Posted on August 26, 2011 by

The discussion Alte sparked with her post on male hypocrisy reminded me of a post I wrote against such hypocrisy, ergo more recycling. We’re going green at Traditional Christianity! This isn’t a post from a necessarily Christian perspective as it was written before my return to the fold, but it might spark conversation and increased de-lurking.

The Social Pathologist got the ball rolling with Defining Slut, Defining Slut 2, and Defining Slut: More Data. Athol Kay dug into the numbers and added Virginity And The Big Bad Wolf. Then the Social Pathologist added more info with Sexual Partner Divorce Risk.

In a nutshell, if you like to play the odds, then you need to abjure marriage unless your blushing bride is a virgin. Once her bedpost features more than one notch, the odds start falling rapidly.

But as Solomon II said in his post Proverb 13: The Slut Algorithm:

Outside of a farm in Iowa or a religious cult in Texas, there’s probably  not a woman on the planet who could live up to her GGN, so again,  reading this post is a waste of time.  Every man’s snowflake is another  man’s whore.  Get over it.

Solomon is not a fan of marriage. In fact, he’s even leery of long term relationships. What do you do if you’re not similarly averse to long term relationships? What do you do if you’re considering marriage?

You ignore the numbers and look at the person you are involved with.

The house always wins in the aggregate, but it doesn’t win every hand. They are called odds, not certainties. Odds demand the possibility of a statistically improbable outcome. Individual relationships are unique, they respond to their own inertia, not to the odds.

Past behavior is a good indicator of future behavior; it is not a crystal ball. Correlation is not causation. Look at the psyche of the woman who has slept with 5 men. Look at the psyche of the woman who has slept with one. What are her motivations? Is it a Disney princess entitlement mentality that drove the once-removed virgin to slide into your bed? Is there a string of monogamous long-term relationships and no flings in the past of the 5 notch girl?

Motivation does matter. Redemption is possible.

As a relationship-minded man, you have to dig beneath the raw stats and figure out that motivation. Penelope, for example, has an acceptable slut factor, to use Solomon’s formulation, but she was nonetheless not sitting on a block of ice waiting on my irresponsible ass to saunter in and knock her off her feet. True, we were friends, but when we met and got to know one another we were attached to other people. I, being an obnoxious ass, was less attached. She, being a nice faithful girl, was more attached. We remained friends, we found ourselves unattached, and then we found ourselves delightfully attached to one another.

The odds are not in our favor. Not only was Penelope not a virgin, we cohabitated prior to marriage. We cohabitated for years. We’ve beaten the arbitrary and somewhat unimpressive 5 year mark by a few years. I can never remember when we got married, so I’m not sure by how many we’ve beaten it, but I can say without a doubt that it’s multiple years.

One secret to our success was our ages when we met. We met and bonded while young and before either of us had opportunity to become jaded. In other words we preemptively, if unknowingly, struck against the formation of destructive patterns.

Moreover Penelope is not a Disney girl. She does not believe in true love. She really, really loves me and I do not doubt this, but she does not assume that she would be wallowing in misery had I not strolled along. I wholeheartedly agree with that assessment and think the same of my own life. Accepting reality is a great way to guard against the grimmer aspects of modernity. Whether Christian conservative virgins on the wedding day or more  seasoned, the driving factor behind divorce rates is the same thing that’s prompting women to have so many partners: unreal  expectations and corresponding dissociation.

Unreal expectations are negative motivators. Expecting one true love, expecting the Hollywood ending, expecting a never ending supply of sparks and googly woogly wuv will kill any relationship. Relationships are not transitory parties, they are work. Work is not a pejorative. Work is a positive idea, but the connotation nonetheless correctly implies effort. It implies a bit of sacrifice. It implies moments that are decidedly free of sparks and wuv.

That effort is what is missing from the data. In the aggregate, there is a story. In the individual relationships, there is no normalcy. Either both people are willing to accept reality and work toward the beauty that comes from accepting those warts and all moments or one or both are not. Those who are not motivated to accept those warts and all moments are always going to be tempted to seek a new path. They are going to contribute to the scores of failures.

Don’t get caught up in the stats. They are useful, but they are not the foundation for an ethos. The world is not perfect. You are not perfect. You can, though, find a flawed counterpart who shares your goals and values. It will not be a fairy tale ending. Be glad about that. In the real fairy tales, not the sanitized Disney versions, everything always came crashing down in the end.

Posted in: Relationships