Savage Love

Brief of Hearts


@LavaGirl: So, Grey's staff should have been enough for him , to pick from.
That your take

I think what Hunter is saying is that it's a "chic flick" because it panders to a female fantasy of being singled out from hundreds of other women by a highly desirable male for no apparent reason other than his insatiable attraction to "who you are".

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Ms Lava - If you promise not to *loose* your desire anywhere near me, I shall take your side on this one, in the hopes that as few people as possible *lose* desire anytime soon.

Note that Mr Hunter first called it a *chic* flick, perhaps a Relevant Typo.

I don't think I've seen a film since The Hours, and I'm still completely out of temper about that one. Not only did the film waste both Claire Danes and Toni Collette, but I don't think I'll ever recover from the outrage of seeing an interview in which Ms Winfrey *sympathized* with that Stepfordized Ms Kidman over the *great trials and tribulations* of playing (and therefore looking tolerably like) Virginia Woolf. That was ten times worse than whoever it was who was quite shocked when Dame Judi Dench considered it a compliment that people thought she resembled Iris Murdoch.
@111: Probably because gender essentialism is the refuge of the dull-wit.

Taking each person on a case by case basis and not assuming things about them will help you figure out a person much easier than trying to make assumptions of nurture and nature.
So long as you try to bang your head against "men" and "women" as fully separate and predictable persons with little overlap 'twixt the two, you'll probably be stuck looking for "instructions" that don't exist for the rest of your life.
Gender a component of personality? What does that mean?
@117: Sounds some bizarre mishmash of social conservative and new-age Oprah-speak, and just as practical and grounded in reality.

@115: "What woke you up out of your stupor? Normally you post a comment or two, then pass out again."


" Explain your knowledge of "gender essentialism is the refuge of the dull-wit." Are you trying to say gender is not a major component of personality? What percentage of the population do you consider to be "dull wits"."

I'm saying that your failure to "understand women" stems from treating them like some sort of homogenous alien species than a peer that may or may likely not fit your shallow stereotypes. Sure, I believe many persons are proudly lazy/ignorant and want a one-size fits all bucket to lump others into.
Whenever someone lectures others on evo-psych and "biotruths" or whatever, I just wait for the inevitable Bell Curve reference.
@120: What does "noting" a gender even mean? I listen to what the person states through passive and active communication and respond in kind. I try to avoid fuck ups by assuming as little as possible. I certainly don't assume I know anything about them through sex and gender.
Mr Hunter - I used to see films when I traveled, but I haven't gone anywhere of any distance since I had six nights in Toronto in 2001.
This is a pretty good example of how pathetic your approach is.

You're grasping at essentialism so that you can find a way to respond to my point that targets my gender specifically.

Grow up, child.
"Do you really avoid fuck-ups?"

With people who I respect, I certainly try to, and my fuck-ups have more to do with miscommunication on my end or theirs than them not fitting some cartoonist model of what a person is and wants to be beyond social conditioning.
(Cartoonish, autocorrect.)
I have a serious, true question for all you wonderful wise Sloggers (whom I won't call out by screen name even though I totally could!). I am in my 40s and recently began engaging in anal sex for the first time in my life with my new-ish, wonderful, open-minded girlfriend. It is great for me, "pleasurable but different, and mostly psychologically thrilling" for her. Anyway, we both enjoy it as an occasional treat. The question is: I have always heard you need lube. Lots and lots of lube. We haven't used any. At all.

Are we... Are we doing something wrong? Please advise if possible.
A distraction!

@128: There may be a little natural lube helping things along depending on the foreplay, but why not just try a little into your routine? Having some on-hand is always great anyway, for toys etc.
Hunter, you haven’t clarified yourself at all. Answering the following questions thoughtfully and precisely might help you understand what you’re trying to say.

By ‘gender’ do you mean sex or identity? If sex, by what definition? If people who identify and present as male share a set of traits, does it matter to you if Y chromosomes or penises aren’t among the shared traits?

You seem to be using a highly idiosyncratic definition of ‘personality,’ so can you set out your definition?

if all else being equal — race, class, nationality, education, age, birth cohort, nutritional status — 100 matched pairs of men and women will show overlapping bell curves for height, does that mean that height is a major component of personality?

