Sexually frustrated young men sometimes make their problems our problems.
Robert Aaron Long emphasized this point while striking a pandemic coda in ushering in the return of the nutter gunman, by murdering eight people at Atlanta-area massage parlors this week. Cops described him as enduring a “bad day” after his parents exiled him from the family home for constantly looking at porn. Long rationalized his attacks on jack shacks by describing them, in the paraphrasing of cops, as “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”
But so long as young men such as Long exist, temptations such as Young’s Asian Massage exist. Only a naïf or a utopian believes himself capable of eliminating the oldest profession. A patron with a rewards card to happy-ending masseuse operations adds another level of irrationality in believing he can abolish the external temptations (but not those within himself).
In pictures, the suspect wears a beard, which looks as though the youngster pasted hair from other parts of his body onto his face in an effort to convince (himself and others) of his masculinity, minus a mustache. He hides behind glasses and under a hat. His lips compress upon one another in a stern expression best described as a frown fighting a smile into a straight-line stalemate. His eyes appear cold but not, like so many other mass murderers, vacant. In his mugshot, the young man sports almost a reverse mullet with a grown-in shave on the sides and long hair on top.
In other words, he did not present as a particularly eligible bachelor (hence the massage parlors).
Already going to rehabilitation for sex addiction, Long, accelerating the rush of testosterone through massive doses of pornography, set himself up for terrible frustration. Many men his age need time to mature, physically and socially, and to establish themselves financially before they can attract a woman. Presumably, he frequented massage parlors in part because he could not win the affections of a young lady.
Young males frustrated by pent-up testosterone in polygamous societies served as an accelerant for Islamic terrorism. This same accelerant now fuels violence, here and there, in the West as our society shuffles from a marriage-based civilization toward one in which the data shows that the vast majority of single women compete over a small fraction of men, single and otherwise. This leads to delusional women who wonder why their several-rungs-higher-on-the-social-ladder, occasional sex partner refuses to commit to a relationship and also to bitter men who refuse to become better men in order to attract the women who bypass them.
The American Spectator’s Evan Maguire explored this phenomenon in the aftermath of the 2018 van attack on pedestrians in Toronto that killed 10. He wrote that “sexually frustrated men have flocked to internet forums, such as 4Chan and Reddit, where they group together as ‘incels,’ or ‘involuntary celibates’ ” in describing the murderous motorist hoping to propel an “Incel Rebellion.” This strange subculture spouts a stranger still vernacular populated by “chads,” “stacys,” “beckys,” and “normies.” One explains at the risk of becoming as warped as the author of the neologisms.
Elliot Rodger targeted pretty girls and the jocks they preferred to him in his murder spree around Santa Barbara seven years ago. “I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it,” Rodger promised in his YouTube manifesto. “It is an injustice, a crime, because I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I am the perfect guy, but yet, you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me the supreme gentleman.”
Even Columbine, on some level, occurred because two outcasts despised the jocks enjoying better social options than themselves. “All the jocks stand up,” a witness heard one of the shooters announce. “We are going to kill you.”
Warfare, celibate orders, and monogamous marriage stood among the institutions in history that mitigated the problems that arise from pent-up testosterone. Herodotus tells us that in Babylonia, “Every native woman is obliged, once in her life, to sit in the temple of Venus, and have intercourse with some stranger” — a practice no doubt pleasing to Mesopotamian Elliot Rodgers and Robert Aaron Longs.
Closer to our time and place, Charles Marx precursor Charles Fourier, a lonely Frenchman who traveled to the mailbox daily in search of a check from a wealthy benefactor that never came, promised a sexual minimum wage in his complex communism of the phalansteries that mesmerized the American Left of the 1830s and ’40s. Fourier called for the empowerment of a “Court of Love” to match people to others suited for their particular passions. For Fourier, who believed his interest, which he called “sapphianism,” occurred in just 33 of every million men (surely a sign of the theory’s detachment from reality), this meant the court linking him up with girl-on-girl action.
Around the same time, John Humphrey Noyes, instructed by God (or perhaps some other supernatural being) to bed his best friend’s wife, developed Bible Communism that instituted Complex Marriage — the idea that everybody marries everybody. This guaranteed Noyes and his older friends a steady stream of much younger partners. But the “free love” seemed more of a rape-y dictatorship to others, particularly with the arrival of future presidential assassin Charles Guiteau, a five-year resident at Noyes’s Oneida Community, whose odors and strange manner greatly offended the women matched with him.
Other cults, from the Manson Family to Peoples Temple to the Branch Davidians, all used the power of sex to control women, keep men in line, and reward rulers who might otherwise find themselves deprived of their wants.
Men burdened by sexual compulsions and unburdened by basic morality (“Thou shalt not kill” seems pretty basic) can do horrible things, whether by impulse (Mr. Long) or design (Mr. Noyes), when they find their wants thwarted by custom or the sexual marketplace.
No easy solution exists. Command pretty ladies, à la Fourier and Noyes, to take one for the team by cozying up to extreme dorks? Good luck with that! And in an era when a sizable portion of single women lack self-respect but exude egotism in which they imagine themselves as “queens” who won’t “settle” until they find their “king” who checks the 79 required boxes (six-two and above, millionaire, abs, etc.), the frustrations of young males fueled by porn who lack non-pixelated women in their lives likely grows worse (as does the puzzlement of some single women in search for a husband as imaginary as the pornographic fantasies imbibed by onanistic incels).
A difficult solution exists for young males on the outside looking in: be better. Improve. Find motivation in heretofore unrealized dreams. This same solution, simpler than the one outlined by Charlies Fourier, worked as a means of both uplift and marital bliss for many single men in history. No five-foot-seven guy can overcome the unfairness of Mother Nature by making himself six feet tall. But by chasing goals instead of girls, the girls eventually chase the guy — or at least stop running when he chases.
Good women civilize men. Porn and de facto polygamy barbarize some men. Add shame (not guilt, shame, which differs from guilt in superficially subtle yet substantively dramatic ways) into the mix, and bad things may happen.
Sex minus love amounts to a utilitarian exercise in which people transform into use objects, or, as Indiana University sexologist Alfred Kinsey characterized them, “outlets.” This ultimately dehumanizes the dehumanizer most. The reductio ad absurdum of this attitude took place Tuesday afternoon in Georgia, when a shame-filled minister’s son left empty by visits to massage parlors murdered the women he did not see as human when they placated his impulses upon payment.
You can’t satisfy some people, even when you satisfy them.