Photo by Nick Gavrilov.

Like moths to a flame, men are drawn to the Dangerous Woman — no matter how badly the burn will hurt. She is raw and unruly, bound only by her whims. She’s a closed book about her personal life, adding to her peculiar mystique. While she might be physically dangerous, the true power — and threat — of this woman is emotional. She embodies our society’s fear of the woman who doesn’t feel the way we expect women to or who plays with men’s feelings. She is the counterpart to the Nice Girl — the innocent and passive non-threat to the status quo. The Whore to the Nice Girl’s Madonna. And men fall prey to her every time. 

Research suggests that men seek ‘subordinate’ women as partners. But domesticating the dangerous woman and turning her into the Nice Girl holds so much appeal because it combines the drive to conquer threats with the condescending impulse to protect women from themselves. 

Dr. Herb Goldberg, a psychologist in Los Angeles, has written several books on male psychology, says, “ Achievement-oriented, aggressive, dominant, success-driven males have a very low tolerance for boredom and passivity. The dangerous woman keeps them on their toes. Even a simple dinner becomes a game of conversational chess, without all the pieces. Normal women tell you about their day. The other woman spins fantastical tale or blurts out cryptic non sequiturs.”

The dangerous woman’s long been typecast as a sensual, semi-villainous diversion in someone else’s less exciting life and that’s exactly what she is – she’s a fantasy. A fairy tale. A dream. But it takes a rare person who can accept the reality of a woman that dangerous and who can keep up with her and not turn to ash in the process.

Story by Cassandra Harris.