On nice guys, hard truths, and the Friend Zone

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I’m uncomfortable talking about Nice Guys of OKC. It’s a tumblr blog where the author posts snippets from men’s OKCupid profiles (along with their photographs) and humiliates them. She/he picks up on guys who say they’re ‘nice’, and can’t understand why they’ve been ‘friend-zoned’ by women. Men who say they’ll treat women right and love them and respect them and then answer questions like ‘do you think women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved?’ with shitty answers like ‘yes.’

It’s uncomfortable because I don’t like the idea of humiliating people – real people, alongside photos of their actual face – on the internet. But it’s also uncomfortable because, well, the author has a point.

Nice guys and sex blogging

I’ve met ‘nice guys’ like this before: men who can’t comprehend why I – a sex blogger, for crying out loud – won’t have sex with them. The understandable upset caused by a ‘no’ is compounded by the fact that they’ve previously spent happy hours wanking to the words I write on the internet. Men who’d previously have just been confused or hurt by a ‘no’ become outraged: “but you’re a slut, right? You fuck everyone, right? So why not me?”

Here’s a secret that’s not-so-secret: I love fucking and I love guys, and I am more than comfortable fucking guys I’ve only just met. So when I tell you that I’m not going to shag you, it’s not because I don’t fancy a shag, it’s because I don’t fancy you. Upsetting though that is, I don’t owe you a fuck just because you want one.

Nice Guys of OKC highlights men who find these ‘no’s incredibly difficult to accept: the ones who think that, if they’re nice enough to women and tick a set of chivalry boxes, that woman is not just bound to shag them but – to a certain extent at least – obliged to.

Do you think you’re one of these people? Have you ever been in a position where a woman tells you ‘no, but let’s be friends’ and you want to tear down the walls, screaming blue murder at the sheer injustice of it?

I won’t humiliate you on the internet, but to try and help you understand the situation I’ve constructed a quick FAQ.

Why do women put me in the ‘friend zone’?

They don’t. At no point does a woman meet a decent guy and go ‘well, we could have a relationship but instead I’m going to make a conscious decision to only ever be friends with this person.’ What’s happening here isn’t a deliberate act of malice, it’s a simple fact of life: she doesn’t fancy you.

And it just so happens that it’s easier to say ‘let’s be friends’ than ‘at no point have I ever felt the temptation to sit on your dick.’

Why do ‘nice guys finish last’?

They don’t. Every guy I’ve ever fucked has been nice. I wouldn’t have fucked him if he weren’t. That thing you find frustrating? That women always seem to end up with arseholes? It’s just a trick of the mind, and it happens because women usually end up with humans – flawed humans who make mistakes and fuck up, like everyone does.

And when her boyfriend or lover fucks up, when their relationship ends (as the vast majority of relationships inevitably do), she’ll come to you – her friend – and tell you about his flaws.

Why do so many women I meet just want to be friends?

Maybe you’re a friendly guy. No, I’m serious – perhaps you are someone whose friendship and niceness is valuable to them. In which case: congratulations, you are quite nice.

However, the use of the word ‘just’ in front of ‘friends’? That sort of makes you a dick. Essentially what you’re saying is ‘your friendship is of very low value to me, because it doesn’t come with sexual strings attached.’ Are you fucking surprised that she doesn’t want to have sex with you? You clearly don’t think much of her.

Hey, I’ve been her friend for ages and let her cry on my shoulder and stuff, why won’t she fuck me?

Because, unless you are a sex worker, sex isn’t a transactional thing. There isn’t a rule whereby if you do X and Y, a woman is obliged to do Z. Hug all you like, comfort all you like, at no point is she ever obliged to fuck you.

Aside: at no point is a sex worker obliged to fuck you either. If you pay them for sex and they change their mind, guess what? The most you’re entitled to is a refund.

So, you’re saying that if I fancy one of my friends I’m a dick?

Nope.  Just because some guys get angry about being ‘just’ friends with a girl, that doesn’t mean you’re an arsehole if you’re in love with your best friend. Fancying your friends is cool. Acting as if you deserve anything from your friends purely because you have a boner for them? That’s where it all goes wrong.

So how do I make a move on a friend without being a dick about it?

You ask.

If you’ve got a good friend who you think might just be the love of your life, and someone with whom you can build a beautiful thing together, instead of sitting on the sidelines simmering bitterly about his/her other relationships, how about you just come out and ask?

“You know, I think you’re amazing and I’d really like to take things further. How about it?”

See that question mark at the end, though? That’s key. You’re not at any point going to say “we’ve been friends for ages, it’s about time we fucked” because that is a dick move, contravening the rules we’ve discussed above. It has to be a question – a real question, in which you accept the possibility that there’ll be an answer you don’t like.

What’s the difference between a genuinely nice guy and an arsehole? Both of them hope for a ‘yes’, but the nice guy will accept that ‘no’ is also a legitimate answer.

66 Comments

  • size4riggerboots says:

    Absolutely 100% spot on!

  • jemima101 says:

    I agree with your resrvations, and too know what you mean about being sexually active meaning you are assumed to be available to all. Perhaps thats why I didnt get as angry as some about the tumblr, spend any time on swinging sites and entitled guys who assume they will get laid is so common its just a topic to take the piss out of . Daily someone will start a forum post entitled Why will no one meet me/Are the women on here genuine/Why do women only fuck bad guys.? They whine, and forget women can read and add them to theri block list.
    To be perfectly honest The whole tumblr thing has made me wonder how some people cope on the internet if they expect that everyone is a soft fluffy kitten.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah, good point – I haven’t been on fet forums for a while but remember these posts coming up a lot. I also frequently got DMs that started with things like ‘So, I’m really hoping that you’re genuine, and not just like all these other girls who aren’t actually up for meeting in real life.’ Wow – you’re awesome. Please dick me, immediately.

      I hate turning people down, it’s a horrible and cringey thing to do at the best of times. Despite my general rage about things I do try my best not to ever be a prick, so it makes it even trickier when I then have to have a protracted conversation with people who can’t take ‘I just don’t fancy you’ for an answer.

  • Emily says:

    “And it just so happens that it’s easier to say ‘let’s be friends’ than ‘at no point have I ever felt the temptation to sit on your dick.’” This started a coughing fit of laughter!

    So very true…although I have known exceptions….

    Sometimes what I would really need to say is ‘I have felt the temptation to sit on your dick, on many occasions in fact, but I only want to fuck you and if we do fuck, you will go all weird because you are emotionally incapable of having friends with benefits sexy times, so we must be friends’. People don’t tend to understand this though, that it is actually more important to keep the friendship than have a quick fuck *sigh*

    Another great one is ‘of course I want to fuck you, but you are an arsehole to every person you date so, no, i’ll keep you in the friends zone’. I’ll gladly tell such people they are arseholes to others but risk telling them I want them too? Not a chance in hell!

    Also, it is sometimes the case that being friends now becomes something later. If a guy is a tool and expects something to happen, that possible future sex/relationship sure as hell isn’t going to occur!

  • Sophie says:

    Here’s a comment from the POV as a sex worker… You’re right, as a sex worker, I’m not obliged to fuck someone I don’t want to. As for the issue of a refund, that depends on the reason I’m refusing.

    If I’m refusing to sleep with you for an issue that’s mine (I just came on my period, I have a head-ache or just because you look too much like my dad…) then I’ll certainly offer you a refund and possibly a discount on your next visit, depending on how bad I feel about it.

    However, if I’m refusing to suck your dick because you’ve not washed it in the last month, that’s your hard cheese (sorry, I could resist that pun) and there’ll be no refund. (Yes, I have had this issue and it bemuses me every time… if you were going on a date where you thought sex was likely, you’d have a wash… so why not when you’re coming to visit me and sex is almost a sure thing?)

    From a purely legal stance, I’m not selling you sex, I’m selling you my time… (if you’ve ever seen a sex worker’s ad, there’ll often be a disclaimer to that effect) and if I don’t want to sleep with you because of an issue that’s your fault and not mine, I’ve still gone to the effort of making myself pretty for you and I cannot sell that time to someone else once you’ve turned up.

