The Failure of the Sexual Revolution by Out of the Darkness

The Failure of the Sexual Revolution

by

Out of the Darkness

 

I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking about the horrible quagmire that modern dating has become. Fortunately, I’m out of that game now. I’ve spent the best decade of my life blissfully married to a wonderful man. Before that, however, I was admittedly a bit of a slut. I’m infertile and have been since I was 18. It’s a running joke that if I end up with an unplanned pregnancy, what I really need is a priest, because it’s a bit late to have a replay of the Virgin Mary. Between knowing for a fact that pregnancy from sex is impossible and a religious usage of condoms in any encounter that wasn’t preceded by exchanging recent STD test results, I saw no reason not to be. I was assured that this was healthy behavior for a young woman. Looking back on my experiences and looking at the world around me, I disagree with those assurances.

Let’s start with some background information. Women have stronger hormonal responses to sex than men do, in that we have a larger oxytocin surge in response to all physical touch, but especially orgasms. This is great for bonding. While the initial hit of serotonin and dopamine gets less strong over time, the oxytocin levels can be maintained with regular contact and your brain eventually ties the oxytocin high to the other person. This creates a deeper relationship bond. Men get vasopressin, which pushes them to protect the person their brain has tied to the production of the chemical. There you have the brain chemistry basis for a relationship. (Interestingly, oxytocin and vasopressin aren’t produced for every partner in men. This is probably why men are more capable of casual sex. Oxytocin only? Good lay. Oxytocin and vasopressin? Next wife.)

Also of note, there’s a an interesting physical phenomena in which male DNA can and does cross the female blood-brain barrier even if they don’t reproduce by a process called microchimerism. That actually means that every time a female has unprotected sex with a male, she stands a pretty decent chance of carrying around his DNA in her body forever, and it may express in her future offspring even with another man. Ladies, you should think really freaking hard about whether or not you want any part of a man’s DNA in you and your future children before you have sex with him.
What does any of that have to do with the sexual revolution? The more partners a woman has, the harder it is for the brain to tie the release of oxytocin to a specific partner, which interferes with long-term bonding. Sex becomes less personal, less intimate, and more about pleasure. Humans have more or less known this forever. We didn’t understand what the brain was doing, but we knew that a woman who slept with a bunch of men before she slept with her husband was a less devoted wife. Every culture on earth has had strong social mores against female promiscuity. Male promiscuity was frowned upon, but not as strictly. If a man made a child with a woman, in pretty much every culture on earth, he was responsible for both the child AND the woman. Shotgun weddings are the most classic example of this, but there’s mention of similar situations in the Bible. It’s not a new trend. The message is pretty clear: if a man doesn’t want to keep that woman for life, putting his dick in her is a pretty bad idea because he might get her pregnant.

Culturally, this translated to the development of marriage for the production and raising of the best possible offspring. Polygamy was acceptable in many cultures for a variety of reasons, but there was mostly the expectation that women would be faithful to one man. (I’ll note that every old religious text I’ve found encourages men to be close to their wives and treat them with affection. Even religions that encouraged men to discipline their wives encouraged a very affectionate relationship in a marriage. This translates into the encouragement of continued oxytocin production and the maintenance of the relationship bond.)

There is also a nearly universal theme in the pursuit of sexual relationships between males and females. Males pursue females. The often unspoken side of this is that women lead the pursuit. We entice a man to continue pursuit. Historically, a successful woman in this regard enticed a man to continue this pursuit all the way to the altar where a trade is made between the two sexes. He gets access to sex from her and to presumably father all her offspring. She gets access to his protection, resources, and affection.

This leads into the point of this little rant. Sex is a commodity. There’s an economic exchange going on at all times, throughout all of history, for this sought after commodity. Because men want sex more than women do, sex is the female commodity. (Because I can already hear the, “REEEEE!” F*ck off, feminists. You’re entitled to your opinions. You aren’t entitled to your own facts.) Commitment, however, is a man’s commodity. Throughout history, the social mores that encouraged women to be chaste have placed a hard restriction on how much sex there was to be had. If a man wanted it, he had to accept that he either had to share the same women everyone else had access to (prostitutes and loose women) or he had to trade commitment for sex.

This was an overall positive for women and for society at large. Women got security and partnership for raising their offspring. Single motherhood is an undeniable contributor to poverty. A requirement that men had to put up commitment to get sex reduced poverty for women immensely. It led to better quality offspring, which in turn provided for parents in their old age. The parent most likely to need care was the mother, because we statistically live longer. Society benefited from men working hard to collect enough resources to attract a prime woman for marriage. Men built civilization itself in the pursuit of getting laid, and women controlling access to sex was a huge part of that.

Enter the birth control pill and the sexual revolution. Suddenly, women were “free” from the consequences of sex (children). “Free love” made promiscuity a virtue. Sex was no longer tied to commitment, and men could get it for the price of dinner and drinks. Now, marriage rates continue to fall right along with the number of children produced. Meanwhile, the age of first marriage and divorce rates continue to rise. There are oodles of single mothers, and all the subsequent issues with poverty and poor outcomes for children. Why? Because women devalued their commodity and increased the value of men’s.  Here’s a link to a video that explains what’s happening now in purely economic terms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO1ifNaNABY&feature=youtu.be

What happened in biological terms and how it relates to mate selection is even odder. This is a vast oversimplification of an immensely complex topic, but here’s the basic idea. Hormonal birth control works by convincing your body that it’s pregnant. This changes how women select for a mate. Our primal monkey brains signal off of different things to tell us, “This is a good man and you love him.” Instead of us selecting for particularly dominant, masculine men, regardless of other features, we instead look for a more passive man, as if we’re pregnant already and don’t want to be around a potential physical threat.  That doesn’t sound so bad, but when you decide to actually make a baby and stop taking the birth control, your entire perception of the man you chose shifts as well. Sometimes he’s still a good candidate for a mate. Sometimes you end up thinking that he’s a little bitch and you need to get yourself a real man. Everything changes, and not always for the better.

This change in preferences for softer, more passive men is also dangerous to us. Take hard look serial rapists who’ve been caught. They aren’t typically big, threatening looking men. They’re smaller, more passive in appearance. Many of them are rather charming. There’s a wide variety of biological explanations for this, and it’s seen in many other species. A beta male will essentially rape a female and leave her with the kid. How many women have met a charming, pretty man, gotten pregnant by mistake, and had him take off to never be seen again? This shift in mate selection is making us chose less ideal men to mate with.”

None of this is good for society, and it’s worse for women. Women bear the hardships of raising children alone. We bear the poverty. We bear the neigh-impossible task of being both mother and father. If you believe feminist drivel, women have the worst parts in divorce too. (I would argue that fact, but that’s a wholly different rant.) Even more than that, men are less willing than ever to commit. They’re keeping the value of their commodity, and when women are “ready to settle down” in their 30s or 40s, they’re past the optimal age for fertility and men in their generation are looking at women in their 20s to trade commitment for sex with, especially if they want kids. Those mature women are stuck with their cats unless they’re lucky enough to find an acceptable man in an increasingly small pool.

The sexual revolution failed us. Feminists pushing the idea that bad “male” behavior was “equality” failed us. We failed ourselves. We’re failing the children being produced with no male to guide them. I don’t know that there’s anything we can even do to fix this mess now, but let us at least recognize that the whole experiment was a colossal cluster-fuck and we need to, as individuals do better.

499 responses to “The Failure of the Sexual Revolution by Out of the Darkness

  1. c4c

  2. > no male to guide them.

    Plenty of males around, just no men.

  3. We could have just read the user manual and the terms and conditions, but oh, well.

  4. Who wrote this?

  5. Chesterton’s fence comes to mind.

    Also, why so many kids are abused/murdered by mom’s boyfriend. (Which I’m only taking one way, start with the dead/abused kid, not with mom’s boyfriend.)

    • The story of Cinderella is a kid being abused by dad’s new wife, but it’s the same dynamic. (Though given the differences between male and female sexual response, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if abuse by mom’s new boyfriend is far more common than abuse by dad’s new girlfriend. Plus, there’s the whole “women usually get custody” thing going on in American divorce cases, leading to a lot fewer chances for dad’s new girlfriend to have the opportunity to abuse the kids.)

      • A girlfriend abusing the kid screws up the sales pitch, to continue the metaphor.

        • Didn’t think of it that way, but yeah, that makes sense. And to flip it back to the original version, a boyfriend abusing the kid can (if the mom isn’t being smart) be less of a red flag than it should be, because as I said before, the hindbrain is stupid. Because a man with a capacity for violence will trigger the hindbrain of many women to see him as attractive because he could be strong enough to be a protector. The forebrain of any intelligent woman should say “Abusing my kid means he won’t be a protector, he’ll be a threat”, but the hindbrain is stupid and only sees the “strength” part. And we know that the sad reality is that many people, women and men, don’t listen to their forebrains enough and listen far too much to their hindbrains. Hence the number of abused women, and/or of abused kids whose mothers don’t immediately ditch the abuser (let alone testifying against him to put him in jail).

          • scott2harrison

            You are assuming that the woman cares about the abuse of her kid. A sickening percentage don’t.

            • Or are the abusers themselves. There’s this awful news article, as a particularly brutal example; there’s news today of a woman being charged with her daughter’s murder, and I’m sure loads more.

            • Some of them care, in that they are pimping the kid.

            • Hmmm. Wonder if that bonding with their child effect doesn’t work as strongly with single parent women as it does with married women? Might be tougher to research that one.

              • It would be very hard to get an apples to apples comparison, even if you can properly define it– about the only match would be something like a woman whose husband is constantly threatening to divorce her.

              • It might be a case of variance in the standard deviations — fewer bond “normally” while more bond in the pointy parts, looser at one side of the curve or tighter (Gilmore Girls Effect) at the other side.

              • Anecdotal and only a single dot on the graph, but I was a single parent and I bonded most intensely with my child. Anyone, anyone who tried to harm her, I’d harm them right back, to death and with my bare hands, if necessary. I was actually rather shocked at how intense this feeling was; very primal, unthinking, mother-tiger to the max.

          • You’re saying “the hind-brain is an ass”. Works for me.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        In a day and age when a woman’s “retirement plan” was being taken care of by her son (or daughter), it made sense for a woman to care more for her own children than the children of her husband’s earlier wives (or other wives).

        While Cinderella’s treatment was extreme, the idea of a stepmother not caring about a stepdaughter (or stepson) wasn’t uncommon when the Cinderella story started.

        • A lesson for the children that adults, especially those not related to you, don’t necessarily have your best interests at heart. Not a popular Aesop in this day and age, but probably one that has more than a bit of truth in it.

        • Especially given the good odds that she would not have such a child in her old age if she had to split the resources.

      • Cinderella’s story involves two step-sisters, so the abuse is an expression of the second wife’s innate desire to secure family assets for her genetic line. Other stories make this more explicit, with the child of the first wife being treated well by wife #2 until a child from wife #2 arrives.

        I recently “read” (thanks, Audible) a collection of English fairy tales and this is a common theme.

        • There’s also the stories about the maneuvering by the wives and concubines of polygamous rulers. Only one son can be the heir. So there’s a tremendous amount of scheming by the mothers to ensure that *their* son ascends to the throne.

          • Yeah – not going to get into Jacob’s home life just now.

            • I always read those stories, and thought “A smart second wife would have had her children become the heir’s trusted advisors and such. The heir’s a target; the reliable advisors and assistants benefit from the success of the heir without being this big, fat “KILL ME” target…”

              • Unfortunately…

                1.) The “get your kid in as the heir” thing is in part a survival maneuver by the wife/concubine. Each woman in the “marriage” is probably hated by at least half of the other women. So there’s probably going to be a purging when one of the sons finally ascends. That son’s mother is going to clean out her rivals. If they’re lucky, they’ll merely end up out of the palace. If they’re not lucky…
                2.) It can be hard to predict who the heir will be. Just because the king wants one particular son to ascend doesn’t mean that son will ultimately be the one to do so. Deciding that you’re going to have your sons act as advisors to the heir means that you’re risking that the heir will actually ascend.
                3.) It’s not unheard of for heirs to decide that seemingly loyal brothers are merely biding their time waiting for their own opportunity. And if the heir’s mom hates the advisor’s mother…

                And advisors are often targets, as well. People covet their position and closeness to the seat of power, and make plays to get them disgraced and/or executed.

                I was recently watching a foreign historical period piece. In it –

                The king has a wife, and a concubine. His lack of affection (arranged marriage) for his wife turned her against him early on, and she spends much of the series poisoning his two sons through her against him. He loves the concubine, so the wife hates the concubine as well. The concubine has a son. Said son is the favorite, so the wife and her two sons see the concubine’s son as a threat. They successfully get him kicked out of the palace at one point, and make multiple attempts on his life. There’s no love lost between the two “camps”. And there’s no way that the concubine’s son would be allowed to serve as an advisor to the oldest son.

              • The queen mother has a lot of clout that the other women do not have.

    • Why is a good question, probably related to the reasons why new lions kill the kits after taking over a pride. For humans, statistically the person most likely to abuse a child is the mom’s boyfriend, least likely is the biological father.

      • Exactly. And this is why I didn’t date seriously when my daughter was a child. This, and that it isn’t unknown for pedophiles to make friends with a single mother just to get close to her kids. So until my daughter was in her teens – not just nope, but hell nope. My judgement of her father had been faulty, so … not taking another chance on a disastrous man.

  6. I recently read a fascinating book about how magazines promoted the sexual revolution, and how feminism shifted from its original intent.

    Subverted, by Sue Ellen Browder.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      I read a version of Hollywood’s history fairly recently, after Weinstein.

      Hollywood’s influence on pop culture is non-trivial. The culture of promiscuity and sexual exploitation seems to date to Hollywood’s very beginning. Look at changes of mores over the sexual revolution, at what feminism promotes, and consider whether the appetites in Hollywood would have had incentive to promote such in support of sexual predation.

      Hollywood’s support for gun control makes much sense in this light. Someone who routinely sexually assaults others might be really discomforted by the possibility that a victim might be armed and capable of lethal self defense.

      End Hollywood, end Media, end their rape culture. (Seeking cheaper methods of making media product in order to wreck their economic foundations, which would do a lot to address things.)

