Good Guys Make Bad Lovers and Other Stupid Stereotypes


Sometime ago, I found myself in a bar, engaging in a verbal struggle with a soon-to-be ex-lover. He stirred his Mai Tai and told me why I liked him. “I’m an asshole. Women like assholes. Why do you think the sex is so good?”

Yes. Because all 3 billion plus men on the planet fit into two categories: nice guys and bad boys. No complexity to their personalities, no context to their actions, no mistakes leading to growth. Just wusses and studs.

Why do we deem nice behavior as incompatible with sexual skills? A friend of mine sent me a link to a PUA (Pick-Up Artist) blog where the author asserted that men were either good boyfriends or good lovers. Never both.

The ex-lover I mentioned based his sexuality on the false good guy/bad boy sex norms. In his mind, being highly sexed meant he was secretly an asshole, despite any acts of kindness: Bringing me a bottle of wine and chocolate when I was dying from cramps. Mixing me drinks. Making me dinner.

What a blatant jerk.

Underlying the alpha and beta male mindset is that hot sex is incompatible with kindness. We think nice girls can’t be sexual or that sexual girls are bad and bitchy. Is this just a logical fallacy rooted in demonizing sex? If sex is bad then all sexual people are bad people?

Let’s drop this sexual construction like the bad habit it is. Sure, some jerks are good in bed. But lots of perfectly nice people can fuck like madmen. There is no real correlation between social kindness and sexual satisfaction. The only sure thing we can say about bad boys is that they have more sex partners, but a high number of sex partners does not equal sexual skills.

In fact, it might mean the opposite. Jerks could be so self-obsessed that they are awful in bed and so flip through partners quickly. Just because you get someone into bed does not mean that you will get them off.

Edit: If you think this post is a little underdeveloped in the idea department you’re right. Want to read an expansion of these concepts? A follow up post can be found here or by clicking the “Kindness and Hot Sex are Not Mutually Exclusive” link at the top.

59 thoughts on “Good Guys Make Bad Lovers and Other Stupid Stereotypes”

  1. “Because all 3 billion plus men on the planet fit into two categories: nice guys and bad boys. No complexity to their personalities, no context to their actions, no mistakes leading to growth. Just wusses and studs.”

    This post is so very true. So often I get into arguments with my male friends who believe women only like “bad guys.” Its almost like some men refuse the logical notion that a woman may not be attracted to him or better yet, doesn’t likes his personality. And I am personally tired of hearing that arguement.

  2. This lie applies both ways it seems….

    An old boyfriend pops to mind. He *wanted* a good girl to marry and didn´t want to get involved with a “bad” girl. Still, he *complained* of me being such a good girl because deep down he wanted the “fun” part associated with “bad” girls. His wrong premise was that girls can’t be in between: as a girl you are either good or bad. No middle ground.

    Poor guy. He missed out on a lot of fun.

    1. I totally agree…there are a LOT of guys missing out because they haven’t learned how to interact with a LADY in public…and for all their talk about “wanting” it, they haven’t learned how to let the horny, unreserved, wild WOMAN come out and “play” in private either.

      And so, they miss out on the “good stuff” on both sides of the equation.

      But, some of us men know how to do it…and we sure have a LOT of fun with our lady both in public and in private.

  3. Guys buy into the “women like jerks” cliche, because time and time again women go after jerks, and wind up crying on good guys shoulders and asking dumb questions like, “Why can’t ______ be as nice as YOU?”. So, while the author is correct, that there’s no correlation between “bad guys” (or gals) being any better or worse in bed, there’s DEFINITELY enough evidence to support that women GO for “bad” guys. As someone who has been shot down by women for taking “too long” to make a 1st move (since when is 3 dates taking “too long”????), I can attest to this. When the chips are down, if you have the option for “hot guy who’s a real jerkface” and “not as hot guy who treats you like a queen and has an awesome personality”, nine times out of ten the hot jerk will win. And please, before someone starts in one the “you must THINK you’re nice and are really a jerk”, don’t mistake “nice” for “pushover” or “wuss” or “passive aggressive”. Just because us nice fellas don’t take advantage of you, or we treat you well, and NOT like the proverbial piece of meat, does NOT = we are a total douchebag floormat.

