Chapter 5: The Enigmatic Orgasm
David P. Barash, Ph.D. and Judith Eve Lipton, M.D.
Male mammals are, in a sense, roving inseminators. Sperm are abundant and cheap, and males, as a result, are primed by evolution to be quick on the draw and not terribly selective as to targets. Their modus operandi is shoot first and ask questions later, if at all.
But in certain species, human beings most especially, males have more to contribute: they can be providers, protectors, helpmates, and partners, not just lovers. In addition, a man’s behavior as a lover may yield some clues as to his inclination in these other crucial dimensions. According to a simple game theory model, males can be caricatured as either Cads or Dads. Cads are superficially attractive, but lack parental follow-through; they’re inclined to love ’em and leave ’em. Dads are, as their name implies, more likely to stay the course and to take the kids to soccer games, but less flashy and perhaps with less instantaneous sex appeal.
Might it be that the elusive orgasm has been tuned to help transcend first appearances and encourage women to respond to men who aren’t simply out for a quick sexual encounter—that is, to respond in favor of those who are likely to be Dads? If so, how might this work?
If female orgasm were unlocked quickly and easily, then any Cad could do the trick, then be on his way. But, of course, it isn’t.