Dissecting the "Bad Boy"


The "Bad Boy" is a very popular stereotype of some males that is discussed at length on the Internet. Unfortunately, most discussion about him doesn't make sense and I get the distinct impression that most people that talk about these so-called bad boys don't really interact with them often or objectively analyze their behavior.

Dissecting the

For the sake of privacy, I won't state my affiliation to the bad boys I will be discussing; I will, however, assure you that they are real and I knew them since childhood (though I never really understood their personality until now). They aren't necessarily 'bad' people per-se, however, some aspects of their personality are downright infuriating. So what are these immediately obvious characteristics?

  • They get an abnormal amount of female attention
  • Their parents are very open sexually and taught them from a young age to see themselves as sexual beings
  • Their parents also infused in them profound self-confidence and introduced them to the world of social dynamics, through their own large base of friends
  • They themselves have a very large base of friends
  • They are athletic
  • They partake in public and casual use of the more socially accepted drugs
  • They have exactly no college education, and barely a high school diploma
  • They are usually either unemployed or working minimum wage service positions for someone they know
  • They have never really accomplished anything significant in their lives (apart from the aformentioned social skills and attention from women)
  • Their personalities are at a deep level fairly toxic and manipulative but after years or perhaps even decades of social conditioning, they possess enough social skills to mask this successfully, but this creates the obvious effect of preventing them from having really meaningful relationships with girls or people in general

As you can see, not all of these traits are 'bad.' In fact, only the last 5 are somewhat damaging and don't actually contribute to their relationship success at all. So, bad boys are not really 'bad,' they just make up for their bad traits through some combination of their physical appearance and their social skills. What is humorous, however, is that the Internet is ablaze with guys asking: how do these guys get so much action? Well... who is their audience? Exactly. Girls exactly like them, and there are a lot of them and they are very gregarious. Given their vast social network of like-minded, party-going people, finding these girls is not a problem at all.

One issue that frustrates many guys though, and this partly explains the acute hatred towards people like this, is that they are genuinely manipulative. In many cases, they learned rudimentary pickup-artist-style techniques at a very early age. For a popular culture example, watch the movie 'Dazed and Confused' and you'll see many instances of older guys advising younger guys about attraction tactics (you'll know the scenes, don't worry). Anyway, most guys can spot another guy practicing these techniques (for example, the subjects of this case study would routinely pretend to be in phone calls - back when cell phones were a really cool, new thing to have - when interacting with girls to boost their apparent social status, sometimes actually being caught in the act, ie their phone ringing mid-pseudoconversation). Sadly, these tactics do seem to work, especially if they are practiced to the point of almost seeming natural or real. Most guys would naturally feel bitter towards women because who else, other than a fairly malleable, easily manipulated group of people, would honestly fall for such an act?

From a social perspective, I do admit that these bad boys appear very fun. They have lots of friends, some of which might actually be interesting. In the particular case of the bad boys that I know who are the subjects of this case study, they know a lot of people. These people have things. Boats, beach houses, cars, everything. These things would be impressive to anyone, and that includes girls. Even if they are useless, smoke weed constantly and play video games all day, they have a sort of celebrity life, and since society doesn't really do anything about it, who's stopping them? The result is that they are successful without anything more than some social inertia, carefully practiced social skills and maybe a somewhat kind personality underneath, masking other major problems they have. That's really it.

So what's the opposite of a bad boy? Well, me I guess (and probably a lot of other people on the Internet). I didn't learn how to attract girls (and I assure you, for the most part it is a learned skill and it is not magical) at a young age, my parents were sexually reserved people that also didn't have a lot of friends and didn't care to teach me how to build a social network or interact with people. I spent my time reading, and doing things that I thought were useful while being told that this would pay off for me 'eventually.' Of course, now both me and the bad boy have hit reality. The bad boy has drug issues, friends that are constantly ripping him off and taking advantage of him, and pretty soon unemployment issues when he can't sponge money off his parents or 'friends.' Meanwhile, I have none of these issues and have a 'bright' future, but my social skills are lacking and I have gained pretty much no social inertia or a social network because my time has been dedicated to school and more solitary activities (and writing posts like this...).

