Modern marriages are more often egalitarian or egalitarian leaning. As any non-newbie to RP should know, this is detrimental to the couples' passion and sex life, meaning obviously it's crippling for the marriage. Marriage is a massive life affecting decision, and sex is a crucial component of a romantic relationship so an egalitarian marriage is simply a business deal that is crippling to your life.
Very, very long post (MAX post length - I was bored), long article linked, long study referenced by linked, featured article. I pretty much completely break down the article. I think this post is 7,400+ words, so the last bit of it will be in a comment.
--- Featured article info and summary
About two weeks ago there was a post called "Why you shouldn't date single moms thread #82974", by exit_sandman. In that thread, sandman referenced a 2008 article written by Lori Gottlieb entitled "Marry Him! - The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough". Lori is a psychologist, who was pretty much writing (in a subtext) that she was unhappy at never being married, envious of friends that were, was way past the wall, and had artificially inseminated.
So while browsing online the other day I noticed an article from 2014 on the NY Times site, written by none other than Lori Gottlieb. It was called "Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?". The author's name sounded familiar so I checked back to sandman's thread and sure enough, it was her. I chuckled to myself about the RP truths this woman
lets slip through her writing avalanches through her writing and tries to reframe.
Lori's article referenced a study (25 pages, PDF) from 2012 performed by the American Sociological Association. This study found that when couples have less traditionally based responsibilities their sex lives suffered. The egalitarians' sex was more infrequent, and reported to be a lower quality upon surveying than couples that were more traditionalist. The study Lori referenced by ASA referenced a different study from the 90s, so things were already going downhill at that time. They've only gotten worse. Lori tries to spin that, but really the surveying being dated only serves against her, despite her reframe attempts (which she basically simultaneously concedes as she makes them - kind of hilarious).
Now, I still need to read further into this study (as I said it's 25 pages and it's on the to-read list, I've only skimmed a bit so far) but according to Lori's summary of it's findings:
The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.
--- Article breakdown (You can stop reading now if you're a veteran, this is quite redundant)
The article begins with her talking about her social life. Huge surprise, though that's typical enough of modern journalism (it's all pretty bad; anecdotes and Appeal to Emotion everywhere). The intro is about a dinner party, where one couple starts fighting about porn after the husband makes some joke. Lori, on the way home, says to her boyfriend that the fighting couple probably wouldn't fuck that night. However, her boyfriend seems to understand the underlying dynamics in life better than she does. Another huge surprise. She's a relationship counselor, so, basically paid to spew carefully regimented bullshit. Her "ideal, model married couple" that was hosting the party, he says, is the pair that won't be fucking.
She talks about how great they are, how equal they are...
“Exactly,” my boyfriend said. “Least likely.”
Marriage is hardly known for being an aphrodisiac, of course, but my boyfriend was referring to a particularly modern state of marital affairs. Today, according to census data, in 64 percent of U.S. marriages with children under 18, both husband and wife work. There’s more gender-fluidity when it comes to who... [performs responsibilities]...
She admits right off the bat that everyone knows of this phenomena that as women gain increased commitment and have less responsibility they respect and desire the man less, and work to "betafy" him the whole time regardless. His only option is to hold frame. Marriage is TRP on hard mode, as they say.
A vast majority of adults under 30 in this country say that this is a good thing, according to a Pew Research Center survey: They aspire to what’s known in the social sciences as an egalitarian marriage, meaning that both spouses work and take care of the house and that the relationship is built on equal power, shared interests and friendship. But the very qualities that lead to greater emotional satisfaction in peer marriages, as one sociologist calls them, may be having an unexpectedly negative impact on these couples’ sex lives.
I'm curious what "vast majority" is, but we can conclude; it's going to get worse before it gets better. Maybe your grandchildren, if you're in your 20s-30s, have a shot at a decent SMP. You however, do not, in terms of marriage or high value LTRs given the social climate. That doesn't mean you can't have them, it means your odds are fucked. Life is like gambling, you can do everything right and lose everything.
A study [...] surprised many, precisely because it went against the logical assumption that as marriages improve by becoming more equal, the sex in these marriages will improve, too.
Indoctrination based feminine primary projection**
Women don't know what they want. You are the leader. When the leadership is weak, the followers don't know how to steer the ship. The ship necessarily crashes and sinks. (The ship is both your LTR, and Western society cumulatively).
Then comes where she cites what the study (linked above) found, going against the oh so logical assumption!
