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A Sexual Yugoslavia
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Wency shares his impressions of aspiring members of the managerial class:

My experience with actual top corporate leadership has been limited outside of extremely formal contexts, but I went to a reasonably elite MBA school, and most of my classmates went on to corporate work. None are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies yet (I follow practically the whole class on LinkedIn), but I believe some are on that path. There are some CFOs and COOs of smaller public companies now, and some have been promoted to impressive-sounding titles within middle management at various megacorps.

My sense of this class of person is that most of them have a fairly high IQ, but they’re intellectually incurious, mostly inclined to ask one question and one question only: “How is a successful businessman expected to comport himself?” and then mirror that personality as best as they can. I’ll also say they seemed to be the type of person who, at least in that stage of life, was drawn to centers of money and power, whose eyes glimmered at the bright lights of places like NYC. I already knew at that age that I wanted to be as far away from places like NYC as possible.

I met several people who had more mental horsepower than I did, but no one who was nearly as curious about the world as I was (or at least no one who was prepared to admit it). We never even talked politics, though admittedly the Great A-Wokening was just getting underway then. The culture was very surface-level, very dedicated to “Rolodex-building” as the old-timers say, so you wanted to have fun with people, not alienate them with controversy.

Wokeness has rendered it nearly impossible to strike up candid conversations with new acquaintances. For purposes of self preservation it is at the very least necessary to put out feelers. Mentioning Joe Rogan is one approach I’ve gotten a lot of utility out of. If the person recoils, talk about the weather–though even that’s a precarious subject anymore–until the first opportunity to bail on the conversation arises and then bolt. If they can’t handle an open-minded moderate liberal with a huge audience, they will be nothing but trouble.

Wency continues:

This is unlike undergrad, where many of us were curious about the world and would get into deep conversations and debates outside class, maybe even engaging the professor outside class. In MBA school, unlike undergrad, everyone generally assumed the profs had little to teach them since they’re academics and not businesspeople.

Though again, maybe a lot of that was stage of life. Some of these people might have been more curious as undergrads, and maybe after MBA school they matured in a different direction. But I never really lost my curiosity, which might be part of what makes fatherhood so enjoyable. Sometimes I can relate better to kids and their 10,000 questions than all the adults who stopped asking any.

The vicarious experience of rediscovering the world through the eyes of a child is one of life’s greatest joys. Don’t lose your playfulness.

Nebulafox on the sinister, destructive nature of emotional safeguarding:

All the stuff about, say, body acceptance is really Mean Girls advice, on some level. They don’t do that with their own bodies, but in order to make themselves feel good-i.e, not for the other person-they’ll tell that crap to someone who might subliminally be looking for support for actual, positive changes, yet are too weak to do on their own. It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive subversion of a potential rival. If you truly care about someone, love someone, you’ll want them to become your equal, or even get better than you, rather than reserving them for permanent satellite status.

Enabling is not ennobling, it’s ignoble.

Androphile offers a disillusioned insider’s perspective on some of the dynamics at play among the often disparate identities lumped together under the LGBT umbrella:

Although I am now quite withdrawn from the social and political gay world, I was heavily involved for years. My anecdotal take.

L and G often have very friendly social ties but as groups they are always in tension. For lesbian feminists, gay men are still men and just as “problematic.” Lesbians are far fewer in number than gay men but have outsized power. After all, we had to put the L first just because of that…

Adding the B was, if I recall, scoffed at by the men but supported by the women. Since so many lesbians I knew had a much more fluid erotic interest, no surprise. It was a non-event.

L G and B are all about sexual orientation, the focus of your sexual desire. And despite the effeminacy of some gay men and the mannishness of some gay women, it was males who were males who liked males and females who were females who liked females.

It was the adding of the T that turned the whole construct into a dog’s breakfast. I, a man who found the male form, head to toe, a thing of jawdropping wonder, was supposed to be part of a “community” with males who wanted to castrate themselves and have breast implants? I’d rather go to hell.

Now the only sexual link in this bizarre camp of ever-expanding letters is hostility, yes, hostility, to the idea either of binary gender or heterosexuality. It stinks and I want nothing to do with it.

LGBTQWTF: a sexual Yugoslavia.

As for the Borg-like leftist political posing and alliance, the clinging to victim status when they have won every battle, and the hostility toward masculinity outside the gym… don’t, as they say, get me started.

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Economics, Ideology • Tags: COTW 
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  1. Twinkie says:

    Though again, maybe a lot of that was stage of life. Some of these people might have been more curious as undergrads, and maybe after MBA school they matured in a different direction. But I never really lost my curiosity, which might be part of what makes fatherhood so enjoyable. Sometimes I can relate better to kids and their 10,000 questions than all the adults who stopped asking any.

    Funny enough, I’ve known highly intelligent (and intellectually curious) people who turned very, perhaps even exclusively, money- and success-oriented, precisely when they started to have children. They just wanted to give “the best” for their children and realized how necessary financial resources were to obtain the said “best” and then over time have become fixated on accumulating more and more money, for its own sake seemingly.

    Now, I am not one to begrudge other parents who want “stuff” for their kids, but I tend to think that’s a wrong kind of parental devotion and love. Children crave and need time and attention from their parents and particularly deserve good moral inculcation as well as preparations for a self-reliant life. Above a certain moderate threshold of financial stability and resources, it’s not more money that provides those things.

    I’ve also seen a few supremely intelligent people (Ph.D.’s in physics from elite universities) with astounding arrays of intellectual interests suddenly abandon academics and pursuit of knowledge and become quants, make millions of dollars, and become a very different kind of people – almost crass materialists. It’s like some switch turned on and some kind of a deeply embedded malware activated and took over the brain.

    • Replies: @Wency
    , @BlackFlag
    , @Sollipsist
  2. The crisis of our time is not A Sexual Yugoslavia but Asexual Yugoslavia:


    ^ This has real (mostly bad) consequences for a country/ethnic group. Sexual minorities do not.

    • Agree: DanHessinMD
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Svevlad
  3. Wency says:
    @Twinkie

    highly intelligent (and intellectually curious) people who turned very, perhaps even exclusively, money- and success-oriented, precisely when they started to have children.

    Yeah, it’s funny how that goes. But the opposite pattern does seem to happen too. I was a lot more success-obsessed when first starting my career and unsure of where I was headed. There’s often a sort of euphoria in your early 20s, that feeling that you could be anything. Then reality sets you in and you have a clearer vision what you’re going to be, and it’s usually not so exciting. And I’ve seen this pattern with other colleagues that started working around the same time as me.

    As for quants, I thought Nassim Taleb started as one and he reported that he was initially focused purely on making a living, but once he made it he decided he’d rather be more of a professor and public intellectual (yeah, I’m sure someone here hates Taleb, but I find him a mixed bag, with some very interesting insights). He does seem to be the exception though — most guys become quants and never come back.

    But I’ll point out that even if parents don’t themselves become more money-focused after having kids, even if they do spend lots of time with their kids, nearly everyone in the upper-middle class is obsessed with making their own kids career-focused. And this parental obsession with kids’ material well-being and financial success, to the exclusion of everything else, is an aggressively toxic force. This mentality seems to be a factor not only in the catastrophically small families of the present age, but also the rapid rise of Woke Capital — say anything, do anything to make it into elite corridors.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    , @nebulafox
    , @iffen
  4. I have a grand unifying theory of sexuality:

    Of course the purpose and biological prime directive of sexuality is for men and women have sex in the normal way and procreate. (This is basic evolution and anyone who would debate this is not a truth seeker.)

    But humans in contrast with the other creatures have these giant, largely unprogrammed, brains, which start with not a lot of pre-programming and then we learn a great deal. Whereas mating in most animal species is instinctual (and the animals must have a fully developed mating instinct or they will die out) in humans, brains have extraordinary plasticity. Human sexuality is not fully innate but relies heavily on learning and reinforcement.

    With sexuality in the modern world, this can be a big problem. During the time of developing sexuality a person can imprint in all sorts of ways other that the sexually functional heterosexuality. (Imprinting was famously demonstrated by Pavlov, who showed he could get a dog to salivate by ringing a bell.)

    Just look at how many fetishes there are out there: hundreds? This are all instances of humans’ plastic sexuality imprinting in all manner of weird ways. Schoolgirl uniforms, a body part, all kinds of role-playing — If sexual arousal happens together with something else, you can imprint onto that.

    But the kicker is that learning and neural pathways are reinforcing with experience. Homosexuality is a misdirection of one’s sexual impulse initially, but the more it is reinforced, the stronger it will be. There isn’t likely to be innate homosexuality except as a biological defect. If there were, carriers of those genes would die out quickly.

    Instead, there is an innate sexual drive that has a lot of plasticity in it, which is liable to be misprogrammed, and then reinforced. And with so much porn and all sorts of unusual sexualizations, a whole lot of weird sexual imprinting is going on among young people these days.

    Fertility rates collapse in the developed world as we use our sexuality for everything but what it was evolved for.

  5. anonymous[139] • Disclaimer says:

    Corporate climbers are prone to be sociopathic narcissists who are chameleons, changing their colors depending on what seems to be good for them. They’re incurious because what’s not relevant to their success is unimportant. These types usually pass through society as being successful and convincingly charming as part of their projected persona.

    • Replies: @oliver elkington
  6. Znzn says:
    @Wency

    Well they are lots of surveys that show that high earning professionals would like to get a lot more leisure money than what they can get now.

  7. Managerialism brings up RULING CLASSES and ANARCHO-TYRANNY and Sam Francis and boiled potatoes or baked potatoes.

    Potatoes?

    I say boiled potatoes and if you need an ice breaker for political talk and Joe Rogan won’t cut it, then bring up the spud.

    Cate Blanchett bit a potato in her 2nd Elizabeth movie and Blanchett is a half American or half Texan depending on your view of Texas, and always trust Texans with two T’s at the end of their name except for crybaby open borders mass legal immigration fanatic Abbott the baby boomer scum governor who pushes nation-wrecking mass legal immigration.

    Brexit and who came up with the immigration and “control” and “take back” messaging might do, but the Limey turds will never admit it was a hayseed American dope who did it but they will yammer on about Mercer flinging some loot this way or that.

    Managerialism might be a pleasant way to talk about the White Upper Middle Class Snot Brats who are running amok like sonofabitches and the disgusting fake phony fraud scum in the Republican Party who have been in bed with the managerial globalizer plutocrat ruling class for 50 years or more.

    I wrote this in 2018 about the managerial state and Sam Francis and ANARCHO-TYRANNY:

    Sam Francis suggested that the managerial state is using mass immigration to create the conditions where political power is completely centralized and dissent is not tolerated.

    Sam Francis’s ANARCHO-TYRANNY concept is important to know about.

    Sam Francis was getting at the Hobbesian Leviathan scenario where a multicultural jurisdiction requires brute concentrated force to keep it together because the inherent ethnic antagonisms are so severe.

    Sam Francis in 2004:

    To have freedom on a stable political basis, you have to have a homogeneous culture and society, composed of people who share the same values and beliefs. If they don’t share them, you can hold them together only by force.

    https://www.unz.com/article/desantis-blowing-it-in-florida-hapless-gop-not-adjusting-to-race-based-politics/#comment-2538614

    Tweet from 2015:

  8. It was the adding of the T that turned the whole construct into a dog’s breakfast.

    True and well said.

    I, a man who found the male form, head to toe, a thing of jawdropping wonder, was supposed to be part of a “community” with males who wanted to castrate themselves and have breast implants? I’d rather go to hell.

    My bold. This is like the “People of Color”. They are not a people. Nobody wants to be lumped in with the Afro Americans.

    The coalition of the fringes (all humans who are neither white nor heterosexual) exists only in the minds of self hating whites in their quest for political power. What is needed is a coalition of the un-woke. The Deplorables can’t carry the day all by themselves.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  9. There is no such thing as so-called “woke capital.”

    There is only Asset Bubble Bolshevism.

    There is no such thing as capitalism; there is only globalized central banker shysterism.

    Implode the asset bubbles and financially liquidate the globalizer plutocrats and financially liquidate the Upper Middle Class Snot Brats.

    Central banks created the asset bubbles and tapering the monetary extremism of the globalized central banks will implode the asset bubbles.

  10. Wency says:
    @DanHessinMD

    Yeah, I think there is something to this. I’ve always observed that after losing my virginity, I developed more of an interest in women who look somewhat like the first woman I had sex with. I wonder if others ever noticed an effect like this. Still, this explanation isn’t enough to entirely account for homosexual feelings — I never in my life experienced any of those, while plenty of boys report having these feelings at pretty early ages. But I do think the act of gay sex then reinforced those feelings, in ways that might have never happened if they didn’t ever act on them and only had sex with women.

    I also continue to think that, particularly for men, there are such things as Type 1 errors or Type 2 errors in your libido. From the standpoint of natural selection, should my sex drive be calibrated in such a way that I’m too inclined to treat something or someone as a fertile female, or too disinclined?

    If I’m too eager to have sex with people or things that aren’t a fertile female, then I can develop a pattern of only having sex with such people or things, which is bad. But if I’m too narrow in my approach, I might bypass perfectly good opportunities to mate with fertile females that are simply uglier or more masculine than the norm, or that perhaps belong to a different race.

    This explanation alone isn’t enough — animals have the same trade-offs and yet do fine — but combined with other factors, I wonder if it contributes.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  11. nebulafox says:
    @Wency

    Quant work is close enough to what you do in physics graduate school that there’s no real trade-off at work. Main barrier to leaving academia is psychological if you have your heart set on becoming a professor: if you don’t, or you lose that hangup, then what is preventing you from taking the money? Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that the kind of personality who gets a PhD in theoretical physics tends to be naturally very obsessive. This doesn’t change once you leave academia, and the finance world exploits that in the work culture.

    I think it all comes down to how much you care about being part of America’s “elite”. If you’ve been raised on the fringes of that elite, you might see it as a lot more imperative to get in, because you don’t really know anything else and see anything else as a failure. If, on the other hand, you come from a family where a job in quantitative finance means that you make more than everybody else in your family combined, you might feel more inclined to cash in your chips, settle down to a comfortable moderately affluent life, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  12. nebulafox says:
    @Wency

    Porn is a deeply underrated factor, especially for men.

