Is the “Cheapness” of Sex the Reason Men Are Unmotivated?

In an article this week on Slate.com, Mark Regnerus discusses the implications of today’s “sexual economics.” Regnerus argues that while women are traditionally the gate keepers to sex, these days they no longer put up too many obstacles; women are willing to have sex with little commitment from men and with men without many redeeming qualities. This is because of the skewed gender ratio between successful men and women; women outnumber men in college and in the workforce, as well as in churches, another place where people tend to couple up. In populations where men outnumber women, men have to compete with each other to win a woman over and get sex. In populations where the women outnumber the men, men don’t have to work as hard and women cannot afford to be as choosy; they are thus more willing to have sex sans commitment because it’s harder to find a partner, and they want to hold onto the ones they do find. So in summary, whereas men used to have to work hard and compete with each other, doing great things, dressing well, becoming successful, showing a willingness to commit, they no longer have to do so because women no longer require it for access to sex. Regenerus says:

“And yet while young men’s failures in life are not penalizing them in the bedroom, their sexual success may, ironically, be hindering their drive to achieve in life. Don’t forget your Freud: Civilization is built on blocked, redirected, and channeled sexual impulse, because men will work for sex. Today’s young men, however, seldom have to. As the authors of last year’s book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality put it, “Societies in which women have lots of autonomy and authority tend to be decidedly male-friendly, relaxed, tolerant, and plenty sexy.” They’re right. But then try getting men to do anything.”

Do you think the “cheapness” of sex has anything to do with the lack of drive and motivation some men today exhibit?

Read the whole article on Slate.com.

Hat tip to Michael H. for this link.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Keri March 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Russ,

Thank you for your excellent points about the Princess/Slut mentality that pervades many of the younger women I know and encounter. It’s sad to think that many young women believe that all they have to do is be pretty and put out in order to maintain a good relationship. I also appreciate your point about the “eternal-boyishness” mentality that has overcome many of the younger men.

You wrote: “However, this “I don’t need a man” stuff is far closer to arrogance and self-deception than respectable independence that comes from character.” I would like to state that there is a difference between need and want, when it comes to independance. I am a divorced mom, with 3 children living at home with me. My situation forces me to be a fully independant woman; I work, I pay all my own bills, I clean my house, I raise the kids (with all the doctor visits, schlepping to Tai Kwon Do, and homework assistance that entails) without any assistance from a man – and yes, that includes not receiving child support. Do I *NEED* a man in order for my life to go smoothly or be fulfilling? No. If that was true, my kids and I would be screwed. Do I *WANT* to have a man of character in my life? Yes. Finding one is the hard part.

Jonathan March 3, 2011 at 9:40 pm

To the comments I’ve read that seem to think this article is “blaming women” or making excuses for male behavior: there is a big difference between assigning blame and making social observation.

I personally work quite hard to improve my character and integrity, so I’m not talking about myself if I say that I think this article might be right. There does seem to be a trend out there of sex being more willingly offered by women, and simultaneously I hear a great cry from the female population that “there aren’t any good men anymore.” Coincidence? Maybe they’re settling for less because more doesn’t seem to exist. Maybe it’s even become a vicious cycle. That doesn’t mean I think women are to blame for a lack of integrity in men – this ain’t a conspiracy. Men OUGHT to stand up, women OUGHT to hold out… but in many places, it’s not happening that way. We already knew about the former, that’s what this site is for; this article is trying to expose the latter – the other link in the vicious cycle.

But there are other factors at play, too. Seems to me some of the looser women out there aren’t settling, they’re just following their sex drive and unrealistically hoping the man they don’t know too much about yet turns out to be what she’s after in the long term. Casual sex is becoming pretty common.

Russ March 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Larry,

I agree with you. If I could go back and change a few things in my life, one of them would be spending a great deal less time with video games, TV and computers at a young age. As I’m in my early 30s now, I am finding that I am addicted to stimulation, particularly visual stimulation. I think a lot of that has led to a lack of discipline and interest in non-visually stimulating aspects of life and an attachment to distractions and constant entertainment. I can’t blame it all on that, but I do think it has contributed significantly. I see that exponentially occurring in younger people today.

