Saturday, April 16, 2005
EOTM: Why Men Go For "The Look"
To understand men, you must understand maleness in its purest and simplest form. Every man alive shares the attribute of maleness with half of the life on this planet, as every woman shares the attribute of femaleness with the other half.
The time for the fern to unfurl itself is when IT is ready - there is no social calendar that concerns it. The time for the bees to pollinate the blooms that will turn into fruit is WHEN they are in bloom and ready to receive, not when some arbitrary social decision says the time is right. You can understand everything about men by looking at one corn plant in bloom. The silks and the ear are the female parts of the plant, the tassels and pollen are the male part. The male part must be ready WHEN the female part is ready, not before and most certainly not after. One grain of pollen must fall on each strand of silk in order for one new kernal of corn to start. In order for the female part of the corn to be as abundant as it has the potential to be, the male part must produce MILLIONS of times the sperm (pollen) that the female produces silks and potential seeds AND distribute those sperm widely and freely. Thus, the primary and over-riding characteristic of male sexuality is urgency: all of maleness is about being ready NOW so that when the female signals that the time is right, the male is ready to do his part.
If you look at the female genitals, you see that they are flowers. Nature constantly re-uses her forms over and over. And when the female petals open themselves in bloom, THEN is the time to fertilize, not later. Women's minds are at war with their bodies these days. They themselves try to deny the message of their bodies when their very cells cry out that the time is right. Women have been brainwashed into wanting to DECIDE when the time is "right" and have nature conform to their wishes rather than placing themselves in tune with nature. It will not work.
Sadly for men, we do "think with their penises" far more than we wish was the case. Survival is so basic that "thinking" really has nothing at all to do with it. Desire does not happen because of a thought process or because we get social sanction: it is primal and the only thing we can do with our social minds is to inhibit it. While we men certainly sometimes appear to "think with our dicks" it is impossible for us to "dick with our thinks." We desire what we desire, and no amount of social conditioning can ever really change that.
Since reproduction is survival of the species at its most basic level, those drives are buried in the part of our bodies that we share with every other animal that reproduces sexually: our brainstem - our vertebra. All sex happens in what is called the "old" brain or the "reptile" brain - the brainstem and spinal cord. You can actually take a cat and vacuum out its cerebral cortex and all mating behaviors remain intact. Social behaviors are destroyed, but the cat can still eat and mate. That is how primal and basic the behaviors we are talking about really are.
Our reactions are SO BASIC, so immune to conscious and voluntary control, that they are akin to a species of fish whose females' bellies turn red when they are gravid. Males of this species can be fooled into mating behavior by a block of wood with the underside painted the same red as a gravid female placed into the tank.
Like these fish, signals of female readiness and receptivity provoke a completely unconscious and involuntary reaction in us. We can't stop ourselves from reacting, all we can do is stop ourselves from acting on our reaction. What makes men so angry at women is how well women have learned our involuntary reactions and learned how to use them against us by faking receptivity and using our sense of urgency to extort from us what they want.
Makeup, low-cut dresses, even high heels, all mimic signals that a woman gives off when she is "ready." Men are constantly having their involuntary reflexes beaten on to respond to a woman who signals that she is "ready" when, in fact, she is not. Just about all the terrible miscommunications between men and women would go away if men would go back to sniffing women's butts.
The other half of "the look" is status. These are the ways that social messages have affected us. A man's status is enhanced in the presence of an attractive woman, just as a woman's status is enhanced by the presence of a successful man. This is the strictly "nurture" part of things. What we consider "beauty" at any given time is a matter of social consensus. In Africa, big butts on women are considered VERY attractive because they are a whole lot closer to the edge of survival and a skinny woman will likely not survive childbirth. There is no reason to "mate" with them. Even as recently as the 1960s, the hourglass figure, curviness, was a standard of female beauty.
What comes next is pretty subtle, so hang with me. The "look" now popular in westernized culture, which advertising defines, is the "look" of an infertile woman. Pregnancy takes a huge amount of calories and very thin women ususally cannot accomplish it. Here is where we have nature and nurture at war with each other. The drive to have sex and continue the species is as strong in all of is as it has ever been, but children are so expensive to have and raise to adulthood these days that men unconsciously are drawn to women who show signs of receptivity at the same time they show signs of infertility. Some "free" sex or "free love".
Women have complained for years about men who want to sleep with one kind of woman, but marry a different kind. That is because the urgency of responding to a woman's signals of readiness, RIGHT NOW, has absolutely no relationship to what it would be like spending the rest of his life with that woman. For women's benefit, our cultural values have demanded that men make their mating decisions on something other than sex. Under the old structure of marriage, a man wouldn't even find out what his wife was like sexually until AFTER they were joined for life. That is how little emphasis that culture placed on sex compared to how much it placed on mutual support and keeping commitments.
Just as women still expect to marry a man who makes more than they do, despite the fact that the economy has changed to make that impossible, men make their choice of lifelong mates based on how much status being mated to that woman will bring them. Having a woman with "the look" (whatever the fad of the moment is) will bring them status in the eyes of both men and women. Love conquering all is a compelling and attractive fantasy, but it is a fiction. Success in life often depends on resources and status, so the choice of a lifelong mate must take these into account.
Television and movies have turned us into a completely visual culture. Everything now has some variation of "the look." Clothes have an "in look", cars have it, even athletic shoes have it. We all are being constantly harassed by TV to want "the look."
Women are just as susceptible to "the look" of men as men are to "the look" of women. And it has nothing to do with how good a mate that person would be. It is a primal biological reaction to "good genes", to a set of characteristics that would give our offspring a better chance of survival than if they did not have them.
As we grow up, however, we learn to look beyond "the look", and learn to see. Men learn over time how to tell when a woman is faking it and to avoid such women. The more games a woman plays regarding her looks and attractiveness, the more men have learned to distrust her.
The quiet beauty of an untouched bloom, however, will always render a man mute in the awesome power of woman to create new life from her own body.
Related: Zenpriest #27 - Ignoring Women
Back to “Gender War, Sexuality, and Love”
Friday, April 15, 2005
EOTM: The Biological Context of Sexuality and Mating
1) Nothing exists in the animal world without a purpose. All behavior is purposeful.
2) This purpose is to survive. Life LIVES. Survival of the individual first, and the species second is an imperative that drives all living things.
3) The biological purpose of sex is survival of the species. Reproduce (be fruitful and multiply) to assure that there is another generation of little whatevers to continue the species.
4) The mechanisms which control this are buried deep in the brain, in the section that is called the "old" or reptile brain. Lizards understand all they need to know about sex in order to make a new generation of lizards. This is the same part of the brain that governs hunger. Survival stuff.
5) Humans are among the distinct minority among animal species in several respects including:
- a) They can be sexually active whether or not there is a possibility of conception. Most animals will not copulate unless the female is in her fertile phase.
- b) When we assumed the upright bipedal posture, from the four-legged stance used by most of our animal brethren, the entrance to the vagina was pulled up and forward. The only other animals which have sex face to face are the bonobo chimpanzees. All others use the rear entry position. That is why it is called "doggy-style". Face to face sex is more "social". This is where most of our relationship problems come from.
6) There is a secondary purpose to coitus among mammals. It seems to be very bonding. Animals with a very low fertility, such as lions, tend to have a high frequency of coitus which serves the social purpose of strengthening the emotional ties within the social unit.
7) Behavioral or personality traits can be inherited in the same way as physical ones. The emerging field of evolutionary psychology shows how certain behavioral traits enhance the survival potential of the individual and the process of natural selection make it more likely that the genetics which contribute to that behavioral trait will be transmitted to future generations. Sexual behavior is more prone to this effect than any other because it directly affects the fertility rate. Selection has favored the most aggressive males because they are the ones who have dispersed the most genetic material, just as it has favored the least sexually active females because had they been out seeking new males to mate with they might not have invested sufficient time to make sure that the offspring survived.
8) Sexual interest is only useful to nature when sexual activity coincides with fertility in the female. Thus a very complex "notification" system has developed to notify the males that the female is fertile. In most animals this also means receptive, but human females have learned to fake the signs of receptivity in order to capture the attentions of males, and to capture the males themselves into a committed relationship.
9) gee, what if someone gave a horny and no one came? The cues of the notification system begin a complex set of reactions in the reptile brain of the male which excites him to seek gratification of his sexual hunger. There ain't no thinking involved. It's pure Stimulus -> Response of the type studied by Pavlov.
10) Next begins the "mating dance". This serves several purposes. First, it raises the overall level of arousal, which in turn stimulates the production of sperm and increases the chances that copulation will result in fertilization. Second, the female, having signalled her receptivity through a variety of cues: scent, sound, visual, and behavioral, lets her potential mates pursue her until the biggest, strongest, smartest (ie. most survival potential) prevails. A bunch of new little whatevers get started and the whole cycle begins again.
11) Generally males "signal" by pursuing. Sure they want to attract the female's attention as a potential mate, but they don't want to waste their biological resources pursuing a non-receptive mate.
12) We humans should take a clue.
13) As sex has moved away from its biological purpose and assumed more of a social significance, those receptivity cues have been co-opted. They are now practiced intentionally to gain attention and favors from men and no longer have anything to do with receptivity. This is where so much of the crap in gender relations comes from. Women signal receptivity when it doesn't exist, men respond at an instinctual level from the lizard brain without even knowing that they are responding or why, and everybody wonders "what the hell happened?".
14) Regardless of all this, there still ain't nothin' happening unless the female is receptive (except maybe a rape charge when the male reacts in the way nature intended to the cues which are being sent dishonestly).
15) All this adds up to the fact that the female controls the sexual interaction. Research done in singles bars and other meat markets has shown that "high" signalling females get approached 4 times as often as "low" signalling females even when they are significantly less "beautiful" than the low signalling females. Anyone whose knee has just jerked into believing that I'm saying "she asked for it" can hit the link below.
