How Women Reinforce Douchebaggery

Your douchebag history

Do you know why there are so many douchebags in the world?

It’s because women keep sleeping with them.

Seriously, if you give your dog a treat every time he takes a dump on the rug, expect to live in a very stinky house. Sleeping with someone you know is scum reinforces bad behavior in much the same way.

There are probably volumes’ worth of reasons individual women do this, but I stumbled onto an interesting one last night over drinks with a friend. This friend of mine is hot. She’s smart, and funny, and kind. She has a handle on life in a lot of ways, owns a house, and has a good career. In other words, any guy would be lucky to be with her. Yet, the landscape of her dating history is a minefield of douchebags.

I don’t mean just guys I don’t like. I mean guys who have done magnificently shitty things, like cheating on her with her barely-legal-at-the-time younger sister, stealing a significant sum of money from her, and dumping her for the methed-out stripper he’d been cheating on her with and gotten knocked up. Yeah, all that was the same guy. He stands out, but it’s a bad crowd.

Anyway, my friend told me that the weekend before last, she had sex with one of her douchey exes, this one a garden-variety manipulative cheater. She, of course, professed to hating his guts and didn’t really know what motivated her to sleep with him.

And then last weekend, she ran into the first guy I mentioned above. She said she “was good” this time because she “only messed around” with this guy, instead of having sex with him. She couldn’t resist telling me that she’d blown him, though.

Of course, I didn’t want to hear any of this, mostly because, no matter how self-defeating her actions were, I knew the chances of anything I said actually changing her behavior were abysmal. And who was I to tell her how to live and what mistakes to make? Still, hearing about my friend’s suffering at the hands of these jerks and knowing I couldn’t do anything about it was pretty depressing.

But it was what she said next that inspired this writing:

She said, “I just wanted to remind him of what I’m good at.”

That was when I realized what was probably going through her head when she decided to do what she did: She thought she was actually hurting these guys, that they would recognize what they’d lost and regret it. She thought that because it hurt her when they used her for sex, that she could hurt them back by doing the same thing.

I think she was wrong. These guys don’t care about her. All they want is for someone to play with their junk. And she’s giving them exactly what they want.

They don’t miss her when she’s gone, they don’t regret the way they’ve treated her, and they don’t feel they’ve lost anything, because they’re still able to get from her the one thing they care about: sex. What hurt her will not hurt them. They’re probably bragging to their friends about what she did with them and exchanging high-fives. After all, they’re douchebags.

I started thinking about all of this during a pause in the conversation that was beginning to extend to discomfortable lengths. There was nothing I could think of to say, but that wasn’t the only reason conversation lagged. In that moment, I felt like I understood my friend a little better. I was thinking of her, metaphorically swinging back at these guys with everything she had and missing, and I swear I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her it would all be okay.

But I didn’t. I just sat there staring at the bubbles rising in my pint of Kronenbourg, trying to come up with a reply that could bring the subject to a close without making me sound like an insensitive ass.

I find it profoundly disappointing when women like my friend choose to reinforce douchebaggery with sex. It’s like watching the universe laugh off all the values I hold dear. But somehow, it’s even more disappointing to know this was a failed attempt at dealing the douchebags a little payback. Unless she gives him herpes or a child-support payment, most guys pretty much always count getting blown or laid as a win.

Luckily, my friend realizes now that she needs to break out of her pattern, and she’s taking steps to do it. By the end of the night, we were setting up a profile for her on an online dating site and talking about the things she wanted in a person she’d date.

I don’t know if online dating will be any different for her. She’ll have to work on fine-tuning her BS detector regardless of how she meets her next date. What is encouraging is that she recognizes that she was fishing in a radioactive pond and has decided to try something different.

A change of venue might do her good, but her making the change is a sign that things are already getting better.

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  • Brilliant ! An amazing piece and after finishing it, seeing who wrote it only made it more special. So glad to see you here 🙂


    • Thank you, T-O-M. 🙂

      It’s nice to see you here too. Sorry it took so long to reply. I was trying to figure out how to send PMs, and eventually gave up on it.

    • No worries:) Well hopefully you have less trouble receiving them, I’m pretty sure my message went out fine !

    • Okay, yeah, I’ll take responsibility for this one. I’ve been searching for a good PM plugin, and this one I found has actually been the best. The only problem is that it doesn’t send out email notifications.

      For what it’s worth, I had to build this site on my own using third-party functionality that may or may not work very well. One day, I may have just have to suck it up and invest the several grand it would take to have this site professionally designed. Until then, though, please bear with me if some features are a little clunky. And feel free to alert me if you come across any bugs! Thanks!

    • @Dennis: It works for me, I do get email notifications for PM’s 🙂

    • It does?!? Holy crap, this is driving me crazy. Seriously, some of these plugins are ridiculously glitchy….

    • Shaun L. Swegman

      No complaints here, it worked for me and I got the e-mail notification too. Just had a hard time figuring out how to send one at first.

