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It's worth reading Fifty Shades of Grey, because it's not at all what you'd expect based on the hype. There is very little S&M in it. It's not about Christian sexually liberating this innocent, inexperienced girl. It's about Anastasia converting Christian back to the world of vanilla sex and normal relationships.

It's a great example of a fantasy prevalent among many women. There's a male character who is extremely good looking, charismatic, powerful, probably quite rich, and he falls for the girl who -- aside from being a little bit good looking -- is otherwise unremarkable. It's not a new fantasy either, just look at Lizzie Bennet.

The message is that all it takes to get the top 0.001% of men is just being your quirky, sarcastic little self, so don't worry about working at anything. The exact same message as The Secret. It's fantasies being sold to people who want to have their laziness and lack of drive validated.


Until we get past: the stud vs slut,
women gossiping about other women being sluts as a way of asserting their pecking order,
men getting the hump with a 'goer' (from other men or women) spurning them.

Men expecting a spontaneous sex kitten

Women lying to themseleves about their own sexuality.

We still have a long way to go!


Wow, your blog feels as though I've written it. I completely agree with you on everything. I almost started to think I was the only one who had those kind of opinions and attitude. That's why I never really understood women and I don't like to hang out with them because I don't get their way of thinking.
I believe in getting what you want, I love sex as much as men, maybe even more, and I'm not ashamed of it, and it certainly doesn't make me a slut.
You've really given me the inspiration to improve my game. Can't wait to buy (and read) the book.

Destin Gerek

We are clearly playing for the same team.
This is precisely how my Erotic Rockstar archetype came into being.
Thank you for putting words to it so well...


"They want to make women happy and satisfy them sexually, but they're not sure when their advances are going to be welcomed, even by their own partners, and given the choice between frightening or annoying women with their aggression and possibly boring women with their inaction or politeness, they tend to err on the side of caution by choosing the latter -- and that to wait or ask for permission seems to defeat the purpose and ruin the fantasy."

It's really refreshing to hear a woman address this, speaking as someone who is (unfortunately) terrified of my advances being unwanted, to the point of paralysis. I thought I was alone in this, but hearing you address it as a wider problem makes me feel better. :)

There is a self-esteem issue here as well, though, in that a man who doesn't think he's attractive or interesting will have additional reasons to not flirt with a woman, but the cultural misconception that women don't want sex certainly widens the gulf. There seems to be a lot of shy guys who choose to be boring out of safety, and total asses who don't care to the point of being aggressive and insensitive. The healthy in-between of flirtatious but not aggressive appears rare.

Thanks for writing this post. It's nice to hear a balanced and rational view of these things that is neither selfish nor self-abusing.


"I think it's noteworthy that on a commercial level (since that's one of the main metrics we use to judge popularity these days) he's been so successful, and also that he's oftentimes so far removed from the standards that our IRL boys strive for when they attempt to be sexually appealing. Most men who aim for sex appeal think that it's synonymous with buffing up -- but who's getting more play, Christian Grey or The Situation?"

Given your mention of Edward Cullen as an example of such a character, I think it would be important for you to consider that the other main male character in the Twilight series is Jacob who is more in line with what you say about men thinking.


As a guy my self that lives in his own fantasy I never thought to actually consider what her fantasy might be yet alone try to appeal to it. As imo role play is the best part of any relationship, I guess you could say I have been inspired now to consider her fantasy over my own.

Guess I should put this all to the test then. :)


The other night I was out with my man and we were making fun of all the douchebags in button ups trying to impress women. He then told me when he was younger he used to put on makeup to go out and the older women would flock to him, paying no mind to the other guys in suits. It turned me on just thinking about it ;)

Jennifer Link

That boy in the leather jacket was one of the only things I found interesting about that movie. But I did enjoy reading the Twilight series and the movies were cheesy but I enjoyed those too! But I'll read or watch most anything about vampires.

I would suggest reading Twilight (the first book, the rest you could probably skip if you're not into it) because it is such a romance story. And Fifty because it was so widely popular. I think they could inform your writing on subjects like this. Plus they are super easy reads.


Unfortunately, there is a lot of popular media out there that drowns what you are saying. Yes it does need to be heralded by women. Just as women fear they need to be perfect, so do men. How many movies do you see that depict a long term couple's happy sex life? Or depict it between people who aren't perfectly gorgeous or rich?

Furthermore, there are very loud voices out there actively denying what you say, from the radical feminists that overwhelmingly dominate feminist discourse online to conservatives to evangelical Christians, to PUAs shouting the message that women do NOT enjoy sex for its own sake. And a little less loudly, that women do not want companionship or the esteem of others for their own sake. Magical thinking and ideology dominate the conversation.