    • Replies: @Wency
    , @Zimriel
  13. dfordoom says: • Website
    @DanHessinMD

    Human sexuality is not fully innate but relies heavily on learning and reinforcement.

    Good comment.

    Human sexuality is in my view mostly cultural.

    Ideas on what constitutes sexual desirability in the opposite sex are clearly cultural because it’s clear that tastes have changed dramatically over the past century or so. From the Edwardian obsession with extreme hour-glass figures to the 1920s obsession with slim boyish figures to the 1950s obsession with large breasts. And the modern phobia of pubic hair which is clearly entirely cultural.

    Just look at how many fetishes there are out there: hundreds? This are all instances of humans’ plastic sexuality imprinting in all manner of weird ways. Schoolgirl uniforms, a body part, all kinds of role-playing — If sexual arousal happens together with something else, you can imprint onto that.

    Fetishes are an excellent example because they cannot possibly be innate. Fetishes for things like stiletto heels could not have existed before stiletto heels were invented. Stocking fetishes could not have existed before women started to wear stockings. Sexual fetishes seem to be entirely cultural (given that learning and experience are dependent on culture).

    Our sexuality is formed by culture.

  14. dfordoom says: • Website
    @WorkingClass

    What is needed is a coalition of the un-woke.

    Yes.

    Which means we have to set aside obsessions with left and right. We need a coalition of the un-woke that includes conservatives, moderate liberals, economic leftists, dissident old school socialists, un-woke non-whites, un-woke women, even dissident feminists.

    Big tent un-woke populism. Purely right-wing populism has failed and will continue to fail.

    • Thanks: WorkingClass
  15. Ray P says:

    Gay Men are the real victims of World War T. Who would have thunk it?

  16. @DanHessinMD

    Whereas mating in most animal species is instinctual (and the animals must have a fully developed mating instinct or they will die out) in humans, brains have extraordinary plasticity.

    Except that homosexuality actually does occur in the animal world. A lot.

    • Replies: @Wency
  17. @dfordoom

    Sexual fetishism presumably goes back to when human beings started to wear clothing. Which body parts were the first to be artificially covered, and hidden from sight? The genitals, surely, and after that most likely the feet – i.e. the commonest sites of fetish interest.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  18. Wency says:
    @Craig Nelsen

    What occurs in the animal world a lot is individual acts of homosexual sex. What doesn’t occur very much is exclusive homosexuality. Especially not among wild animals (domesticated animals are another matter, but that’s because humans have co-opted and broken much of their natural breeding patterns).

    Individual acts of homosexual sex are easy to explain, for the same reason that masturbation is easy to explain. They’re a Type I error, a false positive. Up to a point, it’s better for purposes of natural selection that a male animal be over-eager for sex, as opposed to under-eager, but this will sometimes translate to sex with things that aren’t a fertile female.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  19. Lesbians are far fewer in number than gay men but have outsized power. After all, we had to put the L first just because of that…

    I remember seeing a well-known actor and gay spokesman carefully putting “lesbian” in its due place as he talked, and thinking that you could almost see some bullying dyke at his shoulder ready to yell if he slipped. There’s no cop like the one in your head.

  20. Wency says:
    @dfordoom

    it’s clear that tastes have changed dramatically over the past century or so.

    I think this is partly true (as I do agree there’s some plasticity to male attraction), but it’s also easy to overstate. There are a lot more factors in changing fashions and artistic depictions of women than what the typical man finds sexy. Fashion will change just for the sake of change, because changing fashion is a quintessential element of modern civilization. It’s driven by women, gay men, and artistic types with weird aesthetic tastes and atypical minds.

    But the sexual appetites of men are rooted in certain biological realities. For example, even though our culture really wishes that men would be most attracted to women who are about their age or even older, reality intrudes — men are always and everywhere attracted to youth.

    Of course, nowadays certain biological realities are also getting weaker — a set of very narrow hips might have significantly increased a woman’s odds of death in childbirth at one time, but now they probably do not. Though I have to suspect a difficult pregnancy ending in a C-section might reduce a woman’s interest in getting pregnant again, while a rather easy pregnancy and natural delivery might lead her to conclude “it’s not so bad” and increase her odds of being open to additional pregnancies.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  21. Wency says:
    @nebulafox

    I’d agree with this too. Above all else, this cuckold fetish seems to me that it’s 100% rooted in porn. You spend all day watching men have sex with women, then sooner or later you’ll find yourself more drawn to watching people have sex than doing the deed yourself. This sort of pattern actually fits very well into the Christian understanding of sin.

    Still, I had been thinking for a while the cuckold fetish was more of a media hysteria sort of thing than an actual common reality. But then when I went back on the dating market for the last time, I went on a date with a woman who told me that on her previous first date, the guy told her that he was into being cuckolded and asked her if she would be open to it. She was disgusted by the idea.

    But what could be more maladaptive than a cuckold fetish? Clearly the human brain isn’t built to absorb so much porn and so in some cases it basically responds by seeking its own destruction (James 1:14-15).

  22. @DanHessinMD

    Of course the purpose and biological prime directive of sexuality is for men and women have sex in the normal way and procreate. (This is basic evolution and anyone who would debate this is not a truth seeker.)

    “Okay, look, here’s the deal. Man, you were gonna drive me around tonight, never be the wiser, but El Gordo got in front of a window, did his high dive, we’re into Plan B. Still breathing? Now we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it.

    Instead, there is an innate sexual drive that has a lot of plasticity in it, which is liable to be misprogrammed, and then reinforced. And with so much porn and all sorts of unusual sexualizations, a whole lot of weird sexual imprinting is going on among young people these days.

    Do you reduce art, love and everything else which is meaningful, in this way?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  23. Jay Fink says:
    @DanHessinMD

    Excellent post and it helped me learn about myself. Do only men have fetishes? I’m not talking about simple preferences or turn ons but true fetishes that can reach obsession and are requirements for arousal?

    What you said about imprinting is very interesting to me. It happened to me. I have a strong fetish since age 5…based on something I was seeing in my childhood environment that I found arousing. Looking back I was born a blank slate and was imprinted early…too young to analyze it or resist it. It became a part of me for life.

    I also have sub fetishes. Everything is related to glam. From stiletto heels to stiletto nails. I need to see glam and artificiality. I have for as long as I can remember.

    I have been single the last few years. I met a woman who likes me a lot. Our personalities are very compatible. I enjoyed her company. I feel she was a gift in a sense. Perhaps one of my last chances to find a good woman to love me and grow old with. My logic said yes jump on this opportunity. The problem is she is way too natural for me. In fact her naturalness is a source of pride for her and part of her identity. She often talks about how she never wears makeup and criticizes other women for being fake. She saw a woman with the sexy nails I have a sub fetish for and said “I wouldn’t get my nails done in a million years”. That turned me off so much.

    I gradually drifted away from her. I know it’s perverse in a sense. Her naturalness is the real her which should be sufficient for a hetrosexual male to be attracted to. The thing is I can’t just turn off my fetish(es). They are an integral part of my sexuality.

  24. @Jay Fink

    It sounds your sexual imprinting happened in the 1980s.

    Perhaps with the power of the Internet, you can find a community that is keeping the 1980s alive, so that you may find love.

    • Thanks: Jay Fink
  25. @Not only wrathful

    “Do you reduce art, love and everything else which is meaningful, in this way?”

    Fertility rates are collapsing across the developed world, and this is on a trajectory to pull down civilization. If you want a black pill, try staring into THAT abyss. So, yeah, I think a return to the basics might be a good idea.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Not only wrathful
  26. Svevlad says:
    @JohnPlywood

    Yes.

    By many predictions, literally the entire former Yugoslavia will literally disappear by the end of the century due to insanely abysmal birth rates and insanely high emigration rates. Serbia might hold on barely by simply having the highest population.

    • Replies: @Malla
  27. Wency says:
    @Jay Fink

    Do only men have fetishes?

    That seems to be basically true, or at least close enough to true, for any sort of fetish or sexual perversion. It even feels like if women do claim to have something like a fetish, it’s more of a conscious affectation. I recall a line from Louie C.K. (to a hypothetical woman): “You’re a tourist in sexual perversion-land. I’m a prisoner there.” Ironically, he said this *before* his career was semi-destroyed by his sexual perversion.

    But his perversion, like many others, seems like it’s probably rooted in porn. Sorry about your struggles, which seem to be unrelated to that. Kinda sad, man. I wonder if there is some sort of therapy that could help there, to at least be able to get over it enough to be with a normal woman even if the feelings never go away entirely.

  28. anon[272] • Disclaimer says:
    @DanHessinMD

    I think a return to the basics might be a good idea.

    Please subscribe me to your listserve digest newsletter.

  29. @DanHessinMD

    Fertility rates are collapsing across the developed world, and this is on a trajectory to pull down civilization. If you want a black pill, try staring into THAT abyss. So, yeah, I think a return to the basics might be a good idea.

    What in you meant that you were unable to address my point without diverting into a non-relevant vision of catastrophe?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  30. iffen says:
    @Wency

    is an aggressively toxic force.

    That’s some powerful language there. Care to elaborate?

  31. iffen says:
    @Wency

    This sort of pattern actually fits very well into the Christian understanding of sin.

    Whatever you are smoking, you need to cut back.

  32. nebulafox says:
    @Wency

    I personally suspect there are people in the media that desperately wish that fetish is more popular than it actually is, but YMMV. I don’t pretend to be an expert.

    My cousin was a policeman: he told me once that one of the things you very quickly learn in that line of work is that people will be attracted to anything and everything you can think of, no matter how bizarre, and there’s nothing you can do once you’ve seen it other than to reconcile yourself to it. Think of any fetish: there will be a dedicated website.

    >What occurs in the animal world a lot is individual acts of homosexual sex. What doesn’t occur very much is exclusive homosexuality. Especially not among wild animals (domesticated animals are another matter, but that’s because humans have co-opted and broken much of their natural breeding patterns).

    This isn’t too far removed from human history. In the classical world, homosexuality as an all-encompassing psychosocial identity wasn’t really a thing. So long as an adult male was the “active” partner, it was wholly expected that a man would take on sex partners of both genders, with the ratio of men to women considered nothing more than personal taste.

    That said, there were some unstated rules: above all, in a time period where you could safely expect a lot of babies and children to die and where the success of a society was heavily dependent on positive birth rates, there was an implicit but heavy expectation that you’d do your duty to the state, marry a woman, and pop out some heirs, no matter much your real passion was other men. The emperor Hadrian (who by modern standards would be “gay”) total abandonment of women was considered deeply scandalous. Contrast that with Sulla’s affair with Metrobius. There was scandal: but it was about the public obnoxiousness rather than deviation from social expectations, because Sulla married five times and popped out plenty of children.

  33. @Wency

    I don’t have the cuckolding fetish, but my impression is that it is less about watching than about a fantasy of the female sexuality. (In fact, in some cases, the men do not watch, I think.) Also, I’m not sure it is one thing: I think somemen are turned on by the woman cheating per se while other men are turned on by the woman acting wantonly. Either way, it is a fantasy of the woman’s sexuality that is turning on the man, not necessarily watching (which is the fetish of voyeurism, different), and in that sense it is closer to M-F transgenderism in which the men are playing out their fantasies of women’s sexuality by trying to inhabit it.

    I think you and Nevulafox may overstate the impact of porn. The cuckolding fetish definitely pre-dates Internet porn, although it may have grown in popularity somewhat in the 21st century (but I don’t know that’s the case either–more popular or just more visible now?). In general, I think the effect of Internet porn is less in creating forms of sexuality than in allowing people to discover things they like that perhaps they would not have realized they liked without porn. That, and breaking down people’s sense of taboo and making them think things are possibilities in their own lives that they believed would have been beyond their reach without porn. My own experience with Internet porn is that I first saw it in post-adolescence and almost immediately gravitated to things that I could have predicted without having seen porn (example: for me, all things butt related, but I spent all junior high and high school with my eyes fixed on girls’ behinds already without any influence from pornography of any kind). My guess is that this is the pattern with most people when they see porn.

    What the religious right told people about porn in the pre-Internet days is that it spawned abnormal desires and created freaks (like Jeffrey Dahlmer) because people needed to find more and more extreme stimulation all the time, progressing from being turned on “naturally” by simple female form to needing kinky sex and even death once nudity stopped turning people on. This “development” or “progress” theory of the influence of porn on sexuality seems quite similar to what you and Nebulafox are suggesting, and I think our massive societal experiment since about 2005 with easy access to online video of just about anything you could possibly want to see has proven it wrong. We don’t see Jeffrey Dahlmers proliferating.

    domesticated animals are another matter, but that’s because humans have co-opted and broken much of their natural breeding patterns

    Not so much. Domesticated animals still go into heat, unlike humans who have less distinct differences in desire between fertile and less fertile periods.

    • Replies: @Wency
    , @dfordoom
    , @Jay Fink
  34. Zimriel says:
    @nebulafox

    I wonder about this. Maybe this is true for 30 somethings. (and for those poor souls growing up in the 1970s)
    We GenX (and older, mostly) got into internet spankypanky late in life, because the internet was low-bandwidth in our formative years; I don’t think it affected us much. For the younger generation, all this was there a lot earlier… which might mean that by the time they got to the age of majority, which I’ll say for this comment’s purpose is 18, that they’re more immune to it.

  35. SafeNow says:

    “If the person recoils, talk about the weather–though even that’s a precarious subject”

    Aside from the precariousness, people don’t know what a cold front is, and so on. Which leads me to ask, What CAN I talk about with a woke, youngish, person? They don’t seem to know anything, or be interested in anything. Would appreciate some pro tips.

  36. songbird says:

    IMO, bioleninism predicts that the full gay string will stay together. That is not to say that everyone in every category gets along or likes everyone else, but the most politically motivated are always the ones that count the most, when it comes to politics and they will always be looking to form coalitions.

  37. @dfordoom

    Ideas on what constitutes sexual desirability in the opposite sex are clearly cultural because it’s clear that tastes have changed dramatically over the past century or so.

    You are confusing men’s desires with what’s popular in media imagery. I could live in the era of Twiggy or the era of Rubens, and I think my attractions would be the same because they encompass both. Slim, thick, white, black, long hair, short hair, I am attracted to 80% of them from the ages of 16 to 60.

