I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

496. Demisexuality And Cognition

Demisexuality And Cognition

I claim:  Demisexuality (defined as "sexual attraction to people they know personally, usually based on some kind of emotional connection, whether platonic or romantic. They can’t feel sexually attracted to strangers, celebrities, or people they don’t very well." by is not a deviance, it is the appropriate evolutionary adaptation of sexuality as a part of the evolution of human cognition.  

Demisexuality as a concept causes a lot of confusion, as long as it is not explained as a part of a general model of human sexuality.   

The following model includes two main factors, sexual dishomeostasis and sexual behavior.    Because of biological differences, I am simplifying my model to only exploring the male side, which is determined by physiologically obvious indications.    In females, the procreation instinct interferes too much.  

The reasons for my simplification are shown in this research: 
Cark/Hatfield: Gender differences in receptivity to sexual offers
In two studies, when a stranger was approached by a woman saying "I have been noticing you around campus.  I find you to be very attractive." and "Would you go to bed with me tonight?", the majority of men agreed.   In 1978, 75% did, in 1982, 69%.   In the reverse situation, all woman approached by a man refused.

The study was done on college students.  Such women have above average education and intelligence and no pressing need to marry a provider.   The men are at an age of high biological libido and before being restricted with obligations to a wife and children.  
Therefore the proportion of how many men agreed in this study is not representative for other social and cultural groups.  
But the different reaction of men compared with women in this study allows to conclude, that the reason for self-labeling as demisexual by considering it as a deviance is also different for men and for women.  
It is predominantly a male problem to experience deviance from the social norm of oversexation as a physiological deficit.  Females are under social pressure to act against their natural inclination and perceive their own demisexuality as a social deviance.   I explained this already in entry 493. (The Social Norm Of The Drooling Men)

My model of male sexuality is based upon two factors:
  • Perceived sexual dishomeostasis
  • Sexual behavior as a reaction to the presence and availability of a target body

As I mentioned before, I consider the strength of the libido in every age group of men as a continuum with a distribution along a bell curve.   The perceived strength and urge of sexual dishomeostasis represent the innate strength of the libido. As this is a model, I omit the effects of health issues.

Simplified, at both extreme ends of the scale, the libido determines the sexual behavior.   In the middle of the bell curve, sexuality is controlled and modified by human cognition.

1.  At one extreme end of the curve are the dangerous promiscuous jerks, who are so oversexed with high libido, that they are not only drooling over every woman's body but who are ruthless emotional psychopaths, who use and discard women without any conscience or consideration, even by force and coercion.  

2.  At the other extreme of the bell curve are the truly nonsexuals, who have no or very little libido and no need for sexual homeostation.

3.  In the middle of the bell curve, there is a moderate perception of dishomeostasis, but the experience and practice of sexuality is modified and controlled by cognition.   The cognitive control over sexual reactiveness to the perception of stimuli is a byproduct of the evolution of cognition.   

Without cognition, a man would not be different from any non-human animal.  A man without cognition and in the state of the recurrent dishomeostasis after the latency time since his last copulation, would drool over every woman's body, who is genetically suitable to trigger his instincts.   In the animal world, whenever a male feels dishomeostasis and perceives a target body, sexual behavior is the automatic reaction of a robot determined by instincts only.  

In this middle part of the bell curve of libido, there are several possible reasons, why at a given moment an available target body does not lead to sexual behavior.   A target body is the body of a woman, who is a stranger and whose physical attributes are such, that they trigger the automatic sexual behavior of every high libido jerk.  

3.1.  A man in a relationship, which maintains his homeostasis, never gets into the situation of being driven by so much dishomeostasis, that he is tempted to make use of the target body.   This situation shows the benefits of bonded and committed monogamy.  

3.2.  Other needs, urges and sensations are temporarily stronger than the stimulation by the target body, examples are hunger, fatigue, danger, sickness.   This effect limits the behavior of all men, no matter the strength of the libido.  

