Eros, Psyche And The GiB

It has been observed, by richly experienced persons, that both men and women who know that they are beautiful are usually lousy in bed. They have no reason to exert themselves to please a sex partner, since they consider that they please sufficiently by existing, and every day prove this to their own satisfaction by turning heads on the street. The less attractive, on the other hand, may adopt the famous slogan of the self-proclaimed second-best: “We try harder”.

Some people say that what they most want are partners who are Good In Bed. So much for theory. In practice, however, they don’t know whether nerds are actually GIB or not, because they generally take displays of sartorial taste and general cool as infallible signals of being GIB. And so there might be millions of GIB nerds of both sexes left on the shelf; or there might not, the point being that nobody knows and nobody intends to find out.

The reason why people do not compete to get the Uglies into bed, so as to enjoy the benefits of their gratitude, their pent-up enthusiasm and their determination to justify themselves by showing you a good time, is in part because we are all neurologically hardwired to go for beauty; facial symmetry is correlated with genetic health, as erotic skills are not. That is, a woman will get stronger children from a lazy, selfish Adonis than from a plain man who lives only to watch her having multiple orgasms; and correspondingly for the gentlemen. The second reason is that we are hierarchical animals who achieve status by being escorted by beauties; if no one knows how good our trophy nerd is in bed, he or she gives us no kudos. If we had some sort of public certification of lovers, it might be a different story.

Both explanations may be illustrated by the story of Eros and Psyche. There, the girl’s fatal determination to see her lover’s face was motivated by the fear that he might be ugly. But wait a moment; if it is always dark, and the sex is really good, what precisely is the problem? If your lover is indeed ugly in the light, but you never see him (or her) in the light, why should this matter to you? That it mattered so much to Psyche suggests that we are wired to want beauty even when it cannot have any significance for our sexual enjoyment or even for our showing-off. Because beauty means good genes, which mean strong children, we associate beauty with goodness, so that we imagine that an invisibly ugly lover is necessarily a bad person. Psyche was afraid he was some kind of monster, despite all the good times he showed her. Alternatively or additionally, Psyche suspects that she is being dissed; her place in the female hierarchy as a woman deserving of a handsome lover is more important to her than the long dark nights of hot sex.

Posted on October 16, 2010 at 11:20 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Love Among The Uglies

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