I figure the holidays are a wonderful time of the year (heh!) to have a cheerful discussion about mythology. Spoiler alert! Saint Nicholas was the patron saint of prostitutes (among others) and vaginas don’t have teeth.
We make fun of old myths like the vagina dentata and masturbation causing insanity, hairy palms, and developmental disorders. “A walk down the memory lane of misbegotten sex theories reveals that such fanciful “truths” often grow from the fertile soil of bias and prejudice,” says Brian Alexander writing for NBCNews.com.
But what about our views today?
To get my juices flowing for you, I spent a large chunk of my time today scuttling around online surveying what everyone else out there has to offer to enlighten us on the topic of sexual myths. As with everything else on the net, there’s the good, the bad, and the just plain stupid.
For a savvy surfer, it’s reassuring to know that there’s enough stuff out there to balance itself out, although that begs the question ‘How savvy are we?.’ And that’s highly variable.
My biggest takeaway from my big blitz on the blogosphere today is that, overall, I think the most sticky myths of our day are those guilty-by-association with Evolutionary Psychology.
The most fun I had out there today was reading the hilarious blog with the story of Enki, the Sumerian god who ejaculated the universe in one “mammoth masturbation session the likes of which can only be compared to a teenager who has just discovered RedTube” (for a good time click *here*). That’s sort of how I view Evolutionary Psychology…these guys just got off on the apparent reality of their (pseudo)scientific theory applied to human sexuality (which is, in short, a patriarchal interpretation of the observable consequences of patriarchy on the sexual behavior of modern men and women). They had this giant ejaculation of plausible-yet-misbegotten sex theories that fertilized the expanding universe of sexual confusion as we know it today. (And, flashback to a recent post, all those EP theories give more oomph and traction to the ol’ RF–Romantic Fantasy–mindset.)
I found evidence and reference to this big Bang all over the place. But I was truly delighted to find a refreshing departure in a post on MensHealth.com, which was particularly gratifying to me because Men’s and Women’s publications have always proven to be the most fertile grounds for incubating the nasty little seeds of evolutionary psychology. I’m so tickled to find this out there that I’m pasting two of their statements below, because they represent the kind of topic typically confused by evolutionary-psychological suppositions:
“Myth: Men are not naturally monogamous, but women are.
Reality: Wishful thinking, guys. “Women are heavily socialized to restrict their sexual attraction to one guy at a time, but women’s biology and personality are both well-suited to multiple partners—more so than men’s,” says relationship coach Deboarah Anapol, Ph.D.
Myth: Women are less interested in sex than men.
Reality: Fortunately for men, this is not true. “Women can become disinterested as a result of childhood abuse, unaddressed relationship issues, or demands of children and work,” says Anapol, “but a sexually satisfied woman is a happy, loving woman.””
I was pleased to perceive there’s plenty of places out there puncturing, perforating, and poking pinholes in provincial parables on a plethora of points such as penis proportions, personal pleasuring, pornography, pregnancy, and protection.
And my conclusion of the day is that Evolutionary Psychology still generates our biggest, stickiest, modern sexual mythologies, but I’m seeing a glimmer of hope shimmering around the edges!
The key to continue busting through the EP mythology of our day, and thus improving our rating on the savvy-surfer scale, is to simply assume that men and women are roughly the same by sexual “nature,” but that culture has “nurtured” us to manifest at odds with one another. Like cockroaches, mythologies run around in the dark, and so the responsible thing is to turn the light on. That means bringing everything we’ve hidden about sex out into the open to air it out, so our kids and their kids don’t have to go through all the same crap we did. Let’s figure this thing out now!
The more we strip away our outdated assumptions, and put aside our biases and prejudices, the more we step into a more honest, intelligent, enlightened day and age.
And that’s the true spirit of the season. Warm wishes to you all!
(For a more in-depth discussion of Evolutionary Psychology read my earlier post here.)