The Five Types of Men You Will Meet



The word agenticderived from agency—has been floating around in my head after reading Hugo Schwyzer’s recent piece at Jezebel arguing against a couple of blog posts published on the websites In Mala Fide and Heartiste (full disclosure: both guys are on my blogroll).

Schwyzer decries the arguments put forth at those sites suggesting that women like assholes, bad boys, and jerks:

Never mind that the research on what heterosexual women actually want doesn’t bear this out. For years, studies have shown that women do rate kindness as a particularly attractive quality in a man. Along with humor and intelligence, generosity is a particularly valuable trait; as one study showed earlier this month, guys become more selfless (read: less assholish) when in the presence of women they find attractive.

Seems to me that everyone is right; it just depends on the starting point. Instead of fostering the trope that women like bad boys, jerks, and gangsters to the detriment of nice guys; I tend to believe that women, on average, prefer agentic men—men who act. All else being equal, women prefer men who act in a positive direction. But maybe we should put some stock in that common cultural trope attributed to women: “All the good ones are taken.” Women prefer agentic nice guys, but maybe all of them are taken.

Agentic men are straight-forward, assertive, goal-oriented, and principled. They could be perfectly friendly, emotionally available, altruistic, and presentable to parents, but in a society where assertive behavior and competition are watched with a discerning eye, men with end-games outside social norms are more willing to employ their assertiveness.

Being direct, being unafraid to ask for something, taking what you want: these are all qualities that women find attractive – even when it involves the man’s expressions of sexual desire. For a majority of women, their choice of mate is directly related to the resources that mate can provide, and what a man can provide is a function of his action. A nice guy who has access to resources brings two things to the table: he can get “stuff”, and he’s likely to share a lot of that “stuff” with his partner. An agentic bad boy has at least one Ace in his hand: he can get “stuff.” Being more self-centered, he’s more likely to keep a larger proportion for himself, but his woman indirectly benefits from a larger pie. Since women want resources, it would make sense that if given the choice, women would choose the nicest guy possible—as long as the nice guy has access to resources. The problem is that lines don’t form so neatly.

It would be instructive to drill down and look at general examples of the various groups of men. We can compartmentalize men into 5 camps in order from most desired by women to least, and I’ll provide examples of each type:

1. The Nice Guy You Know. Example: George Clooney. Agentic Nice guys. The male equivalent of the Platinum Preferred American Express. Their assertiveness pushes them into traditional alpha male territory which increases their attractiveness, and they are generally in control of most situations. Agentic nice guys smile and exude confidence because they are actually happy and confident. They are altruistic and good-natured towards women because they want to be, not because they feel a sense of shame for not providing. They are internally-driven.

2. The Dick You Know. Example: Don Draper. Pimps. Drug Dealers. Charlie Sheen. Roissy. Agentic Bad Boys. These men fall into the asshole and jerk category, but they’re real and their women know what they’re getting. Agentic bad boys are assertive and exude confidence and high status. Like the group above, these guys are usually in control of the situation. But they often work outside the confines of polite society to get what they want. For the most part, they don’t lie about what they’re doing or who they’re doing it with. In extreme cases, these men behave viciously and possibly abuse their women, but the women come back for more because they at least know what to expect from their man and many enjoy the drama.

3. The Dick You Don’t Know. Example: Tiger Woods. Opportunistic Bad Boys. These guys are the douchebags of the world. The narcissism that begets their douchebaggery oxidizes as confidence and high status helping their attractiveness to women—although situational control begins to erode at this altitude. Their drawback is that they are afraid to expose their true nature for fear that they won’t be accepted by women. Their outward displays of narcissism overshadow their internal wish to do good leading to a convoluted self-image. When the mask is removed, women become bitter because they thought they knew their Dick.

4. The Nice Guy You Don’t Know. Example: Tiger Woods if he weren’t a billionaire. George Costanza as presented on ‘Seinfeld’. Supplicating nice guys. These guys have been trademarked by some; they are the ones who have received 100 “You are such a nice guy” remarks for every peck on their rosy red cheek. Everything they do with regards to women is a reaction to what they think they should be doing and not what they actually want to do; control is out of their hands. Since they aren’t in control, their desires aren’t manifested. This particular type of guy has fleeced himself of his sexuality because he thinks that’s what he should do.  They lie to themselves about what they actually want. They tell themselves they do nice things because they are nice and not because they want to move towards a sexual relationship.

Tony Clink, who offers dating advice:

It’s not because women like jerks. Women prefer polite over rude, and attentive over distracted. The problem is the way nice guys present these positive characteristics. In order to appear friendly and romantic, these ‘nice guys’ think they have to turn off their sexuality. They hide their desires in order not to offend, presenting an androgynous, asexual persona. The first impression they give is one of emasculation, weakness, and lack of desire. At best, they confuse the woman as to whether they even find her attractive. That’s what jerks offer women that nice guys don’t: they’re not afraid to be sexual.

5. The Dick You Don’t Care to Know. Example: George Costanza if he weren’t made-for-TV. When you get this far down the list it doesn’t really matter what’s going on. My main purpose in putting this here is to at least give NGYDK some assurance that they aren’t the dregs. This last group are men who are negative, foul-spirited, and lacking in confidence. “Sour” is a good word to describe them. “Hater” is another. They are petty and don’t at least offer a smile while behaving that way. They seek to tear people down at every turn—not out of some strategy for their own upward mobility, but because they seek company.

Women don’t want bad boys if given a choice. But agentic nice guys sell out quickly, and they usually go to the highest bidders. There are also fewer of these types of guys because our society places curbs on their manufacture—in fact, it punishes agentic behavior early on. The men best poised to capitalize are the men who aren’t opposed to ruffling society’s feathers a little bit in the first place. And nice guys—or the 80% of them who finish last—fall down the ladder because they aren’t willing to compete.

Read Jonatan Bäckelie’s response to this post:

Being in Control vs. Keeping it Together


—Photo Jon Åslund/Flickr


  1. Nice one…

  2. I don’t think my boyfriend would fall into any of those categories. He’s sincere and kind and yet also very shy and reclusive. I’m a rather assertive woman myself and I prefer to pursue rather than to be pursued. I usually shy away from really assertive outgoing men, for some reason those qualities just aren’t that attractive. Thoughtful wallflowers on the other hand…they make my little heart go pitter-patter. 🙂

  3. I read this today from twitter (not my words!) and I thought it summed up some of the conversation we have had here:

    “Some men convince themselves that the world is against them, when the truth is they just aren’t happy with themselves. They project their insecurities onto every woman that doesn’t reciprocate interest, and make it about women only wanting thugs and assholes. If you’re a “nice guy”, you don’t really have to profess it. Just be it and women will notice.”

    Quotes are from TAFKAPP79 on twitter.

    I thought this really speaks to what is being said here, and to my experience- all my guy friends that have pulled the “you don’t like me because I’m a good guy” card have all been really insecure, and outraged that I didn’t “reciprocate”. The reason I didn’t reciprocate for the most part? I don’t think I “owe” you sex or a relationship for you being nice to me, and it makes me uncomfortable that you think I do. A lot of these guys just feel like everything is against them and they have no control over the situation. I’ve discussed this with girlfriends many times before, and we all agreed that it is a pretty common experience to have a “nice guy” feel like he is “owed” something in return. Doesn’t sound all that “nice” to me…

    • Jenna, I’ll ask a big favour n behalf of those men. It may not work but a small hope is better than none. Try to in a calm, cool, collected way to point that out to the nice guys. If a “nice guy” does it to you, tell him what you think. I say do it in a nice way to avoid triggering defensiveness as much as possible since that will leave him not listening most likely. I don’t think many of them purposely do it, they need to be told not every woman wants the same thing and acting extra nice doesn’t make a person sexier.

      It’s a confusing world out there for guys (and girls too) and the stuff we hear can be conflicting, one big problem I see is people try to make out there is a universal attraction, ie being nice, being rich, etc. One aspect of the nice guy syndrome is that many have been quite nice but it hasn’t eventuated into a relationship, if you hear x is what women like, when you act X you get no success but you act Y and you do get success then you’d be right in being confused. I hear a lot say when they act like an asshole they get success, but I don’t hear HOW they are being an asshole. Anyone know what exactly they do to be an “asshole”?

      • Yeah, it is a sensitive topic, but maybe next time I’m discussing this with my girlfriends we should all brain storm a better response that is informative, but not damaging. It is a good idea, and probably a little honest will help more in the long run even if it might have a sting at first.

        That is so true about guys saying they “act like an asshole”. My current boyfriend told me he had to “act like an asshole” to get my attention at parties, when really all he did was talk louder and actively seek me out and make it obvious he was looking for me. How is that like an asshole? He thought it was aggressive, which is a total misconception- he was just being assertive. He’s a shy guy, so by being assertive he was actually having an even bigger impact. Kind of like saying “Hey, you know this is hard for me, but I’m putting forward this much effort because I think you are interesting and I want to get to know you”. It was effective, clearly- we’ve been dating happily for five years (that being said, I had tracked him down myself originally and initiated our contact, haha, so it works both ways!).

        • Yep, I hold back and can be shy, sometimes guys get so caught up in what nice is meant to be that they don’t take action. What we think is an asshole move could just be assertive, it can be quite confusing especially when it’s behaviour that actual assholes do. Eg the asshole the party is assertive which can be good, but he’s also got negative behaviour so guys might see this as ALL asshole behaviour instead of just some.

          Teaching people the difference between aggressive and assertive would help, I know I could sure use the training as I don’t want to harm, annoy, or make people uncomfy which for the moment has left me never touching a woman first (yet quite a few touch me on the arm etc without hesitation) and not even asking out people I like (it’s extreme I know). I’d say many “nice guys” simply need more training in socializing appropriately, I think many have good intentions but hold themselves back or try to initiate/mimic what they see is successful which could truly be an asshole move.

  4. After only making it halfay down the commentss section. Maybe instead of women saying they are attracted to “nice guys” or “bad boys”. They should just use assertive or passive,nice is NOT a requirement. That would allow the guys to be more of themselves while still giving the ladies what they want.

  5. Here is the deal. “Agentic men” whether they are douchebags or are nice, ask women out. Let me reframe: Agentic men pursue women. I re-iterate, these men, pursue, ask out, and engage women. The non-agentic men get mad at agentic men, but the problem is they sit on the sidelines. They do nothing. They wait for women to pursue them. And that is where the problem lies. I have countless books written for women giving women instructions to “never pursue a man” because you will emmascualte him and ultimately both the man and women will be frustrated with the relationship. (See Dr. Pat Allen.) The problem is, Agentic men are mostly taken. They don’t have long lag times in being single or out of a relationship. People want to wag their fingers at women for “encouraging assholes”, but Chuck is right on the money when he states that women just want a guy who takes action. And let’s be clear. We want a nice guy who takes action.

    • Nah. Your excuse has been debunked ad infinitum. Nice guys take action just as much as jerks. But nice guys get rejected. People wag their fingers at women for “encouraging assholes” because that’s so often what women do, not because all you poor lonely women only have assholes to pick from.

  6. A couple of things I think are relevant, that I don’t see anyone mentioning above:

    1) Whether or not a guy is assertive or agentic or dominant (three similar but distinguishable things…) in his interactions with other men, or with women he isn’t paired-up with, doesn’t necessarily relate much to how he is with a mate. I mean, how he is generally with a mate, not just how he is in bed. This can play out in a lot of different ways, as, for example, someone who is very considerate to everyone and you only find out when you sleep with him that sex turns him into an asshole — or someone who is very much a diamond in the rough in the rest of his life but treats his partner very gently. To perceive what’s really going on in somebody else’s relationship, you would have to know about these patterns, which is usually impossible.

