Archive for September, 2010
Liar, liar, Oscar Mayer! Faking things…some things…any things…seems to come naturally to us, doesn’t it? When we’re young, we fake mom’s signature on a less than stellar grade…as teenagers, we fake our generous knowledge of sex to appease the Cool Gods…and later, we fake IDs to gain access into clubs or to get our hands on alcohol…all in attempts to complete the cool facade. As we age, we become impressively more skilled at faking it…we fake headaches to get out of sex, we fake illnesses to get out of work, we fake plans to avoid “friends” we’d rather avoid, we fake finances and careers for social adoration, we fake tans, nails, hair color, eye color, cup size, and penis size. The list goes on and on…orgasms seem a logical place holder on that list…after all, if we’re willing to fake so much, why not fill in the missing “O’s” from time to time? But, why do we fake orgasms? And, more importantly, should we?
Women have long been perceived as the dominant orgasm fabricators. Why? Because, without much physical evidence, women can easily get away with it. Let’s say…after a long, sweaty romp, she realizes that no matter how determined he is to make the fat lady sing, the curtain is just not coming up. So, she decides to hurry things along, force the curtain, and get on with show. She waits for the right moment…delights him with a few proverbial on-the-edge indicators: “oooh” and “mmmm…yes right there!”… sucks in her breath and does her best fat lady imitation…huffing and puffing, squirming and confirming, shaking…and faking…she can be quite the actress, and he’s none the wiser. Next up on stage…him! Once his standing ovation has retreated, the show is over…time for refreshments. According to research, an average of 75% of interviewed women admit to faking it occasionally. That’s the majority. So, odds are, either you’ve played the joker…or the fool… at one time or another. Either way, the question looms: Why fake an orgasm?
Why do women fake orgasms?
1. It’s just not happening. She recognizes the fact that her present climactic potential has no…well…potential…regardless of his tireless effort. She also knows that sex will continue until she climaxes. So, rather than the drag-out, she opts for the quicker, less-mess fake-out.
2. She wants to get it over with. Maybe she’s just not that into sex that night, not that into him, or not that into either. He may be doing it all wrong, and she’s not forward enough to show him what she needs. Maybe she’s exhausted from a long day, has a lot on her mind, and is finding it difficult to de-stress. A mind racing with “things to do” is as big a mood zapper as the dreaded tiny tickler. If she can’t focus on the ABC’s of sex, it’s unlikely she’ll make it to “O.”
3. She wants to avoid hurting his feelings. She’s well aware that his ego is cozily nestled in his ability to send her soaring. So, if she knows she’s grounded temporarily, she may fake it simply to protect his ego. After all, she’ll need that ego in tip-top shape for her next romp.
Of course, women aren’t the only fakers on this side of the orgasmic showdown. Men are just beginning to open up about their not-so-honest “shoot-outs.” Studies show that on average, 30% of interviewed men admit to faking orgasms at least once. And those are just the ones willing to admit it. My guess…more closet fakers lurk about. Women complain, as they should, that the media and the porn industry create this illusory voluptuous vixen as a goal for us and project that image onto men…leaving us twisted into a pretzel in an attempt to achieve the perfect balance of curves and flavor. But men aren’t trailing too far behind us. They’re now facing the same pressures…expected to possess rock hard bodies, become erect at a moment’s notice, and screw anything in female form with the longevity of the energizer bunny. But the reality is…men can’t achieve the air-brushed ever-horny myth anymore than women can. Men may be just as selective with a mate as women. And, while they’d like to, they can’t keep going and going and going. Yet, they feel the pressure to perform with such stamina. Result: an occasional fake-out. Screw the energizer bunny.
Why do men fake orgasms?
1. He’s just not that into her or the sex. She may simply not do it for him. He may have fantasies or desires that she’s unwilling to fill. Too much inhibition will eventually bore the horniest of men. Or she may be a selfish lover…allowing him to do all the work. By the time he’s done with her, he’s lost his gusto. So, if he feels he’s losing his erection and going down anyway, he may decide to go down in a blaze of glory, give her a few good thrusts, and then fake the rest. It would seem men would be hard-pressed to fake it, but that’s not always the case. Lack of evidence can be tossed away with a condom, talked away, or just not noticed in her throes of passion. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, apparently, men and women are equally cunning…when they’re not cumming.
