Why Bastards Get Lucky

Some guys are self-centered, antagonistic, woman-hating jerks—and girls love them. Here’s how a nice guy can beat ’em at their own game.

I’d love to say that women are the more evolved sex—that we choose our mates based on their emotional qualities, while you choose yours based on their cleavage quantities. But I’d be ignoring one brutally evident fact: Time and again, intelligent girls snub golden-hearted guys to go out with meatheads—the ones who use them, who don’t call, who break their hearts again and again. But why? Why do women want the bastards instead of the decent guys?

Actually, we do want decent guys. We dream of scoring one who buys us flowers because it’s Tuesday and rubs our feet while we watch Once and Again. The problem is, we’re at the mercy of some sort of primordial urge that makes us lust after cocky guys who won’t stop talking about themselves and who let doors slam behind them…and into us. Perhaps if all the sweet and trustworthy guys take a few lessons from The Clan of the Cave Bear creeps, women can have the best of both worlds. Here are eight reasons bad boys have babes falling at their feet—and how you can beat them to us.

Bad Boys Keep Us Guessing.

Women are constantly complaining about the one asshole who never calls them back. But when the phone rings, guess whose voice they’re dying to hear. When a guy doesn’t call right away, women figure he either has something better to do or he’s just not interested in the first place. Either way he comes off cooler—which only intrigues us more. If you want to create the same skepticism in your girlfriend, hold back a bit. Rather than tell her you’ll call at eight, tell her you’ll talk to her “later.” (You can still plan to call at eight, but she won’t know that.) Skip a night on the phone because you’re just “too busy,” and offer a few sweet words rather than declare your complete devotion.

Bad Boys Don’t Get Worked Up Over A Wrinkle In Their Chinos.

Pretty boys with delicate constitutions may make out like bandits in poetry circles and period flicks, but in the real world women lust after manlier lads. “I remember a poster of a male model covered in engine grease that every girl in college had hanging over her bed,” says Annette, a 22-year-old fashion assistant. “It fueled many an erotic fantasy.” Civilization progresses, but stereotypical turn-ons never die: I’m talking mud football, mountain climbing, and motorcycles—high-testosterone activities that separate the dudes from the duds. Do something that’ll make you sweat, like running, biking, or ditch digging, and drop by her place in your sweat-stained gear. Seeing you men breathing hard and perspiring only makes us want to be the impetus next time.

Bad Boys Need Us.

There’s a Martha Stewart in all of us that makes us want to refurbish shabby flea-market finds; that same trait makes us want to turn hardhearted slackers into better boyfriends. “Some guys seem like stray animals,” admits 29-year-old event planner Tammy Lynn, “like Vincent Gallo’s character in Buffalo ’66. Women strive to save guys like that from a cruel loveless fate.” Chalking up criminal charges would be going too far, but letting a few imperfections show may be just what it takes to trigger her inner Martha. Try this line: “I learned long ago that the only person I could count on was myself.” You can bet your life she’ll take that as a challenge and will trip over herself trying to crack your impenetrable shell.

Bad Boys Make Us Beg For Their Compliments And Affection.

My grad-school roommate dated a pro football player whose idea of romantic sex was doing it slowly to his favorite Black Flag album. After six months of this insensitivity, the lug showed up on Valentine’s Day with a fistful of wilting roses and a box of Russell Stover with the drugstore price tag still stuck to the plastic wrapping. Lisa was so thrilled by the rare—if pitiful—display of affection, she dragged me to a lingerie store to help pick out a thank-you gift. Around the same time, I was seeing a stockbroker who produced extravagant presents so often, they earned little more than a kiss on the cheek. Moral: Too much of a good thing gets taken for granted. Whether it’s gifts, compliments, offering to see a chick flick, or late-night calls just to say hi, being extra-sensitive all the time gets you nowhere. Spread out your special treatment, and when you dole it out remember (unlike my roommate’s clueless QB) to do it right.

Bad Boys Have Fan Clubs.

