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Z,

There seems to be a debate going on that is pretty much confined to a single subject. The problem is that it is taking place on threads all over the forums on threads of others without regard to the actual topic of those threads initially.

So let's move the debate here, on this thread, keep it on this thread and leave the threads of others a place for them to get advice regarding their problems.

I have no idea when I will be able o join in this fray so might be missing from the action for as much as a day at a time. Some days I have nothing but time on my hands and some days I run from the time I arrive at work until 2 hours after I was supposed to leave for home, so posting might be sporadic. Just don't think that my not expressing an opinion or rebuttal means that I have no opinion or rebuttal.

For others who might join in the fray and without trying to come across as the posting police, please keep this debate respectful, peaceful and as much to the point as possible. We don't have to love each other here, but AOs and DJs will still solicit responses from folks we don't know the same as they bring forth in our spouses, that is, an appearance of the Taker, who will be quick to attempt a balancing of the books and respond with AOs, DJs and SDs of his/her own.

So keep it sweet, Pete...

So I guess the next question is do you want to lay out your premise first or would you prefer I try to rebut what you are going to say before you present your argument?

Mark

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Thanks , Mark. I am sorry that my remarks, while initally pointed at the subject of the post, take on a life of their own.
My thoughts on this gender differnce thing , to be honest, has some of its genesis my frustration over the often repeated sterotyping of men which I feel is inaccurate.
Here are some of the things i see that i do not agree with.
First, that women are less sexually driven than men, and, as a consequence , their affairs are more emotioanlly based.
I think one poster that disagreed with me pointed out that my information on this was anecdotal or strictly personal, and that , therefore ,it was less reliable thatn someone like Dr harely.
But, psychology, which I beleive is his field, is not an empirical science. Isn't the source of his information on this anecdotal, as well, in the sense that he relies on the self reporting of his clients?
I am just not seeing all this desire for emotional connection pre sex out there among women. I think many of the guys who have been cheted on here have observed that in many regards, including emotional development, the OM have less to offer than the BH does.
I read stories about women taking up with lecherous old farmhands on one sight. Or storeis here where, after reconciling, the WW admits that her husband was a better guy, more emotionally available than the OM turned out to be.
So, if that is the case, why did she have sex with the guy?
Why is it that in the last three years , about 75% of the women I have dated want to have sex within a month? It sure is not because of my looks and it sure is not because we have become emotionally connected in that short time.

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Originally Posted By: Zelmo


Here are some of the things i see that i do not agree with.
First, that women are less sexually driven than men, and, as a consequence , their affairs are more emotioanlly based.


Women are less sexually driven....how do you explain that an average man thinks about sex 10 times more than a woman??...or even better, I would bet that the content of what the other gender is thinking is on opposite sides of the pole...


Quote:
I am just not seeing all this desire for emotional connection pre sex out there among women.


Huh???.....this makes no sense to me.......are you saying you see women out there just trying to hook up??? Without ANY emotional connection at all???....(and if so, maybe the men out there need a to think about a new job.....sorry Z, but I'm not seeing the street corner hookers getting squeezed out by male hookers.....)


Quote:
storeis here where, after reconciling, the WW admits that her husband was a better guy, more emotionally available than the OM turned out to be.


Hmmmm.....but was the BH that way BEFORE the A??....more often than not, no.....of course, the OM is going out of his way to be more emotionally available to the WW......(and of course the BH'S were the better man all along.....duh)


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So, if that is the case, why did she have sex with the guy?


Because he was meeting her Emotional Needs...whatever they were at the time....


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Why is it that in the last three years , about 75% of the women I have dated want to have sex within a month?


Hmmmm....ask them.....


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and it sure is not because we have become emotionally connected in that short time.


Maybe they WERE connected to you. You may not have been with them, but that doesn't mean they weren't with you....the only ones who could really answer that is "those women".....


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Well how would they be connected without my knowing it?
And, yes, I am seeing tons of women out there looknig to hook up,particularly if the guy has $$. Guess those $$ fill an emotional need.
Not all women are like this. But, I think just as many women as men are.
And, isn't any info on the # of times a person thinks about sex derived from self reporting. You need to factor in the stigma deal when relying on women's veractiy in this area.

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Originally Posted By: Zelmo

And, yes, I am seeing tons of women out there looknig to hook up,particularly if the guy has $$. Guess those $$ fill an emotional need.


ACTUALLY, this is true. It's the EN of Financial Support......

Its as real as a man's need for Physical Appearance.....

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Quote:
Well how would they be connected without my knowing it?


fantasy is not the sole domain of the adulterous. They may have felt a connection that was all in their mind.

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isn't any info on the # of times a person thinks about sex derived from self reporting. You need to factor in the stigma deal when relying on women's veractiy in this area.
ok, I'll start, I dont actually care what stigma someone might attach to this. My # of thoughts...Maybe twice a day. IF I am not tired. Or have PMS. Or am busy. Or had SF in the last 48 hours.Or a bunch of other things I can easily let distract me from SF.


