Traditional Marriage has serious problems, and yet society isn’t waiting about for solution before coming up with new ways of handling difficulties involving ancient issues.
Despite roughly 13,000 American couples tying the knot on a typical June day, the majority of marriages end in divorce, separation, bitterness, or dysfunction. Psychologist Ty Tashiro points out in his book that “of all the people who get married, only three in ten remain in healthy, happy marriages.” But my immediate data doesn’t provide a time frame for this division to occur, and I don’t have time today for deep research.
Luckily, The Internet Search is my friend. John Gottman and Robert Levenson at the University of Washington observed newlyweds interacting with each other [duration unspecified in the original]. Then the researchers sent the couples home and followed up with them six years later to see if they were still together. From the data they gathered, Gottman (and Levenson) separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages.
Still think that Seven-Year-Itch is a myth?
One issue which has to play a role according to my thinking is birth control education. The religious types have been very successful in eliminating anything other than abstinence-only programs, a plan which is demonstrably a complete failure. Even Christians like Cameron Cole, the director of children, youth, and family at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama, are beginning to sway. “You do not have to wait until marriage to experience and enjoy intimacy,” he declares. “It is available for you here and now in your relationship with Christ and through vibrant friendships. Perhaps sex will be one of many ways that you enjoy intimacy at some point in your life.”
Yet just moving away from Thou Shalt Not – EVER! isn’t alone the solution. “The declines in formal sex education we observed since 2006 are distressing, but unfortunately are part of a longer term retreat from sex education, especially instruction about birth control methods,” said author Laura Duberstein Lindberg of The Guttmacher Institute in New York in the March 29, 2016 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, available online.
If birth control information isn’t what it once was, what about other information that I wish I’d had when I was that age? Knowing much more about relationships would have been a great start, especially what married life was going to be like before it was too late to make any changes without suffering damage. It would have made for a much better experience in selecting a life partner.
Renowned stage actress Anne Jackson died the other day. Her obituary article offered up a tidbit which I don’t find to be a sign of a good relationship no matter how long her marriage lasted:
Ms. Jackson and her husband [Eli Wallach] acknowledged being temperamental egotists — actors, after all — and the efforts it took to make the marriage and career work. “He’d never give you a compliment for a long, long time,” Ms. Jackson told an interviewer in 1963.
“Now I give you compliments,” Wallach said.
“Oh, sure,” Ms. Jackson replied. “I say, ‘I was wonderful, wasn’t I?’ And he says, ‘Yes.’ I give him the answers I want to hear.”
Does this not turn a real relationship into a fantasy? Perhaps the entire idea of marriage in modern times is itself a fantasy?
I’ve said before that marriage is a business relationship similar to prostitution, only the prostitute too often provides the better deal over the long run. What else is one to think about Bethenny Frankel advising that women should have sex with men for business gain? Does this mean that women are beginning to see the traditional relationship in more business-like ways? That maybe men only have a limited utility in the life of a woman?
If so, this could explain what appears to be a growing trend with younger women? A recent Broadly article reports a study which found 48 percent of Gen Zs (young Americans aged 13 to 20 years old) identify as exclusively heterosexual compared to 65 percent of millennials aged 21 to 34.
Priscilla Frank, Arts Writer at The Huffington Post, opens up about the movie Grease and how Olivia Newton-John’s character Sandy affected her behavior in ways which reflect this apparent trend:
I was clearly magnetized, almost addicted [to Sandy]…in her post-makeover, sexed-up cat woman look, carefully crafted to attract the T-Bird of her affections…She was the first manifestation, for me, of that intense combination of lust, envy and inspiration that makes ladies want to please a man so badly they can’t stop desiring women.
I assume that she is referring to enticing men to desire women with this observation, but that it isn’t exactly clear I’m correct based on what follows:
I want to be Sandy to attract Danny, and yet it’s Sandy I can’t look away from….Perhaps the ubiquitous cultural obsession with feminine sexuality speaks to the fact that the purely straight girl is seeming more and more like a myth, as the satirical Reductress article “Is Everyone Super Attracted to These 6 Female Celebrities or Is This Me Finding Out I’m Bisexual?” playfully suggests.
Satire always has an inspiration from real life, and Ms. Frank doesn’t disappoint in providing such sources:
Rihanna is but one of a sea of hot babes women fantasize about fucking, but also fantasize about fucking as. Writer Tess Barker coined the term Bey-Sexual to describe the nearly ubiquitous straight girl syndrome of lusting after the Queen B. “I sometimes refer to myself as a Bey-Sexual,” she writes, “meaning that I’m such a typical straight woman I would absolutely sleep with Beyoncé. When I watch her…I am really fantasizing less about having sex with Beyoncé, and more about having sex as her.
Maybe this fantasy is a case of Monkey-See, Monkey-Do? Was Meg Ryan (as Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally) wrong when she claimed that “all women fake it?”
Pornographic actress Jessica Drake believes that “prototypical mainstream porn…features non-representative behavior such as ‘to-the-rafters’ moaning…because these theatrical markers incite confidence and pleasure in straight men.” Writers John Corbett and Terri Kapsalis appear to agree with this, as they theorize “the representation of female orgasm” in modern pornographic films and videos “was created to address the problem of women not naturally producing a visual ‘money shot’ rather than an attempt to capture sounds that men would be turned on by.”
