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.
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 :)