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.
I agree, he should make that clear to her, up front. There are fewer boundaries/less potential for paralysis up front because you don't know the person well enough to have any/there isn't a relationship/friendship. If you take two years to get to know someone (as he described) and perceive that they are giving you signals of interest, you've got more at stake at that point than being perceived as a pig; you have a relationship with that person that you will likely lose if she responds with "no." In the simplest terms I think his biggest problem is getting to know the person, too well before approaching them as a potential mate. The "male friend" turned someone trying to breathe in your ear and lick you is almost never flattering. It's worse than the lusty groping pig man. He's apparently experienced this response, but he hasn't learned it because he's not just out for sex. ---that's not the root of his problem. He might not even be a nice guy.
Totally. This is why I put "nice" in quotes - I don't think these are nice guys, I think they're just guys who lack backbone and mistake passiveness for being nice. In their eyes they're nice, and they're often mistaken as nice because they're not forward with their interests - but in the end, this puts stress on them and the people they're around as their underlying motives come to the surface.
Anyone who has that much self control is not spineless (like any investor on the floor who didn't sell sell sell last week). He might not be "nice" either and I wouldn't call him passive. It does come back to his underlying motive which seems to me to be not only getting what he wants. As I see it, he's trying to please and predict another person's actions/responses (and he's taken the time to get to know them well enough to think he's figured out both) without disclosing how he feels or what he's really after/what he wants. That's calculating. Anyone who calculates that much before acting is very difficult to handle.
As for putting people into boxes/categories: of course! I don't think this is intrincally negative (or laughable), but I do agree that it can be dangerous. When you commit generalization to either a specific person (e.g., prejudice) or a reactive action then you risk disregarding the complexity of a situation by trying to map it to a convenient pre-established concept. I don't think this negates the purpose of those boxes, but they obviously should be applied with caution.
As for this particular guy - you may well be right. Obviously we don't know enough details about his situation. His lack of sex is probably a symptom of a deeper issue. I have no interest in this guy, but the discussion does highlight a general pattern that I find interesting. The purpose of this thread is to discuss that pattern, not the particular guy.
In my personal experience, it's a lot easier to stick someone into the "good/nice guy" "bad guy" bin until you get to know them. Anyone you know intimately gets harder and harder to stuff into one of those boxes. Kinda like it's a lot easier to be racist until you get to know people from that particular race. Part of what you are saying here: the "nice guy" is hiding something/manipulating the situation and is still not able to get what he's after because the shortest distance between two points is a straight line (I believe you said, "grow a dick.") I agree with that, but I'm also saying, his problem is not being a "nice guy" so don't try to stuff him into that bin in the first place---the sex isn't what he's really after (would he be 28 and a virgin if that was all he was really after? Probably not.) If he gets a little, his problem isn't solved. He's looking for more than that.
On another note: you look for patterns a lot. I've been reading this off and on (I got mad at you once and deleted you over something I cannot recall) for several years. I think you like to try to predict people's actions because you don't really like unwelcomed surprises.
It's in our DNA to look for patterns (as it is with almost all species). I agree with that. Most species don't have the same cerebrocortical wattage humans do and that's what makes humans fall into more traps/make more mistakes i.e. we take it, too far.
I have a lot of close friends that I'd generally characterize as "nice guys" or "bad boys". I don't think it exclusively defines them, by any means, but as a label it definitely helps summarize a loose grouping of characteristics. In fact, I'd use those same labels to define myself at different periods of my life. Again [words|categories|metaphors] can be overextended, but are a convenient "anchor" to reference a concept.
I didn't get the impression this was necessarily exclusive to sex. I think some guys want sex, others want relationships; I think either can fall into the trap discussed in this thread. I also think a lot of people who want sex really want intimacy. But that's another topic altogether.
I make, too many mistakes when I try to categorize. --and as you indirectly point out, people change and I think people treat almost everyone they meet differently. "Bad boys" or "Himbos/brohos" can turn on a dime when the stars align and they meet "the" woman at the right time/right place and can become "henpecked."
I wonder if you consequently know a lot of their counterparts, the "nice girl" and the "bad girl"? I'd think that this isn't necessarily gender-specific; both sexes are equally likely to fall into the same habits. (As a likely candidate for a "nice girl", it is difficult to tell a guy that you don't like them. But, I too, am flattered if someone likes me and has the guts to say so.)
Anyway. I give up reading the comments. There's too many of them and I got bored. This is as far as I got.
As for patterns: absolutely. I've thought a lot about this and it's certainly a fundamental trend in my life. My career (software architecture, running a business), for example, is largely about identifying, articulating, encapsulating and, ultimately, managing patterns. Even my academic interests (anthropology, municipal design) ultimately boil down to those things.
I've never psychoanalyzed myself on this; I tend to simply accept that this is a tendency I have, and find opportunities to utilize that tendency. I certainly think that modeling (the application of patterns) in general is a useful tool to help predict behaviors and manage reactions; I apply this principal as a manager and designer, and used to use it when I volunteered as a counselor as well.
As an aside, does anyone like unwelcome surprises? I certainly think I'm capable of adapting to unknowns or unexpected events, but if something is labeled as "unwelcome" then obviously it's not something I want.