SEX, above all else!
Length: 3,000 words
Reading Time: 10 minutes
In the aftermath of the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s-1970’s period, Western culture has assigned sex to be the central identifying factor of human flourishing. The issues which animate the gaping divisions of our culture are all sexual in nature, and the reconstruction of our cultural institutions during the same period — whether economic, familial, educational — have all been undertaken to enable a widespread sexual libertinism, even if the enjoyment of the same is often theoretical for many individuals. This central emphasis on sex has grown steadily, and with increasing intensity and fervor, over the past several decades. Today it’s pretty much at ground zero — culturally viewed as the sine-qua-non centerpiece of all human flourishing.
- Our most burning political and cultural disagreements are all about “sex” and issues relating to sex.
- Sex is what people are trained by the culture to desire in and for themselves, from the inside out.
- Sex lies at the center of the behaviors expected from peers in the second and third decade of life (HS, college, 20s, and even 30s for some).
- Our expectations of courtship and marriage and even of adolescence are all molded by the idea that sexual satisfaction, and an “on-time, normal sexual developmental process” (which always involves sexual activity in adolescence or shortly thereafter) is the central element of human flourishing.
- Our life scripts for the timing of critical life events are designed around accommodating plenty of sex with various partners prior to marriage.
Against this background, with all of its implications, the centrality of sex becomes the dominant theme of much of human life.
Of course, sex IS central to human life for biological reproduction and the inherent satisfaction of our desires for intimacy. It always will be, and always has been. But it has never been *culturally* centered like it is now, such that it crowds out other cultural, developmental and human priorities and thereby becomes a system of “adverse domination”, whereby everything is measured through sexuality and its impact on sexuality and sexual expression, either implicitly (most often) or, increasingly, explicitly through various means of cultural, educational and, ultimately, political advocacy.
This deliberate and powerful cultural centering of sexuality serves to take a naturally strong thing — the power of sex — and put it on steroids in terms of its impact on the lives of individuals. It becomes the dominant theme of life, instead of taking up its proper place as an important theme, like food is, but not the dominant theme to the exclusion of other, important themes in a balanced approach to life.
This shift in emphasis unfortunately doesn’t end when one “graduates” from the young set, because there are large industries, including beauty, cosmetics, medical, fitness, porn, and the celebrity class, that are all bringing sexuality and its related emphasis on “hotness” and “sexiness” forward in life, with many, many more “hot” women appearing now in the late 40s-50s range than ever before. This trend will continue, so as to keep sex on the front burner in terms of how it is perceived in importance, throughout most of life, age-wise, in the decades ahead — to age levels where, in the past, this kind of sexual emphasis was simply either exceedingly rare if not totally absent.
It’s high school forever and ever… and ever, it seems. It never ends.
The Way It Is Now – A Gynocentric Socio-Sexual/Marriage Marketplace
The system is pathological precisely because it places sexual satisfaction — and that means primarily the female sort, because the male sort is much easier to manage — at the highest level of social, cultural and personal importance. This is a problem because women tend to be sexually fickle. While the sexual desires of each sex, taken apart from the other, are antisocial in effect, the sexual aspects of the prior regime did not represent the vindication of male sexual priorities, but rather the vindication of social priorities by channeling sexuality towards children and the married life. That social system was replaced by a gynocentric one centered around female desire, which itself is based around women’s fickle and hypergamous sexual tendencies, which are not socially beneficial in the least.
Women, as we know, divide men into roughly three groups sexually.
One group is the group with whom many women would engage sexually without a prior relationship, or even the hint of one, being in place — men who generate such a strong sexual desire, or lust, in many women that women are simply drawn to them sexually. Women will also have relationships with the men in this group, many of which end up rather dramatic and rocky due to the large degree of sexual attention these men get, but few will be able to have a truly successful long-term relationship with one of these men.
A second group contains the men with whom women will engage sexually in the context of established (or getting established) relationships that are based on compatibility, common interests and goals, and a host of other factors women find attractive for long-term pairing. Women do fall in love with these men, but the degree of pure sexual lust is lower than it is for men in the first group, generally (in some cases, much lower). What these men do not provide in the grist for sexual lust, they provide in various kinds of support — emotional, paternal, mentoring, and financial. The sexuality in these pairings, over the long-term, often is mostly comprised of “maintenance sex” or “intimacy sex”, but this isn’t very satisfying to women over the long-term, and in our culture, with its radical centering of sexuality as the core of human flourishing, it often fails as the basis of a successful marriage.
