There is a wonderful post over at Pandagon about being a “Nice Guy“.
It’s well thought out, well written and has plenty of food for thought about the interactions between men and women.
This archetype isn’t helpful to anyone. It’s obviously not helpful to women, since it’s a two-dimensional and non-agency role, trapped by their gender into destructively desiring the “bad boy” and ignoring the tender mercies of the Nice Guy. It’s not helpful to Nice Guys, because it serves to validate both their self-pitying and their attitude towards women. And it certainly doesn’t help the “assholes”, because they always die in a motorcycle wreck at the end of the second act.
And the way to escape the Nice Guy trap is, like almost everything else in life, psychosexual. It’s very obvious when you meet someone who hasn’t had the right challenges to their worldview, because their psychosexuality is absolutely either/or. Either nice girls don’t, or they only do with you. (Non-nice guy misogynists maintain a sexual duality, too, only it’s more like and/and: Nice girls don’t, so you’re a slut.)
But as you mature psychosexually, you realize there’s a Third Way: Nice girls do whatever the fuck they wanna do, like men. That the society hasn’t caught up to this doesn’t mean that it’s not true, and when you embrace that fact, it’s like the clouds part. First, you slide an important part of fully-humanizing women into place. The phrase “My sexuality is my own” is gender-neutral, and the sooner a man understands that, the sooner he moves HIMSELF closer to being fully human.
Second – and being still someone whats-in-it-for-me about the whole thing, this was the one that first hooked me in – you realize something about yourself. “Ohh! The reason I haven’t been getting laid isn’t because women don’t like sex that much, and it isn’t that they only like sex with assholes! It’s because I haven’t been bothering to ask!!!” Our sexuality is our own, too, which means that it’s no one else’s responsibility to take care of it for us. If we’re looking for partners, we have to learn how to fit our sexuality in with that of someone else.
I like to think that I’m a “Nice Guy”, but this article made me really think about what that means. And neatly lays out some of the stuff that happened to me (and probably plenty of others) in High School and beyond.
I actually got dumped by one girlfriend because I was “too nice”. I’m still not sure what that was about.