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View Full Version : Men: what do you feel when you fall in love?



Foolonthehill
12-21-2014, 04:12 AM
I have tried asking a few male friends, but I have had contradicting answers which I put down to a desire to not come across ad "unmanly" on the part of some (one said, about a man who told me he'd got butterflies in his stomach when falling in love, that he must have been lying just to please me cause men basically aren't that corny!)
So I know what it's like for us women and in the very early stages a lot of it is linked to lust.... But then if it's love it becomes something more.....
Can you please help me figure if men and women have more or less the same emotions when falling in lust and then love?
thanks

Drachen Jager
12-21-2014, 04:57 AM
I think the answer is it depends.

People occupy a broad spectrum of emotional space. One man falling in love two different times could have completely different experiences.

Osulagh
12-21-2014, 05:07 AM
Can you please help me figure if men and women have more or less the same emotions when falling in lust and then love?

They don't. As Drachen said, it all depends because there is no big difference between men and women, but more of a difference between individual people regardless of gender and sex. We all feel differently.

Attraction works on three main levels: Chemical, physical, mental. Mental attraction is what we think of as "feeling" for the person, or like/love. We like their thoughts, what they do, who they are. Physical is easily said to be lust. Body, their actions, their reactions. Chemical can be apart of lust, but it also plays roles in other aspects, just like when a new mother holds her newborn after birth--they share a chemical connection that links them from the start. Whatever attraction comes into play first and the individual's own reaction and actions to what they experience is personal to them.

Also, the "contradicting" answers are probably not contradictory, just as men can be "corny" despite what you might believe. Men can react the same way women can, and it's natural for a man to try to act masculine because that's what marks them as a man in society's eye and some try to live up to that assumption.

Kevin Nelson
12-21-2014, 05:23 AM
I think the answers are contradictory because the experience is different for different people. Not all men are alike, and not all women are alike.

For me personally, it's sort of hard to describe. I'm not into drugs, but I'm guessing it's like being on some sort of powerful euphoric drug. Being with the person you're in love with is like a shot of adrenaline. You feel more energetic and just more alive. Your heart can literally start pounding as soon as you see her. When you're not with her,
you can't stop thinking about her. And not just sexual thoughts--you may fantasize just about things you'd like to say to her or places you'd like to go with her. If there's some day when you just get to see her for five minutes, that will still be the high point of your day.

Everything in the whole world seems more vivid and more real. You almost have to resort to metaphors here. It's like impossibly good music is playing just for you. It's like you're walking barefoot in the grass on a bright spring day after endless months of dreary gray winter. It's like you've recovered from a long sickness and now you feel like running a marathon. Sorry if I'm getting a little poetic here, but I'm not sure how else to put it!

If there's a difference between men and women, I think it's that men tend (on average) to have, well, somewhat wider standards for who they find sexually attractive. So you may meet tons and tons of people that you find attractive that way; which means there has to be an extra-special something-or-other to really make you fall in love. Once you do, though, there will be a sexual component to it. The person you're in love with will become extra, extra-attractive.

Another difference is that I think men will be more likely to become very protective of whoever they're in love with. There's a negative side of that...being protective can slide into being controlling. If you know what you're doing, you'll keep an eye on yourself to make sure that doesn't happen.

Then, of course, if things don't work out it can be crushingly depressing. It's like you have withdrawal symptoms from the drug. The whole world will seem empty. You can go for months having a hard time concentrating on your work or daily activities. Hopefully, you'll recover after a while.

Maybe the word "you" is wrong here--really this is all "me." As I said at the top, I'm sure plenty of men do have different experiences. But I hope this helps some!

(By the way, I wouldn't say I've ever had "butterflies in my stomach." Actually, I'm not quite sure what that means...)

kuwisdelu
12-21-2014, 05:24 AM
I can't imagine why it would be any more different between men and woman than between any two women or any two men.

morngnstar
12-21-2014, 05:33 AM
I feel obligated to answer your question to prove that not all men feel the need to avoid feeling unmanly. (Enough double negatives there? "Not", "avoid", "un".)

I've experienced two distinct flavors of falling in love. One I strongly considered love at the time, but now see more as infatuation. It was the kind of feeling of awe you get looking at the stars. She's utterly beautiful, and you want to get to know all her mysteries.

The other kind, which I'd now call real love, is more a feeling of familiarity that comes with time. Touching her is as natural as touching your own skin, but it's still thrilling when you discover how comfortable it's becoming.

Here's an observation from my wife, though, based a lot on romantic movies. Men seem to fall in love when they see a woman get out of her clothes. Not that that's all there is to it, but that's when it finally hits them. Can't totally disagree with her. I have to admit it was one of the important steps in our relationship.

The butterflies answer does strike me as lame. I've never felt anything that felt like like butterflies in my stomach associated with any experience or emotion. Maybe some people really feel that, but most of the time I think it's just a cliche. It sounds like he didn't really have an answer, because a) he'd never been in love b) he forgot what it was like c) he's been in love but not emotionally competent enough to put it in words d) he thought you wouldn't approve of the real answer. I'm curious what the other guy's "manly" answer was. I'd like to see whether I judge his answer to be brutal manly honesty or manly hiding of feelings he won't admit.

Amadan
12-21-2014, 05:53 AM
What are you looking for, really? Surely you know not all men are alike so I'm sure you don't expect any one man to speak for what all men feel.

You got the expected slew of responses from people saying that men and women feel exactly the same things, and I don't think that is true, but it is certainly true that individual differences will tend to outweigh gender differences.

If you want the "typical" (or what some might call "stereotypical") male response, then being in love will be, to a large degree, similar to what a woman feels (happiness when together, unhappiness when apart, a tendency to brush aside all negatives and accentuate all positives, more of a tendency towards strong emotion, distraction, even euphoria). Men will tend to have a strong sexual component to this, frequently displaying "can't keep his hands off her" behavior, and men also tend to feel a strong sense of protectiveness, and react well to feeling needed.

I emphasize that this is the "typical" reaction; it does not universally describe all men, nor am I claiming that it is exclusive of women.

Ken
12-21-2014, 06:06 AM
Honestly, just content and happy. If I am acting, "unmanly," by buying her flowers or being more expressive than usual, etc, then I am not aware of that. I just like making her happy b/c I -- well, you know, l.o.v.e. her !

Rufus Coppertop
12-21-2014, 10:19 AM
The thing is, every man has his maleness and humanity in common with every other man whilst at the same time being a unique individual with his own responses, feelings and narrative.

So why not write yourself a whole list of things a man might feel.

Then eliminate anything that you deem corny because, obviously, it's impossible for men to feel stuff like that.

Pick a few characteristics or feelings from what you have left over.

Viridian
12-21-2014, 10:38 AM
Can you please help me figure if men and women have more or less the same emotions when falling in lust and then love?

Women don't even have the same emotions as other women. And men don't even have the same emotions as other men.

But if it matters, my husband wrote me poetry when we first started dating. Bad poetry.

Don't sweat stereotypes. Write how your characters are.

thepicpic
12-21-2014, 11:33 AM
It's not a gender thing, as others have said, it's an individual thing. It reminds me a bit of threads have seen where people are questioning if they're allowed to write characters of another gender to them. It doesn't matter, because people are people first and foremost, not genders.

That being said, my first love was a long-distance thing. It ultimately did not work, partly due to that distance, but while it did... the closest I can describe is like the adrenaline, like Kevin mentioned above.

It also let me feel I was working for something, a purpose I have been lacking and missing since.

Once!
12-21-2014, 12:31 PM
What everyone else said. I'd add one more level of complexity - it feels different each time you do it. Or at least it did for me. I've been married twice (and had a few adventures that didn't end up in a church or a solicitor's office) and they all felt different.

How to sum up the feeling of being in love? For me, there are two main elements to attraction - a selfish part and a selfless part.

On the selfish side of the equation, we have feelings of lust and physical attraction. He/she has a great body and I'd like to ... you know. Or that he/she will look after me. Be nice to me. Laugh at my jokes. Give me space to get oily repairing the sports car. Look good on my arm.

On the selfless side, we decide that he/she is someone we want to look after, to protect. We want to give them things, both physically and spiritually. We want to make them happy.

