The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, February 25, 2005


Based upon letters I've recieved, it is clear that the second Chakra stuff can be the biggest trap and landmine in the entire system.  The question of when and how sex is appropriate, what is appropriate to trade or negotiate for it, how to acquire it, what kind of relationships are best to contain that energy...this stuff is essential.  This arena probably triggers more illogical discussions than any other, especially because of the massive guilt associated with it in Christianity (to my knowledge, there is not a single positive reference to sex in the entire New Testament!).  I have friends who were shattered by rape, manipulated by calculated pregnancy, damaged by cheating, feel cast-aside when the interest of the opposite sex wanes. I've had friends go to prison for inappropriate sexual activity, and know sex-industry professionals who are coping with a hellish childhood in the best way they know how.  Lots and lots of different approaches to the same question: how shall I deal with my need for sexual expression?
I have friends who are therapists (both men and women) and I've heard a similar story.  In session, or in seminars, they will divide the men and women into different groups.  They will then ask the men to list their relationship priorities, and the women to do the same.  INVARIABLY, men list sex as first, second, or third.  INVARIABLY, women list sex as third, fourth, or fifth.  It is this differential in how important men and women think sex is that creates one of the primary bargaining chips in relationships.
Men have an overwhelming, visually-based need to see naked women, and a variety of them.  I doubt there is any culture, anywhere in the world, where there is a greater demand by women for male strippers than by men for female strippers.  The yellow pages of any city in America will show a hundred  topless strip clubs for every Chippindales.  Any woman who thinks this is purely cultural, or that the demand is there but men won't invest in it, is invited to mortage her house, open a strip club for women, and thereby make her fortune.  What?  No takers?  I thought not.
When Plato's Retreat opened in New York and (later) Los Angeles, a completely predictable phenomenon happened: This swing club ended up with 98% horny guys, and a few hookers.  Women just didn't show up in significant numbers.  Why?  At least partially because women place relationship dynamics at a higher priority than raw sex.  And part of the reason for that is that almost any woman of child-bearing age knows that she can get laid any day she wants to, if all she is looking for is sex.  In fact, I really believe that the average woman has no real idea of the power she has in that sense, no real grasp of the hunger men feel (and sometimes the resentment) that it is women who, almost invariably, control whether or not there will be sex at the end of the evening.  It takes a PHENOMENALLY attractive man to have the sexual certainty of the AVERAGE woman.  On the other hand, if sex is easy, relationships are hard. 
Men tend to marry the kinds of women they would want their daughters to grow up to be.  This is a loose rule, but useful to understand what happens.  So men want women to be sexually available, but if they are too available, they  will shuttle the woman into the "whore" category, and never consider her seriously as a life partner.  So we can see the dynamic here:
1) Men and woman both want sex, but men want it a little more (on the average)
2) Men and women have slightly different priorities and rules and drives about when sex is appropriate.
3) Men tend to look for Beauty (whatever that is as a cultural rule), while women tend to look for Power (whatever that is in their culture.)  This makes sense, as men don't have conscious control over their erections.  Our hind-brains just kinda say "Yowsah!" and  we're interested.  Or we're not.  and it's immediate, and evident.  Women seem to take a wider range of considerations into account--perfectly natural, since their reproductive imperatives are very very different.  And I don't think this stuff changes hugely even after women leave the age of reproduction.  this wiring goes deep.
Is this unfair?  Really?  Let's say that men are less attracted to fat women, and women less attracted to stupid men.  Is it easier to lose weight or improve I.Q.?  What is really unfair here?  For years women have tried to make men feel guilty for not being as attracted to them if they get heavy.  but, guys, tell the truth--how often have you seen girlfriends and even wives turn off sexually when  you are having money problems? 
What if NONE of this is unfair?  What if these tendencies are just the wiring we come with, and we ignore the implications at our own peril?  I thought that it would be useful to lay out my thoughts on this, and allow you guys to speak of your own experiences and thoughts, and try to lay out (so to speak) the dynamics of ethical seduction, given that sex is one of the most confusing human drives.
I've established my thoughts on the subject. And yours?

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