what it is, you are bound to it – if your morality includes being true to your word. Perhaps your moral code doesn’t include integrity or honesty or the courage to get out of a bad situation (rather than sneak around). I just wanted people to know that it is possible to treat others with respect without having to believe in God.”

        And I’d like to point out that believing in god does not in any way translate into integrity, honesty, or the courage to get out of a bad situation… or treating others with respect. People do as people do.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 12:20

      “I really don’t know what you’re attempting to do with your book, Richard.”

      First and foremost, tell an interesting and somewhat exotic story, given that it takes place in exotic places around the world.

      Second is that I want that story to suggest or illustrate that the source of and guilt over polygamy is neolithic, paternalistic and has everything to do with concentrating power in male dominated hierarchies and nothing to do with female chastity, purity, or any of those impotent male constructs — those constructs Ted the atheist seems to have fallen for hook line and sinker. Looks like he simply replaced a mystical God with a terrestrial one in the form of male domination over females because let’s face it, the competition is tough out there. It’s so much easier when females feel guilt over their natural sexual powers.

    • Elliot on June 14, 2011 at 06:37

      “Sexual morality is forced upon us and is obviously not right. I say obviously because it’s not working and never has.”

      So many things wrong about the semantics of those two sentences.

      “Morality”, as a term of derision, is most often made out to be the twisted machinations of paternalistic control freaks who cite made up stories of imaginary magic things to justify trying to convince you that sacrificing your own interests is actually better for you.

      As an atheist individualist, my moral values aren’t based upon religion or arbitrary government authority. Nevertheless, morality, to me, means respecting the rights of others, being honest and honorable. So, while a Catholic might consider “sexual morality” to be a list of “thou shalt nots”, to me, “sexual morality” is being responsible and respectful in one’s sexual activity.

      I think we would all agree that the proscription against rape is a necessary tenet of any “sexual morality” and I would challenge anyone to argue that prohibiting rape is “not right” and “doesn’t work.” But that’s just an obvious counter-example to the absolute reading of your statement. I suspect that you didn’t intend for “sexual morality” to cover the matter of consent, but rather things like premarital sex, homosexuality, and such. That’s the problem with referring to “sexual morality” as some monolithic catch-all—it’s ambiguous.

      But that fits with using the word “us”, opening the door to the Ambiguous Collective Fallacy. I think the experience of a girl in a Muslim country in Africa which practices female genital mutilation to deny women pleasure and the experience of a girl in Thailand or tribal South America, are quite different. Civilized people can look at the former and see that the “sexual morality” imposed by religious fanatics is cruel and barbaric. In other cultures, we might see their radically different “sexual morality” as a sad waste (if she is stuck in a life of prostitution) or a more free lifestyle (if her tribe has sexual encounters frequently and openly).

      The wide range of experience of people around the world renders your statement meaningless.

      As for the reference to what “works”, that’s just another aspect of the Ambiguous Collective Fallacy. Whenever I see a political argument about what “works”, I always ask: “Works for whom?”

      My sexual morality—that is to say, my personal values regarding sex—work for me. Before my apostasy, my values were based upon false beliefs, but I never felt they were imposed upon me. I chose to go to church with friends and could easily have chosen not to. Even then, I chose to violate the rules anyway and the only consequence for me was feeling guilty. In retrospect, what I did in my teens and 20s didn’t violate my current values, beyond being reckless at times.

      Once you get past the matter of respecting the rights of others, i.e., not forcing or harming others, each person’s “sexual morality” should be the personal values that he or she chooses. If you and your partner consider strict monogamy to be right for you and you’re satisfied with the arrangement, then I’d say that your personal sexual morality works, for you.

      I watch the show “Sister Wives” about a Mormon family on one man with four wives. I’m flabbergasted at the people who react with such anger or disgust at their lifestyle, or, even worse, at the prosecutor in Utah who investigated them and was going to decide whether to take away their children and imprison them before they fled the state for Las Vegas. One author even castigated them for “mocking” marriage, as though choosing to have polygamous marriages was going to harm the “normal” people somehow. (Remind you any other debate?) I don’t have a problem with it, because they are open and honest about the arrangement and all parties consent and benefit.

