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Miley Cyrus and Our Primitive Desire to ‘Twerk’

27 Aug

1377483237000-mileytonguebetterThis week, Miley Cyrus set the internet on fire with her provocative performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, in which she undulates around stage in a flesh-colored bikini, tongue wagging, in an apparent attempt to make a dozen life-size teddy bears blush to death as she impregnates herself with a foam finger. Skip to 3:50 in the video to see the pop star pretending her backside is an eraser, and furiously using it to remove Robin Thicke’s crotch, like a mistake on a multiple choice test. (At least that’s what it looked like to me).

This rhythmic form of dancing that involves shaking, gyrating, or simply jiggling one’s buttocks is known as twerking, and it’s sweeping the nation. Twerking can be done on a dance floor, upside down against a wall, or alone in one’s room before uploading to YouTube to see if a video of a woman doing nothing except shaking her tushy on camera can reach one million hits (spoiler alert: yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes). It is gaining popularity among young people as quickly as it is horrifying their parents.

Like many humble viewers, I watched Ms. Cyrus’ cringingly dirty dancing and wondered: Why, sweet Miley? Certainly the former child star is eager to shed her Disney persona, and knew the racy stunt would win her plenty of media attention, and I can’t fault her for that. But the act of twerking also has a primitive, biological component, one that Miley (and all humans) may be hard-wired for.

Dancing is an ancient human behavior, and seems to be innate. Even babies do it. And while we use it for bonding and displays of dexterity, perhaps no use is more important than mating. Studies have shown women can ascertain a man’s health and confidence by how well he dances, and have more orgasms with men they find to be better dancers. And men find women to be better dancers during the fertile phase of their menstrual cycle. Dancing gives us X-ray vision into the reproductive quality of potential mates.

rat_lordosis

Miley Cyrat.

But twerking is unique, and its origin lies even further in our evolutionary past. While its Wikipedia page claims this dance craze began in 1993, the technique has actually been around for several million years, under a different name: Mammalian lordosis. If you own a dog or cat, you may have observed lordosis behavior. Female mammals arch their spine inward and raise their backsides toward male suitors as part of the mating ritual when they are ‘in heat.’ Seen in cats, mice, and yes, humans, it is both an invitation to mate and a tool to aid in copulation, elevating the hips to allow for intercourse. While doggies get credit for the style, pre-missionary humans have been doing it just as long. And lordosis behavior isn’t simply confined to the bedroom. Anthropologist Helen Fisher speculates that high heeled shoes, which force women to arch their backs and stick out their buttocks, may be “sexy” to men because of their preference for lordosis behavior displays.

kim-kardashian-measurementsBut there’s more. To watch twerking in action, one can’t help but wonder if the real culprit might be the well-documented male preference for a low waist-to-hip ratio in prospective mates. Low “WHR” in women—essentially, the skinny waist, wide-hipped, “hour glass” figure—is the classic shape consistently rated highest by men in many cross-cultural studies. Women with ideal waist-to-hip ratios are healthier, more fertile, and usually aren’t pregnant already, all traits that our male ancestors evolved to appreciate, if only subconsciously. Done properly, twerking involves keeping the waist in a static position, then gyrating the hips and buttocks around in a big circular motion, creating the illusion of a skinny waist and wider hips and posterior. When it comes to presenting a good waist-to-hip ratio, twerking is actually quite ingenious.

V-Shaped former Governor.

V-Shaped former Governor.

So why hasn’t twerking caught on with male dancers? Because women don’t like hourglass figures in men. Male fitness is displayed by a low waist-to-chest ratio…the classic “V-shaped” torso that indicates a strong upper body, broad shoulders, and a hulking chest. If guys want a dance that drives women wild, they should invent a move that makes our chests look broader. Call it Schwarzenerking.

So while many are rushing to Facebook to condemn the trashiness of the performance, I, for one, applaud Miley Cyrus, as well as the other members of the so-called Twerk Team. Whether you call it twerking, grinding, or doing the New Jersey Turnpike, these clever ladies have not only perfected, but improved upon a mating call that has been around for millions of years. Just as we did with eating and hunting and every other animal behavior, humans have turned the primal lordosis display into its very own art form. Sure, Miley may have made some viewers uncomfortable. But I didn’t see that handsome mammal singing “Blurred Lines” getting too upset about it.

