I place emphasis on the biological adaptation versus cultural adaptation concept. What does it mean? How does this concept interact with sexuality?
Sexuality can be a powerful part of the human experience. It drives us to interact with others, often under bizarre circumstances. It can feel as though it is guiding you through conversations and other sexual favors. It is almost as if it becomes a form of communication [with no direct end destination] within a crowd. Perhaps there is more happening here than meets the eye?
The key-stone to the concept of cultural versus biological adaptations? Neither form turns off completely. At most one would go dormant, like a volcano or fault line. In other words, both have some impact on the evolution of a species. Usually, one form takes precedence over another.
I think of human sexuality as a product of these two competing forces. When we cooperate with our attractive peers, a sexual or platonic relationship is often the goal. When we compete with these same peers, we often are more focused on developing a personal relationship with our social structure. The casual relationships we develop with our attractive peers is often muddled with this contradiction.
For example, think of your typical gym in America. Most likely a clean but run-down place that needs a face lift will come to mind. Here, people focus on fitness in a social atmosphere. It is difficult not to compete with that stud on the treadmill next to you. Displaying “superior fitness” as compared to a person whom we consider superiorly attractive to ourselves is somehow seen as beneficial by many of us. Why?
My theory is this; such a competition can potentially heighten our contribution to our social structure. In modern society, the act of production* is accomplished socially. In order to produce our wealth, large groups of people congregate in factoriesand other such locations. The workforce of every locale usually has fully developed social dynamics, such as who is attracted to whom. Therefore, enhancing our sensitivity to the attractions within any one group will someday enhance our ability to incorporate ourselves into the workforce. In other words, competing with those to whom we are attracted toward while socializing will someday enhance the social accomplishment of production, and thus our current cultural form of adaptation.
However, when we see that same stud breaking it down on the dance floor alone, we immediately want to give them our company. We try to flatter and emphasize that stud in the hope that he or she will do the same to us. In other words, we do our best to cooperate in the interest that our “partner” will cooperate with us all the way back to either our bedroom or into a first date. Besides, if you can’t bring it on the dance floor, how exactly are you going to bring it anywhere else (like the bedroom)?
So why do our personalities change while flirting? Is it because we want to both cooperate and compete with them simultaneously? Clearly, we want to cooperate with this individual so we can try and get laid (or whatever). But what if this one turns out not to be interested? Well, competing against them to appear superior in attraction to the entire group would probably be your next thought, no?
Competition tends to claim much of the spotlight mainly because Capitalism itself is competitive in nature. However, humans continue to cooperate with one another. All one needs to do to see that we are just as cooperative as we are competitive is watch flirtations run back and forth within a crowd. Upon enough observation, I realized that it usually involves both cooperation and competition…and that we, as a species, are VERY weird!
A Frolicker of Sexual Fluidity
* This is a reference to my previous post, Dialectics & Sexuality.