    1. I see your point, Tony. Obviously, if something has happened to you several times, that means it must hold true for the entire population. Plural of anecdote isn’t data, dude.
      Maybe women don’t like you because you’re so busy feeling sorry for yourself and presupposing your date is a shallow masochist… Not because you’re a “total douchebag floormat”, but just a “total douchebag”. Or hey, I’m willing to play fair… Maybe you just date douchebags. Douchebags are shallow and some ladies are douchebags, but this doesn’t mean all ladies are douchebags. Elementary logic.

      1. Feeling sorry for myself? For what exactly? Just because I have experienced this doesn’t deter me, just makes me more finicky about who I’ll date. But thanks for assuming that I’m a douchebag because of the experiences in life I have had thus far. Way to be human.

    2. Tony, from a woman’s point of view I can say you are probably right on a lot of things. There is something about a “bad-boy” that draws us in and it’s the same thing that pushes us away. There is a HUGE difference between having confidence and being cocky. We want the bad boy “look” but we want him to treat us like a good guy would treat us. Seems kind of like an oxymoron and in some ways it is. I spent 21 years looking until I found one. Trust and believe I’m not letting him go. You’ll find someone. The only people who really think nice guys finish last are the bad boys who need to build up their egos by tearing yours down.

  4. Great post! I’m glad I saw it on the front page of WordPress.

    I personally find that my wife’s sexual pleasure is in direct connection to her emotions…scratch that, to her soul. The better I love her outside of the bedroom, the better I am able to love her in the bedroom. So in our case, me being a “nice guy” leads to more sex and more orgasms. Suck on that, “bad guys.”🙂

  5. before anything : cool article, great writting, lots of fun to read you…. but, as a constructive critic, i ask : “where are the ‘other stupid stereotypes’ ?”

    I see you write about the “correlation between social kindness and sexual satisfaction”, but I see no exploration on other stereotypes….

    so, great article, really fun to read, but i think the title is not 100% precise…

    saludos…
    Diego

    1. Diego, you are totally right. I was forcing myself to write today and this is an admittedly half-baked thought. I’m gonna put it back in the oven and write something better later on that explores the personality traits we stereotypically associate with nice guys/girls or bad boys/girls and how these tie into constructions of sexuality.

      Thanks for being a good constructive critic!

      1. glad I could be of help…i was actually kinda afraid you would take it the wrong way.
        i am now a loyal reader…
        cool blog…next step : check out your thesis page…

        saludos…
        Diego

  6. hello… kudos to you for being featued in the WP front page…🙂 i read the entire article…🙂 i like what you wrote… i agree that bad guys do not always make good lovers…🙂 and good guys aren’t jsut good boyfriends…. they can be great lovers too…🙂

  7. Good to see a sane point of view on the subject for a change.

    If the PUA site you’re referring to was roissy in dc, be aware that what you’re reading there are the outpourings of a certifiably DSM-IV disordered case. I’d say he’s a dual diagnosis NPD/HPD. Sick stuff when you claim woman love to get the shit beaten out of them.

    1. What’s really crazy is that people listen to his madness. Something about what he says fits into preexisting schemas about sex.

      1. His fan club are guys that have no success with women and hate them. These guys need to believe that all these guys in relationship around them are nice guys that have a miserable love/sex life with their girlfriend and that alpha males (like Roissy) have a wonderful sex life because they treat women like shit. These guys listen to Roissy to get revenge on all these women that rejected them.

  8. I consider my self one of the so called good guys and I really struggle to find a girl for me. They always tend to choose the bad guy instead. This is the story of my life. That’s sad. Anyway, congrats to feature on the wordpress front page!

    1. What exactly is a “good guy” anyway?

      People tend to apply a positive spin…a label…to themselves that in and of itself is so ethereal and ambiguous that it doesn’t really mean anything…which is what they want…because it’s SAFE for them…and it feels good.

      The fact is, I’ve NEVER seen ANY decent woman refuse to interact with and explore a relationship with a guy who is fun, knowledgeable, interesting, interested, intelligent, confident, directed, etc.

