Don’t Be A Creeper

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Last week we talked about the concept of male privilege. This week, we’re going to take that knowledge and examine how you can put it to practical use.

One of the more common problems I see amongst my nerd brethren is a certain lack of self-awareness. Too many guys out there – especially those who can be a little less socially experienced – don’t quite understand the difference between how they perceive themselves and how they’re coming across to others. As far as they’re concerned, they’re the very model of chivalry and gentility. However, the girls they’re talking to? They have a slightly different opinion about the matter.

The more kind-hearted ladies would describe them as “intense”. Or they would say “(He) comes across a little strong, but he means well. You just have to get to know him”

The less kindly would say it flat out: “He gives me the creeps.”

It’s surprisingly easy to give off the creepy vibe to women, especially if you aren’t aware of what you’re doing and why it makes women feel the way they do. Your friends may know you well enough to know that you don’t mean to be a creeper, but you don’t have the time to explain that to every woman you meet.

So it’s time to take a look at your behavior and make sure you aren’t being a creeper.

On Male Privilege and Being Creepy

As I said last time, part of male privilege is all of the things that guys take for granted, like personal safety. Women, on the whole, don’t pose a physical threat to men; while there will always be individual exceptions, the average male is larger, stronger and heavier than the average woman. In practical terms, this means that the average man is fully capable of overpowering the average woman with relative ease… and women are very aware of this fact. Women have to gauge every interaction with men, especially men they don’t know, on whether or not he presents a threat to her. This is the unspoken subtext for every time a guy talks to a girl, sends a Facebook friend request or asks her out.

Just about every woman out there knows somebody -a friend, a family member, someone – in their immediate circle who has been threatened, taken advantage of or assaulted… if they haven’t been themselves. Think about that for a second.

Because women live in a state of near-constant threat awareness, they are far more cued in to the slight clues that hint at potential danger than guys are. Because the stakes are much higher for women than they are for men, women are more sensitized to these little hints, which can lead to false-positives. That guy who stares too hard and lingers around her long after he’s worn out his welcome may not actually intend to make her uncomfortable, but she has no way of knowing this; it’s far safer to allow for the wrong impression than it is to ignore the signs when someone actually does mean her harm.

 

"Ssssssso, do you want to come back to my car with me? Wait, put down the pepper ssssspray!"

Guys – who don’t have to do this mental calculus on an almost hourly basis – are frequently unaware of this issue. They’re often ignorant of just what it is they’re doing that sends all the wrong signals. In fact, because they don’t live with the same omnipresent threat that women do, they’re frequently offended by the idea that it’s their behavior that creeps girls out. Because they don’t (or won’t) address the issue, the behavior continues.

And don’t think that girls won’t talk about it. Every girl has a story about creepers she has met… and she will be sure to share that information with all of her friends.

The last thing you want is to be a creeper. Fortunately, some self-awareness and fairly simple changes in a guy’s behavior can eliminate the creepy vibe.

Watch Your Body Language

Body language is one of the ways that women use to gauge men’s intentions… and it’s one of the ways that guys mistakenly give off the creepy vibe.

Guys will often face people directly when talking to them, pointing their feet, torso and face directly at the person they’re talking to. To guys, this is a sign of attention, that you’re engaged in communicating with the person in front of you. To a woman whom you’ve just met, this is an incredibly intense look; it comes off as almost uncomfortably aggressive and will leave women feeling cornered. This is especially true if you’re broad or tall; you may think you’re being direct or confident, but you’re coming across as overbearing and threatening.

To avoid being creepy, learn to avoid giving women the full frontal; angle your body away from theirs, or even address them from your side or over the shoulder. The more comfortable a woman is with you, the more directly you can face her without causing her to instinctively reach for the pepper spray.

Avoid overly intense eye-contact. The difference between flirty eye contact and overly intense is a fine one;  too short and she won’t notice, too long and you will begin to seem aggressive. Ideally, you want to hold eye contact for just a little longer than normal – a matter of a second or two past the point where it starts to feel uncomfortable – then deliberately break contact by looking up and away with a smile. That hint from holding eye contact just a second too long feels exactly like the rush that you feel when you see someone you’re incredibly attracted to. Hold it too long and it becomes a threat… legitimate discomfort rather than butterflies in the stomach. Getting the timing right on this is a matter of practice and calibration; you’ll have to accept that you’re going to end up being a little creepy as you learn to calibrate your internal clock.

Notice very carefully, by the way, that I told you to smile. Remember this: one of the keys to not being creepy is a big, toothy grin. Imagine for a second, two men, both looking at you. Both of them are standing in the exact same pose. One of them is stoney-faced; he may as well be looking at paint samples as looking at you. The other has a big smile on his face. Which one of them seems friendly to you, and which one seems like he might be considering whether he wants to beat you into a fleshy cube?

Now realize that this is exactly the difference that a smile makes to women. The difference between “friendly” and “estimating the number of lampshades he can make from your skin” is often a grin.

"I want to lick the inside of your ribcage."

…And Keep Your Hands To Yourself.

Related to body language is touch and spatial awareness. You need to be aware of how close you are to people – especially women – and how this makes people feel. There are certain zones of personal space; the outer edges are known as public space, while the closer you come you pass through the social space, then into increasingly intimate personal space. The physically closer to someone you are, the more intimate the space. If you aren’t someone with intimate space privileges – family members, close friends, lovers, intruding into this space can be incredibly uncomfortable; it feels like a threat and triggers a threat response in the people you’re talking to. If you’re talking to someone and they’re stepping back from you, you can safely assume that you are too close. Do not make the mistake of stepping forward. This will inevitably be seen as threateningly aggressive. You’ve now gone from making them feel uncomfortable to making them feel pursued. And if you inadvertently back them into a wall or a corner you will have moved from uncomfortable to “actually fucking afraid”. The smaller the space you’re in – such as say, an elevator – the greater the distance you need to keep from her for her comfort. If she is comfortable with your coming closer to her, she will let you know.

Back that up a step, Romeo...

Similarly, you need to be aware of touch. Touch and physical contact is incredibly important to humans; we have actual needs for physical contact. Touching, especially when flirting, can be a good thing. Too much touching, on the other hand, or touching for too long, sends the wrong message. It comes across as aggressive and dominant behavior. Leaving your hand on a girl for too long – even in a neutral place like the shoulder or middle of the arm – will read as though you’re claiming possession of her… or worse, that you’re going to drag her off somewhere. Too short and you can come across as nervous… and that nervous energy will make her nervous. You need to learn to break physical contact before she gets uncomfortable. Much like making eye contact, this is a case of learning how to calibrate your sense of what’s appropriate. It can take trial and error to go from “Creepy touchy guy” to “guy who’s physically expressive”.

This can be a tricky issue because it often comes down to cultural differences. What is natural to some cultures will seem scandalous to others. Some cultures are far more touchy-feely than American culture; the defined “personal” space is often smaller, and allows for greater intimacies between relative strangers. In American culture, greetings between strangers and acquaintances are frequently limited to handshakes at approximately half of arm’s length. Other cultures have higher levels of interpersonal contact; greetings can include hugs or kisses on the cheek. Some cultures require greater distance between people for their comfort; others allow for standing far closer.

You need to remember: nobody is going to give a damn where you grew up or what everybody does back home if you’re creeping them out. Being from another culture isn’t an excuse, and the longer you’ve been in their culture, the lamer that reason will seem. It is incumbent on you to make allowances for the culture you’re interacting with and to learn to adjust your behavior to what’s socially appropriate.

Watch Your Fucking Language

This is about more than just swearing… it’s about the implications behind what you say and how it comes across to others.

Look: there are certain things that will seem funny to you but will be incredibly off-putting in another context. Context such as, say, talking to a beautiful woman you’ve never met before. Women already have to fear for their safety on a daily basis… the last thing you need to do is remind her that, oh yes, you represent a potential threat to her. This means that there are certain jokes that you just shouldn’t make. Jokes about rape, abduction, physical assault or murder are off the table. Period. Too many women have experienced physical or sexual threats and violence for you to jokingly suggest that you might kidnap or rape her.

You may think you’re being funny when you walk up to girls holding a napkin and asking “Hey, does this smell like chloroform to you?”

You aren’t.

You’re being creepy.

Now stop it.

Don’t Hover

Hey, I get it. Approaching beautiful women is nerve-wracking. You are putting yourself out there and deliberately making yourself vulnerable to the opinions of others. It can take a lot of courage to do this. But if you’re hovering around a girl while trying to work up the nerve to talk to her, you’re going to be creeping her out. Women are incredibly aware of their surroundings; they have to be. A guy who’s making a point of being in her general proximity without actually approaching her or talking to her is going to be seen as a potential threat. You may be waiting for an opening. You may be waiting for her to walk away from her friends so you can approach her by herself. You may just be trying to psych yourself up to deliver your opening line. You know that you’re perfectly harmless… in fact, you’d be willing to bet that you’re more afraid of her than she should be of you.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s going to read to her. You’re going to come across as a predator waiting for his moment. This is creepy behavior that needs to be avoided at all costs.

"Dude, you've been standing there for 15 minutes. Either say something or leave."

Avoid this by instituting what’s known as the “three second rule”. The three second rule is simple: if you see someone you’re attracted to, you have exactly three seconds from the moment you see her to walk up and introduce yourself. This rule prevents you from psyching yourself out of approaching the woman you like and keeps you from hovering. It can feel intimidating, but the three second rule is a great way to power through that initial nervousness that ends up sabotaging guys. The sooner you get comfortable approaching beautiful women without lurking and hovering, the better the results you’ll have.

Don’t Linger

Part of not being creepy means being socially calibrated. Part of socially calibrated means knowing when you’re not wanted and  learning when it’s time to walk away. If a woman isn’t interested in you, proximity isn’t going to change her mind. In fact, the longer it takes for you to get the hint that you’re not wanted, the creepier you’re going to seem. Creepy guys will stick around long past the time when they were supposed to leave. You may be honestly missing the clues that it’s time to go; she’s going to see it as you ignoring what she sees as very clear signs that you’re not wanted.

"Don't worry, I'll never leave you."

If the conversation is starting to die off – as opposed to a natural lull – you don’t want to try stick around desperately trying to keep things going. Make your excuses and bow out of the conversation gracefully. Similarly, if you notice that her eyes are starting to dart around to the sides – as though she were looking around for someone – you need to realize that she’s looking for someone to rescue her from you. Most women are socially conditioned not to give offense or hurt men’s feelings and so they’ll rarely break off a conversation directly. Instead they’ll be looking for a socially relevant reason to leave. Once you start getting the signs that she’s trying to exit the conversation, you need to take the initiative, end things first and walk away.

Avoid Over-Contact

It’s entirely natural to want to talk to the girl you like… after all, you want to learn more about her. You’re going to want to make plans. You’re going to want to confirm those plans. You’re going to want to advise her when plans have changed, when you’re going to be late, when you’re actually a little early…

However, when you’re sending email after email and filling up her voice mail with dozens of messages, you will have caused her spider-sense to start tingling. You may feel that you’ve got a perfectly good reason to send her several texts throughout the day, but she’s never going to see that. She’s going to assume that – at best – you’re almost pathetically needy. At the worst, she’s going to think you’re possessive and controlling, possibly even a stalker-in-training. Either way, she’s going to be losing your number very quickly.

You need to avoid creepy levels of contact. Keep yourself to a strict limit; no more than two or three attempts to contact her without hearing back. Remember: one unreturned message is happenstance; it could be anything. Two is cause for concern. Three means she’s trying to tell you something.

Don’t Be An Accidental Stalker

It’s only natural that when you like someone, you want to see them as often as possible. If you’re trying to charm a woman, it can be tempting to “accidentally” run into her… at work, at the grocery store, at the fitness club. But you need to remember that there are only so many coincidences before she’s going to think that you’re following her.

In the age of Google, instant messages and social networking, it’s easier to find people and stay in contact with them than ever before. For women, this is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s never been simpler for old friends to find you and get in touch. On the other, it’s never been simpler for the wrong people to find you as well. Google and Facebook have made it easier for men to stalk women than it has ever been; privacy as we used to know it has changed in radical ways and we’re still racing to keep up with the changes.

You may swear up and down that you’re not a stalker. You’d never try to track her down or follow her. But if you aren’t careful about how you act online and in person, that’s exactly how you’re going to seem. Girls are acutely aware of guys who seem to be following them, even when it’s via cyberspace. If you’re not careful, your innocent attempts at social networking are going to read as someone who’s intent on following her wherever she goes.

This can be problematic if you frequent certain places at the same time; there’s only so many times you can bump into her at the gym before she will think something’s up. If the barrista doesn’t know that your 8:15 stop for a vanilla latte is part of your regular routine on the way to work, she’s going to begin to think that you’re coming specifically to see her. At first, this can be flattering. If it goes on for too long, it becomes creepy.

