Both sexes are guilty of it; to filter their perception of inter-gender dynamics through a lens skewed in favor of their own sex. The affect is more profound for men, because women, who function intuitively to a much greater extent, are more likely to auto-correct their behavior as an interaction progresses. Men, with their logically grated minds, are more likely to nurture distorted perceptions because they can be rationally justified.
A reader once commented here saying that he “fucked up badly” because his girlfriend found a secks tape of him and an ex from the past. He apologized vehemently and then came to me for advice. I didn’t tell him at the time, but I laughed at the thought. Can you imagine if James Dean’s girlfriend found a secks tape of him and another girl? She would beckon for an opportunity to star in a tape herself to outdo her competitor. Which brings us to our first misconception. Women do not suffer any biological consequences from cheating the way men do. Monogamy is enforced through cultural stigma and men tend to forget this. Like I said above, because it is within the very nature of men to want to OWN their partners for paternal assurance; it is much easier to condition them to think women function the same way. It is never a turn-on for a guy to see his girlfriend flirting with another guy. It might incite jealousy, which could provide a much needed boost in passion; but it will never literally make him see her as a higher value partner. It is, on the other hand, one of the greatest aphrodisiacs for a girl in a committed relationship to see that her boyfriend/husband is at least capable of acquiring other partners. It appeals to her hypergamous nature by assuring he is of high reproductive value and affirming his congruency.
When you show off your loyalty to your girlfriend – you are incorrectly assuming that she sees the world the way you do. Loyalty is not a “turn-on” for women the way it is for men. It is the opposite, it only risks that she may lose attraction because you are indirectly starving secksual tension. Does this mean you should cheat? No. But it does mean that a sense of misplaced loyalty will harm your relationship much more than help it. What’s worse is, due to the conditioning noted above, you’ll likely backwards rationalize it and pat yourself on the back for being “loyal even when she’s not.”
This whole issue begs the question of what exactly men should apologize for. I see far too often that a guy thinks he “fucked up” for something that actually HELPS his relationship, or overly exaggerates his mistake because he thinks of how HE WOULD FEEL in the same position. Yes, if you found a secks tape of your girlfriend, you wouldn’t be happy. But this isn’t “do unto others what you would have them do to you.” This is social dynamics; and men and women, for better or for worse, operate differently. It is a fact of nature, and no amount of lobbying and conditioning will ever change it. Mask it – yes. Bend it – maybe. Change it completely – Never.
How would you have handled the situation above? A more appropriate response would’ve been:
“We were young, crazy, and in love. Can you blame us?”
instead of “ZOMGG IM SOOOO SORRRRRRY. IT WAS A MISTAKE. I TRIPPED AND TURNED THE CAMERA ON. I’M A PERVERT. I’M A SICK SICK MAN. I’M SOOOO SORRY.”
Remember your partner will mirror your emotional state. The more you apologize, the more the both of you consent to a frame that says you fucked up badly. The more you agree that your secksuality is something to be demonized, the more you let that become truth. If you get into a fight and she pulls the “you’re crazy” card on you, you shouldn’t come CRAWLING back to her agreeing that all men are psychotic assholes. Have some dignity, for your own sake.
The James Dean example, while somewhat ideal, serves to illustrate how important frame control is. In a world where you lack it, you concede to the popular Frame. The one of the Matrix. The one that dictates you are a bumbling fool and that making a secks tape with an ex girlfriend is only something a secks-crazed maniac could do. But hold your own state, and it’s just something young and crazy people do when they’re in love. She thinks it’s uncompromisable? Tell her you must not be right for each other then.