I'm getting more and more wound up about this.

I've just trawled through a discussion about monogamy and yet again picked up a thread of assumptions about men and women, which seem to be wearily accepted by women and worn with chest busting pride by men.

You know it well. We could almost put it to music. 

Men have aaaall this sperm and women have just the one egg per month. Therefore men are sooo much more sexed up and biologically designed to (chests out guys!) SPREAD THEIR SEED and women are biologically designed to hopelessly, desperately, try and pair bond, in that desperate, girly, pleading way they have, whilst denying those robust, obviously superior, goddamn it, life-affirming urges of men,  just so these marginal female creatures, (without women-no men-full stop,-and I'm exaggerating for effect by the way) don't have to spend the entirety of their lives knee deep in nappies and caring for others. (Hasn't worked has it?) Which of course we are so conveniently programmed to do according to the now seriously discredited gender studies. What a surprise!!

And the prevailing social programming is that we women would be best served (not), by understanding the male sex urge (so big, so urgent!!) and doing our wifely jobs. (Oh you're all so manly!!)

I say it's time men understood our urges. As well as doing the right thing.

Work out the maths. (I'm in the UK, I don't say math - which my Microsoft browser has just highlighted as a misspelling, curiously). As I was saying. I know, all that spermatozoa. It must be meant for someone mustn't it? Except...if men only had one or two sperm per 'issue', hardly anyone would get pregnant would they? It's not hard to understand that you aren't meant to use every sperm to impregnate an egg. It's a bit hit and miss. Kind of like leafleting an area. Only in this case it's one person. Chuck some leaflets through as many doors as possible and maybe you'll get a one or two percent response. Makes sense.

But, on the other hand, those people who get leafletted, well, it takes a lot of leaflets to respond to just one doesn't it? How many get thrown in the bin?

On the first model, with no follow up, all children will grow up poor and women will have lives of hardship. Human children have the longest childhood of all the mammals. It seems we may be designed to pair bond for at least part of our lives. Sex, as we know, releases a hormone which causes us to bond. Biologically, and for the purposes of survival, we must, unless we rapidly create some new communal ways of living which isn't going to happen any time soon, due to our patriarchal, hierarchical, possessive familial structures.

But here's the thing, who are these seed-spreading men meant to be having sex with? Has nature really designed a species in which one gender is programmed to have lots and lots of sex and lots and lots of partners, and the other gender is fighting to create monogamy, from (according to the propaganda) a desire to pair bond and have some help with the child rearing? Wouldn't nature put survivalist child rearing first?  (Dump the offspring on men and see how fast they 'pair bond' We'd last a generation). 

Or, or, is it true that nature has designed the Madonna/Whore dichotomy for real? There are the women you spread your seed around with - the whores - and the women you settle down with, the Madonnas? Do you want this to be true? So - you're having sex with all of us? Or if not, you're having sex with the hard working 'whores'. (Not my word.) And settling down with prudish Madonnas. Which in practice means you may be rearing children who are not biologically yours. And having an unexciting sex life.

My theory.

A story: Two years ago I was at a picnic for the London Atheist Meetup group. I got into a debate with a scientist, a geneticist. He spouted all the stuff about men being programmed for spreading their seed, women designed for nest-building etc. (so convenient for ALL of men's needs!!). I could not get him to answer the question of who the men were meant to 'spread their seed' with. Were men just wank machines? (Has 'wank' crossed the Atlantic yet?!-means masturbate). Which is not in nature's interest anyway.

I was surprised at my cheek in fighting my corner with a geneticist. And his later dismissal of our discussion. I thought I had a point.

I suggested to him that female sexual response is slower to heat up and slower to cool down. And, as many women know, after a man's orgasm, you may as well be lying next to a dead person. Women's sexual desire doesn't have a neat full stop. It tails off. Sometimes agonisingly slowly. Women often have multiple orgasms which don't have a full stop. There just comes a point where it's too tiring to try for the next one. Leaving you with a nagging sense of incompletion.