This also applies for being online. For women, this means that the threat to their safety has grown dramatically as well – and women are well aware of it. Social networks are a great tool for keeping in touch, but they’re also a haven for finding out all kinds of personal information, including phone numbers and home addresess.

Trying to friend her on Facebook, adding her on AIM, following her on Twitter, asking to be connected via LinkedIn… if you aren’t very aware of the level of your relationship, you could seem as though you’re cyberstalking her.

Being friends on Facebook isn’t proof against this either. Many women have been creeped out by guys who insist on “liking” or commenting on EVERYTHING they post, who post repeatedly on their wall, or send chat request after request. They may have had the most innocent of intentions, but their creepy behavior got them blocked and de-friended without a chance to explain.

"AGAIN? That's the sixth time today! BLOCK!"

The answer to this is to deliberately ignore her. Just because you’re at the gym together doesn’t mean that you have to stop and talk to her every time. Sometimes it’s good to be too involved in something else to even know that she’s there. Be a little too distracted to do more than give your regular order at Starbucks. Don’t snub her, just be “unaware” of her presence… which means you don’t walk past her then stare at her when you think she’s not looking.

Online, be similarly sparing in your attention. Just because she’s popped onto AIM doesn’t mean you have to say hi. Keep your comments, likes, @ replies and retweets sparing and strategic. Less is frequently more when it comes to avoiding creepy behavior.

Obviously, avoiding creepy behavior can be a tricky balancing act. But once you’ve learned to be aware of how your behavior appears to others, you’ll be better equipped to avoid giving the creepy vibe to the women you meet and enjoy meeting and dating beautiful women.


Do you have advice for how guys can avoid being creepy that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Recognize signs that a woman is uninterested in being disturbed. A woman who is listening to music or reading a book will probably not appreciate a stranger intruding on her personal time. Look at her body language for signs that she might not be receptive to you. Take the woman on the bus listening to music. If she's facing into the bus, looking at the people around her, she's probably open to you asking what she's listening to. If she looking out the window, turned slightly away from the other passengers, she probably wants to be left alone.

    If her response isn't immediately positive, back off and leave her the hell alone. Don't get upset if she frowns at you, or otherwise indicates that your intrusion is unwelcome. Recognize that you aren't the first person who has intruded on her space, and probably won't be the last.

    And as some non-dating advice, don't be dismissive of your female friends when they talk about the guy who creeped them out. It is really frustrating to relate any of the number of times that I have had my creep-dar go off and have a male friend tell me that I was probably just being paranoid. Doubly so because these are usually the same guys who dismiss attacks by saying the woman should have been more careful.

    • THANK you so much. The other day I was on the bus listening to music and reading, and I ended up having to say to this guy "look, I'm not trying to be rude, but I just want to read my book, I'm just trying to get to school, and you're making me uncomfortable," after he had pestered me all the way from my stop. He didn't stop, and the other passengers just gawped at me trying desperately to escape the situation. Stuff like this makes it really hard to want to talk to people on the bus.

      • Exactly. It's the worst when you can't escape for some reason. Public transportation is the ABSOLUTE worst. Where the hell are you going to go?

        Other situations: class (you have to be there!), work (same!), meeting your friends at a bar and THEY'RE NOT THERE YET (this is better now with cell phones–there's texting everyone to say, "I've moved to x place")….

      • It's always painful to see guys making asses out of themselves (women too, but that isn't quite as common) by not listening. When someone outright has to say "Hey, leave me alone — I'm not interested, I'm reading/listening to music/brushing my teeth/whatever" it's gone too far.

        If people see this happen, for eff's sake, step in. It's unpleasant to watch and it's even worse if you're subjected to it. You're helping everyone out by telling the guy to take his seat and shut up.

        It's embarrassing to watch.

        • I don't talk to women because of this, I am afraid to be a creeper, I know in my head what body language to look for but never really notice until the next day. I would love it if I could trust a women to tell be straight up I don't want to talk to you. No I am not blaming women for my lack of social grace, and like I said I just isolate mayself as "solution"

          • Shy Guy,

            The best thing to do is to make rules for yourself to follow, so that no matter what her body language that you did or didn't notice, YOU know that you didn't overstay your welcome. Here are some rules I can think of:

            1. smile! Not giant teeth, but practice what a genuine smile looks like on you (in the mirror, we've all done it) and give that to her.

            2. explain why you're talking to her. this could be "hey, do you have a map?" or "I was thinking about reading that book, is it a good one?"

            3. Ask her a couple questions, and if she responds to you, allow yourself to say something about your own opinions. Conversation must be give and take, so if one of you isn't giving, that's a problem. You should ask her questions and volunteer information about yourself as well.

            4. After five minutes, make an excuse to leave. She will appreciate you giving her an out, even if it's only to go stand on the other side of the bus. You could say "I don't mean to crowd you, so I'll go stand over there." If she says, "no, don't, it's ok." Then you know she's not super freaking out. Always give her a way out. When you get more comfortable with her, when she knows you better, she'll let you know that she wants you to hang out longer.

            Smile, explain why you're talking to her, ask questions and volunteer (some) information about yourself, and give her a way out shortly after starting the conversation. If you do those things then you know you won't be creeping her out too much.

    • THIS. Exactly this. Thank you!

    • "If her response isn’t immediately positive, back off and leave her the hell alone. Don’t get upset if she frowns at you, or otherwise indicates that your intrusion is unwelcome. Recognize that you aren’t the first person who has intruded on her space, and probably won’t be the last."

      I don't know why some guys can't get this through their thick skulls.

      For instance, I was at the gas station recently, about to put Fix-A-Flat into my low tire, when some guy on a bike comes speeding up to me from behind, just in my peripheral vision with a lit cigarette in his mouth. He jumped off his bike & maintained his speed on foot until he reached touching-distance and tried to take the can out of my hand, saying "here, let me do that".

      Now, he didn't know that I have lots of mechanical experience, but he should have known not to approach a woman at full speed from her blind spot and not to run up to her with a lit cigarette at a gas station while she was holding a can of highly flammable material.

      So I glared at him and said, very pointedly, "no thank you, I can do it." He backed off physically, but continued to shout at me that I was doing it wrong and I should let him help me. But he only backed off a few steps and then he came back and, again, tried to physically take the can out of my hand. So I stood up and said "this is flammable and you have a lit cigarette, now back the F*** up!"

      He did, but continued to yell about how I needed his help and how the can wasn't flammable at all. Then he came back for a third time and still AGAIN tried to grab the can out of my hands. So I pulled my switchblade out of my pocket, popped open the blade, and said "I do not want your help, now leave me the F*** alone!"

      He finally left me alone, but continued to rant in my earshot about ungrateful bitches and how I was doing it wrong.

      I wish I could say this was a one-time occurrence. Guys, if a woman seems testy or irritable at your offers of assistance, please don't call her a bitch or some other name. Please understand that she has probably been through something like this and you are not actually helping her.

      • Bringing out a weapon isn’t exactly the best idea. Nor is swearing at the person. You were not defending yourself, you were the aggressor there. He had every right to call you a bitch, you were outright being one there.

        • joysound says:

          Getting in her personal space, physically trying to take the can out of her hand and repeatedly disrespecting her boundaries is pretty fucking aggressive.

    • Exactly. If we have to deal with a culture that blames us for assaults because we weren't being safe enough then we're at least allowed to trust our instincts when it comes to creeper behavior.

      • Creep is just a term for low value male.

        Women hate 80% of the male population and want to practice social aggression against them to drive them away.

        This threat narrative of the creep as a threat is just females rationalizing their contempt of low status males.

        If a women finds a male attractive she will ignore red flags, as her attraction is more important than her safety.

        Ironically females get mad if men dont approach them. So much female privilege and entitlement.

        • Johmichaels says:

          Naturally you'll have a source for that 80% stat! right? Because to say something like ALL women hate 80% of men! you'll need to have more evidence than "Almost all women hate me, and that's not my problem"

          If an attractive rich man gropes random women, the women he gropes aren't going to suddenly fuck him anymore than the poor ugly guy doing the same.

          But keep on blaming women for being seen as creepy, without taking any responsibility yourself or any action to improve your chances. I'm sure this will get you just as much relief as pounding into a brick wall (no more, no less, just enough)

          • While i highly doubt the statistic i certainly must concur with the sentiment behind it. Women completely ignore any precautions if they find the male attractive. Simple things like don’t get into a car with someone you barely know or go in that abandoned alley with that stranger. I have seen several women just jump on guys with all kinds of labels for having the audacity to even approach them, let alone ask them out. I think many women get offended on some level if the guy attracted to them or approaching thme is not prince charming. Instead of being polite and making things easy. Some women tend to insult and try and debase the male. I think those women believe that if they are even polite to such a guy it will lower their status in someway.

          • Anthea Brainhooke says:

            On the contrary, some attractive men use their attractiveness as a weapon to demand women's attention. When one of those women says no, she's often asked what is wrong with her because OMG didn't she see how CUTE he was, or didn't she know how many other women would KILL to have him pay that kind of attention?

            And as for women "debasing" men who ask them out when they're not Prince Charming, have you ever noticed how some men treat women who say no to their advances? It starts with name-calling and can advance to pretty heinous insults, threats, or even violence.

        • I agree, all these pointers on how not to look creepy looks pretty much like pointers saying "only use the right way to approach women", while they can stalk you, follow to their hearts delight. Even Dr. Nerlove says that when a woman likes you, she will try to be in your presence, and this is a nice, sweet thing.

          • If a woman you are not interested in forming a relationship tries hitting on you, or seems creepy, or is not respecting your boundaries, first politely let her know you are not interested. If she persists, reiterate in a strong fashion. If she continues to bother you, seek out the assistance of a friend, sympathetic stranger, or authority figure – if you fear for your safety, privacy, etc, that figure should be a police officer.

            This is not (read: should not be) a gender thing.
            Be nice to people when possible, respect boundaries, and keep yourself (and others) safe – that is the bottom line.

  2. anonymous says:

    as a female reader here is my question. While yes females are always in fear of rape and assault..why is it that the normal "attractive" female usually goes for the douche bag frat boy type who will take advantage of woman in a heartbeat when she's in a drunken mess? While no it doesn't mean everyone like this..my experience in life as that these types of women tend to go for the jerks who pose these threats and they constantly go back. It doesn't make any sense to accuse someone as 'creepy' because they're a bit socially awkward.

    I'm not saying ALL girls are like this everyone varies of course. But I just never understood this mindset of a few fellow women out there.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      I actually cover a lot of this in "No More Mr. Nice Guy" (http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2011/08/mr-nice-guy/) but the gist is that the same attributes that make some guys act like douchebags are the same ones that are incredibly appealing to women. Confidence, aggression and a certain swagger that comes with the mindset of "I deserve this and I'm going to get it" are attractive behaviors and ones that women will find alluring. Guys who act like this – the aforementioned frat boys – also often have a higher social status, which can add to his appeal.

      The head may want what it wants, but sometimes the genitals have an entirely different opinion on the matter.

      The fact that these behaviors, when taken to extremes, can be very *negative* doesn't negate the fact that it's still appealing. In fact, it can actually *add* to the appeal; some women like their men with an edge or a certain hint of danger.

      • anonymous says:

        it still doesn't explain the outright hypocrisy is has with the issue. I understand that's how hormones are programmed with women especially with fertility but I find it pretty obnoxious how women expect to be treated a certain way because of issues like this then go out and act against what they're preaching by dating/associating with guys like the frats or whatever who usually try to take advantage of you sexually…

        It makes it hard for me to take most of this seriously when you look at how people socialize…

        • Dr. NerdLove says:

          As I said: It's the difference between behavior that implies a potential threat versus behavior that is attractive. A guy staring at you from across the room can seem threatening. A guy who approaches you with the attitude that sex is fait acompli can be attractive.

          The fact that the guy across the room is actually just shy and socially awkward while the guy who makes the approach doesn't necessarily respect a woman's lack of consent doesn't enter into the equation at this point.

          Also, it's worth remembering that despite the reputation, it's unfair to tar the entire fraternity/sorority system with the same big brush. Yes, the fraternity system does tend to attract a certain personality type, but not all members of fraternities are rapists-in-waiting.

          • anonymous says:

            I know. But they STILL pose that threat especially when a female senses a threat. So all of a sudden just because a guy is confident and it's whats "attractive" and not so shy they're the exception?

            reading my comments I appear to come of as saying rape is the female's fault (thats in no way shape or form with what I'm trying to come off with. it's disgusting no matter who does it.) It's just hard to understand why the confident guy gets the pass because thats whats socially accepted and attractive but it's the shy guy who you have to be weary of.

            I know not all frat boys are like that but it's the stereotype used within "nerd lingo" so that's what I'm going with. Not a great choice on my part but oh well.

