Madonna/Whore

There are aggressive women who are going to make your dick hard who are fit to raise your children.
– Dan Savage

On the Madonna/Whore complex:

Whenever you’re exasperated by the undesirable behaviors or beliefs of other people, it’s always important to ask the question:  Why do people engage in this behavior or hold these beliefs?  And, in what way might this be adaptive?  This is particularly important in the case of the sexual double standard, because the behavior and beliefs comprised by the Madonna/Whore complex, however unquestionably unfair and stupid, are probably adaptive for some heterosexual men.

Consider two very different young men:

“Andrew” thinks that enthusiastic expression of sexuality is a little bit dirty, and feels that getting laid on the weekends is an indulgence in his own base nature that he hopes to stop doing when he grows up, meets a “respectable” woman, and starts a family.

“Ben” thinks that enthusiastic expression of sexuality is a good thing, would enjoy exploring his youthful sexuality with different women, and hopes to someday “settle down” with the same kind of sexually assertive women who stirs his desire today.

Now, if the thoughts and attitudes of “Andrew” and “Ben” were tattooed on their foreheads, then most women would say that “Ben” has a much healthier attitude toward sexuality.  But young men’s sexual attitudes aren’t tattooed in their foreheads, and because Ben is young and may not have mastered all the nuances of social interactions, his “healthy” attitude toward sexuality may get him into trouble.  Andrew’s sex-negative attitudes, on the other hand, may serve to protect him from being viewed as a creep.

Dan Savage has the progressive credentials which allow him stand on stage and talk about fucking the shit out of her and blowing a load on her face, and to elicit enthusiastic applause from the audience when he says these things.  But there are some young men who, trying to be sexually “playful” or “outrageous” with the same sexual vocabulary, might well find themselves labeled as creeps – by some of the same people who enthusiastically applauded Dan Savage.  And yet a man with a negative view of sexuality would be less likely to be labeled as a creep.  His denigration of his own sexual desires serves as a check on inopportune remarks and behavior – outside of those times when he is “sinning” and giving in to his own “base nature.”

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5 Responses to Madonna/Whore

  1. Lynet says:

    I think you’re right that sometimes having a negative view of sexuality can get you labeled as less of a creep, and I think it’s a shame. It reminds me of Clarisse Thorn’s article, which I’m sure you’ve seen, which points out that some — not all, but some — of the trouble men get in by articulating their desires is a result of sex-negativity, and that’s not really a good thing.

  2. modernguy says:

    This guy blows dudes and has them fuck him in the ass. His cognitive dissonance is so calcified he probably has multiple personalities. My “hetero-male bullshit” opinion is that if you try to have your cake and eat it too you’re an idiot. If you want to think of your wife as a dignified human being maybe blowing a load on her face is not the immediate priority.

  3. modernguy says:

    When will Americans learn that maximum pleasure seeking and sober long term considerations can’t be reconciled except by making compromises? If it wasn’t so maddening the absurd childishness of the American mind would be comical.

  4. Lynet says:

    Actually, respecting a person and having sex with them doesn’t amount to ‘having your cake and eating it too’. Trust me on this, there really are people out there (and for the moment I’m lucky to be one of them) who have obscenely wonderful sex and respect each other, too.

    I’m sorry for you that you don’t think you’ll ever be able to have that.

  5. sarcasmland says:

    @Lynet. How naive are you? Do you really believe attitude and behavior are one and the same? Just because someone publicly refrains from using the approved lingo that gives them the look of sexual enthusiasm doesn’t mean they don’t have “obscenely wonderful sex” behind closed doors. I would find it very disrespectful if my significant other publicly announced that he wanted to “fuck the shit out of me”. It has nothing to do with what I would actually prefer once we’re getting hot and heavy – it’s because it’s VULGAR. He can talk to me this way all day long when we’re ready to get it on. But if he does it in the office, the golf club or in front of my co-workers I would surely slap “the shit” outta him.

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