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4 posts categorized "Sexual Selection"

September 03, 2008

Sex is more than the physical

Is sex all that it is cracked up to be? That's the first question that entered my head after reading the latest headlines. It's quite obvious that abstinence education isn't slowing –not the teenage pregnancy rate, but the rate of teenagers having sex, possibly before they're ready. Are they doing it for the sake of doing it, doing it for love or doing it to fit in or maybe doing it as an escape, no one will ever know, but if current sexually explicit trends and abstinence programs aren't reducing sexual activity among teenagers, then what?

Also, is teenage pregnancy a huge deal? If a government established programs that enable teenagers to cope as young parents, programs that enable them to continue their educations or work options (via apprenticeships or traineeships), how bad could teenage pregnancy be?

Society is strange. The binaries are obvious; a girl is pregnant and she is stigmatized for having sex (to be pregnant – pregnancy as an obvious confirmation of her sexual activity) and viewing pregnancy as an 'undesirable' condition tends to blur the other factor within the biological equation – the fetus or baby. I've seen teenagers (accompanied by parents) at abortion clinics and the teenagers don't look happy to be there, they're terrified. And fine, there is a choice or girls/women have a choice, but let's face it, it's more like an executive decision. Individuals vary; abortion isn't necessarily a decision that curbs future 'mistakes'. There are women out there that view abortion as an easy solution, some women have multiple abortions, and sure that is their choice, but the spotlight is on abortion, not the reasons multiple abortions occur. I've had one abortion, and I wouldn't class it as a happy experience. More like a soul drain. I remember the day vividly, and I remember the post op period; I said to myself that if I had to make that choice again, I'd rather not have sex, which is why the view of 'abortions' being fine and dandy (because most feminists view them as straight medical procedures, like having a vaccination) pisses me off a lot. Let's not forget that many of the most militant feminists, or the most 'loud', tend to be childless so they wouldn't have a clue about abortion (as an experience) or parenthood.

What if abstinence was revamped?

Continue reading "Sex is more than the physical" »

July 14, 2008

Relationships in the Modern Age: From Christie Brinkley to Frilly Theories on Male Behavior

Christiebrinkleyb Christie Brinkley's divorce has appeared in many shows and magazines. The divorce aired her ex husband's dirty laundry across the world, everything from his affair with a teenager to his addiction to Internet porn, with allegations of his web cam masturbation sessions. It's a tale of yet another celebrity relationship biting the dust for reasons that can (and do) affect non-celebrity couples: infidelity, addiction and humiliation. It's like agreeing to certain relationship terms and finding that the errant partner disrespects the mutual terms, taking a secret detour to find temporary nirvana. Although celebrity relationships are viewed as a unique example, the issues aren't unique or exclusive to celebrities. Infidelity and betrayal are equal opportunity quantities that rear their heads in most relationships, which raise further questions regarding contemporary society, and whether this information driven society is compatible with traditional relationships.

Peter Cook won't be the first or last errant husband to use the Internet to get his jollies off. There are many who opt to reveal their private parts to maintain anonymity, to satisfy their yen for a different partner. The virtual partner or fuck buddy is a popular mod-con; anonymous, distant and open to suggestion, the virtual fuck buddy won't create problems, until Internet histories are discovered or one is busted in the act of preening online. I'm betting that Brinkley didn't see this coming, or anticipated her husband's infidelity or Internet porn addiction. There are things that are impossible to predict, so the statement made by a court appointed psychologist was really interesting because it indicates that some psychologists either have no clue or live on an intellectual pedestal.

Psychologists are renowned for discussing their theories on gender. Some are guilty of promoting their theory of biologically unfaithful men; it's all in the DNA! Where is the proof? Are there any prehistoric cave paintings that prove man's natural need to sow his seed with every vagina he meets? Of course there isn't. Never has been. I feel that the polygamy theory is social and is more closely related to contemporary society. I mean, in an age where all parents are financially responsible for the children they bring to this earth, it doesn't make sense for a man to procreate with every woman, and the same applies to bygone eras. But the present economic world is about disposability, convenience and sales. Thousands of years ago, it was the opposite and closer to the idea of sustainability. Only the wealthy could afford more than one wife, and many royal families featured many wives but the unions weren't sexual or based on the modern idea of romantic/sexual infatuation. It was about bloodlines or maintaining bloodlines within a dynasty. Ordinary men, or men without royal or aristocratic means, couldn't afford to have more than one wife, but not only that, there is no proof to support the theory of men being naturally or genetically promiscuous.