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Turning 30 Sucks, Quit Sugar-Coating It

10 Aug

Olivia-Wilde-house-md-2144145-1163-1526I think Olivia Wilde is terrific. She’s a wonderful actress, donates her time to worthy humanitarian causes, and possesses not just golden age Hollywood beauty, but the class to go with it. And after reading her Do’s and Don’ts of Turning 30 in Glamour this week, where she describes how much she’s looking forward to the big 3-0, I’ll add witty and honest writer to the list of her attributes.

That being said, I cannot think of anybody on the planet who understands what it is like to turn 30 less than Olivia Wilde.

For starters, she’s still 29. I’m hardly a wise old sage at the age of 33, but one thing I do know is that turning 30 is not something you really understand until it has actually happened. The reality of turning 30 doesn’t set in until your 31st birthday. That’s the first day you realize you have failed to accomplish all of the things you said you would accomplish by age 30. When we’re kids, and envision ourselves as adults with perfect families, exciting jobs, and the recognition of our peers, we subconsciously assign a number to that ‘adult’ age, and that number tends to be 30. So no matter what you have or haven’t accomplished in your twenties, and even the 30th year itself, there’s still time left on the clock to achieve it. Until you turn 31. Then, officially, you are behind. That’s when the real anxiety sets in.

But of course we all know that, even in her thirties, Olivia Wilde is just not going to have the same problems that average people have. She advises us: “DON’T freak out about all the brilliant people who have accomplished more than you by 30.” Easy for her to say! She’s already accomplished the universal dream of becoming a movie star.

And while I applaud Ms. Wilde for insisting “DON’T cut your face,” I can’t help but wonder how many middle-aged actors and actresses rolled their eyes while reading it and thought: Let’s see how you feel about plastic surgery when you’re 50 and haven’t been offered a role in ten years. Not worrying about your looks is a nice luxury when you’re oh, say, one of the ten most beautiful people in the universe. Her alternative to surgery is to drink water, get eight hours of sleep, and never go to tanning booths. Simple as that, eh? Olivia Wilde giving those beauty tips to the average woman is like David Beckham giving kicking tips to a quadriplegic. It’s more condescending than helpful.

She also cautions women: “DON’T propose to the next guy you meet just because you worry he’ll be your last chance at lifelong companionship.” Good tip, I guess women should just be patient and wait for handsome, funny movie star Jason Sudeikis to propose to them. Oh wait he won’t, because he’s already engaged to Olivia Wilde, because she’s stunningly gorgeous and most women aren’t. Has Olivia Wilde ever wanted for a date in her life? Dating for most of her single readers probably involves some combination of logging onto Match.com in their underwear and drinking enough vodka to suppress their aching loneliness. At least that’s what my Tuesday was like.

In short, Olivia Wilde’s advice on turning 30 is to just travel a lot, drink plenty of water, marry a movie star, get voted PETA’s Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity, and you will be quite happy at 29, and we can only assume, seamlessly continue that level of happiness into your thirties despite the physical and emotional realities of aging.

Olivia Wilde’s “do’s and don’ts” aren’t wrong. They’re just misleading. The reason so many people struggle with turning 30 is because of missed expectations. When we’re young, we all hope that when we grow up we’ll be famous and awesome and engaged to a celebrity and doing what we love. For 99% of us, the disappointment of turning 30 is that this dream did not come true. How can Olivia Wilde understand that? She’s in the 1% it came true for!

The problem is the collision of primitive brains with our modern world. Throughout most of our 200,000 year history, Homo sapiens lived in tribes no larger than 150 people, and usually closer to 70 or 80. And back then, just like today, people were competitive with each other, struggling to get the most food, live the longest, get the hottest mates and have the most kids. The difference is that in a group of 80 people, everyone has a realistic shot at working hard and reaching the top of the social ladder. But in our modern world of seven billion people? Good luck even getting close to the top.

