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Xenopsyche

For Sexuals - Sex or Celibacy

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Lady Girl

I agree there is no actual textbook formula for how men or women experience attraction, when I said I experience it that way, there are some studies that represent that view...along with aesthetics being more immediate for males.

At any rate, the way I experience attraction doesn't mean I would choose celibacy...it just means I would probably get to know the not so sexually appealing person before having sex with them.

I would also venture to say that my willingness to act on sexual attraction has changed over the years and was also different when I consumed alcohol. Youth and alcohol were definitely aphrodisiacs for me.

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WhenSummersGone

Now I'm curious, if you weren't sexually attracted to someone then how would you decide who to have sex with? Just anyone really?

I find it hard to believe that men having sex are more picky than women, as I hear more complaints from men when they can't get laid.

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trapped.within.limbo

Now I'm curious, if you weren't sexually attracted to someone then how would you decide who to have sex with? Just anyone really?

I find it hard to believe that men having sex are more picky than women, as I hear more complaints from men when they can't get laid.

How would I decide whom to have sex with?

There isn't really a decision like that. I could decide to have sex with most women and some men, but they have to decide the same thing about me, simultaneously, for it to work.

There is also no deciding to *want* to have sex, there is only deciding *who* to have sex with... So long as they also decide to have sex with you. If they decide 'no' you can try all you want, but you won't get anywhere.

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BlackRose

Now I'm curious, if you weren't sexually attracted to someone then how would you decide who to have sex with? Just anyone really?

I find it hard to believe that men having sex are more picky than women, as I hear more complaints from men when they can't get laid.

A combination of factors... people you trusted, people you were friends with, people you thought were nice, people you thought would respect you and give you pleasure, people you liked the looks of... also, whoever is available and sexually compatible... none of that is dependent on attractiveness.

Pickiness varies a lot but women are generally more selective. But also men might be more likely to complain because women are probably more likely to be judged for wanting sex :(

Skull, I detest absurd pop-culture gender based ev psych oversimplifications, but let's not knock the whole field. Much of ev psych isn't even about gender, and lots of it can be tested with psych experiments, cross-cultural surveys, and computer modelling

I know it's not all about gender but I am under the impression that none of it is verifiable. May as well insomniac at some evolutionary psych.

As for celibacy, unless you're suggesting that celibacy is a gene and not a decision that could be made by people of any genetic makeup, it's totally irrelevant anyway. Evolution doesn't favor anything, not like that.

Human behavior is really complicated and cannot be simplified to a single gene. People are all so different, but for a given environment, some combinations of genes are statistically more likely than others to result in certain behavior; in other words, genetics can influence a decision by making it more or less likely in ways that are probably dwarved by individual factors, but would show up as minor differences when you looked at larger numbers of people.

So, if you had a gene variant that made celibacy slightly less likely, so that people would choose it 7% of the time in a given situation instead of 8%... then there would be slight selection pressure for that variant, making it rarer for people to choose celibacy. But we can't attribute any one individual decision solely to genetics; it doesn't work that way.

Any one individual could make any decision with any genetic makeup: the differences show up at the level of population genetics, statistically.

Anyway, this is called the Baldwin effect, and it's how behavior evolves. A gene variant that makes the decision to engage in fitness-increasing behavior slightly more likely will be selected for.

The idea that ev psych is "unverifiable" is a creationist talking point that people adapted to counter sexist bullshit and pop-culture oversimplifications, which are unfortunately all too common in ev psych.

But ev psych isn't a special magical kind of science. It's just part of evolutionary biology, except you look at human behavior and the human mind. Clearly cultural biases are more likely to step in there than when studying plant evolution. Thus it is essential that smart feminist evolutionary psychologists work to counter them with good theories and solid evidence.

Science works by gathering evidence for and against theories... theories are rarely completely verified or falsified, rather, there's just a lot of evidence for, say, evolution and human-caused global warming, and not much for Noah's Flood.

While it's difficult to get evidence relating to the way humans lived before the dawn of civilization, it's still possible. As with any field of science, we have to look at the data we can study to get information about the data we don't have access to. With ev psych, cross-cultural studies on human development are one of the best ways to do this... while we can't ever know for sure what happened 20,000 years ago, we can amass evidence and try to determine what theories are more or less likely.

Here's a good example of evidence for an ev psych theory:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/yj/an_especially_elegant_evpsych_experiment/

http://lesswrong.com/lw/mj/rational_vs_scientific_evpsych/

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/is-evolutionary-psychology-worthless/

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skullery

But ev psych isn't a special magical kind of science. It's just part of evolutionary biology, except you look at human behavior and the human mind.

