Two people independently sent me this link, so I guess there's a demand for this.
Sex Is Cheap: Why young men have the upper hand in bed, even when they're failing in life.
"Young men" are just one guy, right? Actually, I think I dated him. ...Twice.
We keep hearing that young men are failing to adapt to contemporary life.
We keep hearing it because it's a meme that has a grain of truth and a thick outer coating of things people want to be true for some horrible reason, from "kids these days, with their Xbox and their sexting and their Rainbow Parties" to "this feminism business has just gone too far."
And yet there is one area in which men are very much in charge: premarital heterosexual relationships.
By "in charge," this author means that they're having them. The fact that women are, duh, having the exact same premarital heterosexual relationships just proves what suckers those chicks are.
(Sidenote: Does anyone else feel like the word "premarital" is kind of a weird way to put it? It makes it sound like you're definitely going to get married later. "Nonmarital" seems like a more sensible term.)
When attractive women will still bed you, life for young men, even those who are floundering, just isn't so bad.
"Attractive"? Most of the women sleeping with young men are presumably young, but I don't think anyone collected any statistics proving that they're all hotties. And if the author is trying to conjure up an image of a dude who lives on his mom's couch playing Xbox and has a parade of hotties showing up at the door anyway... yeah, that's not really how it works.
But what many young men wish for—access to sex without too many complications or commitments—carries the day.
Right, because young men never want to have a (ewwww) girlfriend. The funny thing is, in my experience, a lot of young men are actually giant saps. In my sexually free relations with young men, I have encountered offers not just of affection but of "schmoop" and "wugs." This article simply does not account for wugs.
If women were more fully in charge of how their relationships transpired, we'd be seeing, on average, more impressive wooing efforts, longer relationships, fewer premarital sexual partners, shorter cohabitations, and more marrying going on.
This is presented without supporting evidence, just because we all know that broads only want to snag them a ring.
But actually, these aren't things that (all; your mileage will vary on account of how "women" also is not one person) women just want for their own sake. These are things that women want in a system where they have very little power, so securing a generous and committed husband is the only way to get any status. When we don't need a man's help to get by, we can afford to relax and just have some fun.
The terms of contemporary sexual relationships favor men and what they want in relationships, not just despite the fact that what they have to offer has diminished, but in part because of it. And it's all thanks to supply and demand.
I don't think the supply and demand have changed all that much, buddy. It's been very close to 1:1 for a while now.
Wait... exactly which one of us is the supply and which is the demand?
As Baumeister, Vohs, and others have repeatedly shown, on average, men want sex more than women do. Call it sexist, call it whatever you want—the evidence shows it's true. In one frequently cited study, attractive young researchers separately approached opposite-sex strangers on Florida State University's campus and proposed casual sex. Three-quarters of the men were game, but not one woman said yes.
I'm going to guess this says less about women's horniness than it does about our experience with creepers. A guy who proposes sex out of the blue is potentially dangerous, and in many women's experience, he doesn't even really want sex at all but is just playing some weird game to get a reaction. Blunt sexual advances are a form of street harassment that most of us have been through, and "you wanna fuck me, babe?" has nearly the same tone and intention as "mooooo what a cow." Most random sexual offers to women are neither compliments nor genuine offers.
As Baumeister and Vohs note, sex in consensual relationships therefore commences only when women decide it does.
Well... yeah. Consensual relationships require consent. That took two researchers?
But obviously the man has to decide too. And even within the model where he always makes the first move, making that move is a way of expressing his consent. Guys who initiate sex may always want sex (my tautology powers are tautological!), but guys don't always initiate sex.
And yet despite the fact that women are holding the sexual purse strings, they aren't asking for much in return these days—the market "price" of sex is currently very low.
Sexual purse strings? You mean the ability to not have sex when I don't want to? I'm like the fucking Scrooge McDuck of pussy here.
As for market price... hey, I'm not working for free here, it's just a different currency. Instead of rich husbands, I get paid in orgasms. And business is good.
Since high-speed digital porn gives men additional sexual options—more supply for his elevated demand—it takes some measure of price control away from women.
I'm pretty sure even old-timey Victorian dudes knew how to jerk off just fine.
And seriously, price control, seriously. It's kind of hard to miss the "whoreswhoreswhores" undertone here when you talk about sex entirely in terms of the price the woman charges the man.
But just as critical is the fact that a significant number of young men are faring rather badly in life, and are thus skewing the dating pool. It's not that the overall gender ratio in this country is out of whack; it's that there's a growing imbalance between the number of successful young women and successful young men. As a result, in many of the places where young people typically meet—on college campuses, in religious congregations, in cities that draw large numbers of twentysomethings—women outnumber men by significant margins.
