Part 1 over here. I originally said it would be two parts. Screw it, it’s gonna be three instead. This installment is going to discuss why people who don’t grow up suffering from madonna/whore complexes tend to be more naturally good with women and sexual relationships. The next installment will be about why men who do have extreme madonna/whore complex anxieties are often horrible with women. And in case you’re wondering, I’m not a fan of either extreme. Ideally I think one should be somewhere in the middle. A man should be somewhat cynical and skeptical and screen against sluts to avoid cuckolding and raising kids that aren’t his, but neither should he be so cynical that he thinks that all women are untrustworthy at best and whores at worst, as that leads to its own set of problems.
In the last installment we had two womanizers who appeared on the Tyra Banks show, Ahmed the superstar and Shawn the Slumdog Hundredaire. Two ladies’ men who were as different as darkest night and brightest day. As I was watching the show, I figured out that Ahmed, who came off as a guy who was effortlessly natural at wooing and attracting women, had detachment issues with his mom. And I came to the conclusion the Shawn was more of a momma’s boy. Shawn mentioned calling his mom every day earlier on, so I had no doubts about him, but I figured I’d never find out what Ahmed’s situation, but luckily near the end of the show the following exchange happened:
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.
So how did I predict Ahmed had problems with his mother? Well first let me make something clear. I don’t think that everyone who is good with women has problems with their mother. Some people are good with women because they are late bloomers who studied hard or found good mentors as adults to cure themselves of politically correct reassuring fictions and undo a lot of counterproductive conditioning they had growing up. Some are good with women because they had the rare type of mother who was not politically correct and was willing to tell them some ugly truths about men and women. So I’m not trying to say every good womanizer has mother issues. But what I do believe is that people like Ahmed, the true naturals who don’t get emotionally hung up on chicks no matter how hot they are, who are effortless in their confidence and game, tend to have some emotional distance with their mothers, whether it’s just some aloofness to all-out rage.
I first stumbled on this notion in world-famous master pimp Robert Beck AKA Iceberg Slim’s autobiography Pimp. In it, the young Iceberg Slim grows up with a loving mother and his nice guy stepfather. It is the happiest time in his life. His mother has just been left by his philandering, unreliable father and times are initially hard for young Iceberg and his mother.
There were no jobs in Indianapolis for Mama and for six months we barely made it on the meager savings. We were pennisless and with hardly any food when a tall black angel visiting relatives in Indianapolis came into our lives.
He instantly fell in love with my lissome beautiful mother. His name was Henry Upshaw, and I guess I fell as hard for him as he fell for Mama.
He took us back to Rockford, Illinois with him where he owned a cleaning and pressing shop, the only Negro business in downtown Rockford.
In those tough depression times a Negro in his position was the envy of most Negro men.
Henry was religious, ambitious, good and kind. I often wonder what would have happened to my life if I had not been torn from him.
He treated Mama like she was a princess, anything she wanted he got for her. She was a fashion plate all right.
Every Sunday when we all three went to church in the gleaming black Dodge we were an outstanding sight as we walked down the aisle in our fresh neat clothing.
Only the few Negro lawyers and physicians lived as well, looked as well. Mama was president of several civic clubs. For the first time we were living the good life.
Mama had a dream. She told it to Henry. Like the genie of the lamp he made it a reality.
It was a four stall, opulent beauty shop. Its chrome gleamed in the black-and-gold motif. It was located in the heart of the Negro business section and it flourished from the moment its doors opened.
Her clientele was for the most part whores, pimps and hustlers from the sprawling “red light” district in Rockford. They were the only ones who always had the money to spend on their appearance.
The first time I saw Steve he was sitting getting his nails manicured in the shop. Mama was smiling into his handsome olive-tinted face as she buffed his nails.
I didn’t know when I first saw him that he was the pin-striped snake who would poison the core of our lives…
There was really nothing out of the ordinary that day. Nothing during that day that I heard or saw that prepared me for the swift, confusing events that over the weekend would slam my life away from all that was good to all that was bad.
Now looking back remembering that last day in the shop as clearly as if it were yesterday my stepfather, Henry, was unusually quiet. My young mind couldn’t grasp his worry, his heart break.
Even I, a ten year old, however, knew that this huge, ugly black men who had rescued Mama and me from actual starvation back in Indianapolis loved us with all of his great, sensitive heart.
I loved Henry with all my heart. He was the only father I had ever really known.
He could have saved himself an early death from a broken heart if instead of falling so madly in love with Mama he had run as fast as he could away from her. For him she was brown-skin murder in a size-twelve dress.
Steve was a sleazy, sneaky low-level pimp that had Iceberg’s mother dripping wet with lust and eating out of his hands.
Yes, poor Henry’s fears had foundation. Mama had never loved my stepfather. This kind wonderful man had only been a tool of convenience. She had fallen in love with the snake all right…
One scene in my life I can never forget and that was that morning when Mama had finished packing out clothes and Henry lost his inner fight for his pride and dignity.
He fell down on his knees and bawled like a scalded child pleading with Mama not to leave him, begging her to stay. He had welded his arms around her legs, his voice hoarse in anguish as he whimpered his love for us.