For those of you who stuck around to hear the rest of the story, it should begin to get really interesting. OK guys, grit your teeth. It's going to get hairy for a while. I'm gonna tell truths and name names. It'll hurt a bit, but we'll all feel better when it's over.
The often mouthed male bash cliche "Men think with their penises, not with their heads" is closer to the truth than men wish it was. In reality they are "thinking" with their brainstem, spinal cord, and limbic system (hormones, neural transmitters, and enzymes). They unfortunately have no conscious control over these responses, just as they have no conscious control over hunger, the fight/flight response, or muscular reflexes.
There are a large number of stimuli which function as "releasers" and pump into the male bloodstream all the neurochemicals which create sexual arousal. Female chimpanzees' genital areas will swell and become bright pink when in estrus (heat). Jane Goodall, the renowned antropologist who made a life work of studying chimps, described this phenomenon as being like "... a bright pink flower which could be seen by males all over the valley, who immediately set off in search of the female...". The human female rump has a similar effect on human males. Some of the lower animals who have little more than a brain stem, such as certain fishes, can be fooled into a mating frenzy by a block of wood painted the same color as a female full of unfertilized eggs.
Despite the many and huge variations between cultures in almost every aspect imaginable, there is a remarkable agreement on what constitutes female beauty, which has become a polite euphemism for sexual attractiveness. In a study of 1159 cultures, the physical characteristics deemed beautiful were more consistent than any other characteristic. And in all cultures these characteristics corresponded to the physical attributes of a woman in her peak child bearing years, 15 - 25. These are the women that men will respond to from a purely biological perspective.
This is not to say that men do not, will not, or cannot find an older woman attractive, they certainly do, but the attraction is based on other characteristics than pure sexual attraction, a point which very few women understand. Most women become addicted to the sexual power that adolescent women have over adolescent men and, like the dinosaurs, do not realize that enviromental conditions are changing and adapt to them before it's too late. The power of a woman to provoke a purely instinctive sexual response in men dimishes rapidly after the late 20s, both because women are no longer as effective a vehicle for transporting a man's genes to the future, and because males of that age have generally already done their reproductive duty and turned their attention to other matters, such as supporting and providing for the progeny they have already sired. Women who are arrested adolescents expect men to continue to respond in the same way that 15 - 25 year old males respond to 15 - 25 year old females. The frequency and intensity of this type of reaction progressively diminishes as a man matures and, when it is present, guess what? It tends to be toward a woman between the age of consent and the late 20s.
In addition, men are fully aware that women typically use sex as a means to jump-start a romantic fantasy which will be entirely to her benefit and at his expense. In addtion, women have learned that men are perfectly capable of controlling their sexual impulses when they realize that the woman is looking for something totally different than they are and that to proceed is going to get somebody hurt. If a man is not ready to dive headfirst into trying to build a long-term relationship with a particular woman, he is not likely to dive into bed with her either. Women's strategy to deal with this for the past several years has been to lie about their expectations and indicate that they are only interested in immediate sexual gratification and that the man need feel no obligation to pay for it with a committed relationship. "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me." It generally only takes one occurance of finding out that he has been lied to, and has just incurred an emotional debt he could spend the rest of his life paying off, for a man to learn that he cannot believe a woman who says this.
The normal reaction by these women is to escalate their cues and begin to beat on the neural responses of men to try to get a rise (literally) out of them. In other words, they DO sometimes ask for it. Some women are unaware that they are doing this, seeking only the attention of males and having successfully deluded themselves into thinking that the attention is based on something other than a purely instinctive response to sexual cues of receptivity. They are terribly surprised when they get an unexpected response out of a man. On the other hand, many are fully aware and are pissed as hell when they DON'T get the desired response out of a man and can get really ugly about it. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
Either way the man is the loser. If he responds and the woman decides he is not what she is looking for in a mate and shuts him down, he is confused, hurt and more than a little bit angry. Camile Paglia makes some very interesting statements about this aspect of male/female interactions. She says first that "Rape is male power fighting female power." Women, on the one hand, love the power they can exert over men to make them perform for love and affection; while on the other hand they fear, detest, and criminalize it getting beyond their control. She also said that what used to be called "unbridled passion" is now called "date rape". Men have come to bitterly resent being manipulated by using their sexual needs against them, a process that Barbara DeAngelis terms "pathetically easy". I know that many women will want to crucify me for this next statement. Many rapes are the result of a man experiencing just one too many times the anger and humilation of being led on, used, manipulated, and exploited based on the promise of having his sexual needs met, only to have the woman change her mind or raise the price at the last minute. In two celebrated rape trials of a few years ago, those of Mike Tyson and William Kennedy Smith, both instances were rich and powerful men who invited beautiful young women to their quarters and provided them with expensive entertainment with the predictable expectation that they would be rewarded with sex. When they called the debt, the women cried "foul".
On the other hand, if the man does NOT respond, women often respond in an escalating pattern that begins with trying to argue the man into bed and often ends with vicious verbal abuse and sometimes even physical violence. Often men will avoid the issue by giving the expected responses to avoid the emotional violence, or will end up avoiding that woman.
A particularly distressing aspect of this occurs due to the mistaken notion that love and sex are the same thing. Many men have had the experience of having a friendship with a woman destroyed when she would not take no for an answer and persisted in trying to coerce him into a sexual/romantic relationship he did not want, based on the mistaken belief that if he cared for her he would express that sexually.
The futility of trying to argue a man into bed is driven home to them if they succeed in wearing down the man's resistance and he gives in. It is pretty much guaranteed that the experience will be miserably unsatisfying and humiliating to them both. Men may sometimes think with their dicks, but they sure as hell cannot dick with their think. If men could will their erections to come and go on command, both men and women would be a lot happier, but then they would cease to be men and become flesh and blood vibrators. Sadly it seems that is what women want men to be these days.
Men, for their part, do not think that much differently although they respond and act very differently. Men are often bewildered and upset by their own reactions and cannot understand why they are so at odds with the values they believe to hold. They buy into the romantic nonsense as much as women do and are often angry at themselves for not reacting the way they "should" according to society's script. Men are just as culturally indoctrinated as women and often just as unaware of the foundation mechanisms of their responses. They try to do what they "should" but, like the dinner guests served a dish they detest but gag down out of politeness and a desire to not offend the hostess, if their own needs are not being met the best they can do is to mechanically go through the motions.
Like driving, passion is a priviledge, NOT a right. Men respond passionately to women who are willing to understand, honor, and help them meet their real needs. Men respond mechanically, if at all, to women who demand that the man meet her needs while denying his and attempting to shame him into changing them to fit her bullshit notions of what he "should" be.
Both men and women need to understand that the sexual force of a mature man comes not from having a penis, but rather from that adventurous juncture of ego and courage which Norman Mailer talks about. To this I would add optimism. Deep within the heart of every man I know resides the persistent belief that sexual joy IS a great gift, that shared sexuality represents the union of the highest aspects of men and women, their finest moral products, the God and the Goddess, and the fervent hope than he will one day meet a woman who will regard it that way also. All the men I know are still waiting. Most of them are not very optimistic.
Women who have a sincere desire for a sexual relationship with a mature man had better start waking the fuck up and realizing that building his ego is going to get them somewhere, while continuing to indulge themselves in their infantile man-bashing tantrums and doing everything they can to destroy it is going to get them a lot of lonely nights. Feminism is murdering men's desire for women, and women are its willing, nay enthusiatic, accomplices. Contempt for men, denial and negation of their needs, and abdication of responsibility for their own actions is, for some unknown reason, very satisfying to women, but the only men who fall for it are the ones who are arrested in their own adolescence. I hope you bitches are having fun playing with these emotionally deformed children.
Sex is the most bonding activity between 2 human beings that there is. Certainly it is fraught with anxieties, confusion, and risk, but only the most pathological males can have even marginally satisfying sex with a woman and not experience deep warm and tender feelings toward her which will persist for the remainder of his life, unless the woman does something to destroy them, which all too many women do. Alex Comfort, M.B., Ph.D, in a book written 25 years ago put it this way regarding men's turn-ons: "he will love you more the more skillfully you sense and use it". A woman who understands a man's releasers and incorporates them into lovemaking with anything resembling subtlety will have the man eating out of her hand for life.
This relationship between sexual satisfaction and emotional bonding holds equally true in reverse. Unsatisfying sex will breed deep and subtle resentment. The worse the sex, the greater the resentment. There is only one thing more bewildering and upsetting to a man than a woman who thinks her part of sex is done when she shows up, and that he both owes her satisfaction from the experience and after the fact owes her for the opportunity to provide her satisfaction. This one thing is the woman who shows remarkable skill and subtlety in finding and using a man's turn-OFFS, offending and disgusting his every sensibility, then blames his lack of response on some defect within him. There is a special kind of hatred that men reserve for such women.
It is evidence of the power and persistence of the male sex drive that men will return to such women just to get their rocks off, and in fact this is less due to sexual desire than to an inability to believe that anyone could possibly be THAT stupid and insensitive. Many men are also so confused and conflicted about their own sexuality, and have so much shame tied up with it, that they do not realize how pathological the experience was. Men who are clearer about it simply never call back. Only now, in the 1990s, this has become a criminal act.
Male sexuality is extremely undervalued, just as female sexuality is extremely overvalued. In this culture men are conditioned to believe that their only source of intimacy and love is the woman who is their mate and the only means they have to get female sexuality, intimacy, and love is to purchase it with their performance and their economic assets. This impoverishes both men and woman because it destroys the trust and faith in each other that is essential to intimacy. Men need to reclaim the value of their sexuality, if necessary by refusing to have sex with any woman who does not value his as highly as he values hers and by making it an absolute condition that she respects and honors his needs, rather that telling him what they "should" be.