That’s why so many people are miserable. Despite the fact that everyone reading this is ten times healthier, safer, and smarter than even the luckiest stone age human, you can’t appreciate it because your tribe got too big and you’ve become lost in it. Our brains, which evolved to handle the social dynamics of 150 people, are being exposed to thousands of uber-successful actors, musicians, models, and athletes every single week. Our brains weren’t built for this.

But there’s hope. The key is to constantly remind yourself that your real tribe–the 100 or so friends, coworkers, and family members who actually know who you are–probably love you and respect you and think you’re doing fine. And for them, just like for you, turning 30 does suck if you don’t have the job or spouse or kids you’ve always wanted. To be honest, turning 30 sometimes sucks even if you do have those things. But feeling that way doesn’t mean you’re weird. It means you’re normal. And once you realize that struggling at 30 is normal, you can relax and go about achieving your goals without the pressure of feeling like you’re behind everyone else.

So if Olivia Wilde wants to actually contribute to the well being of Glamour readers about to turn 30, she might instead tell them: DON’T aspire to be like me. I’m a freakishly lucky human. DO give yourself permission to get a few wrinkles, to have a boring job, to date a bald guy, to worry that you’ll never reproduce, to make mistakes and question your choices and, hopefully, take it all in stride. That’s an honest portrait of our thirties. And by being honest, we actually have a shot at happiness when we do beat our expectations.

Like Ms. Wilde, I want you to “go–be awesome.” But you’ve got a better chance at awesomeness if you know that most people don’t turn 30 with the same carefree, naive bliss as Olivia Wilde.

Now go–be realistic.

Say Goodbye To Cunnilingus

7 Aug

disappointed-woman-stuck-in-a-relationshipIt seems like there’s been an awful lot of talk about cunnilingus in the news lately, which is interesting in and of itself because the licking of female genitalia used to be on the short list of things you could not possibly read about in the news. Whatever gets tongues wagging, I suppose.

First there was actor Michael Douglas making headlines by revealing his throat cancer was caused by contracting HPV from oral sex. Then he made headlines again by clarifying it was not from his lovely, disease-free wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, whom we can assume was positively thrilled to be the focus of a national discussion on whether or not she has a tumor-flavored vajayjay.

And this month researchers at Oakland University in Michigan reveal that cunnilingus may be an evolutionary adaptation that helps men prevent infidelity in their female partners. Between cunnilingus studies and vaginal ultrasound debates and Anthony Weiner, I wonder how many grandmas have blushed to death this summer simply from browsing AOL News.

The study out of Michigan was eye-opening, if only for its obviousness. Sure, going down on your lady prevents infidelity…your head is right there cock-blocking the entryway. Other guys would have to go in through your ear! But even as a big defender of evolutionary psychology, this study didn’t pass the proverbial taste test. The researchers based their conclusions on the fact that men are more likely to go down on their partners if they think their mates might be at risk of cheating. How did they determine risk of cheating? They asked the men a series of questions about how attractive their partners were. Leave it to science geeks to assume that the only predictor of infidelity is how hot a girl is. And heaven forbid you should ask some actual women about why men go down on them.

As silly as the study was, it confirmed one simple point: Men are more likely to perform oral sex on women they find attractive. But here’s where this spells trouble for ladies.

We men enjoy performing oral sex for a few reasons. Our lips are one of the most sensitive parts of our body, so kissing stuff generally feels pleasurable. And like most mammals, humans emit pheromones from their nether regions. While we’re down there, we can literally smell a woman’s attractiveness. And of course there’s just the emotional titillation of finally getting a peek at a lady’s most top-secret zone. It’s like the Area 51 of body parts, and we’re like horny Fox Mulders.

But at the end of the day, cunnilingus is just another service that men offer women to ingratiate themselves, like buying dinner or helping move furniture or programming the DVR. Oral sex is a fun chore, perhaps, but still a chore…not something either gender is rushing out to do for a living if they can help it. It’s a love language we use to keep our partners happy, and we enjoy it because it keeps them happy. Yet with every passing year, women are going to find it harder and harder to snag attractive men who will perform these services for them. The culprit, interestingly, is the economy.