    2) If you’re female, and you’re looking for a guy who’s serious relationship material, one of the important things you have to know about him is how he interacts with other men. This has a bunch of aspects, and one of them is how he fits into the (to a female eye, or at least, to my female eye) baffling and irrational dominance games some men like to play with each other. I think one of the big sources of confusion between men and women is the fact that many men don’t understand how opaque these male-male interactions are to most women. As a woman, you end up being expected to act on information about your guy that you don’t have, and that is hard to get because he thinks you already know — somehow the expectation is that you were born with the Magic Female Gene that makes all relationships easy to understand. (This is probably the flip side of people believing in a Magic Male Gene that makes you able to repair machines you’ve never seen before and pull money out of your hat.)

    From my point of view, at least, the most desirable guy is one who isn’t too interested in male-pecking-order stuff — for several reasons — but who can hold his own with other men in a pinch — also for several reasons. The “isn’t too interested” matters because 1) relationships can run into trouble when one partner is obsessed with something the other doesn’t understand, and 2) for some reason, guys who care a lot about this often seem to think they can impress other men by being disrespectful toward women, and 3) often, in a male crowd that has a strong pecking-order dynamic, the guys higher up on the ladder tend to hit on women associated with the guys lower down on the ladder — so unless you’re dating the alpha, you have to deal with that, which is a pain in the ass. So, all that being said, a girl wants to stay away from guys who get really invested in the pecking-order thing. BUT, it’s also the case that men who really can’t deal with the pecking-order stuff have a hard time, generally, in life. Which can mean that they come home from being yelled at by their dominant-asshole boss and take it out on their partner. And it can mean that they get depressed and spend their lives playing video games in a bathrobe and expecting their partner to support them — which is no more fun for a female partner than it is for a male.

    So, yes, by far the safest choice for a woman is a guy who, when it comes to male-male conflict, wins without trying too hard. This is probably why 90% of the heroes of romance novels are guys who either inherited money & position or made a killing before the story started — not guys who are struggling when the heroine knows them. And of course, in real life, people who have won without trying are often hopelessly spoiled, so there’s a whole other set of issues that goes with that.

    Not saying any of this is fair, just that this dynamic does exist, and you don’t need some complicated theory about women preferring jerks to explain it.

    • Grins – Gotta hand it to you man – you just spoke the truth – the dynamic does indeed exist and it is complicated and every situation is different to one degree or another and life is not fair and when all is said and done it’s up to the individuals concerned to make it work. So it all comes back to intent. If our intentions are in alignment, our results will most likely also be in alignment. This is one of the benefits of a long term relationship where a couple work through the inevitable issues instead of running away and pouting like spoiled children at the first sign of adversity. It does, however, take two to Tango and no one can make a relationship work all by their lonesome. Most of us don’t start out with all our dicks (ducks?) in a row. Hence the time honored truth that an unexamined life is not worth living………

  7. Hunter85 says:

    “…taking what you want: these are all qualities that women find attractive – even when it involves the man’s expressions of sexual desire”

    Does this not strike anyone else as sounding a little off?
    Because I’ve seen this backfire something fierce before.

  8. I can’t talk about this. It brings up every conflict in my life. I’m a very sexual man in an asexual relationship, trying desperately to hold on to my principals. I flirt. I skate around the edges. I tease. I do not engage because that would require me to lie. I tell you that I’m married. You choose to sleep with me or not knowing that I’m not available for more than just this moment. I choose not to sleep with you because I won’t sleep with you if I don’t like you and liking you will lead me to want more. How many women can one man love at the same time? What’s wrong with you guys? Getting “laid” is the easy part. The hard part is all the convoluted crap that comes with it. Gee – I wonder if this is why prostitution is the oldest profession?

    • You should probably check out Dan Savage. He would agree with me that you have every right to seek out your physical needs elsewhere.

      • Ah Jimbo – It has nada to do with my rights and everything to do with my personal view of the world. Good sex has everything to do with feelings and feelings lead to involvement and being involved with multiple partners leads to complications. Savage would say explore polyamory. Sure, I say – as long as we decide that together……….no lad – it’s na easy when you want to be happy AND selfish at the same time. (and no they are not necessarily the same…….

  9. wellokaythen says:

    The tired old saying “all the good ones are taken” is incredibly insulting, if you think about it. It is an insult to every man not currently in a relationship. After all, if he’s not “taken” that must mean there’s something wrong with him, right? What an anti-male crock that is. It is no less insulting than a man saying “bitches are always single.” And just as completely inaccurate.

  10. I agree with the article completely. Not to deny any guy their personal experience but I never got this ‘nice guys finish last’ idea.

    Mostly because my definition of a nice guy is the one described in no. 1 & they are never at a loss in terms of female companionship. (In fact that has been my life’s tragedy, that whenever I meet 1, they’re taken, damn! 😉 ).

    In MY (& I stress this MY) experiences the other guys who typically call themselves ‘nice’ are really not all that nice. Either they have been needy approval seekers (in a man or woman this is an unpleasant trait) or they are not genuinely nice but do nice things in order to get inside your pants, & then get mad when you don’t let them.

    That said I don’t deny that some women use these guys, which I do not condone & would never do.

    And on a sidenote in this life it is confident, assertive people who succeed in any avenue of life. Even in relationships. The reason bad boys get what they want is indeed because they go for it, but 1 needn’t be a bad boy to get what they want, just more pro-active. 🙂

    • LMAO. George Clooney is not nice. He serially dates his daughters and women of lower star rank. Plus ALL men do things to get in women’s pants. George Clooney is no exception. Just sayin.

      • Haha! I wasn’t talking about George Clooney, don’t know why that’s the example! I just mean the description, men who are confident & internally motivated to be nice/kind because that’s who they are (& they do exist!), as opposed to those who need/seek approval or are just being manipulative (& get angry ’cause IT DOES NOT WORK!). 😀

        • Ohhh.

          Of course you like those kind of nice guys… all women do. And yes they will be surrounded by women, but not sleeping with them. Those kind of nice guys do all women’s heavy lifting (sometimes literally) and are low maintenance. But they definitely finish last in the way guys mean last. Gregarious celebrities also attract huge entourages, but they rarely have true friends.

          Once again MOST men… even internally happy guys …do things to get in a woman’s pants. And most men, unless they are pushovers, get angry at women who just say they like a certain type of guy, but then don’t act like it sexually.

          • My point was you don’t have to be an asshole to get laid.

            You can be a genuinely nice guy and get laid, but it’s not “being nice” that will get you there. Especially if being nice means acting “asexual”, which won’t get you laid for obvious reasons, ie the girl will really believe that sex is not what you want. Hence friendship 🙁 lol

            Getting laid does require that you have a ‘sexual presence’, confidence & an assertiveness. The guys described in number 1 have that in addition to being nice & without being assholes.

            That’s game 😉

            being ‘nice’ does not mean pushover/acting asexual, that WILL most likely guarantee you finish last, for obvious reasons!
            I hope that makes a little more sense 🙂

            • Absolutely. Being nice will NOT get men laid! Awesome that you both understand and admit that.
              But far too many other women pretend that it does (“I like nice guys”) and then get all bent out of shape that many guys are calling them on it. And as far as the definition of “nice’ you already said the opposite of “nice” are guys who don’t make waves or get angry…and that of course is a guy who is a pushover.

              And actually, good game requires being an asshole. 🙂
              Being sexual and not nice gets men laid the most. Being sexual and nice gets men laid a little, but also taken advantage of quite a lot. Being just nice will not get men laid at all despite what so many women say.

              • Most guys that identify themselves as “nice” as in “you just turn me down because I’m a nice guy, nice guys finish last” usually are not that nice. They feel entitled to a shot at you simply for the overarching fact that they are “nice”. They act like by being “nice”, they’ve paid their dues and are now owed something in return. It is manipulative, and I’ve had so many friends that are guys pull this stunt on me as in “look at all the times that I was there for you, I was the nice guy, now you owe me”. I think “nice guys” who have this attitude like they are cheated from what they deserve are assholes in their own right.

                • I see some guys like that, others I see hear the “women want nice guys” line, see the women date guys that aren’t very nice at all and wonder what is going on. Thing is we all want different things, and what people SAY they want doesn’t always apply to their life and their version of nice might be different to others.

                  The big problem nice guys usually get is those women who don’t mind using the guys for the attention and other things, string the guy along with a bit of hope and then take it away…bitterness n resentment soon follow.

                  Growing up hearing women want nice guys alll the time the nice guys probably try to act EXTRA nice thinking it will directly increase their chances and make them a better mate so to find out it doesn’t work that way can be quite crushing.

                  I’ve had some of the nice guy resentment before but that was mostly to do with a few young women that would use me for attention n comfort, but not reciprocate those things in our friendship. The biggest problem I had was I had become quite close to a few women who abused my trust, weren’t there for me as a friend as I was there for them. I was just being myself, I would listen to their problems n offer advice or just listen, got told heaps how I was such a nice guy, such a sweet guy, so caring, etc. Yet I noticed they only talked to me when they wanted something, and when they weren’t upset or needing comfort/attention they would disappear for a few weeks or months.

                  For a little while I had expected some benefit from being extra nice until I realized it was stupid to expect more, what did confuse me for a while was hearing that being nice was such a great trait yet there wasn’t any romantic interest to prove it, it made me realize that being a nice guy isn’t guaranteed to get you a woman. I do notice now that many women do like nice guys, but as far as I can tell every couple I know had the man chasing the woman, asking her out etc which is something I myself avoided due to shyness and know other guys do as well. I’ve heard from women that they can be confused at the intentions of the men if the men aren’t indicating their interest clearly.

                  These days I only expect 1 thing from women, and I expect the same from men, that is to be a decent friend/respectful and not try to use me and I do my best to avoid doing it to them. I see in some of my friends their anger n distrust of women (for the guy friends) and men (for the girls who are my friend). It seems a few bad ones can really spoil the dating game and the only reason I got rid of my own distrust and general negative views of women was meeting women who were decent, kind, respectful and who are great friends to me. I find it easier to know if a male is a good friend or not but with women it becomes harder to judge, but these days I will get rid of those who are bad to me and only keep the positive ones around.

                  I don’t think of myself as a nice guy, I can be a real asshole at times to those I dislike, I am just me but I do know that being nice without standing up for yourself WILL get you walked over very quickly by some and this can cause mega resentment. I also realize that not making your intentions known is bad, you won’t be lucky with every girl you like and you need some level of confidence to be successful in the dating game (as a male especially).

                  Guys, just be yourself, you don’t have to go above n beyond for her and act extra nice, remember also that everyone likes different things and there is no universal attraction. That bad boy she is dating could have acted like a totally charming and sweet guy at first, maybe she likes bad boys but that doesn’t mean ALL women like bad boys. Don’t expect to get laid for being nice, there’s no rule that being nice gets you laid and girls DO NOT take advantage of guys (and vice versa). Communicate what you want, take the chance, if you fail then try again. Don’t hate someone who rejects you and being rejected isn’t always personal, they might be married, might have a crush, might have a hard time in life at the moment, or maybe they just aren’t interested in you (which is fine because you aren’t interested in every single person are you?).