      I don’t know the details of Richard’s exploits in his younger years, but for me, the only decent, honorable thing for a person who wants to have sex with multiple partners to do is to make it clear to all concerned that the relationships were not exclusive. Or, one is unhappy with partner A and wants to get in bed with partner B, then break up with A beforehand.

      If, on the other hand, the women he “serviced” lied to the man in the “serious” relationship, that’s a rotten thing to do. Just put yourself in the shoes of the cuckold, imagine having trust in someone for whom you have deep feelings, only to find out that he or she is lying to you. Some people take that so seriously they commit murder over it. Not that such a horrible act is justified, but it should indicate to people involved that you literally don’t fuck with someone else’s “serious relationship” if you’re a decent person who doesn’t want to put another human being through such an emotionally wrenching event.

      I don’t assume that applies to Richard’s past, though I think the word “serious” suggests the possibility.

      At one point, this blog was named “” for a short while. To me, engaging in a relationship with someone who is lying to a “serious” partner is dishonest as well.

      “Sexual morality” need not be constrained by religious or traditional values. If you’re homosexual, want to have multiple partners, or want to have a partner who has multiple partners, that’s your choice. Just have the courage and honesty to be open about your choices to the people involved.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 09:23

        “If, on the other hand, the women he “serviced” lied to the man in the “serious” relationship, that’s a rotten thing to do. Just put yourself in the shoes of the cuckold, imagine having trust in someone for whom you have deep feelings, only to find out that he or she is lying to you. Some people take that so seriously they commit murder over it. Not that such a horrible act is justified, but it should indicate to people involved that you literally don’t fuck with someone else’s “serious relationship” if you’re a decent person who doesn’t want to put another human being through such an emotionally wrenching event.”

        Real life can deal one numerous complex situations. While I don’t believe I’d ever mess around with a married woman still with her husband or, married / single where it involved any sneaking around, none of these situations were like that.

        In the first case, the guy was off at college across the country. He didn’t know, at least not that I know of, and when he was back visiting she was with him and there was no contact with her during those periods. In the second case, the guy was an asshole to her and she was trapped. Filipina in Japan, no job or ability to have one. There on a “fiancee visa” and her only choice would have been to go back to the Philippines, with no job and no prospects. In essence, she used the situation to look for a better deal as there were plenty of men around and it was a potential ticket to a life in the States, which she eventually got. In the 3rd case, the guy knew from day one. It was out in the open.

      • Peggy The Primal Parent on June 14, 2011 at 11:26

        I’ve got to agree with you, Elliot, that my statement was seriously flawed. 🙂 I do not take as much care as I probably should in writing great dissertations on comment boards. Thanks for delving into it.

  24. Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 11:46

    It should not go unnoticed that so far, the ones most critical of my youthful behavior are men, not women. Predictable and no surprise to me at all.

    It’s convenient for men that society has the notion that monogamy is mostly important to women, when in my experience, monogamy is mostly of importance to men.

    • Elliot on June 14, 2011 at 07:23

      Maybe that’s your experience, but I don’t think that’s universal, at least in cultures where strict (religious) sexual rules are not imposed by law or mob.

      Note that “monogamy” means “one woman”, though it usually means one partner, ie., “monogamy” and “monoandry” (one man).

      I’d say that monogamy is important to many (if not most) women, while monoandry is important to many (if not most) men. In the top list of faults women hate in men, I’d say dishonesty ranks right up there, surpassed only by abuse, and (depending upon the woman) perhaps lack of money.

      I suspect that the imbalance you see is in no small part due to testosterone. A man behaves aggressively to keep competitors away from his partner, while a woman is more likely to be manipulative (either dolling herself up to be more appealing than competitors, or undermining competitors via guile). To a casual observer, the man seems to put more importance on monoandry, but only because his actions are more apparent.

