Male/female attraction isn’t simply a pulling together like two magnets. Strong forces both push and pull boys and girls and they cause us no end of problems. As a teenage boys I was uncomfortable and bumbling on my first dates. All week I worried about asking her for a date. When Friday finally came, I called and she said no. She didn’t wish to appear “an afterthought”. It was a solvable problem but lead to a succession of tongue-tied jerk performances later on.
Growing up, my issues become bigger. Guys like me try to project a confidence and control while feeling nothing but insecurity. I worried “Is the relationship as consensual as it appeared? Is there a risk of some creepy crawly incurable infection?” Nevertheless, my attraction, obsession continued undiminished. Women face as many or more unwelcome issues but they still keep hoping. Why do we make it so difficult? Spawning salmon, pollinating bees, or mushrooms don’t suffer heart rending complexities. When Mr. Mushrooms and Miss Mushroom are thinking about their future together and having little schrooms, they don’t think what the in-laws will think or screwing up their lives.
Relationships shouldn’t be this difficult. We must have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the evolution road. When did sexual reproduction begin?
When, in biological history, did the first single cell life forms abandon their chaste, celibate lives of self-dividing and go for sexual coupling? What led them down the path of wanton lust, swapping DNA, in the biblical sense? How’d they come up with that lascivious idea without a serpent from the Garden of Eden, bodice ripping novels or dirty magazines to guide them? Inquiring minds want to know.
If I felt conflicted about my first date, imagine those very first two lovers? What were they thinking when the first male life form impregnated the first female? It’s been so long ago that the reproductive act is not well recorded.
Mother Nature probably blushed and covered up the early evidence of hanky-panky because she was too embarrassed. Nevertheless, without any pay-per-view video or even good records of that first X rated event, scientific minds have produced some conclusions.
According to one theory, sexual reproduction all began in the year one billion two hundred million BC, a landmark year for evolution. You can imagine the scene: Late one romantic evening with tropical breezes under a full moon, – I’m just theorizing about the moon, but it did happen on that date, give or take a million years.
On the night in question there was a demure, petite cell; let’s call her Yvette. It would have been so sweet if the evening had been amorous flirting and seduction. But alas, Yvette did not play hard to get: She simply ate Harry, her smaller one cell neighbor. While she gobbled him up, she did not fully digest Harry. Harry’s DNA remained within her and somehow combined with her own genes and voila, as they say in France. How’s that for an inappropriate act?
I apologize to you Alpha male readers, because Yvette was not the supportive submissive girl you would prefer. Nevertheless, this is what science tells us and it’s not always pretty.
Others of you may say the scene looks less like courtship and more like cannibalism. Technically you are right. Among humans today, eating one’s mate is frowned upon. But remember, back then the cannibalism laws were frequently flouted. Doubtless, there were some single cell members of Yvette’s social circle who said “Tut Tut”. You, who are law and order types, would probably agree.
But have some pity and forgive poor little Yvette. What’s one small legal indiscretion compared to the advantages that Yvette bestowed on all her descendants, including you and me? The incalculable evolutionary benefits when DNA combines during reproduction is good for all of us. Our disease resistance improves, and we can eliminate gene damage. Further, evolution, adaptation, and progress all move infinitely faster thanks to Yvette. Just compare us with those chaste, celibate but emotionally stunted single cell dividers. We’re miles ahead of them and we owe it all to the first couple, Yvette and Harry.
Looking at today’s headlines you may conclude we have not progressed that much. Some of us don’t think much about what’s acceptable sex in our own behavior today.