So even if we followed the conclusions the author is implying here with utterly literal "the pussy market works just any other bulk commodity" thinking, we wouldn't see unsuccessful young men getting laid a lot. We'd either see successful young men turning into pussy-gorged mansluts, or unsuccessful young men who have successful girlfriends. Or just a lot of single people who can't find anyone in their demographic who wants them. But there's no permutation of this scenario where Xbox couch dude is a pussy-gorged manslut.
Unless he's got something else going for him. But too much consideration of what "something else" consists of could derail this whole article. Surely the people in these strictly-business sex-for-commitment exchanges don't like each other?
Analysis of demographic data from 117 countries has shown that when men outnumber women, women have the upper hand: Marriage rates rise and fewer children are born outside marriage.
So since the human birth ratio is pretty consistently 1.05:1, think about why men would significantly outnumber women, not in a college or a particular social class, but in an entire country. Because the women are dying. They're getting aborted or killed as infants because girl children are a burden, they're dying in childbirth, they're victims of violence. Some upper hand.
We found that virginity is more common on those campuses where women comprise a smaller share of the student body, suggesting that they have the upper hand.
Virginity is a sign of having the upper hand? Boy you couldn't have convinced me of that when I was in college and still had mine.
By contrast, on campuses where women outnumber men, they are more negative about campus men, hold more negative views of their relationships, go on fewer dates, are less likely to have a boyfriend, and receive less commitment in exchange for sex.
"Commitment in exchange for sex." Hey, I give them credit for spelling it out. Okay, it's not really credit. I think it's more like disdain. FUN FACT: The human female occasionally experiences sensations similar to "pleasure" during certain sexual acts!
36 percent of young men's relationships add sex by the end of the second week of exclusivity; an additional 13 percent do so by the end of the first month. A second indicator of cheap sex is the share of young men's sexual relationships—30 percent—that don't involve romance at all: no wooing, no dates, no nothing.
"Young men's relationships" is such a strange way to describe relationships that involve a man and a woman. You could use these statistics to prove the opposite point by changing that wording.
And hey, why would I want exclusivity if we're not having sex? What's the point of having a man all to myself if I'm not going to use him?
Women's "erotic capital," as Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics has dubbed it, can still be traded for attention, a job, perhaps a boyfriend, and certainly all the sex she wants, but it can't assure her love and lifelong commitment.
When could it ever? Was there a time in history when I could have walked into the street and yelled "Hey! I have a vagina! But you can't have any!" and eager suitors would have swarmed me? There was a time when marriage was more common and longer-term, but based on everything I know about human nature, "love and lifelong commitment" weren't necessarily part of that deal.
Jill, a 20-year-old college student from Texas, is one of the many young women my colleagues and I interviewed who finds herself confronting the sexual market's realities. Startlingly attractive and an all-star in all ways, she patiently endures her boyfriend's hemming and hawing about their future. If she were operating within a collegiate sexual economy that wasn't oversupplied with women, men would compete for her and she would easily secure the long-term commitment she says she wants.
I know a bunch of couples who married at or before 21. Out of six that I'm thinking about now, one is still together. Turns out that when you get married you don't ride off into the sunset on matching ponies, but have to suddenly deal with being married. Which is tough when you're still young and forming your own identity. Most 20-year-olds are damn right they've got a lot of hemming and hawing left to do.
But you know, there's no moment as joyous as "Mom, he proposed! Because he can't get laid any other way!"
Michelle, a 20-year-old from Colorado, said she is in the same boat: "I had an ex-boyfriend of mine who said that, um, he didn't know if he was ever going to get married because, he said, there's always going to be someone better."
Alright, that guy's just a dick.
And yet while young men's failures in life are not penalizing them in the bedroom, their sexual success may, ironically, be hindering their drive to achieve in life. Don't forget your Freud: Civilization is built on blocked, redirected, and channeled sexual impulse, because men will work for sex.
Don't forget the part where Freud's theories have been totally disproven and these days are only ever used for literary criticism, and that's only because literary criticism is, well, not so fussy what theories they'll accept!
And in this mindset, women are... prizes? Trophies? Acquisitions? Purchases? Certainly not people with their own damn drive to achieve in life.
Hey... regardless of whether there's satisfactory sex in the marriage or not, how do monogamously married men ever get anything done?
As the authors of last year's book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality put it, "Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy." They're right. But then try getting men to do anything.
Has this ever actually happened? Has there actually ever been a society that crumbled because people were just too darn happy with their sex lives? (Okay, the hippies. Moving on.)
Not only are women people rather than pussy-dispensing man-motivators, men are people rather than single-minded crotch-hounds. Neil Armstrong did not go to the moon to get laid. I mean, fuck, cavemen could get laid. People achieve because the human race has as one of our traits, as immutable as the whiskers on a cat, the drive to always want more and better. Give a child blocks and they build a tower; give a person a job and they want to be the boss. Pussy's got nothing to do with it.
And if pussy did have something to do with it, fuck "society," because I'm sure as hell not giving up sex just to get some random schlub's ass off the couch.