“The Decline of the American Male” has been written about ad nauseum, and I’m sure you’ve heard the broad strokes: The Great Recession hit men much harder than women, and left the male population of this country a lazy, unemployed mob of slackers and stoners. 20% of young men don’t work at all. Women outnumber men on college campuses, and a good looking guy with a decent job is getting harder and harder to come by. In societies where good men are hard to find (we see this often in post-war periods, where many have died) the remaining males get pickier, they have higher numbers of sexual partners, they wait longer to commit in relationships, and generally don’t have to beg quite so hard to get laid.

And therein lies the problem, ladies: Begging men have been your main source of cunnilingus. If going down on a woman is a seduction tool, like buying flowers or writing poetry, then you’re going to see it become as infrequent a gesture as, well, buying flowers and writing poetry. I have spoken with a variety of female friends in their late 20’s and 30’s about this subject, and they have anecdotally confirmed: Men in this age group–at least the desirable ones–are going down less and less often, for shorter and shorter periods of time. I’m not saying it will disappear entirely, but it’s becoming more of a quaint formality; a rushed inspection of the cork before you drink the actual wine.

On the bright side, there’s still plenty of oral sex to be had…if you don’t mind college guys and men of a certain age. Apparently, those are the two male demographics most likely to plead for the opportunity to impress you with their quick tongues. The young guys, I assume, because they’re poor and it’s one of the few currencies they can realistically offer. The old guys, because they’re past their prime, and need to use every trick in the book. A lot of guys in their 60’s have back problems too, so lying in bed with their mouths agape is about as adventurous as they can get.

So get it while you can, women. Good head is an endangered species. And Michael Douglas telling everyone that vaginas spread throat cancer isn’t helping the cause.

Ladies, do you agree? Are guys in their 20’s and 30’s keeping their mouths shut? Do older men and young guys beg for the opportunity? Sound off in the comment section!

Stop Slut-Shaming Lauren Silverman

6 Aug

Hey all! First off, head over to The Guardian and read my op-ed, Enough With the Slut-Shaming of Lauren Silverman, about Simon Cowell’s baby mama. It’s a venerable publication, so if you leave comments try not to fucking embarrass me.

Also, a big welcome to the many new fans of Blunt Monkey. Our little site has drawn hundreds of new subscribers and a whopping 100,000 150,000 distinct visitors in the last month alone. I am truly beside myself. Thanks to all the new supporters who are spreading the word, and to all the old ones too. To celebrate, I’ve got posts about oral sex coming later this week and racist daters next week.

Don’t forget to like our new Facebook Page, follow me on Twitter, and keep forwarding these posts to your friends. You guys are awesome. If I were a real monkey, I wouldn’t throw my shit at any of you.

Peace and love,

Adam

Dear Society: Grow Some Pubes

28 Feb

shaving-pubic-hair-3The year was 1997, I was a freshman in college, and had on the previous night had the pleasure of hooking up with a girl from my dorm. Of course, the next morning there was the requisite grilling by my buddies and divulging of details, as young men are want to do. And inevitably the question arises: “Muff or shaved?”

“Totally shaved!” I exclaim, to hoots, hollers, and hi-fives in recognition of this rare and beautiful creature. Forgive our immaturity; I was 17, and could count the number of vaginas I had seen in my life on one hand.

Fifteen years later, and things have certainly changed. I’ve long since graduated, nobody hi-fives anymore, and to count the number of vaginas I’ve seen now, I’d need a Chinese kid and an abacus. But most importantly, a completely hairless vagina has become more common than Kings of Leon on the radio and, in my opinion, just as played out.

I didn’t know it back then, but the nineties marked a cultural transition in women’s body grooming in Western society. If you’re lucky enough to know a collector of Playboy Magazine back issues, take a stroll down mammary lane. Centerfolds in the 70s consistently had a healthy afro of love between their legs. In the 80s, it had been pared down somewhat, but the classic bikini line crew cut was still the norm, or for the truly adventurous, maybe the slimmer “landing strip,” or even my personal favorite, the Valentine’s Day pube heart. Then, in the mid 90s, something happened. Women started shedding their coats faster than a German Shepherd in a sauna. By the mid 2000s, bare was the norm. The last time I saw a real bush was when he left office in 2008.

