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The teenage years. Friendships, crushes, growth... and hating. Lots of hating.

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Postby Tarlia on Mon Oct 09, 2006 9:42 am

StarKruzr wrote:
Ostracee wrote:Um, last I checked, oestrogen is also linked to sex drive...


Not really, no. Testosterone is the female sex drive hormone just as it is in men. Estrogen performs other tasks.


Testosterone isn't the end all and be all of sex drive, though. There are many women who have a high sex drive, high enough to match any man's, some have higher sex drives than average men. Likewise there's men who have lower sex drives than average. I'm not entirely sure why we're bringing biology into this, how does having testosterone make Marshall any more "guilty"?
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Postby Chrysee on Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:58 am

._.;;

Last time I looked at the forum this was only on its 3rd page. WTF happened XD Everybody needs to calm down and drop this.
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Postby Beanie on Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:28 am

There is no scientific proof of what gets your "sex drive" up and running (nor scientific proof that the "sex drive" itself even exists as more than a means to an end we use to explain things.) Testosterone has something to do with it, but nobody has any idea what or how much influence it really has. There is scientific evidence that points to a man wanting orgasm simply because his seminal vesicles are full and he needs release, or because the prostate is swelling - that's a lot less complicated than hormones.

It is not, as yet, known how mechnical male desire is. Is it purely hormonal? Is it emotional, psychological, or a combination of two or three of these? Which hormones are in control - of what, and in what levels? There are also studies which have shown estrogen in men (yes, that is correct) does indeed have influence over sexual desire - not to mention the roles other male sex hormones may or may not play.

Add to that the fact that hormones will still be sending signals to the brain, and the brain will then be reacting. But that further complicates things, as brain structure, size, function, action and reaction varies so widely between every. single. person it makes it even harder to narrow down what works how and where. On top of THAT we can bring up the point that brain activity and it's influence on your body is a chicken and the egg debate.

Furthermore, it's very important that we seperate the body's need for an orgasm, and our need for sex, as two different things. It is easier to pin down specific things that request your body have an orgasm - it is far less easy to pin down things that request your body engage in sex. For men, yes, sex and orgasm are pretty much irrevocably linked, but they ARE two seperate things.


Anyway, I hope that clears up the misconception that male sexuality, or sexuality as a whole, is cut-and-dry and scientifically proven or sound to any degree. Ria is right - there is no way we can talk about this situation in terms of biology.
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Postby Tarlia on Mon Oct 09, 2006 12:26 pm

Bravo Beanie.
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Postby El Durazno Muerte on Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:19 pm

I second the bravo.

Of course, if the history of this thread is any indication, in a couple posts someone else will come along and say, "Nuh uh! All of that is wrong! Guys want to have sex all of the time, and Marshall is a freak for not immediately giving in and having sex with her!"

Looking back, I'm not completely certain what we're arguing about. When somebody says, "No guy would do what Marshall is doing!" and somebody else steps up and says, "I'm a guy, and I would!" doesn't that kind of kill the debate?

Oh, well. This discussion's been pretty interesting anyway.
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Postby LeonardC on Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:57 pm

StarKruzr wrote:
LeonardC wrote:
StarKruzr wrote:Other people have made my points for me since I posted last, but I just want to add in iRobot's direction that the source of said societal constructs is entirely irrelevant when they're expected to be there.

It also doesn't matter that Marshall has "feminine qualities." Karen (reasonably) expects him to behave as a male typically would -- at least RESPONDING to her sexual desire instead of flat-out turning her down every time. There are other ways to enjoy the company of your partner sexually other than engaging in intercourse. Marshall doesn't even appear to be interested in those with her. At all.


Let's just think a bit about how this reasoning would work out if it were applied to something other than gender.


But it ISN'T something other than gender. Gender is something with actual biological effects.


So's race. When was the last time you saw a white guy get to be world champion at the hundred-metre dash? Doesn't mean we're justified in committing obnoxious and potentially criminal acts based on stereotypes, in either case.

Look, no one is suggesting that Marshall is "not allowed" to vary from male gender norms. That would be plain stupid. It's the way he's leading Karen on and refusing to actually TALK about why he's acting the way he's acting that is the actual problem. The lack of apparent sexual interest is only puzzling, not "bad."


