Understanding the Narcissist's Madonna-Whore Complex

Narcissists have intimacy issues and cannot see their partner in a healthy way. They are unable to see what most men dream of in a woman — someone who is both sweet and sexy at the same time. They cannot help categorizing people into one of two separate categories — saintly or sexy. They find it impossible to see someone as both. To them, someone is one or the other, but never both. This is what psychologists refer to as a Madonna-Whore Complex.

For example, if a woman is sweet and nice, the narcissist classifies her as a Madonna. If she treats him badly, she is defined as a Whore. A Madonna is sexless. A Whore turns a narcissist on like nothing else. This is why the book "Why Men Love Bitches" is such a huge bestseller.

In the beginning of a relationship, every woman is sexy to a narcissist because the thrill of the chase makes her enticing. The harder to get she plays, the sexier she becomes. However, once she has been conquered by the narcissist, she slowly loses her desirability. The more comfortable the relationship becomes and the more caring she becomes, the less enticing she is to him sexually. She loses her sex appeal and becomes a saintly Madonna figure.

A Madonna fulfills a narcissist’s need to be catered to like a child. A Whore fulfills his adult sexual needs. A Whore is the type of woman that turns a narcissist on. A Madonna is completely sexless. Over time, any woman who is good and caring to a narcissist will inevitably become sexless.

In an interview for Playboy, John Mayer said he would rather masturbate by himself than be with a real woman. In my opinion, this man is a perfect example of a raging narcissist who has significant Madonna-Whore issues.

I believe the easy and instant access teenagers have to pornography today contributes to the development of a Madonna-Whore Complex. When a teenager is repeatedly exposed to pornography, it can skew their understanding of intimacy.

Instead of learning that sex is something you save for someone you love, pornography teaches young men that sex is not sacred. It teaches them that sex need not be reserved for only the one you love. Many teens today are learning about sex and love through pornography. As a result, they see the two as mutually exclusive.

Just like the narcissist, they begin to view love as sexless, pure, and saintly; whereas sex is dirty and reserved for Whores. I believe this is one example of how modern society contributes to the increase of narcissism in our society.

If you are good to a narcissist, he eventually withdraws sexually from any type of intimate relationship you once had with him. It is inevitable in any long-term relationship with a narcissist. You become sexless.

Whether they revert to pornography or begin sleeping with others, the narcissist will always perceive the object of his sexual desire as dirty because that is the only thing that turns him on. A woman who is kind, sweet, and giving will always be viewed as a saintly, sexless Madonna to the narcissist.

He still needs you, no doubt. However, this is only because he needs you to cater to his child-like needs. He needs you to ensure that someone will always be present to validate him, should the outside world fall short of his expectations.

Bottomline, narcissists are incapable of real intimacy. Don't let them drag you down into their disconnected world. You deserve so much more and owe it to yourself to break free.