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Z,

From Leitenberg, H., & Henning, K. (1995). "Sexual fantasy". Psychological Bulletin, 117, 469-496.
Quote:
In a different approach to assessing frequency of sexual fantasies in general, Cameron (1967) asked 103 male participants and 130 female participants to estimate what percentage of the time they thought about sex. Of those who responded with a specific number, 55% of the male participants and 42% of the female participants said greater than 10% of the time. In a related study, Cameron and Biber (1973) interviewed 4,420 individuals and asked them whether they had had a sexual thought in the past 5 min (Did you think about sex or were your thoughts sexually colored even for a moment?); some interviews were conducted in the morning, some in the afternoon, and some in the evening. In the age range 14 through 25, approximately 52% of the male participants said yes, in comparison with only 39% of the female participants. In the 26- to 55-year age bracket, the respective percentages were approximately 26% for men and 14% for women. When asked what had been the central focus of their thought in the past 5 min, the percentage who indicated that it was related to sex was much less (approximately 9% for male participants 14 through 55 years old and 5% for female participants across this same age range), but the same gender difference was apparent. In the recently released national survey of human sexuality, in which a true random probability sample of 3,432 men and women were interviewed, 54% of the men and 19% of the women said they thought about sex every day or several times a day (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994). It appears clear from these studies that men report thinking about sex more often than do women, which is certainly consistent with the general stereotype.


This from Mimi Ko Cruz, Cal State Fullerton, April 2007 Secrets of the sexes. The article addresses a survey by Richard Lippa conducted for the BBC:
Quote:
* When asked to rank the importance of 23 traits that they seek in a mate, men and women agreed on the top nine: intelligence, humor, honesty, kindness, good looks, facial attractiveness, values, communication skills and dependability. But, men ranked good looks and facial attractiveness higher than the other traits, whereas women ranked honesty, humor, kindness and dependability highest.

Differences in the importance men and women assigned to a mates looks were extremely consistent across 53 nations, suggesting an evolved, biological component, Lippa said.


None of this proves that women want other ENs before they want sex, either in specific instances nor typically. But what they suggest is that women do typically place a higher importance on other attributes in a partner than sexual attraction as opposed to men.

If you read Fall In Love Stay In Love, Dr Harley breaks down the top ten Emotional Needs into tow chapters. One is titled His Most Important Emotional Needs and the other Her Most Important Emotional Needs.

In the chapters he breaks the ten ENs down like this:

His ENs

Sexual Fulfillment
Recreational Companionship
Physical Attractiveness
Admiration
Domestic Support

And Her ENs

Affection
Conversation
Honesty and Openness
Financial Support
Family Commitment

He breaks them down like this because his research & experience with his patients listing their top ENs indicates that the typical man and woman will break down this way by gender. This is not to say that a woman can't have as her top EN or even two of her top 5 ENs one of the things from the list of a man's most important ENs. The opposite is also true. A man may in fact have as his top EN Honesty and Openness for example. The fact is that our top ENs do change depending on what our circumstances are and can and do change significantly over time.

But if a woman were to try to guess her husband's top Emotional Needs and simply based her actions to meet those needs on the list from the book, she would in most cases get three of the top 5 right, even if out of order.

The same goes for men trying to guess at the top ENs of their wives. If a man makes the effort to meet those top 5 listed as being her top ENs he will in most cases hit three of the top five though maybe not in the exact order his wife would list them in.

These differences are not simply things that come from gender bias in our society either. Dr Harley asked his patients to arrive at this list of ten and in order to arrive at the two gender modified lists. There may be many other ENs that people can also have, some perhaps even hitting the number one spot on their lists of top ten, but these ten, when taken together, cover at least most of the top ENs of everyone and the gender differentiated lists again cover the majority at least as far as a man's top ENs being from within that list and a woman's top ENs being from the list attributed primarily to women.

While it is true that any affair has to contain at least some sexual component, the desire for sex does not have to even be present for one or the other at least in the beginning stages of an affair. There is a very high incidence of internet based affairs these days and preponderance of those purely EAs is among women. Stories here and elsewhere abound of women leaving their husband in order to pursue a relationship with some guy they have never even met in person and in some case not even a man at all but another bored housewife who felt there was no harm in roll playing on the world wide web.

These EA are every bit as powerful for those involved and every bit as destructive to a marriage as any physical affair that has seen the participants meeting for a nooner for several years. In fact, these emotional affairs are often more likely to lead to the break up of a marriage in part because the participants don't see the whole thing as an affair but also in part to the addictive nature of getting ENs met by someone on a consistent basis. Considering that these ENs in the case of an internet/long distance relationship that never even brought the couple face to face could not include SF, as defined in the material of Dr Harley, which is not the same things as simply getting your rocks off, since if that were all that was required there should be no problem for anyone in getting the need met, since masturbation is always an option. It might be sex; it just isn't very fulfilling.

If you were to conduct a survey of women who had an affair from this site, or any other place where women who had an affair, and now think that the affair was wrong, which I think is part of what makes this viable since those who are still fogged out, that is, still feeling entitled to having the affair, blaming their husbands rather than their own choices, I would almost guarantee that these women would with few exceptions rate the sexual attraction lower than other ENs that might have been met by their affair partners.

You claim to base your opinion on your own experience and experience can have great value in such opinions. But your findings are hardly scientific. In fact, the fact that you have met such a high percentage of women that were willing to have sex without a prior intimate connection might indicate a flaw in the sample itself as much as it would indicate that women in general desire sex before conversation or affection.

