On Dread: A Reply to Susan Walsh

by Frost on February 7, 2011

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rivelino February 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm

excellent essay.

Augustine DeCarthage February 7, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Ladies, Frost is giving you some good advice here. And if you can’t stand nice guys (and because of evo-psych and Game, I understand why you don’t), try for good guys. There’s a distinction between nice and good. Good men deserve to be rewarded, even if nice men don’t.

Susan Walsh February 7, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Frost, this is an excellent post. I don’t think we’ve “met” before, but I appreciate the link and being on your blogroll. It will be a pleasure to return the favor. Both you and Keoni Galt have written such good responses to my post that I plan to feature them soon, so look for the link. This kind of advice – straight from a young guy’s mouth is truly priceless. I think women should hear it. Thanks again.

arson February 7, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Susan’s overriding problem is that it doesn’t behoove her to either admit or understand quite how bad these relationships are; just to what extent the participants are closer in both form and practice to children than confident adults. You read the comments from women looking for advice from her and they’re invariably trying to convince themselves that this wandering serial monogamy, chasing after men who don’t call for two weeks or who flagrantly suggest threesomes to their faces, is all, to quote Udolpho, “perfectly normal, perfectly healthy”. Susan does little if anything to help this (indeed, I’m of the opinion she makes it worse) because she refuses to suggest the problems are systematic; she’ll oddly err and hint that something might be wrong with the “sexual market place”, but every attempt to try and pin-point why gets a dismissive snark from her. She gives the impression that these poor women are being hard done by for no evident reason, and this valorizes the idea that the system itself is great; indeed, it’s natural! Optimum market efficiency! All you have to do is find out a good “strategy” (puke).

Here I quote from Udolpho:

How little we know our sexual selves, and how much less we know with each passing day as we are enjoined to accept ever more bizarre permutations of sexual love (or “love”) as perfectly normal, perfectly healthy. There is somewhere in our fascination with all these permutations, most of which are useless except as fillips to a jaded appetite, evidence that we have completely lost sense of the place that sex has in a healthy life.

We lead adolescents right up to the point of intercourse having taught them nothing more than how to “protect” themselves with a thin layer of rubber and some hormone pills – anything more would be too judgemental, and we loudly excuse our shameless counsel by asserting that they’d just do it anyway. By even cursory reflection we must realize that we are doing nothing at all to prepare their minds for this experience – though hardly anyone would suggest that the psyche of an adolescent can easily cope with the vulnerabilities and misjudgements of an early sexual relationship. We are also abdicating our responsibility to take seriously their moral development, and substituting a misleading practicality in its stead. It is considered an act of miraculous forbearance (or an indication of social incompetence) if our children wait until college before having their first sexual encounter.

It is no surprise then that many adults (or quasi-adults) spend their twenties in a series of misguided relationships with the strange belief that what they are doing is perfectly normal, perfectly healthy: spending lots of time pursuing sex (or figuring out what to do after the initial euphoria of sexual exploration has palled) and spending very little time learning about the nature of mature love, which in the popular imagination is a more or less amicable couple who do not egregiously cheat on each other.

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