The original article goes on to discuss how much more often such representations are included in modern pop media such as music videos, which would likely inspire such fantasies, especially in the uninitiated female viewers.
The primal motivation for this presentation and its effectiveness could be located in our genetics. Psychologists Karen McComb and Stuart Semple found while studying communities of primates that female mating calls varied according to things like proximity to ovulation and the status of their partner. These calls attracted male primates to sexually receptive females and created sperm competition.
Psychotherapist and sexuality counsellor Ian Kerner found in a study that “women were most likely to orgasm during foreplay. Yet, their most prominent moans did not correlate with that moment of bliss. They generally became loudest during their male partner’s climax.
So this appears to me to be women not being especially honest with men during sex, for their motivations differ distinctly from those of their male partners. She has to appear to like sex with him (and she may in reality) lest she lose him and his support to another woman (like Sally Albright?) who makes him feel like he’s Bwana Dik through her vocalizations.
Let’s just say for the moment this is so. When do women get to be themselves when enjoying sex?
According to Jenna Amatulli of The Huffington Post, it just might happen in places like The Skirt Club, where “smart professional women looking for empowering exploration” can find it “in a private, safe environment.”
Skirt Club founder Genevieve LeJeune positioned the event as a place where “straight girls experiment, and bi girls find a home where they can meet other bi girls.”
It’s an empowering experience, but an “elite” one, only available to women who can afford it.
The $180 ticket also bought the privacy of a luxury apartment and a mutual understanding of “anything goes” for all attendees.
Does it help if one looks like Beyonce, or Sandy from Grease, or a Twerking Miley Cyrus? Maybe that’s how the less-affluent young women get in? Sponsored by another who is attracted to their adopted persona as Rihanna, or Taylor Swift, or Shakira, or whoever is the most recent idol of impressionable young women?
Some thoughts from original article commentors:
:A lot of “straight” women have sex with “straight” women. We all have some form of bi-curiosity in us that makes us ‘try’ different things….nothing new.
I can understand straight women loving on straight women….For one thing, by the time we’re 25-30, women have learned to be more accepting and flexible than men, perhaps because men force women into compromising themselves since before they’re teens.
One commenter who identifies as straight shares an experience when she could have tried this out for herself:
…[I] do identify as [straight], but once had the pleasure of a woman flirting with me…what was so surprising to me was how it felt exactly like a man [flirting] with me….though it didn’t go anywhere due to the fact that [I] was in a relationship at the time, [I] truly [believe] that if the timing had been right, [I] would have been happy to let things progress with that beautiful intriguing woman.
Corrections in brackets.
Whenever something like this crops up for one gender, there is always the “sauce for the gander” response, one which rings true:
What would be the outrage and firestorm, if this same party was for men? One can only imagine. How many of these women are married, or in “committed relationships?” How many of them would freak out if they had contact with a man who participated is such an event? How many men, once “guilty” of such an indulgence, would be considered undateable by women far and wide?
Glamour Magazine conducted a study of over 1000 women between 18 and 44 regarding “their own sexual identities and experiences”:
63 percent of those surveyed said they’d opt out of traditional labels like “homosexual,” “heterosexual” and “bisexual,” [and] 47 percent of women say they’ve been attracted to another woman, and of that group, 31 percent have had a sexual experience with another woman.
One of the conclusions will come as no surprise to the majority of straight men:
…only 3 percent ranked sex as the most important aspect of a relationship.
So how do women feel about men who explore their sexuality on similar terms?
[63 percent of those surveyed] said they wouldn’t date a man who has slept with another man.
I thus concur that Mr. Sean Keating is correct in his adverse reaction to the activities at “The Skirt Club”.
I honestly don’t see things getting much better between the genders any time soon. So much in the real world, outside of the control or influence of the average sod, is working against him being successful in forming relationships. The hostility too many young women display toward young men only inspires an increase in MGTOW in response. A Greater Divide Hath No Man.
So my advice to young men is to let a woman prove to you that she’s interested in you before you commit to anything. Interest isn’t necessarily related to sex, although that isn’t a bad start. Let her date you. You will want more, just as she would if you were following a traditional path. Hold out until she delivers.
Get her talking about what she is going to provide you in trade for all of the things vital to your existence that she will demand. Get her to tell you how you are to compel compliance to your agreement if her behavior doesn’t match her words, which should be in writing and negotiated in a state of sobriety. Just be prepared to give her what you ask for. Fair IS fair, after all.
Maybe setting milestones to evaluate how you are doing before you continue is a good idea. And never let deciding it isn’t going the way you want stop you from leaving if that becomes the evident resolution. It’s only your entire life she’s messing with!
Maybe by setting up a practice of honest discussion will prevent many of the issues which separate the majority of marrieds by six years. Maybe it will cause the end of a weak relationship long before additional procreative complications arrive. Maybe the practice of using sex as a Pavlovian reward system will end, and a real sexual relationship can occur.
I’ll give Tess Barker the last word on this, for I agree with her comment about sex: “It feels good to say yes—and better to mean it.”
Billions of men -and maybe millions of dead-bedded lesbians- would agree.
The title comes from a quote from author Helen Rowland:
A husband is what is left of a lover, after the nerve has been extracted.
She had some interesting book titles.