The one societal bias that might actually be counter to your assertion that women are as likely to want sex is the fact that in our society women are taught that men only want sex from them and aren't even interested in anything else. Thus, by the time the reach their late teens and early 20s, many of these women have learned to use sex to get the other things that they want. Money might be one of those things but other things can be motivation as well.

While it is not impossible for a woman to have sex without some sort of emotional connection (prostitutes, hookers and indiscriminate fornicators aside)the vast majority of affairs are not even in those classifications. Women don't become hookers in order to have an affair. Wives don't go to the adult theater and take on 50 guys in order to fall in love with one of them. These are not typical behavior for men or women and are not part of population that could be called typical or even normal.

Affairs by married women happen when she falls in love with a man who is not her husband. If she is raped, submits to a boss in order to keep her job, attends a swinger's party with her husband, none of these things are affairs. They might be sex, could very likely be shown to be detrimental to the marriage and might all have consequences that could cause serious problems for the woman and her husband, but they simply aren't things that cause a woman to leave her husband for another man.

Might a woman desire sex at any given time even running off with some guy she just met at the bar in order to get a thrill? Absolutely. But again, womem don't typically go home and announce that they want a divorce because they found someone else after such an event.

If sex was such a strong drive for women, as strong as for men in general, then there would be just as many instances of men not giving their wives enough sex as there are men complaining they don't get enough from their wives. If the sex drive were as great in women as in men, then their would be as many male prostitutes as there are women. In some cities this may in fact be the case, but the vast majority of these male prostitutes in fact cater to men and not to women.

Sometimes the differences can be attributed only or primarily to societal constraints. Other times the societal constraints are the result of very real differences between men and women. seldom are women arrested in sting operations meant to crack down on the clientele of hookers. The women are generally the hookers. In some cases male cops or decoys are put on the street and again the vast majority of those busted are men. Not 100% to be sure, but so close to all that in some cities a woman has never been arrested in such an operation.

I know that Langley stresses the increased libido among women as they age due to lower levels of estrogen which allows for a higher than previous ratio of testosterone to estrogen. But even as the women complete menopause their levels of testosterone are still lower than men, even of the same age and in fact never does the level reach high enough to even become the predominate chemical it is in men. Additionally, if this higher level were an indication that women at a certain age turned into sex fiends, then the young men who have levels of testosterone many times higher than any woman would be little more than rapists looking for a target, and this is just not so. The effects of any chemical that naturally occurs within our body is not something we are helpless to resist the effects of on even a daily basis.

So even as they reach middle age, the sex drive does not become overwhelming. It is nothing but a male myth or fantasy that women might find them irresistible sexually.

Women don't have to be emotionally connected in order to have sex and for most husbands this is probably a good thing...

Before I call it a night on this topic let me add this. If we have any EN, no matter where it is on our list or which one it is, whether it be conversation or sex, and we allow a person of the opposite sex to meet that EN for us for any length of time after knowing that they are doing so, then we are treading at least very close to having an affair. This is true whether Conversation or Honesty and Openness, Affection or Domestic Support. Whenever anyone meets our ENs, they are making deposits into our Love Bank and once the romantic threshold has been reached, we have fallen in love with that person and at that point we already have a problem.

I think the case here recently of a BW realizing that she was finding her self attracted to a male friend is exactly such a case. It wasn't the desire for sex that drove that event but a meeting of other ENs that her husband was not meeting at this time. To say that she should have looked for someone else to meet her ENs whether another woman, gay man or grandfather belies the fact that as soon as she realized the road she was on, she reversed direction and stopped allowing her ENs being met by this person. She knew it was happening but felt the pull of wanting more. But it was not sexual excitement that was driving the whole thing, at least not for her. It was that other things were being met and until they were being met she had no sexual attraction to the guy at all.She didn't fantasize about him for days, make secret meetings with him a priority every day or agree to meet him for a drink after work at that little out of the way bar near the train station all while telling her husband she was going shopping with the girls.

It is exactly because this is so dangerous that we must protect our spouse from this kind of thing. We have to do it via boundaries and not just will power. Once we know we have a weakness it is up to us to protect that weakness rather than to expose it. Those who do expose this kind of weakness are the ones who have an affair.


Mark

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Good research, Mark. Off the top of my head, I noticed that a couple of the surveys were fairly dated, though,and they rely on self reporting. With the stigma and constraints that were n place for so long, I wonder if inhibition as the result of years of conditoning may have played a role in the respondents veracity, though.
I read , recently, that a study of porn usage on the internet showed a recent , dramatic increase in female viewers.
I have seen many complaints on these sites from women dissatisfied with the frquency or level of their husband's interest in sex.
Langley does report that her research showed that when the estrogen level is lowered, there is a dramatic increase in women's sex drive. I glean from her writngs that , due tosocialization, men/boys are taught from realtively young age to recognize that sexual attraction does not equate to love. omen are not taught this ,accorcing to Lnagely, thus the need to calssify sexual attraction as something more socially palatable, lie an emotional connection, thus legitimizing it in their eyes. But, she feels a large draw is, in reality, the desire to satisfy their sex drive.
It seems to me that if sex with others was not a large draw for these women, that greater effort would be expended in communicating with their husbands to get these needs met.
Yet, consistently, this is not done effectively.
If a guy having big $$ is classified as satisfying an emotional need, then a man with lower earnign potential cannot compete with a high roller. Say a wife meets a rich man, does that mean that her husband is incapable of meeting this need as well and will lose his wife?
My main issue with the studies vs my limited observations, is that behavior is more revealing than self reporting when there is a social stigma attached to reporting truthfully.
I am a little down, today, as I just saw that Johnny Depp beat me out in this year's sexiest man alive poll conducted by that respected magazine, People.