      • Kira Davis has a piece over at RedState saying that while no legal proof is available yet the next Hollywood sex scandal may be breaking already – At Nickelodeon.
        https://www.redstate.com/kiradavis/2017/10/24/next-big-hollywood-sex-scandal-already-breaking…at-nickelodeon/

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Saw that, thought about posting it here. Would seem to explain some things. It has me wondering about Disney, which has also had a lot of young actors.

          • Maybe the Disney channel– although I hate their stuff with less of burning passion than Nick’s live-action stuff.

            Now I’m wondering if that reaction might be some sort of unconscious “ick” response to a predator at work, because it really is not logically supportable.

          • The House Of The Mouse has a rep for very thorough internal thought policing, as well as the rapid defenestration of any employee not in compliance with all corporate conduct diktat. It also sounds like they drove the pushing The Harvert and his familiars out of Miramax back when he was otherwise untouchable back in 2005.

            I will be very surprised if core Mouse House is pulled in to this round of ritual denunciation at all.

            That being said, acquisitions and properties (like ESPN and ABC) are fair game, with special attention to ESPN given the many women who’ve been moving into the sports broadcasting world of the past 20 years.

            • Two thoughts;

              I agree with you that Disney seems unlikely to get caught in the “Hollywood pedophiles” scandal.

              If they AREN’T, because they systematically kept a corporate eye on things, the Progressive Left will, at some point, find a way to make them Bad People for it.

              • Oh, definitely so.

                If they don’t flat out blame them because someone worked for them and was fired for inappropriate behavior.

              • Brand damage to the Mouse would be severe if any proof of abuse should appear.

                OTOH, a look at the “subsequent” careers of so many of their “properties” — e.g., Miley Cyrus — suggests that, at a minimum, the experience of growing up Disney is not an entirely wholesome one. Not that I am suggesting any form of child molestation so much as a distortion of values and of mis-met needs.

                • After that Vanity Fair spread I figured Miley had been molested by her dad…they didn’t look like father/daughter but barely legal May/September romance.

                • The typical excuse for the behavior of former Disney child actresses is that Disney clamped down on them in order to preserve the wholesome image that Disney wants. Once they age out of their contract with Disney, there’s both a desire to do all the things that Disney wouldn’t allow them to do, and also to prove to the greater entertainment community that they’re no longer a goody-goody. So you have a young, newly adult woman who wants to go hedonist, and people who are actively encouraging her to go hedonist “for the good of her career”.

                  • And it is good for her career, if not her sanity, because “girl next door as porn star” really does sell like crazy for a rather noisy sub-group.

                    • Yes and no. It didn’t do much for whassername, the oldest daughter on 7th Heaven. I gather her career has recovered, but sometimes that “stretch” loses one audience without winning a new one.

                    • Playboy did the “girl next door as porn star.” This sunk down to sleezier levels. Honest, when the word got out about some twerking antic at some awards show, I went “You don’t know where that’s been.”

                      That said, the “flip out to break a stereotyped image” seems to be surprisingly common. Even Julie Andrews went topless in a film.

                    • And then there’s the oddity of Roman Scandals with a big musical number with the Goldwyn Girls as chained up “nude” (long wigs) slaves. And one of the Goldwyn Girls was a certain Lucille Ball.

                      But that’s not why you seldom if ever see or hear of the movie. It’s that another number had an Eddie Cantor trademark: a bit of minstrel show, complete with Eddie in blackface.

              • It is the same problem the BSA ran into, that of screening level. It is relatively easy to screen out gay scoutmasters, much more difficult to screen for pedophiles. When the focus is on protecting boys from sexual predators the decision is easy, when the focus is on respecting the civil rights of homosexuals the decision is easy. It is when you try to do both at once that things get confused.

              • I don’t know much about Disney, but I have heard that it is a very ‘gay’ organization. Anyone know if this is true? If so, I would think they would be very favored by the Left.

                • I suspect they aren’t prepared to subsume their profitable business to Teh Narrative, so being gay friendly for employees and guests doesn’t count.

                • A lot of SJW’s accuse Disney of “cultural appropriation” and “racism.”

                • Disney corporate employees tend to be left-wing. This isn’t conjecture or educated guesses on my part.

                  That’s all I’ll say about that specifically.

                  On a related note, keep in mind that ESPN is owned by Disney. And ESPN is believed to be losing viewers en masse because of its insistence on injecting left-wing politics into *everything*.

                  • So long as folks line up for the movies, the parks, the Broadway shows and the Disney On Ice spectacles it seems likely Disney will bear up under the burden of SJW disapproval. They’ve always been resolutely middle-brow and will not readily stop mining that lode.

                    I expect ESPN will become part of the corporate lore, in the file of “Things Not To Do.”

                    Notice how they’ve already jerked Marvel Comics’ chain.

                    • Please note, it is not impossible that this is a head fake, an effort to lure back alienated readers without making significant changes. Given typical lead times for comics production they could go several months before any changes became apparent, and many months afterward without folks noticing that this change is primarily in subtlety, not content. Once the dial has been cranked up to eleven long enough, backing it down to eight can seem a major improvement.

                      MARVEL EXEC ACKNOWLEDGES COMIC SALES TANKING AFTER FOCUSING ON SJW TOPICS
                      Posted on April 2, 2017
                      In one of the most no-brainer interviews conducted with ICV2, Marvel vice president of sales David Gabriel finally acknowledged that shoehorning in divisive, poorly written, forced-diversity, tokenistic Social Justice Warrior topics actually took a toll on the sales of Marvel comics.

                      First up, Gabriel acknowledged that adding in all the diversity changes to their core cast and bringing in new replacements to fan-favorites may have scored them social justice points with the media, and a lot of back-patting, but it didn’t translate into sales…

        • ABC News has its own instance of a guy getting his willie in the wringer:

          Acting like a pig costs Mark Halperin his job
          Longtime political journalist Mark Halperin is out at MSBNC following accusations that he sexually harassed five women while head of ABC News.
          [SNIP]
          Halperin, the co-author of best-selling book “Game Change,” was accused in a CNN report of groping the women in the 2000s while he worked as ABC News’ political director.

          The women told CNN that the 52-year-old reporter propositioned them for sex, grabbed their breasts and rubbed his erection on three of them. They said they did not report Halperin.

          [END EXCERPT]

          Seriously, what kind of guy thinks that’s an effective means of interesting a woman in playing around? Maybe in movies of a certain character, but in reality? I don’ theenk so, Mark.

          I swear, the most depressing aspect of all these tales is how crass the behaviour is. Doesn’t anybody practice seduction these days? Do people not grasp the underlying message of the adage, “I may be cheap but I’m not that cheap!”?

          • Sigh. And agreed. Does no one flirt charmingly today . Make the target of their intended seduction feel cherished (even if it is only for a few minutes)? Do no males — especially in the rarefied levels of Hollywood even bother?
            Look, in pictures, the Harbeast looks like a … well, like an fat, overweight, gotch-eyed guy. Perhaps if he had been charming, attentive, emotionally generous to the objects of his momentary affection/lust, he might not have been in the trouble that he is today. But apparently – that was just too much bloody trouble. (he, I think, was always more about humiliating women, anyway. A lot of suppressed rage there, I would guess.)
            I’ve been flirted with by experts — guys in Greece, and I swear there are probably no better experts on this on the face of the earth. I believe that they played the odds, for the sheer fun of it. No better sport on the face of this earth than a charming flirtation between man and woman who don’t care if it leads to anything more than … a brief conversational interval, wherein the guy lets a woman know (in the most tasteful way) that he finds a woman appealing. It’s a delicate art. I fear that it’s been lost, thanks to crushingly and -always-willing-to-be-offended third-gen feminists in the Western world.

            • Austrians flirted better, when I was traveling in Europe. Or maybe it’s my temperament worked better with Austrian guys, who btw are the sexiest men on Earth. I have NO clue how they managed to produce Hitler.

              • Weren’t Hitler’s mom and dad some measure of cousins? That could explain it.

                • In the small-town Europe of the 1800s, it would have been rather hard to avoid, depending on your definition of “cousins.”

              • There’s a reason Joschka is Austrian…

              • A bunch of us Finnish students once had a week long study excursion with Austrian geology students back in the 80’s… have to agree with that.

                • (And I’ve been on similar excursion in Italy, several holidays in Greece, spend some time in France and what was then West Germany, visited most parts of British islands… 🙂 )

              • Easy, Sarah: Take charisma and turn it to evil. Physical and emotional attractiveness are ultimately tools that can be misused like any other.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Nod. I remember hearing that in person (at least in the beginning), Hitler could be quite charming.

            • Flirt charmingly with the wrong women these days, and you’re liable to be having a sudden discussion with HR about sexual harassment.

              • That does not always end the way HR expects.


                Although this would justify the high salaries that department gets paid.

            • I know what you mean. Flirting – the clean, wholesome delight of being charming for the ego boost of having a member of the opposite sex just smile at you and think you’re lovely/handsome with no expectations of it going beyond the smile and conversation and pleasant company – was fun! I remember walking down the streets of Paris (with my family; youngest brother glowering and shocked at my father being less of a prude than he!) and having older gentlemen doff their hat at me (slight curtsey in reply; earning more approval! yay!) or being offered a rose at random, ‘because you’re beautiful, and a beautiful woman should have a rose’ and then the young man in question walking away, pleased that he’d made someone smile in surprise and delight… or that time that we happened to be in Amsterdam, on the Queen Mother’s birthday and it’d turned all of Amsterdam into a huge rave and spontaneously dancing for a few steps with other people celebrating the day…

              I think these are things lost now as well, along with the little joys of male-female interaction that don’t involve getting naked or sex.

              Those little things made me smile for quite a while after the event.

              • I suspect strident feminists do not flirt, cannot flirt and resent the holy heck out of those who can.

                Their male equivalent are those guys who think a smile and a wink are an invitation to go all Harvey* Weinstein on a gal.

                *Out of respect for a certain large rabbit that first name will go unused in this context.

            • I enjoy flirting. I just have a hard time generating the confidence to do it in person. But it is fun. 🙂

          • Another head rolling, rolling, rolling, keep them heads a’rolling:

            Leon Wieseltier acknowledges ‘misdeeds’ with female colleagues
            Former New Republic owner says famed literary editor was investigated for sexual harassment in 2014.
            By MICHAEL CALDERONE 10/24/2017 04:59 PM EDT
            A company backed by Laurene Powell Jobs, the philanthropist and widow of Steve Jobs, severed ties with former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier after learning of “past inappropriate workplace conduct,” the company said in a statement.

            Wieseltier, who commandeered the back-of-book at the The New Republic for three decades, was to helm a new journal for Emerson Collective, which is backed by Powell Jobs, who recently agreed to acquire the majority of The Atlantic magazine. The first issue of the magazine, Idea, was expected to run this month. The staff, which included veteran editor and literary critic Adam Kirsch, has been let go.

            Wieseltier, in the statement, acknowledged that he engaged in behavior with female colleagues that left them feeling “demeaned,” and offered an apology.

            “For my offenses against some of my colleagues in the past I offer a shaken apology and ask for their forgiveness,” Wieseltier said in a statement. “The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning.”

            • The first issue of the magazine, Idea, was expected to run this month. The staff, which included veteran editor and literary critic Adam Kirsch, has been let go.

              In other words, everything has been written and edited, needing only layout to fit in the advertising, and now none of the staff will get their work back? Ouch.

      • Nearly two decades ago, I discovered what I now call “The American President” mistake after the movie of the same name.

        The entire political and romantic conflict in the movie goes away if you posit that the man character dealt with his “true love” by getting engaged to be married before jumping her bones in the Lincoln bedroom.

        It has only gone down hill from there. Finding any television show, movie or novel in which the defacto moral course for a hero or heroine isn’t

        1. Date someone
        2. Discover you really care about them & that they’d be a good life partner
        3. Have sex
        4. Move in together.
        5. Get married. Maybe have a kid first, YMMV.

        Even Larry Correia did it in MHI. What a mess.

        • I married my best friend, at a time in life when I was MUCH too stupid to do anything that smart on purpose. Coming up on a third of a Century. Still my best friend, in spite of ALL our plans derailing.

        • Novel?

          Madeleine and the Mists

          Hmmm. She’s married and a mother when the book starts. Does it count that that’s not the backstory? Or are you allowed to let your characters be chaste in an epic fantasy setting?

        • It doesn’t necessarily work all that well now, or already didn’t back when I was young. Not for a woman who is not even close to being a “10” in looks, anyway, and can’t fix that fault with character traits due to being painfully shy. Too much competition who will sleep with him as the first thing so if you don’t a very good chance he will just go with somebody who will.

          So there is hell of a lot of pressure to go straight to sex whether you feel comfortable with that or not.

          • Sad to say, you’re right. That was then, this is now.

          • Although a good friend of mine’s friend (we were both bridemaides at her wedding) got married like this: She identified the traits she “couldn’t live without” (competence, liked to read, not TOO much shorter than her, no debt, etc.) as well as identifying likely places where such men would be. She (1) got physically fit (2) mastered cooking and (3) started volunteering at two local museums likely to have scientists on staff who would be likely matches.

            She did indeed snag someone, despite being of average looks (she was under thirty at the time however) but I’ve no doubt it’s because she went at it as if it were a job search. She seemed quite happy with her husband, and they did have a daughter a few years later.

            It seems a bit bloody minded, but it worked.

      • Considering that sexual deviants basically flocked to the entertainment industry, it’s not surprising that Hollywood would be rife with them and their productions pushing their brand of sexuality.

        Performers usually were itinerates moving from town to town. They were therefore able to avoid townsfolk stringing them up for their deviancy; provided they didn’t stay too long, or corrupt the mayor’s kid. \

        Money equals power. The rich have always been able to buy their sex by one means or another, as well as buy their way out of trouble. Considering Weinstein’s reputation, he probably got off just as much from dominance games as he did from possible reproductive purposes. Of course social media now gives us the ability to Down Vote him (Regardless of guilt or innocence. That was such an interesting The Orville episode.)

        • That was such an interesting The Orville episode.

          Wasn’t it though?

          I had some strong knee jerks over several plot holes points* which I managed to suppress by making the assumption that such tendencies are in homage to similar traits in ST:TOS and do not (precisely) represent gaping holes in The Orville‘s writers’ brains.

          *Likely too many for discussion, especially as any discussion would assuredly develop additional such structural flaws. I have come here to praise The Orville, not to bury it.

        • if I were more prone to having nightmares generated by such things, that episode would have given me nightmares, because a system like that would be almost impossible to change, since anyone who tried to change it would be almost certain to get “corrected”. And not because of secret police or government surveillance, but by the actions of their peers causing the nail to be pounded down.