    For women to lose their female attractiveness, they have to lose their shape but in quite extreme ways, like folds of blubber obscuring their form or extreme shoulder-to-hip ratio that looks masculine.

    I think most men are like me. Perhaps if I were in rarefied social circles, my choice of long-term spouse woukd be influenced by popular media depictions, but in terms simply of what I am attracted to, I don’t think it is “cultural”.

    Just look at how many fetishes there are out there: hundreds? This are all instances of humans’ plastic sexuality imprinting in all manner of weird ways.

    This seems to me like an argument that the brain must be plastic because there are all sorts of languages that people speak. In fact, the brain is not very plastic, languages have a great deal of similarity, and the brain is primed at certain points of development to accept language easily and then this limited plasticity is turned off. Language is not a cultural construct just because there is a relatively (compared to all forms of information transfer) small amount of variation in the way languages work.

    Likewise, sexuality is not “cultural”. Some people have fetishes, but object fetishes are a different phenomenon from things like cuckoldry or BDSM (sexual proclivities rooted in social relations) and seem to have similarities with each other and certain consistent patterns. Yes, as new objects appear in the world, new instances of object fetish arise, but I have never heard of, for example, a formerly normal person developing an object fetish late in life. It is also impossible to say whether people who have/don’t have fetishes could have developed in alternative ways. I suspect not very much. Why do some people have object fetishes? I have no idea, but a “sex development of the gaps” argument is not very compelling to me.

    @Wency

    He says that people can imprint on their first lover. I don’t know about that. Certainly that experience loom large in our memories. My first was a dancer with long and muscular legs. I often think about having those wrapped around me, but this is more in the vein of not having been able to sate that experience (for lack of subsequent repetition). I have not developed a specific attraction for long muscular legs. I don’t think most men imprint in that way.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  38. @anonymous

    Having worked in restaurants and in bars i have noticed that the richer, more successful looking customers i.e many businessmen and women are often the least curious and the ones that don’t ask me questions in that getting to know a person sort of way, on the other hand it is the more ordinary types like construction workers, hospital and transport workers who are the most curious and willing to get to know myself and the other staff, i would rather serve the latter over the former even if their tip is 5 times smaller.

  39. @DanHessinMD

    Of course the purpose and biological prime directive of sexuality is for men and women have sex in the normal way and procreate.

    Bonobos use sex for social purposes other than procreation. Of course, this use of sexuality is also a result of and can be jnfluenced by evolutionary pressures, but the idea that sex can only be related to evolution through the act of procreative intercourse is foolish. Bonobos are some of our closest relatives, so I think it is reasonable to hypothesize that our direct ancestors may have developed sexuality that also has functionality outside the immediate procreative act.

    humans in contrast with the other creatures have these giant, largely unprogrammed, brains, which start with not a lot of pre-programming

    On the contrary, there is evidence of massive pre-programming. Everyone should read The Nurture Assumption and mull it over seriously. Behaviorism is a blight on intellectual history and needs to die.

    Imprinting was famously demonstrated by Pavlov, who showed he could get a dog to salivate by ringing a bell.

    The traditional of idea of imprinting is different from Pavlovian trained response. Traditionally, imprinting is the idea in which the brain takes permanent cues from initial experiences. I think it has some validity but to what extent in humans I’m not sure. But its difference from trained response is important for this discussion because if people learn sexuality through reinforcement, then they can change their sexuality through reinforcement, and the evidence for this does not seem very strong to me.

    I have never seen a gay-gone-straight who actually seems straight. Just look at Milo Yiannopoulos–he claims to be straight now but his mannerisms, voice, and aesthetics all still scream “gay!”.

    If sexuality were actually “learned” in this way, you would expect fluctuating rates of homosexuality across time and cultures, but I know of no time or place in which homosexuality has been more than a tiny percentage of the population.

    Unless I am mistaken, research on children raised by gays shows that parental influence has little impact on child sexuality.

    The fact of bisexualism shows that sex is messy. So its possible there are people who fall into gay lifestyles who might have fallen into straight lifestyles in other circumstances, but I think this is the exception rather than the rule, as AE’s “gays are mostly gay” post showed.

    a whole lot of weird sexual imprinting is going on among young people these days.

    It does seem that way, but ascribing it all to Sexual Blank Slate theory without investigating other possibilities thoroughly seems foolish when Blank Slate theory has failed in other areas of life.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @dfordoom
  40. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Joe S.Walker

    Sexual fetishism presumably goes back to when human beings started to wear clothing. Which body parts were the first to be artificially covered, and hidden from sight? The genitals, surely, and after that most likely the feet – i.e. the commonest sites of fetish interest.

    More or less. But what about fetishes for things like uniforms? Not just schoolgirl uniforms but nurse uniforms, etc. And French maid outfits. What about airline stewardess uniforms?

    What about leather and rubber fetishes?

    In the wake of the release of Emmanuelle the idea of having sex in an airliner became quite a thing.

    These things are 100% cultural.

    I probably should add that I don’t think it’s a good thing or a bad thing that our sexuality is to a very large extent culturally determined. I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong about having an unusual sexual kink that is culturally determined.

    • Replies: @Joe S.Walker
  41. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    it’s clear that tastes have changed dramatically over the past century or so.

    I think this is partly true (as I do agree there’s some plasticity to male attraction), but it’s also easy to overstate.

    There’s also some plasticity to female attraction. Look at male sex symbols. Women used to swoon over Errol Flynn and Clark Gable and Frank Sinatra types. By the 60s they were swooning over Mick Jagger types.

    Obviously sexual attraction isn’t entirely culturally determined but the fact that there’s any cultural element to it is interesting and it very effectively knocks the “born that way”argument on the head.

    It’s not just that there’s some cultural element to human sexuality. The cultural element seems to be pretty significant.

    But the sexual appetites of men are rooted in certain biological realities. For example, even though our culture really wishes that men would be most attracted to women who are about their age or even older, reality intrudes — men are always and everywhere attracted to youth.

    Yes, I agree with that.

    What’s interesting is that human sexuality is still so poorly understood. Most of what most of us think we know about human sexuality turns out to be little more than a collection of opinions and prejudices.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  42. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    I’d agree with this too. Above all else, this cuckold fetish seems to me that it’s 100% rooted in porn.

    Another example of sexual desires being altered by cultural factors.

  43. anon[136] • Disclaimer says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    Bonobos are some of our closest relatives

    Chimps are even closer.

  44. @dfordoom

    More or less. But what about fetishes for things like uniforms? Not just schoolgirl uniforms but nurse uniforms, etc. And French maid outfits. What about airline stewardess uniforms?

    What about leather and rubber fetishes?

    In the wake of the release of Emmanuelle the idea of having sex in an airliner became quite a thing.

    These things are 100% cultural.

    Just as you previously confused changes in media images with plasticity of male desire, you are throwing different things into one basket and doing a lot of handwaving. Object fetishes are a thing and leather and rubber fetishes probably fall in that category, but object fetishes are different from human creativity and desire for novelty. Saying wanting to have sex on an airliner is a fetish that represents neural plasticity is silly. If you get a couch, and then you and your wife have sex on the couch instead of in bed, you don’t say the introduction of couches caused you to develop a couch sex kink. Even if your co-worker mentioned that he had sex on his couch with his wife and then you went home and tried the same thing, you wouldn’t say couch sex is “culturally determined”. Uniforms are something else. While there are people who have strong desires around uniforms, these are not usually object fetishes but fantasy role-playing, again an instance of creativity and novelty, not “determinatiin”.

    Women used to swoon over… Frank Sinatra types. By the 60s they were swooning over Mick Jagger types.

    That is not very much change at all. You are just misidentifying what women are attracted to, which is not the physical appearance. I guarantee that in neither time was a woman who met a destitute man who looked like either Sinatra or Jagger attracted to that man. A aping the look of Jagger in the 60s may have been a social signal that women responded to in some cases, but that is different from women being attracted to the Mick Jagger appearance per se.

    Obviously sexual attraction isn’t entirely culturally determined but the fact that there’s any cultural element to it is interesting and it very effectively knocks the “born that way”argument on the head.

    Only a straw man version of the “born that way” argument. As I mentioned above, your conception of “cultural determination” elides differences with simple changes in circumstance that make it a meaningless phrase.

    The cultural element seems to be pretty significant.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, everyone should read The Nurture Assumption and consider it carefully. It demonstrates how “science” can be a slave to our own egos and hard-to-discard intuitions and ideological biases in the area of nature-vs-nurture.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  45. Malla says:
    @Svevlad

    Communism: Conditions for Low fertility rates (female education and work) before enjoying First World level prosperity.
    Kind of opposite to the Arab Gulf countries, high fertility mixed with prosperity where Islam + successful Capitalism rules as against Capitalism + Cultural Marxism/ Western Modernism in the West.

    In my opinion, the best policy to take for a successful tribe would be National Socialism + Mild Sharia. Economic prosperity + growing tribe.

  46. Rosie says:

    All the stuff about, say, body acceptance is really Mean Girls advice, on some level.

    Nebulafox, kindly tell us when, and under what circumstances, we may defend other women?

    Can a plump size 10 tell you to f*** off for body shaming a size 12? How about a size 14?

    If you think you’re going to shame us into doing your dirty shaming work…

    Enabling is not ennobling, it’s ignoble.

    Audi, you need to face the facts. Long-term weight loss has been proven to be a virtual statistical impossibility. There is nothing noble about ignoring facts you don’t like.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/12/13/thinsplaining-is-real-science-says-permanent-weight-loss-is-rare-and-thin-people-dont-get-it/

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Not only wrathful
  47. Thomm says:

    Lesbians are far fewer in number than gay men

    Which explains everything that we are seeing in contemporary White Nationalism, and why it is extremely unappealing to heterosexuals.

    Remember, there is no complete understanding of HBD until one realizes why the variance within the white race is so high, and how we have a mechanism where the unwanted genes are rapidly precipitated into certain carriers for efficient filtration out of the broader pool of the racial genome.

    The men of this tier become the White Tr*shionalists, and the women become the fat bluehaired feminists. This tier is 10-20% of the white population at any given time. They don’t reproduce, because nature does not intend them to.

    This is how the mainstream, functional tier of us (80-90%) remain virtually free of flaws. We excel because we have this expungement mechanism. Other races do not have this unique genetic feature, and thus don’t evolve as fast as we do. The flip side is of this benefit is that the problematic individuals from the unwanted tier have to be managed and marginalized.

  48. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Here’s why:

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/oby.21538

    Six years later, Biggest Loser contestants had regained the weight, with nothing but damaged metabolism to show for their efforts.

    Thanks to “metabolic adaptation,” fat shaming is truly counterproductive.

  49. Wency says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    I think our massive societal experiment since about 2005 with easy access to online video of just about anything you could possibly want to see has proven it wrong.

    It’s true we don’t see Dahmers proliferating, but our young people — i.e., those raised since porn was ubiquitous — aren’t having sex, aren’t marrying, aren’t having kids, and are busily inventing new genders and sexual identities for themselves. The case against porn would be rather stronger if we weren’t living in a society that was mentally diseased in sexual matters. Which is not to say porn is entirely to blame, but I also don’t see any reason to let it off the hook, except in the matter of serial killing.

    Domesticated animals still go into heat, unlike humans who have less distinct differences in desire between fertile and less fertile periods.

    I called out domestic animals specifically because the most common example of animal homosexuality given is sheep, which do appear to exhibit cases of strict homosexual attraction. Sometimes other domestic animals as well. It appears that something went haywire in the domestication process, in which humans, rather than the animals, are the ones choosing the mates and this eventually results in some males no longer being able to choose female mates for themselves.

    There are other examples of this besides homosexual attraction. One is that wolves apparently have a whole courtship process that has been lost in dogs, which results in pair-bonding that doesn’t happen in dogs.

    As we now inseminate livestock artificially, I have to think that enough centuries relying entirely on this technique would result in sexual dysfunction we can only imagine, perhaps eventually amounting to a total inability or disinterest of most males to mate with a female.

  50. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jay Fink

    Do only men have fetishes?

    No. I knew a lady who had a serious fetish for being boinked by guys wearing firemen’s uniforms. They didn’t have to be firemen, they just had to wear the outfit.

    Fetishes are probably much more common among men but women can have them too.

  51. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    You are confusing men’s desires with what’s popular in media imagery.

    I’m suggesting that what’s popular in media imagery influences men’s desires.

    I have never heard of, for example, a formerly normal person developing an object fetish late in life. It is also impossible to say whether people who have/don’t have fetishes could have developed in alternative ways. I suspect not very much

    The problem here is that we don’t have reliable data. When polled people will happily admit to being homosexual or bisexual (and even pretend to be bisexual when they aren’t) because it’s fashionable and it gains them social approval. You won’t get much social approval by admitting to having a rubber fetish so when they’re polled people are unlikely to admit to such tastes. So we have no idea how common fetishes are.

    Middle-aged men can gain social approval by deciding to wear frocks and pretend to be women but they’re not going to get social approval from admitting to having developed a fetish for rubber or for having developed a taste for bondage.

    I’d say we lack the data to make any definitive statements on these subjects. And you’re probably not going to get funding to conduct a study on shoe fetishism – shoe fetishists are not part of the LGBTwhatever grand alliance.

  52. BlackFlag says:
    @Twinkie

    Yes, business types are too incurious and shortsighted to trust with running a society. Good thing ours is run by academics who have lots of time to think.

  53. @Rosie

    Audi, you need to face the facts. Long-term weight loss has been proven to be a virtual statistical impossibility. There is nothing noble about ignoring facts you don’t like.

    As any sort of therapist will tell you, most people are so riddled with fear that personal change is beyond them. They just repeat the same totally mindless self-harming patterns. They even struggle to maintain awareness of what they are doing.

    A fat person will eat and eat and eat and not even remember what they were eating the day after.

    But others go beyond this and actually develop as people

    On one hand, change is obviously very hard as so few people do it, on the other hand, grow up!

  54. @Rosie

    “Metabolic adaptation” in that study is just thinner people burning fewer calories. You’ve been bamboozled by bro science and idiocy. That’s like saying your car has fuel adaptation when you remove all of the heavy suitcases from the boot and drive without 5 passengers.