So there you go. Ultimately, a pretty useless post about bad boys, (I at least didn't mention 'Nice Guys' so at least give me points for that) and my personal experience knowing a few. These bad boys do have good qualities which most could learn from, however, I feel that our society is slightly too polarized in this regard. Really, guys should take on traits of both instead of dedicating all their effort to one of these two completely fabricated personality types which have become much too solidified in our culture. In particular, I feel like some guys even avoid acquiring some of these good traits because of their association with so-called bad boy culture (playing sports is the most obvious).

Opinions are welcome, thanks for reading :)

Dissecting the "Bad Boy"
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2Girl Opinion
17Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Guy

  • Anonymous

    Here we go again. More "bad boy" "Nice guy" shit. I get tired of seeing this shit.

    The part about them being unemployed and not having a college education is foolish. Hell even the people in your picture look like they could go to college. Lots of "bad boys" go to college. Lots of them are employed too.

    This is why I hate the "nice guy" "bad guy" shit. People try to place each other in boxes. "You're this" and "You're that". No. People are more complicated than that. I'm not monogamous so does that make me a "bad boy"? Some people may say so. Yet I'm shy and quiet so does that make me a "nice guy"? Some people may say so. In fact people aren't that one sided though.

    Like 6 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I feel like writing these things is really pointless if people don't actually read through them... I get the college thing and I'm just talking about the traits of a few actual people I've met. I even say at the end of my take that classifying people in this way is ridiculous... I really don't understand why people are so sensitive about this. We are talking about a stereotype here and I'm not really trying to place anyone in a particular box, I'm trying to understand why this term ever even came into existence.

    • Anonymous


Most Helpful Girl

  • TheDevilInside

    A very interesting take indeed!
    I am often attracted to guys with the Bad boy looks, but good boy hearts XD. Because don't forget, these "Bad boys" do appear confident. Some of them are cocky and i don't like that, but most appear confident and girls find that attractive.

    Like 2 People
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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Moose2coolvargas

    I don't know what it is, but if you seem to be a bad boy, women are all over it. You can be everything in the world and have the best intentions but a lot times of you will get passed over. Example in HS, the jocks football players etc partiers for all the ladies, girls would be acting so silly, and it was downright annoying

    Like 1 Person
    • Hello, and thanks for your opinion. I feel like guys that say this are missing an important point. I find it HIGHLY unlikely that girls are attracted to the 'bad' behavior itself. They are attracted to the traits that allow these guys to behave this way. They are usually strong, socially skilled, experienced and likable and so can get away with 'bad' behavior that other men would be classified as creepy/annoying for displaying. Those football players may have seemed stupid and obnoxious to you, but they had other kinds of skills (and especially social status) which allowed them to behave that way. The end result is that they were considered generally attractive. I have met many men in my life that were successful with women that did not display 'bad' behavior, but they still had these fundamentally attractive traits.

    • Yeah the minute I used to try something like that, one of those guys from that group would say. You out of your league, they won't date you. How would they know? Its almost if they were discouraging me from trying cause they knew if I tried I was sure to be what the girls wanted. I do believe it is about looks, I mean if works with them, using the same strategy, it doesn't work you. Doesn't make sense

  • bluenose1872

    You think a bad boy is a bunch of pumped up fairies swanning about in too tight tops and own boats and big cars. They're posers pal. You ever met a real bad boy. Someone who would stick you on the wall with a machete just for looking at him wrong in a party. Who thinks it's funny to screw a lit cigarette in someone's neck when they're sleeping. Who would pour petrol on you and set you on fire if you were late with money you owed him. Girls love guys like that for a reason. They're capable. They can do things she'd be too scared to think about. They're exiting. They're never dull. It's a sexual thrill for women to witness violence. It's primeval. Society educates them to abhor stuff like that but they're bodies tell them something different. We're not civilised. Anybody who thinks we are live sheltered lives. If you'd ever seen somebody getting thrown out of a window or seen somebody getting nailed to a floor for a drug debt you'd understand how savage a world it is. There's men out there who are demons in human form. I've known a few in my life. They'll take you apart with power tools and laugh whilst they do it. They guys up there that you describe are just daft little boys with pretensions. The most dominant force in any organism is survival. If you can't take care of that yourself you better know somebody who can. Women see the danger in life and they seek out men who can protect them.

  • Bandit74

    It's all looks, confidence, and social skills. Drugs are unessesary but they probably help make them appear more fun to a girl if she's into the same thing.

