The Madonna Whore Complex

…also known as “the wifey complex”

  • Don’t sleep with them on the first date
  • Don’t admit how many partners you’ve had
  • Don’t text unless he texts first
  • Men have higher sex drives than women
  • Be pretty, NOT sexy

So, where does all this shit advice comes from? 

It’s only bloody Freud again (more about him here) and a term he coined, the madonna – whore complex. 

But what’s Madonna got to do with it? 

Well, as far as the singer goes, nothing.

The madonna-whore complex refers to men who judge women as either “wife material” -the Madonna- or as “sex material” -the whore-. Essentially a man can’t “fancy” his wife, or “respect” a woman he sleeps with. Such complex characters, males, aren’t they.

According to ol’ Siggy, a man seeks a wife to replace his mother, yet cause wanting to shag his mum feels a bit weird, he is disgusted by the idea of having sex with her. That may not be quite word for word, but you get the point. 

You know that scene in sex in the city when Trey was unable to get it up whenever trying to have sex with Charlotte – yep, that’s the Madonna–whore.

Over 100 years later and much of Freud’s thinking is now thankfully discredited. However, in 2020 the complex still very much plays a part of our daily lives, it just looks a little different.

It might not be your husband sleeping with a sex worker because you can’t arouse him. Nowadays, in the world of online dating and constant communication it’s a guy telling you that you seem like a “nice girl”, only to act shocked to learn you’ve ever had sex with people before him. Who knew we all like sex? I guess the idea of being both a nice human being and enjoying sex is too mindblowing to understand, oh well.

When it comes to dating we still get shit advice which plays into this. Things like  “don’t sleep with them on the first date,” “don’t admit your real number” and “don’t text unless he texts first” are all examples of us being the “madonna” instead of the “whore” so that he respects us. How about respecting someone no matter what? Crazy, we know.

The biggest problem with the Madonna-Whore complex is that absolutely no one fits perfectly into one category or the other. We may be slightly more on one side or the other but, and this may come as a surprise to some, we’re all born with sex drives and we’re all born with compassion (little harder to believe this one). We’re all a little bit Madonna and a little bit Whore. Trying to separate the world into two types of women is plain wrong, less of the games and categorising of women.

Instead let’s stop reinforcing sexist standards created by a misogynist who wouldn’t even recognise the clitoris. Just do whatever the fuck you want. The right people will respect and want you for who you are, regardless.

GRAPEFRUIT OUT.

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