      Furthermore, a woman is less likely to be financially independent, thus being honest and breaking up with a partner to go with another is riskier than it is for a man who has the means to pack up and move on (or kick the woman out).

      Also, there is the biological fact that it’s obvious who the mother of a child is by the fact that she gave birth, but a man doesn’t know for certain if the child unless he recognizes his genes, either by looks or medical test. So, if a man wants to make sure he’s not being played for a fool, tricked into raising another man’s baby, he’ll be concerned about his partner being monoandrous.

      Finally, I’ll venture into dangerous waters by reflecting on the voting habits of men and women, as a reflection of ethical values in general. I realize that this is a gross generalization, but if you track the influence of female voters in elections, you’ll find an unsettling trend in the gender gap, beyond the matter of abortion and the protection of women’s rights (actual rights, not the falsely named “rights” which amount to privileges to partake of another person’s productive efforts for the sake of egalitarianism, such as Title IX). While decisions are often based upon class or other factors, men lean towards candidates who promote individualism, honesty, and integrity, while women lean towards candidates who promote collectivism and pragmatism. The rise of the welfare state in the US is arguably due to women’s suffrage. Yes, that is a gross generalization, but there’s a reason why H.L. Menken wrote:

      Women’s constant thought is, not to lay down broad principles of right and wrong; not to place the whole world in harmony with some great scheme of justice; not to consider the future of nations; … but to deceive, influence, sway, and please men. Normally, their weakness makes masculine protection necessary to their existence and to the exercise of their overpowering maternal instinct, and so their whole effort is to obtain this protection in the easiest way possible. The net result is that feminine morality is a morality of opportunism and imminent expediency, and that the normal woman has no respect for, and thus scarcely any conception of abstract truth.

      And, it wasn’t because he was an ignorant chauvinist. It’s because there’s biological reasons behind that statement, even if it’s often not true for particular individuals.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 09:38


        “I’d say that monogamy is important to many (if not most) women, while monoandry is important to many (if not most) men.”

        My contention is that this is a neolithic idea (just like God and Country seem to be “important” to a lot of people), not a natural human social animal condition.

        On women’s suffrage, Lysander Spooner:

        “The excuse which the women offer for all the laws which they propose to inflict upon us is that they themselves are oppressed by the laws that now exist. Of course they are oppressed; and so are all men – except the oppressors themselves – oppressed by the laws that are made. As a general rule, oppression was the only motive for which laws were ever made. If men wanted justice, and only justice, no laws would ever need to be made; since justice itself is not a thing that can be made. If men or women, or men and women, want justice, and only justice, their true course is not to make any more laws, but to abolish the laws – all the laws – that have already been made. When they shall have abolished all the laws that have already been made, let them give themselves to the study and observance, and, if need be, the enforcement, of that one universal law – the law of Nature – which is “the same at Rome and Athens” – in China and in England – and which man did not make. Women and men alike will then have their rights; all their rights; all the rights that Nature gave them. But until then, neither men nor women will have anything that they can call their rights. They will at most have only such liberties or privileges as the laws that are made shall see fit to allow them.

        “If the women, instead of petitioning to be admitted to a participation in the power of making more laws, will but give notice to the present lawmakers that they (the women) are going up to the State House, and are going to throw all the existing statute books in the fire, they will do a very sensible thing, – one of the most sensible things it is in their power to do. And they will have a crowd of men – at least all the sensible and honest men in the country to go with them.”

      • Elliot on June 15, 2011 at 01:06

        Love Spooner’s take on politics.

        As for monogamy/monoandry being neolithic, my gut feeling is that being tied to the land as a farmer, one would probably want more predictability from a relationship, so you know your partner will be there at harvest time and that the children are yours and will help you farm when they get old enough.

        I’m curious if nomadic hunter tribes isolated from agrarian civilizations (e.g., aboriginal) tend to be more polyamorous. Anthropologists look at isolated tribes to study diet, so why not sex? (I’d leave out the nomads of the Middle East and North Africa, as they have been influenced by Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, etc..)

