Sex Is Cheap? A Crash Course In “Sexual Economics”

With women beginning to outnumber men in college and the workforce, a recent Slate Magazine article examines how this growing imbalance affects relationships.

“If women were more fully in charge of how their relationships transpired, we’d be seeing, on average, more impressive wooing efforts, longer relationships, fewer premarital sexual partners, shorter cohabitations, and more marrying going on. Instead, according to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (which collects data well into adulthood), none of these things is occurring. Not one.”

Click here to check out the article, and please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Lance

    @Insert, I respect your opinion but I disagree with it. You make it sound like casual sex is an aberration and only practiced by “psychological damaged” individuals. That’s ridiculous. That would mean that virtually every college student and young adult (and everyone else) in the world are damaged or otherwise have issues. Casual sex is just that, casual sex, while relationship sex is a different kind of sex, the kind you engage in with your partners.

  2. 32
    starthrower68

    @ Lance and Insert,

    Having casual sex does not indicate a person’s level of emotional or mental health in all cases – some but that’s for the DSM IV so I won’t get into that.  Casual sex is what it is.  Not special.  It’s just a way to use up time.  Maybe you like the person maybe you could care less other than the sex.  If that works for ya, great.  IMHO, it’s tossed around like a cheap piece of lawn furniture these days.

  3. 33
    jrd

    InsertPseudonymHere@#29: “Sex is an important bonding activity between two people who love one another. I think engaging in it with someone you care about brings you closer in a way that other activities do not. If it becomes just another pleasurable activity, then it loses that power and becomes no more important to the relationship than enjoying good movie together.”

    Have you been reading my mind?

  4. 34
    InsertPseudonymHere

    @lance and star and me
    OK…this is my third attempt to post this…. (grrr) Oh mighty moderator, if you have dupes, kindly ignore the rest and pick the one that makes me sound the most brilliant!

    You might still disagree with me, and that is fine. I wanted to make  clear that I am not saying casual sex is an aberration that only “damaged individuals” engage in. I said that it does make it harder to bond in the future. I threw in another thought that obscured that point.

    When you engage in casual sex for a long time with many partners, you are training yourself to suppress or ignore the emotional aspects of the chemical process of bonding that sex and intimate touch engenders (Ref 1). If you are someone who won’t bond anyway, it doesn’t matter (Ref 2).

    If you are part of the other 99% of the population, you have trained yourself to ignore that bonding or maybe not feel it at all. It will take time to recover the ability to bond more closely through sex. Reprogramming  will take more or less time depending on the individual (no reference, just common sense). Of course, your would-be life partner might not stick around long enough for you to recover that ability and de facto become yet another casual sex partner. . .

    Ref 1 http://www.oxytocin.org/oxytoc/love-science.html
    Ref 2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy#Epidemiology
     

  5. 35
    C.

    @Insert, I don’t have time to read all the ‘science’ behind your comment, but I don’t buy it. One of my most happily married friends (married 11 years, with 3 kids) is a self proclaimed former ‘slut’ (I think she had about 25 partners in about six years). She met and fell in love with her husband instantly and they moved in together and got married less than a year after they met. When i hang out with them I feel like they are very much ‘bonded’, I don’t think she needed any ‘re-programing’ either. 
    And I’m not sure if its tacky to bring this up, but hasn’t Evan admitted to having ‘many partners’ in the past? And isn’t he in love with his wife?? Or maybe there is a magic number of partners that we can have and be are safe from this loss of emotional ability?

  6. 36
    InsertPseudonymHere

    @C.

    Evan wrote a blog on this very topic. He said it was OK, with two buts: 1) While you are out flinging you have less time to work on a real relationship, and 2) . He points out some attachment is likely to happen for the same reasons I said. I went from there off into supposition land that you might do some harm to yourself in the process of ignoring that attachment. I could be wrong.

    Evan closes with ” if you have an itch and you need to scratch it, go ahead. But if you keep scratching that itch over and over, eventually, it’s going to start to hurt. Take care of your libido, Melanie, but don’t lose sight of your emotions in the process.” Evan could be wrong too, but we both agree that each person is different and has to answer that question for themselves. I bet he would agree it is a mistake to simply ignore the question.

    http://www.evanmarckatz.com/blog/can-you-have-meaningless-sex-while-you%E2%80%99re-looking-for-a-long-term-relationship/2/

  7. 37
    makethemwork

    I know they are much maligned, but I used the book The Rules as my dating guide almost a decade ago now and snagged myself a husband.  @ – you are absolutely right that you have to make men work.  And I don’t care if people see it as manipulative or what have you, the proof is on my finger.  I never accepted last minute dates, I required him to pick me up for our first date like a gentleman (he wanted me to meet him somewhere); he paid for the date, I made him wait for sex.  It’s about respecting yourself as a woman.  I’m a feminist, too.  But the male/female dating game has not kept up with the feminist movement.  Men persue, that’s how they like it and that’s how you know they really want you.  My now husband did all the work of chasing me.  Right down to the diamond earrings he gave me on Valentine’s day just before he proposed.  This article sex is cheap pretty much spells it out.  Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?  What more proof do you need?  Make them work, girls.

  8. 38
    NonExist

    Different strokes for different folks.
    There are some who prefer the traditional way of men doing the pursuing and having a non casual attitude towards sex.  And it has worked and does work for many.

    And there are others who enjoy casual sex and are non the worse for it. They also have happy and fulfilled lives and they can also choose at any time to stop doing so as the former can choose to try it.

    I think the important thing is for people to be honest with themselves and potential partners about what they want and how they prefer to live.
    Now we know people lie to get what they want. If that was less the case, then people could match up with others more suitable.

    That is why I agree somewhat with Lance #28.  Once sex becomes totally free it will become a non issue.  And if they legalized prostitution EVERYWHERE and put it under legal auspices similar to hospitals and clinics, then I think tose who wanted strings free sex could go there and enjoy it and leave the committment minded people to find each other with less of the deceit and confusion that goes on at present.

  9. 39
    Clare

    This article is yet another reason why it’s imperative to seek out a man who values attachment highly in a relationship, not just sexual gratification. If sex is the only thing you are bringing to a relationship that he values, you are pretty much asking for trouble.

    I believe that most of a relationship should be spent heavily investing in an emotional and spiritual connection, a strong bond based on shared experiences, comfort etc. A man who values these things WILL show it in his commitment.

    Much as I think this article indicates the selfishness apparent in a lot of young men, women are also to blame for approaching a relationship as if sex is the only thing they have to offer. If you place a strong emphasis on friendship, communication, emotional connection, it quickly becomes apparent which guys are there for what reason, but I think women have to be the ones to bring those things to the forefront of the relationship.

  10. 40
    chris

    We are shifting from a dad society to a cad society. A patriarchy to a matriarchy. Long-term mating to short-term mating. All of this can be predicted from evolutionary theory and witnessed empirically in the anthropological record.

    For all you women who ever wanted a man to love you with all his heart, feminism has fucked you over. They (feminists) have changed the mating/social system to one where men do not love, they only use.

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