If both of those elements were connected to a dial, then falling in love feels as if someone has just twisted the dial all the way up. To borrow a line from Spinal Tap - it's as if they have just turned it to eleven.

Being in love is not quite the same. After a long time, a constant love doesn't feel like an amplifier turned up to eleven. Instead, it feels like two people who have been grafted together. My wife feels like ... like another arm, a part of me. If I started out red and she started out blue, after 15 years of marriage we're both tinged with purple.

RightHoJeeves
12-21-2014, 04:32 PM
Hmmm. Strange answers. I've always gotten a mysterious letter from the government telling me: "As per the Mandatory Love Act of 1958, you are now in love. Please act accordingly."

King Neptune
12-21-2014, 11:01 PM
Emotions are somatic, mental, and neural. Because emotions are somatic, love would feel different for a man than for a woman, because men and women have different bodily structures and hormones. I don't know what lust feels like to a woman, but when I am attracted to a woman, then there is a bit of physical preparation that leads to a desire for more more. Whether "love" would feel more different I don't know, because people use that word to describe different things.

Cath
12-21-2014, 11:40 PM
I loathe these kinds of speculations about how men and women perceive x differently. If anyone has scientific evidence or answers I'd be keen to hear them.

However, if nothing factual is forthcoming in the next few hours, I'm inclined to close the thread.

King Neptune
12-21-2014, 11:59 PM
A few relevant links:

http://examinedexistence.com/why-we-fall-in-love-the-science-of-love/
http://www.utexas.edu/features/2009/02/09/love_science/
http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/173748-human-emotions-mapped-for-the-first-time-shows-where-we-feel-love-fear-and-shame
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/12/30/258313116/mapping-emotions-on-the-body-love-makes-us-warm-all-over

And there are many more articles on the matter. Whether they are complete or accurate is a question. There are also nutritional matters that touch on the matter of love and how it is experienced. If one does not have adequate amounts of some nutrients, then love would be incomplete. It is an interesting study. I wrote a blog post on "The Love Diet" a few months ago.

Search human physiology emotions, love, and related terms

morngnstar
12-22-2014, 01:35 AM
I loathe these kinds of speculations about how men and women perceive x differently. If anyone has scientific evidence or answers I'd be keen to hear them.

However, if nothing factual is forthcoming in the next few hours, I'm inclined to close the thread.

Don't quite get this: your complaint is that a discussion about love is not factual enough? I think the OP was asking an innocent question, looking for personal experiences. It's the replies that turned it into a debate about whether men are different from women, and if you say so demanding that you prove it.

I think that some of the responses have been evading the question, just pointing out that all individuals are different. Well, what's your individual experience of love? If everybody just answers, then it will be easy to conclude for ourselves whether all the answers are similar or different.

Chumplet
12-22-2014, 02:39 AM
My husband revealed to me recently that he felt more of a pull toward me when my grown children were at home. He speculated that my protective instincts were releasing hormones that he may have unconsciously detected.

Chemical attraction might start the ball rolling. Natural smell might be part of it. How does the man physically react? I don't know, but hubby surmised I might be a good match for him because I didn't immediately dissolve in a puddle of hysteria during our first date, which involved horseback riding in a raging blizzard.

Maybe not a flutter in the stomach, but an increase in heart rate can induce that fluttery feeling.

Siri Kirpal
12-22-2014, 03:37 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Cath: I'm getting something out of this in preparation to write a love scene from a man's POV. No, I'm not the OP, but I think this thread has value.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Michael Davis
12-22-2014, 04:12 AM
I'm a dinosaur, age wise but only fell twice. When I did I felt committed, protective of the lady, more willing to tolerant emotions I could not understand in the woman, and a willingness to accept responsibility for things I never did or said.

M.S. Wiggins
12-22-2014, 04:13 AM
I loathe these kinds of speculations about how men and women perceive x differently. If anyone has scientific evidence or answers I'd be keen to hear them.

However, if nothing factual is forthcoming in the next few hours, I'm inclined to close the thread.


It would be great if you didn't close the thread as it may come across as censorship based on personal preferences. Also, it wasn't a question of 'what's the science behind,'...but rather, 'could you tell me how you feel' (of those willing to do so).

Mr Flibble
12-22-2014, 04:23 AM
I think the answers are contradictory because the experience is different for different people.

Hell it's different for each person every time they fall in love


It would be great if you didn't close the thread as it may come across as censorship based on personal preferences.

lol, what?

Threads get closed here for numerous reasons -- not factual based evidence,speculation masquerading as fact

Several people have mentioned in this very thread how they feel, without making it about how All Manhood feels, or Science Says (without backup)

So maybe you should take that into account?


When I did I felt committed, protective of the lady, more willing to tolerant emotions I could not understand in the woman, and a willingness to accept responsibility for things I never did or said.


Funny that is exactly how I felt about my ex husband....



Expecting a certain level of factual evidence is not "censorship" it is "we expect more here". Censorship is "do not talk" here it is, if you talk expect to back it up. Difference

Plus this whole place is a private board.

The owner is pretty tolerant

But " free speech"a also entails "people telling you not to say that without citation, because they can, because free speech, and without citation you're just spouting words"

ETA you know what men feel when they fall in love? Same thing women do

Hence all the male-written love songs. They are just socially constrained to not say it, except in song

Cath
12-22-2014, 04:49 AM
It would be great if you didn't close the thread as it may come across as censorship based on personal preferences. Also, it wasn't a question of 'what's the science behind,'...but rather, 'could you tell me how you feel' (of those willing to do so).

Censorship would be if I deleted the thread and denied any discussion of the topic, not if I closed it. And yes, I used the qualifiers that this is my opinion deliberately.

And I loathe these men vs women threads because they ask us to class people as stereotypes, and through repeating those stereotypes we define expectation, and through expectation we define normality and, more worryingly, abnormality.

People are people, whatever their gender, sexual preference, skin color, etc. etc. etc.

I appreciate the need and desire to be authentic and convincing in writing but I feel that should come from both scientific and anecdotal sources and I'm going to continue to ask folks to do exactly that.

Once!
12-22-2014, 12:33 PM
Cath - men vs women discussions can sometimes degenerate into stereotypes, that's certainly true. But unless I have missed something, I don't see that happening in this thread. It seems to me that the discussion has been mature and even-handed. Many people seem to be talking about their own experiences, which seems a legitimate and factual way to deal with the topic.

But isn't there a danger of trying to portray men and women as identical when in fact we are self evidently not identical? We have different chemicals and hormones inside us. We react differently to the same situations. We have different plumbing. I have seen countless studies showing a genuine difference between men and women.

Not better or worse. Just different.

Surely the equality we are looking for is equality of treatment, not trying to insist that men and women are identical?

Cath
12-22-2014, 02:38 PM
Maybe we could get back to answering the question?

robjvargas
12-22-2014, 07:59 PM
Can you please help me figure if men and women have more or less the same emotions when falling in lust and then love?
thanks

I started to love a young woman when I was in High School. Before expressing it, I spied her heavily kissing another man. It felt like all the negative emotions that one person can have packed into that one moment when I realized what I was seeing. I suspect I felt all the stages of grieving in those few heartbeats. And then some. There's a poignancy and intimacy to that first betrayal, even when it isn't really a betrayal in the first place.

The first time I received back what I was feeling, I almost forgot to breathe. I stared at this woman smiling back at me, and lost all comprehension. I was just there. It wasn't time that stood still; it was my brain. I think that an EEG would have been flat for a full three or four seconds. I was afraid to move, thinking the least little error would smash whatever spell compelled her to say it back. "I love you, too." I smiled a stupid, blank smile, nodded my head, and kept wanting to slap myself to come out of my coma and say something to her. I remember I mumbled something. To this day, she won't tell me what it was, and smiles a mysterious, mischievous little smirk at me when I ask.

King Neptune
12-22-2014, 10:47 PM
I started to love a young woman when I was in High School. Before expressing it, I spied her heavily kissing another man. It felt like all the negative emotions that one person can have packed into that one moment when I realized what I was seeing. I suspect I felt all the stages of grieving in those few heartbeats. And then some. There's a poignancy and intimacy to that first betrayal, even when it isn't really a betrayal in the first place.