The court appointed psychologist allegedly said (of Brinkley) that Brinkley needed to start working on deeper issues, including her choice of male partners.

I don't think that Brinkley has a bad track record. Her marriage to Peter Cook wasn't an overnight affair and it doesn't seem to be based on whim. Sometimes it is difficult to penetrate the mask that people wear. One marries and sees the bad behavior later. What is the real difference between living together and marriage? Hardly anything. What is the point of cohabiting with a person for years before deciding on marriage? Common law partners are still treated the same way during the separation process and all are legally responsible for the children within a common law partnership. The law in most countries doesn't differ. Why isn't the court appointed psychologist quoted about Peter Cook and his activities? Where is that? Nowhere to be found, that's where but women 'need' to investigate their deeper issues relating to partner choice: here's news for them – sometimes it isn't so easy, and it is impossible to be clairvoyant on such matters.

As a woman, I'm sick and tired of the 'men are naturally promiscuous,' excuse. I think it all a bunch of bollocks, a cop out. Men are conditioned to view women as sex objects, and this conditioning has become something else after research on conditioning was published in the 20th Century. Psychological manipulation is prevalent in the world of commerce. Advertising operates on subtle psychological principles and conditioning and association is popular. You watch a television advert on household cleaning products and you see a woman starring in the advert, in fact you see women in these commercials for decades, so it comes as no surprise that women are associated with housework and cleaning products. Ask a man about the best oven cleaner and chances are that he'll have no bloody clue whatsoever. And no, let's not be rash and blame the entire 'patriarchy' because many executives in the business of conditioning and association are female as well. So it's not that simple to blame the patriarchy. After all, in order for a patriarchy to exist, it had to be supported by the female sector, and by support I mean the subtle support or nonchalant attitudes that exist. The idea of women removing themselves from the patriarchal equation is naïve and tends to be the easy way out or the easy argument. The world isn't about a mysterious Bilderberg-like group named The Patriarchy. It's about commerce, economies and profit. These three things dominate. Take the porn industry as one example: the idea of promiscuity is widely explored in pornography. There are more girls than a guy can handle, but in the ideal world of porn films the guy can handle more than one girl without his dick going soft. In fact, there are no soft-cock episodes in the world of porn, and while a portion of female actresses earn more than men, the idea of 'man conquering' pussy in porn can be considered patriarchal in the modern sense or according to the theory of male biological promiscuity, but it isn't purely patriarchal because women are also making the choice to participate in the films and there is also a portion of women purchasing the films to augment their sexual fantasies. In other words, the theory of supposed genetic infidelity is a fantasy and it is a commercial fantasy.

How can a woman like Christie, or any other woman, anticipate relationship disaster? Is it obvious beforehand, when a person puts on their best clothes for a date or displays perfect manners and conduct? After the relationship enters a regular routine, people find themselves living their life according to the agreements they made, and I'm not talking about wedding vows here, just the regular agreements and they can be anything. Even couples in open relationships have rules. Every individual relies on some code of conduct. It all boils down to knowing where one stands in a relationship.

You're an individual in the contemporary era and you're a female who is advised to analyze choices or the reason behind certain choices. It's what women have been advised to do for many decades but there are never any clear answers, and each relationship is different because people are different. There are patterns of behavior, definitely, but they often materialize differently (different time intervals), and it's not easy to step into the subconscious and demand instant answers. In Christie's case, one can't say, 'oh it's easy, all her partners were philanderers,' because they weren't. Thus, the issue is more subtle or subtle to the point of escaping the individual; the closer one gets to the reason behind certain choices, the reasons elude the individual and when coupled with the modern era of convenience, relationships become more difficult to negotiate in the long term. Is Christie's latest statement, vowing never to marry again, wise? It probably is wise. What does that say about the idea of marriage in contemporary society?

Don't put all your eggs in one basket and always have an escape hatch ready; have your finances sorted, a career ahead of you (and Christie is a great example: maintaining her own career), because we're living in a volatile era, and life isn't a romance novel.

Image: US Magazine

March 27, 2008

If Funisia Dorothea Could Talk...