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Mark, I had one more thought. In the research where men seemed to focus on the physical attributes more than women(the facial etc. vs the kindness, humor etc.) does that mean to you that the men were , neccessarily, more interested in sex? Couldn't a good sense of humor etc lead to sexual attraction without emotinal involvement?
My daughters seem to go nuts over certain male celbrities that have qualities other than good looks. Yet, clearly, these guys are not meeting any emotioanl needs.
And, isn't PA listed as an emotional need? So, if a guy wants sex with a really good looking woman, does that mean it is because she is filling an emotional need vs his merely wanting sex?

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Z,

I'm trying to figure out why this has to be such a difficult concept, Zelmo.

Wouldn't a good sense of humor actually be meeting an EN if it led to attraction? You're trying to make all roads lead to sex, which is not so much an indicator of how everyone works as it is of what one of your top ENs is and in fact one that is not currently being met.

Let's go back and look at the basic concepts for a minute. The hinge pin is the Love Bank. If the idea of the Love Bank is ignored then all bets are off and none of the rest of this stuff even matters. Meeting ENs,Love Busters, POJA, UA time, Radical Honesty all fall into nothingness if the Love Bank is not the point of the whole premise. ENs are the way Love Bank deposits are made, nothing more and nothing less.

Love Busters are the way emotional abuse, for lack of a better term at the moment, is measured as it applies to the Love Bank. POJA, UA, RH are all methods to maximize the deposits while avoiding the withdrawals of Love Busters. And that is pretty much the whole package right there.

So the linchpin is the Love Bank. The Love Bank is not a place or a thing or device. It is a name assigned to something that happens when we encounter other people. Everyone we interact with, don't miss that it is everyone we interact with here, does certain things that either make us feel happy, safe and accepted or causes us to feel unhappy, unsafe and unaccepted.

There are two types of things that fall into either category. One is instincts, that is certain things we do that we have not learned, never really think about and appeared full grown the first time they showed up in our actions or thoughts. The other type is habits which we also do not think about or knowingly invoke before doing but these are not things that are inherent to people and are actually learned processes.

So either type can be either a good thing or a bad thing as it relates to feelings of romantic love. An instinct might be good or bad and might be varying degrees of each to various people. Habits as well can be good or bad or might be either depending on circumstances. But all of these things either meet one of our emotional needs and therefor make us feel happy or they make us feel unhappy. There may be some range of neutral, but I would think it is pretty limited and even this I would think changes.

If when we are with someone they make us happy, then we enjoy being with that person and want to spend even more time with them. At this point we haven't even thought about sex and aren't even considering whether this person is the same sex or the opposite for the sake of our argument. But as this person does things that make us feel happy, they accumulate a surplus of making us feel good. We like these people. This is what Dr Harley calls a Love Bank balance, specifically one that is in positive territory.

Once a person has established a large enough balance, we will begin to seek him or her out for companionship. We WANT to be with them. And if the balance becomes large enough then not only do we want to be with them but we experience certain things when we are not with them. These things are all the same symptoms that a drug addict experiences when they are going through withdrawal. They are in fact withdrawal since the same part of the brain is involved as well as the same chemicals acting on the same receptors.

Whenever something happens, anything at all that we become aware of, our brain processes two distinct parts in opposite sides of our brain. The left side looks at, analyzes and prioritizes the details or facts of the event. The right side manages, feels and records the emotional content.

If there is a strong emotional content to the event then a memory is made or established and the details are recorded. If there is nothing or very little in the way of emotional content, then the details are held in a temporary memory and deleted after a few days since it appears they aren't going to be needed any more. They aren't important details. If the same details appear time after time in the same way, the brain records them and tries to find a way to make them accessible, usually by a assigning some emotional attribute to them for easy reference. This might just be boredom, BTW...This is how we learn facts and figures that have little to no emotional content.

If however there is a high emotional value to these details, that is they are associated with a high state of some emotion, then these details are recorded and the more intense the emotion then the stronger and more intense the memory.

Now whenever a memory is recalled, whether on purpose or by accidently being triggered, the first thing that happens is that our brain processes the details of the original event, recalling everything it can find, layering a sequence on top of another until some picture of the event is established. But about a minute and a half after that process begins, the right side of the brain, the part that processed the original emotions of the event recalls its file as well. Just like the detail memory, this emotional memory is little more that a certain soup of chemicals released in a certain order in a certain ratio to each other. When these chemicals are released again, the same emotions as the original event show up and we either have a good experience or a bad one depending on the associated emotions.

For the purposes of the Love Bank the chemicals are dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin and serotonin. These make us feel happy, bonded, connected and peaceful or what we might say is having a sense of well being.

