When the economy suffers, so does love. Merriam-Webster has a lot of definitions for love: “strong affection” (1a.1), “warm attachment” (2) or an “amorous episode” (6). Definition seven: “the sexual embrace.”
All of these falter under the stress of hard financial times. Women with Financial-Guy Boyfriends (F.B.F.s) are the worst-hit victims. With their Bergdorf allowances slashed and vacations cancelled, these women have banded together and formed a support group: Dating a Banker Anonymous (DABA). This is a “safe place” where women can share “tearful tales” about the economic meltdown aka the “tearful tales” of dating someone who actually cares about the economic meltdown.
F.B.F.s can no longer afford their mistresses, so these men, usually aloof, are now anxious and clingy. Sex, once kinky and unhurried, is now a bimonthly hammer drill. Relationships are straining. Manhattan divorces are on the rise.
Fantasies of TriBeCa lofts, $200 dinners and adopted Asian children melt into misty BR (Before the Recession) nostalgia. Women have advanced their Botox start dates. “Princess, we need to talk,” one F.B.F. said to his DABA girl. “You are a costly investment … I can literally get more bang for my buck if I invest with a foreign model instead.” DABA girls’ services are getting outsourced to Eastern Europeans.
Women are also dumping their financier alpha males at rapid speed. The truth has been revealed: If you ain’t messin’ with no broke banker, then it probably wasn’t love. It may have been a sexual embrace, but not the sexual embrace.
To the fallen women of DABA — in this new era of thrift, you need to find your true object of “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern” (4a), of “attraction based on sexual desire” (1a.2), of “an informal term of address” (3a.2 British). You need real love to keep you warm through the chilly winter of financial collapse. And science is here to help!
Psychologists have been laboring away to figure out who/what women really desire. In one experiment, male and female subjects watched clips of bonobo sex and human sex in a variety of permutations. The participants recorded their subjective arousal, while some high-tech device in their underwear measured their actual arousal.
The men agreed with their penises; the gay guys were turned on by the guys and the straight guys by the girls. The female participants reported that they felt a lot of excitement in the heterosexual coupling, some interest in lesbian sex, very little in man-on-man action and none in the humping monkeys.
The women’s bodies, however, were turned on by EVERYTHING. They were aroused by straight sex much less than they claimed and man-on-man sex way more. The New York Times reported these findings in the article: “What Do Women Want?” I would like to rephrase this more aptly: “What The Fuck, Women? Like Seriously, What The Hell?” or, alternatively: “THE VAGINA NEVER LIES: Seriously, Women, What The Fuck?”
But maybe the vagina does lie. Physical arousal and conscious desire may be different things, just so similar and simultaneous that it’s easy to get confused between the two. Like Babe and Gordy. Like Ants and A Bug’s Life.
Women are apparently turned on by pretty much everything, but 30 percent suffer from “deficient desire.” Female desire, it seems, is mainly mental. That may be why drug companies in the sex-aid business make Viagra for men, but for women they’re exploring anti-depressants. It could also be why women read romance novels more regularly than they Google “erect penis.”
(This is according to a survey I just conducted involving myself, the friend I’m with at Jojo’s and the girl at the table next to us who overheard the question and then shook her head and laughed awkwardly. She now won’t make eye contact with me. I think I had section with her freshman year.)
In contrast, I asked a guy friend once if his girlfriend would dump him if she saw his last 100 Google searches.
“Depends,” he said, “on how cool she is with porn.”
“She’s normal about porn,” I replied.
“Okay. Well it depends if she has a sense of humor.”
“You’re girlfriend isn’t hypothetical,” I clarified. “You do have an actual girlfriend.”
“Right. No … she wouldn’t dump me.” He hesitated. “But things would be weird for a while.”
Things are weird for everyone right now. Women with F.B.F.s have fallen from grace. Obama can’t “sleep at night” because of the economy, but still has time to read Us Weekly on Jessica Simpson’s weight gain. Jessica Simpson saw the photo of Obama reading about her weight gain and cried. I read an article about Jessica Simpson crying about Obama reading about her weight gain in In Touch. My soul saw me reading it and cried.
But things are especially weird for the population of Coweta County, Georgia. A city ordinance passed last week prohibits “any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs” aka vibrators, ribbed (for-her-pleasure) condoms and warming lube.
Because obviously, when most women don’t have problems with arousal but a third of them struggle with desire, you might as well even it out. Thanks, Coweta County Board of Commissioners for your concern and protection. That’s a special kind of love.
Merriam-Webster definition eight: “a score of zero.”