Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Romantic comedies can spoil your love life (via Newsalert):

Watching romantic comedies can spoil your love life, a study by a university in Edinburgh has claimed.

Rom-coms have been blamed by relationship experts at Heriot Watt University for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to love.

They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often fail to communicate with their partner.....

The university's Dr Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counsellors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

"We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds.


I would assume that women watch these romantic comedies more often than men. If, as the research in the article shows, women then simultaneously communicate less with their partner and at the same time expect their partner to know what they need without communication, it is no wonder the women feel upset or betrayed in some way. Yet, at the same time, it is no wonder men are often baffled due to a lack of communication and high expectations that they meet some type of unrealistic need. Of course, this can also happen in reverse with men being the ones with the unrealistic fantasies--but I would say not as often. What do you think?

111 Comments:

Blogger Webutante said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7:12 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Webutante said...

I would agree with you Helen. Do you remember "Love Story" and the famous take home line, "love means never having to say you're sorry?"

Now there's an unrealistic expectation if ever there was one...at least in my experience!

And for the most part, women are the purveyors of romantic myths and unrealistic expectations.

7:14 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger fred said...

and on the other hand, porn can perhaps mess up marital expectations of what sex is or should be like...and that usually viewed by men.

8:05 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

The movies are just as guilty as pop music. The gist of the message is that if you find your true love your life will be perfect. How many movies end with 2 people getting married? That is the big kahuna in movie world, you have some sort of struggle to get the relationship off the ground and once a man and a woman decide it is time to walk down the aisle everything falls into place. I always want to see the sequel, when the couple realizes that deciding to get married after 3 weeks of dating isn't the best idea.

The first lyric of this fun little Bollywood song is "He who walks in the shadow of love will have paradise beneath his feet". I shake my head, I think those 2 should sit down and have a few honest conversations rather than just mooning after each other.

But I don't think modern American's romantic communication challenges can be blamed entirely on the movies and songs. We aren't the greatest communicators, and that has to do with culture. In fact, I don't see any culture winning in the communication arena. Women want to be seen as nice and polite, men want to avoid confrontation (I'm generalizing here). It's a recipe for lousy communication.

8:10 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Terry said...

The troubles start in early childhood with the knight in shining armor meme. This is where the wildly unrealistic expectations begin. Then, they're perpetuated from adolescence onwards with music, television, and the movies.

Of course, I'm not saying ALL women have such life's experiences. However, in my spotty dating and marital history, it's definitely been my experience for two plus decades.

9:05 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Mark said...

My wife and I had problems like this when we were dating, she said I was a nice guy, I treated her well (unlike other guys she dated), and she loved me, but I didn't fit the image she had in her head of the kind of man she'd marry. Took some time for her to shed the "knight on a white horse" image and realize that while computer programmers may lack the romantic excitement of the knight, they're much less likely to track horse manure onto the carpet.

We've been married now for nine years and are still going strong, so I guess I beat the knight.

9:22 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

In general I agree that women have more unrealistic expectations. Most men I know subscribe to the "she's good enough" philosophy while more women want someone better.

That said, the most unrealistic person I've known was a male who believed he could find his princess and they could live happily ever after. He was a friend of a friend, very intelligent, college English professor. I lost contact with him and don't know if he ever found his princess.

9:25 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger The Mean Aunt said...

ha! You should watch movies with my mother. She was always pointing out why onscreen relationships would never work in real life.
Very annoying and very helpful. I do it to my kids now, immune to the cries of, "M-o-m it's just a show."

9:36 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Fred nailed this one. Nailed, heh heh.

Trey

9:58 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Derek said...

Mark wrote, "...computer programmers may lack the romantic excitement of the knight, they're much less likely to track horse manure onto the carpet."

HUZZAH! I'm gonna use that quote the next opportunity I get.

10:22 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it.

That has to be one of the most absurd yet popular fantasies ever.

Look, most female fantasies fail because of others' human inability (to read minds, etc.). Most male fantasies fail only because of others' unwillingness.

I like The Mean Aunt's mom. Watching movies (or TV) with people like her is hilarious fun, as far as I'm concerned!

10:39 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Brett Rogers said...

In business relationships, we put our needs out there in clear language during contract negotiations for a successful partnership. To do less than that would be conventionally labelled foolish.

Personal relationships require the same clarity and intent. Not communicating our needs is just a way to hide and escape and blame it on the other person on the way out. And it's laziness.

My wife, a relationship expert in her own right, reminds me and our kids now and then of this nugget:

"We have to teach others how to treat us."

We all have needs. If we ignore our needs by not communicating them, it should come as no surprise when others ignore our needs as well.

11:00 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Ern said...

Of course, this can also happen in reverse with men being the ones with the unrealistic fantasies--but I would say not as often. What do you think?

I think that I'll stick with my unrealistic fantasies. They don't nag me, expect me to know what they're thinking, or throw tantrums.

11:09 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger highlander said...

Mean Aunt -- Great! You and your mom have the right idea.

Fantasy is fun. Life would be horribly dull without it. The trick is to remember that's what it is and not let it become an expectation of real life.

Remember Mr. Rogers? He had two distinct sections on his set. One was for real and the other for fantasy. He emphasized the difference with the toy train he used to move from one to the other.

11:14 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Soccer Dad said...

