Monday, April 14, 2008

Mars and Venus: The Ugly Truth

This post over at Rangeragainstwar got me thinking: why ARE us Y-chromosome types so frigging stupid when it comes to love and sex?

As opposed to the lower animals? Because, honestly? Guys are generally a) stupid about relationships, and b) too stupid to know we're stupid. We are. IF we're honest we admit it and work on improving our behavior. If we don't, we generally blunder through life making some poor woman's life more difficult.

We hit puberty and we're pretty much a life support system for a penis. We have little or no emotional subtlety and usually don't want any. Most of us, if we're under 40 - and a LOT of us if we're under 90 - will be lying to you if we saw we want "emotional intimacy". Mostly what we want is to get laid, and after that have some sort of meal involving meat.

Whenever one of those scandals comes up, a Clinton or a Gary Hart or something like that, my wife just can't get it. "How could he be so freaking stupid about some booty!?" she snarls.

I explain it to her this way: in a lot of respects, a man's mind can be very complex and powerful, like the electronics suite of a multibillion dollar Aegis missile cruiser. But every once in a while something shapely flies past and a $1.98 heat-seeking warhead on a moisture-activate muffin missile comes active and fires itself, slaving the entire vessal, hardware and software, to that utterly moronic cheap little warhead. The result is usually bad for all involved.It's not that we CAN'T do better, it's that it would take character, resolve and maturity to resist the hardwiring of that stupid little gadget and many of us don't want to be that grown-up.

I'm sorry, women of the world, but this “...truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.” (Winston Churchill)


Lisa said...

Well Chief, that is a blisteringly honest assessment of the effects of large amounts of testosterone.

To be fair, as one of my beloved mentors once asked rhetorically, "Can you imagine what it would be like for us if our clitoris were grown to the size of even a very small penis?" is a very provocative thought.

So I can certainly forgive men their drives, but as you say, they must put some effort into empathy if a successful connection is to be made. Often, male parents are not very good about inculcating this trait. Big boys don't cry, and all of that.

From the XX side of things, I will say many of my sisters learn a corrupt way of dealing with men early on, too.

They manipulate, and they are taught well by their mothers how to pose and exploit what nature has given them. They only have a couple of decades, so they often run through things quickly, without really caring to know about the man.

It is enough to fantasize that he "loves me," which equals "listens to me" and actually finds me irresistible by virtue of my having used my feminine wiles well. Sadly, all she is is a poseur; all he wants is sex. That grows old pretty quickly.

I do not understand why some men eschew revealing themselves (at the right time), and caring to know the woman he is with. Hubris?

rangeragainstwar said...

I don't know these mars or venus people but i'll comment anyway.
In mho most men actually want a mother rather than a wife AND THEN resent the woman for mothering him.
I don't want a mother or a wife and clearly state this and as such i'm labelled.....
The replies to The Concubine article published on RAW all assumed the male to be deficient even without discussing all of the facts. A simple rule is to gather all the facts before making sweeping diagnosis.The male is only half of the equation. jim hruska

Lisa said...


This is oddly fun, dialoging with Ranger via cyberspace. I wish others would hop on board, as I'd love some broader input.

As I see it, the responsibility for commo rests soundly on the shoulders of both involved parties. If she is a bimbo, he should ascertain this fact via words or body language, and not complain later on that hormones, his or hers, done him in. We are slightly above nematodes in our reasoning faculties.

If he is a himbo, then they are well-suited. However, if he/she requires intelligence + a mix of other qualities, those too should be discussed on the table.

The problem often occurs when people misrepresent themselves, either through sins of omission or commission. This leads to false expectations and hopes.

For the thoroughly profligate and unlikable individual, gaining the hookup requires some measure of dissimulation. Often, they try the pity ploy.

However, the reason they are to be pitied is b/c they are in fact pitiful, and this is usually of a person's own doing. Therefore, w/in their power to undo, as well.

FDChief said...


I'm not sure I can make an apt reply to the web of ideas expressed in both your comments...but let me try.

I think the thing to keep in mind is that none of this happens in a vacuum. Generally speaking 99.4% of the social settings this happens in begin with an expectation of him to pursue and her to be pursued. And, also in most settings, both sides have the common expectation that IF he can con, bluff, woo or drag her into be, he will. Her "job", if you will, is to decide where to set the limit on this pursuit.

First let me say that this isn't my recommended way of going about the business male-female relations, or what I think is the "best" way of doing this.

That said, I think that both sides are letting themselves get trapped: he's going to try and get laid, regardless of how dumb this decision may turn out to be physically, emotionally or fiscally. She - as you point out, Lisa - knows this and if she is immature, greedy, venal or just stupid may play all sorts of games with it, and him, that are bound to end badly.

My wife likes to tell the story of a former roomate of hers, a classic "suth'n belle" who referred to her reproductive bits as her "vaginal vise" - whenever she needed her inamorata to do something she'd just tighten down on his sensitive bits (or just refuse to open FOR those bits...).

Still, honestly, I think that us guys have a problem with figuring out that getting into her pants first, last, always, regardless of the other baggage, isn't always the best idea. And I think a lot of the dumb stuff that pops up on the news wouldn't happen if the guy just took a minute to think with his UPPER head and remember that there are other priorities than firing the cheap little heat-seeking missile...

