Love, Fantasies, and Lust. Society or Ingrained since childhood?
It's a short video of 3 mins taken from a much longer topic of discussion, but basically, he talks about the differences between men and women's pornography preferences.
He describes the 5 most searched male entities searched on the internet: Vampire, Werewolves, Surgeon, Billionaire and Pirate.
I've read some of the comments of the video and looked at the trailers of Fifty Shades of Grey (for research purpose), and I think I disagree with most people on their interpretation of why women lust after the alpha male.
Because the same applies to men, we (most) desire women who correspond to the blonde with blue eyes image society put in front of our eyes.
Now, I don't say we all fall victim to this, or that society is responsible for the origin of that unconscious desire in us. But a lot of people fall into this trap, and the only partner they seek is one that corresponds to the criteria fabricated by others.
I've mentioned the origin, and the fact that I don't agree with most people view on why women crave for the alpha male stereotype.
I think both are linked, in the sense that our upbringing creates a longing in us, something we lack, or fear of losing. This is something that we have no control over, something that exists yet is invisible to our eyes most of the day, only at night does this longing become more active in our mind, but without revealing itself.
I believe this is what we desire in others, not their appearance or personality, but the feeling they can give us. The ability to touch ever so slightly that craving inside of us.
Love for another person is a reflection of that desire that can be fulfilled. A reflection of a what we seek in the other person, but without taking into account all the other aspects existing in the one we love.
To give it some perspective, I believe that what women desire when they search for men, without realising it, isn't about who the male is or what he has, but how he can make them feel like.
If they see a possibility of the alpha male being able to apply pressure to that craving, that insecurity or longing inside of them, then they will fall for him. Completely ignoring the 99% other elements of his personality.
Because that's love, because that's the kind of partner they want.
Maybe that love will not work in the long run, maybe the family or her rational mind will make the choice of not dating him. But she'll be deadly attracted to that kind of male.
It's the same for men. For example, in my case, my first girlfriend was a simple girl that reflected one of my craving: being understood.
I did not care for the rest of her personality, I did not care about what kind of girl she was, I fell in love because she tried to understand me, and admired me for who I was.
I've made an argument about upbringing creating a longing, but I've also blamed society for desirable stereotypes, I'll explain why.
It's pretty simple. Not everyone can have a clear vision of what we want. Some are more influenced by what they see or hear compared to others.
Stereotypes work for a majority of society, we may not like them, idealise them, but we definitely lust after them.
Today, a majority of people slept with a partner they were not really interested in, either for his appearance or because they were in heat.
This creates an issue where we can only pay attention to a person's appearance to momentarily satisfy the loneliness inside of us. However, it also twists our perspective of what we want, and create another craving: the sexy girl that can arouse us.
Ever heard of a man cheating the woman he loves (reflect what he longs for) for a young, pretty girl (lust after appearance), well upbringing creates one craving, society made another.
So what do you think of my theory on fantasies and their origin, feel free to leave a comment to share your opinion.
Also, did you watch/read fifty shades of grey, if yes, what did you feel?
Okay, well. My guess is romantic interest usually revolves around seeing something as attractive or expectation of attraction. Meaning we make up (somewhat arbitrary at times) criteria for what we expect would be “attractive”. This is obviously tied to the societal cultures we are exposed to. I can say that people are attracted to things that stand out in some way (as long as it’s in a good way) so that people that exceed some kind of expectation of ours are more attractive. This mostly means that things we perceive as “rare” are more attractive. (Genetic diversity and all that)
So when it comes to fantasies my guess would be when an expectation is created of something being attractive which is unrealistic in the real world or uncommon, exotic, or somehow beyond our reach that thing is made attractive for being “rare” (since it won’t happen in real world, or the way it does in the real world doesn’t live up to the fantasies).
I would say this effect inflates how “attractive” things seem to us, but that there is always a kernel of something that was attractive to us to begin with. Fantasies might have blown that thing wildly out of proportion but I don’t they weren’t there to begin with at all.
So rather than saying they are completely a product of our culture and surroundings influencing us I would say they originate as something that arises normally from us and concentrating them into a cultural phenomenon just makes them become larger than they otherwise would be if they hadn’t been shared between people. Such things no doubt will always exist, but what form they take could change easily if you wiped all cultural influences away and started from scratch.
