Monday, November 17, 2008

Why a Woman's Body is So Sexy Part I

A flower's fragrance declares to all the world that it is fertile, available, and desirable, its sex organs oozing with nectar. Its smell reminds us in vestigial ways of fertility, vigor, life-force, all the optimism, expectancy, and passionate bloom of youth. We inhale its ardent aroma and, no matter what our ages, we feel young and nubile in a world aflame with desire.- Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses, 1990, p. 13
Warning: Various song lyrics follow that contain language and content some might find offensive.

Authors Note: You'll never think the same way about sex and a woman's body after reading this.

It has been the subject of art, poetry, censorship and worship for centuries. Some want to glory in it- raw, fresh and exposed. Others have a tradition of concealing any reference to its likeness and cloak it in mystery, obscurity and sometimes shame.

All human life comes from the female body.
The survival of the human species hinges on getting women pregnant and frequently. Therefore biology has caused seeing the body's reproductive features to stimulate mental and physical pleasure subconsciously – a chemical release of pleasure that is highly addictive. And it's no wonder. A woman's body is the embodiment of our species survival, and survival is the fundamental instinct and urge of any living thing.

The female body IS a walking advertisement for reproduction of the human species. Every curve, line, shape and angle somehow relates to a visual representation of the potential for a new life.

Seeing an attractive and fit woman's naked body (or even scantily clothed) creates a sensation of pleasure because it's subconsciously assuring to a person that the species is surviving and thriving. It excites the senses and creates a desire to do the act that causes reproduction- namely SEX.

This does not make the act, or the bodies involved in any way: "dirty", "wrong", "embarrassing" or "inappropriate". Social stigmas and standards determine how people grow up responding to the sexual maturity cues. Biology doesn't care about propriety . It exists for one reason- continuing the species. The cycle of life; the amazing details of the seamlessly working human body; the well-oiled machine that is reproduction- is an awe inspiring and beautiful thing. It knows no shame. Nor should it.

Instinctively a person, like any species that survives, is born with the urge to flaunt its genetic features. Peacocks strut their absurdly long and flamboyant tails. Bucks flash their array of functional and decorative antlers. Monkeys present their rump to the potential mate for inspection- males and females alike… and humans aren't much different from our primate cousins.

And humans are really not that different than flowers. When a flower reaches "sexual maturity" it unfolds its petals and leaves and exposes it's sexual organs to the entire world, often in a blaze of dazzling colors, amazingly intricate detail and potently fragrant aromas.

To observe a similar display, one only has to pay the smallest amount of attention to the inevitable transformation that happens to childhood celebrities when they approach their middle to late teens. Miley Cyrus is making headlines for recently posing "partially nude" in Vanity Fair magazine (she's about to turn 16) and Daniel Radcliffe of the Harry Potter series performed completely naked on stage shortly after turning 18 last year.

History- past and future is marked by a somewhat similar transition of most child stars after reaching the age where their bodies want to announce to the world they are ready for procreation. Curiously enough, the genitalia of both male and females actually resemble the sexual parts of flowers. Perhaps then it's not surprising that people who are attracted to each other and want to instigate a romantic relationship- give each other flowers.

A person has three sets of attributes their genetics can pass on to the next generation:

Physical characteristics: height, eye/hair/skin color, body type, strengths and weaknesses (straight teeth/ skin problems) body part sizes (full lips, narrow feet), body hair patterns, tendencies (moles/ hair loss/ likelihood of developing certain diseases and disorders), taste buds, etc.

Learning capacity, speed of processing information, abilities to learn multiple languages or easily create music or 3 dimensional/ spatial skills, intuition abilities, etc.

Personality: quirks and habits (sarcasm or goofy sense of humor, nail biting, hair twirling) temperament (easily angered, mellowness) outgoing or shy, aggressive or passive, kind hearted or selfish, determined or easily discouraged, etc.

The physical characteristics are the most obvious and the easiest to identify visually, and therefore the method that attracts the most attention from the widest available audience.

Whether people realize it or not, their bodies are a 24/7 advertisement to everyone else about their genetic code and what they can offer the next generation. A person's body is an example of what their genetics can create. And while they also carry many recessive (or hidden and not displayed) characteristics, it's still gives a fairly general idea of what their offspring will look like and the physical tendencies they'll inherit- good and bad. Obviously, the more appealing their characteristics are to the opposite gender, the more selection they'll have for potential mates.

While obviously a woman is capable of greatness in pretty much any arena she puts her mind and body to, and she is more than just her body's pro-creation potential, it is still an undeniable fact of nature: A woman's body is designed to create more people.
From a biological standpoint- this fact NEEDS to excite people or no one would bother doing the act that would impregnate her. Part of the pleasure experienced during sex is attributed to hormones released in the brain that is related to the possibility of this union creating a baby. Even if consciously the idea of a pregnancy strikes fear into the hearts of the participants- the body does not have an awareness of the social or financial ramifications of having a baby- it's simply saying, "Good job!"

In fact the mating positions that are the most "exciting" and arousing are the ones that cause the deepest penetration- and without some form of birth control- are the positions that get the egg and sperm closest together and create the stronger chances of pregnancy.
A man may not want to get a woman pregnant and she may not want to become pregnant, but both of their BODIES desperately want this to happen- so it cranks up the amount of pleasure you experience in your brain while doing it, seeing it and witnessing it. The pleasure from sex is largely mental and emotional, and THAT is why.

Even if you are not the one engaging in the activity, your body responds to the acknowledgment that *someone* is having sex, having babies and therefore going to ensure the survival of the species. Ideally though, your body would prefer it to be you, since it's particular survival only takes place through its own genetic code being passed on.

The idea of kissing and copulating with an unacceptable partner (someone who's genetic features you are NOT attracted to) is something virtually everyone would agree is disgusting and unappealing.

However- when presented with a potential partner who's features your body recognizes as being a good genetic match and having genetic features you would want for your offspring- the body immediately starts releasing the hormones to prepare that person to have sex- should the opportunity arise.

A person's mental choices do over-ride their physical ones, and hopefully they would be more choosy when actually deciding to create a child. From the standpoint of a responsible person- particularly in societies that intend to mate for life and have offspring with that partner exclusively (ie. dolphins, wolves, some species of eagles, and sometimes - humans) the choice of a mate to create children with IS the most important decision that individual can make in their lifetime. That combination of genetic material in the form of a new living thing- will be more likely than not- passed on in some form for centuries to come, long after the "parents" have died and their bodies turned to dust.

The body however, is not as discriminating. Since it's goal is to ensure the survival of it's genetic code, it's goal then becomes one of ensuring that code exists in as many possible forms as well. Society with its sense of "right and wrong" and "moral and immoral" frowns upon parents who have children with multiple partners.
Biologically however, this is the best-case scenario. Increasing the variety of genetic combinations passed on to future generations increases the odds of making a genetic match that survives long enough to also reproduce.

Genetically: failure to reproduce = failure to survive.

Most people are familiar with the expression "Sowing wild oats"- which refers to a person having sexual relations/ somewhat reckless life experiences before settling down to raise a family. Sowing means planting though. This expression actually translates into spreading ones genetic code to random people in various areas, before choosing one long-term partner to raise children with.

While history paints a woman sowing wild oats as a more scandalous picture than a man doing it- both genders are rather forcefully encouraged by their hormones to have as much sex as possible and as many children as possible.

And while many woman would resent or contest the comment, the fact is, a woman's body is in fact a baby-making machine. In fact every part of it is related somehow to reproduction and that makes it sexually appealing to not only the opposite sex, but the same gender.

Read on to find out how and why.

Part II

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