His agonized eyes walled up at her as he wailed, “Please don’t leave me. You are sure to kill me if you do. I ain’t done nothing. If I have, forgive me.”
I will never forget her face as cold as an executioner’s, which she was, as she kicked and struggled loose from him.
Then with an awful grin on her face she lied and said, “Henry, Honey, I just want to get away for a while. Darling, we’ll be back.”…
As the cab drove us away to the secret rendezvous with Steve sitting in his old Model T, I looked back at Henry on the porch, his chest heaving as tears rolled down his tortured face.
I’m sure it surprises no one to hear that things just got worse and worse from there. Steve convinced Iceberg’s mom to search out and reunite with Iceberg’s dad under the pretense of reconciliation, so that they could set him up to be robbed. Iceberg’s dad had straightened up and gotten a good job and was in a nice house and had accumulated belongings worth stealing. She not only double-crossed his dad, she acted as if she didn’t have anything to do with the double-cross, and cried hysterically when she “discovered” the robbery alongside Beck’s dad, who had no suspicion of her involvement. Iceberg AKA Beck recalled
For many tortured years she would suffer her guilt. She had made that terrible decision on that long ago weekend.
I know my lousy old man deserved what happened to his goods. I know Mama got her revenge and it was sweet. I am sure, but it was bitter for a kid like me to know that Mama was part of it.
Perhaps if Mama had kept that burglary cross a secret from me, in some tiny way I might have been stronger to fight off that pimping disease. I don’t know but somehow after that cross mama just didn’t seem like the same honest sweet Mama that I had prayed in church with back in Rockford.
Can you picture a child going through such experiences and still growing up to put women on a pedestal and seeking their approval? Me neither. Late in his life, long after he left pimping, Robert “Iceberg” Beck gave an interview reminiscing on his life and career:
Koblin: Do pimps hate their whores?
Beck: Well, not necessarily consciously. The best pimps that I have known, that is the career pimps, the ones who could do twenty, maybe thirty years as a pimp, were utterly ruthless and brutal without compassion. They certainly had a basic hatred for women.
My theory is, and I can’t prove it, if we are to use the criteria of utter ruthlessness as a guide, that all of them hated their mothers. Perhaps more accurately, I would say that they’ve never known love and affection, maternal love and affection. I’ve known several dozen in fact that were dumped into the trash bins when they were what?…. only four or five days old.
Koblin: You say you loved your mother in your book.
Beck: Of course, but underneath the threshold of consciousness, I know that I must have hated her, as demonstrated by my neglect of her through the years.
In reading Robert “Iceberg” Beck’s autobiography, you notice that long before he became a pimp, he was already an effortless, smooth-talking “natural” with women. Since reading the book and Iceberg’s interviews, I began looking at naturals and many of them had dysfunctional relationships with their mothers. In the case of some of these naturals, they had good relationships with their mothers but had even stronger relationships with a very alpha male father. This helps one become a natural as well, but by and large the somewhat dysfunctional or distant relationship with the mother seemed to be the biggest factor in creating naturals, especially if it was interspersed with periods of pampering (Iceberg also claimed that his mother, for all his faults, pampered him as best she could and that this also contributed to his becoming a pimp). The power of this combo is that they dysfunction keeps the man from growing up putting women on a pedestal because he’s sees his mom as weak and flawed, meaning he doesn’t have some ideal maternal model as an example for his mates to aspire to, but the pampering and coddling aspects train him to expect favors from women without any guilt, hesitation, shame or repentance. In fact, a natural doesn’t even view it as a favor so much as something he’s entitled to.
The extreme natural like Iceberg can turn off his emotions at will like a faucet because he has no mental division between the Madonna and Whore archetypes. The Madonna and Whore archetypes became one and the same for him at a young age. Sometimes even when I see brothers who handle women very differently despite growing up in the same family, I can look at their birth orders and examine how their relationships with their mother differed and see reinforcement that the one with the more natural skills with women is the one with a more complicated or less warm relationship to the mother, making him less likely to deify the feminine mystique.
What is the mechanism at work here? Well, do you remember way back when I discussed the Mystery/Mastery Paradox? That’s where I described how something is a mystery to you, which makes you love it and drives you to master it. However once you master it, it loses it’s mystery and you start to fall out of love with it. This boredom and frustration drives you to reframe the challenge in a way to make it interesting to you again or to chase a whole new challenge. Well that can also work in reverse. Sometimes something gets demystified to you first, and then the fact that it’s no longer a mystery to you allows you to fall out of love with it and master it easily. To people like Iceberg Slim and Ahmed, women were demystified to them at an early age, which made them fall out of love with them as a noble ideal and allowed them to master them.
It was my readings of Iceberg Slim that first made me notice this dynamic. This is they dynamic I immediately noticed when watching Ahmed and Shawn on Tyra’s show. It’s no surprise then that one of the first things Shawn, obvious late bloomer with horrible game, mentioned was he was close to his mom. And it’s no surprise that Ahmed, super natural with his arms around both his ex-fling and his current squeeze, said losing respect for his mom is exactly what made him great with women. And if you notice in the clip above, when Ahmed makes the same observation that Iceberg made about men and their mothers, Shawn immediately protests. Very telling.