“Humans are motivated by the need to survive, sex and the instinct of the herd. In that order. ”
“Great brains think about ideas, medium brains think about things, small brains think about personalities.”
Survival is guaranteed over most of the world today. So most people think about sex. But here it is discussed fairly academically (“An engineer’s view of sex”) and it is numbered 7 because you will appreciate it best if you read the first 6 essays.
The Andromedan Report on human sex
The Andromedans, thinking they had sewn up everything Earthwise, were looking through their 10-dimensional maps and planning their next stopover at a nearby star system. They were just waiting for the final computer analysis of their last tests on the human they had "sampled". The computer had been running for an hour now and had already twice asked for extra memory capacity to be made available.
They were quite pleased with their "Report on Human Behaviour". They had found their captive had mostly behaved rationally and physically was as to be expected for a carbon-based life-form living near a type G2 star. However the Report was not completely routine as was evidenced by the interestingly displaced Pleasure Detector reading for symmetrical stimuli. That would give the big brains back home something to chew on.
They had been able to establish spoken communication with the captive they had named 4P6, and initially everything had gone smoothly. When asked questions about technical subjects it was able to reply in some detail, but when asked a relatively simple question on human society like "How does your World Government operate?" it would go into a long description using words like "colour, capitalism, politics, male-chauvinism, third-world, neo-colonialism, religion, communism etc." It was in fact this last question that was occupying the computer now.
The computer stopped, paused and out spurted a long print-out of supplementary questions. It was at this point that the Andromedans began to realise that they may have to spend a little more time in the vicinity of Earth. But to quote:
From the Andromedan Report on Earth (extract)
"Based on experience of other life-forms we had naturally assumed that all humans were very similar - measure one and the computer could simulate the expected interactions between groups of humans. It was now becoming evident that there was a great variability in the human life-form.
As an example, and to our surprise, we found that there are two sorts of humans, very similar but with subtle differences. Our data bank revealed to us that this, though very unusual, is not unknown in developing life forms. We read that:
`In bi-sexual reproduction (as it is called) a "male" and a "female" must cooperate, each supplying half of the genetic material for the offspring. It has been found by Nature that obtaining genetic material from two sources ensures enough variability in the new generation to allow the evolutionary method (survival of the fittest) to operate most efficiently. That variability is necessary, is seen in the local customs forbidding genetic contributions from close relatives.
Bi-sexual reproduction gives an evolutionary advantage up to a certain stage of development, after which it becomes a brake. Fortunately, by the time it is recognised as a brake, the means of removing it are usually at hand and the species opts for direct genetic modification'.
We realised we were very fortunate in seeing a life-form that had just reached this critical stage and so we reported back to base, requesting further instructions. We were told to stay in the vicinity of Earth, to take extreme precautions against discovery and to further study this strange life-form, so different from the Galactic norm".
The Andromedans therefore opened a file on "Sex". It is this file that became known later in the media as "The Andromedan Study on Human Sex" and so will be referred to as such in the rest of this report.
"There was not much data on bi-sexual reproduction in the ship's memory bank so we were prepared to complement our information by consulting 4P6, but here we ran into an unexpected difficulty. In contrast to its open and interesting explanation of political systems, technology and ethnic differences, 4P6, who it now appears is a "female", seemed very reluctant to explain or even discuss certain aspects of bi-sexual reproduction."
(Note 1.It may help in the interpretation of the following dialogues between the Andromedans and their human captive if we explain that the Andromedans are members of an Order dedicated to exploring the Galaxy. In order to be able to survive the incredibly long voyages, three are always sent out together. Careful personality tests ensure compatibility.
Sir (long name) is the leader. Being the eldest he also has a rather conventional personality. He will be referred to simply as “Sir” in the dialogues.
Doctor (long title) is the intellectual of the trio and is somewhat pedantic, wanting everything spelled out. He will be referred to as “Dr”.
Mr. (unpronounceable) is the youngest and is still learning. He has not had much experience and has a rather irreverent and impatient personality. He will be referred to as “Joe”.
It is Sir who actually speaks to the human captive, but there is often an internal conversation between all three Andromedans. We use the convention of showing this internal conversation in italics.)
(Note 2.The name of the human captive is now known to have been Hwa-mei, an inhabitant of Hong Kong. She will be referred to as H. in the following dialogue extracts).
Sir. "How are the mating pairs selected? By someone in authority, I suppose."
H. "Oh, no. I believe it may have been like that in some societies in the past, but now we are more advanced and choose ourselves."
Joe. "This is an advance? You mean it's just random?."
Dr. "Perhaps it's used to offset some bias that would otherwise creep in. Like a fashion for long arms or big heads."
Sir "I'll ask."
Sir. "How do you know how to choose the right partner?"
H. "It's difficult to explain, you just know. It's called `falling in love'."
Sir. "You both know - I mean you mutually fall in love?"
H. "Ideally. But often only one of the couple really falls in love."
Sir. "You mean it's possible for a male to `fall in love' with a female but the female not to fall in love with the male? And vice versa, of course."
H." Oh, yes. It's very painful for the one who loves but is not
Sir. "Is it possible to have offspring if one or both partners are not in love?"
H. "Er, yes."
Joe. "I'm completely confused. If they can breed anyway why do they have `love'? A loves B; B doesn't love A, C loves D; D doesn't love C, E loves F; F loves E. That makes one chance out of three and leaves two unhappy people."
Dr. "Maybe it's a device to keep the birthright down."
Joe. (continuing) "It can be worse than that. A loves B, B loves C, C loves D...The race can die out in a generation. We just got here in time."
Sir. "We're having a little trouble here. Could you explain why it is necessary to be in love before mating?"
H. "By mating I think you mean having offspring. But people can be in love and mate without having offspring."
Sir. "You mean mating is possible without resulting offspring?"
H. "Oh, yes. The chance is probably no greater than one in three even when an offspring is wished. But it is possible to take precautions to almost certainly avoid offspring."
H. "Precautions of a ...er... chemical nature."
Joe. "They go through all this rigmarole of falling in love which leaves two thirds of the Planet as depressed psychotics and even those who survive and mutually fall in love `take precautions' to not breed!"
Dr. "If the chance of a successful breed is only 1 in 3, there must be some other mechanism or the population could not maintain itself."
Joe. "Perhaps they can fall in love with more than one person."
Sir. "You have just told us that there is only a statistically small chance of any given couple falling in love and mating and that even this small group may not wish to breed. Can you explain then how the population is maintained?"
H. "I think there is a misunderstanding here. There is quite a high population density on Earth, we are mobile and it is usually possible for most people to fall in love."
Sir. "To fall in love mutually?"
Joe. "Well, that's better. But with only a chance of 1 in 3 of a successful breed per couple it still doesn't work out. start with 1000 couples and after 6 generations you're down to ..er.. 1.37, and breeding stops."
Dr. "I think we must enquire about other possibilities."
Sir. "When people fall in love, do they stay in love indefinitely?"
H. "You mean until they die? Well, very few. Mostly it appears in its ... in its most intense phase for only a few weeks and then if it lasts, it settles down into a friendship. I should point out that I have not had much experience in this direction."
Sir. "And if it doesn't last, the pair breaks up and each is free to choose other partners?"
H. (pause) "That is so."
Dr. "Pleasure Detector reading dropped rapidly there, bottoming out at -5. Blood pressure dropping, heartbeat and respiration up 20%. Hormone balance .."
Joe. "OK. It was an emotionally loaded question."
Dr. "I'm afraid my last question appears to have disturbed you. We infer that you may have been recently involved in a pair-bond break-up. Would it disturb you further to discuss this?"
H. (Quietly) "Peter was an officer of the Garrison ..Yes, I was recently involved in a .. pair-bond break-up."
Dr. "Let me see ...garrison .. `soldiers stationed in town to occupy', soldier ..`salaried bearer of arms', arm ... `device used to kill or disable', officer ... `chief soldier'"
Joe. "So she had fallen in love with a hired killer and was about to breed more. Seems a good thing it broke up."
Sir. "We may be misunderstanding again."
Sir. "Our dictionary defines a soldier as a person who kills for money and so ..."
H. "Peter was not a killer! What a horrible word! He was a soldier doing his duty defending us from the Communists and he would have died ..."
Sir. "All instruments off scale."
Dr. "That was an interestingly strong reaction. Apparently Hwa-Mei wanted the bond to continue but the soldier didn't."
Joe. "And a good thing too."
Dr. "I think we should postpone discussion about the trade of killer and get back to sex. `Duty'..`Communism'..too many new concepts."
Sir. "Yes, and I think we should make a pause now."