    • Thanks for the link; the book is now on my ‘get next time I have spare funds” list.

  7. The social contract that was a driving force that helped build and define our Western Society has been altered. Even if we didn’t often understand the underlying reasons for it, we understood our roles and responsibilities. Now the roles are muddled and no one wants to admit to responsibility. At some point we’ll figure out a new social contract. At least I hope we do, otherwise we’ll end up absorbed into another culture, or dead.

    • And the other culture has a good possibility of being Ahka lahka dahka with burkas. Because it provides easy answers and clear roles, and humans like that.

    • There are still a few social conservatives around fighting the resistance to the sexual revolution and holding that the Pill did not repeal the 7th commandment. It appears to have been a losing fight because the Weinsteins and their ilk so overwhelmingly dominate the mass media, but such is the power of illusion.

    • The problem is also that unless we let THEM write that social compact, we’ve got about a third of the population living within our borders that will feel NO obligation to keep that contract, even if they sign it. Instead, they will start cranking the ratchet. You cannot have a social compact with them.

      Tl;DR: A compact means both sides have to trust each other to agree with it and keep it.

      • Or enforce it in an Old Testament sort of way.

        (The idea of cutting animals in half, then having the covenant members walk between them, signifying “so let it be done to me if I welch on this contract.”)

        • Elizabeth Creegan

          Interestingly, while God passed between the pieces of the cloven animal, Abram (Abraham, but before God told him to change his name) wasn’t asked to and didn’t.

  8. Reblogged this on westfargomusings and commented:
    The social contract was altered. I really hope we figure out a new one soon, while we’re still around.

  9. Are you sure that women in premodern times lived longer than men, as a statistical average? Pregnancy and childbirth were high-risk situations back then, and a sexually active woman was likely to undergo both repeatedly. The old equation was that men risked their lives as soldiers and women as mothers of soldiers. But many men spent much of their lives not going into battle; not so many women spent theirs not giving birth.

    That’s not necessarily incompatible with there being significant numbers of widows, by the way. In many societies it was customary for men to marry later in life, and to marry younger women (Alcott’s formula is half the man’s age plus seven years, but in Greece, for example, the gap was wider than that). A young woman who married an older man might outlive him—but still end up dying when she was younger than he was. (Say, for example, she’s 15 and he’s 30. He dies when he’s 50 and she’s 35. Then she dies when she’s 40, having outlived him by five years.)

    I’m not saying that the demographic pattern I’ve suggested is the one that actually obtained. I’m just saying that it seems possible, and I’d like to see more specific evidence.

    • In many societies it was customary for men to marry later in life, and to marry younger women

      That’s why we’re still pay a pension from the Civil War and nearly 90 pensions from the Spanish-American war.

    • If a woman survived child birth her chances of living to a ripe old age was good. If she did not her husband was likely to remarry. Because sex. If he had living progeny because child care. That wife might well outlive him.

      • Good point there. Anyone who does serious ancestor research soon realizes that if a woman makes it through her child bearing years alive, she’s likely to outlive her man. But everyday life for men could lead to death at any age. Falling off a horse, crushed by a wagon, falling off a scaffold, just a few of the accidents some of my ancestral male relatives died from. Then there’s the one who died on the first day of Gettysburg. A lot more men died in battle then women.

        • Montezuma’s widow, having outlived two Aztec husbands, proceeded to outlive four Spanish ones. And unlike Henry VIII, didn’t help any of them along. (She was pretty rich when she died, on the evidence of her will.)

    • Women who don’t die from something just tend to live longer.

      You’re right that a lot more things were killing folks, though.

      • Oddly, men who don’t die from something tend to live forever. 😉

        Or, an old-ish joke: With all this health craze, some day, a lot of people are going to be really embarrassed, lying in a bed, dying of nothing.

  10. “It’s a running joke that if I end up with an unplanned pregnancy, what I really need is a priest, because it’s a bit late to have a replay of the Virgin Mary.”

    Tangential to your main point, but I’d like to point out that Mary’s was hardly the only miraculous pregnancy in the Bible. There was Sarah with Isaac, Hannah with Samuel, and Elizabeth with John just to name the first three that come mind. It seems like one of God’s more popular miracles was to give a child to someone who thought she couldn’t have one.

    • Add in second son with us. We still have no clue WHY but more importantly, since we took a look at the mess that my first caeserean made of my reproductive organs… well, we no longer wonder about the string of early miscarriages or how difficult it was to conceive after (i.e. one of my ovaries was bissected and stuck to the body wall with scar tissue. My uterus was a mass of scars). We wonder that I got pregnant without trying to and carried to term.
      I have no idea WHY he needs to be here. BUT clearly Himself wants him here.

    • Which, given the whole Creator nature, isn’t that surprising.

    • My godson, as well. Considering *conception* was “snowball at the end of the road of good intentions” likely, carrying to term and birthing a healthy (and huge) baby boy counts in my book.

  11. I don’t know that there’s anything we can even do to fix this mess now, but let us at least recognize that the whole experiment was a colossal cluster-fuck and we need to, as individuals do better.

    It may have happened in Western society before with silphium. Apparently it was so successful a contraceptive or to induce abortions that it was harvested to extinction. This was in the 3rd to 2nd Century BC around the Mediterranean. That nice heart shape we see every Valentine’s Day. Guess what: that may have been what the seed of siliphium looked like.

    It wouldn’t have been a direct parallel with modern contraceptives, and due to the lack of mechanization back then wouldn’t have had quite the cultural impact. It would still be interesting to look for cultural changes before and after.

  12. The often unspoken side of this is that women lead the pursuit. We entice a man to continue pursuit.
    As someone I know puts it, “I chased you until you caught me.”

    • How do you get a dog to chase you? Run away.

      “How do you lead a pig?” (Try to take a bucket of feed away from him or make a trail of feed works.)

  13. That’s really hard hitting but true

  14. And I liked this article; maybe because it played into my own beliefs, but I still enjoyed the brain chemistry aspects, etc.

    Either NBCNEWs.com or MSNBC’s website had an article from Slate (“Sex is Cheap”) about why easy access to sex was destroying male ambition: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/02/sex_is_cheap.html#p2.

    • Well, if working to get a better woman doesn’t do any good not only are you not getting laid but you’re a chump for paying for the goodies someone else is getting.

  15. Oxytocin only? Good lay. Oxytocin and vasopressin? Next wife.

    You do realize you’ve just provided scientific justification for the Glittery Hoo-Ha.

  16. The assertion is frequently made that while men find about 50% of women (in their age range) to be sexually attractive, women only find about 20% of men to be attractive. The argument then continues: most women who get married will necessarily be married to men they are not very sexually attracted to…and that in the past, since women tended to marry as virgins they didn’t know what they were missing…but today, many will have had sex with several men including at least one to whom they *were* hyper-attracted, and hence will be frustrated when they finally marry a guy who likely does not measure up to their past peak experience…cue divorce, or at least an angry marriage.

    I think there are problems with the way the 20% number was derived (from photographs, which are certainly not a perfect indicator of sexual attractiveness), but it’s an interesting line of thought.

    • An additional problem:
      women may find one in five guys visually attractive… but it’s not going to be the same one.

      I still can’t see what is supposed to be all that in Tom Cruise, and from just pictures Cumberbatch is just goofy looking. (In motion? K, then I can see it.)

      Heck, there are probably women who don’t think that RDJ is attractive. De gustibus…although I’d look at ’em funny. 😉

      • RDJ = Robert Downey Jr., I assume?

      • “An additional problem: women may find one in five guys visually attractive… but it’s not going to be the same one.”

        Why a problem? Seems more like a benefit.

        • It does major damage to the theory that thus most women will be with someone they’re not attracted to.

          I, too, think it’s a GOOD thing.

        • Does to me too. Alas, thus far all the guys I’ve found really attractive have really nice wives. Apparently I have a good eye and poor timing. *shrug*

          • Some women would see that as more of a *challenge*.

          • *chuckle* At least it shows you have good taste. I’ve known some women who *couldn’t* pick a good one, married or not, to save their lives. Such females are the kind I think truly need a matchmaker. Someone *else* to pick for them…

      • I’d say RDJ is reasonably attractive, but he doesn’t break into my top ten. I agree with your assessments of Cruise and Cumberbatch, though.

        You can look at me funny all you want. =)

        • Goodness, I have no idea how we’d figure out a top ten, especially not with how behavior screws up the looks theory.

          For example, I really didn’t see the appeal of Loki in the Avengers movies…until I saw the actor being himself, and suddenly Loki is attractive. The “kill it with fire” response vanished because of non-looks or even character behavior related knowledge.

          • I suspect some of the appeal for Loki is the love-of-the-bad-boy thing. I don’t think Loki as a character/person is at all attractive– I mean, really, Loki over Thor?– but I think Hiddleston is. Although I prefer him with the dark hair that he has when playing Loki. His natural tousled blond hair doesn’t appeal to me nearly as much as the dark haired look.

            I haven’t worked out a definitive top 10, but I can think of 10 actors easily who I think are more attractive than RDJ. I do have a definitive top 5, though. Oddly, one of the things that attracts me to someone is a really good singing voice, and I have no idea what sort of evolutionary niche that would fill.

          • Herein lies the rub: women are not as driven by “pretty” as are men. They can enjoy looking but are prone to move their relationships on deeper factors. One reason why older men retain their marketability better as they age is that an older man’s character is (believed to be) more written in his appearance.

            • It’s funny you say that, considering the comments on “character” I heard today.

              heard:That shirt has *character.*

              said: It’s also got enough holes to qualify for minor sainthood and a motor oil stain that’s older than you.

              heard: ‘Swot I said! Character.

              *shakes head* Makes me second guess whether this “character’ stuff is worth it.

          • Top 10 is much easier for men.

            It seems most married men start with “#1: The babysitter”

          • Hiddleston’s ability to completely change from Loki to his normal self is really amazing – though, supposedly he’s a bit of a prankster too.

            I’ll cheerfully admit that the Hollywood guy I find attractive is Keanu Reeves – especially when he smiles. I turned into a puddle of goo watching The Lake House and Something’s Gotta Give. I guess I also find Chris Pine and Colin Morgan (Merlin) cute – expressive eyes, cute smile.

            …Excuse me. I’m going to go turn into a pile of goo staring at that photo of my husband that’s stuck to my screen.

            • Especially when he goes from crazy violent guy to that adorable smile– folks have started a minigame of trying to get him to break character at cons.

              *looks it up* Holy cow, he’s our age– Elf and mine, I mean. I would’ve sworn he was a LOT younger. Eh, actors!

              • LOL!

                The guy who yelled “MY WIFE LOVES YOU!” at him made him break character. Dude showed up in a different con later on to shout “MY WIFE STILL LOVES YOU!” I thought it was cute of the husband (he clearly loves teasing his wife!), and Hiddleston’s reactions were adorable too.

            • If you haven’t seen it, his appearance on Top Gear was quite amusing.

              He does excellent impressions. ^_^

            • Years ago I was watching a talk show because they were going to interview Jeremy Brett. This lanky Britt comes out in baggy white pants, a blue Hawaiian shirt with great white flowers and deck shoes without socks. He throws himself into the guest chair and slumps there. O.K., not exactly Holmes. Or Freddy Eynsford-Hill for that matter.

              He chats, the voice is right, but it is … different. The subject of Holmes comes up. In the blink of an eye the voice shifts to a the cadence with which I had become so familiar and everything about the man sharpens into Holmes. Holmes in bizarrely casual modern clothes.

              • Years ago I saw Joel Grey on a chat show and the talk turned to his Kit Kat Klub MC of Cabaret. In einem Augenblick his face transformed to the characters, proving he needed no make-up to play that gargoyle.

                While cruising youtube videos for the new Thor flick I watched Mark Ruffalo discussing playing the Hulk and his work with motion capture and he would acquire and shed the massive bulk of his character in a single stride, demonstrating how much he contributed to the CGI.

              • Oooh, I LOVE it when they do that– the guy who does Loki does it a couple of times in interviews, and there’s some other examples of geeky type actors doing their character in street clothes.

                …gimme a spoon, I am eating it up. I SO ADMIRE that kind of skill! I have since I totally fan-girled on Andrew J. Robinson hopping in and out of characters when I was a teen. (he was that evil SOB in a Dirty Harry movie, Pinhead, and Garak.)

                • There is that story of Marilyn Monroe, walking on a street while talking with some reporter (?) and nobody seemed to recognize her. The reporter asks about it, and she changes her bearing, walking and speaking style and transforms into the famous actress Marilyn Monroe, and now people notice her. The idea that Marilyn Monroe was a character Norma Jean was playing, and playing well, and that she was perhaps a very skilled actress after all except she got stuck into that one character because that was what people seemed to want, every time.

                  • “Oh, you want her?

                    Love that story.

                    I actually have used it a little- I noticed that being, well, me– freaked out some folks.
                    So I have “flutterbrain.” She’s not dumb, but…she’s like randomly brilliant. She’ll say something smart, then flutter away from it, not even noticing she just corrected someone.
                    Especially if I am fluttering away to watch a kid? Folks accept it.

                    • Makes me think of something from one of the Mallorean books. They’re trying to get information from the group of mystics on where to find the Seers, and the women go off with other ladies to do some “women’s work” kind of thing. When they come back, they tell the others where to look.

                      One of the ladies tells them that Ce’nedra had let her eyes go completely vacant and babbled like she hadn’t a brain in her head, then when she had them off guard, she asked where the seers were, and one or more of the other women glanced in a particular direction, giving away the information (even though later I got the idea that even that may have been planned ahead).