I think to start off a romantic relationship you need some of that movie magic.

The question is to what degree do people internalize and expect that life together will always be like a movie and forget the day to day living that makes up most of our lives.

Still, I found the choices of movies in the article curious.

For example there's a photo from 4 weddings and a funeral. But that's not romantic. Andee MacDowell breaks her engagement to hook up with Hugh Grant who promises her no long lasting commitment. I can't imagine anything less romantic.

Serendipity is also a curious choice. While it's certainly romantic and I'm a big John Cusack fan, it also was troubling. Both Cusack and his love interest break their engagements to answer the call of fate. While the movie tries to assuage our consciences over the main couple's amorality - Cusack's (ex-)fiance seems a perfectly fine young lady - by making the woman's (ex-)fiance a self centered jerk. But Cusack and his love interest break their commitments on the basis of hoping to find something better. It's a charming movie, to be sure, but amoral.

Runaway Bride, too, features a central character who leaves her fiance at the altar.

Then three of the movies mentioned involve breaking commitments. Is that romantic? Maybe the problem with these movies isn't that they're romantic, but that they glorify people who betray others.

11:21 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Terry is exactly correct. It is astounding how much of our contemporary ideas about romance actually derive from medieval romances (which, incidentally, were inherently adulterous, e.g. Lancelot and Guinnevere, but that's another topic).

She's the beautiful, unattainable princess. He's the handsome, courageous knight. All he has to do is go on a perilous and testing quest to prove his love for, and they'll live happily ever after. Yeah, right.

Forget about these TV shows and romantic comedies, they're only an extension of the larger problem, which is romance novels. This is the largest publishing industry in the world, with millions of books sold every year and billions in profits. Funny thing is, they're all written by women, they're all read by women, and they all follow the same formula: girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl wins boy back. (This is the underlying mindset that is the root of the problem--it's all about her, not about them.)

What I find most amusing about romance novels is that the No. 1 best selling book of all time--it's a romance novel, and it has sold more copies and been read by more people than any other book ever published--does not follow the romance formula. I am referring of course to Gone With the Wind.

Scarlett O'Hara loved Ashley Wilkes. Why? Because he was a scion, a son of privilege. He's the son of a wealthy plantation owner. She's the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner. It's just so right they should be together! Southern gentry, you see.

Well, if it's so right, why does Ashley not love Scarlett? Because he knew her. He grew up with her, the mansion down the road; they went to school together. He knew she would never be anything other than a stupid, spoiled, conceited little girl. So he married her best friend, Melanie. (Snort.)

Why does Ashley love Melanie? Because she's a woman. Comfortable in her feminity, she understands the terms and conditions of the marriage contract, and does not question her role and responsibilities in the relationship. Unlike Scarlett, who thinks she's special.

If Scarlett is just a stupid, spoiled, conceited little girl, why does Rhett Butler love her? I mean, really, this guy could have had any woman he wanted. Tall, dark, handsome, brave, daring, courageous, rich. Why would a man like that risk everything for a stupid little girl like Scarlett?

Because she was what he couldn't have when he was growing up. Are you kidding? Her father would have shot him if he even looked at her. Southern gentry, you see. So Rhett mistakenly believed that all he had to do was make himself into a man--he made his fortune gun running and bootlegging, a perilous and testing quest--make millions, and then Scarlett would love him. (Notice the medieval cartoon playing out in his mind.) So he did, and she didn't.

Why does Scarlett not love Rhett? I mean, this guy did everything for her. He made millions for her; he went to war for her; he saved her family estate. Why then does Scarlett not love him?

Because he was not a scion. He was not southern gentry. He was only, in her mind, a commoner. In other words, she thought she was better than him. (Notice that this is the exact problem the modern American girl has in the relationship with the man in her life.)

Well, if she didn't love him, why did she marry him? Because she needed his money. Why else?

So Ashley married Melanie, and Scarlett married Rhett. Then, Melanie dies prematurely, leaving Ashley grieving and all alone. And Melanie even tells Scarlett on her death bed, "Captain Butler--be kind to him. He--loves you so." Scarlett asks, "Rhett?"

She never cared about him. She loved Ashely, she lost Ashley, and now this is her big chance. Girl wins boy back!

Not in this book. Ashley didn't love her. Ashley never loved her. Ashley wouldn't have anything to do with her. Her husband, Captain Rhett Butler, did love her, but now he's leaving! And as he's walking out the door, Scarlett suddenly comes to the realization of how incredibly stupid she's been, and that she really does love him. This is her last chance. Girl wins boy back!

"Rhett! Rhett! Don't go! Don't go! Where will I go? What will I do?"

"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Forget formula, which is fantasy. This is about plot, which is real life. Girl meets man. Girl refuses to grow up. Man leaves.

This is why it is a mistake to consider Ashley Wilkes a wimp, as he is commonly portrayed. He knew a woman when he saw one, and he married her. Yes, it is unfortunate that Melanie dies. But when she was sick and dying, Ashley did not question his responsibilities. He was right there by her side, soothing her, assuring her, loving her, all the way to the bitter end. This is a man. Besides, after Melanie passes away, Ashley is still rich.

