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48 Responses

  1. dug.inn
    dug.inn June 12, 2006 at 2:15 pm |

    Can we use the pedestal as a lamp stand most of the time, and only ask each other to get up on it for a few minutes every month or so – just to remind ourselves (and each other) how uncomfortable it is?

  2. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 12, 2006 at 3:02 pm |

    I think a lot of men become Nice Guys when they hear the plaint in question and conclude that being a lowercase nice guy is a sufficient condition rather than a necessary one.

  3. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 June 12, 2006 at 3:05 pm |

    If a guy refers to himself as a “Nice Guy,” chances are he isn’t.

    Yep, I’m a complete asshole.

  4. Alex
    Alex June 12, 2006 at 5:33 pm |

    I don’t think you are being fair here. I mean you completely nail it when you say a bunch of the self-styled ‘nice guys’ are just assholes in disguise, but I do know a lot of ‘nice guys’ who are actually just decent boys who don’t have any ‘game’ and no experience.

    As you get older, this thing tends to take care of itself, cause along the way, a quite guy just falls assk backwards into a decent lady. But especially in the 15-25 range, it can be deadly.

    So when you say a lot of them aren’t nice, you are right, but you still aren’t dealing with the ton of them that ARE nice and can’t get a woman to give them a second look, or even a try.

    Say what you want about deteriminism and genetics and whatnot, but right NOW, whether it be socially constructed or instinctual, women just aren’t attracted to shy guys. Maybe it is because we all have grown up in a ‘you must chase’ and ‘you must be chased’ society, but the shy guys get no attention whatsoever. Sure some of them just have standards that are too high and thus remove them over time (which is why you see less shy single guys in their thirties running around), but at the same time the women who complain that ‘all men are assholes’ because they only date assholes really don’t have a leg to stand on either.

    So, I think you have a point, but I also think you are dodging the big picture here. At least take a stand, are women attracted to alhpa male types because their genes tell them these are the guys who are going to make good mates, or is it socially constructed (or some combination), it is an interesting question and one that does not deserve to be skirted.

  5. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke June 12, 2006 at 5:36 pm |

    Hershele’s comment is about the most economical way I’ve seen that truth expressed. Nicely done.

  6. j swift
    j swift June 12, 2006 at 5:58 pm |

    After reading a lot of the comments some nice guys and the Nice Guy both think they deserve something when what you deserve has nothing to do with it.

    Some nice guys may feel that they are “good people”. I mean by that average to above average morals and character. They have been raised to believe that if you are a good person you deserve some attention from the opposite sex, or you deserve a good relationship.

    Nice Guys in short are just not sincere in their niceness and so are manipulative. They may not even be aware of this insincerity they are just doing the whole social role very badly.

    Then there are the assholes who quite purposely use whatever facade works. They are insincere, they know they are insincere and expect women to fall to it anyway. They are gaming and think they deserve sex or whatever because they are good at the game or as zuzu has said that women a possession.

    Plain truth is that no one deserves the sex, the relationship etc. This is a version of “the world owes me x”. The world does not owe anyone anything nor does any person in it owe you a damn thing.

    For what all the good or bad relationships are about games, fulfilling roles, conforming, and communicating. If you game people or willingly respond to the gaming you should be surprised when you get something that is empty. If you want a good relationship you have to earn it through trial and error.

  7. Erika
    Erika June 12, 2006 at 6:40 pm |

    My personal experience with Nice Guys&#153 is that many of them have not much else to offer. Many of these Nice Guys&#153 admonish me to give them a chance even when we’ve just met, but they don’t give me any other reason. They don’t try to win me over with their confidence, charm, intelligence, or interesting profession/interests/hobbies. They’re Nice and that’s supposed to be good enough.

    I understand that there are many nice, shy men out there who find it difficult to catch a break. That’s what internet dating is for.

  8. The Happy Feminist
    The Happy Feminist June 12, 2006 at 7:01 pm |

    Alex, it may be tougher for shy guys to get a date than for confident guys, but that is a quite different issue than this post. (After all, as many before me have noted, feminism is not a dating service.)