Then, the hamster starts up it's wheel:
Granted, some might view a study like this with skepticism. Correlations don’t establish causation, and especially when it comes to sex, there’s always a risk of reporting bias and selective sampling, not to mention the mood of a subject at the time of the survey. (Was she answering the questions while standing next to a big pile of garbage that hadn’t been taken out?) What’s more, while this study used the most recent nationally representative data that included measures of sexual frequency and a couple’s division of labor, it was drawn from information collected in the 1990s. (Julie Brines, an author of the chores study, explained, however, that many studies on housework since then show that not much has changed in terms of division of labor.)
A few things here:
Women fear loss of social standing, at all times, subconsciously and invariably. Plenty of men do too (most men are betas), but almost all women are helpless to this. If anything the bias, even in an anonymous or one-on-one interview survey, is inaccurately towards data being more moderate, because women don't want to seem non-conforming to what's politically correct. Similarly nor do they want to seem like the biggest project of their life, their marriage, is a failure, even in a private, professional, and confidential setting. They don't want to seem like they're a major contributor to said failure, because they know people can infer that it's a failure, especially when the person is a professional. Make no mistake about it; women are adept at social intuitions, they just rationalize whatever they want after the fact, if it's a situation where they're attracted to someone or perceive themselves as losing social value because they're like spoiled little kids who won't accept not getting what they want, even if their own brain is providing a disagreeable assessment.
The mood? So, Lori is projecting her own inability (or her gender's inability) to offer candid feedback in a professional setting. Irony, she's a related professional herself. Who knows, the professional may have even been in a position to offer constructive advice. The loss of social standing, even just within her own mind (as professionals deal with an endless stream of this type of data and probably don't actually give a fuck besides on how to hamster it in her case - collectivizing social losses or gains), out-weighs the opportunity to clear her conscience, be truthful, or possibly get feedback herself. AND she blame shifts. Must have been an interview where the woman was surrounded by unfinished male chores!
The survey was from the 90s. As I said before, early in the post; things have only gotten worse in this regard and this doesn't help her narrative, which she knows and tries to hamster (half-heartedly, at that).
But as a psychotherapist who works with couples, I’ve noticed something similar to the findings. That is, it’s true that being stuck with all the chores rarely tends to make wives desire their husbands.
Does this even need commenting on? As I said, she's pretty half-hearted in trying to deny this study she's writing about. It gets way worse too, in both content and quantity of the data she presents against her own (ultimate) conclusions...
Many of my colleagues have observed the same thing: No matter how much sink-scrubbing and grocery-shopping the husband does, no matter how well husband and wife communicate with each other, no matter how sensitive they are to each other’s emotions and work schedules, the wife does not find her husband more sexually exciting, even if she feels both closer to and happier with him.
Even decently intelligent, qualified, educated people can fall victim to the immersion of propaganda. Especially when it fits their own feelings that they are incapable of disseminating. Sexual attraction isn't based on men doing female chores. Period. That isn't "value added", or a display of masculinity. The reason it affects them negatively is because all it can do is subtract masculinity and frame. It doesn't add frame, physical SMV, or leadership. A little helping is okay when things are extra busy and stressful, but routinely taking on a woman's role is emasculating yourself to her hindbrain. But, it's not a PC truth, so it just can't be true!
I first noticed this while doing a yearlong training in marriage therapy. I was seeing a couple who had been married for five years and wanted to work out some common kinks related to balancing their respective jobs, incomes and household responsibilities in, as the wife put it, “an equal way.” Over the course of treatment, the couple reported more connection, less friction and increased happiness. One day, though, when their issues seemed largely resolved and I suggested discussing an end to their therapy, the husband brought up a new concern: His wife now seemed less interested in having sex with him. He turned to her and asked why. Was she still attracted to him? After all, he wondered, why did she appear less interested now that their relationship seemed stronger in all the ways she wanted?
Because with increased responsibility the woman feels a burden to secure continued reciprocation and validation. Decrease that and decrease the demand for your dick. Simple.
“I’m very attracted to you,” she said earnestly. “You know when I really crave you? It’s when you’re just back from the gym and you’re all sweaty and you take off your clothes to get in the shower and I see your muscles.”
No shit. Lift. BUT, look, you taking on her job is Pandora's Box. You can't win. She doesn't know what she wants. You just have to know she wants dominant leadership.
