Male solidarity instead of male competition
By Serge Kreutz
In violent or highly restrictive human societies, females desexualize before men. If the human environment is dangerous, females never get beyond what in peaceful societies would just be the logistics of sexual excitement: arranging safety, arranging to have economic needs fulfilled, arranging sufficient sexual attractiveness. After that would come sense-providing sexual excitement.
But in violent and highly restrictive societies, they never get so far.
The effect on sexual economics is that a lot of female sexuality is withdrawn from the market.
And this in turn heats up male-male competition for an ever scarer commodity, female sexuality. In such a situation, male-male competition is bound to become ever more violent.
On the other hand, peaceful and liberal societies allow a large number of females to pursue sexual excitement. This reduces bottlenecks in the supply of female sexuality, which in turn benefits a large number of men who can thus pursue optimal sex before a comfortable death.
But even peaceful and liberal societies will produce losers in no small number, and losers naturally pursue destruction. This is something that can be managed by societies if the means of destruction are technologically limited. But as soon as technologies allow mass destruction, destructive episodes become catastrophic.
Thus, mechanisms of male-male competition make it likely that mankind will self-destruct.
The idea of male-male competition is old. It was picked up by Charles Darwin when he wrote “The Descent of Man” in 1871 and coined the term “sexual selection”. Men are positioned in strong competition against each other, for one man’s sexual satisfaction necessarily is another man’s sexual deprivation. Men compete against each other for a limited resource, sexual access to females. Darwin thus wrote of male-male competition and female choice.
The term “male-male competition” can mean two things:
Either males simply fight each other, and the winners get access to the females, regardless of whom the females would prefer (this idea is closer to the Darwinian idea of male-male competition).
Or males compete against each other in order to make a better impression on females, and the females pick among the males who compete without being coerced. Most biologists are of the opinion that this second interpretation (which Darwin considered just “female choice” but not “male-male competition”) played a larger role in human evolution.
In the evolution of species, even the early evolution of humankind, sexual selection (distinct from the mechanism of natural selection, the “survival of the fittest”) may indeed have played an important role.
And when we subscribe to the idea of sexual selection, it appears to be a necessity that there is a surplus of male sexual desire, of which, indeed, a large portion must go unsatisfied.
In the Darwinian model, the men of humankind appear to be intrinsically positioned against each other (they always are competitors and therefore not inclined towards solidarity, at least not in sexual matters), while women have an intrinsic desire to keep a system intact that gives them choice without coercion (and therefore lets them decide the rules of the game).
Even the current social reality in the Western world appears to correspond with the Darwinian model. We have a womens movement that is strong on solidarity, while a comparative mens movement seems to have a small chance of success.
But while sexual selection makes good sense in evolution, even human evolution, such simple biological rules no longer apply fully to humans.
For humans are beyond nature.
At least to the extent to which we have attained self-cognition.
Evolution, natural selection, and sexual selection are processes that are highly interwoven with the genetic determination of life. The fact that more sophisticated organisms have an edge in evolution produce ever more sophistication (a process for which, on earth, the existence of humans is proof).
However, evolution, by ever increasing the quantity of sophistications, reaches a point when, rather all of a sudden, there is a new quality: self-cognition.
Self-cognition allows us to realize that our interests as organisms, or rather, our interests as selves, are different from the course of evolution (procreation).
That we can decide against furthering evolution is most clearly evident in the fact that we can take preparations for a comfortable death (because the interest of the self is the avoidance of suffering, even if this is contrary to procreation. For genes, this is anathema.
Sure, lower life-forms are also equipped with mechanisms to avoid suffering, as this increases an individuals survival chance, which in turn is beneficial to the survival of a species. But instinct-driven life-forms would always chose survival (even if it means suffering) over suicide.
The degree of self-cognition that allows us to engineer our exit by overriding genetically determined survival behavior is probably only available to humans.
But if humans have enough self-cognition to override genetically determined survival behavior, then they also have the intellectual capacity to modify genetically determined concepts such as “male-male competition” which are based on a huge surplus of male sexual desire over female sexual desire.
To realize that societies can be engineered that allow a higher degree of sexual satisfaction for a large number of men, and to convince other men that such societies are possible, is an important element in politicizing those men who are otherwise just pursuing private sexual satisfaction in competition with other men. It also forms the basis of male solidarity in sexual matter’s a solidarity which is currently non-existent.
There are two principal options for creating societies that are sexually more adequate for men.
One option (the more appealing one) is to liberate female sexual desires by removing social limitations to the female sex drive, especially its promiscuous manifestation.
As sexual contact in current societies carries much more risk for females than it does for males, anything that reduces potential negative implications for females should be pursued. This involves the dissociation of sexual enjoyment from child birth; freely available birth control measures; non-stigmatization of females who are pregnant outside of wedlock; a well-developed social safety net for women who are pregnant or raise children (no social safety net is necessary for men); community institutions that can take over many child care responsibilities. A further important element is a high degree of safety from violence. Violence, and the threat of violence, always enhances monogamous, anti-sexual tendencies, and it does so in females much more than in males.
Another option is less straight (but nevertheless can complement the first option). This second option takes into account that women often need an additional, material reason, apart from sexual desire, to enter a new sexual relationship (and may be genetically programmed to do so, as throughout evolution, such behavior would have increased the survival chances of offspring). It’s not that once women enter a new sexual relationship, they would not enjoy it more than the boredom of a previous sexual relationship, that has outlived its capability to excite. It’s just that for the initiation of sex, women allegedly feel that there is more appropriateness when there is such an additional, material reason to enter into it. Taking the material incentive away may well be disservice to women.
Just as it needs some time to get used to the idea that poorer societies may well be sexually better than richer societies, it requires some intellectual effort to conclude that societies are doing females (and males) a favor by maintaining a certain level of material need. But if we think about it, the concept isnt that strange. After all, we have concluded quite some time ago that it is better for us if we do not eat as much food as we can afford to buy, and indeed, even though many of us do not (yet) realize it, communal electricity companies are doing us a favor by sometimes shutting off power supply, and forcing us to walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
The alternatives to engineering societies that are appropriate not just to the female pattern of sexual desire (the ideal pursued in North America and Western Europe), but also to the male pattern of sexual desire, are miserable indeed.
If we let our societies continue to develop on the current heterophobic path (favored by Christian fundamentalists and feminazis), men overall lack sexual opportunities, and thus have to resort to imagination (either by masturbation or when imagining other women during sexual intercourse with a routine partner).
Or men have to go the traditional way, which is secrecy in parallel sexual relationships and the use of standard tools of deception (adultery, promises of marriage without the intention to keep them), as well as the visit of prostitutes.
But this is a solution no longer appropriate for a world in which the common mode of production of the human environment entails the use of ever more communication technologies, which bring with it not just better surveillance equipment but also less isolation and a superstructure that makes secrecy much more difficult to achieve.