When I was coming into adolescence and becoming sexually aware, I was struck how the vast majority of sexual publications focussed on the size of genitalia – of both sexes. Bigger, they implied, was better. But why?
There is the assumed connection between size and pleasure (greater size logically equals greater pleasure) but any serious investigation of this relationship reveals a more primitive driver.
In our society, the size of a mans penis is metaphorically the equivalent to the size of a stags antlers. A stags antlers indicates its fitness to mate; the bigger they are, the stronger the stag has to be to carry them and the more intimidating they are to his potential rivals. They signal good health.
Our interpretation of this principle has become distorted for humans however; a large penis on a puny body is more comical than impressive and the penis is only the delivery system of the real prize – the genetic material, which is what the female is truly assessing.
That’s the principle and we can see it at work in capitalism. The size of a bank balance indicates the financial health of the owner. So a lot of capitalism is based on sex. In fact there is the cliché of the rich puny man owning a large red sports car to compensate for his lack of virility. Having great wealth means a man can provide for a woman’s offspring. Note how this is moving further away from the crux of the principle – the genetic material. A rich man does not necessarily have healthy genetic code.
The same thing is happening to web stats. When I put some videos on You Tube I was fascinated by the counter on each clip. I would regularly check to see if the numbers had gone up. Then one day I was informed someone had subscribed to my ‘channel’. I naturally took a look at my subscribers’ videos to find out a bit more about them but when I returned to my channel I noticed that my viewing figures had not moved from before the subscriber had joined (they were in double figures at the time). That meant there was either a delay in the subscriber viewing my videos and joining my channel or that the subscriber hadn’t bothered to watch my videos at all and was simply subscribing to as many channels as possible in the hope that these channels would look at his site out of curiosity, thereby boosting his viewing figures.
The psychology being, anyone with large viewing figures can enjoy the ego trip because it appears they have healthy genetic material. Lots of potential suitors want to acquire some of that material for themselves and so the originator of that material becomes popular.
There is no money in any of this (except in extreme cases) it is purely the satisfaction of pointing to your viewing stats and shouting to all comers, “Look at my numbers!”
Of course, the crux of the principle still needs to be considered, what is the quality of the genetic material being offered and what is the quality of the recipients of this material? What is popular is not necessarily ‘quality’. Television teaches that.