    Also the fact that they are willing to lie/manipulate often helps.

    I feel like they are direct but in an ambiguous way. They let the girl know he only wants something casual but he does it in a way that leaves the girl thinking "oh if I play my cards right he will want a relationship with me".

  • The_Empty

    Well, I'm in between, I'm willing to do everything a bad boy does but I'm not mentally stable enough to pull any of it off and I fit into your camp because I was socially isolated from a young age, hooray for me. Oh yeah, and my depression saps enough energy from me that I can barely do work and want nothing to do but lie down, go on the internet, and sleep. I have absolutely no positive attributes and no prospects

  • chriss

    it depends on the girl. every girl is different it cannot be that every girl is attracted to this kind of person.

  • GreatnessPersonified

    Dude, the reason bad boys are "successful" (define success in relation to them), is because they are men. The Id type of man, to be clear. The very BASE nature of a man that naturally attracts women, since men and women have been made to attract each other.
    All men (and women, in their own right) have it. Consider this, if your ancestors weren't able to attract the opposite sex, then would you be here? No.
    So, your birth and existence means your genes are good enough to find a mate, scientifically speaking.
    The problem is that we, humans, can over ride our base nature, no other animal can do that.
    We can deprive ourselves of basic needs if we want, like food and water.
    So, through, social conditioning, we men have deprived ourselves of our base nature, relying on our higher selves only. That alone is not attracting women in a sexual/romantic level. We have to remember to be our lower base selves at times. It is a delicate balance.

    Like 2 People
    • TheSkaFish

      Men and women were made to attract each other, all men and women have this, and your existence is proof that you're good enough. I'm with you so far.

      My question, though, is how do you use your lower base self, without becoming a piece of shit with a rotten soul? I despise bad boys and if I acted like them I'd hate myself. I'd feel like a fake and a sellout for giving in. I'd feel like I knowingly made myself dumber. I'd have no self-respect.

      The problem is, I have no girlfriend, and have never had one, in spite of me being able to talk to women, including my crushes, who are not just pretty but also people I actually have things in common with. But something is always missing, preventing me from sealing the deal. I don't know what. I believe in being smart, classy, nice, and sweet, it's how I was raised and what I feel is right. I'd hope that it doesn't boil down to a choice between self-respect or a girlfriend. I'd like to have both.

      I feel like I'm so close but so far away.

    • @TheSkaFish Listen, the lower base self belongs to no faction. It doesn't belong to bad boys or players or anyone. It belongs to you. You control how much of it you use, and what you want to become.
      "Don't player hate, appreciate, word hard and maybe you can get it straight."
      Don't despise the bad boy, pity them, for they will not find real love in their life going down their path.

      However, they have what it takes to get where you want to be, and are worth listening.

      I mean really, rotten soul? For f**king hot girls, they have a rotten soul? You need to get your priorities right. How about terrorist groups, mass murderers, serial rapists and drug dealers. They do bad things and I still wouldn't call them that. The only rotten soul person is a coward.

    • Bysshe

      "Consider this, if your ancestors weren't able to attract the opposite sex, then would you be here? No."

      Slight sampling bias there...

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  • Octavius

    I feel like I wouldn't want to be friends with any of those people in that picture...

    Like 1 Person
  • Scrambledagain

    I would give anything to be more of a bad boy. I just don't know how to tell a girl what to do assertively. Grates me.

    • don't think of them as people, imagine you are telling your dog to do a trick. Careful though, the girl may be educated and not be into that crap.

  • BlackDynamite83

    I used to have a bad boy friend who actually taught me everything he knew about picking up chicks, I used to take on his character and mannerisms at college and at one point I had nearly picked up six different chicks in a week. It must be a biological thing if you think about it, for thousands of years women judged men on their attractiveness based on their physical prowess funningly enough I always thought most bad boys just had the misfortune of being born during the wrong period in history and would be more at home swinging an axe into some poor bastards face on some ancient battlefield were society measured a man more on braun than brains.

    Like 1 Person
    • It is not biological, it is nurture. My cousins, my uncles, my father are/were players. Not me but my father hates my guts and never taught me shit.

    • Biological within women and the men they are attracted to. Women seek strength even if they are mistaken.

