Sleeping with 50 women isn't cool, it's called philophobia
''At the age of 26, I understood that having sex with 50 women wasn't cool, and if I did it it was because of philophobia''
(For reasons of privacy, we omit any real names or faces)
C., has always had a persistent and unjustified fear of love. A little bit less of the sexual act. Often we consider this factor as a simple 'man thing', without considering a deeper psychological reason.
Today C. tells us about his experience and he explains that this obsessive search for the sexual act can extend well over the male community.
‘’I finally understood why all my relationships have exploded. To find what really makes me emotional and excites me, I've always had to search for the 'impossible', a story or relationship that I knew was doomed. With the others it's always been, okay: next.''
H: Hi C. Talk to us a bit about this 'obsession with sex', if we may call it so. How was this born?
C: Let's start with the fact that, as an adolescent, you're watching things like American Pie, with characters like Stiffler who you consider, or they make you consider them, as legends. And when you're older you want to be like that. Then what happens: there's who wants to be like that but can't, there's who can be like that but then realizes that was shit, and then there's who can be like that and can't get out of it. Three categories. I'm part of the third.
In middle school I would get rejected very often. You know that ranking of the cutest people in the class? I was always last, girls treated me like I was the plague. Things in high school improved and I became a 'normal' guy, but I still wasn't roped into that crazy lifestyle. Everything evolved very slowly, until I ended my first big love story. That's when everything started to go downhill.
Years later, I finally understood what unleashed that beast inside of me. It's called philophobia.
H: Can you explain what philophobia is? It's the first time I've heard anyone talk about this.
C: Philophobia, fundamentally, is the fear of falling in love. It's an irrational reaction that, until you have your shield, your short and superficial relationships, everything is fine... When you start to fall in love, instead, you begin to experience anxiety and panic attacks and you just want to cut off everything and run. It's happened to me more than once that I started to like a girl and then I'd just disappear. As long as you keep running away, you maintain the benefit of the doubt.
It's a disarming reaction, almost irrational: you should have a panic attack because a lion bites you, not because you like someone. It's a condition that leaves you feeling alone: nobody knows anything about you, you can't open up to anyone and go beyond that shield you constructed for yourself. I have the capacity to pick women ad hoc that don't want a real relationship, so that way when it ends the blame doesn't fall on me.
H: Is this caused by something specific?
You are born with philophobia, it's rooted from an insecure relationship with one of your two parents. There's people who, growing up, have been able to manage it and save themselves. Then there's people like me, who experienced additional emotional trauma and cannot escape this. In my case, this is about a traumatic phase of middle school, all the insecurities that I have never been able to free myself from.
H: So, if traumas - especially those connected with insecurities - play a big role in the development of this pathology, do you think that this behavior also stems from one's desire to prove the opposite? That in reality he can 'break free' of it?
C: Well, yeah. The problem is that these insecurities stay with you and whether or not you want to prove that you can break out of it or not, doesn't actually change anything. That feeling of emptiness remains.
In any case, I wasn't this exaggerated until about two years ago. Sure, I was bit more lively compared to others, but not too out of the ordinary. After the thousandth trauma - this story with my ex - I really pulled up my shield and became a monster. My friends who were in relationships, who couldn't do any of this, they'd praise me telling me 'you're a champ, keep going.' But no, I wasn't a champ, I was dying inside.
I was sleeping with all these women to fill a void inside me - you can't fall in love so you try to fill that emptiness with more emptiness.
You know Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother? He's philophobic: Barney experiences a big emotional trauma and he transforms into a monster. He can't be himself with any woman, he simply becomes what women want. He gives them what they want, and then he runs away. In the end, when he falls in love, Barney goes crazy and doesn't know how to handle it. That's me.
H: Have you ever tried to warn any of these women? Or, maybe, working with them instead of running away?
C: It depends. Paradoxically, in the last two years, I've slept with over thirty women, but I've only gone out to dinner, or on a date, with maximum two or three of them. A little bit like Barney: you go to the club, say some drunk bullshit and you score. So let's say that I have mentioned this to women, but in these situations it holds no relevancy. I'd do what I had to and, either way, I'd be running away the morning after without remembering anything.
When I would develop a deeper interest, yes, I've thought about it, but it's difficult to admit. How can you explain to a woman that she is not like all the others? And how can she trust you?
H: And what happens those few times that you are able to go beyond that? Is it always the same?
