Hi, I just discovered this site and I must say you people have some interesting conversations here! I'm 24 and I have hated wearing bras all my life. I don't really need one because my breasts are quite firm and don't sag at all. So my problem? Nipples! I guess I have extra pointy nipples because they are always showing through my clothes. I don't know why this is a big deal really- its not like youre seeing anything but bumps in a shirt but from comments I've heard you would think I was walking around naked! Can somebody here explain why bumps in a shirt are such a awful thing?
Personally I also have nipples that are often hard and stick out (and contarary to what some guys think it's not because I'm horney or even cold) they just do. Under most circumstances I don't care if people notice. Some of my guy friends have even coined a phrase "she's got some Melissa action going on" to discribe someone with hard nipples to eachother.
and what makes that funny is that men and women both have nipples. The thing that makes our breasts diferent is that they have a fullness or roundness that men's chests don't have. So that means that I must cover my nipples (that part that men have too) because I don't have a penis. Ironic isn't it?
To illustrate how silly our nipple phobia is- there is a teen forum that I sometimes read to keep up with what the younger generation thinks about things- well one boy posted a picture of his new nipple ring and the moderators took it down. So he posted it again and every time they took it down so he ask them why he couldn't show his nipple ring and they said that "nudity is against forum rules". "But I'm a GUY- it's a MALE NIPPLE!" "Well we couldn't tell that from the picture." Finally he got it posted by printing right on the picture "This is a GUY nipple". (see below)
Now I think the silly part is that they ban it even though they couldn't tell if it was male or female!
Some women's (and men's) nipples do resemble those of the opposite sex. In fact, some men have larger breasts than some women ( think such men should difinitely wear a shirt!)
I gave this additional thought: I surmise that the reason why the female breast, especially the nipple, evokes such a strong reaction in people -- male and female -- is that it takes us back to those days when we were suckled at the breast, and long after than experience ends, we are drawn to the breast and, in some subliminal way, perhaps the sight of the naked breat/nipple elicits in us this deep-seated suckle instinct. So, perhaps that is why some have such a strong reaction to it.
Certainly, not all of us were so lucky to have that first experience of nurturing by feeding at the breast. Perhaps our mothers chose not to breast-feed. Or, as in my case, our mothers could not produce sufficient milk. I think it is possible that, due to our lacking that early relationship with the breast, our longing could be even stronger. (During counselor training, a therapist observed that I was "longing for the big breast" -- how did he know?).
There you go again Bob- wanting to infringe people's rights. Why should a chubby-titted guy have less rights than one with a flat chest?- because you say so?
And I don't buy your crap that men's fascination with breasts is because of some subliminal desire to return to breast feeding! If that was true, guys who were bottle-fed would be turned on by plastic bottle nipples- and I sure never heard of that!
You even contradict yourself when you note that some men have bigger boobs than some women- so if it's boobs that do it- why don't heterosexual men get attracted to a chubby guy's man-boobs?
I'd say the only reason that men go goo-goo over women's breasts is because we keep them hidden- hiding anything makes it more alluring. Just like in old China, women's feet were kept hidden- and became sexual objects.
Hi Mandy, welcome to BFF. You have an interesting question- why do bumps in a shirt or sweater upset people so? After all- they are only bumps. But bumps certainly seem to be quite a taboo these days- especially with teens who regarding "nipping" (as they call it) a major social sin.
It wasn't always like this- in the 1970s when many women were going brafree- or wearing super soft thin "natural look" bras nipple bumps were a common sight- even on TV- and no-one seem to care. Some even considered it an attribute and I saw ads for bras with buttons sow on the front to simulate nipple bumps for nipple-impaired women! Amazing how times change, huh?
But all this historical recitation isn't solving your problem, is it? Well, you can try the old trick of putting tape or bandaids on your nipples, but if I was you I would just tell these prudes who have nothing better to do then criticize bumps in a shirt to take a hike. They wouldn't be people I would want to associate with anyway.
I don't know why nipples have become the taboo that they have in recent years. But I don't worry at all about it. Why? Because women who wear bras nip too, and it shows, whether they know it or not. It would be good to just not worry about it. If you hear a comment about yours just say to them how interesting you find it that they noticed. Maybe they should check the custody of their eyes?
Fake boobs . . . and now, fake nipples . . . and I thought part of this movement was about body acceptance.