I didn't accuse you of saying Marshall was "not allowed" to do anything. And I agree fully that Marshall would do well to come out and talk about what he wants and why he wants it - though Karen needs to do that at least as much. What's really bothering me, and I think many of the other people here, is that you seem to think it's reasonable for Karen to act on a gender stereotype rather than on the things she knows about Marshall as an individual.
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Postby snowp14 on Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:26 am

This thread reminds me of the Pinker vs. Spelke debates. I had to read this whole longggg thing for a course my freshman year. For those who are quite passionate about this gender types/biological differences issue, you should read it :smug:
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yeah

Postby Saint_37 on Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:31 pm

If I were to come to this forum from a random google search link, I doubt I'd know that it were ever related to a webcomic.
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Postby oddtail on Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:26 pm

Saint_37 wrote:If I were to come to this forum from a random google search link, I doubt I'd know that it were ever related to a webcomic.


Comic? What comic? :o
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Postby Freemage on Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:03 pm

ria wrote:Biology is not all-telling. It is one of many influences. Again gender roles are a construct we have built on top of those biological influences. Key words: "we have built"

A friend of mine put it this way -- "Do you really think I am genetically programmed to be better at laundry than a man?" It's a silly notion.


Laundry, or housework, specifically? No. But (and I say this as the laundry-doing male in a relationship) it HAS been shown that women are more prone to have a 'nesting instinct'--that is, to want to establish control and order over their home environment.

This in no way excuses the husband from his share of the chores--it simply accounts, in part, for why it's more important to most women that those chores get done at all.

And yes, since apparently every other post I've made in these discussions needs a disclaimer: In all discussions of biological imperatives, we are making broad statements about averages and tendencies, which may very well not apply to any given individual, and therefore to draw conclusions about an individual simply on the basis of their gender will invariably lead to bad conclusions.

Yes, men by large have a greater sex drive than women. This does not mean that men lust after sex at the cost of all else, or that women don't want sex at all. It does not mean that when a man is aroused he must act on it. It does not mean that when a man is aroused it overrides the use of his brain, the principles he holds to or the choices he has made formerly. Physical arousal is not the only factor that plays into desire. And desire does not dictate one's actions either; one can have plenty of desire but still decide against acting on it for any variety of legitimate reasons.


Oddly, this is the argument Teague and I have been making--that physical arousal is NOT the only indicator of desire, and in fact can occur in its absence.

There are other, better indicators of actual desire, and we haven't seen those in the strip. (And no, I'm not talking about having sex with Karen, either--there's other ways to convey desire, and Marshall either doesn't know them, or doesn't have those feelings).
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Postby Grizkey on Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:35 pm

Chrysee wrote:._.;;

Last time I looked at the forum this was only on its 3rd page. WTF happened XD Everybody needs to calm down and drop this.


But it's so fun to watch them argue
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Postby flmnmallow on Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:33 pm

Did it occur to anyone that maybe Karen thinks that the only way to be intimate at this point is sex?

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20050927.html

It seems to me that she, like many other folks, just don't know how to be intimate without being physical. For someone who's probably never been in a relationship before (which I'm assuming is true for her, given her history) she might think that sex is the natural next step, mostly because she doesn't know any better.

True, Karen has definitely broken boundaries and disrespected Marshall's wishes, but I honestly don't think there is any malintent or maliciousness behind it. I'm not excusing her behavior, just trying to make sense out of it. If she thinks that sex will solidify her relationship at this point in her relationship, of course she is going to go for it.

As has been pounded into our heads over and over, Karen's got problems, Marshall's not ready, and the two can't communicate. Of course communication doesn't solve everything, but there is a striking difference between talking and communicating. Communication, as my Comm teacher liked to say, can be defined as mutual understanding between two or more individuals. Marshall only made a declaration. He said one thing, Karen heard, "I don't want you".. that is NOT communication. Neither of them understands each other's intent, and therefore need to sit there until everything is out in the open. We don't know the result of this proposed discussion is going to be, but one thing is generally certain: They're probably not going to be able to fully understand the issues or concerns that they other has, and really need some time to get to where they are on the same page. To where *maybe* sex could be a possiblity....

