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Old 06-22-2011, 01:35 PM   #181
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
which sounds very much like a politician, and more specifically like Bill Clinton. i don't think anyone really finds him conventionally attractive, but i do know a few people who have met him at least in passing, and his personal charisma is apparently extraordinary, especially should you shake his hand, and as you mentioned, it's that 1000% interest in you at that moment that makes people go weak in the knees.
Yes-when I went to his book signing that was definitely the case. As much as I sort of got mad at myself for it, I couldn't deny it. He does have a beautiful head of hair.

Nothing happened

It's very rare, that quality. I don't know how much it really has to do with being a politician. I have experienced that just a few rare times with males, so I'm no expert. It's something I tend to be cautious about, you almost can't trust it. If you know what I mean. Is it real or is it rehearsed? Is it a schtick?

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Old 06-22-2011, 02:10 PM   #182
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This is the rebuttal post to Vicki Larson's. I agree 150% that character and goodness have nothing to do with looks and that those qualities are the most important.

by Tom Matlack

One of the most popular posts on Huffington Post this week, "Hot or Not? Why Women Shouldn't Pick Attractive Husbands,"claims that smart, beautiful, and financially independent women should resist the temptation to marry attractive and masculine men because they are, by definition, going to fail to be good husbands and fathers.

Attractive men don't make the best husbands, according to researchers. Guys who are rated as the most masculine -- a billboard for a man's good genes -- tend to have more testosterone, and men with higher testosterone levels are 43 percent more likely to get divorced than men with normal levels, 31 percent more likely to split because of marital problems and 38 percent more likely to cheat. In other words, they may be better cads than dads.

Writes author Vicki Larson before concluding:

So, now that Abedin evidently has Weiner's good genes, she can either stick it out another few years or split from Weiner now, before their unborn baby will have memories of the divorce, and while she's still young and attractive enough to snag another mate. This time, perhaps she should go ugly.

Evidently those men who are attractive, have testosterone, and are manly are inherently not to be trusted. And of course this is all written in the context of yet another celebrity caught with his pants down somehow representing all men, even those staying at home with the kids and those fighting for our country in the Middle East.

One of my favorite lines is from Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech. Facing violence and bigotry, he said on that sweltering day in our nation's capital: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

The content of their character. It seems to me that goodness, as men and women, has nothing to do with looks and everything to do with the content of our character as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, as human beings. In looking for a spouse, how about looking for a human being who is a man or woman of character. Sure attraction is part of the laws of reproduction, but attraction is more than skin deep.

In my work with The Good Men Project I have spoken to literally thousands of men--from inmates in Sing Sing to a photographer taking pictures on the front lines of battle for the NYT--and their relative attractiveness never entered the equation when we talked about what it means to be good. In each case what all these men talked about was the desire to grapple with with the truth about themselves and the complex set of issues that face us as men. No it's not ugliness that makes us good, nor good looks that make us bad. It's something much more important.

Last week I was honored to give the commencement address at Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter that serves 1,200 people daily. My talk was about success and how they, like I, know a lot about failure. We read about it every day. But success is actually much harder to define. It involves stripping away the outside stuff and facing yourself square in the mirror even after you have lost every shred of who you thought you once were. The paradox of life is that we often have to fail utterly and completely before we can truly succeed. We are told over and over again that its what you have, and what you look like, that determines success it is actually who you are that counts.

Then on Sunday I was at my daughter's confirmation and witness a Catholic priest respond to intense pressure to shun the gays in his parish despite his desire to hold a mass in their honor during gay pride week. Father Unni happens to be a man of remarkable good looks (some of the ladies call him Father "what a waste") and also remarkable courage. What he did to take a stand on behalf of all his parishioners--black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight--took my breath away.

Julio Medina the former Sing Sing inmate, Michael Kamber the war photographer, the men graduating from Pine Street Inn, and Father Unni are just a few of what I like to call my "heroes." Men who inspire me to be and do better. To live a life of goodness, service, honesty and meaning. Do they happen to be good looking? Well yeah, in my view they are all pretty damn attractive. But not just because some of them could be models, but because they have each inspired me beyond words with the way they live their lives. These are the kinds of guys I would happily have my daughter marry, not because they are ugly but because they have character deep in their souls.

The continued piling on in our popular press that men, specially successful and handsome men, are guilty of evil just because of their gender and their looks is nothing less than the bigotry fought by MLK and others during the Civil Rights Movement, by brave women who fought for Equal Rights, and currently by homosexuals seeking the right to marry. Let's stop trying to put people in boxes and start having a frank conversation about what it means to be a good man, and a good woman.

