I’m using the garden metaphor throughout the book, and I’m playing around with the idea of a garden-y allegory to illustrate non-concordance. But I kind of can’t tell if it makes sense to anyone but me. So I figure I’ll throw it at you guys and see what you think:
If everyone else’s garden had pea plants but your garden had a pumpkin plant, you would think there was something very wrong.
Apart from anything else, your pumpkin plant would produce lots and lots of flowers… but less than half of those flowers would ever become pumpkins. Pea flowers, on the other hand, self-pollinate as well as cross pollinate, so a very large proportion of the flowers become pea pods.
To put it another way, peas have a very close correlation between buds and pods. Pumpkins have a much lower correlation, because they only cross-pollinate. So there may well be a lot of flowers and not a lot of squashes.
Judging by pea plant standards, you’d look at all your unpollinated pumpkin flowers and think, “What’s the matter with this plant? Why has it indiscriminately produced all these flowers, but only sometimes produced a pumpkin?”
The pumpkin needs something else to happen before that flower will result in a fruit.
Women need something else to happen before their genital response will be accompanied by a feeling of sexual arousal.
Yes? No? Too cumbersome? Not clear? Not relevant?
The IDEAL goal with this metaphor thing is to provide readers with a framework for understanding their arousal style as normal, and even for communicating about their arousal style to their partners. I have a fear that the idea of self-pollination increasing flower-fruit concordance is too foreign to serve this function, but I tried three other approaches and this is the one that gets closest.
EDIT: Maybe a more similar species would help? It has to be peas because self-pollinators are rare, but the cross-pollinator could be anything. Zucchini instead of pumpkin? Or cucumbers? Or tomatoes? I use tomatoes in Chapter 6…