Tag Archives: marriage

Daily Sexy Musing: Sexy Costumes

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With Halloween right around the corner, costumes are becoming a more relevant issue. A lot of kids are already contemplating what they’ll dress up as when they go trick-or-treating. Many more adults are probably contemplating what they can dress up as, either to attend a party or get a good laugh from someone.

It helps that more than a few of those adults will be seeking to dress as something overtly sexy. Sexy costumed versions of things have always existed, but it feels like they’ve become more mainstream in recent years. As a fan of looking sexy and dressing sexy, I’m all for it. I know it pisses off some people who are eager to get outraged over certain costumes, but those people don’t deserve our attention or sympathy.

For me, sexy costumes are even more relevant and not just because Halloween is coming soon. I just got back from another amazing day at New York Comic Con. Like in years past, I dressed up to share the experience with plenty of fellow cos-players. While my costume wasn’t that sexy, there were plenty of others who dare to push the envelope.

Sexy costumes aren’t specific to one time of the year. There’s really nothing from stopping anyone from wearing a sexy costume. When you have a lover who responds to it, then you have even more incentive. It’s fun. It’s playful. It can even be downright romantic. Between this, the Halloween spirit, and the New York Comic Con, sexy costumes are more than worthy of a Daily Sexy Musing. Enjoy!

We style our hair.

We put on a mask.

We smother ourselves with makeup, jewelry, and accessories.

We become someone else entirely.

It’s both liberating and refreshing, inhabiting the form of another. Whether born of fiction, history, or lore, we exchange our regular persona for something wildly different. Instead of blending in, we stand out. Nobody else looks, acts, and conducts themselves as we do. Our attire and demeanor is an aberration, but that’s exactly what makes it exciting.

In this new form, I feel a unique energy. Like tapping into a new source of power, I channel an outside spirit. This new persona dares to do things that I wouldn’t in my usual attire. I’ll cast you a deviant glance, implying deviant activities that you and I only contemplated in jest. Now, it’s serious. We’re not the same mundane lovers we once were.

We are superheroes saving the day.

We are monsters wreaking havoc.

We are villains causing chaos.

We are mythical figures come to life.

Filled with this energy and spirit, our love manifests in entirely new ways. I dare to be bolder, speaking in a voice that is not my own. You dare to match me every step of the way, sharing an intensity that gets my heart racing. It sends our passions into overdrive. The line between one persona and the other blurs.

Finally, it culminates.

Our new identities take over.

Our new passions are unleashed.

These costumes become more than elaborate attire. They are a new conduit for new passions. In this form, our love manifests in a very different way. It’s overwhelming, exhilarating, and even a little deviant. We know each other so well, but in these costumes, we realize just how much more there is to learn.

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Five Places Where I’ll Likely Meet The Love Of My Life

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I’m a romantic at heart. Between the sexy stories I’ve written and the sexy topics I’ve discussed, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear. Love, in all its wondrous forms, is something worth pursuing, channeling, and embracing. It’s one of the few forces that can be as powerful in the real world as it is in fictional words.

It may be corny, but love is a wonderful thing. It’s easy to be cynical and jaded, especially if you’ve had your heart broken or been in one too many bad relationships. It’s just as easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all the joy and fulfillment it brings to your life. The hardest part is finding it, but finding it often requires vulnerability, dedication, and even a little blind luck.

At the moment, I’m single. I’ve been single for a number of years now, but I’m always on the lookout for love. I’ve tried online dating. It didn’t work for me. I’ve also tried having a family member set me up with someone. That didn’t work, either. I haven’t lost hope. I still believe that one day, I’ll find the love of my life. It’s just a matter of when and where.

While it’s impossible to predict the when, I know myself well enough to have a general idea of where I might find that special someone. Everyone in my family says it’ll happen when I least expect it, but a few have said I probably won’t be surprised where it happens.

With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to speculate on where that magical moment might happen for me. I know myself. I know where I hang out and where I tend to meet new friends. If I’m going to fall in love, it’s probably going to happen at a place like that.

Granted, I could be wrong. It could happen somewhere completely unexpected. Love is unpredictable and erratic like that. That’s part of what makes it so amazing. In terms of sheer probability, these are the locales where I’m most likely to meet the love of my life.


