Monday, February 8, 2010

Comfortably Numb

"I thought you would find that interesting" she says and shows me this article on sexless relationships in ELLE Magazine.

I take a short glimpse. There is a name that pops out: David M. Buss, PhD.

That David Buss? One of the (arguably) most eminent evolutionary psychologists? In ELLE magazine?!?

My guess about an article on sexless relationships in a woman's magazine would have been that it is all about blaming the guy.
You know, how he should be more considerate. Bring flowers and make time for romantic dinner dates. Put down the toilet seat. And there like.
Buss doesn't sit well with that.

And indeed, after skimming through the anecdotal intro (you can't coerce female readers into a fact-loaded article without giving something to hang their feelings on), the article did none of the above.

So who's to blame for the cold sheets in contemporary marital beds?

"Well, it's possible that sexual liberation is in some way to blame."

You don't say.

It gets even better:

"Monogamy becomes tougher if your single years conditioned you to expect different kinds of sex with different kinds of people. Newness, mystery, and novelty have always been an essential part of the turn-on; after a while, coming home to hubby, even if he's Mr. Right, may leave you cold."

Yes, that is an actual excerpt from ELLE magazine, written by a woman for women. Telling women that their sex problems are not just due to their careless hubbies, but too their own undoings in their autobiographical past. Something they need to blame themselves for. Something that cannot be undone.

By the way, ELLE defines as "sexless" a relationship with less than 10 times of intercourse a year (!). The frequency of such relationships is reportedly more than 10% (although I would add some to that given that people are not honest about things that make them look bad even in anonymous surveys).
So what is a man to take from all that?

"He told me, 'I'd rather be with you and never have sex for the rest of my life than not be with you.' " Five years on, she believes he's been true to his word ... He says he just wants to be with me; he loves me," she says. "Honestly, I'm kind of shocked by it," she says."

Yeah, betas don't get sex and the contempt for their willingness to stay celibate from their wives - all at the same time. So much to the role of love.

[There is something a man can do at this point other than run away (if he deems it worth it). We will discuss relationship game in one of the upcoming posts. Most Provider type of guys, however, will feel comfortable in their effortless role of following her demands. After all, it's what says she she wants, right?]

Well, if he's okay with it, why bother? Because it doesn't stop there. If a Provider fails so utterly in keeping his wife interested, the inevitable will happen: Cheating. And it won't be him (even if he wanted to, no woman in her right mind would a man like that get into her pants).

"Ironically, her husband wasn't the one who strayed. A month after they returned from their honeymoon she found herself entangled with a married man, feeling something she had all but given up on: turned on... It was really, really fun."

Given the last quote it is understandable that ELLE readers do not feel quite as depressed about their fate as you would expect them to. The article ends with another glimmer at the end of the tunnel: Flibanserin. Yeah, that's right. A drug to restore some libido. The message is clear: anything, literally anything, but a return of the clock to the well functioning system we had before the sexual liberation that is really to blame.

In the long run, truth always wins. So, I am not surprised that we are witnessing a transition of evo psych knowledge from obscure internet forums and blogs into the mainstream media (some more recent examples are currently being discussed over at Talleyrand's and roissy's). But what women seem to fail to see is that every time that happens there will be a few less men willing to tie the knot. You see, while nobody really cared about the staggering number of sexually unsuccessful guys given women's preferred choice of the few chosen, but now that there is an increasing number of frustrated ex-sluts failing to attract both the harem-keeping Adonises and Joe Average alike, things are about to change (see the excellent discussion at In Mala Fide).

The situation that sexual liberation created is one of two male populations that are unwilling to marry: The alphas who enjoy their freedom and variety.
And the betas who either become hypo-attractive given the experiences of women in their teens and twenties or who refuse to pay for something that had been given away so freely.

In the end, it is women who will suffer the most. Women are not satisfied with endless sex flings. They want a long term relationship (at least in addition), and they undermine their chances at that - on the personal and the societal level. Given all that, I find it amazing that an article like that does not end with a pledge to raise a "smarter" generation of girls but rather tells their mums to swallow pills (or to cheat, if you know how to read between the lines). Women should be aware that with all that knowledge coming out into public inspection we certainly will soon face a smarter generation of men.

