Among women today, much energy is spent on crying down the unscrupulous behaviour of men and don’t worry, I’m not here to excuse such behaviour. Some men are definitely canine in their activity. The sad indictment is that many of us women are aids and abettors to their relationship crimes. By our very acquiescence and our sexual cooperation with such men, we validate their bad behaviour.
I have known and counselled with women who have continued to pursue married men who reneged on their familial responsibilities, abused their wives, neglected their children and lied and cheated daily to maintain their infidelity. Yet their extra-marital paramours continue to treat these men like water in a dessert or like rare gems without whom they are unable to live. Why don’t we women get it that any man who cheats, is a cheater at heart and will likely continue such actions with his new woman? He just needs time. I have watched with amusement men expend much energy in blackening the character of their wives in order to get the sympathy (and sexual favour) of a new or potential lover. And I have always wondered what causes us women to fall for their hogwash! What is it that influences a seemingly intelligent woman to throw all caution to the wind in pursuance of a man who is clearly lacking in relationship integrity?
Do we women compartmentalize male behaviour so much that we separate what a man does with another woman from what he will do with us? Why do some of us feel drawn to the type of guy our mothers repeatedly warned us about? What is it about the “bad boy” that we find attractive or even sexy? Why do some of us approve of a man lying to his wife or girlfriend just so he could be with us? Is a lie okay simply because we are the seeming beneficiary of it?
When it comes to poor relationship choices, we may think that the “good girl” simply can’t help herself and must give in to the cravings of her heart and body when such a negative man steps into the picture. It is not as simple as that nor is there a one-size fits all explanation when it comes to “good-girl-gone-bad” behaviour.
I admit that there are some women who just like sex (and at surface value there is absolutely nothing wrong with liking sex). They want to be laid and they don’t pretty much care about the owner of the penis. As long (every pun intended) as there is a penis doing the job, they have little interest in the character of its owner. Such women are often seen as sexual vixens and are usually referred to by terms which are less than complimentary and which will remain unmentioned in this forum. Such women don’t surprise us by their sexual choices or by their lack of propriety; after all this is behaviour which we expect from these notorious “bad-girls”. Even if we don’t approve of this behaviour, we acknowledge that it exists.
There is however another breed of female who shocks the living daylights out of us by her relationship choices. This is a woman who may be married; who may have lived a fairly sheltered and morally upright life. She may even be in Church or some other volunteer organisation. She may make all the right choices when it comes to her professional or academic life. Where relationships are concerned, however, her good judgment is in the toilet and she continues to make a failing grade.
Very often this woman feels conflicted about her sex-life or about sex on the whole. She wants to love sex but can’t seem to love it in the context of what she may see as her staid and proper up-bringing, or her boring and conservative personality. She therefore has an almost overwhelming need to become transformed sexually in order to enjoy sex. One easy way of facilitating such a transformation, is by drawing on the sexual energy of a partner who is without sexual scruples; that is, she becomes involved with a man who for all intents and purposes appears to be her sexual opposite.This gives her the psychological permission to be the hot, sexy and wild creature she has always longed to be but couldn’t quite pull off. The “bad-boy” therefore has a distinct pull for this “good-girl” who perhaps isn’t so good after all.
Another “good-girl” type is just so naive that she continues to make poor relationship choices or misjudges character. She often finds herself with the “bad-boy” because a woman like her is not much of a testosterone challenge. Bad-boys feel drawn to her like bees to honey. Why? Because she is a gullible sucker who provides plenty grease for the ego of the Penis Man (please see previous post on the Penis Man). She is so gullible and susceptible that it doesn’t take a whole lot to get her to “drop the drawers” as it were. If her naivete is also fed by a low self-esteem, then her bad-boy is really in candy-land. He simply needs to learn how to pull her strings and he can get all the sex he wants. This is because her sense of self is wrapped up in her ability to please and appease. She has not learned to say “no” sexually, does not know how to stand up for herself and will continue to produce sex-on-demand, in order to feed her need for approval.
Then there are the saviour-types among us. Women who have an over-powering need to reform and transform men. I am convinced that such women have always wanted to be Super-Woman when they grew up. In most cases they have either bitten off more than they can chew or have a herculean feat on their hands in trying to reform their bad-boy.To their credit they usually believe themselves up to the challenge because they see themselves as lifestyle “fixers”. They have always played by the rules and they believe that they can get the wayward among us on the track of the straight and narrow. More often than not they have honed the fine art of managing other people’s lives. Family members, work colleagues and friends have most likely benefited from their well-meaning interference and attempts at life-organisation.
In a love relationship with a “bad-boy”, however, such a woman has likely met her match. As much as she is empowered and energised by her attempts at changing others, her guy is also energised by being a work in progress that just happens never to progress. That is, he has no inner motivation to change his ways because it is his very ways that get him all the attention and sex that he craves. The more bad he is, the more his “good-girl” lays it on thickly, hoping that her unconditional love (and back-breaking sex no doubt) will transform and save him from himself.
Whether the good-girls among us are saviour-types, have low self-esteem, feel sexually conflicted or are the genuinely strong types who can put a weak man in his place when necessary, we all need to acknowledge a need for solidarity. When we women stop competing and start exposing our vulnerabilities to each other, maybe we will find ourselves in a place where we can really provide strength or direction for a weaker sister. Of course people are free to do what ever they want and very often what they want is to be left alone! That being said, a great love-life is likely only to emerge when a woman has a strong sense of who she is independently of a man. This will truly empower her to make the choices which are in her best interest and in the interest of her own happiness.