2. He’s over stressed and exhausted. Stress and exhaustion can deter a man’s sex drive too. If he’s overly preoccupied with work or has a lot on his mind, sex may not be at the top of his list. But he doesn’t want to disappoint her. If she’s in the mood, he’ll give it a go, whether he’s tired…or wired. He may begin the race, but not quite make it to the finish line. Faking the finale is gentler on his ego than admitting he can’t keep up the race.
3. He has performance anxiety. Stage fright. Insecurity can deflate an erection like nothing else. If he’s feeling unsure of himself, but is still expected to perform, he may not be able to orgasm.
Whatever the reason, whoever the faker, faking orgasms isn’t healthy for our sex lives. The fake “O” only succeeds in leaving one person fooled and the other unsatisfied. So, who really wins there? Not the fool…and certainly not the joker. The occasional fake-out isn’t a big deal and may be psychologically beneficial to both parties. However, faking it on a regular basis is harmful both to our sex lives…and to our relationships. By faking it, we’re being deceitful…lying to our partner. No one wants to be deceived in that way. We want to know we’re pleasing our partner…otherwise, what’s the point? And by lying about what rocks our world and sends us into orgasmic convulsions, we’re robbing ourselves of a great sex life. We have to tell, and show, our partner what we want. If our partner thinks he’s successful at bringing us to climax, he’ll continue with the same O-less methods…and continually fail to satisfy…leading us on a path of resentment and thoughts of going elsewhere for satisfaction.
Odds are coming clean with our spouse about the fake orgasms will open doors to communication…as long as it isn’t done in a critical manner. “You never ____!” “You do it wrong!” “You just can’t make me orgasm.”…all close doors, shatter egos, and cancel any future trips to “O” town. However, statements such as, “I really like it when you____.” “Can I show you something that makes me crazy?” “I need more foreplay. I’ll trade you more ____ for more foreplay.”…all open doors, preserve egos, and confirm many future trips to “O” town…first class.
Exposure is catching…exposing ourselves sexually will lend itself to exposing ourselves emotionally with our partners. If we’ll openly discuss and execute ways to please one another in the bedroom, we’re more likely to follow suit in every other room of the house. However, resentment brought on by bedroom dismay may eventually burn the whole house down. Be open, be honest, be uninhibited.
And when doing the sexual limbo, don’t stoop too low…you may just fall and miss the real “O.”
“It’s just that all men are sure it never happened to them and most women at one time or another have done it so you do the math.” ~ Meg Ryan ~ When Harry Met Sally
“I’ll have what she’s having.” (link to Sally’s infamous fake-out)
Midlife crisis. It’s simple utterance conjures up thoughts of 50 year old men wearing pathetic synthetic rugs to cover those shiny bald spots, candy-apple red sports cars intended to represent his youthful, virile speed and attract just the right combination of bimbo and daddy complex in a girl half his age, desperate affairs to reaffirm his manhood, and divorce followed by remarriage to that bimbo who is, albeit disgusting, perhaps a savvy financial planner taking advantage of her sugar daddy’s newfound zest for life. Movies, sitcoms, songs, jokes…all had a helping hand in creating the commercial image of the notorious midlife crisis. A crisis previously dominated by men. But isn’t it a logical assumption that women suffer the same insecurities, fears, and regrets…only in different ways? That she, at some point in her life, begins to wonder what she’s missing? How life may be passing her by? Men get more power, more prestige, more money, freedom from child bearing, not to mention PMS…must they also be the only ones allowed to ponder a midlife do-over? Somewhere in our 30s, we may find ourselves wondering what happened to that fabulous life we had scrapbooked together in our mind. We may wonder why pieces are torn, tattered, or missing all together. What happens when we find ourselves slowly sinking with no life vest in sight? When we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a mid-life, what-life, crisis?
