Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about experiences, ideas, nature, creativity, and culture. The latter might appear at times political, but we will try to avoid partisanship to speak to the broader issues that impact a culture. This is just too important a time not to sometimes speak to problems that impact society. As she and I do, readers will find we often disagree and have for over 50 years-- still able to be close friends. You can do that if you can be agreeable that we share more than not despite the difference.

Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no profanity, hate-filled comments, or links (unless pre-approved).

Fantasy, the painting by Diane Widler Wenzel, cropped a little to fit the needs of a banner.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Invisible to the Opposite Sex

The Summer Solstice, the longest, brightest day of the summer for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere of our planet. From here on it's downhill... Just kidding.

Since it's downhill and since I have actually been occupied elsewhere with family activities, etc., I thought a few links about a subject that has been of interest to Americans might be good. All right, some haven't cared about this at all or so they have claimed anyway. But there have been a lot of articles on why sexual cheating occurs.

Of course, these are all theories and some might say-- how do they apply to us? Well they could apply because this isn't something unique to the famous and powerful. This is the option mankind (womankind too) faces in any era of options. No options, no problems. People get no credit for being good if there is no alternative-- depending on what the meaning of good is.

You know what Weiner got caught doing hasn't been great for his life, but it might not be bad for our culture if it leads to discussions about something that is frequently not discussed because Americans are frankly a culture reluctant to openly discuss sexuality. Oh they like their porn; but to discuss why, now that makes many people uncomfortable and they want this to just go away!

But for people like me, who like exploring motivations, all kinds, it has seemed an interesting issue. I came across this article offering a reason which I have heard being said by some elder women about how they feel.

Now if someone has always felt invisible to the opposite sex, maybe this doesn't matter as they get older or then again maybe it makes them more desperate to do something to change the whole thing. It's hard to say what motivates human beings.

At any rate, the internet offers opportunities to be seen (even if with a phony image) where real life might not.

Then there is this side to it, the kind of thing that always mystifies other people. We hear it over and over, most recently with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This is the one that always blows people away when a man (generally it is a man) gets caught playing around with a woman who is not remotely as attractive as his wife. Everybody goes-- you are kidding! But he wasn't.

It comes back to what I was saying originally about this. It isn't about the other woman-- attractive or not. It's about the person-- and that is the same whether it's the woman cheating (yes, women do cheat also) or the man. People cheat for a reason but what is it?

My theory coming next.


Paul said...

Cheating has existed since day one and it will continue to occur Rain...Beautiful women are targets in more ways than one. Some men get a sadistic enjoyment out of hurting them-truth be told. Their beauty does not make them impervious to pain...

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

Interesting theory, Paul! Men are sadistic when they cheat on their beautiful wives. It is not a hormonial need to release tension when their wife is not available?

Kay Dennison said...

People cheat because they can. What astounds me is how hurt they seem when they get caught -- like someone granted them a perpetual pass in life -- a Get Out of Jail Free card, if you will.

One of my favorite quotes is a Portuguese proverb:

"To every pig comes his Martinmas."

(Pigs are traditionally slaughtered on the Feast of St. Martin.)

I use it as a caveat when I consider wrongdoing. Had Anthony done that, he'd still be in the House.

Taradharma said...

"Cheating for the man is about excitement, building up their ego, enjoying the chase and just plain mixing things up!" Another great comment is that when men 'win' their conquest and marry their wives, the excitement of the chase is over.

And speaking as a lesbian, I've seen lesbian couples go through this same dynamic.

In my 'straight life' when I cheated on my husband many many years ago, it was for ego gratification, especially when I felt my husband's interest waning. I didn't care if he found out or if it hurt him -- he was hurting me with his indifference to me. That's how I justified it. He never did find out. Or maybe he did and he didn't care. Could be.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I couldn't get the Fear of Being Invisible to Women link to open, but picked the story up at the Daily Beast. Then I read about cheating on beautiful, accomplished women and both articles really struck me as having a lot of truth in them. I am one of those women called "the dumpee," and long ago gave up trying to analyze what happened.

I think older men are often attractive to younger women, more than the article alluded to. They are not invisible especially to certain kinds of women who want security and a father figure. A lot of young women I know think older men are sexy--especially if they have some power.

What I find, and I was married a long time, and have been divorced a long time, is that as an older woman I am invisible to men--and most my women friends my age say the same thing. I long ago gave up trying to find a partner in life. Older men in our culture have it easy compared to older women when it comes to relationships. Maybe I've just stopped sending out that spark; I certainly have lost all desire to flirt.

Though I hate to admit it, males were not meant to be monogamous; they have to work hard to follow the rules, and I so greatly admire those that manage to. Men are biologically built to be sperminators, as Arnold is.

These days, though, women have choices, too. I also think that beautiful, accomplished women are threatening to many men--particularly if they are insecure deep down. Most men I know have a deep fear of intimacy so casual crap like Weiner was doing keeps everything on the surface.

Now that I've poured out some of my feelings, I look forward to hearing your response, Rain. To say I am biased would be the understatement of the year.

Paul said...

Truth be told more people probably cheat than don't cheat...Sad to say...

Rain Trueax said...

The question I have had before and almost went toward next blog when I decided I had discussed it before is whether monogamy is natural to any animal. Even the ones that are supposedly mates for life such as geese will have sex on the side because mate for life doesn't mean necessarily only sex with one person.

I haven't felt invisible to men yet but one thing is in our culture, it's not acceptable for men to look long at women. Go south of the border and men there have a totally different view of what a man is supposed to be and can do. I think when men feel they will be accused of being invasive if they look, there can be a lot who just avoid the problem. And I don't like it when a man stares at me when he's with his wife or what I assume is his wife. Any man who is with one woman and is busy checking out others (same for women who might do that) is out of line to me. Although when Farm Boss and I have been at the store and I saw a particularly good looking woman, I might say later, did you notice her and he'll say- oh yeah! He's subtle about it though and I don't ever see him doing it! lol

The thing I always come back to and might blog about it someday-- does monogamy come out of religion or is there another reason for it? I can see how it protects the family in some ways but the idea that people have to lie and cheat to do what might be natural to them, seems like it multiplies the whole action into things that I see as definitely negative.

Rain Trueax said...

Thanks for telling me about that link. I went searching and found a correct version for the story. I am not sure how mine was corrupted but it definitely didn't work

Robert the Skeptic said...

I have theories as well but I don't want to trump your upcoming article.

On the concept of men feeling "invisible" to women - there was a great documentary titled Second Skin about people who became addicted to online computer games such as World of Warcraft and Second life. The the parallel story was almost a "Cyrano de Bergerac" tale: People cannot physically see the other person online, often interacting with a fictional (handsome/pretty) avatar. What comes through in the interaction, however, is the other's personality. Romances often bud and by the time the people actually meet, their emotional attraction overcomes their physical characteristics.

The point being that the absence of physical beauty, indivisibility, is overcome by how the other person makes you FEEL! It is extremely powerful.

mandt said...

People cheat because they lack significant character, moral and ethical boundaries. Or, fall in love.