When a person has established sufficient good memories that contain sufficient good emotional portions, then we want to be with this person again. The opposite is also true and if they have built a negative emotional predominance we seek to avoid them. But something special happens when a person builds a high enough emotional (positive) balance. Not only do we want to be with them, but just being with them makes us recall the emotions of being with them when they were doing the things that made us feel good. In fact if they establish sufficient memories (here is where time together becomes a critical part of the equation and why once a person sees they are attracted to someone they must stop being with that person if they hope to avoid the consequences of falling in love with that person) then just those memories begin to cause the same feelings and the memories can be triggered by the person's name, face, similar event or a whole bunch of other things totally unrelated to that person at all.

THIS is Dr Harley's Romantic Threshold. When the mere thought of a person is enough to flood our brains with all the chemicals that make us feel good, bonded, connected and contented, then we are what we call "IN LOVE" with that person.

Now Sexual Fulfillment, as defined by Dr Harley is one of those things that can cause us to have strong positive feelings associated with an event, thus leading to our remembering the event and so having a reference for the details that can be associated with the emotions, which are really good in most cases, though if the emotions are bad, then sex itself becomes a trigger for bad emotions and therefore something that is avoided.

SF is also more than just the drive to orgasm. It isn't sex drive but some emotional landscape where certain criteria are met that causes not only dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin to be released but also high levels of serotonin, which is the chemical that gives us a sense of well being. SF isn't just sex it is having some emotional requirement fulfilled by having sex and that is why it isn't just called sex but Sexual Fulfillment.

Now a man most likely desires sex with a woman that he finds attractive. Of course the definition of attractive is what trips up many women and men. But it isn't the drive for sex that always leads a man to a woman again and again. It could be, but unless she has other qualities and the sex is not just releasing energy but meeting some basic requirement at an emotional level, he will move on to the next conquest pretty quickly. This is the instinct part of our humanity coming out here.

But the mistake I think you are making is turning the whole process into sex and a drive to achieve orgasm. That isn't the only emotion involved in the process of falling in love and though for a man it might be the main one or top one of several, that isn't always true in all men and in fact is seldom true in most women.

At least as strong as the individual sex drive is the fact that once a person has made sufficient deposits into our love bank, that is, they have a high surplus of positive emotional content memories, then we want to begin to do things that we know make them happy. For a person who does not have a high sex drive, this alone can be sufficient reason to engage in sex. To the person without a high need for SF, this can even be a sacrifice but when we are feeling all of this good stuff as the result of our memories of this person we are willing to sacrifice in order to reciprocate.

Sex is but one strong attractive force between couples. It isn't the only one and isn't always the predominate one, especially in women. Conversation is more than just talking to someone. Physical Attractiveness is more than just looking really hot or showing up naked. Financial Support is more than just bringing home a paycheck. Honesty and Openness is more than just simply recounting the events of the day. Sexual Fulfillment, as the term applies to the Emotional Needs described by Dr Harley is much more than getting one's rocks off.

You see, we aren't simply talking about urges here, but about those things that meet some criteria that places them at a level that makes us have a certain emotional reaction. The attraction to people comes from the emotional reaction being triggered by them. Romantic Love happens when just the thought of them triggers that kind of response in us because of sufficient memories of good emotional content.

None of it is magic.

BTW, the FOG of an affair is this chemical soup that permeates a person's brain and causes them to feel intense emotions. It is the forsaking everything in order to achieve those feelings that make it like an addiction, and in fact make it not just LIKE one, but makes it a true addiction itself. Fog is the result of shutting out the logic and detail side of the brain in favor of allowing the emotional side free reign to experience the raw emotions. It is really the same any time we fall in love. It becomes dangerous during an affair because we have promised to not allow it to happen when we got married.

Yes, most often affairs end up as PAs. Unless there is some sort of opposite sex attraction there will be no PA and maybe no EA, but many EAs happen where no physical contact ever exists and in fact in many cases even pictures have not been exchanged. Physical attractiveness is important. So is conversation. So is Domestic Support. Any of the top ten ENs being met can cause our right side brain to dominate our decisions.

This isn't so much a difference between men and women as it is an over all sampling of human nature.

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Zelmo, are you an accountant by any chance? Or in a profession where things are what they are and numbers add up all the time? I'm in a scientific field myself and also prefer calculations and formulas to the "mights" and "usually's" you read around here. But unfortunately, though all affairs follow the same pattern, the details are different for each individual.

You don't need a study to understand that there are fundamental gender differences regarding sex and emotion. Just look at the media. Surely you recognize a "chick-flick" when you see one - even the commercial for one. Not only is their primary audience geared for women, men have been known to try to impress women on dates by taking them to these movies. Why? Because they appeal to women's emotional side. It doesn't mean all women like them - just enough of them that film production companies continue to spend money making them because of their guaranteed revenue. Same thing for action movies and men. The women in action movies are always scantilly-clad, frequently not too bright and rarely have many lines. Oh sure you get the odd movie where the woman has an equivalent role but by and large the man is the hero and the woman is just eye candy. Film producers know this too and capitalize on it all the time.