#1: A Comic Book Convention

This is probably the most obvious. I’ve been very transparent with my love of comic books and superhero movies. It’s also one that has a track record. I met my last girlfriend on an online comic book forum. Having a shared interest is a great catalyst for love and comic conventions are the epicenter of it all.

I’ve met good friends and a few cute girls at comic conventions. I’ve documented my trips to the New York Comic Con multiple times. I’ve every intention of attending the New York Comic Con this year and for years to come. If I’m going to fall in love, it’ll likely be with someone who shares the same interests.

Maybe they’ll be a cos-player dressing up as one of my favorite characters. Maybe they’ll be someone I’m sitting next to during a panel. Maybe they’ll just happen to be stuck in line with me, waiting to get an autograph from one of my favorite writers or celebrities. Comic conventions offer all sorts of opportunities for fans and lovers alike.

If I fall in love with someone, I’d like them to share my interest. If I meet the love of my life at a comic book convention, then that’ll only give us more reasons to go every year. I can’t think of a better way for a romance to blossom.


#2: A Football Game

Like comic conventions, football games are a perfect celebration of something I love. I’ve been a football fan all my life. During the season, I schedule every Sunday around watching games and cheering on my favorite teams. Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved watching football with my dad and siblings. I hope to make similar memories with the love of my life.

I don’t go to as many football games anymore, but when I do, I encounter women who are just as passionate about the game as any man. That can be difficult to find in other walks of life. Football is often seen as a male-centric interest, but that has been steadily changing in recent years.

As with comics, I believe I’ll fall in love with someone who shares my passions. If I find a woman who can drink, cuss, and cheer during games as much as me, I have a feeling we’ll share an amazing romance. Through hard losses and major victories, we can give each other yet another reason to look forward to football season. Love has that power, even for things you already love.


#3: A Book Store/Library

This might be a bit trickier with respect to finding love, but I think it’s possible for the same reason as comic conventions and football games. Book stores and libraries may not be big events or gatherings, but they’re where I go to celebrate and further my love for great stories. Whether it’s romance or sci-fi, book stores and libraries are almost a necessary hub for a guy like me.

I’m the kind of person who could spend an hour in a book store, sifting through everything from the latest comic books to cheesy romance novels. The people you meet aren’t always in the mood to talk, let alone fall in love. However, it’s a lot easier to strike up a conversation with someone, especially when they’re picking out the same books you enjoy.

One day, I could be hanging out in the graphic novel or romance section of a book store. Then, a woman could just show up, start looking at the same books as me, and that’s all it would take. If we happen to share the same passion for the same stories, then it could lead to sharing passions of other kinds. It can start small, but grow rapidly. Like all great romance, it takes a little spark to trigger a great love story.


#4: A Sports Bar

This one has similar factors to that of a football game and a comic book convention. It’s a gathering spot for events, albeit on a smaller scale. It’s not flashy or elaborate, but that’s exactly why I think it’s a good place for a guy like me to find love.

I love sports. I also love good food and good beer. I go to sports bars to do more than just drink and eat, though. I like to hang out, watch whatever game is on, and strike up random conversations with people. It’s a great experience that has helped me develop the social skills that I didn’t have in my youth.

In the same way I can talk for hours about sports and comics, I’d like to find a special someone who can share in those conversations. We can share a few beers, a batch of buffalo wings, and an extensive discussion about playoff scenarios and draft picks. If I’m going to fall in love someone, it’s probably going to happen with someone I love talking to.

Sports bars aren’t known for being romantic. As a date, it’s probably not the first place you want to go with your lover. In terms of meeting that lover, though, I think a sports bar is one of the places where our paths may first cross.


#5: A Strip Club

I know. I can already sense the judgement pouring in through certain corners of the internet. Yes, I’m aware that strip clubs have a dirty, lurid reputation. I know it’s not the first place anyone goes when looking for a spouse. I also know most strippers aren’t looking to find love. I don’t care. I think there’s plenty of room for romance.

Strippers, be they male or female, seek love just as much as anyone else. It may not be the kind of epic romance that inspires Shakespearean plays or chick flicks, but it can be just as sincere. As someone who appreciates nudity and celebrating sex appeal, I think I’d connect with women at a strip club.