    But “asshole” is not the opposite of shy. You seem to think that because women are (perhaps) less likely to date shy guys, they must be dating “alpha males” or “assholes.” But, you see, there is such a thing as a nice confident guy. That’s a person I bet a lot women really want to date. People of both sexes find confidence appealing.

    So, even though feminist blogs are not a dating service, I will say that my advice to the shy, genuinely nice people out there is to take steps to get over their shyness. I was shy in my early teens, so I made a goal every day for myself to talk to a certain number of people. I would say to myself, “Today I will make small talk with two guys.” And the more I forced myself to be outgoing, the easier it became and the more dates I got.

  9. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost June 12, 2006 at 7:50 pm |

    My advice to shy dudes that really just don’t feel like they know what to do around women, check out David DeAngelo’s material. One I pushed through my initial skepticism, I found that a lot of what he was saying was straightforward and sensible, and that almost all of it is consistent with feminist critiques of the “Nice Guy”. A lot of “dating advice” teaches you how to convincingly fake being an interesting person for the sake fo getting laid — he teaches you how to authentically turn yourself into an interesting person for the sake of having the kinds of relationships that you want.

    Actually, I got onto his stuff after it came up in a similar discussion a few months ago. At first I read it critically, academically. But when it came up mostly clean from the bullshit- and sexism-detectors, I found that a lot of what he says has a great deal of value.

    Don’t idealize people, don’t manipulate, develop yourself so that you are interesting and confident to other people, understand that nobody owes you sex or a relationship, all that kind of stuff.

  10. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 12, 2006 at 8:24 pm |

    you still aren’t dealing with the ton of them that ARE nice and can’t get a woman to give them a second look, or even a try.

    How do you know? How do you know that there are such men?

    I really think — and I’m hardly alone in this belief, certainly around here — that you’re arguing from the wrong premise. Look, the entire difference between a nice guy (no quotes, no caps) and a “Nice Guy” is not how he behaves but how he expects others to respond to this behavior. Someone who treats women as people because he genuinely believes women, even attractive women, even women he wants to have sex with, are, in fact, people, with rights and agency and autonomy and all that sort of stuff, and figures they’ll have sex with him or not according to whether they want to, and while that’s highly likely to be influenced by how a guy acts it’s not a necessary consequence of a certain type of behavior, is a quoteless lowercase nice guy and not really at issue here. As soon as he starts to seriously think about doing that in order to change his luck with women, he gets the quotes and the caps.

    More specifically, what makes a “Nice Guy” is not decent behavior combined with a lack of success with women, but anger that decent behavior doesn’t lead to success with women. I’ll have to consider whether use of the phrase “success with women” is itself a contributing factor.

    Come to think of it, maybe the problem is, in a sense, treating women as people: men learn/realize/are raised knowing you catch more flies etc., but when they try to apply this with specificity, they get disillusioned at best. They particularize without basis from “if you show respect, you’re more likely to sleep with women” to “if you make a big deal out of an exaggerated show of respect, you’re more likely to sleep with Carol over there.”

  11. j swift
    j swift June 12, 2006 at 8:52 pm |

    Maybe to put a finer and unsubtle point on it.

    Alex, there is not a woman in this world who owes you a try or a second chance anymore than I owe, say, the shy woman next door a chance, or Erika owes the uncharming guy a chance, or the unconfident guy a chance.

    The shy woman or the uncharming guy may be good people they may be interesting under that shyness or the lack of charm and if that is the case then that would be my loss but I do not owe her even that effort to get beyond the shyness if I don’t feel attracted to her.

  12. tigtog
    tigtog June 12, 2006 at 11:06 pm |

    Alex also makes a big deal about the 15-25 age group. Both sexes in that age group are more likely than older singletons to pursue the other sex based on hotness primarily rather than other factors. It takes both sexes a few years of dating/relationships to realise that a lot (not all) of hot people are immature and insensitive beneath their confident allure because they’ve never had to work at finding company. So it’s not that the girls prefer arseholes to “Nice Guys”, it’s that they prefer hot, confident guys and sincerely don’t realise that they’re jerks, just like the guys chasing the hot chicks prefer hot, confident girls to “Nice Girls” and don’t realise that they’re bimbos.