I blame a lot of things. Porn is probably the biggest culprit. The shaved look has always been popular with the adult film stars, and when Internet pornography exploded in the last decade, a lot of women who would never buy an adult DVD were suddenly exposed to free smut on the interwebs. They must have seen all those sexy shaved vaginas and said “Wow, is this what other girls look like? Is this what guys find attractive?”

The sad answer was yes…guys did find this attractive. Most still do. In my discussions with fellow vagina aficionados (we have a magazine!), I’m hard pressed to find a man who prefers hair, any hair, to a cleanly waxed vajayjay. To even utter such a preference is to invite ridicule from your male friends, one step removed from wondering what penis tastes like.

Well let me come forward and be the first, but hopefully not the last, to take a stand and request with pride: LADIES…PLEASE GROW BACK YOUR PUBES.

Surely, this is not an unfair request. I can’t imagine women enjoy the tedium of shaving or the pain of waxing. Not to mention the time and cost of the grooming, or what I assume is the mild awkwardness of having a Vietnamese woman rip sheets of hair from your panocha. If you’re doing any of this for my aesthetic benefit, I’m begging you, please stop.

Pubic hair is there for a reason. Our primate ancestors were covered in hair, and with the exception of Robin Williams, modern man has shed most of it. But we keep hair in certain places: on our head, to keep us warm, and to reduce cranial trauma. And when we reach puberty, we grow hair under our arms and around our genitals.

Why? It is an indictor of sexual maturity. A hairless male or female has not reached puberty and is not of childbearing age. Back in the caveman days, if you were horny for sex and baby-making, which we all are in our late teens and beyond, then a hairless member of the opposite sex would not have offered you any reproductive benefit. Having “grass on the field” was an important indicator of maturity before IDs and driver licenses, or for that matter, before human beings could talk or have birthdays or remember how old they were. For the same reason a woman finds Colin Farrell’s scruffy beard attractive, we should, in theory, be aroused by the sight of a vaginal hair hat.

But there’s more. Human beings, like many animals, release pheromones to attract the opposite sex. As I’ve discussed in this blog before, humans can smell attractiveness in prospective partners. Where do we release pheromones from? You guessed it: Under our arms and our genitals. Pubic hair acts like a sort sponge, retaining these valuable scents in a way that hairless bodies don’t. Contrary to popular belief, pubes literally make you smell sexier.

How did we get away from this simple but effective piece of organic clothing granted to us by natural selection? Homo-Sapiens have been around for some 200,000 years, and until the last decade or so, pubic hair was the norm. I’d say that qualifies as a “short-term fad” in the grand scheme of evolution. So let’s get back to our roots, literally. Pubic hair is natural, keeps your private parts warm, and reminds me I’m not having pedophile sex with a ten year old, something I can’t say for your creepy, fully-waxed twazart. The only time I should see hairless genitals on my lover is if my wife has ovarian cancer, the chemo makes her hair fall out, and I’m cheering her up with a quick bang between hospital visits.

Men, this will be better for us as well. I’m going to let you in on a secret: about 10% of the times a woman wouldn’t have sex with you, it was because she was embarrassed because she hadn’t gotten around to pruning her hedges in a while. Ask your female friends. If we just let them grow the damn thing out, this won’t be a problem.

And I’ll tell you something else. I’m getting a little sick of trimming my own short-and-curlys. Despite all my anti-shaving rhetoric, I still do a pass with the clippers once every week or so to keep the foliage manicured. Clearly, I have bowed to peer-pressure, just like everyone else. Pubes, balls, sure. But do I trim my upper thighs as well to make the length uniform? Taint? I’m half Persian, for Christ’s sake! We’re a sexy, albeit hirsute people. If I have to spend hours grooming my genitals, I won’t have time to get drunk and show them to anybody!