      In my experience of the world, the so-called “good guy” is most often just another way to say “needy and boring”. In contrast, the so-called “bad boy” is NEVER needy or boring. Rather, he’s always fun and exciting.

      And, what makes him fun and exciting?

      PREPARATION and WORK!

      Is a “bad boy” the only one who can prepare and work?

      I don’t think so!

      So, if a guy will stop being needy…and get interesting and fun…if he’ll quit being lazy and start putting some effort into being something that’s appealing and attractive…then he’ll find his “girl struggles” go away.

  9. “Just think, right now, all over the world there are people exercising bad judgement. Somebody, right this minute, is probably making the mistake of his life.” – George Carlin

    Depending upon your age, the “mistake of your life,” I think, is a relative term.

    For instance, I know a guy who knew that his girlfriend had genital herpes. He also knew she was bipolar, and knew, that because of her mental disorder, she didn’t always take her daily dose of Valtrex to keep her herpes virus dormant. He also knew, on a certain night, when he decided to fuck her without a condom, that she was high on coke, so wouldn’t make him put one on. He knew she was high on coke and wouldn’t make him put on a condom because he bought the coke for her, and had used half of it himself – with her! Now, at age twenty-six, he’s got her genital herpes. On – you guessed it – his genitals!

    Mistake of his life? Yeah, probably. But odds say he’s got a lot of life left, so he’ll probably top that one. It’ll take some work on his part of course, unless the pharmaceutical industry gets a move on. But, don’t worry, he’s already hard at work on beating his personal worst. Or is it his personal best?

    First, he’s not dating that dirty, crazy, coke-headed slut anymore. No sir! Fuck her! She gave him herpes! Now he’s only dating “good” girls. And, because he’s handsome, and well-off, and charming, he’s sleeping with most of them the very day they first meet. He’s not telling any of them he has genital herpes, of course. That’d be stupid, he argues, since he has no intention of ever seeing them again.

    “Why tell them,” he asked me once, “if I know I don’t have feelings for them? I’m waiting to fall in love with someone first. Then I’ll tell her.”

    “Just think, right now, all over the world there are people exercising bad judgement. Somebody, right this minute, is probably making the mistake of his life.”

    Max
    http://www.badflasher.com

  10. OMG! so true, I am one perfect example for what Tony says.

    On one hand I know guy1- this young, nice-at-heart, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, loves movies, books, remembers my bday or when I have an important day, hanging out, loves dogs, very caring, intelligent guy with a good job and treats me well and would rather fall in love with one girl and marry her than date dozens and not marry any of them…..like the typical indian “one girl for life” type…. though he’s never said anything about liking me (he doesn’t flirt) , I just mention him for comparison, I know we’ve been talking for ages, and he’s smart enough to not like me, lol, coz we have very little in common.

    and the other hand, guy2- a hunk who (yeah smart and has a good job too) but dates a different girl every week, drinks, smokes, has slept with n no. of girls already and a list of ex-gfs he can’t remember himself, whenever you talk to him, he says he ll call you and never will…darn good flirt, very very manly looking, and you spend one day with him and you feel like so lucky to be his arm-candy that day and believe that he truly likes you (the way he sounds when he flirts) and hope, once committed, he’ll settle down and be just yours and never cheat on you…

    nevertheless..both the guys, just for comparison sake, somehow, talking to guy 2 makes me more excited? Being indian, sex isn’t really a something we think about, pre-martial sex is taboo so, we have absolutely no idea about how good or bad a guy can/would be in bed.

    No idea why, though good sense should trigger alarm in me, somehow, I think brains stop functioning.😀

  11. Great post – the stereotypes around this issue are great (esp the ones you note about women!) and, unfortunately, personal experiences cloud impartial evaluations…but, as a self-defined “nice guy” I’ll go out on a limb and say the theory that we can’t back our disposition up with unbridled sport f*cking of the highest order is utter bullsh*t : )

    TSC
    http://www.thesmokingcupcake.com

  12. It’s been my experience, talking from the other side of the fence, that:

    1)Having Sex and Making love, are two different things. (meaning that a person who can’t love can still have sex, and a person who can love, can make love and have sex.)
    2)No one likes an over sensitive boob, male, or female. But there is a time and a place for everything.
    3)No one likes a complete asshole, or bitch. But there is a time a place for everything.
    4)Thank god I screwed up so many times and got ditched or had to ditch, because now I have the right woman- one that I can switch emotion and anger on with diplomatic immunity at any time, and vice versa.