3.3.  A man has enough cognitive control to resist the instinctive responsiveness to the target body.   In contrast to animals, humans do not react automatically to stimuli.   Human cognition allows to base decisions upon the memory of past experiences, the knowledge of consequences and the knowledge of not directly visible additional factors.    The refusal to react to a target body with sexual behavior can be based upon the anticipation of better alternatives or of the unwanted consequences.   This rational evaluation can avoid the plight of some women, but it does not avoid those men's behavior, who have come to the conclusion, that they can get away with the abuse of a woman.   

3.4. A man's cognition interferes with the responsiveness to the target body.   This is, what is usually defined as demisexuality.   But this is more complex, because the human cognition can override instincts on several different levels of demisexuality.

Level 1.   Stimuli are filtered from perception, before they reach the brain.
  • Some people with autism and Asperger's are known to be oblivious to incoming non-verbal signals.   An example are persons, who bore others with endless monologues, because they are mindblind to the non-verbal expression of others' boredom, annoyance, disapproval.
    It is possible, that the sexual stimuli from the target body can be filtered the same way.   I have been speculating before, that there is a personality type, that is a part of Asperger's, but which can also be found in people, who are far from having any clinically relevant symptoms.   Maybe demisexuality is a part of this personality.    

Level 2.  Cognitive needs are stronger than physical needs. 

Stimuli from the target body are discarded or deactivated subconsciously, when emotional needs are stronger.  Such cognitive and emotional needs can be:
  • The needs to feel self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth in accordance with an identity as a person with morals, education and intelligence.   In this identity, the body is only the container and supply system for the brain.  
  • A value system, in which human cognition is valued highly, while animal instincts are despised.   There is a strong need to avoid cognitive dissonance by living up to the own standards.
  • An Epicurean personality, to which emotional and intellectual stimulation causes generally stronger pleasure and joy than physical stimulation.   This includes the subjective experience of intellectual intimacy as very beneficial.
  • Sensitivity and empathy blocking the perception of sexual stimuli, unless the partner shows unequivocal signs of happiness and attachment

Level 3.  Competing conscious stimuli

The stranger inside the target body not only sends out sexual stimuli, but also other stimuli, that are competing and by being stronger, override any sexual attraction on a conscious level.   
  • Disgust sensitivity to a stranger's body impedes promiscuity.  Only a slow process of creating emotional closeness can be strong enough to override the disgust.   More in entry 108.   (Promiscuity and Disgust Sensitivity)
  • Repulsion or fear based upon nonverbal signals or knowledge about the person as for example can be a contagious sickness or a criminal record.   

4.  The social norm has a strong impact upon what sexual behavior men consider as appropriate, no matter how much or how little it corresponds with their real needs determined by their place on the bell curve of libido.  In entry 493  (The Social Norm Of The Drooling Men), I pointed out the detrimental effects of the social norm of extremely and unrealistically high libido for all men.   But the social norm of celibacy, that prevents the catholic priests from marrying the housekeeper, with whom they have developed a monogamous attachment, is equally unrealistic.   
There is a need for a new social norm, which focuses upon both, the realistic recognition and acceptance of every man's individual level of libido and upon consideration and recognition of the real needs of women.  
The drooling promiscuous jerks, who are not controlled by cognition, are deviant and sick.   It is absurd to consider them as the role models for men in the current social norm.    A social norm is most suitable, when it fits best the needs of the majority, while it controls the hazard of the deviant and protects the weak and vulnerable.  

Monogamy is the most suitable concept for the men in the middle part of the bell curve, whose libido is at a healthy medium level.    Monogamy provides the best protection for women against being hurt and harmed.  
A new social norm of moderate libido and monogamy is the most appropriate to suit the actual evolutionary level of the human cognition. The oversexation of societies, which value the high libido of the men, who drool over every woman's body, is outdated and anachronistic.