Show Transcript for Episode 260: The Madonna/Whore Split

Announcer 00:00
The following content is not suitable for children.

George Faller 00:02
Okay, Laurie. Today, let’s see if we can reconcile the whore. Madonna split.

Laurie Watson 00:14
Welcome to foreplay radio couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:19
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist,

Laurie Watson 00:22
and we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:27
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body.

Laurie Watson 00:37
For a great personal lubricant, please check out fubu.com and use the coupon foreplay to support us at the podcast. Thanks. I think you’ve just enjoyed saying that George,

George Faller 00:48
I felt the emotion swirling inside of me.

Laurie Watson 00:53
So the horror Madonna split, what is it? That’s what we’re going to talk about first. Basically, there’s a difficulty in long term relationship. And first person who kind of coined this was Freud. And I know there’s a lot of anti fighters out there. And, you know, Freud had a huge contribution to the field, but he really did not know about the research zero to five years old. So he didn’t understand attachment theory. Therefore, a lot of what he contributed, had missing parts, but I think this one, he got it. And he treated, particularly men who would say, you know, I have a wife and I have a mistress. And, you know, I love my wife, I love her to bits, and she’s my partner, and we’re having children together. But I want my mistress. And I don’t really want my wife. And so he said, where they love, they cannot desire and where they desire they cannot love. Because the man didn’t want to go and live with his mistress. He wanted that separate he wanted that split off from the mundane.

George Faller 02:04
Why interpretations, he wanted his cake and eat it too.

Laurie Watson 02:08
And, and that’s how it was done. Right? It was done into people. And I think that still, it’s really difficult. This is one of the problems with monogamy is all of us live with somebody and we see them in very ordinary states. We see them get out of bed with greasy hair, and we see them on the toilet, we see them managing the children, we see the mismanaging money, we see them, you know, just in grumpy moods, cranky moods, impatient moods, and how do we keep that sexy part of them that we might also know from the past? Or that it can be present? How do we keep both of those things alive? How do we keep living with somebody in the mundane stuff and see them as our wildly sexy lover? That’s the difficulty. Well, hopefully

George Faller 03:06
you’re gonna give us good news about that.

Laurie Watson 03:12
That’s the intention. I also want to mention that I think women, certainly they do this with their partners, you know, they see their male partner as he’s all about work, he isn’t the guy, he doesn’t romance me all these kinds of things. So she has trouble and she splits him as well. only sees the boring, mundane part instead of the, the erotic. But I think women particularly split themselves. And this especially happens with children. So once she becomes Mother, you know, frequently, she sees herself as all giving always available to the children, I can’t possibly put a lock on my bedroom door even for an hour because the children might need me. And so she really is the Madonna but all giving mother and she splits off the whore part. And I think that that can be a difficult word for a lot of women. But let’s say the party girl, and she splits that off and buries that and doesn’t see that these two parts of herself can be living at the same time can be alive at the same time. Do you know what I’m talking about? George?

George Faller 04:27
I do. I would add another version to that. I think I see a lot of women who really wants a sensitive co partner who they can do life with. Right But sexually there’s still wanting a caveman some kind of different kind of take charge powerful figure that is often not what they’re looking for as far as every day partnering. So very similar to that whore Madonna complex, except we’re gonna call it co partner caveman complex.

Laurie Watson 05:00
I like that I think you’re absolutely right, that women do want both of those parts of their guy and, and don’t necessarily know how to encourage it. You know, if they’re frustrating and critical over the CO partner, how do they encourage, by the way, be the caveman in bed Be confident, when, in some ways, she’s beating him down with criticism outside the bedroom, and then she’s like, okay, you know, Bring it on, baby. It’s hard.

George Faller 05:35
Exactly. So that’s what we’re hoping to, if you find yourself in one of these dynamics, instead of settling for either, or how do we create a relationship where you have both?

