The Madonna/whore Complex
And the angel said unto her,
“Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”
— Luke 1:30, King James Bible
The Madonna/whore Complex is a widespread phenomenon of modern life. We can properly call it a meme, or a mind virus, that affects the majority of people today, both men and women. The presence of this meme directly contributes to sexual frustration in both men and women, with men relegated to consuming pornography, and women consuming romance novels, both in astonishing quantities. Both the pornography and romance novel industries are worth billions of dollars every single year.
In spite of that, most men will not openly
admit to being regular consumers of pornography. Most women will blush and deny
if asked about their propensity towards romance novels. Sexual satisfaction for many,
if not most people, comes via secret fantasy worlds. Men and women both spend
lots of time fantasizing about other people
having hot sex and living out exciting romantic lives.
Nowadays, women even try to match male behavior by going to watch male strippers and being more proactive about suggesting sex. When that type of female assertiveness is not an expression of free will, it actually derives itself from the complex, too.
We believe that one of the primary causes of this secret sexual life, and the inability of many people to create real, exciting and passionate relationships with other human beings that they can touch, feel and interact with, is the Madonna/whore Complex.
One of the most deleterious effects of the Madonna/whore complex in our society is that there is a psychological tendency to deny or ignore the existence of female sexual arousal. Because of this, many people do not realize that female sexual desire is a phenomenon that can be detected — not only by studying the female orgasm — but also by studying the female’s:
1. Verbal Expression (female language and its relationship
to the level of her arousal.)
2. Behavior (the relationship between a female’s manifested behavior and her level of arousal.)
3. Facial Expression and Body Language (the non-verbal expression of female arousal.)
In the mind of the average guy, there is a total black hole in this area. Many men tend to view women as merely a “walking vagina.” Some men have some knowledge about the female orgasm and yet absolutely no knowledge of how a woman’s sexual desire affects her behavior and her verbal and non-verbal expression. And too many men, sad to say, have absolutely no knowledge about the female orgasm and how it relates to her personality.
What is the Madonna/whore Complex?
There does not appear to be a single, universally-accepted definition of the Madonna/whore Complex. According to one definition we like,1 the Madonna/whore Complex refers to a phenomenon where men view their mates as sacred love objects, too pure to be sullied with the ugliness of sexual interaction, like a Madonna.
Women who engage in raw and passionate sex, such as the women of pornography, are considered “whores” or even worse. These women are secretly admired from afar, through the pages of a magazine or on the television screen, but they are never loved openly and directly.
Freud wrote that the Complex arises in a man as a result of very close bonding with his mother, which the man never truly outgrows. The man seeks out a wife to replace the lost bonding with his mother, and because having sex with his mother would be incest, he becomes subconsciously repelled from his wife in a sexual way.
An alternative explanation comes from Primal Theory, which posits that the complex results from a cold and distant mother; a mother who has not met the male child’s need for affectionate intimacy. Either way, such a man may seek out and marry a supposedly “pure” woman to love, treasure, and protect. But in his mind, this is not a woman with whom one would have dirty, nasty sex.
The existence of the complex is not disputed. It is in fact very real, and most everyone has an intuitive understanding of what it means for them personally.
A dissociation between “sex” and “love” is omnipresent in our culture, even in our English language. For example, a man under the effect of the Complex may define the sexual activity a woman has with other men as “sex”, and the sexual activity she has with him as “love”. A woman, on the other hand, can define making love with her husband as “dirty sex”, but when she falls in love in a romantic way with a lover in an extra-marital affair she may define it as “making love with my lover”.
This conflict is spread throughout our culture. Both men and women alike love the idea of raw, passionate sex. Yet, most men walk through life being afraid of women and treating them like Madonnas. The modern man often has a secret, vicarious relationship with the whores of pornography, and a timid, asexual relationship with all other women, including his intimate partners.
Where does it come from?
Men have learned since childhood that the Mother is a sacred creature, and our culture and the powerful messages it conveys through television and other media teaches that women are to be viewed as either good or bad, depending largely on their ability to surpress their sexuality and display mother-like qualities of compassion and nurturing.
The woman who has a strong sexuality and a free life, is, in the minds of many men, the Whore. The woman who gives birth to them, takes care of them and is close to them in their moments of despair is the Madonna.
When a man suffers from the Complex and finds himself in a relationship, confusion often arises as to which category he should place his girlfriend or wife. Many men fantasize about a woman that is wild in bed, but if they picture their wives like that then they start to feel jealousy. If their
woman is active in bed and seems to enjoy sex “too much”, the man may even start to feel a certain dislike towards her, feeling that she is too “slutty” to be a “good” wife.
Many men suffer because they automatically place their girlfriends or wives into the Madonna category, but they still secretly long for sex with a whore. In this case the woman may suffer from a great deal of sexual frustration, and she may adopt her man’s view that too much enjoyment of sex by a woman is shameful. In this case she will gradually lose her ability to be sexually uninhibited with her man and begin to avoid sex with him. The men will then often complain that their “good” girlfriend no longer wants to make love, and they will be astonished when she decides to seek out another sexual partner, one who understands her needs as a woman.
