Get some insights into this pattern of behavior that is also called the cassanova or womanizer program.
This podcast sees me talking about an archetype that Caroline Myss has included in her list of archetypes. It is a program that many women have come to me to complain about: how a man looks at other women as an object, or perhaps as just one or a few body parts. The women complain that they feel like a slave, like a thing or a toy. They have had it happen to them, and they have been witness to such behavior with a man and other women. The usual emotion that they feel is disgust.
Why are so many men on this program? Is it part of common cultural society? Normal to talk about banging some woman in the locker room? Normal to ask man to man if some hot chick is fuckable or if you are going to hit her up later?
Such words written here do seem demeaning; what to say about the behavior?
I take a deep dive on this archetype by sharing events based on a true story of an older man who transcended this program.
I knew this man for many years, and he had this program when I first met him. He wanted to appear suave and liked to flirt with all the women.
When I didn’t subscribe to the “harem culture,” and was perceived as not being like other women (a common comment I’ve had, alas), he confessed that he had always been insecure when it came to women.
It wasn’t such a big thing when he was single, but when he began going out with a woman, he found himself caught, as the expression goes, between a rock and a hard place. He wasn’t the type of person to cheat, but his flirting was still there, just curtailed a bit.
He confessed that he had never been in love, that actually, as so many have declared, he found the relationship initially thrilling, and then found the woman boring.
I told him that if he found her boring, then she, too, probably had the same sentiment.
“Touché,” he replied.
He had started to look deeper into this mystery once the relationship with his girlfriend had ended. He was getting older, and his harem of women were getting catty. He’d tell one that she was his favorite girl, then another would get jealous. It was causing friction, and endangering business.
He knew he had to go beyond this obsession with younger women. So, when an opportunity with a pretty woman just past 20 arose, he went for the kill.
He was quite blunt with her and told her that it only to be a sex-based relationship, for how long, he couldn’t say. It was nice that he was upfront with her, and really, if you aren’t a relationship type of person or just want a sex-based relationship (or are working on this program), then you owe it to yourself, as much as to her, to be respectful and honest.
She understood, although the issue got complicated real fast.
Despite all the flirtatiousness, sweet nothings and playful touchings with many women, he confessed that he wasn’t one to actually take anyone home. It was really more of a cat and mouse game, all fine to play, but reality came cold and hard when he’d take a woman home.
He realized the fact back in his 20s, when he would go clubbing every weekend. Women would be whining and grinding up on him, and just waiting for him to make the classic male move.
“So, are you going come back to my place so we can get to know each other?” or some such line that meant let’s get it on for real.
It was one thing to be simulating sex moves on the dance floor, but another when the clothes were dropped.
He said he’d feel shy at times to remove his clothes. Like many men, the inadequacy of penis size when compared to men seen in porn was there; and then, being a skinny guy, maybe his pecs weren’t as manly or well-defined as the playboys seen in magazines or the bodybuilder dudes at the gym.
That was the issue, he said, when it came to him. But then, there was the issue about her. He found that many women felt insecure about their bodies, even if they were a 10 on 10. He would lose his erection or just not feel so turned on when the sex action began.
So, when this young girl told him she was a virgin, that changed everything. In no way did he want to be her first. Many of us have slept with several people, and while we might not remember every episode, we commonly remember the first time.
He felt he was given a window of opportunity to explore, but he couldn’t go deep. She was open to exploring, so while he was able to fool around, he kept the main course at bay.
Many revelations came to him during his short time with her. He realized that he was attracted to younger women because of their innocence. It was a quality that he found lacking in himself, and he felt that by being around them, it might rub off on him. It was silly to assume so, even illogical, and he saw through it right away.
He realized that he had never been in love because he had never let anyone get close to him. It was related to this inadequacy he felt about himself. He liked himself as he was, was fine with himself when he was alone, but being in a relationship put this front and center, this insecurity he had about himself.
He laughed when he told me that he had decided to tell his family about his current love affair, and their reaction was that they didn’t approve. I was the only one, he said, that understood what he was going through, what I called a "social experiment" to break a pattern of behavior. Sometimes going full throttle is necessary in a way that just talking or examining things won’t do.