As for porn, I can only serve as an example of an unconditioned outsider. I'm not into porn, and so I miss a lot of connections that are made in the whole web of simulacra, and have never been brainwashed into them which means I really don't like them. (Yes, I could be tempted by nudes, but not by weird fantasies that aren't mine and that are clearly fake. I'm not asexual but violent porn is not something that could ever tempt me, and even a lot of 'playboy nudes' are not made more attractive than they would be in plain nude mode) I find humans more attractive than fake images of someone that doesn't exist that pretends to be enjoying something an actual woman wouldn't like. Meeting a real person for who they are and getting to know them for themselves and not for the fantasies they incarnate is much more honest and satisfying I'd say, and the only way to actually make connection with a partner.
Also, I would say, to have an actual relationship you need to go beyond all the things you described and touch the actual person, and peel away all the scripts and fantasies and really go naked in a more than physical way. Otherwise you're indeed just living a fantasy, and you're never even meeting the person you're with
"Love for another person is a reflection of that desire that can be fulfilled. A reflection of a what we seek in the other person, but without taking into account all the other aspects existing in the one we love."
That is exactly what love is not, but a parody of love that is very common. For actual love you need to go beyond that, and learn to come to terms with all the other aspects of the other. Just as we need to do with ourself, which also is a lifelong process.
One of the important things in life is being true to yourself and to the world you find yourself in. To try to see what's really there, to be who you really are. And in an actual relationship you need 2 actual people, not just 2 avatars of programmed cultural archetypes that are very often quite toxic (both to be and to desire).
The slightly more complex answer is: biology determines the constraints, society determines the context.
The really complex answer is:
It's actually easier to approach the topic of human sexuality by starting with human cuisine, because we can easily prove and disprove statements of diet via indisputable fact rather than sociocultural speculation that people lie about. Because every study into human sexuality that has ever been done has proven one thing conclusively... humans, more often than not, will lie about sexuality, even anonymously.
A statement that proves true no matter which culture you're observing. There's probably a biological reason we do so, perhaps to do with the natural disgust associated with sex (seriously- sex is repulsive when looked at from the outside- even kissing is gross. Most of the time, we try to avoid getting spit on us, but we're willing to literally lick it out of a lover's mouth... pretty disgusting when you think about it), coupled fear that our particular kinks are abnormal, and therefor to be shamed. And then there's all the memes about porn before and after orgasm, or someone seeing your search history. All are quite relatable for a reason.
Food, on the other hand... people lie about their diets if they should be watching their weight, but otherwise they tell the truth and are willing to eat in public.
Now, we can clearly define what is cultural and what is biological about food. Biologically, we have a natural desire to consume salt, sugar, and protein. It's a powerful desire because our ancient ancestors were starved of these resources in nature so we were built with compulsions to over-indulge whenever we got the opportunity. An adaptation that is currently chewing on our species' collective posterior.
You'll find that our food creation practices- especially breakfast practices- tend to involve consuming as much sugar and protein as possible. Milk, eggs, cheeses, fruit- all societies have always pursued such resources. Biology compels it.
Whereas leafy vegetables, while good for us, were something our ancestors ate consistently because they were easy to find. We needed no special compulsion to feed on leaves other than hunger itself.
And then, of course, there's obvious biological walls in food. Gravel and dirt aren't usually considered food... unless you ask a toddler... because they go beyond undesirable and into inedible. Same with various waste products and decomposing materials.
And up until recently, the wall of proximity. Europeans couldn't make food from corn, peanuts, potatoes, or tomatoes until after the discovery of the New World, because all those plants came from the wrong side of the Atlantic.
Interesting thought- what did the Irish do without potatoes, or Italians do before tomato paste existed?
However, within the limitations of "desires sugar, protein, and salt... feels no great interest in leafy vegetables... can't eat rocks... won't eat refuse... can't find countless other resources", humans have constructed all sorts of food made entirely of culture. Rice is of itself an evolutionarily desirable resource due to its high starch (sugar) content, and so biology pushes us to eat it. Or wheat. Or potatoes.
But it is culture that determined we could take these foods and fry them, bake them, boil them, convert the into paste, cook that paste, blend the recipe with other substances which biology told us we like. Biology says "eat grains for carbs", and would be happy if you just took a stalk of wheat and extracted the seeds with your teeth. Society says "this is cake, try it."