Look, I’m not saying shaving isn’t without its benefits. As Larry David discovered in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, pubes can be an obstacle during oral sex. And the decline of pubes is also linked with the decline of pubic lice, which is certainly a good thing. On the other hand, shaved genitals has also been linked with increased occurrence of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. Bet your waxer didn’t tell you that!

So let’s give this obsessive body grooming a rest. Show some appreciation to those ancestors who passed down their successful genes, including the hairy ones. You don’t have to go full-on Amazonian right out of the gate. Honestly, I’d settle for a Hitler mustache at this point. But if your vagina has the same haircut as Dr. Evil, you’re doing something wrong.

Being #2 is The Shit! (The Case for Beta Males)

5 Jan

A recent study of baboons found that, contrary to popular belief, being the alpha male is not all it’s cracked up to be. Alpha males face physical threats posed by rivals gunning for their mating opportunities, which can lead to injury or even death. But even worse, researchers are now learning that alpha males experience higher levels of stress due to the rigors of defending their status.

Still, it’s better to be the alpha male, who leads a risky life but has access to lots of babes, then a lowly bottom feeder baboon who fights less but can’t get laid. However, research indicates the happiest baboon may be neither the alpha male nor looser baboon. It may be the beta male.

Being number two, it turns out, is a pretty chill gig. Unlike the alpha male, you don’t get unlimited baboon poontang (or “baboontang,” as I call it). But you still get some, and you don’t have every horny bachelor trying to challenge you constantly. And the overall effect of getting a little baboon babe action, but not suffering the rigors of violence or looserdom that the guys at the top and bottom experience, makes the beta male the lowest stress male of any of the baboons.

I really related to this study. My senior year of high school, I decided to run for student office. I was Senior Class Vice President. That suited me just fine. Important enough to get noticed, but not too much responsibility.

My favorite character on The Sopranos wasn’t Tony, but his number two, Silvio. Let Tony get shot at. I’ll be with the strippers over at Bada Bing!

My favorite Looney Toon was never Bugs Bunny, but Daffy Duck. Favorite Saved By the Bell character was Slater, not Zach.

Turns out I’m just a natural beta male. I think the term has come to be incorrectly associated with finish-last nice guys and lower status men. On the contrary, the beta male is superior to many other males. He just isn’t the top dog. And in a society where the #1 killer of men is heart disease, it’s tough to understate just how valuable the low stress lifestyle of the beta male really is.

And what about women? I believe there is such a thing as a beta female as well. The alpha female is always going to have a major problem with the alpha male…he’s constantly getting into fights, and when he isn’t, he’s running around town with other chicks afforded to him by his alpha male status. Who needs that headache? I bet that in the same way certain males have evolved to occupy the lower stress, but still pleasant beta male niche, there are women who have done the same. Happy to “settle” for second best—a still perfectly handsome and successful guy—who has less of the drama and infidelity that frequently comes with an alpha dude. No doubt the shared preference for low-stress lifestyle not only makes them very compatible for each other, but also helps them fight less, cheat less, and live longer.

I put together a list of some high-profile alpha and beta relationships to help illustrate this point. Keep in mind that while everyone on both lists is famous, that does not mean they are all alpha males and females; some are just really successful betas.

Alpha Relationships:

Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo

Madonna and Sean Penn

Madonna and Sean Penn

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

jennifer-lopez-ben-affleck-467

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck

I’ve intentionally chosen these super hot female musicians because they represent the conventional alpha female…beautiful, voluptuous, and of course, high-maintenance and slightly insane. It’s not hard to imagine the likes of Madonna, Jessica and Britney being the most sought after babes in the clan, be it 2000 A.D. or 10,000 B.C. And what do they get for pairing up with macho alpha males like Sean Penn or JT? Heartbreak. And in some cases, rapid weight gain and psychiatric illness.