I too think we should take a pause from the Andromedans' solemn questioning of Hwa-Mei and look at some of the background of sex.
The Andromedans' computer has pointed out that bi-sexual reproduction is a method whereby a male and a female cooperate, each supplying half the genetic material for the offspring. It would now be useful to look at some of the differences between male and female destined, if not designed, to play such different roles in the bringing up of the offspring.
The main difference is that after conception, when the two pieces of genetic material have been brought together, someone has to look after the result. The one that does this is called the "Female" and is therefore endowed with the necessary characteristics to look after the new member of the human race. The first characteristic is assumed - she has in some way made the male "choose" her as his partner and one assumes he will be around during and after the long pregnancy when the mother and child will need food and protection.
The female is going to need the qualities of "motherhood" ie. tenderness, patience, self-sacrifice, industry. Intelligence, aggression and curiosity are not only not needed but probably not desirable. She is the hearth-builder, uninterested in anything outside her immediate circle. This is not to underestimate her abilities as a "home maker". Home must be a place where the male can relax, charge his batteries, play the role of male without competition or criticism from other males (be a man in his own house). Home is where he receives subtle ego-boosting flattery, sympathy and admiration. Females are born with the ability to twist males around their little fingers and is the reason so many men crave female company. (Of course this strong psychological control females have over men can work to his detriment too. No one can cut a man down to size better than a woman).
The Male needs a different set of characteristics. Again, the first is assumed in that somehow he must have attracted the female and let him "choose" her (the man proposes, the woman disposes as the French say). Then he must be able to hunt for food and protect his family. He needs the "male" qualities, strength, aggression. One would expect his brain to be more developed on the whetstone of competition. However, he must sometimes be able to drop his aggression to other members of the Tribe as he has found that the best results in hunting are achieved through team-work.
So simplifying, the female is patient, tender, stay-at-home, intellectually rather boring but skilled at "mate management", interested only in “personalities” and activities connected with home-life. The male is strong, crafty and acquisitive, mostly interested in “things”. The female has been called the "gatherer" (referring to the harvesting of crops) and the male the "hunter".
Were it not for one interesting contribution from the female, it would be expected that the spur to development and advancement of the human race would come entirely from the male. He is competitive and as he is the one who needs a brain, he will be the one who develops one. Disliking physical hard work he becomes attracted to tools and gadgets. Weapons, a development of tools, fascinate him as they also increase his masculine power of aggression. The poor female has no incentive to change (providing she remains attractive to the male). But her brain will be improved willy-nilly as each girl-child at conception has the choice of brain-producing genetic material from the father. Evolution will also give a push as intelligent males start to select more intelligent and interesting mates.
What then is the unique female contribution to human development? Some ability that they exercise more and are better
at than males, even from their youngest years?
All the male needs when going through a well-worn hunting routine are a few gestures and grunts. But the female has time on her hands, children to take care of, the constant company of other females. She pushes speech beyond the stage of simple communication and develops it as a pastime. With the simple boring tribal home life it is almost her only pastime. She will invent words, expressions, tenses, names for all the nuances of the tribal hierarchy, names for all the various tribal members and how they are related, 4th cousin twice removed. I can imagine the males coming back from a hunting trip and having to learn yet another goddam list of nouns and verbs.
But apart from this single (though important) contribution, the Andromedans will note that almost everything else originates from the male. There is an enormous difference in the achievements of the males and the females. In the undeveloped lands (most of the world), the role of the male and the female is sharply divided. In the developed world there is some slight overlapping of roles but still, anything requiring intellectual effort is still the domain of the male. The office, laboratory, factory, committee room, artist’s study, university, medicine, politics, writing, banking, engineering, law, even the church ...all dominated by men. Musicians, painters, scientists, doctors, administrators, poets, chefs, comedians ...all men. For this to be so, remember that women must prefer to eat a meal cooked by a male chef, to go to male doctors and dentists, to prefer "male" music and poetry, prefer male politicians and a male boss. Apart from dancing and roles which only a female can take, there is no single human activity dominated by the female. On reflection it is quite incredible.
But it does not have to be so. England once had a female at the head of a Conservative government. Now most females are conservative in tendency and so at first view one would imagine that a female politician would have 50% of the voting public behind her and so be in power with a permanent thumping majority as long as she could draw breath. But no - most women I know didn't like her. She was too hard (determined?), too cold (logical?) Did she show them up? Demolish the comfortable myth that a woman can never succeed in a male world (and so it's no use trying)?
But to return to the abject failure of females to make what the Andromedans would call a worth-while contribution to human advance.
Why do males perform so much better than females?
We must collect data. Let us start by looking at the effect of sex on the life of a male. It's a well-documented but rather special case, being that of a middle class male in the Western World around 1950.
In fact it's me.
My first school at the age of 5, was "mixed". As I had no sisters, I knew very little about girls and so this was my first contact with a new life-form, one that was going to have very considerable influence on me. I remember how I was impressed by their vivacity, their skill and dexterity at writing and painting, less by their disconcerting swings of mood (from laughter to tears in a few seconds) and their slavish insistence on following the school rules. They had all sorts of little pretend games and secrets, whispering and giggling together. They were much better at lessons than I was, being able to remember reams of verse without effort. On the other hand they could lie fluently and if anyone had done anything "naughty" in class, it was always a girl who would self-righteously "tell teacher". If ever a mixed band of us committed some major crime like breaking a school window or stealing apples from a nearby orchard, it was always a girl who would turn King's evidence. They were pretty but I didn't really like or trust them. They were no good at football and would try to make up for this by "cheating" ie. touching the ball when they thought nobody could see them. They just didn't seem to understand the concept of "fairplay". I grew older and girls were still there and I remember some of the prettier ones. But what with companionship with other boys, games, hobbies, gangs, comics, boys' stories...we really didn't meet. Some (those with brothers) would occasionally play with us, they were `good sports', but they were the exception. Mostly we played apart. They were just `girls' - in general to be avoided. Emotionally unreliable, no good at games, good at school work. Always worried about keeping clean and prone to cry and run home to complain to their parents who would then complain to ours with dire consequences. On the other hand, there were two or three boys who preferred to play with the girls. They were called “sissies” and cannot have very happy memories of school life.
Some of the books I used to read at this time have just come into my possession and they make fascinating reading (quite apart from the vivid childhood memories evoked). Adventure on the NW Frontier of India, gold mining in the Yukon, the "Masked Pilot" (a story of WW1), lots of school stories. All very clean and fair, insistence on the `Honour of the School' etc. – and not a girl visible from cover to cover!
At the age of 11 I moved to another school, a "Grammar School", boys only, less rough than the first `Council School', but intellectually a lot tougher. The masters wore gowns, had all been to University, there were school Houses and a school uniform. Little did I know then that this period of my life was one of the happiest.
I had several friends, all with different and interesting hobbies. I was in the school Science Club and used to spend hours in my `home lab' analysing chemicals the chemistry master would give us. I was very interested in `wireless' and used to scour second-hand shops buying parts of old crystal sets (pocket money was always restricted). I had a special friend, Derek, and we used to go for long walks at night talking about religion, science, anything. I remember once sitting on a deserted golf-course, looking up at the stars which were very bright because of the black-out (there was a war on at the time) and talking about the latest science-fiction story we had just read.
I was sitting once with Derek at the back of the class in a geography lesson. Neither of us were particularly interested in geography. Nor was the rest of the class. Derek had just been hit by a hard rolled up paper pellet, propelled from an elastic band by Mike, five desks away, also on the back row. He had suffered in silence although the thwack of it hitting the side of his head and the suppressed giggles of the class had made the geography master turn round from the black-board. Derek was now preparing his Mk III "Ink Delivery System" as a counterstrike, watched by the rest of the back row in joyous anticipation and by Mike with some trepidation. The Mk. III, I should explain, was the normal paper pellet made from a piece of paper 12" x 1" rolled up tightly and then bent over in half to fit the elastic band of the "launcher". The difference between the Mk.II and the Mk.III lay in the way the head of the Mk.III was frayed and left to soak in ink. (Yes, school desks had ink-wells in those days).
Realising we would never catch Mike by surprise, we had secretly prepared a second Mk III, in my ink-well. Derek held Mike's attention by slowly bringing out his piece of elastic and then suddenly leaned back giving me, already prepared, a clear shot. I remember it wasn't one of my best as Mike was sitting well back, sheltering behind the occupants of the other five desks, who were also trying to disappear into the wall behind them. Nevertheless, he had a corner seat and my ink-soaked pellet struck the wall next to him with a satisfactory "plop" and sprayed his desk and books with ink.
But the geography master had seen something and came pounding down between the desks before us and grabbed Derek.
