- Castrated Men and Uptight Women.
The other day, herbaliser pointed me to a post on the Stranger’s Slog by Dan Savage regarding “nice guys” and their fear of being (seen as) pigs, centering around a letter from a 28-year-old virgin (!!).
This, as many of you know, is one of my pet topics. I can’t stand nice guys. And, to be clear, I’m not talking about people who are genuinely nice; I’m talking about people who need to be perceived as nice. Men who, due to shyness, insecurity, or some misplaced ideology (think: masculine guilt) cower behind safe opinions, don’t stand-up for themselves and go out of their way to behave how they think people want them to behave. Spineless men who, inevitably, descend to either self-righteousness judgment, a victim mentality or both. These are the scumbags who think pretending to be a girl’s friend gives them some sort of priority ranking in her dating life – and then get mopey when she dates a “bad boy” (who is really just someone who is confident, assertive and willing to make the first move). If you’re reading this and it sounds at all familiar: grow a dick. Seriously.Of course, nice guy’s mean well. They just want to be liked and accepted, like anyone. Their only crime is that they’ve taken the text-book social code (of treating other people with respect, honoring their boundaries) too seriously; they try too hard. They’ve substituted personality with inoffensiveness. We’ve all been here, I suspect; some of us got over it in grade school, others waited until college. But we got there. Nice guys, however, are stuck in that rut; they are so invested in their ideology that it becomes a matter of pride: they see themselves as a rare and noble breed that has been abandoned by a misguided and irresponsible world. And, of course, their views are probably reinforced (if not informed) by female friends who project their discomfort with unwelcome male advances inside stories of being “stalked” (for fun, see almost raped).
Anyway, back to the article. Dan Savage gives some sensible advice that boils down to the following wisdom:
Let your inner pig out… Everyone wants to be with someone who LUSTS after ‘em, or wants ‘em, who’ll take ‘em. You can be a good, respectful guy AND be a “pig” too... The next time you’re interested in a woman, let her know… Will she think you’re a pig? If she isn’t into you, she might. If she is, she won’t.Which I pretty much completely agree with. But the really interesting part of the post (as is the case with most posts) is the responses. Some of my favorites - where “favorites” means comments that reinforce or articulate my own views:
My daughter describes every guy who expresses interest in her or any of her friends as a "stalker". – Max Solomon..Discuss.
I'm guessing that this guy is from Seattle. Poor bastard… I've never lived anywhere with a bigger concentration of either a) angry, hostile, self-absorbed women, or b) the passive, wimpy men who (ever-so-secretly) love them… [he should go] somewhere with decent weather, where men and women both actually like to flirt, date and fuck (without the need for "sex-positive" movements, classes, or special hardware), and the whole "acting like a man" thing will almost automatically follow.... – A Non Imus.
Oh dear, a nice guy… someone who drank the Kool-Aid that expressing any interest whatsoever in a woman automatically relegated him to the creepy player/The Secret asshole category. Five'll get you ten this guy probably has a decent sized circle of platonic girl friends to boot and that they all complain about those guys in the bar who come up and ogle their tits and ask for phone numbers. – Chris B.
Has he ever considered how even more disrespectful it is for a man to "protect" a woman by not showing any sexual desire? Women have sexual desires of their own, and we don't need your misguided chivalry. – Ashley.
For most females, it can be really hard to tell a guy who likes you to his face that you hate his guts. Most females try to show common courtesy while kind of making excuses, and a lot of guys mistake that for interest/friendliness so they will repeatedly approach a female and that's where a lot of the unfair "stalker" rumors get started. – EmmiG.
Newsflash. Women are also pigs. That's why they call the act of physical love 'Making Bacon'. – The Artist Formerly Known As Sigourney Beaver
This what happens when you treat your little kid that all men are scum. – To Single Mothers.
"These are the scumbags who think pretending to be a girl’s friend gives them some sort of priority ranking in her dating life – and then get mopey when she dates a “bad boy” (who is really just someone who is confident, assertive and willing to make the first move)."
ugh, yes. as the 'you are a girl but i just feel so COMFORTABLE with you' girl, i have had my ear bent SO often by the 'nice guy' who is really just the 'chickenshit guy.' not to mention hot guys who get lots of chicks tend to be jerky cuz they can be. i bet if the nice guys had 20 women fighting over their dick they'd dry their tears and get un-sensitive pretty quick.