Guess we'll have to see?
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Postby Papuasblya on Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:35 pm

iRobot wrote:
StarKruzr wrote:Amongst the Sauromatians of ancienct Scythia, women went out to battle, ruled the roost, formed the priest class, etc.--while men stayed at home with the children an the elderly.


And one of the reasons that the Sauromatians, like most other matriarchal Amazon cultures, failed to flourish is that ultimately their warriors got their asses kicked on the field of battle by males who were, genetically, taller and stronger. Yes, women are more vicious in battle (cf. Rudyard Kipling: "When you find yourself wounded on the Afghan plains/and the women come out to carve up what remains/Just turn for the rifle that's over your shoulder/and go to your God like a soldier") but in military strategy, ultimately Bigger Is Better. Said male warriors then marched into the Sauromatian villages to find the poor schmuck male Sauromatians; after about ten minutes of having the virtues of being the ass-kicker versus the ass-kickee explained to them, Sauromatian males tended to stop being Sauromatian, and start being male.

iRobot, you sound like an intelligent kid. A gentle word of warning. Recreational Sociology is dangerous.
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Postby iRobot on Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:42 am

Papuasblya wrote:And one of the reasons that the Sauromatians, like most other matriarchal Amazon cultures, failed to flourish is that ultimately their warriors got their asses kicked on the field of battle by males who were, genetically, taller and stronger. Yes, women are more vicious in battle (cf. Rudyard Kipling: "When you find yourself wounded on the Afghan plains/and the women come out to carve up what remains/Just turn for the rifle that's over your shoulder/and go to your God like a soldier") but in military strategy, ultimately Bigger Is Better. Said male warriors then marched into the Sauromatian villages to find the poor schmuck male Sauromatians; after about ten minutes of having the virtues of being the ass-kicker versus the ass-kickee explained to them, Sauromatian males tended to stop being Sauromatian, and start being male.


Yes, males do tend to be bigger and stronger.... Beyond that, though, your assertions need citations you be seriously considered. Mainly because they beg the questions of: Why, then, did such a society arise in the first place? and Why, then, did their society exist in such a state for as long as if did?

But the biggest question is: What the heck does any of that have to do with my using the Sauromations as an example that gender roles are societal constructs rather than biological imperatives?

iRobot, you sound like an intelligent kid. A gentle word of warning. Recreational Sociology is dangerous.


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Postby Freemage on Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:46 am

Papuasblya wrote:
iRobot wrote:
StarKruzr wrote:Amongst the Sauromatians of ancienct Scythia, women went out to battle, ruled the roost, formed the priest class, etc.--while men stayed at home with the children an the elderly.


And one of the reasons that the Sauromatians, like most other matriarchal Amazon cultures, failed to flourish is that ultimately their warriors got their asses kicked on the field of battle by males who were, genetically, taller and stronger. Yes, women are more vicious in battle (cf. Rudyard Kipling: "When you find yourself wounded on the Afghan plains/and the women come out to carve up what remains/Just turn for the rifle that's over your shoulder/and go to your God like a soldier") but in military strategy, ultimately Bigger Is Better. Said male warriors then marched into the Sauromatian villages to find the poor schmuck male Sauromatians; after about ten minutes of having the virtues of being the ass-kicker versus the ass-kickee explained to them, Sauromatian males tended to stop being Sauromatian, and start being male.

iRobot, you sound like an intelligent kid. A gentle word of warning. Recreational Sociology is dangerous.


Ehh... Actually, there's a far likelier explanation for the long-term failure of early 'female warrior' cultures than a distinction between combat abilities. Simply put, women in history have been necessary for breeding. A society could be repopulated by men too young or old to fight, but only by women of a fairly narrow age-range. Furthermore, numbers could favor the men by a long-shot, and you'd still have the ability to breed a new generation. So any cultural habit in those days that put women at greater risk was, in the long run, a losing proposition. Eventually, you would end up in a situation where the women were so vital to continuation of the society that only men COULD be used for battle, or the culture would depopulate itself out of existence, their remaining population absorbed into a more robust culture, or simply annihilated.
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Postby Foelhe on Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:07 am

Uh, question? When did this become a sociology lesson?