This is 100% untrue. There is no connection between the two. Evolutionary psych PRETENDS to be like bio by mimicking language.

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BlackRose

But ev psych isn't a special magical kind of science. It's just part of evolutionary biology, except you look at human behavior and the human mind.

This is 100% untrue. There is no connection between the two. Evolutionary psych PRETENDS to be like bio by mimicking language.

What makes you say that?

You realize the mind is part of the body, right? you realize evolutionary biologists study and write books on both?

So do you think that a) there's no actual science on the evolution of the human mind; or b) there is, but it's called something different?

I'm fascinated by ev psych deniers, the same way I'm fascinated by global warming deniers or creationists. And like I said, I will be the first person to say that there is a lot of sexist bullshit in the field and that the media loves to sensationalize and oversimplify anything psych related to the point of absurdity.

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skullery

Almost nothing you're saying is even a little accurate.

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BlackRose

Elaborate.

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MadRat

The thing with evolutionary psychology is that it's unverifiable made-up folk tales about our ancient, pure selves. For any evolutionary theory you propose, I can tell you a story that demonstrates the exact opposite. Here's one:

Men are naturally predisposed to monogamy while women are predisposed to polyamory. Just like in animals, its the men with the attractions to a single individual; women, on the contrary, are attracted to and ready to accept any man. You see this behavior played out very nicely amongst walruses. The males of the species are driven mad with sexual desire, but not for just any ladyrus, no, he has his eye on a specific one. He fights nearly to the death for the right to mate with her, while she just chillaxes and is all "to the winner, the spoils!". She is so attracted to them all that she doesn't care who wins.

This sexual openness in women came in handy when humans arrived. The human men went off hunting, and those dudes were basically just balding, slower chimpanzees, so they died with great frequency. It was typical for a hunting team to come home with only half the fellas, so the ladies had to "improvise" (va-va-voom!). The women grabbed themselves new men and soldiered on.

This hypersexual polyamorous instinct has continued to serve women well into modern times, since, as you noted, men be triflin'. When a gal has to kick out her man, her instincts kick in and she goes and grabs herself a replacement to help her raise her family.

**end of totally made-up but equally plausible contary evolutionary psych explanation for modern human behavior.

OMG, go to Hell if you want to insult me or if you think your made-up story which is NOT based on years of scientific research is funny or whatever. I ´m not here to argue with ignorants.

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BlackRose

The thing with evolutionary psychology is that it's unverifiable made-up folk tales about our ancient, pure selves. For any evolutionary theory you propose, I can tell you a story that demonstrates the exact opposite. Here's one:

Men are naturally predisposed to monogamy while women are predisposed to polyamory. Just like in animals, its the men with the attractions to a single individual; women, on the contrary, are attracted to and ready to accept any man. You see this behavior played out very nicely amongst walruses. The males of the species are driven mad with sexual desire, but not for just any ladyrus, no, he has his eye on a specific one. He fights nearly to the death for the right to mate with her, while she just chillaxes and is all "to the winner, the spoils!". She is so attracted to them all that she doesn't care who wins.

This sexual openness in women came in handy when humans arrived. The human men went off hunting, and those dudes were basically just balding, slower chimpanzees, so they died with great frequency. It was typical for a hunting team to come home with only half the fellas, so the ladies had to "improvise" (va-va-voom!). The women grabbed themselves new men and soldiered on.

This hypersexual polyamorous instinct has continued to serve women well into modern times, since, as you noted, men be triflin'. When a gal has to kick out her man, her instincts kick in and she goes and grabs herself a replacement to help her raise her family.

**end of totally made-up but equally plausible contary evolutionary psych explanation for modern human behavior.

OMG, go to Hell if you want to insult me or if you think your made-up story which is NOT based on years of scientific research is funny or whatever. I ´m not here to argue with ignorants.

I don't understand this trend where otherwise intelligent people illogically deny that a whole sub-field of evolutionary science has any validity, using what are essentially Creationist talking points ("you can't prove men came from monkeys! you weren't there!"). I've seen it happen repeatedly. My theory is they just got fed up with some silly media popularization about gender roles and somehow ignorantly extended that to the rest of the field, and were too lazy to actually research the science?

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Lady Girl

This thread seems completely derailed.