                  • I remember reading that account as well – so well that I used it in a scene in one of the Luna City books:

                    “I’ll bet all my old pals are wondering why I have a date with a movie star,” Berto ventured, at about mid-point in their evening.
                    Amy laughed. “I’m not being a movie star,” she explained, with an air of indulgence. “I’m Marigold Amy Yasbeck, my very own self. I’m not ‘on’ – there’s a difference.”
                    “What are you, when you’re ‘on’?” Berto inquired, honestly puzzled.
                    “It’s when … oh, heck, Berto, it’s easiest to show you. Hold these and watch.”
                    They were passing the front of the Café. Because of the holiday, the Café had a special supper menu, and were doing a booming business in coffee, cold drinks, cookies iced in red, white and blue, and the ever- popular cinnamon rolls. There was a good crowd at the tables, inside and out. Amy pulled off the gauzy shirt and handed it to Berto, along with her glasses, and the elastic band from her pony-tail. She took a deep breath, ran her fingers through her hair, which instantly became a thick, glamorous mane and before Berto’s very eyes, Amy transformed. Her posture and bearing changed. She appeared to glow from within, as she stalked into the Café like a panther on the prowl – lissome, dangerous and drawing every eye to her, as if she was suddenly the most luminously gorgeous and confident woman in the world. Berto could swear that conversation in the Café paused momentarily, as Amy asked for two coffees and two of those lovely frosted cookies. She came out of the Café in the same manner, her hands full. She handed Berto the cups and the cookies, took back her shirt and in the same unsettling manner of her transformation, put on her glasses, and bound up her hair.
                    “See?” she said, biting into a cookie with ravenous appetite. “That’s ‘on.’”
                    “Wow!” Berto exclaimed. “That was totally awesome. You wanna do it again?”
                    “Nope,” Amy replied, completely her every-day Amy-self again. “Wears out the batteries.”

                  • Archie Leach claimed to have performed the same trick: “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.”

                • Garak! He was WONDERFUL. And you have GOT to read the book he wrote about the character. Talk about really getting into the head of the character. Woah.

          • Loki would be an entertaining dinner guest but I’d bring Thor home to meet Mom. Except Mom also likes Thor.

            • See, Thor would be an awesome gaming buddy– but I could never consider him for a “Take home to mom” type, or even someone to date. (Assuming, for a miracle, I was anywhere near him for appearance rating.)

              He’d be fun to be around, but I wouldn’t be able to respect him enough for a healthy relationship. He’s not stupid, but he’s got big enough gaps that it’d play into my weakness and I’d eventually ACT like he was– but oh, it would be so much fun to have in him a gaming group, for the back-and-forth of the playing up of the big “dumb” guy and the mischief.

      • There’s an Agatha Christie quote to the effect that even the most unassuming man will find that he is not only attractive but maddeningly attractive to some particular woman.

        • A possible problem arises when it’s not the woman he *wants* to be attractive to, and she’s… persistent. 🙂
          (Therein lie some number of plots.)

          • Yep… been there. Didn’t bother buying the T-shirt.

            • You didn’t have the restraining order printed up on a tee?

              • Oddly enough, it’s never quite come to needing a restraining order. However it did mean a few years of LITERALLY not dating anyone because I had a loon-bat chasing off any woman I got even remotely close to. Sadly, that particular dry spell hasn’t really stopped. Said loon-bat now acts like she hates me, but I’ve gotten so used to not dating, it’s become very hard to get back into it.

        • I have yet to encounter such.
          And as GWB points out, that might be just as well.

          • Just remember- if you win the lottery, you’ll suddenly gain attractiveness points. The larger the payout, the more points you gain.

            • I’ve been told that in the (extremely unlikely) event of a lottery win…

              Change phone number.
              Get good lawyer.
              Get good accountant/financial advisor.
              Change answering machine/voicemail message:
              “I have two lists. The first is those who might get something from me. I’m not publishing it for you. The second list is of those who will NEVER see anything from me. If you press to get on the first list, you just wrote yourself onto the second – forever.”

              And then see about cashing things in, etc.

        • The problem is finding her.

      • There’s some women who are absolutely amazing in person, but don’t take pictures worth beans. And there’s some women who look amazing in pictures, but once the pose is dropped and they’re moving aren’t anything you’d want to associate with.

        De gustibus, indeed…

        • For some reason I am reminded of the MST3k riffing of the Kathy Ireland movie “Alien from L.A.”.
          You have Kathy Ireland, supermodel and very easy on the eyes- until she starts talking. Chipmunk on helium is the best description.

      • I never got Brad Pitt. Nice body, when he was young, but that face is just average guy next door, sort of decent but nothing to gush about.

        The somewhat scary thing, I realized “you go for men who look like your dad” is something I did get when Mel Gibson got older. I thought he was about the best looking actor ever when he first got into stardom in the early 80’s. Then he started looking hell of a lot like my father as he got older and more and more used looking. Well, except for the nose, father’s was somewhat potato shaped – which is probably why I had no idea that they actually had very similar facial looks otherwise before Gibson’s nose started to look less clearly defined with age and probably alcohol abuse.

      • My wife likes ’em goofy looking. She married me. 🙂

        No, really. I look at some of the guys she finds highly attractive and say, “Damn, I’m ugly,” because of how blech these guys are. And I point out guys who I think fit the mold of what an attractive man is, and she tells me they’re just “meh”.

        • ….To be honest, at rest, in the right pictures, my husband is either goofy or scary looking.

          It’s the animation that matters– just try seeing him elaborate about, oh, the Warcraft world history, or explain pretty much anything historical, or…anything where he’s passionate, and it’s like it’s an entirely different person.

          He can even flip into “phone voice” him, which is mildly scary but authoritative. His whole body language changes, all the way to what face he makes.
          ❤ ❤ ❤

          • I state that Aussie girls are blind. Then when Rhys and I got together, even though we were living apart, girls started noticing him. He’d go out with his fellows from boot camp and the other blokes would be trawling for a girlfriend. There was one particular incident where one guy was trying a bit hard for a girl’s attention, and she suddenly goes, “I like guys with glasses, I think they’re cute!” and starts flirting with Rhys (the one guy who wasn’t flirting with any of the girls). The other guy goes “AAAH NOPE he’s got a missus and kids!” The girls go ‘awwww!’ and start asking questions about the relationship, and he shows off photos, replies with how many years we’d been together and they’re all “Wow… and you’re still together? That’s amazing. Lucky girl!”

            There was also this ongoing joke where the other guys would whine about not having seen their girlfriend in a week or two, or a month and Rhys’d give them this Significant Look, and the other dudes would yell “SHUT IT you don’t count, Mr Long Distance Relationship!” (We didn’t see each other for two years after his entry to boot camp.) It’s something we laugh about.

            • “SHUT IT you don’t count, Mr Long Distance Relationship!”

              *buwahahah* Yep, I know THAT one– we’ve only gone six months at a go, after the first year (I separated….and he proposed during the “you are my best friend, I want you to SEE all the stuff I’ve told you about for the last several years” trip) but holy cow does it kill the “gosh I haven’t seen them for two weeks” gripes, even if you don’t want it to.

          • Funny, the only thing my wife has in common with my mother is blue eyes, brilliant, and puts up with me. (I know, those last two sound like contradictions.) My mother was 5 foot 2, petite, barely 100 pounds soaking wet in winter clothing, strawberry blond. Put pointed ears on her and you’d swear you wandered into Alfheim. My wife is 5 foot 9, built like a German house frau, weighs slightly less than me, brown haired.

  17. Oooh, I’d heard of the oxy thing, but I had not heard of the other one…..

  18. BobtheRegisterredFool

    *Claps*

    Very different background, but I too do not see those mores as a place I would happily live.

  19. My mom was burn her bra feminist in late 1960s and she has been disillusioned with feminism since 1980’s when lesbians took over movement and decided women should act and behave like men.

    My mom is ex-Catholic, one of her major problems with Church was confession – virgin or gay males giving advice to married women – My mom thinks lesbians taking over feminism is same kind of problem.

    I remember reading article last year about how men did greater things when it was hard to see a woman’s breasts before marriage, and I concur.

    • SheSellsSeashells

      In the immortal words of my father regarding Bill Gothard: “I refuse to take sexual advice from a virgin.”

      (My father started being a curmudgeon somewhere around age 25.)

    • My mom is ex-Catholic, one of her major problems with Church was confession – virgin or gay males giving advice to married women – My mom thinks lesbians taking over feminism is same kind of problem.

      While not so much responding to your mother as to the general idea– someone who does NOT have a dog in the fight, and HAS watched the sport, is generally better for advice than someone who has personal emotioal involvement.

      I’ve gotten a lot of really really bad advice from people who are still in the dating game, and a lot of really good advice from folks who aren’t interested.

      Yeah, a chaste guy won’t have his prior experience to draw on; he also won’t have his prior failures to justify, and as a priest WILL have a trove of other folks’ horrific failures to draw on.

      • Plus, they actually do get counseling training.

      • Aff has the same thing – in that the resident proud asexual virgin gets the 1)lots of women friends who either want to try convince him into a relationship (a futile endeavour, honestly) or 2) run to him for relationship advice. So, he has LOTS of other people’s experiences to draw on, but as he will cheerfully warn, “my advice is untainted by personal experience!”

        I’m one of the small handful of female friends he has who hasn’t got relationship problems, but I live with him so I get the occasional “Help me out here with the female brain” request.

        I will note that he actually DOES have a good instinct for people’s relationships. Aff’s advice has saved the lives of at least three women I know of, and his help has been invaluable in keeping me and my family safe.

      • Never go to someone for advice when they have a conflict of interest. i.e. If they’re cruising, don’t go to them for relationship advice. (And just because someone is married to another woman or the Church, doesn’t mean they aren’t out cruising – too many instances of that sort of thing happening with appalling frequency.)

  20. David Frum’s How We Got Here was excellent book for description of how much societal change occurred during the 1970’s, most of it for worse.

  21. Thanks for the science behind this. I have seen what happens when a woman thinks she must be a one-woman-welcome-wagon. I also saw the change when she began to value herself.

    What I am really interested in– is the science behind of DNA of other men finding its way into the female to be passed on to her generations. Oh wow… that would explain a lot.

    • The micro-chimerism part intrigues me too.

      Are the references for that online or in a paper journal?

      • A very old idea among dog breeders was that if a purebred bitch was mismated, that is, was bred by a male of another breed, all her pups subsequent to this crossbred litter would be impure of breed, and she would therefore be discarded from a purebred breeding program. Now I wonder if there wasn’t something to that, however subtle its influence (for a fact, outcrosses to males have more lasting impact than outcrosses to females).

        • Foxhound breeders recognize the concept of “tail female”, that is the female to female ancestral line, since that’s the one that carries the mitochondrial DNA, presumably unaltered, and that’s held by them to be unusually responsible for aspects of physical form that affect endurance, stamina, strength…

          All puppies, male or female, show the impact of their mitochondrial DNA inheritance.

          “Tail male”, on the other hand, is the male-to-male ancestral line, but (oc course) can only appear in a male direct descendent (the inheritence of the Y-chromosome) and is thus less universal.

          When you see breeding charts, the tail-male line is at the top and the tail-female line is at the bottom, since the ancestors on those lines are considered the most important.

          • Yep. It’s probably more obvious in pack breeds, but I’ve had 14 generations of my own bloodline (with no outside dogs used since 1992), and there is a difference depending on the tail lines, especially the tail bitch line. Probably boils down to variance in metabolic efficiency.

        • It also introduces some interesting complications for DNA evidence, paternity tests, etc.

          • I’m seriously horrified about how many of the articles basically say “this doesn’t hurt the stats on guys cleared of rape, because there aren’t any examples of guys shown to be innocent of rape who were later proven to be the rapist…because right now a cheek-swab DNA test showing you’re not the rapist is absolute proof.”

        • Not just dog breeders. It was a major theory of “racial defilement” — even if the woman didn’t have a mixed race child, she was tainted.

        • To quote from the Conclusions of that article:

          Male microchimerism was not infrequent in women without sons. Besides known pregnancies, other possible sources of male microchimerism include unrecognized spontaneous abortion, vanished male twin, an older brother transferred by the maternal circulation, or sexual intercourse. Male microchimerism was significantly more frequent and levels were higher in women with induced abortion than in women with other pregnancy histories. Further studies are needed to determine specific origins of male microchimerism in women.

          —-
          I haven’t seen any explanation for the simple “sexual intercourse” claim. Of course, if that leads to a pregnancy, no matter how brief or even reabsorbed, that would be something else.

          • And note: none of this says anything about how such micro-chimerism induced by intercourse (via pregnancy) would have any impact on the woman’s own germ cells, which would at most be influenced my micro-chimerism events when she was herself a fetus.

            So I call “BS” on the OP claim that too many sexual partners influences the genetics of your descendants (while sympathizing with the article as a whole.)

          • It’s also twelve years old; the main purpose was to give a jumping-off point since searching for the term mostly just gives you the DNA of the kids staying in the mother, and because Cyn asked for (quote) the science behind DNA of other men finding its way into the female to be passed on to her generations.

            • Oh, sure — wasn’t meant as an attack. 🙂

              I think micro-chimerism is a really, um, neat concept, but I didn’t like the (I believe unjustified) over the top conclusion that just sleeping around impacted your physical descendents, genetically.

              That article didn’t discuss how the DNA of other men “passed on to her generations”, just how it passed on to her body. Only the germ cells matter for the generations, and they’re already in place at birth — can they be altered after birth by acquired micro-chimerism (via, say, a carried fetus)?

              Unless someone finds an article to the contrary, I wouldn’t think so.

              • In fact, if I’m wrong, then what prevents men receiving anal sex from acquiring altered germ cells with micro-chimerical alien Y-chromosomes?

                Don’t think so…

                Same mechanisms, surely.

                • And then there is the matter of just how intimate does an encounter need to be for some sort of exchange or implantation to take place? Can (non-perverted, shall we say) people get something from pets? From their (non-vegan/non-vegetarian) diet? Or does it absolutely need to be a(n unprotected) sexual encounter – within species?

                • Big problem would be finding it– several results pointed out that they look for Y in a woman because it’s easy to spot; you’d have to “look” much harder to figure out if an only slightly different chromosome was different.

                  The only examples I can think of are when stuff like that poor lady who was “not her mother’s children” according to her DNA got in the news.

                  • They found that in insects (because shorter generations, etc) there is an alteration in already existing eggs from males the female slept with and this DNA manifests later in the line.
                    I have neither the time nor the disposition to go look for that article now, but if you do, you’ll find it.
                    BTW to someone who asked if infections count, yes they do. Viral infections alter your cells. I once read an SF book about us being designed by virus infusions by Aliens.
                    Truth is that we can do archeology of everything that almost killed humans, in our own DNA

                    • As I understand it we are at least experimenting with retro-viruses to make changes as therapy (or maybe I watched Blade Runner too recently).

                    • So it wouls seem, so it would seem …

                      Gene editing just became even more powerful
                      WASHINGTON — Scientists are altering a powerful gene-editing technology in hopes of one day fighting diseases without making permanent changes to people’s DNA.

