If you want to see graphic evidence of a big difference between men and women, take a look at any of the social media that allow posting of naked pictures. The vast majority of the images are of naked women. I don’t think this is because women don’t like seeing naked men. It’s more that women are more selective about which naked men they want to see.
As a guy, I’m much less discriminating. I admit it; I like seeing all sorts of naked women. I don’t imagine myself having sex with them. I just like seeing vaginas and assess. I’m not really a breast man.
All this is instinctive. Males of most species are genetically programmed to react to females. We respond to visual stimuli, especially female parts we find arousing. Women, on the other hand, have a more pragmatic perspective. Since they have to live with the result of sex, offspring, their genes programmed them to look for good providers and protectors.
Recent studies have revealed that female mammals will choose to live with males who are good providers and protectors, but might go out and look for some other male who is physically more attractive for mating. What this means is that despite their protests to the contrary, women are subject to the visual stimulation provided by seeing sexually attractive men.
Since their unconscious objective is a search for the most physically desirable sexual partner, as opposed to the male objective of mating with any willing female, they are far less likely to indiscriminately enjoy naked pictures of men.
One of the most interesting behavioral patterns displayed by almost all mammals is that the females have a veto over any male decision. My favorite mammals, lions, were always believed to be a male-dominant species. After all, males always feed first and the females and cubs wait for them to finish before they get a chance to eat.
Recent research reveals the opposite to be true. Yes, the males do feed first. This is a genetic adaptation that assures that the males are at full fighting form at all times. The much larger males protect the pride from incursions of other lions. Very often this means that the females and cubs don’t get enough to eat.
Since the males are much larger and apparently fiercer, the assumption was made that they control life. Actually, a lion pride is composed of the females, almost always sisters. Males spend an average of only two years with the pride. At that point they leave or are expelled by the females.
This serves to protect the gene pool. If the males are driven out before their female cubs are old enough to mate, it eliminates the risk of father mating with daughters. It was believed that as the lion aged, younger, stronger lions would drive him out and replace him in the pride.
This is incorrect. The lionesses control all of this. They decide when it’s time for one lion to leave and will select a new lion when one they like comes along. Also, aside from the dinner table, lionesses wield all the power. If their lion does anything to displease, he will get a very painful bite on his butt.
Maybe this is why I like to identify with lions. The way things work at our house is very similar to lion behavior. Mrs. Lion is happy to let me make decisions regarding where we go to dinner and other relatively unimportant household activities. However, if I do something she doesn’t like, I feel her paddle on my rear end.
Of course, we made a conscious decision to run our lives this way. Most people don’t have such clear-cut lines of authority. I suspect that the lack of them may be at the root of marital problems.
I’m not claiming that only female-led relationships succeed. I am saying that couples who agree on which partner is the ultimate authority are way more likely to successfully remain happily together. The reason for this, I think, is that issues of disagreement don’t turn into power struggles. The agreement that one partner, in our case Mrs. Lion, is the authority to make final decisions eliminates the very dangerous kind of stress: the power struggle. I may not like her decision, but I remember that we agreed she has the last word. In our case she also has the right to punish me.
That doesn’t mean she is always right. It means that we have agreed that right or wrong, she has the final say. We further agreed that she may discipline me if I fail to behave in a way she wants. That’s the part that freaks many people out.
Since neither of us comes from a disciplinary family background — there was no authority figure who punished in our families — we have no context to base what we do on past experience. We’ve had to develop our own style through trial and error.
It’s entirely too easy to attribute what we do as BDSM, femdom play. After all, femdom activities are very similar to our disciplinary relationship. Both are consensual and use the same basic tools and techniques. That makes it easy for an outsider to assume we are practicing femdom scenes.
The difference is more profound than you might imagine. First and foremost, disciplinary activity isn’t for our entertainment. I am spanked as a way of teaching me to correct the objectionable behavior. Mrs. Lion tries hard to consistently punish me when I do things she wants me to stop. She also punishes me when I fail to do things she wants.
The next natural mistake people make is to assume we have a parent/child thing going. Mrs. Lion can appear to be a maternal figure controlling an unruly child: me. Nothing could be further from the truth. She is my partner. We consider ourselves both to be adults. She spanks me because it’s an excellent way to condition me to behave as she wishes. She has the right to do this because we have agreed on our roles.
It doesn’t mean that she makes all the decisions. Actually, I make most of them. It has nothing to do with that. She will let me do as I wish so long as what I do is within the boundaries she has set for me. They aren’t explicitly stated. We don’t have a complex agreement that spells out what I can and can’t do. I accept that she will decide at the time if I need correction.
She has some options: She can choose to inform me that what I am doing is a spankable offense. If I continue, she will spank me at her earliest convenience. If I stop, I am to consider myself warned and if I do it again, I will be spanked. She can also decide that I will be punished without warning. She will inform me that I earned a spanking and then she will deliver it when she can. I trust her completely. She has been very reluctant to exercise this authority. I hope that she will continue to grow in her role.
Our behavior is much closer to other mammals then the typical American marriage. We have no power struggles. Anytime I fail to remember my role, I get reminded by her paddle.
I realize that this is sexually exciting to think about. That doesn’t mean it is sex or BDSM. It simply means that I am programmed to respond sexually. This sexual response assures that I will willingly accept painful discipline. For the record, any sexual excitement is gone within seconds of when Mrs. Lion starts using her paddle. It seems weird to me that I am fully aware of how this works, yet, I can’t help myself from getting aroused when I think about it. There is a lot more lion in me than I thought when I first adopted this nickname.