Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller “Sex At Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray And What It Means For Modern Relationships”, which has been translated into 15 languages.

After receiving a BA in English and American literature in 1984, Chris spent the next two decades travelling around the world pausing in unexpected places to work at decidedly odd jobs.

In his mid-thirties Chris decided to return to school to pursue Doctoral Studies in Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco, California.

Drawing upon his multicultural experience, Chris's research focused on distinguishing the human from the cultural - first by focusing on Shamanism and ethnobotany, studying how various societies interact with altered state of consciousness and the sacred plants that provoke them, and later by looking at diverse cultural perspectives on sexuality.

His doctoral dissertation was a multidisciplinary investigation of prehistoric human sexual behaviour guided by the world renowned psychologist Stanley Krippner.

Chris is finishing a book for Simon and Schuster tentatively called “Civilised To Death: Why Everything's Amazing But Nobody's Happy”.

Join me as I ask Christopher:

  • His definition of what it means to be human.
  • What he has learnt from the ceremonies of different societies he has visited.
  • What was his purpose for the book 'sex at dawn'?

He’ll share with us:

  • The value of the wisdom of the past.
  • How we're a very sexual species.

This episode is a wonderful, wide-ranging conversation, and Chris shares wisdom drawn from his manifold experiences:

“What we do better than any other animal is form complex, flexible social networks. You put one man up against a bear forget about it - but you put five men up against a bear, the bear’s in big trouble!”

“There can't be intimacy without truth.”

“To look at a person as an individual is sort of a mental construct - that person is actually a complex community of organisms.”

To find out more about Christopher Ryan, visit

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