C: My main alarming signal is sex: philophobia is reflected also in the sexual act. Some people have difficulties having erections, others can't ever reach an orgasm. For example, in these last two years, I think I only came four times. So when I can come a lot, that's when my internal alarm goes off and I realize that I really like someone. But anyway, there is when my anxieties and insecurities also go off, telling me I shouldn't have done this etc. etc.
Then, as I mentioned before, this 'search for the impossible': a philophobic doesn't look for relationships - they want to be with someone, but they're scared shitless. It's like a surfer who gets bit by a shark: you want to keep surfing but you're worried about the shark coming back. Once you open yourself up, your defense mechanism starts up.
What does this mean: if you meet a 'normal' person and the relationship goes bad it's your fault, because even if you really committed yourself, the relationship didn't work for other real reasons. Instead, if you commit to an impossible relationship (like with a woman who doesn't want a serious relationship, someone a few thousand miles away from you, someone much older than you...) the relationship wasn't destined to work out in the first place, and you don't have to blame yourself. So this is the other thing that allows me to fall in love, the impracticability and impossibility of a relationship.
H: So with those (few) women that you really went crazy over, do you adopt your same 'monster' practices with them (running away, cheating etc.) or is that over with once the fear dissipates?
C: This is truly paradoxical. If you're like me, you are REALLY committed the moment you start to have a serious relationship. I'm the most loyal man in the world, I start to run away from any situation that could create any jealousy. Even if I'm introducing myself as an asshole, the moment I take down my guard, I turn into this sweet little defenseless lamb.
Instead, and here I need to get this off my chest, we should be worried about all the other people of the 'I want to, but I can't' because at the first opportunity that they can 'level up' they will, with no hesitations. Someone like me who has already done everything, been with every type of woman, doesn't have this need. We've already satisfied all of our fantasies.
H: Have you ever felt the need to maintain this 'status'?
C: Only once, actually. And it was for a bet with my friends. We were trying to have a golden month, meaning when you have sex with a different woman every week.
We get to the fourth week, it was around 4am, I was pissed drunk and no 'normal' girl around. I had to sacrifice myself to obtain the crown.
Anyway, this is irrational, you don't have to try hard. When you get into this mood of superficiality, you want to get out of it. You'd try anything to get out of it, but you're cornered and you can't let anyone in to your guard. I've let go of some truly incredible women.
H: And in friendships? Do you have the same problems?
C: Generally, it's hard to trust anyone. But you know, once I let down my guard you can have the best of me. And since friendships don't extend beyond that relationship, once the friendship has formed, it's less scary.
H: Do you have any advice for people like you who could have a similar problem as yours?
C: I wish someone would have slapped the shit out of me when I was 16 years old and I thought for the first time that 'I want to sleep with 50 women'. It's funny... It's not that I want to shit in the plate that I ate from, but there are sometimes some situations that you understand you truly exaggerated in. For example, last October I went dancing and I met 8 women with whom I slept with. And there you say 'oh shit, what a situation'. Between the girl that hates you, the one that still has hope and is nice to you, your actual girlfriend who looks at you and says what the fuck happened... In the long run, it's not cool anymore, it's not fascinating or entertaining, it just leaves you feeling like shit.
Now I find it much more erotic spending the night in front of a woman, drinking some nice wine and having some nice conversation rather than having beastly sex. Unfortunately, though, I have such ingrained behaviors inside me that, even if I try to change, I still fall into the same patterns. I find myself on the first date all drunk trying to fuck the girl thinking 'no, I'm having sex again'.
So, guys, Barney is lonely, he's not cool.
H: Has anyone ever tried to 'open your eyes'?
C: One girl, a few years ago.
I was coming from a straight week, 7/7, I had found my little harem. My dick hurt. Seriously. It was 4 in the morning and as usual I was drunk as shit in the club. I was spinning. This girl starts talking to me and me, already aware of the fact that I couldn't 'go all the way', I ask her for a blowjob. She hesitates for a second and then caves in.
We get out of the club to go to the car. I fall in a ditch. I get out of the ditch. I'm covered in dirt. I'm disgusting.
In the end we are able to go and we find a little dark corner, we're about 'to start' and a discussion begins.
Moral of the story: she tells me 'you, you asshole, you act like this because some woman traumatized you and you run away from any good thing that comes your way'.
In that moment, I told her to go fuck herself. I woke up the morning after thinking 'fuck, she's right'. And two days later I finally met my legendary ex.
So, guys, it takes courage to let someone in to your life, to be vulnerable, to think you want to have a family. My advice is to have fun, but try to understand also why, and how, you are doing it.
In reality, us hunters are only hurt people who are in need of love.