          • anonymous says:

            I guess the way I see it is that everyone poses a threat is the point i'm trying to make. I'm not great with wording myself.

          • I think you are missing an important detail, and until you get that detail, you won't get the idea. Women are the ones who know what they find threatening. If a man puts them off for whatever reason, that is a valid reason. Even if it's just smelly nacho breath. A woman always has a right to her opinion of a suitor. And that is something the men (and other women) should respect. Unless, say, she's intoxicated and the dude is feeling her up. Obvious danger means someone should help her. But that's a different situation.

          • I think the key point, and the hypocrisy, lies in the need for self-awareness within the socially inexperienced, shy and awkward, compared to the reactive example women.

            Basically, I would suggest everybody needs to be more self-aware.

          • The whole confident vrs shy, frat boy vrs nerd and why one comes off less threatening goes back to the issue of the smile. The cocky guys who get a lot of action knows what works, they aren't just aggressive and confident, they know when to smile or laugh, and as stupid as it is they know how to play the games that involve backing and/or pretending not to seem interested. And it works not because a woman wants what she can''t have. It works because he gives her space to figure out if this is what she wants. As I tell dear friends who have over stayed their welcome, "If you never go away you can't come back." So even if the frat guys are more of an actual threat they know how to behave as to not immediately set off the alarms.

            I say this as a woman who has dated both types and is currently involved with a nerd.

            Part of the problem to me seems that the nerds (and I'm generalizing in the sense of the nerds reading this who are coming off as creepers) only have two settings go and don't. You are either far away watching but not engaging(creepy) or you are so in your face that it's overwhelming(also creepy).

            I wish you luck and patience till you figure it out because most of the successful frat guys got to learn and make all the mistakes back in high school which is how they know how to gauge a woman't response, and you need to take the time to figure it out.

          • Anonymous, I agree with Rebecca. I don't care how attractive or wealthy or confident a guy is, if he's in a girl's face ignoring her cues, she's not going to go for him.

            The "frat boy" type you're talking about is a lot more aware of himself and the woman he's interacting with than you think.

            I advise you to take a good look at the advice in this article because it will definitely help.

            Your immediate reaction seems to be anger at women for liking other men and anger at other men for being liked by women when you're not. You should focus your energy less on resenting how things have been and more on working on your own self image and self improvement. Approaching a woman with the assumption that she's going to reject you will lead to rejection.

            I know that taking an honest look at yourself and working to change certain habits that are deeply ingrained is not an easy thing to do, but it's worth a shot. There's a girl out there who will give you a chance. Just remember that no one owes you a date or her love and that alone will take you pretty far.

        • I think the thing is, there's no real answer to this question. People do stupid things. Some women go for the douchebags. Maybe she thinks she can change him. Maybe she thinks that if she's good/smart/pretty/awesome enough, he'll realize what a jerk he's been. Maybe she's looking for some validation through that process. Will it work? Nope. These women just need to learn for themselves, through trial-and-error.

        • I think you've been given several answers that seem to me to be sufficient explanation but seem like they haven't done the trick for you. Sorry to say it, dude, but that specific persistence (MY way of seeing things! mine!) is exactly what reads as creepsterism. Those douchebags you talk about are very good at the social call-and-response that the Doc has talked about before. They are generally very cagey about giving a little so they can demand a lot. This is unfortunately a very effective technique.

          The 'women expect to be treated a certain way' argument you put forward reads to me as a general code for male privilege. I do what i'm supposed to, so you should pay up now, alrite? How would you anticipate that would read to a woman? I know I wouldn't respond to that very well.

          Lots of people have expectations. In business, if you're not going to meet someone's expectations you have to offer them some equivalent value to make up for it. The fratboy douchebag thing you discuss involves bringing up an air of danger and of status, and 'selling' the woman on that. Some women buy, or at least feel sufficiently powerless to go along. The hipster douchebag problem you haven't brought up usually involves 'selling' the woman on an air of angst, poetic depth, mystique or insider insight that is supposed to make for a privileged 'secret circle' that hopefully the woman will long to belong to. Again, some women buy; other women feel sufficiently curious or special to go along.

          And yes, there's the genetically-programmed (or at least socially-programmed) thing you brought up. Women respond to power, to assurance, to confidence. That's a value to them. Some women buy. I'm confused as to what part of that is not clear in what's already been said.

          • anonymous says:

            don't get me wrong I understand what he's been saying I don't have the reading comprehension of a flea. It just didn't particularly explain with the answer I was looking for with social dynamics and the way people work. I understand women can be drawn to power, charisma, etc. and it's how the brain functions but i was looking for more as to why that gives an excuse to put blame on a certain personality kink with being a bit less socially developed than another and they have to be the scapegoat when all males in general should be involved and be questioned. But the confident ones get the pass because it's whats socially acceptable. that's all I'm saying.

            I think i worded the 'expected to be treated a certain way" wrong and that was bad on my part you are right about that. More of what i meant was when it comes to feminism you fight for a cause against certain male privleges but a more common social mass gets a pass because it's stereotypically y= said to be what gets their panties wet or whatever. My point is this should all be a two way street and not scapegoat a mass of people with more awkward traits. That traits is put up for scorn but the mass with the more 'acceptable" approach is never put into question with their motives.

            I'm not trying to say I'm right about everything. I'm aware I'm wrong and always willing to learn. You made alot of good points against what i said it made me think more.

          • They don't get a pass. No one gets a pass. Everyone can be seen through the lens of potentially dangerous, even women. There are men who back away quickly when their female creepy detector goes off, usually under the guise of "That is the type of woman who would try to control and manipulate me."

            This is DR. NERDlove, not DR. FRATBOYlove. The blog is speaking to a certain male audience and delivering the message that certain male audience needs to hear, i.e. when you act like a skulking Gollum in the corner lusting after his "precious" women are going to be creeped out by that.

            If this was Dr. Fratboylove, we'd probably gear the conversation more toward, "Hey dudes, women are not meat. Let's stop being skeevy man-whore rapists, please?"

            Disclaimer, not all Fratboys are like that, I know, but the let's get wasted and Partay culture is dangerous and most women know it. Here's the thing, in college, many girls are looking for sexual social validation and seek out the fratboys because they were the stereotypically popular guys in high school that didn't give them the time of day, and now they want to know they are attractive to that group. They get drunk, and what you're seeing may not even be attraction so much as drunken inhibition and the frat boys are the culture that takes advantage of that on a whole.

            There's a reason fratboy culture dies as people get older. Everyone grows up and learns that social interaction doesn't function honestly that way.

            My point is, yes, frat boys can be a culture that promotes drunken date rape parties. Most girls even in college know this and most actually stay away from all that. The ones that jump into that pool are looking for the ping of self esteem of feeling attractive to a group of people that tend to be very forward in showing their attraction. The smart ones have rules to follow with their friends where they won't leave another girl behind. Others run the gauntlet, and some are hurt by it which is why date rape statistics are so miserable.

            All of that is aside from the fact that the guy in the corner that just stares can be just as big of a threat. He's the one that turns shadowy-stalker on you faster than you can delete your facebook page.

            Stop trying to equate the two. Both "cultures" have their problems. This blog is focused on one, so let's keep the conversation to the problems with the one and stop whining about how "All the fratboys get all the womenz and I don't, wah."

          • "Here's the thing, in college, many girls are looking for sexual social validation."

            I think you've got something there.

        • Part of your assumption is that, broadly speaking, all confident jock-men are jerks and all shy nerdy guys are sweet. Let me tell you this: the guy who stalked me, tried to abuse me, and nearly raped me was the most hardcore geek you'd ever meet. I've never dated a jock for comparison, but I don't automatically trust someone because they're not your typical "take advantage of you" stereotype. People are people, and as a woman I have to be cautious with everyone, then decide who is safe.

          • Same experience. I think the problem is male entitilement. That seems to exist regardless of clique.

            My best relationship to date was with a minor league hockey player. It wasn't about the social call-and-response so much as it was about his team spirit. It's super sweet.

            On a mundane level, he pitched in around the house without asking, so I NEVER had to be a nagging bitch. That wasn't the case with the geeks I've dated. Not coincidentally, I broke up with the geeks very shortly after moving in with them. I hated the lack of equality and the fact that they just wanted an unpaid maid.

        • If it's any consolation, I consider myself decently attractive but have never dated a cocky frat boy. I've had them walk up to me on the street and ask for my number, but I haven't given out a single one.

          I'm not sure if Doc covered this at all, but women who do that typically have attention issues. They know that if they act like bait, they'll get the guys who take what they want. It's easier to say "yes" to a jerk who's actually asked you out than a nerdy boy who's still all sweaty-palmed in the corner trying to figure out how to even say hi to you.

          Another thing is intelligence. I don't even go to college parties because I'm afraid some creep is going to drug my drink. That's just me thinking ahead for my own safety.

          But not all pretty girls are like that. I actually know more beautiful women who think guys like that are pathetic. And I know more frat boys who take special care of girls than ones who take advantage of them.

        • While I doubt you will see this seeing as your comment is from 62 weeks ago, I feel the need to comment.
          I am a member of a sorority with mostly "nerdy" interests, and I've always preferred men that share those interests. I was extremely hesitant to go to a frat party for the first time because I had heard that girls were drugged and raped at these parties all the time. I went with a group of friends, drank a soda I poured for myself, and left early because I'm not much for parties… and no one bothered me at that party. I've since made friends with a few frat boys, and I can attest to each one of them being nice young men. I also have a lot of friends who are what society would consider "nerds".
          A few months ago, I went to a party thrown by one of these friends, where I was being given a whole lot of unwanted attention by one of the nerdy guys present… lets call him Steve. Thankfully, a different guy came into the conversation and did not leave until the creeper went home. My "spidey-senses" were on red-alert the entire time Steve was present. Steve talked to me for well over an hour, during which I had my arms crossed, was leaning away, looked at my phone constantly, and made several attempts to bring others into the conversation. Steve just stared at my boobs and kept bringing using the phrase "well maybe later we can…" even though I made it pretty clear I had no interest in going anywhere other than my home to go to sleep after I left the party. If the other guy had not come over and mentioning Steve's GIRLFRIEND in the conversation, he definitely would not have given up* and gone home (*he messaged me on facebook for weeks after this). Maybe Steve wouldn't have hurt me, but as someone who's been in an abusive relationship, my spidey-sense are extra sensitive. My abusive ex was also "nerdy guy". Both Steve and my ex complained about being "nice guys".
          Now, I'm not trying to say that all nerds are bad and frat boys are all good men. Obviously, the guy who stayed with me was a nice nerd, and I've seen more than fair share of creepy, scummy fraternity guys. The point is that you cannot tell if a man will be an abuser or a rapist by the letters he does or does not wear. Just because a girl is not attracted to you, is creeped out by you, or is in a relationship that she will not end for you, does not mean that her boyfriend is a douche bag or that she only dates jerks. It means you need to learn better social skills, you certainly need to stop judging a book by its cover because you certainly don't like when it's done to you, and you definitely need to stop expecting girls to date/or have sex with you for occasionally showing the behaviors of a decent human being.

          • The argument is about those social behaviors, and whether they actually filter out creepers. In my opinion, the only way it filters out creepers is because the girls fuck those guys that they like, and they don't fuck those guys that they don't like. Of course guys that don't get any sex might (MIGHT, pornography greatly helps with this) be more inclined to rape. I would assume that would statistically work out to be true. But what if girls didn't have those social "creep" judgements at all? Maybe if all guys got sex based on their personalities and how kind they are, maybe there would be a more even amount of rapists among the social and the socially awkward.

            The social judgement dating scene is not getting you good results. It is not getting our society good results. It is not getting the world good results. I personally despise everything about the dating scene. I have barely been on any dates and do not have any girlfriends. I'd rather focus on enjoying myself, gaining knowledge, and working to make the world a better place. I'll wait for a girl to fall in my lap. I will not conform to your demand for "social skills", I will continue to have standards for the way the woman I have sex with looks (minimal chub or less) and am perfectly understanding with them having standards about the way I look (part of the reason I have never been with girls, I haven't gotten the motivation to improve my body). In response to your last point, I actually am beginning to believe that girls should be doing this. They should really think about what they are attracted to and whether that is really a decent human being or not.

          • spacekase says:

            "But what if girls didn't have those social "creep" judgements at all? Maybe if all guys got sex based on their personalities and how kind they are, maybe there would be a more even amount of rapists among the social and the socially awkward."
            Textbook creepy comment. If she doesn't know you, she has no reason or responsibility to assess your kindness as anything but unwanted attention if she's not attracted to you. And as a man, you have no standing to assess whether a woman's "creep filter " works or not. Maybe you should listen to women's stories about what they find creepy instead of forming opinions about things you don't understand.

            The good news is that you seem relatively satisfied to be single, as that condition is very likely to continue indefinitely.

