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What would a world where women were no different than men look like? Where the utopian feminist ideals of gender equality held sway?
The executive summary: there’d be grab-ass in the streets, on the metro, at the job, in the church pews, all hours all the time. The city air would fill not with the sounds of traffic and construction and sirens but the gruntings of humans in mid-coitus. Nature hikes at Great Falls would lose a lot of its ambience as the chirping birds and tree leaves rustling in the wind yielded to the Uuhs and Ahhs of sweaty thrustings.
We get a window into that imaginary world in the lives of gay men circa 1970s before the AIDS epidemic inspired the media to paper over the true nature of male homosexual libido. If women had the same intense, indefatigable, indiscriminate sex drive as men it would resemble M. Blowhard’s description of his time as a straight man witnessing the gay scene in New York:
If Fire Island was acres of beef on the hoof, Christopher Street was Mardi Gras in New Orleans, only with fewer inhibitions and without a female to be seen. One club or bar after another … Each establishment, and the street itself, filled with exuberant gayguys in freaky costumes … Music, drugs, and booze everywhere … Carousing of a pitch that would put beer-drinking Spring Break jocks to shame …
As well as the most aggressive and direct sexual behavior I’ve ever witnessed. I found the scene overheated and hair-raising all at once. I’d never before and have never since witnessed a scene so single-mindedly focused on getting off. People as commodities … Relentless dick-centeredness …
And what was courtship like between gay guys?
At the bars and on the sidewalks of Christopher Street there wasn’t a pretence at conversation, let alone at recognizing that anyone might have a personality. You were understood to be there to have sex, period. The single and only point was to find someone you could get off with, and quickly, because someone else you would want to get off with might stroll by in a few minutes. Imagine city block after city block offering nothing but sexual challenge and sexual invitation.
The author of the book on the gay sex scene of the 1970s describes it in vivid terms:
Whatever fantasy you had, you always knew you could satisfy it any time, night or day, at one of the many sexual playgrounds …
Urban gay male life had evolved over a decade from personal salvation into a communal identity and now, as the Saint [a famous disco] became our weekly Mecca, into a quasi-religion. Several thousand muscled, shirtless gay men in black 501 jeans … Upstairs was a huge darkened balcony converted into carpeted bleachers where hundreds of stoned men fucked all night and into the day.
To lose oneself so completely in the wall-to-wall men moaning in the dark … soaring on a hit of ethyl chloride … was like being transported to some heavenly other planet somewhere beyond the stars.
Don’t kid yourselves. This is exactly what relations between men and women would be like if women possessed the mental and emotional machinery of men, except instead of one Christopher Street there would be millions. If we were equal in the ways that the feminist movement which inculcated two generations of women into its warped worldview insisted we were, and our psychological differences were only social constructions amenable to change, then the result would be a lecherous orgy of such proportions as to make de Sade blush.
Rampant sex and the perpetual pursuit of sex with thousands of willing partners would grind society to a halt. If STDs didn’t wipe out a significant portion of the population, sheer physical exhaustion from day-long fuck marathons would render the rest incapable of anything more than satisfying the bottom of Maslov’s hierarchy of needs.
Romance novels about dating, seduction, and intimacy would have to be re-engineered to reflect the new reality. Actually, romance novels would cease to exist. Porn would become even more ubiquitous than it is now, flashing from giant electronic billboards over musty cityscapes drenched in the effluvium of sex fluids like some raunchy Bladerunner alternate universe. Every vice imaginable would find its expression unfettered by moral disapprobation.
In this equalist fantasy, or nightmare, dating takes on a whole new hue. Those first shy stabs at awkward flirtations would pluck the heartstrings like this:
Him: [grabs ass]
Her: [grabs ass back]
If courtship progressed as far as a first date:
Him: “Hi, you’re cute, wanna get a drink sometime?”
Her: “I’d like that. Here’s my number. Call me sometime.”
[15 minutes later at bar]
Him: “Wow, that’s really cool that you’re into golden showers. I heard the bathrooms here are great for fucking. All the walls are mirrored.”
Her: “Let’s find out!”
Put away all your player manuals, you won’t need them. Want to broach the subject of multiple short and long term relationships? Threesomes? A2M?
Him: “Wanna do A2M, threesomes, or be a member of my harem?”
Her: “You had me at A2M!”
Marriage? Kids? Um, yeah. Civilization? It’d putter along for a while, but eventually the voracious id unleashed would reverse human achievement so rapidly that the forests would retake the cities, as it is doing in Detroit right now. I doubt you could walk M Street more than two blocks without seeing penis in vagina somewhere along the way.
Left to their own insatiable appetites, men are dogs. Underneath all the game playing, romantic gestures, conversational fluff, and resource display lies a feral beast who’d smash through that facade as soon as the gatekeeper relinquished her keys. Women put the brakes on this steamroller of lust. Love helps keep it distracted… at least for a while.