Her husband countered by saying that this very situation had occurred that morning but that his wife became irritated when he tossed his clothes on the floor, which led to a conversation about his not vacuuming the day before, when she worked late. He had worked late, too, which accounted for the lack of vacuuming, but still — she hated waking up to a messy room, and it was his turn to vacuum.
“Right,” she agreed. “I wasn’t focused on sex, because I wanted you to get out the vacuum.”
“So if I got out the vacuum, then you’d be turned on?”
His wife thought about it for a minute. “Actually, probably not,” she said slowly, as if hearing the contradiction even as she was speaking it. “The vacuuming would have killed the weight-lifting vibe.”
Now, you could say he could have vacuumed when he got home the previous night. You could operate on the premise "but if I just keep up on all my chores!!"... what is she, your mother? Your boss? Do you see how this is operating without any frame at all?
Correct response: Some variation of "get in this bathroom right now" (or go loom over her and usher her in) and DGAF. Then she can make you food after you are done showering together (tell her that, and tell her what you want to eat), and you can pick up some shit, so you're not completely black knighting her, if you want.
Brines believes the quandary many couples find themselves in comes down to this: “The less gender differentiation, the less sexual desire.” In other words, in an attempt to be gender-neutral, we may have become gender-neutered.
These people get so close, yet are so far away in their conditioning. May have? May have?
She then talks about a peer discussing how the same can be observed in homosexuals. Differentiation in roles provides the avenue for attraction. The article talks about how gay men are more distinctly different. Hm, why is that? Because women operate a certain way, and men don't:
...lesbian and heterosexual couples share sexual challenges because both relationships involve women who tend to seek similar mates.
Between men and women, women are betas. Women seek betas for LTRs. This article is just blatant.
This isn’t to say that egalitarian heterosexual couples aren’t happy. [...] a professor ... in England found that American couples who share breadwinning and household duties are less likely to divorce. And [an] author [...] told me that having a partner who does housework and child care has become a bigger factor in women’s marital satisfaction than many other factors that used to predict marital happiness, like a man’s level of income or shared religious beliefs.
Not sexual satisfaction. Which is why they push for open relationships now, or as I like to call them, non-committed "committed" relationships. AF/BB. You're the BB? Permanent, contractual friendzone. Seems legit.
Also, income? Yeah, that's always relevant.
[when] the husband did plenty of traditionally male chores [there was] 17.5 percent higher frequency of sexual intercourse than those in which the husband did none. These findings, Brines says, “might have something to do with the fact that the traditional behaviors that men and women enact feed into associations that people have about masculinity and femininity.” She calls these associations and behaviors sexual scripts.
[people...] are continuously sending out cues that signal attractiveness to a potential partner, and often these cues involve “an ongoing reminder of difference and the sense of mystery and excitement that comes with the knowledge that the other person isn’t you.”
Mystery. Distance. No over-accessibility.
Don't be a beta. Women are betas.
Constant signals. If your signals aren't clear, or are absent, expect constant shit tests instead.
But it gets even better.. another woman she spoke to is alluding to raw, primal fantasies that disregard consent. HMM...
When I asked Esther Perel, a couples therapist whose book, “Mating in Captivity,” addresses the issue of desire in marriage, about the role sexual scripts play in egalitarian partnerships, she explained it like this: “Egalitarian marriage takes the values of a good social system — consensus-building and consent — and assumes you can bring these rules into the bedroom. But the values that make for good social relationships are not necessarily the same ones that drive lust.” In fact, she continued, “most of us get turned on at night by the very things that we’ll demonstrate against during the day.”
Power — and the act of balancing it — is a common topic with the couples I see in therapy. They’re eager to talk about leveling the domestic playing field but tend to feel awkward about bringing the concept of power into conversations about sex, mostly because it can feel so confusing.
Simple. Women don't want to admit they like to be dominated to the point of it almost being rape, and most men are betas no matter what. Especially the ones who have driven marriages into the ground and need counseling. They cringe at the thought of dominating a female.
See, the SMP is wide open for you. It's not that hard to out-compete most men and make the girls get their tingles.
One woman in her late 30s, for instance, who has been in a peer marriage for 10 years, said during couples therapy that when she asked her husband to be more forceful, “rougher,” in bed, the result was comical.
“He was trying to do what I wanted,” she explained, “but he was so . . . careful. I don’t want him to ask, ‘Are you O.K.?’ I want him not to care if I’m O.K., to just, you know, not be the good husband and take charge.”