    I’m often asked, by clients, if I enjoy working as an escort… and the simple answer to that is yes. Feeling I have the right to say no to something I don’t or think I won’t enjoy is an integral part of me being able to enjoy being a sex worker.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ooh, good point – thanks for adding. You’re right, and I understand that most escort interactions are a cash-for-time exchange rather than a cash-for-specific-act exchange. I didn’t want to go too in-depth about it in the post, I just wanted to highlight that everyday relationships don’t involve this kind of straightforward exchange. Thanks for clarifying, though.

      I see your point about the washing, though, and second your confusion. Although there are a few people out there who have a fetish for *ahem* uncleansed genitals, surely they’re rare enough that people know they should wash themselves before having sex with someone?

  • Sophie says:

    No, I totally understand why you didn’t expand that point more than you did… I don’t think escorting and Friend Zone have any crossover beyond the relevance of your comment.

  • I like you clearly defined all the reasons I could think of guys feel this way. And I do hate the expectation that I will sleep with them just because I love sex and will sleep with men frequently. I struggled with the pressure of the expectation when I was younger.

  • Phil says:

    Great article. It often happens for a girl that she is attracted to a guy who isn’t interested in her OR friendship – nobody bats an eye lid. Like ‘wtf – this girl is really nice, she’s sympathetic, pretty, holds down a good job, what’s your problem?’ Nope. It’s cold. Not ‘even’ friendship (intended irony).

    So when a fella gets attracted to a girl, and half the time pretends (yeah I said it) to take an interest in this girl’s problems, life, etc he feels he has ‘paid his dues’ – capital arsehole.

    ‘I’m as good as that guy, and she fucked him…’ – yes but she was attracted to him. She’s not attracted to you. Find someone who is? Choose to enjoy the friendship you are being offered or not – it’s your choice (and if you genuinely care, you won’t be a shallow prick, right?).

    The thing about the ‘is she really going out with him?’ attitude, where men look across and say ‘women love bastards’ and ‘good guys finish second’ – truth is two fold. The guy isn’t half as ‘bad’ as you’d like to think, and you’re not half as good.

  • Dave says:

    I agree with this blog for sure, with one reservation. There are situations where men/women will abuse their knowledge that their friend wants to fuck them. Playing with the unspoken emotions they know are there. That isn’t nice and some members of both genders do it and it does cause resentment in the other party.

    This enjoyment of tormenting people often comes from insecurity. And it never justifies resentment of an entire gender as a response. But it happens. That said this torment is more often the result of imagined manipulations rather than real ones so it is complex. 9 times out of 10 they are not “leading you on” (horrible horrible term that I don’t endorse and only use because it is the vernacular of the “nice” guy) and that one time, well tough shit, sometimes individuals are mean, doesn’t mean that you are entitled to anything whatsoever.

    This was my take on the Nice Guys of OK Cupid thing: http://goosefat101twitterspills.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/no-more-mr-not-nice-guy.html

    Thanks once again for a brilliant blog post.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hmm… interesting point. I get what you’re saying and I think broadly I agree – tormenting someone that you know fancies you is a dick move. However, the problem here is ‘what counts as tormenting?’

      If someone fancies me, I’m not really obliged to change my behaviour at all to avoid ‘leading them on’ – once I’ve said ‘sorry, it’s not going to happen’ then I don’t have a responsibility to act in a different way to avoid them being more tortured over the idea that they can’t have me. (Do not like the way I have started to construct this example, as it makes it sound like guys are frequently mooning after me which, given that I am actually a terrifying twat, is definitely not the case)

      So, I don’t have to change my behaviour because a friend fancies me, but there might still be things that they see as cruel, given the now open knowledge that they fancy me. If I go out with them in a sexy top that shows off my lovely tits, that’s not me ‘leading them on’, that’s me wearing a nice top. The thing is, it’s borderline impossible to know whether someone is actually doing things to ‘lead on’ (I also hate this phrase) a friend they fancy or if they’re doing it because, well, their friend actually has no right to control their behaviour. Deliberately upsetting your mates is a shitty thing to do, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s actually incredibly rare. You’re right though – even if they are being cunty, it still doesn’t entitle you to anything. It just sucks.

      • Brock Nicholson says:

        If someone makes you feel shitty, quit spending time with them. That is one element of the whole “Friendzone” myth that irritates me immensely. These “nice guys” go on and on about how awful some woman is for leading them on or whatever, but then the “nice guy” still wants to hang around. I think a lot of these guys enjoy having a scapegoat for their general hatred of women.

  • obscureusername says:

    Genuine nice guys don’t feel the need to underline the fact, that’s the thing.
    In fact the boy – who’s a lovely, sweet, nice guy (and a little twisted in ways I like ;p) – usually describes himself as ‘a bit of a cunt’.

  • MFR says:

    Great post! I’ve been ambivalent about NGOKC but you’ve nailed my thoughts completely. These men are easy to mock and hate but what they really need is educating. As a woman who’s spent a lot of time either side of the unrequited feelings fence, I think the difficult thing for people to get to grips with is that unrequited love is about *you*, and that if it becomes a pattern in your life it’s *your* responsibility to recognise it and not invest too much in people before you know they’re interested and available. Cultural assumptions about sex slow that down on both sides – whether it’s men believing nice guys are owed sex or women believing a man will fuck anything that walks. What’s sadder and far more dangerous than these men is that others with horrible attitudes to women actually *attract* women…

  • Gribblethemunchkin says:

    In my far distant youth I was a “Nice Guy”. I pined after friends who were girls all through secondary school and college and never got anywhere. I lived firmly in the friend zone. I’m out of there now and happily married but I can still remember it. I really don’t think much of it is a transactional thing, or at least it wasn’t for me. For me, it was terrible shyness, coupled with low self esteem. I could easily be friends with a girl as I’m a friendly chap, but going to the next step of asking her out…..forget it. My low self esteem could never have dealt with the fear of rejection. So I’d be friends with these girls, see them break up with the “Bad boys” and they’d cry on my shoulder and all the time I’d be thinking “Why not go out with me! I’m nice and would treat you better than that douchebag!”.
    If I could travel through time and speak to my pimply young self, I’d tell him this “Just ask her out. If she says no, that’s fine. You’ll still be friends. It won’t be the end of the world. You never know, she might even say yes.”
    I’m not sure young-pimply-me could have summoned the nerve though. Shame, being rejected a couple of times would totally have removed the stigma and sting from it.
    While many of these “nice guys” are rage filled and have daft ideas about the opposite sex, I think that many of them have as a root problem chronic low self esteem and a terrible fear of rejection and its just been left to fester for too long. They’ve not been able to date the girls they liked because they could never summon the courage to ask them out and make the move themselves. And they came to see confidence in others as arrogance. So when they see that guy (who they don’t know) swagger up and ask their friend out, and she accepts, the jealousy kicks in. When they split (as many teenage couples are wont to do), the “Nice guy” has his initial impression confirmed, that rotter was a “bad man” who hurt his friend, as he never would.
    I don’t like the idea of mocking these people. They are to be pitied, and if possible, helped. They never had that confidence to actual tell the girl what they wanted to say, to quote our hostess
    “You know, I think you’re amazing and I’d really like to take things further. How about it?”
    Before the age of 18, I simply could not have said that to a girl. And I know many of these guys have the same problem.

  • MC says:

    Interesting post, but I’ve always had a slightly different view. Nice guys call themselves as such because they have no other redeeming features (hence why nobody ever fancies them). Being nice is not something that is particularly rare and most people are nice to most other people, or at the very least, polite. I’d imagine that particularly attractive women have men being nice to them all day long! Unless you bring something else to the relationship (intelligence, a good body, a sense of humour, etc) you’re really not any better than anybody else and by calling yourself a nice guy, you’re just advertising that fact.

