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Guys in the Friendzone

friend-zone1I don’t really have a lot of friends, nor girlfriends. Most women say I am too sweet, and I don’t know why. 

That’s from a profile on Nice Guys of OkCupid (which was recently shut down).

The nice guys of OkCupid commonly complain that being too nice gets them “friendzoned.” But after looking through their posts, Katie Baker at Jezebel says they don’t always seem so nice. In fact some express “sheer rage and misogynistic threats of violence: ‘All I want you to do is bleed like I have.’”

Hugo Schwyzer, a sociologist who studies men and masculinity, says these guys believe that if they are nice women will have sex with them:

The subtext of virtually all of their profiles, the mournful and the bilious alike, is that these young men feel cheated. Raised to believe in a perverse social/sexual contract that promised access to women’s bodies in exchange for rote expressions of kindness, these boys have at least begun to learn that there is no Magic Sex Fairy.

But Dr. Schwyzer also points out that the niceness is often an act.

They rage about being “friendzoned,” and complain about the hours spent listening to women without being given so much as a hand job in return for their investment… Their anger, in other words, is that their own deception didn’t work as they had hoped.

Meanwhile, since they can’t conceal their hostility their profile ends any chance of getting laid.

I’ve noticed that many actual nice guys share the illusion that women would like to have sex with any nice guy who asks.

A friend of mine who’s married started passing out a book which explains that monogamy is not the natural human state. He seemed to think that if women “got that,” they’d easily have sex with him.

I’m sure some women will want sex with him, after all, he is a nice, attractive guy. But I doubt monogamous norms are the only thing keeping women from entering his open marriage.

Another guy friend of mine proposed that the way to get a woman was to act like you found her really, really attractive (he actually did find these women really, really attractive) and communicate that you would like to have a romantic relationship. After all, it would work if they did that to him.


There’s even a joke that echoes the theme:

What’s the difference between a bitch and a slut? A bitch has sex with everyone but me.

Women just waiting around to have sex with whatever nice guy asks.

Michael Kimmel, another sociologist who studies men, says pornography helps create the illusion. Full of sexually excitable women who are ready and willing, many men watch and think it’s real.

But as he points out, women’s sexuality in porn looks an awful lot like male sexuality in real life.

In some non-Western cultures men and women do behave similarly sexually but not here, where women are more repressed: they are more slut-shamed, they worry so much about their bodies that they are often distracted from sexual feeling, and sexual assault turns desire off, for instance.

Cognitive neuroscientist, Ogi Ogas has described the process of igniting female desire, explaining that women scrutinize all available evidence – social, emotional and physical, which all lead to a general feeling of favorability, or not. Only when it all comes together, just right, do physical and psychological arousal unite, he says.

Most women do want relationships with nice guys, but they need nice + chemistry, or some other “je ne sais pas.” I suspect that most men want relationships with nice girls, but they need nice + chemistry/”je ne sais pas,” too.

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