Beta Relationships:

Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks

Michelle And Barack Obama

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Yes, I know Barack Obama is the leader of the free world, but the guy is not an alpha male. He and Michelle are total betas…not a violent, aggressive bone in either one’s body. And don’t they make a nice couple? Ditto Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, one of my all-time favorite beta couples, who prove that nice, goofy people can become famous gazillionaires too. And I intentionally put Mr. Affleck on both lists to highlight the awesomeness of becoming a beta. Remember how miserable Ben always looked on the cover of US Weekly back in the day, dealing with the constant headaches of his lackluster acting career and annoying super-famous girlfiend J-Lo? And note how happy he is now, his high pressure acting career successfully segued to a lower profile director/actor hybrid, and his wife the less-famous-but-still-hot Jennifer Garner. The guy made the best decision of his life when he “downgraded” himself from miserable A-list alpha male to blissful B-list beta celebrity.

So here’s to you, my fellow beta males and females. If social status was a drug, the alphas would be cocaine…high highs, low lows…and we’d be marijuana, providing a mellower, but in many ways more enjoyable buzz. We might not be quite as exciting, but hey, we live longer and get fewer nose bleeds.

Penis is the new Vagina

18 Oct

If there were an award given to “Most Written About Cultural Shift of the Year,” this year the winner would be a shoo-in: The Decline of the American Male. It seems like every week I read another treatise on this subject du jour from a prominent female writer.

To summarize: there is a growing consensus that the number of “quality” men in America is in steady decline. By conventional standards, this is certainly true. Economically, men are in tough times. Despite everything you’ve been taught about gender inequality, women now make up the majority of the work force. They get more bachelor and graduate degrees than men, and hold over 50% of all professional positions in the country. Three-fourths of the 7.5 million jobs lost since 2008 were lost by men, and those construction and factory jobs are not coming back. In other words, American men are now second to women in access to jobs, and thus, money. In increasingly large numbers, men are giving up on growing up: Careers and marriage are being postponed, leading to a semi-employed state of being that economists now refer to as “just sort of fucking around.” Men used to be worthless until about age 30. For the upcoming Facebook generation, go ahead and push that back to 40.

That’s a tectonic shift, from an evolutionary point of view. Healthy young human males have controlled access to food and resources since time immemorial. What are the ramifications of this shift for modern men and women?

Well, a lot. The most important result, at least from the point of view of annoyed single women, has been a shift in mating norms. Good successful men, it seems, are now harder and harder to come by. And when they do come your way, they are less interested in monogamy than ever. Consider this example:

There are ten men and ten women in a group of single people. The most desirable guy is Justin Timberlake. The most desirable girl is Mila Kunis. In normal times, we would expect Justin and Mila to end up together and eventually get married. Justin may play the field for a while, but Mila is the hottest girl available, and her Grade A womb is the most desired resource in town. If he wants exclusive grabbing rights to her sumptuous funbags, he’ll need to make a commitment. If he doesn’t, she might settle for the second hottest guy. The other men and women will pair up accordingly as well, and if Justin doesn’t want to get left out of the mating game, he better take the plunge with Mila. That’s basically how mating works, and has always worked.

But what if you take five of the ten single guys out of the equation? Now you have ten girls competing for five guys. Mila is still the hottest girl, Justin still the hottest guy…but everything has changed. Not only is Justin up to his ears in babes…all the guys are. They can screw around as long as they want without fear of being left mateless. And poor Mila…she has lost all her leverage. She can’t wait forever; she needs to have babies with someone. Justin’s sperm, not Mila’s womb, is now the number one resource in this group, and he’s doling it out on his terms, vis a vis casual encounters, not commitment.

That’s America today. The male herd has been thinned. Unemployed, moneyless, living with their parents…many of these men are, to single women, undateable. That makes the dateable ones infinitely more attractive. Thus they are waiting longer and longer to get married and have kids, enjoying the unfettered access to multiple women the landscape affords them. There’s an accepted rule that in general, about 20% of men are sleeping with about 80% of women. These days, that disparity is even more pronounced. Suffice to say, it is a good time to be a decent looking guy with a six figure income. Even the losers benefit from the winner’s scraps: When the hot guys keep putting off commitment, girls end up settling for men they would never have considered previously.

SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. For generations, women struggle to achieve economic equality with men. Men resist this obvious challenge to their supremacy. Then, in the past decade, the economy falls apart and women finally supplant men in access to resources. The result? Women are getting married later, if at all, to less desirable men; Men are having more casual sex, with more and hotter women, an activity which helps them fill the hours between getting drunk and playing their Xbox since they don’t have to work anymore.

There is only one word to describe this: Hilarious.

Look, I come from a family of successful professional women, and have the utmost respect for the contributions of women in the workplace. But you gotta admit, in getting caught up in the whole women’s lib movement, somebody didn’t do the math. Ever have a job where you got a “promotion,” but all it meant was a lot more work for very little more pay? That’s what women signed up for. A lot more work, and not a lot of reward to show for it.

This isn’t a unique phenomenon, by the way. In nature, this happens all the time. Be it mice, baboons or humans, when access to quality males decreases, sperm value goes up and the system falls out of whack. It’s supply and demand. The only difference is that historically, quality males have usually been lost through things like war. And when that happens (as in post World War II Russia, for instance) women are forced to work harder, have more babies out of wedlock, and rely more on family and friends for parental support than the biological fathers, who are too in demand for their babymaking abilities to worry much about actually raising the lil’ bastards. What’s different this time? Quality American men didn’t die fighting in a war. Women demanded this gender reversal.

Well, be careful what you wish for. Every double standard is about to be turned on its head. All those years of women fighting for the right to work? Get ready for men fighting for the right to stay home. Cooking, cleaning, and occasionally putting out? Sounds like a pretty sweet gig to me. To make matters worse, men are lazy. Once we get comfortable in the role of housewife, we’re not going to be too amped on picking up part-time work to help pay the bills. We’ll lie and say we were sending out resumes while you were at work, when really we’ll just be sitting on the couch, smoking weed and making fantasy football trades.

I think this social experiment might have had a chance in a better economy, with enough good jobs for the majority of men and women to be employed. But a couple decades of deregulation, outsourcing, and wealth redistribution out of the middle class has ensured the worst is yet to come. But really, nature was against this role-reversal from the start. Aside from a couple vestigial nipples, male mammals just don’t have the plumbing to give birth. So even if we agree to this job swap, women are still going to get screwed, figuratively and literally, since they have to carry the babies for 9 ½ months regardless. Women can never really be liberated from the rigors of motherhood (nor do they want to be).

By the way, it ain’t all peaches and cream for men either. Men liked having jobs. We liked having to compete for women’s affections. This is no fun anymore. Getting laid has gotten too easy, because women are desperate, and breaking up has gotten too hard, also because women are desperate. And who can blame the ladies? Women in today’s pitiful male meat market are like starving orphans, and any guy with decent credit and a job at Best Buy is looking like filet mignon. Plus, men need relationships as much as women. There is no stronger predictor of success in men than marriage and fatherhood. Fathers and committed men make more money, live longer, and are happier than their single peers. So while the lifetime bachelor lifestyle may look good on paper, in reality, it’s not in men’s best interest any more than it is in women’s.

Oh, America. What did we think would happen? Why the need to tamper with hundreds of thousands of years of natural selection? Everything was working so well. Now, I’m afraid the clock can’t be turned back. Are women simply going to give up their gains and go back to the kitchen? Doubt it. Would we men let them even if they wanted to? Impossible…they’re more important to the workforce now than we are.

The only way forward, it seems, is to redefine the expectations we have in partners. We must overpower our primitive brains and squeeze them into this modern, gender-bent world. Men don’t need to be physically strong any more; it serves little or no purpose. Apparently, our incomes aren’t important either, since women are more than capable of earning their own dough. So women, quit chasing muscular men…those sexy abs are useless. Quit dating guys with nice cars…you can buy your own. Instead, just target the men who will help you raise the most successful daughters possible, as these daughters will be ruling the world in 30 years. I’d start by seeking men who are loyal and interested in raising kids, and not afraid to take on the litany of responsibilities that used to fall to women. Potential PTA presidents and soccer dads are the smart mate choice for today’s professional women. And if he can cook, that’s nice too. Other than our sperm, I’m not sure we’ve got much else to contribute these days.