Back to “Gender War, Sexuality, and Love”
Thursday, April 14, 2005
EOTM: The Biological Foundations of Sexuality
I suspect that you came here looking for answers in one of the topics in the table above. If you are one of those people who always reads the last page or chapter of a novel first, there is nothing I can do to prevent you from skipping over the contents of this page to "get right to the meat". However, if you do, you will have wasted your own time as well as mine because an understanding of these basic concepts is fundamental to understanding their expression in human behavior.
Second, since this is a web page and not a graduate school textbook, some definitions to explicitly narrow the topics to ones which can be productively deal with in such a brief forum:
Sex - (from the latin secus, division, the same root that gives us section and segment.) A general term covering all aspects of the form of biological reproduction which involves two separate packages (or cells) of genetic material, gametes, uniting to form a composite cell, a zygote or embryo, which has the capacity to develop into a mature member of the same species. Virtually all multi-celled organisms reproduce sexually. It is nearly universal in the animal kingdom and one of several reproductive strategies in the plant kingdom.
Sexuality - having sexual characteristics, ie. differentiated into one of 2 genders and possessing the attributes characteristic of that gender which allow differentiation.
Male - the gender whose role in reproduction is limited to handing over its genetic material to the other gender, called female. The male package of genetic material is generally called a sperm.
Female - the gender whose role in reproduction is to receive genetic material from the male, provide the environment for joining of the 2 gametes, and provide the food source and environment necessary for the zygote or embryo to develop to the point where it can survive outside that environment. The female package of genetic material is generally called an ovum or egg.
Humans, like all animals, are divided into male and female. ("male and female they were created"). Each plays a specific role in reproduction which is essential to survival of the species. You are here to read this because thousands of generations of humans have engaged in sexual reproduction to keep our species from dying out. As eating (something other than rocks) is essential to survival of the individual, reproduction is essential to the survival of the species.
All this seems so simple and obvious that it seems ludicrous to have to state, like explaining that people don't eat rocks and why. But, in a culture where some emotionally ill individuals are able to classify ALL sex between human beings as a violent crime (and be taken the LEAST BIT SERIOUSLY!) and women feel compelled to paint their faces with an amalgum of animal waste products and toxic pigments in order to attract the attention of men, it is obvious that a return to the basics is long overdue.
An individual member of any species is the result of the joining of an ovum and a sperm. These are specialized cells within a multi-celled organism made up of many types of differentiated cells. Blood cells carry the oxygen we need to live, bone cells make us different from jellyfish, muscle cells allow us to move, gamete cells allow us to reproduce. Every warm blooded creature on the face of the earth is the result of the union of one egg with one sperm, how in the world did the mechanics of bringing this about get so incredibly confused?
Every living thing has a life cycle. Nothing lives forever. New life starts, grows, reaches reproductive maturity, ages, and dies. There is a, often brief, time window of this cycle when the conditions which will allow successful reproduction prevail. In order to avoid extintion, males of the species must deliver a sperm cell to unite with an ovum cell within that window. Human females often speak of this phenomenon as their "biological clock".
At this point the female element of the pair takes over, retaining posession of the ovum+sperm composite and adding or providing nourishment to it which allows it to develop beyond the single cell stage. The male element is now done with his part of the process and is totally superfluous. In many species he dies. This is true of all flowering plants, many insects (and their relatives the arthopods or spiders), and some fish (salmon being the most familiar example). In the reproductive sense, males are utterly expendable once they've done their sperm donor duty.
There are several key concepts within this which need to be highlighted. First, if the male delivers the sperm either too early or too late the whole process is wasted. The egg will die unfertilized. Second, and this is extremely important, since the egg is the gamete that will eventually develop, nature significantly favors it when allocating biological resources. It generally contains many times the amount of cellular material that the sperm does so it has the energy to develop once fertilized. Third, it stays in place while the sperm is mobile so the amount of cellular material does not hamper its ability to play in the reproductive olympics. Sperm, on the other hand, would have their mobility hampered by excess weight so they are lean and mean. Many simply do not have the energy to make the entire journey and die en route. If there were an equal number of sperm and ova produced, this would mean that many ova would also die unfertilized. Therefor sperm are produced in numbers far in excess of the number of eggs. The ratios are millions to one. This also goes with the second point, because the amount of cellular material required to produce one sperm is only a minute fraction of the material required to produce an egg. Mother nature is pretty efficient. Given the same amount of raw material she can manufacture either one egg, or multiple thousands of sperm. Given two loads of the material she manufactures one egg out of one load, and millions of sperm out of the other. The vast majority of sperm are simply discarded. As long as one gets to the egg at the right time, everything is copacetic.
The right time is the key phrase here. An ovum is receptive to fertilization for a very brief time. Thus any male element of a species which delivers the sperm at the wrong time will have its genetics drop out of the gene pool by the process of natural selection. Only those males who manufacture and deliver their sperm at the same time the egg is ripe get their genes to play in the next round of the evolution sweepstakes. In plants, the bloom contains both the male and female elements so that the pollen (male) and the ova (female) develop and ripen concurrently. (To all you hay fever and allergy sufferers, I hope you find it humorous that all your suffering is caused by leftover plant sperm.) In animals, there is a condition or state known as estrus, or heat, which the female enters when she is fertile. Like her distant plant relatives' condition of blooming, this state is clearly distinguishable from her normal state of infertility. And like their male counterparts in the plant world, the stamens of the bloom, male animals are stimulated to let loose their sperm at that time.
That, in a nutshell, is MALE sexuality.
Now I seriously doubt that you came here looking for Biology ½. You were probably curious about the sexuality of human males and explantions of their sexual behavior in the 1990s. Unfortunately, it is precisely the ignorance and denial of the role of the biology of maleness which is causing so much pain, confusion, and animosity these days. If this were fully understood and accepted, there would be little more discussion of it than of eating rocks. Misconceptions regarding Love, Romance, Marriage, and Human Behavior dominate the public discourse. It is to these topics we now must turn.
The Biological Context of Sexuality and Mating
The Nitty Gritty of Male Sexuality
Shocking! Simply Shocking!
The Socio-Cultural Context of Sexuality and Marriage
Back to “Gender War, Sexuality, and Love”
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
EOTM: The Socio-Cultural Context of Sexuality and Marriage
Animals have evolved a wide variety of strategies for assuring that the young are cared for until they can feed and fend for themselves: from the many varieties of fish where the male carries the young in his mouth, and may actually hatch them there, through birds who usually share the burden of feeding the hatchlings because it takes both of them to fill those endlessly hungry mouths, to mammals who most often tend to develop mostly matriarchal social groups (herds or packs) where the general responsibility of protection is shared among the social unit even if the provision of food is still up to the mother, a precedent established by nursing. Humans are essentially social, or herd, animals. Social groups always have a concept of status and hierarchy.
As the human race made the transition from hunter-gatherers to agriculturally based permanent domiciles, the human herds (tribes or clans) began to congregate in larger permanent encampments called cities. The size and complexity of these cites began to demand a greater degree of specialization of skills and introduced the concepts of commerce or trade, money as a universal medium of exchange because barter would not work if one party already had a surplus of the offered commodity, and property or wealth. People moved from the shared living quarters of the lodge to individual residences. While they still tended to live in multi-generational groups, these groups were usually based on kinship and there was an increasing degree of separation between families. New methods of defining the social hierarchy were required since it is much easier to understand the status distinctions among a group of 30 people than it is among 30,000. Thus were born the concepts of class or caste and the accumulation of surplus wealth as a measure of status. Kinship became very important in making decisions regarding distrubution of that surplus wealth. While the rigidity of the physical infrastructure made mobility of the clan as a group less easy than previously, it also decreased the interdependence of individual clan members as it transferred the dependence onto the culture as a whole. Thus new means of social controls had to be developed. Laws and punishments began to replace totems, taboos, and the threat of being an outcast as a means of controlling individual behavior. The drawback to laws is that they require enforcement by group of specialists called "police" and administration by another group of specialists called "the court system". This was very expensive and required taxes to support, so organized religion evolved as a primary means of social control, with legality as a second level of recourse.
All this had a great effect on lengthening the period of dependency of the young. The concept of a state called "childhood" as separate from adulthood developed. Aboriginal cultures generally do not have adolescence. Once sexual maturity is reached, the child is treated as an adult, albeit an immature one. The transition is marked by the onset of menstruation in girls and by a culturally significant rite of passage for the boys. At that time they were recognized with full adult status. However their responsibilities did not change significantly since they had been gradually being integrated into the culture and were expected to make increasing contributions as they matured. The only thing like this which exists in our culture today is the family farm. At the turn of the century 98% of the population lived on farms while 2% lived in cities. Today those percentages are reversed. In urban environments, there is an extended period of childhood dependence, sometimes even twice as long as before if the child pursues higher professional education, and the transition is usually abrupt and discontinuous. Until that time it is the responsibility of the parents to "provide" for the child. In many cases the period of dependency now is equal to or greater than the normal human life span for most of the time humans have been on this planet.
This period of dependency is rigidly enforced by the social control mechanisms. In most jurisdictions it is illegal for persons below a certain age to hold jobs, which are in an industrilized society are the only means of providing for basic needs. The vast majority of "education" is simply a process of indoctrination in cultural concepts of how things "should" be and largely ignores the fundamental skills necessary to take care of oneself and others and conduct relationships. At some arbitrary point these children are dumped out into the "real" world and expected to be financially, emotionally, and personally successful. If they fail, society regards it as a failure or flaw which resides completely within them rather in society's perparation of them for the task.