A few years ago I read a couple of scientific studies about sperm competition in humans and then a documentary on TV. This seemed to tie some things up. Several animal and bird species have sperm competition. I.E. If the female has sex with several different partners, at the time she was most fertile, there is more chance of pregnancy because the different sperm will compete to reach the egg. The studies I read about clearly stated humans also had sperm competition.

My theory, which seems to be somewhat confirmed by a recent book Sex at Dawn, is that women have just as much reason, biologically speaking, to have multiple partners, as men. I think it makes as much sense for women to have a polyandrous existence as for men the opposite.

It's interesting that among swingers nowadays it's become the thing to describe oneself as bisexual. ( When the correct term might be 'sexually liberal'.) Or a couple who want other couples or a single woman, for whom the wife is so conveniently bisexual. This may or may not reflect the well known polysexuality of women (showing films of men, women and animals having sex, women are very specifically turned on by all types. Men not so.) Or, maybe it's a woman wanting to please her man again with a display of lesbo sex. There are many reports of women saying they're 'bi' but being reluctant to indulge in certain activities. Or maybe, heresy!! women have a broader, more experimental sex drive. Babies will interrupt things, and the menopause might, but it amazing how different each person is.

I have come across several men who aren't as sexual as me and I have many female friends who have the same experience. Or want to get married in no time at all. (Men have the freedom to say that. We women live in fear of being called 'bunny-boilers'.) Let me guess. First thought, you guys think it's our fault? You haven't met us. I'll say no more. Men labour under this idea that most men are muuuch more sexual than women. You're wrong.

I'm sick of the pretence.

We are all BOTH of the above. As in wanting a bond. A sense of home. But also wanting excitement. Novelty. 

We are chemically/biologically designed to pair bond. (Are all these men dragged down the aisle - who traditionally ask to get married?? Something is motivating them. Maybe it's just having a housekeeper? And maybe, in my experience, and to assume men have some depth, it's more profound than that.)

But we are also designed to 'put ourselves about'. maybe all our lives, maybe parts of it. Maybe none of it. Passionate love becomes explosive with exclusivity, and having children kicks into our desire to create loyal family units, not to mention the necessity of such a set up, at least for a period.

Beyond that there is some evidence that couples who successfully negotiate 'open' relationships or swinger lifestyles are more 'emotionally' committed and have happier sex lives with each other, not to mention lower divorce rates than the rest of the population.

I've heard men on this forum trash loyalty. I would suggest emotional loyalty is the thing that matters. Try living without it. I can also come up with heart attack statistics for men with no deep emotional or communal bonds.

The truth is, with our history of religious sexual shame (which we are nowhere near shaking off), and the association of that with women particularly, no-one, NO-ONE, has a clue what women's sexuality looks like. But it's not like THAT.

Gender is so sensitive to priming and suggestion that we don't know what men are truly like either. What fun there could be finding out! What if we resisted all our gender affectations? Who are you really?

Tell you what, why don't WE call the shots for a change? C'mon women, what do WE want? Or ok, men. No gender stereotypes need apply. We know what those are!! Underneath. What's underneath???

Views: 334

Replies to This Discussion

You were right to be frustrated. Your opponent was very old school moron when patriarchy and religion dominated education. Education has only in the past decades started to break free from patriarchal and religious bias, and there is still a long way to go in correcting past biases, such as monogamy... :) The only species objective for Homo sapiens, as a sexually reproducing entity, is to find a balance between outbreeding and inbreeding, given the ecological niche of the past 60,000 years or so. Both extremes are detrimental to the modern version of ourselves. However, a shift in ecological/environmental conditions could potentially favour certain genetic subsets, and at that point some inbreeding could be advantageous. As for achieving/maintaining that balance, males and females have equal biological impetus to do so. In species that appear monogamous from a distance, up close one usually finds a subsystem of satellite males which females seek out for sex on the side, aside from the alpha males. So not only do we strike a balance between outbreeding and inbreeding, we also strike a balance on which individuals get the opportunity to spread their genes.

