I wrote about the “special problem of intelligent women looking for love” a little while back. It picked up on what a lot of us are noticing. That women, despite being informed to the contrary, can’t have it all – career, kids and a frightfully successful career. Mostly because it means doing it all. Which is killing us. But also cos it’s disrupting age-old male-female, ying-yang dynamics.

40674_1_468cI look around my ‘hood. Things are weird. This is what it looks like:

* lots of hot women with super careers in their 30s (at their career peak) who are single. And who’ve been single for yonks. Yep, they left settling down until after they got their career sorted…but that’s only part of the problem. Cos surely men were doing the same? And are in the same position? But, no….

* men haven’t so much disappeared as, well, changed their tactics. Around me, there are lots of single hot men in their 30s/40s… on dating frenzies, not wanting to settle down. Cos they don’t have to. Why? They have 20934 single women lunging at them, 20-year-olds through to women in their 40s. They’re Peter Pans. With too many options. They don’t have time to think about settling and committing. The frenzy of women in their immediate orbit is too distracting. Men are distracted easily by this kind of frenzy.

* BUT these men aren’t happy because they’re not being real men. They’re denied the opportunity to pursue, to go after the woman they reckon is perfect for them. That’s because they’re being pursued by women. Why? Cos everything is out of whack (women are used to chasing things and get impatient when men don’t approach, but also because the men aren’t pursuing.. cos they don’t have to….and it goes around and around). And so men feel emasculated by this. Because men are meant to be the hunters.  The peacocks who do dances and display their prowess to women, to earn female trust and affection. Since the cost of partnering is higher for women, they must be fussier and sit back and weigh up their options. This is a biological imperative.

* women are equally defeminised by these contemporary shifts. Because they don’t get to be the pea-hen, pursued and courted and desired.

And so we are in gender-lock. As an old guy who does yoga down the beach in the mornings at the same time as me said last week, “It’s like men and women today aren’t even seeing each other”.

It’s true. We’re not.

Because we’re not in our feminine/ masculine power. We’re outta whack.

Anyway, a new American book “Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate and Think About Marrying” has just come out and is adding to the debate. It says:

Women are going ace-guns in their careers…but this success has come at a great cost to women’s sexual bargaining power. The upshot: we’re not pursued by men…we now do the pursuing, which tips the relationship power to men…which is not a good thing. Women should be holding the cards. It works better this way.

The authors – researchers Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker of the University of Texas at Austin – based their conclusion on data from four national surveys. The cold-hard truth is that women’s successes have left them with a small pool of similarly educated and financially stable men, they say. “It’s created an imbalance that tips relationship power in the direction of the men. Instead of men competing for women, today women feel like they must compete for men.”

Salon did an interview with one of the authors Mark Regenerus. Here’s some interesting points. Some are rather essentialist, but I have to say, I agree with the drift:

On men holding the sex cards: (Due to fact more women have uni degrees) women wind up competing with each other … to attract men (with equal uni smarts). How do you compete with other women to attract men? Well, sex is the way to get his attention. It’s the opposite of a cartel effect where women would say, “All right, we need to band together and artificially restrict the price of sex and get it high, even if we don’t want to, in order to extract things from men.” It used to be women would shame each other for selling low.

On the price of sex: In the world of prostitution you never see women paying men for sex. Men pay women for sex, men will pay men for sex, but women don’t pay men for sex. You get a sense that she has something of value that he wants.

He then offers this controversial advice. Which we’ve heard before with all those experts preaching “settling”, and the experts who preach “no sex until he puts a ring on it”: I don’t think it’s in women’s interest to play the field for a long period of time. It can get depressing, not only about their relationships but to see the pool of men in their 30s who are available. My advice is if you find somebody who you love and who loves you, make it work, whatever it takes! To always think that something better is down the pathway, you might be mistaken.

I think it’s a bad idea for women collectively to compete with each other for men and to just sort of say I’ll do whatever it takes to be in a relationship with men. Women need to somehow reacquire control over the direction of relationships. They feel like they don’t have control. They feel like he calls the shots. That is most unfortunate. Part of that, I think, involves — and this is what some women don’t want to hear — the artificial restriction of sex until later in the relationship. You might not feel like doing that but it’s for a greater future goal. Men who have sex early in a relationship feel little impulse to make strong commitments. Women desperately want that to not be true, but it is. Men and women make relationship commitments very differently. It doesn’t sound modern and it doesn’t sound natural, but I don’t care what it sounds like, I’m telling you how things work. Giving it away early gives a great deal of power to him.