One glance was enough. Derek with a red mark on the side of his face opposite Mike, Mike with his desk covered with ink, and Derek with inky fingers. In flagrente delicto.
"I will not have you little swine brawling in my class!" he bellowed. "Come out here! If you're so clever you can play childish games during class, you can explain this to us all!" And he thrust Derek towards the blackboard on which were drawn two circles - one was supposed to be the earth; the other the moon. The earth had another circle drawn around it, representing the water covering the earth's surface. The water was humped up under the moon, representing the tide and due to the gravitational attraction of the moon. But it was also humped up on the opposite side. In case you didn't know, this is factually correct. There are two tides every day. As something interesting is about to happen, I reproduce the picture on the blackboard. Below.
I looked back in my memory and found the geography master had been trying to explain the presence of this second hump to a sceptical class. He had been getting more and more annoyed. He knew it was so but couldn't convince us (That is, those who were listening). I can see him now swinging his fob watch in vain demonstration. (Yes, masters still wore fob watches in those days).
Derek started well by drawing a vertical line through the earth and a little arrow to show it was the axis of rotation.
Master "Very good. That clears it all up. The moon is rotating too" (sycophantic titters from the front row)
Derek "And that's the attraction of the moon." (Draws a horizontal arrow)
Master "Yes, we know all about that. What you are about to tell us is why the water rises up on the other side." (stabs blackboard with finger)
Derek (Improvising wildly) "Ah, yes, well if it didn't ..if it didn't... the earth would wobble. Er, let's bring moon up to where it is and (inspiration) the extra weight
of water on the right means the axis of rotation moves over to the right." (ironic applause from the front row, stilled by the teacher who suddenly feels he may be in the presence of something authentic)
Master "And then what?
Derek (rapidly)"And that means this part (touches earth's surface furthest from the moon) now must move faster and so flings the water out. Ceniflugal force."
Master (absently) "Centrifugal force. And so?"
Derek "And the extra weight pulls the axis of rotation back into the middle again." He laughs suddenly. Applause from the back row, lead by me. Actually we hadn't heard anything as Derek was talking to the board, but I recognised that laugh.
Master (feeling he had been fooled somehow)"And that’s your explanation?!"
Uproar in class, half agreeing, half disagreeing. Derek facing the class, was grinning with a red face. The yelp of pain from Mike as I got him just below the right ear with a standard pellet was lost in the tumult.
I am told nothing like this occurs in girls' schools.
I had another friend, Terry, with whom I used to go "Youth Hostelling" on our bikes across the then almost empty wartime English and Welsh countryside, finding remote Youth Hostels where we could get extra off-the-ration butter, eggs and bacon which we would cook and eat. Then I used to unpack my home-made radio and listen to the news before turning in. Yes, it was a happy time and not just because of the rosiness of memory. Exams were a long way off, I was learning lots of new and interesting things and ...sex had not reared its ugly head.
Of course, I knew all about sex at this time. Although I privately thought the whole thing quite disgusting and unnecessarily complicated, I was quite blasé about it in front of my friends and knew several "dirty" jokes. I preferred not to think about sex in the context of my parents. But "love" was just a lot of "slop" that unaccountably caused the Sheriff to deviate from the logical shooting down of the whole of the Dawson Clan (with his 100 shot repeater) because he had `fallen in love' with their gooey-eyed sister.
About this time my friend Derek, who was about 6 months older than I, suggested joining the local tennis club.
Well, if there was ever an instant in my life which can be considered a turning point, one must surely be the moment I walked through the green and white painted wooden gates of that tennis club one sunny Saturday afternoon. Inside was a different adult world, the handsome men, the incredibly beautiful women in short white skirts on the red clay courts .. there were a number of very pretty sophisticated young girls and I remember how adult and poised they seemed. Their womanly gestures as they combed their hair. Some of them had definite bosoms!
There was a group of boys rather older than myself that would chat to these girls and Derek was immediately admitted to this exclusive club. Some of the girls did speak to me, but I indignantly rebuffed them.
And Derek was in love. It was nauseating to watch him. There he was, the first boy to climb up the oak tree in the park and carve his initials at the top, the best airgun shot in the district, the first to apply `reaction' to his wireless set and make it receive stations all round the world. With cold disapproval I watched him grovelling around a pretty though particularly stupid blond girl, laughing immoderately at everything she said. Derek the master of understated irony. It was enough to make a strong man weep. I thought of Delilah cutting off Samson's hair.
No longer was he interested in chemistry or science-fiction. If we ever did go for a night-walk it would always be near `her' house and he would moon on about `her'. For the whole of the first tennis season I was virtually alone, playing tennis with the `small-fry' or even with some old ladies of 30 or so.
And then it happened to me. Her name was Joan, I remember. She seemed more intelligent, more direct and more tomboyish than the others. Well, I'm not going to bore the reader with all the painful symptoms of first-love. Attraction was mutual but apart from liking some funny films, we had little in common. She told me all about her friends, what they had said to her and what she had said back. She told me lots about the people at the tennis club and also how Derek had tried to kiss her once. This I would rather not have known. I told her about the plot of the latest science-fiction story I had read. If I had walked home with her during the long North of England twilight after tennis I would be in a daze all next day. I used to hug the memory of her to me and school became inexpressibly boring. All I wanted was for the day to pass so I could cycle up to the tennis club in the evening - perhaps she would be there. Suddenly all the cloying love songs, all the advertising made sense. I remember yearning over a book called `Coral Island' where two young people (Joan and myself) were castaways. Under her admiring gaze I skilfully built a tree-house for us and found food which she cooked. Ah, yes.
Later on I kissed her and could have gone further but didn't. I really wanted her as a sort of tender friend, was afraid of sex and felt it would somehow `dirty' our relationship. She didn't understand me: I didn't understand myself. This beautiful slim person, with the delightful way of looking up at me through her long dark eyelashes, so sensitive, so amusing, so gentle. It was unthinkable that her `organ of sex' should be located near the one she used when she went to the lavatory. I was not, nor will I be the last one on whom an economically-minded Nature plays this bitter joke.
Certainly I liked kissing her, but after a while everything would get serious, her personality would change, my little jokes were no longer funny, she became impatient. But I didn't want to go further - that way was `wrong' unless you intended marriage. I must have appeared a terrible prig. I remember leaving her house after an intense kissing session which had ended in an argument. For once it was me in charge of the relationship and perversely I no longer felt so deeply in love. I remember cycling home in the rain from her house and feeling a great sense of relief. I read some old science-fiction stories. It was like returning to a familiar house after a long absence.
But it didn't endure. The corrosive emotion of jealousy was awakened when Joan, finding `I didn't really like her' was going out with some other boy and no longer appearing at the tennis club. And so it went on, we would meet now and then and it would restart. I used to go out with other girls, but it was always very neutral compared to Joan. I did it as a sort of salve to my ego, a revenge on Joan.
Gradually I got used to controlling my emotions (a bit) but the effect of girls' company was always like strong drink. Now and then I would escape and look with horror at the effect it was having on my education and work frantically to try and catch up. But then I would invariably go back to the tennis club in the hope of seeing `Her'. I didn't really finish my academic education until I joined the RAF for Military Service and freed from the drug of feminine company, took one correspondence course after another.
Right, well after this hopefully not too boring personal interlude, let us get back to the Andromendan Report.
Sir. "To summarise then, human beings fall in love, pair-off and then mate."
H. "Yes, these days that is in fact so. But they usually onlyBut they usually only..er mate.. having taken precautions."
Sir. "You mean these `chemical precautions'?"
H. "Amongst other methods, yes."
Sir. "We seem to be moving backwards here. Surely the purpose of falling in love is to mate and have offspring?"
H. "Well, yes, I suppose so, ultimately. But before a couple would allow their ..mating activities .. to produce offspring they would get married. It's a sort of legal contract between the pair to ensure the offspring will be properly brought up and educated."
Joe. "Marriage now! Complication on complication. Fall in love, mate with precautions, marriage, mate without precautions, offspring. They spend all their time at it."
Dr. "The word `mating' or `mate' is always accompanied with by transient pulse on the Emotion Detector. It is apparently a key word."
Sir. "Perhaps mating `with precautions' is like practising for the real thing? There may be a limited supply of genetic material and it must not be wasted."
Joe. "Ah, you mean a sort of `grinding in' of the male delivery organ and the female receptor organ to ensure a gas-tight fit?"
Dr. "That would account for the statement (searches) `if a pair-bond breaks up it is sometime before the female can fall in love with another male'. A period of regeneration of the female receptor organ would be required."