Past generations of women have burned bras, led women’s rights rallies, juggled picket signs, and paved the way for our present day freedoms as women. We finally caught up with men. We can have it all, can’t we…dreams, families, careers, deadlines, asshole bosses, parent-teacher meetings, after-school activities, crushing pressures, insecurities, and…the Big Daddy every daddy faces sooner or later…the midlife crisis. Wait…women can have a midlife crisis? A “crisis” is a form of drama, right? Women own the copyrights to anything of, or relating to, drama. So, yes. Women can and do have midlife crises. But her crisis is defined differently from that of a man, has never been talked about, and is only now beginning to stick it’s never-before-seen, repressed head out of the closet. Here’s another shocker…women are going toe-to-toe with their midlife meltdown much sooner than men…as soon as 30. Girls mature faster than boys…and apparently… fall apart faster. In theory, we CAN have it all, but in reality “it all” becomes relative, and quite simply…unrealistic.
Lia Macko and Kerry Rubin, prominent journalists and co-authors of the book Midlife Crisis at 30 , have hit on a topic that has women everywhere taking notice…an epidemic that, until now, remained unnoticed and unidentified. Their findings…findings resulting from pondering their own manic panics… have earned them book deals, guest spots on major morning news and talk shows, and the attention of every desperate housewife, working wife, and mail-order wife with a pulse. Macko and Rubin interviewed over 100 college educated women ranging in age from 25-37… and found that around age 30, the average woman found herself at a crossroads…a crossroads at which marriage, motherhood, and career were overwhelmingly colliding and threatening to mow her down like knee-deep weeds. Studies showed 75% of these 100 women claimed their professional lives interfere with their personal lives. A woman finishes college around age 25, spends the next few years trying to jump start a career, marrying, and beginning a family…3 things that together, form a perfect storm. That storm unleashes sometime after 30, once she’s had a chance to attempt them simultaneously. Upon entering college, she had it all figured out. She knew exactly how her life would play out in the next decade. She’d have the perfect husband, amazing children, promising career, blah, blah, blah. But as most balloons do, this balloon of expectations gets manhandled and pops…only to wither to the ground in wrinkled, defeated shreds…each shred representing a sliver of her ex- expectations.
Midlife crisis is defined as “a period of dramatic self-doubt that is felt by some individuals in the ‘middle years’ or middle age”…typically triggered by the realization that one is running out of time to accomplish the things he had hoped for. Women are hitting this malicious milestone a decade earlier then men. Why? Men panic after the fact…women before. While men in midlife crises tend to focus on regretted decisions, strive to regain their youth, and wonder where all the time has gone…women in midlife crises look ahead. They wonder how to get back on track, what lies ahead, and where the time WILL go, rather than where it HAS gone. Society implies that we SHOULD be able to juggle everything — marriage, motherhood, and career. But when we find we’re unsuccessful at triply duplicating ourselves and conquering all three, we blame ourselves… not the system. Rather than reexamining the system, we wonder what’s wrong with us… “Why can’t we handle it? Other women make it look so easy.” It’s not easy…women are just great at covering, want to be perceived as perfect, and indirectly lead ourselves right into the arms of the Midlife Mangler in our 30s.
She could be the woman who graduated college, married, and chose her children over her career…temporarily, or so she thought. Once the kids are older, she can pick up right where she left off, right? Ignorance is bliss, huh? Fast forward several years. Her kids are in school, and her husband has the impressive career she dreamed of with a resume that makes her question the last decade of her life. She has no idea how to begin a resume…because no one cares that she’s been “mommy” for the last several years. She has no marketable skills, no experience, and to top off this working girl wannabe’s attributes…no confidence. What now? She has a degree, but when asked for references, experience, or skills, she can proudly say… “I can wipe a mean ass…just ask my kids!” Then, she can kiss that job goodbye. So, now, she’s left to wonder… “What now?” “Who am I?” “How do I find ME again?”
A midlife meltdown could also belong to the woman who has devoted the last decade of her life to her career, works 70 hours a week, has no prospects for a husband, and no foreseeable future surrounded by a family of her own. She may wonder “How can I maintain success at work and find time to have a family too?” “When I do come home, what will I have to come home to?”
Then again, she may be the woman who’s happy in her job and her marriage, but ready to start a family. Only, she wonders “How will I manage everything?” “How will I be at every board meeting, anniversary, BBQ, first step, first word, and school play?” The realization that she can’t is the nudge that sends her into panic mode. And she may be the woman who already has a husband, family, and career, but struggles to keep it all together. She may be so run down from starring in the amazing 8-armed one-woman show that she finds herself fantasizing about doing one thing…running…running to find solitude…running to find peace…running to find herself.