Russ March 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Keri,

I totally understand what you’re saying and that makes sense. I should have been more clear in my comment and I appreciate your clarification. I believe I was intending to mean the more arrogant and ego-centric ways I’ve heard “not needing a man” as an expression of disdain for men in general.

I think most men want a women like you who is entirely capable of managing all those complexities of life but yet WANTS the companionship and partnership with a good man. I can appreciate your challenges as my father died when I was just a toddler from cancer and my mom raised us kids in much the same way you are. Despite making a great effort to raise me as a gentleman in a moral and spiritual home, she still feels incredibly guilty for not being able to provide more (which is ridiculous from my side of things as I failed much more than she did). Unfortunately, my mother ended up settling for a less-than-good character man who hasn’t panned out well for our family when she (and we) deserved much better.

Patrick B March 4, 2011 at 10:46 pm

@Alexis
Thank you so much for your kind words :) your addition fully complimented and rounded out my point aforesaid. And might i add, that i am a 21 yr old and have come into upholding and understanding a wider reasoning on these views, only because of my father. He is the prime example to me of a man, and all i did was describe his great measure and countenance. Here’s to the return of sanity in our world!

Vince March 7, 2011 at 4:09 am

Good to see someone paying attention to this fact, I’ve been thinking along these lines for years.
This, however, has been the case for years, the bible talks at length about the dangers of loose women.

Proverbs 5
Warning Against Adultery
1 My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
turn your ear to my words of insight,
2 that you may maintain discretion
and your lips may preserve knowledge.
3 For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey,
and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as gall,
sharp as a double-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
her steps lead straight to the grave.
6 She gives no thought to the way of life;
her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.

7 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
do not turn aside from what I say.
8 Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
9 lest you lose your honor to others
and your dignity[a] to one who is cruel,
10 lest strangers feast on your wealth
and your toil enrich the house of another.
11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.
12 You will say, “How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers
or turn my ear to my instructors.
14 And I was soon in serious trouble
in the assembly of God’s people.”

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well.
16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?
17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.
18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

21 For your ways are in full view of the LORD,
and he examines all your paths.
22 The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them;
the cords of their sins hold them fast.
23 For lack of discipline they will die,
led astray by their own great folly.

know the truth, guys June 25, 2011 at 5:01 am

nope, a gynocentric educational system explains the disparity. Our culture has spent half a century demonizing and denigrating men; we should hardly be surprised that we are left with ineffectual boys.

The best thing we could do is to start shooting jewesses and white women on the streets.

the enemy lies within, people June 25, 2011 at 5:07 am

for a site that calls itself “theartofmanliness.com,” an article like this one leads me to the conclusion that the person behind this site is a politically-correct eunuch all too eager to absolve female public school teachers of their culpability in damaging millions of our little boys. Whether it’s prescribing ritalin, penalizing them for being to “rambunctious,” attacking them for their “aggressiveness,” treating the classroom and schoolyard as a dating pool, or failing to teach them basic, rudimentary skills, the cunts who teach in our classrooms have been one of the chief reasons behind the under-performance of male students since the 1960s. Naturally, because this argument holds women accountable – and they don’t like being accountable – it is far easier to simply blame it all on indolent, ineffectual males. What typical cunt bullshit.

Bernard G. July 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Love is not how Hollywood depicts it.

Sex is a three-letter word that is so rampant in our society. All forms of promotions and advertisements from movies to magazines and everything in between, whether subjective or objective, are bombarded with sex. More and more people are fully saturated and are never really satisfied. What I just said is nothing new, everyone knows it, but as someone said, “It is important to know the point before you get to the point.”

Saying “I love you” to your boyfriend/girlfriend is tantamount to saying “I want to marry you.” Those three words are overused by people whose hearts (if they have any) have a different and bad motive and has jeopardized its real meaning.

I believe that sex is great but that is sex within the bonds of matrimony. You see, temptation is not a possibility but an absolute certainty. Every human being is tempted but it’s how you respond to it that makes you a run-of-the-mill kind of person or an exemplary kind of person. Fornication, adultery, pornography and all kinds of sexual immorality, you name it, are the standard operating procedure of many people. They have lost the ability to distinguish right and wrong. They have become so numb to God’s gentle nudges that God will providentially provide crisis in their lives in the form of sickness (HIV, AIDS, etc.). No one can escape the law of sowing and reaping. What you sow, you reap.

