Attraction,  Essay,  Women

Science Continues to Study and Misinterpret Women’s Desires

This article claims that science backs up a woman’s desire for bad boys then implores men to be “nice” anyway.

“In the end, the idea that women want to date bad boys really just reinforces the misogynist’s idea of deceitful women and earnest “nice” men baffled by their lack of dating success. It allows some men to blame and hate women as a means of deflecting attention away from their own shortcomings. So, if you’re looking to science for some advice, it’s simple: be nice.”

The problem with articles like this is that the oblivious researchers and readers align “badness” with smoking, criminal behavior, deception, cheating and violence. Then they align “goodness” with men being “nice” or appeasing, acquiescing.

It has nothing to do with this. As a connoisseur of bad boys, I can tell you that most true bad boys are unapologetically honest, hard-working, straightforward and protective. When they care, they care a lot. When they don’t care, they don’t pretend to.

They are not criminals or cheaters any more than anyone else.  They don’t have to pretend or manipulate because they know how to get what they want. They don’t need to deceive because they understand how to manage the world. They know that what they want is out there. They seek it out and obtain it instead of attempting to change or manipulate someone into providing what they want using nefarious or weak minded ways. They are often considered “bad boys” and assholes not because they are acting in harmful ways but because they aren’t caving to the society’s expectations or someone else’s needs before their own.

In our politically correct culture, a bad boy who is straightforward about wanting his solitude, enjoying sex without commitment, or not wanting to fit in by societies rules will be labeled an asshole because he’s not conforming. But he isn’t the way he is just to get something or to displease others. He’s the way he is because it is congruent with his wants and desires. He is the way he is because he is being honest with himself and you.  He’s an honest asshole.

At some point, all bad boys (and bitches) learned that towing the line, pretending to be something other than what he is causes more suffering than the losses he may face when others label him an asshole or a bad boy. Does he miss out on women and opportunities he might have experienced if he acted the part? Probably. Is it worth it? Yes. He likely gained other opportunities, or created other opportunities for himself that were more aligned with his goals and values.

Given the opportunity to live as your own man, be responsible for yourself, answering to no one but yourself– those missed opportunities are not a loss. There are many other, pleasurable and rewarding opportunities that will come from living a life with your actions and beliefs aligned.

So why are women so drawn to these bad boys? Women don’t want a man who is just like us. We want a man who will be the calm center to our storm. We want a man who will anchor us emotionally without pulling us underwater. We want a man who will enjoy the chaos and excitement we bring but know when to reel it in.

Women and men are supposed to be complementary, not mirror images. The biggest reason women are unhappy with modern men is that they are becoming too similar to women: pouring out their feelings, emoting, indecisive, fickle, insecure. And the biggest reason men are unhappy with modern women is we are becoming too similar to men: demanding, inflexible, stoic, goal oriented, angry and even violent.

I’m emotionally sensitive. I don’t want a man who is emotionally sensitive. We will never get anywhere. We will be lost our feelings. What a heavy, narcissistic place to be.

I overthink. I don’t want a man who will overthink. We will lose track of where we started and never find an end. What a waste of time.

What most don’t understand is that it’s not that he’s insensitive or uncaring.  It is not that we want a man who cares about NOTHING; it’s that we don’t want a man who cares about EVERYTHING.

There are things he cares about and he cares about them deeply.  For those thing he will work hard, sacrifice, invest his time and energy and honor. But only for the things HE cares about. And if it’s things you think he should care about or society thinks he should care about but he doesn’t see the value in, no amount of shame or guilt or pleading or force will make him care.

If he cares about every issue the world wanted him to care about, he will be ineffective. He will care too much about one thing in a certain environment (his boss) and too much about another in another environment (his mother) and another in another environment (his ex-girlfriend) and he will be pulled in so many directions there will soon be nothing consistent about him and he will have nothing to offer us.

Strong steady type? Not when he’s catering to everyone else’s needs. If he’s so busy catering and bowing to the needs of others, when will he be the dependable man I need? If I am one of the things he’s passionate about I can depend on him, but not if he’s at the beck and call of so many others and makes everything his problem to solve like a martyr to his ego and pride.

If a man caters to all of my moods, all day long, he will be a scared puppy before long, walking on egg shells. He will never know what is next or how to make things better because they don’t get better, this is just how it is. I don’t want him to validate all my moods and emotions. I know very well that the frustration I feel at 9 am can turn into excitement at 11 am. How exhausting to try to keep up with me! And I’m a relatively stable girl. The more attention he invests in my whims, the more we stay on the whims.

One of my favorite men used to handle me really well when I was upset over something small that was occupying too much space in my head and getting in the way of our time together.  When I was whining or bitching, he would look at me with indifference and say, “suck it up buttercup.” Then he would get back to what he was doing.

