As much as some people hate to admit it, sex and money are joined at the hip. Today we’ll discuss some of the high points of the chapter of Why Women Have Sex called Barter and Trade. This part of the book discusses the economic realities and properties of sex.
1. Women have the power in many sexual transactions. Women’s sexuality is something that they can bestow or withhold, something that men want and value highly. Consequently something that women can use to secure resources they desire.
2. Remember the Supply And Demand principle from Economics? Women have an anatomical advantage over men. Women are born with a fixed number of eggs, men produce roughly 85 million new sperm per day. As a general rule, the more valuable the resource, the more people compete to acquire it. Men must compete with each other for sexual access to women. Women can afford to be choosy since they are in greater demand when it comes to sex. I bet you wish you paid a little more attention in that high school economics class now.
3. Men’s sexual strategy puts us at a disadvantage financially. Men, in general, have a greater desire for sexual variety than women. Men generally use a strategy (yes, it is a strategy) called “short-term, low-investment mating.” This comes from ancient times where men could increase their reproductive success by having casual, no-strings-attached sex with multiple partners, thus allowing men to evolve a desire for access to mates. Basically, because men are looking for sexual variety, they tend to see females in short supply, while sexual opportunities for women are more readily available.
4. Women have higher sexual standards than men. Men tend to lower their standards for casual encounters. The book says researchers found that men see most women as somewhat sexually attractive, while most women do not find most men sexually attractive at all. “They are willing to have sex with partners who meet just minimal thresholds on traits they themselves rank as desirable, such as intelligence and kindness. In contrast, women typically maintain high standards in whom they choose, whether for casual or pair-bonded sexual encounters.” Men’s shorter-view sexual psychology produces a mating market in which the sexual services of women are in high demand.
5. Being stingy (or broke) gets you nowhere. In a study of tactics men use to attract women, the act of buying a female dinner at a nice restaurant was one of the most effective. Other successful sexual inducements include: a) he spent a lot of money on me early on, b) he gave me gifts early on, and c) he showed me that he had an extravagant lifestyle. Well, damn!
By and large uniformly, women find stinginess to be a huge sexual turnoff. Researchers showed women photos of men wearing two different sets of clothes. One was a Burger King uniform with a blue baseball cap and a polo-style shirt. The other was a white dress shirt with designer tie, a navy blazer and a Rolex watch. Based off of the photos, the women stated they weren’t interested in dating or having sex with the men in the low-resource clothes, but were willing to entertain the possibility of dating, sex, and even marriage with the men in the the high-resource attire.
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of The Economics of Sex.
Missed my last post? Why Women Have Sex: Conquest and Adventure