Q: You were too conventional when you said that a man who is in a relationship but stares at other women is rude. I want a woman who is sexually loyal, but who stares as hard as she wants at men she finds appealing, and I will do the same (with women). It’s a way to have fun together, to have life be an uninhibited overflowing of joy. I have no desire to actually have sex with another woman, but men evolved to stare and women evolved to be stared at. The human animal has such a lengthy evolutionary history that the more we allow people to safely express all sides of their nature, the happier they are. You’re usually pretty good, but work a little harder to help people attain expressive freedom versus repressive pain. —Enjoying Sexuality
A: I’d probably be less "conventional" if I were around 13 or 80, the ages at which adolescent rebellion seems to strike — both perfect times to act out by donning the t-shirt "Ask me about my nipple rings."
These days, I find it often makes sense to follow convention — all that boring stuff like stopping at red lights, greeting people with "Hello" instead of "Dirtbag!" and motioning the waiter over instead of beaning him on the head with a roll. In giving advice, however, I don’t care about what’s conventional or unconventional, just what seems to work. In this case, for most men, that’s whatever keeps their wife or girlfriend from keeping them up all night with her weeping.
Had you bowed to the convention of reading before dashing off criticism, you might’ve noticed that I didn’t say men were rude to look, just rude to let themselves get caught by the woman they’re with. It is big of you to allow your woman to go around staring at men, but it doesn’t work quite the same for the ladies.
Men are far more aroused by visuals alone, while most women seem to need touch, talk, and connection, and male and female behavior in strip clubs best lays out the difference.
Men often go alone, in hopes of having some sort of erotic experience. Women mainly go in groups, reports sociologist Beth Montemurro, as a bonding experience with their girlfriends.
She found women were "rarely" turned on by the male strippers; instead, they described the experience as "disgusting," "mortifying," "humiliating" and "funny." So, sure, just like you, a woman might buy herself a lap dance, but when’s the last time you got one because you were looking to make your buddies squeal with laughter? Although beautiful young women stampede to marry goatish old men with private jets, few men would take the homely lady CEO over the hot young temp. Women are well aware that men are very looks driven, so while you may convince some gullible young thing that you’re only checking out other women to liberate her from "repressive pain," she isn’t going to feel too hot watching you give yourself whiplash whenever another woman walks by. And no, not even if you include her in the "fun" by letting her follow behind you and mop up your trail of drool, or as you like to call it, your "uninhibited overflowing of joy."
Careful What You Witch For
Q: If you love someone, and they hurt you, why do you survive on the desire to see them wounded? The man I've had a passionate on-again, off-again relationship with for eight years recently told me our getting back together was a mistake, and that he's taking up with another woman...my competition. I love him, and want to be nice about it long enough to get some cold revenge.
A: If you love something...slash its tires? Oh, wait -- I think that's not quite how it goes. A lot of people feel like you do, and justify it with stuff like, "You know, there's a thin line between love and hate." No, there isn't. There's just a thin line between not getting what you want and hating the person who isn't giving it to you. If your love for somebody is contingent on being wanted by them, you don't really love them; you love being wanted. And while we're on accepted wisdom that isn't actually wise, revenge is not "best served cold" (or with a glass of Prosecco); it's best not served at all. You've got limited time on the planet, and spending it prosecuting the past is just going to mire you in feeling rejected. And what did the guy do that was so terrible? Start loving somebody else? That's exactly what you should do, and maybe can, if you work on accepting that it's over and move on -- and not just because the judge orders you to stay 75 yards away at all times.
© 2009 Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.
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