    • lalaorange says:

      Anonymous, I understand your frustration, but it SOUNDS like you're saying that because some women go for douchey jerks then no women deserve to be treated well. I hope I'm misunderstanding you? Not sure if this helps, but you should know that A LOT of women are hugely turned off by the aggressive frat type – and yes, we talk about them behind their backs and call them creeps and jerks. It seems like you've noticed a few of them getting lucky and concluded that that's what all women like, which is – sorry – kind of sexist.

      • anonymous says:

        did everyone here forget how I said I myself was a girl?

        and no that's not what I was trying to say AT ALL I'm really sorry if I came off that way.

        I know not all girls are like this I myself hate the frat types myself. I'm just frustrated no one puts THEM into question as well when it comes to these topics. That's all.

        • Anon, I don't think anyone is giving those Frat Jerks a free pass. They go out on a mission, to play their game. They don't care how many rejections they get as the mission for them is to just get one yes. They don't come off as creepy often because they cut bait and move on too fast to be seen as threatening in most cases. Lastly, this site is aimed to the guys who would unknowingly fall into the creepy types listed and is trying to explain to them what behaviors they need to be aware of and how to correct them.

          • What most people don't realize is that the (sometimes sorority , but now always) girls who repeatedly go after the asshole, cocky (sometimes fraternity, but not always) guys is that those girls tend to have low self esteem, no matter how good looking, intelligent, etc they are. Because they don't have high feelings of self-worth, they need someone else to make them feel good about themselves. They need an external source of self-worth. And they've learned that they can get attention, validation, and sexual appreciation from men most easily, because other girls (unfortunately) see other girls as a threat. Because cocky frat boys are attractive, socially skilled, and horny like nobody's business, these are the men who can most easily give girls like this, with low self esteem, exactly what they want. For a few hours, they can make them feel appreciated, smart, and beautiful. The fact that alcohol is usually involved helps too. But then, later, after the sex, or the party, or whatever happens, and the guy eventually moves on (because he can, and he's learned that there will always be girls throwing themselves at him, so why just stick with one?), the girl, being rejected, feels even worse about herself. She needs the attention and the admiration even more now, and the cycle repeats.

        • Oh, shut up – you are not a girl. No girl goes into a forum like this and bewails at length on behalf of the poor, nice, nerds who can't catch a break because drunk girls would rather not be date raped by a smelly virgin. Much better to be date raped by someone who's bathed that day.

      • Yes. Girls go for douchebags at times and get burned, but how many times does the guy (nerds included) go for the Barbie doll? All the freaking time! Like banging your head against a brick wall! They are taking the same path the girls are taking, probably for the same stupid reasons (looks).

    • Katherine says:

      I want to point out the victim – the woman in this case- blaming nature of this concern you brought up. The patriarchy of our society affords, even women, a victim blaming attitude toward these kinds of social issues. See women experiencing domestic violence or women experiencing rape or sexual violence.

      Katherine

      • holy fucking shit I was never trying to say it's the WOMANS fault for getting raped. The whole point I was trying to make was why it's always nerds to get the rep for being creepy but never the frat guys too. It's NEVER a woman's fault for being raped and I think rape is disgusting god damn.

        I had I feeling thats how i came off but I wasn't trying to say that AT ALL I'm terrible with putting thoughts into words.

        • I think maybe what's happening is that we have different words for different types of guys. A nerd who's lurking in a corner with greasy hair and a constant stare is "creepy." A jock who wants to just get off with whatever girl's available is "a dick," or "a player." but the problem is that jocks use those words, "player", "dick," as GOOD things, and so some women use those words that way as well. No one uses the word "creepy" as a good thing, even though I'd rather have someone be creepy than a player raping me.

          Also, Jocks are often the ones with money, with popularity, with able families, etc, and so they're the ones who end up in positions of visible power–or at least it seems like they will. At that point, they're able to say, "I'm a player, probably a rapist, and look what it got me? loads of money and everyone's good opinion." Meanwhile, the nerds are hopefully behind all the new inventions but no one knows their name, so they CAN'T say, "hey, I was super creepy but never raped anyone, and I just invented velcro!"

          So yes. Our society treats certain people unequally. We value wealth over personality. We value good looks over actions. We let the jocks get away with things because their daddies can pay for a good lawyer, and we write copious posts intended to help the nerds stop being creepers. But I don't think that everyone's world is like this, nor do I think it helps to be angry about it without doing anything. If you or someone you know is raped, put the bastard in jail no matter who he is. Otherwise, give some love to a good nerd.

        • Neko Wafer says:

          Plenty of people think that brohams are crude, shallow, and potentially cruel and violent, but so are a lot of awkward dudes, frankly. I have seen it. Awkward dudes tend to come across as mentally unstable, self-loathing, and scary. Often, they have no concept of personal space, and will back a girl into a corner as she looks frantically around for the exit. Simultaneously, their sense of wounded entitlement leads to charming tendencies like overreacting to constructive criticism and an absolute inability to cope with the slightest social boundary. I've seen "awkward" dudes practically threaten seppuku if a girl asks them even nicely to leave her alone. Frat guys suck, but they throw decent ragers, they bathe regularly, and they are unlikely to follow girls around like Gollum, ducking behind parked cars thinking they won't be seen. At least there is the potential of fun along with the potential of date rape.

      • I read your post wrong my bad

    • Here's the thing, and I feel that this is more or less what the article was trying to get at, but you might just needed it worded a different way: social awkwardness is equatable with creepiness, whether or not the individual in question is actually a "creep". That guy sitting over in the corner of the room who is staring because he is too shy to talk to me could in fact be the sweetest guy in the world. Or he could be a rapist. The "frat" boy could be very sweet with a more out-going, if not loud or cocky personality. Or he could be a rapist. Or either of them could be anywhere on the spectrum in-between.

      But as a society we have a certain social construct within which we expect people to act in different situations, and when you are initially interacting with a person this "social script" if you will is the only thing you really have to base your assessment of that person on. So the guy who is openly flirting with you, making appropriate eye contact, smiling at the "right" times, saying the "right" things, etc., comes off as at the very least an attractive prospect, while the the guy who is staring at you from afar all night, which is generally considered to be socially unacceptable, comes off as creepy. This has no bearing whatsoever on these two peoples' actually characters. You cannot possibly know a persons character at this stage of a relationship with them.

      To really know whether or not a guy is a "creep" or a "douche bag frat boy" or a good guy or whatever he is takes time to get to know him on a personal level, which, obviously, is not going to happen when you first meet at the bar. So during this "icebreaker" stage of the relationship the only basis you really have for judging a guy's behavior are these social norms. Once you have gotten to know someone then you have to make your own judgement call on whether to take the relationship further and that, quite frankly, is a woman's own business whether you agree with her choice or not.

      Yes, this does place an unfair slant on getting the ball rolling for perfectly-nice-but-socially-awkward guys, but that's kind of the point of the article…to show guys who honestly aren't creeps not to come off as such unintentionally.

      • social awkwardness is equatable with creepiness, whether or not the individual in question is actually a “creep”.

        This is super-duper important and I want make it in bright red with sparkles and fireworks. From the point of view of a woman, WE DO NOT KNOW YOU and therefore can't possibly know your intentions. We only know what you show us, and if you show us a pattern of threat behaviours, we will assume you are a threat. Full stop.

        Here's the deal: it doesn't matter whether you are willfully ignoring my subtle and blatant physical and verbal cues to go away, or whether you are socially awkward and don't register those cues….you are not listening when I say back off, go away, leave me alone, don't touch me. If you are not listening to me when I tell you that I am not interested in interaction/any further interaction, you're a threat, and I will do whatever I can do to end the interaction safely.

        If I tell you physically/verbally to back off, go away, don't touch me, leave me alone, and you persist in trying to get up in my bizness, you are telling me that your needs/wants are more important than my opinion on the interaction, and that lack of respect of my boundaries makes you a threat.

        If you get offended that when I make it plain that you are disrespecting my boundaries or ignoring my cues, then you ratchet that threat level up even more. You go from being possibly dangerous to immediate danger, because now you are likely to verbally abuse me AND you're still disrespecting my space and ignoring my boundaries.

        For those of you guys who have trouble with social nuance–volunteer with your local animal shelter, specifically in helping train the dogs. For folks who aren't used to looking for body language, you can learn how to look for nonverbal cues in a more-or-less controlled environment, with subjects who aren't going to judge you or reject you when you make mistakes (which is part of the learning process). Once you're inner radar is attuned to nonverbal cues in animals, it makes it much, much easier to look for them in people.

        • AshtaraSilunar says:

          THIS. I can usually pick out when someone is shy or socially awkward, but not always, and not backing off is a huge red flag to me.

          Working with animals is a big help in learning how to read body language, but you have to keep in mind that cats, dogs, and primates have different gestures. It takes time to learn the nuances.

        • YES YES YES, thank you for explaining so clearly.

          If I indicate, even non-explicitly, that I'm not interested in interacting with someone, and they persist anyway? It doesn't matter whether they're being a pushy dick or whether they're just too socially inept to pick up on my cues. Why would I let someone into my life if they show, right from the beginning, that they're not going to respect my boundaries?

    • I just think that it should be clarified that it's not just attractive women that are assaulted, and it's not just douche-bag frat boys that do the assaulting. Unfortunately, many men will commit acts of sexual assault, not realizing that what they're doing is considered sexual assault. There was a study done in which 1 in 6 college age guys admitted that they would commit certain acts if they were certain they wouldn't get in trouble- these acts are legally defined as rape, but as long as the word rape wasn't in the description, men much more often said they would do it. I am not saying that all men are rapists. But many do not seem to understand what is appropriate sexual interaction. Here's some hints:

      If she is not conscious, it is rape. If she doesn't say yes, it is rape. If she is under the influence of inhibition decreasing substances, it is rape.

      Please be aware that a person does not have to be struggling, crying, or screaming if they are being raped or sexually assaulted. Many women freeze out of fear or disbelief. If you are unsure if something is okay, ask or don't do it.

    • NoMoreHeroes says:

      The better question is "why worry yourself about those kinds of people" unless you're trying to take advantage of a "drunken mess?" In which case, that's not much classier than the frat douche whoever.

    • As another female, keep in mind that you don't necessarily know everything about the "arsehole frat boy" a given woman is going after.

      My other half is confident, brash, laughs at his own jokes, loud, talks a lot and tends to be the centre of attention. He drinks heavily at social gatherings and flirts with everyone. He is forward, and prone to reckless "guy" behaviour like playing with fireworks.

      He is also the gentlest, kindest, warmest and most loving man I have ever met. He loves cuddles, will happily let me rant for 30 minutes about my terrible day, is a self-identified feminist ally and both encourages and celebrates my hobbies and personal achievements. He's fun, funny, smart and great in bed. He's a pacifist, and embraces my gay male friends with all the ease of a man totally comfortable with his own, and others', sexuality.

      Outwardly, to those who don't know him well, he undoubtedly comes across as a bit of a jerk. He admits himself he can be an annoying arse at times. But there are many, many excellent qualities that make me know I made the right choice in picking him as the love of my life. Hell, he even put up with me not saying I loved him for over two years, because of my personal commitment issues.

      ***

      There is also the issue of experience. I've been sexually assaulted more than once. The vast majority of guys who did so had behaved previously pretty much like socially awkward guys. The difference is, they weren't overstepping boundaries by accident, they were testing my boundaries to see how and when I would become vulnerable. It is unfortunate that genuinely decent guys can come across as predators, but the people to blame for that are the predators themselves, not the women who sensibly alter their behaviour to avoid them.

      I'd rather risk getting cheated on by a jerk than getting assaulted by a creep.

    • Because some women who are insecure and afraid choose dangerous men to be their weapon, their proxy strength and their "protector", never considering that his danger could turn on her. Because you know, love tames and redeems. It's all perfectly logical considering the culture we live in. But people don't see it, the just go on about how"women" go for "bad boys"

    • Homa Sapiens says:

      Tales of creepy frat boys are rife. maybe not in your uni, though. it wouldn't hurt to create an anonymous webpage where women caould talk about the creeps at your shool, although keep in mind the dudes will attack it like the hordes of Golgoth.

    • Stump Beefgnaw says:

      Hmm..

      1. You refer to adult human women as "females"
      2. You whine about not understanding why these "attractive females" are dating douchebags and not Nice Guys
      3. You trot out the tired old trope that creepy guys are just "socially awkward" and how very dare us "females" accuse them of being creepers

      You know a REALLY creepy thing some of these guys do?

      Go fishing on the Internet for different answers to the "waah, why won't females sleep with me, where is my medal for not raping every female I see, don't I deserve to be rewarded with sammiches and BJs for meeting minimum standards of basic human decency" questions that this very article answers…by slightly rephrasing those questions and pretending to be a woman.

      Nice try, dudebro. GB2Reddit.

