Do women really like jerks and bad boys ? The answer might surprise you.

Dr. Paul:

I’m often asked why women like jerks, bad boys, and players. While I teach that much of the reason rests in the fact that, to the brain, arousal due to danger and threats can be easily confused with arousal due to sexual appeal, there is a bit of a difference between a guy who is a rude, immature or unethical jerk, and one who has been called a “player.”

To my mind, a “player” is still on the immature side of being a man, because the name is derogatory to most women, and implies he has nothing much else going on in his life other than chasing skirt. It implies manipulativeness or trickery of women, which I do not like or agree with, but at least also implies that the man has some skill and experience at the ways women think and feel. He is likely a bit more diplomatic and “under the radar” than a bold-faced jerk.

Women do like the dangerous arousal implied in an experienced man who has been with many women, but they like something more, too. Far more than a jerk or a bad boy, women like that a “player” has a smoothness or “craft” to him, that he is fluid in his social graces and perhaps even a good dancer, all of which imply that he might also be smooth or experienced at giving her pleasure.

Women automatically, unconsciously, instinctively peg men into categories as being either more of a stand up, high character guy, or else a provider of sexual pleasure and fun, regardless of the fact that she also suspects he’s not in any place to be loyal or committed. In fact, she may find herself convincing herself that maybe she could be the one to turn him around, make a project of him, and get him into the loyal, committed mode like no other woman has been able to do.

And for the most part she won’t be able to, though the fantasy of it is very alluring.

It’s the prime core sexual attractor of women that the player has mastered and the bad boy or jerk has not … which is to be intoxicating in his mysteriousness, a source of curiosity to women, a puzzle to solve and a masculine, charismatic presence to wrap into her circle of influence.

One might say that, in the process of trying to attract a player, a woman who does so may be in just as selfish or self-absorbed a mode … that of a pleasure seeker … as the player himself. For most often, she is into him not for his breadth of husbandly skills or richness of life balance, but because he makes her look good, and is a challenge which, if mastered, will prove to her her degree of femininity and social value.

Rather than being a mere Player, or forbid, a jerk or bad boy alone, I encourage you to become what I call an Omega Male: a man who has both the character maturity, sophistication and competence to be both a source of safety and rich life’s experience, but also with the edge and smoothness of the Player – the one man who can be both friend and loyal lover for the woman, wrapped into one.

Be that man.


Dr. Paul
Dr. Paul

Dr. Paul Dobransky, more commonly known as “Dr. Paul,” is a practicing psychiatrist and dating expert. He has been featured on CNN and in major magazines from Maxim to Cosmopolitan. He brings formidable scientific expertise to bear in fields as diverse as sociology, biology, and evolutionary psychology in the programs he has developed and the training he offers.

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