Okay...

 

First off, I happen to think that the human species, men & women alike, is not naturally monogamous. I don't think pair-bonding is naturally meant to be life-long. I think it's only meant to happen... well... [I honestly can't think of any other way to say this, and I really don't mean it in a derogatory fashion, so please don't take it that way]... during our "mating season".

 

I do, however, think there's a root, or base, of the stereotype you rant against here: child-bearing. From what I've read, child-bearing is a painful, drawn-out, and sometimes devastating process. Men play such a small role in that process that I understand the argument that a fetus's sperm donor shouldn't get a say in whether or not the mother has an abortion (I don't know whether or not I agree with that argument, since, being a virgin, I've yet to be in that situation... but I do understand it). So one could make the argument that breeding is a heck of a lot easier for men than it is for women, since (and, again, I don't mean this is a vulgar or derogatory way) all a man has to do is knock a woman up then, pretty much, she's left with the hard part. This may be the likely reason for that stereotype's existence in the first place.

 

That said, I, too, am sick and tired of this "women are here for man's favor" bullcrap. And I could never date a woman who thought that way (which is one of the many reasons I'm quite sure I could never date a very religious person).

There's definitely something to the sperm competition in humans.  The shape of the penis, by itself, supports that.

 

I'm not sure how much my answers will represent the norm of the male side of the species.

 

In reference to your British vocabulary, such as use of the word 'wank', I definitely have an inaccurate concept of American awareness.  My social group reads a lot of British fiction and watches BBC America.  I often find myself wanting to toss random u's into words in which they aren't needed, such as 'color'.

 

My concept of sexual desire, relative to that of females, is also a bit hosed ... as is that of stamina.  I'm one of the mutant males who has multiple orgasms.  I've yet to meet a woman I didn't wear out while I was still up for another hour or two of sexual activity.  Without the use of good lubrication, I would have a very frustrating sex life.

 

And then, after a couple of orgasms and an hour or so of sex, after my partner is worn out, I'm ready to run around the room a few times.  There's something very wrong with me, somewhere on a hormonal level.  I don't get the narcoleptic effect of orgasm, and my refractory period (when it eventually happens) is usually a minute or two, tops.

 

Likewise, in terms of libido, I'm not sure it's possible for a woman to surpass me.  She must be out there somewhere, but I've never met her.  Sometimes, my libido is still going kind of nuts on me, after the rest of my body has decided that it's time to lay still for a while and let the muscles recuperate.

 

My thought is that men take examples of guys on the freakish end of the scale and try to apply it as if it was some sort of average.  I've known a few guys who are on the opposite end of the bell curve, having almost no libido.  I'm sure there are plenty of women who would be sexually frustrated if they were in a monogamous relationship with a guy like that.  It can be annoying from both sides.

 

I don't suppose any of that is particularly useful, huh?

I am the same way. 
I don't feel very sexually attracted to anyone, but I flirt with everyone. What's my deal?! I'm serious, I don't understand myself...
Probably an attention thing, yeah.  Even if it's not sexual, for you, it still gives most people a warm, fuzzy glow to be the focus or someone's interest or intentions.
So I'm a complete user. XP Yay.

I've always thought of monogamy as unnatural...something that was imposed upon humans chiefly by religious belief systems. Most of my life since a few years after puberty, I've always had a "2nd girlfriend" or when married, a mistress. In some of those cases, my primary mate (some times married) knew about the 2nd relationship. And while I've never been a swinger as such, my primary girlfriend (or wife, when I was married) in some cases had a lover that I also knew about.

So, what has happened many times is that I've come home with the smell of another woman on me...and had to deal with whatever situation that brought up. Just as well, the woman I was living with and/or married to has come home with a faint odor of another man's cologne or perhaps his semen in her.