Sir. "We don't seem to be sure of the purpose of this grinding ... this pre-marriage phase."
H. "It's a sort of trial marriage, I suppose. You see if you can adapt to each other mentally and ..er..physically. Before you `sign the contract'."
Joe. "You see - physically."
Sir. "Ah. But could you explain why we are getting a rather large reading on our instruments whenever the word `mate' is mentioned?"
H. "Well, mating is fun, of course. I can't think of any other reason."
Joe. "Mating is fun. Now she tells us."
Dr. "Oh yes, here it is. `Orgasm - a reflex arc pulse akin to a sneeze ..."
Sir. "What's a sneeze?"
Joe. "Go on."
Dr. "...which occurs at or near the instant of genetic material transfer. It releases the following hormones ..blah, blah.. and gives a great feeling of pleasure and fulfilment."
Joe. "Now that changes everything."
Dr. "Not necessarily. The chemical used in the precautions is also a hormone and may cancel the pleasure producing hormones. And mating without pleasure must require a certain determination on the part of the pair to get a good mechanical fit before they marry and carry out the first genetic transfer operation. And note, there is no certainty that they will go on and marry in which case all the work (and presumably pain) will have been in vain. On the face of it not particularly logical."
Joe. "Logical! Why pick out that little bit as illogical. Here we have a planet with a population of (pause) 6 x 109 each with an average intelligence of 4 on the Galactic Scale. Take off 15 years at the beginning of the life span and 20 at the end gives 35 productive years. They sleep half the time which brings us down to 17.5 years. 17.5 years at 12 hours per day. Allow 2 hours for eating etc. leaves 14.6 years of creative thinking per person per lifetime. And what do they do with this pathetically short time? Fall in love, fall out of love ..."
Sir. "Yes, very well. Let's get our facts straight first."
Sir. "This pleasure feeling. This ..fun. Is it felt at the instant of genetic material transfer even through chemical precautions are taken?
H. (musingly)"`The instant of genetic material transfer', I must remember that. No. The chemical precautions do not hinder the pleasure feeling. It would be pointless otherwise."
Sir. "Well, let's move on a bit. The pair have fallen in love, experienced the pleasure feeling of mating with chemical precautions, decide to make their relationship more permanent and decide to get married. Is that correct?"
Sir. "Now what happens if for some reason one or both of the partners fall out of love and want to become ..unmarried?"
H. "Yes, I'm afraid it happens rather often. But simply falling out of love is usually not sufficient incentive to become ..
unmarried. This happens anyway and is accepted. The problem occurs when one of the partners falls in love with another person."
Sir. "Falls in love with an unmarried person?"
H. "Unfortunately, not always. The other person may be married also."
Sir. "So the two couples become unmarried and two new couples becomes ...remarried?. They change partners, as it were?"
H. (smiling) "Ah, that would be ideal. But it's very unusual that the two other partners would also remarry each other after the ..unmarriage. `Unmarrying' is called getting a
`divorce', by the way".
Dr. "This is fascinating and reminds me of those tri-sexual fish on Riegel IV, do you ..."
Joe. "Riegel schmiegel! This thing is getting out of hand. We know what happens and we roughly know what they feel about it. The deeper we dig the more unimportant details we will find. They will have a word for mating without consent, words for a professional mater of each sex, words for pseudo-mating between the same sex, mechanical maters etc. etc. and a whole lot of lore and mythology about each variation. Evolution took a wrong turn here - I vote we go on to a new subject."
Sir. "Well, it does appear to be getting more complicated. Let us take a pause."
Yes, the Andromedans have put their finger on the fact that sex is indeed a complicated ritual on Earth and wastes an incredible amount of the time of otherwise intelligent beings.
But having looked at the life of a male up to and just past the age of puberty, I think it only fair that we should do the same for a female. Obviously I cannot do this in the same detail as I did for a male, and furthermore I lost sight of them from age 11 when I left a mixed school and went to an all-male school. I really didn't notice them again until I was 15 or so. So the gap has had to be filled by questioning friends and relatives.
The childhood of the female
Up to puberty girls far outperform boys at school, possibly because they want to please the teacher and have excellent memories. Boys are only slightly interested in school, picking out merely what they like such as the bloodier historical incidents, woodwork, elementary science or sports. Now it seems that around puberty two important things occur to females:
1. The obvious one. Their body changes shape, going in a bit here, out a bit there. She starts to attract the attention of older boys with deep voices, who suddenly realise that her shape now passes through one of their internal matched filters, (see Tutorial) and she finds herself in a bright new world. No longer the ignored kid sister, the little girl scolded by parents and teachers for untidiness or mediocre school performance - she is the centre of attraction. Everything she says is hilariously witty. Her opinions are treasured (at least in her presence), her (parents') phone is constantly ringing, she is in demand at parties, dances, picnics etc. Academic achievement, the classroom, history, algebra .. no contest.
But you would think her conventional education would be supplemented and indeed surpassed by the efforts of handsome and personable young men (destined later to become famous athletes, scientists and politicians) who would improve her service at tennis, show her how a camera or a submarine works, help her with her algebra homework. But no. Unless the instructor has that certain rare `something' (she also has a matched filter), she is not interested in his company. And even if he passes the matched filter, his conversation probably won't. She is much more interested in excited gossip with her girl friend about who is `going-out' with who. Education has ceased.
2. Around puberty (say 13-14), the general tone of human education changes. The emphasis is no longer on learning but rather on applying the knowledge. Reasoning. Interpolating facts. Manipulating symbols. Abstract thought. Maths instead of arithmetic. History becomes tendencies and influences. Poetry needs to be analysed. An opinion is required on a piece of literature and that opinion must be defended.
Now this is precisely the sort of stuff most girls dislike. They prefer to `feel' rather than `think' (lower brain rather than upper brain). Science is `cold' and `inhuman'. But for better or worse, this sort of educational diet, plus the fact that their bodies and all their friends tell them that they are `ready for life' means an end to formal education. A lot of them regret it later when they find themselves in some boring dead-end job.
A `fate worse than a fate worse than death' lies in wait for the prettier girls, as the following incident relates:
The "one-way" trap
Once upon a time I was working in a small company in Paris and one afternoon Jean-Paul, a friend of about my own age, called me from my desk. Apparently amused, he said we were wanted in the conference room. Arriving there a few minutes later, I was surprised to see it laid out with a buffet, music playing and a few girls standing around whom I vaguely remembered having seen in other parts of the company. Other men arrived, including Jean-Paul. He explained that it was “St Catherine's Day” and that it was traditional in France on that day to organise a little "fete" for all the young ladies who had reached the age of 25 and were not yet married, and any available bachelors. A rather embarrassed little party developed, helped by a copious supply of wine. Jean-Paul and I danced with all the young ladies. Jean-Paul, a noted "drageur" (Casanova) looked momentarily worried when I asked him which one he was going to marry, but then he remembered that Anglo-Saxon humour was not always in the best of taste.
Yes, if a girl is not married in France by the age of 25 she is "on the shelf".
Now if you live in a big city and look around, you will find that drama circles, choirs, bars, country dancing groups, tennis clubs, evening language classes etc. are filled with lots of attractive, well-dressed friendly smiling young ladies aged 30-40. If as a bachelor you have been working and spending hard trying to convince pretty but capricious younger girls that you are the one for them, you will be amazed how nice and reasonable they are. They insist on paying for themselves at meals and actually suggest outings, picnics etc. where they supply the food! Why don't they have boy-friends already? They obviously know how to deal with men, laughing at his jokes, asking him intelligent questions about his work, soliciting his opinion on the political situation, inquiring how a submarine works, buying him a little birthday scarf that exactly matches his new coat. It can be quite head-turning. And then you suddenly find, perhaps from common friends, that she wants to get married.
She is "on the shelf". How did she get there and how can others avoid it? Let us look at a typical case history.
Ann at 17 is very attractive and has lots of boy-friends, none serious. She grows up, finishes her secretarial course and moves into a small apartment. She has a number of casual affairs but around the age of 22 meets a personable young man, Peter, who is 28 and a rising salesman in the company she works for. They decide to live together. She leaves her apartment and they move into a bigger one.
They both live very happily for 5 years or so, taking things as they come, living well, having holidays abroad twice a year, and not thinking of the future. But Ann starts looking around her friends, most of who are now married, with children. She notices a grey hair and wonders if she has perhaps not given away too many "free samples". She is 27 now and starts dropping little hints about how happy so-and-so are since they got married. Peter is 33 now and is looking speculatively at Ann. She is still a secretary at the same company where they met, but he is in charge of sales in another company, after being sent on a management course. Ann is putting on a little weight and beginning to dye her hair. She thinks Peter doesn't notice, but he does. Ann starts to put more pressure on Peter, saying she would like to get married and why not, they get on so well together. She realises her attraction for Peter has been largely physical. It is now or never.
