The 20th century psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich used the term “sex economy” to refer to the accumulation, storage, and dissipation of a person’s sexual energy within their body. For him, sexual discharge for a man took place within the vagina of a woman, and sexual discharge for a woman happened with the receiving of a man’s penis. Anything else was considered a form of “fetish” or neuroses, which he argued would not appear in a sexually healthy individual.
But that is not what I’m using the term “sex economy” to refer to. In this sense I am using it to refer to the dysregulation of the sexual marketplace.
Sex Economy 101
Early civilizations realized the very powerful nature of female sexuality (see the Law of Moses), and hence sought to control and regulate it, using the community-driven and sanctified form of a patriarchal and “bound” community. Anything holy or sanctified was called The Law, or God’s Law, to be precise.
What happened with the female liberation movement, as well as other fear-driven political movements was the breaking up of the glue that were these ancient standards.
Within Christianity, divorce (for any other reason than unfaithfulness), was considered adultery. There was no notion of trading up, or seeking a better deal. When the sexual marketplace becomes deregulated, what occurs is a free-for-all.
Ancient civilizations married their young men and women at an early age, they bound them by marriage, in holy matrimony. Because of this their souls and bodies gravitated towards each other, there was an equilibrium, a balancing, a settling.
Once this boundedness is given up, men and women are presented with the illusions of a sexual marketplace, and consequently people get eaten up, raped (literally or figuratively), beaten down, left behind or whatever. Essentially: everyone eats each other.
Once a person’s sexuality is not gravitated towards another person when their sexuality is awakened (read: heat, mating, or adolescence), then they are essentially thrust into the sexual marketplace to fend for themselves, and consequently presented with the illusion of there being infinite choices.
The effect on women
This presents the problem of hypergamy in women, because women are not bound (the settling, or gravitation of marriage does not occur), doubt is awakened in them. Have they “found the right one?” Could they “do better?”
Essentially women always trade up—they always look for a better deal. Men do not settle either because they want to have as much sex as possible (to make up for the sex they were denied, or could have had, or could be having), without being bound to a woman.
What is the definition of a deregulated sexual marketplace?
A deregulated sexual marketplace is caused by the absence of a binding ingredient, a glue that strikes at the right time to bind two people together. This is usually at age 16 or perhaps a little later, and satisfies both the man’s and the woman’s sexual lust. This consummation, which is sexual intercourse, if it occurs, would satisfy and remove the “neuroses” present in all men and women.
Instead this is not the case, most young men and women, find that they cannot get their sexual needs met, they then have a new burden to worry about, the women find out they need to become sluts to get laid, and the men find out they need to become bad boys to get laid.
As such psychological maturation stalls, if the problem is not resolved. The other downside is that young men and women begin to blame themselves for these occurrences: “I cannot get laid,” or “nobody wants to settle with me.” The reality is that most people who have lived on this planet have gotten laid within a regulated marketplace.
When the heat strikes, which is usually around adolescence for men and women, but it can occur later. This is considered the prime mating time of both the man and the woman. The man wants to spread his genes at the ripe time, the woman wishes to spread her genes at the ripe time.
If this peak period passes, wherein the unresolved sexual angsts of both genders is not fully consummated, then any sex happening afterwards is like a “sorry about that” from society. Society does its members a disservice, if it cannot get its member’s sexual needs met.
Any sex happening after the peak period is mostly a pleasurable recreational activity. It does not resolve the unwanted sexual frustration and angst that appears within late adolescence, for the sake of finding love and reproducing.
Consequently, neurotic forms of sexuality appear within men and women who “miss this phase.” The confusion spawned by the pain of the unmet needs during this phase, may in fact spawn more problems. The young man or woman may seek to: ignore sexuality (doesn’t work), get laid (doesn’t work or finds it unsatisfying) etc.
An inability to get laid on the part of a man may have to do with the man’s upbringing. Perhaps the father was not around, did not discipline the boy and instill “automatic, habitual action” in him. Discipline is essentially the absence of thought, and consequently, choice. Discipline is action, that is undertaken automatically, without thought.
The role of a father is to discipline his sons and daughters. If he is unable to instill this toolset in his child, through a temporary phase of pain, then his child will not have the tools required to succeed in life.
The child will not have the ability to delay gratification, and without faith in consistent gratification, the child will unable to obtain self-regulation (life without deliberation and thinking).
In short, children who lack faith in the “other end of the stick” will not be able to get laid. This is because getting laid is an act that requires delaying gratification. In the absence of discipline, the child must make choices, is forced to do things willfully (not automatically), and thus is burdened.
Eventually, due to the inability to find satisfaction, and the inherent problem of will-based living, the child will burn out, and find themselves blamed by their parents or their peers, while ironically entertaining notions of their own helplessness.
We live in interesting times, but they seem to bring pain to most of the participants in the modern sexual marketplace. Ironically, future civilizations or societies may look back on this time period as one the are ashamed of, and will be careful not to repeat.
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