When it comes to adultery, these gender differences come into play for both the wayward and the betrayed. The wayward is attracted to the OP for a variety of reasons, some which include their gender-based ENs. The betrayed is affected more strongly by different factors based on their gender as well. This is generally speaking, of course, but it's a place to start when you are newly betrayed and need to figure out where to go and what to do first. The MB plans are based on Dr. Harley's experiences with so many couples. It's not surprising that there are noted gender differences.

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Zelmo, I just finished reading the rest of your other thread (the one that Mark linked to this one). It seems that you may be misinterpreting something about the gender distinction. I don't believe Dr. Harley intended to say that infidelity is harder on women than men. The quotes that ML referred you to were talking about Plan A being harder on women than men. Again, I believe this to be consistent with the gender differences Mark has tried to explain and the media takes advantage of.

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Tabby,

I'm just a cell phone salesman and radio tech, but I came from a QA background where it was all about numbers. What I learned was that numbers seldom are hard and fast as it relates to things in nature but really are a range, from less than mean to well over the mean. In fact, it is by examining the range and distribution of numbers and values that we can determine if something is natural or contrived. Whenever too many members of a population are clustered too close to the mean, or when the mean is skewed to one side of the median or the other, then it can be said that the values are not even random but are not in fact a true representation of the natural state of the given population. It might be that the sample was too small or that the categories sampled were contrived to demonstrate a premise rather than the theory coming from the random selection of the population for sampling purposes.

This is why a statistic like "most affair end within two years" is so hard to grasp. We can all identify those samples that have lasted longer than two years or that have lasted less than that number. But what this means is that some affairs are really only a ONS and others, an equally low number, in fact probably lower, turn into long lasting even healthy marriages. That does not contradict the reality that the majority of all affairs will lie within some point between a ONS and two years.

There is another number that is often forgotten when looking at a sample of all affairs and that would be the fact that not all affairs even begin. Some even get close to being an affair without actually crossing the line because of the good boundaries of those involved. Some never happen because of other factors such as fear etc. These too are part of the population.

And that is why I have singled out our friend Zelmo on this matter. His distribution is skewed and shows curtosis, that is, it limits the tails of the distribution such that it can be assumed that the sample was not random or the wrong categories were assigned to the values measured.

Wherever randomness exists, which is everywhere in a natural setting, it is not some chaotic scramble that has no meaning. Randomness can be clearly defined and is always the same for all things. It is the "bell curve" used to analyze grades in school. It is a Gaussian distribution or it is not truly random. There are those things that are outliers, that fall well outside the range of what might be called normal but the shape of the curve must always be the same to be random.

The larger the sample, the more randomness it represents. Too small of a sample cannot describe a complex variable to any kind of certainty. Too large of a sample makes the task tedious and mind numbing often causing the one looking at the numbers to get lost in the details without recognizing any kind of distinguishing pattern. But if a sample is truly random, then it will always show a range of values that is always the same shape, always clustered evenly about the mean and the mean will have the same value as the median.

That is how you can spot bovine excrement in peoples numbers or theories. If it's too perfect to be true it can't be true.

And that dear friends, is the reason we use terms like typical, most, some, many and often instead of all, always and every.

Mark

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Just one other point before I head off to fix a radio problem...

Men and women are different in many ways. If we weren't, one of us would be redundant.

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Mark, I am not sure it is all that difficult. It is just contray to my life expierience. So, I question it.
Mark, I think I understand what you are saying, although i will need to re-read.
However, even accepting all you have said about attraction and whatdrives it, I still am not convinced there is a significant difference between the genders.
You say women seldom just want sex but men more frequently do. But I have not observed this in my life. Most of my guy friends would not just have sex without some emotional attachment first. And, I know quite a few women that do not seem to require a lot of emotional attachment.
I realize the argument about sampling size. But, what about the point i made that in the studies you cited, some of which were fairly old, that the repondents may have been influenced by their perception that there is a stigma attached to admitting to desiring sex with little emotion.
Surely, in your life, you have come across women like this who are not hookers or pros. I have encountered a lot of them.
As regards the point on the chick flick movies another poster made, I think one must also take into consideration the other types of movies and TV shows geared toward women. Look ath "American Cougars" , "sex in the City" or "Desperate Houseives", for example. All shows with a predominantly female audience that glorify casual, random sex with "hunks".
And look at Cosmo and the subject matter of their articles. Not much, if anything, aboout communication or emotional intimacy, but plenty on sexual technique.
Or, look at the cover of a Hrlequin Romance. See any pictures of the professorial type, or a pudgy guy holding a book of poetry? It's a bare chested hunk with sinewy arms, in some sexy pose.
If emotional connection is that important, why are these attributes and activities so promoted. Just doe not make sense to me.
I hesitate to add this part as an argument, but, what the heck.
From a purely adaptive standpoint, if women are less sexual, why is it that they can last longer, have multiple orgasms, and do not require the type of recuperative time that men do after sex?

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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Just one other point before I head off to fix a radio problem...

Men and women are different in many ways. If we weren't, one of us would be redundant.

Redundany is very common in nature. One could argue it leads to compatiblity.


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But Redundancy is not the same as Interchangeability...

Z,

What you keep confusing is attraction and sex. You are missing the point that attraction is the device while sex is the outcome.

While you can't have much sex without attraction you can have attraction without sex. They aren't the same things and what drives the one is not necessarily the other.