Peter, who at 33 looks a little more attractive than he did at 28, is under no such compulsion. He would probably stay with Ann, but marriage? ... with (mostly his) shared property? If he had wanted to have married Ann he would have done it 5 years ago, and may indeed have asked her then, but she, although willing to "grant him the privileges of marriage" without a written contract, declined because she "wasn't sure". No, if Peter wanted to get married it would be to Michèle, a quiet intelligent looking new girl (aged 22) in charge of Publications who has discreetly let it be known that any advances from him would not be misplaced.
There are tears and Ann threatens to leave him. Finally Peter pre-emptively breaks-off the 5 year old relationship, using the excuse that if she really wants to get married, he is only standing in her way. Ann, finding her threats have worked only too well, suddenly finds herself alone.
Peter now goes on to Michèle and Ann joins a tennis club.
Now there are lots of single men in the tennis club and the arrival of a pretty, sophisticated, unattached girl of 27 creates a minor sensation. She gets lots of offers from men in the right age bracket (29-34 say) but she is looking at them all with new eyes. She wants a husband so cannot have casual affairs anymore. She wants the next man to look at her as the prospective mother of his children. She will be invited out and receive marriage proposals but unfortunately they are only from men in the right age group but quite impossible, or from reasonable men aged 40-50. After Peter her standards are high and she is not about to lower them, especially for a husband. (The attractive thirty-year-old men like her but hear the obvious wedding-bells and are in any case having it off with the twenty-year-olds in the club).
Ann is in the "one-way" trap. Simply stated, and with the usual statistical reservations, "A male can have a lasting sexual relationship with a much younger female, but the reverse is rarely the case".
Ann now has the choice of lowering her standards and marrying one of the aforementioned or giving up all hopes of marriage and living it up with anyone presentable for as long as she can, or more often than not, retiring to the sidelines and occupying herself with her female friends, whose company she prefers to men's anyway, were it not for this wretched sexual attraction.
[An alternative entry into the “one way trap” is where Ann, bored after 5 years with the same partner, foolishly starts flirting with other men. Peter finds out and leaves Ann. Ann confidently starts looking for another partner. But time has moved on - Ann is now 27.]
Comments? Well, tough. Only very pretty and attractive girls fall into the "one-way" trap. As Ann had probably caused considerable havoc amongst the male population before she settled down with Peter, I cannot feel too much sympathy for her. She has become a casualty in the "sex war", in spite of her powerful weapons.
Puberty in young males- Nature's protection
Having described the stresses occurring in the life of young females around puberty and beyond, let us take a quick glance at a male in the same age group.
Little boys around puberty are not distracted by lots of rich, fascinating, older girls - on the contrary. Puberty is an awkward age for boys - the voice timbre jumps up and down, the face has acne pimples, ears stick out, growth spurts so clothes are generally too small. Nature is deliberately making them gawky and unattractive, protecting then from sexual temptations in this important learning phase of their life. With varied success. Here I have an old school group photograph taken around adolescence. Look at Cyril, peering through his thick glasses, small and rabbitty. He went on to Oxford and became a cabinet minister. Peter here, looking down at his hands, his tie askew, his school blazer wrongly buttoned, went to Bell Laboratories and wrote a classical paper on superconductors. On the other hand John, blond and grinning self-confidently into the camera, is going to be the head of the school in two years time and will have an affair with the headmaster's wife. He will end up as an insurance salesman.
Men never grow up
Yes, most men are still little boys, and being immature can still learn. Girls often accuse men of being little boys - without realising that they are paying them a compliment. Little boys can still learn. A young girl of 17 is really mature. She is ready for marriage and family. But a father of 17?
Let me tell you of an odd experience I had while serving in the RAF. It was just after the war. I had finished a year-long radar course and had been selected as an instructor. Most of the trainees coming through were about my age but suddenly a large group of senior NCOs appeared. I remember looking at them rather apprehensively when they filed into my classroom. There they were, thirty grown men, sergeants, flight-sergeants and even one or two warrant-officers, their uniforms covered with medal ribbons earned in famous campaigns in far-off places, Burma, Africa, Norway, France. Clipped grey moustaches, their faces bearing the grim look of authority.
My first surprise came when turning round from the black-board on hearing chuckles, I caught one grey-haired sergeant poking another in front of him with a ruler! He looked up at me guiltily. I was amazed! As the course continued so did my amazement. I would come into the classroom after a break and find thirty pairs of eyes watching me. On the board was a childish drawing labelled "teecher". Individually and in the sergeants' mess they were serious adults but in the classroom they reverted to the role of children. I'm not saying they were like real children, they worked hard and seriously, but there was often a totally unexpected air of levity.
Male and female humour
Telling jokes is "young" behaviour and male and female humour is different. Females tell their jokes fortunately only to other females because, mein Gott, female jokes would make a monkey blush. Male humour is witty, irreverent, satirical and breaks all and any conventions. Male humour often has to be explained to females. Female jokes also break a convention. The convention that sexual bodily functions should not be explicitly mentioned. Female jokes are simply obscene and operate by blast-effect.
Now before we try to draw any conclusions from what we have seen so far, let us conduct a little experiment ourselves. It's a "thought experiment" but I'm sure you will agree that the actors perform their roles convincingly.
Imagine a room where two children, male and female, are playing with their toys. Mother enters and gives each child an identical object. The object is a metal box with two doors, each door has a handle and the handles are loosely tied together with a tangle of string. The little girl takes her box, shakes it, finds there is something inside, tries to tug the doors open, tries to peer inside, looks at the tangle of string, gives up and goes back to playing.
Box "You can't open me!"
Girl "I could possibly if I tried, but it would take a long time and it's probably not worth it. Anyway it's Teddy's time for tea."
The little boy will do the same thing but try to force the doors with his toy sword, then perhaps try to saw through the string with the edge of a metal toy.
Box "You can't open me!"
Boy "Oh yes I can, and I'm going to open you even if it takes me all day."
He will then sit down and painfully try to disentangle the string, frequently getting up and kicking the box around the room in frustration and making the little girl cry. But he persists and finally opens it, finding only a sweet inside. Holding the sweet in his hand, he peers inside, shakes the box upside down. No, that was all there was in the box. He may eat the sweet.
In a similar life situation, ten years later, he will give the sweet to the girl in return for a kiss.
Now why this different reaction? I'm sure that if you could look into the brain of the male and the female and particularly the lower or primitive brain, you would find that the part concerned with aggression is relatively larger in the male. And that's it. Aggression. The males have it (often too much); the females have in general too little.
The above scenario is explained by the definition:
"Curiosity is aggression against the environment"
The "Sex War" - First contact.
The actors, or contestants, are now on stage: the mature, physically attractive female and the more-or-less mature male.
But first they have to meet and a lot of males fail to make suitable contact for lack of knowledge of one of the fundamental differences between male and female.
Male vs. female attention range
Imagine a large cocktail party of 100 people or so.
Roar of conversation - knots of people laughing and gesturing animatedly - background music - heat - waiters passing with loaded trays of drinks - buffet in the corner. John enters.
He immediately notices the buffet, a waiter approaching with a drink on his tray unclaimed (he claims it), a pretty girl talking to that plain girl who works in the library, another even prettier girl being directed by an older man (the host) to the ladies' room. His plan is ready in an instant - get some food and an extra glass of wine and stand near the ladies' room door so he will be bound to be bumped by it when the very pretty girl comes out. Offer her the wine. Alternatively strike up a conversation on books with the librarian and then bring in the pretty companion. Assuming he succeeds in one of his aims and is chatting up one of the targets, he will still be able to keep an eye on approaching waiters for drink refills, another eye on the door to check new guests and at the same time overhear the essential of what his bank manager is saying to the new real estate agent who has just opened on the High Street.
Now let us put ourselves in the position of Ann, that pretty girl talking to the librarian. Ann is sipping the now warm drink she was offered when she entered half an hour ago and is having an animated conversation with Mary, a girl she went to school with. Poor Mary, she was always top of the class but why must she do her hair in that old-fashioned way, and doesn't she know she has lipstick on her teeth? It's so noisy here, there must be a buffet somewhere. Where is that nice man she met at the door? She looks round vaguely, but they are all strangers.
Notice the difference. Although Ann's eyes are as good as John's, her circle of attention is quite different. Objects more than about 3 or 4 meters away are just not perceived. But inside that range it is as though they are under a microscope, and the closer they approach the higher the magnification. Those with knowledge of graphs will understand the effect better by studying the curve below.
