158»

The Truth About Hooking Up – From a Gay Male

Recently I met a man at a social gathering who had heard about Hooking Up Smart and was very interested in discussing the project with me. He mentioned that he was gay and joked:

As gay men go, so goes the nation.

He went on to draw parallels between today’s louche culture of hooking up among straights and the gay bathhouse culture in the 1970s, explaining why that culture is so successful for gay men, but expressing doubts that it can work for heterosexuals:

Hooking up works for gay men because we all want the same thing: frequent, diverse sex. We may want relationships at some point, but we can enjoy great sex with strangers as well, and we know our partners are on the same page. 

Based on what I’ve seen, I’m not sure how it could work for straight people because very few women seem to want that kind of sex. So to the extent that the practice continues, it’s going to be with a small number of people, or a bunch of people who are doing something that isn’t particularly enjoyable for them. 

Yet even gay men may find that casual sex becomes problematic, preventing them from getting what they really feel is important in their lives, including love and relationships.  One gay man wrote to Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D. at Queerty for advice:

 

Dear Michael,

I seem to be spending more and more time on my phone lately, looking for hookups, but I’m having some doubts that this is all good. Pro: I’m meeting lots of hot guys and having a lot of hot sex. Con: I still am not in a relationship and want to have a boyfriend.

Possibly Screwed by my App

Dear Screwed,

Hooking up with people and the hunt for hookups, can feel great. Our brains produce chemicals that give us intense feelings of pleasure not just when we have sex, but also as we move toward getting naked: during foreplay, while we’re flirting, and — if we’re using an app to look for potential partners — when we take the very first step of launching the app. So, as you start scanning all those alluring possibilities on your phone, you are triggering a neurochemical response in your brain that can create an awesome high.

The problem is, because simply getting on the app makes you feel good, you are likely to get on it more and more often. And because actually finding hookups makes you feel good, you can easily get obsessed with chasing this particular high.

If it sounds like I’m using the language of addiction: You’re right, I am. The road to hooking up can be a speedy route to feeling attractive and desired. The validation we get, from both hookups and potential hookups, can seem like a powerful self-esteem boost. Typically, this leads us to pursue more and more hookups.

Some problems with this:

  • The boost is fleeting, because external praise for our surface attributes doesn’t really change how we feel about ourselves and we are likely to spend more and more time chasing short-lived validation from people we hardly know.  
  • If you don’t actually feel good about endlessly pursuing hookups, then [it] will ultimately lower your self-esteem. This is the opposite of what you’re looking for — and what you feel like you’re getting — when you [hook up].

The upshot is, you may be addicted to an experience that is keeping you hunting for hookups, even though you say you want a relationship. And because the particular high of intense excitement that you are chasing is a very different experience from the intimacy and commitment of a relationship, you are conditioning your brain to crave hookups, and their pursuit, rather than something more long-term.

Michael

Keep in mind, this is a gay man who is struggling with the hookup scene. How many women can possibly be wired to thrive on this neurochemical fix of faux flattery and fast fun?

Show me a habitual hooker upper and I’ll show you a head case. Male or female, you are deriving your sense of self from transactional sex with strangers, and that is both fleeting and false.  

  • Thrasymachus

    I think this is spot on. Few straight men, and a fortiori fewer women, would be satisfied with hooking up as a long term proposition. The issue, of course, is that given the decline in traditional dating the path to a LTR often runs through the short term hookup scene. As such, many people engage in hookups in an attempt to create a lasting relationship. That effort does not always end well, to put it mildly.

  • http://uncabob.blogspot.com/ Bob Wallace

    “Show me a habitual hooker upper and I’ll show you a head case.”

    That has been my experience. The ones I met in college have never been married and none have had had a serious relationship (these are women). One in particular turned out to be bi-polar, whose “medication” has made a wreck of her life.

    One man I know (he’s the worst case) is what the Manosphere misnames as an Alpha. He’s good-looking, well-to-do, charming, slept with about 100 women, and is a insecure coward who’s never had a serious relationship in his life. He told me if he had to do it over again he’d coach high-school sports.

  • Beta2Alpha

    I am soon to be 35 and have enjoyed the hookup culture for the past 10 years. I would prefer a LTR as I get older, but never marriage considering the laws/courts are so anti-male that I would be stupid to ever enter this government arrangement. It would invalidate any common sense I have to not learn from the mistakes and lessons from those who have been screwed before me. MGTOW is happening. LTR without marriage would be the compromise more men my age (late 20′s/early 30′s) would prefer. Women, knowing the benefits of marriage for them long term, prefer the opposite obviously. They will also try to convince men using “studies” that married life is beneficial for men when real data taken from male friends at water coolers, tailgates, parties, etc says exactly the opposite. Men will believe other men in this area.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Beta2Alpha

      Welcome, thanks for joining the conversation.

      Women, knowing the benefits of marriage for them long term, prefer the opposite obviously. They will also try to convince men using “studies” that married life is beneficial for men when real data taken from male friends at water coolers, tailgates, parties, etc says exactly the opposite. Men will believe other men in this area.

      Well, cohabitation is increasing rapidly, and is likely to continue to do so. As a woman advising women, I would say, “no living together without engagement.” But many women will not hesitate to make a different choice, and some won’t even care much about marriage. I know a few couples who have been living together for 5 or 6 years – they are in their early 30s and the women are in no rush to marry. And apparently in no rush to have children.

      There is a lot of data showing that a high percentage (65%) describe themselves as happy in marriage. And there is no question but that married men have a great deal more sex than single men do. Women who wish to marry certainly cannot take it for granted, but as fewer women prioritize it, they should have no difficulty.

  • http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/ Stuart Schneiderman

    Let’s keep in mind that the hooking up culture did not really work so well for gay men… in terms of the transmission of infectious diseases.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stuart

      Let’s keep in mind that the hooking up culture did not really work so well for gay men… in terms of the transmission of infectious diseases.

      Indeed, and that too foretold something for the rest of us – rapid spread of disease. While we are not currently experiencing an AIDS type fear, there is little reason to think another epidemic of some mutating virus could not easily occur. Sometimes I fear that is the thing that will ultimately change the culture.

  • JT

    I have a silly question:
    How is it for lesbian women who ‘hook up’?

    I ask because lesbian women are technically ‘virgins’, no?
    (Not in the moral sense of course, but in the mechanical sense, if you see what I mean….unless I am missing something).

    So do they suffer the same consequences of awful side effects of ‘hooking up’?

    Anyone know?

    I am not sure why I am curious about this – I just am.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      How is it for lesbian women who ‘hook up’?

      I haven’t researched it, but there is an expression that describes sex in lesbian relationships – they are prone to “lesbian bed death.” I believe this means that because women are generally not as sexual as men, and because they do not seek sexual variety to the same degree, a sex life between two women is more likely to atrophy faster.

      So if male-male pairings tend toward casual sex, and male-female pairings are a mix due to male interest in casual sex, I would assume that female-female couplings tend toward relationship sex with early commitment. But I really am just thinking aloud here – perhaps others know more.

  • Just1Z

    @Beta2Alpha

    the biggest criticism of the married men live longer meme that I have seen is based on causality:

    do married men live longer?
    or
    do healthier men (will be long lived) tend to get married more?

    but hey, one way suits the preferred narrative better. For women and the so/trad-cons.

    so, that’s the line that gets pushed.

    nowadays decisions on marriage are rarely decided on living longer – is my guess.

  • Passer_By

    @just1z

    Well, the other big criticism of the meme (perhaps even bigger) is that it ignores the fact that divorced men “made the decision to marry”. It looks only at still married men. But treating married and divorced men in one category would paint a more accurate picture, and divorced men definitely don’t live longer.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Well, the other big criticism of the meme (perhaps even bigger) is that it ignores the fact that divorced men “made the decision to marry”. It looks only at still married men. But treating married and divorced men in one category would paint a more accurate picture, and divorced men definitely don’t live longer.

      Obviously, the quality of the marriage matters. I would think that divorced men would be considerably more stressed out than never-married men, a condition that might reverse itself if they remarry.

  • Just1Z

    @passer_by

    fair comment. but if you can’t afford anywhere of quality to live post divorce, maybe healthcare is beyond reach too. If you’re financing two households including an SAHM…you’re probably living in shit street. Suicide post divorce (for men) is at a scary rate when compared to other men, let alone women – gonna depress those stats.

    but then I have always put quality over quantity.

    I have had (female) relatives live very sad lives for decades just waiting to depart.

    If the time comes, I intend something less lingering. But life at the poolside is fine for now…exciting times approach, don’t want to miss how things goes down.

    I am having a very hard time avoiding buying this t-shirt right now…
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0083DJHDC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1

    that sense of humour just rocks my boat…(YMMV)

  • Just1Z

    @passer

    I gave up, I have a couple of fine, fine t-shirts on their way to me.

    I just need a friend to take a few pics of me wearing them whilst wielding a shotgun / chainsaw / piece of rebar (or all three). If I can’t pull on post apocalypse POF using those pics, you can call me Susan (a Blackadder quote, or some of it)

  • http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/ Stuart Schneiderman

    I agree with Susan that, unfortunately, it might take an especially nasty STD to put a real damper on the hookup culture. And yet, what is the incidence of herpes– fairly high, I believe. Herpes began to spread widely a couple of decades ago. And PID is also fairly common.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Stuart

      The really worrisome one now is HPV. It self-clears in 90% of cases, but can lead to cervical cancer and infertility for women:

      Among teens, 24.5% of women have HPV. Among women aged 20-24, the number is 44.8%, and 27.4% for women 25-29. There are six million new cases per year. Fortunately, pap smears do a good job of detecting cancer early, and the vaccine holds great promise. Obviously, these treatments are costly, and HPV is not prevented via condom use. It’s a growing problem in the throat, head and neck area due to the incidence of fellatio.

      Genital herpes is indeed the other big problem among young people.

      There are a million new cases of herpes each year, 2/3 of which occur in people younger than 25. Researchers estimate that 1/3 of college students will contract genital herpes by the time they graduate.

      One in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have genital herpes and close to one in two black women are infected, new figures from the CDC reveal.

  • Brendan

    So if male-male pairings tend toward casual sex, and male-female pairings are a mix due to male interest in casual sex, I would assume that female-female couplings tend toward relationship sex with early commitment. But I really am just thinking aloud here – perhaps others know more.

    Basically what it is. There’s also the related term “U-Haul lesbian”.

    There is a smaller subset of the lesbian community, however, that is as promiscuous as much of the gay male community is — it just doesn’t dominate the community. And lesbians in LTRs are also less ironclad about monogamy, generally, than straight couples are, although also generally not as loose about it as gay male couples (many of which are de facto polyamorous and/or in “open” couplings).

  • Tasmin

    @Susan
    “…parallels between today’s louche culture of hooking up among straights and the gay bathhouse culture in the 1970s”

    I think it isn’t so much a parallel as it is a tangent; a tangent that has become our new cultural direction. In order to “win” certain freedoms for some minorities we sacrificed (or at least greatly undermined) our ability to make judgements and determine what is right and what is wrong without being labeled as oppressive, discriminating, hostile, etc. Some would argue that this is where we have gone astray, but I think that in order to allow for people to live freely – in this case, sexual orientation and corresponding behaviors, the break was necessary due to the inherent rigidity and often oppressive nature of the (historically) prevailing system.

    In doing so, however, at some point shaming based on morality rolled over and morality itself became the shamed. But without morality, the governors of certain behaviors are left to be judged by their outcomes alone or some other agreed-upon system, which is not only risky in terms of what those outcomes might be, but the system itself is then highly susceptible to volatility and co-opting. We now see how doing good has been replaced by feeling good.

    Perhaps due to our break from those religious-driven influences to that of a more secular, laissez-faire approach, the resulting morality-behavioral vacuum was quickly occupied by the likes of feminism. In the blind quest for equality, ironically differences were demonized and replaced by sameness.