*** *** ***
What Undead Ayn Rand is saying is pretty clear: if you want to know how tall a person is, you look at that person. Dull wits look at their birth certificate.
Gou Tongzhi,

I don’t always need lube from a jar. There might be saliva, pussy juice, pre-cum or sweat. I relax very easily. Lube is fun though!
Start with you Sean, @110.
Panders to a female fantasy... Picks one out from a gigantic field of highly desirable women, because of
Who you are..
Right. Nothing to do with an unconscious perception on the male's part, that this particular woman, might, just might be able to reconnect him to his - how can I say it without sounding too womanly- deeper self. Long squashed by the conventions he adheres too, or damage done. What is Love?
In transit to the Gold Coast. Will get on line when I can.
Here comes Philo: I may have misunderstood some of your previous comments, and combined with what I viewed as somewhat aggressive writing it made this porcupine cringe a bit.
I have also applied the famous Savagetown passive-aggressive attitude later on, something I regret.

So if you’re up to it I’m open to direct negotiations, restoring diplomatic relations, reopening embassies, etc. I’ll keep things in proportion on my side.
@134 cont: and yes, that is the premise of 50 shades.
If a man and a woman, are attracted for sex- to me that's different.
Being attracted to each other, for love and sex. What is involved here?
@112; thanks Venn. What would I do, without my grammar/ spelling / punctuation checkers.
Isn't everybody sort of mismatched? And for some people, breaking up is really hard to do. It's not a casual thing.
@111: Yes Hunter. I agree, though I see an argument round this is coming up.
Maybe I'll avoid that, by saying : I believe there are big differences between
Men and Women. What could they really be? What is of nature and what is of conditioning.
How do we re connect with the masculine and feminine principles, and learn to respect and work with them.
Venn, I read" Inherent Vice "/ is that even the correct name and spelling?/is a great movie. That's my next one to see.
Poor Nicole. She does have a hard time getting her roles right.
I haven't much liked Toni Collett's work since that fabulous Muriel's Wedding.
One of the scenes, where she comes over a hill in a car, is shot from my
Mothers' driveway. House on the hill, overlooking Coolangatta Beach,
Gold Coast.
There are differences between the average man and the average woman, but the actual man and the actual woman are so far from average that generalizing from the mean is almost always useless and always insulting.

I love movies with explosions, wouldn't go see 50 Shades of Gray for less than $2000, want sex at least once a day, like to be woken up for sex, and complain about my spouse having a lower libido than me. Every gender generalization thrown around on this thread has been absolutely wrong for me. If I had guys trying to understand or hit on me based on this shit, they would be in trouble. Luckily, the guys in my life respond to me as an individual person, so I don't have to put up with being treated like a demographic getting poorly targeted ads.
Hunter & undead: this is an interesting conversation. Does it need to be rancorous? It starts interesting me less.

Concerning "evo-psych" (assuming this is evolutionary psychology?), one can believe it has validity as an idea and also believe that if humans don't transcend it we are doomed.
@128: I don't always need/use lube for anal. If it feels good, and nothing hurts or tears than you're not doing anything "wrong." But it's not a bad idea to have some lube handy, and it doesn't mean something is wrong if you decide to use it or feel you have to use it, either.
Keep having fun!
Gou Tongzhi @128, with anal a lot depends on the size of what's being inserted, and on how easily the bottom can relax. For people who are new to anal, experts usually advise starting small (fingers, thin toys) and using lube as well, to make the whole experience feel easy and fun.

If you two have already gotten to "easy and fun", then you don't need to worry, unless you want to start using larger insertables or one day the bottom finds it harder to relax.

Of course, if you two have been doing anal only one way (whether her on you or you on her), and then you decide to switch places, the new bottom may find lube comes in handy. People are individuals, after all.
fez@141.; as soon as this topic comes up, someone, like you or undead, go straight to being insulted by something.
There is little room given to explore what is the difference between men and women.
This is nothing to do with what movies you like or don't like. It's not about superficial choices.
Once again. People turn it combative, which is really a very very boring response.
Fez, I find it insulting too. That any investigation about the different qualities of the masculine and feminine, the yahyah
club, of which you are a member, go straight to putting down and denigrating any inquiry.
Intellectual fascism par excellence.
Sorry Fez, maybe I overreacted. Just arrived at my mothers',to do my rare visits of attempted compassion and she does
My head in.