The area under each curve is the same, which shows that the total perception is the same for John and Ann - it is just differently distributed. Mathematically it is a square or cube law distribution for Ann. Physically it is as though she is short sighted.
The reason for this startling difference lies in the different life roles of male and female. We pointed out earlier on that it is the female role to stay at home. She is a “gatherer" and her vision need not extend hardly further than the hearth. And because it doesn't need to, it doesn't. I don't mean the distance at which she can physically see but the distance at which she pays attention to what her eyes show her.
The male role is the "hunter" and he has therefore to spend his
attention differently. Because he needs to know what happens at
the limit of his vision, he cannot pay the same attention to
What are the practical applications of this? The main one is that if you want to contact a girl you must first approach her closely physically. And the second rule is that you had better pay detailed attention to your grooming. In my day that meant clean fingernails, well-shaved, brushed teeth, no grease spots on tie, no bad breath etc.
Incidentally, and almost the subject of another essay, is how the behaviour of girls reflects this shortsighted but detailed world-view. When you get to know one very well, it can be like you are in a gravity well. Your familiar view of the world shifts. Everything only has value and reality in relation to her - he is a nice person because he did/said that to her. Green is a nice colour because it matches her eyes. It becomes difficult to talk in objective generalities, after a short interval you always find that somehow the conversation has subtly shifted and you are both discussing her very personal viewpoint. After all, the person who is closest to her is herself, and is thus seen at the highest magnification.
As an example. My 7-year old daughter (who incidentally I brought up myself) was learning French and had just learnt the word for "knock-kneed", but didn't know what the word meant in English. So out walking I showed her a girl suffering from this affliction. "Oh, Daddy! I don't look like that do I?" she said. I was shocked with this reaction and we had quite a long talk about not taking things personally. I don't think she understood the cause of my irritation at the time, but it must have registered as she grew up to make a success for herself in a masculine business world.
This myopia seems to be applicable to time too. Many of my female friends cannot look far in the future; they have no idea of saving money. They receive their salary at the end of the month and by the end of the next month they have spent it all. Remember that Aesop's fable about the butterfly that danced all summer and mocked the ant that was stockpiling food for winter? I forget the punch line when winter arrived - but I'm sure the ant had it.
I know many young, witty, intelligent, female University students. But when I ask them what they are studying, it is usually something like "History of Art", or languages (especially languages). I try to point out that in two or three years they are going to come on the labour market in competition with male students of the same age who have degrees in law, medicine, computers, business administration and that all they are going to be able to hope for is some trivial job, and that only after a hasty secretarial course. They vaguely hope to become teachers or translators. If I point out that translators have to know something about what they are translating and maybe they should be concentrating on some specialised subject, they just don't want to know. Some will get married, of course and be supported by a man.
Yes, while it is easy to observe that the female takes a much greater interest in herself than the male, in her personal appearance, it is not generally appreciated by males that she also takes a much greater interest in herself "inside". Herself as a human being, her feelings, how she "responds" to other human beings and to various life situations. Read a story in any woman's magazine. This careful examination of self is usually overdone and leads to cautious behaviour. From the "Fresh Look" viewpoint we would say she applies too much negative feedback to herself (see Tutorial). A psychologist would say she is "inhibited". She is unwilling to put herself in a position where she might possibly be at a disadvantage. She lacks self-confidence.
Contrast this to the male who, by spending more of his attention looking "away" from himself, is not so aware of himself and his abilities, and in particular his possible lack of abilities. Given some task which he has never performed and doesn't know what the outcome will be, he is willing to "have a bash". He will step into the driving seat of an unknown car and if he makes some mistake with unfamiliar controls merely curse the stupid manufacturer for laying them out wrongly. He will blithely accept an invitation to give a talk to a distinguished gathering on some subject he only has a passing acquaintance with, "They wouldn't have asked me if they didn't want to listen to me".
This endearing attitude is what makes progress possible. Progress, which so often means attempting and succeeding in doing something because he didn't know it couldn't be done. The male has less negative feedback, less inhibitions than the female.
Right, so you have to brush your teeth and get physically close to the girl before she will even notice you. In France (where sex is the national sport, outranking even eating) they seem to know this instinctively. Whenever you are in Paris, but especially in the Latin Quarter or along the Champs Elysees, you will see young men ogling girls and trying to get in conversation with them. They will walk alongside a stony-faced girl for 200 meters or so, trying to strike up an acquaintance. Coming out of a railway station there will be at least two or three men waiting to offer to carry the suitcase of any presentable female. In museums a man will arrange that he arrives at a famous work of art at the same time as some young lady. He will then burst into spontaneous cries of admiration and after inviting her to admire it too, volunteer his services as museum guide. Foreign girls are most susceptible to these tactics. I remember reading a book once "Manuel du Drageur" – a sort of Casanova's bible - giving data on different parts of Paris and the different tactics to be used with the girls found there. In certain quartiers a leather jacket with paint-stained jeans would give the right artist image - in others a suit and an available car was essential.
To illustrate the wasted ingenuity men will employ to contact girls I will relate two tricks:
Trick number 1 I saw myself. Two young men, about 20, were standing at a bar observing a pretty blond girl (probably German) sitting alone smoking in a far corner of the terrace. A, who is quite well dressed, left the bar and reappeared outside with a copy of Figaro. Immersed in his Figaro, he walks up to the terrace and sits down at a table next to the target, with his back to her. Ten minutes later B appears, staggering slightly, tie undone, coat open. He sits at another table next to the girl, looking at her. She looks at him coldly, then away. He fumbles out a packet of cigarettes, drops one, picks it up, searches his pockets ostentatiously then asks the girl for a light. She looks around with exasperation then hands him a box of matches. He clumsily lights his cigarette, looks at the match-box, notices it is in German and tries to get her into conversation, when arrive, how long stay etc. The girl answers shortly and starts looking in her handbag for money to pay the check under her coffee-cup. B tries to restrain her, saying he will pay and holds her handbag strap, German pig, think you are too good for us etc. At this point A turns round and addresses B, telling him to push off, can't he see that .. drunken bum. B lets go of the handbag and aims a wild swing at A who replies with an obviously murderous blow to the stomach of B who doubles up in agony. Under the admonishing finger of A he then cringes away and disappears. The stage is now set for A who assures the girl of his shame at the behaviour of a compatriot, and blots up the spilt coffee with his snow-white handkerchief. When last I saw them they were both drinking Pernod and he was showing her an article on German art in his Figaro. The next steps I can only guess at. A visit to a concert, a little dinner, a chaste kiss. Something the same the next night...and sooner or later, bed. Then he will have to take her to a party to show her off to his friends (not including B!). She returns home and .. "à la suivante".
Method 2 I only heard of from a friend. Some background first. In the middle of Paris there is a big barge, floating in the Seine and moored to the quay. In the barge there is a smallish open-air swimming pool, dressing rooms and a large sunbathing area. Piscine Déligny it's called. On a sunny afternoon, especially at the weekend, it is difficult to find a place to lie down. It is very fashionable and you see lots of very pretty girls in tiny swim suits. (I have often questioned their motives in going there. They look around coolly, cover themselves slowly and thoroughly with Ambre Solaire, put on sun glasses and lie down. There are a lot of envious looks but she has a couple on one side and another woman on the other. After two hours she leaves). But my friend's motives are not in doubt. He would go very early, about 1:30, before the place filled up, with 7 or 8 cheap towels. He would distribute these around the sunbathing area and then retire to a distant corner. Every now and then, carrying a full glass of lemonade, he would do the round of his "traps" to see if anyone was sitting on or next to one of his towels. Climbing over the recumbent bodies to his towel, with a filled-to-the-brim glass of lemonade would give him ample opportunity to strike up a conversation with any suitable girl by the towel (after lending her his towel to dry herself from the lemonade accidentally spilt).
Apparently girls can get used to this treatment and are in fact rather disappointed if they don't receive it. I once had a pretty blond Italian secretary and she told me how she visited London and walked up Regent Street. At the other end, puzzled, she stopped to look at herself in a shop window, thinking something was out of place. Nobody had tried to pick her up!
Falling in love
The world is filled with males looking for females and vice versa. How do they choose their partners? It appears that everyone has a very exact idea of his or her "rank" of attraction and seeks someone of about the same rank. (They have learnt of their rank by observing how other people - parents, teachers, friends, behave to them). If they are not very confident they will seek someone of a rather lower rank and so retain a dominant position. If they are confident they will aim higher.
