How Women Reinforce Douchebaggery
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.