Thursday, August 12, 2010

Swings of Desire, aka, Ovulation = Beer Goggles?

Is this chick ovulating?  Check out her
clingy clothes, symmetrical boobs,  the
manly companion... Signs point to "yes."
"People like to forget that we're animals, tied to the Earth and the tides," says a friend with a penchant for making such delightful proclamations. Yes, we think we're making rational decisions, exercising our free choice, and all that... but half the time--hell, maybe all the time--we're just blindly responding to our hormonal instructions like remote control cars in the hands of a sugared-up kid. To wit: a recent study showing that women buy sexier, clingier clothes while ovulating. (To those who spent sex ed class giggling in the back of the class: ovulation is the woman's fertile period. And if you don't start paying better attention, I'm going to have to break out my diagram of the female reproductive system.) One of the study's researchers--sounding less like a scientist and more like an evil cyborg villain from a future dystopian universe--noted a way that corporations could cash in this phenomenon by hitting up the ovulation-crazed females ready to shell out cash on push-up bras and the like:
"Our findings suggest marketers for many types of female products are well served to strategically time their mailings, coupons, electronic solicitations, and direct requests to the specific window when women are ovulating."
It's evil, I tell you! (Presumably the marketing flyers for unsexy clothes would arrive a couple weeks later. JC Penney's, it's your time to shine!) But ovulating women aren't spending all their time buying sexy clothes, they're mindlessly obeying their hormones in myriad ways. Women's voices get higher-pitched during ovulation, they walk differentlyprefer more masculine faces and are more susceptible to pick-up lines. During this period, they're also more likely to fantasize about someone other than their partner. (For your consideration: Javier Bardem in that scene in Vicky Christina Barcelona where he seduces two women by telling them, "Life is short, life is boring, life is full of pain," thus, they should immediately run off to an island with him for the weekend.)

Transformers Leader Optimus PrimeUm...what was I saying, oh yes, during ovulation, women's bodies change like some mutant Transformer, except instead of becoming robots in disguise, our ears, fingers and breasts get more symmetrical and skin color lightens. (Cue creepy sound effect to signify mutation.) Women actually get observably prettier, and subjects consistently rate ovulating women as more attractive.

And it's not just the ladies going all crazy with the hormones. Men think ovulating women smell better, they get more jealous of dominant males when their partner is ovulating and they give ovulating strippers more tips. ($70 an hour for the ovulating strippers vs. only $35 for the menstruating ones, but I'm guessing that's because the menstruating ones were probably sobbing in the corner, complaining that everyone had become a complete asshole.)

It all seems a little complex. I don't see why humans didn't just adopt the chimpanzee method of the females developing a big swollen pink butt when they're ready to go. It's a simple, obvious and clear signal of willingness. Although, admittedly, the pink butt route has its own drawbacks. Swollen pink butts do in fact make your butt look fat in those jeans, and pink butt makes it much more difficult to play it coy.

Female: Hmmm...I don't know if I'm interested...
Male: Uh, I can see your big ol' pink butt, you know.
Female: Oh, yeah, right....Let's go back to your place then.

Several friends and I have noticed that as we've entered our 40s, our cyclical swings of desire have become much more pronounced. One week we'd rather read a book, the next we're eying the bag boys at the grocery store. (Has the guy who brings the carts in always been so smokin'?) It's like when we're into it, we're WAY into it--like Superfreaks--and when we're not, well, eh, whatever. So here are your questions for the day: Are you elderly like us and is this happening to you as well? If so, is this an actual physical phenomenon, or have we just become more attuned to the rhythms of our bodies? And you too, men, how is your desire changing as you age? Comment below, or drop us an email.


Anonymous said...

How do the marketers know when we're ovulating?

Jill Hamilton said...

Ha! An excellent point. Maybe they see our suddenly more attractive faces and excessively clingy clothing choices.

Amy Harwood said...

OK, it's been a while since I commented, but with a high pitched voice, laying here on the couch in my Victoria's Secret PJs, I am silently shouting a resounding "Amen Sister"!