Person-on-the-street interviewer (and Rivers Cuomo impersonator) Kassem has an outstanding video in which he surveys women on the eternal question: “nice guys or bad boys?”
The video starts with a predictable range of responses, from “bad boys” and “nice guys” to “a little of both” or “I go back and forth.”
TWO NOTABLE RESPONSES
- “I thought I wanted a nice guy, but I was attracted so much when he was an asshole around me!” (it is revealed in the long-form interview tape that this girl is dating a white rapper)
This cuts to the heart of what game and social dynamics bloggers have been saying for a long time: women will tell guys and pollsters they want a nice guy, and they might even visualize themselves with the mythical nice guy, but the revealed preference – the real-life specimen they instinctually respond to – is for a man with tendencies towards social and personal dominance, and a marked lack of concern for niceties around the women whose company he enjoys.
Recall also that even for women who really do like the nice guy, the “nice” is very rarely the actual attractive quality. That normally comes from other value stores like social proof and emotional connection. When a woman is attracted to you, you can be the “nice” to her and not worry about pushing her away. But if she’s not attracted to you, being the nice is either neutral or will actively repel her further. Once she’s attracted, the nice can be used to further the relationship, as you are showing your own availability and investment.
This balance goes back to a Badger maxim: “You can only be as beta as you are alpha.”
- “Nice guys with a bad-boy attitude.”
When I heard this, I thought it made zero sense. Then I realized she’s hitting on several different points at once.
One interpretation is that she wants a bad boy who will be a “nice guy on inside” just for her, whose bad-boy image melts once he falls in love with her and realizes she really loves him.
Another is that she wants a guy who is not so much of a bad boy that he’s going to deal drugs, destroy property or beat her.
Another take is that she wants all the stability and comfort goodies that come from the suburban beta-male lifestyle, but wants the same man to have that little bit of rebellious or brooding shtick to him that will work to turn her on. Trouble is, lots of guys can’t hack that attitude without looking like poseurs – Seth Green’s ghetto-white character in Can’t Hardly Wait comes to mind. And by the same token, it’s very difficult to compartmentalize that attitude as a man and not have it leak out at work, at family barbecues, etc. Telling the neighborhood pastor to take a chill pill isn’t exactly a winning move for community acceptance.
Far be it from me to make real prejudgments about people, but I think it’s worth nothing that this woman has a tattoo crossing her bikini line…in my general experience, the tolerance of a highly attractive woman with visible tattoos for a true-blue beta nice guy is pretty low. So my guess is that her concept of an attractive man weighs pretty heavily towards the “bad boy attitude.”
This is all kind of funny to me honestly, because growing up in suburbia myself, I’d hear girls talk about “bad boys” and they would be talking about guys who would talk back to the teacher, or swipe the occasional bag of Ruffles from the lunch service – token forms of non-cooperation with bourgeois social codes. What rebels.
Whereas once I entered the real world, “bad boys” meant guys who had done hard time, or could score a line of cocaine, or would bareknuckle for fun. Girls who had not kicked the taste for bad boys by their early 20′s, or who sought greater and greater amounts of the thrill, stood at the precipice of some very serious damage to their lives. Damage that Mom and Dad sometimes couldn’t get them out of, because again, the real bad boy doesn’t care that her dad is a bigwig who’s angry that you’ve made his little girl upset.
Finally, I find a slight pattern among the bad-boy lovers in the video where they are a bit more done up, a bit prissy, it’s like they are looking for a man who will see through their shit and call them on it, and your average beta guy who’s been raised to be “respectful” to women just doesn’t fit the bill (I put “respect” in quotation marks because there’s nothing respectful about letting someone get away with foul behavior. The normalization of bitchiness really does good women a disservice.)
When asked why, typical responses emerged…
“‘Cause they’re more interesting.”
“[Nice guys] are too nice, you can walk all over them.”
…mixed with eye-poppers:
“I like it when they beat up on me.” (this quote is verbatim!)
“Nice guys bore the hell out of me.”
“I’ve got daddy issues.”
And one really interesting, insightful exchange:
“Good guys, they’ve always got something to criticize you about, if you’re smoking or drinking, they’re like, you’re too pretty to do this. Naw, f*%$ that, you know what I’m sayin’?”
“So nice guys get on your case about trying to make you a better person, bad boys know you’re a shitty person and they accept it.”
This recalls Athol Kay’s line that “half the fun of dating the bad boy is that she gets to be the bad girl.”
Also note the one woman who said she wanted her man to be a bit more of a bad boy “in bed.” I’m guessing she’s far from the only woman.
DO NICE GUYS FINISH LAST?
“I guess you gotta be a nice guy to let her finish first.”
Kassem played it really well at three points. He asked one woman who liked bad boys, “why are you so attracted to us?” Thus framing himself, a dude with a microphone, as a bad boy. If the girls don’t believe the frame, they’ll at least laugh, Another woman he asked (in front of her boyfriend) “what’s wrong with you on the inside that makes you into bad boys?”
I am going to roll this question into a Mystery-style female opinion routine for use in the field.
If she says she likes nice guys, you can roll with “do you ever wish the nice guy would be a bit more bad?” with a smirk, and hopefully tap into the “secret desires” sector of her brain. Talking about our secrets is a fast-track way to build trust and comfort.
If she says she likes bad boys, you can roll with “why are you so attracted to us?” (said matter-of-factly, assuming the sale) or if you sense she has a very high self-concept that can take the blow of a hard neg, “what’s wrong on the inside that makes you attracted to the bad boy?”
The point of the sequence is not to talk about other guys she’s dated, it’s to get her thinking emotionally about attraction, to get her talking personally to you (moreso than “where do you live/what do you do?”) and possibly to get some information about the traits she has preferred in men so as to calibrate your game.