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« Obama in Popular Culture | Main | Taking Secession Seriously »

April 29, 2009

Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* The Rawness does a lot of powerful, smart, and down-to-earth thinking about madonna/whore complexes: Part One, Part Two, Part Three. He has also made available for download what sounds like an intriguing out of print book.

* After a hiatus well-spent perfecting Game, Thursday returns to blogging: How to find a virgin. Whassup with the men's movement? Who won the sexual revolution?

* Who's in the right? The hubby who wants a tumble three or four times a week? Or the wife who prefers to enjoy some luvvvvin' once a month? As my own wife likes to say, galz and guyz are so different -- both in terms of what they're looking for and how they prefer to go about getting it -- that it's a miracle women and men manage to shack up at all.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at April 29, 2009




Comments

After a hiatus well-spent perfecting Game

Perfecting is a bit strong. No longer completely sucking is more like it.

Posted by: Thursday on April 29, 2009 6:32 PM



Eh, the wife should resign herself to lubing up and putting out. It'll only take five extra minutes a week.

Love is a series of mundane chores more often than it ain't.

Posted by: omw on April 30, 2009 12:33 AM



Eh, the wife should resign herself to lubing up and putting out. It'll only take five extra minutes a week.

Only five minutes!!!! My commiserations.

Still, that's the spirit!.

Posted by: slumlord on April 30, 2009 7:40 AM



I haven't yet read through the Rawness posts, but I have never quite understood the Madonna-Whore "problem"?

I am basically thinking of a guy, traditionally, who would be looking for a good woman to marry. And, then, after they are married, they spend a lot of really fun nights together.

So, to recap:
1. She did not act slutty, which really helped in her getting married (milk for free and all that).
2. Then, after she fell in love, decided to let her freak out in the privacy of their bedroom.

What is the problem?

Who about the male equivalent:
1. Man is hard working, respectful and stoic.
2. Town fathers approve and he marries one of their daughters.
3. In the privacy of their home, he soon reveals to her some feelings and emotions that he had not before with others. He does this because of her kindness and understanding.

So, what she a slut before she get married? NO
After she was married? NO. It is her god damn husband.

Was he a pussy before he got married? NO
After? NO. He is simply being more and more intimate with his wife (assuming he didn't just fall apart on her. he still needs to be her rock).

So, Madonna-Whore? I don't see it.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 10:17 AM



I've got a bit of the M/W complex myself, what with being Catholic and Irish to boot. The problem with it, UL, if I understand its classical definition correctly (haven't read Ricky's post, but will) is that you can love the M but not EVER feel any sexual attraction to her; and you can be super turned on by the W, but NEVER feel any emotional attraction to her. Which means that if you're to satisfy both needs, you have to do so with (at least) two women.

Now, I don't suffer from the M/W complex completely. I'm with a woman who brings out both sides of me quite, ah, strongly, (not because she's a Madonna and a Whore, but because she is a complete woman, a unity of body mind and soul). But I have had the M-attitude to many women in my past, and of course, the W-attitude as well. It's the dichotomy, I think. The rigidity of the division.

Oh, and the corollary of the M/W. Should your M reveal her wild side (or you should learn about a past wild side), you instantly and permanently fall out of love with her. M/W types put a girl up on a pedestal, and cannot handle it at all when she steps down and off it.

Hence its designation as a problem.

Posted by: PatrickH on April 30, 2009 10:58 AM



Who's in the right? The hubby who wants a tumble...

Is it just me, or could that article that you linked to have been taken right out of 1989?

Let's see if he covered all of the trite talking points:
- French more passionate than the British
- Women peak at 30, Men at 19 (really?)
- Work and Chores have an effect on our sex lives...
- ...so do children
- "Normal" is an "insidious" word
- oh, and he "dislikes" surveys

Yup, he covered them all. Very helpful.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 11:05 AM



Who about the male equivalent

That should have been:
What about the male equivalent.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 11:24 AM



Lurking, it doesn't do a woman any good if a man idealizes her so much that he treats her like glass or gold, or sees her as completely asexual. The M/W complex in men is the equivalent of the sexyalpha/asexualbeta complex in women.

