I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago called “Who Are Forty Year Old Women Supposed To Have Sex With?” You can view it by going to the bottom of this blog and clicking onto recent comments. Yesterday I received this comment on that blog by a writer named Pini:
“Just a comment about the numbers of available women vs. available men. Women in their forties are at the tail end of the baby boom, if they’ve married, it’s often been to an older male boomer. Males of their same age (forties) are often still married to younger women and males of younger ages are part of a much smaller “baby bust” cohort, so there aren’t as many around.
Demographers call this a “marriage squeeze” that females experience. Its not only experienced by Jewish women, but by all women in their forties and fifties in the general population. Probably the most acute marriage squeeze is experienced by African American women because of the low survival rates of their men.
I wish I could be more optimistic. Other societies deal with this issue through polygamy, or when there is a shortage of women through polyandry. Some modern adaptation might come about if women decided to cooperate with each other rather than compete with each other for a scarce supply of desirable males. This may be actually happening as rates of marriage decline and cohabitation increases as indicated by increasing rates of out-of-wedlock births, especially in Europe.
I’m just not sure how this would fit into American Jewish life and community, though even the Orthodox would consider the kids Jewish. But then, we were discussing obtaining a satisfying male sex partner. Does the male sex partner need to be exclusive?
Do long-term sexual relationships need to be based only on two people? Is serial monogamy the only way to have a fulfilling life? What would happen, if rather than waiting for Mr. Right a woman partners with Ms. Right as Ms. Left with a carefully chosen long-term Mr. Middle.”?
Well Pini, first of all, thank you for the thought provoking comment. I am fascinated by what you wrote and my reaction, after the shock wore off and I was able to speak again, was to gasp for air, poor myself a drink, and scream Oh. My. God.
I had never heard of a “marriage squeeze” and it’s so interesting to me. It all makes perfect sense and it’s shocking. Your comment makes me want to get another cat and call it a day. I can spend the time I now spend dating, embroidering pictures of my cats onto sweaters and just give up on love.
Do you think that for women in their forties, in America, the goal is marriage? For me it’s certainly what I would like for myself, but that said, I’ve been married and I’ve been alone, and if my options were to get married and hope it works out, or live with someone and get my happily ever after, then marriage does not need to happen.
I would happily live with someone and build a life together but polygamy is never going to be an option. I don’t get it. I’m far too selfish to share a man with anyone and by selfish of course I mean insecure and by insecure of course I mean selfish. I could not bear it to have my man go off to his other life with his other woman. It would break my heart and make me sick.
There is nothing appealing about sharing a lover to me. I have been cheated on and it’s debilitating. No matter how great you know you are, there is a moment when the crushing blow to your heart and ego is almost unbearable. It takes so much strength to overcome the pain that if sharing were my only option, I will die alone with my 18 cats waiting for my grandchildren to visit.
If you calculate how many Jews there are in the world, take out the ones that are not a match in terms of age or religious observance, then take out all the women, the chances of my getting hit by lightning, twice, are greater than my ever meeting a nice Jewish man to marry.
I have already been married so the menschy thing for me to do would be to simply take myself out of the running and allow a fellow Jewish sister who has never been married have at it. I will be fine. I can keep busy by collecting all the cat hair from around my home and weaving it into a blanket.
Dear God please let this not be my fate. I wonder if my chances for a great love affair would increase, based on your theory, if I dated women. Sometimes I really wish chicks did it for me. It would certainly increase my odds and amount of shoes I have access to.
Well Pini, you’ve managed to suck the joy out of my search for love. Thank you for that. Luckily it will be a temporary set back. At the end of the day I have faith. Faith that he is out there, that I will find him, that he will be completely satisfied by only me and that he will not be a she.
A girl can dream. She can believe in the impossible, place a bet on the long shot, and cross her fingers that it will all work out. I believe in God, I believe in myself, I believe in Beshert and I believe I will get to the Promised Land with my fabulous Jewish man if I remember to keep the faith.
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