A point of constant fascination to me is the panoply of sexual predilection on display within the ranks of humankind.
We all possess preference whether adopted or ignored, disposed by gender, appearance, age bracket, intellectual level, or any other of the seeming endless variables that are present in our species. Even once settled on a specific type we are obliged by our dispositions to trawl the hundreds of other minutiae that might produce an exceptional match from a whole flock of physically adequate mating partners. Logic has no real significance in the final chosen match, that which is exact for one couple seems completely incompatible to another pair. Once ‘involved’ however, mutual experimentation will can result in significant changes in both acceptable and preferred behaviors in what might from the outside seem a very bland or ‘vanilla’ couplet. One pairings preferred and enjoyed delicious repast is most decidedly another’s couples nut roast.
Quite naturally every society has collectively formed acceptable manners of behavior, these varying considerably depending on the social pressures that control ritual, belief, and the need for a cohesive structure. Generally, the more liberal or free thinking a society reaches the less boundaries are placed upon sexual proclivity. Specific gender roles change according to societal pressures, the feminine ‘maternal’ mantle however has generally been repressive and limiting, the need for constant population growth ensuring a subservient role being imposed and strictly implemented. In contrast the male gender has been allowed considerable freedom, for example Ancient Greek culture allowed men unquestioned promiscuity, even unlimited inter male interaction for purely pleasurable or esthetic considerations, the male/female dynamic being entirely reduced to pure population production. The positioning of dominance or subservience between genders and therefore within the hierarchy is a constant source of debate if not outright disagreement. The male role, that of protector, hunter and protector is far easier to relate to a dominant position than is the feminine position of mother, homemaker, domestic or service provider more obvious fist for the subservient relation. These delineations might appear fixed, but of course there are very obvious exceptions, say a Queen, Empress, Priestess, Oracle, or Soothsayer. In these circumstances the entire dynamic can be reversed conveniently within the exact same framework. This is not to suggest that the male gender was ever oppressive and demeaning to the feminine but begs the question how and why such hierarchy came into being. The straightforward answer suggests that the additional qualities woman possesses, bearing children, nurturing, expanding and strengthening the gene pool and society as a whole ensured an explicitly accepted subservient role. Contradictorily the female matures in advance of the male, reaches reproductive capability in advance of the male, has measurable intellectual advantage over the male, has the irreplaceable ability to drive the social dynamic from inside the unit as opposed to the males very limited capabilities in similar circumstances. The male is in many ways’ disposable, replaceable, less necessary for tribal or societal growth than the female. He is in simply a dual role-player, a sperm donor and hunter gatherer.