Dating in Berlin: The Madonnas and the Whores

photo: Eylül Aslan

Men are simple beings. All of them – even the smart ones. We might be a highly evolved kind of hairless monkey but there is one thing we love: organizing things in categories. Giving us a rough idea how to classify our fellow humans seems to be all the rage. Heterosexual men get special categories they only ever apply to women: The Madonna and the whore.

It feels like these have been around since we crawled out of the swamp. Women are one or the other, very rarely both. I never really believed in this dichotomy until Christmas last year when, suddenly inspired by Mary’s virgin conception (I assume), men all around me started telling me which category they had put me in (much to my surprise, since I really hadn’t asked). Turns out depending who you ask (or don’t) I’m a whore-ish Madonna or a Madonna-ish whore. Who knew I was this versatile? The only real benefit springing up from this knowledge is an aesthetic one, frankly. I always oscillate my outfits for GEGEN between them anyway.

So, what separates the Madonna from the whore? Can’t there be such a thing as the nurturing whore and the slutty Madonna? A woman that is both regardless of company? I mean it almost feels like men that put women in these categories are denying the novel idea that women might be eclectic human beings! What will be next? Women drivers? Female orgasms? Sorry, I must stop this nonsense, I’m becoming hysteric!

photo: Eylül Aslan

Inspired by the simplicity of stripping people of complexity, I’ve started playing man-whore or Joseph with the men I’ve shared my bed and life with (I wouldn’t be able to categorise the glorious women I had the pleasure of being with). A Joseph is an all-in-all chill guy that’s not obsessed with biological fatherhood (basically the nemesis of any 90’s talkshow host), which seems to be a good opposite to the beautiful but infrequently used term man-whore. As it turns out, I have few Josephs and copious man-whores plus only maybe one (!) I’d classify as both. I urge you, my dear reader, to sit down and maybe start a little excel sheet yourself (uhh, so German).

The more I think about the issue, the more things come to mind that show an underlying battle with the personal urge to share your life with someone that is able to not only wake you up with coffee and pancakes, but will also put maple-syrup on their dick. It’s the idea that love for someone encompasses their whole being – every quirk and habit. There is beauty in this belief and, as much of a jaded husk as I might be, I refuse to give up that belief. I recently got into a fight with someone on the topic. He believes that one has to settle and be happy even if your partner doesn’t share your enthusiasm for adventures of sexual nature. I’m really looking forward to seeing him, balding and fat, a face wrinkled by resentment announce that he has bought a sports car. Nothing reminds me of why I call Berlin my home more than a dude getting hit by his mid-life-crisis. They’re for people that didn’t live life to the fullest when they could and now blame other people for it. If you do Berlin right, I promise you’ll never have one, my dear reader.

Text: Alix Berber, Photos: Eylül Aslan

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Alix Berber is iHeartBerlin’s newest dating columnist. The Tattletale Heart tells stories of desire, infatuation and the ghosts of lovers past. They are the dating-chronicles of a hopeless romantic with serious trust issues in the capital of the notoriously unattached.

You can follow Alix on Twitter and Facebook.


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