I thought The Rawness's piece was very good, but I also thought that quotation about the way women in macho cultures are brought up to be self-involved was absurd. The Latin American cultures to which he refers have a strong thread of cultural Catholicism running through them, and traditional Catholicism demands that women be self-sacrificing, especially towards men and to their children.

Anyway, I'm puzzled by the reference to Latin culture in that quotation. I thought the general consensus among men was that non-traditionally raised American women were the most narcissistic.

Sigh. I'm perfectly willing to admit that each sex has characteristic flaws and weaknesses (as well as those we possess as individuals), but really, being a girl, in whatever culture, doesn't guarantee a childhood of undiluted praise and attention. Even born beauties have to work at it to stay that way.

Posted by: aliasclio on April 30, 2009 11:32 AM



Lurking, it doesn't do a woman any good if a man idealizes her so much that he treats her like glass or gold, or sees her as completely asexual. The M/W complex in men is the equivalent of the sexyalpha/asexualbeta complex in women.

I understand. But the Madonna/Whore complex was always sold to us as being a default problem for guys. So, what I am saying is this:

I understand that some guys will purify some girls so that they can not see them as actual people. Or, sully them as wanton whores who can be thrown away. But, for most, they would be quite happy with a "good girl" who enjoyed herself, AFTER MARRIAGE, with her husband.

So, no complex.

And, Clio, one thing I find really interesting about the alpha/beta complex for women is that it was something that was never "sold" to us. Not even mentioned.

Maybe things are changing, but, outside of Roissy's place, I still never hear it talked about much in popular culture.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 12:43 PM



The problem with it, UL, if I understand its classical definition correctly...

I understand the problem. I am saying that, for most, I just don't see it. I am talking about the average suburban American men that I have known.

Granted, this is probably because they never Madonna'd the girls to begin with. (Nor do i think that they Whore'd them either)

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 12:49 PM



Another problem with the M/W complex that no one else has mentioned: A "whore" type may want to change, try to change, but some of you won't let her do so. Even if she does change her behaviour altogether, you may not change yours. You may continue to treat her with contempt; you may even want her to remain a whore so that you have permission, somewhere in your tormented souls, to mistreat her.

Sometimes it really is hard to be a woman, especially if you lack money and male protection.


Posted by: aliasclio on April 30, 2009 1:15 PM



This is all true, but not exactly new:

http://www.luminarium.org/eightlit/behn/
Aphra Behn
The Libertine

A THOUSAND martyrs I have made,
All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betray'd
That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fix'd the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain,
But both, tho' false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believed:
And tho' I talk'd of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touch'd my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.

Posted by: baduin on April 30, 2009 2:06 PM



UL:

to add to what Patrick and Clio said, one of his points in the Madonna/Whore complex series was to point out how that affects men's attitude towards women.

It is T's observation, and I agree, that men who were raised by bad mothers (i.e. whores in the extreme) develop into natural ladies men. They don't put women on a pedastal and are not shackled with the PC sensibilities that most men, especially those with "Madonna-like" mothers, have.

So T is giving his own twist to the complex. He also points out the book "Pimp" by Iceberg Slim. He had a horrible relationship with his mother after she let a guy move into her life that disrespected and beat her. Slim lost respect for his mother and all women after that. He became a cold-hearted pimp.

The Madonna complex, in its traditional meaning, implies that a man is unable to form a physical relationship with his wife because she reminds him of her mother, and he doesn't want to be incestual.

Posted by: Chuck on April 30, 2009 2:56 PM



"Another problem with the M/W complex that no one else has mentioned: A "whore" type may want to change, try to change, but some of you won't let her do so. Even if she does change her behaviour altogether, you may not change yours. You may continue to treat her with contempt; you may even want her to remain a whore so that you have permission, somewhere in your tormented souls, to mistreat her.

Sometimes it really is hard to be a woman, especially if you lack money and male protection"

Yeah, the fucking Patriarchy at it again. And I can't wait until the Superbowl this year, I'll slap that bitch around a litle extra...Oh well, sounds like donkeypunch material to me!