Seriously. I respect more than anything people who don't tolerate fools - and the less dependent you are on any individual the less like you are to put up with people's bullshit. That confidence and independence is attractive (both sexually and otherwise). It's a self-reinforcing cycle.
A guy who is genuinely nice doesn't need to tell the world how effin' nice he is. He is too busy being a socially adept human.
I am with Dan Savage's sensible advice. My husband is a nice guy and when he met me he also let me know he was into me and hey what the heck I was into him too.
I have also been around guys who were into me and while I wasn't into them I was polite about it and didn't call them a stalker and I didn't tell them what an asshole they were for daring to express their feelings.
I totally agree. I have a handful of friends that I consider genuinely nice guys - people who everyone respects and are drawn to because they're fun-loving, authentic, and accepting. But they are very clear about their boundaries and will firmly uphold them; they don't tolerate drama or put up with bullshit. Those guys are rare, but they exist.
At a more abstract level, I agree with the pattern of "show not tell". If you are [smart|nice|ethical|moral|successful|beautiful|etc] then you don't need to project that onto the world, the world will judge you by your actions. (This is one of the things that bothers me about politics and politically-passionate people alike - and, in turn, why I enjoy taunting them so much).
As a response to his statement that you're only pig if she's not into you, and this is why I love online dating, that is definitely my experience. Two of my friends are also on okcupid and we are very similar in a lot of ways so we tend to get matched up and approached by the same guys. It's a little weird but pretty handy because we can compare notes. I asked them about a guy I've been talking to recently who's initial approach to me was very direct and sexual in nature. At the same time I didn't feel disrespected by him. One of the friends spoke to him and was immediately turned off by him but I was interested and continued talking to him and will probably meet him eventually. So is he a pig? Well to my friend he was but clearly not to me. On the other hand I was turned immediately off by a guy who casually asked me how my "dirty story" was going after I told him that I was entering an erotic story contest. It definitely has a lot to do with attraction.
I also really like Ashley's comment because it does seem to be the case that men think they need to protect women from their own savage sexual appetites. How much of that is social conditioning and how much of that is purely self-preservation on the dating scene I don't know. Rejection isn't easy. I just wish everyone was more honest. If you just want to fuck...say so!
The "if she isn’t into you, she might" line resonated with me as well. It reminds me of The Game. You only need to play the game if someone isn't into you; if they are, you can dismiss all of the rules (as I did when I met Katie, as you probably remember). And, by that token, if you're looking for an honest, mutual connection with someone you might as well just wear your heart on your sleeve (or your genitals, depending on your objectives) as the only additional people who the game nets you are the people you aren't interested in.
I agree regarding the protection nonsense. It's the delicate flower
argument. It assumes a level of helplessness; it's very disempowering.
| Women are total pigs. - lormagins [20.10.08::09:31]|| |#1
: Seattle sucks for dating because it's full of retards. Yes, it is. That doesn't mean everyone in Seattle is retarded, just a large portion of the population.#2
: Nice guys are annoying. I don't want to be your mom/faghag/whatever. #3
: 'Bad guys', aka the ones that lech or ogle your tits or whatever are not what we're looking for in a bad guy. Frat boys ogle, bad guys don't have to. #4
: The 'bad guys' we're actually wanting are assertive, confident, intelligent, independent, with a little of what some might call 'pig' behavior, but not boorish, infantile, squishy, or needy. See the difference?
Here's the thing: Perfection doesn't exist, and what's left isn't really worth my time. I absolutely agree that women in Seattle are evil bitches and the men are bitter pussies. They can all have each other, and their sock-infested birkenstocks. #5
: Good god, bacon sounds wonderful right now. I haven't had bacon in like, a year. MMMMMM. Bacon. :D
Thanks for the link. When we were talking about this on Friday (or Saturday?) night I was so with you on this shit. I was a late bloomer on getting out of the nice guy rut, most likely because my relationship from my early 20s was so extremely long-term and I didn't get much dating/single-guy experience. It's pretty eye-opening when you figure it out though.
There is nothing more cringe-worthy than when you see a guy in this mode, and it's so obvious how they feel because of how strangely they're reacting to the girl. Just giggling, laughing nervously around her and overreacting to her every move. But ultimately signifying nothing, avoiding eye contact at those moments that would make it all crystalize... So, so painful.