I found the message board there interesting (assuming those were actual customer comments). You have women saying that they wear these fake nipples for ALL THE ATTENTION they get, especially male attention. I think that is quite an interesting admission: Women, who (we are told) don't want to be gawked/leered/ogled by men, are wearing fake nipples so that men will notice and look. NOW and the media need to survey these women to find out what women really want -- maybe men aren't the bad guys after all (Is this a confusing country, or what??!!! lol)
If I'm not mistaken, aren't there already nipples built into certain bras and bikini tops? Then, there are bras (and tops) so sheer that a woman's own nipples (the outline anyway) subtly show through. And, true to course, other women (not just the guys' gf's) are quick to bump guys and tell them, "Stop looking at her boobs!" (got told this recently at work by a female co-worker, who was later heard talking about the supposed erection of a male employee during a meeting . . yeeesh!)
(I dated a girl in hs who had wonderful pointy nipples that stood out about 3/4 inch. She used band-aids to cover them, so they would not be so obvious, but the band-aids kept popping off. The adhesive was just no match for those sexy projections. Man, I miss those nipples!!)
Yes, I think it's funny that you can find websites selling nipple enhancers and websites selling nipple hiders!
But from what I've seen, the nipple hider people are probably making more money these days.
Some of us can have 'em show some of the time, and have 'em hide some of the time, and don't have to spend a dime on either fashion! And my hair has got natural highlights now too and I didn't have to have them done in the salon, they just keep coming in. Sparkly, shiney, bright, silvery highlights!
I want to thank you all for all for you helpful advice. I think it's funny that they sell things to make what I'm trying to avoid! lol! but I think I will take Nat's advice and just not worry about it. Like he says those who would bitch about bumps in a shirt would bitch about anything and wouldn't be good fiends anyway. I just hope when I get a job my employer won't be a ass about it.
My preferences for nipples (female, of course -- who cares about guys' nipples?):
Nipples should be proportionate in size to the breasts they're on. Large nipples/areolas on small breasts are too obtrusive; small nipples on large breasts look lost and unfinished.
Nipple size/shape/color: The perfect areola is a uniform medium pink or brown in color, well-defined and circular, and about 1.5 to 2 inches wide. The nipple should be well-defined and stick out a bit -- 3/8 to 3/4 is good (less pointy nipples on small breasts; more pointy on larger breasts).
The skin of the breast should be clear and not have scars, stretch marks, dark veins showing, hair (very fine hair that is light in color can look very nice, but not the longer/darker variety). The idea breast size is a perky-to-SLIGHTLY sagged C-cup. Breasts that move as a woman walks is a definite turn-on.
I was talking my "ideal" nipples/breasts. That is not the same as saying that nipples/breasts that don't meet these criteria are unacceptable.
Its like a guy saying, "My ideal car would be a Ferrari or Lamborghini". That doesn't mean he isn't happy driving his Chevy or Toyota. Its just a "what if" game that can be fun.
I've lived long enough to know that not all beauty is visible. You can have a pretty woman with a cold heart, and overall she's not that attractive. You can have an ordinary-looking woman with a heart of gold, and her personality makes her more attractive than at first glance.
On the other hand, why not opt for as much "ideal" as you can get? I don't see the point of dating someone who doesn't turn you on. I know sweet women who just don't give me any urges --- they make nice friends, but I'm not interested in a clinch with them (The key is communicating the limits of your interest to a woman who wants more, without hurting her or having her feel badly about herself).
It works both ways: I've been very attracted to women who didn't feel the same. I try to take it easy on myself in those situations too . . understanding the subtle hints so the women don't need to say it stronger.
The only sticky situations for me occurred when I thought the women understood we were "just buds" . . we'd go out to places that I might go with male friends (e.g., sporting events, to play pool, have dinner or drinks while talking about our "issues") . . . no flowers, no candy, went dutch on the tab, no affectionate grabs or pats, etc. I think, "This is cool. Just relax and enjoy the conversation, joke and laugh without any fakeness or agendas. I guess men and women CAN be friends."
. . . . only to find out that the women want a romantic thing between us. How awkward to have a chick-buddy start to move closer, take my hand, give me these (lies!) flattering comments, laugh in that exaggerated fashion to all my jokes (you guys know . . I am NOT THAT funny!). The real red flag is when they say, "Hee . . hee . . oh, Bob, you're SO BAD!!"
At first I'm ignoring the telltale signs . . of course she knows the arrangement. Then, as the thing progresses, I'm thinking, "Oh, shit! This is trouble! How do I get out of this without looking like an ass?!" The truth is, I can't. Because . . . men are accustomed to pursuing, getting rejected and (the smart guys know when to) give it up or make a stronger play. We expect rejection. But, women . . they're different. They are brought up to think, "I'm sitting on the gold mine. WHO doesn't want THIS!" So, rejection for a woman can be devastating (yes, some guys are like that, but mostly women). And, I truly don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings . . . but I can't drink enough to regret waking up beside an unattractive woman. I need to feel attracted, or it doesn't even start. I don't understand anyone who does it any other way.
