RE: virus: Sexuality

ken sartor (
Mon, 09 Sep 1996 09:56:09 -0500

At 07:43 AM 9/8/96 -0700, Richard Brodie wrote:
>I made the point in VotM that spreading hypocritical memes discouraging
>other people from sexual activity leaves the field more open for the
>meme spreader. So I would expect that to continue. In other words, a "go
>for it" attitude does not seem evolutionarily stable.

Still, i don't think the above discussion really addresses the
current state of sexual affairs. Today sexual activity is not
a zero sum game, i.e., it does not get "used up" as do many
commodities. This was not true when reproduction was tightly
linked to sexual activity. (E.g., one women = one baby/year
give or take.)

Currently we do have a (more or less) "go for it" attitude in
regards to generating income. I think that the fact that if i
make a lot of money it does not necessary interfere with you
doing the same (and in fact may promote others doing the same)
is why this can be a ES meme.

So the question in my mind is: why is not sexual activity more
like most other physical activities (say tennis, for instance).
The more you do it, the better you get at it, the more you
tend to enjoy it, the more you want to do it (i.e., a self-
reinforcing cycle). Is it because of religions and the memes
they spread (software) or is it due to genetic tendencies that
have evolved over the ages (hardware)?

A few other relevant "facts" that i do not know how to integrate
into a useful piece of the above discussion but feel are very
important puzzle pieces.

Men tend to be more promiscuous than women (certainly important
from the genetics point of view...)

Male homosexuality is "despised" by many, female homosexuality
is erotic to many (it is very chic in tv today)

Females are capable of considerably more sexual climaxes but
almost certainly experience less on average

Masturbation is considered in an extremely poor light (to
say the least)

A great variety of current practices exist (e.g., lifelong
virgins to orgy clubs) - however most (?) people tend to be
more or less serially monogamous

The above facts are strictly my observations, i have no data to
back them up (and am reasonably sure no such hard data does or even
could exist) but they seem pretty obvious to me...

To recap: why is the state of sexual affairs the way it is? If it
is memes, presumably it could change dramatically in a short time (say
a generation). If it is genes, then it is probably due to oscillate
about some mean value for a long time. Other ideas are welcome.