    • LindyBadger says:

      So as a woman who has dated on every side of the spectrum that is the male gender, I can assure you that there are creepy guys in every social scene. It's not just the nerds, it's not just the shy, awkward ones. It's any of them that make the wrong joke, that say the wrong thing, that act a certain way. And, as the case were, I am generally more creeped out by the frat boy types. Why? Because they're usually a bit more rapey. Because too many of them think that because she's not saying no, then it means she's saying yes (enthusiastic consent – look into it). Because they think that mini skirts mean she's asking for it (NOBODY ever asks for it).

      The nerdy types are more awkward. Which, to me, presents less of a threat. If I don't want someone talking to me, a slightly mean glance is going to be way more likely to stop the shy nerd than it ever will be to stop the frat boy, who will likely see it as a challenge. The nerd is going to be way more likely to say okay and back off when I tell him that I'm not an object and to please stop staring, that I didn't wear my dress for him to mentally rape me in.

      Why do we "constantly go back?" Easy. People are creatures of habit. If you grew up in shitty circumstances, your dad didn't respect your mom, there was some abuse, there was a little too much hatred stewing in the background during dinner, you're going to fall into habits. If your life teaches you that it is normal for a woman to be submissive to and controlled by "the man" in your life, then tat's the type of relationship that you will subconsciously go for. Because it's familiar. Because it's comfortable. Because it's all you've ever known. And the fact that you don't have any friends who can attest to that personally makes me question whether or not you are actually a female. Why? Because one in four women has been raped. Most rapists are people we know. Not the random strangers that movies make it out to be. A lot of those are rapes where the victim is actually in a relationship with the rapist. Because the rapist feels entitled to the woman's body, as though it's his property to use when he pleases.

      As a woman who has been molested multiple times and repeatedly raped, I can tell you with no hesitation that I would rather be in a room full of nerds than a room full of frat boys. They're far more respectful and when every man you meet is Schrodinger's rapist, a little respect goes a long way.

    • You're not a "female reader", idiot, & your pretence is pathetically obvious.

    • Yeah.. I’m in a frat.. you could say I’m the shit haha. Bottom line people: The girls like us like they like adrenaline rushes, we are smart, funny, unpredictable, and know how to have a good time. You have to ask yourself; if girls find guys like us creepy then how come there coming over to the house all the time wanting to “hang out”? I’ll tell you! It’s because our society/culture has a taboo against women freely having sex ; there’s a double standard! Any girl that comes over to the house knows whats up, she’s already aware that shes probably going to get really drunk and have guys hit on her left and right. This is something they look forward to, drinking is a great social excuse to write off the label of being a slut. She decides she wants to get laid, then all she has to say to her friends and family is that she went to a frat party and got taken advantage of by douchebags (what a great alibi). So all in all, we are not really douchebags, were just not shy or afraid of delivering either. Honestly I find the whole “creepy” label in general to be a great social tool women use to depower confident men to something less than due to their own insecurities.

      • Although I certainly don't believe the second half of this comment (that women set themselves up to be "taken advantage of") and I have to say it sounds really victim-blamey, the first half actually sounds like it might be legit. Do any of the women here know other women who basically went to frats for an easy lay without having to take any of the double-standard flack for being "slutty" ? And of course conversely, how many women do you know that honestly didn't know that frat guys are sketchy and ended up in a bad situation?

        • WordyLibrarian says:

          I don't know anyone who went to frat parties thinking they would somehow escape the double-standard slut label. Usually those frat boys looking for an easy lay are really fond of calling people sluts. I don't know how common it is in reality, but the "walk of shame" has become part of our language and is often portrayed as part of fraternity culture. Whether it actually takes place is not relevant; my point is that the general public perception of fraternities is that they are NOT havens from slut shaming or sexual judgement. They are more likely to be seen as cesspools of the same.

          Personally, I've never attended a frat party. I have, however, experienced the invitations and subsequent attempts to change my mind when I've declined. I have known plenty of women who did attend. Sometimes they would enjoy themselves. Sometimes they would deal with blatant harassment. Sometimes they would have to appeal to a bystander to get his drunken frat brother the hell off of her because "stop touching me" and "let me go" weren't having any success. I knew one who went, had fun, fell asleep somewhere, and woke to a guy she didn't know trying to remove her pants. I knew one who got too wasted and had to be told what had happened to her the night before. Apparently she was falling down, incoherent, and between bouts of vomiting when one guy lead/dragged her to his room for sex. She was filled in later by the guy who invited her to the party. He was her friend. She trusted him. He was able to tell her what happened because he watched the whole thing. He saw her get way too drunk. Her saw her, completely unaware of what was going on, be taken off to privacy by someone boasting about the imminent sex with this woman who was CLEARLY not able to consent or resist. When the bystander friend told her about the incident, he referred to her rapist as an asshole. He clearly seemed to understand that what happened was beyond jacked up and sickeningly wrong. At the time it was happening, though, he didn't say or do anything to prevent it. Neither did any of the other bystanders that were present.

          THAT is the problem. Really, most women don't think all frat guys are sketchy. The truth is, they aren't. In fact, I believe that MOST members of any given fraternity would NOT decide to just help themselves to sex with a sleeping or incoherently intoxicated person because that person is there. That may be optimistic or naive, but I genuinely think that most of them would not do those things because those are monstrous things to do, and most people, in a frat or out, are not monsters. However, the fraternity culture condones victim blaming and rape and "guys will be guys" and all those other damaging ideas to the point that these men who are not monsters will stand by while one of their brothers commits a truly monstrous act.

          In contrast, I have attended parties thrown by people who are not part of the fraternity culture. Personally, I hang out with a whole bunch of nerds. That doesn't mean that when we party we pull out pictionary and trivial pursuit. The parties I attend have just as much drinking. Just as much casual hooking up. Just as much laughter and ridiculousness and unmistakable charge of sexual energy where a whole bunch of people are looking to get laid. The nerd parties even attract a few monsters of their own. The difference is that if one of the monsters tries to take advantage of someone incapable of consent or resistance and there are any witnesses at all to the attempt, that monster WILL be stopped. The intoxicated person will be gently bundled off to a quiet nook with a glass of water and a vomit receptacle. The asshole who tried to take advantage will be asked to leave. That's not my theory of what might happen in such a situation. That's what I've seen happen several times. It's how I know that I'm safe if I misjudge my alcohol tolerance or overindulge a little.

          I know that even if I drop my guard and someone tries to harm me, I am among people who will not just watch and let it happen. If someone succeeds in harming me, I know I won't be blamed for "letting myself" be harmed. I know that if someone tries to harm me and I have to seek assistance, it will be provided without any judgement about what I did or did not do to "deserve" being harmed. I know that if I drink too much, can't find a ride home, and crash on the couch, I will wake up unmolested. I know that if I hook up with someone and someone else notices me leaving in the morning, the most "judgement" I'll have to face is maybe a knowing grin when someone asks if I had fun. Shockingly enough, this feeling of safety seems to have a direct correlation to my interest in sex! The safer I feel, the more likely I am to be receptive to advances or to make them myself. Funny how that works, I know! It's almost like we're people with a perfectly reasonable desire to feel safe before we get naked!

          • WordyLibrarian says:

            I would also like to add: this was specifically in response to the questions about fraternities above, and I am not trying to say all nerds are great and all frat boys are not. Honestly, I think that good and horrible people can be found in all of the various subcultures in our world. Being a nerd doesn't mean you're a sweetheart. Being a frat boy doesn't mean you're an asshole. I, personally, am a total nerd. Surprisingly enough, that means most of my personal experience involves other nerds. I think that most people are, under all the layers of social conditioning and psychological defenses and everything else, decent human beings who don't like to cause others genuine distress just for funsies. Hence I've dealt with a lot of nerds and most of them have been fine people. I haven't had as much interaction with frat boys. So I can only speak for the experiences I've had and answer the question about women I've known personally. I'd like to clarify, as well, that the MAJORITY of the stories I heard from frat parties were harmless. A lot of them included tales of totally consensual sexy fun times. The stories of sexual harassment and assault weren't horrific so much because of their frequency as because of the public nature of the incident and the complete lack of intervention.

      • WordyLibrarian says:

        So… the frat boy stereotype is a bunch of rapists and assholes. A woman rejects an invitation to the frat house because it's "not her scene" or whatever other nice way she can think of to say, "you're rumored to be a bunch of rapists and assholes and while that may not be true, I don't want to find out." So then you cajole and you persuade and you tease and you talk about how "it's just a stereotype" or "oh please – you know I wouldn't hurt anyone" or "there will be a million people there so you'll be completely safe – you don't want to be a stick in the mud" etc. Anything you can think of, misleading, manipulative, or otherwise that will soothe her concern for her safety or cause her to ignore it. So she chooses to take you at your word, and go to the party. Maybe she enthusiastically consents with some guy she finds attractive while somewhat sober. Maybe she gets taken advantage of towards the end of the night while she's too drunk to know what's going on. Some of you ridicule her for being slutty or easy, regardless of whether she consented or not. When she has the nerve to complain about people being predatory assholes, that's just her "alibi" so her friends and family won't call her a slut… because, you know, we never shame a woman who was taken advantage of while drinking.

        Seriously? Considering that any woman who instead answers the invitation with, "no – you're rumored to be rapists and assholes and nothing you say is going to make me jeopardize my safety" faces abuse for being a paranoid, frigid, lesbian bitch…? And if I voice my opinion that your attitude is creepy it can't be that I'm genuinely creeped out by you – apparently I'm trying to depower poor, confident, you to "something less than" because I'm insecure?

        How does all of that mean you're not really douchebags, exactly? My fragile female mind must have missed it. I'm not sure if it's your blinding confidence or the veil of my insecurities, but somehow I got a little lost trying to follow your reasoning.

      • Neuroptera says:

        Hey kiddo,
        anyone who is "really drunk" does not have the conscious ability to give consent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5H6QvNmfjY
        ^"if you can't operate a vehicle, you ought not wield your wiener"

    • While I don't think your actually female I will give you a little secret: Take a psychology class, you'll learn a world of new things including something called "conditioning"

    • Funny youtube video I found dealing with Creepers, haha https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxzH51D69Yk

    • TBH, I have never met any girl, friend of mine or not, popular or not, who specifically wanted to date a douchebag. I think a lot of it is societal standards (who they think they're supposed to date, what sort of behavior they believe they are worthy of, that they're being told they should go for the douches- "if he's mean he likes you" ringing any bells?, etc) and that with sensible friends/family and a society that believes in women's choice and their right to respect, a lot of this sort of "hot girls only date douchebags" crap would end.

    • You oversold it a bit with 'fellow women' at the end. hahaha nice try dude. Ama right or ama right?

    • solindiges says:

      You are evidently either very young, or not female.

  3. Kimura-Triangle says:

    A fair number of these I feel I have a handle on, but the good Doctor nailed it right on the head (at least for me) when it comes to anxiety and getting caught in a brain-stall when it comes to figuring out what to say leading to hovering.

    When I was younger I got the "following her around like a puppy" thing a lot. I've gotten better, but the conversational anxiety thing is definitely something I still struggle with. I'll definitely be using the 3-second rule and watching my body language a little closer from now on. Thanks, Doctor Nerdlove! :)

    • ShadowFaerieLove says:

      The best advice I can give to you is to pay attention to how her body is directed. Generally when you say something she's interested in, she'll turn to you, and away if she's not. Also, looking down is a negative response, while up is usually positive, unless she's looking up and away. If she's interested she'll sometimes open her eyes more. Often times when a girl is uncomfortable, she'll straighten her posture and her arms will cover her chest or stomach, even if it's just slightly. You can usually see this when you look at her mouth, but make sure not to look lower. This is NOT flattering.

  4. Oh, and one more thing. My favorite line ever from a Toni Morrison book (yes, I went through an embarrassing phase) comes from a scene in which a grandmother who has not left her bedroom in years spontaneously walks into the living room and announces to the air, "You know what the problem with this world is? White people. They never know when to quit." (Yes, I'm white.)

  5. I only been accused of being creepy once when younger, got a bit clingy with a girl, we'd kissed a bit but wasn't dating or anything. I'm glad this happened when younger so I could learn my lesson from it

  6. lalaorange says:

    I'm a girl, but I read this site out of curiosity and I think the advice is always good. This post is FULL of great advice – I really hope guys will take it and not get discouraged by what might seem like a lot of complicated rules. A word of encouragement, gentlemen: girls WANT to like you, they really do – 99% of the women you meet are hoping you're a cool guy who'll turn into a new friend or romantic prospect. We're not eagerly waiting for you to screw up so we can shun you, believe me. We just have to be careful, for all the reasons DrNL states.
    Great site, cheers!

    • ^^ This

    • Great comment from lalaorange . I am a male and I would love to know her !