@CMD - No worries, I think you're a pretty pleasantly prickly porcupine. Yeah I like to be a loudmouth sometimes. But I didn't mean to shush you, you seem cool, hope to see some loudmouth posts from you too.
Philo and CMD; glad to see you two have cyber kissed and made up.
Very out there, both of you. Looking forward to reading the renewed connection.
@120: No, your comments on this forum have shown that you can't. And that's what defines you as a sexist.
@141: What she said. *high five*
Fan; so, if a person notices another person's gender, when talking with them,
That makes them sexist?
You don't notice gender? When talking to a person. I do . Lots of other signals as well. Age/ height/ eye colour/ skin colour / health/ weight..
Surly, these are just clues taken in quickly.
Yes. Assumptions can be erroneously made from these quick momentary
Appraisals. Or not. Depends on how one then interprets the clues.
@153: It's not noticing, it's prejudging people based on their gender that is how I define sexism. Assuming that someone is behaving in a stereotypically male or stereotypically female way because they are male/female. Attitudes like "you women are all the same" or "typical male". Rather than, some PEOPLE are [insert characteristic here], get over it.
@128: Definitely try lube. If your girlfriend acts like it's the most amazing thing ever, keep using it.
I am laughing as I write this and amazed that Dan's Column is STILL so awesome even after doing this all these years! But anyway "Pussy Parcher?" Hysterical! Thanks Dan!
@157: Exactly, Hunter. You come off as sexist because you don't allow for the girls who like trucks and the boys who like dolls.
You also not so cleverly think that you can get away with value judgments under the guise of "observations".
@154: "Attitudes like "you women are all the same" "

I'm sure that's one of the reasons he's encountered so much push-back and is bitter now, even if he's only looking for a "traditional woman", they may still not fit into his shallow model of how they wish to be treated. Just treat potential mates as peers first, and sidestep the societal expectations for both of you, geez.

To Evo-Psych, the field is one of those weak departments in academia like parapsychology, it is not working from factual premises like evolutionary biology. It uses a lot of inductive reasoning, looking to justify existing societal stereotypes and gender essentialism through bad application of the scientific method. It's an absolute embarrassment and aside from clickbait articles for people to share on social media, has not produced anything of value. It's the darling of sexists and racists, but should be taught primarily in the context of 19th century anthropology.
The thing is, it's not just "feminists" online and off who have low opinions of evopsych and essentialism. Evolutionary biologists hold a deep loathing of the field.

Why? Is it because they "can't accept the biotruth"?

Well, it tends to be because evopsych is not a field well grounded in evolutionary biology, and thus there is little actual science present.……

It's a field of hacks who don't belong in academia. They do crappy work from false premises, and ultimately only attempt to tell people what "they" already feel, that social constructs are biological. It's a field of uninteresting, unscientific wankers.
@142: "one can believe it has validity as an idea and also believe that if humans don't transcend it"

Your nuanced view is not gender essentialism, though. The idea that evopsych and its adherents promote is a conflation of social constructs with biological predestination. It's dumb and reductionist. They believe that social conditioning reflects biological needs without exception. People can understand nurture and nature on some level but still dislike evopsych as it offers no insight and no better understanding of either the human condition, human biology, or the evolutionary history of humanity. It's a bunch of terrible psychology (certainly not enough sociology) and leading surveys mashed together.
I think there’s a difference between academic evo-psych and popular evo-psych, and while the latter is almost always stupid the former can be more rigorous.

Hunter78, if I can restate your thoughts in ’90 language, “There’s a construct ‘butch’ and a construct ‘femme’ and they are different. Some people identify with one or the other construct and you can usually tell which by their presentation.” Does this capture some of what you’re trying to say? Because sure, I accept that.

As I said to LateBloomer on an earlier thread, ”I don’t think it’s terrible to suggest that there are patterns that break down roughly along gender lines. What will piss people off is to say that there is only one pattern, that it breaks down exactly along gender lines, and that it is entirely due to genetics. The closer you get to that kind of assertion the faster and harder the stones will fly. For good reason.”

If you think that there is only one pattern and that you understand it; that it breaks down exactly along gender lines; and that it’s genetic, you will pay less attention to the individuality of the people in your life because you will believe that you already know them. This will cause problems for your relationships.
@97 DVN - Thanks and I agree. I'd also understand if Mr SNUGGLE decides it's too risky, she might eventually outsource the cuddles and it could lead to more. I read a dear prudie letter where that was happening.

But I think they might try a couple more stabs at the negotiation table if they're not in a hurry for kids. If both sex and cuddles were outsourced it might work. Or alternate sex nights with cuddle nights.

I don't think men want indiscriminate sex with anything that moves, or that women only want sex with the most special person ever, once, to have kids. I think all animals are into crashes, loud noises, and abrupt movements. I think most social animals are into sex and feeling special with another animal.

I think women are shushed more while growing up. Especially about sex.
You cross with me, Fan? Just using my no.
How did " noticing gender", get to
Assigning certain characteristics to one sex?
My interest, one not easily looked at, because gender does seem to be on a continuum, is what are the differences between the masculine and feminine principles.
Too hard basket here, because such a reaction seems to occur.
Why is looking at ideas around this area such a no no? Why does it so easily lead to anger and closed down minds?
Just ideas. Just throwing around perceptions.
@163: My concern is that there's very poor research that goes on in these departments, that remain more as a relic than anything providing value. Check out the opinions of evolutionary biologists on the field and you'll see their valid concerns on the attempts of social scientists to make claims of nature vs nurture while understanding little about nature and misconstruing nurture.

