Me Tarzan, You Jane

jemaine-clement-dancing

I see you girls checkin’ out my trunks
I see you girls checkin’ out the front of my trunks
I see you girls lookin’ at my junk, then checkin’ out my rump, then back to my sugarlumps – Flight of the Conchords
 

Some recent studies conducted at UPenn and Berkeley have concluded that the tendency of human males to be overconfident in their potential for success in the realm of sexual conquest is a beneficial trait and that the minority of men who do not harbor such confidence are at a genetic disadvantage.  FULL DISCLOSURE: You are reading the opinions of a man who is allegedly at a genetic disadvantage.

The term beneficial, in this case, only applies to what overconfident men would consider “success”, of course.  That is, simply put, the consummation of the sex act with a willing female.  The studies, like the men being studied, are just playing a simple numbers game: the more females you approach with confidence (arrogance?), the more likely you are to eventually come upon a reciprocally DTF female. All of our furry, scaled and winged friends in the animal kingdom harbor the exact same definition of success, though I must say that their mating rituals are almost always far more elegant than ours.

From a strictly biological standpoint, the findings of these studies make perfect sense, yet I really hope those esteemed universities didn’t piss away too much funding to confirm the obvious.  The mating/sex/romance behavior of the human male is very easy to understand when juxtaposed with that of two of his closest primate relatives: the chimpanzee and the gorilla.  Chimpanzees have huge testicles and this of course translates to “more sperm”.  Hence, in an effort to ensure that HIS sperm will impregnate an ovulating chimpette, he will do whatever it takes to boink and boink and boink and boink.  This increases the odds of his sperm finding purchase within at least one of the females with whom he has had his way and there’s a good chance that his genetic code will be passed on.  Gorillas, on the other hand, have very tiny testicles.  They tend to pair off for life, having one or two offspring that the male can be rest assured are his own.  Humans fall somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.  While philosophically, we seem to love the idea of pairing off for life (“…til death do us part”), that’s not really how it usually goes down, now is it?  So, with a little help from evolution, our nuts tend to split the difference between the enormity of the chimp’s and the diminutiveness of the gorilla’s.  The human male would like to believe that “his mate” will never stray (although he often gives himself permission to do so), but he knows deep down that there’s a very good chance she may be less than forthcoming about what really goes on during her “girls’ nights out”.  All that being said, I’m not exactly sure why we use the phrase “he’s got big balls” as a way of expressing that a certain man possesses courage and guts.  Incidentally, looking at this from the viewpoint of primitive man also explains why men have the tendency to get jealous over their partner’s perceived sexual betrayals (“If it’s not my kid, why am I risking my life clubbing wild animals to feed it?”) and women tend to get jealous over their partner’s perceived emotional betrayals (“If he’s going to spend all his time opening up to that woman, why should I believe he’s gonna stick around and keep clubbing wild animals for me and the kid?”).

All humans seem to enjoy looking down on other animals, as if we ourselves were not just another species of the animal kingdom.  We seem to believe that our ability to think and speak and reason has removed us from the ways of our primitive ancestors and that we are advanced spiritual creatures.  But are we?  Aside from the blabbing and the writing and the counting and the fashionable cloths that we drape over ourselves, in what way are we more advanced?  To me, humanity is primarily engaged in the exact same activities as any other animal: eating, fucking and fighting.  Describing all of that in clinical terminology doesn’t make it any less animalistic.  I’d have no problem with any of this, even as one of the downtrodden class of underconfident males, if we didn’t make such a to-do about what a wonderfully advanced lifeform we are (“made in God’s image!”).  Why has our intellect transformed the majority of our species into arrogant buffoons? I have a friend who used to enjoy dragging me out to the strip clubs of South Florida.  Regardless of how much cash he had to shove into garters in order to keep the interest of the ladies he found most attractive, he always left the joint thinking that he had really impressed one or two of the women who danced for him, never taking into account that it is precisely her job to act like you are the most desirable man on earth.  I doubt a single one of them actually told him her real name.  Either that, or there are an inordinate number of ladies in South Florida named Candy.

So I feel that studies such as the ones referenced in the opening paragraph are appropriately treating us as the animals that we are, but most sexually overconfident men reading the findings would probably see it as confirmation that they are superior creatures.  And of course, studies such as these don’t take into account the negative aspects of male sexual overconfidence such as rape, manipulation, etc.  I don’t begrudge our well-behaved lotharios their sex lives.  As with all numbers games, any guy is free to try his hand at it.  For me, it’s all too tiring, and the last thing I want to do is pass my genetics on to another poor hapless soul.  Also, I suppose I am somewhat of a romantic, so screwing for the sake of screwing isn’t something from which I tend to get much satisfaction.  But then, perhaps this “romantic” idealism of mine is just as much an arrogant denial of my animal soul as anything else I’ve criticized in this post.  Netflix and chill, anyone?

7 thoughts on “Me Tarzan, You Jane

  1. Nice article. I find it quite amusing that this warrants a recent scientific study, and as you point out I think there are other relevant factors to consider before we label people as being ‘genetically disadvantaged’. That sounds a lot like bullying to me. I’d be interested to know whether ‘disadvantage’ in the study refers to reproduction only, or also to power in society etc.

    I’m currently reading a book called ‘The Spell of the Sensuous’ by David Abram, which is about how humanity has become disconnected from nature and how that affects us. One of the relevant points made is that we are surrounded by objects and technologies of our own making along with our own limited form of language, which constantly reconfirms our arrogance in thinking we are superior to other species, but in effect just locks us into our own little part of available experience. We don’t think of ourselves as animalistic anymore, we abhor it. But you’re absolutely right, when you really cut the crap that is exactly what we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m happy to know you like the Conchords. Of the handful of people who read my nonsense, you’re probably the only one who got that reference. My nominal collaborator, Maryellen, is a big fan, but not only has she only made one post on here so far, she doesn’t read any of my stuff, either.

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    1. Lies are intentional falsehoods. This was a best guess, as well as an intentional not-so-subtle prodding. I’m hoping you become connected again soon because your viewpoint and voice is sorely needed here. Two Voices is currently a one-man sausage party. No fun.

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