Laurie Watson 05:49
Well, I think that this is the task of secure attachment. And not all of us get married to somebody who is securely attached, right. And we’re not necessarily securely attached from our childhoods. And so it’s very difficult to do. But I think one way is basically to selectively dissociate, when we’re in the bedroom, like, you know, get out of your head. You know, don’t don’t be thinking about the chores, the laundry, the bills, try to truly get into another mindset.

George Faller 06:25
I don’t like the word dissociate, but it’s so associated with my trauma training, what people have to do to escape. But what you’re saying is, is to just kind of shift mindsets. I like that idea.

Laurie Watson 06:39
Okay, maybe a better way to say it.

George Faller 06:42
I think we’re trying to get more specific with our words as teachers. And when, how do you get somebody to take their mind off of the dishes and the laundry, and focus on that more erotic part of their brain to really make that transition? Like, how would you go about doing that, Lord?

Laurie Watson 07:02
Ah, you know, I think it’s, for me, the same way that I enjoy watching a good movie, you know, like, I like, I like adventure movies, actually, I didn’t used to, but I do now Mission Impossible. And all that, and I’m not watching the movie thinking, well, this can’t possibly happen. All these gadgets, all this stuff. That’s crazy. It’s like I’m watching it just in it, you know, enjoying it, thinking about it and enjoying the fantasy of the whole thing. And I think that’s what we do in the bedroom is you kind of have to get into, gosh, how do you do that? I don’t know. Help me with language here, George. Because

George Faller 07:45
it’s like you’re letting yourself go. You’re not? You’re getting engaged in a story. Mm hmm. That you’re watching in a movie. So this is interested, and I’m trying to figure out how to how to implement that towards someone’s sexuality.

Laurie Watson 08:03
Yeah, I had a patient this week, say, you know, maybe we could just roleplay Yes, you could just roleplay because essentially, they’re intentionally putting on the act of somebody else. They’re intentionally entering a sexual scenario that they believe turns them on. And, and that’s, that’s awesome. I mean, I think we don’t have to roleplay to do that. But it’s a it’s a brilliant strategy. I think that’s what makes roleplay so hot,

George Faller 08:33
right? That’s that intentional shift, that you could have outfits to do that, or lighting or music, there are a lot of things we could bring in that allow the brain to feel like it’s going into a movie. I really liked that image of the movie, like how do you let every day Laurie go and make to shift into this adventurous Laurie, that’s, you know, not necessarily the same is the everyday lorry, right? There are different people, different sides of you could come out as you, you know, become a little bit more playful.

Laurie Watson 09:02
Right. And I think one of the things that you talked about the, the wish that women have for the caveman, I mean, sometimes our sexual fantasies and wishes are not necessarily perfectly politically correct. I mean, maybe, maybe what you would want in the bedroom from your partner is not what you would want, as your co partner. You don’t want to be dominated by your co partner, you want equal say you want equal responsibility. You want a sense of we’re in this together, but maybe in the bedroom, it’s like, No, no, no, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to have equal responsibility. I want him to take charge or her to take charge,

George Faller 09:42
which is why you have to talk about these things. Most of us never see people talking about it. So we’re kind of we develop the splits into kind of looking at for different people, when we can probably find it in the same person. If we learn how to bring out different sides of ourselves and line them up. With different sides of our partner,

Laurie Watson 10:02
yep. I think in order to last after our partner, we have to be able to see them as slightly other. I think what is difficult is when we are in long term relationship, we begin to believe nothing they can do will surprise me. But we have to think you know what, I don’t really know the far reaches of my partner’s minds and fantasies, what they think I, I think that is really long term sex. what’s so exciting is you have a long time to get to know that person. And I know many people when they’re shut down sexually, they will tell me over and over with animacy You know, my partner doesn’t have sexual fantasies, they don’t ever masturbate. Nothing. And you know, then the partner comes in, I’ll ask, Well, you know, to masturbate around sexual fantasy Oh, yeah. But it’s just so shut down between them, that their partner cannot even imagine them anymore as that lusting, sexual being, you know, they have split them off.