                      The trick: Edit RNA instead, the messenger that carries a gene’s instructions.

                      “If you edit RNA, you can have a reversible therapy,” important in case of side effects, said Feng Zhang of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a gene-editing pioneer whose team reported the new twist Wednesday in the journal Science.

                      A genome-editing technique called CRISPR has revolutionized scientific research. It’s a biological cut-and-paste tool that lets researchers spot a gene defect inside living cells and use molecular “scissors” to snip that spot, either deleting, repairing or replacing the affected gene.

                      [END EXCERPT]

                  • Oh, FYI, you’re born with ALL your eggs in germ form, so they’re there to be influenced.

                • Well, there are discussion in certain parts of the net about receiving anal helps you feel more feminine despite being male. I always thought it was wank fantasy for a certain crowd but now I am wondering.

                  • Somehow I’ve missed those discussions- and intend on continuing to miss them, if at all possible.

              • *grin* I think you might like the shirt I got my husband– “I don’t mean to interrupt, I just think of things and get really excited.”

                Actually our entire household could wear that dang shirt…and probably most of the folks here, too!

                *******

                It wasn’t online, but I have seen studies where they found elder siblings’ DNA in younger ones– since I’ve got multiple kids, it was especially interesting to me. 😀

                If I remember right, that was first popularized via pro-life blogs. I have floors to clean, so I can’t risk getting sucked in again. (Been trying since Monday…not having a lot of luck, and the Chief is at that stage where he feeds himself, but mostly paints EVERYTHING with whatever he’s eating.)

                • Blood type is blood type. It doesn’t change over one’s lifetime. Tests are reliable and accurate. However- my eldest sometimes tests “O” , my wife’s blood type, and sometimes “B”, mine. Sometimes both out of the same vial. His boot camp tests said “B” as he loudly protested he was “O”, as typed by birth at a Navy Hospital annd the Red Cross when donating blood. Of course, no one listened. At his first duty station, they did test him again. And the first sample said “O”. Which wasn’t right- because he was “B” as he tested in boot camp, and how could they get that wrong? So they drew more blood and tested him again. “O”. And used the same vial and got 3 “O”s and 2 “B”s. His medical record says “Must receive “O”, donate “B”. The refuse to test his DNA from different body parts to see if he might be a chimera. I told him that’s because the Military Medical Manual doesn’t have any guidance on what to do with him if he is one, and therefore, no one wants to discover if he is one, because then they’d need a policy….

                  He’s had follow up tests at subsequent duty stations when doctors and medics look at his record and say “That can’t be right!” Only to discover it is.

                  • 1) that is awesome, though surely a pain, and 2) I know exactly the run-around he gets there, /sigh.

                  • That… sounds like the House episode where “he finally had a case of Lupus.” o_O

                  • When I joined the Marines, they did a blood type and duly recorded it in all my paper work and put it on my dog tags. A few years later, my mother saw it and said it was wrong because it doesn’t match either of my parent’s blood types (they are the same type). Pretty sure it isn’t a case of me being the mail-man’s kid since my mother just plain isn’t the type, and I look so much like my dad it’s ridiculous (people have seen pictures of him when he was young and asked where I got the B&W pictures done).

                    I brought it up while I was still in the Marines, and they refused to re-test saying that they don’t go by paperwork or dog tags anyway. According to them, they always re-do blood type before giving blood. I’m glad I never had to find out. 🙂

                    Still don’t know for sure what my blood type is. Meh, not worried about it.

                  • If it turned out he was a chimera, they would probably medically discharge him. You do NOT want non-standard people being brought into your field hospital for emergency surgery. You’d be more likely killed by your own medics than by enemy action. Which, by the way, is also a good argument against having any transgenders in the military. And keeping them back stateside instead of deploying to combat zones is not an option.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                If possible, it’d be in rare cases. But things like abortions might increase the chances, as they increase the chances of other abnormalities. I know male germ cells have a certain amount of multiplication going on, so it seems plausible that female germ cells might at a much lower rate. Plus, I wouldn’t know what Out of the Dark’s opinion on epigenetics is. Right now epigenetics can cover a wide range of handwaving.

              • So of COURSE I get curious and end up poking around a bit more– this is slightly newer, 2013.

                Has more names, including the guys who are using a specific gene in the Y to look because it shouldn’t be in women’s brains, so it’s easy to find.

                https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201303/the-you-in-me

              • Well, consider this: one theory of the origin of mitochondria (supported by differences in metabolism compared to the rest of the cell) is that they started off as bacterial inclusions; it’s not a huge stretch to think that there may still be exchange of genetic material with similar sources. Now, they may not directly influence phenotype, but they are a primary driver of the basal metabolism. How much difference would it make for the rest of the cell to be “well fed” vs “starved” ??

                Occurs to me to wonder what sort of exchange might happen when swapping only female fluids, or only male fluids….

                • There is a distinction to be made based on the innate receptivity toward such fluids. The female system is designed to absord a wide variety of chemicals through their reproductive system, whereas the two entry points for males tend to be aimed at food absorption, which might a) reduce uptake efficiency and b) filter more thoroughly for “contaminants.”

                  Some of the research on seminal fluid is fascinating but I shall not engage in discussing it at this juncture.

      • There was this, that I remember reading.

        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/babys-cells-can-manipulate-moms-body-decades-180956493/

        Which, frankly is cool.

        Foxfier already linked the NCBI study about the male microchimerism re: intercourse…

    • It’s not the DNA of other men, it’s the DNA of other alien lifeforms in her body (male or female), otherwise known as:

      * fetus carries (to term or not)
      * sibling absorbed by self as fetus (basic chimerism)
      * sibling not absorbed by self

      Note that males are also susceptible as fetal siblings to similar micro-chimerism — they don’t have to actually carry a fetus.

      I imagine a surrogate mother has similar issues.

      Your phenotype has lots of passengers your genotype doesn’t blueprint for, between chimerism and your microbiome.

      • It looks like they’ve found multiple Ys in some women’s brains.

      • Notice the easiest test to perform is surely “let’s find micro-chimerical Y-carrying cells in female bodies where no Y-carrying cells should exist.”

        What’s missing is:
        * Finding alien Y-carrying micro-chimerical cells in male bodies
        * Finding alien mitochondrial-carrying micro-chimerical cells in male or female bodies

        … all of which are expected to exist. So the data that isn’t measured needs to be considered, too, before jumping to conclusions.

      • Wow that makes it more creepy… and sounds like a really good story line (sci-fi or even fantasy)

        • *wicked grin* Wasn’t there an X-Files episode on that…?

        • Yep. Involuntary modification of the human genome via genetically altered cold viruses. So what effect do such alterations have on the parental generation, if any; and what manifestations of those changes will there be in the descendants?

          • You mean like Weber already used it on the Graysons in Honor Harrington? 😉

            There is nothing new under the sun…..

          • Seriously, look up the infodump he did on it in Echoes of Honor(?). Interesting how he lays out what they did, and also the unintended consequences.

            • Gah. He did, didn’t he? Although there are an incredible number of viruses that one could use other than just the common cold one.
              Question still holds though. In the parental generation (the one exposed to the virus), would such a virus induce a metamorphosis?

              • That was part of the info dump, that they had had to get the alterations into the germ cells so it would pass down.

    • I go away and come back and I started an argument lol Great information.

  22. scott2harrison

    A very interesting article, especially about the vasopressin. I believe that you have over emphasized sex and under emphasized reproduction in the rewards of marriage though. It is also notable that from the ’70s on, a woman could not make a legally enforcible promise to stay with a man for a lifetime (in the US) which vastly reduced the value of her marital vows.

    • I think the same applies to men, too, though — women may be less likely to get married when they know it is likely not going to last a lifetime. It hurts too much to be rejected by someone you’ve loved and whose bed you’ve shared and whose children you have borne. Best not to risk it in a lot of cases.

      • The whole social opprobrium towards trophy wives and such concepts as “the 2nd wives club” reflect that issue. It may be better to have “loved and lost” but it sucks to have loved and been discarded — particularly after your most marketable assets have deteriorated.

        When women can no longer be confident that investment in a husband’s education will earn a return it is less likely they will defer their own ambitions. A high level of social trust makes it much easier to interrupt one’s career and bear babies while young, confident of being able to return to a career as the tykes mature and enter day care school.

        • When men can no longer be confident they are buying new when marrying because the woman is human and delayed marriage into her 30s to pursue he ambitions he becomes less likely to invest in any given women or gain the material wealth required to do so. Instead he gets what he can and moves on.

          The two then combine into a positive feedback circuit (which is generally a bad thing) regardless of who “started it”.

          • scott2harrison

            What is worse is that the man, who is buying an opportunity to have his own children, has no assurance, legal or otherwise, that they will be his children, or if they are, that he will get to keep them. Under those circumstances it is crazy to marry.

            • With multiple states holding that paternity fraud does not eliminate child support resulting from resumption of paternity and feminists opposing mandatory paternity testing (because a man finding out he was lied to might get violent) there is a non-zero chance a man can wind up paying child support to a biologically intact family when the wife divorces him and married the stud (in fact I know of at least two such cases).

              • From memory, those states come in two flavors: the ones where if you act like it’s your kid, you have to keep acting like it’s your kid (with all responsibilities and rights involved), and those where births inside of marriage are considered to belong to the father (with a route for challenge which is not usually mentioned inside of the system… I now think because the lawyers don’t get much if stuff gets cleared up)

            • For the woman’s side, she is at the bare minimum risking her life as much as any soldier, both for death and the “give up your career for a while” thing– with no assurance that she won’t be left with the kids and $200 a month in “child support.” (or less– we had one guy who left his wife and three kids, and complained that he “lost” a total of $50 a month per kid; five years earlier than that, it would’ve barely covered the food costs, with ranch beef.)

              They’ve done very well at destroying the family.

              • You can pretty much see the values of American Feminism when you consider which statement would get the most approval at the PTA coffee klatsch:

                1) I was just made senior partner at my law firm.

                2) I was given tenure and the Sanger Chair of Women’s Studies.

                3) I have raised three Eagle Scouts.

      • This. I walked away after a disastrous betrayal, and just couldn’t bring myself to risk it again.
        I never wanted to be broken again, like I was. Couldn’t do it. Would’t do it. Not for anything.

        • Once trust is betrayed, and you know the cost of it, then it is a *huge* thing to extend that level of trust again. To most anyone, really. I still wonder about the people who get married again. How do they do it?

          • Is there an opposite of hysteresis and some have that?

          • There’s some people who hate the though of being alone more than the possibility of betrayal.

            • My father, for one. Married for 16 years. She died.
              He nearly immediately remarried (i.e. in haste), and repented 7 years later, divorcing her.
              Didn’t remarry until he encountered his 3rd wife about 7 years later, and they lasted together until they died within 6 months of each other.

          • I forget the name of he who defined a second marriage as the “triumph of hope over experience.”

            Even so, I can think of multiple explanations. There are the women (usually) who are serial marryers, using marriage as a social and economic climbing tool, determined to betray the other before she is betrayed. CJ Box’s Joe Pickett novels have a recurring character who defines this approach. Husbands are like cattle, to be corralled, nourished, fatted and consumed.

            Then there are those who view marriage as a game, fun to play and easy to walk away from once you lose interest.

            I’m thinking of getting myself a dog, a low-bred mutt and naming her Mudgeon.

    • I recently read a discussion on how to build a story that started with the main character’s husband doing the “honorable” thing — and telling her he was dumping her for someone else.

    • Timothy Harris

      While it’s a bit off the point, this explanation of bonding helps explain my observation that mating in the couples swinging lifestyle tends to be very stable. Yes they are sleeping with others as well as their mate, but they are participating in this activity together and going home together afterwards so the hormonal effects also end up reinforcing their bond rather than pulling them apart.

      • A reinforcement mechanism. But one could also argue that couples into such must be very secure/trusting already or they wouldn’t go along with it.

        • Timothy Harris

          One could also argue that couples must be at least as secure/trusting to enter an open marriage. Yet I rarely see that arrangement work out well.

          • That is because people mess up cause and effect. I have found this true in various open (poly, open, and swinger being the major labels) and D/s.

            People notice that couples who successfully do those things have higher levels of trust on average than successful mono vanilla couples. They then assume doing it built the trust.

            What is actually going on is open and S&M are hard so the levels of trust needed to have any success are higher. Being into those things does not affect where you are on the trust distribution, but you better damn well be a certain number of standard deviations above average to try and think you will be successful.

            • And it seems that average people don’t know how many “tried it and failed” there is out there for those choices. As well as some number of “tried it, hate it, but personal psychology has me stuck in it”.

            • Heck, I don’t trust me all that much, so why am I going to trust a partner? Particularly one with the bad judgment to trust me?

              N.B. – not all statements on line have positive truth quotient. Some are intended for comic effect only, others as illustrations of logical fallacy. Management not responsible, your mileage may vary and objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.

            • Timothy Harris

              I never assumed that swinging caused trust. You have to have low levels of jealousy (which can due either be trust or lack of caring) and/or high levels of thrill seeking behavior to start any of these lifestyles.
              With that starting place it was a bit surprising to me how stable the mating in couples swinging was.
              That’s why I was interested that this post supplied a possible positive-feedback mechanism to help explain that.

              • I wasn’t referring to you per se but the general BS I heard come out of people’s mouths when I entered the S&M community. It is less commonly heard now but 20 years ago “oh, getting into S&M will teach you so much about how to trust. I trust so much more now”. Now not so much.

                I still hear it in the poly world.

                My experience with swingers has been…well, they seem a lot like the popular kids in HS with a lot of “well, one of us really wanted to” stories, but I have been told my limited exposure is just that. It is not a world I’m part of or interesting in being part of so I’ll happily accept that. If you are part of it I certainly meant no insult (you’ll notice I included my tribe) but pointing out in my opinion a lot of that is “people getting the arrow backwards”.

                As for swingers being thrill seekers my gut response is “amateurs” 🙂

      • Though once one of the couples decides they’re poly… watch out. ;- P (personal observation only)

  23. amiegibbons15

    Nails it on the f#%^ing head!

    Pun intended!

    Ladies, we are not guys! We sleep with a guy, our brains, through years of evolution, are programmed to bond through oxytocin.

    Guys’ brains are programmed to go get the next piece of ass since he’s had this one and can go get the next one pregnant.

    Guys don’t go get hookers and pay them for sex. They pay them to go away afterwards. Yesssss, guys are pigs. Go figure.