Soon enough, he told me it was over. And he laughed again when he told me they had little to talk about. Oh sure, they had things in common, but what to say when she was in college and lacked experience and understanding on many things in life. There was her makeup and friends, and her hopes and aspirations for the future. It made him remember his own immaturity at that age, wanting to save the world and the bright future he would have.
After that incidence happened, he said he went back to flirting a bit, but then it stopped cold turkey. It just wasn’t the same.
He realized that he didn’t have to act this way, that actually his perception had changed.
He thought that relationships were boring, marriage was boring. So much easier, simpler and happier to be single. And while being single was nice, he realized that it didn’t have to be that way.
In fact, I was surprised when he talked about finding a woman to grow with, a woman that he could open up to and share himself with in the same way that he was able to be honest with me. He talked about finding a good match, that such things were possible, that this was indeed what he wanted for himself.
I was glad that he had come to such realizations about himself. He knew that he could still play the part of the don juan; it was there at any moment to don the sauve style of sophisticated sweet seduction. But now everything had changed and he saw through the program. He saw through the game. He saw the actor for what it was: a charade that he had inherited from his father, and an insecurity that had no merit.
He felt like he had built a foundation for himself, one that was rooted and solid in his own worthiness. It was the change that he didn’t realize he was looking for; he was looking first and foremost on ridding himself of this baggage. It was a heavy load he hadn’t realized that was weighing down on his shoulders. And now that he had chucked it to the ground, his lighter self was ready to meet a woman who could honor him in the way that he now honored himself.
Many men who have looked into themselves to face this program have said similar things. They have felt insecure; they won’t let anyone get close to them or let anyone in. They feel something is wrong with them; they are inadequate in some way.
One man, I remember, said that when he started looking into himself, that any woman he found beautiful yet that rejected him would immediately be put on the bad list. He would ridicule her and really play up the sweet comments to other women. When the situation got worse (as this behavior was being done at work), he investigated further and found that it went back to his mother. His mother used to reject him in many ways, and complimenting her and putting her on a pedestal was the way to win her affection. Because of her constant rejection, he had become sensitive to the rejection of others, but especially women he found beautiful, as his mother had been quite the beauty.
Many men who are on the don juan program do indeed flirt and sleep with many women, unlike the Romeo in the story above. They never take it further, often stating that they don’t want to know about periods, going to the bathroom, and doing menial tasks which lead to a routine, boring life.
Some men do pick up lovemaking skills, although more than one woman who has tried to woo her don juan has found him to be quite lacking in bed. Many women have said the don juans aren’t attentive lovers. Some have said sex was great and were able to see that such men were causing suffering to themselves. Yet, whether a certain pattern of behavior is seen or not, you cannot change a person. Only that person has the responsibility to change him (or her) self. This is a pattern that can happen with couples, what Eckart Tolle calls a meeting of pain bodies or pain bodies that attract one another, where now the woman has a rescue archetype and the man has the don juan archetype.
While some women have waited around while their don juan was ironing things out, often the men don’t “go back.” Going back to women they had slept with while on the don juan program was like reinitializing it all over again. Even though they had made a change, even though the woman was understanding, more often than not the men would move on.
The don juan program I mentioned above is not the same pattern as the man who views women as conquests. This is a pattern based on narcissism, where the man sees a woman as his sexual prey. Once he has bed her, he loses interest in the game. The game was not to win her over, but to sleep with her as a conquest. This is better called the conquistador program.
When women come to complain to me about this behavior, I try to explain that there is a reason for the behavior. While it doesn’t excuse the behavior and it doesn’t mean you have to hang around this person, you can understand that this person is acting this way because of past injuries and insecurities. It also doesn’t mean that you don’t set boundaries or allow the person to influence your own behavior.
Compassion goes a long way, and in understanding that this person is on a program that is not serving him, that he and he alone must realize it and delete or modify the program, then one can remain loving (compassionate) and offer empathy as a gift.