Contrast that with Rhett Butler. He didn't know a stupid, spoiled, conceited little girl when he saw one, and he married her. (Even the best of men make mistakes in love.) And when the entire relationship falls apart, because his wife couldn't get over her school girl crush (read romance formula), all he has left, out of all of his millions, is the clothes he's wearing when he walks out the door. But at least he has his manhood, for what it's worth, which after having wasted it is effectively nothing.

The point of all this is that people make a grave mistake when they look to romance comedies as the basis for their relationships. Margret Mitchell didn't understand romance as much as she understood life, the fundamental relationship between men and women. That's why her novel is more of a tragedy than it is a history.

It goes to a definition of terms. Romance (with a capital R) is an informing strategy, by which we make sense of the world; romance (with a small r) is a love story, by which we make ruin of our lives.

Love is for fools. Even the most casual observer knows that. It is only knowledge, honesty and trust (what Ashley and Melanie had) that makes for a relationship. What Rhett and Scarlett had, medieval love and the need for money, paves the way for self-destruction.

In conclusion, I apologize to Dr. Helen for using up so much of her bandwidth, but this is one of my pet peeves.

And as far as the modern American girl goes, Scarletts the lot of them, I'd rather have the money.

"We've been running 'round in our present state
Hoping help will come from above
But even angels there make the same mistake
In love, in love, in love."
--Roxy Music

11:24 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"... that the No. 1 best selling book of all time--it's a romance novel, and it has sold more copies and been read by more people than any other book ever published--does not follow the romance formula. I am referring of course to Gone With the Wind."

---------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books

Is this kind of like Bill Gates told IBM to patent DOS or he was going to do it (completely contrary to patent law, see 35 USC 102(f) for starters).

Do you just make this stuff up out of thin air? Do you not understand what you read and report it back in a distorted way?

Knock the ego down a notch and please try to stick with the truth.

11:36 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Did I ever tell you about the time I strangled a full-grown Bengalese tiger with my bare hands?

Got a few scratches in the process.

It was during a long, hot summer in the Boer War, and we were containing the natives ...

11:40 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:58 AM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

women then simultaneously communicate less with their partner and at the same time expect their partner to know what they need without communication

I see this all the time from women.

"Oh, I really want [whatever] for my birthday, but I know he won't think to get it."

"Oh, I'm really hoping we'll do [whatever] for Valentine's Day but..." [mournful sigh]

Love means being able to articulate your desires to your loved one in a way that does not make him/her feel like a schmuck, and then showing grace and love when he/she still fails to meet the expectations. Of course, that comes after you have done what you can to learn and fulfill your loved one's desires.

12:02 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Sad_Dad said...

Someone once told me:

Men marry women hoping they never change and they always do.

And

Women marry men hoping they can change them and never can.


Something to think about.

12:14 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

From the inside cover:

"Within three weeks of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had captured the attention of more than 176,000 readers, and the following year it was awarded the coveted Pulitzer Prize. By December 1938, the total number of copies printed in the United States was over 1,788,000. By December 1939, when the film was first shown, sales had reached over 2,153,00 copies and the book had been translated in full into sixteen foreign languages.

Today, nearly forty years later, this powerful novel is available in thirty-one different countries; it appears in both Braille and Talking Book forms for the blind. And it can still be said: There never was such a book as Gone With the Wind."

Not bad for a 26-year old housewife who started writing her first and only novel while confined to bed with a broken ankle.

Yeah, I read over that list of "best sellers." What I noticed is that most of them were sales of multiple copies published over decades, if not centuries. That is not the same as one book which took the world by storm on its first publication. Any of those been made into one of the best movies of all time? I didn't think so.

What's the matter, JG? Divorced? Broke? Disappointed at your own failure in life? Yeah. You don't have any money, do you? And you never will, will you? No.

Grow up, boy. No one cares for what you think or say about anything. I certainly don't.

Do you make up your own pretence to manhood out of thin air? Appently so. Why don't you go whittle your little whick and pretend it means something? Not that it would impress anyone, but hey you could at least try.

12:37 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger DADvocate said...

JG - I remember the Boer War. They found you with a spear through your side stuck in a tree.

They asked, "Does it hurt?"

"Only when I laugh," you replied.

:-)

12:39 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Terry said...

@GawainsGhost - I find your analysis of "Gone with the Wind" particularly insightful, and I would like to add on to your thoughts.

I find that many women of today cherry-pick to their own benefit and convenience the aspects of feminism that are most favorable to them, while discarding outright the parts which espouse anything remotely like a responsibility. I've had more than a few experiences with women who *seem* like ambitious, career oriented women, who demand workplace equality with men. That's all well and good with me. The problem I have is when time goes by, when you find out their extremely lavish spending habits, these same independent women often have a strong sense of entitlement that the man behave like a knight in shining armor, and bail them out of their very expensive financial messes. They also directly correlate the size of the rock on their finger with how much you love or don't love them.

Then, when you can no longer take anymore, and you leave them and no longer give a damn, a la Rhett Butler, do women of these type take ANY responsibility, even 1%, for the break-up? No. They play the helpless victim of male cruelty, and their friends and relatives entirely take their side.

I've known many men who've had similar experiences. In essence, the stereotype is that women are usually more mature and compassionate than men. Here's what I find - they are mature at work and home, but become little girls in romantic relationships. ALL their compassion is saved for their children, and family. If YOU, the man, have a problem, well forget about it. Your job as a man is to have no weaknesses.