I mean, the Redpillers that rely on these cliches are obviously full of shit, but that these departments exist to begin with is disappointing.

But back to the topic, no wonder he's bitter, he's been headbutting sex, gender, trying to find some sort of "key" to understand all women versus working individually and on a case by case basis. Getting bitter at women for not fitting your flawed model, that's just self-destructive.
@165: "Why is looking at ideas around this area such a no no? "

Not to say thats what youre doing here, but there's a phrase in online communities "just asking questions" but not genuinely curious about learning fact or independent research.…

Beginning from false premises / using circular reasoning is also frowned upon. "Questions" are often presented as statements and do not contribute to a discussion. Questions can be loaded.
Hrm, wrong link.…

Apologies for my brevity on these matters, I check these articles on my phone and they really don't make for great one-sentence replies due to the complexity of the subject matter. I also wish for the ability to edit my posts...
Undead. My research is my life experience.
My understanding, after nearly a life time, of the differences between.
Yes. Socialisation of the genders does/ has distorted the picture. Trying to impose onto a human, certain ways of
Being, because of gender.
Beyond that, what is the difference?
Cause there is one.

Yin and Yang
@169: "Beyond that, what is the difference?
Cause there is one."

You are seeking answers to an overbroad series of questions.

Why not treat individuals as they wish to be treated and respect their choices AND biology as they communicate to you?

You have much less chance of disrespect and miscommunication than stuffing them into ill-fitting boxes. If you care about and love them, keep the theorizing internal and listen more to what they tell you.
@96 - I really hope SNUGGLES read your letter; I think you explain very clearly and kindly what is really behind most 'low libidos' or 'dead bedrooms'. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but looking back now, I can see this pattern pretty clearly in my own relationship history; even where the reasons behind the emotional alienation varied a bit, the sexual disconnect was a consistent symptom.

I think you nailed it when you said "intimate relationship with my vibrator" - yes, because maintaining sexual excitement with a fantasy (or an...non-sentient object) is easier than with another human being. I'm not picking on you; I think this is exactly what happens with a lot of men and porn (queue the "he masturbates to porn but never seems interested in me" contingent); I know it's happened to me for sure.
Accepting personally that a person is more than your assumptions about them, they are more than a "typical male" or gay, or more than their parents' DNA, they are the sum of all they have experienced and possess independent quirks in how they react to and digest everything in life. It's human to want to understand. It's human to categorize and want to break things down into individual components, but best to not assume you know what a person is in totality. It is at best rude and severely dunning-kruger to think that "you" know a person without trying to listen. Not you specifically. But the greater population
Yeah, I get angry at gender essentialism, too. I'm a cis straight female. I didn't play with dolls and I didn't play with trucks. As a child I played with blocks and Legos (which weren't sold in "boy" or "girl" sets then). I played tag and "army," and drew my own paper people which had elaborate social connections. I read and rode my bike, went "exploring" and built forts. I can't imagine a boy or girl not doing any of those things.

I don't watch "chick flicks" or read "chick lit," and I also don't like movies with explosions and lots of special effects.

I like men. As people. Honestly, some of my best friends are men.

I'm hopeless with anything technological or mechanical but I also don't like typically "female" things: I scotch tape my hems.

I am pretty girly: wear skirts most every day, love my heels, wear makeup and lots of jewelry -- which I tend to make (not my day job, but I make and sell jewelry as a hobby). But my hair is short (and yet, not a soccer mom cut), and I don't ever read women's magazines. I don't care about keeping up with celebrity gossip and don't even recognize most of the celebrities I see in the trashy magazines I glance through in the doctor's waiting room. I fucking hate Celine Dion and Michael Bolton, Kelly Clarkson and whoever else people think a middle-aged white woman should listen to.

Go ahead: pigeonhole me. I dare you.
Forgot to add: I am a mother who breastfed her children and a person who prefers to drive a car with a manual transmission. I like having sex and am able to separate it from love.
I love musicals with witty, clever lyrics, and hate those by Rogers and Hammerstein.

What is the point in trying to make people conform to some silly gendered expectation?

Rather than trying to understand "women," why not seek to understand those people whom you care about and/or want to know better as individuals? I don't understand what purpose is served by trying to force or perpetuate some sort of battle of the sexes, especially when I don't think most people break down that neatly or easily.
Would anyone be so kind as to translate "gender essentialism" from feminese to science for me?

Is it a (straw man) hypothesis that women are, without exception, genetically programmed for home-making, and men for providing?