The first time I received back what I was feeling, I almost forgot to breathe. I stared at this woman smiling back at me, and lost all comprehension. I was just there. It wasn't time that stood still; it was my brain. I think that an EEG would have been flat for a full three or four seconds. I was afraid to move, thinking the least little error would smash whatever spell compelled her to say it back. "I love you, too." I smiled a stupid, blank smile, nodded my head, and kept wanting to slap myself to come out of my coma and say something to her. I remember I mumbled something. To this day, she won't tell me what it was, and smiles a mysterious, mischievous little smirk at me when I ask.

If one could package such feelings and sell on the open market, the price would be higher than for heroin or crack. Some of the relevant neurotransmitters are available online, but the whole cocktail doesn't work as well as the natural chemicals: dopamine, oxytocin, a vasopressin, etc.

Foolonthehill
12-23-2014, 02:13 AM
Thank you everyone. The reason I asked in the first place is because when I have asked men in person, they’ve always tried to cast off all those aspect of falling / being in love which are usually associated with the romantic/female point of view, i.e all the things I mentioned in my post. Of course I know men and women are as different or as similar as any other individual of the same gender can be, but the sexual approach and , for example, velocity of arousal of the two genders are very different, so I was wondering if maybe other physical/emotional feelings might be as well.

Mr Flibble
12-23-2014, 04:19 AM
Imo only..

The feelings are the same

How people are "allowed" to express them is down to culture.

Deb Kinnard
12-23-2014, 04:27 AM
I loathe these kinds of speculations about how men and women perceive x differently. If anyone has scientific evidence or answers I'd be keen to hear them.

However, if nothing factual is forthcoming in the next few hours, I'm inclined to close the thread.

I doubt if the OP expected to have the thread shut down. I feel as though he asked a legitimate question and is getting thoughtful answers. Of course the answers will vary. Equally clear to me is there is probably insufficient data in a scientific sense to create "something factual" for you, so you may want to simply opt out of following the thread any further.

Shadow_Ferret
12-23-2014, 05:16 AM
I'm supposed to feel something? Like what? Indigestion?

When I was much younger, and dating, and thinking I was in love, I always asked different people what it was supposed to feel like, how would I know if it is love?

Most of the answers were, you'll know it if it lasts.

Which seems to indicate you really don't feel anything.

kuwisdelu
12-23-2014, 05:21 AM
It feels like overflowing.

Ken
12-23-2014, 05:31 AM
It feels like overflowing.

"My cup runneth o'er," Shakespeare.

(Personally, I like your version better. More to the point.)

thepicpic
12-23-2014, 11:21 AM
... velocity of arousal...

I'd just like to add I find this turn of phrase brilliant. Sounds like it should be describing some future technology.

Cath
12-23-2014, 02:41 PM
I doubt if the OP expected to have the thread shut down. I feel as though he asked a legitimate question and is getting thoughtful answers. Of course the answers will vary. Equally clear to me is there is probably insufficient data in a scientific sense to create "something factual" for you, so you may want to simply opt out of following the thread any further.

Let's get this clear. How I moderate the room is not up for debate.

Move on.

King Neptune
12-23-2014, 05:53 PM
Thank you everyone. The reason I asked in the first place is because when I have asked men in person, they’ve always tried to cast off all those aspect of falling / being in love which are usually associated with the romantic/female point of view, i.e all the things I mentioned in my post. Of course I know men and women are as different or as similar as any other individual of the same gender can be, but the sexual approach and , for example, velocity of arousal of the two genders are very different, so I was wondering if maybe other physical/emotional feelings might be as well.

One of the biggest differences along those lines between men and women is the amount of oxytocin produced. Women produce fair quantities of it,while men produce very little. Oxytocin is known as the "cuddle hormone". It leads one to enjoy physical and emotional closeness.

Use google and you will find much information about this and other hormones and neurotransmitters that are related to sexual response; these include: dopamine, vasopressin, serotonin, and others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin

Putputt
12-23-2014, 06:18 PM
Imo only..

The feelings are the same

How people are "allowed" to express them is down to culture.

That's my take on it too.

Fwiw, when Mr. Putt fell in love with me, what I noticed was that he cried quite a bit. :D He'd get all weepy at romcoms or anything that has a vague whiff of romance. I, on the other hand, got physically nauseated. The first time we held hands, I had to shake him off because after a while, I wanted to puke. I told him, "Omg, you literally make me sick." I got home, told Mama Hippo about it, and she said, "Well you either have stomach flu or you're in love. Either way, drink lots of water and get enough sleep."

robjvargas
12-23-2014, 06:49 PM
I'm supposed to feel something? Like what? Indigestion?

Someone asks a question, and somehow that becomes "have to" and "supposed to"?

I didn't see such a complex question being asked. A saw a query about men's personal responses to being in love.

To hell with how I'm "supposed" to feel, or whether that's like or unlike another gender. I feel how I feel. And I provided my personal examples. I don't even care if it's like other men, or should be.

morngnstar
12-23-2014, 07:38 PM
That's my take on it too.

Fwiw, when Mr. Putt fell in love with me, what I noticed was that he cried quite a bit. :D He'd get all weepy at romcoms or anything that has a vague whiff of romance. I, on the other hand, got physically nauseated. The first time we held hands, I had to shake him off because after a while, I wanted to puke. I told him, "Omg, you literally make me sick." I got home, told Mama Hippo about it, and she said, "Well you either have stomach flu or you're in love. Either way, drink lots of water and get enough sleep."

Hmm, I got that a bit with my wife too. I never felt allowed to express it before.

Putputt
12-23-2014, 07:42 PM
I hope you don't close it, as I'm finding it interesting. In particular it's interesting to see how often "protectiveness" is mentioned.

Barbara

Hmm, that is indeed interesting, although come to think of it, I get pretty protective too...

Years ago, I was with my ex when he received news from his parents that his old poodle had to be put down. My ex was distraught, understandably, so I drove him home. We circled his block twice looking for parking and lo and behold, fiiiinally a car drove out, leaving behind a space. I gave the signal to turn, but before I could even turn the wheel, a car zipped up from behind me and swooped into the space.

I got out and knocked on the driver's window. It was a guy around my age, twice my size. I said, "Get out so I can kick your ass." He kinda snorted at that, at which point I shouted, "GET. OUT." He looked somewhat scared, so I said, "If you're not going to get out, might as well drive away." And he did.

After that, I had to sit down because I was shitting myself. It was the one and only time I almost got into an altercation, but I remember thinking at the time, "My boyfriend's dog just fucking died, you are not going to do this to us right now, you fucking fucker. I will fucking smash your face in." (I swear I don't get road rage most of the time. :D It was just that one time, seeing how upset he was and how bad I felt for him and wanted to put things right.)

I've always thought that most people get protective over their loved ones, but maybe that is just hippo instinct...hrmm.

Putputt
12-23-2014, 07:44 PM
Hmm, I got that a bit with my wife too. I never felt allowed to express it before.

The weepy bit or the nauseated bit? :D

Alpha Echo
12-23-2014, 07:55 PM
Hmmmm....I can't state how my husband or any other man may actually feel, physically, but I can tell you from my experiences what they do, which I think demonstrates how they feel...but it does absolutely vary.

My sister's husband wrote and recorded her a song in high school. At the time, she had no feelings other than friendship for him. It was goofy, but it was sweet. They married when she was 19, and he was 20.

My husband isn't romantic at all, but once in awhile, he does romantic things for me because I am romantic. For the most part, my husband probably feels, no definitely feels, protective and a sense of obligation to make sure I'm cared for. He feels the need to provide for his family very strongly and demonstrates that every day. I know he also is always thinking of me because he sometimes calls me 10 times a day at work to tell me goofy things that happen during his day (anything from something funny to something annoying), and whenever he's out running errands, he comes home with something he thinks I need or want - sometimes flowers, a bottle of wine, a pair of boots, or the turkey jerky I like. Anything he may have seen that reminded him of me.

As far as physical feelings, from what we've discussed, most of it is sexual. Or thrilling and high based on the sexual. Or power based on the sexual. But all of that, he's told me, is stuff he never experienced with anyone else. So either it's just our sexual chemistry and compatibility is off the charts, and/or he loves me more deeply, and that sparks the difference in the emotions developed through sex.

lenore_x
12-23-2014, 09:36 PM
I would bet real live money that if you read a series of people describing what it felt like to fall in love, with all pronouns made gender-neutral, your ability to guess which were men and which were women would be no better than random chance.