    As Amanda and others point out in the links in zuzu’s post, when nice girls complain that men only pay attention to the bimbos, they are told to make themselves hotter to catch men. When nice men complain that women only pay attention to jerks, everybody pretends hotness doesn’t matter and men are told that something’s wrong with the women instead of being told to make themselves hotter. Not that I’m claiming that playing up to the “hotness” standard is a worthy longterm solution for the whole finding a partner problem, just noting the difference in messages given and received.

    It took me a few years to see through the shallow hot guys, then realise that “Nice Guys(TM)” were suffocating whiners, and reasonably reliably gauge the decent guys that were worth getting to know better. Lots of people in the 15-25 age group seem to share the same problem, and solving it is more complicated than just having a hotness makeover (not that basic fitness and grooming don’t help for both sexes). There are ways to work on being a more open, approachable,likable, kind and reliable person, and these qualities work better finding both friends and partners in the long run.

    I bet lesbians and gays in the 15-25 age group don’t have it much easier, either (said she, noting the extreme heternormativity of this thread thus far).

  13. FoolishOwl
    FoolishOwl June 13, 2006 at 1:19 am |

    By the way, the trademark symbol is “& trade ;” without the spaces and quotes.

  14. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 13, 2006 at 7:10 am |

    Lesbians and gay men don’t have the dubious luxury of believing that everyone in the target sex is manipulative or hypocritical or both while they themselves are neither.

    Not that 15-year-old homosexuals don’t have their own problems getting out on the dating scene.

  15. Delusions of Mediocrity
    Delusions of Mediocrity June 13, 2006 at 7:13 am |

    I Have Changed my Mind

    Heretofore, when writing about the Nice Guy phenomenon, I have stuck to one line: a Nice Guy is someone who thinks he has the answer to What Women Want, and doesn’t understand why women ditch or ignore him for men

  16. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Teens »  MissElizabeth23

    […] !

    Britney Spears, Heather Mills: Women Behaving Badly?

    “Nice Guys”

    All Tags: sex, teens, young, gossi […]

  17. ScottM
    ScottM June 13, 2006 at 1:55 pm |

    The last go round, over at Bitch PhD, was useful in that it teased out the different people that are lumped together under “Nice Guy”.

    A lot of the women talk about the “nice guys” who claim to be nice, still get dates, and prove they’re not nice. The guys (who usually self identify with the nice guy label) never get a date to prove anything– either good or bad.

    That seems to be the core. The women tend to describe the people who actually get dates (via whining, or whatever), since that’s where their experiences are formed. The guys tend to be describing people who never get a date– thus, can never be proven “not nice”.

    Hope that’s useful.

  18. piny
    piny June 13, 2006 at 2:19 pm |

    That seems to be the core. The women tend to describe the people who actually get dates (via whining, or whatever), since that’s where their experiences are formed. The guys tend to be describing people who never get a date– thus, can never be proven “not nice”.

    Well, but here we’re discussing how entitlement in that situation is “not nice.”

  19. Brandcn
    Brandcn June 13, 2006 at 2:19 pm |

    U got it scott. That is exactly how it works men have to be “not nice” to even get a date. The actual “nice guy” doesn’t have a chance.

  20. KnifeGhost
    KnifeGhost June 13, 2006 at 2:35 pm |

    Seriously, guys, if you want to change that, check out David DeAngelo. He’ll teach you how to be a really genuine mature person, and how to be attractive to women. Actually, there’s not much difference. And it’s a hell of a lot more productive than bitching about how you can’t get dates.

    I should add that I speak from experience. I was in that boat until a few months ago. I’ve always been great at making friends with women, and even better at staying there. I don’t have many dates now, but it’s by choice rather than by default.

    tigtog/Hershele: About the Gay/Lesbian factor, I’ll put it this way. While timid 15 year old straight guys may be subconciously afraid that a girl will beat them up for hitting on her, that’s rarely a rational fear. It is, however, a very rational (and conscious) fear for a timid 15 year old gay dude when considering making a move on a guy of indeterminate desires.

  21. tigtog
    tigtog June 14, 2006 at 1:29 am |

    KnifeGhost: Goodness yes. I was thinking more about the dating scene in gay clubs, but of course lots (even most) gay teens don’t live in big cities with gay clubs that they can go to.

