Book Excerpt: Are All Guys A**holes?
An adapted excerpt from Amber Madison’s new book, which will blow your mind.
All guys are a**holes. It’s a belief we hold near and dear to our hearts. It’s why they just want sex, why they don’t want to be your boyfriend, and why they’re destined to cheat with the nanny. We think we know these things about men as well as we know the facts of history or anything else—hell, as far as we’re concerned, guys jerkishness might as well be written into the Constitution. But what if … we don’t actually know men at all?
What I’m about to reveal to you probably runs completely counter to everything you think you know about guys. It’s probably the biggest cover-up in United States history, and I may be assassinated for divulging the truth: Guys aren’t assholes; they’re giant pussies! And I mean that in the best possible way.
How do I know this? Because I’ve spent the last year and half studying them. I traveled around the country interviewing them, and asking them to fill out 40-question surveys about their thoughts on sex, love and dating. I stalked straight, unmarried men ages 20-45 in fast-food joints, office courtyards, parks, coffee shops, and bars. I asked them questions like: What matters more, sex or relationships? What turns you off on a date? How nervous do you get beforehand? What are the signs you like a girl? The signs you don’t? How soon is too soon to have sex? And what makes you question your relationship?
I got kicked out of more places then I ever imagined possible. I ended days more exhausted—physically and emotionally—than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I lost my wallet, my keys, 450 surveys I collected in Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco, and even my boyfriend of two years. But, this is what I found…
Men are nothing like we believe them to be, and certainly a far cry from how they’re often portrayed in the media. They seek out relationships and they value emotional connection. Seventy-three percent of guys said their primary interest in women was someone to have a long-term relationship with, and 18 percent said it was short-term companionship. Only 8 percent said their primary interest was sex, and 1 percent said it was someone to impress their friends. This means that 91 percent of guys are primarily interested in women because they want some sort of personal connection and companionship, not because they “just want to get laid.”
No matter what guys claimed as their “primary interest,” over 99 percent said they would want to be in a relationship if the right girl came along. The “right girl” isn’t some big-busted threesome-loving bimbo either. I asked guys to rate how important various traits were in a girlfriend on a scale from 1 (not important) to 5 (very important): 60 percent gave humor a 5; 51 percent gave intelligence a 5, 54 percent gave being nice and caring a 5; and only 30 percent gave looks a 5. Guys want a girlfriend who’s smart, funny, and sweet more than they want one who’s hot.
Not only do guys want relationships, but once they’re in them, they value those relationships more than beer commercials might have us believe. Guys don’t look at their girlfriends as a ball and chain: 96 percent of guys in serious relationships say that their girl is at least as important as the fellas, and 76 percent say their girlfriends come first.
Think you need some elaborate scheme to get a guy to marry you? Think again. Ninety-five percent of guys say they want to get married some day. A guy I met in Denver who had survived a near death experience said his “dying thought” was that he should have married his long-term girlfriend (after living through the incident, he did). And I cannot tell you how many guys would slip in comments about “their future wife” or “the one” in conversations that were about sex, dating, hook ups, or even another topic entirely. Maybe there aren’t TV shows like Groomzillas or Sut that doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t on the forefront of guys’ minds.
In reality, the vast majority of men are fully functional human beings who want relationships more than they want sex. And I know that can seem hard to believe because every time you turn on the TV (Two and a Half Men, Family Guy, Rules of Engagement, How I Met Your Mother), walk into a book store (Tucker Max, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Game)—hell, even talk to your friends—there seems to be mounds of evidence that would point to a different conclusion. But that’s a sales angle rather than a reflection of reality. And like useless info products on the Home Shopping Network, they’re selling it because we’re buying it. But when you actually ask guys themselves—not entertainment executives, middle aged men and women who write obnoxious self help books, or so-called “dating coaches”—guys aren’t actually that bad. And knowing that makes the process of dating MUCH less intimidating.
Amber Madison is a nationally noted author, lecturer, and sex educator. This article is an adapted excerpt from her latest book, Are All Guys A**holes? Her iPhone App, A-Hole Tester, utilizes her research to determine the probability that the guy you’re seeing is an A-Hole.www.AreAllGuysA**holes.com