FDChief said...

both sides have the common expectation that IF he can con, bluff, woo or drag her into bed, he will. Her "job", if you will, in this setting is to decide where to set the limit on this pursuit.

Normally I don't correct typos, but in this case, they change (or obscure) the meaning a bit. Still, looking over my comment, I have to say that I'll stand by it. Women are half of the equation but us guys are 90% of the math errors. It's not that women don't or can't play games, or make dumb decisions based on hormones, but the relative quantity of that kind of fuckup versus the "Mongo want pussy!" sort of freeway pileup makes kicking the gals equally hard a little...uncivil? Dunno.

rangeragainstwar said...

i reckon i'm outgunned and i'll stick to writing on military, terror/uw/gw topics which are much less tricky than the terrain that we're now negotiating. jim

Lisa said...


I love that you are willing to go into these waters, as it were. Not many men feel comfortable here, for as you say, they have but one mission. To question its necessity is never on the table, and to have their project be revealed as being so limited in scope would be, I
s'pose, embarrassing.

I agree--if there were a meeting of the minds and hearts, vs. just the genitals, pairings would be more felicitous. You say it well when you say people get trapped in cages of their own choosing, whether they are loathe to admit that or not.

I do like the "vaginal vise" imagery, which carries with it the equally valid homonym of "vaginal vice." I think both are applicable in that ruse.

Oh that game playing could be abolished after the initial flirtations were done with. So much less sorrow (so many fewer angsty poems and rock songs. . .)

But possibly, more authentically-lived lives (?)

FDChief said...

Lisa: A college roommate had a unique perspective on the whole male-love-to-get-sex vs. female sex-to-get-love thing.

He would cut to the chase within minutes of meeting her: basically, his spiel was; I'm attracted to you and want to go to bed with you. I'm going to try and convince you to feel the same way about me. If you're not interested, let's get that out of the way right now. If you already are, let's decide if we both want to cut the cackle and get right down to bumpin' uglies.

Boy got more than his share of slaps. But he also - wonder of wonders in the overheated sexual environment of a college dorm - had several of what would today be called "friends with benefits". While the rest of us were getting all stupid about sex complete with the fits, fights, breakups and makeups, he was going about his day in a very adult fashion...I've often wondered if my life would have been more profitable if I had been that mature.

One of the great byproducts of aging is a greater breadth of vision. Sex is no longer an obsession - well, yes, it is; any guy who tells you he isn't picturing you naked is blowing smoke, we're most of us just that way and will be until clinically dead - but it's just one obsession among many. As the raging hormones of the twenties and thirties died down I could appreciate more than just lubricity in a woman aquaintence and begin to enjoy women as part of the larger joy of life rather than just as a target for tonight.

Kind of - if you'll pardon being compared to a game bird - like the difference I feel about hunting.

At twenty, if I came back without anything in my bag it was a pretty much wasted morning. Now, while I love putting duck on the table, if there's no birds flying I can enjoy the sunrise, the crisp chillness in the air, the reflection of the dekes on the water...

Somewhere along the line I suspect I grew up...

FDChief said...

Oh, and while I'm being utterly honest, I might as well dime myself and my brothers off.

We look. No matter how in love we are, no matter how cute, hot or sexy you are...we look.

Those of us less evolved do MORE than look, of course. But if we've managed to develop a conscience somewhere along the way we realize that it's not the sex - it's about keeping a promise we made to you.

And hopefully we're in a good enough marriage or relationship that you know we look and we know you know. And we can have a sense of humor about it.

My bride has a nice expression for this:

"I don't care where you work up an appetite," she says, "so long as you come home to eat."

Lisa said...

Don't mind being compared to the birds at all, duckie ;)

"I could appreciate more than just lubricity in a woman acquaintance and begin to enjoy women as part of the larger joy of life"

In that statement is maturity, but also a presumption of a successful hurdling of the lubricity stage. I s'pect for a man who has not met with a great deal of success, um, lubricizing (*neologism*) his conquests, he will be forever stuck on that fairly adolescent rung of the Maslow's pyramid, never confident or trusting of his own abilities, nor the sincerity of his conquests.

Your college friend was direct, and for horny students, that translates well. Directness is a blessing, and I suppose that is the key to forming a well-matched pair. Quid pro quo is also part of it -- courtesies, shared kindness, concern.

I guess where it gets screwed up is when the trade-off becomes unbalanced. One gives too much, one takes too much, resentment and gamesmanship creeps in.

One can say, like Geo. Michael, "I want your sex," but human nature eventually forms a connection deeper than sex alone. At least for most women. So such a man must be resigned to severing relationships serially when he detects more care than he is willing to reciprocate.

That takes courage and honesty, b/c one day he will be like old High Hefner, and alone, and he must be o.k. with that. Otherwise, he of the straight dorm-talk risks becoming a predator later on, when it does not come off so well to ask a 40-yr-old to bump uglies.

"It's about keeping a promise we made to you." Again, maturity is the key. You may look, but you come home to your love. And you are not afraid to claim for love.

"The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love"--Somerset Maugham.

Reminds me of being in the classroom when I would see the lads all follow in sync a lovely (or not-so-lovely) well-endowed girl as she would exit for the restroom. Same thing upon her return. Just like pups sticking their heads out the car window they were. Always made me smile at the predictability of it. Just like the wave at a stadium.