Since the average puboid is functioning mostly from instinct and totally unprepared to assess the full consequences and burdens of being fruitful and make "rational" decisions to oppose their urges to do so, elaborate mechanisms of social controls have developed. It is far easier to isolate the flowers than to reign in millions of bees, so the control mechanisms generally concentrate on controlling access to the sexuality of the female. It is essential that NO bee pollinate her until SOME bee is both prepared and willing to partner with her in creating a suitable child rearing environment and sustain it for the next 18 to 25 years. Again, it is important to remember that during the time these cultural traditions were being developed most people did not live to see the age of 40. Children reached sexual maturity close to the end of their parents' life span. If the child were allowed to reproduce without a support system in place it was likely that the parents would die leaving the child and the grandchild to fend for themselves. This, of course, was intolerable since the probability is low that they would be able to do so without the support systems built into the clan or tribe. Since the biological imperative is to SURVIVE, all human cultures are built around the preservation of life of their members which is essential for survival of the species.
Since this is a discussion of male sexuality, so far we have largely ignored the influence of active female sexuality, concentrating on the passive attracting aspect. This is ludicrous because male sexuality doesn't exist without female sexuality. The word sex itself comes from the latin secus, to divide, the same root which gives us the words section and segment. The sexuality of each gender exists only in relation to the sexuality of the other. If it were not divided it would not be sex and would be just another behavior. The only thing which distinguishes masturbation from scratching is that masturbation produces sensations similar to those produced by sexual intercourse.
In the sociocultural context of agriculturally induced and supported urbanization some means of fertility control is required to prevent the population from rapidly outgrowing the food supply once the normal control mechanisms of mortality are removed. In the absence of mechanical (including chemical) means of fertility control, the next best thing is to control the behaviors that lead to fertility, ie coitus. The reason that these behavioral controls concentrated on the female and not the male are easy to understand from the mechanics of reproduction. If we take a population of 100 women and 100 men and apply behavioral controls to one gender which are 99% effective, we have very different results based on which gender we control. Applying the controls to men, leaving 1 man and 100 women with their sexuality unrestrained could potentially produce 100 babies. We've gotten nowhere. On the other hand, applying the controls to women and leaving 1 unrestrained woman to 100 unrestrained men would produce at most 1 baby and 1 very tired woman. Problem solved.
In addition, the consequences of unrestrained coitus fall disproportionately on the woman. The male "bee" can immediately be off looking for other flowers to pollinate while the woman has just incurred a responsibility which will consume most of her time and energy for the next several years. In this light it is not difficult to understand why women seem much less willing than men to engage in coitus. It is actually surprising that they are willing to engage in it at all, regardless of the pleasure it produces. In order to understand why they do, we must realize that the neat and clean division between the fruit bearer and the pollinator completely breaks down when we enter the animal kingdom.
Sex is a physical phenomenon. Babies are "assigned" a gender at birth based on physical characteristics. Even at this level there is a great deal of ambiguity. Thousands of babies are born each year with ambiguous genitals. Yet the need to divide, assign, categorize is so great that a baby not easily classified is usually surgically modified to assure that they fit into one category or the other. The results are often diastrous for the child.
In the behavioral arena, things are even worse. Aside from the actual specific mechanics of coitus which involve insertion of one part of the anatomy of the one called the "male" into an orifice of the one called the "female", there are absolutely no behaviors which are gender specific. There is an attribute of humanity that we all share which transcends the artifical distinctions we try to make. Part of this humanity is the tie to the natural world and the desire to reproduce and to engage in the behavior, coitus, which leads to reproduction. In the absence of social controls it is likely that females are as compelled to seek coitus when they are fertile as males are. We see this everywhere in the animal kingdom.
What distinguishes human females from most other mammals is the frequency of their fertility cycle and the fact that they may be sexually receptive even when not fertile or may become fertile at unexpected times. Thus the human female is potentially receptive to coitus at all times and may often seek it. This is the active aspect of female sexuality which is the target of the social control mechanisms. Closing the gateway to the womb is the most effective means of population control.
This is much easier said than done, since the biological imperative is driving every member of the species to contribute to its survival by reproduction and mother nature has provided a powerful carrot in the form of the pleasure of sexual orgasm. In general, the closer a population is to exceeding the limits of its food supply, the more extreme the measures used. In western culture, the so called "developed" nations, these controls tend toward the social and psychological. In the less developed nations, and particularly those where the prevailing religion is Islam, the controls are more extreme and grisly. A set of practices, collectively referred to as Female Genital Mutilation or FGM, are common in many cultures of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Masked under such polite terms as "circumcision" or "excision" and justified by a bunch of lame excuses about health and religious traditions, all these practices amount to holding little girls down and chopping off their genitals. In the most extreme form the insides of the outer labia are cut away and the resulting wounds sewn together in such a manner that the woman must be "opened" surgically before coitus is possible.
And people accuse pagans of sacrificing babies.
What is amazing is that the vast majority of these practices are perfomed by women, who are often the most adamant about the need to continue them. What is disgusting, enraging, and tragic is that the continuation of this horrible practice is justified by the lame excuse that men want it. The power of the social controls and conditioning is so great that no matter how much opposition and resistance there is, this horrible practice is continued and that girls will often submit to it willingly knowing in advance exactly what is involved. Alice Walker refers to this as the "sexual blinding" of women.
Before the reader gets his/her racial prejudices up and starts self-congratulation on how much more "civilized" or advanced western culture is, a bit of thought about nose-jobs, boob-jobs, collagen injections, liposuction, electrolysis, and fake fingernails would be in order. On the male side, those utterly ridiculous looking little plugs of hair implants reflect the same drive to conform to society's ideal.
Even worse, the sex-negation practiced in the name of religion deprives the young woman of any joy from her sexuality, depriving her of the use of her genitals almost as effectively as removing them from her. Women in western culture are just as effectively "blinded" to the ability to see men as kind, gentle, and caring lovers by shame and by indoctrination with a hatred of sexuality, men, and maleness. Instead they see them as meal tickets, self-esteem providers and, paradoxically, as oppressors when they find that men simply are not able to provide enough to fill the emptiness that women feel. So women get angry and start bashing.
Back to “Gender War, Sexuality, and Love”
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
EOTM: Sexual Psychology - Part 3 - 40 to Closing Time
The 40s hold a variety of gifts for the man who has matured enough to savor them. Like the man whose taste buds have developed enough to be able to appreciate the subtlety and fullness of a dark beer or a rich red wine over the shallow sweetness and empty fizz of soda pop which children prefer, the mature man now sips life rather than guzzling it. He finds and appreciates all the subtle nuances of each mouthful before moving to the next instead of seeing how many bottles he can consume.
He has reached the point in his career where he has "made it", whatever "it" is going to be for him. He is on the track to wherever he is going, having passed many forks in the road and closed off many possible futures. Gone are the days of suffering under the burden of hearing "you can be anything you want to be if you just apply yourself" and having to figure out what to do with all this potential that he isn't living up to.
"After they've tortured and scared you for 20-odd years,
then they expect you to pick a career,
when you can't really function, you're so full of fear."
-- John Lennon, "Working Class Hero"
There are a great many things he can simply no longer be unless he is already well along the track to being, no matter how diligently he applies himself: sports hero; president of some country; world renowned scientist, statesman, humanitarian. In short, he is what he is and is likely to remain so.
His second "coming of age" has erased age differences between himself and all men who are not younger than he. Certainly, he may still seek the counsel of an older "elder" but he has enough experience of his own that he can immediately tell wisdom from nonsense. Unlike the days when he didn't know shit from shinola and was so desperately looking for answers and uncertain of himself that he would substitute the judgement of anyone who seemed more certain for his own, more and more he keeps his own counsel.
Aware that the average male does not live much beyond his early 70s, he realizes that it is now definitely 3rd quarter. He has already spent more time than he has left. As any wise investor reviews his investments periodically and makes adjustments to those which are not performing up to his satisfaction, he looks back at the way he has spent his time and energy and the other resources they have brought him. He begins to cut his losing investments and free up those resources to shift them into investments which have been paying off better for him.
Society calls this a "mid-life crisis". And a crisis it is, but not for the man as society tells him. Rather for society itself. This man represents a serious threat to the social order and must be intimidated back into his old ways, lest others see how free he has become and begin to follow the same path.
If too many step off the "work! earn! spend! achieve! succeed! conform! consume!" treadmill which powers consuming society, it will slowly grind to a halt. The dedication and drive which come from his great heart and love of life are what society lives on, what it consumes in order to support its own cancerous existance. If too many become unwilling to continue to let consuming society loot them for all their best, the looters will eventually starve to death. So society spits on him and tells him that his best is actually his worst, but oh-by-the-way he has to produce even more of it to atone for his ability to produce it in the first place. "From each according to his ability, to each according to her need."
The competition has become not who can demonstrate the greatest ability, but rather who can claim the greatest need, or who can claim their need the loudest. Everywhere he turns, he hears people screaming how they have been victimized by not being given to, enough. He hears how they are "oppressed" by the man's ability to produce, to do, to act; by his very ability which feeds, and clothes, and shelters them and makes them mobile. And they demand restitution for this horrible wrong in the form of more giving and providing. Thus, the restitution of today becomes the oppression of tomorrow, which will require restitution the day after, becoming the oppression of the next day, and so on.
The magical status of victimhood and the fact that we simply can NEVER blame a victim, never examine the role the victim played in creating their claimed victim status, never once hold them accountable for their own actions, completely absolves them of any responsibility. If the man cannot produce faster than they can consume and destroy, then the failure and fault lies entirely within him, NOT in their actions.
The flexible, soft, and fragile young seedling man; terrified by the specter of the shame of failure; tortured by physical and emotional pounding; trained to deny his own needs and pain in order to be of service to and produce for others; trapped by his own values and sense of honor into fulfilling responsibilities and living up to commitments coerced out of him before he had any possibility of understanding what they meant; driven half crazy by impossible and constantly changing expectations; forced to purchase every bit of love and approval he has ever received with his performance; has now grown into a tree. He has solid roots. Breezes do not bend him, they only stir his leaves. Only by chopping him down and sawing him into lumber can he truly be harmed.