Or is it the idea that in the executive board room that governs gender identity and roles among humans, genetics has a seat at the table?
@176: seandr, I don't know. I just get tired of the boxing in I see happening. Maybe I used the wrong word.
Certainly I see and have seen differences between the sexes that break down roughly along gender divides. And I'm not necessarily arguing that genetics or biology plays no part in it. But I think that much of it is socialized behavior, some of which is pretty subtle and which children absorb at a very early age.
And I know that the toy industry is marketing toys in a more gendered way than they used to, since the late 1980s/early 1990s. The Disney Princesses marketing phenomenon, for example, started in the early '90s.

I am sure that genetics has a seat at the table, but that's only one little piece of the overall picture. And I furthermore find that a piece of information that means very little. I can in some aspects of my personality and likes and dislikes, be reduced to my gender; I can't in other ones, both in my dislike of typically "female" interests and in my liking for typically "male" interests. And I suspect that many of us are the same way.
While not an exhaustive treatment of the subject, you can probably get as much of a feel for gender essentialism as you need by contemplating (and yes, this is a real product) a hammer with a pink handle, for women.
@178: You know, avast2006, I've seen ads for those products, but mostly I think they turn women off. At best, some women might buy them because they don't really care at all about color and figure what the hell-I need a hammer.
I can also think that the pink handle drives a lot of potential male customers away.
And I can't imagine any woman anywhere--even the ones that read romance novels that have foiled covers featuring shirtless men, like Michael Bolton et al., go to chick flicks, subscribe to Cosmo and Family Circle, view porn as cheating, and whatever else "women" are supposed to like/do--buying a hammer solely because it has a pink handle.

I really wonder about that marketing strategy sometimes.
undead ayn rand @166 “Getting bitter at women for not fitting your flawed model, that's just self-destructive.”

I don’t tnink that’s what Hunter78 is doing. I think he’s in a stagnant marriage with a woman he loves and saying “that’s just the way things are, because evolution” is his way of trying to deal without directing bitterness towards his wife. Who he loves.
@176: Certainly the former, and partially the latter, in that such persons believe they can isolate, know, and justify social structure based on genetics. They tend to isolate and decide things for broader society based on the idea that since "it's in the genes", laws and other strata are necessary for efficient flow and happiness for all. It's a way to market the same old ideas about social order as [pseudo]science and with little practical application.
@181: Perhaps, all I hear are the complaints and not much in the way of attempts to understand beyond these just-so stories.
@nocutename: The Disney Princesses marketing phenomenon, for example, started in the early '90s.

My personal experience with the Disney Princesses phenomenon -- in particular finding myself helpless to undermine it in our household -- tells me that DNA definitely has a seat at the table, and sometimes it wins over a majority of votes from the other board members. As for marketing, the princesses are like heroin -- once you get them to try it, the product sells itself.

It also taught me that modern children are socialized as much by their (mostly same sex) peers as by their parents. My daughter learned more about being a girl from her girlfriends than she did from mom and dad. (Currently, she's learning how to be "bitch" -- that's her term, and I'd say it's a fair description of some of her behavior -- from a dubious peer group of uber-wealthy brats.) Back in the Disney Princess days, there were a small handful of her female peers who weren't into it, and they suffered social consequences as a result.

@nocutename: I can in some aspects of my personality and likes and dislikes, be reduced to my gender; I can't in other ones

I dream of a day when we can give both the trends and the exceptions their due acknowledgement and respect.
@186: "I dream of a day when we can give both the trends and the exceptions their due acknowledgement and respect."

That's silly. Trends deserve no implicit "respect" for simply existing, unless you're attempting to tar a man and a woman by association.
@184: "You're saying "girls like to play with dolls and social pretend, and boys like rough and tumble" is a value judgement, and not an observation? Are you denying this (generalized) observation/value judgement?"