If there are no other requirements other than sexual stimulation then Marriage Builders is a complete waste of time and no marriage has ever been saved by following Plan A since sex is seldom even involved in Plan A and many would actually counsel against meeting that EN for an actively wayward spouse. I didn't lure my wife back into the marriage by giving her great sex. I lured her back by doing other things that she found attractive.

In fact my wife stated that the sex between us was great, but added that it wasn't enough. There were other things that attracted her to OM including his income.

If nothing more than sexual attraction, the drive to orgasm and the need for procreation is required then that would be all that is necessary to maintain a marriage. I can also tell you that when you see your own death as a possibility, sex drops so far down your list of needs as to become unnecessary.

Emotional needs aren't like physical needs. They aren't the same as food, water, shelter, warmth and safety. They aren't required for life to be sustainable. A man doesn't need sex to survive. He won't die if he doesn't have an orgasm once a day, once per week or even once per year.

Emotional Needs are like physical needs in many regards, but they are not requirements for life to exist. Yet what is most important at any given moment in time is often dependent on what is missing at that very moment.

For example, if you are wandering around in a blizzard without a coat on, your body temperature is dropping and your brain is beginning to shut down, the most important thing at that moment is getting warm. Someone invites you into their home to warm up and you stumble in, fall down in front of the fire and bask in the warmth as your body begins to function normally. As you warm up you realize that you are also hungry, thirsty and tired. You gave no thought to those needs while you were freezing to death but now, once the need to be warm has been fulfilled, you realize that you have other needs that also require something in order to be met and fully satisfied.

If sex is missing from a marriage either husband or wife or perhaps even both might desire sex above everything else that they need to be happy. But there are in fact other things besides sex that make a marriage fulfilling.

Those other things can lead to attraction just as sexual attraction does. You can be attracted to someone for how she looks, for how smart she is, for how well she cooks, for how great she is at taking care of children...She can be attracted to you by how you look, how you make her feel when you talk to her about subjects that interest her, by how much money you make, by how you share your feelings honestly...

We aren't talking about having sex, we're talking about falling in love. And falling in love happens because a bunch of things other than great sex are happening.

You keep coming back to how self reporting is inaccurate. Yet in reality there is no possibility of observing a random population to ascertain what is motivating people to respond to each other. If I go to a singles bar where everyone is there to hook up with somebody, everyone I observe is going to be flirting, flaunting what they've got and doing the things that will allow them to out perform their rivals but only as it pertains to hooking up. If I were to observe a group of people at a prayer meeting I would find a completely different set of standards, actions and interactions, yet the percentage of people in the church who have affairs is exactly the same as the population as a whole.

Additionally, if it all boils down to sexual attraction and that is all that matters, then as long as great sex exists and the attraction factor is promoted then no one would ever have an affair as long as those things take place. I just know you didn't get married just so you could have sex. Yes you were attracted to your wife, but there must have been other things she did besides get your rocks off or you could have paid for a hooker once a week and saved a lot of time and grief.

Dr Harley came up with his theories based on what his clients told him. Yes, some of what they told him might have been skewed and therefore not fully reliable, but what he found was that he heard the same things over and over again as to what was missing in relationships. He heard the same list of what people expected and wanted from a marriage and the list was clearly weighted as to which things were most important to men and what was important to women.

There might be any number of emotional needs. Some might need Blue Bunny Double Fudge Brownie ice cream to be happy. Some might only really be happy when living in Mexico on the beach at Cancun. But over all, men and women have ten things that they desire in a marriage and all marriages have at least most of these same ten things as a requirement for happiness in the marriage partners. Of these ten things, every person, that is not addicted to something as the one qualifier, will desire above all else some combination of these ten things. Men might need Financial Support above Admiration, and women might desire sex above Honesty and Openness, but the typical, that is the majority by an overwhelming margin, of men will have as three or more their top 5, things from the list normally attributed to men by Dr Harley and women will desire three or more from the list attributed to women within their top 5.

That isn't to say that either sex doesn't desire the things on the other list or even that they aren't important enough to be considered if you are trying to meet your spouse's ENs.

Horses need food, water and safety. As a prey animal in the wild, their number one need is safety. Owners of horses often have trouble getting a horse into a trailer. To the horse a trailer is a cave on wheels. Predators live in caves and people are predators; they smell like what they eat, that is, meat. So now you ask a horse to follow you into a cave and he balks. So you try to lure him in using food. You dangle a carrot in front of him and expect him to follow you into the trailer. He follows you alright, up until it is time to get into the trailer and then find out that safety overrides food as a need, especially if he isn't starving and is well fed.

Generally the owner keeps trying and tries to trick the horse in some way. This is when they discover another emotional need of horses, that is, recreation. The whole thing becomes a game. You want to observe it for yourself? Go to any stable on any Sunday afternoon and watch folks trying to catch their horse in the pasture with other horses around. Ever try to catch a two year old to give him a bath? It becomes big fun...though not always for the one doing the pursuing.