    • I hate to break it to you, but everything ever done by a man in the history of the world was to get into a woman’s pants. If women were as “easy” as men humans would have never left their caves.

      • Nick, mostly says:

        What a dim view of men you have there, Jimbo. Talk about misandry.

        If you adopted the view presented by Abraham Maslow instead, once your sexual needs were met you’d be able to pursue other motivations, such as bettering yourself, increasing your knowledge, and improving the world.

        In any case, your hypothesis doesn’t account for the motivation of women. Why do these sexual gatekeepers do anything?

        • Who do you think cave woman wanted to hook up with? The guy who went and killed an animal to eat or the guy who kicked back in the cave doing nothing? You don’t think the first man to tame fire had his pick of the women in the group? Do you really think he figured this out just better himself? No! He did it to have access to women.

          Why do the sexual gatekeepers do anything? Chuck says in his article, “access to resources”.

          Do you think men, many of whom wake up in the morning and go to jobs they hate to work for a boss they despise are doing this for self-improvement? You talk about “bettering yourself, increasing your knowledge, and improving the world”. These are all things you can do without having your sexual needs met. You don’t need a woman to read a book, take a cooking class, or to invent something. You could also do all of these things with very little need for personal capital. Access to a woman however requires personal capital (knowledge, wealth, fashion, food, shelter, technology). Understand that and you understand the motivation for a man to better himself, increase his knowledge, or improve the world. Access to sex.

          • I figure back in the day, the women weren’t sittin around lolling about either. They were gathering, hunting small game, and so forth. But the dude in the cave lazing about might have been super fun to play around with while the other man was out hunting. My guess is it wasn’t really some kind of “marriage deal” back in the caves, but lots of different pairings and working together to survive. Maybe the chicks out hunting small game got it on with the dude hunters and the folks at the camp got it on and then they switched it up the next day.

            Heather N would know.

          • Nick, mostly says:
            • Nick, mostly says:

              whoops, gotta remember to close my tags…

            • Not at all!

            • Nope

              Pro athletes LOVE the sports they play yet still have agents to get them millions of dollars for playing something they have done for free all their lives.

              You are wrong about prehistorical transactional sex. It’s quite efficient to have a partner you really desire and also get resources from them with the sex. Sex at Dawn is a joke. I know many modern professional women who sleep with a guy and who also makes him pay for dinner so imagine resource starved women from the beginning of time. They surely would be looking for sex and food. It is just smart survival.

              • Nick, mostly says:

                I presume, then, that The Myth of Monogamy is also a joke, as is Bonobo Handshake and The Way We Never Were and any other book that disagrees with your worldview. I also presume all of the research they’ve cited in the extensive end notes is likewise a joke. Because you, unlike the authors and the researchers they rely upon, are the true expert that you can dismiss the work with a casual comment tossed off as though its utterance made it self-evident.

                And exactly how do you know I am wrong about prehistoric transactional sex? What part of the word “prehistoric” gives you special insight that is unavailable to me? What scholarly research provides you with the ability to make a more accurate inference about our existence one thousand centuries hence? What makes your anecdotes about modern athletes and professional women the best approximation we have to prehistory?

                Do you know what makes something valuable? Scarcity. Diamonds are expensive because a cartel has convinced us they are very rare, and so people hoard them, keeping them off the market and keeping prices artificially high. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being invested in making a machine to detect the difference between natural and artificial diamonds, all to keep prices high.

                If food is not scarce, if feeding ourselves consisted of a couple hours gathering tubers, nuts, and berries, and trapping small animals, of what value is it? You appear to have a view of women as hapless and helpless creatures, ready to put out to the first guy who throws a bloody carcass at her feet. As if eating were such a rare treat that she of course will spread her legs, however reluctantly, at the chance to feast.

                One of the interesting things about getting paid to do something is that it reduces our intrinsic motivation to do it. Alfie Kohn wrote a book called Punished By Rewards that summarizes three decades of research showing this effect. Think about that for a bit.

                • Don’t know if those other books are a joke or not… haven’t read them, but I suspect that lumping them into the same category as S.A.D. is shoehorning. Yeah, they all might be non-monogamy books, but non-monogamy occurs as shades of grey and the specific shade of grey put forth in S.A.D. is a bunch of hooey.

                  As for research, you give the S.A.D. authors too much credit. The authors of books oftentimes aren’t interested in science any more than prosecutors are in justice. Both simply gather facts to make a case. And this juror has more than a reasonable doubt about this book, which is an example of marketing excellence, not an example of anthropological brilliance.

                  As for why you lack insight into prehistory. I am confounded. There are a billionish hunrgy people on the planet and it’s 2012! And oh yeah. If I I dropped you off in a jungle you would be dead in 7 days. Why do you think women store more fat than men. Why do you think they store it where they do? Why do you think humans store it at all. What percentage of a women’s DCI are dedicated to pregnancy. Come on man think. Procuring food is tough. The reality is that prehistoric life is hard and no amount of you pedestalizing women as strong, independent divas is going to change that.

                  Even uber feminist Hillary Clinton realized “it takes a village”
                  Do you understand now?

                  • Not to mention that women are smaller, slower, and not as strong as men. They needed to find a strong and “agentic” mate to provide resources. Also these women were risking pregnancy with every sexual encounter. Pregnancy is physically tough in 2012, imagine what pre-historic women had to endure. If the guy is kicking back in the cave as I described above that’s not going to do her much good when she’s pregnant or has a child to raise post-pregnancy.

                    It’s about providing resources. No prehistoric woman walked up to the smallest, weakest, and laziest man in the group and said “let’s go have no strings attached sex!” He had nothing to offer her.

                  • Nick, mostly says:

                    I was just in California where among other things I visited with a friend of mine who actually spent a couple of years living in the jungle. Aside from the occasional bout of food illness, my friend appears not to have died in the seven days you’ve prescribed. Strangely enough, my friend encountered plenty of people living in the jungle who also weren’t dead, but that may be because part of my friend’s job was to ensure that death didn’t visit upon the naïve Westerners dropped there. My friend’s experience convinced me that we are, if nothing else, a highly adaptable species.

                    So yes, based on her experience I think my odds very good that I’d survive longer than seven days (particularly if I had her with me). I can’t say whether you would survive or not, but I know my own skills and fitness level and and fairly confident about my ability.

                    • You used the word “survive”. I think you get it now.

                    • Nick, mostly says:

                      I don’t get your point, I don’t accept your premises, and I think you’re wrong on the history. So we are in agreement.

  11. I think it’s more complex than just “Well, all the agenic men are gone. Guess I’ll have to settle for an asshole.”

    For me, it was that I started looking for qualities that I didn’t know wouldn’t sustain a relationship. For instance, one guy I was into for a while was charming, assertive, sexy, very smart, hilarious in social situations, etc. What I found out after a year of being dewy-eyed was that his assertiveness had turned into him being extremely conceited. So, that same direct/can-get-things-done attitude that I first attracted me to him showed me that he can’t work well on a team, would be impossible to get along with my family and siblings, and would make me miserable.

    The next guy I dated was much less conceited. He was gentle, affectionate, wicked smart, straightforward, and had been friends with me for a long time. Well, as I found out after a year of dating, that same gentleness caused us to have fights because BOTH of us were trying to be the more passive person in the relationship. He was me in male form.

    So, at least for me, the traits that initially brings me in can backfire later. I had to try a few times before I figured out what I *needed* and what would pair with my personality, instead of what I thought I *wanted*.

  12. Nick, mostly says:

    This essay and many of the responses to it appear to be presenting “just so” explanations of human behavior. What evidence is there that these narratives are useful or true?

  13. codebuster says:

    Both men and women have been known to make really bad choices with lovers

    Yes, men also make ridiculous choices. But there’s a difference… a woman’s submission to a man implies also submission to what he stands for. Women choose “types” of men, men that stand for something (e.g., lawyer, CEO, bad-boy, politician, poet, rebel, biker, surfer, etc). A woman from the wrong side of the tracks is more likely than a bad-boy to become a fine, moral and loyal partner (hence the common fantasy of women being “rescued”). A bad-boy is too busy asserting his type to make any such compromise. In fact comprise is a sign of weakness and only serves to erode his type and the statement that he is making.

  14. codebuster says:

    No-one’s said anything about the elephant in the room. There’s a reason for this. They’ve probably not recognized it as an elephant because it has pink stripes and purple dots, and it has a crimson bow tied around it. We are coming up against the oldest questions in all of human history. If prostitution is the oldest profession, then here is perhaps the oldest question:

    Why has women’s virginity been so important down through the ages, across cultures and across generations?

    The answer? Because female sexuality, when released from its cultural confines, predisposes women to ridiculous choices in men. Why is this? Different cultures present different solutions, for example, parents choosing marriage partners, as in India. Let me propose an answer for our own unique zeitgeist.

    Female sexuality is motivated principally in surrender and submission. More specifically, violation. In love, this manifests in intimacy, the idea of offering up oneself to one’s beloved. From the perspective of primal arousal, however, this manifests in the thrill of the forbidden – betrayal of one’s beloved, for example, becomes tinged with excitement. A tall, attractive man with terrific marriage prospects might be great relationship material, but in the modern zeitgeist, he is old and stale. He does not light a woman’s fire. What really gets women off, especially in this era of progressive, raunch liberalism, is being sullied. That’s why rape often features in women’s fantasies. Tall handsome dudes with terrific marriage prospects need not apply. Enter troglodytes with attitude, stage left.

    Here’s the deal. Men and women do not understand one another. While young Collin is busy focussing on developing his career prospects, another young woman (let’s call her Gloria) is out there making out with the exciting trodlodytes that hit on her. Because she, like other women, does not understand men, she finds out what men are like from the trodlodytes to whom she gives air-time, and so she develops this self-fulfilling understanding as to what types of men are “hot” – and while they need not even be good-looking, they do need to be a “type” (e.g., bad-boy). Gloria just has to “turn up” in order to get laid. Meanwhile Collin, for whom “turning up” in and of itself presents no options, does not get laid. Ever. Collin must always, at some level, initiate. Sure, if he presents well and creates a good visual first impression, he will get noticed by women. But he needs to act on women’s cues – the hair-toss, the longing glances. He needs to realize his manhood, and he needs to enjoy acting on those cues, because he needs to be bold and confident. If he’s not having fun, then he’s doing it all wrong. That’s why Game is so very important. A dude that presents a terrific first impression can only progress so far. He needs to expand on his visual first impression, to deliver on a more comprehensive context relating to character and type.

    Thus derives the oldest question in all of human history. We are blessed, in this modern era, to witness the ramfications of female sexuality unleashed in all its glorious horror, as manifest in women’s ridiculous choices. The solutions that are available for men like Collin, especially in our modern zeitgeist, are not always pretty. They amount to him understanding what’s going on, and incorporating “Game” – e.g., Roissy’s methodology. Which is, at its essence, abusive and disrespectful of women. But that’s ok, because as we’ve seen above, abuse relates to violation, women’s arousal, and men’s success.

    Collin, end of problem. You didn’t understand what was going on, but now you do. You now know what has to be done. Stake your claim, and make your impression. Go forth and multiply. But be warned. This is a solution unique to our zeitgeist, characterized by the pedestalization of women in the tradition of chivalry. In a culture where every man is worshipping at the altar of the vag, you have to do the same in order to compete, otherwise you miss out. If you don’t like it, leave – different cultures will present different solutions – which is in fact what many men do.

