Madonna/Whore Complexes, Part 1

Madonna/Whore painting

This post is the first in a two-part series on madonna/whore complexes, both parts going up today, and it’s going to be video heavy, with five, yes five, 6-8 minute clips. So let me warn you up front, it’s going to be time-intensive, but it’s so worth it. Watch every video. Then read the analysis.

I was watching the Tyra Banks show a while back (don’t ask) and saw an episode on womanizers. In particular, it was about women confronting the womanizers who wronged them. It turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected, as the two womanizers they showcased were actually night and day in terms of approaches.

The first womanizer is named Ahmed, and the woman “confronting” him had little bad to say about him:

This kind of surprised me. This is Tyra’s show, which is pretty feminist and “You Go, Girl!” so I thought they’d be totally setting up the guy to get punked and embarrassed and shamed. But the girl has no hard feelings and has nothing bad to say about them. A lot of the women in the audience seem to be disgusted and are shaking their heads in shame when they hear the woman saying nothing but nice things about Ahmed before he actually comes out, but once he does come out the audience and Tyra seem to warm up to him. He seems to be a guy who is very naturally good with them, and is brutally honest about who he is and what he wants. The most impressive thing about the whole exchange is the intellectual honesty of the girl. She doesn’t try to remake what happened into a narrative that makes her into a victim, makes him into a manipulative predator or excuses her from responsibility. She doesn’t seem to be lying to herself or the audience.

Then it got more interesting. They brought out the dude’s current girlfriend, to make her sit there on the couch with Ahmed and one of his past flings.

This guy is really master of his domain. Pretty unflappable, doesn’t seem to get unhinged or made nervous easily. Even Tyra’s relationship expert, whose job it probably was to bash the womanizers to score points with the audience, says he thinks the guy is a “good guy.” This is even after the details of his past cheating has been revealed.

The next womanizer is Shawn. The clips speak for themselves. First the intro to Shawn:

Shawn “out on the prowl:”

I’m not going to spend time dissecting Shawn’s approach and pointing out specific mistakes he makes, because honestly there are just so many in that short clip that it would require a whole separate post (if the commenters want to go ahead and dissect his awful game, go to town on it). But the guy is cheesy, kind of like a broke Bollywood Fabio. I’m talking cringe-inducing cheese. He’s playing a numbers game, and not very well to boot, and he does finally get some interest, but from a girl who seems somewhat cheesy and desperate too. Honestly, I think she’d be game for any half-decent guy who showed interest. She doesn’t really strike me as a very challenging target. And unlike Ahmed, he is horrible at handling Tyra, the crowd, the women on the panel, and Tyra’s relationship expert. He also gets defensive, which just digs his hole deeper.

So I’m watching the fucking Tyra Banks show and shockingly it’s intrigued me way more than I ever expected to be intrigued by a Tyra Banks show. I felt a real mystery here: why were these two guys so night and day in their approaches and the responses they got from the crowd? What was the X-factor that allowed Ahmed to excel that Shawn lacked? My guess, based on some preexisting theories of mine about men and women, was that Ahmed was probably a guy who was a “natural,” someone who is naturally good with women, while Shawn was a late bloomer who tried to teach himself to be a player later in life, did a bad job and ended up with creepy, cheesy results. But because he’s articulate, shameless and probably approaches a LOT of women, he’s gotten his share of successes and thinks he’s better than he actually is. But if you compared the number of women he hooked u with to the number of women he approached, you’d see he probably gets a low return on investment. Plus the quality is probably not as good as it could be because he seems to be doing more of a numbers game than trying to go for quality. Most importantly, I figured like most naturals Ahmed had some issues with his mother, while I figured Shawn the cheeseball was a mama’s boy. This is a theory of mine, that men who are naturally good with women usually have some sort of mother issues that creates an emotional detachment in the mother-son link, while most late bloomers are mama’s boys who are very emotionally attuned to their mothers and put them on pedestal.