    The Biggest Loser contestants all have obvious emotional eating disorders prior to going on the show. They will have to have been eating far more calories than ordinary to maintain their weight.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  55. @Rosie

    Most obese people are using food for emotional regulation, which makes them addicts. Sustained weightloss would therefore likely require most to partake in some sort of lifetime programme, akin to AA. Yet people are loathe to admit that their obesity is a result of deep psychological issues, as they would have to admit to having those deep psychological issues to themselves and they won’t, instead they just jump on fad diets, blaming fad bogeymen and making fad excuses, and are surprised when they fail…

    And now, it seems, they will claim that it is obviously impossible for them to lose weight, because their matter is created from nothing or something?

    • Replies: @houston 1992
  56. Rosie says:
    @Not only wrathful

    “Metabolic adaptation” in that study is just thinner people burning fewer calories.

    No it isn’t. The effect remains even when body mass and composition is controlled for.

    A fat person will eat and eat and eat and not even remember what they were eating the day after.

    You saying this does not make it so. We know that appetite suppressant drugs are highly effective in treating obesity. If people are just mindlessly stuffing their faces for recreation, why is that?

    Yet people are loathe to admit that their obesity is a result of deep psychological issues

    As I have pointed out repeatedly, identical twins are twice as likely to be concordant for obesity (80%) as fraternal twins (40%). If obesity is caused by “deep psychological issues” instead of genetics, why the disparity?

    You are just going to have to accept the fact that your aesthetic preferences do not create an obligation on anyone’s part to conform to them.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  57. @dfordoom

    Leather/rubber fetish wear is interesting because originally there were a very small number of people who had fantasies that went beyond the conventional clothes made of those materials, who were inspired to realise their fantasy outfits (or could afford to pay specialist costumiers to do it). Then over a few decades it went from being a completely underground scene to influencing popular fashion and spreading an awareness of the sexual practices that went with it – and in accordance with free market principles, kinky gear became much more readily available and cheaper. (The real dedicated stuff can still cost a fortune though. And there are some terrible snobs to be found in the upper or would-be upper reaches of the fetish world.)

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  58. @Not only wrathful

    Most obese people are using food for emotional regulation, which makes them addicts. Sustained weightloss would therefore likely require most to partake in some sort of lifetime programme, akin to AA. ”

    hmm on YouTube videos of street scenes in US cities from the 1940’s -1970’s, there are few if any obese people. Did ppl not have emotional issues then?
    Asians (in Asia), especially those not directly exposed to US SAD –standard American diet –are lighter than US people. Are Asians free of emotional problems?

    Maybe, we just eat what is in our food environment. Maybe if we changed our food environment –easier than changing ourselves –and just ate “basic” SOS–no salt, oil or sugar , then we would approximate the diets of 100 years ago, and we would resemble in shape how those ppl look in street scene YouTube videos. Maybe we should work harder on our food environment than on ourselves and largely skip the need for therapy…..Again, we can change our food environment –at an individual level– easier than we can change ourselves.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
    , @Rosie
  59. Anonymous[515] • Disclaimer says:
    @DanHessinMD

    This is true in my own case. I grew up in the 200s and internet pornography has completely twisted my sexual neural pathways.

    As a young boy I was very interested in woman–unusually so for my age, I thought, even to the extent of being something of a pervert. I distinctly remember, when I was a preteen–I could have been as young as 5 or so–having pre-erotic dreams about women urinating and things like that. Or later of seeing a family friend breastfeeding, and hanging around, feigning interest in the baby and the act itself, but really being magnetically drawn to her breasts. Or, as a young teen, being unable to look away from a young cashier at a cinema’s amply-displayed cleavage. Then I discovered internet porn. It started out with ‘softcore’ porn–risque undressing games, pictures of naked women in the shower, etc. Then it got progressively more extreme–moving to hardcore porn, then rough sex, then (simulated) rape porn, the most violent and realistic-looking I could find. Then as I became desensitised to even the most hardcore straight sex, gay porn came in. At first I came across it by chance when browsing straight porn, and I was repulsed. But then I was curious, and started looking at it more and more until the disgust waned, and finally vanished, and then it was my interest in straight porn that waned. It started off with drawn (highly feminine) boys in manga, then increasingly live action homosexual porn. Again, at first it was just occasional and alongside heterosexual porn, then it became increasingly common, and then I stopped looking at heterosexual porn and only viewed homosexual porn. It was like a drug addiction; I had to consume ever more extreme content to chase the previous high–it has to be rough, or in the aisle of a supermarket, or feature triple penetration, or have some other extra spice. A vanilla video of two men fucking on a bed no longer does it for me. Concurrently, but with some delay from the change in porn preferences, I found my attraction to men in real life increased, and I gradually stopped being attracted to women. This all happened over the course of my teenage years. I am, as far as I can tell, entirely and permanently homosexual and it was porn wot done it to me. Speaking emotionally/romantically, however, I still find my self deeply drawn to women’s personalities and even occasionally dream idly of marrying a woman and having a family. But of course, aside from all my other numerous defects, no woman would want to marry a man who didn’t find her body sexually desirable or want to sleep with her.

    I have no idea how common or typical my experience is, but it cannot be natural or attributable to genetics that the proportion of sexual deviants has increased rapidly in every generation of Western youth (or even just the number of ‘straight’ men my age and younger who would unironically fuck a man if he was hot enough and they were in the dominant role). It must be that the normalisation of sexual deviance of all kinds has fuelled the increase in the same (just like metastasising transgenderist cancer) rather than it just being that there were this many queers all along, whose true nature was suppressed by an oppressive society (as the alphabet brigade claim). This also makes sense when we think of how many past society’s sexual norms have differed so drastically from our own (the of various forms of paedophilia in societies where it was legal and acceptable, for instance). Not to mention prisons, navies, etc. So while the blank slate is indeed a fallacy, sexual preferences must be significantly socially-constructed. I personally think the natural state of humans is indiscriminate horniness–generally speaking we’ll fuck anything that brings us pleasure, unless society goads our sexual behaviour into healthy, productive, adaptive channels.

    • Replies: @Wency
  60. @Rosie

    No it isn’t. The effect remains even when body mass and composition is controlled for

    It would be impossible to control for that…stop lying to yourself

    You saying this does not make it so. We know that appetite suppressant drugs are highly effective in treating obesity. If people are just mindlessly stuffing their faces for recreation, why is that?

    The drug takes away the ability of food to support emotional regulation. It is therefore highly effective, like I said.

    The patient will though have to find some other way to cope with life and themselves

    That you see “emotional regulation” as “recreation” is a big hint as to your problem. Such self-judgement can wreak havoc on a person

    As I have pointed out repeatedly, identical twins are twice as likely to be concordant for obesity (80%) as fraternal twins (40%). If obesity is caused by “deep psychological issues” instead of genetics, why the disparity

    People will make any excuse to avoid change. Even misinterpret their own data or a study

    You are just going to have to accept the fact that your aesthetic preferences do not create an obligation on anyone’s part to conform to them.

    I don’t know you, so it is very little concern of mine whether or not you remain fat

    However I can’t help but see the deep seated psychological issues that are hidden beneath all the layers of excess fat on some people, and you’re just going to have to accept that – the real you can still be seen

    • Replies: @Rosie
  61. @houston 1992

    hmm on YouTube videos of street scenes in US cities from the 1940’s -1970’s, there are few if any obese people. Did ppl not have emotional issues then?

    They used other methods for emotional regulation. Just as the same types of girls from the 90s, who went all in for anorexia, are now all in for sudden onset transgenderism.

    Maybe if we changed our food environment –easier than changing ourselves –and just ate “basic” SOS–no salt, oil or sugar , then we would approximate the diets of 100 years ago, and we would resemble in shape how those ppl look in street scene YouTube videos. Maybe we should work harder on our food environment than on ourselves and largely skip the need for therapy…..Again, we can change our food environment –at an individual level– easier than we can change ourselves.

    It might help, but it rather misses the point.

    Your approach is also the perfect definition of cowardice. You’d rather fantasise about changing the world than change yourself.

    • Replies: @houston 1992
  62. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    I think you and Nevulafox may overstate the impact of porn. The cuckolding fetish definitely pre-dates Internet porn, although it may have grown in popularity somewhat in the 21st century (but I don’t know that’s the case either–more popular or just more visible now?). In general, I think the effect of Internet porn is less in creating forms of sexuality than in allowing people to discover things they like that perhaps they would not have realized they liked without porn.

    I think that’s quite possible.

    Odd sexual subcultures have been around since at least the 19th century. They may have been around for a lot longer. Maybe they’ve always been around. Or maybe they’re the product of particular civilisations. Maybe they’re a sign of civilisational decadence. Maybe they’re a result of the social upheavals caused by the Industrial Revolution (the breaking up of communities plus increased urbanisation). We don’t know.

    Before the internet most people had no idea that odd sexual subcultures and odd sexual tastes and fetishes existed. People who were into such things tended to be very very discreet about it. Now, with the internet, people have become aware of their existence. Which leads to a climate of moral panic among social conservatives.

    What the religious right told people about porn in the pre-Internet days is that it spawned abnormal desires and created freaks (like Jeffrey Dahlmer) because people needed to find more and more extreme stimulation all the time, progressing from being turned on “naturally” by simple female form to needing kinky sex and even death once nudity stopped turning people on. This “development” or “progress” theory of the influence of porn on sexuality seems quite similar to what you and Nebulafox are suggesting, and I think our massive societal experiment since about 2005 with easy access to online video of just about anything you could possibly want to see has proven it wrong. We don’t see Jeffrey Dahlmers proliferating.

    Considering that the explosion in internet porn has coincided with a drop in sexual activity I’m inclined to agree with you.

    It’s also possible that from the point of view of social conservatives the explosion in internet porn has had some good effects – encouraging people to satisfy their odd tastes vicariously rather than doing so in real life.

    It’s strange that people seem to be having less sex but social conservatives are still not happy.

  63. @Twinkie

    The social and evolutionary leverage of child-rearing may be THE main leveler. You always get the positive excuse of being more responsible, less selfish, etc… but individually and in aggregate, it always means that you are less free to oppose any negative trends, or even to allow yourself to see them as such.

    An easy example is the worker who won’t strike because he has hungry children. A businessman who adopts the rhetoric of oppressive social mores to maintain and advance his career. An investor who puts money into destructive assets to ensure his kids’ college fund. Etc.

    The most basic and defensible justifications are the quickest way to defeat any sort of virtue or idealism. We truly all go to hell gradually with our best intentions.

  64. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    It does seem that way, but ascribing it all to Sexual Blank Slate theory without investigating other possibilities thoroughly seems foolish when Blank Slate theory has failed in other areas of life.

    I don’t think anyone here is pushing the idea of sexual Blank Slatism. It’s not an either/or proposition. Suggesting that culture can modify our sexuality is not Blank Slatism. Like most aspects of human behaviour sexuality is probably a mixture of innate desires and cultural influences.

  65. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Jay Fink

    I gradually drifted away from her. I know it’s perverse in a sense. Her naturalness is the real her which should be sufficient for a hetrosexual male to be attracted to. The thing is I can’t just turn off my fetish(es). They are an integral part of my sexuality.

    I’d say that she’s the one who was being unreasonable. There has to be give-and-take in a relationship and it doesn’t sound like she was prepared to compromise a little.

    And an obsession with “naturalness” if taken to an extreme is just as odd as having a thing for stilettos.

    • Disagree: Rosie
    • Replies: @Rosie
  66. Rosie says:
    @Not only wrathful

    The drug takes away the ability of food to support emotional regulation. It is therefore highly effective, like I said.

    No, it doesn’t. You can still eat all you want. The only treatment that actually impairs people’s ability to eat is bariatric surgery.

    I don’t know you, so it is very little concern of mine whether or not you remain fat

    I don’t really think I’m fat. As a matter of fact, I think I am exceptionally fit for a iddle-aged mother of six.

    But this isn’t about my weight. It is about your failure to acknowledge the genetic heritability of overweight and obesity as demonstrated by twin studies.

    Sooner rather than later, you will be seen as an ignoramus akin to some primitive who thinks blindness is caused by demonic possession or something.

    Unless an until a cure is found, fat people will carry on existing and you will have to deal with it. Fortunately, there is cause for hope, as bigoted old fat-hating codgers die and make way for doctors who want to solve the problem rather than wag their fingers at people.

    https://www.pharmacytimes.com/view/study-anti-obesity-medication-twice-as-effective-as-most-weight-loss-drugs

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @Not only wrathful
  67. Rosie says:
    @houston 1992

    Again, we can change our food environment –at an individual level– easier than we can change ourselves.

    It isn’t even just our food environment, but rather our activity environment that needs changing.

    I am a long-term weight loser in the sense that I am 2 sizes smaller than I was when I was working full-time, because I have more time to exercise. If I were still living the same lifestyle as I was then, I would almost certainly be the same size.

    By the way, women of that era were getting a little help from Dr. Feelgood until somebody decided that being fat is the worst thing ever for you with the soe exception of diet pills to prevent you from becoming obese.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377281/

    • Replies: @houston 1992
  68. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Adoptees take after biological parents more than adoptive parents.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19752881/

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  69. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    I’m not trying to make any kind of dogmatic argument about human sexuality. Or about human behaviour.

    Nature vs nurture arguments usually go nowhere because both sides take extreme positions and both sides have a tendency to caricature their opponents’ positions. I think that you’re caricaturing my position as a Blank Slate argument.

    All I’m arguing is that culture has some effect on human sexual behaviour.

    Animal behaviour is mostly a matter of innate drives, but if you put an animal in an artificial environment (such as a zoo) you’ll alter its behaviour to some extent. The innate drives might be unchanged, but they’ll manifest in different ways.

    Almost all humans today live in artificial environments (and I’m not saying that’s a good thing or a bad thing). We did not evolve to live in cities. A society saturated in mass media is an artificial condition. We not only live in artificial environments, we live in constantly changing artificial environments. We’re much more saturated in mass media t0day than we were a century ago. We didn’t have social media a few decades ago.

    We also have access to easy cheap reliable contraception, which is an artificial condition.

    Living in an artificial environment may or may not have an effect on innate drives but it’s certainly going to have an effect on the way those drives are manifested. It seems pretty likely therefore that the constantly changing artificial environment will have an effect on human sexual behaviour. And it seems to have done so.

