The tide is high but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one
I’m not the kind of girl who gives up just like that Oh, no
It’s not the things you do that tease and wound me bad
But it’s the way you do the things you do to me
Blondie, The Tide is High
Back in my small town days, I was quite the bar fly. One night, after a full evening of drinks and pool and darts, a couple of the regulars announced an after-party at their house. These were not people I would characterize as friends, just people I knew around town. But I joined in anyway.
Standing on the porch, a local girl (whom I always had a shaky relationship with) started talking – gossiping most likely – about something to do with ‘whores’. I don’t recall the details, but my response was to blurt out “all women are whores, really.” Of course, I was speaking philosophically, metaphorically, from a deeply introspective place, but that doesn’t change the fact that my assertion was immediate cause for indignation. She was – umm, how do I phrase this? — she had a ‘reputation’, so I am certain that some part of her reaction was self defensive. I told her that all I meant was that every woman expects something from a man she sleeps with. Even if it is something as simple as a kind word. Uncategorically, she asserted that she didn’t. We argued for a few minutes and then I decided I really did not need any more to drink, so I walked home.
Yesterday, this conversation popped into my mind. I still think I was right, but after all these ears it finally occurred to me to wonder why and how that works. What I came up with is so simple it seems obvious to me: my honey, on the other hand, thinks I’m overgeneralizing, so I would like to see what others think.
My thoughts run like this: men make an investment in a woman with the goal (or return on investment) of sex. Women, on the other hand, treat sex as the investment in some future relationship. So, to extend the financial metaphor, for men their ‘books’ are ‘balanced’ once sex occurs, whereas for women, the opposite is true.
If I look at it personally I find that certainly think that I feel this way, although my expected return is often of a different sort than most women (my primary concern is a relationship though not necessarily an eros relationship, whereas I think most women draw that association to some degree).
If I look at it biologically (or evolutionarily), it seems to be consistent with K-r selection adaptations. In fact, it seems to fit in quite neatly.
If I look at it culturally, I think that we tend to categorize women that are ‘easy’ based largely on what they demand in return. The less they expect from a lover, the less upright and moral they are seen to be. (With all of the obvious modifications over recent decades)
So what do you think? Does this fit in with your attitudes and behaviors or those of your lovers and friends? Remember I am not looking at it morally, or emotionally – either men or women may find themselves emotionally drawn to a lover once the relationship becomes sexual, and that may drive greater wants, needs, desires and expectations. But that would be fundamentally separate from what I am looking at here. If you look at your expectations ‘from the outside’, what do you see?