People will use carrots or treats to lure the horse to them. With the same results as with the trailer...Food is a huge need for horses, but safety trumps food and most of the time unless they are underfed, fun will as well. And sex, is way down the list except when a mare is in season and then the stallions will go crazy trying to get to her. Even the geldings will jump fences, knock down gates, kick down a stall and walk through an electric fence to get close to a mare in season. But for most of their lives, other things come way ahead of sex as a motivator. And for mares, the only time they will allow a male to mount them is when they are fertile. The rest of the time they are willing to allow them to provide protection, lead them to fresh food and water and provide a safe environment for their offspring to play.

If sex is the only motivating factor, then affairs should be easy to stop and even easier to prevent. But to say that women are more attracted to the sex as to other things and discount them saying that to be false as not understanding sexual attraction for what it is because they have been taught to not be sexual is a ridiculous thing to try to justify. If all that was required was to get the hots for each other...

The reactions in the human brain can be measured and quantified. Sexual stimulus, Intimate Conversation, Admiration, Affection and all the rest cause the release of the same chemicals in the pleasure centers of the human brain in lesser or greater quantities and in varying ratios to one another depending on the individual and circumstances. They are not merely observable and reportable but also measurable. Research within the past couple of years on levels of oxytocin, vasopressin, serotonin and dopamine in prairie voles, who are mate for life kind of animals, show that the way their brains react is very similar to that of humans and other animals that tend to mate for life. For humans it can be shown that things other than sexual attraction can stimulate these pleasure centers and cause release of these chemicals and the same is true for prairie voles.Oxytocin levels are high while in the presence of the mate. When the mate is removed for long periods of time oxytocin levels drop, but so do serotonin levels. The voles basically go into a state of depression.

Why isn't the research readily available? There are references to it in various publications but the research itself is ongoing, many of the studies have begun within the last couple of years. There is also a societal constraint on researchers that prevents them from inserting electrodes in the brains of people in order to collect data. What is being done is comparing the human brain to other animals that exhibit the same kinds of reactions or the same kinds of brain activity. This research is showing that the same chemicals that we already know lead to certain behaviors in humans are also present in animals that exhibit similar behavior.

Enough for now...

Mark

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Originally Posted By: Zelmo

And look at Cosmo and the subject matter of their articles. Not much, if anything, aboout communication or emotional intimacy, but plenty on sexual technique.


ACTUALLY, Cosmo has lots of articles on communication, emotional intimacy, and the such......I would venture to say, they have more of those articles than the sex one's in one issue....(to prove my point, I am looking at the June 09 issue....6 articles covering aspects of relationships other than sex....only 1 on the act of sex itself....)
Quote:
Or, look at the cover of a Hrlequin Romance. See any pictures of the professorial type, or a pudgy guy holding a book of poetry? It's a bare chested hunk with sinewy arms, in some sexy pose.


But has it occured to you why romance novels outsell Playgirl by a ton??...I do not know of any woman who has ever read a book based on the "hunk" on the cover. Actually those books are filled with sex, but the MAJORITY of the story is in the DEVELOPMENT of the relationship PRIOR to the sex act itself....

Quote:
From a purely adaptive standpoint, if women are less sexual, why is it that they can last longer, have multiple orgasms, and do not require the type of recuperative time that men do after sex?


rotflmao .....you are asking Mark (a male) to answer for women??!?

Z, women are NOT non-sexual. We are very much sexual beings. I haven't seen a woman on here say we weren't..... crazy

uhmmmm....and if you haven't LEARNED why we can last longer, have multiple O's, and do not require longer recuperative time, then I suggest you go back to biology class....... grin

Not2fun

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I thought it was just because we always end up doing all the work...

RE: The romance novels...

Yep, they're full of sex...

And all the stuff women need to get to the sex part...

Including Conversation, Affection, Honesty and Openness, Family Commitment, and Financial Support.

For most men the destination is what counts the most. For women, the journey is at least as important.

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I think you guys are missing what i am saying.I do not contend that sexual attraction is the only thing that drives us. But, I think that our culture has stigmatized women who admit to liking sex without that much emotional involvement, that they are unlikey to admit it. Yet, their behaviors belie this.
In college, all types of women were having ONS. How much emotional involvement could there have been.
I'm not saying this is bad or shameful. But, the behaviors I observed and continue to observe are contrary to the assertion that women need emotional connection more than men to have sex.
It just seems to me that there is some type of weird elevation of cheating for women, as if it is somehow nobler, because they allege that they were motivated by factors other than wanting sex.
I know we agree that any cheating is wrong. But, quaere, wouldn't a guy that came on here alleging that he went out and had sex with someone because his wife was not all that adept at sex get raked over the coals in terms of his superficiality as compared to a woman alleging that her emotional needs were neglected for years thus driving her to seek romance/sex from some affair partner.
I mean , think about it. If some guy whose #1 En is SF tries to justify his affair by saying his wife was somehow deficient and did not meet his expectations in terms of performance, he would get so much more flack than a woman who described her husband as cold, neglectful, uncommunicative, IMO.
As for the biology, that adaptation argument does not hinge on understanding the exact mechanism.
Anyway, this has been a good education for me. I know I go against the flow, sometimes, although this, like most of my inquires, is not intended to discount Harley's recovery methods.
For some reason, everytime I raise a question on a point, SugarCane feels I am challenging Harley's approach. I may take issue with some of his observations on gender differences . But, his plans ,seem okay.

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