I'm now on Chapter 2 which is called "Isn't It Romantic"
In the spring, when new life begins to stir and the female comes into season, the males of
her species throng around her, fiercely competing for attention with a frenzy of attraction
displays. Fish dance, frogs croak, birds ruffle their feathers, snakes entwine, bucks lock
antlers, all striving to give visible witness to their genetic superiority. Ignoring them all,
the female appears to have no interest in mating, an attitude which incites even more
prominent displays among the males. Still seemingly indifferent, she finally allows one of
the aspirants to approach her, usually the biggest or the most colorful. He has passed her
entrance tests; she will now mate with him and produce offspring.
It is very tempting to draw a comparison between these behaviors and a human female
waiting passively while a male tries to catch her eye, casually flashing his gold Rolex in
her direction. But here questions arise which run deeper than blood and bone, because
human beings are not just bundles of fur and instinct. They are capable of self-awareness
and imagination-in other words, consciousness.
The higher an animal has evolved up the evolutionary scale, the more its consciousness is
revealed. A dog, for example, can fool its owner into thinking it's a "real person"; a
guppy cannot. The obvious factors are brain size and complexity of the nervous system.
But closer investigation uncovers a far more interesting datum: the more advanced a
creature is, the more likely it is to engage in sex for its own sake-that is, for pleasure-even
if the female is not in estrus (heat). So chimpanzees (our closest relatives among the great
apes) fornicate indiscriminately throughout their waking hours, and dolphins have been
filmed writhing around in undersea orgies irrespective of procreation. Like our simian
relatives, human females do not have to be in estrus to participate in intercourse-they are
potentially available at all times of the year. In African rain forests, pygmy chimps
copulate year round and often several times a day. Female chimps will "pull a train",
mating with as many as 20 males at a session. And the females, which have huge,
protuberant clitorises, often engage in "lesbianism"-they grapple each other face-to-face
and rub genitals. This is clearly sex for sex's sake, performed obviously just because it
feels good. So the notion that higher-order females are genetically programmed to select
a mate only for the purpose of providing support and protection simply does not hold up
at the primate (and thus human) level. Female chimpanzees have sex with any male who
happens to come along.
The human brain is larger and more intricate than a chimp's; it is the difference between
an abacus and a computer. Women are not born as genetic robots, biologically doomed to
screen out all but the most powerful males. They are quite free to select for such noble
traits as kindness or compassion or sense of humor. But clearly they do not. In a society
which permits women to pursue careers and to be paid according to their hard work and
ambition, why do they still desire rich and powerful men? Why can't they support a poor
man just as they force men with money to pay their bills? Why can a slob splashing in the
shallow end of the gene pool win the lottery and attract a bevy of desirable females, but a
myopic graduate student preparing for his Ph.D. in particle physics most probably will
not? Why do women insist on "romance" (withholding sex for money) before they'll let a
man into their beds, instead of enjoying sex just because it feels good? Like the chimps,
why don't women just want to fuck all day long?