  • sp33d

    They are athletic
    They partake in public and casual use of the more socially accepted drugs

    I see you have the Hollywood sickness, too :)

    • I don't understand... I am stating a fact here, I mean, I know these people (if you read the take, this is about real people that I know). Do you want me to tell you specifically which drugs they use and which sports they play?

    • sp33d

      "So, bad boys are not really 'bad,' they just make up for their bad traits through some combination of their physical appearance and their social skills."

      What is there to be compensated for with physical appearance, exactly? Don't say they get attention from women, anybody can - that's just your prejudice speaking.

      Not a fact, rather a premature conclusion based on limited observation. That is your Hollywood sickness.

    • The previous points (athletic/drug usage) are facts in the case of the specific people in question. My conclusion that they make up for their more negative traits (unemployment, disregard for others, manipulation, drug usage, familial problems, etc.) with their social skills/circle and physical appearance, is my opinion. If you have a different conclusion, feel free to voice it.

  • Anonymous

    The valedictorian of my class was a total tech nerd who also sold drugs to pay for college. Tons of educated, ambitious people drink or use drugs.

    One of the best dads I know is tatted up & rides a motorcycle. Appearances can be deceiving.

    The part about sports is seriously insulting and closed minded. Millions of people worldwide enjoy testing their physical limits and working together as a team. It doesn't automatically make you a bad person or a stupid person.

    My ex, who was a clean cut engineer, was one of the most toxic people I've ever known, despite not being socially graced. There are lots of ways to be a negative, hurtful person. Not all engaging social skills mean a person is a jerk or manipulative. Some people genuinely enjoy being around others and are gifted at putting them at ease.

    Your premise is correct, though - drop the illusions and excuses to become a well rounded, dynamic person. But let go of all the silly stereotypes and open your mind!

    Disagree 1 Person
    • Hello and thank you for your opinion. I'm not really sure how this article came across as closed minded... I did not ever say that sports were bad. In fact, I even state later that being athletic was a GOOD thing. Seriously, it's there... just read it. I also don't disagree with you that 'clean cut' apparently 'good' people can be manipulative and toxic. As for drugs, I also agree that ambitious/educated people use them, however, drug usage will RARELY result in improving someone's life (for the real people in this case study, it really doesn't help them at all, which is why I labeled it 'destructive').

      Anyway, basically what this article is is an explanation of people I know in real-life who were always pursued by women but I never understood why. This is a dissection of those people and it obviously doesn't apply to everyone. Some of their traits are good, some of them are really bad. I'm not really trying to judge anyone here...

    • Anonymous

      I know, I got that you meant well :). But freeing yourself from putting things into boxes will help you! I think guys especially are prone to try to put everything into tidy categories, which often leads their judgements astray on people and human behavior because it's not tidy!! :)

    • Superior93

      ikr not doing drugs and not drinking is bad and uncool.

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  • Anonymous

    From my experience, it doesn't require having many friends, but you can have a lot, just doesn't matter either way. Drugs are the same, not required, neither is being manipulative, just direct.
    I got labeled with that bad boy shit just because I like motorcycles and guns, shit sucks. I've never even hurt anyone in my life that didn't hurt me first.
    I think it's not that girls are attracted to bad boys per say, but risky behaivour is something that men who are confident partake in.

    tl;dr bad boy = risky behaviour (but not bad behavior) and risky behavior = confidence.

  • Anonymous

    If "bad boys" are bad, and I have made "bad boys" beg for mercy just for fun, what does that make me?

    • Anonymous

      PS. Don't say "monster", I'm sick of hearing that. I have never killed anyone and my moral standards are quite in tune.

  • Anonymous

    I hired such men to work. All them fired. Job negligence stealing and disrespectful.

    Like 1 Person
  • Anonymous

    If you ask me, "bad boys" are nothing more than attention whores, breaking rules for no reason, just to be a pain in everyone's ass and most of all to get seen. Is it really that cool to break stuff, steal, to smoke and do cocaine? To me that stuff is just stressful and stupid.

    If only they were stuck in minimum wage jobs, they might not have as much appeal. But I think they do luck into well-paying jobs just like they luck into everything else. They do well-paying jobs that you can stumble into drunk and high, which don't require much of a brain. Meathead jobs.