Posted by: DP on April 30, 2009 4:19 PM



Another problem with the M/W complex that no one else has mentioned: A "whore" type may want to change, try to change, but some of you won't let her do so. Even if she does change her behaviour altogether, you may not change yours. You may continue to treat her with contempt; you may even want her to remain a whore so that you have permission, somewhere in your tormented souls, to mistreat her.

True, but the flip side is that any man would be very imprudent to put his long term happiness in the hands a woman with a promiscuous past. Probably the best thing for a woman with a such a past would be to retire from the field entirely, if she is capable of doing so. Men would be advised to treat her decently, but keep their distance.

Posted by: Thursday on April 30, 2009 4:48 PM



Easy fix for women: DO NOT tell your boyfriends about your previous sex life. Period. Don't do it. We don't want to know, even if we say we do, unless it fits exactly whatever seems right to us in our head. If asked, give him a nice low number between 3 and 6, NO details, and move forward. There, I've just solved the mandonna/whore complex problem. Next up: the Middle East.

Posted by: JV on April 30, 2009 4:54 PM



The Madonna complex, in its traditional meaning, implies that a man is unable to form a physical relationship with his wife because she reminds him of her mother, and he doesn't want to be incestual.

Again, I COMPLETELY understand. Still, my point stands. In our modern culture, I simply do not see men suffering from this. I am sure that some exist, but for the typical guys that I know, I simply do not see it.

Again, to remake the point, most guys I know would love to marry a good girl who wants to have exciting sex with her husband.

However, as interesting as the posts were from Ricky, I did not see the Madonna/Whore complex in his "part 1". That Ahmed guy did not seem to Madonna the women he was bedding. He was hurt by his mother and therefore never put future girls on that Madonna pedestal. So he never actually suffered from any Madonna/Whore complex.

Clio, when you say that those girls are looking to change are you talking about girls who were charged as being whores from insecure men or are you talking about girls who actually slept around?

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 30, 2009 5:13 PM



Thursday, I know a lot of women who went through some pretty wild times in their youth, mostly working shit out, who nonetheless settle down nicely in their late 20s/early 30s. Your either/or attitude towards women seems unnecessarily harsh and mostly, unrealistic and untrue. Could be your age showing, I don't know. But look around a playground sometime at all the moms there. Odds are half of them slept around quite a bit in their youth.

Posted by: JV on April 30, 2009 5:40 PM



DP, you obviously don't know anything about me.

I NEVER talk about the patriarchy. Ever.

Posted by: aliasclio on April 30, 2009 6:08 PM



@clio,
I've enjoyed your comments and your blog, Clio.

Sometimes its really hard to be a woman, esp. if you lack money and male protection.

In respect and sincerity, Clio, protection form what? I've heard that phrasing before and just don't get it. What exactly can a man protect us from? I ask this as a long term married woman who can think only of one circumstance (noise in the basement) that I've sought protection. What else am I missing?

Posted by: jz on April 30, 2009 7:00 PM



Usually Lurking:
Again, to remake the point, most guys I know would love to marry a good girl who wants to have exciting sex with her husband.

That's what most guys mean when they talk about the Madonna/whore ideal. My father always used to say that the ideal woman was a lady in company, a friend at home and a whore in bed. The idea behind this comment was not that she slept around, but rather that in the bedroom--with her husband alone--she was sexually wanton.

I think the dichotomy has come about because traditional Western society(i.e Christian) had a problem in how to describe a good woman who loved to shag her husband immoderately. Good girls weren't supposed to like sex. Yeah sure, religion said that having sex was a duty but it never really seemed to emphasis the licitness of the sexual pleasure; carnal pleasures were an ever present danger to purity. Traditional western society seems to have created this division in its conception of a woman, separating the good girl from the sexual girl,and the two personae were incompatible: Madonna pure, whore dirty.
The problem of course is that men have always wanted this girl who was both, hence the ideal.

This of course was bad for the good woman. There was always this tension in herself between the good girl and the bad girl. No wonder many women felt guilty about sex if they enjoyed it too much. I imagine it was a source of much, much frustration in past marriages and it was probably one of the big reasons people ditched the Church's teaching on sexuality. It's only recently that the Catholic church has recognised the licitness of "unitive" (i.e non procreative) motives in the pursuit of the sexual act.

