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Tumblr decided, in its infinite wisdom, to show me this article. (Which is apparently two years old? Whatever, it’s not like BPD stigma has changed much in the past two years.) The subheading includes the phrase “the mental illness that can lead to wild sex.”


[“dis gon be gud” gif]

It’s pretty standard stigmatizing nonsense. This one dude has a girlfriend who is really great in bed, but she also cuts herself and screams at or attempts to break up with him over minor disagreements. Ozy flinches in recognition. Pop stars are diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. The phrases “femme fatale” and “intoxicating womanchild with a dark side” occur. It is explained that some common traits of borderline patients include a history of child sexual abuse, eating disorders, self-consciousness and a need for control, and giving doctors boners.

Not kidding about that last part. An assistant professor of psychiatry named Peter Freed says, “Though it hasn’t been studied, there is a sense among doctors that many patients tend to be attractive, which can trigger a vicious cycle. Being beautiful induces the world to treat you like an object, which naturally gives rise to questions about whether you are loveable, which in turn makes you long for confirmation.” I just… I literally have no response to that.

I mean, it’s pretty excellent to be classified as a femme fatale. Here I am, with hairy legs and boxer shorts and an Existentialists Do It Pointlessly shirt with a hole in one of the armpits, but apparently I’m goddamned Catwoman because of my diagnosis. I don’t even have to put on lip gloss!

On a more serious note, talking about how awesome and uninhibited borderlines are in bed is really disturbing. One of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder is impulsive and self-destructive sexual behavior. (Well, okay, impulsive and self-destructive all kinds of behavior, but sex is perennially popular.) “I’m a bad person so I should punish myself by having unprotected sex with a stranger!” “If my best friend’s girlfriend has sex with me then she must REALLY LIKE ME because otherwise she wouldn’t hurt Best Friend so much.” “I’m going to have sex I don’t want and that makes me feel sick and dirty and violated inside so that my partner won’t hate me.” “Everything hurts and the only way I can fill up the emptiness inside is fucking.”

I literally do not have words for how fucked up and creepy you have to be to write an article about how hot it is when women have a mental illness that leads them to have sex they don’t want. I mean. It saves so much energy, doesn’t it? You don’t have to abuse them! Their brains already emotionally abuse them for you! You get all the sweet, sweet coercive sex and you don’t even have to face the guilt in the morning!

It’s just the Madonna/Whore dichotomy all over again. The Whore is wild and uninhibited, she doesn’t have any of those silly ‘boundary’ things, when you fuck her your toes curl and your hands tingle and you see God. But unlike the Madonna, sweet and kind and pure, the Whore also happens to be a psycho bitch. She cuts herself! She takes drugs! She screams at you when she thinks you’re with another woman! For further examination for this interesting sociological phenomenon, I’d like to direct you to Buckcherry’s Crazy Bitch:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130430214059if_/http://www.youtube.com/embed/NKX8v46Z11E?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent
[Lyrics.]

Except, you know, we’re sciencing it up! Because there is an actual psychological diagnosis that if you bend, spindle, fold and mutilate it enough kind of looks like “psycho bitch slut.” And then we get to write a whole article in Newsweek, purporting to educate people about borderline personality disorder, about how psycho bitch sluts are terrible. But also sexy? So you will want to sex them up?

But, you know, I am a person, not a misogynistic archetype. I spend the vast majority of my time neither fucking men senseless nor being a psycho bitch at them. In fact, most of the ways my mental illness manifests have nothing to do with fucking men senseless or being a psycho bitch at them. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that’s true of most people with BPD.

When I break down crying over not being able to hang up the laundry properly, it is not about your boner. When I get upset when my boyfriend leaves the house to check the mail because he might never come back, it is not about your boner. When I stop talking to my parents and family because I am irrationally terrified of them, it is not about your boner.

The articles about what my illness is like? Shouldn’t be about your boner either.

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