    Also, just as a side note in relation to the shaving legs thing, if a woman wants/expects to find a man who is clean shaven, well groomed, exercises, dresses nicely etc. is she not obliged to do the same things in return (if he prefers it, that is)? I mean if a woman expects her companion to shave his face, is it not fair if her companion expects her to shave her legs? If she wants a man who dresses nicely, works out, whatever, is she not obliged to do the same? What about the reverse? Does a man have an obligation to shave his face if his partner shaves her legs. Does a man have an obligation to dress nicely, work out, etc. etc.? Bottom line, if one person in the relationship makes an effort to look good for the other, does the other have an obligation to do the same? Honestly curious of people’s opinion on this.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey MC, as an attempt to answer your question about men being obliged to shave their faces/groom etc:

      I’m not sure you’ve phrased the question right. You say ‘if a woman expects X is she not obliged to do Y?’ My answer to that is that at no point should I, as a girl, expect anything from a dude I’m fucking beyond the obvious (i.e. respect, etc). I don’t think a woman should make a guy feel obliged to shave his face any more than she should feel obliged to shave her legs. Having said that, I know that there are some couples for whom looking nice for each other (although face-shaving doesn’t always equate to looking nice – I’ve known some super-hot unshaven dudes) is a thing they like to do. If that’s how things work for them, fine. But the idea of obligation implies that there’ll be hurt/retribution if one partner slips from whatever impeccable standards their partner prefers, and I don’t think that’s a great way to do things.

      • MC says:

        So you’re saying that you would never expect anything from a guy, like shaving his face (which was just an example) and in turn don’t have any obligations back to him, aside from respect etc. Fair enough.

        Having said that, I guess for me I was asking more in a dating context, the kind that OKCupid might facilitate, as opposed to a purely sexual context. If a person is looking for certain qualities in a partner I’m guessing that you would say that neither is obliged to act/look/whatever in a certain way. I guess for me though if I want an attractive, interesting woman to date me, I need to be attractive myself, ie it would be advisable for me to work out, read widely, be able to hold an interesting conversation, learn how to make people laugh, etc. Essentially become an awesome person that people would want to date. At what point does that self improvement (not necessarily a bad thing mind you) become an obligation in order to keep this partner? Perhaps, as you said, that this is not a good way to think about it, but on the other hand, let me tell you why I thought about this in the first place.

        I have been with my current girlfriend for over three years and we’re very happy together. She’s very loving and caring, reads a lot of interesting fiction and biographies, has a good sense of humour, great to talk to and with a great pair of legs. I, on the other hand work out regularly (so look pretty good), read a lot of scientific journals on topics I like, can make her laugh any time, am very intelligent etc. Basically, we always have things to talk about because we both read fairly widely and are both pretty bright, both find each other physically attractive and both understand each other’s humour as well as personality, while at the same time being mostly separate individuals. Not to brag, but we’re pretty awesome. Anyway, my point is, what would happen if we suddenly stopped reading so much and we no longer had things to talk about? What if I suddenly became unable to make her laugh for some reason? What if she suddenly became cold and uncaring? It would not be very good for our relationship and if it went on for long enough it might break us up (mind you, we’ve been through some unpleasantness and come out fine so far). Does that mean that we each have our own set of obligations to make this relationship work or if anything like that happens is it just tough luck? That’s what I was thinking more about.

        Perhaps this is a little far removed from shaving legs and way, way off topic from the OP, but an interesting topic, nonetheless.

        • Girl on the net says:

          OK, here’s the thing: it’s the word ‘obliged’ that gets me. It’s good that you do all of those things, but ultimately you shouldn’t be obliged to do any of them. You do them because you choose to – partly I assume because you quite like reading science journals and working out, and partly because you know that it makes you a cool/interesting/hot person who your partner wants to do squishy wet things with. All good. So, you’re not doing them because you’re obliged to, you’re doing them because you choose to, right?

          That’s a choice, and you can stop doing it at any point. However, your partner hasn’t just made a one-off choice to be with you, it’s a choice she constantly re-evaluates and re-makes every day that you continue to be awesome. She wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘hey, MC is pretty fucking cool, I shall remain with him and partake in his coolness.’ All good. And then you stop doing your stuff. Maybe she stops fancying you, maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she chooses not to be with you any more, maybe she chooses to stay. Maybe what she likes about you is the sum of lots of other parts as well and she decides that, on balance, you’re still ace despite being a slightly different person.

          She’s not obliged to stay with you if you stop doing any of these things. But you’re not obliged to do them either. To her you are (I sincerely hope) the sum total of all the things you do – not a relatively insignificant trifle that can be tossed aside because you have a few more hairs on you than is ideal. Yeah, if you stop doing all of the things that she loves you for, you’ll probably get dumped. You’re not obliged to keep doing them, but you’d be advised to maintain the important stuff (respecting her, being nice to her, doing the cool things that make her laugh) if you want to keep a relationship going.

          Conclusion after very overly-wordy post: you have to make efforts to be significantly decent if you want to keep your decent partner. But there’s a huge gulf of difference between your partner wanting you to remain similar to the nice, interesting person she fell in love with and your partner making your relationship conditional on one specific and insignificant physical issue such as leg shaving.

        • Girl on the net says:

          Also, don’t worry about being off-topic. Your question is a good one, and forced me to actually properly word my opinion on this, which is always a good thing.

    • Elettaria says:

      The “obligated” thing has been dealt with below, but here’s another point. What we do with our face is viewed as more important than what we do with our legs, in terms of generally being presentable. Women can dress perfectly nicely and never show whether their legs are shaved or not. And incidentally, a wide variety of facial hair styles are socially acceptable for men, including beards and designer stubble. We get the choice about what we want to do with our own body hair. It may also be worth pointing out that it takes much longer to remove hair from legs than it does from a face, and it can be extremely uncomfortable to do so.

      The other thing is that if a man has a stubbly face, anyone that man has sexual contact with is likely to find that slightly uncomfortable at best, downright painful at worst. You don’t get this happening with legs, mainly because they just don’t have the same sort of contact, although also because the hair is less bristly. Have you ever had to apply cream over red, burning skin because someone hadn’t shaved their legs? I imagine not. But if you’ve ever dated a man who shaves irregularly and you have sensitive skin, you will know exactly what I’m talking about.

  • Tom Morris says:

    Next time an attractive male friend of mine complains about how women are “friend zoning” him, I’m going to come on to him and say “look, I’m attracted to you, can we fuck?” and when he turns me down, I’ll just say “oh man, I’ve just been friendzoned”.

    If straight men are doing this stupid bullshit to women, it’s only fair turnabout when gay men start doing it to them.

  • Lou says:

    I agree with the main thrust of this article- that an adult man or woman shouldn’t get annoyed to the point of throwing a child-like hissy fit if the object of their affection doesn’t feel the same way. However sometimes a person may meet another attractive and interesting person-whom if circumstances were different they may have pursued, however they make a conscious decision not to. Relationships, as fulfilling and wonderful as they can be are also tumultuous and heartrending, and a person may not feel ready to go into a romantic relationship with a close friend, therefore they chose remain friends.

    Also, when a man/woman really likes another man/woman of course there is a sadness when the other doesn’t feel the same. This isn’t just a case of ‘I have a boner for my friend and she won’t fuck me’ falling in love with a friend is deeper that that. Acting like you deserve sex from a friend, is of course wrong. But the statement ‘your friendship is of very low value to me, because it doesn’t come with sexual strings attached’ does not apply to all men. I’m sure many blokes will agree with me, when you fall head over heels for your best friend, you don’t just want sex you want to be with that awesome person-your best buddy- for a very long time, enjoying the most intimate of bonds and maybe settling down together. Of course when a person realizes that the other doesn’t want this, it is natural to be hurt – rejection hurts. What sets the real nice guy apart is the ability to accept this with grace, having the courage to step back from the friendship for a little while if needs be, to deal with those unrequited feelings, then get back to being friends.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey Lou, I think I agree with you on this – there’s nothing wrong with being in love with a friend (I was horribly, sick-makingly in love with my best friend when I was a teenager and was constantly upset that he didn’t return my affections. Or, at the very least, fuck me behind the bike sheds). And I think the situation you’re describing makes total sense – the thing I’m trying to highlight is the attitude of ‘oh God, I can’t believe I got ‘friendzoned”, like you’re not just sad that you can’t have more than a friendship with someone, but that being their friend is actually a pretty crap thing to be. Assume in the situation you describe (as in my own pathetic teenage lusting) being someone’s friend was still considered a valuable thing, albeit a thing which meant you had to consciously dampen your ardour.

  • Sarah says:

    I really honestly don’t get why people had a problem with the niceguysofokc tumblr… Literally all the author was doing was finding pictures of guys on OK Cupid who profess to be ‘nice’ and then finding direct quotes from their profiles where they appear to be not so nice. That’s it. She didn’t fabricate anything, she didn’t stalk or harass these guys. She did occasionally post her own comments, but they were usually just ‘that’s sexist, that’s misogynistic’ etc.