  15. I don’t know many women personally who actively throw themselves at jerks. The women I *do* know have experiences more like this: Meet attractive Guy and start up a flirtation. Date Guy a few times, no huge red flags. Start falling for Guy. Get into an involved relationship with Guy. Discover Guy is an asshole over time, but want to believe otherwise to justify the romantic feelings, or believes he can change. Break up & make up, over and over again (there’s some merit to what the author says, that some women do get a rush out of such drama). Eventually either leave him for good, or settle for “He’s an asshole but I love him so I can overlook that.”

    I think assholery is more of a pattern of behavior than something you can detect right off the bat. I think most guys who are assholes are not assholes 100% of the time – that would be exhausting! They can seem pretty normal on the surface – no major red flags. But over time as a relationship grows and they spend more time together, the asshole traits might come out. Maybe he’s really rude to service people. Maybe he breaks all his promises. Maybe he has no problem with shoplifting. Maybe he’s disrespectful towards other women in his life like his mom or sister, or a female coworker. These are not things the woman always sees & knows right off the bat, they’re a pattern of behaviors that really only become apparent over time. And for some women, it’s already too late by the time they connect the dots, they’re already emotionally entangled and start justifying it any way they can.

    To be fair, I think the same thing can happen to men, too – they can get into a romantic relationship with a woman who seems fine on the surface only to eventually learn she’s a bitch. That doesn’t mean they’re attracted to bad girls; it means someone they were attracted to turned out to be a bad girl.

    Wouldn’t it be oh-so-helpful if bitches and assholes came with a warning label? 😉 Seriously, though, if we all had to wear labels on our foreheads that said whether or not we are “bad” or “good” or “somewhere in the middle,” I don’t think there would be a lot of Good women crawling all over Bad men. I’m not saying it wouldn’t happen at all – there are some men in this world who wear the Asshole Hat loud and proud and some women are attracted to them. But I’d wouldn’t say those women represent some kind of universal feminine appetite for bad men.

    • Don’t think I’ve seen anyone comment on this yet but here goes.
      The extremely agitating part is when “nice guy” tells her he is an asshole, gets ignored and she finds out first hand. Or when she is upset, goes to nice guy for emotional comfort, gets it and then finds a new guy to go after. It’s about the frustration of the nice guy that wants more than a friendship but can’t get it, and the frustration of some women who know this, who will use the guy for his comfort and basically treat him as a bf without the intimacy at times. It’s quite hard to explain and it’s more a feeling you get but it’s a bad feeling, the girls who flirt with the nice guys but then cut them down with the typical friendzone words which can shatter hopes in seconds. Feeling close to someone, like you have a chance, they flirt with you and it looks like they see you as more and you want more with them only to find they think of you as a brother? That is painful.

      The “Nice guy” problem is as much a problem of the women who quite literally mess around with them, it’s often assumed to just be about the guys who see girls dating others and thus they get upset but sadly it’s often more sinister. The current nice guy situation I see at the moment amongst friends has a very flirty young female who stirs up the feelings of the guys, but claims she doesn’t know she’s flirting. This could be true but these guys have had quite a few women mess with them and a few of them are now very bitter over it, the girls are confusing the hell out of them.

      Sorry to say it ladies but the “nice guy” problem isn’t the fault of the guys alone, there are quite a few women who’ve contributed bigtime to the problem, the ones that are after attention, know the guy likes them but will gladly use them for that attention without reciprocating intimacy, comfort, etc. The women who will gladly cry on your shoulder for hours about the latest “jerk” yet if the niceguy needs someone to talk to about stuff, she won’t be there or will be too busy. It becomes a one-sided relationship, niceguy feels used, bitter, angry, sexually and romantically frustrated. It can give birth to new jerks, it can send some to want to be pickup artists, it can shut others down. The fault isn’t on the nice guy alone, there is a lot of responsibility in the “bitches” that will gladly use those guys.

    • Women and men are primates and behave accordingly. Female sexual attraction to assholes isn’t universal (as in each and every woman every time), but it is true female tendency (as in most women, most of the time). There is no such tendency in male primates.

      Men aren’t attracted to obvious bitchiness, but women ARE attracted to obvious assholery.
      “Nice will get women way more laid than bitchiness, whereas as obvious assholery will get men way more laid than being nice. Sex with alphas (assholes) is a staple of female primate sexuality. That’s just the way it is. Women denying this is like men denying we (as a group) love young, buxom hotties.

  16. You seem to demonize men of African descent allude to the fact that men of African descent are what comes to mind when we think “dicks”, Drug dealers or Pimps? Why not these crooked suicidal all street brokers or or child molesters? Tiger Woods and Chris Brown are examples of the demise of men? Why not all these Caucasian male child actors who have done far worse.

    I like the mission of this blog but there is an underlying theme to reappoint the Anglo-Saxon male as an ideal man for women.

    There are men of other cultures that exhibit qualities that women want. These men don’t always look or act like Tom Hanks.

  17. Both men and women have been known to make really bad choices with lovers

    . The thing about choices is I have the option to not settle, to be alone, to deal with the aloneness. But, there are times in the past I could not deal with the aloneness and I was very aware of settling, and it didn’t feel good. So now I am willing to be alone, put myself out there and not settle. It’s not easy out there. One has to be fluent in BS, because with us men and women we can be fluent in it.

    • “Both men and women have been known to make really bad choices with lovers”

      I plead temporary insanity for wife #2. Fortunately #3 makes up for that mistake in spades. Life is good!

  18. You seem to demonize men of African descent allude to the fact that men of African descent are what comes to mind when we think “dicks”, Drug dealers or Pimps? Why not these crooked suicidal all street brokers or or child molesters? Tiger Woods and Chris Brown are examples of the demise of men? Why not all these Caucasian male child actors who have done far worse.

    I like the mission of this blog but there is an underlying theme to reappoint the Anglo-Saxon male as an ideal man for women.

    There are men of other cultures that exhibit qualities that women want. These men don’t always look like Tom Hanks.

    • Deanna Ogle says:

      Did you miss the part where he said Don Draper and Charlie Sheen are dicks and do terrible things to women? And how made-for-TV George Costanza, who is mentioned in the last two/most unfavorable categories is a sour bastard?

    • You’re reading what you want to read into this post. I didn’t mention Chris Brown btw, you did. Seems you’re falling victim to the very thing you’re arguing against. I mentioned people or characters who are widely recognized. Roissy, Don Draper, and Charlie Sheen are all white; drug dealers and pimps are not all black. If you want to play on statistics I probably overly demonized whites.

  19. Collins, Women want what they can’t have. It drives them nuts when the assholes ignore them. When you approach them realize that you willhear No and walk off before they have the time to reject you

    • Wow… what a weird and horrible thing to say about women. I have never desired someone who is mean, elusive, a player, etc. A dated stereotype.

  20. @collin:
    Ok. Lets take this apart a piece at a time.

    Youve made it clear that youre a shy guy. Chuck has made it clear (with quite a few ladies here cosigning) that guys who act, get the girls.

    You are expecting the rules to change for you, despite being clearly told how things work. This would be perfectly cool if indeed you could prove that your methold works…but you cant, because, by your own admission, it doesnt work.

    It seems pretty clear to me that in order for you to succeed, youll need to do something different. What, exactly?

    Well, for starters, stop being so damned shy. It doesnt work. Period.

    I lived in the nyc area very recently before moving back to my hometown of philly, and i can tell you, if youve got even a moderate amount of game you can and will cleanup in the big apple. The problem is that most dudes there are so incredibly lame that it would be funny if it werent so sad.

    Two summers ago i was at a ralphael siddiq concert in central park and got hit on by several ladies despite the fact that my lady was right there with me. A couple of guys i met there, lifelong nycers, didnt get any action at all; they came to the concert alone and went home alone. Ive seen exactly the same thing happen a few weeks later at another concert-this time in soho to see eric roberson. In fact it got so bad that erro (as hes known) had to stop his show and ask the brothas to approach the ladies(!). Ive never seen such a lame state of affairs in my life.

    Irl, people know me as a “laidback, cool, guy; but make no mistake-i know how to work the social butterfly thing when i have to. The simple truth of it is, women arent going to approach you-not the ones youd want, anyway-and you know this.

    So, again, now what, what are you going to do about it? Or do you honestly think youre not doing anything wrong and instead, its women who need to change? Im trying to be productive here, and remain true to chucks topic: being a man of agency.

    Your serve…


    • Don’t be shy. Right. If I weren’t shy… I wouldn’t be shy? I understand completely that being shy doesn’t help me in any way, shape, or form; however, I don’t see how I can just stop being shy. How? Be outgoing, have swagger, be confident, be playful, tease, etc, etc, etc, yes, I understand the WHAT, I don’t understand the HOW. And, to this point, I have never heard anyone give me any bit of advice for the “how.”

      “I want to go to the moon.”

      “Build a spaceship!”

      “Okay, thanks. How?”

      see what I’m saying?

      • CogNitive behavioral therapy, ssris, acting classes, improv skills, dating coaches, getting friends to practice with you, practice practice practice. I hate certain things that I’m not naturally good at but I have to be good at them for my job and life. I take classes grit my teeth and practice.

      • I’m shy too, and I still feel uncomfortable talking to strangers. I hate talking in large groups of people. But I do it all the time. It’s just a matter of practice, as Julie said. It’s just making an effort to speak up. It’s saying something to the woman after you saved her purse. Improv classes help. But most of all, you need to just practice speaking up. I practice on my cats sometimes. I practice on girls a lot.

        Here’s a couple links that can help.

        You don’t need swagger, you don’t need to be arrogant. It seems even you can’t tell the difference between confidence and arrogance. Being confident means understanding and being comfortable with your motives, and true confidence begets humility. Ego does not equal confidence. My boyfriend was truly confident – but he’s by no means a social butterfly. He prefers one on one conversations like I do. Being arrogant will turn off the kind of women you want, and turn on the crazy bitches.

      • It’s not you Collin. It is them… the women of NYC…
        However for you to get out of this predicament the burden IS on you. I’m not shy, but not so silly as to suggest you become “unshy”. I’m also not female so you don’t need to take my dating advice with a grain of salt. The best way for a man who is not an asshole to get women is to stack the deck.

        Own a small bar…, Teach a yoga class….Tutor. Put yourself in a situation where you are obviously running the show AND women will be more forgiving of your shyness and even approach you… in their way, not in a guy way. Stop worrying about how to be an asshole. That works, but are you really gonna put your sex life on hold why you internalize those skills/persona?

  21. I’m an analytically-minded guy, so should I approach the whole thing from a mathematical, logical, and analysis based position? Keep track of all the messages I send on every dating site, how many times I get responses, how much time I spend, how much money I spend, how many numbers I get, how many rejections, etc, and run the numbers? Seems very clinical and not what relationships are supposed to be about. Seems like the numbers would probably just make me depressed, because the numbers have been terrible already, and from everything I’ve heard, online dating is a numbers game… and not one that makes you feel good about yourself. There aren’t any good options, unfortunately, there isn’t going to be some sort of mutual connection “Oh, you must meet this guy!” or some woman who approaches me. There is also the fact that time is not exactly on my side.

    • @collin:
      Lol. I definitely feel where youre coming from-im an analytical and im black so you can imagine how that goes over; and ive done all the flowchart things youre speaking of right here, and to be frank they can help. But at the end of the day it comes back to my question to you:

      Do you intend to change who you are in order to get a different result, or not? Iow: are you willing to stop being so shy?