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Old 06-22-2011, 03:04 PM   #183
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Downside of dating a beauty: If a woman's more attractive than her man, the relationship may be doomed | Mail Online

If You Wanna Be Happy

If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So from my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall
As soon as he marries her, then she starts
Doin' the things that will break his heart

But if you make an ugly woman your wife
You'll be happy for the rest of your life
An ugly woman cooks your meals on time
An she'll always give you peace of mind

Don't let your friends say you have no taste
Go ahead and marry anyway
Though her face is ugly and her eyes don't match
Take it from me, she's a better catch
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:25 PM   #184
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Wasn't quite sure where to post this--it starts out purporting to summarize anthropologists' views on the prevalence of homosexuality across the known spread of human societies, but winds up broadening into 'Assorted Anthropological Trivia About the Sheer Variety of Human Sexual Expression':

Salon, Oct. 5
A husband-and-wife team of anthropologists at Washington State University named Barry and Bonnie Hewlett believe that they’ve found a society without gay sex—and that there other societies, too, in which some presumably universal behaviors, such as homosexuality and masturbation, are nonexistent at all levels of analysis. The Hewletts work amid a group of peaceful net-hunting foragers in central Africa known as the Aka, who live in migratory camps of about 25 to 35 individuals. Other ethnographic details, such as the Aka’s sociopolitical organization (minimal-control chiefdoms) and gender relations (men and women are relatively equal) certainly aren’t irrelevant to their sex lives, but in a report published last year in African Study Monographs, the researchers focused on the Aka’s bedroom behaviors.

It was the Aka’s apparent hypersexuality that inspired the Hewletts’ research. “We decided to systematically study sexual behavior,” they explain, “after several campfire discussions with married middle-aged Aka men who mentioned in passing that they had sex three or four times during the night. At first we thought it was just men telling their stories, but we talked to women and they verified the men’s assertions.” That’s right—three or four times per night. But campfire talk is one thing, actual behaviors quite another. So the anthropologists conducted a more rigorous series of interviews in the Aka’s native language (Diaka) using a local interpreter. They also interviewed nearby farmer-villagers known collectively as the Ngandu. To get at the patterns of sexuality in these two groups, the Hewletts interviewed 56 people, ages 18 to 70, who’d been married at least once. Given the sensitive subject matter, the husbands were interviewed by the male anthropologist, Barry Hewlett, while Bonnie Hewlett spoke with the wives. “The Aka and Ngandu were very open and willing to talk to us about sexual behavior,” note the authors, “but this was in part due to our long-term relationships in these communities.” (At the time of their interviews, 35 years for Barry and a decade for Bonnie.)

Now, before we get to the nitty-gritty, there a few important things to first point out about the Aka and Ngandu—and indeed, about the anthropologists’ motives in examining these people’s sexuality in the first place. Over the past half-century or so, a lot of impressive work has been done on cross-cultural differences in sexuality. But for a host of reasons—ethical, practical, personal and professional—it’s still a subject area at the outermost margins of mainstream anthropology. Anthropologists who choose to study sexuality, writes Carole Vance of Columbia University, are often cornered into the world of sexology, itself “an intellectual ghetto of disciplinary refugees.” As a result, enormous gaps in our knowledge remain, particularly with regard to sex in small foraging societies like the Aka. That we know so very little about sex in other cultures, however, hasn’t stopped many scientists from claiming that there are indisputable sexual universals on the basis of data collected from large Euro-American samples, such as the famous Kinsey findings. “One of our fears in writing this paper,” emphasize the Hewletts, “was that the Aka and Ngandu might be viewed as ‘others’ with unusual and exotic sexual practices…[but] overall, the Euro-American patterns are relatively unusual by cross-cultural standards.” In other words, although widespread Westernization creates the impression of a species-wide sexual homogeneity, when one takes the sheer number of living and extinct cultures into perspective, it’s us—not them—who are weird. The other important thing to note with the Aka and Ngandu is that, by Western standards, they are extremely open with respect to sexuality. Children mimic intercourse publicly and without being reproached by their parents, the lyrics to a popular Aka children’s song are the orgasmic vocalizations of two people having sex, and adults discuss sexual matters freely in camp. Furthermore, the Aka are known for their extremely flexible gender roles and near absent gender stereotypes. The women are just as likely to hunt as are the men, and men are heavily involved in childrearing. (In fact, the Guardian dubbed Aka men “best fathers in the world” a few years ago.) This is hardly an oppressive environment, which is why the apparent absence of homosexuality and masturbation in these societies came as a surprise to the Hewletts. “[These behaviors] are rare or nonexistent,” observe the authors, “not because they are frowned upon or punished, but because they are not part of the cultural models of sexuality in either group.”