        But ultimately, if monogamy/monoandry is a neolithic change, is that a bad thing? Civilization followed agriculture, which doesn’t fit our genetics like the diet of a hunter. But, civilization also brings writing, mathematics, medicine, technology. As rational beings, we have the capacity to be much more than genetic instincts. So long as we don’t fight our own nature, I don’t see why genetic trumps neolithic in all things.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 15, 2011 at 11:32

        “But ultimately, if monogamy/monoandry is a neolithic change, is that a bad thing?”

        It depends on who you ask? I don’t question that it’s “useful,” I question useful _to whom_?

      • Elliot on June 15, 2011 at 13:24

        Yep, “to whom” should always be part of any qualitative statement or question.

      • Marissa on June 16, 2011 at 20:20

        Eliot, don’t forget the–for lack of a better word–“beta males” supporting women’s suffrage so they could get more votes for their collectivist, anti-liberty goals like temperance, curfews, immigration laws, etc. Women were a great tool for the male collectivists who were mainly religious WASPs (who then became “secular” state-worshipping progressives) seeking to disenfranchise and weaken the hard-money, small government Catholics and Germans. Murray Rothbard has a great history of this conflict in his lecture series “American Economic History and the Decline of Laissez-Faire” which you can get on ITunes U.

    • LisaW on June 14, 2011 at 07:29

      Richard, there is some possible evolutionary basis to your observation that monogamy is mostly important to men. See ‘The moral animal’ by Robert Wright. He discusses this at some length. But in summary, monogamy gives men access to women who might otherwise be snapped up by a higher ranking male …

      • Richard Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 09:43

        Thanks Lisa. Downloaded to iBooks.

  25. Jasen on June 13, 2011 at 11:47

    Richard, I discovered your blog in my quest for weightloss and better health. Your site has literaly changed my life. I have enjoyed reading your blog for the past 4 or 5 months now. You are such a natural writer I always wonder why you haven’t written a novel before. We have similar backgrounds. I too was raised fundamental Baptist. I was forced to attend church and Baptist shcools. My parents wanted me to go to Bob Jones University and Study to be a pastor or a missionary. So right out of high school I ran off and joined the U.S. Navy. While I still consider myself a Christian I do not go to church and am not religious. I don’t think God gives a shit if one goes to church or not or even what church. Any way I enjoy your blog and am looking forward to purchasing your book. Because of this site I have lost 30 lbs , I have more energy and I feel like a teenager. Thank you Richard and keep on doing what you do!

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 12:27

      Super cool, Jasen. As you may know, I went a year to Tennessee Temple. Hated it. Every fucking minute of it. One of my brothers went a year or less to BJ, though I seriously doubt he actually got a BJ. 🙂 He hated it. And then another brother went a year or less to Pensacola. He hated it.

      Now we all love sitting around the campfire laughing our asses off at how sickly pathetic and fucking ignorant fundamental born again christianity is. It’s really the take your breath away moronic ignorance that gets to me, now.

      Actually, I have been writing the last few days the story of how I almost got kicked out of TTU for drinking a couple of beers and the inquisition I endured, complete with dean of students coming into my dorm room at 2am, shining a flashlight in my face, and grilling me.

      • Stacy Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 08:44

        I actually went to BJU for a semester (or almost a semester), they didn’t like me… boohoo, probably for the same reasons TTU didn’t like you.
        I refused to pay thousands of dollars to be treated like an inmate, so I did the logical thing, I joined the Marine Corps, so instead I got paid hundreds of dollars to be treated like an inmate.

      • Stacy Nikoley on June 14, 2011 at 08:56

        Richard, I went to BJU for 1 semester, they didn’t like me there, and I refused to pay thousands of dollars to be treated like an inmate, so I did the most logical thing, I enlisted in the Marine Corps, so I could be paid hundreds of dollars to be treated like an inmate.

        Can’t wait till your book comes out, looking forward to it.

