This blog

“Stage two” refers to the central idea that motivates this blog. It is the idea that we are at the beginning of stage two of the sexual revolution that began in the sixties.

Stage one successfully liberated us from many repressive social norms and established a positive notion of sex. However, stage one fell short of acknowledging fundamental differences in male and female sexuality and, in particular, it failed to accept aspects of female sexuality that are at a tension with the political ideal of gender equality. In stage two, we will (1) understand female sexuality, (2) accept it, and (3) integrate its biological reality into a positive vision of sexual and nonsexual gender relationships and into a progressive political worldview.

Stage one was an attempt to shed the social norms that inhibited free sexual experience. At its core was the political ideal of gender equality. The clear differences in societal sex roles suggested that nurture could explain gender differences in sexual preference, subjective experience, and behavior. The idea of sexual similarity of males and females was intellectually attractive: Given that nurture by itself seemed to explain the differences observed, it was more parsimonious to start by assuming the null hypothesis of no essential sex difference in the biologically determined aspects of sexual psychology. This null hypothesis was also politically attractive: It harmonized with the idea of gender equality.

Forty years later, a generation has been nurtured differently from birth and developed to maturity based on the ideals of stage one of the sexual revolution. This societal experiment is unique in human history: a conscious attempt to remove all social norms that perpetuated the differences between the sexes.

The experiment was successful in many respects. Importantly, it established political equality as an ideal and went a long way towards its realization. However, the experiment also threw into sharp relief the differences that are not due to nurture, but nature. While there is little evidence for differences in general intellectual abilities, differences in sexual psychology are substantial and the null hypothesis of similar sexuality now appears clearly untenable.

Moreover, the nature of female sexuality appears at a tension with the political ideal of gender equality as it involves a female preference for male dominance and power. Such female preferences in the domain of sexuality are neither logically inconsistent nor practically irreconcilable with gender equality in all other domains. Nevertheless accepting these aspects of female sexuality constitutes a substantial personal and political challenge for anyone with progressive political views.

Stage one promised greater sexual freedom for both sexes. For women, it also promised greater access to roles associated with societal power. For men, it promised a reduction of the pressure to perform, provide, and pay associated with the classical male role along with a greater acceptance of male sensitivity, emotionality, and weakness – on par with the acceptance of these qualities in women.

While partially successful, biological reality limited the realization of these promises: Women find themselves with sexual feelings they must not admit in public or even to themselves – because they are at a tension with the new societal norm and with their own political views. Men find that the discovery of their own feminine qualities of sensitivity, emotion, and weakness comes at the unbearable cost of sexual deprivation.

The progressive ideal of gender equality is at the core of our system of values. But the biological reality of male and female sexuality cannot be changed to conform to this ideal. Genetic changes occur at time scales of thousands of years – too slow for our purposes. Moreover, breeding or otherwise genetically engineering males and females to conform to our progressive values would be against that very system of values.

Presently, biological reality asserts itself in female sexual choices. Progressive cultural reality asserts itself in the denial of those choices and of the nature of female sexuality by females and males.

The next few decades will see these two strong forces clash. On the one hand, progressive values are strongly established. On the other, the nature of female sexuality cannot be either changed or denied any longer. The clash is therefore inexorable. It is likely to involve all aspects of western civilization. It will involve personal and political decisions, the arts, the sciences, and the humanities. There is a danger of a reemergence of older, fiercely conservative ideology.

This blog is meant as a contribution toward a synthesis of biological reality and a progressive system of values: I will try to describe my understanding of female sexuality, to reflect on relevant art, pop culture, science, and cultural theory, and to integrate this understanding into a positive vision for sexual and love relationships at the personal level and into a progressive worldview at the political level.

4 Responses to “This blog”

  1. vasafaxa Says:

    This blog rocks!

  2. Eye Candy « Eve's Library Says:

    […] Here’s what I’ve been looking at on the web lately.. Stage Two […]

  3. Chad Says:

    Since discovering your blog about two months ago, I’ve read every post. Your idea that shit tests are girls “rubbing up against your manhood” is sheer genius. It deserves to gain wide appreciation.

    Looking forward to more posts!

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