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s have a closer look at what the Aka and Ngandu are (and are not) doing with their genitals. To begin with, they’re having a lot of married sex. On average—and remember, this isn’t just newlywed teenagers, but also middle-aged couples we’re talking about—the Aka reported having sex three times per night, and the Ngandu twice per night. According to the Hewletts, these groups consider sex as being more like work than recreational activity. Given the importance placed on having many children—coupled with a high infant mortality rate—the Aka and Ngandu view sex as an exercise in gathering offspring, a form of nocturnal labor that is just as important as their subsistence activities during daylight. “The work of the penis is the work to find a child,” said one Aka informant. “I am now doing it five times a night to search for a child,” said another. “If I do not do it five times my wife will not be happy because she wants children quickly.” It’s not that sex isn’t pleasurable to these people, the Hewletts emphasize. Rather, pleasure just isn’t their primary motive. As evidence of this secondary role of pleasure, there’s not a lot of foreplay in Aka sexuality. For example, one woman remarked that a man never puts the clitoris in his mouth; “if he does he will vomit.” That's not necessarily a sign of prudery. Given their general attitude toward the subject of sex, it’s more likely an indication that such nonreproductive behaviors just aren’t part of their script. This is relevant to current debates in our own culture about sexual libertarianism, such as those dealing with the “naturalness” of monogamy. “The Western cultural emphasis on recreational sex,” the investigators observe, “has led some researchers to suggest that human sexuality is similar to bonobo apes because they have frequent non-reproductive sex, engage in sex throughout the female cycle, and use sex to reduce social tensions. The bonobo view may apply to Euro-Americans, but from the Aka and Ngandu viewpoint sex is linked to reproduction and building a family.”

Another reason the Aka, especially, are having so much sex is because they’re convinced that semen is a nutritive substance that enhances fetal development and leads to healthy babies. This helps to explain why Aka women report that they do not have orgasms with each bout of intercourse overnight, but Aka men are ejaculating into them every few hours. The concept of “seminal nurture”—that semen is a kind of milk for developing embryos—is found in many other cultures across the world as well, most notably in South America. Still, that’s a lot of semen being churned out by your average set of middle-aged testes. (Couples take a few nights off during the week, presumably for men to replenish their seed.) Fortunately, the Aka do have access to some natural, and seemingly potent Viagra in the form of a chewable tree bark they call bolumba, which goes down best while drinking palm wine. Ngandu men also say that simple enemas are effective sexual stimulants. But while they may be comfortable enough infusing liquid into their anuses to “give force to the penis,” it’s apparently never occurred to them to insert an actual penis into that particular orifice. The tribespeople, like Ahmadinejad, claimed there was no homosexuality of any kind in their culture. “The Aka, in particular, had a difficult time understanding the concept and mechanics of same-sex relationships," the Hewletts write. "No word existed and it was necessary to repeatedly describe the sexual act…we thought that maybe they were shy or embarrassed, but this would have been uncharacteristic of the Aka that we had known for so long.”

Apparently, the Aka aren’t alone in their homo-naivete. In 1976, another team of anthropologists sifted through the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample data for attitudes toward homosexuality and found that people in 5 of 42 cultures listed had no concept of same-sex desire or behaviors. It’s not that these cultures penalized or disapproved of homosexuality. Rather, they didn't even know what it was.

The absence of homosexuality in the Aka and Ngandu is hard enough to fathom, yet consider their unfamiliarity with another “natural” sexual behavior, masturbation. “Like homosexuality,” explain the Hewletts, “it was difficult to explain self-stimulation to the Aka. They found it unusual and said it may happen far away in Congo, but they did not know it.” People from other ethnic groups, too, are deeply confused about this mysterious principle of self-induced orgasm. The anthropologists mention a colleague of theirs who was tracking fertility among the Lese people in the Ituri forest of central Africa, and found it extremely difficult to instruct men how to collect their own semen samples by masturbating. Even with rather explicit instructions, nearly all of the samples that were brought back to him were mixed with vaginal secretions! The only reasonable assumption to make here is that such frequent copulation, at least among married Aka adults, has obviated the need for self-gratification. Still, one would think that masturbation would occur in adolescents and that, like riding a bike, adults would remember the general motor pattern. But alas, no luck.

In any event, the point is not to suggest that homosexuality and masturbation are unnatural and therefore wrong, but that "deviance” is a relative term. Let’s not forget there are certainly cultures for which homosexual behavior is the norm rather than the exception. In the 1980s, anthropologist Gilbert Herdt stunned the Western world with his reports on the “semen ingestion ritual” of the Sambia of Papua New Guinea. In that society, boys are separated from their families from the ages of 7 to 10 and forced to fellate older adolescent boys and ingest their semen. Ironically, the Sambia haven’t really a concept of “homosexuality,” either. Rather, they believe that only by swallowing prodigious amounts of semen can boys become fierce warriors. Not until they've completed several years of semen-swallowing and then another four or five years of being fellated by boys themselves can Sambia males become fully adult and enter into exclusively heterosexual marriages. And in certain parts of Lesotho, South Africa, a related, albeit semen-free pattern of sex between adolescent females and younger girls has been reported as the norm.

The examples above should remind us that there are as many sexual differences between cultures as there are similarities. It may astonish Westerners to realize that societies with these practices exist elsewhere in the world, but just imagine all of the other variations in human sexuality that must have been lost through the ages.
It might be that this article's author is a little fuzzy on the distinction between (apparently) not sharing our own culture's particular sexual taboos and neuroses, vs. not having any at all. At what point does a set of assumptions which (sure seem to) dictate a great deal of sexual behavior within a society cross the line into "an oppressive environment"? Are we supposed to take it on faith that shame and guilt (or worse) play no role in enabling the apparent consistency? Still, the reminder of just how deep the structures subtending even our most supposedly 'primitive' behaviors run is jolting, in a good way.

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