    Human behaviour is governed by innate drives, modified by culture. I have no idea how much culture modifies the ways in which human sexuality is manifested but I think it’s an interesting question.

  70. @Rosie

    No, it doesn’t. You can still eat all you want. The only treatment that actually impairs people’s ability to eat is bariatric surgery

    You missed the point. Drugs which take away appetite are very similar to the equally effective anti-alcoholism drugs

    Otherwise, you are clueless and fighting a phantom. Go back and read my posts. Obesity is a symptom of pain, overeating is an attempt at self-medication. Naturally, other medications will work on the symptom, but the core problem is spiritual/psychological

    If you feel the need to typify my belief as that of a fat hating old codger despite me being half your age and without hate, then that is your challenge. That too is a symptom, but whatever…

    Muh twin studies is absurd. It is plain that genetics do not cause obesity given the huge increase in obesity without concomitant genetic change. But I really don’t want to get into litigation with such an obviously defensive (and therefore motivated) “reasoner”.

    And if this post is harsh, I am sorry it needs to be that way, you seem lovely, but sometimes these things need to be plainly spoken

    • Replies: @Rosie
  71. @Jay Fink

    I have been single the last few years. I met a woman who likes me a lot. Our personalities are very compatible. I enjoyed her company. I feel she was a gift in a sense. Perhaps one of my last chances to find a good woman to love me and grow old with. My logic said yes jump on this opportunity. The problem is she is way too natural for me. In fact her naturalness is a source of pride for her and part of her identity.

    Seems like a prompt for you to dig a bit deeper than some ad hoc “imprinting” rationalisation in order that you can be happy. Why would that stick and not something else? All “Just So” stories beg this question.

    What are you missing in yourself? Or clinging onto?

    For many, artificiality represents change and, naturally, those who are resistant to change, are attracted to it.

  72. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jay Fink

    From stiletto heels to stiletto nails. I need to see glam and artificiality.

    You sound like my husband. He goes wild for those things plus fishnet stockings, garter belts and no panties, open-cup shelf bras…. But he also loves for me to wear his shirts and nothing else. I’m always happy to oblige. Maybe my fetish is catering to his fetishes. We have a lot of fun. Sexual compatibility in couples is never to be under-rated.

    I have a strong fetish since age 5…based on something I was seeing in my childhood environment that I found arousing.

    One of the jobs I did part-time as an undergrad was work as a phone-sex operator. The men who call in to such services have all sorts of bizarre fetishes that they can’t get relief for any other way. I often thought that many of them were the result of things that happened in childhood or on the cusp of puberty. Now that I’m a mommy with two little boys, I worry that I will accidentally instill in them some weird fetish, say when they spill their Gerbers and I bend over to clean it up or when I’m changing their diapers and accidentally brush against their little peepees. So I am very careful. I want them to grow up to have normal heterosexual urges and fetishes so I can become a grandmother in due course.
    Many of the callers had such weird fetishes that I couldn’t imagine what they had to do with sex. One regular merely wanted me to repeat the word “vinegar” over and over. You can’t imagine how tedious that was, but he was a big tipper. There were so many weird fetishes and so many callers who spent hundreds of dollars to have them satisfied by we PSOs, the only people who wouldn’t laugh at them or recoil in disgust. Lots of us were college girls and boy did we learn a lot about men and their sexual proclivities, all from the safety of our bedrooms with our textbooks scattered about the bed as we studied, chatted with our callers and often made suicide faces at some of the stuff we heard. Most girls didn’t stick it out long because the job was just too stressful, although I did know one woman, a dispatcher who gave me whisper tags to alert me to what fetish the caller had, had been a PSO for nine years. She was blind, lived alone, and the job was her main source of income.
    Incidentally, one of the companies I worked for was NiteFlirt, which at the time was owned by Microsoft, believe it or not, so Bill Gates was getting his cut from the freaques.
    In any case, I can assure you and others that men having bizarre sex fetishes is extremely common and nothing to be ashamed of as long as you don’t let it control you. It’s just another one of those weird things about life, one that does seem to afflict men much more than women. I suppose that’s because sex is merely an appetite for women but an overhwelming hunger for men.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @anonymous
  73. Alden says:
    @dfordoom

    Small waist flat chest bosomy pants skirt styles hair styles it’s my opinion that ordinary heterosexual men aren’t interested in those things at all. Women’s fashion is imposed in women by men and women clothing designers and cleverly marketed to women. Most clothes are made in factories in the current style and there’s not much choice.

    A lot of clothing is practical above all. When people walked winter coats were long. After everyone had a car and drove all winter, long coats were out and shorter coats were in. Because long coats are cumbersome when driving.

    Sleeveless dresses and tops are everywhere, even in winter. It’s not because men like to look at women’s bare arms. It’s because 1 sleeves, especially long sleeves take a lot of fabric 2 sleeves take more skill and time than seams darts and hems. Eliminate sleeves and sell the dress for the same cost as one with sleeves. That’s a lot of profit

    My opinion is men are interested in women. They really don’t care about current fashion or practical realities that drive clothing fashions .

    • Replies: @Wency
    , @Not only wrathful
  74. Rosie says:
    @Not only wrathful

    Obesity is a symptom of pain, overeating is an attempt at self-medication. Naturally, other medications will work on the symptom, but the core problem is spiritual/psychological

    This makes literally no sense whatsoever. You acknowledge that medications work, which by definition makes it a medical problem. Diet pills do not work on the symptom because there is no symptom. People eat because they’re hungry, and diet pills make them less hungry, so they eat less. Period.

    I’ll even acknowledge that it is entirely possible that I’m wrong. I believe it is better to give people the benefit of the doubt and withhold judgment until the facts are in.

    If you feel the need to typify my belief as that of a fat hating old codger despite me being half your age and without hate, then that is your challenge.

    I I wasn’t talking about you. I was talking about doctors who refuse to prescribe diet drugs to people who very clearly need them.

    https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/diet-drugs-work-why-wont-doctors-prescribe-them

    Muh twin studies is absurd. It is plain that genetics do not cause obesity given the huge increase in obesity without concomitant genetic change.

    This nonsense needs to die already. You could just as well say that Australian aborigines aren’t genetically prone to alcoholism because, after all, there were no alcoholic aborigines before the White man came. Environment and genetics work hand in hand.

    But I really don’t want to get into litigation with such an obviously defensive (and therefore motivated) “reasoner”.

    You also seem lovely, and this is beneath you.

    https://www.fallacyfiles.org/genefall.html

    Whether I’m fat or not is totally irrelevant to this discussion, but FYI, Mr. Rosie still calls me MILF after all these years.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
    , @iffen
  75. Rosie says:
    @dfordoom

    I’d say that she’s the one who was being unreasonable. There has to be give-and-take in a relationship and it doesn’t sound like she was prepared to compromise a little.

    As a General, I continue to dream, on occasion, that big hair is still in style and I’m standing in front of the mirror “teasing” my bangs. Then, by the Grace of God, I wake up. I wish I could say I’m joking. I have often wondered if it’s like that nightmare that so many have where you sign up for a class and forget about it until the day of the final exam.

    Under no circumstances is any human being required to go through all of that for another. As time goes by, and especially when children are born, there is a duty to compromise. In the initial stages of a relationship, not so much.

    More disturbingly, it occurs to me that women who follow bizarre fashion trends might actually be altering men’s sexuality in a way that burdens other women.There has to be a way for women to talk about fashion without being accused of shaming others. Not too long ago, there was a fuss on social media about “makeup-shaming.” In essence, it was makeup-shaming -shaming. So far as Imcan tell, the idea is that it is simply illegitimate for women to have an opinion about anything ever. At the very least, we have to be very careful how we express it.

    https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/body-positive-blogger-makeup-shaming

    Personal preferences aside, I’m very uneasy with the whole idea of men getting married to secure a sexual partner, and becoming more so by the day. A common trope around here is that women over 30, let alone 40, just aren’t all that hot. If that’s true, then the only men fit for marriage are the ones who have mastered their sexuality. I suppose women have always known this, hence our aversion to men who reek of sexual desperation and our attraction to men who seem sexually aloof.

    Of course, it’s not fair to pick on men. The feminine equivalent is getting married and expecting a perpetual honeymoon. Wise women know not to judge their own husbands by the fake version of other women’s husbands they see on facebook.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  76. @Rosie

    I sense that there is little point in this, nonetheless:

    You acknowledge that medications work, which by definition makes it a medical problem.

    False. You’ll be happy even at your father’s funeral if you take enough MDMA. That doesn’t make your grief a medical problem

    Diet pills do not work on the symptom because there is no symptom

    Obesity is a symptom of an eating disorder, which is itself a spiritual/psychological issue

    This nonsense needs to die already. You could just as well say that Australian aborigines aren’t genetically prone to alcoholism because, after all, there were no alcoholic aborigines before the White man came. Environment and genetics work hand in hand.

    So for you, everything is “genetic”?

    You also seem lovely, and this is beneath you.

    I don’t know the root of your defensiveness, but I recognise its existence

    I believe it is better to give people the benefit of the doubt and withhold judgment until the facts are in.

    Understanding precludes judgement, but it also needs facticity rather than wishful thinking.

    Understanding is the most fun

    • Replies: @Rosie
  77. iffen says:
    @Rosie

    but FYI, Mr. Rosie still calls me MILF after all these years.

    Yeah, but you are less excited by that idea than you used to be.

    Are you aware of something that some people call an obesity epidemic?

  78. Rosie says:
    @Not only wrathful

    I don’t know the root of your defensiveness, but I recognise its existence

    Is there any way in which one might disagree with you about obesity without you pathologizing them as “defensive”? Asking seriously.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  79. sigh, this is such a commonly occurring misleading anecdote that the FDA even has an inside joke (of sorts) referring to “Biggest Loser Fallacy”, used to describe the Zombie Argument that ‘because people who lose massive amounts of weight almost always gain it back–y’know, like all the contestants on Biggest Loser–it’s impossible to lose weight longterm!”

    having worked for many years in nutrition science/technology, i can tell you:

    a. genetics do–obviously!–play a role in long-term weight management. but with very, very rare exception (legitimately extreme cases of Thyroid disorder, which are much MUCH rarer than the amount of people who cite ‘thyroid condition’ as a circumstance), it’s lifestyle that’s required for obesity to take hold or reassert itself.

    “genetics loads the gun, and lifestyle fires it” is a popular/true aphorism.

    b. food–most especially sugar–absolutely is an addiction, on par with booze or drugs. which does mean that yes, ‘willpower’ narratives alone don’t tell the whole story, much in the same way that saying ‘alcoholics are just weakminded’ doesn’t really sound right (to most people, at least).

    further, Leptin increases and ‘metabolic slowdown’ and other such hormonal changes associated with ‘set point’ theories of weight *are* in large part valid.

    but! to reduce that down to say “ergo longterm weightloss is impossible” is just not in any way true–yes, approaches that depend on sustaining Diet intensity for long periods of time do usually eventually fail, because compliance becomes tougher and tougher.

    however, things like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Noom ain’t bad) combined with long-term fitness programs (weight-lifting) and Compliance Optimized Nutrition Plans *do* work in the long-term, because they’re optimizing for the right problem: how do you mitigate/prevent/treat the tendency of Obese bodies to increase hunger over time? and yes, using Ephedra (Bronk-Aid) or other appetite suppressants whether prescribed or not also help!

    when people say “obesity is genetic”, and then imply “therefore it’s not anybody’s fault they’re fat” they’re only half telling the truth. if you take appropriate measures and make lifestyle changes *in a fashion designed to solve for longterm compliance* then yes, with extremely rare exception, you can keep weight off forever.

    the reality is, the vast, vast majority of people–obese or otherwise–don’t make changes that are designed for longterm compliance; instead, they at best find a short-term solution that is ultimately unsustainable. the key is to find approaches that are long-term *from the start* and plan/execute accordingly.

  80. one additional thing on the above: i find that a lot of people (but most especially women) define “working out” as Cardio; Cardio isn’t exactly useless (this is a popular BroScience/Internet IronBorn take), but it does increase hunger, and does very very very little for longterm body composition.

    if you defined the “regular exercise” part of the “lifestyle” equation in long-term success evaluations as weightlifting, you’d find much more optimistic results. it is very favorable for body-composition, and does wonders at mitigating/positively utilizing the hormonal pushback from caloric restriction–you can even put your hunger to work and see *improvements* in your body!

    tho that would require people to understand that ‘weight’ is not the issue; ‘body composition’ (percent of fat relative to percent of muscle) is the name of the game.

    • Agree: Rosie
  81. @Wency

    Up to a point, it’s better for purposes of natural selection that a male animal be over-eager for sex, as opposed to under-eager, but this will sometimes translate to sex with things that aren’t a fertile female.

    This has been utilized to combat bedbugs, who are resistant to common pesticides. Spray them with pheromones instead. Their normal mating ritual is violent rape. Mature females can survive this. It is usually fatal to other males and immature females.

    Death by anal rape. Norman Mailer would have loved it.

  82. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Joe S.Walker

    Leather/rubber fetish wear is interesting because originally there were a very small number of people who had fantasies that went beyond the conventional clothes made of those materials, who were inspired to realise their fantasy outfits (or could afford to pay specialist costumiers to do it). Then over a few decades it went from being a completely underground scene to influencing popular fashion and spreading an awareness of the sexual practices that went with it

    Yes. Interestingly enough when things like leather and bondage gear started to influence popular fashion and popular culture it was at first in an ironic and/or playful manner. The earliest example I can think of is the British TV series The Avengers in the 1960s – Honor Blackman with her leather gear and of course Diana Rigg in a full bondage outfit (which she designed herself) as the Queen of Sin in the notorious A Touch of Brimstone episode. An episode which included a whipping scene!

    The punks in the late 70s adopted bondage gear in an entirely ironic manner (everything the punks did was intended as irony).

    Both The Avengers and the punk scene had a major influence on popular fashion and pop culture in general.

    And in the 70s movies (although not mainstream Hollywood movies) started to treat the subject of S&M. Most notably in Just Jaeckin’s The Story of O (1975). Jaeckin’s later movie Gwendoline (1984) should also be mentioned.

    By the 80s bondage/fetish imagery was seeping into mainstream pop culture.

