Hybristophilia | Women Aroused By Violence

Hybristophilia | Women Aroused By Violence

The first time I have ever heard about the word hybristophilia was by a content creator called Barbarossa who has created videos about this particular subject. 

Barbarossa talked extensively about how serial killers like Ted Bundy and Charles Manson received huge amounts of fanmail from fertile young women. Also, he described how women wrote fanfiction about Elliot Rodger, and that they desired to be his first girlfriend.

What the popular opinion makes us believe is that women like these are seeking to fix these men. And while this might be true partially, there is an underlying reason why these women are so attracted to some of the most brutal and violent men in history.

What is hybristophilia?

Hybristophilia is a term used by criminologists to describe the human attraction – predominantly by females – towards violent criminals. Now, this may seem something very alien. Especially because our concepts of love and affection do not really include violence – let alone murder – expect maybe some kinky games in the bedroom.

Still, there seems to be something within women that attracts them to violent men. A reason that Barbarossa gives is the caveman whose violence was an important asset: by using his violence he could protect his resources, his women and his offspring.

This meant that women were inclined to select a violent mate, so they and their children were offered protection from animals and other men. Again, the work of Barbarossa will give you a great insight in this phenomenon and I highly recommend you to watch it if you have not done that already. I will not repeat this in this video.

First hand experiences

Instead, I want to give some first hand experiences for you to think about. One is from my own, the other is from people close to me. These are not examples of hybristophilia in regard to violent criminals, but certainly disturbing discoveries about women I have done myself.


My first serious relationship took about six years and ended with a very bad breakup. It took about a year on and off before the end was definite. During that time I already moved to a new place – an apartment – where I still live. One night my ex was standing in front of my door and I let her in.

It did not take long before we had a huge fight and I asked her to leave. But she did not leave. This was not the first time she refused to leave and in the past when we lived together she often physically barricaded the door, when I wanted to leave the house, often leading to physical confrontations. This was usually nothing more than me dragging her away so I could open the front door and leave.

Violent encounter

Well, this time, she really did not want to go anywhere and I was so fed up with her behavior that I told I was going to call the police. She did not seem troubled in the slightest by my threats. She even laughed at me. This made me so angry that I towered over her, pushed by chest forward, and started swearing and screaming, while pushing her towards my front door. Eventually she started to cry and left.

I really hated myself for doing that. What just happened? Well, for a short period of time I had transformed into a caveman that intimidated her and she left. I actually lost myself in my aggression and anger. I was out of control. Later, when I landed in her bed after a drunk night out I or something like that (I cannot really remember what led to this) she told me something that shocked me.


She started talking about that moment I towered over her in my apartment, enraged and aggressive, and she told me that this really turned her on sexually. I thought my myself: what? I was absolutely disgusted by my own behavior and she was turned on by it? I already thought this woman was crazy, but this really confirmed it. Then I thought about all these moments during our relationship that she provoked me, which resulted in me getting angry at her. Was that on purpose?

Domestic violence

A flash forward to about 4 years later. A guy close to me told me a similar story, which had turned his world upside down. This guy has a record of domestic violence. Everyone knows what is going on, but his girlfriend never called the cops or sought help for the situation. Basically, when they get into a fight, chances are that it gets physical and rough.

The guy has an anger problem, a problem with addiction, and a lot of anger stuffed away because of dysfunctional youth. He told me that this had happened several times and that he feels so guilty about it and hates the fact that he cannot control his anger. But, he was shocked when his girlfriend told him that she was turned on by his violent outbursts. I was shocked as well.


Also, the guy felt betrayed. He felt that all his attempts fix his problems by therapy, his attempts to improve their relationship and to work on his anger were actually never supported by her. In other words: it seems like she wants him to be a screwed up violent man that abused drugs and hits her.

Women’s preferences incentive for male behavior?