(Alternatively, what I first wanted to say when I saw this thread: Men don't fall in love. They do not feel emotion. Don't be silly. :tongue)

King Neptune
12-23-2014, 11:57 PM
I would bet real live money that if you read a series of people describing what it felt like to fall in love, with all pronouns made gender-neutral, your ability to guess which were men and which were women would be no better than random chance.

I would bet that a psychology professor somewhere has done that, but I wouldn't bet on the results.


(Alternatively, what I first wanted to say when I saw this thread: Men don't fall in love. They do not feel emotion. Don't be silly. :tongue)

There are many men who marry to save them the trouble of picking up women. Those men are known to psychologists as psychopaths.

Ken
12-24-2014, 02:03 AM
"Blessed is he who has found his work and found one woman to love."
- Van Gogh

morngnstar
12-24-2014, 02:59 AM
The weepy bit or the nauseated bit? :D

Nauseated.

Mr Flibble
12-24-2014, 03:00 AM
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Written by a guy, for a male character to say.

I can't recall anyone saying it seemed unlikely he would express those sentiments because he had dangly bits

Or how about some Rochester?

Naked she lay, clasped in my longing arms,
I filled with love, and she all over charms;
Both equally inspired with eager fire,
Melting through kindness, flaming in desire.

Or maybe Byron -- She walks in beauty like the night....

Or crap, all the current love songs on the radio sung/written by men

Sometimes it seems like verse/song is the only way a man can legitimately admit to having those more tender feels.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 03:33 AM
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.

Written by a guy, for a male character to say.

I can't recall anyone saying it seemed unlikely he would express those sentiments because he had dangly bits

Or how about some Rochester?

Naked she lay, clasped in my longing arms,
I filled with love, and she all over charms;
Both equally inspired with eager fire,
Melting through kindness, flaming in desire.

Or maybe Byron -- She walks in beauty like the night....

Or crap, all the current love songs on the radio sung/written by men

Sometimes it seems like verse/song is the only way a man can legitimately admit to having those more tender feels.

And the guys who write and publish such things hope that the woman will enjoy and believe it. The semi-lewd poetry that I sometimes write for sport has the endpoint of a sexual encounter. Maybe I should stop a step or two earlier.

Mr Flibble
12-24-2014, 03:51 AM
Sometimes men -- and women-- write things in the hope that their gender of choice will jump them

But also because they feel it, and need to express it

I'm not sure Rochester needed any extra incentive for women to shag him, or Byron come to that)

They wrote what they felt and got jumped as a (welcome) byproduct

Ken
12-24-2014, 03:56 AM
of course the obvious

just because a writer or poet says this or that does not mean they believe this or that

it's fiction and to greater or lesser extent, written in the voice of the characters/narrators

(kinda a variation of what Neptune said ^)

Viridian
12-24-2014, 04:13 AM
And the guys who write and publish such things hope that the woman will enjoy and believe it.

The fact that you have dangly bits does not make you an authority on the secret thoughts of people with dangly bits.

The best you can say is "I'm a man, and this is why I write erotic poetry." It's pretty silly to say "these long-dead people I've never met aren't really as romantic as they acted, they were just trying to get laid."

I mean, that would be like me saying, "Secretly, all women care about are cute butts. There's no such thing as love, we're just trying to be polite." But that would be silly, because the fact that those are my private feelings doesn't mean they're the private feelings of other women. :tongue

Viridian
12-24-2014, 04:22 AM
I would bet real live money that if you read a series of people describing what it felt like to fall in love, with all pronouns made gender-neutral, your ability to guess which were men and which were women would be no better than random chance.
I would bet that a psychology professor somewhere has done that, but I wouldn't bet on the results.
Here's a cool thing I found. It's a quiz where you try to tell if a writer is male or female just by reading their prose.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11255397/Quiz-Did-a-man-or-a-woman-write-this-book.html

And here's another.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/quiz/2011/jun/02/naipaul-test-author-s-sex-quiz

Food for thought.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 04:41 AM
The fact that you have dangly bits does not make you an authority on the secret thoughts of people with dangly bits.

It doesn't only because there are men who have unusual desires, and I can't understand the thinking of those who prefer sheep.


The best you can say is "I'm a man, and this is why I write erotic poetry." It's pretty silly to say "these long-dead people I've never met aren't really as romantic as they acted, they were just trying to get laid."

Good poetry has a universal message of some sort. If I, and others, can't identify with it, then it failed, at least in part. I don't know whether it is silly to think that "these long-dead people I've never met aren't really as romantic as they acted, they were just trying to get laid." I think that it can be shown with a fair degree of confidence that Coleridge, Byron, and some of the others were quite interested in the ladies, and I think that their poetry speaks to that.


I mean, that would be like me saying, "Secretly, all women care about are cute butts. There's no such thing as love, we're just trying to be polite." But that would be silly, because the fact that those are my private feelings doesn't mean they're the private feelings of other women. :tongueO.K., then let's say that all that women care about are cute butts. It makes me wonder what makes a rump cute. :)

Actually, men care about more than boobs, but it is sometimes easier to discuss breasts than the intangibles that may make a particular woman desirable.

On the other hand, it may be that your private feelings are identical to the feelings of 75% of women. Considering how popular the Romance genre is that may be true or something analogous.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 04:56 AM
Here's a cool thing I found. It's a quiz where you try to tell if a writer is male or female just by reading their prose.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11255397/Quiz-Did-a-man-or-a-woman-write-this-book.html

And here's another.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/quiz/2011/jun/02/naipaul-test-author-s-sex-quiz

Food for thought.

There used to be "The Gender Guesser", a website where one could paste in some writing, and the program connected to it would analyze the writing and guess the sex of the writer. It was wrong probably a third of the time.

It's back
http://www.hackerfactor.com/GenderGuesser.php

Mr Flibble
12-24-2014, 01:25 PM
I'd just like to mention that the Rochester poem I quoted the start of is called the Imperfect Enjoyment

It's about how he is so loved up with his wife, he has a bad case of premature ejaculation -- that in fact he loves his wife so much he fails to get jiggy with her, in a way that doesn't happen when it's just sex with whoever else.

I doubt many men would use that as a way to attract the ladies....


I think that it can be shown with a fair degree of confidence that Coleridge, Byron, and some of the others were quite interested in the ladies, and I think that their poetry speaks to that.

And perhaps these poems are not in fact a cynical ploy but actually what they felt. Who knows? I do know most of the men I know are more romantic than most of the women I know.

Putputt
12-24-2014, 01:46 PM
On the other hand, it may be that your private feelings are identical to the feelings of 75% of women. Considering how popular the Romance genre is that may be true or something analogous.

Bwuh? I don't even begin to understand this statement. Where are you getting the number 75% from? Can you cite your sources, or is that a number freshly yanked out of your *ahem*? :D

Helix
12-24-2014, 01:51 PM
There was something about sheep-shaggers too. I couldn't make head or tail of that. (Although, presumably, the sheep-shaggers can.)

Mr Flibble
12-24-2014, 02:03 PM
But you're in Oz -- I thought sheep shagging was a national pastime? Wait, no, is that NZ?

*runs away from angry non sheep shaggers*

robjvargas
12-24-2014, 03:10 PM
I mean, that would be like me saying, "Secretly, all women care about are cute butts. There's no such thing as love, we're just trying to be polite." But that would be silly, because the fact that those are my private feelings doesn't mean they're the private feelings of other women. :tongue

Did anyone else perk up? I perked.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 07:36 PM
And perhaps these poems are not in fact a cynical ploy but actually what they felt. Who knows? I do know most of the men I know are more romantic than most of the women I know.

There is always a question there.

The term "romantic" means different things in different situations.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 07:38 PM
Bwuh? I don't even begin to understand this statement. Where are you getting the number 75% from? Can you cite your sources, or is that a number freshly yanked out of your *ahem*? :D

Did you read that comment or only the part of it that you wanted to read? Reread it, and you will have an answer.

King Neptune
12-24-2014, 07:39 PM
But you're in Oz -- I thought sheep shagging was a national pastime? Wait, no, is that NZ?

