In this context, the biggest difference between men and women is that men generally screw women who are not worth their commitment until they find one who is. (Great success!)
Women are able to screw men who are out of their league and so that’s what they typically do until they finally settle for a man who isn’t. This contributes to unrealistic expectations, dissatisfaction, and haunting memories of the ones that got away. (Ugh, hypergamy thwarted. Oh the injustice!)
This is all a straightforward consequence of women being the supply in the sexual marketplace, and always in demand.
But men are the supply in the marriage market. If women are the gatekeepers of sex, men are the gatekeepers of commitment.
The costs of relations with women, for men, are inversely proportional to commitment. So a woman will always be able to lay a more desirable man than she can date, and date a more desirable man than she can marry.
This trap was averted in the past by making marriage the only socially acceptable path to sex. Men had to pay to play (put a ring on it) and so women tended to get much more serious suitors, and much more realistic expectations. They also married earlier, better, and happier than their modern, empowered, liberated, sistren. They could attract a better husband, as young, pretty, fertile, and chaste maidens, than can an embittered, used, and entitled modern woman looking to settle in desperation as her clock finally starts to run out…
You can also think about it in terms of opportunity costs. If sex if limited to marriage, then going from unmarried (no sex) to married (sex) is a big improvement; one most people are going to be happy with.
But if people are promiscuous, then “forsaking all others” is a much bigger cost. If you’re marrying your best lay, they’re still only *that much* better than the next best.
But women (in particular) are very unlikely to marry their best lay, for the reasons discussed above (if premarital sex is allowed) and that’s even more problematic.
Tacitus in “De Germania” (98 AD)
“The loss of chastity meets with no indulgence; neither beauty, youth, nor wealth will procure the culprit a husband. No one in Germany laughs at vice, nor do they call it the fashion to corrupt and to be corrupted. Still better is the condition of those states in which only maidens are given in marriage, and where the hopes and expectations of a bride are then finally terminated. They receive one husband, as having one body and one life, that they may have no thoughts beyond, no further-reaching desires, that they may love not so much the husband as the married state.”