I enjoyed your post and found it refreshing. I too saw the movie you referenced (Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and saw the demon-hunter-angel-protector character as a blatant and not-too-deep fantasy caricature of what (I presume) is a typical teenage girl's fantasy boyfriend. Your description of this fantasy caricature of the Gothic Pixie Dream Boy (GPDB) is apt and I think fits well. But what I think gets lost in all this fantasy caricature of men (and of course, women) is that these caricature are just that, fantasy. Is the broody, aloof GPDB as realistic a fantasy for girls/women as the corresponding fantasy caricatures for women that men have? I suspect not. But where most -- and use the term loosely -- mature men realize that the fantasy of the always available sex kitten or MPDG is just a fantasy in men's minds and that reality dictates that most women are not like the fantasy, I sometimes wonder if women ever mature beyond the girl hood fantasy of the aloof, brooding GPDB (or some bad-boy equivalent). But more often than not the aloof, brooding GPDB does not equate to the kind, sensistive, caring and emomtionally available man that women say they want. It feels to me that girls buy into the whole GPDB fantasy and then as women still crave it AND want the kind, caring, supportive and emotionally availble man (i.e, the 'nice guy'). But it doesn't work that way. Or at least not most of the time. So the message this movie, and similar movies, gives to boys is that the distant brooding guy with the cool leather jacket is what girls want, and not the dopey doormat nice guy. Indeed, even in the movie itself this message is re-enforced. At the end of the movie, who gets the girl? The nice-guy friend that has been there to support her and be her friend, or the aloof, brooding dude with the cool leather jacket? Yeah, I think we know the answer to that question. So, just as in real life, the cool dude gets the girl and the nice-guy gets nothin'.

Arden Leigh

Nope, there's where you're wrong. The GPDB is absolutely a caretaker. He inspires her, supports her growth, helps her onto his motorcycle. The nice guy best friend thinks he deserves her love just by standing next to her and pretending to listen to her. The whole point of what I wrote about the GPDB is that he is a fantasy BECAUSE he takes care of her before there's even any intimacy or investment on her part.

Arden Leigh

Nope, theres where youre wrong. The GPDB is absolutely a caretaker. He inspires her, supports her growth, helps her onto his motorcycle. The nice guy best friend thinks he deserves her love just by standing next to her and pretending to listen to her. The whole point of what I wrote about the GPDB is that he is a fantasy BECAUSE he takes care of her before theres even any intimacy or investment on her part.

Sent from my iPhone


I didn't see it that way, but that's okay. We are entitled to our own opinion.


More to the point is the Gothic Pixie Dream Boy character in the movie is very personification of a fantasy that is about as realistic as the oft derided Manic Pixie Dream Girl character is. Which is to say, not. Sure, it may be enjoyable for girls or women to enjoy the fantasy of the GPDB in movies, just as it is for boys or men to enjoy the movie version of MPDG. But let's not forget that they are fantasy archetypes. They are not real. In real life no 'white knight' saviour dressed up as a GPDB is going to show up and save the day and act as a guardian angel-protector for hapless, awkward teenage girls any more than a cute MPDG is going to drag the nerdy social misfit out from his shell and show him the ways of the world. Those things just happen in movies -- it's not real life. So yes, let's all enjoy the movie versions of the GPDB and the corresponding MPDG characters but let's not forget them for what they are -- fantasies.

Arden Leigh

Mgm - did you even read the post? You are repeating exactly what I said and phrasing it as an argument against me. Maybe you should take a second read.


Yes, I did read the post (and just re-read it again). And in the post you at first lament that there so few female fantasy archetypes as compared to male fantasy archetypes and then praise the few that are starting to appear, namely the self named GPDB. Then, honestly, the post gets a bit muddled, but I think you admit that it's difficult for men to fullfil the female fantasy archetype. You then posit the solution to the problem for women is to be more assertive in expressing themselves and their wants and desires (which I whole heartedly agree with) and for men to start paying attention to women's fantasies more. Again, nothing wrong with that. But the post doesn't address what I feel is the REAL issue is that both men and women latch on to these fantasy archetypes that are feed to them by popular culture and assume them to be respresentations of real life. Men latch on the the male fantasy arhetypes of the sex kitten or the MPDG of countless movies and women latch on to the GPDB of movies like 'Mortal Instruments' or the brooding bad boy characters like Christian Grey from '50 shades'. I'm not condeming men or women for fantasizing about each of their respecetive fantasy archetypes, but somewhere along the line there is a disconnect for a LOT of men and women that transforms in their mind the fantasy archetype into what they expect of their mates in real life. And that's a bit of a problem with fantasy archetypes that I think needs to be addressed, and I don't believe was addressed in your post.

Arden Leigh

My point is that both men and women owe it to their partners to playfully indulge their fantasies a bit, while still staying true to themselves as complex humans. My point furthermore is that women are doing this a lot already and men need to step it up.


great article - my first thought was that the term Byronic Hero possibly covered it - all those dudes are just footnotes to Manfred. though, Gothic Pixie Dream Boy is a pretty beautiful turn of phrase too. i hadn't actually made the connection with Edward Cullen until this point though. call me lame, but i love a good Byronic Hero/GPDB, but that could just be my not so inner teen goth coming through. Voss from Patrick White's novel of the same name is another great example. dark and brooding and desirable and deeply flawed.

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