*runs away from angry non sheep shaggers*

Oh, the poor sheep.

Putputt
12-24-2014, 08:22 PM
Did you read that comment or only the part of it that you wanted to read? Reread it, and you will have an answer.

I reread it and did not get an answer. It seems to be mostly conjecture and using your own assumptions to make generalizations about men, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Lena Hillbrand
12-24-2014, 09:28 PM
I do know most of the men I know are more romantic than most of the women I know.

I know a lot of guys who are more 'romantic' than their ladies as well. I remember in college a group girlfriends sitting around complaining about the 'cheesy' things their bfs did, which I'm sure were perceived as romantic...one girl in particular had a bf who wrote her a love song. In Twilight, it worked quite well for Edward, but IRL, it made my friend queasy. Of course, we were a bit cynical back then...

to the OP: Nicholas Sparks is wildly popular for his romances, a lot from male pov. Flip through a couple to see how he writes that part.

Cath
12-24-2014, 10:16 PM
Okay, we're straying into exactly the kind of generalities that concern me. Can you focus on actual experience or research please.

King Neptune
12-25-2014, 12:23 AM
I reread it and did not get an answer. It seems to be mostly conjecture and using your own assumptions to make generalizations about men, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I think that "mostly conjecture" is understatement.

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 01:39 AM
For Cath, for Christmas


Small study (http://www.livescience.com/18430-falling-love-brain.html) on falling in love,no differences between genders noted

Another one (http://www.syr.edu/news/articles/2010/ortigue-neuroimaging-of-love-10-10.html) mentions no difference

And this one (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm)


I've trawled through a couple of dozen similar studies (no idea how respected the bodies are btw, though a couple seem pretty respectable) and not one mentioned a biological/hormonal difference in how love is experienced, though many noted that "all subjects" exhibited certain things.

Which leads me to think that differences are often cultural -- men are not"supposed" to feel all that mushy stuff, even though they pen poems and songs about it that far surpass mushyness of female efforts (maybe because it's their only outlet in a Westernised society)


I don't even know what Neptune is trying to say, but in the spirit of the season am happy to attribute it to the "Mulled Wine Effect", which has been known to affect me at times :D

buz
12-26-2014, 03:14 AM
One of the biggest differences along those lines between men and women is the amount of oxytocin produced. Women produce fair quantities of it,while men produce very little.

Eh, dunno...I have seen that testosterone suppresses it (which men do produce more of, generally speaking). Not that there are different quantities...though if there are credible sources I can be easily persuaded. :) Regardless, oxytocin doesn't exactly equal love. There's the idea that it promotes attachment, and also the vague suggestion that it just intensifies memories associated with whatever you're feeling and reinforces the emotions--it only increases attachment to people who you're already with (not random people), it intensifies feelings of envy and schadenfreude, it has been associated with the long-lasting effects of emotional pain and fear when boosted during a stressful event, so on and so forth.

I don't know, of course, but it's a lot more complex than "women have more oxytocin and therefore they cuddle more." Which I realize is not what you said :) But the implication...well, bleh. I read an implication, given the context of the thread. Which is perhaps my fault. *waffles waffily*


Oxytocin is known as the "cuddle hormone". It leads one to enjoy physical and emotional closeness. Not by itself, though. Love and attachment are more complex than that. (And so is oxytocin.)

Possibly helpful (http://io9.com/5606765/myths-about-the-love-hormone-oxytocin-that-could-ruin-your-love-life):


What generalizations and conclusions can we soundly draw based on data scientists have provided, and what conclusions they have themselves drawn? That oxytocin is one of many chemicals in the bodies of mammals, one of an incredibly large pool of influences and factors, chemical and non-chemical, which very likely have an impact on some of our behavior, including but not limited to our sexual and other social interactions and responses. That how much or how little oxytocin impacts those things, how it impacts them, for whom and in what situations, clearly varies widely, even though we can say we know some situations in which it is very likely to be present and have some sort of effect. And that if we want ways to make more definitive statements than these about oxytocin, until we have a lot more study done with humans, we're going to need to stick to talking about rodents instead of people.In short, I don't think we know enough about hormones, their interactions with each other, and their interactions with the rest of the mind and body to draw conclusions about how they affect women's and men's experiences of love in a way that is both general and meaningful. All sorts of interesting effects have been observed, and it's awesome, but I don't know if that exactly unravels the mysteries of love. ;)

...That wasn't short at all. pthptht. What I MEAN is, individuals are individual, and hormones are mysterious little fuckers.

Putputt
12-26-2014, 07:27 AM
For Cath, for Christmas


Small study (http://www.livescience.com/18430-falling-love-brain.html) on falling in love,no differences between genders noted

Another one (http://www.syr.edu/news/articles/2010/ortigue-neuroimaging-of-love-10-10.html) mentions no difference

And this one (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm)


I've trawled through a couple of dozen similar studies (no idea how respected the bodies are btw, though a couple seem pretty respectable) and not one mentioned a biological/hormonal difference in how love is experienced, though many noted that "all subjects" exhibited certain things.

Which leads me to think that differences are often cultural -- men are not"supposed" to feel all that mushy stuff, even though they pen poems and songs about it that far surpass mushyness of female efforts (maybe because it's their only outlet in a Westernised society)


I don't even know what Neptune is trying to say, but in the spirit of the season am happy to attribute it to the "Mulled Wine Effect", which has been known to affect me at times :D


Eh, dunno...I have seen that testosterone suppresses it (which men do produce more of, generally speaking). Not that there are different quantities...though if there are credible sources I can be easily persuaded. :) Regardless, oxytocin doesn't exactly equal love. There's the idea that it promotes attachment, and also the vague suggestion that it just intensifies memories associated with whatever you're feeling and reinforces the emotions--it only increases attachment to people who you're already with (not random people), it intensifies feelings of envy and schadenfreude, it has been associated with the long-lasting effects of emotional pain and fear when boosted during a stressful event, so on and so forth.

I don't know, of course, but it's a lot more complex than "women have more oxytocin and therefore they cuddle more." Which I realize is not what you said :) But the implication...well, bleh. I read an implication, given the context of the thread. Which is perhaps my fault. *waffles waffily*

Not by itself, though. Love and attachment are more complex than that. (And so is oxytocin.)

Possibly helpful (http://io9.com/5606765/myths-about-the-love-hormone-oxytocin-that-could-ruin-your-love-life):

In short, I don't think we know enough about hormones, their interactions with each other, and their interactions with the rest of the mind and body to draw conclusions about how they affect women's and men's experiences of love in a way that is both general and meaningful. All sorts of interesting effects have been observed, and it's awesome, but I don't know if that exactly unravels the mysteries of love. ;)

...That wasn't short at all. pthptht. What I MEAN is, individuals are individual, and hormones are mysterious little fuckers.

There you guys go again, using science to break down gender stereotypes. You take the fun out of everything! Pthtpthtptht

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 04:05 PM
Eh, dunno...I have seen that testosterone suppresses it (which men do produce more of, generally speaking). Not that there are different quantities...though if there are credible sources I can be easily persuaded. :)

What I MEAN is, individuals are individual, and hormones are mysterious little fuckers. My bold

Now, this isn't a very scientifically rigorous experiment but what you say there made me think of this

A few years ago there was a program on the tell called Brainiacs (That Richard Hammond presented, and its subtitle was Science Abuse probably tells you how rigorous. But they did do some interesting experiments as well as the silly. Its aim was to get people interested by showing how fun you can make science.)

Anyway, in this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QHucDf8XDw)episode (starts at about 11:40) they took two guys, one macho man with high testosterone level, and one not at all macho man with a low one. They had the macho guy do very "non macho" things for the day (ironing while wearing a frilly pinny) and the macho guy do uber "macho" things, like cavort with scantily clad women*. Ofc whether these things are macho or not is a social construct.

BUT our non macho guy's testosterone increased, and our macho guy's testosterone decreased. So not only can the levels change depending on what they do, but they can change on what the subject perceives as being macho or not. Like, social constructs and whether ironing is seen as the man's job or the woman's :D

It's rough and ready and only has two subjects etc. But I did think it was interesting. I wonder if anyone has done more study on it, but then who'd volunteer to have their testosterone levels drop?


