Question about 'bad boy' psychology

First, a note- I’m not trying to make this into a ‘nice guys finish last’ thread. We get one of those every few months, and I’ve read most of them already. Please, I ask, if you post here, try to keep it on topic.

The question I’ve been trying to formulate how to ask over the past few days hasn’t quite been comming right, but as I’m now very sleep deprived, I figure, what the heck, I’ll wing it.

What I’m asking is: For those of you that have dated / been involved with the ‘bad boy’, what is the attraction factor? It’s something I can’t quite wrap my head around. Personal anecdotes, anyone?

Meanwhile, I’ll sit here in a half-awake stupor.

Define “bad”.

Bad as in “Hip”, “Athletic”, “Artsy”, “Brooding”, “Loner”?

or Bad as in “just this side of most likely to knock over a liquor store”?

Sadly, I’m a sucker for the true bad boys–criminals, addicts, thugs. There’s a lot involved, and probably it’s different for everyone, but a big part of the attraction for me is such:
Here’s this guy who does what he wants, when he wants. He doesn’t follow the rules, he’s not making nice with anyone to keep up appearances, and he’s probably pretty self-destructive on top of that. He puts very little stock into the expectations and restrictions of society, and yet he’ll listen to me and try to impress me, at least some of the time. He doesn’t even care about himself, but he cares about me. Therefore, I must be pretty hot shit.
I’m totally aware it’s pathetic, and I don’t date much as a result, but all attempts at reasoning myself out of this pattern have failed spectacularly.

Plus, they’re almost always amazing in bed. Rough, passionate, and completely unapologetic.

Any or all of the above. What does it mean to -you-?

What she said.

I don’t know if it has much meaning beyond the answers just given by belladonna and kalhoun.

I don’t think it translates easily to the fairer sex so I can’t elaborate by comparisson.

Dumb bitches would have to be the bad boy correlate.

Nope, I’ve got the “bad girl” tingles. Outrageous women with a mouth on 'em, violent, rulebreakers, radiating amused contempt, carelessly dressed in dirty clothes, felony conviction record, nonchalant about a history of whoring, drives at 90 MPH, forges checks, fucks people she finds cute while ridiculing with laughter anyone who makes a pass at her otherwise, does a wide range of illegal drugs simultaneously, carries a knife and a chain… who could ask for anything better?


(I"ve had to learn to do so)

I think it’s because she’s doing whatever she wants, and has never traded that in for tenderness or validation or approval. So if she’s with me I’m obviously what she wants (wow!) and it’s so much fun, and so erotic and so emotionally delicious to be gentle and loving and tender with someone who has mostly done the rough 'n tumble stuff and has had all the bad boys she wants, along with anything else she wants, and has sampled everyone and everything and so on (and, again, to come back to it, is, in light of all that knowledge, settling on special delightful me).

Yea, a dumb bitch.

Why would any of those traits equate to “bad”?

Those are just flavors of bad-boyness.

It’s an attitude thing. Not necessarily linked to a criminal record.

Think Keith Ledger, Colin Farrell and Russell (mostly harmless) Crowe


Mickey Rourke, Bobby Brown, various rappers.

I dunno, bad boy for me never meant “a criminal record” or “drives a Harley” or anything. Bad boy to me meant “someone my parents would disapprove of”. There’s plenty in **Quicksilver’s ** list that my parental units would disaprove of. And in that vein, there was exactly one, and what attracted me to him was he positively exuded sexuality. And then backed it up with actions, too.

We never dated or had a serious thing. It was all about the sex.

I don’t know what their appeal is. It might be daddy issues on my part. But there is something appealing about having to work for a man’s interest/attention. It’s more interesting than having a perfect man who does everything you want without any second thought. Too bad, too.

Heath Ledger.

I used to date the bad kid (this was high school) the ones who punched doors and threw chairs when they were angry. I felt protected having all that rage and strength sticking up for me when I was being bullied. I’m really glad I got over that predilection, though.

It’s a self esteem thing. A guy who treats you nice, calls regularly, pays his bills on time, etc is boring. If he treats you well, he must not be challanging enough to be worth your time. But if he acts like a disinterested abusive asshole, well he’s doing you a favor by even talking to you.

And of course there are some general truisms:

A guy who can kick ass is more appealing than a wuss
A guy with money is more appealing than a guy who’s broke
A guy who takes no shit is more appealing than a pushover

Yeah, it’s really a self-esteem booster in the “This guy does whatever he wants, whenever he wants…that means I’m whatever he wants! I’m so on fire, I made him stop and pay attention to me! I RULE THE WORLD!” sort of thought-line.

What she said. Except I don’t think it’s “pathetic,” as long as one notices the pattern and doesn’t blindly pursue every convicted felon or junkie in sight after one knows better.

I’ve dated a few. It’s exciting, especially when one is young and has the energy for such emotional turmoil. It’s dramatic, and provides for endless hours of phone time with your girl friends about why he’s so bad, and how you can “fix” him, “tame” him, “change” him, “save” him… I’ve no idea why that all made sense when I was 18, because it sounds idiotic now, but somehow, I and many of my friends justified it in such terms.

And yeah, they tend to be exceptional in bed. Not that it helps when you’re sobbing because he hasn’t called in a week because he’s in jail again, or because he’s shacked up with his old girlfriend, or because he’s all strung out on drugs again, or passed out from drinking… But then he shows up again the next weekend, and again, amazing sex, apologies, and declarations of undying love. For a couple more days. Bah.

I dated three guys (one after the other, not at the same time) in my early years that I thought of as bad boys – not so much with the criminal record (although the one got so weird by the end that I wouldn’t be that surprised to read about him in the news), but more along the lines of the “last guy standing at the party” type. You know, up for anything, any time, any place. Wild, I guess. Bad boys with hearts of gold. At the time, I didn’t think too hard on my reasons for thinking they were my “type.”

Looking back on it, I think there was an element of competition going on. I liked to fancy myself the wild girl who was up for anything etc etc. Dating a bad boy helped me complete the image I had of myself. This really wasn’t good for anyone involved, because we’d tend to egg each other on to even greater (and stupider) feats of craziness.

Hmmm, the more I think about this, the more I think maybe this is missing the definition of bad boy that the OP is looking for. They didn’t treat me badly, but at the same time, all our energy went into creating this image – we spent more time on our public presentation than we did on our relationship. It seemed like we were very busy being the Ultimate Party Couple, but not, ya know, a couple involved with each other.

For whatever reason, I wasn’t very self-reflective about my dating experiences until I met Mr. Del. Then I was startled to realize how weird it was that in the past, I had often dated people who I thought were like me, as opposed to people who actually liked me, if that makes sense.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Blah, blah, blah,

Whatever, shut the hell up and git over here and give me some lov’n.

Oh, and bring me a 12 pack while you’re at it.

You sweet little piece of ass you…