How to Pick a Lover

Posts tagged ‘Heterosexuality’

The Coolidge Effect

One day, President and Mrs. Coolidge were visiting a government
farm. Soon after their arrival, they were taken off on separate tours.
When Mrs. Coolidge passed the chicken pens, she paused to ask the man
in charge if the rooster copulates more than once each day. “Dozens of
times,” was the reply. “Please tell that to the President,” Mrs. Coolidge
requested. When the President passed the pens and was told about the
rooster, he asked, “Same hen every time?” “Oh no, Mr. President, a
different one each time.” The President nodded slowly, then said, “Tell
that to Mrs. Coolidge.”
-Gordon Bermant, Psychological Research: The Inside Story

The Coolidge effect is used by sexologists to describe, among animals, the phenomenon of male re-arousal by a new female. One wonders if, perhaps, most of the sexologists in question were male because it does not seem to have occurred to anyone that the same effect may be apparent among women. For most women, the quest for fulfillment involves, in part, a quest for long-term relationships. The crux of the issue, alas, is what is meant by “long-term.” There is no doubt that for most couples who have sexual rapport, the quality of that rapport increases with the passage of time. That process may take weeks or months or, for some, years, depending on how often they make love and with what intensity.

There is also no doubt that except for the most fortunate and exceptional couples, the quality of sexual rapport eventually peaks and, from that point on, tends to decrease with the passage of time. As a man and woman become more and more familiar with each other, the excitement and the erotic tension of their first encounters is diminished. The response patterns become too predictable. As the sexual experience becomes routine, there is a loss of intensity. They can still feel pleasure, but they are less likely to feel ecstasy.

National Lampoon's Joy of Sex movie poster

National Lampoon’s Joy of Sex movie poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The idea of sex with a nice, affectionate, but totally familiar old husband may produce a state of profound sexual apathy. There is no antipathy, but neither is there much interest.

The decline in erotic enthusiasm can be minimized and delayed by incorporating a wide variety of sexual techniques and by using different props and locations. Eventually, however, there may be a sense that one has experienced all of the experiences possible with a given partner. Even the most enthusiastic lovers can become jaded with each other. The idea of making love with a different man, a strange man, may be much more appealing than making love with a familiar lover.

By any objective criteria, a prospective lover may have no more to offer than the current one and, indeed, may actually be less attractive. However, the appeal of a stranger is that he is strange. Sometimes, in seeking sexual fulfillment, you want nothing more than what you have experienced with one man; but you crave the added stimulus and excitement of experiencing it with a different man—a man who arouses curiosity and is still mysterious.

Difficult Sexual Predilections

Whatever the origins of sexual preferences—genetic or hormonal or experiential—they are always easier to recognize than to explain and easier to describe than to change.
—Simon Van Velikoff, sexologist

In previous blogs I’ve identified several kinds of men women should never consider to be relationship material. In addition, some men are losers as potential lovers because their particular preferences do not happen to be compatible with your own. With some studied attention, you can discover what your own sexual proclivities are. Once you know that, if you can then find someone with whom you are basically compatible, you may be able to experience a great deal of growth and an extensive development of your own erotic potential. Most people do not find this process very complex. From an early age, they are unambiguously heterosexual and they express that heterosexuality in a nonviolent and nonexploitative way. Others, however, do not.

It is difficult to answer the complex question of why some people prefer one kind of sexuality and other people prefer something else. Even years of soul-searching or psychoanalysis may not yield any very convincing explanations. We do know, however, that regardless of how basic sexual predilections originate, once they are formed, they are very resistant to change. If you want to change your own sexual inclinations, you might consider one of the sex therapy clinics, which employ surrogate sex partners. If you are considering trying to change someone else’s sexual proclivities, however, you are wise to think again.

People with unusual sexual predilections are usually more interested in gratifying their unorthodox desires than in changing them. Even in atypical instances when they do want to change, they have great difficulty doing so. Do not attempt to rehabilitate or to reform a would-be lover whose sexual predilections are basically at odds with your own.

Several types of men should be excluded because their sexual predilections will be at odds with your own. Homophiles, because they are not likely to meet your sexual needs, and predators and men who are prone to sexual violence because they are likely to jeopardize your safety.

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