We can talk about how the average guy would react for as long as we'd like, but the simple fact of the matter is that we're dealing with one guy, Marshall. And if he's left of center... well, he's not the only one. Hell, plenty of the guys posting to this thread are a case in point.

Karen expected Marshall to want sex if she took him by surprise. Is that a defense for her? If Marshall was just some random guy, okay, I can see her assuming he was a horndog. But they've talked about this. Marshall stated outright that he wasn't going to have sex with her - at least, not yet. Sure, maybe he was a little vague in explaining why he wasn't ready, but what kind of thought process does that take? "He said no, but he didn't really explain why. Obviously, he must be begging for it!" I'm seriously trying to come up with a step-by-step approach that doesn't sound divorced from reality. Feel free to fill in the blanks, anyone.

And for those of you focused on the sociology of it all, let's play with genders again. Suppose we've got a man and woman dating, and the woman says she has no interest in having children, and probably never will. The guy wants to start a family, but he assumes that - since women have a much stronger nesting instinct than men - eventually she'll change her mind and decide to have kids. So they stay together for awhile, and eventually get married... and the gal still doesn't want kids. And the guy is pissed off about it.

So who's in the wrong here? Is it the guy, for not listening when his girlfriend told him what she wanted out of life? Or is it the girl, for not wanting babies despite the fact that she has a vagina? Something to think about.
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Postby snowp14 on Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:43 am

And one of the reasons that the Sauromatians, like most other matriarchal Amazon cultures, failed to flourish is that ultimately their warriors got their asses kicked on the field of battle by males who were, genetically, taller and stronger. Yes, women are more vicious in battle (cf. Rudyard Kipling: "When you find yourself wounded on the Afghan plains/and the women come out to carve up what remains/Just turn for the rifle that's over your shoulder/and go to your God like a soldier") but in military strategy, ultimately Bigger Is Better. Said male warriors then marched into the Sauromatian villages to find the poor schmuck male Sauromatians; after about ten minutes of having the virtues of being the ass-kicker versus the ass-kickee explained to them, Sauromatian males tended to stop being Sauromatian, and start being male.


They didn't fail because of biological reasons. In the case of the Sauromatians and other Amazon cultures, they were nomadic. They just moved up to central Asia (around or near Mongolia) and intermingled with the people there.

And not all matriarchal societies were Amazon-like, with women warriors. There are many in Africa in which the mother's last name was passed on to the children, the women were leaders or at least greatly venerated, etc. The reason why they're not around anymore is because of Western civilizations colonizing them and changing their beliefs. They won because of superior weapons, not brute strength. Are you going to argue that that's biological, too? Because that's a pretty dangerous one to argue.

Point is, 1) gender roles are a human invention, not determined by biology and 2) not everything about a person's capabilities and personality are controlled by biology. Just because Marshall is a guy, his testosterone doesn't control him and that doesn't make him gay.
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Postby TheTeague on Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:31 am

Foelhe wrote:
Karen expected Marshall to want sex if she took him by surprise. Is that a defense for her? If Marshall was just some random guy, okay, I can see her assuming he was a horndog. But they've talked about this. Marshall stated outright that he wasn't going to have sex with her - at least, not yet. Sure, maybe he was a little vague in explaining why he wasn't ready, but what kind of thought process does that take? "He said no, but he didn't really explain why. Obviously, he must be begging for it!" I'm seriously trying to come up with a step-by-step approach that doesn't sound divorced from reality. Feel free to fill in the blanks, anyone.


My theory on one half of Karen's thinking: Pretty people get to do what they want. Marshall is one of the pretty people. Marshall SAID he wants sex, but refuses to indulge himself. Marshall must be afraid and needs a persistant woman to help him overcome his fears.

The other half, of course, is "If he doesn't do sex to me, I'm ugly and worthless! Waaaaaaugh"
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Postby atristain on Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:06 am

TheTeague wrote:The other half, of course, is "If he doesn't do sex to me, I'm ugly and worthless! Waaaaaaugh"

"Wrong comic. Cathy is that way." Jameson in Girls With Slingshots comic strip.