Your discription was about the size and shape of nipples, right down to the exact, or almost exact, measurements of the nipple, and all the surrounding details. Now how in the world are you going to know all this when you decide if you want to date someone, or decide if you are attracted? There have to be other factors that show up first. Things outside the clothes.
I was also curious how you came to your measured size discriptions? Did you measure someone once?
Men are visual creatures (Peter can attest to this). It even amazes us sometimes, how we can overlook other visual details, but something we care about (cars, sports, women) we can notice in this most exacting detail. If it isn't just so, we know. Maybe we eye-up a mitre cut and decide, "No that's not what I wanted". Maybe we look at a part on the car that we just worked on, and it just doesn't look right. We can't always say HOW we know . . we just do.
When it comes to women, we have all seen many naked bodies. There is this, almost innate, attraction to some features of a woman's body. Things we like . . things we don't like. It differs from man to man. For me, I like curvy, but delicate. I'm not interested in the biggest parts, but more how they come together and seem to fit each other (thus, the references to nipple size vs. breast size). Part of the "dream" is purity and innocence . . thus the clear, unblemished skin. All of the small elements, in harmony . . the idea of gestault . . that the whole is more than the some of its parts. This is why a given woman can "break the rules", and she still be irresistable in the whole.
True, I cannot know how a woman (potential date) really looks under her clothes. But that is part of the fun, isn't it? It is like opening a package at Christmas --- What do we have here? Mystery is part of the interest. That is why (I think) a woman should always have mystery about her that makes a man want to approach and investigate. When the clothes come off, there are bound to be parts that pleasantly surprise.
Because, with that attitude, no REAL woman would satisfy you. I think women scare the living daylights out of you.
You remind me of a good friend of mine. What he needs is an intelligent, strong woman in his life. Unfortunately, those women scare him to death. He dates bimbos and then wonders why he can't make relationships work.
. . and honest. I know what I like and don't like. That doesn't mean I go out of my way to hurt anyone. I think it is kinder to not lead someone on or let them think there is potential interest when there isn't.
As for your suggestion -- the intelligent, strong woman -- I like talking to such women sometimes, but I don't see that type as relationship material. For one, I tend to lead with my head and neglect my emotions. If I am with a woman who does the same, we can have nice discussions (or debates), but not much else. She doesn't change anything for me.
I need a woman who is very free with her emotions . . feels things strongly . . great joy, intense sadness (no, not bi-polar! haha . . been there!). Someone that can help my "out of my head" and into my heart more. Hopefully, an optomistic person who "stops to smell the roses" . . who points out little pleasures to me (a beautiful sunset, the joyful spontaneity in a child's face, a colorful garden), who lives for the moment. Cause, I'm likely to overlook these things . . yet know they are nice aspects of life and should not be missed in the bussle.
A woman like that just naturally looks more attractive regardless what her outward appearance is. Still, its also nice if she has a tight little body, a pretty face, a great smile. What is wrong with wanting that too? Women are encouraged to "have it all". What is wrong with men wanting to love the inside . . and wanting to make love to the outside?
Well since we seem to discuss your personal life a lot here Bob, how about filling in a few details just so we understand you better. How old are you? Have you ever been married or had any lasting relationships with women? And how would you rate yourself as a catch for them? A little candid description here would be helpful.
I have been very forthcoming already -- perhaps too much so. It wasn't (except for my early rants about the unfairness of divorce) my intention to talk that much about myself. I was trying to give examples to illustrate points. I think maybe I have been too open already.
As for my own "desirability" status, everything is relative. What looks good or seems like accomplishment to one person is disappointing to another. An illustration (not me this time): My doctor was telling me that it really bothered him that he had just turned 40 y/o. He knew it was coming, and it stood out to him as a sign of time passing too quickly. These feelings were exacerbated by a reunion of his friends from medical school. Everyone had entered different areas of medicine -- some more lucrative than others. One guy had specialized in dermatology, and he operates a chain of clinics in Florida, pulling down mega-bucks, playing a lot of golf in the FL sunshine. My doc looked at this colleague and thought, "Was it a mistake for me to go into family practice? Did I do enough with my life?"
Hearing this, I told doc, "I understand where you're coming from. I think we all, as we get older, start feeling the passage of time and wonder if this is what we had intended for our lives, and if we have done OK. You have a prestigious profession. Yeah, you could make more money in a specialty, but you are helping people, and most people would be very pleased to be a doctor or have one in the family. You have done very well . . and you're still young." (Of course, I'm not telling anyone who has the authority to order intrusive tests and multiple needle sticks anything disturbing! hahaha . . nah, I was being sincere).