I see no reason to believe sexuality is any different. Nature compels us to yearn for partners that fit certain criteria. Three criteria, in fact. Healthy, Successful, and Attainable. Now, men are biologically pushed toward 'healthy' (which generally means 'young') moreso than successful, while women are biologically pushed toward 'successful' (though many of them might claim they want 'educated' or 'intelligent'- the fact of the matter is that education and intelligence are success in the modern world... but I promise you if they found a man who was very wealthy but barely had a highschool diploma, they'd go for him).
And before someone says "not every..."- I remind you that not every human refuses to eat feces, either. Some people even like it and do it for sexual gratification. So just because human neurology likes to throw bizarre curveballs at us doesn't disprove the rules. Just like my eighty year old chain smoking great uncle who's healthier than most thirty year olds doesn't disprove the fact that cigarettes are bad for your health.
And attainability is obvious. Men and women naturally form a sort of intuitive understanding of their place (the ol' X out of 10 chart being one of the more meta versions of that intuition) and tend to pursue individuals within one step of where they rank on that scale. It's actually quite fascinating how cleanly and effectively this math plays itself out on the individual scale to be predicted by behavioral computer models.
Individuals are chaotic and impossible to anticipate. Groups are often laughably predictable.
Of course, in the modern world, various social messages have screwed much of that up, especially with (and for) women. Because most western females hear all these lies that artificially inflate their idea of their own value... yeah... you get a lot of women who barely rank a '5' thinking they deserve a '9' or '10'. But even without it, the prevalence of media in our lives has badly screwed our ideas of what success and desirability mean. It's a real trainwreck.
In any case, how 'health' and 'success' get sorted out might be in many ways social, because they're based upon what we see around us. People once held up "that guy who killed three deer this week instead of only two" as the most successful and therefor desirable male. People once viewed "the only girl in the village not scarred by smallpox" as the healthiest and therefor most desirable female.
We modern folks have different measurements, built around more complicated sociological structures. We no longer eat seeds off of stems. We bake cakes. A woman's looking at a male not just to be a good hunter, but to determine if he's a desirable overall partner in success. Now, highly confident men (aka- what are generally called 'alphas') trip that human instinct for social hierarchy that generally results in us believing more confident people are also more capable (which isn't inherently true, but I never accused instincts of being smart, they're just right often enough to have let our ancestors breed).
Ergo... women do find themselves attracted to confident personalities, but only for the same reason people like cake... it's derived from simpler ingredients that we evolved to yearn for. Women like intelligence, women like skill and talent, women like wealth and power. All are ultimately different recipes built primarily from the originator of "successful genes."
Men also like all those things in a partner, but not usually to the same extent.
Men are wired to be attracted to beauty, itself an expression of physical health. We like women who are energetic, fun, clean skin, good hair, well shaped muscles and body frame. All things indicative of "healthy genes". Now, all "societal standards of beauty" ultimately orbit that core trait, but often attach other traits that appear healthy, but don't necessarily guarantee health. Much like women being attracted to confidence, there are tertiary traits that "trick" the male brain into seeing health where it doesn't actually exist.
Such as light hair and eye colors, which trick us by having a soothing effect on our brain (we're diurnal, all diurnal animals like bright colors), or large breasts.
Ultimately, however, the core nature of "visibly healthy" remains unchanged throughout human history, because it's predominately genetic. All societies create models of female beauty that are fit, young, and possessing of good skin.
And mind you that women also like all these things, but again, not usually to the same extent as men are compelled toward them.
But all the above has to do with human sexuality. Lust. Not love. A temporary series of impulses designed to get one monkey in a room with another monkey long enough to make more monkeys. No more, no less.
Love is an unrelated beast much more closely tied to the human need for safety and a tribal bond- also very much biological. We're a species that needs interaction with each other, friendships, and the interlinking community that make it possible to raise healthy offspring. That's wired deep into our gene pool, as evidenced by the fact that we even have society in the first place, rather than behaving like crocodiles or most spiders.
There's a cultural ideal to have both in one's romantic partner (and plenty of reason to believe that's best for the emotional wellbeing of one's offspring)... we definitely have pairbonding instincts... but objective evidence suggests that being both friend and lover is much more rare than merely friend or lover. I've seen the disasters that come when one is mistaken for the other, and I expect most of you have as well.