That often happened with a woman to whom I was married for many years. Let's call her Janet. She used to try to hide her escapades from me, but sooner or later I would always find out. Gradually, we came to a point where we didn't want to lie about our "dates," and we even became supportive of each others' outside love life. We told each other whom we were going out with and usually where we were going.

That situation was poignantly satisfying to me because she was never able to have orgasms with her lovers. (They didn't know the "secret.") She always came home aroused and frustrated, and that's when I would have some of the best sex of my life. Our relationship was much deeper than with any of our casual lovers. So naturally, because of how long we had been with each other and how deeply we trusted one another, I gradually learned the secrets of how to bring her to orgasm. I guess other "short term" lovers never had the time (and maybe not the talent) to give her what she needed.

Many times Janet came home and got into bed (waking me up, of course), full of energy (and semen) but sexually frustrated. My typical response was, "Honey, go get a towel...and please wash that cologne off your face." Our first five minutes or so of fucking consisted of my penis pumping the other guy's come out of her--which could make a big mess, hence the towel. Then in my half-asleep semi-dream state I would fuck her tenderly for a half hour or more, all the while kissing her lips, neck and ears, telling her how much I loved her and how I missed her while she was out with the other guy, and putting my fingers in the right places to take her up and over into her own unique land of shangrila. She would have wild screaming convulsive orgasms that left her exhausted but happy and then fall into a deep sleep.

So yeah, that's the period in my life when recognized that monogamy is simply not for me. When the love and trust are there, I know that I can enjoy having another woman now and then. And I can also enjoy letting my woman have a fling of her own when she wants it.

I dunno, man.  That would kind of creep me the fuck out.  Having her sleep around with other guys, without using any kind of protection ... sounds like a good way to bring home a new microbe for the two of you to share.

Also, I don't have a cuckold fetish, so I wouldn't be so wild about the idea of my wife sleeping with other men.  If she was into other women and wanted to sleep with other women on the side, it would be different.

Even then, I'd prefer she find a girl that she could have an actual relationship with, whom we could check out and make sure was an alright sort.  Going out and picking up girls at a bar or club and sleeping with her immediately is also an unsafe activity.

It's dangerous out there, nowadays.  Engaging in high-risk behavior brings you into contact with others who engage in high-risk behavior, who are more likely to have a disease of some sort, themselves.  It's an exponential risk increase.

Yeah, now I see that I didn't mention this all happened in the 70's. Today, I'd need a lot more assurances about safe sex before I'd want my woman to have a lover. But for me, this experience was a big turning point in my life about being free from jealousy and possessiveness about a woman. And if I want the freedom to have an extra playmate, I've got to be willing to allow my woman the same freedom. And while I never was able to go down the polyandry road, a limited version of that seemed to work out very well for us. In addition to that, I learned that when two people really love each other and want to stay together...BUT, they've lost interest in their sexual relationship with each other, breaking up is not always the best thing. We especially liked the fact that I was personally acquainted with her lover, and she also knew my now-and-then girlfriend. There wasn't any intrigue. We simply had a "date night out" now and then.
Males only evolve competitive sperm in species where sexual promiscuity is the norm. And when you think about it, what would be the point of spending all of that biological energy on specialized sperm cells designed to kill other males' sperm cells unless it was beneficial to do so (from a passing-on-the-genes perspective)?

Apologies for sounding like I was 'ranting', and possibly underestimating the awareness of the English vernacular across the pond. I admit I was surprised when the film 'Austin Powers, The Spy who Shagged me' was released as I understood that in the US, a shag was either a dance or a haircut. Here it was the first word I ever heard for sex, aged 7. I guess information technology has closed that gap.

I think the point I was really stretching for is - we don't know enough. The jury is still out. The different stories just on this thread highlight individual difference.

And I'm tired of hearing so many women try so hard to be wonderfully understanding about the Great Male Sex Drive. Which, if we're good mates and good women we will either 'be on permanent standby' for, or understand the male urge to 'spread his seed', and/or become bisexual if it keeps his interest.