Now to anticipate any negative responses - no, believe it or not, I'm not bitter. I'm trying to give an objective account of my reality, and those of my friends. And yes, I've tried to learn from my mistakes, and I've been burned. And as a therapist I think I just might be more insightful into character than the average person. I think, like many men, I've been bred to give to and provide for a woman, to be chivalrous, to be respectful. I think statistically there are just many women out there who seek this, and use it to their advantage.

Now I'm to the point of frankly my dears, I don't give a damn about any of you. I'll be your friend, I'll be your one night stand, I won't lie to you and treat you with as much dignity as possible. But long-term relationship? Fuggetaboutit.

1:38 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

Helen,

You mean you don't already know what I think? ;-)

1:56 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger ak said...

"How many movies end with 2 people getting married?"

In all fairness, this is how Western literature largely defines a happy ending. It's not a new idea. From the Greeks to Shakespeare and onward, comedies end in marriage.

Also, throughout literature, lovers misunderstanding each other and/or having the wrong end of the stick regarding love is a plot catalyst.

I agree that romance novels and rom-coms give people unrealistic ideas. I'm just not sure this is the first time in history that it's happened.

2:54 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Tonto said...

Boy am I glad that I figured out real early that it's all a combination of mutual attraction, respect, regard, and common goals. This ain't mud-pies and Doctor we're playing here.

3:07 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Jason,

"You mean you don't already know what I think? ;-)"

I never was a mind reader.

3:20 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JPT said...

Yeah but 'Slasher Flicks' redress the balance in life because after watching them you say 'wow I'm glad my life's SO GOOD!'

3:26 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

This thread reminds me that I have not watched a movie of my wife's choosing for too long. It is my job to sit still without headphones, laugh at anything that is funny, utter not even a critical sigh or groan, pass the tissue box, and put my arm around her when she crys.

If I cry, she has won.

Trey (who is a man and likes to turn situations into contests)

5:58 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Well, at least the price of gas has come down for a while.

6:13 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Meaning it's at least cheaper to drive around while arguing over which restaurant to eat at, and what movie to go see. The problems between men and women will never be solved. Enjoy the calm between the storms.

6:18 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Thom said...

Of all the movies listed I think "Runaway Bride" least belongs there. As I recall, the movie was not really about two people overcoming obstacles to get together, even though it is.

It was about a woman, Maggie, who so buys into the romance/you-gotta-have-someone ideal that she remakes herself in order to become what every man wants.

In the end she takes time to realize who she really is, and ONLY THEN is she able to participate in a healthy relationship.

Yes, it's bad that she kept leaving all those men at the altar. It would have been even worse if she'd gone through with it and spent the rest of her life lying to her husband about who she really is.

Now much of the unrealism about romantic comedies is because of the accepted structures of story-telling. You have your plot line, your rising action, your climax, and your falling action--which is the shortest section, just long enough to give the audience some sense of satisfaction at the resolution. For us to see the couple as they learn to live together after the climax of finally coming together would require a resolution longer than the rest of the movie combined. And it would be BORING!!!

That's not to say that people don't pick up unrealistic expectations from that, but frankly, I think people just have unrealistic expectations, period. The source could be anything.

The fact is that men and women in most cases just think differently--and are so used to the way they think that they can't quite understand that their partner thinks differently. Communication only comes when people realize there is a need to communicate. And in that I think we men can be just as guilty as women. I know I am.

Romantic comedies aren't made to school people on that point. That's what dramas are for.

6:21 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@GawainsGhost said... "Today, nearly forty years later, this powerful novel is available in thirty-one different countries; it appears in both Braille and Talking Book forms for the blind. And it can still be said: There never was such a book as Gone With the Wind."

Contrast "Gone with the Wind" with the highest grossing romantic movie of all time and what it teaches about romance.

What should a young, Hollywood hero do when he sees another man's fiance contemplating suicide on the back of a ship? Pursue her behind his back, of course.

What should a young Hollywood heroine do when she decides she does not want to marry her fiance? Go and break off the engagement like an adult? Of course not. She is to pose nude for an unemployed man she just met wearing a piece of jewelry given to her by her fiance, leave the nude portrait with a crude note for the fiance to find, then run off and have sex in the back seat of the fiances car. And when the fiance is *gasp* angry about this, he's a jerk (of course, if a man did this to a woman her anger would be righteous indignation, but that's another story).

We all know what movie I refer to, and how many millions of young people were influenced by it. Icing on the cake after years of cartoons promoting the frog prince (when you find a toad, kiss him), Lady and the Tramp (chicken thieves are great partners), Beauty and the Beast (who cares that he's mean, her love will fix him), Alladin (who cares that he's a theif, he has a good heart), and various soap operas (the best men ride motorcycles and get into bar fights, villians wear ties).

6:27 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

According to the biggest book ever sold that was published - I am of course referring to the Bible - Gawainsghost has a massive log in his eye.

According to the second biggest book ever sold - the little red book of Chairman Mao's sayings - he also ... wait ... I can't rembember that one anymore. But I still mean the first one.

Anyway Gawainsghost, how about that patent thing? Did Bill Gates and IBM push DOS back and forth? Can you dig up a copy of the DOS patent and confirm your story? (www.uspto.gov).