I was shocked! How dare he? Like a brat, I got huffy and without flinching, he’d walk over to me, undo his belt and start to unzip. “Want me to help? Here’s something to suck.” And that was it, I was in stitches laughing my ass off. That was all it took to shake me out of my self-obsessed, navel gazing and launch me out of my mood and into a new state of mind. The shock of it, the playfulness, the sense that “Hey, get a grip, this is the least of your worries” gave me perspective without sitting me down for a lecture or to listen to me blather on for hours. The added beauty was he didn’t even need a new tactic when I had another mood. He could use the same one over and over and it got funnier each time. It became so effective that when he was grumbling about something stupid like how his golf clubs weren’t very effective or his boss was a pain, I’d respond in same way with “Suck it up butter cup” or even just reaching for my zipper and it would lead to laughing, screwing, joking, eating–anything but dwelling in our petty frustrations.

We don’t want men to invest in our moods. We want men to liberate us from our moods, distract us, center us, calm us.  Entitlement and self-absorption are two of the most unattractive traits and men catering to every mood a woman has only feeds our narcissism and sense of entitlement.  If all you do is feed her entitlement, it will grow so big no one will satisfy it, and you will be gone. Why? You never made her feel better. You made her feel worse. You invested in her bad mood, her weak moment and gave her petty concerns value.

Bad boys aren’t that bad.  Bad boys invest in what matters to them.  They invest in what gives them fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure.  They don’t feel obligated to coddle, give it another try, be guilted into something.  As such they won’t pretend to care that your entire life is ruined because you had a run in your panty hose. They won’t jump to fix every mood and leap to respond to every whim.  They don’t have time for fleeting thoughts or fleeting moments. And when we are with them, neither do we.

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8 Comments

  • Nicholas the Jovian

    This explains, and from a feminine point of view, something I’ve been casting about for ways to explain, for a couple of weeks now. I’ve about decided to break it into 2 items, and this has the key to both. Thank you!

    Obviously the article’s author has not the faintest clue of much of what he’s referring to, from confusion about “negging” (which is nothing more than basic teasing) to laying out the Science! and insisting on a conclusion that opposes it. But what should one expect from someone whose “research on body image borrows concepts from first-wave feminist scholarship to examine the way in which beauty ideals and practices shift awareness away from real competencies to superficial aspects related to beauty and appearance.” Geez. Oh, I wandered off a bit, there.

    Viren does manage to clearly lay out “bad boy” as insensitive, aggressive, and self-primary before ignoring basic psychology and assuming people’s self-reporting is accurate. Simple fix: instead of asking who they prefer, set up something where people actually think they’re going to date this person. A study linked at that article includes such improvements, and the shift is hilariously sharp. If only he’d completed the observation started with, “when women rate hypothetical partners, they clearly prefer ‘nice’ men.”

    A question, though: Are the honest and basically masculine ones actually considered bad? Is it really bad boy territory to have backbone and some amused impunity, or to have interests in one’s own interests? Or does it require the rest of the package described in the studies?

  • Ash

    I have a hard time commenting on bad boys and nice guys because it seems to be subjective what constitutes as a bad boy and what is a nice guy. I also read the article you linked the other day, and it added to my confusion. I have always thought a nice guy is a guy who has a pleasant attitudes and who is polite and respects people, especially the woman he loves. That is very attractive to me. I have always equated a bad boy as a guy who might look good, but he is a womanizer and has no regard for anyone else – not attractive.

    But it seems the majority of people think the nice guy is n insecure, pandering geek whose whole world is his woman, and a bad boy as a typical guy with his own mission in life. In this case, I can see why people would think the nice guy isn’t attractive and the bad boy is.

    I just hope that men aren’t getting the wrong idea and think it’s okay to treat people badly just because women admit they like the bad boy. Because if I know you Kitten, I don’t think you’d be the type of woman to put up with shit anyway lol.

    • Anonymous

      I’m still curious what you think about a man showing “emotions.” for me, I don’t show emotions very often with my girlfriend and that upsets her. But from Kitten’s article, she knows that men aren’t emotional and understands that. I wish that rang true for everyone.

      • Ash

        Anonymous, from what I’ve researched on this topic, it seems that men do have emotions that are much the same or at least very similar to women’s emotions. But for men, it takes them longer to process and identify the emotions and then they prefer to express their emotions differently than women. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just the way it is. What probably upsets your girlfriend, (if she’s anything like me) is that by not showing your emotions, she feels like she’s missing out on a big part of who you are. She doesn’t want you to hide emotions about her or your relationship that she feels are an impact on her and her relationship with you, whether they be positive or negative emotions. I know that when I have dealt with men (or women) who don’t show their emotions, it’s like they have a wall up and I can’t fully connect with them in the way that I want to. That goes for anyone, friends, family, romantic partners. But then again, you shouldn’t be forced into showing emotions if it makes you that uncomfortable to do so. You might want to ask her specifically why it upsets her and try to reassure her in your own way of your choosing. Hope that helps.

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