And this is where hybristophilia gets even more disturbed. In a society where men are demonized for their violent behavior, could it be that women actually give them the incentive to act violently in the first place? When you are a man that is accused of domestic violence, could it be that the woman secretly gets turned on by it at the same time? Is that a reason that you often see women stay with abusive partners? Could it be that her dark side does not want you to change? Do women still long for that violent caveman that is able to offer them protection?

Awareness about hybristophilia

Nevertheless, I think it is very important that every man knows that this is going on. The females that have a crush on serial killers might seem like isolated cases, but it is not a coincidence that I have experienced the tendencies of hybristophilia in two women close to me, that are perceived as normal in our society.

Women that are in fact highly educated, work a job and my ex now has two kids. It seems to me that the women that idolize Charles Manson and Elliot Rodger are extreme cases but not isolated cases. What these women represent is something that is probably ingrained in female nature.

50 Shades Of Grey

Clear evidence for this is the popularity of 50 Shades Of Grey, in which the main character is a powerful and successful man that, basically, uses violence during the act of sex. Another evidence is that a great amount of women fall for the bad boy. And yes, it still kind of disturbs me that bad, violent men attract so many women.

Especially because women are often portrayed as angels or victims, being sweet, cute, whatever, but seem to completely ignore the horrible acts these men are involved in while they are lusting after them. Men that still put women on a pedestal thinking that all women are angels really should pull their heads out of their asses and open their eyes to reality.

The predicament of men

Since I am aware of this, I have always thought the predicament of man as this: you can either be a good man and be unattractive to women, or a bad man and be attractive to women. Pick what you want to be. Of course there are exceptions and there is a middle ground, but it seems like there is an army of good guys that are having a hard time finding a woman because they are too nice. And that army is there by design.

Society has taught us to be nice. Isn´t it sad that we are being taught to be good while being bad is the thing that pays? And even so much that one serial killer gets more love letters than the whole incel community combined? And isn´t it sad that Elliot Rodger had to go on a killing spree to get the female attention he so much craved?

Yes, it is. I think it is good to at least be aware of these female tendencies, and that they are not in line with how men are raised today. I am not saying that all women are attracted to serial killers or other violent men, but I do believe that there is a dark side there that needs to be further examined.

Understanding The Dark Side

Getting this knowledge out there might help more men understand the dark sides of female nature, and why they suddenly ask to give them the Christian Gray treatment in the bedroom. So what it comes down to is this: while hybristophiliacs – the ones attracted to serial killers and such – are extreme cases, the root of it may be much more common, which is the sexual arousal by violence in men.

So, let us go a bit deeper. If the the attraction to violence is a survival mechanism to get with a strong mate that is able to protect her, then what lies at the basis of this? My proposal is this: the root emotion of all of this is fear. And it is fear that makes women want a bad boy or a guy with big muscles. It is the fear of being attacked or killed, it is the fear of their offspring being killed, it is the fear of being a social outcast, etcetera.

The fearful woman

The fearful woman is the one that needs protection. The thing is that in today´s world there is much less to fear than in the time of cavemen. If you have read the book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, then you know how dangerous the world was for the prehistoric human, and how physically weak the species actually is. Attaching yourself to a strong partner was necessary for survival.

But in the current age, in most Western countries, women are quite safe. They definitely do not require a strong muscular man for survival. And because they are no longer needed, most men are not like that anymore. In general, men have adapted to their environment. But still, women want the bad boy. The Alpha Male. So, basically, they are still coming from a place of fear. And this fear is probably ingrained in the primitive parts of the brain. And if this is so. Can we blame them?

Final thoughts

Serial killers probably trigger something very primal in the women who love them. When it comes to the dominance hierarchy of deadly violence, these men are the ultimate Alpha Males. And I must admit, looking at footage of Charles Manson, Anders Breivik, Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and even Elliot Rodger, there is something grandiose about them.

Perhaps it is the idea that they did what most people are too afraid to do. Or it is the way they have embraced their darkside and acted accordingly. Maybe it is because their behaviors strike a chord with our own darkest desires. I do not know what it is, but it is surely something to think about.

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