I don’t deny that there would be unique challenges. I’m aware that most strippers only pretend to like the men who go to clubs so they can extract money for their company. It’s part of the job. There’s also life beyond the job. Sometimes, you connect with people in unexpected ways over the course of their work. That’s the entire premise behind workplace romances.

Whether the person I fall for is a stripper or just someone who works there, I can imagine something starting out as a simple exchange that blossoms into something unexpectedly. I’ve been in my share of strip clubs. The women who work there are as varied as the women you find any another occupation. If they appreciate nudity and all things sexy like I do, I can see that as being a good foundation for love.


For now, these places are just educated guesses. Whenever or wherever I meet the love of my life, I probably won’t realize it at first. When I do, I hope the moment is as special as the location. Romance can blossom in many different places. For certain people, some are just more fertile than others.

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Daily Sexy Musing: Intimate Naps

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As kids, most of us hated nap time and for good reason. We were kids. We had all this energy and the adults of the world wanted us to temper it. That just felt wrong on so many levels. Then, we get older and suddenly, we don’t just miss nap time. We regret all the terrible things we ever said about it.

Let’s not lie to ourselves. We’ve all had days when we just wanted to step back and take a good long nap. It didn’t matter if it was the middle of the afternoon and the sun was shining. Sometimes, our bodies and our ambitions fail us. We need to rest. While there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about naps, there’s also a way to make it sexy.

I know this because my parents often napped together on weekends. One of my college roommates also enjoyed napping with his girlfriend and fully clothed, no less. It’s not the sexiest or most intimate act a couple can share, but there’s something special about its simplicity. It may never play a part in an epic romance story, but it’s one of those simple moments that can bring out the best in a couple.

I have a feeling that when I meet that special someone, she’s going to have days when she needs a good long nap in the afternoon, just like me. When that moment comes, I’ll be the first one to curl up in bed and rest with her. I look forward to that moment. In the meantime, enjoy this Daily Sexy Musing centered around the intimate aspects of afternoon naps. Enjoy!

The sun is out, the day is not done, and yet we’re both exhausted. The energy we woke up with is long gone. Once again, our desires exceed our capabilities. There’s time to spare, but no way to make us of it. That’s okay, though. Feeling tired is an easy fix. It’s also an opportunity.

We abandon our current plans.

We retreat to the bedroom.

We crawl under the sheets.

We find each other with our last bit of strength.

Even as abundant sunlight fills the room, we lull ourselves into a peaceful state. The world slows down. Everything becomes less complicated. There’s nothing elaborate or theatrical about this moment. We’re just two lovers, curled up together in need of a little rest.

A nap is just what we need. Sharing it together turns it from a mundane act to something more intimate. It’s not the end of our day. We still have hopes, dreams, and goals. The only thing we lack is energy and focus. A little sleep will get us just that. If we’re lucky, it’ll lead to something greater.

In our drowsy state, our bodies find one another. A simple touch is all it takes to soothe a world of stress. It gives meaning to the coming slumber, reminding me that I have someone special for me when I awaken.

With you, a little rest goes a long way.

With you, a little energy can lead to something far greater.

With you, a little moment on a sunny afternoon creates a lasting memory.

Lying with you, so peaceful and quiet, I close my eyes with confidence and hope. I know when we awaken, we’ll have more than just new energy to drive us. It’s easy to demonstrate our love when we’re full of energy and passion. To share it when we’re tired and drained reveals something deeper.

An afternoon nap will refresh our passion.

What we do with them is up to us.

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Daily Sexy Musing: Rock Star Sex Appeal

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There are certain types of sex appeal that are difficult to understand. You see people swoon over a particular celebrity, a fashion trend, or accent and it’s just confounding. I’ve met women who think Liam Neeson’s accent is the sexiest voice of all time. I don’t get it. However, when I see a rock star attract women by the dozens, I totally understand.

Rock stars are sexy. That’s just a fact. What they do, how they do it, and how they carry themselves just checks so many boxes with respect to sex appeal. Their music gets people moving in a sexy way. Their voice entices people with sexy, poetic tone. Their movements on a stage, sweating and yelling with a passion, just resonates with the loins of anyone there to see it.

Stories about rock stars exploiting their sex appeal is nothing new. Some of those stories have become modern day legends. Again, I totally understand. They’re rich, they’re talented, and they’re almost expected to be decadent party animals. People are going to want to be around them, especially members of the opposite sex. It might as well be a law of physics.

