Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Psychopathy and seduction: how male and female psychopaths operate

Psychopaths, distinguished for their lack of empathy, are also identifiable by their use of seduction of the opposite sex to get what they want.

Most psychopaths are not violent instinctively; they are more likely to rely on their skills of manipulation, persuasion and cunning. They use society as a vehicle for their desires. While male psychopaths are far more numerous than female psychopaths, both sexes use their skills in different ways to get what they want.

Psychopaths are invariably narcissists to some degree, with whom they share the same perception of what the purpose of sex serves.

The pick-up artist

In the movie, "Magnolia", Tom Cruise plays the role of a masterful pick-up artist (PUA). This fictional character sums up the essence of the male psychopath as an amoral seducer. The archetypal PUA treats women as little more than toys to be played with, or pieces of meat to handle. As the Tom Cruise character explains, his purpose is to "seduce and destroy". And that it exactly what a PUA does: he seduces a woman, then destroys her psychologically.

Some of these PUAs may be born into it, others may be "made". Those that are "naturals" at this game are typically considered psychopaths, or at least score highly on the "psychopathy spectrum". Those who are "made" may well be sociopaths; moulded by a set of specific environmental circumstances to hate and degrade women as an object to be used.

The PUA may be found in all segments of society, from the lowest form of "trailer trash" (or "sink estate", to use a British comparison) to the pinnacle of high society. While their circumstances may vary, their effect on the opposite sex is same: they leave behind a string of women who feel abused and psychologically worse-off (at best); in the worst-case scenario, these men leave a string of illegitimate children and broken homes. PUAs thrive because (when they are from the right background) their actions are deemed socially-excusable by many parts of society (high-jinx, and all that) and may also be covered up, or (when they are from the wrong background), many parts of society dismiss their behaviour as inevitable (what could you expect from the likes of them?).

In this way, PUAs are an embedded part of human society. It would even be wrong to suggest that this is a "Western" problem, for such behaviour exists in other cultures too, in a different variation (more on that later).

The "heartbreaker"

Female versions of the PUAs also exist in society, but while their modus operandi looks similar, their motivation is very different.
The "heartbreakers" in question in inspired by the movie of the same same (with Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt). While this movie is only a comic example, there are many real-life examples of women who have used their looks to get what they want.

But what do these women want? While the PUA usually follows his whim to have sex with whoever he wants simply for the hell of it, the female "heartbreaker" is well aware of her own vulnerability as the "weaker sex". For this reason, these types of women use the promise of sex as a means to an end: to gain material and psychological attachment from a financially-secure male.

An infamous example in the USA is Anna-Nicole Smith. While there is not enough evidence to suggest that she was a psychopath, she certainly more than qualifies for the criteria of being a "heartbreaker", or to be blunt, a female leech. Her marriage to a very old oil tycoon was, by any reasonable standards, only for the enormous riches she hoped to gain from his will. It was for this reason that the tycoon's family had a dispute with her after his death.

In this sense, the "PUA" and the female leech have a very different motivation in life - the PUA seeks sex because he enjoys sex (no matter how superficially), and the pleasure of "conquest". By contrast, the "female leech" treats sex in the same way as she would doing the laundry; a chore to be done for the benefits of what lies after it, rather than for the pleasure of the act itself.

Sex and all its delights

Some people may well recognise the type described above: for instance, many men in the West are drawn to marrying women from the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, for example), or women from South-east Asia (Thailand, for example). It is beyond reasonable doubt that (the majority of) the women from those types of countries choose to marry overweight, middle-aged Western men for reasons other than the pleasure of enjoying sexual congress with them. These women also exist (in another manner of speaking) in the West: the men they gain succour from are called "sugar daddies".

However, the situation above (and its resolution) would be perfectly rational to the women described: to them, there is no question about which is better: endure sex with a man they don't love but gain a lifestyle beyond their imagining; or remain in poverty for the rest of their lives. In this sense, these women may be described as having a sociopath-like view of the world: to them, "love" is an alien and meaningless word in a relationship. Perhaps they once knew what it felt like, but they have "learnt" how to dismiss this emotion as an inconvenient distraction from the pursuit of survival. As reaching beyond the limits of poverty is their main goal, if they can reach beyond poverty by marrying a man they have no feelings for, then their goal is achieved.

This also brings up the psychology of those women (and men) who are involved "professionally" in the sex industry. Porn actors and actresses, by definition, need to have an emotion-free attitude to sex in order to do their jobs. The same is true of prostitutes. While the sex industry is rife with criminality, and prostitution known as a racket ran by many criminal gangs, it would be fair to venture that at least some of the women who enter that line of work must have a desensitized attitude to sex, and a distant relationship to men as a whole, regardless of the sorry circumstances that led them to enter that line of work. A vicious circle exists in this kind of environment, where men treat women as sex objects, and consequently, women treat men as mobile ATMs.

This last point - the distant and objectifying relationship between the genders - is also true of many conservative societies in the developing world. Arranged marriages are, by definition, an act lacking in empathy for the betrothed. The expectation of genuine "love" from the spouses in such society is practically nil. "Love" doesn't enter the equation: what matters is "obligation" and "duty" to the family (meaning the expectation of the betrothed's parents). In this way, children are born into loveless marriages every minute and hour around the world.
This leaves men and women in such societies to become sexually frustrated. The "PUAs" of this kind of society may well seek out adulterous relationships if their culture does not allow a multiple number of wives to satisfy him. Prostitution of course exists in these societies, too, though it would be hidden.

As for the women, in such societies their concerns are on the lowest rung of priority. This explains why some of them take suicide and self-harm as the only way to break out of this form of life-long psychological torture.

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