So Ive been having a conversation with my friend Wolfboy in the comments to my recent post about Richard Dawkins or rather, about the Drive Threshold Model that Dawkins discovered and what it teaches us about rape culture, i.e. that even if rapists are motivated by sex desire, not dressing like a slut still isnt going to be an effective precaution against rape. And I was just on the point of writing another big reply as an addendum to my existing reply, when it occurred to me that the points I wanted to talk about could make their own blog post, which Im accordingly writing now. Well, when I say writing, a lot of it is copypasted from that conversation.
In the original post I made a slightly misleading analogy:
It turns out all kinds of human drives and desires fit the Drive Threshold Model. So if its been an hour or two since lunch you may find yourself hungry for chocolate, say, or salted peanuts, or something specific. If youve got children youll know how often theyre only hungry for pudding. But if you havent eaten since the day before yesterday Ill wager youll be happy with stale cheese and wilting lettuce.
The misleading bit was where I linked ones level of hunger to how long its been since theyve had food. That is how hunger works, more or less, but its not how sexual desire works. I mean, OK, there is a sort of urgent edge of feeling that builds up over time like that, but it can be discharged by, shall we say, taking matters into ones own hands. Your level of attraction to other people doesnt drop down when you have sex and then steadily build up again.
Wolfboy made a cogent response:
I think the complicating factor with sex drives and rape as compared to hunger and food is that a) without food youll die, so the drive is a bit more fundamental and b) you dont need to have any sort of relationship with your food while you do need to decide what sort of relationship you want with a sex partner.
Morally and rationally, Wolfboy is correct. The problem is, were talking about drives here.