If you accept the propositions
(i) the purpose of all life on the planet is to procreate.
(ii) Procreation is a large investment and should be done at the optimum time.
(iii) To achieve this, the male is always ready, the female, whose investment is 99% is the limiter.
(iv) Lower life forms (e.g. those that rely on sperm/seed distribution by wind/water, etc) have very few natural limits as the biological investment is low.
(v) Where there are no distinct sexes, current food supply regulates procreation.
most things are explained
The sexual drive in higher animals is hormonally regulated. When the conditions are right, the hormones flow at higher levels. (Compare the action of adrenaline – we have it all the time but sometimes, when needed, its levels rise.) However, the base level differs in individuals.
The drive leads to the release of endorphins, which is a naturally desired result and that does not look to the consequences.
“Every time I sneeze, I have an orgasm.”
“What are you taking for it?”
Funny because it’s true:
During his degree in psychology, a friend strapped up rats to receive an orgasm if they performed a task. The rats would do anything and would do it until exhausted.
This reward system is a natural reaction and is mimicked by some illegal drugs and/or confused in the mind of those who take them
Like many of the higher animals, social animals often create artificial rules to limit their own numbers to ensure that any biological investment is worthwhile for the group, and thus the species, as a whole. These rules are supplementary to the natural rules already in place.
The key question that you ask is
Is there something I'm missing here?
And the answer is “Yes, yes there is.” It is the fact that nobody else is like you. We are all individuals with different outlooks, experiences and values. We really are all “special snowflakes.”
Nevertheless, none of us can take ourself as the perfect example of the average human, the standard from which all others may be judged. This would be solipsism. It is quite dangerous: writ large it is the greatest attribute of the dictator and fundamentalist:
“I like this so everyone will do it. I don’t like this so nobody will do it.”
However, a degree of solipsism is required, such that your part in contributing to society can be appreciated – it is not possible to be a pure follower and when we see those who are very much followers, e.g. cult members fooled by a charismatic and solipsistic leader, we feel sorry for them and cannot understand why they behave as they do.
A balance has to be struck as the members of society unwittingly, but just as Nature intended, take the heuristic attitude to improving society.
Anyway, I’ll stop now as I seem to be drifting…