    I suppose there’s a privacy issue involved in that if you post a profile on a dating website, you should not then find it on someone’s tumblr. In that respect she should have blurred out their faces or something. But this is still information they willingly made public and all she did was quote from it…

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hey Sarah – I appreciate the point, in that the author is often simply recreating things that the guys themselves have posted online. If nothing else, it’s a warning to all of us to think carefully about what we’re willing to put out there – worries about this often keep me awake at night, because of what I’m posting!

      However, as with everything, context is key. Although the author of the tumblr is (or rather, was, as the site’s now gone) only reproducing what they’ve posted, it’s being framed in a way that invites ridicule, mockery and abuse. If I were feeling particularly mean spirited, I could select images of people from social networking sites who had been douchey to me and upload them to this blog, to illustrate a post about people I thought were massive douchebags. Not only would I be denying them any sort of right of reply, I’d also be stripping the context from what they originally posted. Not to mention that some of them may have believed their original posts would go to a limited audience who’d understand/appreciate their doucheyness for the light-hearted fun that it was, and then get torn to pieces by my gang of followers who would potentially knee-jerk to my defense.

      Not sure if I’ve phrased that correctly, but I hope you see what I’m saying. It’s incredibly important to call out this sort of behaviour when we see it (hence my post) but I don’t think we always need to attribute it to individuals – we risk the tide of rage turning on fallible individuals rather tackling the actual root causes of entitled behaviour. Others certainly disagree with me on this, though – I just want to explain why I wasn’t comfortable linking to the blog or saying ‘fuck yeah – look at these arseholes’.

      • Sarah says:

        I guess so, but she wasn’t specifically choosing people who had been ‘douchey’ to her. She also wasn’t denying anyone the right to reply – she got many replies and posted them all word for word on her tumblr.

        Also, the context of the quotes she used was clear – they were quotes taken directly from dating profiles. In fact, most of them were clear yes/no questions. There is *never* going to be a context where “Do you have rape fantasies? Yes” makes sense. Same with “Do women have an obligation to keep their legs shaved? Yes”. I don’t see either of these questions as being ‘light-hearted fun’ but if somehow the profile owner did, then what’s the problem with someone else quoting them? If something only becomes a problem when other people turn to look then it was most likely a problem anyway…

        Far as I’m concerned the examples on the tumblr display perfectly both the cause and effect of entitled behaviour. The more they’re congratulated/ignored for their horrible remarks, the more this will continue. If these guys can stand by what they say in their profiles then why should they be allowed to get mad when others don’t agree?

        • Girl on the net says:

          I don’t think I’m either congratulating or ignoring them – I’m tackling the behaviour, just not on an individual level.

          Did they have a right to reply? Not really. Although the author quoted from some people who had emailed, not all of the responses were posted. Also often these were edited partial quotes, and certainly weren’t in the context of the original posting. i.e. at no point could any of the guys in question have seen the material and gone ‘yeah, my bad, that actually is a bit douchey and I’ve reconsidered my position on this’ and have their words given the same prominence as the original. I think we also disagree on the context. Sure, some were quotes from direct questions, but not all.

          I think you’re quite wrong when you say “If something only becomes a problem when other people turn to look then it was most likely a problem anyway…” because – again – context is important. Would you be happy standing by every single poll question you’d answered and every single sentence you’d ever written on the internet if someone shone a tiny spotlight on just that part? I’m not saying that’s what’s happening with all of the ‘nice guys’ examples (obviously – otherwise I wouldn’t think there was an issue and wouldn’t have written the post) but I feel like before vilifying someone on a public forum and potentially exposing them to significant harassment and distress we have a duty to understand their actions in context. The author of the Tumblr may well have done this, but – crucially – I don’t know that. Hence why I’m uncomfortable.

          Anyway, I appreciate what you’re saying – I think we agree about the doucheyness of the ‘nice guys’ behaviour we just have differing opinions on this point. I’m not happy humiliating individuals on the internet for this stuff, but you think it’s important to do so. Ultimately I’m not exactly waving a pitchfork and calling for it to be banned, I just didn’t want to link to it from my own post.

          • Sarah says:

            Er no, nowhere in my comment did I say individuals should be humiliated on the internet… I think we just disagree on what counts as humiliation. I don’t think that quoting directly from opinions that have been stated publicly is humiliation. I also disagree that the quotes were taken out of context – while not all of them were yes/no questions, all of them were direct quotes from people’s public profiles. I can’t see how that is taking something out of context.

            If someone chose to ‘shine a spotlight on’ – meaning I guess post on their blog or tumblr – a question I’d answered in a public poll then I’d be a hypocrite if I had a problem with that. I’m well aware that when I state anything online that people will disagree with me. The difference is that I don’t think that someone posting a direct quote from what I said on their blog would be ‘humiliation’.

            Also I didn’t say that you personally were congratulating/ignoring these people, just that you seem to have a problem with someone else drawing attention to (shining a spotlight on) their behaviour. I don’t (and I’m willing to bet neither would they, if the attention was positive…)

            One thing I would not agree with would be if one of the guys featured on the tumblr decided to change their profile or remove it and yet it remained on the tumblr – there’s every possibility that this could happen and I wouldn’t visit the tumblr anymore if I found out that it did.

          • Girl on the net says:

            OK, don’t get angry. Perhaps my poor choice of words – I’m just trying to find some way to sum up what it is we disagree upon, because I think it’s a minor point. Perhaps ‘showcased’ rather than ‘humiliated’? As I say, I’m not calling for the ban of this tumblr or calling the author a bastard. I’m just saying that I am uncomfortable with it and explaining why.

            I obviously have to disagree with you about whether it’s humiliating. I can think of few things on the internet more humiliating than being exposed/called out as an arsehole on an incredibly high-traffic blog, next to an identifiable picture of your face.

            Your final paragraph I totally agree with, but I think the tumblr probably passed that point a long time ago. It’s probably a bit irrelevant now as the tumblr’s been shut down, but for what it’s worth it got a shitload of traffic and those guys got a shitload of attention. If one of them hadn’t changed his profile *at all* I’d be gobsmacked. I suspect most of them removed their profiles altogether. It’s something that I’d reasonably expect to happen as a result of them being showcased on a blog that pointed out what arseholes they are. I don’t think any of the entries were changed to reflect profile edits, though.

            To reiterate – I’m not saying that the author is a bastard, or indeed that the tumblr should be banned. I’m just explaining why I didn’t want to link to it from my blog. I genuinely don’t want to have a massive fight about this, but I feel like my replies before have pissed you off so I want to explain why I think this.

  • Sarah says:

    … I’m not angry in the slightest, however I was uncomfortable that you said that I think it’s important to humiliate people on the internet. That would be a pretty nasty thing to want, and nowhere did I say or even imply that. We just disagree on what counts as humiliation.

    Here’s what I don’t get – why is posting a picture of someone alongside a direct quote from them ‘calling them out as an arsehole’ or ‘exposing’ them? They were quite happy to post their profiles publicly on OKC for hundreds of women to look at and post them messages about – they just didn’t like the reaction caused by the Tumblr. Yes the Tumblr got a larger hit count, but it was precisely because of the negative and sometimes disgusting things they were saying (usually about women).

    It’s a bit irritating that it’s been taken down because I want to take another look at the comments the owner put under some of the pictures. In my mind they were usually along the lines of ‘He’s made racist statements/has rape fantasies/doesn’t think gay people should have kids and he claims to be nice. This doesn’t look right to me.’ Then lots of people visited the blog and made comments because they happened to agree with her. She in turn got called a ‘snarky c**t’ (among other things) for doing what she was doing. As I recall, most often all she was doing was saying ‘Look at what this man is claiming. Now look at what else he has said in his dating profile’. That was it. I’m not sure she can be held to account for harassment just because a lot of people happened to think that the quotes were disagreeable.

    • Girl on the net says:

      “I’m not sure she can be held to account for harassment”
      No indeed. Which is why I’m not, and have never, argued that this should happen. In fact, I haven’t argued that anything should happen other than that I, someone who is a bit uncomfortable with the idea behind the blog, don’t want to link to it from my own.