You heard the female hindbrain; beat it up.
And yet, she said, his [...] concern that she’s O.K. with what he’s doing are what she loves so much about him in every other area of their marriage, [...] “I don’t want him to take charge like that with anything else!” she said.
He's a BB servant, and she's quite happy with the leash she has on him, yet she's plagued by solipsism. They're at a marriage counselor. The nagging discontent she feels and yet doesn't fully comprehend is self-evident.
I mentioned this situation to Dan Savage [...] who told me that he sees similar themes in the letters [...] and the questions he fields [...]. At a recent talk, for instance, one woman asked him if a certain sex act was “loving or degrading?”
“My reply was, ‘Yes,’ ” he told me. “Why can’t it be both?” He continued: “People have to learn to compartmentalize. We all want to be objectified by the person we love at times. We all want to be with somebody who can flip the switch and see you as an object for an hour. Sometimes sex is an expression of anger or a struggle for power and dominance. They work in concert. People need to learn how to harness those impulses playfully in ways that are acceptable in equal relationships.”
If by "equal" he means "complementary".
A desire for equality, and the lack of desire that equality can create, may make scientific sense, even as it challenges conventional wisdom
Blue pill propaganda**
As Daniel Bergner has written in his book “What Do Women Want?” and in this magazine, many studies show that women often report fantasies, like those involving submission, that tend to be inconsistent with our notion of progressive relationships.
But Pepper Schwartz says that while women may have always had these types of fantasies, now they have permission to give voice to them because of how much power they have in real life. “The more powerful you are in your marriage, and the more responsibility you have in other areas of your life, the more submission becomes sexy,” Schwartz says. “It’s like: ‘Let me lose all that responsibility for an hour. I’ve got plenty of it.’ It’s what you can afford once you don’t live a life of submission.” Married women, she adds, may have had a very different relationship to their fantasies back in the ‘50s, but even so, “this mixture of changing gender roles and sexual negotiation is tricky.”
Another "may have" that is context tempering. While I agree with them such fantasies have probably only increased, women are submissives, men are dominants, by nature's wiring.
So tricky, in fact, that when I was speaking about relationships at a conference and mentioned that I was writing about this topic, a large group of women who had just waxed poetic about “Fifty Shades of Grey” suddenly seemed outraged. Was I saying people can’t have good sex in egalitarian marriages? (No, I wasn’t.) Isn’t marriage better over all when partners have equal power? (In my opinion, yes.) Then why write about this kind of thing? (Because when a roomful of women who just raved about “Fifty Shades of Grey” don’t want me to write about “this kind of thing,” that tells me it should be talked about.)
Solipsism. Elephant in the room. Lori isn't a total idiot, she just has made a career, world-view, and identity based on reframing. She has probably taken her fair share of shit for even discussing this as a moderate. Pretty telling.
Men, of course, can feel just as uneasy with overt expressions of power in marriages that are otherwise based on equality.
Again, most men are and always will be betas.
During a couples session, one woman in her early 40s said that it wasn’t until she came across some porn scenes her husband had viewed online that she felt comfortable telling him about her fantasies, which happened to be very similar to what she found. She thought he’d be thrilled, but although he enacted the scenes with her, she was surprised by his lack of enthusiasm.
“I felt like he was just doing it because I asked him to, not because he wanted to,”
Because she had destroyed his frame completely by that point. (Again: self evident, they're in counseling).
I wondered if she was putting her husband in a double-bind, [...]. No, she said. It was something else: It bothered her that her husband acknowledged being turned on by watching the fantasy online but not by doing it in real life with her. “I felt so rejected,” she said. “I told him, ‘I want you to want to dominate me,’ but he said he just doesn’t see me that way, that he doesn’t see us that way.”
...aaand cue AWALT. I'd bet my cock she cheated on him before or after this.
The article goes on to explain how equal they are, and how their sex life is pedestrian, which he's content with.
Before we got married, we always said we’d have a 50-50 marriage, and you’d think that would be great for our sex life, but instead it’s the one area where we’re having trouble. Everything else is great. It’s the sex we don’t agree on.”
Are you seeing a trend yet?
He took a deep breath before adding: “I know what a 50-50 marriage should be like. But what is 50-50 sex supposed to be like?”