George Faller 11:15
So great word last that I’d like to talk more about after the break. And Okay. What we’re hoping is people can use things like, hey, come in with a new look. manscape. Right for Yeah, a little bit as a way of kind of mixing it up. But it’s not about the new stuff. It’s what this new stuff is allowing us to do, which is to tap into parts of our own energies that can express themselves that haven’t been allowed to express themselves in a very just limited kind of familiar routines that so many couples get stuck in.

Laurie Watson 11:49
My husband’s wearing manscape cologne today, so it just made me laugh. Okay, let’s come back after the break. We’re live.com with the coupon foreplay is how you get 10% off, we believe and why I love it is it is long lasting. I was just talking to a patient this week about the way that they need to use this because you know, they’re struggling with dryness. And it’s just such a safe way to make sure that no matter what happens if you feel anxious, or whatever, you know, the lubrication is there, it’s ready and makes sex comfortable and more pleasurable. I just think people need to use it, no matter what I mean, it’s fun, right, and we win on all fronts.

George Faller 12:31
So when both people become more comfortable using it, we have more to work with and play with.

Laurie Watson 12:39
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George Faller 12:57
and then makes a great stocking stuffer.

Laurie Watson 13:00
It ties.

George Faller 13:02
Very excited, Laurie, upcoming Couples Retreat weekend. Great love, great sex, what an opportunity for couples to work on that sexual and emotional cycle.

Laurie Watson 13:17
I know I’m so excited we get to partner together to actually teach and share with couples and we are going to start our enrollment for this basically in December, you can come to our website on foreplay radio, sex therapy.com. And there will be a page there about the great love great sex retreat. It’s going to be on Friday, on February 5, and we’re really encouraging you to take the weekend away together to do this material with us. We’re going to have interactive parts, talking about the emotional connection, the cycle, asking your partner questions, we’ll have little breakouts, we’re going to keep it fun, keep it hot. It’s going to be a fast day. We’ll start at 10am on Eastern Standard Time, February 5, great love great sex. Find us on the website and sign up.

George Faller 14:08
We don’t give many guarantees. But if you show up for this retreat, you will have conversations you’ve never had with your partner before.

Laurie Watson 14:16
So g what’s your G spot

George Faller 14:18
as a former firefighter try to make the connection between sex and fire fighting. So here it is. Sex is like a fire. Hmm. It could warm you up. Well burn your house down.

Laurie Watson 14:37
We’re going to talk about last.

George Faller 14:39
Yeah.

Laurie Watson 14:42
You know, I think lust is the ability to kind of feel like it’s okay to be selfish to want to want to use your partner’s body to use them and, and also, you know, within a committed relationship. There’s this sense that they want to be used. Mm hmm. And so you can let go a little bit.

George Faller 15:07
Right? I would think it’s, it’s a lot. Some of lust is also wanting your body to be used to turn on your partner wanting to you know, it’s about selfishness and selflessness. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 15:23
It’s it’s both. I mean, we’ve talked a little bit about ruthlessness too in other podcasts, this quality that is similar to last, you know, without enough ruthlessness with out enough taking in sacks. It’s not exciting enough. It’s too flat, with too much ruthlessness, right. We don’t care at all about our partner’s needs, and we don’t care about their orgasm. And so then, you know, then we’re hurting our partner. But without enough of it. I mean, I often talk to women, particularly, who it’s like, you know, I don’t know what I need. I just want to be there for him. And I can imagine how difficult that is for their partner, who says, Yeah, but I, I want you to want it I want you to, you know, to last a bit. Because that’s exciting when your partner brings that to the bedroom.

George Faller 16:16
Yeah, this, the horror or the caveman are showing high degrees of lust. That that’s a turn on.

