Archive for the ‘All The Nice Girls Love An Arsehole’ Category

Flirting And Magic

Just as the word “glamour” originally meant a bad thing, namely an enchantress-spun illusion, so too is the primary meaning of the word “charm” a magical one. It comes from Latin carmen, “a song”, while the verb “to sing”, cantare, gives us “enchantment” – and also “incantation”, which is the link between singing and magic. […]

The Love Potion

Reading about how sexual attraction is based on pheromone-borne messages about the genetic benefits of combining the friend-or-foe recognition codes of two different immune systems, how can we fail to remember the way in which the Ancients regarded Love as a malignly irrational force? The Ancients would definitely have enjoyed learning that the blood serotonin […]

Uniforms As Love-Philtres

Why do young men seek death and glory in battle? One answer is no doubt that young men are romantics who have no idea what it is actually going to be like, namely all death and no glory. Older men at home cynically feed the fires of that romantic folly and send them out to […]

Thinning The Field

An experimental psychologist has discovered that both sexes habitually estimate the sexual competition as being stronger than it really is. This, she suggests, makes everybody try harder. If that were so, however, it would be a case of the stadium effect, and we would all be back where we started. The point is, however, that […]

Camelot And The Just Deserts

Many stories tell of Ladies who long for a Sir Galahad to save them from the Ogre. Such stories are told only by such men as fancy themselves in the role of that most tediously parfait knight. Real women tell stories of longing for a straightforward Ogre to save them from the bad conscience that […]

The Valmont Technique

I have heard it said that a good woman is attracted to cynical, exploitative men because she secretly wonders what it would be like to be a “bad girl”. The great seducers are surely such men as know this, and subtly let the woman know that they know. And it is this very recognition that […]

Do As I Say, Not Do As I Did

We men are civilised, if we are civilised at all, mostly by our mothers. Now, part of this process frequently involves our mothers warning us against the evil qualities possessed by our fathers. As children we are not in a position to ask them why, in view of these evil qualities, they then married our […]

Easy And Hard Pretending

There are two types of romance plot, the male and the female, reflecting the biological reality of reproductive strategies. The male plot is “Will he get (or can he keep) the girl of his dreams?” The female plot is “Which of these two (or even more) men should I accept?” It is always taken for […]

An Impossible Response

In a certain genre novel, a woman is described as fancying a definite Bad Guy. The two men in the scene both dislike him. So she asks herself, “What did they see that she was missing?” I have rarely seen such an unrealistic reaction depicted in fiction. This is merely the male perspective put into […]

A False Opposition

In any water-cooler discussion of what women find sexually attractive in a man – as opposed to what they say they find sexually attractive – and in the closely-related issue of why they persist in choosing cruel and contemptuous men, there is really only one question: the relative weighting of looks and self-confidence. One school […]