A midlife crisis is a natural transition in our lives…an inevitable one. It’s a transition that proves personal growth on our part, rather than failure. A transition from young adulthood (when we feel young, unstoppable, and immortal) to middle adulthood (when we realize those youthful feelings are as quickly fleeting as our twenty-something supple tush.) Midlife crisis shouldn’t be a time to sink, but a time to reassert ourselves, redefine our goals, and redirect our expectations. We learn, grow, and change along with the world around us. What we wanted in our 20s may not necessarily be what we want in our 30s. Society tell us we can have “it all.” Redefine “it all.” Maybe “it all” is overrated. Maybe having “enough” is what we should be striving for. A healthy balance. A mix of nourishing what we’ve started, taking charge, and redefining what’s to come. Get out of the passenger seat and take the wheel. But, stay within the speed limit or you’ll find yourself spiraling out of control once again.
Whatever her situation, the average 30+ year old woman will one day wake up to find herself waist deep in unfamiliar waters, as her ship has sprung a leak. Her marriage, family, and career will butt heads, form the perfect storm and slowly sink her. If her ship sinks, not only will she go down with it…but her husband, children, and career that represent her passengers will go down as well. The only way to patch that gaping hole is to admit to her co-captain — a.k.a. her husband — that there is, in fact, a hole threatening to take them down, ask for his help in patching that hole, and chart a new, more exciting course. Expect the unexpected. No sailing adventure is complete without the occasional squall, overboard upchuck, or attempted pirate takeover. So, batten down the hatches, hold the upchucker’s hair, and fend off the pirates…all in a day’s work for the modern woman.
She is woman…hear her roar.
Too much emotion. Too soon devotion. Too many tears. Unfounded fears. When verbalized, all synonymous with drama in the eyes of the all-American male. Men love many things…a hot curvaceous girl invitingly shooting him come-hither eyes, a winning touchdown seconds before a game’s end, freaky uninhibited sex in…well, anywhere…location doesn’t really concern them, a thick juicy steak big enough to consume the plate it’s served on…just to name a few. Any combination of which will render him putty in her hands. But one sure fire way to callously jerk him from his state of euphoric bliss is to throw a little DRAMA his way! Men infamously hate drama…and, of course, women cannot seem to exist without it. I once read a one-liner from a man that summed up how he claimed men feel about drama. In reference to a particular girlfriend of his, he wrote “The juice wasn’t worth the squeezing.” Wow, that says a lot, does it not? Too much juice on her end and not enough thirst on his. Men and women have so much to learn about one another…but in order to learn and enjoy the “juice,” he has to take the time to squeeze. Otherwise, he’ll have so many different flavors of “juice” on his palate, his mouth will be in a permanent state of sour- induced contorted twists. And, walking around with a face like that, his “juice” problems will be all dried up.
Why do men hate drama?
To a man, a woman who is verbalizing her feelings in depth and dwelling on them is creating drama. He hates drama because he doesn’t understand it. Men don’t verbalize problems or feelings. They internalize…go into their mental cave to fix the problem. And if she tries to force her pretty little only-trying-to-help head into that cave, she’ll likely lose it. WARNING: NO interruptions while the “fixing” process is underway. He’s a problem-solver, not a detail thinker. If she complains, cries, or presents him with a problem, he immediately puts on his fix-it hat. He feels he needs to determine the problem, triangulate a solution, and put that solution into motion…then, and only then, in his mind, has he done his job, protected his woman, and made her happy. This is his way of showing his love for her. But, too many emotional details cloud his plan of action and only frustrate him…however he forges on. Once he’s zeroed in on and offered a solution, she gets angry. He’s confused…she had a problem, he solved it, but she’s still angry? He’s not sure what she wants from him. Both have hit a dead end. Let the fighting begin. After going a few rounds, he realizes that he doesn’t know how to fix the problem because she won’t allow him to. She’s just tied his hands behind his back while spoon feeding him a steady stream of drama that he doesn’t know how to digest…eventually he’ll get full and spit it back at her, walk away, and distance himself from the perceived problem. If he’s not allowed to fix it, he feels like a failure. If a man is made to feel like a failure, he pulls back. If he pulls back, she assumes he doesn’t care. Result: more DRAMA…more pulling back…more drama…more pulling back…disconnect. Tip for men: Listen, don’t fix. Determining the “whys to her cries” without attempting the fix may just turn those cries into bedroom surprise.
