Some people suffer from their sexual complexes while others regard theirs as a norm. By one way or another, most of our peculiarities have been studied a long time ago, and many of them were given names e.g. the Alice in Wonderland complex, the Titania complex, the Knight/Libertine complex, the Cinderella complex, the Don Quixote complex, the Madonna/Whore complex, Don Juanism. There are other complexes named after Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde.
The Alice in Wonderland complex develops in women living in a world of fancy. Those women have lots of imagination, which creates a scenario of an ideal relationship in which either partner plays his part. A woman with such a complex anticipates meeting a partner who could be the embodiment of her fantasies.
A woman with the Titania complex has the deep-seated image of an ideal man, the one she is looking to meet all of her life. The ideal man takes shape using bits and pieces of male characters borrowed from the books and movies. By comparison with the Alice in Wonderland complex, fictitious characters or movie actors become engaged into sexual fantasies in this case. A woman would imagine her dream lover in place of her real partner while making love to the latter.
A woman is looking for a man who is both honorable and depraved when it comes to the case of the Knight/Libertine complex. A knight personifies manliness, a noble force that can instill trust and security. A libertine embodies brutal and spontaneous masculinity.
A woman’s passive attitude toward life is mirrored in her Cinderella complex. Such a woman is waiting for a fairytale prince who would take her by the hand and lead her into a world of adventure, beauty, and ease. Dreaming of a special handsome man is quite typical for girls in their pubescent years. However, some women keep dreaming this way as years go by. Those women dream of being adored and entertained.
A man who develops the Don Quixote complex has illusory expectations and wishes with regard to a woman. He speaks about her with adoration and tends to idealize her. He puts her on a pedestal and worships her.
The term Madonna/Whore complex quite accurately refers to the behavior of many men who were raised in the traditions of Western culture. The complex has to do with controversy relating to the way women are evaluated by men. On the one hand, men tend to highlight the value of femininity, loyalty and virtue. On the other hand, they reserve sexuality for “bad” or “dirty” women i.e. those who are sensual, approachable and coquettish. Often, the wife begins to be seen as mother to the husband – a Madonna figure – and thus not a possible object of sexual attraction. For this reason, in the mind of the sufferer love and sex cannot be mixed, and the man is reluctant to have sexual relations with his wife, for that, he thinks unconsciously, would be as incest. Even the superficial familirization with the history of culture can indicate the origins of the complex – it stems from the double moral standards pertinent to men of a specific upbringing that cultivates the appreciation of their superiority.
Don Juanism is a syndrome that occurs in males given to excessive preoccupation with sexual gratification or conquest and leading to persistently transient and sometimes exploitative relationships. In this case the woman is seen only as yet another object of sexual desire. Such a woman will literally cease to exist for “Don Juan” shortly after his sexual ambitions are fulfilled.
The Othello complex is related to pathological jealousy. Men who have such a complex are often prone to suspect their partners of unfaithfulness after having too much of a drink. This complex is not based on the desire of a man to take complete possession of a woman; it should be regarded as a variety of man’s fear of a woman, or a sort of fear of becoming an object of ridicule.
The term Romeo and Juliet complex refers to love at first sight, to the desire to take someone as a husband or wife. The complex derives from the ban on premarital sexual relations. There is a great need for the lovers to consummate their union, they are virtually enabled to overcome all the obstacles. The complex is extremely rare these days since tolerance toward the premarital relations has become a commonplace. Besides, it is pretty easy to get married nowadays.
Eroticism and the feeling of guilt come hand in hand in the complex of Tristan and Isolda. The sufferers are torn apart by controversial feelings once they break the ban on premarital sex.
On the one hand, they experience sexual gratification. On the other hand, they feel guilty for breaking one of the traditional moral norms.
It should be noted that that above complexes per se do not indicate the sexual pathology and do not cause sexual deviations. The complexes merely serve as a background for the development of the latter. Certain sexual myths concerning a femme fatale, erotic paradise, golden age etc., can play a similar role. Behavioral complexes and myths can help create conditions for the development of disorders relating to sexual health.
Incorrect education can give rise to the development of sexual complexes and psychological traumas that may subsequently have an impact on sexual behavior. There are well-spread complexes e.g. dramatic behavioral changes affecting a woman shortly after childbirth. A woman may either see her male partner in a positive way or regard him as a complete waste of space. In the latter case the role of a man is reduced to that of a “parasite.”
The most common causes of psychological traumas in childhood are usually related to steps taken by parents who punish their offspring for “indecent” situations, which may bring about negative attitudes in children toward sex in the future. The situations involve severe punishment of a boy or girl for playing childish sexual games. The punishment is normally accompanied by an “explanation” aimed to portray this sort of games as repulsive. Sexual relations are described as sinful and abhorrent, and the notion is instilled in children. Other situations have to do with sexual intercourse a child may take a peep at only to interpret it as a way of mutual abuse practiced by humans; a fright that may take over an unprepared child following certain physiological manifestations of sexuality e.g. masturbation, spontaneous erection, menstruation, erotic dreams.
The above factors may cause the development of the sexual inferiority complex and result in sexual deviations.
Translated by Guerman Grachev
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