I look at virtual worlds as a glimpse into the future. That may be a fantasy (oh, of course it is), so seeing people bring prejudices into my virtual life makes it—well, less fantastic.
One of the blogs I subscribe to recently posted a commentary on a blog post by a virtual (in this case, Second Life) escort—a sex worker who has cybersex for money. That’s not the issue, sex work is a valid field. Sexism is what bugs me here. In What Lillie Learned About Men From Second Life Sex, New World Notes‘ Hamlet Au pointed out a few salient points from Lillie Yifu’s post, which talks about how to keep your man from cheating—namely, train him.
Some of the readers’ commentary set her off on an injured martyr spin: “I see I have sinned, and my sin is telling too much of the truth.” Not enough truth, though there is some to be found mixed in with the fallacies. (A tactic often used by misogynists and misandrists, among whom I’m counting Yifu.) In her own post, A Page From Men: The Missing Owner’s Manual, offers tips on how to dole out tidbits of sex like Scooby snacks and blatantly states that men just can’t help themselves when it comes to infidelity. In her comments on NWN, however, she notes (and provides references to studies, heh) that affairs arise because of a lack of communication. Maybe I missed the part of her post where she even hinted that communication was key to a good relationship.
When it comes to getting sex several things work in combination. One is that men have more testosterone, which is what creates immediate sex drive and aggression. The other is that men are more visual in their attraction. The next is that the part of the brain devoted to finding sex and getting it is twice as large in men as it is in women. The last one is that men have a lower startle response. This means a man is more likely to notice a detail that causes arousal, more likely to look, which means a wider radius, and more likely to think about getting sex. Also men’s sex drive while it varies, does not do so as regularly, and does not do so as much. Basically, on average, for a few days a month, women think about getting sex as much as men do all the time.
Men are more visually-oriented when it comes to arousal: myth. The sex-related centers of the male brain are twice the size of a woman’s, true. That men generally have a higher sex drive than women, have more testosterone, think about sex more often—also true. That a man’s lower startle response means he is more likely to think about sex? I don’t know, I couldn’t find a study that suggested that. Her implication that women are responsible for men’s infidelity? Blatant bullshit. Men are wired (and remember, this is Stone Age programming) to get out there to spread their genes. And guess what? So are women. Neither men nor women are monogamous by nature. (also, see Hrdy, 1997)
I am very sorry that so many people are so angry and taking it out on me. But then, their husbands do to. That is really the thing that saddens me, how much unresolved anger there is out there, not just in America, not just in the developed world, but in many places. People take what comfort they can in such an environment, but anger, denial, and bargaining won’t make one small dent in the wall that separates so many people in this day and age.
Again the wounded ingénue, Yifu persists in her belief that people are attacking her for causing infidelity. This farce of a how-to is nothing more than a way for her to express contempt for men and other women. In fact, her whole post boils down to, “don’t blame me if your man is cheating, it’s YOUR fault, but I’ll be nice enough to show you how to train him.”
Maria Rimbaud makes some amazing points in her comments, in fact, I love her response to Yifu: “If my expecting him to not treat me like a domestic servant causes him to have contempt for me (!) and go out and wave his dick in some other woman’s face (!!) and have contempt for all women as a result (!!!), then I’d say that man isn’t worth having.” Fucking awesome!
Dr. Grohol of Psychcentral responds in his post, Why Virtual Whores Shouldn’t Play Virtual Psychologists.
If this is the “missing owner’s manual” for men, I suggest you throw it away now. Delete your bookmark and move on. The only thing this manual will teach you is how to completely anger any typical man. Because no one — man or woman — wants to be treated like an object that needs “training.”
Yifu takes exception to being called a whore (has she not read Tasty Trixie’s WebWhore Manifesto? There is nothing wrong with whores.), but seems to have no problem referring to a woman’s sex drive as the “slut mode”.
If they come to believe that sex in the relationship is a matter of our hormones, they put us in the slut box. “Is this the slut time of the month? No? OK I’ll watch sports.”
I doubt that Lillie Yifu learned a damn thing about men that couldn’t be gleaned from a quick Google search. But she does a good job at preaching misandry.
We all like references:
Hrdy, S.B., 2000. Raising Darwin’s Consciousness: Sexual selection from a mother’s point of view. Keynote Lecture for Symposium on Gender and Inquiry, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Hrdy, S.B. 1997. Raising Darwin’s consciousness: female sexuality and the prehominid origins of patriarchy. Human Nature 8: 1-49
Anokhin AP, Golosheykin S, Sirevaag E, et. al., 2006. Rapid discrimination of visual scene content in the human brain. Brain Research 1093:167-177