I figures this would just remain speculation, as I couldn’t imagine Tyra digging deep enough to find out about Ahmed’s relationship with his mother. After all, this is daytime fluff TV. But to her credit, then came the next part, which touched on exactly that. You can watch all of the following clip if you want to see the shenanigans of Dick Masterson, professional chauvinist, but the key part for the purposes of this blog post starts at 4:45:

Tyra: So you say that marriage is not biological for a man and x,y,z, but tell me…there’s a reason why you think in your life with your childhood as to why you are a womanizer…?

Ahmed: I think there is a detachment with me and my feelings when it comes to women, based off of maybe feeling a void I did what i did. At a young age me and my mother were tight, she was a single parent, and she was independent and I looked up to her. She was my mother and my father. She did what she had to do, masters’ degree, blahblahblah. Then she got married, then put her career and herself on the back burner for a man, had his kids and he just broke out on her. So misery loves company, and I didn’t like that, and I was neglected in the situation, so ever since then, I was like “You know what, I might do what I do, but–

Tyra: Did you become detached from your mother?

Ahmed: Yes, me and my mother didn’t get along. So I left at a young age and ever since then my attitude was like “[Fuck] women”…

Tyra: If you had a different childhood, do you think you’d be a different man?

Ahmed: I think so. I think all my friends that are cool with their mothers and respect their moms have a different outlook when it comes to dealing with women.

BIN-fucking-GO.

I’m going to post part 2 to this series later on tonight, where I discuss naturals, late bloomers, and their relationships with mothers, and what it all has to do with the madonna/whore complex.

33 Responses to “Madonna/Whore Complexes, Part 1”

  1. Anonymous Coward on April 13th, 2009 at 12:43 PM

    Ahmed got his arm around both fees. Nice.

    Not even touching Slumdog Millionaire.

  2. jonathanjones02 on April 13th, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Very interesting. I’ve seen this dynamic also.

  3. Good stuff, T-Raw. Looking foward to Part Two…

    O

  4. I gotta throw in on this, because I do relatively well for myself as a late-bloomer with a great relationship with my mom. I think, for me, it plays out in not being careless. If I sense feelings I’m not returning, I cut bait cleanly. It’s rare I have a messy ending, and the few that have were caused by the female’s decisions, which meant I was within right to blow up.

    I’m also not driven to be picking up girls non-stop. Dry spell’s a dry spell; weekend without getting any anything but a waste. But maybe that’s only because I know someone else is around the corner.

    The Brooklyn Boys last blog post..Oops … I Did It Again

  5. Women are so delusional.

    “100 girls in 15 countries” is not a “player”

    He is a “beginner”

    – MPM

    The G Manifestos last blog post..Muhammad Ali: Associates VS Friends

  6. Sounds intriguing. I just hope you don’t go the way of the Community and paint the MWC as being entirely due to psychological factors.

    There are very real practical concerns which also account for the M/W distinction.

  7. ?I felt a real mystery here: why were these two guys so night and day in their approaches and the responses they got from the crowd? What was the X-factor that allowed Ahmed to excel that Shawn lacked??

    The relationship either man had with their mothers could have definitely influenced their style of approach to women in the field. But the X-factor(s) involved in the differing responses each man got from the audience seem pretty obvious to me. Ahmed is comfortable, confident, smooth tonality, and open, relaxed body language. He makes no apology for his lifestyle and laughs off objections with playful effortlessness. In other words: he plays the game well. Shawn is hunched over, holding his hands, and fidgeting; his voice quivers when he speaks; he stutters; his responses to every objection are defensive in tone and unconvincing in content. As the field video confirms, he simply isn?t that good with women. Not even too sure how he got on this show.