Why is it that bastard guys are always in the center of a group of giggling women? Because they know how to work their assets, that’s why. And when we women see a man being fawned over by other women, we can’t help but wonder what those assets are, exactly. “I knew this guy at work that I thought was shy,” says 26-year-old Karen, a kindergarten teacher. “But when I ran across him in a bar and all these babes were talking to him, his sex appeal tripled.” If your assets aren’t obvious (like lats the size of watermelons), find where you excel and tap your talent for all it’s worth. If you can dance, let your girlfriend “drag” you to a swing joint—then wow all the other women in the room with your moves. Or ask a female friend to tell the object of your affections what an amazing (and kind and selfless and funny and intelligent) guy you are, and she’ll be putty in your hands.

Bad Boys Make Us Feel Safe.

The guy may be a kid-hating, small-animal-killing, all-around heathen, but when some drunk moron tosses an offensive remark toward his girlfriend in a club, he steps in and becomes a knight in shining armor. “Guys who are looking for fights are idiotic and embarrassing,” says Meredith, a 25-year-old graphic designer. “But it’s satisfying to know that your normally calm, cool, and collected boyfriend would draw blood for your sake.” So show her your protective side with gestures that aren’t likely to get your ass kicked: Put your arm around her in a crowd, hold her hand when you’re crossing the street, and ask someone to stop blowing smoke in her face (unless you’re planning to bum one later).

Bad Boys Call The Shots.

I love considerate men, but if I have to hear the words “Whatever you want, honey” one more time, I’m going to scream! This is why self-centered jerks who make decisions without consulting us can sometimes turn us on. “Shane used to inform me what time he would be picking me up for our date and that was it,” says Cheryl, a 25-year-old ad exec. “He was so pigheaded that half the time he would take me to a stupid Van Damme movie. But for a while it was exciting having someone else take control.” So surprise her with pre-made plans. Then stick by your decision. Because when a guy voices a strong opinion, it’s a sexy indicator that his confidence is intact. “I once walked out on a date because it took him 10 minutes to deliberate over French-fried or mashed,” remembers Cheryl. “How did this guy get through a day of work?”

Bad Boys Are Exciting.

Women love drama. Having been weaned on soap opera plots, bodice-ripping romance novels, and sappy movies that involve rich guys romancing prostitutes off the street and into the sunset, some women find it hard to accept the simple nice-guy-likes-nice-girl plot. (You can identify these women by their gossip about office love affairs and their weekly declarations that they’ll storm out of work.) For them dating a hard-to-handle man is one sure way to keep things complicated. If your life is no more exciting than the cooking channel, create your own uncertainty: Drop a female co worker’s name a few days in a row, let slip that one of your ex’s was a model, or bring up your burning desire to spend next year in Burma. She may swear she’ll kill herself before she lets you leave her.


Answer these questions. You may be a bigger bastard than you think.

To see the bad boy answer, drag your cursor over the following line.

1. When you arrive at a party to meet your girlfriend, do you get a beer before you greet her?
Bad boy answer: Y

2. Do you tell her when you’re about to come?
Bad boy answer: N

3. Do you go out with female friends without her?
Bad boy answer: Y

4. Do you consider kissing cheating?
Bad boy answer: N

5. Do you usually call within 15 minutes of when you say you will?
Bad boy answer: N

6. Do you order your date another drink without asking if she wants one?
Bad boy answer: Y

7. If your restaurant table has a booth seat and a chair, do you take the booth?
Bad boy answer: Y

8. Do you think it’s funny to make jokes about screwing her mom?
Bad boy answer: Y

9. Do you make sure she gets into her house before you drive away?
Bad boy answer: Y

10. Have you ever canceled plans with her because you’re tired and then ended up going out with your friends anyway?
Bad boy answer: Y

11. When you meet women, do you give them your number and tell them to call you?
Bad boy answer: Y

12. Have you ever bought a woman flowers for no particular reason?
Bad boy answer: N

13. Have you ever failed to introduce your girlfriend to other women who’ve approached?
Bad boy answer: Y

14. If she makes dinner, do you wash the dishes?
Bad boy answer: N

15. Would you thank your girlfriend in your next big Oscar speech?
Bad boy answer: N


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