You doing what you want. Her loving you doing what you want (and getting off on it). Don't get it mixed up; you need to satisfy them. But obviously that comes from dominating, and the desire to be dominated comes from not constantly being your equal. Just how it goes.
the idea that married sex should be steamy is reflected in our culture. Take the fascination with MILFs — consistently one of the most-searched porn categories and a staple in mainstream media — in which mothers are depicted as alluring and sexually lively. In the past, a fantasy woman may have been the young, single secretary; now she’s the middle-aged mother of three with a graduate degree.
Non-sequitur, wrong, and tempering (hamstering). Media and men celebrate the beauty of youth far more, because it's evolutionarily ingrained based on fertility, energy, and physical excellence.
The idea that marriage is supposed to be steamy is because of a romanticized narrative that women will reciprocate servitude with lust, which is entirely false.
More of the same, pandering to the audience:
In a way, this might seem like an encouraging shift for married moms. Instead of becoming invisible, we’re wanted and capable of doing it all
Wrong. You're invisible. Shoe's on the other foot now. 80-90% of men are invisible to women, permanently. Get a dose of that "male privilege".
“The passionate marriage used to be a contradiction in terms,” Esther [...said]. The quality of sex in marriage — and not just the frequency — is a relatively new conversation that has come about with more egalitarian marriages. In today’s marriages, she said, “we don’t just want sex; it has to be intimate sex. It has to be transcendent and self-actualizing.”
And again: "we want betas who are somehow also natural alphas but then revert to being betas when we don't want alphas and we don't want to work on our problems!"
Which brings me back to the dinner party... The conversation started [...] with the husband [...saying] that with men and women both balancing the responsibilities of work and household, even sex needs to be outsourced sometimes. By day’s end, he said, men feel so worn out that they, too, “get headaches” because they don’t necessarily have the energy to make sex happen or, more specifically, to make it happen in the way their wives want it to. The modern marital tableau [...] is two overwhelmed people trying to relax before bed: he on Pornhub, she on Pinterest. Then they kiss and go to sleep.
The men at the dinner party laughed; the women smiled uneasily. His wife seemed perplexed. If men found release on Pornhub, what about women’s sexual needs? That’s when things got dicey. Without missing a beat, the husband deadpanned, “Vibrators do for modern men what dishwashers did for modern women.” His wife became upset, calling the comment “selfish.”
Sad. Funny, but pretty sad. Telling though, he sees his wife as a chore. And she probably is. He's been yoked for years. He probably just wants to watch ESPN, have a beer, and tell her to fuck off already. But he can't risk half the assets he'll ever own (while the government rapes him for the half of the remainder).
Translation for her: see previous translation about magical alpha-beta simultaneity.
I’m guessing we were all thinking the same thing: How impossible it often feels for two exhausted equals to meet each other’s sexual needs.
The exhaustion claim here is tempering. Lori spent the whole article so far outlining how equality is killing the libido, not being physically tired. The rest of the article is the same.
Porn, of course, doesn’t tend to be about reciprocity.
It goes on to talk about how porn is male-needs centric, which is true. Betas outsource and live vicariously through the dominance of others.
In other words, it’s (porn is) the antithesis of peer marriage. In “Marriage: A History,” Coontz writes that one recent marital development “is that husbands have to respond positively to their wives’ requests for change.” Yet no matter how many requests wives make and how hard their husbands try to accommodate them, the women may still end up disappointed
Women are domestically insatiable. In this modern era of their own domestic inability, this translates to them betafying you, you doing their work, you outsourcing masculine jobs, and her being repulsed and wanting to fuck the dude that shows up to do the masculine job. Good luck with that, gents. (Don't get married. Be outcome independent in any LTR.)
After all, women are now coming into marriage with sexual histories and experiences on par with men’s, leading to expectations that are difficult to replicate in any marriage, especially now that people live longer and will be having sex, presumably with the same person, for decades more.
And there are studies about how increased n-count create a female inability to maintain LTRs. And (healthy) men are disgusted by sluts. Just like women are disgusted by betas. Both signify desperation and inabilities, and low value. Also relevant in this quote: alpha widows.
Similarly, older couples who can now wait and marry for love have less time together during their sexual primes and, if kids are in the plan, they may even miss that year or two of newlywed abandon. (Ask a 40-year-old couple trying and failing to conceive how much fun the sex is.)
Pretty candid here. The only tempering here is saying 40 instead of 30. Without fertility drugs, 35 is a pretty serious cut-off on average for women.
