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the pros and cons of Random Pregnancy Opportunities....

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All right, so let's talk about Random Pregnancy Opportunities....They do pop up from time to time. There you are, and all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, it looks as though you might have a pretty decent chance of being able to have sex with someone you've never had sex with before! Alcohol sometimes facilitates Random Pregnancy Opportunities and sometimes it's nowhere in evidence. You might be at a party and all of a sudden someone you are attracted to, or someone you are not attracted to, says boldly 'I could really go for you' in a manner that suggests that the two of you could be going at pregnancy-causing activities together in relatively short order if you will only cooperate. This kind of shit happens all the time - sometimes to me, sometimes to you, sometimes to other people right before our disbelieving eyes!

Sometimes men initiate these encounters, sometimes women do. If a man is initiating one with a woman, then it is technically a Random Pregnancy Opportunity for the woman. For the man, it is a Desperate Attempt to Get Lucky. If a women initiates such an encounter, it is a Random Pregnancy Opportunity for the man. For the woman it is A Desperate Attempt to Get Laid. All right, so that's nice and logical and easy to follow.

Let's look at this phenomenon from the viewpoint of the decently functioning Male Evolutionary Sex Brain (often referred to here affectionately as Your Sex Brain). Your Sex Brain will not want to pass up most Random Pregnancy Opportunities - that would be just foolish. And of course, while evaluating the Opportunity, Your Sex Brain should remain spryly alert to visual cues (such as boob to waist size ratio and harmonious facial proportions) that indicate whether the chance of healthy offspring makes it worthwhile to seize the Pregnancy Opportunity.

If you listen to your Sex Brain very very closely when presented with a Random Pregnancy Opportunity, you can hear a few moments (milliseconds sometimes) of silence while it furiously whips out its calculator to calculate the potential health and desirability of offspring from this unexpected pairing. Once it does this, it will give you its suggested response to the situation. Often the response is -what the hell, why not? You can actually hear it say this sometimes as a voice in your head - what the hell, why not? This is specifically your Sex Brain speaking quite clearly. Sometimes it will simply say 'uh, yeah, sure' or make other noises to indicate speedy cooperation with the suggestion to engage in Pregnancy Causing Activities. Sometimes it will say 'my my this is a shockingly pleasant surprise' and then inaugurate signals to indicate speedy cooperation.

Sometimes it will say - 'uh, better back off on this one buddy. Ugly kids, not good.' Sometimes it will think - 'hmmm, I think is actually an opportunity to get roped into something more strenuous than pregnancy-causing activities, such as long-term mating and actual parenthood. I'll think I'll pass on that because We Are Not Ready.' Sometimes it will think - 'oooh, I don't want you to be the mother of my children - under any circumstances.' And many times it will think - 'hmmm...well it looks a bit dicey I'll admit, but I'll lay the odds somewhere around 50-50 that the offspring from this Random Pregnancy Opportunity could be healthy enough to survive and that's plenty good enough for me. Let's do it!'

In these Random Pregnancy Opportunities, your Sex Brain will calculate the odds as if you were Not Going to Be a Parent to These Random Potential Offspring and it will guide your choices accordingly. Someone else, such as the woman who initiated the Random Pregnancy Opportunity may be the parent of these critters, but nobody could seriously expect YOU to be a parent to something produced via a Random Pregnancy Opportunity. Society doesn't always agree with this reasoning of course, but it is standard issue Sex Brain reasoning and wealthy celebrities such as Bill Cosby are often shocked (shocked!) to discover that courts will enforce nominal parent-like activities such as dishing out money to the female Random Pregnancy Opportunity Initiator and those critters you and she spawned.

Your Sex Brain views a Random Pregnancy Opportunity as a free spin on the Lotto Wheel of Reproduction. Acting under the premise that this shot at genetic immortality is free, it will encourage you to have sex with women you don't like, in inconvenient places and times, with inappropriate people, while drunk, and with little feeling of anything except oh yeah, this is an Opportunity, Let's Hurry. Because, after all, it's freeeeeee!

Now, fairly obviously, the math for women on Random Opportunities is somewhat different. When a man approaches a woman in hopes of initiating a Random Pregnancy Opportunity, the woman's Sex Brain must factor in the potential for carting around another entity for nine months while it grows. This fairly obviously means that the Random Opportunity scenario carries far graver consequences for an individual woman than it does an individual man. So it takes a higher threshold of Luscious Opportunity for a woman's Sex Brain to give the green-light. Now if it was a Random Opportunity to get pregnant with Brad Pitt - it would be worth it. Really. Consequences be damned! It is simply worth it to make an attempt to have Brad Pitt's baby if the opportunity presents itself, more often than not.