Posted by: slumlord on April 30, 2009 7:20 PM



JV:

Those women who have slept around are more likely to cheat, or just get bored and leave, than those who have not. Best not to get emotionally involved with them.


Slumlord:

I don't think the Madonna/Whore complex has it's origin in Christianity. It seems far too universal a phenomenon than that. Not to say Christianity might not have exacerbated it a bit, but it mostly comes out of the male instinct for separating women good for short term relationships from women good for long term relationships. If a guy made a wrong choice there, he could end up raising someone else's child.

Posted by: Thursday on April 30, 2009 8:24 PM



"Those women who have slept around are more likely to cheat, or just get bored and leave, than those who have not. Best not to get emotionally involved with them."

Got any evidence of this? Based on my circle of friends, most of whom who were in the local music scene and were a bit wild in their youth and are now, almost to a person, man and woman, married with kids, I can count one woman who's left her husband. Not saying more won't leave in the future, but I'm 40 and my friends and I are getting bit long in the tooth to be so impulsive.

In other words, I don't buy that a woman who slept around a bit in their youth is any more apt to leave her husband than a woman who didn't. In fact, my money would be on the woman with little to no experience outside her husband to one day decide she'd like some.

Posted by: JV on April 30, 2009 9:55 PM



Read David Buss' Evolution of Desire.

Posted by: Thursday on April 30, 2009 11:45 PM



jz, we live (for now) in a more or less safe society, made safe for the most part by male sacrifice and male laws. The "protection" is thus still there, although we are now able to keep it at arm's length. Formerly, and in many parts of the world, still, a woman, especially a young one, could not safely live alone or live independently without some form of male protection - whether from a father, a brother, a son, an uncle, a patron. To try to do otherwise was to invite unwelcome and in some cases dangerous attentions or harassment from other men.

It was not merely sexual dangers that threatened women on their own, either. Men were more likely to try to cheat, steal from, or otherwise take advantage of a woman who lived without a male protector.

Posted by: aliasclio on May 1, 2009 12:04 AM



I'm kinda with JV on this. Besides, how do you reconcile women sleeping around in youth being more likely to cheat with the supposed decline of older women as being sexually desirable? Isn't that dynamic, if it does happen, more likely to lead to the woman settling down, even if she's really just "settling" by doing so?

Posted by: PatrickH on May 1, 2009 12:09 AM



The lack of proper religious indoctrination screams out in this post and the responses.

A wife must provide her husband with the love and sex (and babies) that he needs. If she doesn't do this, she is failing as a wife and probably shouldn't have gotten married in the first place. It is her duty to see to her husband's welfare and happiness.

The question of whether she wants or enjoys doing this is absolutely irrelevant. Her obligation is to care for her husband. This focus on what she thinks she wants is bullshit. If that's the way she's looking at things, she's just another fucking faghag. We seem to be generating more of those every day.

Whatever her initial personal feelings, a wife should learn to provide what her husband needs in a joyful and generous way.

Of course, the husband also bears the same responsibility to his wife.

I learned this from Myrna, the great sage of love. This new concept of marriage, in which people maintain their individuality but meet sometimes for dinner is a pile of crap. Save yourself a lot of trouble, if this is your idea of marriage, and stay away from the opposite sex. You'll just make another person miserable. If you do not intend to become one person, and intend instead to remain two separate entities, don't get married.

The purpose of loving another person is for each partner to set the needs of his or her mate above his own needs. A woman must humble herself and serve her husband. A husband must humble himself and serve his wife.

Our failure to indoctrinate people in traditional Christian (or Jewish or Mormon, etc.) morality is a disaster, as you can see from these responses. This is such simple stuff. We have made ourselves preposterously stupid.

Then, again, I'll admit, that I had forgotten these simple lessons from my father until Myrna arrived on the scene to take me by the hand.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on May 1, 2009 7:36 AM



And, when a wife fails or refuses to perform her duty to her husband, that is what is called a sin. Same is true for a husband.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on May 1, 2009 7:39 AM



Just as a side note, but you know what's getting really tiring for me?