      I feel like I’ve done my best to address what you’re getting at. If you get why I think it’s humiliating you presumably also understand why I feel like it also counts as ‘exposing’ people and ‘calling them out.’ I’m not sure how else I can explain this. You don’t have to agree with me, of course, but I’m not entirely sure what else you want me to do here.

      • Sarah says:

        You can just tell me what you think, you’re not under any obligation to do anything… As it happens, I don’t get why you think it’s humiliating but I think it’s best to just leave this here. I don’t disagree with people to annoy or upset them, I genuinely want to know what people think. I’d tell you my theory on why people are made uncomfortable by the niceguysofokc tumblr but I think I’ll save it for my own blog because I’ve already derailed the comments here enough. Good luck with your blog.

  • That was the whole point of chivalry – that women were beneath men and able to be subdued by them, so in return guys did things like rescue them from dragons, open doors for them, and pull out chairs.

    Now that women are equal, granted, chivalry is still a nice thing to do, but beware of guys that have that old-fashioned, chivalrous mindset. -The one often doesn’t come without the other :O

  • George says:

    Hmmm, this blog is somewhat interesting, and made we wonder if I’m actually a Nice Guy, rather than the nice guy I thought I was.
    In reference to your “Why do so many women want to be just friends?” point, it’s something I have wondered for a while, as I have been single for some years. Actually I think the question is really “Why do none of the women in my life right now fancy me?” it’s an incredibly frustrating and demoralising thing to be thinking, and for the same reasons you can’t really say why you fancy someone, you can’t say why you don’t, which makes it very hard to change anything. Like you say, everyone is nice, and I’m no different. I try to help friends who need it, I hold the door open for people, I put my litter in bins, I stick to the law, I act courteously, all the things a well-rounded nice person does. I’m fairly average looking, but that keeps the shallow bitches away. There is no obvious reason why all women would not fancy me.
    I’ve learnt to put myself out there, ask people out and see how it goes. Last time we both individually decided that actually we were just friends, I was glad she said it first.
    I think the reason the friendzone hurts so much is because you know that person likes you. If you walk up to a random person you find physically attractive and ask for a date, you don’t care if you don’t get it. With a friend you know they like you as a person, and you know they enjoy spending time with you, so surely a relationship is the next step.
    I’m still not sure whether I’m a nice guy, or a Nice Guy. I have a high sex drive, and see it as a fun pastime rather than something to be shared only with a special few, and sometimes I’m more open than others would like, and I’ll quite quickly say “I want to fuck you” and most of the time I’m perfectly happy with the no. It’s when you really fall in love with your friend, and want to spend every waking moment with them that things get hard. Then all you can do is be happy you have her as a friend, and do as much for her boyfriend as you would for her, because him being ok means he can keep making her happy. Every time she breaks up, it will hurt, and it will feel like your chance, but she still won’t fancy you, and once again you’ll feel like you’ve lost her to someone else. At times like this you should remember, you’ll probably keep her longer as a friend than a girlfriend. Maybe I am a nice guy after all, or does thinking that mean I’m a Nice Guy. So confusing.

    • Sarah says:

      You become a Nice Guy TM when you cease to consider other people’s feelings, thoughts and desires and just focus on your life and what you’re not getting. Nice Guys usually haven’t considered that the girls they are supposedly so nice to are actually happy with their boyfriends and instead disrespect them by acting like they’re too naive to make the “right” choice (ie them). As you’re trying to think about your situation, this doesn’t suggest Nice Guy to me…

      One thing I was a bit taken aback by was that you’re only being nice to this girl’s boyfriend because he makes her happy… If someone was only being nice to me because they were in love with my boyfriend, I’d be seriously uncomfortable with that. I’d want to ask them: what makes *you* happy in yourself? If you’re ever going to get into a good, stable relationship, that’s where you need to start.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I agree with Sarah – it’s about considering other people’s feelings and the reasons for their decisions.

      Crucially, it’s about whether or not you believe you deserve to have her reciprocate your affection. If you don’t? Congratulations, you’re not a ‘Nice Guy’. I think you sound nice.

      Only thing I’d say is that when you say ‘surely a relationship is the next step’ that sounds a bit odd. Why? Would your gay male friends expect the same thing? “Hey dude, we’re mates now. We have to take it to the next level.” But that might just have been how I interpreted it. Bottom line: being friends in itself can be an awesome thing. It sucks if you want to shag one of your friends and they don’t want the same, but as long as you don’t harass them about it or expect them to do it or grow bitter and blame them for the sex they’re very cruelly not having with you: all good.

  • Please can we give this to all males when they hit puberty! My go to phrase these days is: “I don’t owe you anything boy!”.

  • Seanán Kerr says:

    Super post, all of it, great! This really should be put somewhere where boys/men who need to know this can read it.

  • John says:

    I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. So long a comment and please forgive the inevitable spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Some flippant comments to but hopefully you can spot them for what they are.

    “The Friendship Zone”. To be honest I’d never seen that phrase in the way that it has been portrayed in the “Nice Guys of Facebook” thing. To me that always meant either one or both people – regardless of sexual attraction – valued their freindship over the prospect of a sexual or romantic relationship i.e. not some kind of elaborate way of brushing someone off. Both romance and sex are powerful and always (for one half at least) change the dynamic of your involvement – if you value having a close friend more than a lover (and you feel like you can’t mix the two) then it just seems like the right thing to do. I’ve had the misfortune of having a couple of drunken fumbles, or expressions of desire with good friends in the past and I can really say it really ruined everything. I’d rather have a good friend any day of the week – I’d definatley “friendship zone” someone even if I wanted to do allsorts to them.

    “Nice guys finish last”. I really don’t believe that as I just have too many friends who ARE nice guys and have lovely partners too. I also know lots of nice guys who have shitty partners and vice versa. In those latter cases I don’t think that those people deliberately seek out shits, they often have some other quality that makes them desirable: very attractive, charismatic, funny, wealthy, a good shag etc etc. Having said that I do understand why guys sometimes get confused about this and I think that it leads back to what you said about this myth about women still being seen to a large degree as not being desirous (is that a word I made up?) of sex or at least having the similar (if not the same) sexual drives as men. As a young man, concerned about my physical appearance (as I still am to a lesser degree) a lot of women I knew always assured me “hey women don’t care about looks, they just want someone who will listen to them, make them laugh and be kind and generous”. Which is definately true but it’s not the entire truth, I mean how can it be? Everyone needs some degree of sexual attraction to someone based on physical aspects to get down to it. Instead of the “don’t care about looks” they should have said “do all those things to be a good human but realise you might not be everyone’s cup of tea – but you WILL be someone’s”. But no-one says that because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and/or people just don’t want to hear it. And then there’s all the other stuff: do you have the same interests, can you hold a coversation, do you wash your cock often enough etc etc I mean the list goes on.

    So when guys who are perhaps not too experienced with women try – and very frequently OVER try to varying degrees of creepiness – to be listners, comedians and philanthopists but don’t get anywhere they think “well I followed all the instructions…”. leading to either “well I must have done something wrong – must try harder”, the afformentioned “I’m in the friendship zone” or worse “It must be something wrong with her, she’s shallow”. There are definately the plain old mysoginists out there too – this sense of entitlement – maybe they’re the majority I don’t know, it certainly seems that way when you read the NGOOKC stuff.

    I think what I want to say is: just be a nice man or nice woman becuase it’s the right thing to do. Obviously it’s pretty much impossible not to feel heartbroken (sometimes A LOT) when getting turned down by someone you have a great deal of feeling for – if you didn’t then you obviously didn’t like them all that much to begin with. It’s just important to remember that just becuase someone doesn’t feel romantic feelings towards you doesn’t make them a bastard or a harpie. Being a nice person makes you happy with yourself and I think when you’re happy your self-confident and everyone wants to fuck a self-confident person, right?

    Although the titles of the pieces on this site – http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/ng.shtml – could be counter productive they’re really good – but tough – reading for someone who thinks being a “nice guy” is holding them back.
    It really helped me change the way I thought about a lot of stuff as I sometimes straddled that line betwen “Nice Guy” and nice guy. So for any guys reading this who think they are a nice guy or worried that they might not be a nice guy after all have a read (don’t be put off by the website name it’s not some mysoginistic thing). Even if you’re a “Nice Guy” it’s easy to turn yourself into a REAL nice guy a.k.a. decent human being if you have even an ounce of self awareness and most importantly EMPATHY.

