Men have competed for women’s attention since the beginning of time. It happens with any other species, and we’re not an exception to that rule. We are, though, more prone to have an ego about our progressive nature as human beings, and many of us would like to think we’re above — or at least, can overcome — this natural jealousy and competitive spirit.
A study led by Michael Pham from Oakland University, and recently published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, claims that women whose social circles are predominantly male end up having a lot more sex with their boyfriends.
The researchers got 393 volunteers to study; all of them heterosexual men in committed relationships. They were questioned about many sexual issues within their relationships, including how often they have sex with their partners, how attractive they find them, how attractive they think other men find them and whether they feel their partners seem to have a lot of male friends and co-workers.
The results had an interesting outcome: Those men who reported their sexual partners to seem very attractive to other men and had a big number of male friends and colleagues, are apparently having more frequent sex with their girlfriends.
The reason for this, the researchers explained, is “objective sperm competition”. While in simple scientific terms this means that the sperm of two or more guys keep racing to death to be the one that fertilizes the woman’s egg, this concept also translates to the psychology of dating. Essentially, the higher you think your girlfriend’s chances of fucking other dudes are, the more this competitive reassurance will influence your physiological need to retain her and be more sexually attracted to her.
“Men whose in-pair partner has more male co-workers and friends (i.e., potential sexual rivals) also perform more frequent in-pair copulations,” said the study’s abstract, “But only among men who perceive their partner to be particularly attractive relative to assessments of partners by other men in the sample.”
This doesn’t mean necessarily that their partners are likely to cheat, nor that they expect them to, but the attention our partner gets does impact the way we sexualize them, even if we don’t intend to.
Some men are uncomfortable with their women getting any extra attention from other guys, but a lot of us like the idea of being with someone who can inspire this in other men. Partially because of that competitive spirit, but also with the awareness that she already is with us. While physiologically we’re competing for that attention, we’re also appreciative that we get to be with a hot, funny girl that can kick it with dudes and is not the least bit intimidated by it.
We’ll always want what others want, too; it’s only natural. What we can try to control is how we act on these bursts of competitiveness. And if you ask me, more sex seems like a pretty damn good way of dealing with the situation.