While the sex appeal of rock stars is beyond dispute, I think there are deeper sensual forces at work here. It’s not just about music, parties, or having a good time. Rock stars have this aura about them that defies description almost as much as it soaks panties. They have a persona and a presence that helps them do what they do. I believe that this factors heavily in their sex appeal.

Most of us will never be rock stars, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate the power of their appeal. With this Daily Sexy Musing, I seek to celebrate this uncanny spectacle that makes so many dance, swoon, and cheer. Enjoy!

Their voice is loud.

Their movements are intense.

Their words are poetic.

Their rhythm is infectious.

We all take it in. The lights, the cheers, and spectacle of it all creates an experience like no other. It’s one we can share in large crowds. From a dingy club to a huge stadium, the show takes many forms in multiple scales. It all centers around them. They captivate us, drawing us under their influence and power.

They are rock stars.

They are rock gods.

Like any deity, they command worship and praise. We give it willingly. There’s no need for prayer or sacrifice. They offer it to us like a gift. Their talent, drive, and energy ignites the experience. It also ignites something intimate inside us.

We feel it in our hearts, but it quickly spreads to our loins. With rhythm and movement comes heat and arousal. Like a beacon or a siren, it summons us from afar and we willingly follow. Just hearing the music fills us with desire. Getting closer to the source is like getting close to the sun. The heat is almost too much.

Even so, we brave it.

To be near a star is to risk more heat.

To be with that star is to share in the flame.

We are willing captives, drawn to rhythmic musings of melody and song. Rock stars are the spark, but we are the fuel that eagerly spreads the flame. Fantasy and reality may often blur, but the persona and the music are real. In both our passions and our loins, we make share in its power.

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Daily Sexy Musing: Beautiful Proposals

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In every great love story, real and fictional, a marriage proposal is often the apex of the romance. Some treat it like the final play of the Super Bowl. Others treat it like the victory parade for those who win the Super Bowl. Either way can work. There’s a reason people make a big deal of it and it’s a damn good reason.

Even if you have a very cynical view of marriage, there’s no denying the romantic power of the proposal. It’s the basis of many movies, novels, and TV shows. While some are more memorable than others, they all attempt to capture the power of this moment. In real life, people go to great lengths to make their proposal special. When done right, it’s a perfect manifestation of everything that’s great about love.

I don’t just bring this up become I’m a romance fan and an aspiring erotica/romance writer. Recently, I got some big news from a close family member of mine. Out of respect for my family, who I know reads this site from time to time, I won’t provide names or details. I’ll just say that my family now has a wedding to plan and it’s all thanks to a beautiful proposal.

Chances are I’ll be writing a lot about weddings and marriage proposals in the coming months. Given that this is a big family event, I’ll likely play a major role in making this wedding special for the bride, the groom, and both families. I’m still processing the news, but I’m also very much inspired.

It’s more than enough for a Daily Sexy Musing, but rest assured, this won’t be the only wedding-related content I make. For now, consider this an appetizer. Also, to the close family member who may be reading this, congratulations! I promise to make the big day as awesome as possible.

It starts with a thought.

In you, I see the one I love. I wake up by your side in the morning and come home to you in the evening. You are in my thoughts and dreams throughout the day. My world is tied to yours. Every vision of the future involves us together. The very concept of love begins and ends with you.

Then, it becomes an idea.

I see myself tying my life to yours. An intimate bond is not enough. We kiss, we embrace, and we make love as much as any two people can. However, these are all acts that any couple can do. What we have is special. It deserves to be special. To make it special, I seek a special affirmation.

Finally, it becomes a realization.

The recourse becomes so obvious. I love you and you love me. Our paths crossed and our lives became indelibly entwined. Chance and circumstance may have brought us together, but powerful passions formed unique bonds. I don’t just want to be your lover. A love like ours warrants something greater.

In a moment, forever etched in memory, I get down on one knee.

In a moment, born of longing, I proclaim to you the breadth of my live.

In a moment, built on a love unique to us, I ask to be with you until my dying breath.

Time stops as our hearts align. Every thought, notion, and feeling converges in a singular choice. I see tears from in your eyes. Joy and elation manifest before us both.