7:14 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I fully admit that I'm dirt poor - I'm typing this from the library in the homeless shelter - but doesn't Gawain also have to wait for his mom to croak before he gets rich? Or did I misunderstand his bragging.

7:16 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

My experience in life is that men get married and then just kind of want to keep it that way. They would be content to just plod along at work, move up if they can, and keep life as it is.

That's just a generalization, some men are naturally not like that.

My experience in life is that women see men as a project-in-process. No man can fit their expectations, so they just kind of marry a lump of clay - but they see the statue inside of it. They know that if they can mold and prod and push and cajole and extort and threaten and withhold sex - he will become exactly what they want.

I don't even fault women for that. Men for the most part just put up with it (women are the majority of filers for divorce). Men should not accept some woman who only views him as a fashion accessory that additionally spits out $100 bills whenever she wants. Children will remain children if they don't HAVE TO grow up.

7:29 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

but doesn't Gawain also have to wait for his mom to croak before he gets rich?

I say we are going to be treated to a minimum of 10 paragraphs now. JG, you knew better than to say that. ;)

7:31 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

I wonder if this thread can get as many comments as an average Palin thread.

8:16 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

Men are stupid in a way because they think that marriage means what it seems to mean.

But it doesn't. Many men are disappointed because they thought that their wife was going to be an actual partner in life and that there was an end to the chasing game during dating. Nope. A lot of women are simply going to make your life miserable, for no other reason than they can, while you have to put stress on yourself to move up money-wise. She's still looking and still evaluating herself on the market, don't kid yourself, unless she has become a fat pig that YOU don't want.

And on it goes. It's not the end, it's just the start of a new season of intense drama. A safe harbor it isn't.

8:22 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

MB said.... And on it goes. It's not the end, it's just the start of a new season of intense drama. A safe harbor it isn't.

8:22 PM, December 17, 2008

That's true, it's all conditional on her physical attractiveness.

8:25 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Michael Maier said...

My g/f was watching the end of Pretty Woman on cable and said "I wish that could happen to me".

I turned to her and said "You do realize YOU'D HAVE TO BE A WHORE FIRST, RIGHT?"

Women hate it when you rudely introduce reality into their silly fantasies.

8:49 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Michael Maier:

Maybe the comment about the whore didn't hit her like you think. Many women don't give a friggin' rip if they can get the money - they only have to ACT LIKE they would "never do that" until a real opportunity comes along.

8:52 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

A whole lot of marriages I see just turn into a kind of low-level bickering after 10 or 15 years.

Just the same low levels of frustration year after year after year. But people stay together. I guess he thinks he wouldn't have time to chase after women again - at least he gets rotten sex once a month - and she thinks that with her new fat butt she could only getting a guy earning less (although she'd be gone in a second if a higher-earner was interested).

Just like a fairy tale.

8:54 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Oh, I forgot ... a fairy tale in which the man usually has to give the woman money - sometimes lots of money - if she decides it's over.

But maybe you can be a supplicant and grovel for her to stay so that you can still live in the house that you paid for. If she approves.

9:01 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Retriever said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:20 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Retriever - it's women like you that give the entire gender a really bad reputation. You would ditch your husband because he watches porn? Where do you get off with that holier-then-thou attitude? Men have needs.

11:37 PM, December 17, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

For the life of me, I can't figure it out. When relationships are new, things are pretty incredible. Both are on their "best behavior". Both are perhaps full of crap. Seems in a healthy relationship - whatever that really is - a couple eventually reaches some sort of place and is able to stay there. When my 20 + year marriage exploded I did a lot of soul searching. I really wanted to know if I had changed, if I had been the main contributor to what happened over time.

After ten years of thinking about it, the answer is no. I was perfect!

5:27 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Major-General said...

Allow me to quote myself: Romantic comedies are rarely either romantic or comedic.

6:17 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Retriever: That bossy attitude found among some females really shines through.

Your husband is a little child who has to be told what to do.

While you're making your long list of things he can and can't do - and checking it twice - he may be thinking about leaving YOU (if he's smart). Then you'd have to find a new meal ticket to boss around.

6:51 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

Come on folks. I think retriever is a bit off, but her belief has a few grains of truth (porn is destructive, IMO). Her belief is also very uncommon (partly because we live in a man=bad women=good culture). We don't need to slam her. Let's try dialogue first.

@Retriever:

No one here is saying that porn isn't destructive. Your argument of "which is worse" and "which is more deadly" is not as cut and dry as you think. Does anyone seriously believe that there is more pornography watched than the doses of romantic comedies (coupled with all day injections of soap operas and other emotional porn for women)?

I think porn is destructive, if for no other reason that there is no way wives can compare--they don't have personal trainers, choreographers, reshoots, implants, etc. It is unfair to wives.

The destruction done by romantic comedies and soap operas (and a significant portion of television shows) is a bit more subtle, but similar in its destruction. Problem is, just like the unrealistic fantasies brought on by porn, much female entertainment creates unrealistic fantasies. However, unlike the ones brought on by porn, too many think they are realistic. Few husbands watch porn and think "my wife should do that," even though it may foster unfair disappointment. However, many wives watch shows that leave them either bitter towards men, or thinking "if he loved me, he'd do that" or "he'd know what I'm thinking" or anything else.

Also, unlike porn, this constant IV drip of negativity about men and unrealistic expectations in the hearts of women is not just available in the 18 and over section of the video store--it is available all day every day on cable, being absorbed by girls through every stage of their life.