    -Cheers- and here’s to moderation.

  13. Very good post! I don’t believe it was wrote by a woman! And blonde! hahaha

    “Because all 3 billion plus men on the planet fit into two categories: nice guys and bad boys. No complexity to their personalities, no context to their actions, no mistakes leading to growth. Just wusses and studs.”

  14. Nice post . However I could not digest one thing. Why good boyfriend can’t be good lover?? Are you also agree with this point.
    “Why do we deem nice behavior as incompatible with sexual skills? A friend of mine sent me a link to a PUA (Pick-Up Artist) blog where the author asserted that men were either good boyfriends or good lovers. Never both.”

  15. I think the title fits the piece perfectly.
    This stereotype feeds into our fear of sex; or maybe we’re afraid of ourselves, admitting that we need sex. I think another reason why women like bad guys is we think we can cure them. Ha, ha, ha.

  16. Ah! You might want to explore the ‘foodie’ world. It is a more-than-common thought in that subset of the species that if one is not a ‘foodie’ (which means, pretty much, to be someone whose primary focus in life is food and its attributes among which are of course sensual enjoyment) one must be an absolute dud as a lover. Post after post in various forums asserting this, and at least one website.

  17. It’s not that the bad boys are better lovers; they are simply more accessible to be lovers. Where a nicer fellow might back out of a relationship because it’s not entirely his thing and he knows he won’t be able to continue on with it for a long time, a less considerate one would think, hey, all the better; I can get in and get out and find someone else. It’s not like they voice their intents like this, though; he will usually tell the girl, yes, of course he’s in this for the long-term, or whatever she wants to hear to make her go to bed with him. So, as Tony said, it winds up that girls end up with bad boys frequently, but it’s not usually because of a conscious choice that “Hey, I want to go out with an asshole,” as this leads people to believe. It’s simply that jerks will be manipulative in ways that nice guys won’t, and thus are more successful at scoring dates.
    Correspondingly, the more girls a man gets with, to an onlooker it just seems logical that his sexual prowess must be contributing, especially if the man in question is known to not be a very nice guy. I mean, what else could be going for him? If Eddie has been with twelve girls in three months, well, the only way he could be so successful must be a libido the size of Australia.

  18. Categories like this are made up by people who don’t like to think to much. Saying one perons is better than another just because they are quiet or outgoing is really foolish. A person may be quietly creative and full of inner life but just private about it.

    It also says something about our society’s tendancy for fast food service in relationships. We think in one meeting we’re supposed to know they’re best dishes when good food takes time to cook. A great relationship is gonna mean care in the discovery process as well.

    If a person feels accepted, they will open their dreams up to another who cares. This is where it gets fun and interesting…

    1. It also says something about our society’s tendancy for fast food service in relationships. We think in one meeting we’re supposed to know they’re best dishes when good food takes time to cook. A great relationship is gonna mean care in the discovery process as well

      That’s a great metaphor.

    1. Yea, that can be the case sometimes. It’s unfortunate, but it’s not un-fixable. You just need to draw them out of their shell a bit, be vocal, tell them what you want and make sure they can tell when you like or dislike what they’re doing. They learn, I promise.

  19. As a former bad boy, I can tell you that you are absolutely correct. I am no longer a bad boy because I am too old to attract young women. While I was bad boying it, I had absolutely no need or desire to provide the woman I was having sex with any sort of orgasm or sexual satisfaction. It was all about me and for me. I didn’t understand how much additional sexuaI enjoyment I could have by focusing on giving the woman an outrageous orgasm. Like me, most bad boys don’t understand this. You may want to recommend reading something about Tantra to the bad boys you meet.