    Also Jenna Marbles – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3VXXXX9iVPI – not everyone’s favourite orator I’m sure but the last 3 minutes are the most useful after the initial hyperbole

    Thanks

    John

  • JR says:

    I remember some of this from my youth, which was not half as misspent as I’d have liked.

    I’m married now, and learnt to talk to women years before I met my wife, but nonetheless feel moved to say:

    The thing where you explain to these ridiculous boys that women just don’t fancy them? They know. Oh god do they know. That is why they are angry and confused. The ‘nice guy’ thing is a self defence mechanism, because they feel that something’s wrong with them and they are terrified that it’s never going to change.

    Some of these guys are just dicks. But many of them certainly don’t feel they’re better than you, they feel that they’re worse. Millennia of patriarchy do not make them feel they can lord it over women. It makes them feel like tiny useless worms that have nothing to offer.

    Of course they’re angry and confused. Most of them will get over it. But the problem with these guys is not that they have _too much_ self esteem.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I appreciate that. And as someone who has had my fair share of rejection, I can understand why it’s upsetting to hear a ‘no.’ And I agree that a lot of the time it can be a self-defense mechanism, along the lines of “well, screw you, I never fancied you *anyway*” (which I’ve heard a couple of times before!). But the fact that it’s a product of low self-esteem doesn’t make it any nicer to hear, or say.

      So I agree, basically – I don’t think it’s always the case that the guy thinks he’s too good for the woman, or better than her in some way. Self-esteem aside, I think it usually stems from the misplaced idea that men want sex and women want someone to be ‘nice’ to them, and that if the niceness is forthcoming then the sex will naturally follow.

      • JR says:

        I think this is an interesting area, at least for a certain value of interesting… because the power balance looks so difference from either side of the fence.

        In society as a whole men still retain far, far too much control over women’s bodies – how they’re portrayed, and valued, and used, and abused.

        But I suspect a lot of the guys that fall into the category discussed above would be surprised to find they’re part of a dominant power. Most of them probably feel utterly powerless before any woman – because she has the ability to reject, and therefore hurt, them.

        And men are not supposed to feel like that. So when it happens, some of the less reconstructed ones act like dicks about it.

        The result is a lot of young men, who feel they’re failing twice over – once in attracting women, and again in feeling damaged and emotional about the whole thing.

        None of which comes even close to excusing being rude or entitled towards a woman, of course.

        Er, I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Like I said, I just think it’s interesting.

        • Elettaria says:

          Being rejected isn’t the worst thing that can happen, you know. Women get to worry about being raped. Which doesn’t just happen in a male/female setting, of course, but we’re talking about heterosexuality here.

  • JR says:

    On the upside, I’ve been mourning my lost youth of late, and thinking about all this has made me feel a whole lot better about it.

    JR
    aged 32 and 3/4s

  • RecoveringNG says:

    I’m probably opening a huge can of worms with this one, but I think it’s not really comparable to talk about sexual rejection when you’ve also had a slew of interesting adventures including casual sex in toilets, threesomes, swinger’s clubs and a list of partners reaching double digits (unless it’s triple digits and I just haven’t read enough of your blog yet! ;)

    To me that’s like the queen saying she knows what it’s like to have no living space because occasionally one wing of one of her palaces is closed for refurbishment. (A lot of guys stuck in the Nice Guy cycle have only known rejection, their frustration is entirely understandable, and people seem more keen to just slag them off rather than offer constructive advice.)

    This is more bafflement than anything. This is the kind of lifestyle a lot of guys would love to have, but for a guy I just don’t believe it’s as simple as asking for it. Conversely, I think being this keen as a girl makes it much easier to get these sorts of experiences.

    (Seriously, I have actual difficulty comprehending what you say here, it’s like someone coming along and saying they’re from Mars. Where do the Martians hang out, that’s what I want to know, where you can just ask for this kind of stuff! :P )

    • Girl on the net says:

      Can of worms? No. But slightly odd assumption? I think yes. It’s more than possible to have experience both of being rejected and being accepted. And, in fact, even being accepted doesn’t cancel out the fear of rejection – it can make it slightly easier and make it easier to approach people. Believe it or not, I haven’t spent my entire life having men fall lustfully at my feet. In fact, I don’t think guys have ever fallen lustfully at my feet. Fair enough, most of the stuff in this blog is about the fun stuff. And that’s because if I wrote lots of entries that said “tried to work up the courage to talk to this hot guy. Failed” or “asked a dude to fuck me. He laughed and went off with his mates” then it’d be a bit of a boring blog.

      I’m flattered that you think I am as removed from sexual rejection as the queen is from living in a small house, but that’s just not true. And I don’t really know what else to say other than ‘that’s not true.’ I can understand what it’s like to be constantly rejected, because I used to be constantly rejected (when I was much younger). I used to be the fat, geeky, scruffy one, who would be asked out by boys at school as a joke.

      • RecoveringNG says:

        Maybe greater understanding could be reached with the Nice Guys by bonding over the rejections and how to overcome them? You might think it’s boring – personally, I’d consider it interesting. It would certainly be a break from the chorus of “Entitlement! Misogyny!” that the issue tends to provoke.

        For me what helped was, as you say, actually asking people, and also not holding up any given person of interest as your only hope of hooking up. Meeting more people helped a lot. That said, I still don’t think it’s easy for a guy to be this straightforward about wanting a lay.

        I’m sorry for making bad assumptions. I get a lot of what you’re trying to say and it is good stuff, but being stuck in this for longer periods than just your school days can leave its scars, even when you’ve had moderate success moving on from it. I end up in these discussions a lot because I don’t exactly understand how these things work still.

        • Elettaria says:

          I’m happy to talk to someone whose only issue is that he feels rejected, even if I do think it a bit daft when someone feels rejected because they have never asked anyone out. I am not interested in bonding with someone whose dating profile says that men have to be the head of the household, that women have to keep their legs shaved, that homosexuality is a sin, that mixed-race relationships are wrong, that no doesn’t really mean no, or that it’s OK to grope someone on a crowded train. That’s what NGOOC was mocking them for. It wasn’t merely that they were saying pathetically that they were nice guys. It was that they were saying they were nice guys while also saying a lot of things that weren’t nice by any stretch of the imagination. If women are rejecting men like that for being bigots, why should it be my job to gently help them get over the rejection? More likely I’ll be sympathising with the women being harrassed by such men.

          A very lovely friend of mine hasn’t had much relationship experience, and admits it’s probably because he hasn’t been asking women out. He’s not sitting around whining about it. He certainly doesn’t appear to be “scarred”. The people I know bearing scars of that sort have them as a result of more serious matters, such as domestic abuse.

          • RecoveringNG says:

            Oh, absolutely – the public shaming aspect aside, I think many of the NGOKC guys made the cardinal boo-boo, and that’s letting your frustration show, in about as offensive a way as possible. Or generally just being an ass. Playing the nice guy card hard as a dating strategy is almost a guaranteed fail, but not all nice-guys do that.

            Not every nice guy is NGOKC-level clueless. Many of us did at least try and be positive outwardly to the best of our ability. I did. But at the same time, I can specifically recall on several occasions being reassured that women did like nice guys (when raising the topic with female friends for advice, say) without being given any more specific advice than that. I can specifically recall being told multiple times – sometimes by girls that knew I liked or had liked them “Why can’t I find a nice guy like you?” This is not a phenomenon concocted from thin air by guys who are just pissy about not getting laid.

            One more thing, and I again fear I’m opening up a can of worms by saying this, but I can’t say I’m entirely convinced by the “why would I sleep with HIM, his opinions are obnoxious” argument. I think if the guy is attractive enough, it doesn’t matter. In fact, I seem to recall a guest article on this very blog about the uber hot powerplay sex had when the author fucked someone who was employed in an industry whose values were against hers. Not true for everyone, perhaps, but I’m still somewhat cynical. It’s not like women don’t sleep with guys who aren’t being manipulative/whatever to get laid, but the difference is they’re attracted to them and not the NGOKC type. So the key difference there would seem to be female attraction and not male entitlement. Maybe it’s an interplay of things.