    Whatever was left under the “old” system has fractured under the heavily armed politically correct police that has over the past 30 years disarmed our ability to associate a moral (in some cases ANY) judgement with behavior. And without some kind of agreed-upon “rightness” of behavior be it religious – or even strategic as we support here at HUS, the market is a free-for-all, basically what we have now in the SMP. The problem is that morality aside, feel-good behaviors have become synonymous with empowerment and doing good – even if good only is only measured by its relevancy and effectiveness in achieving the desired outcome – is most often viewed as disempowering.

    Over the past 30 years feminism has filled the void with loud, constant messages designed to press the views of the few upon the many. If there is any push-back of such it is immediately labeled as an attack on one of the many protected minorities – or freedom itself. Whether those minorities are the actual beneficiaries of that protection is irrelevant to them. It is about the power, not the people.

    The fact that the SMP mirrors that of an SMP of people who do not – can not naturally reproduce and whose behaviors are feel-good to the point of public-health crises and whose SMP is arguably, often admittedly counterproductive to monogamy should tell us something. Morality aside, that on its own sounds like a poor strategy if the goal is to pursue a life with a spouse and children.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Tasmin

      The fact that the SMP mirrors that of an SMP of people who do not – can not naturally reproduce and whose behaviors are feel-good to the point of public-health crises and whose SMP is arguably, often admittedly counterproductive to monogamy should tell us something. Morality aside, that on its own sounds like a poor strategy if the goal is to pursue a life with a spouse and children.

      Agreed, and this was essentially the point of the gay guy I spoke with. He was basically saying, “What do you crazy straight people think you’re doing? This is a lifestyle for non-breeders!”

      Note: I grew up in an era when gay men referred to straight women derisively as “breeders.” I have watched the “Modern Family” movement unfold with a sense of profound irony.

  • Just1Z

    @Susan
    “but can lead to cervical cancer and infertility for women”

    HPV leads to oral and throat cancers in men that go south…I have previously seen you say that, recently in fact. Nobody considered than it in oral-sex-is-fab discussion though, weird.

    So, when are they going to start vaccinating boys as well?

    Mind you, I saw stories about very premature menopause in some vaccinated women – teens iirc (as usual with the web, I don’t know what the tin-foil hat quotient is on that – if it is important to you, best do your own research)

  • Beta2Alpha

    @ Susan

    Thanks!

    “As a woman advising women, I would say, “no living together without engagement.” What would you advise your brother? I agree that what you say is what I would advise my sister. However, marriage is napalm for a man with an income. Pre-nups are a must but they don’t cover child custody or child support. Court laws favor women in these areas. Losing your kids is a big deal.

    “There is a lot of data showing that a high percentage (65%) describe themselves as happy in marriage. And there is no question but that married men have a great deal more sex than single men do.” These studies (usually conducted by women) are contradicted by almost all of my married MALE friends. They say they are having sex once a month..TOPS. And oral sex for them is GONE…forever. These are good looking guys that get hit on regularly even though they are married. Your stats are skewed by the men who never got laid until they finally got married. Certainly for those guys, MARRIAGE IS SEX. That’s how the got sex in the first place. If they were single again, they’d have to get married again to have sex. For the more attractive types, getting sex isn’t a problem. Marriage only stifles it after about year 2. Your study also doesn’t bring up the fact that even (for the sake of argument) if you had MORE sex, that the MEN in the study would rather have a different sex partner every 2 years or so if they had to give up some of the volume. Think, if given the option, you could have great sex over a 2 year period with a new partner every 2 years. A new lover. Most men I know would prefer that. They are bored in the bedroom and now STUCK with that for 40 years. Yes, you try to spice it up. Yes, they feel horrible for admitting they are bored. They feel it makes them shallow. But they admit to me PRIVATELY…that’s how they feel. Now imagine (to add insult to injury) that you are stuck with the same lame sex partner for 40 years, she uses sex as a weapon, you have other options in the real world, and divorce will cost you. What do you do? You are trapped. You are lifeless. You sit on a couch and fester. I’m watching 30 year old men just riding out their lives until the kids get to college. Then, who knows.

    They STILL LOVE THEIR WIVES. They just don’t lust after her like they once did and no, they don’t feel good about it. It’s just an animal instinct in men that marriage tries to fight. I’m sure, for many of the wives, it’s mutual. Is this the best “construct” we can do as a society? Married people often say how much “work” it is. Well why do I want to do more “WORK?” I work all day. Certainly if I’m going to work at something that I get some payoff in return. The “payoffs” I here from counterparts are the following:

    No sex (or use of sex as a weapon)
    Nagging
    More nagging
    Loss of money
    Always to blame

    And all these men chose “properly”….were “in love”….I was at their weddings. These couples were “meant to be!” It’s a very high risk with today’s entitled youth. And most men, don’t want to take the risk knowing it will cost them plenty in divorce court. The hookup culture has given men the easy out and they are taking it! I always tell people to be as picky as you need to be to get what you want. And then (and here’s the key) when you find that elusive, amazing, diamond in the rough…ask yourself why this amazing person should “settle” for you? Surely, they have options so what do you offer them? Put yourself in their shoes…could they do better than you? If so, up your game! Show respect back. Works for both sexes.

    I can’t tell you how many times I used to take a girl on a nice romantic date and it’s almost like it’s “expected” like she’s all that. I’m usually out the door before she can even wonder where I went. I figure, she’s another guy’s problem. I deserve better. I think the non-misogynistic MGTOW movement is standing up for yourself and the respect you deserve back. Nothing more. Nothing less. That’s what I subscribe to. I am more than happy to live on my own if I never find it. And judging by the pool of applicants in the 20′s and 30′s, there isn’t much to choose from in terms of “low marriage risk.” So LTR without marriage is where I stand to protect myself. That way, there is never any complacency without an “out” that won’t cost me if she ever shuts down. I would need to date someone MINIMUM 8 years before I would marry them. Tell that to the 35-year old on the online dating site wanting kids. She’s got a “let’s date 1 year, get engaged, get married and have babies STAT mindset.” That is a divorce waiting to happen as are all marriages when one of the parties says the reason they want to get married is simply…TO HAVE KIDS. So you aren’t getting married because you want to be married??? Recipe for divorce. Ticking time bomb. Problems WILL fester over time.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Beta2Alpha

      “As a woman advising women, I would say, “no living together without engagement.” What would you advise your brother? I agree that what you say is what I would advise my sister. However, marriage is napalm for a man with an income. Pre-nups are a must but they don’t cover child custody or child support. Court laws favor women in these areas. Losing your kids is a big deal.

      I look forward to my son’s marriage to his gf of 8 years. They are not engaged yet, but I hope they will be soon. I adore her, they are great together, and it is very clear that their happiness relies on their being together.

      Among the college educated, the divorce rate is 17%.

      I won’t address the rest of your points, as I am certain I can have no effect on your thinking. I wish you well, and I hope you are happy with your choices.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    One in particular turned out to be bi-polar, whose “medication” has made a wreck of her life.

    @HUS,
    Sorry for derailing but you knew I was going to go after this one.

    In an ideal situation, someone with bipolar will actually be able to improve normal functioning BECAUSE of this so-called “medication.” In all likelihood, it was not the medication that was wrecking this woman’s life but the illness itself. Hypersexuality is an extremely common symptom of mania, and while mania is a temporary state (STRONG emphasis on temporary) it can cause people to lose control of their actions. Here are my two pet peeves: 1) people who view mental illness on a moral plane, as if actions carried out in an abnormal state should be severely judged or punished, and 2) people who think “medication” is not necessary because mental illness isn’t real.

    Continue with normal programming.

  • HanSolo

    Here’s a link summarizing some stats from studies on gay and lesbian promiscuity and number of partners.

    http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/promiscuity/

    Regarding lesbians as compared to gays:

    Promiscuity among lesbians is less extreme, but it is still higher than among heterosexual women. Overall, women tend to have fewer sex partners than men. But there is a surprising finding about lesbian promiscuity in the literature. Australian investigators reported that lesbian women were 4.5 times more likely to have had more than 50 lifetime male partners than heterosexual women (9 percent of lesbians versus 2 percent of heterosexual women); and 93 percent of women who identified themselves as lesbian reported a history of sex with men. Other studies similarly show that 75-90 percent of women who have sex with women have also had sex with men.

    Here are a couple more qualitative links talking about promiscuity of lesbians being higher than that of straight young women.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/oct/13/gayrights.lifeandhealth

    http://www.cardcarryinglesbian.com/musings-on-lesbian-promiscuity

  • Just1Z

    @Beta2Alpha, you are a wise man!

    my take on things

    I lived with my fiance longer than the subsequent marriage lasted, engagement was the condition for cohabiting (she was catholic – in name only as it turns out). cohabiting 3 years vs 2.5 years married (so, 5.5 years total after dating iirc). Cohabitation is NO guarantee that things will work out. I didn’t change in those years, you do the math…basically she turned into her dumb, controlling mother, I did NOT turn into her pussy whipped father.

    Until you can answer the “what’s in marriage for me?” question with solid answers, and educate yourself about family court realities, then you have no business getting married as a man (for women there is no major downside, for men there absolutely is). In fact, as cohabiting for an extended periods (2 years, depending on where you are) can be counted as marriage for legal purposes, you need to think very carefully about that too.

    I am not saying that all wimminz be ebul, but I am saying that people change (50% of marriages break up in under seven years iirc) and cohabiting and marriage can destroy your life (especially if kids are involved, whether you wanted them or not).

    In Australia there was a bloke dragged into family court by his mistress! She knew he was married, but she succesfully got a financial settlement out of the break up. It made the Aussie press, you can google it.

    many men have told me that they had a kid, realised the mistake, but had to have the second one to make sure that the first one wasn’t an only child. I had a colleague complain that there was no sex after the first kid for years, except when he took her away for a romantic weekend. He knows to the minute when the second kid was conceived – they did it once, she got pregnant.

    Not so funny if it is your life…

  • Johnycomelately

    Beta2Alpha

    That post coincides with 90% of the married men I know, only the uber losers who could not get a date to save themselves seem happy.

    Concerning the hook up culture, I find that women who are constantly on the ‘look out’ operate on a heightened state of awareness that makes them very stressed and gives them that crazy eyes look.

    On the other hand women married to ‘faithful’ alphas are the happiest and least stressed women I know.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      On the other hand women married to ‘faithful’ alphas are the happiest and least stressed women I know.

      That’s an oxymoron. Even if alphas are faithful, and there are a few, their wives are much more likely to be stressed. Especially if they are into “instilling dread.”

  • SayWhaat

    Who are all these people?

  • Plain Jane

    “Hooking up works for gay men because we all want the same thing: frequent, diverse sex. We may want relationships at some point, but we can enjoy great sex with strangers as well, and we know our partners are on the same page. ”

    Bingo. Bingo. Bingo.
    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    This is why I’ve always said that straight men who want that kind of sex all the time and forever, they should just go gay. Historic and cultural research shows that human sexuality is fluid anyway.

    And for what its worth there are some post-op male to female transexuals out there who are better looking than most women.

    PS: returned from Spain and Morocco and highly recommend both countries in many ways, for travel and for permanent residence. The people are good looking too and neither is romance dead “over thar”.

  • Plain Jane

    Olive, ” Here are my two pet peeves: 1) people who view mental illness on a moral plane, as if actions carried out in an abnormal state should be severely judged or punished”

    Get what you’re saying but what would you say about pedophilia? How about serial raping and killing ala Ted Bundy? He obviously had a mental illness. Should he not have been punished?

  • http://uncabob.blogspot.com/ Bob Wallace

    @ Olive,

    “In an ideal situation, someone with bipolar will actually be able to improve normal functioning BECAUSE of this so-called “medication.”

    I have never seen anyone on psychiatric medication who was made normal by it. Everyone I know on them, if they are on them long enough, has been turned into a different person. For one thing, all of these medications are addictive.