    I wish they would?ve shown more of Dick Masterson, I?d be very intrigued as how to women would have responded to him. Ahmed?s fling chick (who, btw, was unusually introspective and honest) gives a preview of how that would?ve gone, but Dick was doing quite well laughing everything off and treating her reaction like a giant inconsequential shit test. Overall, it seems that Dick had many of the same qualities as Ahmed, except much less handsome, and much more brutally articulate about his views. It was interesting to me though that Ahmed?who definitely strikes me as a natural who is not likely to be overly analytical about his views or his technique?let on that he was in complete agreement with Dick.

  8. The relationship either man had with their mothers could have definitely influenced their style of approach to women in the field. But the X-factor(s) involved in the differing responses each man got from the audience seem pretty obvious to me. Ahmed is comfortable, confident, smooth tonality, and open, relaxed body language. He makes no apology for his lifestyle and laughs off objections with playful effortlessness. In other words: he plays the game well. Shawn is hunched over, holding his hands, and fidgeting; his voice quivers when he speaks; he stutters; his responses to every objection are defensive in tone and unconvincing in content. As the field video confirms, he simply isn?t that good with women. Not even too sure how he got on this show.

    I think you’re right, but I think it’s all related. Yes Ahmed is more relaxed, comfortable, confident, open and unapologetic for his lifestyle, but that is because he does not live for the approval of women. Most naturals don’t live for the approval of women, which is ironically exactly what ends up making them gain the approval of women. And what I’ve found, strictly through anecdotes admittedly, but a LOT of anecdotes, is that the men who are naturally great with women are the ones who don’t put them on pedestals. And the ones who are the best at not putting them on pedestals are often the ones who have a level of emotional distance from their mothers. Sometimes it’s just a slight aloofness, sometimes it can be as extreme as disgust, but there’s usually some distance. Our mothers are often the ones who first teach us to put women on pedestals and live for their approval. But if a guy doesn’t even care about whether or not his own mom approves of him, then he’s really not going to care about winning the approval of some chick he just met. So I think we’re both right: the X-factor is what gives Ahmed his edge, but his relationship with his mother is the reason he has the X-factor.

    Shawn on the other hand is obviously a mama’s boy. He even mentions at the beginning of his segment that he’s a good boy who calls his mother every day. I think he puts women on a pedestal. Whereas Ahmed is doing what he does for himself, Shawn seems to be bragging to win the approval of woman. Ahmed is simply telling the women about how great he is, matter-of-factly. Shawn is trying to impress the women and convince them of how great he is, almost desperately. hence the nervousness, fidgeting, defensiveness. With Shawn, I didn’t catch the “I call my mother every day” comment he made until I watched his segment a second time, but I think it explains many of his his actions as well.

  9. Tupac – I think there are very practical concerns that make a man not want to make a brazen slut into his wife and the mother of his children. He doesn’t want to get cuckolded and end up raising another man’s child. But I think the Madonna/Whore concept is a disorder that comes from taking a valid concern and becoming so consumed by it that you take it to irrational extremes, to the point it becomes counterproductive. Ironically, I think being immersed in the Madonna/Whore mindset actually makes one more likely to be cuckolded. Not just that, but it makes you worse with women, as you raise them to an unrealistically pure ideal and end up getting constantly disappointed and increasingly embittered as a result.

    So I agree, screening for sluts is a practical objective. Taking it to the extreme of a Madonna/Whore complex however isn’t.

  10. I see where you’re going, but don’t get too eager in assuming that mothers always give bad advice on women. If I think of all the advice I got, I mainly just wish that I would’ve listened to my mum more instead of having to try and fail so many times before believing.

    Of course, reading those PUA sites really makes me think that I must have a really unusual mom. She’s not religious or liberal or anything else that gives you a strong ideological code of PC for “proper” gender relations. Most women aren’t like that.

  11. jaakkeli – I met a few moms like your mom, but they were few and far between. I think I can count them on one, maybe two hands if I really strain to recollect.

  12. “Ahmed is simply telling the women about how great he is, matter-of-factly. Shawn is trying to impress the women and convince them of how great he is, almost desperately. hence the nervousness, fidgeting, defensiveness.”