  22. Max
    Max June 14, 2006 at 2:13 am |

    I used to be a nice guy – I was raised primarily by women and had to be the nice guy around the house butler / driver / security guard for my mother and sisters as there was no other man in the house.

    Do you think I had any luck with girls?

    No way!

    My older brother cut out of home quite young and went to live in an absolute slum with his bikie / drag racing friends – and he was always absolutely was drowning in women.

    He told me one day after i’d left home but was still unkucky with women to keep a diary of all of the “nice” things I did for women, over a week I got up to 74 “things” holding doors open, carrying things, giving directions, etc etc you know the drill – and I got a grand total of 8 “thank you’s” even old women, even women that had approaced me for help (like getting directions on the street) would not say thank you!

    so I stopped being nice right then and there and treated women with complete indifference and suddenly I started to get lucky with women.

  23. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 14, 2006 at 9:55 am |

    I’m curious.

    I realize this is a false premise to begin with, but what do idiots like Max think is the thought process that leads women to reject men who hold doors for them and give them directions. More to the point, what do you think is the thought process that leads women to seek men who slam doors in their faces and say “fuck you!” to people who ask them for directions.

  24. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 14, 2006 at 10:31 am |

    The correct response to “some women are attracted to assholes” is “guess I’d better find a woman who’s attracted to me, instead.”

  25. Alex
    Alex June 14, 2006 at 10:51 am |

    Alex, there is not a woman in this world who owes you a try or a second chance anymore than I owe, say, the shy woman next door a chance, or Erika owes the uncharming guy a chance, or the unconfident guy a chance.

    You would think on this site you would at least expect people to not make so many personal assumptions about the identity of people who post on a topic. Why does that seem to happen so often?

    Listen you are 100% feminism isn’t a dating service, and I wouldn’t be coming onto a feminist website to look for advice on how to pick up women either.

    More to the point, what do you think is the thought process that leads women to seek men who slam doors in their faces and say “fuck you!” to people who ask them for directions.

    Exactly! This was the point I was getting at. As far as I see it there are two things at play.

    1.How do these jerks who call themselves ‘Nice Guys’ develop? because trust me they are made not born)


    2. Are women in general attratced to more aggresive assertive men?

    On the first, I think the kind of capital letter Nice Guys you are speaking about are just the development of the 13 year old who never gets any experience (and I apologize that I am confined to heteronormativity here, but I have nothing to add for the LGBT experience).

    Most guys I know at one point or another have been ‘stuck in the friend zone’ at one point or another. Now take a 13 year old who is at the most vulnerable stage in his life, add constant frustration and self-humiliation and what do you get? You get woman-hating.

    Now, I have to be clear on something, I am NOT saying it is the woman’s fault, I don’t think really it is anyone’s fault, just something that happens, and that as much as possible you work to convince him that he is misguided and just needs to build up his confidence.

    As an aside almost all of the guys I know that are assholes are just some guy who was burned pretty bad who decided to just stop caring and become a jerk, only to find sexual relationships much easier to come by with this perspective. Once they turn off the emotional aspect, it becomes a stable endpoint, where they only care about and only get meaningless sex.

    2. What is it that attracts women to jerks in the firstplace? This is the interesting bit I think. Because by just focusing on guys who you can clearly point out are just jerks who haven’t had the opportunity to become assholes (where jerks don’t get attention and assholes get lots) Zuzu skirts an interesting issue, even if she wants to brush me off by saying I didn’t read the post (what is with the disrepect on this board, it’s like you don’t sing the tune 100% everyone immediately starts being disagreeable),

    I don’t know the answer, but if you pay attention to the WORLD, you see that, even if it is a generalization, women are just, on average, much more attracted to guys with confidence which can and does sometimes extend to aggresive men or ego-maniacs.

    I am not saying every woman does, and I am not talking about people on this board, but just look around, shy guys get no love and assholes are showered with attention.

    Why is that? Now, we could try to find out, or at least discuss it, or we could be disrepectful to those that don’t post comments like ‘wow, you’re 100% right, good post.”