As what will happen in the Great Tribulation, our present time is a preface. God will allow men to do as they please and He will remove all restraints, because Hell is getting exactly what we want. Christians should rejoice and be grateful to their Heavenly Father who has and will withhold much of what we ask for, for our own good.

Some men, who don’t have self-control, will solicit sex to their girlfriend and their reasoning would be something like, “If you really love me, prove it by having sex with me.” They allure and extenuate you with their “just this once” mentality and principle in life.

Harvard Business School professor, Clayton M. Christensen, puts it this way:
The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low. It suckers you in, and you don’t look at where that path is ultimately headed and at the full costs that the choice entails. Justification for infidelity and dishonesty in all their manifestations lies in the marginal cost of economics of “just this once.” It’s easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” you’ll regret where you end up.

Warren W. Wiersbe said “It is a great price to pay for a few moments of pleasure.” If a man really loves the woman, he will always think of her purity. No less.

The Screwtape Letters, written by C.S. Lewis, is a series of letters from a senior demon named Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior demon name Wormwood. An excerpt:

Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s (God’s) ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy (God) has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return—that is what really gladdens our Father’s (Satan’s) heart.

Monogamy is how God designed it to be. God’s works are all perfect. Having sex with your spouse and your spouse alone is the only option. Don’t you know that as the years go by your sex life with your spouse evolves and improves? It continuously, progressively, and gradually improves like our brief life here on Earth, until the day our address is changed from Earth to Heaven.

We must conquer our mind and our environment, not with our own power (we are powerless), but by God’s great love and amazing grace we can resist the Devil’s lures and lies.

What is popular is not always right. What is right is not always popular.

theranger May 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Gentlemen: Marraige is the foundational relationship for sexual expression and child rearing, and is God’s creation. Just the same, marraige is not based upon love or attraction–marraige is a promise–a lifetime promise. Sex is best when it follows the promise. Real men are godly men, and real men keep promises, come hell or high water. Modern women prostitute themselves by giving away sex to men who are immature liars, and wonder why unhappiness results. Perhaps their fathers were liars as well, perhaps they have never met a real man. Real men do not want a needy, sexually scarred, bitter woman who has left a trail of discarded sexual partners behind her. Until modern women learn to control themselves they will be used by men, and they will see their children aborted. God have mercy.

Roscoe June 22, 2013 at 1:41 am

I have one or two problems with these ideas:
(1) women aren’t sexual gatekeepers. They’re people just like you, they too have the instinctive drive to have sex. So it seems kinda dumb to imply that women control the flow of sex, because so do men. We reject people just as much.

(2) And this assumes gay people don’t factor in – Sparta was one of the gayest, masculine and most militarily powerful civilizations on the planet. Homosexuality was in the school curriculum in ancient sparta. You think they didn’t achieve anything? they were one of the most fiercesome countries in the Ancient World, and yet it seems this article is saying you need women to sexually frustrate you to make great things happen. So I guess what I’m saying is because homosexuality was the norm for Spartan men, they would have gotten sexual encounters quite a lot and so they wouldn’t have been frustrated, therefore this argument that we need frustration is incorrect.

(3) women get frustrated sexually frustrated as well, and they’re represented pretty well in some academic circles. There’s a conflicting point there. The Slate Article claims that men are unmotivated and need sex for them to do great things. As we know WOMEN ARE SEXUALLY INTERESTED BEINGS AS WELL, and yet they’re – according to the Slate, doing really well in colleges and universities. At the same time, they’re being called sexual gatekeepers by this godforsaken article. That’s contradictory. How can they be doing well in university while also being the gatekeepers to sex if it’s the frustration needed by sexual beings to redirect into great things?

(4) women aren’t all 18 year old bikini models. Jesus H. Christ. Not all of them have the magical ability to get laid. Since that’s the way it is, I don’t think it makes sense to say women rule sex anyway, which means that they cannot be considered so-called ‘gatekeepers to sex’.

mia October 25, 2013 at 3:40 am

Women are not gate keepers of sex,women are gatekeepers of themselves.

Women have to protect themselves against men who are just out to use her.