    Whether any of this had an actual influence on sexual behaviour is an open question.

    And whether it’s a sign of cultural degeneracy or cultural playfulness or a positive cultural openness – also an open question.

  83. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rosie

    Adoptees take after biological parents more than adoptive parents.

    Then there’s the case of the Kray twins (the notorious 1950s/1960s London gangsters). Identical twins, both raised together. Ronnie was homosexual. Reggie was heterosexual. In their case the difference in sexuality can’t have been genetic but it could hardly have been culture or upbringing either.

    Maybe Ronnie caught Greg Cochran’s famous homosexual germ.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  84. Anonymous[385] • Disclaimer says:
    @dfordoom

    About pathogens manipulating our sexual proclivities, Peter Frost had an interesting column a few years ago. An excerpt:

    Let’s look at another pathogen, Candida albicans, commonly known as vaginal yeast, which can cause an itchy rash called vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Reed et al. (2003) found no significant association between VVC and the woman’s frequency of vaginal sex, lifetime number of partners, or duration of current relationship. Nor was there any association with presence of C. albicans in her male partner. But there were significant associations with the woman masturbating or practicing cunnilingus in the past month.

    VVC is thus more strongly associated with increased sexual fantasizing, as indicated by masturbation rate, than with a higher frequency of vaginal intercourse. This does look like host manipulation, although one might wonder why it doesn’t translate into more sex with other men, this being presumably what the pathogen wants. Perhaps the development of masturbation as a lifestyle (through use of vibrators and pornography) is making this outcome harder to achieve.

    A sexually transmitted pathogen can also increase its chances of transmission by disrupting mate guarding. This is the tendency of one mate, usually the male, to keep watch over the other mate. If mate guarding can be disabled or, better yet, reversed, the pathogen can spread more easily to other hosts. This kind of host manipulation has been shown in a non-human species (Mormann, 2010).

    Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish. Yet it seems relatively recent. Greco-Roman texts don’t mention it, despite abundant references to other forms of alternate sexual behavior, e.g., pedophilia, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, etc. The earliest mentions appear in 17th century England (Kuchar, 2011, pp. 18-19). This was when England was opening up to world trade and, in particular, to the West African slave trade.

    Sub-Saharan Africa has been especially conducive to sexually transmitted pathogens evolving a capacity for host manipulation. Polygyny rates are high, in the range of 20 to 40% of all adult males, and the polygynous male is typically an older man who cannot sexually satisfy all of his wives. There is thus an inevitable tendency toward multi-partner sex by both men and women, which sexually transmitted pathogens can exploit … and manipulate.

    https://evoandproud.blogspot.com/2014/10/yes-demons-do-exist.html

  85. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rosie

    Under no circumstances is any human being required to go through all of that for another.

    So you’re saying that women in a relationship should not compromise?

    As time goes by, and especially when children are born, there is a duty to compromise.

    And now you’re saying that there’s a duty to compromise.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not arguing that men should have to compromise but women shouldn’t.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  86. Jay Fink says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    I think you nailed the cuckold fetish pretty good. I would guess I was closer to having this fetish than anyone else who posts here. It’s not my circumstance in life so I rarely think about it but I understand the appeal.

    I came close 20 years ago before I ever heard the cuckold term. Someone set me up with a hot girl over 10 years younger than me. She was in her early 20s. She was beautiful, charming and feminine. We went out a lot and I fell hard for her…more than anyone in my life before or since. She had no sexual feelings for me and put me in the friend zone. It don’t think it was typical friend zone (other than the lack of sex) because she had an intense emotional connection to me.

    She would admit to me how much sleeping around she was doing. I didn’t believe it because she didn’t seem the type. She seemed too soft and feminine to be promiscuous. Then one night I found out it was real. Towards the end of a date we were watching a band at a lounge. I came back from the bathroom and she was dancing with some guy. Before I knew it he was taking her home.

    Of course I was angry. Here I take her out for a nice dinner and shoe shopping and she abandons me that same night. My plan was not to talk to her again. Yet to my surprise as I tried to sleep I got feelings of excitement that this girl was having sex with that random dude. It hit me that everything she told me about sleeping around was real. It gave me a rush that this girl I was so in love with was such a sexual being. Even not wanting sex with me was exciting in a sense…it means she is so in tune with her sexuality that she knows exactly what she likes and won’t settle for less. I was no incel myself and maybe that made it easier for me to enjoy her sexual drive without getting too frustrated or upset that it wasn’t with me. She called and asked me to pick her up at the guy’s house and I was happy and excited to do so.

    Sometimes after a drink or two she would talk about marriage with me. A side of her thought I was the best man she ever met. She would back down the next day and act embarrassed that she brought it up. The thing is if I knew what cuckold marriage was and explained it to her it might have been appealing to her. I would have likely gone for it. I would have gotten fetish feelings for her sleeping with other guys. But no I would have had no interest in watching. I don’t like to look at a man having sex. Just knowing she was having it would have been good enough. One very strong point I want to make is I only would have been interested in a cuckold marriage with a woman of higher sexual value than myself. I would never put up with it if the woman was my equal in age or looks.

    Yeah I know most of you guys hate this story and find it pathetic. I told it mostly because I wanted Chrisnonymous to know he is on the right track with his thinking on this subject. Meanwhile I have only been in conventional relationships since and rarely if ever think of the cuckold fetish. It’s not a part of my life.

    • Thanks: Chrisnonymous
    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    , @Anonymous
  87. Rosie says:
    @dfordoom

    And now you’re saying that there’s a duty to compromise.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re not arguing that men should have to compromise but women shouldn’t.

    Of course not. Whether there is a duty to compromise depends on, as I said, the stage of the relationship, but not only that. It also depends on the nature of the demand for compromise.

    One of the most enduring sources of strain in my marriage has been the question of what to do with extra money. I prefer to spend on home improvement, but Mr. Rosie likes to travel. These are both equally legitimate values. There is no right or wrong here, so we split the difference, taking some modest vacations as well as keeping our small house looking nice. It helps, I suppose, that I’m content with a small house, so renovation costs are manageable. Hardwood floors, cabinetry, furniture, rugs, etc. are all more affordable with less square footage. Likewise, Mr. Rosie is fine with inexpensive trips relatively close to home. We often do the same things more than once so children can enjoy various things at an appropriate age.

    In regards to the matter of teased bangs, there is a right and wrong. Teased bangs are ridiculous, and on some level, it appears that even Mr. Fink is aware of this fact, despite himself.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  88. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rosie

    In regards to the matter of teased bangs, there is a right and wrong. Teased bangs are ridiculous, and on some level, it appears that even Mr. Fink is aware of this fact, despite himself.

    I’d never really thought of teased bangs as a question of right and wrong. All these years and I’d never been aware of the moral dimension of the teased bangs problem.

    As a society we need to make a stand against teased bangs.

    • LOL: Rosie
    • Replies: @Rosie
  89. @Jay Fink

    I’m glad you avoided that marriage.

  90. Rosie says:
    @dfordoom

    As a society we need to make a stand against teased bangs.

    Teased bangs are not morally wrong, at least not in an obvious sense, though, as I said above, it may be that women who go along with absurd fads like teased bangs are causing material harm to women downstream, but let’s set that aside for the time being.

    By “wrong” here I do not mean morally impermissible. I am using the term in the sense that one person may be “in the wrong” and another person may be “in the right.” (I don’t know if you Aussies use this turn of phrase, but it just refers to who has the better of a dispute as to mutual obligations.) In re the Matter of Teased Bangs, I would say that Mr. Fink would be “in the wrong” to insist upon them, whereas the girlfriend is “in the right” to refuse them. As I said, he appears to understand this himself.

    On the other hand, if all parties agree, tease away.

    • Replies: @Rosie
    , @dfordoom
  91. Rosie says:
    @Rosie

    Click more for some teased bangs looks from the 80s.

    But ⚠️ to those of you who weren’t there, you can’t unsee it.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  92. Anon[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rosie

    Six years later, Biggest Loser contestants had regained the weight, with nothing but damaged metabolism to show for their efforts.

    Pretty astounding how damaged their metabolisms are actually. Men who are tall and physically active with BMR in the low to mid 1000 calorie/day level. It pretty much delivers the death blow to the calorie in / calorie out theory.

    The terrible thing about this is that we have had the knowledge that calories in / calories out is junk science for over 50 years. But we keep hectoring fat people into metabolism destroying calorie restriction that is doomed to fail. The classic starvation studies after WWII healthy young men were put on ~1000 calories / day. They got thinner the first few weeks, but then weight loss almost stopped. They got nowhere near as thin as calories in / calories out would predict. The body will do everything in its power to maintain body mass.

    There are some doctors out there bucking the calories in/ calories out dogma and focusing instead on trying to reverse things like insulin resistance while not destroying metabolism. Hopefully it is a step in the right direction.

  93. @Not only wrathful

    You said,

    “Do you reduce art, love and everything else which is meaningful, in this way?”

    You prove my point. You somehow think a discussion of reproduction is irrelevant on the topic of sexuality. Folks want to talk about everything except the main thing.

    (1) Reproduction is the actual, essential thing in sexuality — the root of it all. Every part of sexuality originally derives from reproduction. Imagine we fetishized a sportscar, the curves, the wheels, the engine, the spoiler, without ever driving the sportscar to a destination. Or even thinking about what the sportscar is for?

    (2) The fertility crisis and relative fertility collapse in the developed world is likely the greatest civilizational challenge in a millennium. It isn’t some vision. It’s just math, carried forward.

  94. @DanHessinMD

    You prove my point. You somehow think a discussion of reproduction is irrelevant on the topic of sexuality. Folks want to talk about everything except the main thing

    You have decided that it is the main thing because you have decided that Darwin = life

    But obviously very few people feel that way

    So you have a problem

    I doubt even you feel that way, as demonstrated in your life decisions

    This means that yours is a mere dogma

    I also never said that it was “irrelevant”. I suppose nuance is hard when you’re pretending to hold a value as most important when, if you were honest with yourself, you would burst out laughing at the silliness of it all

    I get it though, it is a handrail to hold onto when looking at the chaos of life

    The question then is, what is the point of you robotically repeating this on the Internet and how does it work for you?

    (1) Reproduction is the actual, essential thing in sexuality — the root of it all. Every part of sexuality originally relates to reproduction.

    Factually incorrect. As proven by the behaviour of every human being with a choice on this planet

    (2) The fertility crisis and relative fertility collapse in the developed world is likely the greatest civilizational challenge in a millennium. It isn’t some vision. It’s just math, carried forward.

    And you’re going to fix it by trying to convince everyone that sex is essentially just for reproduction?

    Lol

    Yours is possibly the least realistic political programme in human history

    You’ve decided that some abstract thing is what everyone should care about and sacrifice for, but they all disagree, even you with your actions

    Maybe your abstracting is the problem?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  95. @DanHessinMD

    TLDR

    No matter how often you repeat your ideology, you’ll never even persuade just yourself that sex is mostly about reproduction, yet you expect to convince entire countries…

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  96. @Not only wrathful

    Your approach is also the perfect definition of cowardice. You’d rather fantasise about changing the world than change yourself.”

    that is a bit ad hominem.

    One can control what food that one buys, stores in the house and fridge, and what food one carries in the car to work etc. Those activities are not centered on a fantasy of changing the world, but rather changing oneself, having the discipline to prepare lower cal density foods, prep fresh salads etc

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  97. @Rosie

    not sure at all if we can exercise away the excess calories

    • Replies: @Rosie
  98. @houston 1992

    One can control what food that one buys, stores in the house and fridge, and what food one carries in the car to work etc. Those activities are not centered on a fantasy of changing the world, but rather changing oneself, having the discipline to prepare lower cal density foods, prep fresh salads etc

    Sure, and if your point was that people should try to eat more vegetables and fewer tubs of ice-cream then it consisted of straightforward advice

  99. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Rosie

    In re the Matter of Teased Bangs, I would say that Mr. Fink would be “in the wrong” to insist upon them, whereas the girlfriend is “in the right” to refuse them.

    It would certainly be wrong if Mr Fink literally held a gun to her head but I don’t think he did that. It sounds like it was more in the nature of a request. The girlfriend was clearly in the wrong to issue a blanket refusal rather than being willing to compromise.

    If you’re in a relationship you have to be willing to compromise, even over something that you might think is silly.

    I think Mr Fink dodged a bullet when he got out of that relationship.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  100. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Not only wrathful

    No matter how often you repeat your ideology, you’ll never even persuade just yourself that sex is mostly about reproduction, yet you expect to convince entire countries…

    Sex and reproduction used to be inextricably linked. That link was irreversibly and irrevocably broken when contraception became cheap, easy, reliable, convenient and readily available.

    We have to accept that sexual behaviour and reproductive behaviour are now two separate things.

    If we’re worried by falling birth rates we have to address the reasons for changes in reproductive behaviour. Fretting about sexual behaviour is not going to do anything at all to reverse falling birth rates.

    I think we also need to understand that the gender identity mania of today is yet a third largely separate issue.

    • Agree: Not only wrathful
    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  101. @Rosie

    This is awful. I previously had believed the 80s were cool

  102. Rosie says:
    @dfordoom

    The girlfriend was clearly in the wrong to issue a blanket refusal rather than being willing to compromise.

    This is where we disagree. Again, if the relationship were further advanced, I would think differently. I say they both dodged a bullet by moving on as they weren’t compatible.

  103. @Not only wrathful

    I triggered you big time didn’t I?

    I just stated obvious biological and mathematical truths. If you can’t handle the truth, why are you here?

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  104. Rosie says:
    @houston 1992

    not sure at all if we can exercise away the excess calories

    Why not?

    According to this calculator, I can add ~500 more calories to my daily budget by being “very active” as opposed to “inactive.”

    https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/calorie-calculator/itt-20402304

    Now, if I make no effort whatsoever to eat healthy food and control my portions, it won’t be enough, but that extra 500 calories means getting to have dessert, which makes all the difference in terms of being able to stay the course.

  105. @DanHessinMD

    Your truth has no bearing on how anyone lives or wants to live their life. Nor even on you

    Is it more likely that I or you are “triggered”?