      Because if youre not, being analytical and applying this or that metric wont make one darned difference. Not. At. All.

      Back to you…


  22. Being the one who is doing the asking is way better than being asked. I’d be careful what you wish for, Collin.

    Julie – Notice no one has said confidence is unattractive, just that it is not a trait men generally seek out.

    • I disagree completely. I’d rather be the one doing the rejecting than being the one being rejected. A million times over, I’d rather that.

      • Nick, mostly says:

        Having been on both ends, I’d concur. Rejecting someone made me feel uncomfortable; being repeatedly rejected (by my girlfriend no less) eroded my self-esteem.

        • So I’m the only one whose college experiences included having to tell an aggressive persuer, while I was completely blasted on LSD, to leave me the hell alone? Hearing “no” was much easier after that experience.

          • Well it’s not nice to experience rejection, or the feeling of having to reject someone, the extreme of having an aggressive partner would be downright nasty. I would say they are comparing hitting on someone n facing rejection, working up the nerve to ask someone out vs rejecting someone, not the extreme but the very common mundane stuff. If you want to go to extremes how about asking out someone who you didn’t know had a bf, and now that bf is throwing punches?

            I’d still say it’s easier to reject someone vs hit on someone, but both are uncomfortable experiences.

  23. Hey chuck,
    Though you went about it in a less than honorable way (running off hugo, then taking his place), i nevertheless give you props on your “hiring” by the gmp. Hopefully this assignment will be the one that sees you actually grow up. 🙂

    Ok then to the topic at hand:

    Based on that which youve quoted about tony click, i must say that i disagree with his premise (and your cosigning of it). He is wrong to say that “nice guys” dont come across with their sexual agenda due to them “not wanting to offend”; they fail to do so because they dont want to be rejected; “offending” comes a distant second.

    It is the fear of rejection that is the bete boir of the “nice guy” contingent and it is this that most seperates them from their socalled “bad boy” brethren, who have a more “devil may care” stance. Ive addressed this at my blog, last year; in said post, i argued that the notion that a gentleman or brainy guy cant get laid/get a girlfriend/be appealing to the ladies is a crock. Not only am i living proof that this can be done, i give numerous case examples from history to illustrate the point.

    At any rate just wanted to drop that on ya. Again congrats and heres to you growing out of your archie bunker phase…


    • To be clear, I wasn’t “hired”. The site is pretty open source.

      • @chuck:
        Yes, i know you werent actually hired by gmp; hence the quotation marks.

        Nice dodge, though; do you want to actually discuss your article now? Believe it or not i think you raise a number of good points here…


  24. PursuitAce – You’re either misreading this or letting bias cloud your judgment. Perhaps both. This is dispassionate observation, not a swaggering tale of conquest, not that there would be anything wrong with that.

    • PursuitAce says:

      Nice try alpha. The rest of the males aren’t impressed anymore. But thanks for playing player.

  25. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I think “dick” is okay. The term “slur” always seems archaic to me. The reason women become addicted to bad boys, of course, is intermittent reinforcement. Harder to break. I’d know: I’m a b*tch magnet.

  26. Interesting categories…so true about perplexing category #3 guys…they try to hide their true natures behind some cowardly nice guy facade….the guys that piss me off the most are like that! (they really want to be out in the open like #2 guys!)….

    Luckily, I found a great #1 guy!

  27. PursuitAce says:

    And the answer IS…no…

  28. Funny how those making comments above can’t see the obvious: the article isn’t about women procuring resources from men. Not in the slightest. Women prefer men who act; as in, take action, active, etc. some comments above alllllmost grasp that..

    Anyhow, interesting perspective, probably true in most cases.

  29. PursuitAce says:

    When oh when do we see the end of alpha males telling us how the relationship world works and therefore what is wrong with the rest of us males. Do you ever get tired of hearing yourselves talk?

    • I’m an average guy; I wouldn’t call myself alpha, though I do strive to be an agentic nice guy rather than a passive one. But people will stop talking about how the relationship world works when relationships stop occurring. Until then, observable patterns will be discussed, kicked around, inspected, and analyzed. I don’t see the harm in talking about any of these things.

  30. I’ve been attracted to bad boys, though better termed wild boys – and it’s their wildess that makes them attractive, and if they make it past their youth, and have enough smarts, they mature their attractiveness into something like a Bear Grylls.

    But the real point here is Bear Grylls, and we should be talking about him instead of what we’re talking about now.

  31. Good post.

    I don’t know that Roissy is really that much of a bad boy or asshole. The examples from his own life that he’s used have been pretty mild. He does talk about the attraction of bad boys, assholes and even criminal thugs a lot though, and does give examples. (Though I think these guys rarely get the very hottest women.)

  32. I think Chuck is right on here and the ladies have confirmed it:

    Women want a man who is “interesting”, who is “doing something with his life”, and who doesn’t “put me on a pedestal”. In other words, a guy who really doesn’t care about them. This guy could be a no-account garbageman or a Master of the Universe investment banker – it doesn’t matter. The important thing is his attitude – does he treat me like he doesn’t care? Is he, in Chuck’s words, a “dick”? That’s the only thing that matters. Dick Garbageman will beat out Romantic Banker every day.

    • What? Are you saying that I want a man that doesn’t care about me? Where did you get that idea from? Of course I want a man that cares about me. I thought that I didn’t really need to say that. My boyfriend is incredibly attentive, will drop everything if I have a problem and help me, and gladly gives me massages when I ask. However, that doesn’t mean that he thinks that I am some sort of goddess placed upon this Earth to grace him with my presence and that I am without flaw or my own ugliness. And this doesn’t mean that I do not do the same for him. We support and care for each other, but I acknowledge his humanity and he acknowledges mine. We have our own interests outside of the relationship. We hang out with our own friends, and we do not need to be with each other 100% of the time. In other words, we have a healthy relationship.

      But not putting someone on a pedestal does NOT equate to does not care.

      • You’d rather have an outgoing jerk than a shy, passive guy who legitimately cares about you. The chance of a non-agentic nice guy getting into a relationship is close to zero. Women aren’t going to go out of their way to approach and interact with a nice, shy guy when they have the “confidence-is-sexy” agentic guy approaching them.

        • The same applies to men though. Would you go out of your way to interact with a shy, homely woman (who is passive but genuinely interested in you) when you have an outgoing, beautiful woman approaching you? This shouldn’t be a competition of who hurts who the most.

          Yes, I find men who are somewhat outgoing to be attractive. Does that mean that I don’t immediately find them to be repulsive when they end up being cocky self centered assholes with egos the size of Texas, because I learned what they look like and now avoid them? Does that mean that I do not talk to shy men or find other parts of them attractive? No! So please stop assuming that I exclusively date men that are jerks because I was naive and didn’t recognize them when I first entered the dating world.

          • Where did I say ugly? I didn’t. There are tons of perfectly good looking men that are shy and passive. Outgoing, beautiful women DON’T approach. That doesn’t happen. You don’t seem to understand the basic dating dynamics. In fact, very few women approach ever, and the only time they do approach is when the man is clearly above them and they are below the level he finds worth of approaching.

            The simple point is that the chances shy men get dates and relationships is basically zero and the same is not true for women. There have been studies that have shown “love shy” men to perform infinitely worse than any other group in terms of dating and relationships, while “love shy” women, there is no detrimental effect whatsoever to their performance in dating and relationships.

            I’m shy, but I’m rather attractive, I’m tall, I’m incredibly intelligent, I’m successful, and on and on and on. From an objective standpoint, I’m quite a catch. Of course, I have NEVER had a date, and I have NEVER had a relationship. Why? Because I’m a little on the shy side and not one to approach random women and hit on them. Therefore, despite the fact that I am “quite a catch” I will basically remain alone.

            • I didn’t say that shy guys are ugly either. I’m dating a guy who is very good looking but hey, he could never get a date either. He was always put in the friend zone.

              Are you aware that maybe a shy woman who passes by your radar might be interested in you? Perhaps you’re missing the women that ARE interested in you, but are too shy to say anything? Because that happens too. People miss when someone really is interested in them all the time.

              Women are not social geniuses by virtue of having a vagina. I’m certainly awkward, and that comes with the territory of being an introverted gamer. However, I put myself out there and hit on men myself. I certainly did so with my boyfriend. I wasn’t shy at all about my attraction to him. But most women are a) not used to making the first move (one of my girl friends never had a boyfriend because she just assumed that they would all make the moves) or b) too shy to do so.

              Being in the dating world requires a degree of putting yourself out there. I did, and I got a boyfriend. If I didn’t, I would have probably missed my chance with him.

              • You said in your very first sentence

                “The same applies to men though. Would you go out of your way to interact with a shy, homely woman”

                homely means ugly.

                • I’m sorry. I thought homely meant more like plain. That is what I meant. Not ugly, but not pretty either.

              • Basically what you are saying is that it is okay for women to be shy and not approach men — after all, even women who aren’t shy don’t approach men — but men who are shy are shit out of luck because they are the ones that have to do the approaching.

                • No, women should by all means put themselves out there. Many don’t and I tell them they should. They would be happier doing so. So instead of blaming all women, let’s instead change social norms so that pressure is taken off men.

                  However, I believe that putting yourself out there should extend to everyone. If you want a date, you need to express some interest in a woman. Just as a woman needs to express some interest in a man. This shouldn’t be a gender thing. Sitting around stewing in bitterness that nobody has approached you and you want a date isn’t very productive for anyone.

                  When I was a child I used to get very hurt that nobody invited me to play with them. I learned after a while that if I wanted someone to play with, I had to go out and ask people to join me. The same applies to the dating world.

                  • The same applies to men, not women. It SHOULD be that men and women ask each other out, but that isn’t the case. It’s just like paying. Men are expected to ask women out, we’re expected to pay for dates, etc, etc, etc. I’m sure Julie and a couple other women will ride in here and insist that they always want to split everything and that they ask out more than they get asked out, but this doesn’t jive with the real life experiences of anyone I have ever talked to save a handful of women on the internet.

                    • Hey, I split with my boyfriend. I even buy him dinner on occasion. But as you say, I’m a random internet woman. So I guess my experiences don’t count then.

                      Like Julie said, it’s confirmation bias. It depends on where you live, I suppose. I live in the Northeast of the US (I’m assuming you live somewhere in the US) so perhaps women are more assertive here? I’m not sure. But Julie and I have similar experiences and we are both from different age groups. I’m closer in age to you. Perhaps she was right, things were more liberal in the 80’s and 90’s, and people in our generation are more “traditional”. Which is silly. I think we should ask each other out and split the bill and all that good stuff. I feel weird when my boyfriend buys me dinner.

                      That being said, I think we can agree that the social norm should be changed. It won’t be changed immediately, but I think this conversation would be more productive if we could come up with solutions rather than be angry at each other people because people are assholes sometimes.