Since men aren’t being men anymore.In bible times,men would do their part in protecting his ladies’ purity by controlling himself.

Yes,men these days have no control.

The reason why its this whole mess is because women now are the only ones protecting themselves because men don’t care anymore.

They see women are useless objects.

Yes women crave sex as well but have more troubles in sex than men do.

Pregnancy
Social shaming.
Purity value involved with marriage.

I mean a woman has to have sex with her husband,not her bf or her friendy-friend.

Her husband.

That’s not encouraged anymore,casual sex is being encourage everywhere.

The bible states that men have to control themselves sexually and obtain a WIFE.

So both men and women are gate keepers of sex.

The bible tells you that.

Lucretius May 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm

Kudos to the writer of this article. Many fine points. I think this is an incredibly complex subject that couldn’t possible be explored in it’s entirety with a few comments like ours.

My quick two cents:

Yes, the answer is yes. While everybody is preaching about their politically correct notions in regards to males losing their ambition and desires, the answer is very irrefutably yes. The fact that women are no longer the gatekeepers, means we don’t have any incentive to excel. Sex is being served fresh on our metaphorical dinner table every single day. The working formula can easily be traced back the last few thousand years, and even further. Nature and evolution itself can be understood by the simple fundamental role of a woman being the gatekeeper. And as usual, when mankind strays from the laws of nature–the laws that spawned life on this isolated planet in an infinite sea of darkness–the consequences rock our so-called civilized world.

Contrary to many of the imaginative and intelligent responses, the facts don’t change. Every woman who has been in any kind of serious relationship knows, and is quite used to the empowerment of their vagina, and the instincts that drive us men through all endeavors of life. Facts don’t change because it inconveniences you or is sexist and unfair. Facts are something we all subconsciously know, but oftentimes try to deny ourselves.

I love this comment, because it really simplifies the facts: “nope, a gynocentric educational system explains the disparity. Our culture has spent half a century demonizing and denigrating men; we should hardly be surprised that we are left with ineffectual boys.”

JACKPOT!

I’ve been brainwashed my whole life–starting three decades after the feminine revolution of the 50′s–that I am a bad person–or gender–and that anything that I do that is natural and instinctual, is bad for society. Despite the fact that these traits created all of societies. As the women gain more and more ground for so-called equal rights, not only do they deny their instinctual heritage, hormones, and prospects that the biological power of life would mutually appreciate–but they ironically cut themselves short of truly fulfilling who they are suppose to be. Basically, if the past and present are any indication of the future, when we get fed up enough, or WWIII happens, we will see it all happen again. Men will be the men, and women will be the women…and their respective, instinctual roles will be carried out without complaint.

Gatekeepers that find that genetic match to ensure the survival of the children.

In today’s society, as the byproducts of freedom and sentience, women just give it away. We no longer have an incentive, they are no longer gatekeepers. We have been beaten down, stepped on, and not given credit for everything we’ve created for the last few decades–and to top it all off, we can get sex anytime we want. Neither I or a majority of men have to deal with working for our sexual encounters any longer. If women only understood how their somewhat selfish desires to be something they aren’t, is getting in the way and severely hurting society, maybe they’d change it back to the working formula, rather than trying to out-think nature’s formula of success.

I have one of those mother’s. Thanks to our mutually high degree of intelligence, we have decided we don’t need each other, and have no relationship whatsoever. But her desires were not of the natural kind, but instead of a severely abusive and horrible childhood. Her psychological traits were created by this childhood. Basically severe traumas knocked the estrogen-ridden instincts right out of her. I guess in way, you can compare the traumas that build her, to the society that has destroyed what men really are, and have become.

But what do i know. I’m just a another typical pig who grew up very sexually charged, humping legs, begging, and downright trying to manipulate my way into the gates of some women that still existed naturally (all very true). I love it that we have been demonized for being natural for the last few decades; that our erections and desires are belittled and mocked…yet women still don’t have to feel bad for their monthly menstrual visitor.

Talk about a double-standard. Women aren’t blamed for their true natures.

Either way, there is far too many points regarding this subject. As I noted above, this is a very complex issue where there are many sides to consider. Either way, good article and good job for finally pointing the obvious that can easily be explained through the precedence of our couple thousand-year sentient history.

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