You say yes.

I take your hand.

We hold one another as our love takes on its ultimate form.

Our journey as lovers is complete.

Our journey as married spouses begins.

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Polygamy Vs. Consensual Non-Monogamy: Is There A Difference?

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When it came to dissecting the absurdities of language, nobody did it better than George Carlin. Beyond being one of the funniest comedians of all time, Carlin could break down certain concepts in a way that was as insightful as it was hilarious. His brilliant analysis of what he called “soft language” is more relevant now than it was when he was still performing.

Given the rise of outrage culture, I often wish George were still alive today so that he could tear the absurdities down, as only he could. We can only imagine how he would’ve tackled issues like fake news, alternative facts, and toxic masculinity. At the very least, his legacy of attacking soft language lives on.

In his book, “Parental Advisory,” Carlin defined soft language as terminology people use to help them avoid unpleasant truths. It helps fat people feel better about being “morbidly obese.” It helps poor people feel better about being “economically disadvantaged.” It helps drug addicts feel better about being “substances abusers.”

The face of a man who didn’t buy such bullshit.

Whatever the case, no matter how many colorful words people utilize, the underlying theme is the same. There are certain aspects of reality that bother some people, so they decide to re-frame it in a way that feels less serious and more palatable. It’s rarely overt. There’s rarely an official announcement or anything. Most of the time, it’s just a trend that people forget is absurd.

This leads me to the emerging concept of “consensual non-monogamy.” It’s kind of what it sounds like. It’s a form of a non-monogamous relationship in which both partners grant one another permission to seek sexual or romantic entanglements with others. Sometimes it involves certain rules and boundaries that are openly negotiated. The key is that there is consent and understanding at all levels.

This is not a new idea. If it sounds a lot like polyamory, an idea I’ve touched on before, that’s because it is for the most part. It’s a non-monogamous relationship that people pursue for any number of reasons. It’s actually one of humanity’s oldest forms of relationships and some even argue that it’s more natural than monogamy.

I’m not going to argue how natural or unnatural such practices are, but I think this latest manifestation of soft language requires scrutiny. Like every other kind of soft language, these sorts of linguistic quirks don’t evolve randomly. There’s often a method behind the absurdity and while I’m not as brilliant as Carlin, I have a pretty good idea of why it’s happening.

In terms of definitions, there isn’t that much difference between polyamory and consensual non-monogamy. Logistically, though, there are a few complexities that differentiate the two practices. They’re minor, but relevant to the extent that inspired soft language.

While there hasn’t been much research into consensual non-monogamous couples, the little we do have paints a fairly comprehensive narrative. In these relationships, there is a “primary” partner who holds the role of spouse/lover. This is the partner with which they love and seek to share their lives with. They’re the ones whose names are on emergency contact forms, loan applications, and wills.

Beyond the primary partner are all the girlfriends/boyfriends with which the sexy stuff occurs. The extent and motives behind these encounters are communicated and understood with the primary partner. Every couple is different so the boundaries vary. Some couples have to be together when they’re getting sexy with others. Some are okay with it happening more randomly.

If that sounds a lot like polyamory, then congratulations. You’re starting to understand how George Carlin thought. While polyamory has its own dictionary definition, it’s connotations are not the same as consensual non-monogamy. What people think of when they hear the word “polyamory” conjures different mental images than a term like consensual non-monogamy.

Polyamory, for better or for worse, is one of those terms that has a certain level of linguistic baggage. It’s less associated with the free-spirited couples who get their own reality show and more with outdated traditions associated with polygamous marriages. Think “Big Love” rather than “Friends With Benefits.”

Now, I know I’ll upset those in the polyamorous community for just hinting at that association. For that, I apologize. I know most who identify as polyamorous or consensual non-monogamous don’t like being associated with the kinds of practices that are often associated with horrific crimes. That gets to the heart of where this soft language comes from.

Even if the principles are the same, those sexy free-spirited couples have a valid incentive to set themselves apart from polyamory. It doesn’t matter the disturbing practices of extreme religious cults are only a small subset of polyamorous relationships. They’re distressing enough for most reasonable people.

I dare you to find something more creepy.