Laurie Watson 16:23
Yeah. And I mean, for women, I think particularly, that caveman last, I think is a huge turn on. And I think this is one of the problems that happens with, you know, when you’re angry at your partner, your partner is frustrating, in many ways, hard to see the caveman. And then if you don’t let the caveman enter the bedroom, or somehow or another, you, you push that out. It really just flattens the whole experience. Because that, that energy that male energy is important. I mean, I I hear all the time men who say, you know, I want her to initiate 5050 I’m like, well get over that. You know, cuz that’s just not going to happen. A, she doesn’t have the testosterone that does that. And B, I mean, I mean, testosterone brings so much energy to it. It’s like, that’s so exciting.

George Faller 17:19
I also think it’s important for the caveman and the horror to show up outside the bedroom. Right, that energy, that why it’s that way, it’s not so split. Like how do you? Why can’t you be both the horror and the Madonna, simultaneously, that you can let the horror run the show where you’re more erotic and taking risks and kind of intentionally tapping into that side of you. But maybe after an orgasm, now that Madonna is coming out where you really want to cuddle it, just embrace and look into each other’s eyes and experience that great sex that is, you know, in your mind, in your heart and in your body. And so often we’re talking about

Laurie Watson 17:59
Sure, and you’re talking about, you know, a flexible way of being in bed, so that you have many parts represented. Maybe the energetic part, that is the whore and the caveman. I will say, I’m, I know, we’re gonna get feedback on this because the whore is probably a tougher term, a more denigrating term than the caveman.

George Faller 18:22
Why not mistress. Okay. We’re not condoling infidelity and affairs, but there’s something to be said when, you know, your your partner at home gets 90% of your time, but only 10% of the engagement. And your mistress only gets 10% of your time, but 90% of that engagement when you have that time together, right. It’s a reason why that has much higher levels of energy.

Laurie Watson 18:47
Absolutely. Okay, let’s, let’s do Mr. s. And we are still about committed relationships, but we’re talking about a caricature, a way of being right. I mean, one of the things I say, yeah, it’s, it’s really hard to compete with that energy of an affair. You know, because they bring the mistress and the caveman, that’s all they bring. They don’t bring any of the mundane, they’re not paying bills together. They’re not wiping bottoms, you know, and changing diapers, they’re, they’re not doing anything and they show up showered and shaved and, you know, and smelling good and dressed up and you know, they got sexy lingerie under that dress. And I mean, it’s it’s all about sex, it’s all about eroticism. And they are essentially play acting, as seen over and over and over again. And then, you know, when you talk to people who do I want to give that up and go back into the tough work of making this marriage work, and only get that some of the time it’s it’s a tough sell sometimes.

George Faller 19:49
And that’s the good news to have research. Now there are a lot of couples that pull this off. couples that have secure attachment that described the best sex on this planet. can do both. Right, they can find moments of partnering well, and being equal in power and really needing that and appreciate and respecting that. And then they have ways of letting go of that and taking lead or following and just finding a lot of flexibility to move and incorporate many parts of their personalities with each other.

Laurie Watson 20:23
Right? It’s, it’s actually insecure attachment secure attachment may sound boring, but it’s actually the place that we can be open and let out those parts of ourselves that we can take more risks with. You know, it, the research says, secure attachment sexually means that we bring intimacy, and we are all about genital pleasure, it’s both things merged, you have to be able to care about pleasure and care about connection in order to have the hottest sex.

George Faller 20:56
I appreciate using the word insecure, because that’s so often what we’re seeing with this splitting. It’s like, I can’t come to my wife with these kind of more erotic sides of me, so I have to go elsewhere. Yes, that’s not a secure attachment.

Laurie Watson 21:12
That’s not a secure attachment.

George Faller 21:14
This isn’t that we are made to have two different people to go to. It’s just we didn’t know how to bring it all together with one. That’s right.