That's right, if this tube like creature could talk, it would say "Yeah whatever, I've done this millions of years ago, and it's not anything new!" The thing? Sexual reproduction. This week, scientists put a date on sexual reproduction.

Speaking of strange life forms, Toxoplasma Gondii is a nuisance, and it is estimated that 30-60% of theToxoplasma_gondii population is infected by this parasite that cats and rats carry. Its other side (supposed) side effect in women? Promiscuity.

It's strange to come across that detail, considering I tested positive for Toxoplasmosis years ago when I was tested for glandular fever (that I did have) at the age of 29. I had no idea. The doctor asked me if I remembered being ill with a high temperature, and I said, "Many children experienced the symptoms you describe." And I did have a cat when I was around five years of age. Ongoing studies with this parasite involve testing it on rats to see how it alters behavior, and the most recent development in that is the reduction of intrinsic fear in rats toward cats.

It all makes for interesting reading, and it can raise many questions. Billions have been spent on the development of nuclear weapons, but bacteria and parasites are cheaper weapons. If a parasite, like Toxoplasma can reduce fear or alter behavior (depending on concentration perhaps?), imagine the possibilities? It is scary. People may think they are the true masters of their behavior, but who is to say that miniscule bacteria and parasites don't exert an influence over the years, and to the extent of shaping sexual behavior? And it makes sense. Fear reduction increases the chance of taking risks, or impulsive behavior. On a lower level, it can be positive, open the playing field and enable innovation, but if it is extreme, then it enters Jackass proportions.

Hmm, now I wonder why cats have a certain smugness?

Dogs have masters, Cats have staff!

December 17, 2007

20 Million Sexless Americans

I kind of understand why the book I'm about to briefly outline is on sale a day after Christmas; it isn’t something you’d buy your partner, not unless you really wanted to drive the point home (or right between your partner’s eyes).

I read a snippet in the city MX Newspaper, and the first sentence was enough to make me think, and then ask the real question: how many American couples are having sex?

Bob Berkowitz and Susan Yager-Berkowitz have penned a book, which is based on a massive survey they have conducted. Get this:

“It is for the estimated 20 million American men and women who are in relationships in which the man has stopped being sexually intimate.”

It’s freaky.

Aptly titled He’s Just Not up to it Anymore, the book aims to explore causation. Now in the newspaper article I read, some blame was attributed to porn, anger and medication.Yager-Berkowitz is  quoted as saying, "Sometimes I do imagine the sex is so boring it's not worth having." Hubby Berkowitz is quoted as saying, "If these guys are not having sex with their wives, they're probably having affairs." (No! Really?)

I tend to disagree about porn. Porn is what one makes of it; one selects if one will be obsessed by porn, or allow its frequent, unrealistic imagery, to influence one’s sex life. A DVD doesn't grow legs and chase after you like a possessed Chucky doll, and no one is holding a gun to someone's head, ordering them to view porn on the Net: blaming porn is a cop out or excuse. As for anger? Once again, one is in charge of one's emotional response, as well as emotional outlets, and if one can’t deal with anger, why enter a relationship? Anger is stressful, a health hazard, and a pain in the ass. Medication, however, is different. Many illnesses do require certain medications, that interfere with the libido. The most common example is the way Prozac can inhibit orgasm and reduce libido. There’s also organic impotence (that can result from diabetes, and if compounded with cardiac problems, tends to make Viagra a no-no.). In short, there are things we can control, and others - unfortunately - that are difficult to control, but where coupling is concerned, people do have more control: they make the choice to enter long term relationships, often without pausing to consider the long run.

The data, or survey sample is staggering, and the Berkowitz' have gathered this data, which makes them quite an authority, or more of an authority than the Internet sex writer, or sex blogger (who never gathers such data, and usually focuses on their self, like their issues are universal or set in stone), which is why this survey, like its predecessors (Kinsey, Hite, Masters & Johnson, etc), ought be a a mandatory source of sexual data or information.

Here’s my quick solution to the above problem:

Don’t get married? What do you do?

On a more serious note, something I'd like to ask Mr and Mrs Berkowitz: is our society (along with its demands and pressures, in the sense of being a Western society, with its trappings and common trends/maxims) compatible with the notion (religious or otherwise) of marriage?

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