Women who love “too much”

In 1985, Robin Norwood published an important book entitled “Women who love too much”. The book sold millions of copies and it appears that it has helped many women control their tendency to get into relationships with physically and emotionally abusive men. The book describes several central features of female sexual preference in a subtle and accurate way, breaking societal taboos and taking a large step toward a more honest view of these issues. The book is aimed at women suffering from their own choices – a perspective very different from that of men sharing their experiences and insights so as to better attract and enchant women. This makes the consistency of some of the observations in the book with those from the seduction community all the more compelling. The first two chapter titles are “Loving the man who doesn’t love back” and “Good sex in bad relationships”. The list of symptoms for self-diagnosis includes this point: “You are not attracted to men who are kind, stable, reliable, and interested in you. You find such ‘nice’ men boring.”

women who love too much_cover

Despite the book’s honesty, intelligence, and positive impact, its title and overall spin reflects the hypocrisy of our culture’s relationship to female sexuality – in 1985 and today.

The problem is cast as a disorder that affects only some women (those who love too much), not as a universal feature of normal female sexuality. This reassures the reader that we are concerned here only with a small proportion of women traumatized by early childhood experience, rendering the book unthreatening to our fundamental views of female sexuality and gender relations. The author draws a parallel between female addiction to abusive partners and alcoholism, an acquired disorder. Had the book been cast as a treatment on normal female sexuality, I doubt that it would have been published at all.

The book’s title provides perhaps the most delicious illustration of our culture’s hypocrisy about female sexuality. “Women who” restricts the scope to a fringe of women with problems, “love too much” recasts a preference for domination and violence as an excess of love. Because they love them too much, the title suggests, they stay with them despite their men’s destructive behavior. In reality, of course, they love their men because of their destructive behavior (see here and here for interesting related discussions on Roissy’s blog). But this is too much for our culture’s sensibilities. Consider an alternative such as “Women love men who violently dominate them” – hardly acceptable. The subtitle “When you keep wishing and hoping he’ll change” places the blame securely back with men – where it belongs. The content of the book is more honest than its title and explains the simple truth: her attraction would fade if her man did turn into a nice guy.

women_who_love_too_much_back cover

So how does the game of seduction relate to the abusive relationships described in the book? We can read the book for inspiration on how to seduce women. The routines described there will work widely on women, not just on those who suffer from a special disorder. More stable women will avoid overly destructive relationships. But they, too, are tempted by controlled doses of the same drug.

In my view, however, male “game” has a positive function for both sexes: It springs from a complete acceptance of female sexuality and suggests a playful way of transcending our biological roots. A man with game need not be violent or emotionally abusive to outshine his competition in the eyes of her sexual instincts. “Game” implies play and allows an ironic detachment from the biological dynamics. Ironic or not, female feral sexuality responds violently to these patterns. And though the irony of our actions is lost on her sex module, it is not lost on her.


4 Responses to “Women who love “too much””

  1. Paul Glen Says:

    Hi Stage2,

    As a blogger myself, I can appreciate a good blog when I read one. You provide very important information for women that can improve their quality of life.

    I was wondering if you heard about the Frequently Asked Sexuality Questions: Ask the Doctor page provided as a service by The Medical Center for Female Sexuality.

    The interactive “Ask the Doctor” page is available at http://www.centerforfemalesexuality.com/askd.html. Visitors are encouraged to send their questions about female sexuality: painful intercourse, sex drive, low sexual arousal, orgasm and vaginal discharge. All questions are answered on the site by the qualified staff of The Medical Center for Female Sexuality.

    I am curious to know what you think about the “Ask the Doctor” page. Do you think the rest of your readers would find it interesting?

    Please get back to me and let me know what you think.



  2. 11minutes Says:

    Most women I talk to about these issues claim that women want the dominance and violence ONLY IF restricted to the bedroom.

    That is, they agree that it is arousing to them to think of their partner as evil and mean as well as to be dominated (including spanking, gagging, derogatory name calling etc.). BUT – they want this in the safe “play space” of role play.

    This is an interesting development since the 80s. It basically reframed the disease of “loving to much” as women who are unable to keep the monster in the (bedroom) closet by falling for men who are abusive ALL THE TIME.

    The logical flaw is obvious. If aman is genuinely nice and only “mimicks’ an abuser upon command, he is a mere substitute of the “real thing” that is more exciting. Men who dominate women in and outside the bedroom leave their hand on the sexual trigger of their girl.

    This having said, I agree with you and roissy that physical violence is just one of many possible ways of male-female domination (and it is the latter that acts as the aphrodisiac). And it is the lowest form to do so since it reveals an underlying weakness. A truly dominant male will not need to raise his hand.

  3. Ovid Says:

    Elf minuten,is it not possible for a man to keep his dominance under control so as to comply with the play/non-play dualism? In other words,does a man lose his dominance credential if he “plays along” with societal conventions?

  4. Vergewaltigung in der Ehe abschaffen « Sophisticus Says:

    […] Männer sollten wissen, dass Frauen gerne fairly abused werden. Ich halte den Ausdruck fairly abused für sehr treffend (ich habe ihn aus dem Blog […]

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