"Rank" is 95% physical attraction. As physically attractive children are treated so differently from ugly children, they develop into more sociable, integrated, confident adults. The physical appearance of someone is a good summary of how easy that person would be to live with (until proved otherwise, anyway). Ugly children grow up with a chip on their shoulder, especially as regards the opposite sex.
So the search starts for a partner to love and who will love in return. He/she should also be intelligent, share the same interests etc. but that is secondary, although it may assume increasing importance later.
What is the chance of them meeting? Let us look at what is happening. He has a filter in his head which corresponds to his ideal of female attractiveness and to what height he may aspire. Initially it is fairly narrow and perhaps only 2% of the female population are in the correct age and rank group and could pass it. (For a discussion on Filters - see Tutorial). She also has a filter and perhaps also only 2% of the equivalent male population could pass it. So the chance of a male meeting and falling in love mutually with a female is 2% x 2% or 1 in 2500. Rather remote.
But if the couple meet a few times they gradually modify or match their filters until a reasonable fit is obtained. They are then said to be "in love". One is usually a better fit than the other. The one who is not so well matched and therefore not so deeply in love has all the advantages. The first time you fall in love is the first time you get any pleasure signal out of your filter: you probably didn't even know you had a filter there. Males are surprised to find they can modify the filter to get a better and better fit and thus get a stronger and stronger signal. It's dangerously easy to fall deeply in love when you are young and inexperienced. (Females at the same age seem to react more coolly. Probably because they know all about falling in love, having fallen in and out of love successively with - father, Uncle George, the milkboy, the music master at school etc.)
So you are both in love with each other and both used to the pleasure outputs of your filters. You are both at T2 on the famous curve of Fig. 7, Pg. 70A, in the Essay on Human Beings. The ecstasy of the first days of the affair are past, you have both dropped to Content. The only way for either of you to get up to the pleasure peak of yesteryear is to change your filter and fall in love with someone else. It works, of course, but inevitably you will come back to the Content level. It is usually the female who wants this change because she is often poorly educated and having a boring job, love is a large part of her life. Contentment is not enough. The male has enough excitement at work and excitement is the last thing he seeks at home. There is thus the finite risk that the male may suddenly find himself cut adrift with no output from the filter tuned to his ex-mate. You love her: she no longer loves you. What to do?
Falling out of love.
There is supposed to be a section in the Admiralty Handbook on Sailing which goes:
"What should you do if you find yourself on a lee shore in a gale and with a dragging anchor?
1. Never allow yourself to get in this situation".
This is no doubt followed by sound advice as to how best retrieve a disastrous situation. I will follow the same plan.
1.The first rule is never to fall so completely in love that she is at the centre of your thoughts all the time. Always remain a member of your climbing club, your choir. Do not spend all your spare time with her, even though she complains. These other activities are your lifeline in case anything goes wrong. (If you had both followed these rules it's possible there would have been no problem, but you have probably both given up external activities and just stay at home and watch TV together.)
2. You can usually see disaster approaching. It can often be delayed or diverted by some concession ie. leaving the choir. But how long before there is another scene and you have to give up the climbing club? Have your thoughts on your relationship ready. Ask yourself if you are really happy with her - are you really only staying together from a sense of duty, out of habit, because you are grateful for something, because you think she is ill and couldn't survive without you, because of the children? In other words, be prepared.
But the probability is that you are completely unprepared.
The bolt strikes out of a clear blue sky. She has met another, she is gone, you are very depressed (T3 on the Fig. 7 curve) and lots of time to be depressed in. The symptoms are well known, I really sympathise with you, the more sensitive you are the more deeply you are suffering. It is a very under-estimated illness, probably because it is "unmanly" to talk about it. I know, it doesn't matter how good you are at your job, how much people respect you at work - if she doesn't love you it is all worthless. You may find yourself disliking your job because she never understood it and thought it made you boring. It's bad enough if you are employed, as for 8 hours per day you are at least “paced" to a certain extent by colleagues' and customers' demands. But if you are at school or College, it's much worse. You have lots of time alone, you must pull your mind off brooding and study. It's tough and we've got to get you back to normal (or Content).
Step 1 is to realise that your problem is a network of connections in your brain called a Matched Filter (see Tutorial). It took about 2-3 weeks to tune it and it will take the same time to "detune" it. As you go through your environment you will find this filter will give sudden partial outputs which will lead you to think there is a complete output. An empty bottle of her perfume found at the back of a drawer, photographs, a tune. With iron resolve you must remove anything that gives an output from this "Her" filter and keeps it tuned. Remember also that there is always an output from a filter even though the input is only noise. You must expect to suddenly see her face in a crowd, hear her voice at a party.
Step 2 is to get in the habit of not thinking about her. Plan your day, be alone as little as possible - every minute spent not thinking about her contributes to detuning the filter. Realise that your moods are going to swing up and down and although the tendency is back towards Content, there will be sharp unexpected downward swings (followed by short upward swings). But the worst time is at night. It's very difficult to control your thoughts when the world is sleeping and you are the only one awake. Make yourself tired by physical exercise, preferably in the company of someone. Beware of walking alone as the extra blood-flow stimulates thought (useful in other situations). If you can't sleep, read. Don't worry, you will sleep the next night.
Step 3. Learn the following verse:
"White hands cling to the bridle rein,
Slipping the spur from the booted heel;
Tenderest voices cry `Turn again'
Red lips tarnish the scabbarded steel:
Down to Gehenna or up to the Throne,
He travels fastest who travels alone."
Looking back at this last section "Falling out of love", I realise that it is a little to one side of my main theme, but the Fresh Look essays are after all written by an engineer and we always try to find a practical use for knowledge. So look at it as a helping hand to any unhappy male who is reading this.
Unhappy females? Yes, it happens to them too. But I'm afraid my sympathy is more abstract here. Females use their feelings more than males and can control them better. They also have more sympathetic friends and there is no taboo on talking about emotional problems with them. On the contrary. It can put them in the centre of the stage and they tend to wallow in the romantic role of rejected lover.
Conclusions so far
I hope I have convinced you that:
- Sex and sex related activities take up a lot of time and can have very painful consequences if anything goes wrong.
- Males so extravagantly outperform females because they never really mature and so are continually learning. Many females are actually mature and have stopped developing at puberty.
- Aggression and curiosity are signs of immaturity.
Sex - does it help humanity?
But it is not the object of this essay to approve or justify the actions of the male or the female. Forces stronger than themselves, originating in the Lower Brain, motivate them. Remember we are trying to get an overall "Wood from the Trees" View and the only way to judge any human activity is "does it help humanity to advance?". The key word is "Advance".
What is an advanced society? Well, we seem to have no inhibitions when we judge the Greeks, the Romans, the Polynesians etc. We judge them by their creations and their discoveries, artistic and scientific, we censure their decadence. The Andromedans will certainly use the same criteria in judging us, so we must judge ourselves the same way. It is after all the way our descendants will judge us.
I think it is fair to say that "advances", as defined above, are made by an extremely small number of people – almost all males. The rest of us are either helping this small number, hindering them, or just neutral. The question "Sex - does it help humanity?" resolves itself therefore into finding the effect of sex on this small group of male "doers." I made the case that Nature, by retarding their sexual development during puberty, has to a certain extent protected them from sexual distractions during the vital learning phase.
But Nature cannot and should not retard their sexual development indefinitely. They should make their contribution to human progress but they should also pass on their precious genes. So sooner or later they come up against the same problems as us less gifted males. Some find female companions, some want to find female companions but don't, some don't want a female companion, some have found a female companion and want to lose her... Let us split them up into four classes using a Veitch diagram:
content not content
pair-bonded 1 2
Not pair-bonded 3 4
Class 1 (pair-bonded and content) can be productive but it depends very much on his wife. If his gift is artistic she will probably appreciate it and tolerate his inattention to her. If he's a scientist this is less likely: if he is content with his lot he has possibly sacrificed his vocation to his marriage. This is probably true for all in this box, to a certain extent. Being happily married is a complex job in its own right, and any effort spent in this direction is effort not spent in using his gift. Say 70% efficiency.
Class 2 is married and not content with this condition. Difficult to judge. He may hate his wife and spend all his time composing symphonies (good) or love his wife but there is something wrong, in which case he spends a lot of time brooding and trying to repair his marriage (bad). Say 50% efficiency.
Class 4 who is not pair-bonded but wants to be. He might regret it if he ever did get married, thinking he will go into box 1 but actually ending in box 2. But in the meantime he "wants a girl" and is wasting a lot of his time in trying to find one. This is bad for his productivity. Say 50% efficient.
Class 3 is apparently the only one that is unaffected by sex and can work to maximum efficiency (100%).