50-year-olds of the past were often grandparents without great expectations about their sex lives. Now those same 50-year-olds might have a 10-year-old, placing them in a life stage formerly occupied by people in their 30s and subjecting them to pressure to maintain the culture’s view of “youthful sexuality” in marriage, especially with the ubiquity of Viagra and Estrace.
Trapped in futility. And super post-wall. Pity evoking, really.
Paraphrasing this one:
One day I was talking about these expectations with a [traditionalist] friend [...] He and his wife, who have two young children [...] She takes care of the house and kids, and he provides all of the income. He said that he and his wife consider their sex life to be good.
“We use X number of positions and various forms [...] stimulation, and we’re happy as clams, [...] But a lot of people think it’s supposed to be more exciting than this.”
He believes that we have to accept that we’re not going to get everything we want in our marriages and our sex lives, instead of constantly complaining about it or wondering if we might not be compatible with our spouse. “How much are you going to let the 10 percent of your differences dictate your future?” he asked. “Is anal sex more important than your marriage?”
If she wants to keep you, you get her ass too. Fact.
I shared [this] with [...] a [fellow researcher...] She noted that even people who are satisfied with their sex lives often crave more [...and] told me about a study she conducted that asked participants who had had affairs why they did so. Fifty-six percent of her male subjects and 34 percent of her female subjects said they were “happy” or “very happy” in their partnerships but cheated anyway.
Dead bedrooms. "Peer marriages" and boom, they need a spark elsewhere because they're starving.
While past research has shown that men have higher rates of infidelity than women, those rates are becoming increasingly similar, particularly in younger people in developed countries, where recent studies have found no gender differences in extramarital sex among men and women under 40. This
may be [is] because younger women are more likely to be in peer marriages — and conditions in peer marriages make female infidelity more probable than in traditional ones.
This article is just TRP truth overkill.
A large national study in the late 1990s found that women who were more educated than their husbands were more likely to engage in sexual infidelity than if they were less educated than their husbands
Translation: when women perceive their mate as lower SMV than them, the men get cheated on more. Hypergamy putting out branch-swing feelers.
Studies also find that people who work outside the home and whose partners remain in the home cheat more — and the traditional gender roles in this situation are now frequently reversed.
Get her back in the kitchen!
There’s a phrase I often use in therapy with couples: “competing needs.” What do partners do when they have needs that directly conflict with those of their spouses? [...] It used to be that husbands and wives operated largely in their own spheres with so little overlap that these questions rarely came up
With women demanding more masculine frame of their own, it's no surprise what is happening now at large. It's rough as economically speaking, they have to contribute now if you want multiple kids and don't have a stellar job yourself. We don't live in the same world as was around two generations ago, but it's not good at all for families or couples, obviously (or society / the species).
...Sheryl [...] encourages women to [...] make a determined effort to push [...] careers — it may seem as if women are truly becoming, [...] “the men we want to marry.”
And no one wants to marry you. Surprise.
A study put out last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that if a wife earns more than her husband, the couple are 15 percent less likely to report that their marriage is very happy; 32 percent more likely to report marital troubles in the past year; and 46 percent more likely to have discussed separating in the past year. Similarly, Lynn Prince Cooke found that though sharing breadwinning and household duties decreases the likelihood of divorce, that’s true only up to a point. If a wife earns more than her husband, the risk of divorce increases. Interestingly, Cooke’s study shows that the predicted risk of divorce is lowest when the husband does 40 percent of the housework and the wife earns 40 percent of the income.
So the farther you can get toward traditionalism, the better. Got it yet?
...Kerner, a [...] counselor and [...] author of “She Comes First,” sees couples struggle to find a ratio that works. “I work a lot with stay-at-home dads and men who work from home,” he said, “and one thing I hear a lot is that in theory they’re really happy balancing [...] while their wives are out working full-time [...]. But [...] a common complaint is that Mom comes home and feels guilty for being away all day, and so much time has to be made up connecting with the children, who take first priority, that these dads feel lost in the mix.” In many couples, Kerner says, the wives start to feel disgruntled because their husbands get to see more of the kids, and the husbands, whose wives are controlling more of the spending, start to feel “financially emasculated.” Sometimes, he says, a vicious cycle begins: The husband feels marginalized and less self-confident, which causes the wife to lose respect for and desexualize him. Under these circumstances, neither is particularly interested in sex with the other.
There's no recovery from that sort of shit. That's a huge hole to try and claw out of. The key is not jump in the hole to begin with.