I think you concern yourself far too much with what you expect to see and rely on confirmation bias rather than attempting to understand.
To tack onto 187, part of the general disgust with the practice of essentialism is the conflation of stereotype and social aspects with biology. Women act like this, all people of a particular race act like this, gay people must fall into this or that category...
It's the usual treating people homogenously as one is comfortable with, but claiming science and a biological determinism as justification.
Sigh. seander, I wrote a long, careful response to you @186, and then my computer froze and I lost it. I don't have the heart to try and recreate it, let alone the time.
Re: SNUGGLE- I think one point many here are missing is just how much of a libido-killer pouting and guilt trips can be. I'm sure there are plenty of other things she does to show how much she cares about him, but it's likely he doesn't recognize or appreciate them because he's so focused on what's missing instead of what isn't missing.
Sounds like SNUGGLE could use some intimacy without pressure, and to know that he places at least some value on cuddling, kissing and touch that maybe doesn't lead directly into his pants. I get the feeling he's not doing that because he's too busy keeping score.
There's lots of talk here about how damaging this is to HIS self-esteem, but what about hers? Waking up every day and feeling like you have an automatic failing grade as a partner because you don't "perform on demand" is also horrible for self-esteem. Imagine feeling like no matter how loving you are or how much you do for someone, it doesn't count for anything unless you "put out" too.
Meanwhile, her vibrator doesn't guilt trip or keep score. It doesn't sulk or pout or manipulate, which is NOT a turn on.
So he needs to decide if he's in a relationship with all of her-career included- or just what's in his pants because even the most sexually compatible people will run into lulls in the action from time to time. He's "devastated" at "only" having sex once a week? Good grief, is he 25 or 15?
I am getting the impression that this conversation is not sufficiently differentiating the concept "women act like (whatever)" from the concept "it is unwomanly to not act like (whatever)." We do all follow the difference between the two, yes?

The former is observation, the latter is gender essentialism.
@nocutename: Alas, sorry to have missed it, that's happened to me before as well.

@undead: By "respect", I mean taken seriously, not admired.
@188: "I think you concern yourself far too much with what you expect to see and rely on confirmation bias rather than attempting to understand."

If you have some data that suggests that NFL fans are split 50/50 by gender and Barbie fans likewise, that would be some surprising data, and would be welcome.

We could also get into how it is more acceptable for females to show interest in traditionally masculine things than it is for males to show interest in traditionally feminine things. (Or maybe I should phrase it in terms of how much more UNacceptable it is for a boy to like girly things.)
Whenever I get more than a two paragraphs into composing a comment, I paste it into a text editor and save it temporarily to disk. Notepad crashes a lot less often than your browser does, and you can save as you go. Online is just less reliable. I even managed to accidentally delete a lengthy email from my drafts folder by clicking the wrong thing.
@everynameistaken: I think one point many here are missing is just how much of a libido-killer pouting and guilt trips can be.

This is a good point. At the same time, someone who feels sexually neglected is eventually going to have some very negative, non-sexy feelings about it. And so the marriage begins losing altitude, picking up speed, until it enters its death spiral...
@193: "The former is observation, the latter is gender essentialism."

The former can certainly be essentialist if it assumes that the gender role is wholly nature-derived.

I honestly don't get how someone can say with a straight face that boys are through sex drawn to blue and girls pink. In the American South, I believe the "assigned" color was historically swapped.
Not just for the American South, that was the prevailing attitude during the Victorian era as well. Historically, it was pink for boys and blue for girls until after WWI or so.…

We'll see if the link actually works, if not, here is an interesting quote -

For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”
@192 "He's "devastated" at "only" having sex once a week? Good grief, is he 25 or 15?"

How often should couples have sex? It depends, of course. But healthy men in their 20's, 30's, 40's, and older probably on average want sex several times a week. If their female partners are being satisfied by their men, these women probably want sex just as often.
Dr Sean - You were unable to undermine Disney Princess? Oh, dear. What a courageous but damaging admission.

I must say that Miss Sean sounds quite the little madam, but you still get some credit for not gushing about her brilliance and/or beauty, as multiple other people among the assembled company have been unable to refrain from doing about their female descendants. (I can't recollect any gushing about a male descendant from anyone in the assembled company; Mr Savage doesn't, and I recall that Ms Canuck didn't.) I'm perfectly prepared to believe that Miss Sean is as above average as all the other FDs of the assembled company in the usual realms of human accomplishment (Mr Bingley, we will all recall, professes a generalization of young ladies' being highly accomplished, which seems a perfectly good default position to take about any young person presented to our notice), but just wanted to commend you (and Ms Erica) for being able to avoid Gush Mode.
Ms Lava - Deidre Chambers; what a coincidence! (Best Processional ever; I don't attend weddings as a point of principle, but that one could tempt me.)
@198: I don't disagree with that. However, there often arises a problem when Statement A can be construed as Meaning A _or_ Meaning B, while Statement B can _only_ be construed as Meaning B; and when someone makes Statement A, certain people are absolutely sure they meant Meaning B.
No. Undead. I was just/ am just interested in the essential difference.
No thing to do with likes or dislikes of whatever movie or music. Or whether I know how to use a hammer or fix the washing machine or drive a fucking semi trailer from Perth to Broome.
Just to understand or explore the masculine and feminine principles.
WTF? Isn't cuckolding about humiliating and degrading your partner? And how does snuggle say she has a different libido from her partner when she uses a vibrator? Isn't SHE being selfish? Shouldn't cuddling lead to LOVE? Maybe she loves her vibrator more.....
Well Venn. I've got four sons. Three of whom are very handsome young men.
Their father, despite being an arse, was a very handsome man. No idea what he looks like, these days.
My youngest, sweet dear boy, not sure where he has come from.
Creative, charming, cheeky. He is a throw back. Not as handsome as his brothers. Reminds me, somehow, of a Jewish tailor. Of which there were a few, in his father's family.
@187, undead: You & I seem to have read seandr's comment