Pop science books suddenly becoming the new arbiters of how the world works. Granted, it's probably *a lot* better than 99% of the intuitional shit that passes out there, like "The Rules" or god help you, "The Secret", but due to the fact that folks have been hammering this stuff around me in the blogosphere so loudly, I decided to pop the hood on a few of the evo-devo studies, you know, hit the real nitty-gritty, the stuff the pop science books are spun out of.

What did I find? Hardly the clear conclusions authors were trying to make out. Sure, there were often trends, stuff that makes interesting hypothesises, data to suss out, but looking over time in areas where the author *isn't* the first person to make his particular argument, it's always a pastiche of slowly conflicting ideas emerging into a clear whole.

We're addicted to intellectual saltationism, when it's pretty damn clear that such fashion based thinking has been at best a finger pointing at the moon in the long run.

Let me put it this way. We've barely unlocked c. elegans, and now we can purport that a handful of popular science books written to a educated layman's level offers anything more than perhaps one mechanism to be ascribed to a gigantic whole that confounds the greatest minds of our time?

Only if you accept the authors at their word can it do that.

Let me put it this way, the doubt that allowed me to entertain and hold nigh heretical thoughts about the system of mankind didn't shut itself off. I invite you all to do my methodology.

Since I'm in a place where English books are hard to come by, I picked up a couple of pop science books. I chose ones that had a pretty established history of scientific inquiry into them.

I looked up the cites online, read what I could in the original, then cross referenced and read what came up. You be surprised how much these simple elegant cases are more often than not a case of omission of anything that would weaken their argument.

Just my pet peeve. I wish people would stop accepting things so damn unquestioningly, just because the material meets their priors.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on May 1, 2009 8:51 AM



JV:

Got any evidence of this? Based on my circle of friends, most of whom who were in the local music scene and were a bit wild in their youth and are now, almost to a person, man and woman, married with kids, I can count one woman who's left her husband. Not saying more won't leave in the future, but I'm 40 and my friends and I are getting bit long in the tooth to be so impulsive.

You might find this study interesting.

Not surprisingly, the average number of sexual partners was significantly higher among respondents who had been unfaithful compared with those who had remained faithful (7.73 vs. 3.78). The phenotypic correlation between these traits was .36 There was a significant effect of age on number of sexual partners, with younger women more likely to have had a greater number than older women. Age also significantly related to infidelity, with prevalence highest in middle-aged subjects (40–60 years).

As you can see, the impulsivity is about to begin.

Posted by: slumlord on May 1, 2009 10:47 AM



I would just as well have her have some experience with sex when she gets around to balling me. Who wants a beginner? I like some skilll in a woman.

Posted by: fenwick on May 1, 2009 11:53 AM



"jz, we live (for now) in a more or less safe society, made safe for the most part by male sacrifice and male laws. The "protection" is thus still there, although we are now able to keep it at arm's length. Formerly, and in many parts of the world, still, a woman, especially a young one, could not safely live alone or live independently without some form of male protection - whether from a father, a brother, a son, an uncle, a patron. To try to do otherwise was to invite unwelcome and in some cases dangerous attentions or harassment from other men.

It was not merely sexual dangers that threatened women on their own, either. Men were more likely to try to cheat, steal from, or otherwise take advantage of a woman who lived without a male protector."

Have things changed in a day or two? Things are no longer dangerous for a woman, we now have the rule of law as supplied by men? Pick a place and time and stick with it, sweetie.

Posted by: DP on May 1, 2009 1:44 PM



slumlord, interesting study. We'll see if it pans out anecdotally.

Posted by: JV on May 1, 2009 2:25 PM



DP, although I think you're simply not reading me carefully, I also think my original comment was poorly worded and so I will try again:

1) FORMERLY women who lived "independently", i.e. without a husband or some other male protector, were not safe.
2) TODAY, men have made the world safer than it used to be. In the Western world, women can and do live without direct male protection and sponsorship. By "indirect" male protection I mean things like policemen, the legal system, armies, and technology.
3) HOWEVER, even today, women in some parts of the world are not very safe if they attempt to live without male protection or sponsorship.

It really wasn't all that difficult, was it, dear boy?