    Trying to impress a woman vs. telling a woman how great you are…so subtle, yet so crucial a distinction.

  13. My dear old Moms once told me (back when I was a young motherfucker eating Value-Paks): “Don’t ever underestimate the lengths a woman will go to in order to catch a man.”

    And she was right.

    She also told me straight up not to marry a fat chick.

    She is “one of those moms.”

  14. Interesting: Madonna/Whore complexes Does your relationship with yr mom determine how successful u are with women? http://tinyurl.com/cz9rh2

  15. I think there are very practical concerns that make a man not want to make a brazen slut into his wife and the mother of his children. He doesn?t want to get cuckolded and end up raising another man?s child. But I think the Madonna/Whore concept is a disorder that comes from taking a valid concern and becoming so consumed by it that you take it to irrational extremes, to the point it becomes counterproductive.

    But that’s not what you’ve been saying elsewhere. You were saying that the MWC is its own form of dysfunction which arises from one’s childhood experience with parental figures.

    The practical considerations experienced seducers take into account when sizing women up need not have anything to do with this. You are attempting to place this rational decision making process along a spectrum which includes MWC at the extreme. I don’t think this is warranted.

  16. Restless Native on April 15th, 2009 at 8:24 PM

    To Shawn’s credit, he is working with what he’s got. To compare him on level ground with a guy like Ahmed just isn’t fair. Ahmed is obviously a very handsome, genetically gifted guy (deep voice, broad shoulders, etc.) which, as I always say, is not NECESSARY to be successful with women.. BUT.. it sure as hell makes things a lot easier, ESPECIALLY if you are gunning for high quality (i.e., beautiful) women.

    Speaking as a (so I’ve been informed) very handsome guy who grew up as a (as I was also informed at that time) very ugly kid and teenager, I have noticed a stark difference in the level of attraction I get from females upon our initial meetings between my youth and today. The initial attraction I get now makes it much easier for me to press forward and run my game. Being physically attractive is sort of like a “door-opener” with high-quality women, a “stand-out” tool that guys like Shawn don’t have the luxury of wielding. So, whereas Ahmed is going to be noticed from across the room simply by being Ahmed, Shawn already has to put in effort simply to make up for that lost ground, so you’ve got to cut him some slack in that sense–granted he still has a long hard way to go.

    And I would chalk a large part of the crowd and Tyra’s reaction to their physical appearances as well–a guy like Ahmed is going to get a positive reaction pretty much wherever he goes based simply on his looks alone, and his body language and demeanor only help him. The converse stands for Shawn, basically anywhere he goes the first impression is going to be “scrawny Indian dude who probably works in I.T.”

  17. Restless Native on April 15th, 2009 at 9:00 PM

    On a sidenote, I have to say that I get really annoyed when people simply throw around the terms “womanizer,” “ladies’ man,” “playboy/player,” etc., as if it’s a given that it’s an accomplishment or takes some sort of skill, without taking into account the wide gap in difficulty between trying to simply “bed lots of women” as opposed to “trying to bed lots of highly desirable women.”

    In my experience, with the time and effort it took me to bed the three dozen or so women (ranging from 8-10 on the 1-10 scale) I’ve bedded in my roughly seven years of active effort, I could have EASILY bedded four or five times that number of average-looking women. Not to mention, I simply don’t encounter enough women in my day-to-day that are beautiful enough to make them worth my time and energy to pursue, which is another factor that keeps guys like me’s numbers “low.”

    I am so tired of hearing about “players” like Shawn who talk a big game about the high numbers of women they get, when all they are getting are 4’s and 5’s.

    The same goes for the idiotic “pimp” mentality, with these guys who brag about how they’re such players and have got such skills that they can get women to take them shopping, etc. Meanwhile, they neglect to mention that these women they’re “pimping” are usually fat or flat-out ugly, and could be pimped by any semi-attractive guy with a modicum of game. Try playing that same “pimp game” on an 8 or 9 and she will laugh in your face.

