April 1966: Noting that there are more women than men over the age of 60, and that women over age 60 often are widowed and may "subsist on inadequate diets and live in a state of sexual frustration," Utah physician Victor Kassel proposed a solution: allow men over age 60 to have more than one wife. In this way, many lonely, older women might once again have a husband, albeit one they're sharing
The Baytown Sun - Apr 19, 1966
In later remarks, Kassel complained that the publicity which his proposal received overemphasized the sexual aspects of his proposal. But to be fair to the media, he himself drew attention to some of the sexual benefits (for men) of polygyny:
Kassel said it is true an older man's problems with sex lie with boredom rather than impotency. "With three, four or five wives," Kassel said, "he wouldn't be bored any longer."
Many aged persons are uninterested in their appearance, change their undergarments infrequently, bathe inadequately, and seldom cleanse their external excretory organs. Polygyny offers to the woman someone for whom to compete. The man, on the other hand, is interested in being courted. Each person will do his or her best to upgrade appearances, each will be alert to the advantages gained by the competitor, and each will learn the tricks of becoming more attractive. The end result must be finer-appearing older citizens.
It can be argued that the jealousy aroused as the result of the competition would be carried to an extreme by the women and would disrupt the quiet, peaceful home. This may occur. But when there is a choice between uninterested, dowdy, foul-smelling hags and alert, interested, smartly dressed ladies, the selection is obvious.
I'm not aware of many famous snails. Gee Geronimo, as far as I know, may be the only one. Back in the 1970s, the Guinness Book of Records declared him to be the world's biggest snail. His owner was Christopher Hudson. Gee Geronimo died in 1976.
Christopher Hudson with Gee Geronimo source: 1978 Guinness Book of Records
Connellsville Daily Courier - Nov 27, 1976
Hudson was apparently more in love with his snails than he was with his wife.
This post seemed appropriate for Valentine's Day, since it's about an engineer's attempt to use machine logic to improve the "ambiguities of the woman/man relationship".
James F. Hollander was a patent attorney with a degree in electrical engineering. In the late 1970s he invented and patented what he called the "Human Relationship Simulator". It consisted of a box with various dials.
Even after reading his patent, and an article about his invention, I'm not exactly sure how the thing operated. From what I can gather, if a couple were having an argument, or needed to make a decision (such as where to go for dinner), they could both adjust dials on the Simulator, and it would give them an answer. And measure the intensity of their feelings.
Here's more info from a 1977 article in the Asbury Park Press:
Taking a hypothetical issue, such as a man and woman deciding whether or not to go out to dinner, information is fed into the panels. One represents the man; the other, the woman.
Each subject uses dials that represent four areas — compliance with society, attention to own desire, social pressure and personal inclination. The personal inclination and social pressure gauges are intricately detailed to show adamant 'yes' or 'no' responses, or degrees such as strong preference, or very much or some.
Attention to desire is measured in readings of low, medium and high, as is compliance with society.
As the subjects feed this information into the panels, other gauges measure tension, feelings, guilt or pride, emotional independence, like and dislike, and influence, based on each decision.
The machine does the thinking, lights a decision of 'yes' or 'no' and tells the subjects their emotional responses....
In a marriage situation, Hollander said the device could show the individuals why something is going wrong in the relationship if arguments are portrayed and feelings defined.
"I wanted to pick out the ambiguities of the woman/man relationship," he pointed out.
Asbury Park Press - Aug 29, 1977
If that doesn't seem entirely clear, then here's a sample from Hollander's patent:
The decision voltage output of the man-simulator is connected to the threshold detector of the woman-simulator via a sense port. Similarly, the woman-simulator has a decision voltage output port connected to a sense port and input to the level threshold detector of the man-simulator. A switch interrupts each output so that the effect of relationship can be shown. By adjustment and interpretation of the dial settings and decision indications, paradoxes and problems in man-woman relationships are demonstrated.
We’ve posted before about sologamy, which is the term for marrying yourself. Back in 2017, we described it as a growing trend. But apparently the woman who gets credit for pioneering this practice was Janet Downes of Nebraska who, on June 27, 1998, married herself. She recited her vows in front of a mirror.
In 1998 I was about to celebrate my 40th birthday. I had a wedding theme planned for my party and everyone thought I was nuts. Maybe I am a little but I got tired of seeing everything in the stores that was related to ‘40’ being in black. So I decided to poke a little fun at society because I didn’t feel old. That coupled with the fact that after 19 years of adulthood, I was finally at a place in my life where I was happy with almost every aspect of my life. I’d been married & divorce twice at that time, yet I no longer needed a man to ‘fulfill’ me. I had 3 beautiful children (Nicole, Jasmine & Eugene Jr.) and for the first time, was satisfied with my body. You know what I mean ladies? We always seem to feel that our breasts are too small or too big. Always complaining that something is wrong with our hips, butt or legs. We can always find something wrong with ourselves when we look in the mirror. One day I woke up & decided, I was happy with who I was, just the way I was. So that led me to, marrying myself. I didn’t know it at the time but that little stunt got me international fame. It seems that I was the first woman to think of it and actually carry it out. It was a beautiful wedding and I am happy with myself, even now.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.