The third, and final, group contains the men who simply do not register sexually or romantically at all, and are often described in the ‘sphere as being “invisible” to women. These are recognized as males, or perhaps as men in a theoretical sense, but do not register sexually as men, but more as a greyed out/neuter gender to women. Women depend on these men in various capacities indirectly due to their participation in the economy in various support and utility roles, but this of course is very different from individual attraction and interest. Most women, if pressed, will claim that “some woman is for him somewhere, but he is just overlooking them”, when in many cases they know, interiorly, that this is not the case, but the reality is that life is not fair and that there are losers of both sexes and so on. That is certainly true, and always has been, but …. there are way more male losers now than there have ever been in history, because of the hypergamous skew in a female-centric mating system, and their numbers are seemingly growing generationally.
A key idea is that women expect and demand different things from each type of man.
From men in Group One, they expect access to exciting (even if actually unsatisfying at times) sex, emotional roller coaster rides and the like. From men in Group Two, they expect egalitarian partnership, respect, support and emotional intimacy, without drama. From men in Group Three, women expect them to stay away, period, if they don’t want them to get HR called on them.
Women demand each from each, according to his “type” in the woman’s mind.
As Jim says in The Three Magic Words (2020 August 7), women’s ideal world is a world of women having unlimited access to loving, supportive, beta husbands/fathers AND unlimited access to hot, strong, dominant monkey sex with physically or socially dominant men. BOTH at the same time, not both in the same man, because women know that both in the same man is exceptionally rare. But since most women can’t pull this off (i.e., they can’t juggle one man of each type at the same time), we instead get the defect/defect or cooperate/defect models being deployed. (Jim’s post on this, linked in this paragraph, is essential reading for understanding these forms of relationship style, because they are dominant in our culture currently.)
Jim also states, quite accurately, that there are almost no men that can balance the alpha and beta roles successfully, either before or after marriage. The few men who can be both are the rare exceptions, because they must be both in a way that is credible to a specific woman. Women’s definition of credible is weighed heavily towards the sexual authority line of men, while the support/intimacy traits are merely an afterthought. Scoring well in the sexual authority area typically requires that a man has already proved himself to be credible to other specific women (pre-selection), and this necessarily requires a long list of pre-marital sexual conquests. Moreover, it should be obvious that the man is the first kind of man described above, those for whom women will not impose rules for sex — that means he has broad sexual authority with women generally, and is in control, and therefore is the kind of man they want the dominant monkey sex from, and not the second kind of man who has to trade something (negotiate) for sex. Thus, the nature of the beast requires that the man’s history should involve “conquests” and not only girlfriends.
Either way though, attracting and/or retaining a woman for or in a marriage in our culture today requires a very strong emphasis by the man on keeping her well and truly properly banged silly — a requirement which was never in the course of history expected of men as a requirement to avoid punitive divorce, and one which most married men will NOT be able to satisfy for the reason I set forth above — that is, most men are not the kind of men that women want this from.
Case Study: My Own Marriage
My own marriage had similar features, albeit being different in a million small details from any other marriage situation.
I had a very low N when I met my ex, and she was N=0. We had all kinds of non-intercourse sexual interactions before we married, but never all the way, and always restrained. In part that was Catholic upbringing (we weren’t avid Mass goers when we met, but the upbringing rubs off) which led us both to place a different value on sex (compared to the wider culture), and to have a visceral negative reaction to sex outside of committed situations. We came close to sex a few times during the engagement but at that point it was more of a religious matter to avoid it because we had gone back to church by then.
Anyway, we never ended up having great sex in the marriage. Chemistry was not good when it came to actual sex (which was surprising given our own history). Libidos were not matched and “sexual styles“, for lack of a better word, were divergent. Desires seemed to ebb and flow on different schedules, and on different wavelengths. We tried various things to make the sex work better, and it just didn’t happen. My ex was also high libido, but she had specific sexual desires which were different from mine, while also having an array of limits and strictures despite being high libido.
We also preferred sex at different times of the day, when our energy levels were different, and this was a big problem. (My high energy time was her low energy time and vice versa.) All of these issues could have surfaced and been vetted had we actually had sex before marriage, and if we had done that, we probably would have not gotten married after all because we were a bad match sexually, and in this culture people simply do not marry someone under those conditions if they are aware of it before marrying. We were both very intellectual, so I think we each figured we could work it out somehow, but sex doesn’t work that way — it has its own rules and if you don’t really fit viscerally, your sexual satisfaction with that person will be subject to a “cap”, as it were, beyond which it will not go.