  18. I do think the physical differences play a role, but I think with the proper amount of self-awareness Shawn could improve his looks a WHOLE lot. When you watch those makeover shows or see a guy’s before and after shot after working with a really good trainer, you realize a guy with a lot of hard work and brutal constructive criticism has a lot of room to improve physically. Even though genetics do create a ceiling to how much you can improve I admit. I do think that’s another major effect of being a mama’s boy, you tend to think you look better than you do because your mom always tells you how handsome her little man is. A guy without a close relationship to his mom will probably be more brutal in assessing his own physical appearances because his physical self-image isn’t as propped up by maternal coddling, his primary source of female feedback is women strangers, who can be brutal. It may make him better able to asses his own appearance and drive him to improve it harder.

  19. Not only is Shawn getting a lot of 4s and 5s, he’s totally using a numbers game and getting shot down by a ton of average women to get the 4s and 5s he does get. If he at least was only going for 4s and 5s but bagging 90% of them I’d give him SOME credit.

  20. My mom was middle ground, able to criticize and give good advice, but not as brutal with the non-PC talk as she could have been. But at least she wasn’t a Pollyanna, which I’m glad about.

  21. Tupac – I think the problem here is that you and I are disagreeing on what a MWC is. I don’t think of keeping conscious of “slut tells” in a woman and protecting yourself from a woman of poor character is a Madonna/Whore complex. To me a Madonna/Whore complex is when you so idealize the role of mother that you have trouble dealing with a woman sexually once you place her in the “Mother” category. The MWC guy has a totally binary view, every woman is either a totally pure “mother” or a totally morally bankrupt “whore.” As soon as a woman does anything remotely kinky, or that shows she has more sexual experience than his ideal mother figure should have, he overreacts and automatically puts her in the “whore” category.

    For example Sicilian-Americans…VERY matriarchal society, very in love with the mother figure. Even some of the worst Sicilian gangsters in history were totally worshipful of their mothers. Which is why every Sicilian gangster has two women, his madonna wife who he just bangs missionary style and has kids with and his whore Coumare who he does the kinky stuff with, because as a man he still has those more primal needs too. He can’t bear the thought of his wife doing anything kinky and raunchy because he’s made her into a substitute for his mother, and if he makes his wife do that the illusion is ruined, and he no longer has the clone of his mother figure that he set out to create.

    Very few women are pure whore or pure madonna. The ideal balance to me is the “lady in the streets” to the world but “a freak in the sheets” behind closed doors. The cuckolded guy lets his woman be a whore in the streets as well as the sheets. The Madonna whore guy doesn’t want his woman to be a freak anywhere, not in the streets and not behind closed doors in the sheets. He’s almost neurotic about keeping the saintly image alive.

    Or I’ll put it like this. One bad extreme is the guy who doesn’t care and gets a girl who likes sex with anyone. He’ll run the risk of getting cheated on and paternity fraud and getting mauled in divorce court down the line. The other bad extreme is the guy who cares so much that he doesn’t want to picture his wife enjoying sex too much at all, even with him. This is the Madonna/Whore guy. Ironically he runs a risk of being cheated on too because he’s so paranoid and sexually unadventurous with her that he fails to fill her primal needs. Every woman has a little whore in her, and if you don’t satisfy that someone else will. A lot of cads who liked fooling around with other men’s wives like Casanova exploited this weakness by finding bored wives whose husbands put them on such pedestals that they ended up bored and starving for adventure. Ideally I think a guy should be looking for a woman that enjoys sex, but only with him because she loves him more than anyone else.

  22. G Manifesto –

    WORD.

    It takes him 15 COUNTRIES to get that notch count? And he considers himself a full-time player?