    Yes, the bipolar woman I know was promiscuous and hypersexual because she was bipolar. She ended up alone, unmarried, with no children, hostile to men and blaming her problems on them, in an apartment with a cat, after her one “serious” boyfriend refused to marry her because she was bipolar. After they lived together for a year.

    These medications never cure. My experience with them is that they merely reduce the symptoms, to the point the person can barely function instead of not functioning at all.

    By the way, the bipolar woman I know is still promiscuous, but is too old for men to come on to her anymore. So there are no more men in her life.

  • Plain Jane

    ““There is a lot of data showing that a high percentage (65%) describe themselves as happy in marriage. And there is no question but that married men have a great deal more sex than single men do.” These studies (usually conducted by women) are contradicted by almost all of my married MALE friends. They say they are having sex once a month..TOPS. And oral sex for them is GONE…forever. These are good looking guys that get hit on regularly even though they are married. Your stats are skewed by the men who never got laid until they finally got married. Certainly for those guys, MARRIAGE IS SEX. That’s how the got sex in the first place. If they were single again, they’d have to get married again to have sex. For the more attractive types, getting sex isn’t a problem. Marriage only stifles it after about year 2. Your study also doesn’t bring up the fact that even (for the sake of argument) if you had MORE sex, that the MEN in the study would rather have a different sex partner every 2 years or so if they had to give up some of the volume. Think, if given the option, you could have great sex over a 2 year period with a new partner every 2 years. A new lover. Most men I know would prefer that. They are bored in the bedroom and now STUCK with that for 40 years. Yes, you try to spice it up. Yes, they feel horrible for admitting they are bored. They feel it makes them shallow. But they admit to me PRIVATELY…that’s how they feel. Now imagine (to add insult to injury) that you are stuck with the same lame sex partner for 40 years, she uses sex as a weapon, you have other options in the real world, and divorce will cost you. What do you do? You are trapped. You are lifeless. You sit on a couch and fester. I’m watching 30 year old men just riding out their lives until the kids get to college. Then, who knows.

    They STILL LOVE THEIR WIVES. They just don’t lust after her like they once did and no, they don’t feel good about it. It’s just an animal instinct in men that marriage tries to fight. I’m sure, for many of the wives, it’s mutual.

    Is this the best “construct” we can do as a society?”

    Beta2Alpha, those couples are free to choose open marriage if they so wish. What’s stopping them?

  • Plain Jane

    “So, when are they going to start vaccinating boys as well?”

    Are you talking about Gardisil? They already have. But what they need to do is NOT vaccinate either boys or girls with this. The side effects are horrific and some girls have DIED, others are paralyzed. Please do your research on that vaccine if you have kids (or are considering getting it for yourself).

  • Lisa

    “I am soon to be 35 and have enjoyed the hookup culture for the past 10 years. I would prefer a LTR as I get older, but never marriage considering the laws/courts are so anti-male that I would be stupid to ever enter this government arrangement. … LTR without marriage would be the compromise more men my age (late 20′s/early 30′s) would prefer. ”

    OK but how do you prevent pregnancy in LTR without marriage unless you wear condoms every single time you have sex? Are men in LTRs without marriage doing that?

  • Plain Jane

    Susan, why did you delete my comments and ban me again? I thought I was just on moderation. Has something changed while I’ve been out of the country and offline?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Plain Jane

      Susan, why did you delete my comments and ban me again? I thought I was just on moderation. Has something changed while I’ve been out of the country and offline?

      Actually, I was wondering when you’d be back. I missed you! I have not banned you, you were just in mod. I’ll tell you what. If you can stay on topic and not go on and on about Desi stuff, I will take you out of mod.

  • JP

    @Susan:

    “Among the college educated, the divorce rate is 17%.”

    Hmmm.

    What about the college-educated chronic cohabiteers?

    I’m not being snarky, but that thought just occurred to me.

    What percentage of college-educated couples are cohabiteers?

  • JP

    @Olive:

    “Here are my two pet peeves: 1) people who view mental illness on a moral plane, as if actions carried out in an abnormal state should be severely judged or punished, and 2) people who think “medication” is not necessary because mental illness isn’t real.”

    That’s because you really don’t understand mental illness until you deal with it in some fashion.

    I certainly didn’t realize that it was a real problem until I started dealing with it professionally on a day-to-day basis.

    I ask about hallucinations, cutting, and suicide attempts on an ongoing basis now.

    So, the problem is that a whole lot of the general public never sees it at all.

  • JP

    In fact, I’ll be doing a nice mental illness case tomorrow morning.

  • Keeper

    “On the other hand women married to ‘faithful’ alphas are the happiest and least stressed women I know.”

    I’m sure.

    ” That’s an oxymoron. Even if alphas are faithful, and there are a few, their wives are much more likely to be stressed. Especially if they are into “instilling dread.”

    Why oxymoron? Why would a wife be stressed married to a faithful alpha? And if he’s truly alpha why on earth would he instill dread?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Keeper

      Why oxymoron? Why would a wife be stressed married to a faithful alpha? And if he’s truly alpha why on earth would he instill dread?

      Bless you, I retract my comment and thank you. A man who gets it about Dread!

  • Lokland

    @beat2beta

    “Pre-nups are a must but they don’t cover child custody or child support. Court laws favor women in these areas. Losing your kids is a big deal.”

    I thought about this more in depth.
    I’d mich rather pay through the nose and drop the kids, I would still have a decent amount of money leftover though.

    It would essentially put me in prime position to trade in for a new model without the guilt.

    Note: not saying I intend to try this merely pointing out a theoretical result.
    Also don’t have kids yet so the last point about not caring is obviously hypothetical. I do hope it would be difficult.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @JP

    What percentage of college-educated couples are cohabiteers?

    Limited (only for ages 30-44), but the best I could find on short notice:
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2034/cohabitation-rate-doubled-since-mid-90s-only-more-educated-benefit-economically

    4% of the college-degreed population at the time, though not necessarily ever. It’s pretty common these days to get engaged, move in together for a transitory period of time, and then tie the knot.

  • http://x OffTheCuff

    Sue: “Male or female, you are deriving your sense of self from transactional sex with strangers, and that is both fleeting and false. ”

    While I agree… hooking up means “transactional sex with strangers”, as well as kissing a good friend you’ve known for a year, and everything in between? I’m beginning to think this phrase has zero meaning anymore, and to give useful advice we have avoid it and be FAR more specific.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @OTC

      While I agree… hooking up means “transactional sex with strangers”, as well as kissing a good friend you’ve known for a year, and everything in between? I’m beginning to think this phrase has zero meaning anymore, and to give useful advice we have avoid it and be FAR more specific.

      Fair point, and I do appreciate your efforts to make the terminology clear around here. In this post, I use hooking up to refer to sexual intercourse, or whatever men do in bathhouses…

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @JP
    Better:
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_23/sr23_028.pdf
    Page 11

    Pretty low all-around, except for the HS dropouts…

    @OTC
    Agreed, the term’s uselessness is a quite irritating. Bring back the baseball metaphors!

  • Madelena

    @beta2alpha

    Pre-nups are a must but they don’t cover child custody or child support. Court laws favor women in these areas. Losing your kids is a big deal.

    My response:

    Maybe because it’s I don’t live in the US but of the divorced parents that I know of, most of them have shared custody of their children, which entails reduced child support (parent must spend at least 40% of his or her time with the child).

    If a man in the US doesn’t want to pay child support can he not petition the court to assume custody of his children or at least have shared custody?

  • Brendan

    Maybe because it’s I don’t live in the US but of the divorced parents that I know of, most of them have shared custody of their children, which entails reduced child support (parent must spend at least 40% of his or her time with the child).

    If a man in the US doesn’t want to pay child support can he not petition the court to assume custody of his children or at least have shared custody?

    Mostly not granted because “too disruptive to the child(ren)”. The courts prefer to have the kid with one parent most of the time with visits from the other parent. Very strong bias against shared parenting/custody, and NOW is also very much dead set against it.

  • Plain Jane

    “Actually, I was wondering when you’d be back. I missed you! I have not banned you, you were just in mod. I’ll tell you what. If you can stay on topic and not go on and on about Desi stuff, I will take you out of mod.”

    Its a deal. However my comments (which were in moderation here) did get deleted. I posted about 5 comments. Either a glitch on your end or mine. I do have a lot of internet problems here. Would you believe service and connection was better in Morocco? (and that has double meaning, heh)

    And can I add that Moroccan men are FOINE! Not just fine, but F-O-I-N-E. There is a difference! By about 2 points magnitude.

    ;)

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    I have never seen anyone on psychiatric medication who was made normal by it. Everyone I know on them, if they are on them long enough, has been turned into a different person. For one thing, all of these medications are addictive.

    “Normal” is relative, but the idea is to reduce extreme symptoms. Given the choice between psychosis or medication, I’ll take the medication thanks. Also I don’t know where you get the idea that all psych meds are addictive. I just spent a good half hour looking for a credible source covering “lithium addiction” (the drug most commonly used for bipolar) and couldn’t find anything. Please provide a link if you’re going to make this claim.

    Yes, the bipolar woman I know was promiscuous and hypersexual because she was bipolar. She ended up alone, unmarried, with no children, hostile to men and blaming her problems on them, in an apartment with a cat, after her one “serious” boyfriend refused to marry her because she was bipolar. After they lived together for a year.

    By the way, the bipolar woman I know is still promiscuous, but is too old for men to come on to her anymore. So there are no more men in her life.

    A sad story of someone who likely did not know how to manage her illness properly, and who picked the wrong dude. My BF saw me at my absolute worst and has been nothing other than supportive.

    These medications never cure. My experience with them is that they merely reduce the symptoms, to the point the person can barely function instead of not functioning at all.

    There’s really no way to “cure” a mental illness. It’s like Type I Diabetes: manageable but not curable. The notion that mentally ill people cannot function (or “barely function”) in society is just wrong, though. Check Kay Redfield Jamison, one of the leading authorities on bipolar disorder, who suffers from the illness herself. She’s a professor at Johns Hopkins med school.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Also, would you say that someone with Type I Diabetes should just throw in the towel and stop taking insulin, because he’ll never get to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants, like normal people? Didn’t think so.

  • Plain Jane

    Lokland,
    “I thought about this more in depth.
    I’d mich rather pay through the nose and drop the kids, I would still have a decent amount of money leftover though.

    It would essentially put me in prime position to trade in for a new model without the guilt.

    Note: not saying I intend to try this merely pointing out a theoretical result.
    Also don’t have kids yet so the last point about not caring is obviously hypothetical. I do hope it would be difficult.”

    My first thought was “heartless bastard!” but then you clarified at the end you don’t have kids so the attitude makes more sense. Once you have kids they become the biggest loves of your life and you won’t “drop them” for anything, not even a newer model.

  • Cooper

    *waves to Plain Jane* :)

  • Plain Jane

    Olive, I understand your pov but what about pedophilia and serial rapists/killers like Ted Bundy. He was obviously mentally ill too. Should he have gone unpunished?

  • Plain Jane

    Coops and Susan, thanks for the welcome back and wave. I’m frankly shocked. But don’t worry. I’ll be gone before I can create too much trouble. Flying off again soon. I guess you can call me the female Roosh, except I work when abroad and don’t lie about getting laid ;)

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    PJ,

    Get what you’re saying but what would you say about pedophilia? How about serial raping and killing ala Ted Bundy? He obviously had a mental illness. Should he not have been punished?

    Let me put it this way. Jared Loughner, the young man who shot Gabby Giffords and murdered several others, pleaded guilty and was just recently sentenced to life without parole. Considering that he was schizophrenic, I find that to be a much more appropriate sentence than the death penalty (which he could have received, since he tried to take the life of a U.S. government official). After the James Holmes shooting, David Brooks of the NYTimes had a really great article that summed up this issue quite nicely.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/24/opinion/brooks-more-treatment-programs.html?_r=0

  • Plain Jane

    OK Olive but pedophiles? They need to be locked up, no? And I’ve read somewhere that they cannot change. Don’t know if that’s true or not. That would depend on it being “genetic” or biological and not a choice. We can’t say for sure that ALL pedophiles are not that way by choice, can we? Surely there are some who know better, can help it, but CHOOSE that form of sexuality.