    • Honestly – I totally agree with you and relate. I have a guy right now that is doing the hovering/lingering thing, and honestly he is the NICEST guy, but because of this, it feels overbearing and down right creepy to me — and I love what you said about how honestly we, as women, are not looking to shoot down the guys. I mean, I think all of us would be immensly grateful to have more positive interactions with men :)

    • I think it is way too complicated and I don't see how it's worth the effort.

      Good luck with your search to find someone. I am done with it.

      • Raydran says:

        Read: "I am too lazy to be considerate of the way other people may see me."

        Learning how to relate to someone properly on a social level, and being aware of how you come off is rather important.. and not just with women. Does it sound complex? Sure. until you've practiced.. then its just 'making good conversation' and you'll start doing those things automatically.

        but hey.. screw improving interactions with people.. they should be more understanding of ME instead.. amiright?

      • Good luck to you, sir, you will need it.

        It's not worth the effort, complicated rules like body language are necessary for ANY social interaction. If you are done with it, you wave away your right to get mad when people misunderstand you. You had the tools to make yourself understood, and you chose not to push yourself and learn. I honestly think it is a valid choice, now that I think of it. Just don't cry the world is cruel.

    • Yeah, "screw up", as you say. Makes things look like a multiple-choice test. No wonder many men are hostile to women.

  7. Wow – I have discovered this site just about a month ago and I feel like I am learning A LOT.
    Now that I think about it, I may have been acting slightly creepy a few times in my life, but thanks to this article and the others on this site – I now posses much more knowledge about how to handle myself around girls. Hopefully things will start going better for me soon!

    Thanks Doc! :-D

  8. Hey, anonymous – thanks for the good conversation. I think I'm confused about something here:

    //i was looking for more as to why that gives an excuse to put blame on a certain personality kink with being a bit less socially developed than another and they have to be the scapegoat when all males in general should be involved and be questioned. But the confident ones get the pass because it’s whats socially acceptable. //

    I think I don't understand this at all, and I'm hoping you'll clarify. First, you make it sound like a zero-sum game – like if socially maladjusted behavior is bad, then confident douchebags must be good – which doesn't fit with my experience of others. Oh, wait….are you talking about clique behavior, where 'popular' people get a pass no matter how douche-y they are, and outcasts have to be perfect? It's a weird intuitive leap so I might be totally off here, but maybe that's what you're getting at.

    If you are, I personally think that's a separate issue. People like to think meanly of others as it helps them think well of themselves, which culture has been neatly skewering since Austen, and 'popular' kids derive power from claiming the right to define what acceptable behavior is, thereby giving themselves a rush two ways for the price of one. All that looks pretty gross and ugly to me, which is part of why the frat boy game doesn't usually have much effect on me. It took me a long time to get my head around why others might feel special for being picked out by someone who was powerful, or flattered by status attention, or etc.

    But someone obsessing over me and insisting I realize that because they think I'm important I have to think they're important and all the other stuff that goes with 'creepy' behavior also looks pretty gross and ugly to me, only for separate reasons.

    Am I way off?

    • My answer: Ita 'a a jungle out there, and like isn't fair. And since I consider women as people, I say that women can be douchebags too, i.e., they're just being human with their human faults. When I guy has money, he uses that as a trump card; when a gal as looks, she uses that too. Welcome to the jungle! Good intentions will get you eaten alive in the jungle: you got to know how to hunt How to stalk without them seeing or knowing it.

  9. I'm not a regular reader but I saw some post on reddit and went around until I found this one. I feel like asking why you treat this as cases where men are indeed making mistakes instead of also acknowledging that sometimes girls are exaggerating when they find someone or some action creepy. I don't feel defensive in that I believe I don't hover around, "look like I'm stalking" or any of that, but I just feel that this puts a huge burden of sorts on the readers.

    Granted, I bet this blog is predominantly aimed and men for innocent reasons, but I think that treating this as "don't do these things or you're likely to scare away a girl" isn't fair to the readers. There's no mention of the girl's side of things. If you treat it as a 1-way street of prerequisites to even have a chance with a girl, then it adds to the intimidation of interacting with women in general. In reality it is a two way street, and the girl is just as nervous or afraid of coming on too strong or what not.

    Maybe it's just me, but I don't think many "neckbeards" act like this, maybe a few of these categories, but not all by any long shot.

    • Minor Ramblings says:

      One thing you might not be taking into account for your 'overreacting' women, Behraam, is that what looks like an overreaction to you might be due to different life experiences. My friend is a lot more sensitive to 'creepy' vibes than I am, and a lot less forgiving of men who give them off — it might take hitting two or three points on the list for me to go "AAAAH, RUN AWAY!" wheras just one could have her heading to the hills.

      My friend was raped. I have not been.

      A woman who lives in the inner city and experiences her daily commute to work as a gauntlet of catcalls and less hands-off forms of sexual harassment (Hello, bus gropers) will be a lot more sensitized to things that read like the start of a sexual threat or imposition than someone who's lived a life unexposed to this sort of thing.

      Don't pass it off as overreaction until you know just why she's reacting that way. In any case, if she's overreacting, so what — it's her reaction to have, dude! If you're sure you're not being creepy and she still flips at you, just back off and walk away. You lose nothing by it — she wasn't going to come around anyways. Lingering to defend your honour or something… well, that -would- be creepy.

      Also, I should note that your "Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think many “neckbeards” act like this, maybe a few of these categories, but not all by any long shot." has missed the point of the article a little. Not everyone is going to do everything on the list, and there will be creepy behaviours that aren't on the list. This is just a guide, and a good one.

      • To expand on what you just said (which was excellent), I think the question of whether a woman is "overreacting" is almost always a non-starter. To accuse a person of overreacting is to imply that one has a better perspective on that person's personal experiences than they do. In other words, the man who accuses a woman of overreacting is saying that he, not she, is the best person to interpret her experiences and determine how to react to them.

        And that right there is a huge part of male privilege: the assumption that the man always knows best. If any man reading this wants to know what he, personally, can do to fight back against systemic male privilege, he can do this: Listen to women. Do not assume yourself an objective arbiter of whether she's viewing the world through the right perspective. Do not start from the presumption that everything a woman says is suspect. (And observe in yourself the tendency to make that assumption.) Acknowledge that she is the best expert on her own life, experiences, and risks. If she trusts you enough to tell you about someone she found creepy, LISTEN to her. She knows something you don't: what it's like to be a woman.

        Further, when it comes to threat-assessment, no man has the right to tell a woman she's "doing it wrong." If a man tells me "You're overreacting, he just wants to buy you a drink, take it as a compliment," that man isn't the one who might end up drugged and raped (and then blamed because I accepted that drink, just like that man told me I should). I'm the one running that risk. Similarly, given that simply being a woman means I'm constantly at risk, it's up to me to decide which risks I'm going to accept in order to function as a free citizen in society. It's not up to anyone else, man or woman, to tell me "You shouldn't go out after dark alone" or "you shouldn't wear that" or even "You shouldn't accept that drink."

        My risks. My determination. It is not up to anyone else to tell me my threat-assessment is an overreaction, or that my attempts to live a normal live constitute a foolish lack of awareness. I'm the one who will live with the consequences of my decisions. Any question that implies the asker is more competent than the woman to decide what risks that woman should run is a complete non-starter.

        • Great response Nicole and Minor Ramblings. Just, perfect. Everything I wanted to explain and more. I think a lot of men don't understand just how fucking exhausting it can be to endure creepyness every day, and what it means to be a woman in this rape-culture society we live in. It's fucking terrifying. I'm about to move to a huge city for grad school, and I'm really hoping all the men out there read this article, and learn to back off. As these repliers have noted, you don't get to decide what is creepy to a woman. You do not know her life, you do not know what she has endured in the past. You probably don't understand how scary it can be for her or how tiring it is to be accosted by strangers constantly. So yeah, read this article, learn when you should back off. And thanks Dr, for this site. You are one of the few men I've read online who seem to grasp these things really well. Great advice.

        • Thanks for setting me straight. Now I know that women never overreact, that they have every reason to act with what once was perceived as hysterical behaviour. Now women have another weapon in their arsenal to put men down, to fight men's privilege. Mmm, I did not know that.

    • Here's the thing – if we doubt our instincts and get attacked (either physical assault or actually raped), we have a really, really good chance of not being believed. Far too many women are told either by the authorities or in court (if it gets that far) that maybe they were being too friendly. Maybe the man THOUGHT she was interested. Maybe she shouldn't have smiled at him or continued the conversation. So yeah, we're going to take the safe route when it comes to strangers or even people we've met a few times. Because it's better to be rude than to get attacked or killed.

    • What the hell is a "neckbeard?"

      • It’s a guy who lives in the basement, spending most of his time online and hence (since he has little actual–as opposed to cyber–social interaction) he is lax about his grooming. Doesn’t bathe too much, rarely trims his beard, clothes are full of holes, etc. Considered a derogatory term.

  10. Sending a girl poetry, unless you've been in a relationship a while or unless it's in a setting where you have a group together to do writing crit is always a no. Especially if it's about her. No amount of backpeddling is going to make that appropriate, especially if you've only recently met. I wish I could say that Mr. Poet was an isolated incident, but I seem to attract this particular type of creeper.

    Also, this was touched upon in the article, but too much interest is almost worse than not enough, especially online. With not enough, you have a chance of saving it. Too much, you've labeled yourself to her, and quite possibly to her extended social circle, as a creeper. In person, your body language can possibly save you. Online, this doesn't just mean consistency of presence, but also appropriateness of content and length. If you're going to comment on something she posted, think about it a moment before hitting send. Like the article said, certain jokes and topics are taboo, at least for a while. Likewise the use of nicknames. Unless you've been introduced to someone by their nickname, it's fine, but if you're introduced to someone as Catherine and you start calling her Kitty within a few minutes of knowing her, it might not go over well. And don't send walls of text via email, at least not at first. And again, check content. Rhapsodizing in pseudo-medieval english is not as sexy as it first seems. Neither is a huge venting of your insecurities.

    Just as a note as well… Girls like to feel special. They like to feel as if you're dating them for them, not because well, you're female and available. If you've hit on all her friends first, wait a decent amount of time before hitting on her. Because you don't want to be that guy that all the girls you know can recognise when the phrase "that dude who hits on anything female within a 5 mile radius whether it has a pulse or not" is mentioned.

    I have to say, my experiences dating nerds and geeks has been by and large pretty negative. Which is sad, because I'm very much a geek and it's fun having someone I can talk to about my interests. Luckily I have other interests as well, because I've pretty much given up hope of finding a guy who is both a geek and a non-creeper. Because all of those examples are drawn from real life and is a mix of a good half-dozen guys who ruined their chances by stepping over the line from "interested" to "creepy". This is not even starting to mention those who have ruined their chances with friends of mine… Does the true gentleman geek exist?

    • Definitely want to second the thing about too much interest. What I've discovered I want is proportionality. If you send me an email, and I never respond… this is not an invitation to send me 5 emails. I would love for guys to learn to gauge my interest level and respond in kind – I don't think it's that mysterious! If I'm not super interested, but a guy takes it slow and gives me lots of space, maybe I'll get to know him better and change my mind. If he pushes, I'll withdraw completely.

      If I'm taking a couple days to get back to someone about plans, I want them to then give me a couple days after the date before approaching me about seeing each other again. If I suggest that we should next get together two weeks from now, don't suggest that we see each other two days after that. Not that the other person should never take the initiative, but I will be setting a pace and it should be readable. Start with neutral amounts of contact and then adjust based on how I react. I'm sure not all women feel quite the same way and some might be… I don't know, playing hard to get or something? But I'd say better safe than sorry, you can always gently try to increase the pace again later, if it seems like everything's going well, after giving her more space at first.

      My pronouns are all strange because i'm kind of responding to Maggie and kind of addressing readership at large, so… sorry about that!

      I will add that while I've had to filter quite a number of creepers out of my life, I have also had very nice experiences dating geeky boys, and I have very high standards, so – it does happen!

    • Omg I know that guy in real life. Pratically all of the things you mentioned. Check-check-check.
      Poetry (two guys, actually. Maybe they know I like poetry. Too bad they suck at it), you are the love of my life (met last week or something), then turns out to be "that dude that hits on everything female he sees", with walls of medieval text, clings to no end (after being rejected), pops out of nowhere, when pressed turns to "the sad tale of my disturbed psyché", so I feel I can't abandon him until he finds another friend (luckily that actually happened. Later I got to know my rescuer and we had some good laughs).

      I swear once he tried to tell me a joke that involved a vagina, minutes after dramatically "confessing his love", I didn't let him finish. He also sent me a giant text message with inspirational sayings, dunno if he wrote it himself, but he proably just sent it to all his contacts. And god, the fluffy friendship chain e-mails.

      I know this isn't the place to share bad romantic experiences, but for a moment I wondered if you were talking about Mr Schizophrenic Poet.