Please, get off the feminist roller coaster. Men and women alike both have virtues and faults. Most agree that porn is a problem, but few see the destruction of romantic comedies. Yet, when it comes up, you shift the topic and go on a tangent against men. It isn't fair.

8:24 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

I wouldn't put up with a man that watches porn either. But I make that point clear at the start of any relationship. I think porn is gross.

However, that's just me. I have some female friends that aren't bothered by porn at all, they enjoy it themselves. To each his/her own.

8:25 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I don't know if it's destructive for all people or not, Trust, although you seem to have made yourself the spokesman for everyone here.

As a side note, these bossy women damn well better also be the main breadwinner - if the man earns the money and the woman bosses him around, that's just too much using. I feel sorry for the man, and someone ought to show him how to get away from the pig.

9:19 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

So, Retriever, what we have is on the one part "romance" novels, movies, etc, which cause a problem because of how you react to them, and on the other part "porn", which causes a problem because of how the same person reacts to them.

I see a common thread...

10:25 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Helen said...

Cham and Retriever,

Women can't control men's sexuality, much as you think you can. Frankly, I could care less if a man looks at porn. The truth is, most of them do. So what? If I was a man and a woman told me she would divorce me over porn, I would be concerned about her control issues. Cham, it is good that you are honest and tell men up front so they know what they are getting into.

10:47 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger BobH said...

I've always wondered if women don't dislike porn because (1) some men prefer watching porn and masturbating over actually having to deal with a real woman, which reduces women's pool of available victims, er, husbands or (2) women are afraid that men will expect them to act as if they actually want and enjoy sexual intercourse.

The first explanation involves women denigrating their competition, which everybody does on occasion, and the second explanation involves women making believe that they are doing "it" for its intrinsic pleasure instead of an extrinsic reward, i.e., a new Mercedes.

Incidentally, I've known only two women who watched porn and both did so only because they boyfriend/husband wanted them to.

10:55 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger TMink said...

Trust wrote about porn saying: "It is unfair to wives."

I agree. But I would add that it can be unfair to husbands as well. It is just that not too many women watch porn.

It is a brain thing. The part of the brain that turns what we see into sexual excitement is 250% larger in men than in women.

So we as guys are hardwired to find porn appealing. But cocaine is appealing as well. 8)

Trey

11:16 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I've heard something along those lines with regard to prostitution, BobH.

The idea is that women don't like being undercut in the market for sexual services. A pay-as-you-go plan (prostitution) may be more economical than a long-term purchase or lease plan with a massive balloon payment at the end (marriage).

The things stopping men from opting for the pay-as-you-go plan involve a general feeling of sleeziness, the possibility of disease etc.

If you got rid of that, and also the illegality, a whole lot of women in the marriage racket would be out of business.

11:16 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Holy crap. Both porn and bodice rippers are entertainment. Neither is in itself destructive. The juxtaposition on life by the observer might be. This is more of the "the thing is evil" concept. The 16oz pall peen hammer is not a murder instrument until some moron kills someone with it. Same here.

11:17 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

It's a rare occurrence, Oligonicella, but I agree with you.

11:20 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

By the way, I wonder what effect there would be if, say in several hundred years, robots could be built that were absolutely indistinguishable from human females.

Would men still put all of their money and hard work at risk for a human female? For a human female who is bossy and not even attractive with time? Something to ponder.

11:29 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

I mean indistinguishable aside from the fact that the robot has an "Off" button.

11:34 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

And it doesn't eat a lot of food.

11:34 AM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger br549 said...

Sex is a contact sport. That's about all I wish to say about it. Don't want to fog up any screens.

1:22 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

The female robot is a reality.

2:13 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Cham said...

I wouldn't put up with a man that watches porn either. But I make that point clear at the start of any relationship. I think porn is gross.

However, that's just me. I have some female friends that aren't bothered by porn at all, they enjoy it themselves. To each his/her own.

8:25 AM, December 18, 2008

You must be a real bitch with that attitude. 99% of men have viewed porn and will continue to when you are dating them. I guess the smarter ones will manage to hide it from you, unless of course you demand to check their hard drive the first time you come over to their place.

2:44 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Cham says she will not date a man who views porn. Alex says:

You must be a real bitch with that attitude.

What is bitchy about that attitude? Sounds like she is open with her expectations right from the start. If a man doesn't like it, he doesn't have to continue the relationship.

3:29 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Blogger Marbel said...

Cham says she will not date a man who views porn. Alex says:

You must be a real bitch with that attitude.

What is bitchy about that attitude? Sounds like she is open with her expectations right from the start. If a man doesn't like it, he doesn't have to continue the relationship.

3:29 PM, December 18, 2008

Good luck to her. The only men who don't view porn are eunuchs and castrated husbands.

3:30 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Something to think about:

If men had no sex drive, they'd have no interest in porn.

But they'd also have no interest in YOU (speaking to the women) above and beyond an intellectual interest as a friend. And my experience in life has been that I've had few real female friends based on their intellectual interests (but I've had them).

In other words: Buy your own lunch. Buy your own house. Get a friggin' job.

6:43 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Correction: Not "get a friggin' job" but instead "get a friggin' real job".

There. Corrected.