I guess after all this, it must be asked, where to head to? What to do if you’re single and caught in this gender-lock? My sense is that it’s best to be graceful and access one’s feminine or masculine power, regardless of what’s happening out in the world. Eventually, this will win out. Regardless.

What do you reckon? Does all this old-fashioned speak irk you? Or is it a relief to hear it put this way?

Have your say, leave a comment.

  • tom jones


  • tom jones

    A friend of mine showed me this article and told me that it sounds like me in reverse. She said that I should rewrite the article as “Why having a good career leaves men single. My experience in romance has shown me repeatedly that intelligence and ambition scare off infinitely more women than they attract. I am a dancer, musician, physician and aspiring (aren’t we all?) romance novelist. When a potential female love interest hears about my very busy and intense lifestyle she usually runs for the hills. As my many female friends (all taken) tell me, a little ambition is good but too much is a complete romance killer.

  • Reality Check

    The women of today are certainly different than the women of years ago that wanted to get married and have a family, and the women now are looking for the Rich Man instead. The ones that have their Career are Very Stuck Up And Very High Maintenance, Total Losers.

  • Over this

    These articles about hetro singles in Sydney are so depressing, publishing things like this like it’s fact just gives guys on the scene an excuse and tars the good ones with the bad. I don’t remember going out with a decent guy being as hard as you make it sound but if that was actually representative of what’s out there and I’m doomed to failure looking for grown up men I’d be chucking it in and switching back to dating women.

  • Lalaine

    You sound like my husband, Brett.

  • TheBestAnswerOfAll

    They’re certainly the Worst of all women to have a relationship with since they think that their God’s gift to men, and what Losers too.

  • AbsolutelyRight

    Well with many women today that are very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, and very greedy, really speaks for itself since many of them really think their God’s gift to men which their Not at all. And this is a very excellent reason why many of us good men are still single today. So why would we ever Blame ourselves to begin with especially since many of us are Not single by choice?

  • TheyReallyDo

    Well with so many women that have their Careers today which many of them do carry so much Drama, Greed, and Selfishness with them everywhere they go. And what makes it more sad today is that many of them are the real Biggest Cheaters of them all too.

  • ARealGoodHonestAnswer

    Well now with so many Career women out there which many of them are so very high maintenance, independent, selfish, spoiled, greedy, picky, and so very money hungry which really speaks for itself since it is always about them. God forbid if these women were to date a man that makes much Less money than they do since these women do want the Best and will Never settle for Less at all which is definitely such a Change from the real Good old fashioned women that we once had.

  • AW

    It is more of the other way around these days.

  • Ok

    The word “amazing” is extremely relative.

  • Ok

    “males are still looking for motherly qualities” something the article could have explored a bit more… instead so many mentions of “men” were attached to sex and nothing else. University degrees matter less to men than concepts that have been thrown out with the trash over the past decades: grace, empathy, healing, support, nourishment, etc… things that make for wife-material that most men probably ‘feel’ desire for beyond sex but aren’t able to expressing in words or telling the world. Beyond looking good, these are the things men are seeking out in a mate (beyond dating). Now in the modern day, there’s generations of men that have never been exposed to anything but the opposite of grace/empathy/healing/support/nourishment… instead are presented with an army of go-getter career women, that basically act like other men and are looking for supportive mates too! That is what the market offers. Basically modern daters, male or female, are looking for wives. The western world is full of HUSBANDS (male or female) who are working hard with successful careers, but there are no WIVES (male or female) ie to be seen anywhere because everyone is making a buck in the race to the bottom. Family-raising went out the window along with art, crafts and all other human pursuits. Our future is to be floating clouds of data, trapped in the matrix, able to change or identities and fantasies to whatever we want. Enjoy.

  • Career Women Really Suck

    Well these women that have their careers today really think they’re all that, which they’re not at all. They have the worst attitude problem as well as having no good manners and respect when it comes to men. And it is a real shame how very pathetic that these women are to begin with, and they’re very greedy, selfish, spoiled, and very money hungry all the time as well. Hopefully these women will just grow very old all alone with their cats since they would really deserve that. And it is very obvious why many of us good men are still single today since most of the women that are like this now are very much to blame.