With transcend I mean to go beyond, while reasonably including.
With primary fantasy, a term I first read in Warren Farrell’s book Why Men Are the Way They Are, I mean the biological hardwiring of heterosexual males to desire young(er) sexy females with smooth skin, long shiny hair, symmetrical body features, large eyes, white and well aligned teeth, large upright breasts, height/weight proportionality, and 0.7 waist-to-hip-ratio, which all indicate good reproductive capacities (see Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty by Nancy Etcoff), and of females to desire tall successful males with social status and wealth who are benevolent towards them and aggressive towards other males, which indicate good capacities as protector and provider (see The Social Psychology of Gender: How Power and Intimacy Shape Gender Relations by Laurie A. Rudman and Peter Glick.)
The primary fantasy is a universal phenomenon of our evolutionary biological imperative (that we share with all living organisms) to perpetuate our existence through survival, territorialism, competition, reproduction, quality of life-seeking, and group forming. It is deeply rooted in our reptilian brainstem, varies only in its expression but not in kind throughout history, cultures and consciousness development (see Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men page 83-86, and The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller), and is hard to transcend… you are your own judge.
Helen Fisher writes in Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love that the hormones which are released when our primary fantasy and psychological factors are met, and we have the experience of “falling in love”, are so strong and addictive that we become “temporarily insane”. With the constant bombardment from the media-industry (see Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality by Catherine Salmon and Prof. Donald Symons), internet dating, and New-Age fantasies of the “Law of Attraction”, which all suggest that we can, and are in fact entitled to, have our primary fantasy met (and then some, no matter how much the odds are statistically staged against us), expectations of many singles and couples in modern and postmoderm societies have risen to unrealistic heights and contribute to the ongoing and unsustainable upward distribution of wealth, environmental destruction and other socioeconomic problems that humanity is facing.
The graphic below, attributed to Prof. Donald Symons (The Evolution of Human Sexuality), shows the dynamic that the Primary Fantasy has created in modern and postmodern societies:
The horizontal X axis indicates the increasing attractiveness of males based on their income/wealth/status and that of females based on their physical attractiveness.
The vertical Y axis indicates the number of males (blue line) and females (green line) at each horizontal level.
While the US median annual income of males 25 and older is roughly $35k (and has been so for over a decade), with only 6.1% of single and married men making more than $100k, and the average height of white men in the US being 5’9″ / 175.26 cm, most attractive women (of which there are many, as beauty and sexiness is in the eye of the beholder and less of an objective number) desire men who make $100k or more per year and are above average in height (ideally 6′ – 6’2″ / 182 – 190cm, about 14.5% of the US male population). This leads to the dynamic that many men (see the bump in the center of the graphic) look at sexually attractive women (see the bump in the right side of the graphic) whom they can’t afford/attract, while these women look for tall men with high incomes and social status of which there are very few (where are all the good men???)
A recent Duke University study of 22,000 online profiles showed that a 5-foot-9-inch man needs to make $30,000 more than a 5-foot-10-inch one to be as successful in the dating pool. Statistics from OK-Cubit differentiate this observation further by age. Another study showed that men would marry women who have 80% of what they desire in a wife, while most women say that they deserve 100% of what they want in a husband and rather keep looking than to settle. Lori Gottlieb tries to convince herself and other women not to make this mistake in her book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough.
In “my cultural shadow below I further explain my initial confusion and frustration around the exaggerated primary fantasy of many American women and the differences with women in other countries.
Even though I naturally have the perspective and experience of an average male on this issue (I am 5’9″, bald, and not wealthy), I am well aware that many attractive women feel (and are) objectified, pursued, and sometimes harassed by men who they are not interested in or attracted to, and that less attractive women are often rejected or ignored because their age, looks, and sex appeal does not meet the primary fantasy of males that they desire (see Ted Talk about objectification of women and articles by Vanessa Fisher about Beauty at https://integrallife.com/tags/beauty).
Many women are frustrated by the real shortage of good looking, tall, financially successful, spiritual, and psychologically healthy “evolved” men that they feel attracted to and want a commitment from. Just this morning I received a ranting blog post from a frustrated woman entitled “What Sexy, Consciously Awake Women NEED & Don’t WANT from Men.” See my response “Are Women More Evolved Than Men?” in this blog/newsletter.
With Being values I mean wholeness, perfection, completion, justice, aliveness, richness, simplicity, beauty, goodness, uniqueness, effortlessness, playfulness, truth, and self-sufficiency as defined by Abraham Maslow and may add love, compassion, care, kindness, integrity, and responsibility. See a more complete list of passions, interests, capacities, values and ideals in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men page 31-33.
What I am suggesting (and asking) here is that we focus on Being values versus material, sexual, or emotional neediness (meaning the projection of our needs and fantasies onto our partners out of fear and shame, and punishing/rejecting them if they don’t meet them), AND embody the other Values for Integral Relationship Evolutionaries as attractors to transcend our primary fantasy while including reasonable expectations that our partners take care of their physical bodies through healthy nutrition, exercise, hygiene, rest, etc. and generate sufficient income for sharing a socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable lifestyle through meaningful and ethical work.
To single women who want to choose an Integral Evolutionary partner I suggest the book Seduction Redefined and to post their profile at www.integralsingles.com.
In the next newsletter I will unpack value #4 “We use our relationship for ongoing mutual learning, healing, growth and awakening towards the capacity to love unconditionally.”