Why do women create drama?
Some have theorized that women create drama in an unconscious attempt to put a man on the spot and find out his emotional strengths and weaknesses…in essence, judge him on how he handles emotional situations…is he a listener? encouraging? patient? selfish? empathetic? supportive? It’s hypothesized that this “test” acts as gauge as to what her future may be like with him. While this is not a scientific theory, it’s a theory that very much intrigues me. By nature, we strive to find the best suitable mate for ourselves AND the best possible father for our children. His emotional gauge is vital information to this search. A way of eliminating the “bad eggs” and revealing the “golden egg.”
Some scientists claim that a woman who creates an excessive amount of drama and displays needy or clingy behavior was likely the child of neglectful parenting…that the child was accustomed to begging for love and attention and is, therefore, conditioned to think drama is the only way of achieving it. Ironically, in the end, that drama will only achieve the opposite, as she’ll suffocate any man who attempts to love her. Fan a flame, you see light. Suffocate it, you see nothing.
Cold hard truth? Women are emotional beings. Emotional all of the time, yes. More emotional once a month, absolutely. You can bet…she hates her monthly friend more than he does. He may be held captive and forced to watch the hormonal sideshow starring the two-headed, flame-eating woman… but she’s the one tied up emotionally and taken hostage by her alter ego freakshow only to later wonder… “Who the hell was that?” But that’s just once a month…best advice…lower your head and NEVER, ever look her in the eye, as it’s seen as a challenge. And going up against two heads spitting fire cannot end well.
She shares her feelings, emotions, and problems not because she wants him to “fix” them. She shares them to establish and nourish relationships. She shares them because she loves him, because she wants to bond with him, because she needs to feel that he understands her. It’s just that simple. She’s not looking for a solution. She doesn’t want, or need, him to fix her problem. If she does, she’ll ask. Otherwise, she only wants him to listen. She wants him to validate her feelings and empathize with her. She wants him to be quiet, listen…and say “I know. You’re right. I can totally see why you would feel that way. Is there anything I can do?” Validation…check. Empathy…check. This response will calm her, reinstate him as her rock, and make her fall in love with him all over again. Soon her meltdown will begin to solidify. Once it does, she’ll be equipped to move on, get over it, and possibly get it on. Emotion (hers, not his) followed by sex is the ultimate connector. With the almighty power of this combo, not only is he her emotional rock…he’s her sexual Hercules.
Men must realize that women and drama go hand in hand…understand this, accept it, and learn how to respond in a way that will make her respond. Cutting off her emotional sharing will in turn cut off her connection to you. Keep all connecting roads open…and you will find many short cuts to the destination of your sexual choice. Women must realize that sometimes we overdo the drama. While it’s a necessary evil with us, too much “evil” will wear down the devil himself. Keep the emotional sharing on a short leash. Too much running rampant will result in piles of crap everywhere. And if he’s not allowed to clean it up, he may leave the park.
Realistically, it’s not within a woman’s grasp to attain No-Drama mama status. But, with a little understanding and effort, she can totally rock his world as his Low-Drama mama.
Remember youth, innocence, and naivety? When love seemed magical and effortlessly simple… black and white…a fairy tale? Young girls are inundated with expectations of idealistic love…happily ever after…you know, the stuff story books are made of – where apparently, love is an absolute…an unchanging cloud on which to float blissfully above the rest of the world exempt from life’s loveless problems. In the land of the storybook, the cloud is a one-dimensional shape defined by hard, finite lines. However, in reality, clouds are ever-changing and most definitely not one-dimensional. What happens when that cloud dissipates? After all, nothing stays the same, does it? Love, like everything else in our imperfect world, changes…it grows, it consumes, it elates, it diminishes, it shatters, it tolerates, it hurts, it ends, it overcomes…and sometimes…it splits in two. And we find our hearts are occupied by not one, but two loves…a revelation that is anything but easy…anything but happily ever after. To hell with the fairy tale! Is it ever possible to regain control of our heart? If not, how do we accommodate it?