As a result, a less broad term emerges. Consensual non-monogamy may have a few extra syllables, but it feels more technical and official. It’s harder to apply to the more distressing aspects of polyamory because it emphasizes consent, a concept that has only become more heated in recent years.

You can’t have child marriages or even arranged marriages of any kind under consensual non-monogamy. It would undermine the whole “consensual” part of the term. In that context, it’s understandable that this kind of term would emerge. There’s nothing in the definition of polyamory that weeds out those negative associations. Rather than actually confront it, soft language acts as a filter.

Given the frequency with which the negative aspects of polygamy still occur, it’s hard to blame those who practice consensual non-monogamy for wanting to set themselves apart. As those relationships become increasingly acceptable, there will be an increasing desire to frame it in a particular way and “consensual non-monogamy” checks all the right boxes.

It emphasizes consent.

It implies choice and personal freedom.

It’s technical, but doesn’t completely undercut the sex appeal.

Even if the definitions aren’t that different, consensual non-monogamy still does just enough to set itself apart from polyamory. In terms of soft language, it adds some critical, but necessary complications to something that is still subject to plenty of taboos. In a perfect world, such a differentiation wouldn’t be necessary. Sadly, that’s not the kind of world we live in.

Sadly, indeed.

I like to think even Carlin would understand that some amount of soft language is necessary. Whether you call it consensual non-monogamy or polyamory, how we think about these ideas are going to affect our attitudes towards it. If consensual non-monogamous couples don’t want to be associated with crackpot religious cults, then they have every right to set themselves apart.

That said, it’s also entirely possible that more soft language will emerge as consensual non-monogamy becomes more mainstream. Love, sex, and relationships are complicated and human beings are uniquely talented at complicating things. Years from now, we may not call it consensual non-monogamy. We may use something along the lines of “mutually non-binding romantic intimacy relationship agreements.”

At that point, hopefully someone will have picked up on the absurdities. George Carlin may no longer be with us, but that doesn’t mean we should tolerate more bullshit in a world that already has too much of it.

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The (Unequal) Gender Politics Of Divorce

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There are a handful of words that evoke a special kind of dread. I’m not just talking about racial slurs, crushing insults, or George Carlin’s famous seven dirty words. There’s one word that evokes dread that transcends race, gender, and political affiliation. That word is divorce. I’ll give everyone a moment to stop cringing.

I can personally attest to the impact of that word. I have many close friends, relatives, and family members who have gone through divorce. I’ve seen, first-hand, how devastating it can be to individuals and their family. It can be every bit as devastating on children as well. While there is certainly a benefit for spouses and children who escape an abusive relationship, there can still be lasting scars.

Most people agree that divorce is a pretty traumatic experience. It is very much the antithesis of the love, connection, and intimacy we seek in others. It is against everything I generally write about on this website. However, divorce is a significant part of our society.

At this point, it’s worth pointing out that the old “half of all marriages end in divorce” saying is not in line with the data. According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate in 2015 was 16.9 divorces per 1,000 marriages. That actually represents a significant decline since the 1980 when the divorce rate was nearly 23 per 1,000 marriages.

Whatever the rate is, the effects of divorce are still devastating and heartbreaking. Those effects also get lost in a lot of doom-saying surrounding marriage and the state of the family, which is often led by religious zealots and reactionary pundits. Beyond even the tragic and painful stories surrounding divorce, there is another element to it that often goes overlooked.

Unfortunately, it has to do with gender disparities and I’ve learned in the course of writing about this topic, this often brings out some heated debates. I expect that to hold true more than usual on this issue because it’s already so emotionally charged. On top of that, there’s plenty of data to show that when it comes to marriage and divorce, men and women are not on the same page.

The first major indicator of that disparity is shown in who does the proposing. Even in today’s more progressive climate, men are still the ones who propose 90 percent of the time. Despite the many running jokes about men being afraid to commit, they’re still the ones who pop the question. While more and more women are starting to propose, this gap is still significant.

The second indicator, which I’m sure is going to inflame ongoing gender conflicts, has to do with who initiates divorce. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 80 percent of divorces are initiated by women. Again, that’s not a trivial gap. That implies there’s a major disconnect at work and it’s not getting better, even as more people remain single.