Posted by: aliasclio on May 1, 2009 2:55 PM



Man, DP, that was the second comment in a row from you that was stupid useless juvenile toss-twaddle. Learn how to read, see the world, do some growing up, and you can come back here and run your mouth at your intellectual moral and spiritual superiors all you want. Until then, you need to restart the obviously stalled process of your psychosocial development.

Good luck in your journey. Now go away.

Posted by: PatrickH on May 1, 2009 2:57 PM



PatrickH—

I've got a bit of the M/W complex myself, what with being Catholic and Irish to boot. The problem with it, UL, if I understand its classical definition correctly (haven't read Ricky's post, but will) is that you can love the M but not EVER feel any sexual attraction to her; and you can be super turned on by the W, but NEVER feel any emotional attraction to her. Which means that if you're to satisfy both needs, you have to do so with (at least) two women.

I don’t think this is right at all, or at any rate it’s a very extreme version of it.

Fundamentally the Madonna is supposed to be virginal at marriage or at least close. This hopefully comes about because of her piety and self control, rather than her lack of competing sexual urges. The whore in this sense is of course a lusty slut, who not only has carnal urges in abundance, but also impulsively indulges them before marriage. Sexual pleasure is a high priority for her.

One can most certainly feel not only love but sexual lust for your Madonna wife. The problem is it’s supposed by this ideology or psychological frame of mind to always be lust tempered by and raised into something higher by love. Spanking your Madonna and calling her nasty names in bed, or pulling her hair while you get her to admit that she’s your bitch, much less getting her to submit to anal penetration at least a few times is frowned upon, as in it’s strickly verboten, under this world view.

All of these things are A OK with a whore (slut).

Basically it’s anything touching on D/s or that’s otherwise heavily transgressive and dirty that you’re not supposed to do with the future or current (ideal and proper) mother of your children, your Madonna.

What those attacking the supposedly widespread Madonna / whore complex are aiming at is the almost universal preference among men, unless it’s heavily propagandized against / suppressed, for a virginal or at least relatively innocent wife. They're working against sluts (whores) being “discriminated against” come marriage time, by men with attractive options.

The notion that a woman can only learn to be hungry, talented and enthusiastic in bed if she’s done a lot of slutting around before marriage strikes me as bunk. However the nugget that in a society in which there’s wide permission to be slutty, only girls not much interested in sex won’t be before marriage can be true in some cases. Certainly most (but not all) sluts DO have a high sex drive. So do a lot of good girls. There’s a wide variety of subcultures in our society with different views towards premarital sluttiness however. Truly permissive attitudes towards considerable sluttiness remain rare (despite feminist efforts), at least when it comes to evaluating committed relationship material.

The reason for marrying a relative good girl, who you have reason to believe from a pre marital tryout is and will remain a slut for you only, is that the chances of her cheating on you maybe massively are much less. Credit card companies certainly believe that past performance in the same area is the best available predictor of future behavior.

BTW, I don't think there's anything wrong, and a lot right, with treating your committed love partner woman as a slut/whore in the bedroom as long as you sometimes (or always in a way) treat her with love there as well.

Posted by: dougjnn on May 3, 2009 9:52 PM



Dougjnn,

Interesting viewpoint, but I was referring to the M/W complex in more or less its classic Freudian sense. The Madonna is the recipient of a love derived from the void left by unfulfilled attachment to a cold unloving mother. The M/W sufferer cannot feel lust for his Madonna, because that violates his image of her. From Wikipedia:

Often, the wife begins to be seen as mother to the husband—a "Madonna" figure—and thus not a possible object of sexual attraction. For this reason, in the mind of the sufferer, love and sex cannot be mixed, and the man is reluctant to have sexual relations with his wife, for that, he thinks unconsciously, would be as incest. He will reserve sexuality for "bad" or "dirty" women, and will not develop "normal" feelings of love in these sexual relationships.

The article goes on to talk about the things I mentiioned: the separate of lust and love, the necessity of finding satisfaction for each in different women, the exclusion of one type of attraction by the other, and so on. It pretty well explains what my take was.

Posted by: PatrickH on May 5, 2009 9:27 AM






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