But what, exactly, causes this Complex? Is it possible to enjoy a rich and deep relationship with a woman who is a freak in the sack? For the average guy, it’s hard to know which category to place the woman in front of him. To be totally frank, most women are aware of this conflict within men and will sometimes intentionally play this dual card of being either a Madonna or a whore. It is to the woman’s advantage to have you invest mental energy into her in this way. Before we give you the solution to this dilemma, we’ll provide some further detail about why women act the way that they do.
Many of us were taught by our mothers especially that sex is something to be hidden, kept secret and often that it is something shameful. We are especially fed the cultural message that it’s ok for boys to brag in the locker room about sexual exploits, many of which never even happened or are exaggerated. A young woman who is the subject of such tales can often face the ridicule and scorn of her peers. In ancient times and still today in more traditional countries, a woman can be put to death on the suspicion of committing illicit sexual acts. Although attitudes have relaxed quite a bit in the past few decades, women who are promiscuous are generally not viewed in the same favorable light that promiscuous men are.
To put it another way, both girls and boys are taught from a very young age that good girls are not free to enjoy sex in the same way that boys are. Girls who enjoy sex too much or who are too open and direct with their sexuality are called horrible names and punished within their social group, or worse, cast out completely.
Do I have the Complex?
If you possess a belief that good girls do not enjoy sex in the same way that “bad” girls do, you have the Complex. If you are afraid to be sexually aggressive with your wife or girlfriend, and yet masturbate regularly to pornography, then you probably also have this complex. If you find yourself repeating and laughing at common jokes such as “all men are pigs,” or “he can’t help it, he’s a guy,” then that would be another indication. If you regularly engage in wussy, tip-toe-on-eggshells type behavior around women that you are sexually attracted to, then you definitely need to work on this issue.
Understand that to truly be liberated from the Complex, your internal attitudes and views about women and female sexuality will need a radical makeover.
How can a Man Avoid Being Harmed by this Phenomenon?
What is really astonishing about the existence of the Complex is the fact that women enjoy sex as much and often more than men do. One only needs to take a look at a typical romance novel, or some female-authored erotica like Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden, to realize that women have wonderfully explicit sexual imaginations and desires.
As a mature adult male, you should recognize that it is a beautiful and healthy thing for a woman to have a strong and wild sex drive. The sex drive of a woman says little about her character or her personality, other than her appetite for sex. In Chapter 7 on Female Archetypes we dealt in depth with the personality types of women. As you should well understand by now, many good women have an extremely high sex drive, and there are also dangerous women to be avoided that do not possess a high sex drive. It is good for a man to appreciate the indisputable truth that sex for a woman is a beautiful, natural expression of her femininity and that it should be encouraged and praised, never condemned or feared.
Love a Woman for Who She Is
“Unconditional love” is when you love a woman for who and what she is and not for who you think she should be. When a man is forced by circumstances to give a woman conditional love he feels bad inside. Unfortunately, men do not talk about this sort of thing with each other. Men will rarely admit it, but when they really love a woman they do it with every breath, and with every cell of their body and mind. This is one of the lesser-known reasons that men are always trying to hide their feelings in favor of their mission. They persistently try to keep themselves “tough” and shut off from the emotional world. Men also have many other reasons for suppressing emotions, but love for a woman is the most sensitive reason.
When is a man forced to give conditional love to a woman? He becomes obliged to do so when he is put in a situation where he has to choose between his honor, his self respect, and his vital interests on the one hand — and giving his love to the woman on the other hand. The experience of being forced to stop giving love to his woman and to the members of his intimate group is the one of the most deleterious and dangerous experiences a man can face in his life.
For a man, having to withdraw his love is especially painful, because to maintain his manhood he has to take the responsibility of repressing the love he naturally feels within himself, if circumstances oblige him to do so. A masculine man is in fact totally dominated by the instinct of being the protector of women and children. The experience of loving them and protecting them is — by instinct — extremely important to him.
As men of honor, we personally do not consider “real men” those who try to escape their natural role as the Alpha of their group.
If one wanted to efficiently and completely destroy a man emotionally, then one would merely need to demonstrate to him in a clear way that he is useless as a protector to the members of his group; to other men, to his women and to his children.
Men are tough: they have been trained throughout history to do what must be done. A man’s mission is his honor. If a real man is put to choose between his honor, his mission and the woman he loves he will choose his honor and his mission. And his woman — if she is a real woman — will love him for that.
If a real man is put to choose between his honor and love he will choose honor. He will suffer, but he will do so. If a man gives up his honor and his mission for his woman, then his woman may pretend to love him but her love for him will be already dead in her heart.
As Franco often says, being a man can be a lonely business.
Next, we’ll show how your knowledge of the Complex actually puts you at a distinct advantage over the vast majority of men when it comes to dealing with women.