10 January 2013

On Nice Guys

First, Hugo Schwyzer:

What's on offer isn't just an opportunity to snort derisively at the socially awkward; it's a chance to talk about the very real problem of male sexual entitlement. The great unifying theme of the curated profiles is indignation. These are young men who were told that if they were nice, then, as Laurie Penny puts it, they feel that women "must be obliged to have sex with them." The subtext of virtually all of their profiles, the mournful and the bilious alike, is that these young men feel cheated. Raised to believe in a perverse social/sexual contract that promised access to women's bodies in exchange for rote expressions of kindness, these boys have at least begun to learn that there is no Magic Sex Fairy. And while they're still hopeful enough to put up a dating profile in the first place, the Nice Guys sabotage their chances of ever getting laid with their inability to conceal their own aggrieved self-righteousness.

Except it is not clear they feigned friendship in order to get laid. The current social narrative is that women want sensitive men, men in touch with their feelings who will listen to every minor, trivial complaint women have. Men are told, almost exclusively by women, that this is the way to women’s hearts. If you want women to even begin to think about dating you, then you better become their friend first, not just ask them out on a date.
So this is what countless men and boys do. They befriend women and girls, hoping that all their cues are read properly and the girl will be willing to take it to the next step. However, many women and girls have no intention of dating the guy, and instead of telling him that so he can take his efforts elsewhere, they allow him to continue on in the pointless hope that she will change her mind. [Emphasis added.]

This putrid attempt at rebutting Schwyzer fails because it contradicts itself.  It starts by denying that men aren’t faking friendship to get to women’s hearts (and presumably pants).  Okay, fair enough.  Where it contradicts itself, though, is in its assertion that men are told, by women, to be nice guys, at which point men take it upon themselves to become nice guys.

 The implications of this admission are twofold.  First, by admitting that men modify their behavior to conform to women’s stated desire, Toy Soldier is implying that men would not ordinarily be nice guys.  Second, and in keeping with the first, the clear implication is that men are indeed feigning friendship in order to get laid.  Schwyzer, for all his douchiness, is quite correct in his assertion, and Toy Soldier implicitly admits that Schwyzer is correct even as he denies it.  I guess Schwyzer’s truth hit a little too close to home.

At any rate, the real problem with nice guys is that they are acting rather manipulatively.  Worse still, they’re failing at it.  See, men start acting like nice guys because they expect to get laid.  They are actively trying to manipulate women by essentially giving them resources and emotional closeness in exchange for sex (or, more accurately, the promise of sex).  However, these nice guys don’t want to view themselves as johns, so instead of going to prostitutes for a fairly straightforward and honest exchange of resources for sex, these pathetic excuses of men go to gold-diggers and sluts in order to exchange resources and emotional closeness for sex.  Unfortunately, sluts are less honest than prostitutes, and so nice guys keep getting ripped off.  But at least they don’t perceive themselves to be johns, so there’s that.

Of course, the women who take advantage of nice guys are being just as manipulative as the nice guys.  The sluts who essentially promise sex in exchange for resources or emotional closeness are, of course, simply lying and not delivering what they said they would deliver in exchange for what they received.  So really, the problem most nice guys face is that they are not skilled at manipulating women. They try to manipulate women by essentially trying to guilt women into sleeping with them.* Unfortunately, women are not as bound by moral compunction as men, and so they feel no guilt for mercilessly using nice guys for money, dinner, and as emotional tampons, and thus nice guys’ attempts at guilt-tripping women fail.

The reason why pick-up artistry works is because it effectively flips the script.  Now men are able to promise women certain things (social status, wealth, or other things women desire) in exchange for sex.  The difference is now that women are expected to put out before men follow through.  Asshats like Mystery get laid like tile, but they never actually give much to women, except for a wild ride or three, and a good story that slutty women can tell to their gossipy hag-friends.  Mystery is just like all the nice guys, in that he is deliberately attempting to manipulate women for sex.  Where he differentiates himself from nice guys is that he actually succeeds.  Thus, when nice guys complain about how women won’t give them the time of day, what they’re really saying is that they suck at manipulating women.

Thus, there is little reason to sympathize with nice guys.  They are manipulative little twats who suck at manipulation, and then cry when confronted with their failure.  They have no desire for a real relationship with another human being; they just want to masturbate into a sentient fleshlight.  Since they have so consistently failed in their efforts, and since their whining apparently availeth little, perhaps they should recognize that it’s either time to start using prostitutes or it’s time to get better at manipulating women.

Alternatively, they could try having a real relationship with women, and stop trying to pander their way into women’s pants.  This route does require a lot of brutal honesty, as well as concerted effort at self-improvement, but the payoff is worth it.  Sure, they probably won’t bang a different hottie every night.  But then, they weren’t doing that anyway.

* You know this assertion is true because nice guys always keep score.  They know exactly how much they’ve done for any particular woman, and they always have this idea of what they should get in exchange.

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