A writer who works from home [...] told me that was exactly what happened when he reduced his work hours and took on child-care responsibilities so that his wife could rise to partner at her company. [...] she said, “When we met, you said this was going to be a two-income family.” And he said: “It is! Your income is bigger because I take care of the kid.” They would talk about it — given his flexibility, they both agreed it made more sense for him to do more at home — but the tension would resurface, and ultimately they stopped having sex.
Now that they are divorcing, he’s still confounded. “For all the men [...] who felt like the woman’s place was in the home, all the sexist troglodytes who might have thought that way, or even the enlightened men who cared deeply about their partners’ happiness,” he said, “you could round up a thousand of them, and not one would say the woman should watch the kids, clean the house, do the cooking and at the same time make the same amount of money as the guy. So when my wife had those expectations, it seemed a bit unrealistic. She’d say, ‘I work 10 hours a day.’ I’d say, ‘I work 16, and half of those I don’t get paid for.’ ”
He's so betafied he even gained a massively powerful solipsistic hamster! Calling traditionalist views sexist while getting burned by trying the functionally equivalent inverse. Idiot. I'd feel a little bad for him getting played by an even bigger solipsist who ignored that she was performing the inverse of traditionalism, but he did it to himself.
I'd comment on how he's qualifying and trying to diffuse with logic, but he already went and smashed his frame and launched it into outer space, never to return. His shit was terminal.
frequently I hear from [people] who say they want progressive marriages, in which [people] have the option to do anything, then start to feel uncomfortable when that reality is in place. And that discomfort, more often than not, leads to less sexual desire — on both sides.
Say it with me slowly; biological... hardwiring...
Recently, a male therapy client who came to me because he began feeling depressed said that he had tremendous empathy for what women have been voicing all these years. “I have to hold down a job, I have to juggle the kids’ schedules, I have to get dinner on the table three nights a week, I have to volunteer at school, I have to get the bills sent in each month and on top of this I have to be the fun dad and the sensitive husband and then be ready to romance my wife if I want sex before bed — usually after listening to the rundown of her day and going over the list of what needs to happen the next day,” he said. “I rarely even have time to get to the gym, which is the one thing that relieves my stress.” As he tries to balance work and parenthood and his marriage and household responsibilities, he’s going “a bit mad — and I mean that in both senses of the word.”
I asked how interested he was in having sex with his wife, and he looked at me and laughed.
Don't be your wife's wife, or your girlfriend's girlfriend, or your plate's plate.
And look, they're still trying to put a romanticized spin on just living in permanent, contractual friendzones. And why wouldn't they? They're women. Men do it too though, because they need to protect their egos and avoid world shattering cognitive dissonance:
I met my boyfriend online, and like many marriage-minded people clicking on search criteria, I was seeking a partner similar in intellect, background and interests. I shared this with Betsey [...], [an economist] who studies relationships and whose egalitarian partnership was profiled in The New York Times two years ago, and asked how she feels about so much similarity. In her view, she said, going through life with a peer is a positive development.
“It used to be,” she explained, “that you lived your life in one way, and he lived his in another. With equal partners, there’s more of a sense of people who are kindred spirits. Now you have people who have similar interests and lifestyles.”
Remember, this is the woman who wrote, in sandman's linked article, how she was basically sour as fuck about gender dynamics and never finding "Mr. Magically somehow Beta-Chad, The One".
On an emotional level, “kindred spirits” sounds lovely. But when it comes to sexual desire, biology seems to prefer difference. Helen Fisher, for one, pointed me to the famous “sweaty T-shirt” experiment, conducted in 1995 by the Swiss researcher Claus Wedekind. He had women sniff the unwashed T-shirts of various men and asked them which scent they were most attracted to. Most women selected the T-shirts of men with genes markedly different from their own in a certain part of the immune system. Other studies confirmed these findings. Presumably this attraction to genetic variation is an evolutionary adaptation to prevent incest in our ancestral environments and improve the survival prospects of offspring. Interestingly, a later experiment found that women partnered with men who had genes similar to their own in this part of the immune system were more likely to be unfaithful; and the more of these genes a woman shared with her partner, the more she was attracted to other men.
Reference to what a few people have mentioned throughout my time here, and something I've discussed with others too. How hormonal birth control disrupts a woman's natural ability to select mates, and once she comes off of it, her pheromone detection system rings the alarm bells and she cheats or leaves (generally while conceiving or post-birth, ironically).