      • Okay, now I think that's a good example: the guy's acted like a complete jerk. End of story. it has nothing to do with the inherent appeal of poetry, love, being attracted.

  11. DamnitCamn says:

    Man. Where were you when I was 13? I hope all you other geek dudes are paying attention, because it's rare that you will ever find anyone who will accurately and articulately describe this type of situational awareness AND include some tips on how to work with it. Social skills FTW.

  12. I have had experience with the cyber-creeper. Would come home to sometimes up to 30 notifications on Facebook of him liking and commenting on everything I had posted through the day and I received multiple emails through the day.

    I know he did not intend to be so creepy, but being a girl who spends a lot of time online, I've experienced my share of online creeping and it just makes me very uncomfortable and sometimes even downright irritates me. Not only is liking and commenting everything constantly bad internettiquette, it's just irritating. I would be irritating even if it was just some random girl, because it's annoying. I've unfriended people I knew just because they commented "lulz" on absolutely everything. If it's a guy who also seems to be interested in me, it adds the creepy stalker vibe on top of the irritation and he'll have no chance.

  13. Jokes about rape, abduction, physical assault or murder are off the table. Period. Too many women have experienced physical or sexual threats and violence for you to jokingly suggest that you might kidnap or rape her.
    You may think you’re being funny when you walk up to girls holding a napkin and asking “Hey, does this smell like chloroform to you?”
    You aren’t.
    You’re being creepy.
    Now stop it.

    Thank you, thank you thank you for the above. Thank you. People need to hear that those kinds of jokes are inappropriate, especially with women they've just met. You don't know her personal history, you don't know her family history, you don't know her friends' histories, and all of those jokes are strong triggers.

    • "Jokes about rape, abduction, physical assault or murder are off the table. Period. Too many women have experienced physical or sexual threats and violence for you to jokingly suggest that you might kidnap or rape her.
      You may think you’re being funny when you walk up to girls holding a napkin and asking “Hey, does this smell like chloroform to you?”
      You aren’t.
      You’re being creepy.
      Now stop it.

      Thank you, thank you thank you for the above. Thank you. People need to hear that those kinds of jokes are inappropriate, especially with women they've just met. You don't know her personal history, you don't know her family history, you don't know her friends' histories, and all of those jokes are strong triggers. "

      Good rule of jokes: if you wouldn't tell the joke to your mother or grandmother (or a girl with grandmaster certification in a martial art), don't tell it to a girl you just met.

  14. Lots of great advice here. Although I have to say, the 3-second rule part makes me a bit jumpy. I know I'm much more strict about this sort of thing than a lot of women, but personally I am already on my guard and concerned when a guy that I don't know at all approaches me. I'd probably be a bit nervous no matter how he comes across, and he's going to have to work extra hard to put me at my ease. It's not just "avoid creeping her out" – I'm already a little creeped out, and you have to de-creep me. Basically what should come across is that you're interested in getting to know me better, and that's ALL you're interested in for the immediate future. If you can't convey that, I'm going to extract myself ASAP.

    However, other women are friendlier and less nervous than I am so this obviously doesn't mean guys should never put themselves out there. Also if I have any context for a guy, I'm totally fine with him approaching – if we've been introduced at all or even if we're just at the same party where the attendees obviously share a friend or organization membership. The "I'd better REALLY enjoy the first few lines of this conversation" applies to strangers who approach me in public spaces.

    Also if you go on one or two dates with a girl and then somehow find her twitter even though it's a user name that she never gave you and that isn't associated with any names or accounts that she did give you… DO NOT follow her and then never mention how you found her. She will think you searched twitter for every single user named Laura until you recognized her. DO NOT follow her at all – my advice is to tell her how you found the account and ask if you can follow it.

    OK so that might be too specific to be helpful (IT WAS SO CREEPY) but basically do not track down a person online, only look at any online presence to which they have specifically and purposefully introduced you… Although facebook might be different on this front, I'm not sure. I'd wait at least 3 dates before friending someone on FB, though.

    • I actually agree that being approached by a stranger is sometimes creepy. It always puts me on edge. There is a time and place for that kind of thing. Public transportation, for me, is not ever a good place to strike up a convo with a stranger, especially if the woman is alone. To me, it comes off as overbearing in an already busy situation. I, for one, don't appreciate being approached when I'm on my way somewhere. Chances are I'm thinking about the task at hand, or work, or school. Wherever I'm going. Not standing around waiting for a dude to talk to me. Also, no offense but if a woman has headphones in or is reading a book, it doesn't matter what direction she's facing. Chances are, she's wearing those or reading in order to avoid having people strike up a conversation with her. Maybe she is sitting a certain way because it's more comfortable. I'm not suggesting you never talk to someone with headphones in or interrupt someone who's reading…but seriously, most people wear them to drown out their surroundings, not invite questions or as conversation starters. And usually people don't like being interrupted while reading. So here is further advice: yes, read people's body language, but also be logical and read facial expressions and situations. Does the woman look tired? Stressed? Sad? Flustered, in a rush? Yes? Then you should probably leave her alone, she probably has no interest in discussing anything with you. She is probably just trying to get to work, or get home after a long day. Situations where it's more appropriate to strike up a conversation (ie; other than public transport) are: coffee shops, bookstores, bars, etc. where people are there to browse and socialize. But again, be aware of body language like the Dr. explains. If she is giving you short answers, edging away from you physically, it probably means she doesn't want to interact with you (regardless of location) and you should just go away.

  15. I think this is really awesome advice! I just wish the guy I went out on a date with had read this. The advice I would give is this (from personal experience):

    Definitely, definitely, definitely do not show too much interest. It's awesome for you to text her every once in a while, but when you start texting her three different times every day then wonders why she doesn't respond. It's because that's creepy

    Along with the texting all the time, ask her about herself. If you go to the same college and after a month of talking, you don't know what her major is. That's a problem. And don't whine about your problems all the time. That will just make her not want to talk to you so she can avoid your drama.

    Also don't force a girl to go out to dinner with you. Just don't. If she said she was busy that night, say… studying for an exam. Don't pressure her to have dinner with you until she caves.

    On a different note. This happened only like two hours ago. If your trying to get your ex-girlfriend to go out with you again, DON'T go to her house at 1am, wake her roommates up and scare the crap out of them. That's just plan being creepy. Sorry if this came off as a rant. It wasn't meant to.

    On a parting note, girls will most likely tell all their friends about you, if you're being a creeper. Even the nice ones. And if she has a lot of friends, try extra hard not to be creepy. Just sayin… My whole french class and sorority knows about that horrible date.

    • that was really mean of you to gossip about that guy. you're a terrible person!

      • No, it was awesome! Now everyone knows to stay away from that guy. She did her fellow women a huge solid.

        • If he literally came to her house at one in the morning because she wouldn't go out with him again, yeah, I think it's a good thing that other women now know about him. That's beyond simply creepy – it's stalker behavior.

    • Thank you Dani for telling me how a guy's reputation can be ruined for not passing the non-creepy test. Very nice. Makes life as a heterosexual very appealing. Hmm, gay guys… I don't thik they have to put up with all those hurdles with women. A popular alternative lifestyle?? I wonder

      • Well, in all honesty, I'd try the alternative of not being a dick first.

        Interesting that you focused on the guy and his reputation and not the guy's behaviour.

  16. I stumbled across from links on Facebook — one thing here really rang a bell, and that is the difference in the perception of potential threats. I had a realisation of that just last evening: myself a rather physically small woman talking two of my large male colleagues. Somehow the conversation got around to laws involving appropriateness of self-defense actions and what one is allowed to do to people who break into your home — at one point I remember proposing that it was fine to stab someone who was invading your home. One of my colleagues came back with someone should not be killed just for stealing some videos. My first reaction was, well, I hadn't meant actually kill, and my second was that if someone had broken into my home my first thought is NOT that they are there to steal videos. My immediate thought is that they would be there to rape and then kill ME. It occurred to me that of course this would not be the thought of these men, who would have a better-than-even chance of being physically stronger than such an invader and unlikely to worry about rape.

    It was a little eye-opener to see how something that is always within my awareness — to varying levels — wasn't even on the radar of these men. I do think it might help a man interacting with a strange woman to perhaps come across as a bit safer if he is simply aware of the different perception a woman is likely to have of the world around her.

    • Oh, and I thought I should add — also, remembering that such things aren't always on the mind of guys might help me to be a little more understanding of accidentally creepy behaviour. But not to the detriment of my safety — I haven't been sexually assaulted since I was a child, but there's still no way in the world I'm going anywhere non-public (or even likely to be mostly full of drunk oblivious people) with a man I don't know well.

    • Now I get it! This forum is only for women who think or phantasize that they are going to be raped.

      • Rape is a very real concern and, unfortunately, a very real reality for many people and I sincerely wish you wouldn't joke about it with your snide comments.t.

  17. Terpsichoria says:

    (Segmented for your reading convenience!)

    I think a general way to put all the good advice here is, "Don't be desperate." Also, "Don't take advantage of people."

    But, how does one recognize these things? Your article has helped a lot. But I would like to add a few things, that maybe you can discuss at some later date, or find helpful as a reader:

    Desperation is a signal that one will act irrationally, and with physicality rather than with sociality. Never get physical before the woman. Ever. Social only (ie speech and jest and looks) is a boundary women respect and EXPECT. Escalate physicality only as much as the woman is telling you to (by social and physical cues). Seriously, there is NOTHING wrong with just plain asking what they're willing to let you do. In fact, if you're trying to be sexual with a partner, you damn well better be willing to ask. It won't ruin the mood and your mystique as much as you think. A girl appreciates a guy who's willing to ask how the fuck she's feeling, and if she's comfortable. Language exists for a reason—use it.

    But back to desperation. It is a turn off for everyone, immediately. And they will never come back to you if they sense it. This is true for men and women, towards men and women. You deserve someone that you can act normal around. Someone that won't make you desperate. The moment you want something to the point that it's imparing your thinking and judgement, that's exactly when you must step away and think MORE on the matter. It's probably not a healthy thing for you, if you want it that much.

    Also, in this article, I'd really like to see that "women are human beings." Respect women. This is not a hard concept, but one that is often overlooked. Generally, girls automatically respect you. That is part of the privilege conversation—(semi-active) privilege is where one demands respect without giving it. But privilege can be easily removed when both parties remember to respect each other's human rights—social, physical, and emotional respect; safety, space, etc. (And it runs both ways. Perhaps a specific conversation on "what is respect" would be good, Doctor? :)

    One more thing I would like to hear here is the fact that these things you've outlined are not just for dating or mating. These go for friendship too, which nerds can have just as much trouble creating, I know. And, even more importantly: "Not every girl you meet you have to try to snog."

    __________________________________

    On to more detailed things, an item that I think would be helpful to point out on the topic covered in this article, to young men, is that women are often taught/learn not to say no, but this is done with the assumption that the males will not take advantage of it. It was covered a little bit in the section about "social cues that she wants to leave." But, the basic deal is that most young women, and adult women, (in America?) will not be confident enough to tell you when they are nervous. They should. But a lot of them feel that directly saying so is an invitation to greater danger. So, exactly BECAUSE of that, it's up to YOU, the approacher, to go the extra step and notice it FOR them. It's not just unrealistic standards of chivalry, it's standard kindness, (aka actually fucking trying): You are the active party. You must be the one that actively steps down, too. Remember: getting the girl is not about approaching and then not backing down at all costs. It's about approach, test the waters, wander off when it proves unfruitful, find another that might work better. For men and women. The gracious loser is always the better one. Wouldn't you rather be that guy in her memory who is unremarkable, or better yet, fucking decent, even if she doesn't decide to pick you, rather than that douche and creep she will never talk to again and tell all her friends to stay away from, and possibly the bar manager too? Again, treat each other like human beings, not as just a potential fulfiller of your needs or something you "deserve." Don't treat a girl you're trying to pick up any differently than you would treat a girl under the watchful eye of your mother (though you can add the innuendos).

    Have some grace, guys. Always err on the side of "easy going." A lot of nerds get desperate at first approach for a woman because it feels like you're giving everything you are, and have grown to be during your entire life, in that moment of acceptance or rejection. But if you're doing that, you're actually giving out WAY too much. All you're trying to do at first meeting is say, "Hi, I talk like this, I'm capable of caring about you, I'm interested in this type of relationship. How about you? What are you looking for?" You can lick your wounds in private, and if you're doing it right, you'll find it doesn't really hurt all that much after the first time or two. Then, you won't feel as desperate, you'll be able to relax on the dating scene, and you will be more successful the next time. You will build confidence and character in yourself, which is always good. Whatever happened to dating based on referrals from friends? and group dates? Not to be that old fashioned, but seriously, the girl you meet at the church picnic will be much better in the long run for you than the girl at the bar.