    • Ah, gotcha. Yeah, you just have to go to your Dashboard to send PMs. Can’t do it from the front end of the site.

  • This friend of mine is hot. She’s smart, and funny, and kind. She has a handle on life in a lot of ways, owns a house, and has a good career. In other words, any guy would be lucky to be with her.

    She might be all of those things and any guy might be lucky to be with her, but when a woman is consistently dating douchebags or a guy is consistently dating manipulative bitches I feel it says a lot more about that person than it does where they’re finding these “fish.”

    If your friend can’t look deeply inward and figure out what she’s projecting to attract these douchebags then I feel online dating is just going to be another radioactive pond for her.

    • Her problem isn’t that she attracts douchebags. All women attract douchebags. Every last one of them does, whether they want to or not.

      My friend’s problem is that she dated or fooled around with the douchebags she attracted, instead of ignoring them. Her problem is that she is, for some reason, attracted to douchebags, not that the douchebags are attracted to her.

    • Ok, I should have worded my thoughts better. Yes, all women attract douchebags. However, some do it, well, better than others.

      I attract all kinds of women, but generally end up with the sexy party girl because she tends to be just as shallow and attention-seeking as I am. The traits I find in women I would date long term, however, have little in common with the crazy party girl so as long as I am prioritizing those traits I won’t be finding that special someone any time soon (or if I do, it’ll be a fluke), which at this point in my life, is fine with me. The challenge will arrive when what I want no longer meshes with what I’m attracting.

      My point is everyone attracts many types of people, but some types more than others, and that depends on what those people are projecting outward. If your friend is attracted to douchebags those douchebags are satisfying her on some level and until she figures out how/why then every pond will be radioactive.

  • Glad to have you on board, Shaun!

    Doubly glad to have you telling it like it is! 😉

  • I’m sending this to a friend of mine… maybe it will mean something coming from someone other than me. 😉

  • This reminds me of the 3 guys I attracted this past weekend. One might be decent, not that it matters, I am not sleeping with any of them. But the article is great at reminding us all of the perspective. And if all else fails get a decent friend to give you perspective on your behavior or style of dress or mannerisms to see if the vibe is like a neon sign to that type of guy.

  • Firecracker and Rick:
    I think you guys are missing the point. Who you attract doesn’t matter. Its the idea that D-Bags/A-Holes/”BadBoys” get rewarded for being who they are that’s the issue.

    The best sentence in this column is “if you give your dog a treat every time he takes a dump on the rug, expect to live in a very stinky house.” If you’re out f-ing and blowing D-Bags, they’re not going to change. If women would band together and say “He’s cheated, he gets none” or better yet “um, no, you’re with someone else, you get none til you dump her” then D-Bag/Cheating/A-Holes would have to rethink their plans.

    • I understand rewarding bad behavior reinforces it, but as long as douchebags act confident and/or maintain their physique women won’t stop rewarding their douchey behavior so I had nothing to say with regards to the main point of the article.

      I was honing in on the end of the piece where the proposed solution for Shaun’s friend is to look elsewhere and refine her BS detector. The problem is douchebags exist everywhere and if a woman is attracted to douchebags she will find them wherever she decides to stick her fishing pole. She will continue to end up with them until she discovers/fixes what it is about herself that causes her to seek men that fit that description.

      If women would band together and say “He’s cheated, he gets none” or better yet “um, no, you’re with someone else, you get none til you dump her” then D-Bag/Cheating/A-Holes would have to rethink their plans.

      No sense in playing what-if games, society evolves on its own; the energy and time it would take to change society would be better spent changing yourself to adapt to it.

    • Gotta agree with Rick. Trying to change people is an exercise in futility. No one thinks they’re broken and making a huge mistake, until it becomes hindsight. But it sure is frustrating and nauseating to watch.

      This is why I don’t go out much.

  • This drives me batty. I don’t understand why my otherwise intelligent and attractive friends put up with that kind of crap – and, you’re so right – reward that behavior.

    When my good friend -finally- began dating a nice guy it was like she had an epiphany – not every guy is a d-bag. It was nice to be able to be around someone she was dating. Certainly saved me from biting my tongue.

    The whole “sex as revenge” thing never made sense to me. But, I’m a bit of a prude, so take it with salt.

    • Maybe it’s because I’m older (40) but this kind of behavior hasn’t really happened to me or my friends since our twenties. Are extreme douchebags really out there in every age group ?

  • As a douchbag, i agree with this article. Also, it will never stop, and how do i get in contact with your attractive friend.

    Seriously though, is she on lavalife ? or Plenty of fish ?

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  • Ha, online dating better!!!

    Women go out with nothing but douchebags when they do online dating. And that isn’t because on-line dating sites are full of douchebags. Its that women demand two things in a guys profile. A lot of pictures of them and a long diatribe about themselves. News flash ladies. The only type of man who has that many pictures of themselves and can write that much about themselves are egocentric douchebags.

  • This is simple: nice guyd finish last. A douchbag, an asshole has all the qualities that make them attractive. That is why the have their way with your friend.

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