  • SayWhaat

    Go Olive!

    I have never seen anyone on psychiatric medication who was made normal by it. Everyone I know on them, if they are on them long enough, has been turned into a different person. For one thing, all of these medications are addictive.

    If you’re on psychiatric medication in order to be “normal”, you’re an idiot and your doctor is shitty. The medicine is meant to be used as a tool to help manage symptoms and they are certainly not addictive. As Olive as requested, please provide a credible source to back up your claims.

    These medications never cure. My experience with them is that they merely reduce the symptoms, to the point the person can barely function instead of not functioning at all.

    Again, the medicine is not meant to “cure”. It is not a cure and it will never be a cure. If the person can barely function on them, that person is on the wrong meds. Plenty of people with ADHD take meds in order to focus better and be more productive, and their lives only improve from the point of taking medication onwards. You have no idea what life is like for some of them without meds; talk about barely functioning!

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      As someone who grew up with a bipolar mother before good meds were available, I heartily agree that advising a person with BP to avoid meds is extremely bad advice. Toward the end of her life, when better treatment was available, she became a different person. She was much more content, and we were able to enjoy her company in a way I never could as a child.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    Go SayWhaat! :-)

    PJ,
    Just one more thing. When I talk about people judging mental illness on a moral plane, I’m really talking about less extreme situations. Here’s a good example: someone on the bipolar subreddit just posted a story about seeing a dog in the road while driving the company van and swerving/crashing the van. Upon writing up the accident report, he/she noted the reason for swerving, but apparently there was no dog on the video that captured the incident. Unfortunately, hallucinations are a feature of bipolar, but the individual was fired for “lying” on the report. When he/she went to apply for unemployment, the application was denied because the previous job ended due to “misconduct.”

    That’s the kind of punitive shit that gets ridiculous. Blaming someone for uncontrollable hallucinations.

  • Plain Jane

    Olive, did her employers know that she was bi-polar and prone to hallucinations? If not, they naturally they would conclude she lied when they saw the video without a dog in it.

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    Great post Suzan.

  • Plain Jane

    Here’s something that’s quoted in Sex At Dawn (I believe Susan recommended that book?);

    “The sexual hunger of the female, and her capacity for copulation completely exceeds that of any male. To all intents and purposes, the human female is sexually insatiable.”

    -Sherfy

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Here’s something that’s quoted in Sex At Dawn (I believe Susan recommended that book?);

      I did not. I have not read it. I am aware that the authors have an open marriage, and a pro-open agenda, which destroys their credibility, IMO.

  • Plain Jane

    I think the above quote ties into the assumption the assumption here that women are less gung-ho about “frequent diverse sex” as Susan’s gay acquaintance puts it. Is that really true?

    Like Susan mentioned before, sexual desire is on a continuum. And why confine this discussion to only sex? How about other forms of relationships? Can one man be all things at all times to his wife? Can one woman be all things and at all times to her husband?

    We humans do seek out a main squeeze or lifelong pair bond, but do we *really* want that to be the ONLY intimate relationship we ever have? I mean really, deep down?

    What if we could have our cake and eat it too? What if we could have an awesome, fulfilling, loving, committed and stable main relationship, one in which we created a home, family and life together, AND ALSO have romantic or sexual or emotional connections with friends outside of that as well with the full consent, even encouragement of our main squeeze?

    Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?

  • http://x OffTheCuff

    Olive, a coincidence you mention those, since I have loved ones with both. My son has Type 1 diabetes – without insulin, he dies. (Thats why I am up so late right now, fighting off a low blood sugar, feeding him juice and glucose tabs, and waiting for him to come back up, before I can sleep.)

    Depression medication in my experience doesn’t do anything to elevate mood, instead, it keeps bad moods from getting so bad, the person can’t function. I’ve watched depression up close and personal, both when treated and untreated, it’s not pretty. They are more stay-functioning-when-sad pills than “happy pills”.

    My grandmother (who I never met) had both: adult-onset type 1, untreated depression, ending in suicide.

  • Sai

    @Stuart Schmeiderman
    “Let’s keep in mind that the hooking up culture did not really work so well for gay men… in terms of the transmission of infectious diseases.”
    The more I think about it the more I favor couples getting tested.

    @Beta2Alpha
    “And then (and here’s the key) when you find that elusive, amazing, diamond in the rough…ask yourself why this amazing person should “settle” for you? Surely, they have options so what do you offer them? Put yourself in their shoes…could they do better than you? If so, up your game! Show respect back.”
    +1
    I have started keeping that question in the back of my head.

  • Beta2Alpha

    @ This Post/Article
    I think that STDs are the biggest deterrent to the hookup culture for men. For women, apparently it’s more the emotional damage (from what I read here) not that STDs don’t matter for them as well. Condoms don’t protect against HPV oral cancer exchanges that men are prone to. Obviously most women enjoy receiving oral more so men need to be more careful in this area. My gay friends have told me that even with gay marriage, they don’t feel many in their community would have successful marriages because the hookup culture is too imbedded in their being. Staying with one person for longer than a few years creates angst and the desire to move on to something different compels them to move. It’s similar in the 20-30 crowd today. No one is ever happy. There’s a new shiny ball over there. Maybe that will make me happy. Nope. Oh, look there’s another ball….and so it goes.

    @Lisa
    Vasectomies are another way once you know you don’t want kids but that doesn’t address STDs. I also encourage both partners to get tested prior to sex. STDs are rampant. Once tested, you can enter a LTR with someone without risking your financial well-being. Or you could wear condoms every time and not go south on her until she clears the HPV test, alleviating your oral cancer risk.

    @Susan
    Your opinions do matter! You are the ONLY blog that I have found offering men a respective voice. If women want to listen, then I hope things can change. Other sites just have a bunch of men bashing women. That’s not something I want to be a part of. It doesn’t open the dialog and promote change. You handle all the responses well. You are courteous to everyone. I respect your marriage and think that it *seems* to be ideal from what we know. The reality for many younger generation males is that women don’t respect what men have to say which shuts men down. My college friends would argue that the lower divorce rates for college grads do not reflect the other, much LARGER subset of “Unhappily married and never getting divorced because it either a) costs too much in losing half of my wealth or b) would be a signal that I failed at something and I never “fail” at something because I am this “smart” college grad so I will just keep “working” at this thing hoping it gets better while I live in misery for the next 40 years. My advice to your younger female audience WHO WANT MARRIAGE and KIDS:

    -Make your partner #1. Not your career. Not your pets. Not your friends/family. Are you vulnerable this way? Yes. Can a marriage/LTR work if you don’t do this? Rarely…and in these cases the marriages are typically one-sided such that one person is unhappy. Now OBVIOUSLY, he should be making you #1 as well and trying to out-do you in the giving department. Know what you deserve and when you find it, GIVE BACK the same.

    -Lust will wane for both of you. You just can’t sustain it (at least for men). Thus, you need to ALSO be best friends for you having any chance to make it long term. Without a tight friendship, you won’t make it. For clarity, “friendship” does not include belittling the person, nagging the person, deflecting blame onto the person due to your own insecurities.

    -Speaking of lust. Date an alpha early. Learn that he will always have options. Re-read my part on lust waning. Think about what he’ll do once this happens. That’s right. He’ll exercise those options. Don’t think he won’t. HE WILL. So your options are dating an alpha who will cheat or trade you in at some point or dating a beta. So if you can’t love/lust a more beta type male while turning away alphas who pursue you, don’t get married. You’ll just be miserable or continue to hurt, good beta men. Live your life dating alphas thinking you have the upper hand of power and control (hint: you don’t)

    @Madelena
    The courts determine two types of custody–legal and physical. Legal custody is usually granted as “joint” meaning that both parents have equal say in their child’s medical/education decisions. Physical custody is almost always granted to the mother. They will call it “joint” or “split” but it is hardly equal. Typically the courts do not favor a 50-50 time split because they deem it harder on the child. Think of the school year and spending 6 months in one city, then 6 months in another. So usually, the men get some weeks in the summer and some holidays and some weekends. It’s hardly a 50-50 split. THIS HAPPENS EVEN IN CASES WHERE THE MEN WANT THEIR KIDS. All things being equal (mental state etc), the courts always side with the mother. Men are left out.

    Now on top of not being able to see their kids, men get an added bonus. The courts make them cut the women a check for “support” that rarely ever gets to the child. This is meant to keep the child living in the same “lifestyle” it was used to when really it keeps the women living in the same lifestyle during the marriage. GREAT DEAL FOR HER. Bad deal for the man as his single income now supports two families. He is poor. He never gets to see his child. Some men even have ex-wives who also plant seeds in their children that their father is evil and left them. So now their kids hate them. Oh, it’s a real treat. For some reason, many men aren’t signing up for that potential. How do you know that you won’t marry this person? There honestly is no real way of knowing. It’s a complete gamble. Some men gamble. Some don’t. More men are not taking that gamble because the risk is too great. If the courts lessened these risks, more men may opt back in.

    @Lokland
    That is your choice and I respect that. However, understand that many men do not have a choice in this matter. The men who want custody, who don’t want their wives to move across the U.S. with their kids thereby limiting the time they can see them, who don’t want to pay some women who just left them to also collect money from them that isn’t being used on the children….it’s these men who the courts don’t give a voice. And it’s the children (not just the men) who suffer.

    @Just1Z
    Thanks. I have learned over the years by LISTENING to men and women who have gone before me and those around me. To the men, I have certainly asked them “What blame do you bear in this problem? What must YOU own that got you to this point (unhappy marriage, divorce, etc.)? The one constant the men tell me is that their wives changed but they have not. Their wives had different expectations at year 10 of their marriage than at year 5. And they keep changing. Had they communicated these expectations with them, they would never have signed up. Unfortunately, these women probably didn’t know they would change. We are talking 40 years of life here! You can’t predict happiness for that long. Maybe 2 years, but not much farther.

    @Johnycomelately
    I have always been more worried about being in an unhappy marriage and just sticking it out than getting divorced. I think the divorce numbers don’t tell the whole story of men unhappy in marriage. I’m not sure if the problem is the construct of “marriage” itself or reflects on their poor choice in partner. Men would tell me that marriage just will never work no matter who they chose. Many say it’s not realistic to be able to honestly tell another person that you will be happy staying with them for the next 40 years when you haven’t even been on this Earth 40 years! How can anyone sanely make that kind of commitment and ensure happiness? Women would tell me it’s the men’s fault! :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Beta2Alpha

      Date an alpha early. Learn that he will always have options. Re-read my part on lust waning. Think about what he’ll do once this happens. That’s right. He’ll exercise those options. Don’t think he won’t. HE WILL. So your options are dating an alpha who will cheat or trade you in at some point or dating a beta. So if you can’t love/lust a more beta type male while turning away alphas who pursue you, don’t get married. You’ll just be miserable or continue to hurt, good beta men. Live your life dating alphas thinking you have the upper hand of power and control (hint: you don’t)

      +1

      I actually feel for women who cannot be attracted to any but the most dominant men. I think that’s a life sentence of sorts. I guess we do the best we can, but I do not envy them.

  • pvw

    Hi, Susan, I have been lurking lately…it just seems that after a while the posts are just too unwieldly to keep track of and participate in. So I have tended to read and comment, or not if I’m too busy…I’m a bit less busy right now, so I wanted to tell you about an interesting article I saw come up on one of the list servs I’m a member of…A law professor at George Mason (from what I understand as per my law professor bffs, a big law and econ type school) has written about sexual marketplaces affect women, and from a law and econ perspective:

    http://www.law.gmu.edu/assets/files/publications/working_papers/127420thCenturyDecline.pdf

    It coincides with many of the themes you have been writing about, or others have commented upon.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @PVW

      Getting that paper from you this morning is like Christmas! I’m going to save it for my afternoon tea break and savor every word. What a treat, thank you for thinking of me.