He looks at the fruit he has borne, the shelter he has provided to the small creatures who have nested in his branches, the way his roots have secured and held the soil and kept it from washing or blowing away, and realizes how little he owes the looters. He looks at the weeds which have been screaming that his roots have robbed them of the opportunity to seek nourishment and realizes that the truth of this accusation does not change the weeds into food crops and no longer feels any compassion for the weeds. He looks at the insects which have been boring into his trunk for years trying to weaken him and realizes that, though they have hurt him, they have not weakened him enough for his trunk to break. He looks at the squirrels who have died in his branches because they were too weak and sick to survive, or made a fatal error in judgement and fell to their deaths, and realizes that he neither killed them nor could have saved them. He realizes that all that has been expected and demanded of him he has done to the best of his ability, limited by his own nature and the richness of the soil in which hapstance placed him.
He realizes that if another tree next to him grew in soil so poor that his roots could not gain solid hold, or the insects had eaten away the trunk or the roots, and than tree had fallen over and crushed someone's house, or car, or even killed someone, that there was absolutely nothing he could have done to prevent it. He no longer feels guilt about that which he did not cause and could not have prevented. He thinks about all those who have shamed him over the fact that he only produced one kind of fruit, no matter how abundant, and tried to shame him for the fact that he did not produce apples, and peaches, and pears, and berries, and corn, and cauliflower, and T-bone steaks, and diamond rings, and new cars, and expensive tennis shoes; and he feels no shame because no tree on earth produces all those things. Only trees in the fantasies of people who have lost touch with reality. He looks at the people who have sawed off his branches and been angry that they were not as strong as oak, at the same time they were not as soft and light as balsa, at the same time they were not as beautiful as walnut; because nothing can be simultaneously both what it is and its opposite.
He looks at all the creatures which have been fed and sheltered and provided useful things by him while providing no nourishment to him except for their shit which fell on the ground above his roots, and realizes that he owes them NOTHING!
So he turns his attention back to his roots which do provide him with nourishment, and to the sun which powers everything that lives with its energy, and his purpose for living, which is to gather that energy and use it and convert it into solid form through a transformation process that is as close to real magic as any human will ever see; and becomes deaf to their lamentations.
Men in their 40s who manage to escape the trap of arrested adolescence, which society desperately tries to keep them in, look for something entirely different in a woman than they did when they were 13 or 17 or even 25. He is too deeply rooted to be transplanted, trying to do so would kill him. As a seedling or even a sapling, he could be uprooted and moved and still able to grow new roots. No more. Besides, it would take a monstrous crane to rip him out of the ground and the process would probably break him into pieces. He no longer tolerates the process of chopping off pieces of himself to make him look "prettier". He has assumed his mature form and this is the way he looks. His job is NOT to look pretty, his job is take nourishment from his roots and energy from the sun and bind that energy into something which would not exist if he had not lived, through a magical process that only he can do. Anyone who tries to chop off a piece of him now and hide the destructive nature of the chopping under the polite euphemism of "pruning" is seen as the liar she is.
If a year comes when the soil has grown too poor, too exhausted for him to have the nourishment to bear fruit, and she comes out to scream at him that she isn't getting her needs met and is hungry, he doesn't reach down within his own cells for the raw material to create fruit to feed her, eating up his own guts and destroying himself for her, he lets her go hungry and is deaf to her victim's lamentations.
If she poisons the soil he grows in, and therefor him, by dumping the most toxic vicious poisonous substances she can find on his roots, he stops growing and fruiting and puts out minimum leaves, just enough to keep himself alive and hopes that he can wait her out and that she will stop poisoning him before she kills him. If they are lucky and he has chosen well, she will wake up to her insanity and pour clean fresh water on his roots to wash away the poisons. If she doesn't, he and his love and wish to provide for her will eventually die, and she will be left to find a young sapling to try to shape. Or perhaps another tree of the same age, but without such deep roots so it has never grown into an adult tree, but has remained stunted. If she has learned from her mistakes, she can help the young tree or the stunted adult grow into a mature and productive tree. Sadly for both her and the trees, that is not very likely.
Women today had better wake up to just how little they have to offer a man these days. There is an endless supply of arrested adolescents, because they are the ones obsessed with the objects which are sold for the money which buys the stuff that is stored in the house that Jack built. Society cannot allow boys to grow into men, because men will not feel so inadequate that they have to "prove" they love her by buying her completely useless chunks of transparent carbon. Men don't drive their ego around on 4 wheels and are not impressed by women who are impressed by men who do. Men detest the look, smell, and most of all the taste of that shit that women keep 60 different varieties to paint on their faces to make them attractive to arrested adolescents.
Men eventually outgrow their need to buy love, because they realize that all the love they've bought doesn't taste like love. It tastes like shit. And one day they get sick of eating shit.
The greatest gift that nature gives men in their 40s and beyond is that they are no longer ruled by their testicles and their testosterone. They no longer have mother nature shouting in their ears "Slacker! Get busy! I didn't give you life to sit around making money, I gave it to you so that you would carry it on. Now get with it and do your part to carry on the species!" They no longer have to live on a diet of shit that they try to see as "love" because that's what people tell them it is. They no longer have to view the fact that what they are being fed tastes like shit as their own failure to not make it taste like love, instead of realizing that it really is shit. They no longer have to be genetic groupies. They do, however, need to stop thinking of themselves as broken vibrators.
The sad truth is that young men in their 20s and 30s can do this too. All they need is an older man who knows it to show them the way. The way is not easy, and it will be very lonely. But no more lonely than the way they are doing it now. Perhaps it is necessary to wander those 40 years in the wilderness to realize how little women are willing to give today compared to how much they expect to receive. Perhaps it is necessary to sleep with several horrible women to realize that sex can be so demeaning and downright unpleasant that living without sex is far better. Perhaps it is necessary to spend a significant period of time alone to realize that you are far less miserable alone than with someone whose major joy in life seems to be how much poison she can pour on your roots and how many creative ways she can find to deflate your ego, which she knows exactly how big it "should" be.
A firm erection on a delicate fellow REALLY IS the adventurous juncture of ego and courage. Courage men have in abundant supply. Men are generators of life and love, and nothing takes more courage than that. Women are out to murder men's egos, and men's desire for those women dies with them.
I part on these admonishments.
Begin to apply the "one strike, you're out" rule. The first time a woman tears you or any man down in your presence, walk away and don't look back. You are not the terrible creature they are trying to convince you that you are. You are a source and generator of life. Do not demean that gift anymore by being party to its slander. Start by learning to think of yourself as a divine being, a representative of the creative force on earth. Learn to recognize the divine creative force in women, as well as the hag and THE BITCH. Let the bitches fall on each other and consume themselves, do not let them feed on your body, mind, soul, emotions, and the fruits thereof. Feed only those who feed you. Leave the arrested adolescents and looters to perish from their destruction of each other. If you were conditioned before you could walk, talk, or control your bowels to think of yourself as an object, find a way to let go of that. If you think of other people as objects, find a way to let go of that too. You are the steward of life, it is your responsibility to protect it for all the children. Don't fuck it up.
Get over your silly selves. Grow up. No man alive owes you a goddamn thing for something that some man did to some woman hundreds of years ago. Only insects demand that there is no individuality, only the hive. You are not the designated recipient of restitution for every wrong done every woman by a man for the entire history of the human race. No man who has not harmed you directly has harmed you at all. If he is guilty of anything by living in a culture where someone has been harmed, you are no less guilty. Look to the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, who spoke for a people with far worse grievances than women's. By following a path of non-violence and refusing to indulge infantile tantrums of revenge and hatred, Dr. King showed us how to put the animosities behind us. He brought us much farther than all the burning and shouting ever will. Your panties are not gold lined, and what's in them is getting less valuable every day because you wrap it in the toxic waste of your own self-pitying bullshit. Men cannot shove power down your throats, we can hand it to you and pour it on your heads and you still will not have it until you believe that you have it. The secret of power is that it belongs to and automatically happens to anyone who is willing to pick it up and use it. No one can ever GIVE you equality. As long as you are waiting for someone to "hand it over" you will sit mired in your helpless victim bullshit, for it is the very waiting and dependence on someone to hand it over that makes you powerless. The power is right in front of you, pick it up and shut the fuck up. This part of the audience to your histrionic melodrama of victimhood is bored with this plot and wants to see something new. If the only power you have is the power to destroy, and you are so helpless that you cannot do even that unless you exploit the emotional bond of a man trying to love by by being a vicious bitch, then you are a cancer in the midst of life and do not deserve to live. You are a looter and a thief, and no longer will be allowed into my emotional world to steal and destroy.
Read "Atlas Shrugged" and see how nothing today is really any different than it was 40 years ago when a brilliant and insightful woman chronicled the inevitable results of a society addicted to destructive consumption. Decide whether you are a creator or a looter, and whether you can commit to the Pledge:
"I swear, by my life and my love for it, that I will never live my life for the sake of another, nor ask another to live for mine."
If you can, then: Harm none, do what thou wilt, shall be the whole of the law.
This is John Galt speaking, I WILL end this if I can.
- Zed -
Monday, April 11, 2005
EOTM: Sexual Psychology - Part 2 - Puberty to 40
We now move into act II of this tragedy in 3 acts.
Unfortunately for young men, they are utterly incapable of understanding the reasons why the culture finds it so necessary to prevent them from gratifying the raging hunger they are experiencing. There is a small bit of biological timing that makes it impossible for average teenagers to fully grasp the implications of their actions, so appealing to their reason was abandoned long ago. The physical maturation of the onset of puberty roughly corresponds with a stage of mental maturation called "Formal Operations" which, in lay terms, is the ability to deal with abstract concepts and conceptual reasoning. Parents who have suffered through this stage may remember the time when "what if" became their child's favorite passtime.
