Amazon Prime Video has a new series called “Modern Love “. Mrs. Lion and I watched a few episodes. It has a really nice vibe to it. It resembles the film style of Woody Allen. That’s good for me because I love Woody Allen movies. The episodes are based on true stories that were published in the New York Times. One of them was about two people who met and decided to spend the afternoon together walking around New York. They visited a zoo and while watching a couple of snow leopards wondered what the leopards were thinking when it came to “liking” each other.

Their responses were silly. But it got me thinking about how we decide how other animals mate. Observing them in the wild often leads to believing that a female goes into estrus, a male sniffs her urine and hurries over to mate with her. In more recent times, thanks to motion-triggered cameras and patient documentarians, we see that there is far more involved processes in mating. In virtually every species, the female observes and communicates with one or more males before allowing one of them near enough to mate.

More complex creatures, like lions, have developed patterns that occur far from the actual sex. We now know that the pride of lionesses don’t simply accept the first male that comes their way. They are perfectly capable of driving off any males they feel disinclined to add to the family. Once a male is in the pride, he is still subject to painful reminders that the girls call the shots. Yes, when one of them goes into estrus, he is there and will mount her as soon as he can. All of the activities that brought him close enough to do this occurred long before she was available.

Since we are humans, we understand how complex our mating rituals can be. Even one night stands require some male qualification before the female will let him near her. The only exception to this is when some goods or services are traded for the sex. In that case, if the male can come up with whatever the female wants, he gets to mate with her.

Of course all of us know this. I’m not at all sure why we don’t realize how similar we are to our four-footed ancestors. Human society, at least Western human society spent thousands of years evolving male-dominated pairing. To do this, women had to be degraded to the point that they were essentially merchandise that men could purchase. There were lots of ways they could do this, but the bottom line was the women had little-to-no say in the matter. In the last century, women’s liberation largely erased this societal disparity. Equality is the goal. Great strides have been made in that direction.

Along with this growth came some new problems. Without society telling us who should make the choices within a relationship, marriages were in jeopardy because nobody knew how to handle disagreements. Some of us felt a strong need to tip the scale in one direction or another. I spent 10 years with a woman who wanted to be “owned” by me. She liked to call herself a slave. Actually, she was anything but. However, I did have the last say and I could punish her as I wished. I became disenchanted with this “traditional” relationship. I got into it because my marriage had been strictly one of equals. Resolving anything was quite painful. My ex had no interest in BDSM and I felt a strong need to be topped. I’m not saying the marriage ended because of this. It didn’t. But this realization on my part certainly contributed to bringing the end more quickly.

Some guys who are into female led relationships or male chastity, want to generalize and claim these practices represent the ideal state for human mates. That can’t be true. What we do is reasonably extreme and unlikely to represent a standard for society as a whole. However, at least in my marriage, we have a balance very much like my lion namesakes. I’m allowed to be independent and growl and stamp my paws here and there. But when she gets tired of it, Mrs. Lion puts her paws down and lets me know in a very painful way she’s had enough.

What we have is a very traditional marriage, at least to a casual observer. It doesn’t appear that Mrs. Lion is the boss. I don’t think she wants the world to see her that way. However, like my lion friends, I know that she has me on a relatively short leash. She is completely comfortable making me wait for sex and if she feels like it, locking me into a chastity device, she won’t hesitate to do it.

She has learned to enforce my good behavior with unpleasant punishments if I’m silly enough to upset her. I have a very basic and strong motivation to want this. I am sexually aroused thinking about her enforcing her will. That makes me a very willing participant even when she punishes me. I’m excited by the idea of being spanked. So, when she needs to punish me I assume the position with a slight tingle in my loins. That tingle goes away quickly, but by the time it does it’s too late. Similarly, even though it annoys me when it happens, when she overrules a choice I want to make, I also get that nice little tingle.

I translate this reaction I have to something in my lizard brain. Deep down in my evolutionary past, like the lions, it just feels “right” in Mrs. Lion exercises her power. I assume that other human males feel something like this as well. It may be buried deep in their psyches, and inaccessible under the heavy load of societal conditioning. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I make this assumption because over 80% of us males in studies list being spanked as one of our favorite fantasies. There is that tingle creeping out in our sleep.

It doesn’t mean that every bride should get spanking lessons as part of the premarital preparations. It just means that when people actually accept “equality” in a relationship, they’re very likely to see the scale tipping toward the distaff side of the scale. Maybe I’m more evolved than other guys. More likely, I’m less evolved and I’m behaving like my four-footed ancestors.