Coupled With D&S

Real, nonjudgmental advice about dating, sex, love, and life from a thirty-something couple that has seen it all over thirteen years.

Trust us. We live in Brooklyn. (Joking. Kind of.)

The Mother and the Whore

lamamanetl[1]The Question

A 35 year-old straight man in New York City writes, “I am very troubled by a terrible realization: I am sexually attracted to immature, naive women who do not qualify for a real girlfriend.”

“Last year I ended a four-year long relationship with a wonderful woman to pursue a younger, hot girl. Sex with the new girl was incredible, and she really liked me, but deep inside I knew there was no future with her. She was sensual and charming, but I could not take the relationship seriously.”

“Currently, I am dating ‘Miss Ideal.’ She has everything I could ask for: Mature, cultured, beautiful, and caring. Miss Ideal is the type of woman I could see myself marrying, except that I am not turned on by her. I don’t see her as a lover. I want us to spend time together, but I don’t feel any sexual attraction for her.”

“Following the old French adage, it seems as if my brain is split between La maman et la putain (the mother and the whore). I want to fall in love with a smart woman who cares for me, but those same qualities seem to be a turn off.  I am caught between hot women I want to fuck and the well-rounded and caring women who fail to arouse my desire.”

David Says

The mother/whore thing is a convenient label to place on your situation—there is a lot of tradition behind it, as well as a smidgen of truth—but it doesn’t let you fully appreciate the women in your life. Worse, just because you choose to label your women this way doesn’t mean that’s who they are.

You’re sabotaging your relationships by either a) choosing women who will never both excite you and be potential partners, or b) refusing to take the women who are screwing you seriously and refusing to let yourself be attracted to the women you see as marriage material. My guess is that you do this regardless of whether or not the whores, so to speak, are smart and serious and whether the mother figures are, in fact, sexy. Being in a sexless relationship is probably the worst offense of the two because there’s no hope without sexual attraction, and that means your whole relationship is a bit of a farce. At least if you love fucking someone, you’re not lying when you communicate that you love fucking them.

If you really do want fulfilling relationships, you have to grow up and approach the women as full-fledged adults capable of almost anything, even if they are flawed (like you). Sally will examine that a little more, pushing you towards women your age, which might be right. I think you could potentially find a younger mate who meets the bill, but only if you’re willing to look at her as something other than a silly whore. Either way, you’ll need to let her be who she is and not approach her as some doomed archetype.

Sally Says

He’s creating an artificial boundary based on his expectations of how women should be at certain ages, not based on who they actually are. It seems to me that women become more sensual and self-confident as they get older. Young women, while they have enthusiasm, may be less discriminating because, well, they don’t know any better. You have to do the hard work to date women who are older and have real expectations about what they want and how they experience their sexuality.

If you don’t try adventurous things and don’t talk to your partner about excited sex you’re interested in, you’re going to get boring sex. You have to bring up sex early and often and not just think about it. You should bring the same enthusiasm to sex as the women you’re dating. It sounds like you might not be accepting ideas of equality and confidence that you’ll need to accept with marriageable women your age. You’re not looking closely enough to try to find women who are sexually attractive to you and/or sexually adventurous.

The Consensus

The Mother/Whore thing goes back at least to Eve, though Christianity really developed it with the two Marys (Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene) and Freud coined the specific Madonna-Whore Complex that we talk about today. Just as Christianity often isn’t fair to women, the fact that you’re framing your love problems this way is unfair.

You are the only thing connecting these supposed “mothers” and “whores,” so you’ll have to change your outlook and approach if that makes you unhappy. We also both agree that you shouldn’t even consider a real relationship with a woman you don’t want to sleep with, nor should you keep fucking a woman you don’t really respect, especially if either one of you holds an expectation that your relationship might go beyond sex. Have all the casual sex you want, but be honest about it.

No woman is going to fulfill every single one of your needs. If you go into relationships expecting and demanding everything, you’ll find nothing acceptable. If women approached you that way, you’d probably never get a blow job or a date again.

You need to find someone who offers potential in many different areas and with whom you’d be willing to work hard to make things work. Relationships don’t come easy, and you might have to partner with someone who meets most of your criteria and will try hard to make you happy rather than settle for a total mother, an absolute whore, or the perfect mate who does not exist within that flawed framework. Most mothers can be a little bit whorish, if you let them, and most whores are mothers too.

Get away from restrictive binaries. Make room for relationships that are both emotionally and sexually satisfying. There are a lot of ways that can look, from traditional marriages to open relationships, but none of them will never work if you can’t also be sexual with your “marriage material.”