Prior to entering this stage, the child's mental processes are dominated by "Concrete Operations". Children in the concrete operations stage are simply incapable of grasping anything outside of their own immediate experience and tend to deny that it even can exist. Parents who have tried to warn their children of the dangers of tobacco and other addictive drugs are quite familiar with the denial of "It won't happen to me".
The common ages at which children are allowed to engage in adult activites reflects a cultural understanding of this phenomenon at the intuitive level, even when specific knowledge of the mechanics is missing. Children generally are granted the priviledge to drive an automobile, which is a very concrete skill, at age 16. However the ability to vote and affect public policy is delayed until age 18, giving the child more time to develop reasoning ability, while the right to purchase and consume the powerful mind and mood altering drug alcohol is delayed until age 21 in most states, reflecting the common wisdom and understanding of the potential harm of each activity if engaged in without proper ability to assess the potential consequences and make enlightened choices based on that understanding.
Given the extended period of dependency of young humans before they can become self-supporting in an urbanized, industrialized, agriculturally-based society, and the generalized conditions of scarcity which prevailed in the desert regions of the middle east which surrounded the so-called "birthplace of civilization", it is generally accepted that human civilizations must prevent their children from starting to produce offspring as soon as they are biologically capable. (see the Socio-cultural context page for a more thorough exposition of this) The extremely powerful biological forces which are driving the sexual urge make this far easier said than done.
Historically, physical separation was often used. Adolescent men and women were simply prevented from being together unsupervised by an adult who understood the probable consequences to the young woman of a pregnancy before she had secured the commitment of a man to be her lifelong protector and provider. Neither young men nor young women were capable of fully understanding the long term costs and burdens of raising a child from infancy to self-sufficiency. Only a relatively mature and financially secure man would be able to take on such a burden, precisely the type of man who had the greatest bargaining power in choosing a wife and thus the most unlikely to assume the financial and emotional burdens of raising another man's child. Rather than attempting to explain the complex reasons underlying this to children incapable of grasping it, the last recourse of the exasperated parent often came into play: "Just because". It is usually far easier to transmit what must be done than why it must be done.
The simplest method of communicating this to a child incapable of understanding abstract concepts was to get them to view the act of sex as destructive to some concrete object. This they could understand. Thus a mythical concept called "virginity" was conceived and children were told that it was very real and very important. Not WHY it was important, just that it was. As is often the case with folk wisdom communicated in this manner, eventually the controls became effective enough and entrenched enough in tradition that the "why" no longer mattered. Another example of this is the jewish tradition of adhering to dietary laws which prevented food poisoning in a desert climate lacking refrigeration, and often adequate cooking facilities, but which serve no useful purpose today.
By the time that effective means of fertility control other than abstinence had been developed, most people had forgotten why abstinence had been important and simply continued to believe that it was. In fact tradition had done its job so well, that fertility control was itself viewed as evil because it allowed breaking the prohibition against non-marital sex. Sex itself had become the evil, not just sex which produced unsupported children who either died or became a burden and drain on society.
Unfortunately for men and women alike, both of them were not able to make the transition instantly on their wedding night from the belief that sex itself was bad to the belief that it was something positive to be shared between them. Some people have the prohibition so deeply ingrained in them that they are never able to make the transition. This is particularly true of women since they, bearing disproportionately the consequences of unrestrained fertility and being the more effective locus of social control of the sexual urge, are most often the target of the internalized controls and prohibitions.
A young man who honored the need of his object of affection to retain her mythical "virtue" until the wedding night might be rewarded for his courtesy and chivalry by being locked into a marriage to a woman incapable of responding with passion and warmth, one perhaps whose mother advised her to "lie back and think of England", thus depriving him of the emotional contact and intimacy which was one of his primary reasons for commiting in the first place. Every young man has heard tales of loveless sexless marriages, and every one of them has sworn "not me". All the more reason to test the waters before signing on as a lifer.
However, this was decidedly NOT in the best interests of the female anxious to snare a mate. In fact the less giving the female was capable of being, the less likely it was that a free sample would inspire the young man to return. The relatively rare woman whose sexuality remains intact has no difficulty attracting male companionship. Men invariably respond to the underlying warmth and emotional health of such a woman by valuing her highly as a whole person and returning frequently to enjoy the pleasure of her company which may or may not include having sex with her, but in either case is not dependant on it. On the other hand, a woman who is so emotionally damaged as to be incapable of giving and relating to a man must rely on his powerful sexual urges to lure him within the reach of her clutches. The mother's dictum of "why would he buy the cow when he can get the milk for free?" struck fear deep into the hearts of many a young woman and created a firm resolve to not be left in the lurch. They, too, swore "not me".
However, the drive to survive is not so easily contained or destroyed. Pubescent women are just as susceptible to the biological imperative to help the species survive by reproducing as young males are. Physical separation required enforcement and constant vigilance by an adult with some vested interest in keeping the girl-child as marriageable as possible. This became progressively more difficult as the physical mobility of the population increased. The fictitious concept of virginity required constant social reinforcement to keep the young peoples' rapidly developing mental abilities from allowing them to see through it. Another means of control, which was more internalized and required less maintenance, was required. Enter ROMANCE.
Romance was the perfect means for co-opting the sexual drive of the female into a socially acceptable form. First, it thoroughly sanitized all that nasty sex out of the picture and replaced it with the universally positively regarded emotion of love. Second, it bundled the social requirements for (barely) acceptable sex into a single unified whole which followed the form - if a then b (then c, then d, etc.). It was ok to sleep with a man if romance was in the picture because you were "in love", and if you were "in love" then he would WANT to marry you and provide for you and protect you and give you expensive gifts and support you in the manner in which you wanted to become accustomed and so on ad nauseum. Even better, you didn't have to sleep with him because romantic love was SO pure, that he only wanted what you wanted and if you didn't want to sleep with him then he didn't want you to.
Romance was a potent and heady drug because it tied directly into the teenage tendency toward grandiosity and desire for personal power. It wasn't that nasty dirty shameful sex he was after, it was her pure and beautiful soul. And it was so powerful that he would risk anything, suffer any hardship, climb any mountain, slay any dragon, wait any length of time necessary to be able to prostrate himself at her feet and bask in the glow of their mutual love for each other. Retch, puke, vomit.
Unfortunately pubescent males are just as grandiose as pubescent females, so this tied directly into the hero mythology that hooks so many young men. What could be better to prove himself and secure the affection and love he craves for all time with the same act of bravery, devotion, and self-sacrifice. And what better way to sanitize his own impulses which have been so deeply shamed than to perform some great heroic act, thus atoning for all his evilness and proving himself worthy of her love, her soul, and her body which she would gleefully share with him in deep and fulfilling passion. Retch, puke, vomit.
There were only a few small flies in the ointment.
- There is a reason these are called "fairy" tales, they don't exist. This is not reality, it is fantasy. Real men do not act this way, only adolescents.
- Few men these days have the financial, power, and status resources to be able to take time off from making a living to go slay dragons.
- Besides real dragons are in pretty short supply these days, so the dragons must be created from circumstance. The modern substitute is risk-taking. Teenage males demonstrate their "bravery" in order to impress their would-be princesses by taking useless and needless risks. Frequently their reward is not the eternal and undying love they were seeking, but a nice casket and graveside service.
- Everything hinges on her attractive power. She has only a passive role in the process, no active role. She is a helpless victim of the circumstances which create the opportunity for him to be a hero and his own willingness to do so. If she is an enterprising young woman, she will create the circumstances by becoming a "damsel in distress" or her modern counterpart "the woman in jeopardy".
- The drug rush that young women get from such power is addictive. Men soon learn that there is an endless supply of dragons for them to slay. Women have so fallen "in love" with the victim role that they refuse to pass up any opportunity for a repeat performance, even when men have tired of "proving" themselves over and over and have moved on to better ways to spend their time, after having realized that the promise of love was a lie constucted to manipulate them into confirming the woman's sexual power over them. Women find themselves playing to an audience made up exclusively of other women, which is fine with most of them because men find the whole thing rather boring and do not fully appreciate the creativity and skill required to continually deliver such a finely honed victim performance.
- Feminism has beaten men to death for the role they play in this grand melodrama, so men have become much less willing to play their designated part even the first time, knowing that instead of receiving the adulation they expect for their grand gesture that they will be bashed, sneered at, and humiliated.
Thus we deliver our pubescent children to the threshold of adulthood with diametrically opposed agendas, in a cultural context which gives them no realistic and practical guidance for how to proceed, in a society which simultaneously glorifies and vilifies sex, and expect the results to be something other than the carnage which has resulted. Sometimes I have to wonder if there is intelligent life on Earth.
The stage is now set for the exposition of the tragedy. It would probably be far better for all concerned if males and females were still separated during this stage of their lives because it will take years for them to unlearn all the nonsense of the patterns of interaction established during this entirely unnatural period of their lives. Many unfortunates will fail to do so, and will find themselves alone at middle age and beyond wondering what the hell went wrong.
Developmentally, it is inevitable that adolescent males and females will regard each other as objects since they are just beginning the stage of neurological development which will allow them to be able to view anything any other way. Just as we do not expect infants to walk, talk, or control their bladders and bowels until they reach the stage of physical and neurological maturity which is the prerequisite for doing so, we cannot expect adolescents to exhibit fully developed adult reasoning and social skills until they have reached the stage of physical and neurological maturity which allows them to do so.