Laurie Watson 21:23
That’s right. Absolutely. And, and I think that it is difficult, because it’s difficult for us. But it’s, you know, sometimes people blame their partner, well, my partner is an erotic. But you and I know, we’ve worked with 1000s of couples between us. And we know that it’s dynamic, that the sexual relationship is as dynamic and problematic as the emotional cycle, you know that both parts mind, heart and body are part of our relationship.

George Faller 21:55
Right. And if you don’t have secure attachment, you have good reasons why you’re struggling. Mm hmm. A lot of us grew up in families where we don’t have it. And we then pick partners who don’t. And it’s really hard if you want something and your partner’s not willing to work on it, tear a lot of good blocks that get in a way of having this kind of great sex. But the good news is, the more you could identify it, the more you can start coming up with a plan to start measuring success.

Laurie Watson 22:23
I do think this is why I started the podcast is because it is a particularly uniquely difficult problem with people who have committed to monogamy. If they haven’t, you need to listen to another podcast, that’s not us. But if they have, the difficulty is many, many needs can be met outside the partnership, if your partner won’t pick up their socks, hire a damn housekeeper. If your partner is not good at fixing things, you got a handyman, if your partner doesn’t make enough money, get a job, you know, I mean, there’s a lot of things that you can manage on your own or differently. But in sex, if you’ve committed to fidelity, there is no other option. And so this is why people get so stuck, and so enraged at each other about this. And I understand that and part of it is this split, that we’re trying to help you heal that some of it, you know, you have to read irata sighs your partner, you have to begin to see them. And imagine that they have an erotic side, maybe they haven’t told you all of it. You know, maybe they haven’t felt safe enough to tell you all of it.

George Faller 23:31
And we are focused in because there’s a limited time in this podcast on heterosexual couples for the most part, but the idea is that we’re trying to communicate, really a pretty consistent across the board, right? You need secure attachment to make it work. You need clean ways of communicating, that creates safety. If you’re working with a gay couple, it’s the same principles. If you have secure attachment, you can bridge this divide between how do I feel safe, and also bring out that lustful side of me? The more room we have, for all who we are, the more success we’re going to have in both our emotional and sexual cycles.

Laurie Watson 24:12
The difficulty when you’re in a committed monogamous relationship, you know, is this how do we let both parts out of ourselves? How do we see both parts in our partner,

George Faller 24:22
and that integration is the key. And the struggle is universal. It’s okay to struggle and you’re going to go through phases where this is easier and other times it’s harder. And what we believe is, is your body’s communicating if you’re struggling, it’s because there’s there’s something that needs adjusting. It’s really the the relationship telling you you need to adapt and you need to change. And to me, it’s that flexibility. That is the hallmark sign of secure attachment. We all get rigid at times. And if we listen to the system saying shift and we shift, we’re gonna find ourselves in a fresh place that keeps growing

Laurie Watson 25:00
I like it. Thanks for listening to foreplay radio. Keep it hot. We have a little referral for those of you who are in the EFT world and who are therapists interested in attachment theory. One of our colleagues who is brilliant is Dr. Annabel Bugatti. And she is publishing a book called using relentless empathy in the therapeutic relationship. And this is awesome for laypeople. So, if you’re interested on how using relentless empathy works in terms of healing you and healing your relationship, we really encourage you to go ahead and preorder this book on Amazon. We’ll put it on our website, but it’s basically how the power of empathic responsiveness coupled with attachment science and interventions helps heal us and we are excited and proud of Dr. Annabel Bugatti, and her new book relentless empathy and her contribution to the field where we’re proud to represent her and to encourage you to go to Amazon and buy this book.

George Faller 26:03
Empathy is often the missing ingredient. It’s the thing people are craving the most. And Annabel Bugatti is an expert in helping partners learn how to provide that highly recommended

Announcer 26:15
calling your questions to the foreplay question, voicemail, dial 833 my four play that’s a three three, the number four play, and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media.