  26. bmc90
    bmc90 June 14, 2006 at 11:17 am |

    Max, there are certainly people of both sexes who are fascinated by “indifference.” Indifference is a challenge. Indifference plays on insecurities about oneself (why I am not worth noticing)? Indifference is power because it makes other people do all the relationship builing work. I am going to share a sad story. I was having problems with how controlling a guy was whom I dated during graduate school. I took a page from your playbook and announced I was going to France without him. When I came back, he was waiting at the airport with a ring. I felt all smug about how I had “reeled him in” by asserting MY power by saying I’d go to France with or without him but (this is the sad part), the power struggle never stopped, it just escalated. Once we were married, I did not want to play games any more, I just wanted a loving companion I could trust, but he would not stop uping the ante in the control department, and eventually, he was trying to get me to do things like have 8 children, quit my job, and move to the third world (things I had never expressed even a remote interest in doing) and then turning around and saying those things were not important to him anyway (after sending me to the Xanax bottle for months while he tried to brow beat me into it). So live by the sword, die by the sword. If you meet people by playing games with them, your whole relationship will be that way, and life is really not a play – you don’t want to act all the time.

  27. piny
    piny June 14, 2006 at 11:23 am |

    What bmc said. I could probably get–and hold on to–romantic attention by being inconsiderate, or even by being an emotionally abusive asshole. I could also make money by posing as a Nigerian millionaire. But why would I want to be that person? I hold doors for people because I was raised right, not because it’ll get me laid.

  28. bmc90
    bmc90 June 14, 2006 at 11:51 am |

    Piny, if you are interested merely in nookie (which I don’t knock necessarily), gamesmanship is not such a big problem because its consequences do not extend beyond sex. However, once you start doing something that works with the opposite sex, it can be hard to stop, and thereby hard to ‘turn it off’ when and if you start having what you hope will turn out to be a more meaningful relationship. Plus you will have a reputation. I’m not sure about your gender, but when I hear a man has been with tons of women, it does not make me want to jump up and volunteer to be his next ‘conquest.’ I think some of the jerks who complain about how they are dong with women are not aware how quickly word gets around. The raised right part is another good reason to not be ‘an emotionally abusive asshole’ but there is self-interest involved as well; you don’t want to spend your life with someone who gets off on that kind of thing, or has those kinds of insecurities. When you need to lean on them, they will crumble because there’s nothing solid there.

  29. piny
    piny June 14, 2006 at 11:58 am |

    I’m male.

    This is a good point. My community tends to be incestuous in a way that people who didn’t grow up Amish don’t understand, but I can see how it would happen in other groups, too.

  30. bmc90
    bmc90 June 14, 2006 at 12:21 pm |

    Piny, from your presence here I gather you are no longer a part of the Amish community, or do not follow all of its practices? Can I ask you whether dating and marital dynamics among the Amish are so different from those of the Gen X TV generation that someone like me would not recognize it? Is it better, worse, both?

  31. piny
    piny June 14, 2006 at 12:26 pm |

    ha ha ha!

    Sorry. I didn’t mean to imply that I am or was Amish, just that my community–which in most other respects is the polar opposite of Amish–is just that tightly knit. Never having tried the Amish lifestyle, I don’t knock it, but they live in communities that are far more isolated and far smaller than yer average non-Amish het American.

  32. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 14, 2006 at 12:32 pm |

    Alex, I started off by saying the premise was flawed. According to Nice Guys such as are under discussion, almost every het woman in the world, when seeking a romantic relationship, decides to reject each and every man who behaves decently towards her. This is stunningly illogical. That’s why it’s an important topic — because it’s easy to conclude that anyone this illogical should really not be encouraged to make her own decisions.

  33. Alex
    Alex June 14, 2006 at 6:24 pm |

    You’re not entitled to respect you don’t earn.

    Ok first, when did you have to earn the respect of people you never met? Is there a memo I missed? So we just go around belittle people we disagree with because they didn’t “earn” respect.

    What does one have to do to earn your valuable respect? Does this require obedience to all your espoused views. I mean give me a break, in the grand scheme of things, regardless of what you may think of me, I am not that ‘far’ ideologically away from you, and if you aren’t going to treat me with respect, and you are in any way representative of the central advocats of feminism, then we might as well just kiss goodbye ever changing people’s minds. Because you know, the mainstream world might like to be treated with some respect as you attempt to describe why the world they live in is drastically different than they perceive it to be.

