Last updated on Jun 10th, 2021 at 04:53 pm

Do nice guys really finish last? And why are bad boys so irresistible?

Recently I was chatting to a guy friend, weâ??ll call him Steve, about how much I love the TV series Dexter, and in particular how I have a crush on the main character.

Steve listened bemusedly as I went to great pains to explain that itâ??s not Michael C Hall who plays Dexter, whom I swoon over, but rather the Dexter character (although I do love a nice ginger). Eventually Steve blurted out what was clearly causing him great consternation…â?You know heâ??s a serial killer, right?!â?
The allure of the bad boy

Well obviously. And thatâ??s exactly why I love him. Now Iâ??m not saying I dream of one day hooking up with someone who chops people up and throws their body parts into the sea, but lurking in every girl thereâ??s an addiction to bad boys, just in varying degrees. Thereâ??s a reason they say nice guys finish last.
But why is this? Psychologist Scott Kaufmann, in his article â??Do Assholes Really Finish First?â?? asserts that â??bad boys tend to have lots of positive traits that come along for the ride of the badness, such as good looks, confidence, creativity, humour, charisma, high energy, and good social skills – all things women find attractive.â?
Surely we should lust after men who treat us like princesses and cater to our every whim? In an ideal world we probably would. But letâ??s face it, as much as men are purported to enjoy the thrill of the chase, women are really not much different. 
Donâ??t get me wrong, we love to be plied with chocolates and charming text messages, but there needs to be some sense of having to work for it. Itâ??s kind of boring when your guy is nice all the time. 
According to Amy Alkon, an advice columnist, in â??Nice Guys are from Uranus?â??, â??The polar opposite of a bad boy is not a nice guy, but an overly-nice guy. The difference is in the desperation. Nice guys call when they say they will. Overly-nice guys call every 20 minute s…going out with an overly-nice guy is like being beaten to death with a Hallmark card.â?
We need a bit of edge â?? maybe not Dexter serial killer edge, but a little bit of something bad-boyish to keep that frisson going.
Commitment â?? scarier than the Boogeyman
And for the commitment phobes among us, the true bad boy is the perfect mate. 
Thereâ??s safety in the sense that he seems unattainable â?? we want what we canâ??t have because that way we donâ??t have to face up to our own fear of relationships.
Alkon argues that â??girls who can’t commit enjoy bad boys’ special non-stick coating which closely matches their own.â?

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For a long time it seemed I could only fall for men who already had partners â?? cheating scumbags being the ultimate in unattainable bad boys â?? but happily I moved out of the Meredith Grey phase and now I just fall for the emotionally unavailable type.  Itâ??s a work in progress.
Going the Distance with a bad boy
Not everyone is dysfunctional when it comes to relationships, but even the girls who are in happy, committed set-ups will acknowledge that a little bit of bad can go a long way towards keeping the relationship spicy. 
Having a man who rolls over and shows you his belly like a puppy at the first sign of disagreement may be satisfying at first, but the novelty quickly wears off. 
A strong woman wants a man who has the courage of his convictions, and makes her work to win the battle â?? thereâ??s no sense of victory when you know heâ??ll just agree with everything you say anyway because itâ??s the â??niceâ?? thing to do. 

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What’s a nice guy to do?
Alkon gives the following advice to would-be suitors: â??For best results with [women], borrow the bad boy’s better qualities; namely drama and surprise. This translates very simply: DON’T BE BORING. Call and show up when you say you will, but always keep a woman guessing about what you’re going to say and do.â?
â??You should also bear in mind that desperation is not an aphrodisiac, and saccharine, in large quantities, has been shown to be deadly to lab rats and single women.â?  
And of course, no one wants a man whoâ??s relentlessly nice in the bedroom â?? Iâ??m not saying we all want someone who plays dirty or kinky, but a little bit of throw down, rather than a polite lovemaking session, is guaranteed to bring out the best in your relationship. 
And thereâ??s nothing bad about that.

Image: sodahead.com