This little story is just my way of saying that whatever "data" I could provide about myself might be OK in some people's eyes, disappointing to others. I will say that I consider myself an average person in many respects. Not a handsome "hunk", not a highly-paid person, not a dazzling personality. I realize that I tend to overshoot the mark in the types of women I am interested in. But, don't we all (or most of us anyway)? The average guy wants Shania Twain or Halle Berry. But, the average girl wants Brad Pitt or George Clooney. The "bottom third" of people, male and female, want to be with the "middle third". A 7 or 8 wants a 10 -- right? Most people operate this way. Then, reality sets in and they "settle" for what they can get. They compromise to be with someone.
Not saying there is anything wrong with compromise, so long as you are happy with the decision and can live with it. But, how many times do we make compromises to have a relationship, and after we are with that person a while we realize its not enough? The person is company, someone to do things with . . someone to meet our intimacy and sexual needs with. But, in the back of our minds we wonder --- like my doctor did --- if our choice was a good one . . . if we did enough. I think this is why you see so many couples where the eye wanders (most notably with men, but I think women are just more subtle about it and long more for a romantic/emotional element rather than just the thrill of new flesh). The man (or woman) takes opportunities to "check out" other people . . . wonder what it would be like to be with him/her. If they don't actually cheat, they might use the internet to meet people and chat-up/flirt. Or, they go to skin sites to see bodies. They are longing for something they aren't getting in their relationship . . . something their compromise decision didn't satisfy.
(btw, I recently went to see my doctor, who had moved to another location and taken on a younger doctor into his practice. Compared to the old digs (where doc was the junior partner), the new place is high-class and lavish. I see my doc standing in the large lobby area, talking to two twenty-something young ladies. I note that doc is now seeing a hair stylist rather than going to his barber. I've never seen him so animated, flirting his ass off! I guess this is his way of feeling more vital, more sucessful, young and attractive --- like the older guy who buys the sports car. And, if it works for him, I'm happy).
Well I should have known from your comments about divorce that you had been married at one time, but you might give us some details about it- how long did it last- what went wrong. Your anonymous here, we just know you as some guy named 'Bob" so no harm in being candid here.
As for being "average" nothing wrong with that. Just as we talk about how the media idealizes breasts, so they idealize everything. If you watch TV or go to movies you would think the world was filled with beautiful people with ever hair always in place. Even local newscasters spend 30 mins every night in a makeup room before they go on the air. Do they have to look handsome or pretty just to tell you what the news is? No, it simply marketing. In fact look at the closing credits and you'll likely see tags giving local merchants credits for supplying (free) their latest fashions.
The point is that media has brainwashed us to think that average is not good enough. But the world is full of "average" people. And it has been my observation that the guys who married "beautiful" women seldom have successful marriages. In fact, I would go so far as to say that a average or less than average woman makes the best wives and mothers because the aren't stuck-up on themselves. Many years ago there was a rock group called the "US-Bonds" who had a song that went "If you want to be happy the rest of your life- make a ugly woman your wife." There's a lot of truth to that, for those who are smart enough to see it.
I don't think you ever did tell us your age, although we are all now know your doctor is 40 which is really important information. But tell him if he thinks 40 is bad, wait until 50. Thats when the gray hairs and winkles start popping out like popcorn! The family wanted to throw me a big birthday party and I said hell-no!. I'm going to sleep all day and pretend it didn't happen. Now I'm facing 60 in a few months. There just no getting around it.
I don't really think there is any such thing as pretty or average or ugly, as appearances go, that is. I believe that the condition of your heart and mind tells alot. Where does it show? On your face, and on your body.
For instance, while getting our groceries for Thanksgiving the other day, it was Tuesday, and already crowded, I over heard a young wife chew her husband out because he wasn't on the aisle he was supposed to be on. (I know, what a control freak) I looked up from my list when I heard her going off on this poor guy and saw a really pretty woman with the ugliest expression on her face. Her teeth were gritted and her lips were pulled back into the tighest grimmes (sp?). He just hung his head and said nothing in his own defense. Whipped.
I think by hollywoods standards this girl was grade A, but her black heart was visible for anyone to see.
By the same token beauty can be seen quite easily on the scruffiest people. I believe that the condition of our own hearts and minds create the beauty or uglyness we see. It goes both ways. What we are is what we see. And we live in such a critical society and we let 'it' tell us what is beautiful and what isn't. We should stop that. we all can think for ourselves, and decide what it is that we see.
Well I think society certainly has ideas about what constitutes beauty- that's why we have "beauty" contests for the prettiest girl to be "Miss America" or "Miss USA" or "Miss Turnip Patch" or whatever. But I totally agree that real beauty is on the inside, and while I suppose its possible to be beautiful on the inside (attitude) and outside (body) simultaneously, it has been my observations that this is untypical and generally people of the beauty-contest sort are not very pleasant people to deal with- as you observed in the grocery store.