    And you don’t earn respect by telling me that I didn’t address an issue which I most certainly did, had you bothered reading the pos

    As far as I could tell, and I think this is a reasonable interpretation of what you wrote, you divided up men into these relevant categories:

    They’re also a far different animal than the Good Guy, the Decent Guy, the Salt of the Earth, or, my personal favorite, the Good Man.

    As discussions like this happen, inevitably someone gets defensive about the idea that “Nice Guys” are really assholes in disguise, because there are plenty of guys (and girls) who are actually very decent and respectful, just perhaps too shy to make the first move, and so on, and that they may appear to be “Nice Guys” even when they’re not

    So here we have the world being Nice Guys who are actually assholes in disguse and Good Men, who are obviously a different category. We are left with this line in your quote:

    A shy, but decent and caring man is quite likely to complain that he doesn’t get as much attention from women as he’d like.

    This is it. This is the entire acknowledgement of the category of guys who are shy but decent. So I make a post saying that you are absolutely right that most guys who call themselves Nice Guys aren’t nice at all, but this other category is interesting too, because it doesn’t fit with your condemnation. And the fact that these decent but shy guys DO exist and get no attention begs the question of why they get no attention, and might there be some behavioral reasoning behind this, is this is a question worth discussing? No. Of course not, I am just reciting platitudes and propigating stereotypes.

    Isn’t that just a stock answer to an obviously more subtle question?

    As for this:

    The frustration comes from not getting what his sense of entitlement tells him he should have just by doing X or Y. The whole “women only want jerks” thing comes from believing that he’s entitled to the pussy avalanche if he does X, seeing that some other guy gets girls without doing X, and concluding that not-X must be assholishness.

    And really, a guy who’s 20 or 25 or 35 and still acting like a wounded 13-year-old who hates women because they won’t cater to his every whim is a fundamentally unattractive person and probably doomed to being alone unless he can grow the hell up.

    As you could tell if you read my post I completely agree with you, but I also think that there is more at play when guys look around and DO see incentives to being an ‘asshole’. But this is not a worthy topic. OK sure.

  34. ilyka
    ilyka June 14, 2006 at 8:50 pm |

    As you could tell if you read my post I completely agree with you, but I also think that there is more at play when guys look around and DO see incentives to being an ‘asshole’. But this is not a worthy topic. OK sure.

    I’m not about to speak for zuzu, but what I see is that the way you approach the topic is not (and I’m only using this next word because you did; it wouldn’t be one I’d choose) “worthy.”

    Let me put it this way: Your use of the word “incentives,” i.e., “incentives to being an asshole.” I swear I’m not trying to word-wank here, but it always blows my mind how much of the terminology het guys use in describing relations with women is, essentially, economic. How to GET women. INCENTIVES. Score. Bag. Success/failure. Etc. It’d all be just grand if only women were objects of status, objects of fulfillment, for which the GOAL is to ACQUIRE as many as possible.

    But women aren’t economic goods. Women aren’t objects. Women, like Soylent Green, are people. And I would venture to guess that quite a few of we people here in this thread are a little impatient with your approach, because what it comes off as, to me at least, is “Okay OKAY, I get it, but now could we please talk about what I want to talk about, which is how to score chicks without being an asshole? Because if I haven’t mentioned it lately, chicks really seem to like the assholes! Even when they say they don’t!”

    See, like this:

    And the fact that these decent but shy guys DO exist and get no attention begs the question of why they get no attention, and might there be some behavioral reasoning behind this, is this is a question worth discussing?

    This, right here, is to me the problem–you’re trying to solve a concrete problem abstractly. The abstraction is, “decent but shy guys.” The concrete is millions of INDIVIDUAL decent but shy guys who may have in common that they’re not dating a whole lotta women, but about whom we can NOT conclude are not dating a whole lotta women for the same reasons.

    I’ve known decent but shy guys I wouldn’t date because:

    1. They were married;
    2. The only books they read were Star Wars novelizations, and a girl’s gotta draw the literacy line somewhere;
    3. I couldn’t get past the acne;
    4. Or the bad breath;
    5. They never indicated an interest in me;
    6. The chemistry, it was not present;
    7. Or dozens of other reasons, MOST of them unique to the individual in question at that time (I’m not saying there was never any overlap).

