'Babe magnet' dishes 'advice' for girls
Dear Straight Talk: As a certified "babe magnet" at a large high school, for all you girls interested in guys like me — and there are a lot of you — could you please be a little harder to get? When a girl lets me have it too early, it is actually a turn off.
I know you get mixed messages, but I assure you, most "bad boys" find it exotic when you say no. If we like you, it gives us a challenge. If we don't, we respect you for standing up to our charades.
Despite what might be said, we do not think you are lesbian or prudish if you say no; we think you are interesting and strong. Saying no will also save you a broken heart. — "J," Anderson
Kira, 20, Moraga: Fascinating. I'd have never guessed. Most guys go for the easy girls. If they're looking for a girl who says no, they definitely hide that. It's not just college. In high school, a popular guy wanted to hook up with me. I wasn't as popular, but I played sports and had a lot of friends. When I said no, he dissed me to his friends and was a complete jerk for the longest time afterward.
Peter, 25, Monterey: "Babe magnet," ha! Sorry, this label makes you sound more like a douche bag. If you don't like the reaction you get from girls, try being different. You know: humble, kind, less self-absorbed.
I was a nice guy in high school, didn't get many dates. Remained a nice guy in college, got a few. Stayed a nice guy and now am in a serious, wonderful, mutually fantastic relationship with a girl I love fiercely. Ever consider that girls are using you as an easy way to feel validated?
Akasha, 19, Los Angeles: Hilarious! Many guys do just want sex — and if that's all the girl wants, too, no problem. Unfortunately, many girls operate out of desperation and wishful thinking that if they have sex, it will emotionally attach the guy — yet the girls are the ones who get attached. If a girl wants attachment, why wouldn't she play hard to get? Men like the chase. If you play the field right, even without super looks, you can win an attractive man.
Colin, 19, Whittier: Ideally, people would be hard to get, not play hard to get.
Brandon, 21, Mapleton, Maine: You may think you're the voice of the global babe-magnet population, "J," but look at battered women statistics. Girls who "stand up to your charades" end up with more than a broken heart. Many are raped, or worse, by their "babe magnet" boyfriends.
I've walked in your shoes and, trust me, your babe magnet Ph.D. expires soon. Girls become women and start desiring men with class. Class is being a real man with a real agenda for life.
Now I'm in college, working two jobs, in a long-term relationship with a wonderful woman who has her life on track, too. We had sex early, because we connected early — not because she was easy. Love isn't a game, "J."
Dear "J": Sorry for the onslaught. You did come across a wee bit arrogant. I appreciate you. You started a much-need conversation — which I thought was about "the chase" but is really much more serious, as we just heard.
Regarding the chase, both guys and girls lament to me that this enticing phase is rushed or nonexistent. As "babe magnet on campus," you have an opportunity to become part of the solution. Why not use your magnetism to shut down negative "guy talk" about girls who say no, and teach girls how to avoid dangerous situations and say no safely?
On that note, a kind and loving Valentine's Day to all.
Girls: When in the snake pit, avoid the snakes. They do bite. Yes, even — and sometimes especially — those charming ones. Our culture is largely a snake pit. To be safe, you have to learn where, how, when and with whom to hang out, walk, go on a date, say no, etc.
America may be farther along than India, as revealed by India's recent self-examination following the horrific and fatal gang rape in Delhi last December, but we are miles from being a non-rape culture.
According to National Institutes of Health statistics, 20 to 68 percent of teen girls and 13 to 27 percent of college-aged women in America are date- or acquaintance-raped. Many such date rapists and their victims go on to be in long-term co-dependent relationships with each other.
Much of the domestic abuse in our society is such a sick interlocked system between abuser and victim that law enforcement and society turn the other way, not knowing what to do about it.
So listen up, girls: If you've been bitten by a snake somewhere in this pit during your teen or college-age years (or any time — these ages are just when it is most prevalent), seek help. If you keep getting bitten, seek better help and don't put it off. Obviously, something happened to you as a child to make you attract abusers.
And those abusers really aren't snakes, just human men who were damaged also during childhood.
Guys: The date rape statistics cited above mean that equivalent numbers of you are rapists. You clearly have suffered childhood trauma, otherwise you wouldn't need to be on a power trip, using force, alcohol, "roofies" (memory-erasing date-rape drugs) or even just charm to knowingly break a girl's heart in exchange for "empty sex calories." You need help, too, and I urge you to seek it.
Those of you who harm the girls who refuse you — or the others who stand loyally by your side and "take it" — you have had even worse childhood trauma. You need help most of all. Please don't put it off. — Lauren
Lauren Forcella co-writes Straight Talk TNT with a panel of more than 70 teens and young adults. To ask a question or become a panelist, click StraightTalkTNT.com or write to P.O. Box 963, Fair Oaks, CA 95628.