Valentines Day is February 14th, and I figure this is the perfect time to talk about something important to all of us in one way or another… sex.
Like it or not, we are all sexual beings, and we are alive today to read these words because someone in our history had sex. These ancestors not only had sex, they had what Evolutionary Psychologists call a Sexual Strategy. In some basic, primitive, almost cellular way, we are all designed to insure that our genetic code makes it to the next generation. So in order to understand our romantic selves, perhaps we would benefit by an examination of our primitive selves.
Let’s take a look at men first. The average male can make close to a million “seeds” a day. His genetic dream? Spread these seeds as far as he can. By some primitive criteria, the sexual strategy of male humans is to get that seed turned into as many offspring as possible and hope that most of them survive. This isn’t difficult to imagine. Picture a large college party, or a popular young adult hang out, and deep within the psyche of most young men is the desire to plant his seed. Thank goodness we humans also have fairly large brains, and on occasion we use them to override these sexual urges, but that doesn’t mean the urges don’t exist. Physically, genetically, evolutionarily men were designed to insure the survival of the species, and their genetic code in particular by making widespread “seed” donations.
Now if female humans had the same strategy there would be much less conflict between the sexes, but as you know this is not the case. Physically, women are in a much different reproductive situation than men. The average woman will have about half a million healthy, usable eggs in the course of her lifetime. Now I understand this is enough to populate a small planet, but we are playing with the odds here.
A woman has a significantly different investment in her “eggs” than the man does with his “seed”. First of all, she has less available. About once a month she has access to a good one for several days. This is a precious commodity. Unlike the man, she needs to be very careful with whom she shares this egg. After all, it is she who will be tending this nest for 9 months, and then nurturing the helpless offspring after it is born. If she is clever she will choose a seed donor with good genetic code; one who is healthy and a good hunter. One who might even stick around and help her tend to the offspring.
We see the scene played out often. They meet for coffee.
He thinks, “She complimented my shirt. I wonder if she wants to go to bed with me?”
She thinks, “Nice shirt. I wonder how much money he makes?”
He, “She smiled at me. I wonder if she wants to go to bed with me?”
She, “He smiled at me. I bet he is a good listener.”
He, “She agreed to meet me again. I wonder if she wants to go to bed with me?”
She, “He wants to meet again. Maybe he wants to get married.”
He, “I’m positive she wants to go to bed with me?”
Like The Beatles said “All we need is love.” But considering how different we are biologically, it’s a wonder we manage to find each other at all. So here we are on Valentines’ day, each of us, men and women trying to enjoy our sexual urges, fighting our sexual urges and doing our best to bridge the gap between the sexes.