I have shown all the boxes of the same size, ie. as though the small gifted élite of "doers" fell into four equal sized groups. But this is probably not so, at least not for males around 30 years old. I guess box 1 contains 30% of the total, in box 2 is 30%, box 3 is 10% and box 4 is 30%. Putting in their estimated efficiencies:
Class Proportion % Efficiency % Total
1 30 70 21
2 30 50 15
3 10 100 10
4 30 50 15
In other words, out of 100 gifted males, only 61 are actually using their gifts. The rest are either looking after their wives and marriages, avoiding their wives, or looking for a girl friend. Terrible. Sex is causing 40% of their productivity to be wasted!
Before we leave this section, let us cast a sad backward glance at group 4, a group for which I have a particular sympathy. Like all normal young men they want a girl, a pretty girl who will weave some flowers and gentleness into their lives. But unfortunately group 4 men have a low "rank" – they are probably physically unattractive. They are accustomed to sit gloomily alone at discos and on the beach, watching their more physically attractive contemporaries making the pretty girls laugh with their stupid jokes. Group 4 men may well be highly motivated and intelligent, but they do not have the flash, the superficial chat, the self-confidence so necessary in relations with the opposite sex. Their only hope is that they rise to a controlling position when, to their surprise, they will suddenly find that their physical attraction has increased. For power is an aphrodisiac.
But although sex is reducing the efficiency of the elite group of "doers" to 60%, sex is obviously indispensable for without it there can be no next generation. And this is surely one of the strangest facets of Sex. Any couple can get together and "make" a baby, as many as they want, and lots of people do. Just like that.
In the Developed World there are restraints, hidden and not so hidden. You are actually not allowed to breed with a close relative. You are more-or-less obliged to marry someone in your own "class", if only because this is the sort of person you are most likely to meet. You are most likely to have 2 – 3 children because any more will be a drag on your living standard. In the Developed World the tendency is therefore towards a stable population. In the Third World there is a permanent catastrophe due to over-population, (made possible with medical and monetary assistance provided by bad consciences in the Developed World).
So uncontrolled procreation is at best keeping us where we are. Now the word "uncontrolled" brings forward the idea of "controlled" procreation: a word that rings alarm bells. But the tools for doing this effectively are being prepared and there is no precedent in human history of a tool being invented and not used. The excuse for its use will be made in at least two ways
1. We are going through a period of relative peace at the moment (this was written in 2002), with no political or religious block seeking to impose itself. But this is unusual and history shows that this pause will only be temporary. And as the homogeneity, intelligence, programmability, industry etc. of a population can be considered as weapons, we must expect that the tool of genetic manipulation will be used. (The Lebensborn program of the Third Reich showed that it was quite possible to convince adult members of the Developed World to try to clinically breed a Super Race). It will then only need a hint that They are breeding supermen for Us to justify our program. And unlike the arms race, requiring costly technology, the Clone Race (or whatever it will be called) can probably be maintained from a small laboratory and a large number of surrogate mothers. But in the Developed World it will be probably introduced in a different manner:
2. Imagine a young couple that want to have a child. They conceive. After a few weeks (perhaps earlier) it is even today possible to examine the foetus and say something about the child-to-be. If it would be Mongoloid or have other gross deformities, the pregnancy can be terminated and try again. Not a very elegant method.
Technology improves and several eggs are inseminated in a “test tube" and on examination only the "best" one implanted in the mother. Better, but who decides which is the "best" one? Well, the parents, of course. They will probably sit down with a Ph.D.(Genetics) who tells them that this proto-foetus will have blue eyes like the mother and black hair like the father. This one will have the same big nose as the mother's Aunt Agatha, that one will have the mathematical ability of Uncle George. They then pick the proto-foetus they like best.
But of course there are many way of combining the father's and mother's genes. Surely it would be better to lay out a list of all the genes available and "design" the offspring? It would be a family occasion with the grandparents offering financial help for present medical consulting fees and future education. Naturally the least controversy will be over the removal of genes producing negative characteristics – a sadistic character, bad eyesight, lack of business acumen...
But to continue. What is to prevent the Ph.D.(Genetics) from making an offer (for a price) to supply some of the "financial acumen" genetic material left over from a consultation last week with the Morgan banking family? Nothing at all. It will be easy to hide and the pay-off so great it is inevitable. I am quite sure that right now very rich people, especially those belonging to a large family, are financing clever doctors to do all they can to safeguard or improve the quality of their offspring. They would be foolish not to and they didn't become rich by being foolish.
The Andromedans can only applaud.
I find that amongst some people there is a strong repugnance to the idea of genetic “manipulation”. Perhaps based on religion. Parents who are quite willing for their young children to be put into the care of other adults, even churchmen, where their brains will be programmed, (manipulated), will fight against the idea of having their brains and bodies genetically modified before birth. The penalty for this is that these parents will very likely be confronted later by their children asking “Mummy why did you let me be born without Daddy’s musical ear and without your beautiful big eyes?’
Sex - the future
So genetic modification becomes possible and acceptable. How and why to modify what, deserves an essay to itself – this essay is on Sex. We have seen that Sex is a gratification of a fundamental procreation drive, originating in the Lower Brain, but amplified/complicated out of all reason by the Upper Brain. Once the human race can be continued without the aid of the complicated choice of partners we use at present, ie. without the aid of Sex, then Sex should be not only not used but also removed as a time, energy and resource wasting distraction. Don't forget that all other species on this planet are only distracted by sex, are "on heat", now and them. Mankind is on heat all the time!
And there is another excellent reason why Sex should be removed.
If Sex were removed, humans would no longer be divided into males and females. We would become a mono-sex life form. I don't mean we should all become homosexuals or lesbians; the very word and concept of sex would become meaningless. We would just become "people". Some would say that a lot of the interest in life would disappear but you could have said this when aggression was somewhat tamed by tribal life and personal combat largely forbidden. And at the same time a lot of pain and frustration in the world would disappear.
But we may not have time to do it. There is a race being run between computers and genetically modified mankind, to determine who or what is going to be in charge of this planet in 50 years or so. If we, as humans, want to stay in the running we must either stop the rapid evolution of computers (the computer was only "born" in 1945 and already has advanced to Grand Master at chess) or out-evolve it ourselves. And we haven't even started to run in the race. And when we do start, our rate of evolution is bound to be slower than that of the computers, if only because it will take 10-20 years to see if an "intellectual" genetic modification has "worked".
But it is quite clear now that one of the biggest brakes on our evolution is going to be our addiction to the drug of Sex.
If a large and influential section of the public finds itself under performing all over the world and throughout all of recorded history, and is consequently marginalized and underprivileged, the more intelligent of this section will try to find a reason. Females in the Developed world find themselves in this position and so in the 60's there was born the "Feminist Movement". The basic theme of this movement is that females are "not expected by Society" to perform like males, and so obediently don't.
I preferred my "hunter and gatherer" explanation, and received unexpected confirmation from a book, which has recently appeared, called "Brainsex"1. Although entirely agreeing with my conclusions about performance, the authors find the explanation to be hormonal. (I guessed the reason to lie in the Lower Brain, which is not far out). But hormone levels can be measured and correlated with behaviour so this is obviously a much more satisfactory explanation. The book is well worth reading as it also gives a convincing (and well-documented) explanation of why there are many more male than female deviants, why the difference between the sexes is greatest when they are young, etc.
This last point is very interesting: there is a world of difference between little girls and little boys, but as they grow older males become less aggressive while females become less un-aggressive. This is surely the reason why there are so many discontented older women. They were unaggressive (with themselves) during their youth, when they were at their peak of learning ability and physical attractiveness, and so just took a trivial job with no prospects. Now they look back with shame at their education, and only the really motivated ones have the guts to do anything about it.
“Brainsex” sadly finishes: “It is hard to understand nature’s plan in arranging this inherent incompatibility between the two sexes of the species. Sex would be less of a disaster area if these differences were recognized. Science is doing what it can to produce the evidence that the minds of men and women are different. The rest is now up to us.”
But I received a much greater satisfaction on reading "Brainsex" than in merely having an argument confirmed. The above Essay "Sex" was written in the teeth of the opposition of number of young friends, male and female. The feminist doctrine of "lower expectations" has been more accepted by the young that I would have thought. However, I carried on writing in the "Fresh Look" style, carefully and logically moving from one point to the next and it gives me great pleasure to see that the method really works, in this case at least.
Readers of other Essays in this Fresh Look Collection will now be able to have more faith in the Method and the conclusions drawn.
1 “Brainsex – the real difference between men and women”
by Anne Moir and David Jessel.
Mandarin Press 1989 ISBN 0-7493-0525-8