Well... Karen does have the body, the (big) mouth and the insecurities to work as this strip's Cathy, anyway.
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Postby Tarlia on Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:02 am

I sincerely hope tomorrow's comic will put an end to this.
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Postby Freemage on Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:58 am

Foelhe wrote:Uh, question? When did this become a sociology lesson?

We can talk about how the average guy would react for as long as we'd like, but the simple fact of the matter is that we're dealing with one guy, Marshall. And if he's left of center... well, he's not the only one. Hell, plenty of the guys posting to this thread are a case in point.

Karen expected Marshall to want sex if she took him by surprise. Is that a defense for her? If Marshall was just some random guy, okay, I can see her assuming he was a horndog. But they've talked about this. Marshall stated outright that he wasn't going to have sex with her - at least, not yet. Sure, maybe he was a little vague in explaining why he wasn't ready, but what kind of thought process does that take? "He said no, but he didn't really explain why. Obviously, he must be begging for it!" I'm seriously trying to come up with a step-by-step approach that doesn't sound divorced from reality. Feel free to fill in the blanks, anyone.

And for those of you focused on the sociology of it all, let's play with genders again. Suppose we've got a man and woman dating, and the woman says she has no interest in having children, and probably never will. The guy wants to start a family, but he assumes that - since women have a much stronger nesting instinct than men - eventually she'll change her mind and decide to have kids. So they stay together for awhile, and eventually get married... and the gal still doesn't want kids. And the guy is pissed off about it.

So who's in the wrong here? Is it the guy, for not listening when his girlfriend told him what she wanted out of life? Or is it the girl, for not wanting babies despite the fact that she has a vagina? Something to think about.


Ah, but that's not a precise analogy. Needs to be adjusted a bit:

A man and a woman are in a relationship; he wants kids, but she has no interest in them. Whenever they talk about the future, she goes on and on about how good it will be to have two incomes and no responsibilities; he talks about making the den into a nursery, and how nice it'll be to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. The entire time, neither of them really seems particularly interested in the opinion of the other partner; instead, both assume that their preference will ultimately dominate in their relationship.

Now, which one of them is responsible for the ultimate melt-down of the marriage?

Also, you do realize that the proper solution to your analogy would've been for the guy (who stands in for Karen) to dump the girl (who stands in for Marshall) for a more typical 'breeder'--ie, Karen should've dumped Marshall when he kept saying no. Which is a scenario I'd LOVE to see gender-reversed, to see how everyone would talk about how evil it was to place sex over love.
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Postby Foelhe on Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:14 am

A man and a woman are in a relationship; he wants kids, but she has no interest in them. Whenever they talk about the future, she goes on and on about how good it will be to have two incomes and no responsibilities; he talks about making the den into a nursery, and how nice it'll be to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. The entire time, neither of them really seems particularly interested in the opinion of the other partner; instead, both assume that their preference will ultimately dominate in their relationship.


How much conversation has there really been here, though? We've seen one instance of give and take between them - the birthday party. Admittedly, not the best conversation you could have on the subject, but that's been it. Since then, Karen's approach to the problem has been trying to manipulate Marshall into a position where he feels obligated to have sex with her. So throw in, "The man hides the woman's birth control pills," if we want to be totally accurate.

You could maybe call out Marshall for not explaining himself better. And if they were just having a spat over the issue, sure, let him share the blame. But pointing to Marshall as the problem here is like blaming a snowflake for the avalanche.

Also, you do realize that the proper solution to your analogy would've been for the guy (who stands in for Karen) to dump the girl (who stands in for Marshall) for a more typical 'breeder'--ie, Karen should've dumped Marshall when he kept saying no. Which is a scenario I'd LOVE to see gender-reversed, to see how everyone would talk about how evil it was to place sex over love.


You're right - having kids is a much bigger deal than having sex, and it's a hard issue to compromise on. So, no, it's not a perfect analogy.