                    • I cannot speak for Collin, but I’ve seen this particular complaint on other sites and I usually get the impression of a group of people who are very unlike me and my friends. I think about people who are status oriented in a way my peer group wasn’t, traditional in ways they weren’t, seeking dating and mating in different ways. I never chose men based on money, cars, status stuff. Or, if I did, it was so tied into art production, performance, that the looks/money wasn’t the standard, but the talent. Likewise, the men I knew were not picking women based on sexual markers so much as it was pairing based on true mutual attraction.
                      It wasn’t ever “what a good pair, he’s a broker and she’s an art gallery owner, now she’ll be a SAHM and they’ll move to the hamptons.” (I hyperbolize)
                      It was, they both love theater and built a non-profit together.
                      I don’t relate to any of the SMP stuff, alphas, betas, women never asking men out. It’s like an alien world so far as I’m concerned. I don’t see it in the single theater people I know here in Austin. Then again, I don’t know many brokers, bankers, so maybe that’s more how the corporate world looks.

                    • I’ll give you an example. I will generally only make a move on a woman if I think she will like me and I legitimately like what she is about. This generally means I’m not looking to date random strangers. This means I get “friend zoned.” If, however, I were the agentic guy (guy #2) who didn’t care about women, I would be doing a lot better. Why? Because I’d approach some random woman in the bar, hit on her, not really care what she wants, thinks, feels, etc, not care about her as a person, and if she doesn’t show any interest, I’d be like “Whatever, this is chick #5 out of 500… on to the next!”

                      I am not guy #1… the supremely confident, glowing, innately knows that I’m so amazing that I don’t have to worry anything and exudes confidence nice guy. I am not there. I find guys #2 and #3 unpalatable because I’m just a nice, caring person at heart. I am guy #4. Unfortunately, how am I supposed to jump from #4 to #1? How is that possible. Part of getting confidence is having positive experiences. I have never had a positive experience in terms of dating/attempted dating. I’ve had experiences that have ranged from mildly unpleasant to a couple that made me want to end my own life. (though those were with truly cruel and manipulative girls who took pleasure in trying to see how much they could make me suffer). Unfortunately for me, my friends are generally much older (30’s and 40’s) because I’m intelligent and driven far beyond my years. What options does that leave me? Spray and pray online dating? Getting randomly lucky? Hoping I can get wealthy enough and become perfect enough where I morph from #4 to #1? That’s generally the approach I’m making right now, but it isn’t happening very quickly, and that at best involves another couple years of agonizingly loneliness.

                  • I live in NYC. You’d think that considering there are more single women in NYC than single men, it would be more likely for things to be more egalitarian, but I found that that, if anything, it is more hopeless. Unless you are a male model, or incredibly wealthy yet still very attractive, you are S.O.L.

                    • This may well be true. In that case, and I realize this is irritating advice given work, jobs, etc moving, I’d find a new place to live with better people (better attitudes). I remember watching “Rent” and I wanted to love it, I did. But I hated it mostly because everyone was just SO whiny. There was a whole number about moving to Sante Fe to live and be creative and I wanted to scream GO MOVE!!!! Be HAPPY!!! But they didn’t. NYC was too powerful a symbol to leave. And I get it. It’s a powerful city. But there are so so so many more people, ideas, jobs, events other places. Maybe there’d be more options for love too.

                    • Well, you are living in NYC. Besides LA, you’re in probably one of the shallowest cities in the US. No wonder it’s hard for you to find a date. I live in Maine. Perhaps the Portland scene is more liberal? Maybe it’s the cheap food. I don’t know.

                    • I think this a huge thing about it. I never had issues asking or being asked in Athens, Seattle, Austin. I know very happy people in Portland ME, OR, Ashland, Boulder, Ann Arbor etc etc etc.
                      I know a lot of very unhappy single people in LA and NYC (SF too at time, and Seattle has particular issues, but mostly pretty even handed).

                    • And since I am not male model attractive yet — my father was, but it took a while for him to grow into his looks… I’m still a touch awkward though still attractive — I’m working on the wealthy part. With that said, I can’t imagine living anywhere but NYC. I’m actually seriously considering just keeping track of every little detail of my attempts to get dates/laid/relationship to prove how different the experiences of men and women are. For example, I’ve had an OKCupid profile since Christmas. It is totally complete, everything filled out well and a couple pictures, and I have gotten a grand total of 6 visits. Even an ugly and overweight woman would probably get 6 messages in ONE day.

                    • So….the options here are-deal with the system you are in and try to find a mate via tracking everything you do, move and try to find people more like you, consider that something you are doing isn’t working (might not be looks or wealth, but something else, who knows), enjoy life without romance until you meet that person who really clicks with you, find a new set of people to hang out with altogether (maybe initially not as attractive as you’d like, but maybe they’d find you very attractive) and try new people/new systems/new actions.
                      That’s really all I see.
                      Sounds like you don’t want to move, don’t want to date homely women, and don’t think you are doing anything wrong, so I don’t have any other advice. You can blame this on women (the generalized woman) all you want, but your experience doesn’t sound anything like mine, or Stephs or other people, so I’d be trying new variables in the experiment.

                      Take a two month vacation or something in a new city. See how that differs. Try going uptown instead of downtown. Try dating less attractive, but assertive women?

                      If the same variables lead to the same result, the experiment is giving you the answer. Change the variables.

                    • I think you’d really be happier in a smaller city. Not to push another city on you, but you’d really be a catch in Portland. It’s a very artsy, close knit city. First Friday Art Walk is perhaps one of the best continuing social events in the city – every first friday of the month all the art galleries and the museum open their doors for free, offer free appetizers and drinks, and let people mingle. Really, it’s a great way to meet someone.

                      But, it seems you would like to be bitter in a shallow city. That’s your choice, and I guess I can’t really convince you otherwise. Live and let live, I suppose. I hope you find happiness.

                    • How can I date less attractive assertive women if they don’t come to me? How am I supposed to get people to approach me? I’ve never had a woman strike up a conversation with me. And I know the problem isn’t be being unattractive because I got hit on my good looking gay men ALL the time. I’d say I get hit on by between 10 and 15 men in any given week. So what is the deal? I don’t get it. It is hard to “enjoy life without romance” when you’ve never had a date or a relationship and can’t get laid. I would like to have sex. I hear it is great; I wouldn’t know. I’ve actually considered spending money on hookers.

                      Also, taking a 2 month vacation is impossible. Who has two months for vacation? You’re right, my experience isn’t like any woman’s experience because women don’t experience this. If you polled men on the other hand, you’d get experiences that are almost exactly the same. In fact, I wouldn’t say no to ANY woman who showed interest in going out with me. The closest I’ve come was a 33 year old friend of a friend who was definitely interested but my friend was like “I won’t let you do it. I cannot in good conscience let you go on a date with this girl.” So… yeah.

                      As for moving to Portland… not going to happen. I didn’t even want to go to Boston for college because it was too small for me. I’d rather be happy in the greatest city on the planet. I like not having to have a driver’s license, I like being able to eat at the best restaurants in the world, go to the best museums, enjoy the best nightlife, drink at the best bars, and have the best life entertainment. I also like the fact that I’m surrounded by 8 million people and no matter what time, day or night, I can do just about anything I want.

                    • “I’ve never had a woman strike up a conversation with me.” Ever? Not even like in the grocery store over what apple goes best with what cheese? I was in NYC two years ago and I struck up conversations with everyone and several struck up convos with me. It’s not like the meanest city in the world or anything. I found the people in shops to be really friendly, and the theater folk and restaurant folk I met to be super fun.
                      I strike up conversations all the time.

                      Or do you mean never had a woman hit on you kind of conversation. Collin, I don’t know something seems really hard to understand here, and I’m totally willing to believe you, I just don’t get it.

                    • Well, all right then. Live and let live. Perhaps it’s for the best that you stay in NYC. It seems like it suits you well.

                    • Yep, the choice is yours to try new things (new variables, make the sacrifices and find new data) or stay in the same pattern. And it’s clear you’d prefer that so good on ya.

                    • Seriously, Julie, not ever. I actually know how to cook too, so it is obvious to anyone I know what I’m doing when I’m in the grocery store. In fact, I make a point to never be wearing headphones when I’m somewhere that someone might try to strike up a conversation. Not “hit on me convo” but like random convo in the grocery store, or in a coffee shop, idle standing in line chat, nothing.

                      It makes no sense to you; it makes no sense to me; it makes no sense to my male friends; it makes no sense to my female friends; it just makes no sense.

                    • Question-do you strike up conversations? I notice that in my life I’m usually the person in the relationship (any relationship) that 80% of the time leads. I ask out, I strike up, I introduce first, I arrange events. Part of that with my intimate friends is that’s just my role, and they know I’m busy so they usually say…hey ping me when you want to do something.
                      With strangers, I’m usually out and about and notice something interesting about them and comment on it. Sometimes a conversation happens, sometimes not. My profession is also focused on talking to people. It’s not hard for me to do.
                      I usually wish I’d have gotten asked out more. Guys I dated usually said, “You were intimidating and I figured you’d say no.” Go figure.
                      I guess we are both outliers in our own way.

                    • No, I don’t generally strike up conversations… hence the shy part. I’m sure if I were less shy and more over-confident arrogant guy, I’d be doing great! If I just thought to myself, “This is about me, I will go for what I want, and do what I want, regardless of how it makes them feel because this is about me,” I’m sure things would be so much better. But I won’t leer at a girl on the subway and wink at her, because I feel like they would probably find that creepy. I don’t start conversations randomly… not usually, though I will if generally offer help or point something out if people need assistance. For example, there was a cute girl in front of me at Whole foods and her backpack was open with her purse hanging out, and I tapped her on the shoulder and told her that her backpack was open and her purse was hanging out. There really wasn’t a conversation, but I pointed it out to her either way.

                      I generally am one to offer help to people who need it. And, to be honest, I really don’t think I’m an outlier at all. My experience seems almost completely normal for any guy who isn’t extremely outgoing and assertive.

                    • My only argument here is that when I strike up conversations, Collin, my thought process isn’t ‘“This is about me, I will go for what I want, and do what I want, regardless of how it makes them feel because this is about me,””
                      It’s…wow, that person seems really interesting. If they don’t like it when I talk to them, I just go about my day.
                      This is the thing. it’s not about being hyper aggressive/over confident jerky, it’s about really being intrigued with people and wondering if a connection can be made or not. And letting go of outcome, I guess.

                      Leering and winking, sure, that’s not cool. But smiling and saying something nice to the gal whose purse you saved seems perfectly friendly and sweet.


                    • I ended up replying to this up above.

                    • I don’t have a solution to propose on this, and I see (as a woman who used to be very shy, and has a bunch of shy male friends) that the burden of all this falls more heavily on them than it does on me.

                      But it may help to remember that you only need one mate. I mean, there’s that whole belt-notching bullshit that some people care about, where to feel straight with the world you need a harem — but it doesn’t sound like you have that problem. In fact, it sounds like you are, in a certain way, unusually lucky: you know what you want, and what you want is sane, and when you get it, it will actually make you happy. Lots of guys could not say that for themselves.

          • Steph:
            The same applies to men though. Would you go out of your way to interact with a shy, homely woman (who is passive but genuinely interested in you) when you have an outgoing, beautiful woman approaching you? This shouldn’t be a competition of who hurts who the most.

            This is where your example fails.
            All that would generally matter to the man is that the woman is beautiful. Switch it around to shy, beautiful woman, or outgoing and confident homely woman. Men will pick the shy woman every time. Men don’t care about confident/shy traits in a woman.

            • All right then, what if you had two women, both were equally beautiful, but one was shy and one was confident?

              • It either wouldn’t matter, or I would chose the one who I thought was dressed better. If for the sake of argument we are talking about twins dressed the same I would probably go for the shy one honestly. It’s much easier to manipulate a low confidence woman into a date (and make no mistake asking for a date is a manipulation).