Some feel there is no possible way to love more than one person at a time…perhaps because they simply have yet to come face to face with their own two-timing heart. And perhaps they have, but chose denial as a means of defense. Or, perhaps the idea of being in love with two people is so frightening, so intimidating that it’s just plain easier to refuse it’s possibility. Why deny? Denial is like a vicious dog chasing along behind you…eventually, you’ll tire…when you do, it’ll catch up and bite you in the ass.
While some choose to deny its existence, others struggle to tame it. According to research, romantic love for more than one person is not only possible, but extremely common. Most often, a second love isn’t sought out, but somehow creeps up when we’re not looking. Psychologists say that we may fall in love with two people for subconscious reasons…because they possess two different sets of characteristics…that those characteristics are complimentary to one another, rather than contradictory. For example, one may provide security, unconditional love, devoted partnership, and keep us in touch with our grounded self…while the other may provide sparks, romance, unpredictability, and allow us to experiment with a new unexplored self. It is believed that a main motivator in life is the need to expand ourselves and become more effective. One method for accomplishing this is through relationships. We need to feel like we make a difference…like we have a profound effect on someone or something. Sometimes we find that in a most unexpected place…a second love. Relationship stages are another culprit if and when we find ourselves in love x 2. One could be in the beginning infatuation stage and provide us that new love adrenaline high…which makes us feel attractive and vibrant again. The other may be progressed to a more mature stage and provide us security, rather than an ego boost. It may sound odd, but with complimentary personalities, the two halves make a whole. It may also sound a bit selfish…but a human being is, by nature, a selfish being…like it or not.
Psychologists also argue that our heart is capable of loving more than one parent, more than one child, more than one friend…why not more than one romantic partner? While they claim it IS possible…and common, they also point out that it IS incredibly problematic. And when interviewed, people who claimed to have loved more than one person at a time also owned the fact that if the tables were turned, they weren’t sure they could stand the idea of their beloved in the arms of another. Love is a bitch…no?
Whatever the rhyme or reason, we do sometimes find ourselves in love with more than one person. Control is something we each crave and aspire for. While we may be able to control many things in our lives, the heart is NOT one of them. The heart cannot be controlled…cannot be bartered…cannot be directed. Unlike our brain, it’s not bound by morality, laws, or vows. It is what it is…frightened, vulnerable, susceptible, and exposed…the one hole in our otherwise impenetrable suit of armor. When we do find our heart painfully split down the middle, that split slowly festers and cracks under the pressure of guilt, social expectation, and normality. Eventually, that crack in our heart gives way. Result: full blown heart…break.
For an unmarried person, this terrain is a bit less tricky…easier to navigate. Professionals say in this case, it may be best to let both people go and start anew…advice I find a bit lackadaisical and senseless. But for a married person who’s pledged his life to one person whom he loves, and finds himself loving another simultaneously…it’s a treacherous terrain full of sinkholes, mountain ledges, and quicksand that cannot be navigated by foot, but requires an air rescue…He not only needs to be rescued from the terrain, but also from himself…rescued from the mental torment of caring for two without hurting either. This is a feat many have tried, but few have had success with. It’s one thing to love a person…it’s another thing entirely to devote your life to a person whom you love. Obviously, we can’t control what’s in our heart, but we can control our actions stemming from it. Love is beyond our control…devotion, on the other hand, is a conscious decision to succumb to – and nourish - the love we’ve devoted ourselves to…AND…when need be… with another love…a conscious decision not to.
Love triangles, while new to some, are old hat in the tangled world of life and love. The head and the heart will frequently find themselves at odds with one another, as logic and emotion are eternal enemies. So, someday we may find that our house of love — a.k.a. our heart — has somehow become a duplex in which two loves reside. If this happens, it seems we have two options: we can attempt to evict one, bulldoze the dividing wall, and make more room for the original tenant — OR — we can allow them both to stay with the knowledge that one will squat while the other pays both rents. Bear in mind…the average person won’t support a freeloader for long. If rent continues to rise, our dependable renter will likely pack up and move. Keep it simple, keep it painless, keep it rent-controlled…one heart, one love.
Words of advice from the head. Maybe the heart will take heed.
“Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” ~ Robert Frost
Throughout adolescence … when we just wanted to be noticed by our heartthrob obsession — throughout college… when we wanted that heartthrob to notice…AND nail us — we tended to mentally pair heartthrob with jock. The jocks seemed to have it all, didn’t they? Though they peaked in high school or college and were popular for only a few years, it seemed they would rule in the game of love for all eternity. They strutted and boasted their “leader of the pack” badge proudly. Adored by girls and envied by guys. High school girls seductively swooned and college girls boldly went commando, all in efforts of landing the hot, brainless jock. I guess every jock had his day. But as we age, the jock may find his days are numbered. Most adult women — I say most because some women never mentally left their dorm rooms behind — but most come to value brains over balls. Why? We finally realize there IS life after school. We’re on a crash course with reality and quickly deduce that a jock is a great popularity ticket, but lousy life mate. So,we’re on the hunt for a provider…a man who will be successful, make good money, and provide for that family we so long for. After all, that IS the next step in our female existence, isn’t it? Only thing is…those geeks we’ve avoided and ostracized all through school are the physical embodiment of both brains AND balls. And we’ve given them the shaft. But ironically, now we want their shaft!
Geeks rejoice! We now have scientific proof that jocks don’t have it all. Scientists have found that more intelligent men have better sperm quality. One particular study dating back to 1985 was recently reexamined, and scientists uncovered a connection between intelligence and sperm quality. In this study, over 400 Vietnam War veterans (aged 31-44) were given a battery of intelligence tests — verbal and mathematical — and each had a sperm sample taken. The men scoring above average on the intelligence testing were found to also have the best sperm…higher sperm count, higher concentration, and better mobility. And the men scoring lower on the intelligence testing were found to have a lower sperm count, lower concentration, and weaker swimmers.
Some scientists claim that more intelligent men may have healthier sperm because they are likely to make more educated, better informed decisions in their lives, be more physically fit, and have white collar jobs with fewer health risks — all of which would, in turn, affect the health of their sperm. However, this study was able to make adjustments for lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking, drug use, abstinence, and obesity. What they found was that lifestyle factors were irrelevant. That an Einstein, whether a smoker, drinker, or obese pot head, STILL had healthier sperm than a less intelligent man making healthier choices. So, it looks like this claim has about as much potency as Joe Bob’s…or Uncle Rico’s… sperm.
Scientists are instead leaning towards genetics as an explanation for an intellect/sperm connection. It is theorized that plain old good genes could be responsible for geek virility. That intelligence AND sperm quality are traits influenced by the same gene. They further theorize that intelligence has genetically evolved as a means of attracting a better mate. The animal kingdom is constantly changing and evolving to keep the species thriving. Male animals develop everything from the largest mane to the most alluring birdsong in competition for mates. Basically, whatever “fluff” is needed to ensure successful mating, we’ll evolve, develop, and use that “fluff” as bait.
Could it be that intelligence is our modern day “fluff.” We women no longer need our mates to protect us with brute strength. Our present day caves are offices, suburban houses, and SUVs. Survival in this world is achieved via intelligence. And it seems intelligence and sperm spunk are biologically intertwined. If intelligence level is a predictable indicator for sperm quality, we’re subconsciously attracted to it. It’s our innate struggle to propagate. So, if we seek out intelligence…and also score optimal sperm… we’re ensuring not only basic survival, but also excellent mating genes. Check…and check! If intelligence is a gene that has evolved to attract a mate, then perhaps the geeks are simply the most highly evolved males of our species…and the most virile. Sad day for the jock…and his rhyming appendage. ;0
It’s long been joked that men think with their little heads, rather than the ones atop their shoulders…but armed with this knowledge, I wonder…maybe the joke is on us. Maybe brains DO have balls.
Long live the geek!
For some, the search for a ready-made soul mate is a lifelong, usually unfulfilled, journey. When we think of “soul mate,” we tend to envision a person who enters our life, rids it of flaws, perfects us indirectly, gives us everything we need, and sets our future into fantastical motion. Sounds egotistical, doesn’t it? To labor under the delusion that there is one being in the entire universe who will complete us…that until we unite with this one person, we will remain incomplete and miserable. That nothing we do in our lives matters until we meet, mark, and marry our soul mate…Is life not completely saturated with pressure as it is? Now the pressure is on to single-handedly find one person – a nameless, faceless stranger – on this massive planet out of billions upon billions upon billions. Our life, happiness, and success depend on it. Now, that’s pressure. And to think…we get stressed trying to meet deadlines, pay bills, and prevent our kids from “looking” at each other. A global search for a non-existent fairy tale should be a piece of cake…shouldn’t it? Why do we feel that we’re incomplete in the first place? And why does the fear of remaining incomplete scare us into hoping our other half is roaming the world in search of us as well? Will our need to feel grossly over-important ever cease? Will our quest for something bigger and better never end? Maybe the term “soul mate” needs further examining. Perhaps a “mateover.”