That being said, it boils down to the same thing - having to choose between the person you're with and something you want. If Karen would rather have a relationship with sex in it than a relationship with Marshall, well, there it is. Not quite as noble as breaking up with someone you love because you want children, but they are teenagers, this relationship is probably not going to last forever, and if Karen puts that much importance on sex, there's going to be trouble down the line anyway.

It's not the best way to handle the situation - at the very least, it's not a decision that should be made without a lot of thought put into it. And going that route needs to be handled with a lot of tact, which isn't exactly Karen's strong point. Otherwise, I don't have a problem with it. Yeah, I'll probably get slammed for that, but there it is.
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Postby Saint_37 on Thu Oct 12, 2006 1:07 pm

Tarlia wrote:I sincerely hope tomorrow's comic will put an end to this.


AMEN AND AMEN!

Seriously this is worse than a freakin poly sci class somebody tie a knot to this already.
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Postby Freemage on Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:19 pm

Foelhe wrote:
How much conversation has there really been here, though? We've seen one instance of give and take between them - the birthday party. Admittedly, not the best conversation you could have on the subject, but that's been it. Since then, Karen's approach to the problem has been trying to manipulate Marshall into a position where he feels obligated to have sex with her. So throw in, "The man hides the woman's birth control pills," if we want to be totally accurate.


The conversation at the party, though, indicated that it had been a topic before, and he'd held off.

There's two possibilities:

1: The conversation at the party was fairly typical of their discussions on the subject--she wants, he denies, yadda yadda life goes on. This has actually been the underlying assumption I think most folks have had--that the snippets we've been shown have been repeated, but not significantly different, 'off-camera'.

2: You are correct, and the only conversations they've had about it are the two that we've seen, in which case the whole, "Karen's putting way too much pressure on him and omgwtfbbq she's an evil slut whore of Babylon painted jezebel soul-eating insensitive beast" ranting is... premature, at best.

You could maybe call out Marshall for not explaining himself better. And if they were just having a spat over the issue, sure, let him share the blame. But pointing to Marshall as the problem here is like blaming a snowflake for the avalanche.


If it's the last, most important snowflake....

You're right - having kids is a much bigger deal than having sex, and it's a hard issue to compromise on. So, no, it's not a perfect analogy.

That being said, it boils down to the same thing - having to choose between the person you're with and something you want. If Karen would rather have a relationship with sex in it than a relationship with Marshall, well, there it is. Not quite as noble as breaking up with someone you love because you want children, but they are teenagers, this relationship is probably not going to last forever, and if Karen puts that much importance on sex, there's going to be trouble down the line anyway.


On that, actually, we agree. I personally think that physical intimacy IS an important part of a relationship. If Marshall isn't getting any more intimate than what we've seen, then frankly, she SHOULD leave him, if it's not someplace he's willing to go. Honestly, a certain degree of 'being the bastard' is healthy--it keeps people from being locked into a relationship where they aren't really happy.

It's not the best way to handle the situation - at the very least, it's not a decision that should be made without a lot of thought put into it. And going that route needs to be handled with a lot of tact, which isn't exactly Karen's strong point. Otherwise, I don't have a problem with it. Yeah, I'll probably get slammed for that, but there it is.


Nah, you'd only get slammed if the genders were reversed, because then it would be a guy dumping a girl for sex, and that's always wrong.
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Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Postby Beanie on Thu Oct 12, 2006 2:38 pm

Freemage wrote:[I personally think that physical intimacy IS an important part of a relationship. If Marshall isn't getting any more intimate than what we've seen, then frankly, she SHOULD leave him, if it's not someplace he's willing to go. Honestly, a certain degree of 'being the bastard' is healthy--it keeps people from being locked into a relationship where they aren't really happy.


I think my problem with this whole situation is she's not wanting sex to have physical intimacy in a relationship (nor is sex the only way to have physical intimacy in a relationship, but I digress) - she wants sex to validate herself.

http://www.pennyandaggie.com/d/20060906.html

That's what really, really, really bothers me about this. She's not going to be happy even if they did have sex, because there's still "broken" stuff inside of her that has to be fixed first.
Beanie
Junior Keenspotter
 
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