The Economy of Sex

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In September 2013 in Los Angeles, Dr. Wendy Walsh gave a 1-hour lecture titled The Economy of Sex based on her book The 30-Day Love Detox.

Dr. Wendy Walsh PhD is a Canadian psychotherapist who is an expert on love, sex, parenting, gender roles and divorce matters. She makes appearances on well-known shows such The O’Reilly Factor, The View, Investigation Discovery and The Steve Harvey Show.

The following are some of the key points she presented during this lecture.

The Economy Of Sex Pict 1In America, there is an unprecedented increase in the number of educated women. Presently, women make up 60% of college graduates. The only school where there are an equal percentage of men and women is in Law school and Medical school. Furthermore, although women are lagging in Engineering and the pure sciences, they are quickly catching up.

Women aged 22 to 32 years old earn higher incomes than their male peers. The information technology age is advantageous to women because they are better communicators and typers than men. Also there are more women in the workforce in America, although fewer numbers occupy higher management positions.

Many women don’t need men to support them financially, and therefore engage in sex for their own pleasure. The rise of women has led to a high supply of cheap sex. Unfortunately, there are negative consequences for both men and women in this situation.

In a high supply sexual economy, some men lose their ambition while others lose their ability to commit or become players. By contrast, some women adopt a male model of sexual behaviour or hold out for very high status men. Sadly, about 20% of women lose their chance at motherhood because they have waited too long to start a family.

Ironically Walsh reports that many blue-collar men have voiced their desire for a stable, long-term relationship, but perceive some women as too sexually aggressive.

Men and women are biologically different. Some men can have sex on a regular basis with a woman for months and never fall in love with her. Men are better able to separate sex from love compared to women. However, men tend to have better sex if they love the woman.

There is a myth of sexual freedom in America. The message to men is to “take sex, any sex at any cost” whereas the message to women is to “have plenty of not-too-much sex”. Women are still held to a double standard when it comes to the number of sexual partners they should have. That standard is hardwired in men, whereas women are more flexible.

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We still have a hunter-gatherer biology. If a man partners with a promiscuous woman, he risks investing his time, resources and protection in another man’s child. This fear is not irrational. For example, an unobtrusive study in America revealed that the DNA of 10% of babies born in a hospital did not match the father’s at bedside.

Some anthropologists suggest that men are the ones who instituted monogamy to ensure that women stayed faithful. In fact, men have a testicle size to body weight ratio that suggests that they are serial monogamists compared to other animals such as orangutans or chimpanzees.

In modern society, many men and women engage in low criteria relationships that do not suit their needs. In these relationships, these men and women:

  • frequently text
  • occasionally meet for dinner and sex
  • have not been introduced to each other’s families
  • have not discussed sexual exclusivity or a future together

These kinds of casual relationships are very convenient for men because they do not have a fertility window.

Here are 5 myths that promote singlehood:

  • Most people have many casual sexual encounters
  • Women need to have sex on a regular basis
  • Sexual chemistry is essential for a happy romantic relationship
  • Men fall in love through sex
  • Promiscuity is only a temporary phase

Let’s explore each of these myths…

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Only about 20% of men aged 18-25 years old are able to obtain sex on the first date with a woman. Also according to a Center for Disease Control (2009) survey of 6,000 men and women aged 18 to 44-years old, the average reported number of lifetime sexual partners is only 6 for men and 4 for women.

Women’s respond to sex is contextual – they usually become sexually aroused when they are interested in man. At other times, their interest in sex is usually dormant. By contrast, single men tend to fulfill their sexual needs with masturbation and/or pornography.

Walsh points out that many women have sex not because they have sexual “needs” but, because of what is associated with sex. These women may really want intimacy, companionship, or the excitement of being desired.

In terms of sexual chemistry, a study of more than 2,000 couples showed that the greater the sexual chemistry at the beginning of the relationship, the worst the outcome. Sexual attraction floods a person’s brain with neurotransmitters such as dopamine that make them less able to accurately assess a new mate.

Contrary to popular belief, genuine sexual chemistry grows from emotional intimacy. The ability to be open and honest about ourselves with our romantic partner is the basis for true love and attraction to grow.

Sex sometimes leads to love for women, but it is rarely the case for men. Men need to trust their mates in order to love them. If the woman is promiscuous, most men will mistrust her.

Every relationship is in essence a training ground for the next one. Therefore, if a person has never been trained in being sexually monogamous, they usually are unable to hold this standard of behaviour even after they marry.

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According to Walsh, people should charge the highest price for sex, which is care and commitment. She recommends that people go through a 30-day detox period, which means to wait 30 days before having sex with a new partner. Walsh also suggests to purge low nutritional digital relationships such as the Facebook kind.

Studies have shown that if a couple has sex within less than a month of meeting, their relationship has about a 90% risk of failure within 1 year. This 30-day period allows couples time to build a friendship and a connection before they become sexually intimate.

Partners should demand sexual exclusivity and make a commitment to fully invest themselves in their new relationship. Human beings need high quality relationships to thrive physiologically, psychologically and ensure the well-being of their offspring. It is healthier to have few nourishing romantic relationships than many low quality ones.

The socio-economic status of women has significantly changed in America. Psychotherapist Dr. Wendy Walsh explores the impact of this change on romantic relationships in her lecture The Economy of Sex.

Walsh points out that women are now more educated and financially independent from men. Many women choose to have sex just for the pleasure of it, which promotes a high supply sexual economy and low criteria relationships. In this context, more men choose not to commit to a relationship and loose their ambition.

Unfortunately, human beings are designed to flourish in high quality relationships. Both men and women pay the price for engaging in low criteria relationships.

Walsh recommends that people wait at least 30 days before having sex with a new partner. She also suggests that people should pay the highest price for sex, which is care and commitment. On the long run, men, women and their offspring will benefit from intimate, long-term, loving romantic relationships.

Literary Truths

Here are other interesting statistics* as per Dr. Wendy Walsh’s talk:

  • The percentage of men aged 18 to 30 years old who are players (i.e., had 3 partners/year for 3 consecutive years) is 3%
  • The typical college student has 1 hookup/year. A hookup is defined as “a sexual encounter with no strings attached and no expectations of ever seen the person again.”
  • The percentage of college students who are virgins in 2013 is 25%. Most students become sexually active between the ages of 16 to 25 years old. The more a person delays sexual activity, the higher their academic attainment. Reasons given by these students for delaying sexual activity include fear of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), pregnancy and derailing their career/education.

Here are reported results of a Center for Disease Control (2009) survey of more than 6, 000 men and women aged 18 to 44 years old:

  • The percentage of people who have had more than 15 sexual partners: men = 27% , women = 10%
  • The percentage of men who prefer a romantic encounter instead of a hookup: 75%

*Based on a study of American men aged 18-25 years old.

Truth in Motion

References

The Economy of Sex

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