                When my wife got out of high school and started college she felt she was ugly, fat, and unattractive. No one had ever called her “pretty” or “beautiful” and was very low confidence and shy. Within a week of stepping on campus she was already dating, having guys tell her she was “hot”, and having sex with regularity.

                When I left high school and started college I thought I was ugly and unattractive. I had never been on a date, had never kissed a girl, and no one ever said I was handsome or complimented my looks. I was very shy. It took another 19 months before I had my first kiss or date.

                Please tell me what the difference was between us. The fact is that no reasonably attractive or even unattractive girl has ever had a problem getting a date because they were shy, passive, or had low confidence. It just doesn’t happen.

                • Why is asking out a woman a manipulation?
                  When I ask someone out it’s because I’m hoping they’ll say yes and I”ll get to know them (maybe get to have sexytimes) maybe form a relationship. I say hey, you are cool, i’d like to go out with you. I don’t think there is much manipulation in that is there?
                  What do you mean they are easier to manipulate into a date? Is the goal to get to know them? Or just sex? Just sex I can see how someone with low confidence would be more easily manipulated and thats…a turnoff.
                  A high confidence woman might mean you’d have to bring something equally good to the table huh? Not rely on tricksyness?

                  • When a man has to watch every word he says when asking a woman out because the wrong word or even wording can mean the difference between success and failure, it becomes a manipulation. Consider that a woman’s answer can change just based on how you worded a sentence or how you answered a question!

                    Long time ago (I was mid 20s was at a college bar, not a swanky place) was talking to a girl, things were going well then she mentioned something about liking some at Tiffany’s. I said “What’s Tiffany’s?” She replied “Oh my gosh you don’t know what Tiffany’s is?” Then she laughed in my face that I didn’t know, got up, and walked out of the bar. Suppose I had answered “Tiffany’s that’s great. They have nice stuff there.” She probably would have kept talking to me and we might have gone on a date.

                    or consider

                    A man walks up to a woman and says, “I was wondering if you’d like to go out with me sometime” (that’s probably how I would have approached it several years ago). Woman is turned off by the the line and declines. A man walks up to a woman and says, “You and I are going out this Friday so let me have your number” (woman buys into the confidence and doesn’t even realize it but likes being told what do to). She says yes and exchanges numbers.

                    The fact that the man has to watch every word he says and walk on egg shells is indicative of a manipulation. Being interested in just sex or getting to know a woman doesn’t matter because for the most part just having sex or getting to know a woman start off with a date first.

            • Unfortunate. I wonder why that’s a trait they don’t care about. Seems like if you want a life partner you’d really want someone you could count on to handle their own life. Maybe those fellows like women a bit insecure? It’s not all men, or confident women might not ever find mates. I’m a confident woman who married a quiet slightly shy man. What happened there I wonder.

              • Clearly you and I are exceptions, and we did it because we probably have more testosterone….or something. I don’t think it has anything to do at all with the fact that gender dating tendencies aren’t really tendencies at all, and that people learn on an individual level what they want or what is good for them.

                • Or we are ugly beta women who only approach men because we are desperate. I’ve heard that about me. Not from Collin, mind you but others. I think NY sounds like a very hard place to date. I’ve heard that from other men. I knew one online basically, hot guy. Had a hard hard time dating. He stuck it out and found the chick he wanted but man was he miserable for YEARS.

                  • Probably. NYC sounds hard to me as well. I loved NYC the times I visited it, but I wouldn’t want to live there. Too shallow, too concerned with wealth. I considered Boston, but it was too expensive. Boston is at least a bit more grounded though. But I’m happy I live in a smaller, very creative city. It’s always hosting new events and festivals, which offer a lot of times to get out and meet people.

                  • Wrt nyc…
                    Ive never had a problem with the ladies there and always thought it was like shooting fish in a barrell. Now, that might be due to the racial dynamic (im black and the ladies ive been interested have also been, for the most part, black as well), so maybe that changes a bit when it comes to white folks…? I dont know because the white guys ive known have cleaned up in nyc as well, so i dont know what to say. I think nyc is perhaps one of thee bestest places for a single guy to go if he wants to meet the ladies.


                  • Looks and partner count determine a woman’s alpha/betaness, not the act of asking a guy out.

  33. Richard Aubrey says:

    Where did #4 get the idea(s) about the way to act? Who told him?

    • Society, mothers, feminists, the media, etc. AKA, men that never had a man to teach them how to act around women.

  34. Is it possible to write an article without using a sexist slur (“dick”)?

  35. “For a majority of women, their choice of mate is directly related to the resources that mate can provide, and what a man can provide is a function of his action.”

    I think it’s interesting this is an article which brings up human agency, and yet is discussing romantic relationships as if people are locked into their biology…thus, without agency when it comes to relationships.

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      Actually, sexy sons (the backdoor guys) are dicks. This explains much about female adultery.

  36. The idea that all women want to have some of a man’s “stuff” is incredibly shallow and doesn’t fully understand how women work or what they need. To hell with a man’s resources. He can keep them. I have my own. I want (and have) a man that is interesting. He’s doing something with his life. He’s compelling. If he’s doing something that I am interested in or aligns with my own life path, then even better.

    A “nice guy” isn’t attractive because what he’s decided to do with his life is put me on a pedestal. To worship me. Get off your knees, man! I want to be able to look you in the eyes as an equal. I don’t want to be worshiped. I want respect. Groveling isn’t respect.

    I think Tony Clink has it right about nice guys turning off their sexuality though.

    • Steph,

      What explains women who are attracted to bad boys, then? The rhetoric doesn’t match the real world; we’ve all seen too many women falling for jerks. Whatever the cause is, women do want to be near assertive, agentic men. And I’ll start buying the argument that women don’t care about “stuff” from men when the 95% of them who currently desire an engagement ring upon marriage stop requiring them. And when women stop expressing their desire to marry up in terms of socioeconomic status (which I’ll admit is certainly not always the case, but even well-educated women with good careers tend to marry higher than their station, i.e. hypergamy) then I’ll buy the argument that women have stopped caring about resources.

      • Chuck,

        Yes, the assertive men are attractive. That’s because they have a degree of palpable confidence. Confidence is sexy. I’m sure that you like confident women yourself. The problem is that women don’t always recognize the difference between true confidence and cockiness or arrogance. And some women aren’t emotionally mature enough to learn the difference. They get hurt and they blame their pain on men, instead of seeing that they’re dating in a pattern and maybe they should change that.

        I have fallen for jerks. One was particularly abusive. After him I immediately changed and started looking for men that were legitimately nice. But the problem is that this abusive man was not immediately shitty. That happens in a lot of abusive relationships. They start out as charming and attentive, and the happy relationship neurotransmitters in the beginning help gloss over whatever red flags are immediately present. I thought he was nice. He turned out to be the complete opposite. This happened I was naive and thought that I could help “change” him, that I could love his anger and childhood problems away. Ever see Beauty and the Beast? Yeah. A lot of women feel this way. As if we women are magic and can love everyone’s problems away and everyone would live happily ever after. This of course is not true. Some women learn what the warning signs are after such relationships, and some don’t. I moved on and picked a man who was consistently put in the friend zone. He has been the most attentive and loving man I’ve known.

        By the way – I don’t want an engagement ring. Because the reasons behind it are completely insane. Diamonds are overrated and why the hell does anyone need some opulent and stupidly expensive to show that they love someone?

        • *ring
          Sad day, I missed this word in my last sentence.

          • The notion that men pine for confident women is projection. There is nothing wrong with honest confidence, but it’s just something that is. I’ve never heard a man include confidence on his list of necessary traits.

            On the flip side, engagement rings neither have to be large diamonds nor expensive. Any ring which the woman likes and is confident enough to wear with pride will do.

            • I’ve never heard of a man finding an insecure woman attractive. A woman that is comfortable in her skin and likes herself, honest confidence, is universally attractive. Not because anyone specifically says that they want confidence, but because a confident person is more attractive. So I stand by what I said that men find confidence sexy.

              But why do engagement rings exist anymore? And why do only women get engagement rings?

              • Women who are insecure, shy, and whatever will still get dates and relationships. Many men find it cute. Men don’t need an outgoing, “alpha woman.” The same cannot be said for women wanting men. Unless you’re an outgoing alpha who is approaching with swagger and true confidence or arrogance, you are not going to get dates no matter how attractive or successful. I’m 23, I own my own company, I’m tall, athletic, and not ugly, but without the alpha swagger, I have never even had a date. You’d never find a woman who rates as a 7 who has never had a date. Ever.

                • Many find it cute – in the beginning. Not later on, when the woman becomes possessive and jealous and crazy and searches through a man’s phone and belongings and internet history. Not when she constantly needs reassurance that she’s beautiful or a good person. These people are not sexy! Everyone is cute in the beginning! But you will not like an insecure woman, I can guarantee you that.

                  Look sir, I’m not that far behind you age wise. I’m only 20 myself. And women our age are stupid! We haven’t learned yet! Some have, but most have their own fantasies about men, just as men have their fantasies about women. I’m sorry for you, I don’t think you deserve that. But blaming all women and saying that every single woman in the world likes a man that treats her badly is also wrong. I was a woman that was treated badly. And I learned. But there are also women who are much lower than a 7 that don’t get a date! I know a lot of my female friends that don’t have boyfriends or a love life to speak of. It’s not just men.

                  • You don’t seem to be understanding here. I didn’t say that all women likes a man that treats her badly. I am saying that it is much much MUCH more likely for any given woman to be in a relationship with an arrogant tool who treats her poorly than a genuine nice guy who is on the shy side.

                    So I get to suffer because women don’t know what they want. But don’t worry, they say, it’ll be find when women are older and they’ve gotten tired of the unfulfilling relationships with “bad boys.” Then, after spending tons of time being involuntarily celibate because I’m shy, then they’ll consider me worthy of a look.

                    Yes, you will find unattractive and incredibly overweight women who are single. Of course, they are STILL more likely to get dates than unattractive and overweight men. Like I said, you would NEVER find a woman of my caliber who had never had a date or relationship.

                    • Okay, yes. I agree with you. Women are more likely to date an arrogant tool because they haven’t learned. I went through that, and I’m helping a good guy friend of mine try to deal with the fact that the woman he loves keeps dating guys that are assholes. But the same happens for men too. They date beautiful crazy women and stay with them because…. the sex? I guess? And sane women don’t always get to be with men because they’re slightly different. One of my close girl friends is very pretty and grounded. But she’s never had a true boyfriend in her life. She’s also close to 6 feet tall.

                      Can we agree that not everybody really dates the people that they should?

                  • You’re trying to make an equivalence where there isn’t one. You’re pulling out exceptions for the female experience and comparing it to the rule for men.

                    • They aren’t as much as exceptions as part of normal female experiences. Not all women go out on dates all the time, and there are plenty of women I know that don’t get dates at all. It’s easy to assume that women have no problem in the dating world and therefore just pick the jerks because they’re stupid. That’s not true. There are whole books dedicated to “Why You Can’t Get a Man”.

                  • Once again, you seem to be making these assumptions that I’ve said things I simply haven’t said. I didn’t say all women go out on dates all the time and that no women exist that can’t get a date. With that said, any moderately attractive woman will have almost no trouble getting date, and that is assuming she doesn’t approach as very few women actually do. If you assume that she actually approaches too, then the chances of her not being able to get a date approach zero. The same cannot be said for the vast majority of men.