      I hear you re unwieldy comment threads – as JP says, HUS is awfully “commenty.” One thing people should be aware of is that it’s OK with me if you jump in and leave a comment without reading the thread first. If you repeat something that’s already been said, the worst that can happen is that your comment won’t get a response.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?

    Answer to the first: Yes

    Answer to the second: I am a one woman kind of guy. Pursuing a whole bunch of girls devalues all of them, in my eyes.

  • pvw

    @ Susan: Getting that paper from you this morning is like Christmas! I’m going to save it for my afternoon tea break and savor every word. What a treat, thank you for thinking of me.

    Me: You’re quite welcome. It is the sort of thing I would pass along to my students just to give them exposure to competing views than what is being talked about in the mainstream, ie., the birth control mandate as found in health care reform–the underlying presumptions that one must make in order to support the policy.

    Speaking of which, I must admit I have been fascinated by election coverage from the right and their discussion of Catholics, their vote this election season and healthcare reform–birth control as an issue in the debate where the bishops believe their guidance fell on deaf ears….

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @PVW

      Speaking of which, I must admit I have been fascinated by election coverage from the right and their discussion of Catholics, their vote this election season and healthcare reform–birth control as an issue in the debate where the bishops believe their guidance fell on deaf ears….

      Yes, I was surprised to see that Catholics went for Obama. Clearly, the church’s influence on its own membership is extremely limited, and has eroded a great deal in the last generation. I would carefully consider any advice given by my own Jesuit pastor, but disregard just about any mandate from the Cardinal. For most practicing Catholics, the parish experience is the key, I think. The authority of the Pope is very limited. I may have a warped sense of this, attending a campus-based church not really in the archdiocese.

  • J

    Let’s keep in mind that the hooking up culture did not really work so well for gay men… in terms of the transmission of infectious diseases

    It doesn’t work out so well socially either. Young gay men may enjoy the hook-up scene, but it catches up to them as they age. The gay male SMP is fiercer than the straight one in terms of its emphasis on youth and looks. It’s easy to be a hot, young gay male, but sad to be an old gay man. I know a few gay men over 50 who haven’t found permanent partners. They live horribly lonely lives.

  • http://uncabob.blogspot.com/ Bob Wallace

    @ Olive

    “Also I don’t know where you get the idea that all psych meds are addictive”

    You clearly don’t have much experience with the mentally ill. I’ve dealt with them professionally for years. Almost all psychiatric medications are addictive, and every year they become stronger and stronger and more dangerous.

    The SSRIs are associated with increases in murder/suicide, and the drug companies have paid out hundreds of millions in lawsuits.

    As for my bipolar friend, you know nothing about her.

  • J

    So, when are they going to start vaccinating boys as well?

    They have started.

  • J

    And all these men chose “properly”….were “in love”….I was at their weddings. These couples were “meant to be!”

    See, that’s the problem. Too many people marry “for love” in the sense that they are marrying the person who gives them a dopamine high. People need more than that. There has to be some evaluation of character as well.

  • J

    Re mental illness

    Olive, you are spot on regarding medication and blame.

    PJ, welcome back. I understand your point about the extreme cases you bring up, however, statistically, violence is LESS comon among the mentally ill, not more. People with mental illnesses are far more likely to be victimized than they are to perpetrate a crime.

  • Ted D

    PJ – “Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?”

    Yes I would turn it down without a second thought.

    Why? Many reasons, but one of the primary ones is I would NOT be in the least bit comfortable knowing my wife was having any kind of romantic relationship with another man. I know beyond all doubt that jealousy WOULD be a huge issue. (in other words, I was an only child and I DO NOT like to share my toys…) Another reason is I do not want casual sex, and I would not pursue other romantic interests. So, if my wife did, well, see my first point above. I would resent her spending time with another man. I would be concerned that our children would find out.

    And those are just off the top of my head. Truth is, my initial reaction to the thought of opening our marriage is to scream ‘FUCK no’. I think that is more than enough indication that I am not cut out for an open relationship. And before you ask, I made this MORE than perfectly clear before I married. I was glad to find out that my wife felt exactly the same way and was horrified when her ex-husband tried repeatedly to talk her into threesomes/swinging/etc. (of course when she said no he simply cheated on her. *shrug*)

  • J

    I guess you can call me the female Roosh, except I work when abroad and don’t lie about getting laid

    LMAO.

    The Sherfy quote is interesting. There have been many times in histroy that women have been held to be far more sexual than men. Both medieval Catholic literature and the Talmud made that assertion long before modern psychology embraced it.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    You clearly don’t have much experience with the mentally ill.

    Fascinating. So tell me how having a manic episode so severe you can hardly remember your own name and are hospitalized for 9 days in the schizophrenic ward is “not having experience with the mentally ill.” I would love to know more.

  • http://www.femaleframechanges.blogspot.com Olive

    I’ve dealt with them professionally for years.

    In what capacity? Hospital social work? Law enforcement?

    >blockquote>Almost all psychiatric medications are addictive, and every year they become stronger and stronger and more dangerous.
    Again, a link please. Specifically I would like to know about the addictive properties of lithium.

    As for my bipolar friend, you know nothing about her.

    Perhaps not, but I would like to think I know a thing or two about bipolar.

  • SayWhaat

    Agreed, and this was essentially the point of the gay guy I spoke with. He was basically saying, “What do you crazy straight people think you’re doing? This is a lifestyle for non-breeders!”

    Lol. I’ve said it before, we could learn a lot from the bisexual transgendered, pre-op or post-op. As a matter of fact, transgendered people in general could tell us a lot about sexual dynamics on the other side of the fence.

  • SayWhaat

    People with mental illnesses are far more likely to be victimized than they are to perpetrate a crime.

    Indeed. While I do agree with the opinion that life made tolerable for the minority can often make the majority suffer (No Child Left Behind, anyone?), I greatly empathize with those who are punished simply for being wired differently.

  • SayWhaat

    Answer to the second: I am a one woman kind of guy. Pursuing a whole bunch of girls devalues all of them, in my eyes.

    This made me really happy to hear, ADBG. I wish I could hear this sentiment from guys our age more often. It would help me in my (fleeting) bitter “AMALT” moments…

  • SayWhaat

    Almost all psychiatric medications are addictive, and every year they become stronger and stronger and more dangerous.

    I researched and spoke extensively with my psychiatrist before I went on Vyvanse for ADHD. She assured me that the medication was only “addictive” in the sense that people stupidly assumed that it was the meds that made them more productive, and then assumed that they no longer worked after getting used to the meds once the side effects subsided. It’s erroneous to think you’ll be super-productive as you move to higher dosages.

  • Sassy6519

    Speaking of lust. Date an alpha early. Learn that he will always have options. Re-read my part on lust waning. Think about what he’ll do once this happens. That’s right. He’ll exercise those options. Don’t think he won’t. HE WILL. So your options are dating an alpha who will cheat or trade you in at some point or dating a beta. So if you can’t love/lust a more beta type male while turning away alphas who pursue you, don’t get married. You’ll just be miserable or continue to hurt, good beta men. Live your life dating alphas thinking you have the upper hand of power and control (hint: you don’t)

    Noooo! Say it isn’t so!!!

    I kid, I kid.

    I like and prefer dating “Alphas”, and they definitely aren’t all bad. Of course they have options, but that does not necessarily mean that they want to or will exercise them. I guess I’m looking for an “Alpha” with a natural inclination towards monogamy (or possibly an open relationship).

    @ Plain Jane

    Like Susan mentioned before, sexual desire is on a continuum. And why confine this discussion to only sex? How about other forms of relationships? Can one man be all things at all times to his wife? Can one woman be all things and at all times to her husband?

    We humans do seek out a main squeeze or lifelong pair bond, but do we *really* want that to be the ONLY intimate relationship we ever have? I mean really, deep down?

    What if we could have our cake and eat it too? What if we could have an awesome, fulfilling, loving, committed and stable main relationship, one in which we created a home, family and life together, AND ALSO have romantic or sexual or emotional connections with friends outside of that as well with the full consent, even encouragement of our main squeeze?

    Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?

    This is the type of stuff I have been thinking about lately. At this point in time, my answer is both yes and no.

  • Cooper

    Sassy,

    Fried ice?

  • Sassy6519

    @ Cooper

    Fried ice?

    *In an overly dramatic voice*

    Don’t crush my dreams Cooper!!

    *In the voice of Barbara Streisand*

    Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade!!!

  • J

    I guess I’m looking for an “Alpha” with a natural inclination towards monogamy (or possibly an open relationship).

    Perhaps you need a sigma or an INTJ. I would consider my husband both. He has a low desire to dominate but is nonetheless fairly socially dominant. People like him, even flock to him, and he is never really dominated by others. Even when he with dealing with people higher in corporate structure, he is treated with respect.

    One of Vox’ commenters once linked sigmaness with being an INTJ. The latter tend to be very picky about whom they will allow into their worlds, but they are also intensely loyal and faithful.

  • Ion

    ” As a matter of fact, transgendered people in general could tell us a lot about sexual dynamics on the other side of the fence.”

    Has anyone ever read Whipping Girl?

    In it, a transgendered woman talks about how much work feminists do to devalue femininity and claim that female-ness is inherently unnatural and negative. She also talks about how feminists refuse to consider transgendered womens experiences as important because of how women “transitioning” behave, feel, act, and look VERY different once given female hormones (it goes against the feminist notion that there are some biological differences between women and men).

    That book was really an eye-opener for me. The author actually says a lot about feminist propaganda that has also been said here.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Ion

      She also talks about how feminists refuse to consider transgendered womens experiences as important because of how women “transitioning” behave, feel, act, and look VERY different once given female hormones (it goes against the feminist notion that there are some biological differences between women and men).

      Wow, I never realized that. I always think of feminists and LGBTs as allies, but perhaps not.

  • Jonny

    I wonder how valuable advice is from a gay male. It doesn’t seem helpful. Neither is it helpful to get advice from a feminist.

    Gays and feminists come from the most extreme liberal positions on sexual relationships. It is quite hard to bring it down to normal straight relationships where most women and men are. The women who are having hookups aren’t the marrying type, thus they are the wrong audience to discuss marriage and long term relationships, which was why I found gay marriage to be most contradictory in this respect.

    If you want to marry, don’t get the easy lay. Have some self-respect. Respect the one you want to marry. Show some restraint. These are qualities you expect from a long term relationship that results in marriage.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I wonder how valuable advice is from a gay male.

      He wasn’t giving advice to young women, he was just making an observation about the culture in a way that made sense to me. Also, I was surprised to find the letter from a gay guy struggling with promiscuity as an addiction of sorts.

  • Ion

    ” (it goes against the feminist notion that there are some biological differences between women and men).”

    Oops *Some should be NOT.

  • pvw

    @Susan:

    Yes, I was surprised to see that Catholics went for Obama. Clearly, the church’s influence on its own membership is extremely limited, and has eroded a great deal in the last generation. I would carefully consider any advice given by my own Jesuit pastor, but disregard just about any mandate from the Cardinal. For most practicing Catholics, the parish experience is the key, I think. The authority of the Pope is very limited. I may have a warped sense of this, attending a campus-based church not really in the archdiocese.

    Me:

    I don’t think your experiences are warped at all; to the chagrin of the hierarchy, a fair number, if not the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics fit into that category. They go to church all the time, or on occasion, but they don’t listen to the hierarchy. They say they are Roman Catholic, but they think and act like Protestants. The conservative critics describe them as cultural Catholics or cafeteria Catholics. Ross Douthat has a book which describes this, one which I’ve been meaning to read, Bad Religion. He sees Americans as becoming a nation of heretics, regardless of denomination.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @PVW

      I’m afraid your description fits me to a tee, as does the label heretic. :-/

  • Just1Z

    Recently on AVFM, a non-ranty, safe for people of a timid disposition, real life account from a F->M transgendered person.

    quite interesting to see someone truly experience both worlds.

    From woman to man to red pill

    I never thought my transition from female to male would lead me to …

    http://www.avoiceformen.com/misandry/chivalry/from-woman-to-man-to-red-pill/

    the comments (which also look safe) give information about testosterone, and it’s part in the production of the real rage hormone oestrogen (ISYN)

  • Brendan

    Re: the Catholic vote.

    It split along ethnic lines. See: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/us-usa-campaign-religion-idUSBRE8A71M420121108

    Hispanic Catholics went 76/23 Obama, while white Catholics went 56/43 Romney. Because of the slant and changing demographics inside the Catholic American population, the total number was 51/48, but the real story about the Catholic vote is the ethnic split.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Brendan

      Hispanic Catholics went 76/23 Obama, while white Catholics went 56/43 Romney. Because of the slant and changing demographics inside the Catholic American population, the total number was 51/48, but the real story about the Catholic vote is the ethnic split.

      Thanks, that does explain a lot!

      I have a question for you – I was surprised to see that 53% of voters in the election were women, 47% were men. That’s a huge gap, and troubling – it reminds me of the college enrollment trend. Do you have a sense of what that is about, and whether that is a trend, or has this always been the case?

  • J

    @pvw

    Catholics have voted Democrat since Kennedy was elected.

  • pvw

    @Susan:

    @PVW

    I’m afraid your description fits me to a tee, as does the label heretic. :-/

    Me: Hahahaha! I hear you. I knew I was on the road to heresy a long time ago, for the very reason I described, cultural/cafeteria Catholicism, which is why I made it official once I became Protestant….teehee….heretic and proud!

  • Ion

    “Wow, I never realized that. I always think of feminists and LGBTs as allies, but perhaps not.”

    Susan, please whenever you have time pick up a copy of this book! It’s a page-turner and her writing on the issue of pop culture femininity shaming is some of the most profound I’ve seen (most of the book is actually devoted to that, though she does go into how she changed in terms of behavior once she started hormones in a chapter or two). Feminists have had a long history of discounting transgender womens experiences.

  • pvw

    @ J

    Catholics have voted Democrat since Kennedy was elected.

    Me: And probably prior to that as well; in the 19th c., it was seen as the party of Catholic immigrants, disparaged by Republican WASPs as totalitarian types–the old “Romish Papist” type language answerable to Rome…But Kennedy made it respectable, by being cafeteria Catholic.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Didn’t Catholics go for Reagan?

  • pvw

    oops, “of being answerable”

  • pvw

    @ Brendan:

    Re: the Catholic vote.

    It split along ethnic lines. See: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/08/us-usa-campaign-religion-idUSBRE8A71M420121108

    Hispanic Catholics went 76/23 Obama, while white Catholics went 56/43 Romney.

    Me: Thanks for sharing the article; I didn’t see reports on the breakdown among Catholics based upon ethnicity.

    It is funny, when I read reports like this, and even when I used to be Catholic, I used to say to myself, but what about me???? Plenty of black Catholics, yet the presumption is that they are all Protestant and particularly National (black) Baptist Convention. Yet, here I am, Protestant, but I’m not Baptist….

  • Plain Jane

    Susan, I wanted to ask, since you’re a Massachusettes resident, how well did Romney govern your state when he was in office there? Did he the regular janes and joes who own extremely small businesses or was it only “big small” business that he helped? Or did he help both or none at all?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Plain Jane

      He was a popular governor, and considered a liberal to moderate Republican.

  • Plain Jane

    “Speaking of lust. Date an alpha early. Learn that he will always have options. ”

    No problem. Even plain janes such as myself always have options too so that would only make us even.

    Next?

  • Tasmin

    @Susan
    “I have watched the “Modern Family” movement unfold with a sense of profound irony.
    Indeed. But we also have to recognize that our (hetero) view of homosexual culture (and SMP) is dominated by a hyper-sexualized, anti-monogamy, sex-pos, in-your-face minority just as the hetero SMP has seen the emergence of the hookup minority as the dominant image. Granted, the minority is probably quite a bit larger within the gay community, but I do believe that the minority has been driving the narrative and the images we project across the gay population. IOW, I think the majority of gay people still ultimately want a partner for LTR – even (gasp!) marriage and perhaps even kids, a la “Modern Family”. But the overriding image is that of this sex-crazed “Bathhouse” culture.

    And for similar reasons as I dragged on about above, the majority within the gay community are even less inclined to quiet or correct those minority voices. Partly because they are still “fighting” for their rights in the broad sense and partly because within a historically persecuted or isolated class there is very little internal regulation of the extreme or minority views because those tend to be the foot-soldiers, the most militant.

    We see it in modern feminism: there are many who may not share those hostile anti-male beliefs but they have a hellova time expressing those views without harsh sanctions from the more militant minority and even though their views might represent the numerical majority, they are quickly made to seem fringe and are often closely followed by a redirect back in-line with that narrative.

    The gay men I am closest with are all in LTR or married and have been for a long time. They advocate where they can, but just like in our hetero struggle with the hookup culture, they are happy and content with their decisions and have little motivation to enter the debate; just like how despite all this hookup nonsense, plenty of educated people in their late 20′s are quietly pairing off and getting married and having a family. Those people are not inclined to rise up and advocate against a hookup culture that they either navigated successfully, never participated in, or see it for the true minority that it is. They are busy picking out a preschool.

    Many of my gay friends cringe when those gay pride days – parades and such happen because the images are almost always of that minority or more fringe beliefs and behaviors that make it that much more strange, different, shocking to the other (hetero) majority from which they wish to be acknowledged fully as equals. But many also see those images as necessary as they are often the only vehicles to move the broader agenda forward and so they accept that in order to open up access to more mainstream rights, marriage for example, the have to accept that the flag wavers, the loudest voices are often going to be representative of the minority views. Its the “slut walk” effect.

    That said, the courtship process (lets just call it that) is indeed very different; it is much more sexual and the bonds are less rigid (monogamous) due to the sexual drive being paramount, but that is informative because it is a male dominated SMP without the female imperatives of mate selection and sex-guarding as a natural governor. Sounds familiar, right?

    The man’s story here is illustrative of how people need emotional connections even if their biological imperatives have some crossed wires relative to reproduction. The underlying categories may be in a different order, but I think there is still a hierarchy of needs and many of the higher order needs prove difficult to secure in an SMP that is constantly feeding more base needs. Sex is just not that readily available in nature, yet within the gay SMP it is central and abundant. The fact that gay men continue to desire and eventually find a life-partner within an SMP tilted against such things is a testament to the overriding human drives that are more universal, more common – than not.

    I also think that part of the reason that the gay SMP seems so sexualized and disconnected from those higher needs is not because gay men have not desired such things from the start, but because their SMP is just now moving above ground. The actual “relationship”, bonding, and cohabiting behaviors were unable to manifest naturally in the open. The SMP was reduced to meeting the more base sexual needs with limited ability to move beyond those base needs, particularly in a public forum; the actualization of those other needs carried extreme risks and were artificially held in check by costly social barriers, including deep shaming. And in light of all that, it is further testament that the gay population still managed to form actual lasting relationships. The gay SMP is still largely out of view so we (hetero) only key in on the differences – the physical/sexual at work and not the similarities.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Tasmin

      The man’s story here is illustrative of how people need emotional connections even if their biological imperatives have some crossed wires relative to reproduction. The underlying categories may be in a different order, but I think there is still a hierarchy of needs and many of the higher order needs prove difficult to secure in an SMP that is constantly feeding more base needs. Sex is just not that readily available in nature, yet within the gay SMP it is central and abundant. The fact that gay men continue to desire and eventually find a life-partner within an SMP tilted against such things is a testament to the overriding human drives that are more universal, more common – than not.

      This is why I was actually pleasantly surprised by this letter and response in Queerty. (Obviously not pleased at “Screwed”‘s suffering, just happy to see the relationship craving side of gay life.) It was not at all what I would have expected.

      We may have been designed to reproduce, but the human need for deep and abiding love, as well as our capacity for it, suggests that sex alone simply cannot come close to providing fulfillment.

  • Escoffier

    This notion that marriage inevitably = “bed death,” expressed vehemently somewhere above, is let’s just say not universal.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      This notion that marriage inevitably = “bed death,” expressed vehemently somewhere above, is let’s just say not universal.

      I think that just applied to lesbians. I’m sure it’s not universal for them either. :)

  • Escoffier

    RE: Romney being a popular governor, he declined to run for reelection because he was convinced he would lose and that would forever dash his presidential ambitions.

  • Tasmin

    @J
    “The gay male SMP is fiercer than the straight one in terms of its emphasis on youth and looks.”

    Definitely. And many would admit how tiring this can be to keep up with. It also goes to show how visual, physical men are in terms of attraction – even if that attraction is for other men. Every gym I have been a member of has a significant population (particularly the higher end ones) of gay men who are fit has hell and intend to stay that way. Now there are definitely some subcultures within the community; there is a lot of self-selection into these groups which tend to delineate along physical/appearances as well as relationship lines, but by and large gay dudes are going to be keenly aware of “looks”. Just last year I learned from a gay friend that I am an Otter. Which is a subcategory of Bears. So I know where I stand in all of that, which is more than I can say being a hetero guy.

    It is interesting that within the gay community there seems to be more out-in-the-open delineation, more grouping in terms of physical attraction characteristics and even cultural expectations that follow. Perhaps it is because the male attraction triggers are more rigid, consistent than female so they are increasing their chances by grouping up. Either way, it seems to feed into a kind of assortive mating that (from the outside looking in) seems like it might be a refreshing change from all the smoke and mirrors that goes on the the hetero SMP. I’m an otter, you are into otters, can cut through a lot of ambiguity in terms of whether or not someone is attracted to you – or even might be.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Tasmin

      OK, I just spent 20 minutes learning about Bear culture.

      Black Bear is a bear of African-American descent.

      Brown Bear is a bear of Latin descent.

      Chubby Bear is a bear who is heavy set and hairy.

      Cub is a term used to describe a bear relatively younger in age. The term is also affectionally used to describe a bear’s husband/partner who fulfills the passive role in the sexual relationship.

      Daddy Bear describes a mature bear, who is often looking for a Cub (or younger man) for a relationship.

      Grizzly Bear means that the individual is extremely dominant and typically extremely tall, heavy, or hairy.

      Koala Bear is a bear of Australian descent.

      Otter describes a man who is hairy but not heavy. An otter’s build is leaner and muscular.

      Panda Bear denotes a bear of Asian descent.

      Pocket Bear describes a bear of short stature.

      Polar Bear is a bear with white or grey hair.

      Wolf is a term for a bear who is rugged and outdoorsy but typically also a biker.

      Who knew?

  • pvw

    @Susan @Plain Jane

    He was a popular governor, and considered a liberal to moderate Republican.

    @ Escoffier:

    RE: Romney being a popular governor, he declined to run for reelection because he was convinced he would lose and that would forever dash his presidential ambitions.

    Me: It seems to me the stories I read from back then was that he seemed to be more interested in running for the presidency even while he was governor, ie., 2006 or so, he seemed to be in the news a lot, ie., at Republican governor’s conferences, badmouthing his own state, especially with respect to the gay marriage thing.

    @Susan: Didn’t Catholics go for Reagan?

    Me: This is part of the underlying discussion (and chagrin) among the pundits on the right. That older group of Reagan Democrats were ethnic whites, a fair number of them Roman Catholic who broke away from the Democratic party in the 1970s to vote Republican; they have been at the heart of Republican success for the past 30 years, especially when the conservative Roman Catholic pundits were able to find common cause with conservative Protestants–think William Buckley and the National Review. But they are wondering where the future lies; if the current population of Roman Catholics is primarily Latino and they don’t vote Republican, what will the future look like? As we were observing, lots of Roman Catholics are cafeteria/cultural Catholics who have no common cause with conservative Protestants and the battles of 30+ years ago (Reagan and the Moral Majority), so Douthat and company are worried, indeed.

    Re. Tasmin and gay rights issues; interesting take, and I agree. It always seemed to me that the AIDS epidemic did a lot in the 80s to push the mainstreaming of the more conservative gay agenda, the “Modern Family” phenomenon, to address the similarities rather than the differences from middle class (white) heterosexuals, ie., the Northampton, Mass. “soccer moms/dads”.

  • Ted D

    Escoffier – “This notion that marriage inevitably = “bed death,” expressed vehemently somewhere above, is let’s just say not universal.”

    Surely not universal. But I can easily see that some individual men and women might find themselves in such a situation for any number of reasons. I’m amazed that so many men seem to truly have a strong desire for sexual variety, mostly because I’ve never suffered it myself. I used to think that was a young man’s game, but a few men I know very well have suffered from this as well, and they are in my age bracket. One in particular is very “in love” with his wife, yet a few years back he had an affair that lasted a few months. I can tell you from talking to him that the pain it caused him was real and intense, but he seemed unable to resolve the issue. After some talking, and a copy of Athol’s book, he is in a much better place and they are happy. (she doesn’t know about the affair, and I don’t know that it should change to be honest. I don’t like the secrecy, but it isn’t my call.)

    So at least some people seem to really have a problem with monogamy at a core level. I felt very badly for my friend, but no matter how hard I tried I could NOT understand his POV. It just isn’t in my nature to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Tasmin

    You have been killing it in your last several posts.

    +1 all the way. :)

  • HanSolo

    @Tasmin

    Did you see the link in my comment 21 that gathers together several studies?

    http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/promiscuity/ (I have not delved into the studies cited to see if there is some sort of bias.)

    Gay men really are highly promiscuous. In a study in Amsterdam the average number for single gays was 22 while the average number of partners for those with a steady partner was 8. So even though they may find LTR’s they are very rarely monogamous. Rather, they are usually open. My gay brother has anecdotally told me about his experiences and those of his gay friends and it matches the same pattern, that gay LTR’s are usually very open.

    The fascinating thing about the last paragraph in that link is that lesbians have more partners than do hetero women. That contradicts the theory that since women are naturally more monogamous that when you remove the men from the scene (pressuring for sexual variety) that you might expect fewer sexual partners, the flipside of removing monogamy-desiring women from the male scene results in rampant gay male promiscuity.

    I do think many gay men want loving relationships–my brother is one such man but he says he wants a monogamous LTR and that most of the gay men he knows don’t want that, that they want an open LTR when they want an LTR.

    It was interesting in the link that it says that men who have sex with men and are associated with the gay community (in Australia) “were nearly four times as likely to have had more than 50 sex partners in the six months preceding the survey as men who were not associated with the gay community.” It also quotes a gay author about the identity of promiscuity: “Gay liberation was founded . . . on a ‘sexual brotherhood of promiscuity,’ and any abandonment of that promiscuity would amount to a ‘communal betrayal of gargantuan proportions.’”

    The question is, are there more gay men like my brother that wants a monogamous LTR and the gay community has a silent majority like him or is he really the small minority he feels he is? (And he has told me he has been quite promiscuous over the years in spite of his desiring an LTR.) I would suspect that he really is the minority.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    @Susan
    Just a theory, but I think men not voting is just another side effect of the cultural changes of the past 50 years (Feminism is the big one, but there are plenty of others), that have disempowered men as a group. Very much in line with the changing college demographics.

    Men haven’t become angry or upset… They’ve just become indifferent, unambitious, and apathetic. Maybe even defeatist on a small level.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jimmy

      I think men not voting is just another side effect of the cultural changes of the past 50 years (Feminism is the big one, but there are plenty of others), that have disempowered men as a group. Very much in line with the changing college demographics.

      This is what I was afraid of. Very hard to fight against. I’m not sure exactly what demographic is represented – I imagine younger males. If someone can figure this out and work hard to get out the male vote in ’16 it might be very significant.

  • mr. wavevector

    “What do you crazy straight people think you’re doing? This is a lifestyle for non-breeders!”

    By indefinitely postponing marriage and children, young straight people have become de facto non-breeders. Perhaps that’s why the hookup lifestyle fits.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      By indefinitely postponing marriage and children, young straight people have become de facto non-breeders. Perhaps that’s why the hookup lifestyle fits.

      Yes, that is Hannah Rosin’s point.

  • Escoffier

    Ted, I don’t doubt that lots of people find themselves unsatisfied in marriage. I am disputing the idea that all the studies which show, overall, higher levels of satisfaction for married v. singles, are somehow BS. I am not shy about calling into question studies that I find dubious, sometimes to Susan’s annoyance, but this particular topic does not strike me as one of those cases.

    That said, I would have no trouble believing that the number unsatisfied men in marriage has risen concurrently with, and because of, feminism.

  • http://7thseriesgongshow.blogspot.com Mr. Nervous Toes

    Susan @ 96:

    Judith Bulter is the main feminist that started the cause to separate sex from gender. It comes from the branch of feminism known as queer studies, and tries to make the claim that gender is a cultural thing and there’s no sexual dimorphism. I don’t buy it for a second as animal studies say it’s wrong, wrong, wrong… It’s an ideology unsupported by science, but that doesn’t stop people from promulgating it. I know some women who have been ruined as women by this stuff.

    A quote: “nstead, in her introduction of the central idea of Gender Trouble, Butler argues that gender is performative: no identity exists behind the acts that supposedly “express” gender, and these acts constitute—rather than express—the illusion of the stable gender identity. Furthermore, if the appearance of “being” a gender is thus an effect of culturally influenced acts, then there exists no solid, universal gender: constituted through the practice of performance, the gender “woman” (like the gender “man”) remains contingent and open to interpretation and “resignification.””

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Butler

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_Trouble

  • Tasmin

    @Jonny
    “I wonder how valuable advice is from a gay male. It doesn’t seem helpful. Neither is it helpful to get advice from a feminist.”
    I agree. I know many women who seem to enjoy getting advice from gay men, both sexual and relationship, which I find to be rather misplaced. I think the fact that the two SMP’s are becoming more similar is encouraging this. For some reason, gay men have captivated the hetero woman’s sense of sexuality – and it is one of the ways in which we are seeing the two SMP’s bridge with this hooking-up narrative.

    The other is how fringe views and the homo-SMP’s sex-poz orientation are finding their way into the mainstream. E.g. Dan Savage. I think it is great that there is advice out there for those who need it, particularly for the young, ill-informed, and those struggling with fringe issues. But this is an example of where a minority position, with very open-relationship, sex-poz orientation started out advising people with issues like gender identity, coming out of the closet, fetishes, and other rare issues and expanded to become an “expert” on sex and by default, relationships for the masses. He regularly “lectures” on college campuses and while I think it is good overall to shine as much light as we can on the truths about sexuality and relationships for those who may not have access to such, far too often people like this are taking extreme license with their views.

    The result is that the message is often more about how everyone is “ok” and “healthy” and “good” to indulge in these behaviors, thereby assuming a view of the SMP that will not (may not) best serve their ultimate goals, but rather one that allows for a great deal of self-indulgence with the only governor on behavior apparently being some measure of honesty and oh yeah, use protection.

    I got into a debate with a woman I dated who had several close gay guy friends. She seemed to think that gay guys have the sex-expertise market cornered. I said sure, sex with other men, but she was convinced that they know how to turn men on, please, etc. so that must translate into man-woman relations. I’m still skeptical. Perhaps it also relates to how women are becoming more masculinized in their approach to sexuality.

    I think there is also a connection between women who are very much sex-poz and friendships with gay men. I am pretty sure gay guys invented the post-hookup brunch.

  • Sassy6519

    This is a little off topic, but I thought it was really cool.

    http://www.anaface.com

    The above website offers a facial analysis tool. It allows users to upload pictures of themselves and determine how closely their faces fit the golden ratio. It renders a “Facial Beauty Analysis”, and spits out a score too. You also don’t have to sign in or create an account.

    I think it’s pretty interesting.

  • Tasmin

    @Susan
    Ha! I know, I had no idea until I spent an afternoon at the pool sipping really gay drinks (yeah umbrellas and all) with my friends and their other gay friends. Apparently, my friend had told them that his “otter” friend (me) was coming to the party. I had been a competitive open-water swimmer for years so I thought it was just a new nickname when he added it to my introduction. I was laughing my ass off when I made them run down all of those bear subcategories. But glad to know that otters have pretty wide appeal, so you know, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice :-)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      But glad to know that otters have pretty wide appeal, so you know, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice

      If women here are anything to go by, thin guys with hairy chests are hot! I’ve always thought so, but I wouldn’t say so to Mr. HUS, who is not a very hirsute person. (My Celtic genes, on the other hand….)

  • Passer_By

    @JT

    ” I have a silly question:
    How is it for lesbian women who ‘hook up’? ”

    And, more specifically, does scissoring produce oxytocin and its associated bonding effects. :)

    @susan

    “Panda Bear denotes a bear of Asian descent.”

    That species must be as rare as the Dodo bird.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Passer By

      And, more specifically, does scissoring produce oxytocin and its associated bonding effects.

      Dude, no one makes me laugh here more than you do. Oh god, my abs hurt.

      I recently asked some young women to explain scissoring to me, and when I still didn’t understand I said, “No, move your legs, I want to see how this works.” It was hilarious.

      “Panda Bear denotes a bear of Asian descent.”

      That species must be as rare as the Dodo bird.

      Seriously. It must be an Affirmative Action thing.

  • Ted D

    Escoffier – “I am disputing the idea that all the studies which show, overall, higher levels of satisfaction for married v. singles, are somehow BS.”

    Oops sorry. I totally missed your point on that one. :p

    I’ll say this though: even when I was with my ex and things weren’t going very well, I would probably have answered a poll question about my marriage in a postive manner. Some of that was self-delusion, but some of it was the fact that I didn’t expect any better from my marriage. I knew so many other men in similar marriages, that to be honest I started to believe it was as good as it would EVER get.

    I am glad to have been proven incorrect on that one. ;-)

  • Plain Jane

    And yet there is no “teddy bear” category! How strange.

  • Plain Jane

    “The other is how fringe views and the homo-SMP’s sex-poz orientation are finding their way into the mainstream. E.g. Dan Savage. I think it is great that there is advice out there for those who need it, particularly for the young, ill-informed, and those struggling with fringe issues. ”

    Dan Savage pushes under the rug the very real tissue damage consistent anal sex over many years is causing to gay men.

    Yes, they are having bathroom problems that you can well imagine.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Susan Walsh

    OK, I just spent 20 minutes learning about Bear culture.

    Black Bear is a bear of African-American descent.

    Brown Bear is a bear of Latin descent.

    Chubby Bear is a bear who is heavy set and hairy.

    Cub is a term used to describe a bear relatively younger in age. The term is also affectionally used to describe a bear’s husband/partner who fulfills the passive role in the sexual relationship.

    Daddy Bear describes a mature bear, who is often looking for a Cub (or younger man) for a relationship.

    Grizzly Bear means that the individual is extremely dominant and typically extremely tall, heavy, or hairy.

    Koala Bear is a bear of Australian descent.

    Otter describes a man who is hairy but not heavy. An otter’s build is leaner and muscular.

    Panda Bear denotes a bear of Asian descent.

    Pocket Bear describes a bear of short stature.

    Polar Bear is a bear with white or grey hair.

    Wolf is a term for a bear who is rugged and outdoorsy but typically also a biker.

    Who knew?

    Interesting.

    I wonder if the lesbian culture assigns different names and terms for different tastes as well. The only terms that I’ve ever heard used, concerning lesbians, are “butch” types and “lipstick lesbian” types.

  • Plain Jane

    Someone mentioned the highly competitive sexual culture of gay men and it is true to a large extent, the pressure to look young and fit all the time. A few of the gay men I know are completely obsessed with working out and looking hot. Its all so shallow and sad.

    I don’t know any lesbians who are like that but maybe they are out there somewhere.

    On the other hand there are more domesticated gay men who are happy to settle into a life of routine and homely type love without any influence from gym rat culture.

    I say post 40 its ok to let yourself go a little. Don’t blow up to 300 pounds, but an obsessive hardcore workout routine is not necessary. A morning and evening walk and healthy diet will suffice.

  • SayWhaat

    “The only terms that I’ve ever heard used, concerning lesbians, are “butch” types and “lipstick lesbian” types.”

    The more pressing question is, which one describes Ellen Degeneres? :P

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    The more pressing question is, which one describes Ellen Degeneres?

    In my opinion, she seems more the “butch” type. She definitely has some “lipstick” aspects to her, but I’d classify her as “butch”.

  • SayWhaat

    Sassy,

    Even though she is a CoverGirl model? :P

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    Even though she is a CoverGirl model?

    Haha!

    Yeah, I’d consider her more “butch”. Her partner Portia, however, is definitely a “lipstick lesbian”.

  • mr. wavevector

    Yes, that is Hannah Rosin’s point.

    I agree with Hannah Rosin? That ruins my whole afternoon!

  • Plain Jane

    “If women here are anything to go by, thin guys with hairy chests are hot! I’ve always thought so, but I wouldn’t say so to Mr. HUS, who is not a very hirsute person. (My Celtic genes, on the other hand….)”

    I like both hirsute and bare smooth depending on the physique, face and skin tone of the owners. Its about the overall package, how different features gel together and compliment or contrast each other, rather than just one particular physical trait.

  • Sassy6519

    If women here are anything to go by, thin guys with hairy chests are hot!

    Oh yeah!!

    I definitely like thinner men, and I absolutely love guys with nice facial hair. I like it when a man can grow a full beard, as long as it’s not unkempt. Mustaches and goatees are fine too.

    I also prefer men who have a good amount of chest hair. I feel like a cat sometimes because I love to nuzzle my head in that stuff. Don’t even get me started on a nice happy trail on a man.

  • SayWhaat

    I am totally telling my BF to ask his gay friends if he is an “Otter”. XD

    If women here are anything to go by, thin guys with hairy chests are hot! I’ve always thought so, but I wouldn’t say so to Mr. HUS, who is not a very hirsute person. (My Celtic genes, on the other hand….)

    Pfft, try Indian genes! We look hairier because our hair is dark, and boys grow mustaches at the age of 10.

    And hey, as long as he’s still got a full head of hair, that’s all that counts.

  • Plain Jane

    “Pfft, try Indian genes! We look hairier because our hair is dark, and boys grow mustaches at the age of 10.”

    And so do some of us girls. Ha ha. I just couldn’t pass that one up!

    Sassy, I wrote a comment to you about your toying with the idea of open relationship but it didn’t make it through. (Susan, I’m not promoting it, I’m on the fence about that form of relating, but I think Sassy would benefit from reading that blog since they are an African American couple and share about their experiences transitioning from traditional monogamy to what they call “progressive love” in the African American community).

    Anyway Sassy if you are interested the site is http://www.jujumamablog.com

  • Sai

    @Beta2Alpha
    STOP MAKING SO MUCH SENSE.
    Also you, mr. wavevector.
    *I don’t mean that, your commentaries are great.

    @Plain Jane
    “Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?”
    I couldn’t do it. I’d start to worry whether I were treating Abdul as well as I was treating Boris, and I might keep forgetting about Cormac, plus I would envy whoever Daisuke was with when he wasn’t with me. I’ll do my best to be a good wife to one man, but I don’t know how well I could keep more than one man happy.

    @Just1Z
    “To paraphrase these lovely ladies (http://imgace.com/pic/2012/06/lips-that-touch-liquor-shall-not-touch-ours/)
    “Lips that touch dogs’ shall not touch mine”
    I remember that photo! Fun history times. But I feel sorry for the bar owners who had the angry women just march in and smash up their stuff.
    (Speaking of history… slightly OT… although I need a life and/or a time machine, where on the scale would the first man in space be?)

  • Plain Jane

    @Plain Jane
    “Would anyone here turn that down? If so, why?”
    I couldn’t do it. I’d start to worry whether I were treating Abdul as well as I was treating Boris, and I might keep forgetting about Cormac, plus I would envy whoever Daisuke was with when he wasn’t with me. I’ll do my best to be a good wife to one man, but I don’t know how well I could keep more than one man happy.
    —-

    Sai, I once dated 3 young men at once for a lovely season. I adored them all equally, but for different reasons. I remember laying on my cot one lazy afternoon and thinking up an imaginary scenario in my head where I had to choose just one and I couldn’t. Each one captured a different corner of my heart. Thankfully I never had to make that choice.

    I guess its like parenting more than one child. They are all unique and touch you in different ways but you love them equally.

    This is why, although there are ethical/moral kinks (hee hee) I haven’t worked out yet, I am not entirely opposed to the idea of plural marriage/open relationships. I do not buy into the farce that we “can only love just one person at a time”. However I completely understand and agree with the position that for the sake of children, family, stable society, we reign in our ability to love more than one person at the same time. That’s why, in order for “western marriage” to succeed or re-awaken as it were, people are going to have to have a purpose higher than “being in love” for it to last a last time. Its going to have to be about more than just the couple.

    Can we do this at this point in time?

    Thoughts?

  • Ramble

    My gay brother has anecdotally told me about his experiences and those of his gay friends and it matches the same pattern, that gay LTR’s are usually very open.

    I used to have quite a few gay friends, but, now, only a few. One couple I know who have been “married” for 8 (?) years have made a few trips down to Mexico and are now considering buying a property there so that they can spend more time with the third of their “triad”.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/jimbocollins Megaman

    @Esc.

    That said, I would have no trouble believing that the number unsatisfied men in marriage has risen concurrently with, and because of, feminism.

    Satisfaction doesn’t appear to have changed much since 1973, despite the peak divorce period around 1980, unprecedented either before or since:
    http://www.stateofourunions.org/2011/SOOU2011.pdf
    p. 66

    But if men aren’t saying so in any surveys, then we’ll never know how common it is.

  • Plain Jane

    “Panda Bear denotes a bear of Asian descent.”

    “That species must be as rare as the Dodo bird.”

    Bollocks! There are plenty of gay Asian men out here.

  • HanSolo

    @Ramble

    Obsidian wanted me to pass on his email to you, inviting you to write him: theobsidianfiles@hotmail.com

  • J

    “Bears” are big hairy gay men, PJ. Asian guys tend not to be hairy.

  • Ted D

    PJ – “I do not buy into the farce that we “can only love just one person at a time”. ”

    I fully agree with this statement. But for me it isn’t about love at all. It has much more to do with other things like jealousy, time spent away from family, spreading myself too thing, and a host of other family oriented social issues.

    Look, even IF I could manage to find another woman to “love”, IF my wife did the same I would not be able to stand the jealousy. Perhaps that makes me insecure, but so be it. To me marriage comes with a healthy does of mate ownership. I remind my wife regularly that her “ass” belongs to me. But, I also admit that mine belongs to her now. In fact, we used to joke that while we were engaged we were on a “rent to own” plan, and once we exchanged vows the purchase was made.

    So yes, I am indeed rather possesive of my wife, at least in terms of any deep relationships with other men. To be honest, I don’t think my wife is nearly as possesive as I am, but she would not be willing to “share” me with other women in a romantic/relationship sense and has stated so. She said that on the surface the idea doesn’t bother her, but when it comes down to me having sex with another woman, the thought of it upsets her a great deal. For my part, I can’t even let my thought process get down to that level without jealousy rearing its ugly head.

    But my ideas of marriage are VERY MUCH based on the marriage 1.0 model, so it is no surprise that “ownership” of spouse is part of it. I’m fair about it though, as I see no issue with my wife feeling that she owns my sexuality, and I see it more as a type of stewardship. Obviously she “owns” herself, but when we married she agreed to “give” me her sexuality and some of her autonomy and in return I offered the same.

    And yes, again, we covered this ground in detail prior to getting married. She is fully aware of how I feel in regards to “owning” her, and although she jokes back and forth with me about it, she seems more than content with the situation. For my part, I very much enjoy the feeling of “belonging” to someone in this way. Again, perhaps it makes me a weak person, but there is no doubt that I function better overall when I’m part of a solid, stable relationship. In many ways it allows me to focus on other more important things, like working harder for “the man” so I can bring home more for my family. Without them, I might be a beach bum. More likely one of those guys sitting on the corner playing guitar and singing for change.

  • Plain Jane

    Ted, I totally understand and agree with what you wrote. I’m not a promoter of open marriage (or even marriage in general, heh). Its just something that I’m increasingly exposed to in my line of work now so its got me thinking about the many varied ways humans can bond, mate and form families. There are pros and cons of course to everything.

    “Bears” are big hairy gay men, PJ. Asian guys tend not to be hairy.”

    East Asians yeah. But remember, Asia starts in Turkey and from there on out there are a lot of hairy men.

  • MaMu1977

    I had 6 east Asian guys in my Basic Training flight, I’ve treated close to 100 casualties of east Asian descent (in Europe and Afghanistan) and I’ve known more than a few kinky Asians in my life. It isn’t the most *common* thing in the world, but you can find *plenty* of hairy Asians (of both sexes) if you’re looking among the Western-raised. Fat ones as well.

    Definition of comedy, to give a personal example: 5 of the 6 Asians in my Basic Training flight had hairy legs. The one guy who wasn’t hairy was born and raised (traditional style, vegetarian and soybased, low-nutrition) in rural Vietnam. None of the Pacific Islanders had hairy chests, but the Korean had (and still has) a hairier chest than mine. The Japanese guy, surprisingly, had a frigging *tuft* of hair in the middle of his chest like Zangief. The hapa (half-Thai, half-Greek) guy in my flight was all-but-hairless. With the exception of myself and two of the Californians, no one in my flight had ever actually *seen* an Asian in person. And like the posters here, they all “knew” that “all Asians are skinny and hairless”, which meant that quite a few of them would stand around and stare at the Asian guys when they were changing clothes. To this day, the Korean guy honestly believes that his friendship with me is the reason why he wasn’t raped by a bunch of Midwestern rednecks. Is dissuade him from that argument, but he has a nice pool and my “sister-in-law” is always trying to introduce me to her friends…

  • http://yahoo.com Noelle

    While hooking up has its place…really, in the long run it isnt a good thing, tell you why…Men enjoy the hunt…the minute you give it up, he’s already on to the next (in his brain) for the woman, this can be devastating…women, get too emotionally involved,to something that in most cases, is not there,the man is just looking for a warm place to put it…plus dont think he wont be telling his buddys what an easy mark you were…trust me, they gossip worse than women…LOL a woman,has more to lose, pregnancy, STD’s….people dont know what dating is…”It’s getting to know the other, and you should have a couple of dates to go on…not sticking with one, and “Putting up with his or her flaws” like alcoholism, bad debt, berating you, “Control” how does he talk about his X or his mom…watch out…you’ll be “that one” in the end…women…you only have so much time…dont waste it on a male…who’s using you as a recepticle, ask youself…”Do you wake up feeling like an unpaided whore? “LOL…you should, be on birth control, going to school, working or both, you should be traveling, or doing a group thing…with other people, yea ,I know, you know better, it wont happen to you…yada yada…tell it to the hand…”ask you self this” Do you want this random male, to be the father of your baby? this guy that you probably wont like in two months? is he doing other women? of course he’s telling you, your the only one…take care of yourself, enjoy your youth, because it is so wasted on the young!! as an old adage goes…where will you be in 5 years? with some bozo, that cold care less for you and that, baby…that your not sure is the daddy…well you can always go on the maury show…lol