Picture this: Women give birth and live together with other women and all of the children who have been born. The women go out and search for food and water and other resources which exist in safe spaces near enough to their community.
Men lived separately; boys joined the males when they were old enough to no longer need their mothers (maybe around 10-12 years old). Males hunted and gathered; generally not in the same places as women. They hunted in places further away and gathered in more dangerous territory. They did this because it often meant less work for the same quantity/quality of food and it meant they could access resources which they could use to trade with women.
Women and men were generally uncommitted to each other and most were bisexual. The women mostly slept with each other however from time to time they would trade sex for something of value that one of the males had to offer. Homosexuality was human’s first all-natural birth control.
Males competed among each other and that drove the ‘’economy”. It was a capitalist economy and it was a capitalist mating system. Something along the way changed though and we switched to a socialist mating system. To monogamy, to traditionalism and it worked. I think for the betas in society (like me!!!) it would be good to hold on to this system; but for the alphas the old system is better.
Even if the society I painted never existed the thing is the most natural relationship between men and women is hooking up for sex without ever living together or having any form of committed relationship. The most natural relationship is no relationship. What I think about early societies is simply a theory of mine. It is based upon observations of poor communities in Jamaica and Bangladesh that I have personally made and upon descriptions of the Taino and Kalinago societies that existed in the Caribbean when the Europeans first discovered the new world.
I believe that the Kalinago/Jamaican/”matricentric” model is very similar to the social model that hunter gather societies used. The Kalinagos were themselves hunter gatherers and I think that the use of this model in Jamaican society could be one reason that the country as a whole is not as successful as it could be. In this model women and men do not form relationships. Women have children and raise them with the help of other women. Men grow up and leave the group of women and children and join other men who go out and hunt and raid or steal food and goods from other villages.
The Taino/Bangladeshi/”patriarchy” model is how I think many agricultural societies lived, the Tainos were an agricultural society and I think this model leads to a more sucessful society than the Kalinago model. In this society there are relationships. Relationships are not lifelong, but they last at least until the children are old enough to fend for themselves (lives were also shorter in the past). During this time the male’s main focus is bringing in things of economic value, while the female’s main focus is the children. She also does what she can economically, but her main focus is children.
I personally do not believe that relationships in the way we view relationship are natural to humans. Sex is something natural and maybe to a certain extent relationships for a certain period of time may also be natural. But marriage or the idea of living together and being sexually faithful to one person for the rest of one’s life is simply not as natural as not living together and not committing to long term relationships. So to me the Taino/Bangladeshi model is the traditional model while the Kalinago/Jamaican model is the natural or liberal model for society. Biology intended for the Jamaican model to exist and so our natural desires send us in that direction. When people follow a liberal lifestyle and simply do what feels best we end up with that model for society.
We do not become less sexually attracted to other people once we have settled down and in several other parts of the world traditional marriage/commitment was not even though of. It should also be noted that in places without relationships resources are typically much easier to access than in places where male-female relationships are the norm. Based on observations that I have made in Jamaica I also believe that the most natural relationship or at least one type of relationship that has been a part of our evolutionary history for a very, very long time is the prostitution relationship; where men pay women with food or items for sex.
In my mind the past, for at least a long part of our history looked like this; men had sex with women and they got pregnant. The women grouped together and cared for the children while the men went out and hunted. Men also protected the community. Men were not the main providers of food but they were important providers of the ”best” food and resources, and the male who caught the biggest prey or brought home the most food got the most sex. He got the biggest reward because he had the most to offer and that reward was sex. I am sure it was somewhat more complicated than that but that is how I imagine it and I think that although there was more than that to early societies that, this scenario was at least a part of it.
The point is really that without guidelines society can very easily trend back to what feels natural and we can end up in a society where lifelong relationships are uncommon. This would not be a bad thing if we still lived within communities where children could easily find and attach to role models who will love and guide them, but that is not the case in modern societies. And that is very unlikely to be the case in a individualistic and capitalist economy. Also this type of society, and it does exist in several parts of the world, has simply not been as successful as traditional societies have been.
When we abandon traditional ideas and replace them with the idea that everyone will do what is best for themselves in a given situation, people do exactly that. The problem is that what is best for an individual is not always best for society. What feels best is what is natural and that certainly is not commitment. Commitment between a man and a woman benefits society and many individuals though. It provides offspring/the future generation with role models from both sexes; this is especially important where there is no community present.
So in essence what I am saying is that the biologically natural relationship (ie. with no commitment but only hooking up) may not be what is best for society and later I will so that without guidelines, in a liberal society where people are only told to do what feels best and when people simply do what feels best that is exactly where society will end up. We will end up with a society where men an women hook up according to attraction and in such a society there is quite a lot of competition among males and the majority of women sleep with the minority of males. Males become marginalized and can end up contributing less to society decreasing over all productivity. This type of society works brilliantly when resources are abundant and marginalized males are necessary for society to survive, but since that is no longer the case, the traditional model seems more applicable.
The traditional model forces a type of family structure that the liberal model does not, and this family structure leads to more successful societies. Open relationships would also force this type of family structure but since both are highly unnatural I personally do not see much of a benefit in the open relationship idea. Also when a population is 50/50 male/female, I think monogamy simply makes more sense and is more fair. But like everything in life it depends on the individuals and what works best for them. In conclusion though the most natural relationship between men and women leads to a societal structure that is no longer as applicable, since the resulting societies are not as successful and the societies which comes into being when we do have relationships.
If you have time see my post on who has won the historical wars between traditional and liberal societies.