    I don't know why women like them so much because so much of what "bad boys" do is actually weakness. Like drugs. So it's strong to poison yourself? It's intelligent and trustworthy do drugs like coke or heroin, that are known to kill people? That makes no sense. By that logic, I should be "cool" if I hit myself in the head with a rock. LOOK AT ME, I LOVE PAIN I'M SO BADASS DURRRR.

    That's another thing. Bad boys are all about attention, LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME. I DO DRUGS I'M SO COOL. Or the tattoos. A truly confident, intelligent person should know that image is nothing. If I was truly confident, then I would be just as confident in a Honda as I would in a Ferrari and it would make no difference. It wouldn't matter how I'm seen, or even IF I'm seen. I should just know I'm awesome and capable at all times no matter what. But someone covered in tattoos is very image-conscious. It's a huge part of their identity. In fact you could say they have a NEED to be seen as a druggie or a criminal, they just NEED to provoke a reaction because heaven forbid they get no attention. Isn't that neediness? Weakness, insecurity, fundamental woman repellant? They're all about image, all about having something to prove. They're fundamentally needy.

    I also just think imitating criminals is stupid. Why would women want someone who imitates low-class people, losers, idiots, people who have chosen to fail? Let alone an actual criminal scumbag? If women want an actual bad boy, the coolness is going to wear off fast when they inevitably do something stupid. If they want someone who just looks like a bad boy, like someone who has tattoos but isn't in a gang, then they're with a poser, a fake, a wannabe. That's what women like? Makes no sense to me.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah this part is BS:

    "They have exactly no college education, and barely a high school diploma"

    "They are usually either unemployed or working minimum wage service positions for someone they know"

    This is used by guys to make themselves feel better about the situation. I know plenty of guys who fit the bad boy description, went to college and make more than the "nice guy" who was always a people pleaser.

    The so called myth of the "stable guy" winning out later in life by working hard and getting a nice paying job. While the "bad boy" who got all the sex/love from girls in highschool and coolege, either ending up in jail or working minimum wage is a crap dream.

    Let's look at closer example of one of my friends:

    Guy is good with girls, has all the traits you mention (except the last 4 which is BS) AND WOULD from general consensus be considered d a bad boy who sleeps with lots of girls and then goes no contact on them when he done. At point he was fucking a different girl every night in the span of 4 years.

    Yes take some time to do the calculations on that.

    He even slept with a girl while she was in relationship with her boyfriend and creampied inside of her. Girl still hits him recently, even when she's been married for 5 years and has 3 kids now with the boyfriend who she was cheating on him with.

    Married Girl now hitting him up while she married asking if he wants to reconnect. But my friend won't do it because she's over 30 now. And while this may be hypocritical of him because he's 35, well he wants fresh pussy. Not women over the hill.

    • Okay clearly I've worded something wrong here because people are missing the point. The traits that I've listed are the ACTUAL traits that the specific, real guys I am referring to have. I know them in real-life and it is an objective fact. If you read until the end, I even explicitly state what it is that you are trying to argue which is that the 'stable,' work-hard approach IS a lie, so I don't see what you're arguing with, I'm not disagreeing with you here. I think a problem (which I also mention) is that no one even knows what a 'Bad Boy' is. Is a 'Bad Boy' just a guy that sleeps with a lot of women? That's not 'bad' necessarily. The so-called bad boys I'm referring to in this take are people I actually know and I just talk about my real experience with them

    • don't worry, "I know plenty of guys who fit the bad boy description". He is one of them, felt butt hurt by your take.

  • Anonymous

    Complete BS not all are uneducated or with crap jobs some are successful doctors and bad boys
    You definitely jealous

    • Hello and thank you for your opinion! I'm not sure how you interpreted this as 'jealousy' and as I pretty clearly stated, we are talking about particular 'bad boys' that I know in real-life. To me, a doctor 'bad boy' isn't really what I would classify as being a 'bad boy' since he does have a job, is educated, etc. If he's confident or successful with women that doesn't really make him 'bad.' Anyway, classifying people like this is pretty ridiculous as I pointed out in the final part of my take and I don't think anyone truly is just one or the other, but our society seems to be moving in that direction...

    • Anonymous

      So your def of a bad boy is that of someone unsuccesful when taking societies standard of a stable honest job

    • Anonymous

      Its not much of a lifestyle criteria you got there which bad boy certainly is

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