Friday, July 6, 2012

A little light culture: Should you answer that booty call?

File this one under the long list of if-women-are-doing-so-well-why-do-we keep-seeing-stuff-like-this posts.

Instapundit linked to a piece called "Five reasons to answer that booty call" yesterday. Just read what the people who claim to be promoting purely recreational sex as a good thing have to say for it:
It's 2 a.m., and you still haven't heard from him. You wait to wash the makeup from your face hoping to see your phone light up with a text from him, begging you to come over. You want to look hot, like you've had the night of your life. You don't want to reveal that you've spent all evening wondering if you're going to hear from him or not.

And then, like clockwork, he sends a text "What r u doing?" 
Okay, let's think this one through. She doesn't have a date. She already knew she wasn't going to have a date before the night began. So did she make alternative plans to go out with friends, watch some video, catch up on her reading, wash her hair, call her mother and chat? No she didn't. Instead she got all dressed up as if she had a date and sat around all night just in case he texted. And we know that this is a regular occurrence in her life as indicated by the words "like clockwork".

The guy meanwhile DID have plans and he was too busy with whatever they were until two in the morning when he found himself having to choose between just masturbating or texting her.

If this were you, would you be thinking, "I am one of life's winners!"

This first appeared at GALTIME: A Gal's Guide to Love and Life and they want you to think that you are doing just fine if this is you. In fact, they are counting on this piece pulling women into their site because a lot of women will read that opening and identifying with it. And they are right for reasons I'll get to below.

The piece is the work of  "Tyger Danger", who seems to be a real person. Now your first thought may be to simply dismiss this stuff as irrelevant but there is big money in it. Not for poor Tyger, Tyger burning not so bright (she says her mother was  William Blake fan), whose website makes it pretty obvious she needs work, but the owners of the website are doing very well out of it as are a number of nearly identical sites such as YourTango and The Frisky. (Incidentally, all these sites feature a significant portion of feminist content, which is meant to function like the articles in Playboy used to.)

But the thing is that these websites are based on some pretty deep insights into human nature. If you didn't do something desperate and stupid in search of the chance to be with someone sometime, then you probably aren't human. Even as you get older there will be odd times beyond that when you find yourself alone and lonely and desperately needing some sort of sexual contact, even just someone to flirt with, that you will consider letting your standards go. But when did it become a good idea to promote actually letting go to women as good for them?
The booty call is as old as time. It's late, you're looking for some action, and then he rings. If you're looking to mix things up and you have your expectations set right, you may be interested in a night of sex without strings. 
Well, actually, there was a time when the vast majority of women would have considered it demeaning to answer a booty call and most people still alive today are old enough to remember that era as it was still true in the 1980s!

There's a telling phrase in the bit I quoted above: "if you have your expectations set right".  Setting your expectations correctly is an important part of success in life. We might wonder, however, if there are any other concerns that might apply. With the right "expectations" a girl might, for example, become a call girl. That way she could be sure of male company and sex every night.

(The second of the five reasons the article gives for answering that booty call is "To Save Money: When there's no dinner and a movie involved, there's no cost. It's a great way to save money for you frugal people out there". Hell, why stop with just saving when you could make money?)

But the real lesson is in the tail, reason number 5:
There's No Peer Pressure: If your girl or guy is anything less than a "hotly," [sic] who cares? With a booty call, there's no worry about being seen by your friends with someone who may be less than ideal. 
 Think about that for a while because it's based on a very deep understanding of human nature. It matters a whole lot to us what other people think about the people we have sex with. It often matters far more to us than it does to those other people. Weird isn't it? Our standards for who we'd have sex with are actually much lower than our standards for what we would like others to think about us based on who we'd be willing to have sex with.

The status question is even more complicated than that for women because there are guys they might like to have sex with even though he doesn't particularly care for or value her. And the limiting factor here, the thing that might make her stop, is that others might think she is making a joke of herself by putting out for this guy even though he doesn't care for or value her. There is a difference, between letting yourself be being used when nobody knows you've done this and being used when others might find out.

BTW: Think of how much of the content of sexual fantasies is driven by this sort of thing. That strikes me as perfectly fine. I can even see how a woman might do herself some good by, once or twice in her life, actually live a fantasy out by having casual sex with a guy who just happens to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and how this could be good for her, how it could become a cherished memory and an experience that makes her feel good about herself. But if you are on call at two AM, all made up and wearing your nicest dress and underwear just in case he texts you with a booty call, you're making yourself into a loser.

And there are other ways she might think about resetting her expectations. She might reset them to value how a potential partner treats her and how she treats herself more than the real or imagined status that comes from being seen on a guy her peers will envy. She might even wonder if her concerns about what others will think isn't really driven by something deeper than simply what others will think; that maybe there are some higher moral standards driving her fears about being watched and judged that transcend status in the eyes of her peers.

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