    We developed mated pairs as a trade. Sex and reproduction in exchange for providing protection, shelter, and the best offspring.

    So in the modern age, what happens?

    We let guys use and lose us! Yes, we *let* them. We give them sex and they give us nothing for their side of the contract.

    Leaving us broken shells who feel connected to assholes who wanted nothing more than to use us and move on and treat us like we are nothing to them. Cuz guess what, we are nothing to them! They don’t give a shit. They’re not programmed that way.

    Men aren’t women. I know, this is shocking.

    And this is a fantastic day for this post because this whole thing ties directly into my latest book, Psychic Wanted! So I shared this on my page with a little blurb about it. 🙂

    The book’s about a ghost killing men who broke girls’ hearts after taking their virginity, and the response from my female betas was that the emotional parts and how characters reacted were so dead on.

    That tells me this whole thing about women trying to act like men and pretend sex doesn’t matter has caused a ton of problems in women and that it is extremely common. Every woman I have ever talked to about this has a horrible story about a guy using and losing her, except the ones who’ve only slept with the guy they married.

    • scott2harrison

      “Guys don’t go get hookers and pay them for sex. They pay them to go away afterwards. Yesssss, guys are pigs. Go figure. ”
      Bitter much? If they were pigs, they would not pay them, they would go the PUA route.
      On a wider aspect, you are quite correct. One of the atrocities of modern America is that men and women can no longer make the enforcible contract of children in exchange for support and protection. This s—ws both sexes each in it’s own way.

      • amiegibbons15

        I was actually quoting a guy who said that, verbatim. Because I thought it was funny and pretty accurate.

        But thanks for flying the asshat flag. Always good for y’all to make it obvious in public. 🙂

      • Hiring a hooker is pretty much by definition being a pig; it’s literally objectifying another human being for sex.

        I’m still pissed that the idjits who go gung-ho for women acting like men never want us to act like GOOD men, just pigs.

        Same way they never want guys to get in touch with their feminine side unless she’s a manipulative she-dog.

        • The way I see it hookers are still being smarter about it than somebody who just sleeps around a lot. At least if they manage to fit into the higher level of something like a modern courtesan category where they can afford to pick clients they like instead of sleeping with anybody who asks. Because when it’s a business deal they get at least paid for it. And from what little discussions I have had with one professional online, the impression is that when men have to pay good money for a woman’s time they may also in some ways often value her higher than somebody they can get for the price of a drink and some flirting. Yes, of course she’d say that, but in some ways it also seems to make sense.

          • There are definitely levels, and what with the whole being Catholic and (worse!) having a decent grasp of how I am not perfect I’m all about going “hey…this doesn’t work,” but that doesn’t mean it should be idealized.

            Is sold for six beers vs sold for six hundred really that different? There’s a reason that those who dislike marriage have been trying to re-define it as just like prostitution, and it’s not because they respect a prostitute’s economic knowledge.

            • Didn’t say I think it’s smart in general or something to be sought. But I think there can be life situations when it can be the better choice for somebody. And being sold for six hundred rather than six beer, when you are both the seller and the merchandise, on practical level definitely a difference. On some other levels maybe not, but if you are somebody who is likely to do it anyway better at least get that six hundred for it. And when she costs six hundred instead of six bottles of beer, well, most people who do see other humans as commodities also do value the “item” with higher cost more than what they got cheaply, right or wrong.

              There are times when a person may not have any really good choices, either due to outside circumstances or due to personal issues they haven’t yet solved.

              • Heh, the prior Pope got into trouble by pointing that out….

                • That’s because Popes (and most Christians media portrayals not withstanding) see the struggle of living in a fallen world and have a better understanding of grey more than all the leftists claiming they do combine.

                  Once you believe you can build paradise on earth the ability to make morally grey choices as the best available fades no matter what you claim you are.

            • Heh. Now the prostitutes are trying to claim that “sex” isn’t what they’re actually selling:

              Problem at sex doll brothel: The johns are getting too weird
              [SNIP]
              [T]he Association of Sex Professionals has slammed the flourishing business, saying sex dolls can never recreate the intimacy provided by humans.

              It said: “The sex affection of a person cannot be provided by a doll.”

              “They do not communicate. They do not listen to you or caress you, they do not comfort you or look at you.”

          • To a guy who has already commodotized his relationships with women the operative adage is, “We’ve already determined what you are …”

    • Guys don’t go get hookers and pay them for sex. They pay them to go away afterwards. Yesssss, guys are pigs. Go figure.

      Actually, we pay for them to preten to like us, same as strippers.

      • I never could see any sense in paying somebody to lie to me when so many will do it gratis.


        I was never much of a fan of the show, but liked this skit.

        • I’m just speaking from personal experience. There was a time I couldn’t find women to do it gratis.

          • You’re in the banking business and can’t find people to lie to you? I suppose we could quibble over whether advertising folk and politicians are truly lying to us gratis, but that seems unnecessary.

            Tell you what, Herbn, I will lie to you whenever you like, including right now.

          • I was a virgin before marriage but I don’t think I was unpleasant to anyone.

            • There is a difference between not being unpleasant and liking someone, especially liking someone in a romantic or sexual context.

              J. Daniel Sawyer, over at The Everyday Novelist, has made an interesting claim about professions. He defined the professions as “where you provide council and expertise based on a deep and significant base of knowledge of theoretical sophistication at the PhD level”. He counts among the professions in this sense: priesthood, law, clinical psychology, medical doctor, professor, prostitutes (sometimes), investment banker, and writer.

              This was given as his justification for believing the rough 1,000,000 words rule.

              His reasoning for prostitute, sometimes, is successful ones (by this I suspect he means what tend to be called escorts, not streetwalkers) need a good working knowledge of interpersonal dynamics and applied psychology.

              I’m not sure I 100% agree but I know the ladies whose company I sought more than once did a lot more than what I could get in any bar at closing time.

      • And then go away (when they can no longer pretend).

        • Actually, with the stripper I was a regular for I went away and got some sleep.

          Ironically, I have had a former stripper tell me those are the kind of clients they come to like. It is almost like a comedic version of the “we could have been good but meant in a one night stand so we can’t” trope.

          • The one thing I’ve learned about strippers over the years is that most of them -hate- men, and love to lie to them and take their money. Most of them have extremely good reason to hate men starting from a very young age, which is all I’m going to say about that. Many suffer from serious mental issues from all that, and (to me anyway) it shows in their eyes.

            The odd time I’ve gotten dragged along to one of those clubs, I’ve noticed two types of men. First and most numerous is the after-the-game hockey team boys, they’re loud, rude and fairly disgusting. Front and center, cheering and throwing money.

            Then there’s the “weirdos” who sit in the corners. I remember one guy, from a long time ago. He was off by himself over on one side of this joint, girls periodically going over and doing their dance routine etc. This guy was making rings out of ten dollar bills and giving them to the dancers as tips. This was back in the days when ten bucks was dinner and a drink too. Older guy, kinda pudgy, balding, pretty sad looking. He was worshiping those women, and they treated him really nice. Like the way old people treat the dog at the old folks home. A lot of them wore the rings all night.

            It impressed me at the time. It was nice and SO sad, simultaneously.

            So I always give strippers respect on the occasions when I meet them, even when they’re obviously crazy and scary. Maybe especially then. It doesn’t cost me anything, and I think it raises the level of decency in the universe a little tiny bit.

  24. every old religious text I’ve found encourages men to be close to their wives and treat them with affection.

    It is generally a good idea to remain on amiable terms with anyone who has access to your food out of your sight and your throat* while you sleep (especially if you snore.)

    *This is a general concept, including but not limited to everything from your willy to your air intake and a pillow.

  25. As an even more general concept, what goes around, comes around. Although it may have been transmuted by the time it comes back around. It comes in both positive and negative forms.

  26. Saw this article the other day and thought, “These people do not understand the underlying transactions, at all.”

    Men don’t care about emotional cheating — but they should
    Men think that emotional infidelity — sharing a romantic connection with another person without having sex — isn’t that big of a deal.

    A new study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology surveyed couples and found that men caught having affairs of the heart don’t necessarily think they’ve done anything wrong.

    “Many . . . do not see [emotional cheating] as infidelity at all, since they did not have sex with the other woman,” writes Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Norwegian University professor and a co-author of the study, in a press release.

    Worse, the dumb dudes don’t even try that hard to make it up to their partners, either — probably because they don’t understand how hurtful their actions are. “Men,” Kennair writes, “often do not understand how hard emotional infidelity is on women.”

    If there’s an upshot for these clueless guys’ partners, it’s this: Men were also found to be more likely to forgive their partners for straying emotionally. So at least their better halves can get compassion somewhere.

  27. Some thoughts;

    Free love was not a new idea in the 1960’s. It goes back at least to the mid 1800’s (there is a surviving reference to the debate on it from 1857). The women who were suckered into believing it were a little crazier before the Pill, but they were there.

    The Feminist Movement of the mid 20th Century was started by a fraud. Betty Friedan, who wrote THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE complaining of the dull life of a stay at home housewife, was a socialist/communist political activist and had servants. There is considerable evidence to suggest that she wrote the goddamned thing less to promote equality for women than to just stir up unrest in pre-Communist society. If this is true, then second wave feminism came pre-subverted from the start.

    Far too goddamn much emphasis is placed on sex in this day and age. Sex is an incident. Romance comes and goes. Companionship and friendship last.

    Aside; have you ever noticed how many people who go to ‘find themselves’ some how expect to locate themselves in a vacation spot? Especially if they are spending someone else’s money?

    In general, the Morals of the movers and shakers of the Democrat Party are no better than they were slaveowners.

    • Didn’t some folks used to send out the almost-not-kids-anymore to ‘find themselves’… with the instruction to only return after they recovered from some episode of delirium?

      • That was a common theme across cultures, in “pre-civilization”.

      • In our society this was one of the reasons (in addition to skill acquisition) for apprenticing your teen children (if you were rich sending them to boarding school), so someone who would not put up with their Bullshit would have parental authority over them.

    • From the book linked earlier:

      So how did the women’s movement (which purportedly fought for women to be free to express their full personhood) and the sexual revolution (which reduced women to ambitious sex objects) become so intertwined in the popular mind that many young women today sincerely believe that to be “liberated” is to go to college, pursue a career, and be as sexually active as possible with no strings attached? How did these two separate revolutions get blended into one in a way that has lead to so much pain for women and so much division within the churches and our society?

      The short answer, the part I didn’t know during those sexual revolution heydays when I was working at Cosmo , is that the women’s movement and the sexual revolution secretly joined forces behind the scenes largely due to the influence of one man I had never even heard of – a master propagandist skilled in the manipulation of public opinion named Larry Lader. A founder of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (later called the National Abortion Rights Action League and still later NARAL Pro-Choice America), Lader worked for years on fellow magazine writer Betty Friedan until he finally persuaded her to insert the sexual revolution’s most controversial demand – abortion – into the National Organization for Women’s political platform. Lader’s misleading propaganda not only seduced Friedan and grafted abortion onto the women’s movement but five years later became a legal pillar for the Roe v. Wade decision. That’s right. The 1960’s women’s movement was hijacked largely due to the tireless efforts of one man, whose greatest passion was to make abortion legal.

      As Margaret Sanger’s biographer and a fervent population planner, Lader himself said that the idea of legalizing abortion “struck at the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church and fundamentalist faiths, but even more important, at the whole system of sexual morality to which the middle class gave lip service.” He maintained that to tamper with (abortion)_ meant that the whole system (of sexual morality) could come tumbling down” – which is, of course, precisely what happened.

      • I find it grimly funny, honestly, how a feminist gets so thoroughly manipulated by a man, in a way that has such widespread and horribly permanent repercussions.

        Of course, there’s the thought that occurred to me that she may have decided entirely on her own that what he was pushing was wonderful.

    • Remember the Tousle-Headed Poet from C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce? who had, really, been quite badly treated by a woman whom he thought was so adult?

  28. Another place where it failed is marital sex:

    in that we have a larger oxytocin surge in response to all physical touch, but especially orgasms. This is great for bonding. While the initial hit of serotonin and dopamine gets less strong over time, the oxytocin levels can be maintained with regular contact and your brain eventually ties the oxytocin high to the other person. This creates a deeper relationship bond.

    While women get more of that hit men still get it. Because it is weaker the bonding needs more reinforcement.

    While many women used to view marriage as the start of a sex life many now view it as the chance to retire from sex.

    Sexless marriages are becoming a problem because…well, if you aren’t getting any, especially if you were getting a lot before marriage, why did you get married. Yes, there are reasons other than sex for marriage but a choice between an okay relationship without marriage and an okay but sexless relationship with marriage not many men are going to value marriage. Interesting discussion of sexless marriage (I especially like the line about what men and women look to achieve in cheating):

    Another issue is how the sexual revolution removed any structure or map for relationships. I have noted before that the biggest surprise in the BDSM world is how interest in D/s skews younger. I think the reason you see it a lot with 20 somethings is it gives them what culture won’t: a model for how to behave as a functioning partnership instead of two autonomous people getting what they can. And, for those who car, in the het community M/f decidedly outweigh F/m in the < 30 crowd.

    A beta male will essentially rape a female and leave her with the kid. How many women have met a charming, pretty man, gotten pregnant by mistake, and had him take off to never be seen again? This shift in mate selection is making us chose less ideal men to mate with.”

    In Sexual Personae Camile Paglia argued the end state of sexual liberation is always S&M. I don’t think she means the fun and controlled kind either, but much more what you describe.

  29. I’m going to highly disagree with one of the central premises, one I see repeated a lot. Quite frankly, yes, sex is nice. And while sex *might* be enough to bring a man to the altar (but I don’t think it is now or ever was), it sure as hell ain’t enough to keep him in a marriage.

    What happened is not that women started giving sex away for nothing; it’s that sex lost a lot of its value. In short, we destroyed the economic incentives for what sex creates: children.

    In pre-Industrial (and even early Industrial) civilization, children were wealth! A child that could walk could feed chickens, and as they grew older they transformed into labor-saving devices and then extra hands at the jobs that were necessary for survival. They were insurance against sickness and injury, able to take the place of an ailing father or a mother with a broken arm. And, of course, they were your retirement plan, caring for you in your dotage.