    I’m pretty sure any other heterosexual woman here has a similar list. And I love how no one ever brings up, by the way, the hundreds of thousands if not millions of “decent but shy” women, or weeps any tears for them. Do you see women running about trading tips on How to Score? Not nearly so much as you see the reverse, and why is that? Because we HAVE to look at you as individual human beings. You’re individuals by default in this society. Whereas women apparently have to point out, over and over again, that we’re not all the same and there’s no freakin’ Magic Key to unlock our legs with.

    Looked at that way, can you maybe understand the impatience?

  35. Josh Jasper
    Josh Jasper June 14, 2006 at 8:55 pm |

    There are no real incentives to being an asshole. People who’re attracted to assholes (male or female) are either assholes themselves or fucked in the head.

    Any man who looks around and sees an incentive to being an asshole is really thinking about his chances of getting laid rather than actualy being with someone who caresd about him, and is therefore an asshole himself.

    If you want an actual partner, bathe regularly, respect people as individuals, not sexual targets, show interest in other people’s lives, and pay attention to them and what they like. Above all, find someone who values a person who treats them like a human being. If they (male or female) have had a string of abusive relationships, chances are they’re fucked in the head. Avoid them.

  36. junk science
    junk science June 15, 2006 at 5:07 am |

    And the fact that these decent but shy guys DO exist and get no attention begs the question of why they get no attention, and might there be some behavioral reasoning behind this, is this is a question worth discussing?

    Shy people don’t get attention because it’s hard to get to know them. It has nothing to do with gender or “behavioral reasoning.” It’s intimidating to approach a person who doesn’t act interested, because no one likes to be rejected. It’s really quite simple, and requires no unfounded generalizing about either sex.

  37. Richard Aubrey
    Richard Aubrey June 15, 2006 at 7:18 am |


    Rejection. Unpleasant. Therefore behaviors which look to be rejected (trying to get to know shy people) are avoided.

    Sounds like normal. Avoid pain.

    However, it occurs to me that any effort to get to know a shy person–like making the first move–would either generate a reasonable interchange which might go on from there, or a pathetically grateful explosion of clinginess. But I don’t see rejection as a likely response. Has that been your experience?

  38. junk science
    junk science June 15, 2006 at 8:43 am |

    Oh, Christ, it’s you. I knew I should have remembered to rub that ointment on last night.

  39. Richard Aubrey
    Richard Aubrey June 15, 2006 at 10:22 am |

    I don’t think the point I made is anything other than a legitimate question.

    I heard a report that somebody claimed to have found a gene for shyness. That would be interesting. Apparently, says the practitioner, there are things you can do, if that’s the case, to ameliorate the results, although you’ll never be the life of the party.

    I suspect the majority of the shy people we meet are shy of first moves. If that is overcome in some fashion, things might go reasonably well.

    BTW. I read a few of the most recent comments at Pandagon and discovered they are misrepesenting what I said. Apparently they do better with arguments they make up than they do with the arguments presented to them.

  40. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 15, 2006 at 1:57 pm |

    Decent but shy guys may complain that hey get more attention than they want, but Nice Guys complain they don’t get the attention they deserve.

    Not naming names, but I don’t see why we’re debating whether or not there’s a certain type of behavior guaranteed to get girls, or whether women are arbitrary and if so, if they’re allowed to be, when we first need to settle whether or not women even exist.

  41. Hershele Ostropoler
    Hershele Ostropoler June 15, 2006 at 1:57 pm |

    Er, “less attention than they want,” obviously

  42. Richard Aubrey
    Richard Aubrey June 15, 2006 at 2:52 pm |


    I thought we knew that already.

    Well. They do.

    Next question.

  43. nonwhiteperson
    nonwhiteperson June 15, 2006 at 11:10 pm |

    The Happy Feminist said, “It may be tougher for shy guys to get a date than for confident guys, but that is a quite different issue than this post…asshole is not the opposite of shy. But, you see, there is such a thing as a nice confident guy.”

    A nice, confident man. No quote marks. That’s the ticket.

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