It is worth it partly because Brad Pitt is damn good-looking. He has the right facial proportions, good eyes, a decent body, and widespread appeal. Some theorists call this the Handsome Son Effect. Basically, the reasoning goes, if you have a child with an incredibly handsome man you will more than likely produce a Goddamn Good-Looking Son and evolution is in favor of this, presumably because it will help him get laid and therefore give you a leg up in the race to have granchildren.

So...not only do good-looking men consistently have access to more resources throughout their lives (owing as noted earlier to the I Am Not A Neanderthal Effect which allows the good-looking man in question to charm you out of all your money instead of beat you up for it - a decidedly more pleasant way to go), but they are also more pleasant to be around as a potential mate (because they don't look scary and because it is very soothing to the human brain to look at gorgeous things), and they produce better-looking kids, and these better-looking kids (both male and female you sexist pigs researchers who don't take into account good-looking daughters!) have access to more resources throughout their lives, which allows them to not only survive but pop out even more good-looking grandchildren. There's a whole heap of unfair advantages accruing to good-looking men (all 12 of them) and the only comfort is that in spite of all their advantages, good-looking people routinely manage to fuck up their lives like everyone else.

So now Jennifer Anniston apparently doesn't agree that it is worthwhile to get pregnant with Brad Pitt but there's a reason for that. The reason is that she married him, which makes him something other than a Random Pregnancy Opportunity as far as her Sex Brain goes. Other criteria are squriming their way onto the chalkboard, including, of all things, a perceived lack of resources. This reasoning is patently absurd on the face of it, but her Sex Brain is like everyone else's and evolution isn't aware that it is encouraging Jennifer Anniston to make decisions based on an apparently idiotic assessment of reality.

Your personal Sex Brain routinely encourages you to make decisions based on an apparently idiotic assessment of reality and it does this because it is buried way down deep in your brain stem where it has a hard time hearing you. It has to figure out what's going on in your life after stuff has filtered down through god knows how many layers during which the messages become garbled. So it relies on good old-fashioned chemistry and deductive reasoning. If your amygdala lights up with delight on seeing a particular woman's face, it says to itself, okay, good show, let's go. If your cortisol shoots through the roof, it figures, whoah, bad stress, let's step back a moment here and check resources. Ms. Anniston's cortisol happened to be shooting through the roof even before she laid eyes on Angelina Jolie's gigantic lips and it probably still hasn't come down.

Regardless of the sex lives of mega-celebrities, there are some cases, or some men, wherein it is absolutely worth it for a woman to seize a Random Pregnancy Opportunity and many instances where it is not. The female Sex Brain pulls out its calculator too and sometimes it thinks to itself, well, what's the worst that could happen - I'd accidentally end up with an incredibly good-looking child. There are worse things than that! Unfortunately, as we saw, there are relatively few instances where this is the case and therefore the female Sex Brain is generally not interested in Random Pregnancy Opportunities.

The disparity in reaction to Random Pregnancy Opportunities underlies a lot of the myths (and realities) about the male and female sexuality. This is one area where things are just different for the 2 sexes. If it's worth for it a woman to seize a particular Random Pregnancy Opportunity, the man in question very often has enough advantages that it is worth it to hope you could hook up with him on the kind of long-term basis that would allow his multifarious advantages to accrue to you over time in a pleasant and life-enhancing way.

Which means that if you happen to be male and you unexpectedly meet with success after initiating a Desperate Attempt to Get Lucky, you may very well find yourself with having had sex with someone who is now fantasizing about snagging you as a long-tem mate. This doesn't always happen because, as we'll explain later, many instances of getting lucky are not random at all, but it can happen. This is tremendously flattering and a bit confusing since that's not what your Sex Brain was fantasizing about.

If you spend the majority of your sex life in the Random Opportunities mode, you could very well come to the conclusion that women are only interested in long term mates and men are mainly interested in good boobs.

But if things go even modestly well for you, you will not spend the majority of your life in Random Opportunities Mode, and entirely different rules will apply, some of them downright salacious and shocking!

In fact, some of those women initiating Random Pregnancy Opportunities may not be looking for a good mate at all! They may instead be looking for Hot Hot Sex NOW! How dare they? How could evolution allow them to get away with having sex with you when you are in no way, shape, or form anything even vaguely resembling a Good Mate?! It's mysterious, isn't it?

And yet obviously it happens - after all there are a heck of a lot of unwed teenage mothers - and most of them apparently weren't following anything even resembling an attempt to Find a Good Mate. Hmmm....

Maybe we need to think about what a workable reproductive strategy actually is. Or maybe we just need to think a lot more about women and sex.

Oh all right, you convinced me! We'll think about both!

 

In which we are lucky enough to think deeply about reproductive strategies and randomly about women and sex....

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