                    • There are women in the world that approach and are turned down. I have seen it and been through that myself. Some men just don’t like it when a woman approaches them. Just because you would like a woman to approach doesn’t mean that all men do. But a lot of women don’t approach because they assume the man they would like to approach has no interest in her. Much like men do. Both genders have to get over this and accept it as a part of getting out into the dating world.

                    • What I’ve learned in reading about the SMP stuff, is that if a woman approaches a man, she’s nearly always considered not alpha enough. I’ve approached many people and dated by asking men out, but no matter that I say it, the response I get is that I’m unique, or not attractive perhaps.
                      I have no idea what the problem is. I watch women ask out men, etc etc. all the time.

                    • You say it, Julie, but I don’t know a single woman in real life who has asked out a man, and I don’t know a single man in real life that has been asked out by a woman. In fact, when I have made a comment about asking men out to women I know who are complaining about not being able to get the men they’re interested in to go out with them, they are usually stare at me as if I’ve grown horns. The only people I hear who say that this actually happens are women on the internet.

                    • I have no idea what to tell you. Bubbles filled with confirmation bias in both directions. Groups of people with very different goals and values. I don’t know many men who haven’t been asked out by women and I know a lot of very assertive (and yes attractive) women who ask men out and who get asked out. Also, in my history I’ve seen groups of friends where couples wind up pairing off without much “asking” so to speak.
                      Maybe things were just more liberal and egalitarian back in the late 80’s and 90’s.

              • I second Collin on secure/insecure women. Sometimes insecurity and concomitant shyness is cute. As to engagement rings, why not? Humans like baubles, but women much, much moreso than men. That is why they’ve persisted and why men don’t wear them.

                • Insecure women are not cute when you’ve been dating them for a while. They turn crazy and start becoming very needy. They’re the ones that look through your belongings and accuse you of cheating on them when you’ve done nothing but care for them.

                  • Just to clarify, there is a difference between security and confidence. The bunny-boilers can be quite secure in their insanity just as desirable girls can be reticent about strutting around as though they’re a gift to the world.

                    • But there’s also a difference between normal occasional self doubt and full blown insecurity. I kept getting that you though that a woman who didn’t feel secure at all was “cute”. Humility and self doubt are good. I’m-not-beautiful-and-I’m-a-horrible-person-and-so-I’m-dating-you-for-validation is not. I know plenty of men who haven’t learned the difference between that either. They keep going back to women that are horrible because they keep trying to “fix” the woman.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              I’ve never heard a man include confidence on his list of necessary traits.

              Consider yourself having heard. It’s number one on my list.

              • Nick, mostly – Fair enough, but I don’t completely believe you. For example, if you met a really confident swamp donkey with severe halitosis and a predilection for confidently making racist/bigoted/conservative/liberal/whateveryourbogeymanis statements, you would not be attracted. To put it less ridiculously, confidence is important after the non-negotiables have been satisfied.

                • I think nick is saying That confidence is one of the nonnegotiables. Like if she’s pretty and hot and insecure no deal

                  • But the absolute most important top of the list non-negotiable? I’d think intelligence would trump confidence if you’re after non-superficial traits.

                    • Nick, mostly says:

                      Intelligence is number 2, good guess. Care to speculate as to 3, 4 and 5?

                      But yes, as Julie said, confidence is necessary but not sufficient.

        • I’ll grant that confidence and status are difficult to untangle. They typically go hand-in-hand. The evo psych perspective sees a deeper motivation for the attraction to confidence than does yours.

          But we’re at least in agreement that women’s attraction patterns can be laid out on a visible spectrum.

          • Of course they can be laid out on a spectrum, just as men’s are. People are people. I still like men that are somewhat outgoing, but my boyfriend was someone who was consistently put in the friend zone. I chose him because he was a good friend of mine.

            I’m familiar with the evo psych perspective. I followed it for three years. But then I realized it just further separated the genders instead of offering a way to maybe change these things. They hurt everyone involved.

  37. I think we could do without ‘so’ in the third line of my comment. Oops!

  38. “Since women want resources, it would make sense that if given the choice, women would choose the nicest guy possible—as long as the nice guy has access to resources.”

    I am a woman, but I don’t want a man’s “resources”. I can fend for myself, thank you very much. And I would like my boyfriend/husband to do the same so in order to respect him for being an independent and motivated individual, not in the least because I want a slice of his cake.

    • I agree. I like motivated and independent men, or men who at least seem to be going somewhere, because those men are interesting. Not because I want him to buy me pretty diamonds. It might be evolutionary biology that says that we want resources, but after following such research for three years I gave up because after a while all it did was reinforce gender stereotypes.

  39. HidingFromtheDinosaurs says:

    How very wonderful.
    Another trite list of the castes into which unscientific scribblers have chosen to stratify my gender with regards to social interaction. I find it hardly unsurprising that, once again, I appear not to exist.

  40. @collin:
    Ive read all your comments and ive found them poignant and frank; i cannot disagree with a word that youve said.

    Having said that though-and keeping with chucks theme of this article, that of being a man of agency, i must ask:

    Now what?

    I mean, youve made clear your issues, problems, etc. The thing now is: what are you going to do about it? Ive seen julie and steph suggest a number of things to you and you summarily shot them all down. So, it seems to me that you either have better ideas than theyve presented, or, that you dont feel that you need to do anything differently, that indeed its women who must/should change.

    I dont know which, and would like very much to know what position you take.

    Holla back


  41. They’ve suggested I take a 2 month vacation and to move to a smaller city. I’m not sure how those are viable options. Finding a different circle of people to hang out with is a great idea… how? I know many of the “whats” but how and what are two very different things. So a shy guy is just going to randomly go out there and start trying to shove himself into groups of people to make friends? What is irrelevant if there is no how.

  42. Nick, mostly says:

    Perhaps you should, as Sitidos suggested, curse God and die. Or, you know, try and change things. If your current behavior and attitudes aren’t working to help you achieve your goals the world isn’t going to bend to accommodate you.

    But yes, a shy guy can just go out there and start making friends. I’ve seen kids do this when they go through adolescence. They try on new and different personalities to do so. For an example of this, listen to Episode 449 of This American Life for the story of The Mimis.

  43. Collin…if you truly only knew how many women would like to talk to you. As the guy, you need to make the first move. (I don’t make the rules! Blame God or society, I don’t care, but that’s the way it is. Unless of course you want a woman to pursue you. If you want a woman to pursue you, then you have to send women the same signals that a woman would send a man. But then you need to decide, do you want to be the passive energy in the relationship or do you want to be the assertive energy in the relationship.) But back to what I was saying. Women want you to talk to them. Look for their signals. Also, if a woman is not “receptive” to your advances, don’t be crushed by this. This is the difference between Agentic men and non-agentic men. A man of agency is just gonna move on and laugh it off. He’s gonna keep talking and flirting with women. He is not going to think he is a failure. Just say hi. Just look a girl in the eyes. You know why I am telling you this? Because your future girlfriend is waiting for you to ask her out.
    And YES, a shy guy IS going to shove himself up to people to make friends. And girlfriends. That’s how it is done my friend. That is exactly how it is done.

  44. Collin is shy and nice. Even if he were to overcome his shyness, he still has his niceness to overcome. Agency is indeed required of men for the simple reason women don’t ask men out, but agency is not what makes a guy successful with women despite your protests to the contrary. The real deal is that agentic jerks do much better with women than agentic nice guys who are only slightly better off than non agentic nice guys.

  45. I have no idea how many women would like to talk to me… no women ever talk to me! What signals? I don’t know what these “signals” look like. They don’t wave a flag in my face and say, “hey, you, come talk to me!”

  46. Nick, mostly says:

    Oh, but there are signals. Except when they’re not signals.
    Some people do them intentionally. Things like making eye contact, then looking down for a second or two, and then re-establishing eye contact.
    Or making eye contact, smiling, then turning away slightly while touching their hair.
    Then there’s touch the arm!
    Or a host of other body language that isn’t necessarily standard but might mean something or might not because ultimately it’s all a lot of mind reading.
    That’s the problem with non-verbal communication. But if you’d like a primer Google is your friend. Here’s a head start: SIRC Guide to Flirting

  47. Can I make a suggestion? Do you know a reasonably hip older woman, someone who is definitely not in the population you might date, but more like the person you’d like to be married to in forty years when you’re her age? If so, could you talk with her about this? Because I’m getting the feeling that somebody who knew you in person would have more insight about how women you meet are likely to perceive you. I mean, there’s a lot of variation in how shy guys present themselves. It’s really hard for anybody to assess his own demeanor. And it’s impossible to assess someone’s demeanor from blog comments. So this group can provide an ear, and encouragement maybe, but for advice on the level of “You’ve got spinach in your teeth”, you need a face-to-face meeting.

  48. Hmm, this is actually a good idea. I’d love to know what others think of me based on first impression as it would be handy, eg if I don’t smile enough and look intimidating. In high-school I was considered strange, odd, and could never understand why…my only guess is that I use to try talk to people or hang around and lockup, brain would go blank and I’d eventually get frustrated n move on. I guess that could look scary.

    But to Collin, I have social anxiety disorder and found it incredibly difficult to talk to people face to face, ESPECIALLY WOMEN. I spend most of my time alone however these days I am pushing my boundaries with the help of therapy and getting out there into the world, I am in a local club which has older women in it who over the years I have found easier to talk to. It has helped reduce the anxiety because you have a topic of convo already, in my case photography, so you get to learn communication in a relaxed and safe atmosphere. It helps for me with the older women as they are married and there is no sexual/romantic feelings in the way so I can learn how to communicate easier. It’s actually helped me communicate with women of all ages.

    So I suggest finding a club, a hobby or sport that is mixed genders as it can help increase confidence. Shyness I believe can be overcome, first you have to work out why you are shy? If it’s a confidence/self-esteem issue then therapy can help with helping you overcome that. In the last year my confidence has increased dramatically, I was far far more anxious and avoided talking to people but now I am naturally becoming a chatterbox and I LOVE IT.

    I still have work to do though, especially to ask someone out but with practice, patience and persistence (to overcoming the problem, not harassing someone) it will happen.

  49. “A hip older woman”? “forty years”?
    Yeah, asking menopausal women for tips on what single women in their 20s want is a great idea. Probably more important than demeanor (only because this part of it comes first), is your clothing. Find a woman with a good sense of fashion who will help you get a new wardrobe. Your demeanor will change once you feel good about looking good.

    Not to mention women are even more superficial than men they will just never admit it. How you dress is important to them.


  1. […] go for it. It ain't for all of us but everyone needs someone to love them!Powered by Yahoo! AnswersDonna asks…Why Do women love to mud bath?I always had this question going on in my mind and no gir…ontent">Why Do women love to mud bath?I always had this question going on in my mind and no girl […]

  2. […] Reed – “Two Narratives”Chuck Rudd – “I Was Molested“, “The Five Types of Men You Will Meet“, “Pimples But No Suffering“, “Interpreting a Song About […]

  3. […] guys, sometimes queer people, yoga practitioners, and sometimes, such as with Chuck Rudd’s Five Types of Men You Will Meet, it seems directed towards firm believers in the game. So when I criticize Rudd, I don’t see him […]

  4. […] at Jezebel on the topic of women being attracted to assholes.  So I adapted an old post that is now up at Good Men Project (whorefinder […]

Speak Your Mind