  20. Very good post, what’s even more sad is that young teens have developed this mentality both boys and girls. They are totally playing into this because of the media and other tv shows that are telling them they need to do this to be happy. Very sad indeed. They should offer your post recommended reading at all high schools so that they can know better…or at least start the dialog.

  21. Why can’t more of the stuff on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed be as interesting as this? Seriously, great post.

    Personally, I love stereotypes. They’re funny and they give people a stepping off point when meeting people from other groups or backgrounds. Sort of a basis for comparison. Because really, they exist for a reason. The reason there’s a stereotype about women being more attracted to the “bad boy” type of guy is because of all the women who have a platonic male friend who treats them like gold and they share everything with, but then when they’re in a relationship of some sort with an asshole they cry to their platonic friend about how horrible the other guy is but they just LOVE him. It’s not an isolated anecdote (as much as crankosaur might want to pretend it is). This happens ALL the time. What the “nice” guys need to understand, and really the “bad” guys too, is that they shouldn’t just make assumptions based on the stereotype because in some cases they will fuck themselves. They need to keep the stereotype in mind and try to find out whether it’s true of the individual women they encounter.

  22. Excellent post.

    “The only sure thing we can say about bad boys is that they have more sex partners, but a high number of sex partners does not equal sexual skills.

    In fact, it might mean the opposite. Jerks could be so self-obsessed that they are awful in bed and so flip through partners quickly. Just because you get someone into bed does not mean that you will get them off.”

    True. Eventually the more indifferent male lovers (specifically PUA and playboys) ask if by having good sex with their lover, will that ensure them future sex. After running some numbers, they find that they don’t (at least not significantly) so they end up caring less.

    1. Thanks for the offer! I don’t think there’s major overlap between the my sex writing and the sports topics you write about. Thanks all the same though.

  23. SO FREAKING TRUE!! I had gotten out of a bad relationship with an asshole or jerk (which ever you prefer, personally I think he was an asshole) when I started talking to a friend of mine. He was flirting with me and I really liked him. I thought I had finally found a nice guy. I was wrong. Seems the bad boy/asshole complex is more common than good guy,,,

  24. I definitely I agree with your point of view. I don’t there is any relationship between being an asshole and become a great lover. However, what really confuse me about some women is that you never know if your being too soft or too porno. Recently my ex girlfriend accused me of treating her like a prostitute in bed when all I tried with her was to be creative, fun, and hot and I always respected her, I mean I never went further without her consent. We did a lot of new thing and after a year and six months never mentioned anything about this, on the contrary she seem to love it, but it is true that she used to talk sometimes that she loved slow rhythm and sensuality, and of course I modified some things according to her taste and desires but without loosing my personality or character.
    I think this is the key, be yourself and everything will go fine though not always we can find honest, open and well educated people.       

  25. Those who think that nice guys don’t know what they’re doing when the lights go out are missing out on 80% of the fun to be had out there. Let the assholes have their delusions. Us nice guys are out there having more fun. 🙂

  26. Although it’s not always true, it seems like the guys I don’t have as much of a mental connection with are better in bed than those whom i do. I wish it were different, but maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough yet…

  27. This is one reason I relate to women, have more women friends than guy friends, and feel more comfortable being around women. I never expect anything more than friendship.Guys always seem to assume that if a woman is nice to them it is because they like you for more than just being friendly. I have a problem with the dudes. Sad to say, I do not like being around my own gender. I can remain neutral with the women, the guys always expect a guy to be one of the guys.

  28. I had a friend who dated a “bad boy” for a few months, and when they ended up having sex she was very disappointed with the performance. Of course, she didn’t admit this until months after they had finished their relationship. Apparently she was in denial because she had always imagined him to be awesome in the sack. Guess not!

  29. Oh, I could talk about this topic for days. I just broke up with a man who verbally abused me…he was a womanizer and insisted that I was a fool for not blindly trusting him. Sadly, it was the best sex I ever had in my life. Multiple orgasms. He flipped when I ceased contact with him.
    I then met another man who has all the right qualities, and the passion is not there. I believe that “good guys” can perform well, but I think chemistry plays a crucial role. Or maybe I’m so damn hung up on what asshole gave me and will not accept that comforting sex can be as fulfilling as rocket sex.

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