            This issue is not simply “men being misogynistic, entitled wankers”, the term nice guy is far broader than that. And I fear the venom dished out to nice guys is being evermore extended to those who dare to express frustration that what they’ve been told will help them find companionship/dates isn’t actually getting them anywhere. I think it’s oversimplistic to simply blame it all on the guys – it seems to me to be a combination of inexperience, insecurity and poor communication on both sides. I think women’s choices are a big factor in this matter too, but there seems to be more pushback about looking at that side of things.

          • RecoveringNG says:

            Oh, and for the record, don’t try and minimise other people’s issues by playing the whataboutery game with other things. No, I haven’t been through domestic abuse. I wasn’t making any comparison to it, but from my experience, being unable to find the companionship I wanted was shitty, all the while being told things that didn’t match up with what I was seeing and experiencing.

  • Pete says:

    I linked back to this article from one of your more recent efforts and its one that I’ve been meaning to reply to for a while.

    I dislike the underlying assumption that when a guy gets friendzoned he is annoyed/angry/upset/bitter because a girl wont fuck him. He may foolishly act like that in front of his male companions in order to elevate himself above the sense of rejection he is feeling through using false machismo but that is a whole different issue.

    From personal experience the issue with being friendzoned was that the girl in question and I got on really well, had good banter and there was sometimes a sexual tension in the air between us (or at least I feel there was/is but my radar isn’t great on this).

    For me the disappointment had nothing to do with the fact that she didn’t want to fuck me it had to do with the simple fact that I’ve clicked with maybe three or four girls in my life in this way and I really thought there was a future for us.

    We spent a lot of time together (just us and often with her son too) and things seemed to be going swimmingly until I put my hand on her leg while we were watching a film. No reaction at the time, no protest, no problem it seemed comfortable and cool; it was a cautious first step from friendship to something more.

    The next day I heard nothing… the day after I got the dreaded ‘friendzone text’. Was I upset because she didn’t want to fuck me? No.

    I was disappointed that she didn’t fancy me of course. I was annoyed because I thought there was a degree of dishonesty in how she had ‘led me on’ not in a sexual way but in the sense that it was building towards a relationship. I was deeply flattered that she referred to me as ‘a lovely guy’ and ‘a great friend’, but utterly horrified that nothing more would come of it because surely the most important qualities in a partner are that they are a lovely guy and a great friend? Or am I completely wrong about that?

    Having clicked like that with very few girls I hope you can understand how frustrating it was at the time that she didn’t feel the same way.

    We are still ‘just friends’. This means we still have banter and laughs and spend time together (although less than before), but we are not ‘more than friends’. We don’t kiss in the back row of the movies, have blazing rows over silly little things or plan when we are going to move in together and have children. We also don’t fuck, but that is by far the least important part of being ‘more than friends’. Sex is a part of relationships but it is not the defining factor in them.

    I will always have that part of me that regrets nothing more came of it and when it comes to her meeting another guy (who will almost certainly be a dick) I will be jealous and that will be unpleasant and although I know this it will still happen. In short I am in the friendzone. She didn’t put me there, it’s just the way the situation panned out. There was no aggressive intent or deception on her part or mine it was perhaps a misreading of intentions (she thought we were besties, I thought it was going further).

    Where I take issue with your blog is that it seems to come from a position where ‘more than friends’ is only different from ‘just friends’ because of sex. Where a guy who calls himself a ‘nice guy’ is a dick for being upset when a girl rejects him. I am sure you know that rejection works on many levels beyond the sexual but I feel this blog fails to acknowledge that fact.

    Rant over for now. I hope I have made my point without rambling to much.

    • Girl on the net says:

      OK, I understand the frustration, but I don’t think you got the points I was making in the article. Sure – it’s not all about sex. Most people want something more than sex when they really like someone. However, the point is about feeling like you’re ‘owed’ something simply because you’ve interpreted a friendship differently. You essentially said it in your comment:

      “I was annoyed because I thought there was a degree of dishonesty in how she had ‘led me on’ not in a sexual way but in the sense that it was building towards a relationship.”

      That is not really her fault. As I say in the post, there’s nothing bad about being upset if you can’t have a relationship with someone you fancy, but there is something bad about blaming them for not wanting what it was you were after.

      Fair point on the sex thing, though – I focused more on the sex thing because at the time of writing that was what people were kicking off about. I agree it’s not the only thing that turns friendship into a relationship, but I do think it’s difficult to untangle sex from whatever that ‘extra’ stuff is, because for most people it’s part and parcel.

  • Dam says:

    There is so much to say about this, the amount of comments is overwhelming.

    I’ll throw my own in anyway.

    There is a pretty large set of characteristics that more or less world-wide culture and education include in what defines a “nice guy”. Some of which are incompatible with being a “sexually viable guy”. Such as the general idea of not getting in the way of others, therefore avoiding to attract too much attention, abusively translated into being more or less quiet, undisturbing and ultimately forgettable.

    A confusion was born. A sexual male is exepected to stick out for himself, to attract attention or better yet: to fill in the space with his own attention, make people want to draw that attention. That’s where people who genuinely never cared about disturbing others had a natural edge in matters of seduction. Incedentally, at least up to a certain age, those guys did indeed tend to be arseholes.

    Actual nice guys (no quotes) need time to sort out the essence of this confusion. To understand that being sexual doesn’t involve stopping to be nice. To realise that our attention is actually pleasent to girls, not just our ability to listen and understand, but our ability to watch, focus, and actively desire.

    And there are those guys who got the worst of both worlds. Not nice enough to be genuinely nice, yet still under the influence of the common misconceptions of our education. And probably not smart enough to sort things out. That’s what this article is talking about.

  • NormalBloke says:

    I am a man who has been friendzoned before, now happily in a long term relationship. I think I can offer an alternative viewpoint here.

    As a woman, you cannot completely understand the male perspective here because of your girl privilege.

    You wrote “a woman tells you ‘no, but let’s be friends’ and you want to tear down the walls, screaming blue murder at the sheer injustice of it” The reason that we men feel this way is simple. We cannot get sex as easily as you can so the stakes are much higher. Any woman, even one who doesn’t look particularly nice could go into any town centre in Britain tonight and get sex with someone – maybe not someone particularly handsome, but someone. And yet, a man who looks average could go in to town every night this week and get nothing but laughter for his trouble if he asked for a hook up with every woman he meets. A woman who wants sex, a person to share her bed for the night or to stop her feeling lonely or bored can always get it. When discussing the friendzone theory women often mock men for simply not asking them out or trying their luck – well why do you think our self esteem levels are so different when you can get attention simply by wearing a push up bra and heels, get sex whenever you want it and we have to jump through hoops and second guess the whims of capricious women only to be told ‘no’ time and time again? If you have invested time and effort into impressing a man you like and he tells you he is gay or married you can find ten other men on the walk home from the pub who will sleep with you to give you an ego-boost. A man who has spent hours trying to impress a girl who gets turned down has no similar pick-me-up. If a woman feels horny she can always get sex, and if she doesn’t want the fuss of finding a man she can simply go into a Ann summers and will find literally hundreds of products designed to pleasure her. Men on the other hand who buy sex toys are looked down on by society as pathetic, sad, possibly perverts. In the sexual world, women have 95% of the power and dole out sex according to their own fey feelings. They don’t understand what it is like for the opposite gender because simply, they cannot. Girl Privilege; Check it.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Do you mind if I quote this in a blog? I think you’re very wrong, but others have said the same and I want to write about it properly.

      • NormalBloke says:

        Please do quote it, feel free write a rebuttal. I cannot possibly imagine how you will however. Men try to work hard to impress women who often go off with other men for seemingly incomprehensible reasons; someone broke ‘but he has nice eyes’ or violent ‘but no-one understands him but me’ etc which is slightly annoying – but we wouldn’t be so butthurt about it if we could sleep with other women as easily as a rejected woman could find another man.