  26. Jasen on June 13, 2011 at 14:23

    When I was in grade school every Wednesday we would have chapel services in the auditorium. One day we had a guest speaker. He was a construction worker who was paralyzed in an accident while building an extension to the school. He told how God had put him in that wheelchair because he was so hard hearted and would not heed God’s Word. Looking back on this experience I am still angry. They were always trying to brain wash us and control us through fear. Everything was a “sin” . We couldn’t listen to rock music, no dancing no going to movies. I had such a fucked up childhood. All the emotional trauma that was inflicted on me. Being beaten for not wanting to go to Sunday school. I don’t hate God but I do hate fundamentalits. I can’t drive past a Baptist church without getting pissed off. I gues I have ranted enough!!

  27. rob on June 13, 2011 at 14:34

    The problem with a woman who is already in a relationship is they often expect you to listen attentively while they complain about their significant other.

    You have to do a cost-benefit analysis …

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 14:53

      Rob, in my experience, the first woman was separated by distance, her SO being off at college across the country. We almost never spoke of any of that and she never complained about him.

      The second, during most of my five years in Japan was a case of some degree of jealousy, keeping tabs, possessiveness. He was a sailor on another ship, and she, a Philipina who had previously been a live in housekeeper for a family in Hong Kong, where he met here. She did sometimes complain but mostly, we just had fun when he was at sea, until she left him and hooked up with another Navy officer, also on a different ship. She eventually ended up going back to the original guy and going back the the States, to my hometown of Reno, NV, coincidentally. She ended up working as a cocktail restaurant in a casino I had known since I was a kid. I saw her a tme or two after I returned to the states and then she got married and I left her alone.

      The third was in France, and also, we never talked about him, a French sailor on the same ship I was navigator on. So, he knew about me, it was no secret and after she moved in with me he even came to appreciate me taking care of her. When she left me and went back to him, we still got along and I would see the both of them from time to time and because she was pretty dysfunctional and wild, he actually at a point called and asked me to take her back to the US with me. That fell through, she married him, continued in her infidelity over time and then one day, he bid her goodbeye, said he loved her and jumped in front of a car speeding down the freeway.

      “Many pieces,” she later told me when I flew back to France to visit here, staying with her then boyfriend. And she had a child.

      Like I said, I think there’s a story here.

    • Natalie on June 13, 2011 at 23:55

      Rob, if you’re the kind of pussy that lets women bitch and moan to him, so as to get in their pants the ‘nice guy’ way, don’t blame the women. It’s your behaviour that needs examination.

  28. kelly on June 13, 2011 at 15:52

    I’m curious Richard, are you suggesting that you and Bea have an open relationship, or are you just describing a past life?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 16:17

      It’s all past, way past. Part of the difficulty of launching this project was how she might take it.

      “Just write it,” she told me.

      While I think some people might be able to handle open relationships, society is certainly not geared for it and that introduces super complexities and difficulties, in my view, and especially if most of your social interaction are “normal” people and not “swingers.”

      No, rob’s comment about cost/benefit applies especially well here.

      Also, I am naturally monogamous and always have been. My purpose in all of that, at least in 2 of 3 cases, was to have them for myself forever. None worked out that way. Just another twist to the story. I was “faithful” to them all the while they were unfaithful to their true loves, and in 2 of the 3, unfaithful to me as well.

      Now I’m giving away too much of the story. 🙂

      • kelly on June 13, 2011 at 19:19

        Life can get very complicated. I learned a long time ago to resist judging others, ya never know.