13 comments:

  1. What is with the anti-women rhetoric? Obviously, as you state, this article was written by women, for women, which demonstrates the fact that many women are seeing the same truths you see, or at least they are working within your framework. I enjoy reading your blog (& others similar blogs), but I get easily frustrated with the aggressive attitude toward females, with this "us vs. them" attitude. Maybe some of us on are the same side...or are you only hoping to reach a male audience?

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  2. Miss. Of course there is an anti-female slant to this. Woman oppress men in today's society. Men are treated like slaves and are sick of it.

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  3. Anon. 7:03 PM said:

    "Maybe some of us [are on] the same side"

    You say that and you don't even identify yourself?

    LOL. Strange, what passes for alleged 'common sense' these days.

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  4. yah...notice the lack of shaming language surrounding the anecodtal cheating. "fun" was the word used to describe it. she must live in a no fault state of divorce law.

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  5. I'm not sure if I should raise my glass to the idea of a smarter generation of men, or break down the correlations drawn within the article and from the article that could have, and do have, more than one possible source.

    You're looking for specific conclusions to the point of ruling out other options, solely to support your argument, and not just the conclusions of that argument, but also the corollary evidence given. There's a lot more at work here than is suggested by this article.

    But it was written for Elle.

    Better that than Cosmo, I suppose.

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  7. "The article ends with another glimmer at the end of the tunnel: Flibanserin. Yeah, that's right. A drug to restore some libido."

    And what will that do?

    Except provide more sex to the lover by the side?

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  8. "A month after they returned from their honeymoon she found herself entangled with a married man"

    This is why I hate Elle and the attitudes it pushes. Let's rephrase it

    "A month after making solemn vows to a man to grow old together, make their future together, and be faithful to each other in thick and thin, this disgusting whore jumped into bed with a married man in order to satisfy her gina tingles, and with no regard to the marriage she had so quickly betrayed or the other family's home she is helping to wreck."

    If her husband shot her dead, I'd acquit him on the legal principle of: this whore deserved it.

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  9. Gentlemen - may I remind you of the wise words of Master Dogen:
    "Learning about the way women really are, the way they really think, is 100% indispensible. Putting them on a pedestal because your heart swoons is a terrible mistake, one most of us have made at one time or another. But an equally terrible mistake is to let yourself swing so hard to the other end of the pendulum that you hate women. Good God, don't hate women. They're so lovely, they offer so much. As long as you aren't confused as to what, precisely, they offer, you are safe."

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  10. I came to the conclusion recently that we in the modern west do this with everything. We never, never, attempt to correct destructive behaviour, we only seek to remove the consequences of that behaviour.

    Like you said, anything but face going back to the working system we had before. If only we can find some ingenious enough way of divorcing (pun intended) collapsing marriage rates from sexual liberation, delinquency from single motherhood, inflationary recessions from inflationary booms, then all will be right with the world.

    Anything but face that we may have to tailor our desires to what is possible, not the other way around.

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  11. From what I've heard, sexless marriage is an even bigger problem in Japan than it is here in the U.S.

    Show me a world where men are honored and glorified for being men, and I'll show you one where husbands and wives keep a healthy squeak in their bed :)

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  12. Maybe Tiger read that article and got confused. Not sure why his activities were greeted with such horror though.

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  13. "A month after making solemn vows to a man to grow old together, make their future together, and be faithful to each other in thick and thin, this disgusting whore jumped into bed with a married man in order to satisfy her gina tingles, and with no regard to the marriage she had so quickly betrayed or the other family's home she is helping to wreck."

    Krauserpua, that is EXACTLY it. Absolutely spot on!! Well said, man. Funny that in the olden days, this is what people would say to shame an adulterous woman. How times have changed, now the woman is praised for cheating, and chided for remaining faithful.

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