Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Porn and Dating.

I am not going to discuss the morality of porn.  Some think it is evil, others just a harmless good time.  Either way, attitudes toward pornography is an incredibly good subject for an early conversation with serious dates.   That does not mean discussing what kind of porn you like.  Your goal is not to seduce, but to discover. 

Specifically you need to discover the attitude your date has towards pornography.  If one of you considers pornography to be immoral and the other enjoys it, that by itself will be a major problem in the relationship.  In effect, one of you thinks the other is evil.   Not a good sign for a relationship.

Worse, it probably indicates far deeper problems with basic attitudes toward sex. People that like dislike porn are more likely to insist on the missionary position, with the lights off, no more than once a week.  People that like porn are more likely to be adventurous.   These are important things you need to know before starting a serious relationship.

I wouldn't discuss it on first date, but if you are considering a long term relationship, then you need to have the talk.  Don't force it, but if you need a topic, there it is.

Your goal is to discover the following:

1)  How does the other person honestly feel about porn in general.
2) Are there limitations?  I.E.  Is it OK for singles, but not for married, is it not OK for parents, is it not OK for kids, etc. etc.
3) Can you live with their views HONESTLY.   No hiding the porn, no pretending.  Keep in mind that five years after you know someone, most of the passion will vanish.   Chances are you won't be able to 'go without' forever if you disagree with their views.
4) For the experts/stronger relationships only:  Which fetishes change the rules  i.e. ok with straight vanilla, but not ok with child/bdsm/crush/food/old/fat.   (Note, if they are OK with real child pornography, I suggest you run away from them.  But there is a huge difference between real kiddie porn and cartoon porn, or real kiddie and role-play).

I know, some of you guys are going to say "but so few women are porn friendly and so many men enjoy it"  So what?   First, that is THEIR problem, not yours.  Chances are most perverted men can find a woman that accepts (if not enjoys) porn easier than a prudish women can find a man that agrees with her.  Yes, you may be rejecting a beautiful woman you like - but she thinks you are EVIL - with all capital letters.  I can see dating someone that thinks you are evil - but a Long Term Relationship?  You have to be a strange breed of masochist to have a Long Term Relationship with someone that thinks you are EVIL.

You should not compromise your principles to meet someone else's views.  That goes for both anti-porn and pro porn people.  Yes, pro-porn IS a principle if you don't think porn is wrong.  It's several in fact - a belief in the innate goodness of sex, as opposed to evil, a belief in the right to free speech, a belief in your own equality and individual rights as opposed to being a servant to your spouse.

Worse, doing so puts you in the wrong, even if your view about porn is god's truth.  That is, if you say you accept porn, but don't really, then you are lying, and have damaged the relationship.  Similarly, if you say you don't like porn, but your internet browser history would make Hugh Hefner blush, then your lies will undermine the relationship.

To the women that are suddenly realizing that their own views may restrict the men they can date - wouldn't you rather the men be honest and not date you, rather than date you and then deceive you? If you find your morals limits your dating prospects too much, then it is your issue, not theirs.  If you truly hold those morals, then stand up for them.  If not, you need some introspection and consider growing as a person.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rural vs Urban: How does any rural people find the right guy/gal?

It is a long standing fact that rural dating is much harder than urban dating.  They have a much smaller dating pool.  In fact, it's amazing to me that anyone living in a rural area finds someone to marry.  I have asked out more women then guys that live in a rural area meet during their entire life time.  How can they ever hope to get married?

First of all, throughout most of the world, the marriage and divorce rates are much higher in urban areas as compared to rural ones (Source - UN stats - but doesn't compare USA rural vs urban).  This is not surprising at all - it is easier to find a person to marry in a big city, but at the same time, you get more temptation and generally make enough money to afford a divorce.  In addition, rural areas tend to be more conservative and therefore more likely to discourage divorce.

In America however, that has changed.   The monetary problems and conservative stigma against divorce prejudices has mostly vanished.  Women can easily get jobs and no one looks at them funny when they say they are divorced.

In the most recent census, divorce rates are pretty much the same in rural vs urban areas (Source = examine the graphic chart).  Honestly, this just indicates to me that people in both the rural and urban environments have the same resources to survive divorce and also the same ability to judge if the relationship will last.

Getting information about marriage rates is much harder than divorce rates.   From what I can tell, they are similar in the USA.   That is pretty shocking to me.   


How do people in a rural environment ever find and meet someone they want to marry at all, let alone someone they are willing to stay with, as opposed to divorcing.   If I have had such a problem, how do they do it with such a tiny dating pool?

Well, I think there are several factors helping them.

They come from a similar culture.  Everyone went to the same schools, work in the same place, do the same things for fun.   Those that don't fit in, move away from the rural environment.  Cities are not like this - we have a mis-mash of more cultures.  Even if you are in Kansas City, while you might not have the foreign immigrants, you have some people that love comic books while others think they are devil's handiwork.   Some people that like to get drunk, others that despise the drunkards.  Cities have more variety, which makes it harder to find someone with similar goals and interests.

But that's not all of it.  In addition, there is the BBD (Bigger Better Deal) effect.   In a rural area, you know your dating pool is limited.   You know exactly how many people you went to school with and exactly how many of them are totally undateable. You also know right off the bat all the flaws of the pretty people.  Everyone knows the beauty queens and the wealthy men - and which ones are dumb as a post, which ones are alcoholics, which ones screw anything that moves.

In effect, you cease to judge solely based on the shallow stuff and are forced to look beyond it to the more important things.  

In the city, there are too many beautiful people.   It takes too long to figure out their flaws.  As such you always think there is someone better out there for you - because you see them all the time on the street and don't have time to get to know their flaws.

The thing is you still end up seriously dating the same number of people.  Oh, some of the city folk go on more one night stands, but a serious attempt to date takes time as in months, so the limit is not how many people you meet but instead how many hours you have available to date.

As such, both rural and urban people should tend go on the same number of serious dates before marriage, and have the same degree of success.   In both cases, people end up selecting the best out of a rather small pool of people they dated.

The rural people pick their dates from a smaller pool that they know better and have similar cultures.  The urban people pick from a larger pool that they know less well from a larger variety of cultures. 
For the mathematically inclined, think of it as a bell curve, with a set compatibility level which happens to be the average + standard deviation.  The rural people start out a bit higher on mean compatibility, but have a much smaller standard deviation.   The urban people start out a bit lower on mean compatibility, but have a much larger standard deviation.   But both differences cancel out at about the same point.

That is, the big rural mean + the small rural standard deviation = the smaller urban mean + the larger urban deviation.    End result, both rural and urban end up with the same compatibility levels.

A perfect world would have the innate cultural compatibility plus extensive deep knowledge of the rural environments with the larger dating pool of the urban environment.  Unfortunately the large dating pool is exactly the thing that prevents the cultural compatibility and in depth knowledge.  That is, the larger the group, the less similar, and the less you know about all individuals.

Theoretically the internet could solve this problem - if we could find a way to enforce truthfulness and measure the deep inner workings of the human mind.