Vrai’s comment has inspired me to write about the real-life modern sexual and emotional climate that produces some of the noteworthy new shows on which I report.
To understand where I am going with a somewhat Manospherian analysis of lust in anime, let’s review two recent discussions of eternal courtship.
Men foot the searching costs in the marriage and sexual marketplace (MMP & SMP). This means bearing most of the risk of rejection and expending the bulk of the resources to facilitate the process of meeting and getting to know one another. As the ones who bear the costs of courtship, men have a strong incentive to minimize the number of women they court and the overall duration of time spent in the process. However, as the consumers of courtship, women have an incentive to draw the process out as long as possible and to receive courtship from as many men as possible.
Over the last few decades the expectation that men bear the bulk of the costs and risks of courtship has remained relatively constant, but the time period women expect to be courted has expanded dramatically.
The payoff of courtship is not primarily expensive gifts, lavish dinners, or luxurious entertainments. The primary payoff of courtship is the ego-boost that comes from knowing that an eligible bachelor is willing to exert himself to pay attention to the woman and to get the woman’s attention.
Humans love to receive attention. The human ego swells as it receives attention. The swollen human ego is the root of most human evil.
One frequently-encountered manifestation of courtship-related egotism is the desire to control one’s suitors and to degrade them. An insecure person in a position of social prominence will often try to degrade the humans in the immediate vicinity.
At the link above, Sunshine Mary dissects a newspaper article that was purportedly written by a virgin who enjoyed getting men sexually aroused and then refusing them sex (her commenters have pointed out that the story offers no evidence, just the unsupported claims of one woman who has many incentives to lie):
She is involved enough with men to call them her “boyfriends”, so she’s obviously courting in part for status. She answered a booty call without intending to ever give up any actual booty. Why would she do that? She did that in order to enjoy the attention and validation of an attractive man. She received her payout and it empowered her that he received nothing in return. …understand that status, attention and validation are as much a payout to women in courtship as dinner and dates are. Miss McCracken is a c*ck-tease who is insisting on being courted as if she might be courting for marriage or sex, but really she is just courting for status, attention, validation…
I do remember, however, that this demand for prolonged “courtship” and prolonged attention and prolonged social dominance is very reminiscent of the behavior of Mari in Samurai Flamenco.
Mari doesn’t seem like an inherently bad person, but her behavior is very exploitative. If she doesn’t develop a sense for other people’s rights, she’s going to go from amusingly narcissistic to cold-bloodedly sociopathic.
She sees Samurai Flamenco as her lackey, her minion, her “beta orbiter.” When he says he will not follow her:
…she’s only upset that she’s losing a minion, not a potential boyfriend.
Manospherians, even if you don’t normally watch anime, you will enjoy this show, if only to see Ms. Career get annoyed.