*Yes, I know, but the whole thing is tongue in cheek anyway

robjvargas
12-26-2014, 05:25 PM
I don't really give a damn about stereotypes when I'm writing. I write what makes my characters real. Sometimes, that's stereotypical behavior. Sometimes... not.

Remember during the 2008 political campaigns, US Representative (and Republican) John Boehner caught flak (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/12/weeper-of-the-house-john-boehner-cries-100557.html) for the number of times he cried. Why was that? Because he's a Republican? Maybe some. Because he's Speaker of The House? I'm sure that played a part.

But how much of it came because a man, in power, showed emotion? More, I suspect, than people would be willing to admit.

We can chafe and rankle over stereotypes, and try not to fall prey to them. But we also have to confront them, be aware of them, and understand that readers out there, they will react if we push back on them.

Which I guess is a long-winded way of saying that we can't make stereotypes taboo, or dismiss them just because they are stereotypes. We have to know them, acknowledge them, and then find ways to make our characters real, because of *or* despite them.

King Neptune
12-26-2014, 06:55 PM
A few links to articles relating to oxytocin. People can do their own serches for other neurotransmitters and hormones.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275795.php
http://io9.com/5925206/10-reasons-why-oxytocin-is-the-most-amazing-molecule-in-the-world
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/oxytocin
http://healthland.time.com/2013/11/27/how-oxytocin-makes-men-almost-monogamous/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9361803
http://www.prevention.com/sex/sex-relationships/easy-ways-increase-oxytocin-levels
http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20131125/how-the-love-hormone-works-its-magic

There is a great deal additional information on hormones and neurotransmitters. Men and women produce different quantities of various such chemicals. The exact effects are individual, but there are some generalities.

Another problem with this thread is that the phrase "fall in love" means different things to different people, and the word "love" also has a wide variety of meanings.

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 07:06 PM
Well in just that first link we have:


One of the so-called 'love hormone' studies was published in 2012, and it examined oxytocin levels in new lovers versus those in single people. It found that there were high levels of the hormone in the first stages of romantic attachment, and these were sustained for six months.

People. Not just women, but people and I think I am right in saying that men are people too?

And:


notes that the hormone does not act alone in the chemistry of love, but is "just one important component of a complex neurochemical system that allows the body to adapt to highly emotive situations."



So it has an effect but does not work on its own
And

"After all, it is rather unlikely that any widely acting hormone or neurotransmitter will be narrowly funneled to modulate complex, high-order mental processes that are specific to social cognition," say the authors of a 2013 paper.


One of your links also links to another study done only on men, and comes to the conclusion they both have it and it enhances the desire to gaze into someone's eyes and heightens emotional connections and another that it helps men maintain erections. A not insignificant point, I feel

In other words it isn't saying anything to support what I think you have been saying (or have appeared to)

However since I don't know what it is you are trying to say (other than men only write songs/poems to get into women's pants because they can't really feel those feels for real because men, which is both a blanket statement and pretty derogatory of men in general) I can't be sure

Basically what those links are saying to me is "it's complicated" and "there's huge variation among people in general, and also among people of the same gender". Which, er, is what we've all been saying all along? So thanks for proving our point, I guess?

Putputt
12-26-2014, 07:11 PM
Another problem with this thread is that the phrase "fall in love" means different things to different people, and the word "love" also has a wide variety of meanings.

Interesting. So you think "love" means different things to different people, but you are super sure that . . .


And the guys who write and publish such things hope that the woman will enjoy and believe it.

Is this interpretation based on generalities or is it because:



The semi-lewd poetry that I sometimes write for sport has the endpoint of a sexual encounter. Maybe I should stop a step or two earlier.(Which can be interpreted as "Well this is what I do, therefore it's what everyone else does."? ;)

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 07:15 PM
(Which can be interpreted as "Well this is what I do, therefore it's what everyone else does."? ;)


I only wear high heels when I'm on the pull, therefore all women in heels are trying to pull

Faultless....

But wrong

buz
12-26-2014, 08:06 PM
A few links to articles relating to oxytocin. People can do their own serches for other neurotransmitters and hormones.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275795.php
http://io9.com/5925206/10-reasons-why-oxytocin-is-the-most-amazing-molecule-in-the-world
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/oxytocin
http://healthland.time.com/2013/11/27/how-oxytocin-makes-men-almost-monogamous/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9361803
http://www.prevention.com/sex/sex-relationships/easy-ways-increase-oxytocin-levels
http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/news/20131125/how-the-love-hormone-works-its-magic

There is a great deal additional information on hormones and neurotransmitters. Men and women produce different quantities of various such chemicals.

I don't see that men and women have different quantities of oxytocin in your links. Rather, I see this:


In the male mammal, the small peptide hormone oxytocin is produced in similar quantities within the hypothalamo-pituitary magnocellular system as in the female, yet for the male little is known about the physiology associated with this hormone.


Another problem with this thread is that the phrase "fall in love" means different things to different people, and the word "love" also has a wide variety of meanings.

Yes, exactly. Which is why one cannot say what love feels like to all mankind. :D

King Neptune
12-26-2014, 10:59 PM
Well in just that first link we have:



People. Not just women, but people and I think I am right in saying that men are people too?

And:



So it has an effect but does not work on its own
And



One of your links also links to another study done only on men, and comes to the conclusion they both have it and it enhances the desire to gaze into someone's eyes and heightens emotional connections and another that it helps men maintain erections. A not insignificant point, I feel

In other words it isn't saying anything to support what I think you have been saying (or have appeared to)

However since I don't know what it is you are trying to say (other than men only write songs/poems to get into women's pants because they can't really feel those feels for real because men, which is both a blanket statement and pretty derogatory of men in general) I can't be sure

Basically what those links are saying to me is "it's complicated" and "there's huge variation among people in general, and also among people of the same gender". Which, er, is what we've all been saying all along? So thanks for proving our point, I guess?


I didn't expect that those links would give a complete picture of anything. I strongly suggest that you look into the actions of the other hotmones and neurotransmitters that are involved, if you want a complete picture. But if you don't then leave it where you have.

Then there's the matter of testosterone production in women.

King Neptune
12-26-2014, 11:01 PM
Interesting. So you think "love" means different things to different people, but you are super sure that . . .



Is this interpretation based on generalities or is it because:

(Which can be interpreted as "Well this is what I do, therefore it's what everyone else does."? ;)

Interpret as you wish, as it appears you are doing.

If you are interested in this subject, then you might want to look into further.

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 11:24 PM
Neptune

Can I ask a question?

What exactly is your point in this thread? Because I'm trying to figure it out, but I can't for the life of me.

You've said that men only write poetry to get laid (with no evidence to back it up except that's what you do so all must must do the same which..er...), and something about oxytocin which don't -- the ones I read anyway --even mention differences between men and women (except I suppose that it helps men keep an erection) which I thought was why you'd posted them

And that's my problem here. I have no idea what your point is? I mean I can guess, but I could guess wrong and with each post it becomes less clear, not more, what you're trying to say

So could you be clear? What's your point? The closest I can get to thinking I may have it is "all men are only ever thinking about getting laid and don't fall in love/think lovey thoughts" and I know that's not only not true, it's damned well insulting. So, assuming good intentions, it'd be nice if you could say what the point actually is rather than just being oblique/opaque

If you could do it in words of one syllable for us Bears of Little Brain/Too Much Mulled Wine, that'd be great

M.S. Wiggins
12-27-2014, 12:43 AM
Not sure why this particular piece of poetry came to mind, but when it did was mid-way through this thread.

Wind and Window Flower by Robert Frost.


Lovers, forget your love,
And list to the love of these,
She a window flower,
And he a winter breeze.

When the frosty window veil
Was melted down at noon,
And the caged yellow bird
Hung over her in tune,

He marked her through the pane,
He could not help but mark,
And only passed her by
To come again at dark.

He was a winter wind,
Concerned with ice and snow,
Dead weeds and unmated birds,
And little of love could know.

But he sighed upon the sill,
He gave the sash a shake,
As witness all within
Who lay that night awake.

Perchance he half prevailed
To win her for the flight
From the firelit looking-glass
And warm stove-window light.

But the flower leaned aside
And thought of naught to say,
And morning found the breeze
A hundred miles away.

Putputt
12-27-2014, 07:34 AM
Neptune

Can I ask a question?