I saw this a lot working at a TV station and seeing the "talent" parade around like prima-donnas treating the production people like trash when if it wasnt for these behind the scenes people the prima-donnas wouldn't exist in the first place. You know I think I can sit behind a desk and read words off a teleprompter like they do, but I bet they can't shade a camera, fix a bad relay in a video switcher or replace a bad final in the transmitter. And if the camera doesn't work, and the switcher doesn't work, and the transmitter doesn't work nobody sees anything! But these people who society judges "prettier" than others also think they are "better" than others.
Well that may be the case with the really pretty ones who are in any kind of known position. But I think that the so called average person is maybe not as average as one might think. On first glance maybe one would think so, but after seeing the person interact for any amount of time, that first impression might be forgotten. Appearances change from one minute to the next depending on what is going on. If one is given a chance to be seen for more than a minute the smile, eyes, words...well vision is tricky.
Oh, and about the sports car comments Bob made earlier, I have an opinion about that too! Surprise! I also don't think there is any such thing as mid-life crisis for men (or women). I think that a nifty red sports car bought by a 55 year old man simply might mean that he is finally able to afford it, afford the insurance, and the kids are grown so he can finally have that cute red convertible two seater he always dreamed about but wasn't practical to have before. I would love to have a Chrysler Crossfire, but I still have too many people to drive around with to have a two seater.
That said, I believe society has us convinced of a lot of things that just are not true.
Having divorced after 13 years of marriage (unlucky number is right!) and approaching my late 30's, I found myself hanging out a lot with a male friend my age who had never married nor had children. The clubs didn't seem to have what we were looking for (or maybe we just didn't like the female prospects who responded positively to us).
So, we took to perusing the singles ads in the local paper. We came to the same conclusion: There are two groups of people in the dating world --- Those who are early 40's and younger . . . . . Those who are mid-40's and older. Girls in their mid-twenties might date a man of 40. Ladies in their thirties might go up to 42. After 42 (or, say, at 45+), one has passed from being considered dating material for the younger set . . and you graduate to being at the young end of the age range for dating the older set (YIPPEE!!!) So, if our observations are correct, there isn't much difference between, say, 50 and 60. After 45, the damage is done.
Another male friend is still in his 30's and (I'm sure) he could date 20-something if he wanted. Ironically, that is not his target age group. The guy MUCH PREFERS older women: 10-15 years older. I asked him why he wasn't attracted to younger women and he responded that older women are less self-absorbed, more interesting and better lovers (he left his wife and child to pursue his dream of dating all the older women in the world . . sad). I don't understand his preference, but then he doesn't understand mine.
As you can imagine, I try to date significantly younger women whenever the opportunity presents. My last "steady" was 14 years my junior. The current object of fascination for me is even younger -- 25 -- and meaner than shit. She runs hot and cold, tugging me around like a puppet on a string, and sometimes I tire of it and stay away. But when I see her I just cannot resist her. She is the perfect size, very curvaceous, cutist little face, short golden brown hair with highlights, green eyes. She knows that my heart is racing and I feel warm when I'm close to her, and she plays it up. I have dreams about her . . and I rarely recall dreaming. Its a dead end, but what an exciting dead end.
My older sister shares Michaela's view: "Who says what is or isn't beautiful? Its what's on the inside that counts, Bob." And, I know sis is right, but then I see Amy or other young, fresh females and the outward beauty seems paramount. I'm a lost cause, I guess.
Well Bob, need I tell you what flirtatious young women call older men? I won't ask what you spend on this girl, but when you are all used up (or wised-up) she will toss you aside like a old rag and go find another sugar-daddy.
You are never going to find a lasting loving relationship until you change your priorities. You summed your situation up quite nicely in your last paragraph. Think about it.
I get used, but women my age can do the same in their own way. I know men who call the shots and get what they want in their relationships, but I'm not one of them. Maybe I'm attracted to the controlling type. I tend to think that if the woman is happy, the relationship will go well. But, it seems that women test men as well, to see how far they can push them. If a guy is too easy, he loses points . . . and her interest.