("I dream of a day when we can give both the trends and the exceptions their due acknowledgement and respect." )

very differently. I interpreted that to be saying pretty much the thing you have been advocating all along: take the parts of me that happen to align with traditional (antiquated) gender roles and the parts of me that don't align and accept me and see me as the individual that I am. Like what nocutename & Cat in fez said rather better @174 & 141.

seandr & undead, if I have misinterpreted you, please disabuse me (or abuse me if you feel it warranted).
@193, avast2006 How are they not both gender essentialism? Because "women" includes all of them, whatever it is must be deeply essential to the nature of women (which sort of explodes the whole rediculous idea of gender essentialism because I can't think of a single thing that would fit that bill). If the statement was "Mary acts like (whatever)", I would agree with you that it was observational.
@171; undead. I do treat people as individuals. How come you assume
I don't?
I'm not trying to fit anyone in any boxes, either. I have lived my life, as a woman who just goes her own way. Not following fashion trends etc.
You saying, there is no difference between men and women?
No tension between the sexes? No attraction coming from that tension, that difference?
All the communities, the tribal communities- where the males and females, take/ took on different aspects of the communal work, they are/ were all deluded?
I've been inside a relationship to somebody like CUDDLE, as the higher libido partner. I have years of practice trying to get my lower libido partner to meet me in the middle. And here's the only thing that reliably improves things, for a while, for us: her getting exercise. When she has exercised and stirred her neurotransmitters, she is the person I originally dated: with energy, and smiles, and enough of a libido to meet me in the middle. We have only managed to get back to three and four times a week in rare bursts, of maybe once a year. The lows are rough for me. There was recently a span of three weeks with no sex.

The problem is not a definition. When she doesn't want PiV, she also doesn't want to do hand jobs, or blow jobs, or receive oral, etc. There's a very good reason to not be into snuggling; it's difficult for me to stop there, and the longer it's been, the tougher it is to just be content with the snuggles.

In a mismatched libido relationship, both partners need to compromise if things are going to work. It sounds like for CUDDLE, he's the only one giving in, and she doesn't recognize or appreciate that he's giving in. Hopefully he's grateful for the maintenance sex. I can tell when she isn't into it, and it took a long time to be able to accept that was what she was willing and able to give, and to accept it as a gift.

Wouldn't it be nice if every person was able to find a sexually compatible partner, where everything else worked as well? I didn't get that; I got intellectual compatibility, and a lot of other compatibility, but what I thought was sexual compatibility waned after a few years, and got into the rut we remain in all these years later.
@undead, concerning evolutionary psychology- I am not educated about this field, don't know what its place in academia is and can easily see how it could be used to justify some pretty fetid ideas. I merely took the idea at face value- that certain traits, including psychological ones, could be genetically coded over time and that those genetics could influence behavior in the present. That's why I said @142 if we can't transcend it we are doomed (as a species); thinking about aggression for example. But I believe behavior is such a complex thing, influenced by scores of other inputs besides genetics, that it's silly to think of genetics as any kind of absolute determiner of behavior. Although I do also think genetics contributes to psychological differences between males & females, again it isn't an absolute determinant, and trying to pin any particular "male or female psychological trait" on genetics is pointless in my view. Let the behavior be attributed to the individual, not to the the sex or gender.
No cute; so this man you been telling us, you want in your life.
Just like a relationship with a woman, only a cock is involved?
Nothing different between the sexes, then that's all it is, Eh? Same Same, just different genitals.
@210 Adam; that's a pretty sad story. To join with some of the other men's sad stories.
Some component of the attraction between you two, sounds broken. Now, a just friends relationship, takes its place. With occasional sex.
@210, AdamWashington Thanks for the great but sad, honest post. Hope the other compatibilities make it OK on the whole.
@176 From a google search:
The concept of Essentialism states that there are innate, essential differences between men and women. That is, we are born with certain traits. This is often used as an explanation for why there are so few women in science and technology. It is also used as a rationale for pigeonholing, offering limited education, hiring discrimination, etc. It is also sometimes raised (including by women) under the guise of Equal but different.

Biologically essential differences between men and women's skills and social behaviour — or at least those of men as a group and women as a group — are the subject of active research. The strength of the findings of this research is often exaggerated when repeated, both by the media and by individuals. It is also common to find people in informal situations implying that a difference in the mean or median performance of men and women implies that any individual man will have that same difference from any individual woman.