The reasons for women initiating divorce are many. I don’t want to get too deep into them, but there are many conflicting narratives. There are those who see marriage as a tool of patriarchal oppression and divorce is tool of liberation. On the other side are those who claim marriage is just an institutional tool that women use to exploit men for resources with divorce being the oversized sledge hammer.

With the added complication of no fault divorce, alimony laws, and child support, there are more legal mechanisms than ever to rub salt in the wound that is divorce. It’s not enough for a relationship to end and for romance to fade. Involving lawyers and lawmakers adds multiple layers of heartbreak and frustration to the mix.

This is where the gender divide can get especially hostile. On top of the disparity in who proposes and who divorces, there’s also a significant divide in how these laws affect each gender. Even though women have gained much more economic independence over the years, 97 percent of the ex-spouses who receive alimony after a divorce are women.

Add the ease of no-fault divorce into the mix and there’s a painful incentive for women to initiate divorce. If the choice is staying in a boring marriage or leaving with some money without having to prove any wrongdoing, then who could blame someone for taking that option? It’s still heartbreaking and hurtful, but people are going to respond to incentives, regardless of gender.

It certainly hasn’t helped gender relations. Many unabashed misogynists will cite how many women receive alimony and use that to claim that all women are manipulative psychopaths who only see men as a wallet or a sperm bank. Those kinds of generalizations are crude, but when you can cite real-world cases of unapologetic gold digging among women, it’s easy to see where that hatred comes from.

Personally, I don’t believe that hatred is justified. Most men don’t see women with that kind of hostility. In principle, alimony exists to protect women who would otherwise be in poverty after divorce. That is reasonable and well-intentioned. In practice, though, it’s a legal tool that can be abused and further foster hateful attitudes.

The data for who gets primary custody of children is just as striking. According to Census data, 82 percent of mothers get custody after divorce. That same set of data also notes that this stat hasn’t changed much over the past 20 years. That, in my opinion, is the most frustrating aspect of this issue.

Despite all the other changes and trends we’ve seen in recent years with feminism, men’s rights activism, and evolving trends in marriage, there hasn’t been much change in the overall narrative. Even as feminists bemoan patriarchal oppression and men’s rights activities protest gender-driven injustice, the rhetoric rarely translates into meaningful change.

I understand that some relationships are just doomed from the start. I also understand that the nature of romance is changing in accord with culture, society, and law. However, the lack of change in the fundamentals of how we pursue marriage and manage divorce is confusing and even a little infuriating.

Women seek, and have gained, a great deal of rights and protections in pursuing their own path within a more egalitarian society. At the same time, they still hold onto traditions surrounding relationships. They still expect the man to propose and to support her in the event of divorce. I doubt that’s out of malice. This is just what we, as a society, consider normal.

At the same time, men are pursuing their own brand of rights and protections within this society. Issues like father’s rights and reforms to family courts all have a place in pursuing a more equitable system. Even so, men still expect women to play a certain role within a relationship while assuming too much about their own role.

It’s an untenable situation. Society is guiding the genders in one direction while they’re pulling towards another. The old narrative surrounding divorce is just not compatible with the one that’s emerging. The situation today is very different than it was in 1908. Laws, culture, and even the economy are changing the factors that guide divorce. The only thing that doesn’t change is the pain of a broken relationship.

As it stands, men and women both seem to want more equality in the tragic realm of divorce. However, they each seem to have very different ideas of what constitutes “equality.” The narrative, as it stands, is built around men pursuing women and women deciding when that pursuit is over. Anything that deviates from that is seen as abnormal or absurd.

Every relationship is different. Every individual is different. There are probably some women out there who divorce out of blind hatred and there are men who marry women they have no intention of loving for the rest of their lives. There are plenty of vindictive people out there and divorce is a weapon that needs no sharpening.

The late, great Robin Williams once said that “Divorce is like ripping a man’s genitals out through his wallet.”

Feminist, Gloria Steinem, once said “You become a semi-non person when you get married. The surest way to be alone is to get married.”

These attitudes nicely reflect the current gender divide when it comes to divorce. Until that gap is narrowed, the heartbreak and hatred inspired by divorce will only get worse. Men and women have enough reasons to clash with one another. Divorce just makes it worse by giving that animosity legal powers.

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Filed under gender issues, human nature, Marriage and Relationships, men's issues, political correctness, psychology, romance, sexuality, women's issues