Isnt It Romantic

In the spring, when new life begins to stir and the female comes into season, the males of her species throng around her, fiercely competing for attention with a frenzy of attraction displays. Fish dance, frogs croak, birds ruffle their feathers, snakes entwine, bucks lock antlers, all striving to give visible witness to their genetic superiority. Ignoring them all, the female appears to have no interest in mating, an attitude which incites even more prominent displays among the males. Still seemingly indifferent, she finally allows one of the aspirants to approach her, usually the biggest or the most colorful. He has passed her entrance tests; she will now mate with him and produce offspring. It is very tempting to draw a comparison between these behaviors and a human female waiting passively while a male tries to catch her eye, casually flashing his gold Rolex in her direction. But here questions arise which run deeper than blood and bone, because human beings are not just bundles of fur and instinct. They are capable of self-awareness and imagination-in other words, consciousness.

The higher an animal has evolved up the evolutionary scale, the more its consciousness is revealed. A dog, for example, can fool its owner into thinking it's a "real person"; a guppy cannot. The obvious factors are brain size and complexity of the nervous system. But closer investigation uncovers a far more interesting datum: the more advanced a creature is, the more likely it is to engage in sex for its own sake-that is, for pleasure-even if the female is not in estrus (heat). So chimpanzees (our closest relatives among the great apes) fornicate indiscriminately throughout their waking hours, and dolphins have been filmed writhing around in undersea orgies irrespective of procreation. Like our simian relatives, human females do not have to be in estrus to participate in intercourse-they are potentially available at all times of the year. In African rain forests, pygmy chimps copulate year round and often several times a day. Female chimps will "pull a train", mating with as many as 20 males at a session. And the females, which have huge, protuberant clitorises, often engage in "lesbianism"-they grapple each other face-to-face and rub genitals. This is clearly sex for sex's sake, performed obviously just because it feels good. So the notion that higher-order females are genetically programmed to select a mate only for the purpose of providing support and protection simply does not hold up at the primate (and thus human) level. Female chimpanzees have sex with any male who happens to come along.

The human brain is larger and more intricate than a chimp's; it is the difference between an abacus and a computer. Women are not born as genetic robots, biologically doomed to screen out all but the most powerful males. They are quite free to select for such noble traits as kindness or compassion or sense of humor. But clearly they do not. In a society which permits women to pursue careers and to be paid according to their hard work and ambition, why do they still desire rich and powerful men? Why can't they support a poor man just as they force men with money to pay their bills? Why can a slob splashing in the shallow end of the gene pool win the lottery and attract a bevy of desirable females, but a myopic graduate student preparing for his Ph.D. in particle physics most probably will not? Why do women insist on "romance" (withholding sex for money) before they'll let a man into their beds, instead of enjoying sex just because it feels good? Like the chimps, why don't women just want to fuck all day long?

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