I say this not because I think these things are inherently wrong, I mean, let's all keep each other happy. But because we are only now, tentatively coming out of hundreds if not thousands of years of paying no attention to female sexuality, sometimes denying it exists and if it's obvious, punishing the woman. And in the relatively recent modern era, being called frigid after it was decided we did have a sex drive but most women didn't respond to unembellished fucking. When is it ever our way? We who are just as primed by nature to ensure the survival of the species as men? And my suggestion is, we may sometimes be more sexual. We may be the ones with a stronger biological imperative to have sex with as many men as possible.

One study recently carried out here of men who kerb crawl found that three quarters thought prostitutes dirty and inferior. Women have been punished for centuries for being sexual. How then do any of us know what a woman's nature really is? When do we know it's safe to 'come out'?

Here is a quote from a book I have about Princess Diana and her virginal status, miserable marriage (on honeymoon, on the royal yacht, she was seen by staff going to Charles' rooms in just a white shirt, plaintively saying "C'mon Charles, do your duty". She was rebuffed), and the both public and hidden (pseudo-sacred?) status of female sexuality : "Sexologists throughout the 20th century have been foraging among the detritus of women's disappointment to find the runes that might yield evidence to explain women's complaints, tears and estrangement. Indifferent to the autonomous site of pleasure in women's anatomy, men, have been asking the same question as Freud; what do women want? The question responded to the phenomenon of frigidity which, until relatively recently, pathologised women's disappointment as if it were a disease. But sympathetic sexologists had also been suggesting throughout this century that far from being a feature of femininity, frigidity is not the absence of desire but rather the body's covert rebellion against 'wham, bam, thank you ma'am'. Frigidity came to be seen not as feminine failure but feminine protest." 

I'm throwing in a few disparate thoughts here. Another obstacle for women, is it seems evolution has not always been helpful to us, anatomically. The clitoris varies in it's position relative to the vagina, from woman to woman. Some women get a lot of stimulation from intercourse, others very little, enjoyable as it may be anyway.

Sean, I'm not sure what you mean? I've not heard of specialised sperm cells designed to 'assassinate' others?! Not all competition involves 'killing' the opponent. But maybe I've been playing Scrabble all wrong! Sperm from just one man 'competes' to reach the egg, only sometimes obliterating the weaker sperm. This is heightened in sperm competition where the seed of several partners fight to reach the egg. Best sperm wins. Plus a greater chance of pregnancy. And are you saying promiscuity isn't the norm for us? At least for sections of our lives? Are you so sure?? And my pet theory that this could explain women's capacity for multiple orgasms. (Joseph being a male exception! I knew you'd chip in! I have heard of this in other men, but still, you're rare. Apparently it can be taught. According to the Tantrics). And therefore I'm suggesting that polyandry is as justifiable as polygny. 

There is an article HERE drawing together some studies. It's funny, I can read that and still hear the grim tolling bell of centuries of sexual judgement and religious repression in some of the quotes. 

Overall, as I tried to imply, we are culturally cut to a male/female template which if the most recent gender studies are anything to go by (which are always ignored by the mass media-they like the ones that confirm our predjudices - not the ones that show no difference) suggest that we are all profoundly ignorant and unaware of how much we are not ourselves. From even before birth the grounding and priming of what is expected of our gender begins and the smallest reminder of it, in studies, (questionnaires that are the same but one set begin by asking participants to state their gender, the other half not) is enough to cause women to appear more empathic, more into bonding and connecting and men to turn into the Man with No Name, the Lone Hunter, who makes his home wherever he lays his hat etc. 

The truth is that studies without gender 'priming', across many skillsets, show very little discernable difference at all.

A very interesting book about the unknown aspects of how we 'become' our gender -Delusions of Gender. Another review: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/10/AR2....

Oh what the hell, another -:http://www.cordeliafine.com/delusions_of_gender.html 

And I still say most people want to be loved. With constancy. However you negotiate it. But maybe some group sex thrown in!

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