  29. rob on June 13, 2011 at 16:06

    This whole thing reminds me of when I lost my virginity, I was around 16 and word was spreading like wildfire among adolescent boys that an actual WHOREHOUSE had opened in town. This was back during the stone age when at the age of 16 you had an actual job, but word was that the whorehouse cost $60 and my job sure didn’t pay $60 a week, maybe $30, and I was saving up for a car, every week I gave my dad $20 and when it got to $500 he matched it and bought me a $1,000 car … but I had a coin collection that I had kept for many years, Mercury dimes mostly but a few good pieces … so I took the collection back to the coin shop and offered to sell the whole deal and we haggled but the most he would give me was around $40, I learned then the difference between the ask and the bid and haven’t made that mistake again … so I walked the several miles to the whorehouse in the middle of winter one night with my $40 and showed up half frozen and the prostitute in residence was maybe 45 years old and had a lot of wear and tear on the chassis, and she took pity on my sorry shivering ass … nice lady … and then I walked back home in the cold dark with my virginity gone …

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 16:25

      Wonderful story, rob. The humanity of it, overshadowed by implicit expectations, such as high school pers and such.

      I lost mine at the age of 21, Pusan Korea, a bar girl. I was on summer NROTC Midshipman cruise.

  30. zach on June 13, 2011 at 20:13

    If the book gets popular enough, I shall certainly find it on the file sharing sites, download, and read it on my portable device.

    Since matter, em radiation, and evolutionism explain the whole of reality for you, please consider tackling the retard question in your book. That is, why exactly would it be wrong to throw the mentally feeble and physically infirm into gas chambers.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2011 at 20:25

      I don’t care to tackle questions like that any more than late term abortions or infanticide. I happen to think that laws protectiing any of those classes of helpless are superfluous for the very reason that in a modern society there is almost always someone willing to care.

      And when there is, it’s their rights you violate, if you can find no right in the helpless to be cared for at the compuldsory expense of those unwilling.

  31. Dave on June 13, 2011 at 22:53

    Interesting topic and I do look forward to it, having some first hand experience with the subject myself (in addition to knowing people in various open relationships, from full on swingers, to people in polyfidelity relationships).

    It is a unique situation to be in and unfortunately, a lot of people have build in assumptions about what open relationships are. Even though it has been my experience that each such relationship is different, depending on what the parties need, want and are okay with, just like normal relationships. But then, getting people to use logic and overcome stereotypes is a whole other rant…

  32. […] Subscribe ← The Book and What I’m Up To; Nothing Should Go As Planned […]

  33. Primal Toad on June 14, 2011 at 12:23

    I’ll be buying your books. Keep us all updated on your progress!

  34. […] of my own experience over the last couple of years as this blog has gained some attention. A very nice comment, from […]

  35. Razwell on June 15, 2011 at 13:16

    This book is going to be very entertaining to say the least. Looking forward to it . Will there by any famous F bombs in it, Richard ? LOL !

    Take care,


    • Richard Nikoley on June 16, 2011 at 18:01

      There will be f-bombs in it, but appropriately so, particularly dialed. Perhaps a few in the narrative. I don’t think there’s any yet, though.

      • Razwell on June 18, 2011 at 10:28

        LOL ! That’s awesome. Something different than the usual type of book.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 16, 2011 at 18:03

      Just got back from socal and am very happy to back to my standing desk on the back patio outside for writing the book. I seem to write so much better that way. Productivity really fell off the last few days.

      • Primal Toad on June 17, 2011 at 16:51

        I have a standup desk in my bedroom and my productivity has been super poor… forever. I have gotten a lot accomplished but oh man. I dont even want to start telling how much more I could hav accomplished.

        For one entire week I will be moving my standup desk outdoors.

        Thanks Richard.

  36. Pauline on June 17, 2011 at 06:50

    Hi Richard,have a look at this book it is very insightful and adds to the discussion:

  37. Daniel on June 21, 2011 at 15:04

    Hello Richard, I look forward to reading your book, which I believe will be great just because your extreme honesty. What I am hoping you include, alongside with your psychological and cultural development, is evolution of your political opinions. If the paleo perspective is as inspiring and as life-changing as I suspect it to be, than it must have at least some minor influence on forming one’s poitical ideas.
    All the best,

  38. Michael- The Underwear Body on June 24, 2011 at 08:29

    I gotta say that sounds really cool. I always reckon you have to live the kinda life that makes for a story worth telling. Sounds like you have. I shall be looking forward to the book.

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