The Myth of the Attraction to the “Bad Boy”

When we call it a preference, we’re using the wrong word.

Vanessa Torre
6 min readAug 22, 2022


Photo by RODNAE Productions via Pexels

The single most prevalent comment I hear from men regarding their frustrations in dating is anger and disgust connected to the idea that women want “bad boys” and will pass over the “good guys.”

Of course, another ubiquitous term thrown around is the “nice guy” who, oddly, is very rarely actually nice. These men are “nice” to women thinking that it will get them laid. They hang out in the “friend zone,” being super nice, hoping one day maybe their female friend will have too many drinks and they can make a move.

This needs to be clear. I see a lot of rants on social media from men that are just teetering on the incel line, that these “dumb skanky bitches” won’t date them or sleep with them even though they’re super nice.

Newsflash: no man that refers to a woman who won’t sleep with him as a “dumb skanky bitch” is a nice guy. Full stop.

Here’s what I have realized about actual nice guys. They truly know and understand their worth. They are selective. When men genuinely show up in a space of kindness toward women, women respond.

Also, kindness is not connected to attractiveness. Whether you are or are not attractive in a way that society may deem you to be, does not determine whether you’re kind.

Yet, I don’t see a lot of self-proclaimed unattractive incels openly admitting they have an abhorrent personality. Isn’t that odd?

So, all this notwithstanding, if nice guys are so valuable, why do women still end up dating or married to an asshole? Good question.

There are reasons why women are attracted to the “bad boy” type, and men reading this have two choices here. They can seek to understand the behavior, or they can continue to rail into an echo chamber, choosing ignorance over understanding. I’m here to help with the first. I can’t help you with the second. Good day to you.

Let’s be clear here. There is no merit to the idea that women prefer men who are assholes. We are using the wrong word. Women may choose them, but no human being enjoys being treated…



Vanessa Torre

Top 10 feminist writer. Writing, coaching, and relentlessly hyping women in midilfe. Email: