2003-06-06 20:18:23 ET|
This might end up my next book instead....
A conversation reminded me of the many facets of economy in booty. Even the mysterious elements of romance can easily be defined in terms of economics; supply and demand.
As I've stated before, the act of romance, hooking up, or whatever you want to call it, is essentially a free-market system. There are no regulators, no recourse to the courts if you feel you've been wronged. Each party acts out of their own self-interest (if they don't, then one or both parties end up miserable and resentful). It's only when those interests coincide does romance, or hooking up happen.
This is true from the most beautiful of love, to the most taudry of hookups.
The penis has no value, as one comedian has pointed out. As men, in a heterosexual context, we have flooded the market. It's too freely available, and therefor devoid of any attractive value. A woman could go out and get laid easily. It's just a matter of what she's willing to settle for. Of course, what she might end up settling for might not be appeasing.
That's why men have to increase the value of the rest of us in order to be competitive in the market. We do various things such as join bands, become DJs, do art... a number of thinly vieled attempts to elevate our status; to make our penises more valuable.
Again, it's all economics.
Why do we do such contrived things? I admit, in addition to the fun I have doing my comics and making people laugh and think, I enjoy the (rather limited) attention from women that I get from it. I'm not above it. If any man tells you so, he's lying, and probably trying to use that magnanamousity as another thinly veiled attempt to make his penis more valuable.
We do it because it fucking works. Take being in a band. Being in a halfway decent band is a wonderfully effective and efficient method for a guy to have booty made avaialable to them.
This isn't the case for women; being in a band doesn't have the same booty-garnering effect. It may help some, but not to the extent it can help a guy.
It's all how we were wired, from an animalistic standpoint. We exist in a civil socieity with social norms (that for the most part we all follow; even the counter-cultures). But just beneth that, is the often not-so-subtle influence of our animalistic motivations.
Men instinctually want to spread our seed to as many women as possible. That's why porn directed at men gernally (and I stress generally) involves multiple women. Magazines and videos show a different woman each page. The women are attractive to the man (which is why they picked that porn) and that is all that is required.
Porn for women reveals what it takes to get their motors running. Soft-core porn novels are a great example. They generally involve only one man (the provider, taking care of the future seed) and that man has to do quite a bit more than look good to attract the female. Heoric acts, being in a "bad boy biker", and any number of typical plots.
We have to increase our value as men; women do not, beyond their looks.
Thus exists the greatest inequality between men and women, and one that goes beyond law, goes beyond social conventions, and goes beyond hearts and minds. It's deep down within us.
The inequality is that men can easily improve their standing with women by accomplishment, fame, power, or a combination thereof. They get an "aura", which makes them much more attractive. This isn't the case with women. Women are still judged by men primarily by their looks. That's not to say they aren't admired and respected for their accomplishments, it's just that there isn't the samed added sexual attraction that comes with it.
Of course, with men and women, we each have our thing that makes us attracted to each other. Some women prefer scrawny intellectuals; others beefy dullards. Some men prefer barbie doll types; fake blond, done up nails, the works. Other men prefer more exotic women.
Some women are what can be referred to as "gold diggers". They go for guys with money. A hot car will get her all hot; a sail boat even more. I find it intersting when I hear women deride those gold diggers for their shallow and materialistic ways, and in the next sentence will talk about how hot a guy in a band is, or how hot a guy with a large amount of tattoos are.
Money, band, tattoos, it's all the same form of "booty materialism". It's the same form of shallowness, the only difference is how it's often percieved.
People often disagree with me on many of these points. They say I'm too generalistic. I agree, these statements and theories are highly generalized, and there are always exceptions to the rule. I think the main reason people don't like to agree with this is that they don't like being honest with themselves.
The ultimate goal is to attract the best mate you can, and to have the best leverage in doing so. An attractive person has far more options than a person of lesser attractiveness. This is the cruel, cold reality of getting it on. It exists in everyone. Someotimes it's blatent, obvious, and flaunted, but often it's a bit deeper, and sometimes heavily burried, but it's there.
We can't complaign about the cruelty of it without admiting our own culpability. I listened to a female friend once lament why the ultra-hot guys would never hit on her. The reality was, while she was attractive, she wasn't the level of attractiveness that would garner the ultra-hot men she was interesetd in. She called it unfair, and shallow of them.
But she was just as shallow! She only wanted the ultra-hot men, while ignoring men that she could attract.
In that comes a pitfal, a booty-trap per say, that both men and women can fall into. When we hook up with someone beyond our normal means. A 5 hooks up with a 10 for whatever reason. Usually alchohol, sometimes horny desperation.
They become spoiled. They think that one hookup means they can attain that level forever, and anything less than that isn't worth their time. They suffer endless pursuit and are rarely ever requited. Quite a miserable state, and I'm sure you're forming a few names in your head of friends and aquantences who suffer such a fate.
Again, it's all shallow booty materialism.
We are all shallow bastards when it comes dealing in relationships. We'll only go out with what we find attractive. There are many factors in determing our attractability, and those rules differ greatly for men and women in a heterosexual context.
Gay and lesbian relationships are both very different from the heterosexual context, and from each other, in these dynamics; it's an entirely different model, although the attraction is still at the heart of it all.