In the News – General Observations – Part One

Unless you live in a cave somewhere, you have heard about General David Petraeus and the ‘scandal’ of his extramarital affair and his subsequent resignation as head of the CIA. So much has been written and said about it, already, that you may wonder what in the world it has to do with the usual subject matter here. Well, keep reading and all will be revealed!

First of all, I am not going to pick on General Dave. He is just one of a long line of rich (by my standards) and powerful men who strayed from the straight and narrow path of married monogamy. But I will use him and a few other examples to make a few points related observations.

I would like to direct your attention to photo #1. Here we have the General and Paula Broadwell, alongside a picture of the General and his wife, Mrs. Petraeus. Personally, I don’t find Ms. Broadwell ALL THAT attractive, but she does appeal to me more than the wife, I have to admit.

Let’s not get hung up in the ‘morality’ issue of adultery. And equally, let’s not bother looking at the ‘stupidity’ angle of the CIA Director not being able to cover his tracks. Let’s approach this from a different angle, and start with a simple question: Why? In part 2 of this subject we’ll look at the question of whether or not Paula was the best he could do, and why maybe she was, but first, let’s look at the ‘why’ of it.

I have seen and heard comments from assorted viewpoints regarding the ‘affair’ that range from ‘how awful that man is’ to ‘he had a good reason because his wife was unattractive’ to Pat Robertson’s view that it was the fault of the evil temptress. Personally, the morality of the matter isn’t my business. I am not fond of deception but I have been known to tell a white lie now and again. I want to talk about something more basic.

I’ll limit myself to two issues. Issue number one, which I’ll cover in part one, concerns male sexuality and monogamy in general. I made up this bogus graph to illustrate my point. It doesn’t represent any actual data (except age) or track any particular man’s situation, but is meant only to generalize.

The bottom axis is age and is represented by the BLUE line. It applies to both men and women. The RED line is male sexual potency. It ramps up quickly from the age of about 12 and peaks at 18, where it stays until it slowly decays. The YELLOW line represents female sexual attractiveness to males, as the women age. It peaks in the early 20s then slowly declines. You could probably use the RED line for this too, but I was just freewheeling it. All of these except the BLUE line are only rough averages, and individuals can vary quite widely.

Now, the GREEN line is something I have called the “Turn On Factor.” Basically it represents how ‘sexy’ the female has to be to ‘turn on’ the male of the corresponding age. It is essentially the inverse of the RED line… it basically just shows that it takes very little sexual attractiveness to excite a male in his peak years, but requires more as the ‘potency’ (red) line declines.

Once again, other than the BLUE line, these are estimates of averages, but in a general way, I think they are reasonable.

NOW NOTICE! The CRITICAL point on this graph is where the green line crosses the red line. It is at this point that male potency falls below the ‘sexiness’ of the females of his own age. This point isn’t the same for everybody by any means, but in a GENERAL way, there comes a time when we men require more ‘sexiness’ to become interested than the females of the same age group provide.

To get back to the General (P.), he reached, at some point, the stage where, all other considerations aside, his wife just may not have cut it for him in terms of ‘sexiness.’ Now, he could have given up sex, or turned to do it yourself methods, but because he COULD, he found a younger, more attractive woman to fill his needs, whatever they may be.

I haven’t even mentioned other famous ‘cheaters’ such as Bill Clinton or Arnold Schwarzenegger. And cheating isn’t ALWAYS a case of having an unattractive wife, of course. Tiger Woods sure as hell didn’t cheat on his wife to be with prettier girls. There are other reasons men are ‘unfaithful’ other than the wife or girlfriend has become unattractive. But ‘male menopause’ does happen and is explained, in a crude way, by the graph. It is not the ONLY reason mean cheat on their wives or girlfriends, but it is definitely ONE reason, and I’d venture to say it’s the reason in the case of the General.

It’s nothing unique to him, and if you accept the graph as roughly describing the reason older men like younger women, there is nothing unusual in a man finding his wife less attractive than some younger woman. It is only the guy who got caught that makes the story newsworthy.

In any event, I have done my best to show why men past a certain age may chase younger women, including a man such as the General. In part two I will look more closely at the ramifications of the older men/younger women thing and relate it to my own situation and that of many other men my age that I know, and how we have chosen to cope with it. Stay tuned for Part 2!

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  1. you lost me with all them fancy lines, but boys will be boys and he search for quim is never-ending.

  2. Agree. Boys will be boys.

  3. A lot of fun. Some one explained it to me this way. Men do not have a ‘second childhood’ because they have reached middle age but because their wives did. Or rather biologically speaking she was no longer fertile. It means reducing everything to biology but if no other reason is obvious then biology it probably is. Ever hear of a man with a 20 year wife having a second childhood?