. I'm not convinced that this is genetic. I'm sure there is a degree of that, sure. But I think there are very clear and obvious foundations for this type of behavior that are clearly scoped in the nurture-zone. Many of these are discussed elsewhere on this thread, but I think the big one is "male guilt".
I much prefer the humble-nature, listening skills and humility of "nice" guys to the arrogance, insensitivity and self-righteousness of assholes... but assholes are just way better in bed, so yanno, I compromise!
You just need to filter out all of the "nice" guys and keep exclusively to genuinely decent men - ones who are confident enough that they don't need to posture while still knowing how to stand-on-their-own (in the bedroom or out).
Also, while arrogance and insensitivity may be in the domain of assholes, I find that "nice guys" are more self-righteous. Although it's hard to say because, you know, a lot of assholes are just overcompensating for their insecurity (I'll save those dipshits for another post).
The worst for me was that I bought into the nice guy story so much that I refused to see my own actions as anything less than "nice."
"No no, silly girl. I did not hurt your feelings just then. I can't do that. I am the nice guy!"
Totally. This is what I was referring to with "they are so invested in their ideology that it becomes a matter of pride: they see themselves as a rare and noble breed that has been abandoned by a misguided and irresponsible world." The hallmark of an ideology is viewing the world as it "ought" to work instead of how it actually works; the nice guy is so convinced that being respectful is equivelenent to being spineless that he can't possibly accept fault for his loneliness or responsibility for other people's irritation. If a girl rejects him for a "bad boy" it's because she isn't willing to grow up and settle down with someone who will treat her "right", or because she's too caught up in fulfilling some image that she can't see what's right in front of her.
This is just bizarre. The discussion is also a good example of how people have an incessant need to put others into boxes/categories ("nice guys" "bad boys") in order to form tidy opinions about them. It's laughable. People use these categories in order to facilitate using others as a measuring stick (to stand next to).
If the entire issue for this guy was getting some, it really wouldn't be an issue would it? Flatworms have sex (well, the loser, maybe the "nicer guy?" gets stabbed after penis fencing). Getting some might make this guy feel better but it's not going to cure his problem. None of know what it is based on what he asked.
At any rate: According to you, being sexually assertive and not respecting boundaries = confidence? No. ---just as boorish defense of an opinion also doesn't = being right.
I'm in no way suggesting that people not respect boundaries. I understand where you got that impression, but it's completely counter to my beliefs. Instead, I'm suggesting that well-meaning men become paralized in an effort to respect perceived boundaries. If he's interested in a girl he should make that clear to her; that doesn't make him a "pig". Now, if she tells him no and he continually pursues her or fails to respect clearly defined boundaries (e.g., "I'm not interested", "Get away from me" or a simple "no") then he is a pig. But that's not what anyone is suggesting here.
This is well articulated in the Slog comment by Phoebe: "I'll add that even if she doesn't like him, I don't think she'll think he's a pig. Here's where pig comes in: you make a move, she says no, and you don't take no for an answer. That's where pig comes in. All else is welcome, or at least 'flattering'." - obviously not all women agree with that, but I think it's a reasonable distinction.
The reason I don't like nor accept the above version of "nice guy" is based on my own need to feel liked and accepted; unfortunately, that feeling is inextricably tied to my appearance and sexuality. My boobs make me lovable! Thus, some drunk asshole in a bar hitting on me, as much as I pretend to be offended, fulfills my sick urge to feel pretty in a way that some "nice guy" asking me questions about the last book I read never could.
I blame society!
| what everyone seemed to miss - herbaliser [21.10.08::03:26]|| |
The truth of the matter is, everyone answering this is at least 25, and therefore has grown past the Nice Guy syndrome. I mean since I graduated college I have had like 2 male friends who never put the moves on me (or implied they would have had I been single). Granted I'm cute, but guess how many guys asked me out from ages 16-23 compared to 25-28? It had nothing to do with anything but that the guys Grew Up and realized girls wouldn't murder you b/c you wanted to sleep with them.
The guy in the letter, who is a 28 year old Virgin, is pretty obviously deranged. His entire letter reads like code for a serial killer's diary.
If I hadn’t been such a coward I could have made pass at her and maybe I’d get to date her now. I need to fix this problem now before it’s too late.
Sex is clearly code for killing. If he hadn't been such a coward he could have her in his freezer by now! And he wants to do it BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE. Dan Savage's reply gives implicit permission for the dude to act on his deepest urges, not fucking but slaughter.
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