Are wild nasty satisfying sex and true love compatible? This is the question that has all of TikTok locked in a high-stakes debate, after Made in Chelsea personality Miles Nazaire took to his Playtime podcast - which he hosts with Love Islander Charlie Radnedge - to share some curious and *questionable* views on sex and settling down.
In the episode, Miles stated that he's "done things" sexually with girls he was seeing casually that he would "never do with the one". The 27-year-old continued, saying that he was more likely to be “dirtier” and “hardcore” with casual partners, compared with women who he would consider a serious relationship with.
These comments had people confused. What did Miles actually mean by them? Many people took to the comments section to ask whether the social media influencer really thought that the girl you plan to marry shouldn't be kinky or enjoy wild sex. Or perhaps, whether the “dirtier” things he’d done with women he didn’t know as well were actually disrespectful or problematic and that’s why the podcast host wouldn’t consider doing them with a girlfriend.
But Miles isn't exactly the first person to share these kinds of opinions about women and sexuality, and sadly we doubt he’ll be the last. Memes announcing "if she's too qualified, she's not the one, bro" abound on Instagram and Twitter. And plenty of people still believe that chastity, virginity and lack of sexual experience are the ideal traits for a wife-to-be - a wife should be a non-sexual or at least not *too* sexual human. But ironically, also the person you have sex with for the rest of your life.
All this exposes a dire lack of understanding about sexuality, intimacy, love and respect. Regardless, men still seem to be obsessed with the the “good girl” vs. “bad girl” trope. You only have to look at relationship discourse on Reddit and TikTok videos by male creators explaining why they’d *never* date a girl with an OnlyFans to understand that men want to have fun, adventurous sex with kink, open-minded women, but they don’t want to settle down with a woman who has had a lot of fun, adventurous sex. Make it make sense.
Content creator Tara Margulies remixed the clip of Miles’ podcast, saying: "Men are outing themselves. He can be more experimental with his casual hookups because he doesn’t respect them. But as soon as he wants to be in a relationship with someone he won’t do certain acts with her, because he’d no longer be able to respect her.
“This is what happens when people see sex as something that’s done *to* women, not with women. Our penchant for naughtier things doesn’t make us any less worthy. Respecting women shouldn’t be conditional on how experimental they are in bed. If you meet someone like this, run,” she said.
Other social media users were quick to respond: "Casual still requires communication, consent, mutual benefit. Casual is not you getting exploration out [of] your system whilst you wait to find someone who ticks all your silly little boxes." said one. Another commented, “The madonna/whore complex is strong with this one.”
Miles clapped back at his critics online in an Instagram story, saying: “I wasn’t surprised at me getting a lot of hate on the latest podcast clip. So before you guys start ripping into me or unfollowing me because you don’t like my viewpoint, let me explain myself a bit better.”
He continued: “I have felt disconnected in casual sex but my point is that when I find the one then I would be a little bit different in terms of how I would passionately interact with my partner sexually. If you don’t like it I don’t care, unfollow me, it is all just about talking about what you like or don’t like. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be hardcore with my partner, it just means I would act a little bit differently. Don’t care if you disagree but don’t start calling me names/misogynistic when you don’t know the actual meaning. I am allowed my own opinion.”
And while he is, of course, entitled to his opinion, the idea that a heterosexual man would differentiate between how he treats women deemed appropriate for dating or marriage in bed based on how game they are sexually, props up the deeply damaging madonna/whore complex.
What is the madonna/whore complex?
It seems strange that we’re still viewing women as fitting neatly into one of two categories - the good, pure and chaste “wife” type and the corrupted, damaged, wild “slut” type. Media fully embraces the good girl gone bad fantasy but ultimately many men who enjoy this trope in movies, music videos and pornography, admit to actually desiring a woman who is sexually meek, inexperienced and unlikely to pursue pleasure. This is a product of the madonna/whore complex - a psychoanalytic concept dreamed up by Freud (surprise, surprise).
Freud wrote that, “in order to minimise anxiety, the man categorises women into two groups: women he can admire and women he finds sexually attractive. Whereas the man loves women in the former category, he despises and devalues the latter group.”
Of course, women, and men are complex nuanced creatures that experience sexuality on a sprawling spectrum and can’t be defined by reductive tropes and characterisations like these. But for some reason, many people, especially men, still cling to these outmoded and disproven ideas about women, sexuality and propriety.
Fantasy women vs. real women
These ideas about “good” and “bad” girls also encourage women to mask their desires and behave in ways that are at odds with how they really feel about sex and pleasure. Something women have had to do for years in order to feel safe and accepted by society. In fact, some anthropologists suggest women have greater neuroplasticity and therefore desire more variety when it comes to sex, however, culturally only men have been allowed to act on their sexual desires and women have had to play up to the idea that women don’t even like sex and will partake in it purely out of duty to their husbands. How’s that for BS?
Take the iconic SATC scene in which Charlotte can’t reconcile her desires: “I don’t know what I want. But I’m afraid if I don’t, you’ll dump me. And if I do, then I’ll be the up-the-butt girl. And I don’t want to be the up-the-butt girl, because I mean… Men don’t marry up-the-butt girl. Whoever heard of Mrs. Up-The-Butt?” She’s genuinely concerned that if she tries something adventurous in bed, her partner will see her worth as diminished.
The idea that a woman who enjoys sex and is willing to experiment isn't suitable marriage material doesn't make any sense. At least not for anyone who wants to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling sex life throughout their many years of marriage. And if casual sex means experimenting with just about anything, with no accountability and no respect for your partner, doesn't that reduce the woman you’re "experimenting" with to a mere object that can be picked up and then discarded? And who decides what kind of woman you are? Surely not these men who’d place you in one of two camps based on what they think they know about you?
Any ideology that can be used to mistreat, disrespect or dehumanise an entire swathe of society is problematic, and for men who enjoy sex with women, attributing value to women based on whether they’ll have wild sex with you and enjoy the act of doing so is entirely backwards.
Men like Miles could certainly do with a dose of healthy sex and relationships education. And perhaps a lesson on how not to attribute worth to women based on outdated cultural scripts. The madonna/whore complex only damages relationships between men and women, encourages slut shaming and unsafe behaviour during hookups - it puts everyone on the backfoot, regardless of their gender. It’s time we left these harmful modes of judgement in the past, especially when we’re giving out advice on our podcasts.
Cosmopolitan has reached out to Miles Nazaire for further comment.
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