I was reading a book by David M. Buss called “The Evolution of Desire.” It’s all about the strategies of human mating and how that ties to evolutionary psychology.
The premise is that we behave a certain way based on the reproductive needs of our ancestors. Those of you who read my blog know that I love evolutionary psychology. I find it fascinating and often correlate my dating and relationship advice back to theories behind evolutionary psychology. I studied evolutionary psychology in college and I couldn’t get enough!
It’s pretty straightforward…
Men want sex and women want commitment. Okay, I realize it’s not that straightforward, but it’s the basic premise of our reproductive needs.
Both men and women ultimately have the same goal, however, and that is reproductive success. After that… it get’s a little tricky.
Men’s natural inclination is to have sex with very little investment. This enables them to spread their seed as much as possible while simultaneously guarding their resources. The idea is to preserve these resources for a long-term mate. Women, on the other hand, are seeking investment on behalf of the man before they provide sexual access. That is how women ensure the survival of their offspring.
Women risk being abandoned and left with little to no resources if they have sex too soon and without requiring investment from the man. Women need to acquire resources from the man in order to raise healthy offspring.
Of course, this is why we say to women to make him wait for sex! I don’t care what movie you watched that said it was okay to have sex with the man on the first date. I don’t care what posh new magazine said it was okay to be a promiscuous woman. Don’t do it! I’ve said it before and I will say it again. If you want to have sex with no strings attached as a woman, then go for it…
Just don’t expect a man to all of a sudden go against his biologically driven responses!
Men are not biologically driven by what society deems acceptable. Men are driven by their biological need to reproduce and spread their seed.
Of course we’re influenced by society, but again, we’re not biologically driven by what society tells us is now acceptable. When a woman withholds sex from a man it increases her value. The reason it increases her value is because “sex” with her is seen as scarce. As you know, scarcity in resources equates to value! I guess that’s why “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” as they say…
Men have been conditioned to be very selective not with who they have sex with, but with who they will provide their resources to. Back in the days of tribal living they reserved their resources for the woman who was deemed with the highest value. This was more likely to guarantee survival not only of their offspring, but of the offspring with the highest potential to survive. Again, spreading their seed!
This strategy was two-fold. First, multiple sexual partners gave greater chances of reproductive success. Second, providing resources to the most valuable woman in the tribe also increased the chances of their offspring’s survival. They went at it a couple of ways. I suppose you could say one was quantity vs. quality. Quality enhances survival, according to survival of the fittest and the like, however, quantity in offspring enhances ancestral survival due to sheer volume in numbers.
Yes, I realize I’m getting prehistoric and very extreme here, but it provides insight into our current dating strategies and the ways both men and women approach sex.
Remember, the theory behind evolutionary psychology is that our brains are only developed enough to solve the problems our ancestors faced and not of our current world. Basically, just keep this stuff in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to have sex with the guy you’re seeing.
Women who had sex too soon risked being abandoned and left alone without the resources required for their offspring to survive. Obviously, women are more resourceful now than they were back in those days. Thank God! This has now blurred the lines a bit, however, as it relates to sex and dating.
How does this translate now that our conditions aren’t so harsh?
Women who have sex too soon are deemed low value. Therefore, the man leaves and will not commit his resources to her. The likelihood of him spreading his seed is put into question because if the woman has sex too soon, then she may have already had sex with another man. She could actually already be pregnant! The notion is that if she had sex with him that quickly, then she may have had sex with another man that quickly. Of course this means that he can’t be positive he’s spreading his own seed! He also doesn’t want to risk possibly wasting his resources on another man’s offspring A woman who waits is more of a guarantee!
I know it sounds crazy…
If you take anything away from this…take this…
Men who fail to invest in a woman fail to commit to that woman. Men who have sex with a woman too soon are more likely to leave her.
This is also why one of the most argued about topics between men and women is about money!
Evolutionary Psychology and Money
Men’s natural inclination is to guard their resources while women’s is to acquire resources. This cracks me up. This is why men tend to think women spend too much money, or tend to waste money on things that aren’t needed. More specifically, studies show that men and women don’t fight necessarily about how much is spent but about how those resources are allocated.
It all goes back to reproductive success as the root cause of conflict between the sexes. It’s funny, however, that we have the same goal. We just go about it a bit differently based on the potential aftermath of producing offspring.
As with everything else I discuss you have to find a happy balance. It’s a very fine line. If a woman really wants to keep a man, she has to be very cautious about when she has sex with him. She can’t do it too quickly and appear low value, however, if she waits too long or appears as if it will never happen, men can get impatient and leave. If they’re too impatient and leave, however, then I believe he wasn’t feeling it and the relationship wasn’t really progressing. Basically, he doesn’t view the woman as a potential long-term mate. Hold out sister!
At one point it was easier (in a sense). Women weren’t supposed to have sex with a man until they were married. This is not the case anymore as we know….
Men have to provide enough resources to show they are the dominant male that can provide, however, careful not to waste their resources on a low value candidate.
I realize I’m talking very absolute here. Nothing is that black and white and men and women are not consciously walking around thinking like this!
The idea is to have a basic understanding of the whys and why nots as it relates to evolutionary psychology. Having this knowledge at hand can positively affect your dating life and your decisions about a potential mate.
Hopefully, it can also cast some light on men’s and women’s behaviors so that we judge less and don’t give each other such a hard time!
Not sure when to have sex with him? Click here and read signs it may be okay to hop in bed.
On that note, “Live Long and Prosper, “as my son Isaac would say. (Oh, and as that guy Spock says too).
Subscribe to my newsletter for updates and more posts like this.
P.S. Here’s the link to the book I reference if you’re interested in reading it!