Regarding the current topic however, there are anthropologists who study the pre-evolution existence of humans and the evidence that was rejected because it doesn't fit the modern evolutionist theory. They aren't Creationist. There is also a theory that man existed during the era of 'Lucy' (the missing link).

I think we could take the evolution conversation to PP&S if need be though (anyone is welcome to start that topic) and return to the question at hand..."Sex or Celibacy."

I also want to strongly suggest that we remain civil here.

Lady Girl, Moderator

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Harzel174

I've noticed from a few comments that there's an assumption from the asexual crowd that sexual attraction is synonymous with physical attraction. It's not. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it, some conscious and others not, that vary wildly between individuals. It's still a bit unclear to me whether we're talking about no physical attraction or no attraction whatsoever.

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WhenSummersGone

I've noticed from a few comments that there's an assumption from the asexual crowd that sexual attraction is synonymous with physical attraction. It's not. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it, some conscious and others not, that vary wildly between individuals. It's still a bit unclear to me whether we're talking about no physical attraction or no attraction whatsoever.

I would just say that whatever it is that draws you to want sex with a specific person right away, like Primary Sexual Attraction, asexuals don't have that. If there is no specific person and it's just sexual desire than asexuals don't have that. I know there are traits I like about guys which other girls like about the same guy as well, but I seem to think about romantic feelings rather than sexual feeings.

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BlackRose

I've noticed from a few comments that there's an assumption from the asexual crowd that sexual attraction is synonymous with physical attraction. It's not. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it, some conscious and others not, that vary wildly between individuals. It's still a bit unclear to me whether we're talking about no physical attraction or no attraction whatsoever.

I am confused now. What is physical attraction? people usually use "physical" to mean "sexual", as in "getting physical" which means having sex.

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Harzel174

I've noticed from a few comments that there's an assumption from the asexual crowd that sexual attraction is synonymous with physical attraction. It's not. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it, some conscious and others not, that vary wildly between individuals. It's still a bit unclear to me whether we're talking about no physical attraction or no attraction whatsoever.

I am confused now. What is physical attraction? people usually use "physical" to mean "sexual", as in "getting physical" which means having sex.

Whatever you experience with your senses? I dunno. I figured it was pretty self-explanatory. Not emotional, mental, or spiritual attraction.

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Celestine

I feel like reading this thread has definitely confirmed my asexuality (as if I needed more proof. xD). I was rather flabbergasted to read that the majority of allosexuals who responded said they would take sex with someone they were not attracted to over celibacy, without a doubt. I wonder if this small sample size is at all reflective of the population at large? I fully expected most allosexuals to say "as long as I can masturbate/have some nice high-tech sex toys, I'd be okay with celibacy." Guess I underestimated how strong the drive for partnered sex really is, and that it's more than just the relief of releasing genital tension.

Personally, my answer to the asexual equivalent question--"If you were unable to masturbate, would you rather have sex or no genital satisfaction at all?" I would go with "no sex, nothing at all" but it would be a tough choice and I can see how some asexuals would take the other option.

As an aside, yesterday I saw a trailer for a movie about sex addiction (the one with Mark Ruffalo, I forget the name of it) and the trailer declared, "Most people think about sex 15 times a day. But some people think about it 15 times AN HOUR!" I'm highly skeptical that that statistic is true. 15 times a day just seems too much to be normal. But, as this thread shows, I'm an ace so what do I know. XD

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Geo

15 times a day just seems too much to be normal.

Actually that seems a bit low to me.

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Lady Girl

15 times a day just seems too much to be normal.

Actually that seems a bit low to me.

I thought it was high too! :lol:

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Harzel174

I've never really understood what qualifies as a discrete "thought" of sex. Is a 15 minute fantasy equivalent to a half-second impulsive "I wonder what that person looks like naked?" It seems like a stupid thing to quantify. Any time a "study" throws out a number like that I just assume it's sensationalized BS, usually used to try and put down highly sexual people (typically men). In my mind it's like asking someone "how often do you think about food?" Well jesus I don't know, whenever I'm hungry or it's brought to my attention?

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Zerο

Celibacy, attraction is important to me.

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Feral_Sophisticate

I'd go with celibacy, as I can't have any meaningful romantic or sexual interaction with someone that I'm not attracted to.

When I was younger, I was far less circumspect or selective. I've learned to appreciate more meaningful connections.

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jimmyjjohn

It depends on HOW unattractive. If they are just kind of neutral I'd choose sex, maybe even if they were marginally ugly, but there is some kind of thresh hold where I'd no longer enjoy it.

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