The term “soul mates” has been defined many ways. The dictionary defines it as “two people who share a deep affinity with one another…such as a husband, wife, lover…two people who are compatible with each other in disposition, point of view, or sensitivity.” Webster seems lacking, does it not? As long as two people are similar and in love, they can be soul mates? uh…no. How exactly does “soul” factor into that equation? It doesn’t. Webster is simply describing a suitable mate…but soul mate, no.
Soul mate tends to suggest a more mythical background. At least this is the idea movies, romance literature, and legends have bestowed upon us. Greek philosopher Plato’s definition seems a more excitingly tasty pill to swallow than Webster’s, but one of gargantuan size nonetheless…at least for me. Plato theorized that our soul must split in two before birth in order to indulge in the earthly experience…a male and female soul…that we represent only half of our soul and spend our lifetime searching for our other half. Once we find that half, we become whole and find peace and happiness. But until we find that missing half, we’re an empty shell… void of…well, life. This definition definitely brings “soul” into the equation, but abandons all sense of practicality. Imagine if this were true…that our other half is roaming the Earth somewhere and we must find him/her to achieve true love and happiness. We spend our days toiling away at our half-souled existence while our twin soul could be proposing to someone else in a quaint corner of a small bistro in Paris. He could be struggling to survive life in the crime-ridden streets of some forgotten country. He could be training a child in the ways of holding a gun and mindlessly murdering a stranger in Africa. He could be reading a paper on a subway in Japan. He could be scooping elephant poop in an Indian circus. Or, he could be in the restroom of your local McDonald’s as you order a cheeseburger, but you just miss him because you’re stuffing your face and not patrolling the john. You get my point. The odds are stacked so high against us finding one person on such an expansive planet…it’s a ridiculous notion. Take those odds and head to the casino…you’re much more likely to hit the jackpot.
If we spend our whole lives with binoculars glued to our face looking for something or someone who doesn’t exist, we may miss the one person who’s been under our nose the whole time…the one who would love us and accept us – flaws and all…the one we could be happy with if we’d stop waiting for the clouds to part, the birds to sing, and the world to suddenly make sense with every prospective spouse we meet. Reality…and life are waiting. Some hopeless romantics out there choose to ignore reality and wait patiently for their soul mate to find them. But they’ll be waiting for quite a while. Their soul mate (if defined as one’s long lost twin soul who will be perfect in every way and make life a virtual utopia) owns a timeshare in a magical faraway place with Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Who knows when he’ll be back this way…
Maybe we need to redefine the term soul mate…understand that we aren’t limited to only one in our lifetime. Maybe a soul mate is a person we’re lucky enough to find in our corner of the Earth who is willing to love, respect, and put up with our ever changing faces through life’s many minefields. Maybe a soul mate isn’t magically found, but created. Once we find a person who meets these criteria, we work on a building relationship…and work it WILL be. As we grow closer, we share more, we become more connected mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Our souls respect the other, love the other, and appreciate the other. With this connection, or soul mate, we’re equipped to face the world…however ugly it may get…regardless of the land mines we must dodge…overcome adversity together, and come out as twin victors, rather than twin souls. As two individual souls who’ve chosen to compliment the other and venture through this amazing journey of life… not as two souls merging into one, but as two souls dancing alongside each other and each picking up the other when he trips over his two left feet.
Our accepted version of a soul mate is one that is centuries old, unrealistic, and damaging to our expectations…as is some of our most treasured very old, very idealistic, and very romantic movies, or classics. Sooner or later, most classics will face a remake, be rethought, and reinvented…a newer version of the same story. The fairy tale of soul mates is a story as old as time. So, maybe it’s “time” we end the troll for that mated soul…and recreate our perfect mate.