I suppose the unfortunate archetype for today's older man is Hugh Hefner. Here he is, late 70's, and "dating" multiple young women (actually, they look a bit cheap to me -- not the women he built the mag featuring -- but what man his age has ONE woman like that who approaches rather than runs? lol)
I mentioned before that I have worked in geriatrics, and I think God did take some mercy on older men. As aging progresses, the hormones dry up along with the opportunities. Older women are more likely to maintain interest in companionship, but the men I've worked with seldom shared that interest. They complain of having no appetite (or feeling too ill to eat) and they have constipation. Sooo . . while the younger man's issue is, "How am I gonna get laid?", the older man's concerns are, "Do I feel like eating anything?" and "Did my bowels move?" He can take Mylanta or Prevacid for the stomach concerns . . . . and Colace, Senokot, Miralax, etc. for the constipation. . . and if he's lucky, a younger female will insert the rectal suppository that could treat either. I can't wait!!!
Well I'm sorry you have had such bad luck with women Bob. Maybe I was just lucky, but I found just the right one for me. She would have never won a beauty contest but there was no better wife and mother in the whole world. Sadly I lost her to cancer after the best 32 years of my life. So far I've had no desire to even go looking again because I know I could never find another who could replace her.
Quite an accomplishment these days to be married that long (and longer, had you not lost her). Obviously, that has left a big void in your life. Maybe you could find someone, not to replace your beloved wife, but to love and have companionship. I hope that one day for myself. (Doesn't it seem that when you love someone and don't want them to go, they are taken from you . . . but if you are done with them, the only way to get them out of your life is to go to court).
I appreciate your concern Bob, but I'm doing pretty well really. I have a son and two daughters who are always calling and bringing the grandkids by to visit- as well as numerous friends- in person, on ham radio and here on the net so my time stays well occupied.
But I do wonder about the state of marriage these days. I know many young people who are already on their second or even third marriage. Some don't even bother to marry- they just shack up and have a contract about who owns what so when they split there's no a hassle. Whatever happen to love and commitment and "until death do us part"?
I know the answer to this quiz. The reason why people don't stay together . . married or just shacking up: They don't have to. Marriage was necessary back in the days when survival was not a given. Men were needed to protect the family and bring in the money (or, way back, hunt with other men for meat). Woman have ALWAYS been needed to bear the young, raise the children, keep the house (cook, laundry), perhaps farm the land while the men were gone (children helping wherever they could). Everyone had a purpose -- everyone was needed.
Not so today. The modern woman is no longer dependent upon men for income, housing, food or any other necessity. Women are becoming educated at greater rates than men. As men's traditional work (labor, factory, security) gets replaced by technology, government and out-sourcing to foreign countries, men have become unnecessary (Perhaps you've seen ads for the new book by columnist, Maureen Dowd, "Are Men Necessary?" A title whose time has come!)
The truth: The thing that keeps couples together is NECESSITY!!! At the present time, there is no necessity for men and women to form pair bonds that endure. Women who want children can go to sperm banks and become impregnated without any expectation that "Daddy" will be in the picture. Men or women can now adopt children from places like China or Romania, without ever having a partner.
With all the problems facing this world (the looming energy crisis, the "greenhouse effect", widespread famines, viruses that no known antibiotics can treat, thermonuclear war), calamity will strike the human family and make men necessary again. Until then, men will be on the outside looking in -- often due to their own negative behaviors, but even more so because modern technological advances have made men's primative skills unnecessary . . and our testosterone-based aggression makes us look like THEE PROBLEM.
You have some valid points Bob. But I can't believe short unstable marriages of today are a healthy way to raise happy well-adjusted kids. It's no wonder so many are screwed-up, suicidal and on drugs. I feel lucky to have been in what I think was the last 'good' generation- before the multitude of problems that face young people today.
I think this is illustrated by an experience I had when I visited my home town a few years ago and drove by my old high school to see what it look like now. I couldn't believe my eyes. What had once been a friendly open college-like campus now resembled a prison! There were high fences, locked gates, close-circuit TV cameras and ID-badges that the students wore. Many schools have metal detectors and full-time cops on duty. None of this would have been imaginable when I was a student there 40 years ago. If society has deteriorated this much in a generation or so what does the future hold?
probably thinks they had it much better than later generations, and I'm sure in some ways they did. My father used to tell me how much fun -- meaning wholesome fun -- he had with friends and girlfriends. The teen hang-out for him was the skating rink, where most of the kids hung out, guys and girls checked out each other and the boys would try to impress each other and the girls with their skate dance moves. There were movies -- "real movies, not this smut that passes for talent today" -- with good writing and real acting. The themes did not revolve around sex in those pre-Playboy days, and Dad thought that was as it should be. My father said that no boy would tell an off-color joke to a girl or in mixed company, as boys were bropught up to respect girls. If males "tried anything", with females, it might be as much to figure out who the "bad girls were" (those not considered for a serious relationship) as it was seeking sex.