What is not inevitable is that they become arrested in this stage and never develop the ability to see beyond their own ego and self-importance. Children normally progress very smoothly through the normal developmental stages based on physical and neurological maturation. (In the view of all except their parents whose need to live vicariously through their children is symptomatic of their own arrested development and who tend to view the child's developmental rate as an achievement of the parents, so attempt to force the child's development to conform to some arbitrary timetable which fits their own ego needs but not the needs of the child.) However there are certain critical periods for the development of each skill. If a skill is not mastered during the critical period, it is difficult or impossible for the child to develop it later. For example, a child who does not develop language skills by puberty will likely never develop them.
There are certain social skills, like language, which require social interaction with those who have already developed them. The ability to have mature adult relationships and assume mature adult responsibilities is a social skill which normally develops beginning with the onset of puberty and proceeds rapidly for the next 5 to 8 years. The commonality of the ages of 18 and 21 as transitional ages in many cultures is no accident, nor is it arbitrary. The process slows down after that, but basically will continue throughout life with another peak or transition somewhere around the age of 40. Now referred to as "mid-life", this is the age that has marked the end of the normal human life span for most of the history of our species. Again it is neither accidental nor arbitrary that the "founding fathers" specified age 35 as the minimum for election to the presidency. Empirical observation over thousands of years of human history demonstrated that it was necessary to attain that age before a sense of social responsibility and the largeness of things had developed to the point where someone could demonstrate wise leadership on that scale. Again this is reflected in the folk wisdom of referring to someone of that age as "mature".
By isolating our adolescents in a separate "youth culture" of extended education and indolence, we effectively prevent them from developing these mature social skills by depriving them of contact with those who possess them. Like language, without this social interaction children simply cannot develop these skills. They become arrested at the stage where everything is an object - people, relationships, love - and their life becomes dedicated to the pursuit and acquisition of objects - clothes, expensive athletic shoes, cars, houses, boats, jewelry, etc. This of course fits in very nicely with our consumer/merchantile culture. Their only social interaction comes from other adolescents who have not mastered adult social skills and from their parents who are themselves arrested and generally lack those skills. In fact, many parents tend to regard their children as objects, providing the most potent lesson of all and shaping the children into thinking of themselves as objects.
Then, one day, the children's hour is over and these arrested adolescents are dumped out into the so called "real" world with a script for "success" and a head full of unrealistic expectations. The next few years tend to be very painful as they try to master the environment of the work world, a social environment largely based on their success in that world, and an intimate relationship with another equally self-centered arrested adolescent. Almost no one succeeds in all three.
Men have been trained to regard women as beauty and sex objects and their self-esteem is all tied up in how much beauty they have been able to purchase with their success and financial power. Women have been trained to regard men as success and source-of-new-objects objects and their self-esteem is all tied up in how much success they have been able to purchase with their beauty and sexual power. A wonderful example of this was shown in the movie which came out several years ago starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters, entitled "The Jerk". Having met when they were both poor and could appreciate each other as human beings, they became rich by accident. Then, in the true tradition of Greek tragedy, they became poor again as a result of the same event that made them rich. In one scene Bernadette Peters's character was sitting in the middle of the floor crying over the loss of all their wealth and delivered this incredibly insightful line: "It's not the money I'll miss, it's all the stuff."
In this one brief scene, the disease of the 20th century is revealed. She is incapable of seeing that the stuff is a direct result of the money, which in turn is a direct result of the work expended to acquire the money. She only sees the stuff. He sees that her happiness depends on the stuff and has nothing to do with him except to the extent that he can provide her with stuff. People have ceased to be human beings to each other and are pursued as trophies, objects which commemorate their accomplishments: his accomplishments in the area of being successful in providing her with stuff, her accomplishments in being beautiful enough to attract a man successful enough to provide her with stuff.
The old saying that life begins at 40 is again folk wisdom which reconizes that the process of maturation proceeds as the human ages regardless of whether they think or do anything about it. The mythology of "stuff" has failed to provide the promised happiness and people begin to undertake the process of doing the work that their parents screwed up: teaching themselves to be a mature adult able to have mature adult relationships.
Now is where the cruelty of nature reverses itself. The man looks over at the arrested adolescent woman who he has been carrying around for years, working long hours at a high stress job so he can make the money to provide her with stuff, listening to her bitch him out and whine that he isn't providing her with the emotional stuff she needs or even enough of the material stuff, tolerating vicious emotional abuse because she sees THE BITCH as the only model of female strength and has to keep up appearances of not knuckling under to a man to please her feminist sisters, living without the emotional support which was the reason that he commited to the bitch in the first place, putting up with her endless manipulations to control and remodel him into exactly the object she wants him to be, realizes that hold her beauty power once had on him is gone, and says "enough".
If he has truly matured he looks for a woman who herself has grown up, given up the cinderella fairy tale, claimed her own power instead of indulging her addiction to her beauty power, decided not to rest on her sense of entitlement and expect to be given to the rest of her life and instead has actually realized that she has to give instead of just receive and consume, and wants to be a partner. Sadly not all men do this and settle on trading their worn out 40 for two 20s. Even more sadly, if he has grown up he will likely have to spend a long time alone and looking for a woman who has, because women in the 90s tend to demand the right to not have to.
The poisoned legacy of feminism is that it considers even arrested adolescence to be too much to ask of most women and demands the right to claim a state of infancy as the natural state for women. Just as the female infant is picked up and comforted more quickly than the male infant who must cry longer and more aggressively, ie. perform, for attention, females now feel entitled to the best of everything without having to DO anything to get it except look cute. And when they outgrow their infantile cuteness and are expected to purchase the success and money they want with either hard work like men do, or with sex in the time honored arrested-adolescent tradition, they cry "foul, oppression, backlash, glass ceiling, RAPE!!!!!!!"
I seriously doubt that there is much which can be done for most women who are now aged 18 to 35. The feminist nightmare of the more power women get, the louder they scream about not having any power is too seductive for these arrested adolescents. Every once in a while I see a hopeful sign [of a few women] who are willing to claim their own power and sexuality, but for every one of those I see 10 or 20 who are so addicted to the power of victimhood, so enthralled by the tyranny of the weak, so in love with THE BITCH, or so successful in making money off their sexuality (none dare call it prostitution) that they are absolutely unwilling to grow up.
The real "Beauty Myth" is that women have to be beautiful in order to find a mate. Open your eyes and look around you. You will see women of all sizes and shapes, beautiful and ugly as a mud fence, wearing wedding rings. Women who are not and never have been beautiful still have been able to find a man willing to make a commitment to them. These are the women who did grow up and realized that they had to offer a man some substance instead of relying on tight buns and a painted-on Kabuki mask or dishonest manipulation to trap a man into making a commitment.
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Sunday, April 10, 2005
EOTM: Sexual Psychology - Part 1 - Working Class Heroes - Puberty
Anyone who truly wishes to understand the behavior of men toward women in a romatic/sexual context these days would do well to read the following 4 books:
- Why Men Are the Way They Are, by Warren Farrell
- The Myth of Male Power, by Warren Farrell
- Lip Service, by Kate Fillion
- The Masculine Mystique, by Andrew Kimbrell
In addition, both for grins as well as an understanding of context and reaction:
- The Rules, by Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider (See if you can get it from the Library. DO NOT put money into these bimbos' pockets.) then read -
- The Code, . Do not read only one of these books, either read both or neither.
Once again we must start with the basics if we are to understand very complex behaviors. No male suddenly wakes one day a man. Human beings do not wake up into a new world every day. Their actions today are based on the sum total of life experience to date. As the old saying summarizes this wisdom, "The child is father to the man."
Sexual behavior is only one small aspect of the total human being, yet we often totally lose sight of that fact when we focus on an activity which consumes, at most, 1/2% of an adult's time and characterize and make judgements about the rest of his life based on that ridiculously small fraction. I'm sure that if the readers think about it they will realize that the reason they came to this page was not to understand the specific mechanics and motivations of male sexual behavior, but more the entire context of mating, marriage, and commitment and how male sexuality influences these. It becomes a chicken and egg cycle to determine which is actually cause and which is effect.
The differential conditioning of males and females into the social roles of "man" and "woman" begins at birth. Lest anyone make the mistake of treating the newborn as simply a fragile and precious new life, they are dressed differently. Male babies are, from that moment, touched less, smiled at less, receive less positive attention, and must cry longer or more intensely before being picked up and comforted. This differential treatment of infant males versus infant females is just as characteristic of female adults as it is of adult males.
"As soon as you're born, they make you feel small,by giving you NO time, instead of it all." -- John Lennon, "Working Class Hero"
Part 1 - Working Class Heroes - prologue
The very first thing that male babies learn is that they must work harder and more persistently than females in order to get their basic needs met. This is in fact a kindness to the male babies because these conditions will not change throughout their lifetime and they might as well start getting used to it. Males will consistently be judged more critcally and punished more harshly and, conversely, rewarded less frequently and lavishly than females for the same behaviors. Males learn, before any other skill, to recognize the conditions they must meet in order to survive physically and emotionally, and that the attributes required to meet those conditions usually include aggression, persistence, and performance.
As the young male grows, there are several conditions that get added. The first is conformity to expectations. Few adults are so emotionally ill or vicious as to punish a newborn, although some are, but by age two punishment has become the preferred means of behavioural control for most parents. This statement will probably provoke waves of protest based on a misunderstanding of the term "punishment". It is just as much a punishment to deprive a child of a basic need as it is to beat them. The old method of sending a child to bed without supper is actually a more effective means of behavioural control than a spanking because the internal emotional response to an attack is anger and retaliation or fighting back, while telling a child that he or she is so awful that they don't even deserve to be fed when hungry introduces a deep sense of shame. Shame is such an effective means of controlling behavior that many parents get addicted to its power and become very abusive of the power it gives them over the child.