What exactly is your point in this thread? Because I'm trying to figure it out, but I can't for the life of me.

Me neither, tbh. I would love to know KN's point too.



So could you be clear? What's your point? The closest I can get to thinking I may have it is "all men are only ever thinking about getting laid and don't fall in love/think lovey thoughts" and I know that's not only not true, it's damned well insulting. So, assuming good intentions, it'd be nice if you could say what the point actually is rather than just being oblique/opaque

If you could do it in words of one syllable for us Bears of Little Brain/Too Much Mulled Wine, that'd be great

Agreed. The point, please. We are ready to hear it.

*rests chin on hooves and listens with rapt attention*

P.S. Unlike mulled wine guzzler here, I can cope with words of two syllables. The egg nog was not nearly potent enough this year. :D

C.bronco
12-27-2014, 07:46 AM
I think it's interesting to hear different anecdotes from different people. A consensus isn't necessary or even more helpful than genuine responses.

It may be universal by gender, but why not invite it?

Viridian
12-27-2014, 10:18 AM
*sidles back in*

My husband came out as demisexual a few days ago. For the uninitiated: demisexuality isn't some special thing, it's just a word to describe a certain kind of sexual/romantic behavior. Demisexuality is when you are only capable of experiencing sexual attraction when you are already emotionally attracted to someone.

So our dates go something like this:

Me: "Oh hey. Look, our waitress has a cute butt. Don't you think so?"

Him: *looks up at me* "I guess? I mean, I don't really know her." *does not even look at waitress's butt*

Much later:

Me: "I found this sexy picture online. What do you think? You like redheads, right?"

Him: "Why are you showing me this? Hey, can we cuddle? I want to cuddle."

For years, I thought he was just, like... super polite. Despite my incredibly persistent efforts to make him into a pervert. I figured if I showed him enough cute butts eventually he'd suddenly want to talk about sex with me. Nope! Unless he knows a person, he has zero interest in boning them. I, personally, cannot understand. But I think people are all just different.

smellycat6464
12-27-2014, 11:35 AM
I hope this isn't an echo to an above post, but I often feel a tightness and dryness in my throat when I desire someone. I think that's an interesting physiological response, and one I haven't felt often. I hope this helps with your research.

Happy writing.

Foolonthehill
12-27-2014, 05:11 PM
There IS in fact a BBC documentary which proves via experiments the different way men and women behave when exposed to love/ sex situations. For example women put in a waiting room on their own would hardly ever offer to help a person walking by with a huge stack of boxes looking like they were about to fall over. Women put in a waiting room with a couple of attractive men would almost always offer their help to the person with the boxes. Apparently women subconsciously feel the urge to display "helpfulness" when trying to impress men and men do tend to go for women who display such a trait because they like the idea of someone looking after them. This was just one of many experiments, some included the use of electrodes etc

Foolonthehill
12-27-2014, 05:19 PM
I am not sure, are you asking ME what the point of the thread was?
I never said anything about men writing poetry to get laid, so I am supposing you are not asking me.
But since I am the one who started the thread, my point was to hear from men what they felt when they fall in love. Physically/emotionally etc and I am now "some" the wiser thanks to some interesting and touching replies, so thanks to everyone who took their time to answer

Putputt
12-27-2014, 09:20 PM
There IS in fact a BBC documentary which proves via experiments the different way men and women behave when exposed to love/ sex situations. For example women put in a waiting room on their own would hardly ever offer to help a person walking by with a huge stack of boxes looking like they were about to fall over. Women put in a waiting room with a couple of attractive men would almost always offer their help to the person with the boxes. Apparently women subconsciously feel the urge to display "helpfulness" when trying to impress men and men do tend to go for women who display such a trait because they like the idea of someone looking after them. This was just one of many experiments, some included the use of electrodes etc

The problem with such studies is that there are so many limitations to them. There is the cultural factor, for one. If the subjects have been raised in a culture that encourages certain behaviors as desirable, then you're going to see more of that behavior. So you can't really tell if women are more likely to help when someone attractive is in the room because of their hormones or because of social construct. And what about the men? How do they react? Would they not be more likely to seem helpful when there is someone attractive in the room as well? What if the other person in the room is unattractive? Would they still want to appear helpful? Because the attractiveness might or might not be an actual factor other than the fact that there is an observer so you just don't want to seem like a dick in front of someone else.

Maybe if you could provide a link to the actual study, that would be helpful. :)


I am not sure, are you asking ME what the point of the thread was?
I never said anything about men writing poetry to get laid, so I am supposing you are not asking me.
But since I am the one who started the thread, my point was to hear from men what they felt when they fall in love. Physically/emotionally etc and I am now "some" the wiser thanks to some interesting and touching replies, so thanks to everyone who took their time to answer

No, Mr. Flibble and I both addressed another poster specifically.

It's an interesting thread. It's a pity to see it get dragged into exactly what the mod didn't want it to become -- generalities that rely on nothing more than biases and assumptions.

Rufus Coppertop
12-27-2014, 10:12 PM
:popcorn:

Viridian
12-27-2014, 10:24 PM
There IS in fact a BBC documentary which proves via experiments the different way men and women behave when exposed to love/ sex situations.

This gets addressed every time any topic about "men vs women" comes up...

If you're talking looking at "all men" vs. "all women," then yes, you're going to find that there are small differences in male and female behavior.

Much like height. On average, women are shorter than men.

But most men and women fall into the same range. And when you're talking about an individual character, it's not useful to say men are this way or women are this way, because a character is an individual, and YOU get to choose how that character is.

We're either talking about one of two things in this topic: how men are generally (statistically, over a population) or the feelings of individual men (personal anecdotes). Statistics are useful, but how far can you get with them?

I mean, when you're trying to decide what hair color a character has, what do you do? Do you decide what hair color YOU want them to have, or do you think "well brown hair is the most common, therefore my character should have brown hair"?

There are many things a character could be. And honestly I've never read a character and felt that their romantic behavior was too feminine or too masculine. Because, like I said, individuals can vary a lot. Peeta (from the Hunger Games) has behavior that is very stereotypically feminine -- his whole relationship with Katniss has reversed gender roles -- but that's what makes that relationship interesting and unique.

There are definitely traits associated with men and traits associated with women. People like to say that men are more protective, women are more empathetic, men are more sexual, women are cuddlers, ect. And maybe if we're looking at large populations, we'll see that this is true. But individually... if you focus too much on things like that, you're going to get a very dull and very stereotypical character.

Long post is long, sorry.

IDK. I'm enjoying the personal experiences and anecdotes in this thread. Useful writing material.

morngnstar
12-27-2014, 11:29 PM
I mean, when you're trying to decide what hair color a character has, what do you do? Do you decide what hair color YOU want them to have, or do you think "well brown hair is the most common, therefore my character should have brown hair"?

There are many things a character could be. And honestly I've never read a character and felt that their romantic behavior was too feminine or too masculine. Because, like I said, individuals can vary a lot.

Not only can individuals be different from other individuals of their gender, but individuals vary from moment to moment. A man may be practical, aggressive, rational most of his life, but when he appears on the scene in a romance novel, he will be emotional, affectionate, and dramatic, because that is the profound effect the heroine has on him.

Most of the time, people don't write stories about typical, average behavior. That would be boring. You either write about people behaving in exceptional ways because of extraordinary circumstances, or exceptional people, such as superheroes or secret agents. So scientific studies, which focus on average behavior, are not really relevant.

Since he can be exceptional, you're free to make your male character act exactly as a woman would. At least for me, all my characters of both genders are based heavily on aspects of myself. I think for the most part people are people so that's okay. In the details, though, you want to paint with a little bit of a gendered brush, and that's where the anecdotes can help. "I would do this in that character's position, but here's an anecdote from the opposite gender where they did something quite similar but a little bit different. I can learn from that and shape my character just a little bit differently."

Amadan
12-27-2014, 11:49 PM
I think King Neptune is relying on a few anecdotal theories from evolutionary psychology, and treating them as scientific observations.

Evpsych gets a bad rap because of this kind of thing. The basic problem is that there may actually be biological /psychological differences between men and women, but our ability to detect and test them and determine what's cultural and what might be hardwired is very poor. So we wind up with theories, or what are commonly called "just so stories," which are almost impossible to prove or disprove.