6:57 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

JG said...

Correction: Not "get a friggin' job" but instead "get a friggin' real job".

There. Corrected.

6:57 PM, December 18, 2008

Amen brother. *fist knock*

6:57 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@Alex said... "The only men who don't view porn are eunuchs and castrated husbands."

I don't view porn. I'm not saying I never have, I'm just saying I don't now nor have I for years. I'm not a eunuch nor am I castrated. There are a few reasons, not the least of which is love for my wife (I think it would diminish the eroticism I feel when I experience her body), but also even when I was single, to be quite blunt, there was no real pleasure in geting myself all worked up and horny with lust like that. But I understand even men are wired different.

That said, while it is an understandable conclusion when considering "comedy vs porn", I think romantic comedies are more damaging to relationships currently. I think the romcoms raise expectations far above what any porn would do--too many people think "this is the way it should be."

7:10 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Good luck to her. The only men who don't view porn are eunuchs and castrated husbands.

But you didn't say why it is a bitchy attitude.

Aren't there any characteristics that are important to you when deciding whether or not to have a relationship with someone? No non-negotiables?

7:19 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"I think the romcoms raise expectations far above what any porn would do--too many people think "this is the way it should be." "

-------------------------------

Right.

And - on the other hand - I think porn is just porn.

Maybe the problem is that a WHOLE lot of women are brought up to believe the romantic comedy before they even see one. The prince is going to come in and solve ALL her problems -for ever and ever - and since he's kind of like a robot, he will never think of himself at all, only of her.

Or something like that.

The joke is that even with the massive sex drive that God or nature or whatever endowed men with - women are always on the verge of being so demanding and selfish that they may break it. A plethora of "boner-shrinkers" today.

You don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, but that's what modern-day woman is heading towards.

7:21 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Marbel sez:

"Aren't there any characteristics that are important to you when deciding whether or not to have a relationship with someone? No non-negotiables?"

---------

Vagina. Clitoris that's smaller than 3 inches.

Ability to respond dully to my questions and comments.

Kind of cute.

I can't think of any more.

7:26 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Vagina. Clitoris that's smaller than 3 inches.

Ability to respond dully to my questions and comments.

Kind of cute.

I can't think of any more.

7:26 PM, December 18, 2008

Representin' my man!!!! *huah*

8:03 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Women are to be seen, not heard.

8:03 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@ Cham said... "The female robot is a reality."

Unfortunately, you are correct. So are Bobs. (battery operated boyfriends)

Also unfortunately, there are "men stink, throw rocks at them", "boyfriends make nice pets," "men have feelings too but who gives a crap" t shirts. Shorts swapping genders would never be tolerated.

11:15 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

Funny. I did a search for the article, and on almost all the appearances where there were comments, the discussion shifted from romcoms to porn. I wish that surprised me.

I guess partly I see romcom as more destructive to the relationships we pursue and what we expect from the ones we are in because the point of porn is typically a pleasurable experience, whereas romcoms pitch a completely false and distorted image of relationships and love, marriage, and "happily ever after." Porn typically leaves one thinking "I'd love to get laid like that" where romcoms leave one thinking "that's what I want in my life-partner or life relationship." Big difference.

Recently, we watched a movie at my wife's best friend's house. It was called "Catch and Release." I didn't know much about it, but early in the movie, Jennifer Garner goes into the bathroom and hides in the tub during her boyfriend's funeral to cry. She hears two people come in, and catches a man having a quickie in the bathroom DURING HER BOYFRIEND'S FUNERAL. Well, guess her her love interest in the movie was????? Yup, young impressionable eyes seeking love learned a lot from this one.

Hollywood is nuts.

11:38 PM, December 18, 2008  
Blogger M. Simon said...

The answer to the no porn lady -

"Sex with you now or porn by myself now. Make up your mind. Quickly."

"And no I will not wait three months while you try to make up your mind or fit me in to your busy schedule. You have 5 minutes tops."

She - "But that is coercion"

He - "There is an excess of pretty young women - I can have a sex life with you or find some one with a sex drive. Choose."

Men should never get married. It lowers their value to the wife and to other women.

3:27 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger M. Simon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:27 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Porn typically leaves one thinking "I'd love to get laid like that" where romcoms leave one thinking "that's what I want in my life-partner or life relationship."

Trust, that is an interesting perspective to me. Put that way, I see them as equally potentially destructive.

What happens when "I'd love to get laid like this" becomes a demand on a spouse/partner that he/she can't or won't fulfill?

Anything that causes discontent between spouses/partners should be avoided. I guess I could watch a romantic comedy without it making me discontent with my husband. (I don't watch them because they always seem stupid to me.) But if I found that watching them made me discontent, I would have to stop watching. It should be the same with watching porn, browsing the Victoria's Secret catalog, walking through perfectly decorated model homes, etc. (A woman who is discontent with her home is a terrible thing to see.)

10:34 AM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Correcting my own comment:

What happens when "I'd love to get laid like this" becomes a demand on a spouse/partner that he/she can't or won't fulfill?

Substitute "if" for "when" there. I don't mean to imply that it's inevitable.

12:50 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

Marbel - if da bitch can't handle da porn, she's not worth being with!

2:17 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

"(A woman who is discontent with her home is a terrible thing to see.)"