        • Girl on the net says:

          Here you go. As I started writing I realised it’d be a good one to ptch to the Guardian, so it’s up there: http://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2013/dec/10/women-men-sex

          In essence, what you’re saying is “it’s clear that women don’t go for quick, casual sex in the same way as men. So they’re privileged because they can have something that we men want.” But you haven’t actually considered whether they want it. It’s like offering someone all the olives they can eat, and telling them they’re lucky, while simultaneously banging on about how they hate olives. Also, that they don’t want “quick, casual” sex (which is essentially what’s on offer if you approach a stranger) proves nothing about how much women want sex at all – only that they are less inclined (for whatever reasons: evolutionary, socially constructed, risk-aversion etc) to go for that particular type.

          And your second comment, in which you seem to set yourself up as the arbiter of what women should and shouldn’t like? That’s not cool either. Very long story short: there’s a huge amount of entitlement in your posts. In your posts you’ve simultaneously said that men ‘work hard’ and also that it’s tricky to pander to women’s ‘whims’, as well as saying that when women choose men for reasons *you* don’t understand, you are ‘butthurt.’ All of this implies that although your choices, wants, sexual needs etc are valid, women’s aren’t unless they match your own.

    • Random woman says:

      In response to NormalBloke’s comments:

      Sorry that this is a bit of a late comment, and I don’t even know if you’ll read it. I just felt compelled to reply as it seems to me that there’s still a fundamental misunderstanding going on here. I don’t disagree that it’s easier for women to just go out and have sex. I am well aware that if I wanted to, I could go out to the pub tonight and go home with a man.

      However.

      The point is that I don’t want to do that. Of course there are some women (among my female friends, a small but not insignificant minority) for whom meeting a stranger and sleeping with him constitutes a great night.

      But in the situation you describe, I’m not sure that even those women would find the idea very appealing. But I don’t want to speak for them, so I will discuss the situation from my perspective.

      “If you have invested time and effort into impressing a man you like and he tells you he is gay or married you can find ten other men on the walk home from the pub who will sleep with you to give you an ego-boost. A man who has spent hours trying to impress a girl who gets turned down has no similar pick-me-up.”

      It’s this situation I am referring to. If I found myself in this position – having actually seen a man I found attractive, and been able to get up the courage to speak to him for a while, only to be disappointed – the LAST thing I would want to do is grab a stranger on the way home and have sex with him. It would not be an “ego-boost” or a “pick-me-up”. I think that this is BECAUSE of the ability for women to have sex with random men – when you get old enough/jaded enough to realise that a man being willing to sleep with you isn’t because you are phenomenally attractive, it’s just because a lot of them just really like sex and you don’t seem like a total psycho, the idea becomes a lot less appealing (if it ever was in the first place).

      The point is that the analogy is false.

      In that situation, I didn’t go out wanting to have sex with any man in the right age range who wasn’t repulsive. Hell, I wouldn’t even have wanted sex with the man I chatted up, and him offering it that night would have put me off completely. What I wanted was to get to know this guy, swap details, meet up again away from the influence of alcohol and see if we still liked each other. Then, if we did, I would want to have sex with him because I was attracted to him physically and mentally. How on earth do you think that screwing a stranger I met while on my way home, feeling humiliated, would make me feel better?

      Let’s say, however, that I DID want to have sex with that guy in the bar that night, and that my reasons for chatting him up were based on this. I STILL wouldn’t find it an ego-boost to sleep with Mr. Random from the bus stop, because it would merely highlight my failure to attract the man I actually fancied. Like “Oh great, I must not be a total failure because at least I can still get SOMEONE to have sex with me.”

      Moreover, I think making a habit of random sex to get over rejection would actually be WORSE psychologically in the long run, because all it is doing is reinforcing the idea that your power to be sexually attractive is your most important facet, which means that if you get rejected by someone you actually like again, you’ll feel that bit worse about yourself.

      Furthermore, I think this is a point that isn’t made very often, but in my experience is true (again, I can only include my female friends for evidence here, and would be curious to see if other women disagree). If I see a hot guy in the street – which very rarely happens, it is very seldom that I see a man I actually think is sufficiently attractive to me that I’d want to date him – even a realllly, really hot guy, I don’t want to have sex with him then and there. I will look at him and notice that he is physically attractive, but in my hopes that he might be interested, I am thinking a lot more of chatting, agreeing to meet up, etc. than anything physical. If this super-hot angel came over to me and said, “How about it?” I would treat him like any other creep. Somehow I get the feeling that a lot of men wouldn’t share this reaction.

      So in conclusion, I’m not doubting the fact that most women can get casual sex a LOT more easily than most men. I’m just pointing out that being able to have something isn’t such a great advantage if you don’t want it. To quote from the song “Express Yourself” – “Some people have everything, and other people don’t – but everything don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t the thing you want” – wise words, not to mention great bassline.

  • NormalBloke says:

    Thanks for writing this article – it certainly might get a debate started.

    You wrote: “All of this implies that although your choices, wants, sexual needs etc are valid, women’s aren’t unless they match your own.” I said nothing of the sort. I said is slightly annoying when women make choice incomprehensible to us– but we wouldn’t be so butthurt about it if we could sleep with other women as easily as a rejected woman could find another man. Women can have any desires or needs they want (inb4 sarcastic ‘that’s big of you’) but the point i’m making is that women are; as you stated in your article, “the ones who hold the keys to the sexual kingdom.” Anyway, learn to Embrace your girl privilege and Merry Xmas – maybe we could write an article together one day. If you want to, just post a thread on your blog about seeking NormalBloke and I will e-mail you.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I don’t think you actually understand my point.

      “we wouldn’t be so butthurt about it if we could sleep with other women as easily as a rejected woman could find another man.”

      Translates to “I wouldn’t be so butthurt about it if I could get exactly what I want as easily as a rejected woman could get exactly what I want.”

      Do you see? Possibly not, but still, here’s a summary: you want women to be grateful for what they can have because it is what *you* want, regardless of what they actually want. My reference to ‘the keys to the sexual kingdom’ has been taken a bit out of context, but to continue that analogy: we don’t actually have the keys to the sexual kingdom, only to a very limited type of sex, as defined by what you think is satisfying/valuable. What you’ve done is hand us the keys to a damp-ridden bedsit in Slough and then asked us why we’re not grateful.

      And while we’re on the subject of entitlement: you want me to post a blog just for you? Sweet. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • cad says:

    Seems to me you are wilfully misunderstanding here.

    You know exactly what he’s getting at, but twist his words to suit your own agenda.

    Mostly, in the club/pub arena, women hold the upper hand. It’s up to the men to change their tack and try different strategies.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is misguided, yes, but..,

    • Girl on the net says:

      “Mostly, in the club/pub arena, women hold the upper hand.”

      …if what they want to achieve is something which is defined by what men want.

      “It’s up to the men to change their tack and try different strategies.”

      …if they want to achieve their own goals rather than consider what they women they’re trying to pull actually want.

      Thanks for playing.

  • Lee says:

    I’m probably going to catch huge shit for this.

    My sex drive sits on about a 24-36 hour clock. I’m male. I also don’t do a physical job. This is the only bit of this post that isn’t in the realm of educated guesswork.

    The partners I’ve known have pretty much been in the once/twice a week class, with some exceptions when, at certain points in their menstrual cycles, they hurt. Which blows, because nobody feels sexy when their guts are cramping.

    The difference here is that basically, hormonal cycle does influence a lady’s sexyness. It’s biologically *designed* to.

    Which is easy to forget, if you are a guy who’s horny all the time.

    So “no” is, for nothing more than mathematical reasons, a lot more likely from a girl than a guy. Don’t take it personally.

    On the other hand, unlike the animal kingdom, homo sapiens brainpower can override hormonal drives. We wouldn’t be such a successful species without it. However, we can’t discount the influence of biological drives, too.

    The reasons for “no” also vary as much as the people involved. While it hurts to be rejected, it isn’t *necessarily* the personal slapdown it can feel like.

  • NormalBloke says:

    Be a man who sits at home alone night after night for months or maybe years – feeling unloved, unlikeable – wondering what is wrong with you – what is so hideous about you that you can’t even get pity sex – while women of similar levels of wit, wealth, intelligence etc are either having lots of sex or none – (their choice) and then, and *then* come back to me and say you aren’t privileged. Women can only have lots of “a limited type” of sex you say? Let me find you a tissue. According to the Samaritans – “Male suicide rates are on average 3-5 times higher than female rates and men aged 30-44 are the group with the highest rate.” I wonder how many would have done so if a woman had deigned to show them a little kindness.

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