October 22, 2009

Everybody Lies About Sex

From time to time I reserve the right to abandon the horrors of advertising and write about something else. Today I feel like scribbling on a subject I am supremely unqualified to mouth off about and is likely to cause me nothing but trouble -- sex.

The David Letterman and Roman Polanski "scandals" have me thinking about sex.

I mean, more than usual.

Let's start at the beginning.

The beginning is 200,000 years ago when the first of our species appeared. If we were able to go back and look at the first bunch of humans who showed up, we would expect to find a normal pattern of variation in their sexual appetites. Some would be very horny. Most (by definition) would be averagely horny. And some would have a lesser appetite for sex.

The horny crowd would tend to be more sexually active. Which means that they would tend to produce more offspring. These offspring would tend to inherit characteristics from their parents, including a proclivity to be horny.

As time went on, the population of humans would always show a pattern of variation in the sexual appetite of its constituents. But because of the tendency of the horny crowd to leave more offspring, human population would move toward a higher component of horny individuals. This is how natural selection works.*

After about 8,000 generations (I'm guessing that the average "generation" over the history of our species is about 25 years. 200,000 divided by 25 is 8,000) our species has -- just like every other species that reproduces sexually -- been bred for horniness.

Another way of saying this is that after 8,000 generations, those individuals who like to screw have created way more kids than those who don't. The offspring of these heavy screwers have swamped the offspring of the light screwers, and probably inherited their parents' excitable natures.

So, pretty much, all we have left in our species are individuals who enjoy a good screwing.

Now we need to factor in culture and sociology. Our records of human behavior are extremely sketchy. We have some history of the past 4 or 5 thousand years. But the previous 98% of human history is mostly a mystery.

What we know about the last 2,000 years is that there have been a lot of cultural limitations and taboos put on sexual activity.

So the conflict is obvious. Nature has bred us to be sexy bastards but society expects us to exhibit substantial self-restraint.

The result is that everybody lies about sex. If we don't lie about our actual behavior, then we lie about our impulses. There are only two exceptions to this rule -- you and me.

We should be shocked and outraged that Polanski could not control his impulses and would drug and rape a 13-year old. He's a disgusting creep.

Letterman's behavior should not surprise us at all. He's a human.

*I am required at this stage to point out that horniness is not the only characteristic that determines reproductive success. Others, such as attractiveness, intelligence, strength, health, etc, also probably play important roles.

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