Feminists do it too. If I have to hear one more time that real authentic female sexuality is having a man worship your vulva aloud while pleasuring you softly on a bed of rose petals because that's what that particular woman and a couple of her friends who are willing to talk to her about it like...I might be sick.

There are definitely real physical differences between people born with male and female bodies. More differences from hormones at puberty. Brain differences, they're still working on finding some of the lines -- especially in the matter of trans brains, I think research is ongoing.

But most of the essentialist stuff people bandy around, whether it's "women don't want to be fucked roughly" from a feminist or "women don't like sex, they just like intimacy" from an anti-feminist, is just huge over-generalization. It can totally be useful to talk about the average man and the average woman, but those average people don't really exist as individuals, and the graphs around that average overlap hugely on almost every metric. So talking about 'men' and 'women' when what we mean is 'me and people I know' or 'the average man/woman' isn't really helpful, and just unfocuses the vast range of diversity of people under either gender umbrella (or Umbrellas of Some Other Gender, since we're at Savage Love.)

And hey, if we were interested in average and mainstream, would we be at Savage Love?
@ven: just wanted to commend you (and Ms Erica) for being able to avoid Gush Mode.

Please, I'm sure I've had more minutes of my life wasted by gushing parents than you. Gushing about your kids is just another way of saying you have no life of your own.
@ven: You were unable to undermine Disney Princess? Oh, dear. What a courageous but damaging admission.

You are greatly overestimating my mojo if you think I can compete with Disney Princesses for the mind of a four year old girl.

I'll also point out that parenting is a far more complicated business than non-parents tend to imagine. The best laid plans...
@gonzo, @207: That's a fair summary.

Really, I'm dreaming of a time when men and women in general feel safe enough with each other to be honest and realistic and accepting. I think some men and women are already there, but there is still so much ignorance and mistrust and defensiveness afoot.
Rose petals, Fez? I was never told of this .
I have reared boys and I have reared a daughter and I helped rear a granddaughter. There are differences in the sexes.
Which become more pronounced in adolescence.
LW2: If you're horny enough to get off with your vibrator, then you're horny enough to get off with your boyfriend. The question is which one you value more.
I appreciated Fez's remarks @215. That seems to be about right to me: differences do exist, it's hard to tell where they truly are, and it's not clear how useful they are to talk about. And I say this as someone who is pretty interested in gender and all its consequences. As a female in a traditionally male field (entry into which required a lot of schooling in classes that were mostly male) I notice many things I think of as gender differences. But it has slowly become more clear to me that there is more variability than I believed (my own preferences a case in point, rather like nocute's description of herself above). So I'm trying to move away from thinking of things that people around me do as being "because he's a guy" or "because she's pretty girly." It's hard, though. And I don't think pretending there are no differences helps, since to most people that feels clearly untrue. Instead I think it's good to emphasize that it's difficult to made good generalizations.

(Although, nocute: I am quite sure my sister would buy a pink-handled hammer. She digs that kind of thing. So the market does exist, odd as it seems to me.)
@165: It wasn't so much Hunter's words in that single post as Hunter's attitude in all of his posts that made me pick him out as an example.
@172: Those quotation marks weren't an indication of me quoting you directly. They were examples of sexist attitudes that are espoused by both men AND women all too frequently.
@178: Hah. I know a mechanic who bought a set of pink-handled tools so no one would steal them. Worked a charm!
@192: He's 25. Most 15-year-olds would be over the moon to get sex AT ALL, yes?
@193: Both of those statements are sexist/gender essentialist (those two terms are equivalent).
@209: As a bisexual I have a different perspective on this. Straight people see patterns of behaviour in relationships and think that's how men behave or that's how women behave, because they only see these behaviours in dating situations, and they only date one gender. But they aren't gendered behaviours, they're dating behaviours. There are men who are clingy, women who are afraid of commitment, men who prefer to cuddle, take any cliché you like and there are both men and women it applies to. There are physical differences, coming from men's greater physical strength and women's reproductive systems, this explains the differences in roles assigned in hunter/gatherer societies. We are not a hunter/gatherer society. The only value evopsych has, in my view, is to identify the source of gender stereotypes with a view to eradicating them.
@221: I don't think anyone would argue there are not differences. But do the differences arise because people are trying to fulfil gender stereotypes? Do fewer women go into science because women inherently don't like science or because society discourages women from going into science? I think if you got rid of all the gender roles and pink/blue things for children, you'd observe a lot less difference between what individuals actually choose.
In other words, I agree 100% with cat in fez.