  106. Anonymous[147] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jay Fink

    I think your relationship with that woman was not so much one of a cuckold — a man who is humiliated and shamed by a cheating “significant other,” but that of having a so-called hot wife or hot girlfriend, a woman who has sex with other men to the pleasure of her spouse or steady boyfriend.
    I think this is a fairly common thing, though more openly acknowledged these days than in the past.
    One of the things I’ve noticed in male-female relationships is the male frustration at the lack of a strong sexual drive in females compared to men.
    Most women are really not interested in sleeping around. They want boyfriends, not sex per se. So when a man discovers a woman with a strong libido that she acts on, it arouses him. I can understand that.
    What I have never understood in these relationships is the man being okay with not having sex with his girlfriend. I can see him not minding, even being turned on, by sharing her with other men, but to not have sex with her at all… — what’s the point? I guess it is just another bizarre fetish that men can fall prey to.

  107. @dfordoom

    “Sex and reproduction used to be inextricably linked. That link was irreversibly and irrevocably broken when contraception became cheap, easy, reliable, convenient and readily available.”

    Total nonsense. Allowing for things like IVF, 99.9% of births come from sex.

    “We have to accept that sexual behaviour and reproductive behaviour are now two separate things.”

    (Should someone tell him how babies are made?)

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  108. Wency says:
    @Anonymous

    Thanks, that’s an interesting tale. You know, I knew a guy once who seemed pretty normal, only dated women, yet one time he confided in me that he would sometimes watch both straight and gay porn. I wonder where life took him. The need for frequent porn watchers to continually dial up the novelty in porn does seem to be very common.

    To the degree this somewhat “plastic” model of attraction is true, I wonder if the disgust reaction to acts of male homosexuality is partly our brain’s way of preventing us from ever experimenting with gay acts, since such experimentation can be habit-forming and even an interest in observing them voyeuristically might increase one’s odds of being caught up in such an act.

    The disgust reaction is its own phenomenon that doesn’t get discussed enough in these conversations. It sounds like you had one, but your curiosity overcame and suppressed it. I also wonder how common this is, or if most men who have had sex with men were born without much of a disgust reaction.

    As for your early “perverted” interest in women, sometimes I wonder how uncommon this really is, or if we just never speak of it. I remember enjoying watching women in their swimsuits at the pool (not girls my own age, but *women*) from around age 5. I told my mother one time how much I enjoyed it, especially looking at their butts, and she told me to cut it out and never speak of such things again. Well, let the record show I married a woman with an extremely shapely butt.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  109. My truth?

    LOL. These truths don’t come from me, but I am flattered and honored!

    Am I triggered? I dunno. Mostly I feel like Cassandra.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra

    The central mental error of our age is the conceit that through clever application of language you can change the rules of the world. Nature doesn’t care what we think or say. You can do whatever you want and call it sex, but nature is pretty narrow about what she will accept.

    Someone once wrote,

    “the ship, to get round Cape Horn, will find a set of conditions already voted for, and fixed with adamantine rigor by the ancient Elemental Powers, who are entirely careless how you vote. If you can, by voting or without voting, ascertain these conditions, and valiantly conform to them, you will get round the Cape: if you cannot, the ruffian Winds will blow you ever back again; the inexorable Icebergs, dumb privy-councillors from Chaos, will nudge you with most chaotic “admonition;” you will be flung half frozen on the Patagonian cliffs, or admonished into shivers by your iceberg councillors, and sent sheer down to Davy Jones, and will never get round Cape Horn at all! Unanimity on board ship;—yes indeed, the ship’s crew may be very unanimous, which doubtless, for the time being, will be very comfortable to the ship’s crew, and to their Phantasm Captain if they have one: but if the tack they unanimously steer upon is guiding them into the belly of the Abyss, it will not profit them much!”

    There is an objective situation here, and it has nothing to do with me.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  110. @DanHessinMD

    The objective situation is that nobody treats sex as mostly for reproduction, nor wants to

    What blinds you to this totally obvious fact?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  111. @Wency

    The need for frequent porn watchers to continually dial up the novelty in porn does seem to be very common.

    Baloney.

    Also: Switching from straight to gay is not dialing up novelty.

    And Anonymous’s story doesn’t ring true to me. “it’s porn wot done it to me”. He’s a troll.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  112. @Not only wrathful

    “The objective situation is that nobody treats sex as mostly for reproduction, nor wants to

    What blinds you to this totally obvious fact?”

    My comments go right over your head. Yes, a lot of people treat sex as not about reproduction. So? GNON disagrees and GNON’s say matters much more. If GNON is with me, who can be against me?

    Suppose you could fully persuade me that sex isn’t primarily about reproduction. That would make you feel better, and again I am honored, but having me join you on the wrong side of reality won’t change reality.

    Nobody views sex as mostly for reproduction? Nobody at all, like in the whole world?

    LOL! I for one hold that view. It is great fun — don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day, the reproduction part (and specifically the kids that result) is a way bigger deal. This isn’t strange. For most old people, the kids and grandchildren they have is far more central in their life than the sex they once had. In fact, for most people who have become parents, the kids matter more than the sex.

    In the Catholic faith, and in the Muslim faith — reproduction is paramount to sexuality. Fun is allowed too, but reproduction is central:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_theology_of_sexuality
    “In cases in which sexual expression is sought outside marriage, or in which the procreative function of sexual expression within marriage is deliberately frustrated (e.g., the use of artificial contraception), the Catholic Church expresses grave moral concern.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_sexual_jurisprudence
    “In Islamic jurisprudence, the primary purpose of sex between marriage and concubinage is procreation.”

    I know many practicing Catholics who hold this view, as is plainly evidenced by their large families.

    Sex being primarily about reproduction isn’t remarkable. That is very mundane, to someone who has any sense of history or biology. What is remarkable that anyone would be surprised at hearing that. It’s admittedly unromantic, but it happens to be true.

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  113. @DanHessinMD

    LOL! I for one hold that view. It is great fun — don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day, the reproduction part (and specifically the kids that result) is a way bigger deal. This isn’t strange.

    I assume you stopped having sex when your wife was pregnant?

    I assume you also masturbated only a handful of times?

    You probably were never influenced to look for sex for any reason other than having children?

    Amazing

    Look, your reductionist argument seems simple to you because you are being simple yourself

    You might argue that reproduction is the main point of life (because Gnon) and sex is just a stage in reproduction

    But then you’d have to answer why no one ever has the maximum surviving offspring they can

    Never

    Not even you

    You could have made choices that would mean you have many, many more offspring, but you didn’t

    Like trick women into pregnancy, or get started at 18 or whatever

    Continue to be autistic and miss the point of every human being’s revealed preferences ever

    But it is hardly going to make for an effective political programme

    That’s the real Gnon. The human Gnon that says: what on earth are you smoking that makes you think a “sex is strictly for reproduction” platform will gain traction

    You might as well campaign on a platform of replacing all food with perfectly nutritional food pills

    In fact, that would still be more feasible

    But “nature wants”

    Nature wants whatever is. If that is the disappearance of humans then that is what it is. If you want to see what nature wants for the future, then I suggest you meditate, because half-baked Darwinian philosophising where you confuse observation with what ought to be in the future, won’t cut it

  114. @Not only wrathful

    Stop putting what you want into nature’s mouth.

    Say what you want. Why you want it. And why you feel other people should want it to.

    They might listen to that

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
  115. @Not only wrathful

    This is an interesting thread. Dunno if it is silly of me to continue.

    “But then you’d have to answer why no one ever has the maximum surviving offspring they can”

    I’m not doing too badly, lol. But the whole point of this thread wasn’t an autistic exercise in purism. The issue isn’t people physically maximizing offspring or not and that is a strawman.

    The issue which got me started on this thread is the opposite problem, that fertility is really, low — absurdly low — way below replacement in very rich countries — all while sex is an obsession.

    The time-traveler from any other time in history would find this very bizarre.

    “a “sex is strictly for reproduction” platform”

    Another strawman. The problem we have is the other extreme, that people are completely detaching sex from reproduction. Which strikes me as a whole lot of role play and not a lot of substance. All smoke and no fire.

    You group jerking off with sex? I was going to stay that nobody brags about their jerking off exploits. But then I suppose maybe that’s coming next.

    Well, $hit. I just made the mistake of googling: this is a brand new thing — hot off the press: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/autosexual-meaning-and-signs

    Yes, watch out everybody. Jerking off is the new sexual identity. Say only good things about jerking off if you want to keep your job. Incels are about to have their own month only its autosexual to you! Folks better start going through their twitter history.

    And so the stupid progression of sterile, sexless sex continues.

  116. @Not only wrathful

    “And why you feel other people should want it to.”

    Uh, if smart people hardly have kids, no more civilization, doi! I think I already said that.

  117. dfordoom says: • Website
    @DanHessinMD

    Total nonsense. Allowing for things like IVF, 99.9% of births come from sex.

    And about 99.9% of sexual activity does not result in pregnancy. You might not be aware of this but it is possible to have sex without producing babies. Try googling “contraception” – you’ll be amazed. Which means that the direct link between sexual behaviour and reproductive behaviour no longer exists.

    It is possible to be very very sexually active and have no children. It is also possible to be homosexual and have children. It is possible to be heterosexual and have no children.

    Which means that changes in sexual behaviour no longer have any effect on the birth rate.

    The decline of the birth rate is not directly linked to sexual behaviour. Reproduction is now a choice that people can make that has no connection with their sexual preferences or level of sexual activity.

  118. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    And Anonymous’s story doesn’t ring true to me. “it’s porn wot done it to me”. He’s a troll.

    That was my feeling as well. I’m inclined to file it under Things That Never Happened.

    The need for frequent porn watchers to continually dial up the novelty in porn does seem to be very common.

    Baloney.

    I’m inclined to agree with you on that. I’d want to see some actual evidence first. It may well be one of those things that “everybody knows” that turn out to be totally untrue.

  119. dfordoom says: • Website
    @DanHessinMD

    The issue which got me started on this thread is the opposite problem, that fertility is really, low — absurdly low — way below replacement in very rich countries — all while sex is an obsession.

    Which tends to support the argument that sexual behaviour and reproductive behaviour are now essentially two different things.

  120. @DanHessinMD

    I’m going to speak for you, because I am confident to do that.

    You look at the future and see tragedy. So much that you admire about the world has been created by the smartest people and those from Western civilisation. Yet you have also noticed that those people are dwindling away and therefore you reasonably extrapolate that what you admire about the world will fade.

    Tragedy will come through a lack of (selective) reproduction.

    At the same time as this tragedy is unfolding, you notice that there is more sex than ever. Not just the act, but sex is everywhere. You find this painful as sex is (mostly) necessary for reproduction and reproduction, of the type you prefer, is in crisis.

    You therefore feel that reproduction and sex need to be made almost synonymous for civilization to survive. (Oddly you also claim that reproduction and sex are in fact synonymous, but I’ll take that as rhetoric.)

    Yes, if it were impossible to have sex without reproducing, you would avert the particular crisis that you are worried about; but that would constitute the least popular political programme ever.

    People are choosing to reproduce less, and they like sex. I would even wager that sex is almost the only medium for spiritual expression in most people’s lives. This is its own problem.

    Anyway, removing the choice of people to delink sex and reproduction is an obvious non-starter, so what next?

    Why do people want fewer and fewer kids?

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    , @dfordoom
  121. “And about 99.9% of sexual activity does not result in pregnancy. You might not be aware of this but it is possible to have sex without producing babies. Try googling “contraception” – you’ll be amazed.”

    Roughly true. 99.9% is exaggeration but plainly most sex doesn’t result in pregnancy. I am not ignorant of the reality at all.

    “Which means that the direct link between sexual behaviour and reproductive behaviour no longer exists.”

    Utterly false. Sexuality and reproduction are directly linked. It can be true that most sex does not result in reproduction and also be true that the purpose of sexuality (either from a religious or evolutionary perspective) is reproduction.

    “Which means that changes in sexual behaviour no longer have any effect on the birth rate.”

    That is a bold statement that I wouldn’t make. Nations like Japan and Korea with very low fertility rates also have very little sex.

    “The decline of the birth rate is not directly linked to sexual behaviour. Reproduction is now a choice that people can make that has no connection with their sexual preferences or level of sexual activity.”

    Certainly there is less connection. But not no connection. People who regard reproduction as central to sex have far higher fertility. I know many such couples. Also LGBTQ groups have extremely low fertility. Gay men have very few children. Isn’t this obvious?

    • Replies: @Not only wrathful
  122. @DanHessinMD

    (This was not intended as a “reply”)

    Fat woman claims long-term “anorexia”

    Also, claims that being fat does not affect health

    Guardian supportingly and self-righteously reports

    https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2021/may/05/tess-holliday-recovering-from-anorexia

    Anorexia, literally without appetite, is the opposite of what she has. She has a binge eating/emotional eating disorder

    Best she acknowledge her challenges before she tries to address them. The usual intervention for anorexia, of banning her from too much exercise and feeding her weight gain shakes, ain’t going to help!

    Why do people endlessly fail to combine facticity with lack of judgement?

    Those who decry ‘judgement” mostly are just at war with facticity

    Those who support facticity tend to fall into endless judgement

    Understanding is facticity (noticing) without judgement

  123. I appreciate the thoughtful reply.

    Yes I do look at the future and see tragedy. That isn’t a bold prediction but a really obvious result of current trends, which I think you see also see and appreciate. I don’t limit things to Western Civilization either. I would say Korea and China, two nations that are absolutely essential in todays economic superstructure, have the same problem.

    I have not suggested a political program. I have no idea what one would look like.

    I think a change in culture is urgently needed on the other hand. Popular culture has struggled mightily to de-link sex and reproduction and has been fairly successful, with I would argue very negative consequences.

    I presume from your spelling of civilization and program that you are in England or a commonwealth country. If England, you may not have so many of the religious subgroups found here in America that strongly buck the low fertility trend — Amish, pro-life Catholic, Mormon, and so on. I mean really buck the trend, where a family with ten children would not be unusual. The ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the UK may be like this. Intelligent, well-educated people consciously having a lot of kids. What a thing!

    In all those instances, the link between sex and reproduction is explicitly part of the faith. Independent of one another, many faiths recognize the sacred link between sex and new life. There is a lot of wisdom there and faith communities that really embrace that may be showing the way. They have genuinely solved the problem, at least in their local petry dishes.