  23. I think the problem here is that you and I are disagreeing on what a MWC is. I don?t think of keeping conscious of ?slut tells? in a woman and protecting yourself from a woman of poor character is a Madonna/Whore complex. To me a Madonna/Whore complex is when you so idealize the role of mother that you have trouble dealing with a woman sexually once you place her in the ?Mother? category.

    Yes, you are right of course. It’s just that I’ve seen, in my own life and online, too many instances of someone making a distinction — ANY distinction — between women who are more suitable for marriage vs. women who are more suitable for casual sex, and being tarred and feathered with the MWC label because of it. You know, as if the men were throwbacks to some ignorant age and could not appreciate Woman in all her Liberated Fabulousness.

    Strictly speaking though, you are correct. The MWC is properly construed as a man’s inability to psychologically tolerate coexisting feminine traits in the *same* woman.

  24. I think the distant-mother idea is completely outdated, a relic of Freudian thinking mixed with some archaic, simplistic, but intuitively satisfying psychology. Look to behavioural genetics for some real insight into what makes people who they are. In a nutshell: parents don’t matter as much as we think they do.
    It can be tough to hear that, I’m well aware of that. It’s paradigm-shattering and unsettling.

  25. Desi Kama Sutra Queen Female Pick Up Artist on July 18th, 2009 at 10:09 PM

    Shawn Valentino’s real name is Shyam Mukherjee. He’s a Bengali from West Bengal India, possibly even Bangladesh. LOL!!!

    He doesn’t pick up women. He just flys all around the world to have his picture taken with them. Kind of like Indian dudes do with the foreign tourists in India. LOL!!!

    You can read all about him here

    http://www.sepiamutiny.com/sepia/archives/005611.html

    Some of his previous classmates from Michigan chime in about this poor loser.

    As a Desi-American woman I can say that wannabes like him are the reasons we are shunning arranged marriage in favor of lifelong cougarhood.

    Desi dudes are complete flops. Desi women on the other hand are considered hot kama sutra queens, and rightly so. Men of all ethnic backgrounds are on us like white on rice, baby. Until now we have not been bold enough to exploit that.

    I can’t tell you how many hot guys in high school I’ve spurned when they approached me with the corny line, “so, can you like teach me all the positions in the Kama Sutra?”

    Finally I’ve come out of my shell and the resounding answer is …… HELL YEAH!

    Shyam Shawn Mukherjee Valentino. Eat your heart out – yaar!

  26. This is Tyra’s show, which is pretty feminist and “You Go, Girl!”

    Does this comment not contradict your previous statements on feminism???
    yeah you go …!!!

  27. Asian businessman on July 12th, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    We sing.

  28. yeah great post you hit the nail on the head with this one im still tryin to break my mothers hold.

  29. I come from a family of 3 generations of men with MWC. What I have seen is how it effects their wives (i.e., my sister in law, mother, grandmother). I have seen how it destroyed the marriages and hurt the women they “love.” My grandmother became a religious nut. My mother and sister in law were neglected and given STD’s by their husbands. What happened in the end to my dad was that my mother finally left him. Thankfully, my mother found real love and my father never recovered and died young at 45 yrs old. He died alone and lonely. My brother is now alone and miserable. His wive eventually left him. She is rebuilding her life and has found someone. All these women were neglected while my grandfather, father, brother found their whores. I have read that the MWC is blamed on the mothers for being cold distant. Completely untrue. All three women were loving and caring. The behavior was learned and attitudes about women were taught and passed down by fathers.

  30. I checked out Shawn Valentino’s myspace page and it seems that 90% of the girls he takes pictures with are porn actresses from porn conventions.

    He’s a phony.

  31. This Shawn makes me feel very unconfortable when I watch him. Photos top off, awful business card, go for very average girls, needs constant attention, cheesy lines, sun glasses indoor …
    And this thing about travel .. C’mon, you just need money to travel ! Seriously how can an educated guy behave like that ?? It’s beyond me.
    Just by being a successful attorney and with better clothes he could score a lot. Stop acting Shawn !!