By the time I was a teen, the drive-in movie was a popular place to go on a weekend night. You could watch the flicks and cuddle with your date. Back then, french kissing and getting a handful of boob was a successful evening. We certainly didn't think a girl "bad" because she let us feel her up or laughed at our sex joke. But there were limits -- the sleep-around girl was the "slut". If you were lucky, an older guy would help you to buy some beer and/or some pot. We were always looking for scary movies (so the girls would be frightened and cling to us) and any movie with topless scenes. Those were the days when having a pizza was a big deal and Coke/Pepsi was more a treat rather than a daily beverage.
Today -- judging by my sons and what I see on the internet -- fewer thinga are much of a mystery or a treat. Any kid can get on the internet and (even on a search of non-sexual topics) quickly find porn with shots of oral sex and women spread-eagled. Pizza and pop are daily indulgences. Girls are just as likely to tell sex jokes and push boys for sex as the reverse (took me some getting used to seeing you teen girls dressed like Madonna and sat on the laps of boys that were "just friends." While a group of teens watched a teen-coming-of-age flick in my living room, I overheard one girl ask the others, "Is anyone else feeling horny but me?" I don't think there is much mystery or feeling of discovery for kids today --- if you want it, you do it (already did it).
Somehow, I think things tend to run in cycles. I think the rules get relaxed and then disappear altogether. The society becomes increasingly conflicted and dysfunctional, such that few people can or want to live in it. At that point, the old conservative ways return. Like the old saying goes, "There is nothing new under the sun". Just cycles of more or less restriction (My grandmother once told me, "You kids think you invented sex? The flappers of the 1920's were sexier than anything you have today!")
Well its certainly true that things change with each generation- and generally become more permissive. But between my school days and now has been a quantum leap. No one in my school could have imagine that someday schools would have metal detectors to detect weapons, drug sniffing dogs checking lockers, and cops patrolling the hallways.
"But I do wonder about the state of marriage these days. [...] Whatever happen to love and commitment and "until death do us part"? "
Disillusionment. The concerns you're expressing here about the state of marriage is telling - you're concerned with "marriage" but not the people themselves. "Marriage" is declared an end-goal, a be-all and end-all of one's life, therefore the most important single accomplishment one can ever make.
It isn't, is it? Really, marriage is only meaningful when it's the natural, stable and inevitable outcome of a relationship - and then, it's still essentially "marriage" when it's not called that. The United States is rare in the emphasis people put on the "marriage act", wheras in other developed countries more and more people fall in love, live together, have children, grandchildren, grow old and die together, without ever having that piece of paper signed.
Part of that is cultural. In Canada, those in Québec follow the European view much more than those in English Canada, although even in English Canada it's more common than in the U.S. But part of that is also legal. In Canada, for example, common-law marriage is recognized as the act of committing to each other, even though a legal paper may not have been signed - after about four years (approximately), a couple begins gaining the rights of marriage, and the legal obligations that go with it. Most states in the U.S don't have any sort of equivalent.
The point of this is that in the U.S cultures, marriage is seen as the goal, not the result of a relationship - at least among those who don't know any better, that being everyone pre-marriage. That means that young women with wedding bells in their eyes and men wanting to be "accomplished" feel marriage is a solution to life, and not really a whole new set of challenges. That is, they get married without knowing what the heck marriage really is anyway.
And the others, they see this and feel the whole marriage thing is really a sham anyway, so why bother - make it as simple and painless as possible to go through.
The lucky ones - you included - find the right others, and find their relationships to be essentially permanent anyway. Marriage for them is an announcement of this to the world, and a celebration, not something they expect to change their relationship - to make it become permanent, or fix something in their lives.
Well hap-hazard erratic marital partnerships might be ok if we are just talking about adults- but what about the kids? Kids need to grow up in a stable loving environment. I think the results of the current state of marriage shows up in how screwed up kids are now- into drugs, alcohol, suicide, all sort of emotional problems. I noted in a post above about how schools have become almost prison-like in order to manage the discipline problems youth present today. I'm sure the school administration didn't put up those fences and cameras to improve the looks of the school. They were put there because they are necessary now to control drugs, violence, and vandalism. Why were such measures not needed when I was in school 40 years ago? I can only think what's changed is the quality of marriage and parenting and it's not a good change.
"Well hap-hazard erratic marital partnerships might be ok if we are just talking about adults- but what about the kids?"
Maybe I was unclear. I didn't mean to say that unstable marriages were acceptable, just to explain the cause of many of them these days. That many people think that marriage will change a relationship and solve problems that are there, and when the problems don't go away or get worse, the relationship collapses.
Stable relationships are a much better way to raise a family, and the key to that is to realise that a good relationship comes first and is most important, and that marriage only comes after that is accomplished (or well underway).