    Can such a link be created without religion? I don’t know.

    But conscientiousness about the reason sex exists and hard effort at self-control seems really important in a world where porn is everywhere. Porn and masturbation and a hundred other behaviors give a simulacrum of sex without possibility of reproduction and a disaster is manifestly unfolding.

    One policy idea that China tries is to make porn illegal. But China has the same problem. And porn is illegal in Korea, which has the lowest birthrate of any nation. This suggests that culture >> policy (or a political ‘programme’ as you call it). It may be that our cultural exports have swamped their policy.

    These are terribly important questions, which even the likes Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates and the titans Wall Street (The City if you prefer) will have to get around to. You don’t get to have a healthy economy or any economic growth at all in the long run with this unaddressed.

    What would be your solutions?

  124. @Not only wrathful

    My comment #124 is my reply, but apparently it wasn’t threaded as a reply.

  125. Wency says:
    @Alden

    The overall point is true, but if nothing else, I think most men do care a good bit about hair. And it actually might be one of the tastes among men that differ most (and which you could perhaps argue is somewhat learned or cultural), because I’ve known men who prefer women in “pixie cuts”, while for me such a cut easily takes a woman’s attractiveness down by 2-3 points — she couldn’t do worse except by shaving her head entirely.

    But yeah, men don’t much care about *changing* fashions in hair. If you liked 80s hair in the 80s, you probably still like it in the 2020s. I suppose what I like is a woman with long hair that has some volume and a bit of curl without being “big” or “curly” per se. I think this is a very common taste among men, though not universal, and I’ve felt this way since I was a kid.

  126. @DanHessinMD

    Popular culture has struggled mightily to de-link sex and reproduction and has been fairly successful, with I would argue very negative consequences.

    Contraception did that. It just took people, and people’s culture, a while to catch up

    Of course, even prior to contraception, sex was about a lot more than reproduction. Contraception merely freed people from risking reproduction when they wanted to engage in sex for non-reproductive reasons.

    The ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in the UK may be like this. Intelligent, well-educated people consciously having a lot of kids.

    Spirituality guides their lives. This takes much of the burden off sex as the medium for spirituality.

    Simply declaring that sex no longer carries more than reproductive implications, even if it worked, would leave mainstream people utterly spiritually bereft. It therefore won’t work and people will hate you for trying.

    Much of religion is outdated and can only thrive in cult-like atmospheres. What relevance do thousands of year old experiences really have on our lives? There is eternal wisdom, but, for most people, there needs to be more basic relevances. Why did Jesus turn healthy water into wine? Why didn’t his Dad get a paternity test? What did Jesus tweet?

    This might sound like a facile point but, while I believe that mythologies are useful approaches towards spiritual truth, they need to fit into the pattern of our lives for young people to understand. Harry Potter does just this. But we need to do much better. How are people supposed to understand their own subjectivity in a plastic world of Marvel, Darwin and antiquated texts?

    In all those instances, the link between sex and reproduction is explicitly part of the faith. Independent of one another, many faiths recognize the sacred link between sex and new life. There is a lot of wisdom there and faith communities that really embrace that may be showing the way. They have genuinely solved the problem, at least in their local petry dishes.

    Those people don’t have lots of children because some random told them that sex is about reproduction. They aren’t stupid. They know they have a choice. Instead, they have faith. They believe in continuity with the future (and the past). They reproduce because they want to reproduce, not because they have had the wool pulled over their eyes because “nature says so”. They have rich spiritual lives.

    But conscientiousness about the reason sex exists and hard effort at self-control seems really important in a world where porn is everywhere.

    You lack faith so everything is obtuse reason and self-control to you, but it doesn’t really work. Lecturing an alcoholic on how alcohol exists to make sure that all our liquids have no disease in them will fail. No matter how many times you tell them but “its purpose isn’t to make you drunk!”

    What is the “self” that “you” seek to “control” and what is the “you”, apart from the “self”, that seeks control?

    This is a deep spiritual and psychological question.

    One policy idea that China tries is to make porn illegal. But China has the same problem. And porn is illegal in Korea, which has the lowest birthrate of any nation. This suggests that culture >> policy (or a political ‘programme’ as you call it). It may be that our cultural exports have swamped their policy

    Japan is interesting. Its spiritual history is one of seeing life in every tree, rock and stream. It is beautiful and, when you see it too, true.

    But what is that elaborate mythology in a world of glass and steel skyscrapers, where nature is relegated to the role of intruder?

    The Japanese, with their cartoon works of science fiction, have implicitly been trying to rectify this. The young might see a flow of life through their anime. Its success in the West shows we need this too; but it is all a long way from being where it needs to be and is often bleak besides.

    What would be your solutions?

    Twofold:

    See above for hints at a spiritual revitalisation. How are young minds supposed to easily engage with immensely layered ideas like transcendence nowadays? Jesus is an impossibly remote figure, so they fall into grim misunderstandings like transgenderism instead…

    Also, if reproducing is seen as a public good then the state, as the prime actor which is supposed to guard that good, needs to make it easier. If it has to be artificial wombs and huge child tax breaks, then that is what people need.

    Overall, there are no simple solutions, but you seem to answer “why are people not having many children” with “they are not being sufficiently tricked into it”. This suggests you too lack faith and so need to cling onto easy answers and focus on potential catastrophes so that what you see as “you” can maintain the illusion of potential control.

    Further propagating solely materialist ideology is hardly going to help a problem largely caused by the triumph of materialist ideology

  127. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Not only wrathful

    Why do people want fewer and fewer kids?

    If you’re worried about falling birth rates then that is the only question that matters. Anything else is a distraction.

    And the fact that the Amish and Orthodox Jews still have lots of kids is irrelevant. The overwhelming majority of people today do not want to live like the Amish and they have no intention of doing so.

    And while it might be true that religion increases fertility that isn’t an answer. We live in a secular society and it’s slowly but inexorably becoming more secular. A solution that relies on religion isn’t going to work.

    Worrying about how much sex, or how little sex, people have is also irrelevant. Worrying about porn is also irrelevant. If people actually wanted more children they would have more children. There is absolutely nothing stopping people from having more children apart from the fact that they do not want more children.

    People still get married. They still have sex. But they do not have many children. The reality is that in the world in which we actually live having children or not having children is a lifestyle choice that has zero to do with people’s sexual behaviour. It’s not that people don’t like kids. It’s just that for most people one kid is enough to satisfy their desire for children.

    • Replies: @Wency
  128. @DanHessinMD

    I think your cause and effect are backwards. It isn’t porn that drives lack of reproduction, but lack of sex that drives porn.

    When we speak of widespread porn in culture, that is really a phenomenon of the last 20 years. The video streaming technology that allows widespread, free video on demand dates from around 2005, and prior to about 1995, porn was still mostly confined to magazines and DVD purchased in brick-and-mortar shops.

    As the birth rate charts show, births (and thus presumably reproductive sex) have been falling steadily throughout the last half-century, with brief periods of stabilization in the 1980s and late 1990s, which suggests that interest in reproduction is tied more to positivity about the future and economic prospects than porn consumption. (Plus, plastics attacking our balls and tanking our T and sperm counts…)

    It’s pretty obvious from looking at world literature that sex has not become decoupled from reproduction only recently. While people throughout history would have known about consequences of sex, they didn’t act as though sex was for reproduction. The historical divide is between people who think sex should be confined to publicly-condoned relationships vs those who don’t, with the latter camp being probably the majority if you judge by revealed preference. The philosophical positions found in official religious dogmas likely did little to influence people’s attitudes to sexual behavior, I’d guess.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  129. anonymous[110] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    You sound like my husband. He goes wild for those things plus fishnet stockings, garter belts and no panties, open-cup shelf bras…. I’m always happy to oblige. Maybe my fetish is catering to his fetishes.

    I don’t suppose your husband is into that wife sharing fetish is he? Because if he is I’m gonna be first in line!

  130. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Chrisnonymous

    which suggests that interest in reproduction is tied more to positivity about the future and economic prospects than porn consumption.

    One of the biggest and most catastrophic societal changes of the past century has been the disappearance of job security. Up until the 1960s you could get a decent well-paid job and feel confident you had a job for life. That’s all gone now (for both blue-collar and white-collar workers).

    When it comes to having children financial security is much more important than prosperity. It doesn’t matter how well paid your job is, what matters is how secure it is. If your job isn’t secure then having children is a huge gamble.

    Unless you think there’s a way to change our entire model of capitalism there’s no way of restoring job security. So if you’re serious about wanting to increase birth rates there’s not much choice other than to support the introduction of a UBI. A generous UBI. You might not like the idea, but it depends on how serious you are about increasing birth rates.

  131. Wency says:
    @dfordoom

    People still get married. They still have sex. But they do not have many children.

    It’s worth observing that at least some of the recent drop in TFR seems to be related to the decline of marriage. At least in the US. I think it’s also true of East Asia and Eastern/Southern Europe but not so much NW Europe and the rest of the Anglosphere, where I’m told marriage and childbearing have been more decoupled for a while now.

    See this article for example, which argues that the decline of marriage explains about half the decline of US TFR from 2008-2016:
    https://ifstudies.org/blog/no-ring-no-baby

    There are actually two effects at play: people who never marry are more likely not to have children, and people who marry late tend to have fewer children. The only child phenomenon is partly an effect of women marrying after 30.

    But admittedly as you look at the long run, marriage rates don’t explain that much. Marriage rates in the 1980s were about the same as in 1900 but TFR had fallen by half.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  132. @Alden

    Ask anyone who works in fashion. The CFO might be a straight man, but almost nobody else is. Straight men currently have less influence on fashion than women do on the Patriots’ starting line-up. The tendency of newspapers to blame “the male gaze” for womens’ clothing issues is just yet another example of their total ignorance.

  133. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    But admittedly as you look at the long run, marriage rates don’t explain that much. Marriage rates in the 1980s were about the same as in 1900 but TFR had fallen by half.

    It would be interesting to know if people have fewer children because they’re not marrying, or whether people are not marrying because they have less desire for children.

    There’s no chance of doing anything about declining birth rates unless we know why they’re declining but it’s a fiendishly complicated subject – there are so many factors involved and often it’s hard to tell which are causes and which are effects.

    One thing which some people overlook is that there is no need to go back to the birth rates of the 19th century. In fact it would be disastrous to do so. With infant mortality rates so low there is no need for people to have large families. All we really need to do is to persuade a significant number of couples with one child to have a second child, and persuade some couples with two children to have a third. It doesn’t sound very difficult. But in practice nobody has come close to achieving it.

    Mind you, no-one has made a serious attempt to give people back the financial security they had in the 1950s.

    Another thing which might be a factor in declining birth rates is the outrageous level of personal debt that people have these days. People with high incomes are living pay cheque to pay cheque. And people with quite high incomes often have virtually no savings at all. They’re living beyond their means and as a result they’re convinced they can’t afford children.

  134. Wency says:

    It would be interesting to know if people have fewer children because they’re not marrying, or whether people are not marrying because they have less desire for children.

    I’m sure it’s some of both. Potentially even for the same person. Take my case: I was very slow to decide that I wanted kids, so I married somewhat late, to a woman who’s several years younger than me but still not exactly young for a first-time mother. Having married somewhat late, our family will probably be smaller than if we’d married 5 or 10 years earlier.

    One thing that link I posted tried to do was show that the unmarried report a larger gap between desired fertility and actual fertility than the married.

    Why was I slow to decide I wanted kids? Well, I was never around kids.

    I was thinking about this recently, which is one of the mechanisms whereby low fertility begets low fertility — being around kids makes people want to have kids. A friend with a single toddler reports that his wife didn’t know for sure if she wanted more kids until just this past week, when she held a friend’s newborn. (“So small! So precious! Remember when ours was this tiny?”)

    For women, babies tend to have this effect. For men, it tends to be somewhat older kids, especially sons. The moment I knew for sure I wanted kids: I was hanging out with a friend as he discussed the basics of military strategy on the Pacific front of WW2 with his 10-year-old son, ha.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  135. Anonymous[147] • Disclaimer says:
    @Wency

    For men, it tends to be somewhat older kids, especially sons. The moment I knew for sure I wanted kids: I was hanging out with a friend as he discussed the basics of military strategy on the Pacific front of WW2 with his 10-year-old son, ha.

    It’s always interesting to go to an air show or military museum and see the dads with their 10~12 year old sons intently discussing the differences between an F4U-4 and and F4U-5 or the importance of the front slope angle on a Sherman tank or what would have happened at the Little Big Horn if the 7th Cavalry had kept its Spencer carbines rather than replacing them with Springfields. Childless men only interested in women for sex really, really miss out on so much.

    • Replies: @Wency
  136. Wency says:
    @Anonymous

    Agree. On a related note, I wonder sometimes if the inability to acknowledge sex differences is a factor in low TFR.

    I have a somewhat liberal friend who is into hardcore strategy board games, which is still a very male hobby. He has a single child, a daughter, whom he sincerely hopes will take an interest in the hobby.

    I wonder how often in the not so distant past, families with two children of the same sex pushed ahead for a third out of hopes of breaking the streak, and whether nowadays people avoid this strategy out of social pressure to treat sons/daughters the same (which sees its reductio ad absurdum in the current Woke ideal of not “imposing” gender on their children).

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  137. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Wency

    I wonder how often in the not so distant past, families with two children of the same sex pushed ahead for a third out of hopes of breaking the streak, and whether nowadays people avoid this strategy out of social pressure to treat sons/daughters the same (which sees its reductio ad absurdum in the current Woke ideal of not “imposing” gender on their children).

    That’s an interesting point I’d never thought of.

    You’re probably right that in the past most couples hoped for both a son and a daughter.

    Another example of just how many different factors have probably contributed to the fall in birth rates. And just how little hard evidence we have about the causes. You probably couldn’t even ask people in a survey today if they’d like children of both sexes because it would be sexist.

    There’s also the environmentalist factor – each additional child you have contributes to global warming!

    You might also be right in your earlier point about people just not being exposed to children as much.

    Then there’s helicopter parenting. Incredibly expensive in terms of both time and money (almost impossible to do with more than one child), and it’s really bad for the kids. In some ways the problem today is that people care too much about their children and end up suffocating them.

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