Monday, February 15, 2016

Sexual Scarcity

In which I take a platitude from monogamous culture and stretch the analogy to points never dreamed of.

Frisbee and I spent the weekend at a tournament with essentially the same group of folks from the first time we went. (The team also went last year, but I was incredibly sick with a head cold and couldn't go. I essentially mainlined Vitamin C the entire week leading up to the tournament this year so I wouldn't miss it.)

During breaks between games, one of the other men on the team and I started a Venn Diagram 
of women at the tournament we'd consider having sex with. (Not the man from the above linked entry - he is still happily and monogamously married.) It combined two of my favorite activities: cruising and math.

Although our methods of qualification were quite different, we surprisingly only disagreed on three out of a sample group of about 12 women. Discussion over data points revealed that he bases "yes" on a set of arbitrary physical characteristics he finds attractive (for every woman considered, he would have to do a walk-by to visually assess), while I am more likely to say "yes" to women who I think would be fun to hang out with (which is no less arbitrary a judgement).

Which led to further discussion of how, if these arbitrary qualifications aren't met, there's still ways to get to the "yes" category. Which led to him uttering one of those statements that just makes me feel really sad for straight people:

"If I can't have steak, I'll still eat hamburger."

To which I replied, "Yeah, but if I want steak I'm going to have steak."

The expression epitomizes the straight person perspective that one type of sexual encounter is inherently better than another. e.g. steak is inherently better than hamburger. It also implies sexual scarcity - that there's only a certain amount of steaks out there in the world.

Here's the point where I'm just going to take the analogy and run with it. 

1. Nobody is placing a ban on steaks. 

Steak exists. Steak is available. There are different cuts of steak, different ways of preparing steak, etc. The powers that be have not issued a doctrine saying, "from now on all meat products shall be ground and consumed between two sesame seed buns." Nobody is saying you can't have steak if that's what you want.

2. You have access to steak.

Steak is not behind some sort of barbed-wire fence. If you bring a steak to the cashier line at the grocery store, the cashier is not going to say, "omg you think you can buy this?" and then put the steak back until somebody more qualified to buy steak comes along. If you're at a restaurant and steak is on the menu, the waiter is not going to tell you, "oh, you're not allowed to order steak" and then hand you the steak-free menu you should have been ordering from from the start.

3. There are other places to get steak.

Let's say you're at a restaurant and somehow got away with getting a menu that has steak on it. Only to be told the very last steak was just ordered by that person at another table. Because of the layout of the restaurant, you can see the steak being brought over to the other table as it's served. Look at that lucky so-and-so with their steak. It looks so juicy, so appetizing. It's just what you were craving this evening. *pouts*

It is completely okay to go to a different restaurant and get steak there instead. It is completely okay to just order another drink at the restaurant and then pick up a steak on the way home and cook it yourself.

4. Steak can be unappetizing.

Man, you really, really wanted steak but now it's not cooked correctly. Or it's just not hitting the spot like you thought it would. Maybe you should have gotten that pasta dish instead. That person at the other table eating the pasta dish looks really happy with it. Why did you think you wanted steak? 

5. Hamburgers are also delicious.

Seriously. The only issue is when you don't really want a hamburger but you wind up eating one anyway. And then you stay with that hamburger because, eh, it's not what you wanted in the first place but it's better than nothing. Those other hamburgers and steaks probably have just as many issues as the hamburger you ordered, so you're better off staying with a mediocre meat product that doesn't really make you happy.

Fuck that noise.

Get yourself a steak if that's what you want. It it turns out to not be a good steak, go get a steak that is. If there's no steak at the moment, get yourself a double cheese burger.

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