BOTH Eskimos and whites in the Koyukuk have long been accustomed to consider promiscuity as the normal sexual relationship.
The Eskimos have never believed that a person should be confined in sexual intercourse to one individual of the opposite sex. Occasional copulation with another man or woman meets no objection from one's partner unless it becomes a regular habit. One Eskimo woman phrased this concept quaintly to a Wiseman sourdough when she told him: "Any time, anybody, one time, that's all, any time." Often a couple will discuss together a prospective extra-marital coitus before it occurs. I know of one girl whose only condition was that her husband must not have intercourse with old women. This, she felt, would be a reflection on her own attractiveness. When the man expects to be away on a long hunting expedition he will sometimes encourage his wife to have intercourse in his absence so long as she tells him about it on his return. But if he first finds it out from some one else there will be plenty of trouble.
Clandestine intercourse and not adultery is the great sin among the Eskimos.
Of course in practice things do not always work out quite so smoothly. There are individual Eskimos, both men and