    Ignoring for the moment all the static created by modern divorce, why should a man invest in the very risky vehicle of children today? The return on that investment keeps getting pushed further and further back. It used to be you’d see a return within a handful of years in the extra hands to help around the house. Now, we have vacuum cleaners and laundry machines, central heat and air, food processors and microwaves. Even if you get the kids to do some of those things, it hardly adds the sort of value they used to, when they could be another pair of hands at tending fires, washing clothes in a tub or by the stream, hauling water, and turning a spit or basting a roast.

    Even as little as 50 years ago, the beginnings of a return on your investment had only been pushed out to the late teens or early 20s when the kids would move out and start their own households. That meant you had extra income you could fall back on in lean times, even another house you could move into if disaster or misfortune took yours. It meant the family had more eggs in more baskets.

    Today? Not only is raising kids insanely expensive, there’s a good shot they’ll be living with you and living on your income well into their 20s. You might, if they outlive you and you don’t become estranged, help you out in your dotage, but even that’s a risk.

    We see the collapse of the value of sex everywhere. The “grass eaters” of Japan clearly see no value in children. As societies get richer, and children lose their value as labor, families logically move to having fewer of them. This has reduced the value of sex to mere entertainment. Even there, its appeal is weak. There was an article recently (can’t find it now but I’m pretty sure it was an Insty link) explaining how guys are more and more comfortable sharing and bonding with their bros who won’t judge them like the women in their lives do.

    The reason women fail to value sex as highly as they used to is because the actual value of sex has dropped through the floor. It shows no sign of arresting its plummet. Until that changes, don’t expect people’s very rational behavior to change.

    • Not everything can be explained by economics. imo

      • For instance, economics doesn’t really explain why people want to believe economics explains all things.

      • Don’t say that to some of the Marxist historians I’ve met. Everything is economics, especially those things that have nothing to do with economics. (Not that the historians are Marxist themselves, but that’s the lens they use to do their work.)

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        a) I doubt that economics were the primary decision point regarding children for most history and prehistory. b) I do think economics have had nontrivial impact on some related decisions in the here and now.

        • A vehicle that can safely pack more than five kids, for example, especially with the ever expanding number of years they’re supposed to be in bulky car seats.

        • “I doubt that economics were the primary decision point regarding children for most history and prehistory.”

          It might be a quibble, but once the mechanisms of sex and pregnancy were understood, economics appears to have been at the forefront of how marriage worked. We see as much in the Code of Hammurabi and the story of Tamar and Onan (Genesis 38). Just about everything hanging on marriage laws is about property: who gets what, who brings what, and what happens to it when the marriage ends. Most the rest is about enforcing good genetics and attempts to cement classes into castes.

          Yes, the urge to mate is strong, but even today the world is full of people who delay it, subvert it, and even deny it their entire lives. If we were truly slaves to our gonads, teen pregnancy wouldn’t be controversial; it would be the norm!

          All that being said, I don’t have hard numbers on how many people delayed sex until marriage and remained true inside their marriages for the last six thousand years. I doubt anyone does. So there’s a lot of room there for someone more knowledgeable on the subject to convince me.

          • If it was all about economics, then they wouldn’t have to make a bunch of standard rules about it. Maybe a few rules for major abuses– sort of like rules saying that refusing your wife sex is punishable, or that an unconsummated marriage is not really a marriage– but not the ton of rules you point at.

            • Erm, not following you here. How does it being about economics allow there to be fewer rules?

              I’d think it’d be the other way around; without the economics, you really only need three rules: don’t have sex with anyone you’re not married to; don’t get married to people you’re too closely related to; here’s a flowchart describing who raises the kids if both parents die. Maybe a fourth declaring when divorce is permissible and how to acquire one.

              With economics, you’ve got too many edge cases: what sort of property can be brought into a marriage, the division of wealth created during a marriage, the division of wealth and property when a marriage ends. Plus, in many historic examples, dowries and other traditional transfers of wealth that accompany a wedding.

              Take a look at marriage laws in the US; beyond a few that dictate who you may or may not marry, damn near everything else is about property: transfer of debts, taxes, social security and other benefits, joint ownership of property, who owns what when, inheritance, etc. About the only exceptions I can think of off the top of my head are the extension of 5th Amendment protections to spouses, and the marriage avenue for citizenship.

              I’m certain I’m forgetting somethings. What am I forgetting that makes most of the law around marriage not about protecting and transferring wealth, with some social engineering tacked on?

              • Erm, not following you here. How does it being about economics allow there to be fewer rules?

                Not fewer rules, fewer rules about economic situations.

                The economics comes in because it is family formation– that is going to involve a lot of economics. If the purpose was economics, then there would just be the rules you point to because the shared goal is economic gain. Heck, not sleeping around wouldn’t matter if 1) kids were a net gain, and 2) economics was the only goal.

                Look at rules for driving– are the rules about not harming others, or are there rules saying you have to be trying to go somewhere? There don’t have to be rules about “going somewhere,” because that’s the point.

                • I think I see what you’re saying there. Still, gotta disagree. Sleeping around does matter in part because kids are a net gain; who gets to use that extra labor and keep that extra wealth? How do bastards affect inheritance? These are economic issues at the core of marriage and the traditional headaches created by out-of-wedlock births (again, see Tamar and Onan).

                  I’m not sure I’m understanding the metaphor; in this case, what is the “car” and what is the “point” in marriage?

                  • And now I’m going to be rude and vanish from the conversation for the rest of the day. Apologies, but there’s work that needs doin’. >.<

                  • I’m not sure how to explain it, because your objection doesn’t make any sense — it’s already established that the children in a marriage go in the marriage, and likewise inheritance would be inside of the marriage if it was purely economics.

          • Brian, I don’t know how this makes sense in your head, but it’s utter nonsense. If this were true NO ONE WOULD HAVE ANY CHILDREN. For the last fifty years at least, they’ve been an economic liability.
            Also, the people who talk about them contributing to the household never really lived in a village in hand to mouth conditions.
            Sure. Sure. I had jobs at five. My mom started work at 10. So did most of my classmates.
            However guess what? KIDS ALWAYS CONSUMED MORE THAN THEY CREATED. ALWAYS. Even those working for money at 10 were apprenticed, and the money they were paid often didn’t pay for the clothes of a growing kid.
            This might have been BRIEFLY not true in the industrial revolution, but really, we can’t trust any writing from that time, because things were beginning to be infected with socialism.
            Yeah, sure, there are people who make the decision to have or not have children on economics, but not the way you think.
            The most common way economics influenced child bearing in the village was when someone decided to have ONLY one child and give them everything they could, so they could reach the next wrung of society.
            OTOH the only people I know of who made that calculus a) were miserable human beings. b) came from better off than average families. c) had miserable marriages. d) were often disappointed.

            You’re not saying anything I haven’t read. I think there are things that get repeated so often they acquire a “truthiness” of their own because people don’t pause or think about it.

            But seriously, even in the third world, like India, children usually cost their families money, no matter how it’s dressed up.

            Why do people have kids? Tons of reasons: tradition; because they want to; instinct; and in our case because to quote Glenn Reynolds, “Love grows”. Economics? Bah. It’s a materialistic thing to rationalize everything through economics, and because we’re a materialistic society things get justified that way. But if it were true no one would have kids, for at least fifty years and maybe forever.

            • Ouch.

              Well, I was assuming the last 50 years was cultural inertia. My experience was informed by stories of my grandmother and her siblings being raised by a too-young widow in Appalachia in the Great Depression. But that was both long ago and far away, so I will defer to your personal and much more recent experience on this issue.

              Still, that hurts. One of the things that really appealed to me about the economic explanation was that it was *solvable.* Lean enough math into it and even if you couldn’t remove all the disincentives you could at least mitigate them with new incentives.

              Where do we turn now? While I won’t disagree that what Out of Darkness wrote about is *an* issue, the Grass Eaters of Japan prove it’s not *the* issue; no one is accusing them of having too much extramarital sex. The fact that birth rates sink below replacement in Japan and Europe and the US (as well as Russia and throughout southeast Asia and pretty much everywhere that enjoys post-Industrial wealth and prosperity) strongly implies the issue is neither cultural nor environmental.

              Is that why we’ve never found anyone else? Because by the time you’ve created the wealth and tech necessary to reach the stars there’s nobody left to go?

              That’s a horribly depressing thought. 😦

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Thing is, not having kids is not uniform across US society.

                Foxfier here*, others I know on the internet, others I know in RL. That’s variation to religion, culture, or personal values.

                The combination of anti-human propaganda, coercion of women, and economic obstacles is not to be overlooked.

                Investmentwise, long term, if you want to have good certainty of care in your old age, have three daughters or daughters in law. Government care has been overhyped, which helps people overlook this. But few people would make such a decision solely on such grounds.

                *Cue a fair number of others here telling me I forgot them, plus the ones who didn’t get as many as they wanted, etc…

                • I *am* kind of obnoxious about it, but that’s a side effect of the kids being small and ever-present. 😀

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Oh no, not obnoxious. I’m just fairly sure you’d mentioned it this post, in case he is new. (I can’t always tell.)

                  • I don’t have children myself, but I like large families, I like neighborhoods where you can hear children laughing and occasionally yelling as they play.

                    • Current public policy is moving toward reining in such neighborhoods as public nuisances, as noise pollution, as child endangerment and a variety of other bad things.

                    • I love hearing the kids screaming and playing outside. Even though I’m old and curmudgeonly (since about 15 or so), I love kids (mostly).

                    • I don’t actually like kids as a group that much– no more than any other random grouping of humans– but they are a lot more likely to have that whole non-vicious, joyful, “just because it’s FUN!!!!” thing happen that is what makes me like geeks.

                    • The neighbor kids running around and being loud aren’t a big deal. I can sleep through/to that. The gunning of the truck engine “just because,” now that’s annoying.

                • I know more people like me who tried to have large families and could only manage two or even one.
                  Late marriage (though not in our case) and frankly, the pill.
                  I was on it for acne for five years. I’m convinced it messed my system.
                  I wanted 11 kids.

                • And those of us who want more but the jury’s still out on whether the body will keep up. 😉 (just to be a touch ornery.)

              • Japan’s issue seems to be that they value the honor of marriage very much– but they’ve also got incompatible requirements to have it, an insane but TOTALLY HONEST notion that women are supposed to both be all their traditional roles, and be the same as their men…you know, the work-a-holics?

                And the guys are supposed to totally dedicate themselves to their job, literally to the point of death at times– it’s an imbalance.

                How on earth can they be working from love when stuff is broken like that?

                I hope and pray they’ll manage to shake it out….

                • There’s something else going on in Japan, though. I suspect that your points are part of it. But I don’t think they’re the whole of it. Japan has a problem in that people simply aren’t having sex. I don’t mean married sex. I mean sex, period. An amazingly huge percentage of the population – both men and women – are virgins. And many members of both sexes appear to have little interest in losing their virginity.

                  In a society that stigmatizes casual sex between unmarried individuals, this might be seen as a good thing. For instance, a heavily Christian nation would probably be happy about those numbers. But that isn’t the case in Japan. There’s no apparent cultural or social reasons for the Japanese to avoid casual sex. Thus, the question of just what exactly is going on in that country.

                  • THAT is interesting, considering the limbic system which has been said to control “The Four F’s: Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing, and… Reproduction.” Not something readily switched off, that.

                  • From some conversations I’ve had, there seems to be a trend toward the herbivorous male who has their aggressions or issues come out in forms that don’t involve violence but are just as destructive to the person / society. Usually in the form of gambling. Sex is not appealing, apparently; both the men and the women ‘stand to lose too much’ if the other person is a trap – either emotionally, healthwise, or economically.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    I’ve heard that mixing of the genders is part of it.

                    Thinking of their unemployed shut ins, if that is driven by social anxiety, then some of the same might be anticipated in weaker form among the more functional parts of the population.

                  • Pretty sure they had issues with casual sex before WWII…

                • And it’s the same in Europe, at least in Southern Europe. A woman can be the bigger earner in the house and have a demanding career, but she’s still expected to do lovely handywork, keep her house spotless (even with cleaning ladies, it takes supervision) cook big sunday suppers and all the other “gifts” of a woman.
                  It’s often impossible to do all that and be a mother. Plus, my cousins who wanted more than one child tell me it’s financially impossible. That is, they’re not looking to the child for financial benefit, they can’t AFFORD more than one child, because taxes are so high, both parents have to work, and they can’t afford daycare for two. As a result most of the people who can afford to have a child are net government receivers. Not a good situation.

                • Most of what I’ve heard is that she’s expected to quit once married.

                  • It’s an expectation in the Philippines as well; unless they’re able to get the grandparents to help care for the kids, or are able to get reliable household help.

                    There’s the problem where sometimes the woman earns more than the man…

                  • Most of what I’ve seen is that in practice, she still has to work– but she’s not going to be advancing anymore. It’s expensive to have kids, even when they have a baby bonus to try to encourage folks to reproduce.

                    • From a policy point of view, women have a distressing tendency to shift frst loyalties ti their children rather than the state, party, ideology or employer nce they become mothers. This can have inconvenient effect.

              • No.
                PEOPLE RATIONALIZE wanting children. But it’s not a rational, much less a business decision.
                I lived this. The people next door had seven kids in two rooms. Did the kids make them money? Brother! They weren’t that kind of family. Kids were given chores, sure, I was too, but it didn’t offset the cost of even broth-and-bread which is mostly what they got.
                The economic argument for having children went out with Greece.
                Cultural inertia? Like… only in that? PFUI.

                • So the answer is: the statistics are lies? We’re not falling below replacement? I’m willing to be convinced, but the plural of “anecdote” isn’t “data.” Something appears to be terribly wrong across the entirety of the developed world, from the US to Italy to Taiwan to Australia.

                  Unless the statistics are wrong?

                  • Unless the statistics are wrong?
                    Why not? As the old saying goes, “Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Population growth is sensitive to age of mother at first pregnancy. We let the ‘feminists’ push that into the stratosphere, the population growth isn’t going to match that of the Islamic world. There’ve been changes in education and economics that also tend to push that high.

                  • Oh, hell, yes, we’re falling below replacement. Probably lower than the statistics show.
                    But you have failed to prove that’s economics, except in the sense that “people are marrying late and infertility treatment doesn’t help everyone.” And “people can’t AFFORD kids because of high taxation and intrusive government.” Sure, that’s economics, but it’s not “My kid won’t be worth money.”
                    Talk sense and don’t shift goal posts.