>"many people think that marriage will change a relationship and solve problems that are there, and when the problems don't go away or get worse, the relationship collapses."
I agree- but hasn't this always been true? Haven't people always had "problems"? But in the past when a couple had problems they either didn't get married or they somehow managed those problems because divorce was certainly far less common then it is today.
Except for your last paragraph, that was spoken perfectly if you are purely secular.
But from the view of the sacred it goes more like this...
Humans are made in the image of the Trinity, and except in special cases they are not intended by God to live alone, but in a family. And just as God blessed the first family, commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, so the Church today gives its blessing to the union of man and woman. Marriage is not only a state of nature but a state of grace. Married life, no less than the life of a monk, is a special vocation, requiring a particular gift or charisma from the Holy Spirit; and this gift is conferred in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.
As I posted above, the surest way to have an enduring marriage is for each partner to recognize the union as NECESSARY. This can be for any number of reasons (though, I think, the reasons better be rock-solid or the marriage will erode over time). Earlier generations of men and women really needed to be together for survival purposes, which is not true of relationships today. Technology has rendered men's relatively-primitive skills and roles in the family/coummunity increasingly unnecessary. When men aren't needed, they are eventually out the door.
As comedian Chris Rock noted, "A man is only as faithful as his options." (I'd add "women" to that line.) In a time when we are all bombarded with messages of infidelity (the fun of it), those who have the most options (due to fame, power, money, looks) get the most temptations. Thus, the politicians, CEO's and entertainers have repeated high-profile marriages and divorces. Others (those less well-heeled) might have a better chance of remaining faithful because they are less likely to receive attention from someone who would tempt them to stray (I admit . . . that was probably a factor in my faithfulness to my ex-wife. I sure wasn't going to screw-up my marriage and family over someone that wasn't wet-dream material).
Men may be visual, but so are women. I have heard this argument before. I think it is just another generalization. I may be a freak of nature, or there may be plenty of women like me. While working with Peter on construction I could look up and see where the trusses went off center. No measuring tape required to see it either. I can see when a wall is not perpendicular, even in the slightest. I just see it. Of course I have eyes in the back of my head, can hear anything, and can smell when anyone is sneaking chocolate, too. I'll bet anyone can do it. It is just a matter of paying attention to detail.
There are men and women who are more alike than different, depending upon the characteristic in question. My point was that, while men might generally not be all that observant, those things about which they care greatly, they do tend to observe. This includes (for most guys) details about the physical assets of women that they find attractive. You asked how I could be so specific about the physical endowments of my ideal woman, and I was just trying to explain that I didn't need to make measurements to know what I like. I have made my observantions and come to my own conclusions. That's all I was trying to say.
I know better than to say that males have any abilities that women don't possess, as we have all been thoroughly instructed that any attributes where one sex excels relative to the other, it is always females who excel over males. I considered that a truism of our American society, such that I didn't think I needed to emphasize it . . . but if I do, well there . . . I said it.
Sometimes it is difficult to figure out what your point is. Like when someone asks you a direct question and they get a few paragraphs from you on women whom you think are 'just buds' but they get romantic on you, or a couple more paragraphs about your whiney 40yo doctor (poor baby) who doesn't know if he made the right choices in life (sniff). (And, you like to kick the dust over the plate, too.)
No . . ammend that . . . I'm not sorry that I have the ability and willingness to go beyond a "yes" or "no" answer, that I think in depth on things, and that I use anaolgies to explain my points. Some things are not simply "yes" or "no". If you or others think I am being evasive, you have the right to your opinion. I have re-read some of my posts to see why others might not understand my response or think I wasn't responding to their questions. I don't believe I have been either unclear or evasive.
I don't expect to have interest in everyone's input or how they choose to express themselves. If it doesn't appeal or interest me, I pass it by. I invite anyone who feels the same about my posts to pass them by. I won't be offended.
Given the relatively low participation on this site, I think you would welcome people to post here. Even more so, to have someone who is interested in discussing viewpoints on life seems to me to be more interesting than those who have little to say. I never mistreat someone because they are limited in their cognitive and/or communication abilities, and neither do I think someone should be mistreated because they can express themselves more fully.
I would think you would have more objections to the members who NEVER offer anything personal, who never identify themselves as people, and especially those whose only contribution seems to be lurking in wait for the opportunity to criticize people who dare to express themselves. There are people here that fit that description, but I haven't seen any critique of them. I guess those are the sort of people you value here? Too bad.
More dust kicking!
Since we have mentioned that you side step questions and your answer is that sometimes more than yes or no is required, but you still don't answer yes or no, what other conclusion are we to have but that you are evasive? Stories are great and sometimes even amusing, but Nat asked you how old you are and you never answered him. What gives?