In any case, I am fairly sure that a marriage with the kind of sex that mine had was a marriage that didn’t end in divorce prior to 1970. It was the kind of situation people muddled through. But in our culture where sex is centered in an extreme way, it is simply very hard to keep a marriage together in that kind of situation — the pressures are too great, especially on the woman (because poor sexual satisfaction for women is seen as a telltale sign of a “bad kind of old fashioned marriage”, in the eyes of most everyone).
Prioritizing Sex upsets the MMP – and Marriage!
On the other hand, however, in this imbalanced culture, with its overemphasis on sex, we will of course struggle ourselves to find mates if we choose to personally de-prioritize sex. That goes without saying, or it should. It works to impede getting a woman to want to be with you.
I experienced the same thing as Jack did — when I was chaste, women sensed it, did not like it, and backed off. My general lack of interest in pre-marital sex cost me several relationships in my early 20s. Women want to kick the tires sexually as much as men before they select a man as a mate — again, because sex and sexual satisfaction are at the core of human flourishing today, and, for women specifically, one of the main points of feminism was to increase women’s sexual satisfaction by allowing them to pick mates based on sexual satisfaction, desire, and prowess, rather than economic need and other situational/contextual factors.
This isn’t often spoken of openly, because it doesn’t need to be — women “just get it” about the liberal sexuality contained in feminism, because it is visceral for them. Female sexual desire and its vindication lies at the very heart of the feminist enterprise, full stop, and this is so obvious to women in a visceral sense that it doesn’t need to be stated openly — and men’s cluelessness about it doesn’t change that reality.
As Jack reported earlier, the average age of first time sex is getting lower, and the average age of first time marriage is getting higher. One factor contributing to these trends is the reality that women want and expect rather satisfying sex today. To make matters more difficult, there is an element of fantasy which people find difficult to part with, especially women.
If they don’t realize this before marriage, they invariably realize this afterwards. There are so many women who get unhappy in their marriages due to sex, even though they never insisted on having a porn star sex life prior to getting married, only later on decided that they wanted to have much better sex in their marriages.
Case Study: Nikole Mitchell
In the scenario where a woman doesn’t realize her incredible expectations for sex until after marriage, we find that “success” isn’t only about attracting a woman up front, vetting properly, and getting into marriage.
This is what happened in the Mitchell’s marriage, to some extent. Nikole (W from last month’s series) wanted better sex than John (H) was providing, and that in itself was a 180° turn for her. She talks in a few places about how she became more aware of her body and her needs and desires and so on, and as she let go of formal Christianity, she embraced her sexual desires more fully. But the key is this was a change from what she was when she got married. According to her husband, she had a mainstream sexual history, and was rebellious as a teenager, but she wasn’t promiscuous. She claims that she never had an orgasm until she masturbated herself later in her marriage and that she never had an orgasm with a partner until after her separation. Certainly sexual attraction would have played a role in Nikole’s choice of a husband, without question, but it was only later on that she adapted the cultural norm of centering her life around her sexual satisfaction and pleasure. It seems likely to me that this led her to proceed to become dissatisfied with her marriage over time, as normally happens, and potentially unattracted to her husband. And eventually she left the marriage to pursue a new career which she found sexually exciting, as well as lucrative.
The kind of sex in marriage that almost all of our grandparents, and by extension almost all married humans, had until only a few decades before, is no longer generally acceptable now that sexual satisfaction is at the core of human flourishing, culturally, in a way it never was.
This generally lower level of “sexual satisfaction” in the past was much less of a problem because throughout history we did not have a culture that placed human sexual satisfaction at the center of its definition of human flourishing. Today we do, so what was tolerable for much of human history is now intolerable.
My specific point here is that even if you do “save yourself” prior to marriage and end up finding another low or no N woman, it does not at all mean that the problem of sexual satisfaction will not come up in your marriage, and blow it up.
For some (most) women, it makes them uninterested at the outset, whereas for others they will only become dissatisfied and uninterested later on, during the marriage — but the common theme is that eventually, given, again, the central emphasis our culture places on sexual satisfaction (especially for women — our own satisfaction is much easier to attain), if the man isn’t pounding the woman how she likes, when she likes, as much as she likes, and as violently as she likes, rejection will happen. Whether or not you are married makes no difference at all, unfortunately.
- Σ Frame: Things I Learned About Women in College (2018 April 4)
- Σ Frame: Sexual Compatibility is Dependent on Sanctification (2020 March 2)
- Σ Frame: Sanctification and Sexual Compatibility (2020 June 19)
- Σ Frame: Sexual Authority (2020 September 30)