So before making vague statements about oxytocin and testosterone or some study somewhere based on how a few individuals behaved in a room, make sure you actually know what's being claimed.

Roxxsmom
12-28-2014, 12:02 AM
Just skimming back through this thread now and it strikes me that these threads remind me of conversations I've been involved in over and over since my college days (whenever gender stuff comes up). There are the people who insist that everyone from their gender is *really* a certain way and there are people who deny this and say no, they're not that way, or they've known many people who aren't that way. Then the others come back and say that they are, but are lying about it to impress the other gender, or because of social pressure to be politically correct, or because they've deluded themselves or whatever.

This leaves the people who insist that they're not the way their gender is *supposed* to be without a leg to stand on, because it's impossible to falsify an argument that you're lying or deluded about something that's internal.

I've heard so many things about how women all are all my life, and I know that many of those statements are wrong, at least in one case, because I'm not like that. I also strongly suspect that many other women I've known aren't (and at least some men aren't the way they're *supposed* to be either). I can't prove this, though. I can't even prove that I really think and feel the things I know I think and feel.

Using research to back these things up is not terribly useful, because research only (at best, assuming the study is well controlled and drawing from a representative population) only measures averages across an entire population. Someone used the height analogy. Men are taller overall than women. But I think we can all agree it's ludicrous to assume that every man is tall and every woman is short, let alone that every man is taller than every women or that some men aren't shorter than most women or vice versa.

But for some reason, people get very invested in elaborating average behavioral/emotional gender differences to the entire population. Not sure why, except that our society has obviously invested heavily in these differences, but we're living in times where things are being shaken up and no one knows what the "rules" are. This is scary as well as exhilarating.

The only advice I can really offer someone who wants to write characters who are different from themselves is to read books written by people who are different from themselves. I have trouble believing that men don't love, and that their love doesn't, in many ways at least, overlap with the female (or at least my own) experience of love, because I've read books by men where male characters fall in love, and I relate to their experience. If the male authors are just pretending, oh well. It still makes for good stories that seem to appeal to both genders.

King Neptune
12-28-2014, 12:38 AM
I think King Neptune is relying on a few anecdotal theories from evolutionary psychology, and treating them as scientific observations.

You are mistaken.

Viridian
12-28-2014, 12:49 AM
I think King Neptune is relying on a few anecdotal theories from evolutionary psychology, and treating them as scientific observations.
You know, there's actually a word for what you're talking about. Look up "biotruth."

@Roxxsmom: I swear to god, I love every one of your posts.

Helix
12-28-2014, 02:32 AM
You are mistaken.

Why not take the opportunity to explain exactly how Amadan is mistaken? Ad hoc evopsych is how I'd interpret it too.

cornflake
12-28-2014, 02:46 AM
There IS in fact a BBC documentary which proves via experiments the different way men and women behave when exposed to love/ sex situations. For example women put in a waiting room on their own would hardly ever offer to help a person walking by with a huge stack of boxes looking like they were about to fall over. Women put in a waiting room with a couple of attractive men would almost always offer their help to the person with the boxes. Apparently women subconsciously feel the urge to display "helpfulness" when trying to impress men and men do tend to go for women who display such a trait because they like the idea of someone looking after them. This was just one of many experiments, some included the use of electrodes etc

What you describe (you didn't link to the documentary or any text of said experiments so I can only go by what's here), would so not prove anything, I can't even begin.

- That sounds like an incredibly small sample, which causes a number of issues with both interpretation and extrapolation.

- Unless the same women are used in both conditions, especially given the n, it'd be near impossible to separate out any causative anything, to say the least.

- Unless there are fMRIs or some such going on, I've no idea how the determination of purpose would even begin to be assessed (i.e. why aren't they getting up and helping pick up boxes to show off their asses or boobs?).

- How many variables were controlled for? Because, as we know from as the famous seminary experiment, what happened before, during, etc., can cause behavioural shifts.

- Did they repeat the experiment with the sexes reversed?

- How attractive was each person in each run, and to each person in each run?

I could go on, for a good while.

Mr Flibble
12-28-2014, 03:16 AM
It works ok as anecdotal evidence, but if the sample is small, what if you just got someone really manipulative? Or someone with emotional issues or...

A couple of people are not representative of a gender. Or is say..Charles Manson representative of men? Myra Hindley of women? I really REALLY hope not

(For the record, I'd help with the boxes no matter what, but would maybe use it to flirt outrageously/show off my boobs/bum/legs - inside clothes thank you! - if say Chris Hemsworth was standing next to me..)

But as anecdotal in order to build up a picture amongst a lot of other data, sure. We all come to our conclusions based on things we have personally witnessed in many areas -- someone who has been on the receiving end of say workplace bullying will no doubt see it in a different light to someone who has never seen that/experienced it.

And when you write A Character doing A thing, then that is what you have to think about. Their previous experience of Said Thing. They will have their natural reaction, but that could be tempered by years of experience otherwise. Experience changes how you feel about the Thing.

So, say, you were totes loved up, and then she ran off with your best friend (after you caught them together in your bed)....well falling in love after that (can I trust them? Did they just look at my brother/sister like they fancied them? He said he liked blondes and that blonde just moved in...) is going to feel a bit different to falling in love for the first time (Omg no one said it would do this to me/helpless flailing/pink cloud of bliss/other reactions.)

I think your character's experience with love (and not just the partnership kind) and what kind of person they are (perhaps due to that previous/early experience) will have a much bigger influence than what gender they are

I could probably dig up some sources for that but ofc it'll come back to nature or nurture.

What comes first, chicken or egg? Stiff upper lip or social conditioning?

Roxxsmom
12-28-2014, 04:42 AM
What you describe (you didn't link to the documentary or any text of said experiments so I can only go by what's here), would so not prove anything, I can't even begin.

- That sounds like an incredibly small sample, which causes a number of issues with both interpretation and extrapolation.

- Unless the same women are used in both conditions, especially given the n, it'd be near impossible to separate out any causative anything, to say the least.

- Unless there are fMRIs or some such going on, I've no idea how the determination of purpose would even begin to be assessed (i.e. why aren't they getting up and helping pick up boxes to show off their asses or boobs?).

- How many variables were controlled for? Because, as we know from as the famous seminary experiment, what happened before, during, etc., can cause behavioural shifts.

- Did they repeat the experiment with the sexes reversed?

- How attractive was each person in each run, and to each person in each run?

I could go on, for a good while.

All of this!

Plus, a documentary does not and can not prove anything. All it can do is present evidence from various experiments and summarize what they
(the makers of said documentary) think the conclusions from those are. The makers of the show get to pick and choose the studies they want to present and interpret them how they'd like. Now if it's a good show, made by ethical people who don't have a sensationalist agenda, they may present a wide array of evidence from well-controlled studies and interpret the researchers' findings in a reasonable way. But keep in mind that negative results (as in ones finding no differences) are boring and rarely make it into pop culture.

But this gets to another thing. Even a rigorously controlled experiment with lots of replications and so forth never, ever proves the hypothesis they are testing. When someone on a science show, or in a book, or on the radio or whatever says that such and such results proved something I know they're either ignorant or lying. All experiments can do is generate data that either falsifies a hypothesis or corroborates it (but this is not the same as proving it, as there are always other possible explanations for the correlation). The more experiments you perform and the more corroborating data you collect, the more confident you are that you're on the right track with your hypothesis, but you never, ever know for sure that you've tested it in every possible way.

The media does a terrible job of reporting scientific findings for non scientists in so many ways.

Mr Flibble
12-28-2014, 04:54 AM
But this gets to another thing. Even a rigorously controlled experiment with lots of replications and so forth never, ever proves the hypothesis they are testing.

Odin's crusty nutsack, I do love you.

Cath
12-28-2014, 06:19 AM
Back away from the personal disputes please folks. It's an interesting discussion, but we're not in P&CE.

King Neptune
12-28-2014, 11:16 PM
Why not take the opportunity to explain exactly how Amadan is mistaken? Ad hoc evopsych is how I'd interpret it too.

There is never any reason to counter an ad hominem argument.

Cath
12-29-2014, 12:08 AM
We are not going to do this. Not here.

Let's take a breather on this discussion for a while.