                    • I’m NOT moving the goal posts. I CONCEDED THE POINT! You WON!!! As I said, I’m willing to COMPLETELY AND IRREVOCABLY DEFER TO YOUR MORE RECENT AND MORE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE on that point.

                      Here, I’ll make it more blunt:

                      I hereby declare the Sara Hoyt has convinced me that sex has not lost any of its intrinsic value to men and women.

                      Happy?

                      But it does raise the question: why are people not having as many kids?

                      I have no axe to grind, point to prove, or product to sell. This appears to be an important question because people are behaving in ways that are contrary to assumptions we’ve had about human nature that go back to the Epic of Gilgamesh.

                      That appeared to me to be an important and interesting conversation to have. My apologies for wasting y’all’s time.

                  • How do you go from “it’s not economics, people have kids because they WANT kids” to “people are having as many kids as ever”?

                  • The USGov can’t even tell how many people there are in the US, +/- 20 million or so, right after a census.

                    And we expect population data from other nations, from banana republics to robber states, to be accurate?

              • One of my sisters has six children. Another has three. All the rest of us are childless so far.

                • whcih is why this won’t go on forever. Those who have more children will overrepresented in the future.

            • I beg to differ with our esteemed hostess. Economically, children are an investment; one that is expected to appreciate in value as they mature and acquire skills. They are expected to add value to their parents, the tribe, or community at some future time, The more rapidly they acquire economically productive skills, the sooner there is a positive return. Their immediate economic value may not turn positive until they are at least in their teens in agricultural societies; even later in industrialized ones. Not that people sit down and calculate the ROI of time, labor, or capital invested in them, but they do consider it. A short-term focus on what they add to the family this year may well be economically negative. It is the anticipated future value that drives the decision making.
              And, of course, societies afflicted by short term thinking or that are convinced they are doomed will cease to invest in the future.

              • One point of … little-bit-this-little-bit-that?
                I think decisions to avoid having [more] children are often economically driven. Not being able to afford it, worries about interrupting a career, etc. are factors in people deciding they can’t/won’t do it.

                However, I don’t think, for the normal person, economics are ever really a causal factor in having children. As I say below, it might be a consideration because of your desire to perpetuate your legacy, but the desire/need is more of a psychological/emotional one, than it is an economic one.
                And, of course, a great many decisions to have children are more despite the economics. 🙂

                • “children are made despite”
                  Oy

                • Well, sure. Considering children as an investment, the up-front costs are huge, and the return both distant and somewhat risky, in both economic and psychological/emotional terms. I just wanted to point out that consideration of the economic factors involved should not be limited to the immediate and short-term.

            • I’ll make one argument in defense of the “kids as economic benefit” point: posterity. If you put that longing/need/desire in front of the economic consideration, then the up-front costs of kids is offset by the concept that your farm/business/whatever continues on after you die, preserving your (or your ancestors’) legacy. Yes, they cost more than they bring initially, but without them what you have goes to “someone else”.

              It might not be exactly an economic thought, but some would define it that way.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Pregnancy and marriage are not the same thing, functionally speaking.

            Marriage is an artifact of the institution of a family being used as an economic or business unit. They are either formalizing by contract the relationship between the extended families joined by the children blood related to both, or perhaps for a independently wealthy husband, having to do with the dispersal of his funds. It is perhaps dependent on pregnancy, but pregnancy decisions are not marriage decisions. The historical expense of writing means that ancient written records of marriage probably oversample marriages involving significant property.

            The Roman custom of exposing unacknowledged infants probably was not solely a response to deformity and bastardy. Various accounts of bastards and prostitute’s children also speak to libido. Check out prolific child murderers. Babyfarming was an industry where women would raise the children of others in exchange for a fee. Some of these women killed a number of children and pocketed the entire fee, which was to cover the costs of upbringing. If these children had been brought to term purely for economic reasons, there would have been more oversight for the sake of future income. They were more likely the result of libido than of simple economic miscalculation or changing circumstances.

    • Our esteemed hostess had something to say about the “people had children in Ye Goode Olde Days because they were valuable”:

      https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/09/30/obamacare-repeal-mean-abortion/

      Agree or disagree with her, she raises some interesting points, and I think you might want to read that.

    • One of the biggest values of children used to be that they increased the size of your tribe. You had more sons to be warriors and more daughters to marry off to warriors. If you did a good job of raising them, you had their allegiance and their strong arms to help keep your tribe safe from other tribes, and possibly to help increase your territory.

    • “Ignoring for the moment all the static created by modern divorce, why should a man invest in the very risky vehicle of children today?”

      While I think there is a very wide and deep propaganda program asking that type of question, it is a -stupid- question. Children are the reward for your hard work, not the burden you work to bear. Children are the end itself, not the means to an end.

      That is the reality that makes economics and politics a side show.

      • THIS^^^^
        So much this.

        • This type of economic argument never fails to irritate me.

          What’s the economic explanation for people decorating their hunting spears and making art in ancient societies? There isn’t one. It is an expression of basic humanity. Men love their tools and their weapons. They lavish attention on them, polish them, decorate them, fiddle with them. Its not economics. Its love.

          Likewise having children is an expression of basic humanity and love. That people feel the need to try to explain it away mechanistically is vexing. I’d say more, but I’ll end up frothing and ranting.

          • A $500 Glock works as well as a $3,000 customized 1911.
            If plastic is not your thing, a dead stock brand new Colt is about $900.
            And yet, people will happily wait 3 years plus to place an order with a high end gunsmith for their perfect 1911.

          • Men love their tools and their weapons. They lavish attention on them, polish them, decorate them, fiddle with them. Its not economics. Its love.

            As you started with spears you must be aware Dr. Freud’s views on this topic.

            • Sometimes a spear is just a spear.

            • Funny, but don’t forget the archaeological record. Weapons of bone, stone, wood, all decorated with carvings. Really good ones. That sort of work indicates long hours of effort and years of practice. If I’m not mistaken, even Neanderthal Man decorated their weapons.

              Dr. Freud, for his part, deserves all the credit and respect one should show to a guy who thought the Human mind was a steam engine.

              • Look at some of the obsidian “bird” arrowheads.

                this site has a picture for sale

                They’re the size of your thumbnail. Or smaller.
                yes, some loons actually think you can shoot a bird with them… you found them all around the knapping areas.

                Papa’s theory? Standard “Dude, look what I managed with that piece that was too tiny.”
                “oh, y eah, watch THIS!”

              • steam engine

                The technology of the time. Now we have “neural” networks and a (digital) computer model of the brain in (all too?) many cases.

          • ‘s okay, phantom. I did.

      • /amen

        But you don’t get much admiration for pointing that out, and it doesn’t fit well with a neat theory.

      • Children are the reward for your hard work …

        Given the various requirements attendant on public education they are also a tax you pay, one which the state attempts to turn against you.

      • Cuddle snores. Cuddles snores make everything worth it.

  30. Meanwhile, the age of first marriage and divorce rates continue to rise.

    One undiscussed danger of late marriage is it leaves you more at risk from relationship damage due to chronic illness. While chronic illness can strike at any time it is more likely as you age. People might not realize it but chronic illness makes life hard as burdens shift, sometimes permenantly, in terms of division of labor and certain activities (not just sex, but going out as much, etc) are off the table. This is hard for a married couple of 20 years who are watching their oldest get ready to move out and have the years of being together, working through problems, celebrating success, etc.

    Imagine that burden shift and limitation of what you can do as a couple two years into the relationship? How many people are going to be ready to stay.

    This is on top of the “I’m set in my ways” issue making adapting to married life harder with 20+ years of habits at 45 than 2-3 at 25.

    • The “set in my ways” issue is an additional challenge, yes, particularly with all the cultural reinforcements being against making alterations to adapt to sharing life with a second person.

      There is also the effect of people growing up in smaller families and thus having less experience in accommodating the living practices of others.

    • “This is on top of the “I’m set in my ways” issue making adapting to married life harder with 20+ years of habits at 45 than 2-3 at 25.”

      Yeah, it’s going to be really interesting. I’m 67 and got married last month to a woman that is 60. Major adjustments on both sides.

      • You just need to make those adjustments consciously instead of intuitively, unlike the youngsters. My parents were 34 (mom) and 41 (dad) respectively, the first time for my father, and they did just fine. But plenty of youngsters can’t make the adjustments to the intuitive understanding that the way they did it at home is the only way to do things, from which way the toilet roll goes and squeezing — or not — the toothpaste tube in the middle instead of rolling it up, to how neatly the house should be kept — and by whom — and saving vs. spending.

        So congratulations on finally finding her, Hunting Guy! May your joy in one another increase day by day as you look forward to your fortieth anniversary. Lifespans are so much longer now and, statistically speaking, the longer you’ve already lived the higher the odds that you will live longer still.

        • Thank you.

        • which way the toilet roll goes
          I thought theological arguments weren’t allowed in the comments?

          • You, sir, are an intelligent Equus asinus. (grin)

            And yes, we have discussed this. I put it to the front, she puts it to the back. We decided to do it one way in one bathroom and the other way in the second bathroom.

  31. “Meanwhile, the age of first marriage and divorce rates continue to rise.”

    This has contributed a lot to falling birth rates, IMO. (The rising age of first marriages.) Younger women are usually at the peak of their fertility; this falls off as they get older, in many cases.

    • Especially since the “responsible” types are going to do all the stuff we’re told MUST be done before marriage, and that’s who tends to have a lot of kids.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Well, also, my understanding is that mathematically population growth in humans is heavily tied to age of the mother at first pregnancy. Averaging 18 and 24 should be fairly different, at same number surviving to breed and lost to other deaths.

    • If a woman doesn’t have her first child by age 27- she’s going to have a hard time conceiving. Statistically. YMMV. However, if a woman has already has a few, and keeps on going, her body seems to stay receptive to the idea of having children for a while. My wife was 23 at our eldest’s birth. 42 for our 5th and youngest. Another pregnancy a few years later that ended in miscarriage. I know a few other people the same way, spacing children out for a while.

  32. Any comments on r/K selection theory and if, like cuttlefish, humans have both reproductive strategies that show up in different societies?

    • You mean things like economic assistence to single mothers vs. marriage and one kid later in life? I was going to make a comment about trailer parks and gated communities, but I’m trying to be good. *grin*

    • Mostly? Bullshit. Seriously. Yeah, I’ve read it. Bullshit. Honestly, it’s more “how many can you have/bear/etc.” In Europe they can’t for instance. It’s not because they dont’ want to, it’s because the government is taking all their money. There’s no money for more than ONE kid.

      • Well, I wasn’t thinking of it quite that way. Modern birth control separates the number of kids you have from the behaviors that ordinarily lead to having more kids. So if relative plenty (perhaps not in your pension, but at least in the calories you eat) might be throwing some internal switch that encourages more promiscuity and less investment in each specific offspring (even if it is only one).

  33. Charles Harris

    I cannot believe that no one has yet mentioned arranged marriages. That is still the way things are done many places, and was pretty common in the western world in earlier times. Having a couple of grownups sign off for whatever grownup reason — best pal, money, position, acceptability to the neighbors — has got to make a difference.

    • And knowing that you are not supposed to be “best friends love at first sight wuuuuuuv twu wuv” from the first encounter. There’s a certain realism about arranged marriages. Some did end in disaster, others became love matches, but in a culture where that’s the norm, they do seem to have less stress between the partners. Stress between partner and in-laws, though… *thinks of friend-of-family’s stories about his Chinese grandmother and how she treated her daughter-in-law.*

      • It works out for some, it doesn’t for others. I for one, don’t have a problem with arranged marriages/matchmaking. From what I understand, at least in modern omiai, they’re expected to go out on a few dates and then see if they’re a match.

        There’s also a huge pressure on Japanese women to maintain homogeny – that is, marry within their race and culture, from what I heard, as well as ‘someone the parents would approve of.’

        For some of the men, that is loosened up a little, to ‘marry someone from a compatible culture’ – I’m remembering the matchmaking that my mother was describing for her home province. One of the farming districts of Japan had noted that it was getting very difficult for their farmers to get wives, so they decided to try an experiment of doing an ‘introduce these men to women from this similarly conservative farming area in the Philippines.’ This worked out alright, because a number of these became love matches (and I expect that a number were economic matches, but that’s between the couples.) They didn’t pick men who were too much older in range from the girls who they were introduced to, and the men in question were expected to learn English. The girls were taught Japanese before they moved over to Japan and had support in settling in and learning stuff that would help in the day to day.

        • Oh my gosh I really hope that’s more than a fluke…. look, I think Japanese culture is broken in some ways, and that the PI culture has some major fractures, but they work together so well the result could be AWESOME.

          I also support the sailors and Marines who marry Japanese and go native, because I want Japan to get stronger and be even more awesome– they’re not mine, but I do love them. It’s irrational, but hey.

          • If we were entirely rational, we would be Vulcans (well, in theory, anyway – in practice, not so much), and they are stodgy old fussbudgets.

            • *drifts off on a daydream of an entire race of Spocks*

              • If you see my wife there watching, tell her to come home. 🙂

                Did you ever notice that Spock was a better Vulcan that most Vulcans? Seems like it’s because he wasn’t full Vulcan, and was constantly reminded of it, he worked his ass off to become the perfect Vulcan.

                In similar, but subtly different fashion, Worf was a better Klingon than most Klingons, because he was raised by a pair of humans who took great pains to raise him as much like the books said Klingons were as possible.

          • I think some of the people who needed evacuating were from those matchmaking experiments.

          • Japan’s culture broke after WII. They are ashamed… deeply ashamed. Ashamed that they lost. Ashamed at what they did during the war and before. And remember this is a culture that enshrined ritual suicide for shame. I’m wondering if that part of their psychology is what’s at operation on their disinterest in continuing as a people. I’m not sure thier culture knows how to move past this kind of shame.

            Note: my parents grew up in Korea, so I have a bit more Korean attitude towards the Japanese.

  34. Cue “Lysistrata.”

  35. You seem to have cut off the story before the end, but of course you didn’t participate in that part. What has really killed the sexual revolution was laws giving women all the choices and men all the financial responsibility for those choices, followed by laws effectively making a woman’s accusation of serious crimes equal to a conviction. Now a man has nothing to gain by committing to any woman unless he can somehow tell which ones will sooner or later betray him.

    We may as well legalize sex work and get used to it being a commodity.

    • We may as well legalize sex work and get used to it being a commodity.

      Nonsense. That would mandate according rights to the customer.