--------------

Maybe she ought to get a job, then, and get a better home or whatever it is she wants.

I think a supplicant-type man who thinks it's his job to supply a woman with anything she wants is an even more terrible thing to see. A fearful, cringing dope of a man and a using, spoiled woman.

Get a friggin' job.

4:12 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Maybe she ought to get a job, then, and get a better home or whatever it is she wants.

Well done on missing (or ignoring) the point, which is about discontent in general, in both men and women, whether it is with one's spouse or home or car or... whatever.

4:20 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

And a whole lot of women I've seen think that it's the man's job to always cure their discontent.

Some women - *some* - are just non-stop complainers. Everything bad in life is due to the nearest man.

4:31 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

Example: Woman takes man's car and smashes it up.

Of course woman isn't going to help him fix it or take any responsibility, but it goes further: She says it's his fault because they had an argument two days ago and she was still mad and thinking about it, so she was distracted and that led to the crash.

He damn well better apologize.

4:35 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Alex said...

C'Mon JG - let the anger out! It's not healthy to keep it all bottled up.

4:37 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

And wimpy men (altogether too many today) WILL take the blame in the above case. 'Cuz she might cut off the sex.

Sorry, but men themselves have created the monster of modern-day spoiled-brat woman.

4:37 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@Marbel: "What happens when "I'd love to get laid like this" becomes a demand on a spouse/partner that he/she can't or won't fulfill?"

Fair point. I don't really see them as equally destructive though. If they were exposed to equal amounts from cradle to grave, they probably would be. It's quantity + content + how it shapes our beliefs. I don't think porn shapes our views of what marriage should be more than romcoms do. In fact, most men are made aware by their wives of how porn hurts them, but most don't even think about what romcoms do.

Merry Christmas

7:01 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger Trust said...

@JG said... "Sorry, but men themselves have created the monster of modern-day spoiled-brat woman."

I don't think men have created the spoiled-brat woman, but they sure do exacerbate the problem by rewarding such women (spoiled brats never have problems getting dates).

Similarly, I don't think women created the predatory male, but they should do exacerbate the problem by not hesitating to screw so many of them (such men get laid like gangbangers).

7:07 PM, December 19, 2008  
Blogger NJArtist said...

Early in life I made the decision that I am not a dick nor am I a wallet.

I spent my eligible years being told I either wasn't rough enough or didn't make enough money. These comments came from my fellow(?) Christians and my educated peers. However, I will add that the educated peers added "You're too deep (intelligent)" to the brush-off phrase.

That being said, I can only say the women's objection to porn is crap: it occurs after she has benefited from porn's making her man rough enough.

Now, is porn wrong? Yes, it brings about the submission of one's will to the spirit of fornication. Ah, but the dame wants a man who's rough: a man whose will and intellect ARE in service to his dick: how else is she to manipulate him. Besides, pre-hubbie's viewing of porn can be used several years later for evidence in a divorce: see Sarah Evans - country music singer.

10:14 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger BadAndy said...

My wife used to withhold sex as a punishment for some "bad" thing that I did (usually a minor transgression multiplied in severity by piling on other minor transgressions from the past). Apology not accepted.

I got tired of begging and just stopped having sex with her altogether about three years ago. Life at home is civil but distant -- and probably destined for a split.

Ladies, this is what happens when you attempt to turn your imperfect man into something he will never be -- and then get frustrated and angry and vindictive.

Don't do it.

10:33 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger JG said...

BadAndy:

You should get your finances in order NOW for a divorce (i.e. set things up so that she will have the most difficulty possible in getting them away from you).

When the inevitable divorce comes, you will wish you had done that.

10:41 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Robin said...

Withholding sex is one of the stupidest tricks a woman can pull. Maybe it's effective in the short term, but as BadAndy's experience shows, it destroys the relationship in the long term.

Why? Well, let's think about this: sex is just about the MOST intimate thing you can do together. When the relationship is healthy, the physical intimacy also tends to lead to emotional intimacy -- pillow talk tends to be when men open up and spontaneously start to share their feelings. Isn't that what you said you wanted, women? But when you use the threat of withholding sex to get what you want, you've just turned the most intimate part of your relationship into a weapon. Your man will feel betrayed on a deep, DEEP level by this stupid stunt. Way to destroy that relationship you said you wanted.

11:57 AM, December 20, 2008  
Blogger Marbel said...

Robin,
sex is just about the MOST intimate thing you can do together. When the relationship is healthy, the physical intimacy also tends to lead to emotional intimacy

Is this really true any more, in (American) culture at large? It's hard to see where sex = intimacy when reading about 13 year olds catching quickies in school hallways, or reading about teens and young adults hooking up, no emotional attachment required, or reading about the sexual activity implied on popular tv shows. If someone is growing up with the notion that sex is just something fun to do with whomever comes along, I don't think his or her attitude is going to change just because they get married.

I agree that sex should not be an emotional weapon. I agree with you that it should be the most intimate thing a couple can do. I am not sure that it is that way, though.

Again, speaking of American culture in general.

7:24 AM, December 22, 2008  
Blogger Cham said...

Marbel:

For some people sex is equated to intimacy. For some people sex is a fun physical act. For some people sex is a an indicator that all is well with a relationship. For some people sex is the cost of doing business.

It depends on who you are.

4:37 PM, December 22, 2008  
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