Shame is entirely different from guilt, although most people confuse the two and use them synonomously. Guilt is a relatively benign emotion experienced by healthy human beings as a response to doing something which is against their own value system. It is essentially synonomous with remorse. People feel guilty when they make mistakes. Normal responses to guilt are the making of amends and the change of future behavior to avoid repeating the mistake. The ability to avoid guilt is entirely under the control of the individual through choices of behavior. We feel guilty about what we DO, not about what we ARE.
Shame on the other hand is a deep sense of wrongness; of being "broken" in a way that is unfixable. There is nothing we can DO to reduce the sense of shame except to remodel ourselves to remove the defect. The incredible power of shame to motivate people to do this, as well as how deeply associated with shame normal sexuality is, can be seen in the not uncommon willingness to have one's own genitals cut off in order to conform to some social "ideal". (1) It is difficult to imagine a culture where it would be considered shameful to have a left hand, so at some point in their life everyone would have their left hands chopped off, yet the practice of cutting off some or all of the genitals of one gender or the other is more common in human culture than its absence. Usually it is masked under some polite term such as "circumcision" which allows it to be double-thought into believing that it is a requirement of some faceless entity called "society" instead of the grisly practice that it is.
The next condition that young males are trained that they must fulfill in order to survive both physically and emotionally is competition. Conformity is not enough. It is not sufficient to simply "measure up" against a set of standards and meet the minimum requirements, that will simply allow the young male to avoid the more extreme forms of punishment. In order to secure the rewards of having basic physical and emotional needs met, the young man must learn to successfully compete against other males, and now, at the dawn of the 3rd millenium, against females.
Nowhere is this more clearly seen than in the portion of the cultural indoctrination system of children called "education". Prior to the establishment of publicly supported school systems about 200 years ago, it was the role of a multi-generational family and a community to help children learn those skills required for survival. Grading was strictly pass/fail. Pass meant you were still alive, fail meant you were dead. It was far more important to know how to plant a crop or butcher a hog than is was to diagram a sentence or solve for X. Literacy was a luxury reserved for the upper classes.
As industrialization forced men from the land which had provided sustenance for them and their families for several hundred thousand years, the needs of a captive work force required to operate and maintain complex machinery changed significantly. Public school systems developed as a mechanism for developing skills which older members of the family could not teach because they generally did not possess. It was necessary to provide both a base set of skills, minimum requirements if you will, commonly called the "3Rs" (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmatic), as well as a means of measuring the differential abilities of individuals to master the increasingly complex conceptual skills required by the developing technology. Thus individuals were ranked in relation to each other and many, if not most, teachers graded "on the curve". I have even seen teachers throw out exams on which the majority of the class scored above 90% and come back with a more difficult test to spread out the curve a bit. The forced ranking system which requires that for every individual who excels one must fail guarantees that the only person able to be truly unthreatened by the success of another is one so securely at the top that they consider themselves unreachable. Thus success breeds both arrogance and condescention.
"They hurt you at home, and they hit you at school.
They hate you if you're clever, and they despise a fool,
'til you're so fuckin' crazy you can't follow their rules."
-- John Lennon, "Working Class Hero"
The insanity of having to send a child to school, confine them to a fixed location, and provide inducements in the form of the shame of "failure" or rewarding those who "excel" with the best grades to motivate them to learn, should be immediately apparent to anyone who has spent any time with a child who has not yet experienced school. From age 3 up a child's favorite word is "why". Even younger children are so enthusiastic about exploring and learning about their world that a house must be "child-proofed" to prevent those explorations from leading them into dangerous situations. However a child's natural curiosity does not always, in fact seldom, lead them to develop exactly those skills required by an urbanized industrialized society. It is a remarkable bit of PR that the process by which a child's natural tendency to want to learn is suppressed while replacing it with conformity/competition training is called "education" from the Latin e ducare "to lead (or draw) out".
In addition, humans, particularly human males, are not by nature sedentary animals. Major constraints are required to force these children to submit to the regimentation to teach them to take life sitting down and rely exclusively on outside authority to tell them whether they are ok or not. However this destruction of their natural human tendencies is essential to training the male child to stay put in his cubicle or on the factory floor. One of the most disturbing trends of the past 30 years has been the movement away from the acceptance of this restlessless as a normal trait and movement within the largely matriarchal education system, or as I term it "the industrial skills factory", to medicate the child into submission. Any child who does not submit meekly to confinement in the ranks and files of the classroom is likely to be labeled "hyperactive" and have his body chemistry messed with in order to make him more compliant. Male children are 4 to 9 times more likely than females have such a diagnosis applied to them. This is very similar to the ratio of women who received psychoactive medication for anxiety compared to men 30 years ago.
The disparity between the real and claimed intent of the process called education is nowhere better illustrated than in that sub-system of the process euphemistically called "physical" education. There is a fascinating bit of irony in the stereotype of the "dumb jock". Have anyone tell you that he was a physical education major and I'll bet that your estimate of his IQ will immediately drop 50 points. We somehow expect that someone who excels physically cannot be more than mediocre mentally, while the stereotype of the nerdy intellectual shows that we believe the converse is also true: the excellent student cannot excel physically. The common shorthand for phys-ed, "gym class", shows the truth of the situation. In a country where obsesity is rampant, heart disease a leading cause of death, and millions are spent on "health" clubs, physical education in our public schools is little more than an audition system for the organized sports program. Those students most in need of learning about maintaining their physical health are the ones least likely to benefit from participation and, in fact, are so often humilitated by their poor performance that they are the ones most likely to seek to be excused from participation. The vast majority of "physical education" classes offered have nothing to do with exercise physiology or nutrition, nor do they include a physical assessment of the needs of the student, but rather are one more opportunity to be ranked against others. They are little besides competition training and opportunities for failure.
The bomb of puberty
We hear the term "biological clock" often these days. Women are commonly understood to have "biological clocks" that govern their ability to bear children and reproduce. As time runs out, people understand the sense of urgency that a woman feels to achieve the lifestyle arrangements necessary to support child bearing and rearing. Despite the many changes regarding marriage and child rearing in our culture in the past 40 years, the 2 parent family is still considered the ideal so, as the sand runs out of a woman's biological hourglass, she is expected to have an increasing interest in getting married to someone who can help her provide the type of environment in which to raise children.
What is less commonly understood is that men have biological clocks as well, which appear to run in the reverse direction from women's. The male's biological clock is like one of those alarm clocks which starts out softly and gets progressively louder. Young men have a clock that begins to go off about the time they sprout pubic hair and within a year or two is is resounding within them like a combination of Big Ben, Westminster Abby, and Notre Dame all combined. When puberty hits, young men are overwhelmed by a sense of urgency to get about the business of reproduction. Whether this is dismissed as "raging hormones" or given the respect it deserves, it will be one of the ruling influences of their lives for the next 30 years or so but it will peak within the next 5 years.
Someone once remarked that Mother Nature had a cruel sense of humor when she made men reach their sexual peak at 17 - 19 while women didn't reach theirs until 40, at which time men are "running on fumes". Aside from the fact that this probably isn't true, it ignores the complex biological and cultural influences which govern sexual expression and reproduction.
By the time a young male hits puberty he is about 2/3 crazy from having to continually perform and compete to gain approval and acceptance, but generally has mastered the art of conformity to expectations in order to gain the love he craves. He has been thoroughly indoctrinated in his expected role of protector and provider, and knows without question that the only permissable source of intimacy and emotional closeness for him is a from a woman with whom he is involved in a sexual relationship for which he will have to pay by protecting and providing. He has adjusted to some degree to the idea that all past actions and accomplishments expire at midnight, so the relevant question is not "what have you done?" but "what have you done for me today?" He has learned that his "sexuality" (whatever that is? All he knows is that is it somehow related to this incredibly useful tool for peeing.) is something terribly shameful and needs to be hidden, but that isn't all that difficult. Overall it sucks, but it's the only game in town and besides he was never given a choice of whether he wanted to play or not, only whether he wanted to play it well or poorly.
Then mother nature shucks out the BIG joker. BONG, BONG, BONG!!!!!
All of a sudden he is sitting there in excruciating pain as his formerly useful but otherwise unexceptional penis has suddenly begun to swell up without warning and this new addition of hair that has sprouted around it has wrapped itself tightly around the end like so much dental floss and is threatening to slice into it like a cheese slicer. Fortunately it is not all pain, because this tool formerly valued mostly for its utility has now become the source of the most delicious sensations.
The most bewildering thing for this young male to contend with is the fact that those other creatures which are as numerous as his own kind, ie. girls, have suddenly changed from being vaguely interesting, but mostly rather silly and annoying, to being the most fascinating thing he can think of. And, as a matter of fact, seem to be just about the only thing he can think of. At least 10 times per hour on a slow day.
And he is painfully aware of the cruelty of mother nature's sense of humor because he cannot escape the fact that, while he cannot seem to keep his mind off them and his incredible desire to be close to them for reasons he still does not understand, they seem to be far more interested in the type of car some older male drives, or the performance of some semi-human anthropoid in those pointless competions called sports, than they are in whether he continues to breathe or not. The only solaces he has is that he has been trained in the art of performance for approval, so some of the means to gain their treasured attention are accessible to him, and the fact that every male he knows is in the same boat even though they mostly lie about it.
As Warren Farrell puts it, she is a genetic celebrity while he is a genetic groupie. From this moment forward he will have to purchase every bit of the affection, approval, and love that he so desperately needs with his performance, his financial and status success, and his conformity to her expectations and ability to meet her material needs. It's a dirty job, but his only alternative is emotionally starving to death.
It will be many years before he realizes that he is simply responding to a biological impulse that drives every living thing, and he will have to endure much nonsense and mind-fucking about what is wrong with its expression and with him for wanting to express it. He will spend great amounts of money and time seeking its gratification, make a fool of himself many times over, love it, hate it, wish it would go away, be terrified when it is gone for even a moment, and generally experience both the best and worst moments of his life from it.
Part 2 – Puberty to 40
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