    ____________________________________

    Also, to some of the comments above: Girls like sex. It's true. They also have a right to choose who they want to do it with, just as boys do. If someone declines your offer, look always first at yourself. Never blame the other person, especially not AT THEM. It's like going up to someone on the street and saying, "Do you want this candy I have?" And when they refuse for whatever reason, you say, "WHY DON'T YOU WANT IT?" and get mad. That's not an offer. That was an imperative you forgot to use a period with. Instead, it should go like this: "Candy? Candy?" and someone will eventually say, if the time and mood and all else is right, "Oh, I love raspberry. Please, thank you." And you say, "Oh, I'm glad you like it. I like it too. Here, do you want some more?" Sharing. Sex is not about YOU. It's about sharing. If you're thinking it's all about YOURself and YOUR needs, you need to go home and take a cold shower. Male or female.

    __________________________________

    On another note, a general rule about the "attraction dance" is, (taking this from a magazine a long time ago, whose name I have forgotten) "Seem non-threatening." Girls and boys alike are programmed to like confidence, social graces, and someone who can support them emotionally and psychically. This is because that makes a good mate/child rearer/child producer (this is what drives attraction at its deepest levels). A girl or boy will get aroused by this. But threatening behavior turns on flight or fight–it is a very different category and kills the mood. (Almost all) females need emotional connection to get aroused. This is true for males to some extent as well, especially the shy male, which many nerds and geeks are. Don't let this be a negative, or something you try to ignore. Instead, embrace it, and look for someone who shares that.

    So, this is why the "mating attraction dance" may seem so hard to some young men, especially the nerdy types that are a little behind (but not left behind!) in some of the social graces—in the space of a few moments a girl can make an emotional AND physical connection, and determines your potential to give it. It's really not that hard to do if you practice in a mirror and are willing to approach with a smile: as long as you are willing to be considerate of both parties. Talk to your sister. Notice how other people work (in a non creeper way). Read books girls remark as having studly men in them. These are all acceptable ways to learn, rather than becoming frustrated. Everybody wins.

    __________________________________________

    Now, your comment in the beginning, "Just about every woman out there knows somebody -a friend, a family member, someone – in their immediate circle who has been threatened, taken advantage of or assaulted… if they haven’t been themselves. Think about that for a second."—Is very true. It is a rare, sheltered woman in this day and age that has never been "broken" or "traumatized" by the inappropraite attention from a guy. The girl is going out on a limb by approaching a guy—or letting them approach her. And a lot of them are hurt for it. This is inexcusable.

    Most guys don't get what that means, though. Here's something: The brain and trauma is a tricky thing. But seriously, it is fear. Like bear running at you in the woods fear. I don't know to what extent boys "understand" the way unwanted physical contact effects a woman–even small ones. But, it screws up their self esteem. It jacks up their sense of identity. That girl turned you down? Tough. You just made her so distressed she cried, which means that she can't think straight.

    In trauma, the brain doesn't work right; it goes into a "trauma response" whenever something similar to the situation occurs again. This can be anything from lashing out, uncontrollable fear, to freezing up, to crying, to self-mutilation and self-debasing—all things a man on approach may never see. (Also visible in PTSD from war.) True, if it's this significant, a girl won't probably be at the dating scene. And not every girl is "broken." And they will get mad if you treat them too delicately (because it's not respecting who they are actually showing themselves to be). But, a lot of girls need their disposition to be paid EXTRA attention to because of what's been done in the past to them. No, you aren't that guy that did it—but are you gonna be part of the solution or part of the problem? Show her how great men can be—by being supportive of her before being out for yourself. Such is the nature of privilege: it carries great responsibilities.

    ________________________________

    If you want to try for a smart girl, listen to the song "Promiscuous Girl" by Natalie Imbroilia (or however you spell it). This describes a successful attraction dance at a club scene. Take notes.

    ________________________________

    Of course, most of these things deals with the "pick-up" scene. If you really want to date a girl (or boy), the best bet is to become their friend first.

  18. Thank you so much for this article! Every thing you said was spot on. Thank you for being a terrific ally to women.

  19. I think that I'll go ahead and say that the best solution to the issue of creeper guys is going to be the hardest one to implement — find some way to make it more socially acceptable for women to take the initiative in introducing and flirting.

    The problem is I don't see any way to change that so easily.

    • For that to happen, men must first learn that a woman flirting with them doesn't entitle them to anything. It's an invitation to flirt, not a promise of anything more. What's more, it's an invitation that a women may withdraw at any given time. Too many men still don't seem to understand this.

      So basically, if you want women to flirt more, men need to make it safer to do so.

  20. You raised a lot of excellent points about the way in which women view men and gave some good advice. I would like to add some. You talked about touching and the acceptable duration of touches. I think it's also important to consider whether a man actually has touching privileges. I can not tell you how many times a man that I barely know, especially upper-management in a business setting, has felt that it is acceptable to grip my arm or pat my shoulder when greeting me or complementing me on a job well done. Seriously, I am not a dog. Do not pet me. I know most of your advice is for the dating scene, but office interactions are important too. Men should be aware of power dynamics. The woman you work with doesn't want you to touch her unless you are friends and your underling or secretary will be especially wary of any type of physical contact with you.

    • Dang straight. Consent isn't just something required for sex — it is required for ALL TOUCHING. Women have bodily agency. Respect that.

      I cannot begin to tell you how many times random people –strangers in, like, coffee shops — have done the "friendly hand on shoulder while leaning in to talk" thing at me. And somehow that is socially acceptable, but not for me to tell them to get their hands off? Seriously, since the last time that happened and I found myself socially tongue-tied, I've been psyching myself up to be able to YELL at them, "GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME!" It's hard. Women are pretty aggressively socialized not to set boundaries, and punished for doing it. We have a lot of that kind of training to fight off. Having our right to deny consent disrespected doesn't help, guys.

      • Lisa Re Mayer says:

        Nicole don't just think yelling at the guy is gonna get him to stop. Some guys think that is just you telling them the exact opposite. I myself go with the slap the shit out of them or the knee them in the nuts approach. I have found it works worlds of wonders for me. Living in Virginia it is just something most of us were raised to do. Not all of us but most of us. At any rate you must get that point across that you aren't gonna be treated like someones got the intrinsic right to touch you without your permission. I see women in the clubs all the time lose their sense of self and let it happen. It is as irritating as sand paper undies. But you have to not think you just have to do. Is all I am saying.

  21. This idea that 'women are afraid of men because they are bigger, women live in constant fear' baffles me. It's just not true. I'm a small woman and I am not at all afraid of men, even large strange ones. I don't think I've ever thought 'uh oh, this guy might rape me'. I'm not saying I've never found a guy creepy, but that's just not my thought process, and I don't think I'm alone.

    This is a good article. The points about body language are very good. But you're missing an important point. In fact, the article kinda implies that one of the creepiest behaviours I can think of in a guy is ok. Being 'interested' in a woman simply because you think she is beautiful or sexy, is, in and of itself, creepy. If a woman says 'I'm attached / married / engaged etc.' and you stop talking to her, you were never actually INTERESTED in HER at all. Anyone who (I could tell) saw me as a potential partner before seeing me as a person wouldn't have a hope with me.

    Another important point for guys wanting to avoid coming across as creepy, is never come on to a girl who's seen you shot down by another girl any time recently. Especially if it was one of her friends. It makes you look like you're just out to get a date or a snog or whatever from the 'best' woman you can get, and she wasn't even your first choice. Not attractive at all.

    • It's not that I live in constant fear of men or see every man as a potential threat – but I see many men that I'm alone with in a particularly vulnerable situation (any time I'm on the subway at night, for example) as a potential threat, or any man who seems to single me out and approach me. Maybe you're not that way, but I don't think the idea that women are evaluating the men who approach them as potential stalkers or rapists (even if it's a quick "this guy clearly isn't a stalker or a rapist", which is more than guys are likely to be thinking of) is that unusual.

      In vulnerable situations, I get much more nervous about men. That doesn't mean I'm afraid of men or live in fear of men or think of them as these behemoths that could crush me at any time. It means that I have to think about violence from a man, and particularly a man that seems sexually interested in me, in a way that men do not learn to do with the women that they find themselves alone with/drunk with/cornered by.

      And it varies. Sometimes in my apartment building I think "ahhh, I'm at home, nothing can hurt me here" and I don't care who I'm in the elevator with. Other times I think "oh god this guy looks totally freaky and he knows where I live" and I get nervous. I'm definitely on the jumpy side but I think the fact that women generally have to think about these things in a way that men almost never do is pretty widespread.

      In contrast, when it comes to the "i'm only interested in this person because of her looks," sometimes it bothers me and it definitely is absolutely creepy and horrible if it's the only way a man ever thinks about a woman, but if the person is looking for a romantic liaison, physical attraction is a valid starting point. If she says she's attached and the guy stops talking to her, maybe it's because he doesn't feel the need to make friends with total strangers, but he is a bit more interested in finding someone to be in a romantic/sexual relationship with.

    • I can see how you would think that being interested in a woman based on being "beautiful or sexy, is, in and of itself, creepy" but in social enviroment when as the Dr. has said don't hover around and be creepy how else are we to base interest than the way you appear to the senses?

      • I think it's ok for you to want to get to know her because you think she's beautiful, but that should only be the door to allow you talk to her. Once you talk to her, you should be concentrating on the brain *behind* those gorgeous blue eyes. It's ok to compliment her outer appearance, but it's even more important to focus on what you like about her personality, her interests, actions, thoughts.

        After all, if she's bat shit crazy but gorgeous, your life isn't going to be much better off. You need to know that she's interested in you, too, and that the two of you are compatible. That's all internal. So after the initial, "oh wow," stop focusing on that and start focusing on who she is.

      • Choices of clothing/personal decoration/objects in her possession indicating a personal style you find attractive, affiliation with a group you're interested in/affiliated with, demonstrating an interest in something you're interested in. Relates to the advice to always compliment someone (a woman, in this case) on something she's chosen ('ooh, nice torc!', 'love your Dr. Who t-shirt–which Doctor is your favourite?') rather than something innate ('you have beautiful eyes', 'I love watching you walk').

    • I was much less worried about creepy behavior because I didn't get exposed to much of it growing up and even at college. Now I live in a city, and while I haven't had a lot of scares, its changed my perspective. I have a lot more instances where people just don't pick up on body language – and a few instances of people seeming to ignore signals I was giving. It's not that I live in constant fear, but there are situations where I've felt less than safe. Part of that is because I've done things that are outside of my comfort zone.

      And a lot of the time it isn't worry about rape or assault, so much as not wanting to be put in an uncomfortable social situation. As someone who is not always outgoing myself, it's hard for me to disengage from a conversation I don't want to be in.

    • "This idea that 'women are afraid of men because they are bigger, women live in constant fear' baffles me. It's just not true. I'm a small woman and I am not at all afraid of men, even large strange ones. I don't think I've ever thought 'uh oh, this guy might rape me'. I'm not saying I've never found a guy creepy, but that's just not my thought process, and I don't think I'm alone. "

      So true, even a huge guy kicked in the balls or pepper sprayed to the face will squeal like a little girl. Nevermind if you actually had sth sharp or pointy to stab them or a gun. Now all size advantage is gone to hell, even midget could stab or shoot 6'+ bodybuilder to death without much hassle.

      As a guy, I'm probably as scared of women as this article pretends to claim women are scared of men. Like "I hope she won't approach me, then I'll probably have to talk to her, and I don't have any idea what to say and embarrass myself".

  22. nomnomchompsky says:

    DOC. THANK YOU. thank you for officially announcing the prohibition of jokes about rape, abduction, physical assault and murder. Rape especially, because these jokes are having a particularly big moment lately.

    BOYS, I'm talking to you now: when you say, "Man, I just raped that burrito," or something to that effect, know this: way too many women can personally relate to your burrito. Just out of women who went to college, one in four of them will be sexually assaulted just during undergrad. (I'm a social researcher and the new numbers actually look like they are much higher.) Emerging statistics say that, in their lifetimes, a majority of American women will be either sexually assaulted or molested as children. With that in mind, what about the female friend who was next to your for the burrito comment: she's pretending to be okay, but maybe she's just been triggered, in public.

    Now, your friend is not supposed to be upset because this is an everybody's-fine conversation in which her guy friends casually make jokes about raping things, or things being raped, and she's well aware it is (supposed to be) no big deal. She's shoving flashbacks back down her throat (along with some bile, maybe) because she can't look affected, as you've set the no-one-is-upset-even-though-we're-talking-rape tone… and all of this is going on and you haven't even noticed, because you, friend, were just talking about eating a burrito. Imagine that to her, there is now a big, wide canyon between your female friend and everyone else on the planet for a little while. She'll come back, but there will be a new wound to heal – that your hangout time, your safe hangout time together, is not so safe. Rape lives here, too.

    It's really sad, and really stupid, if you think about it, to bring up something that packs that much pain unless you are bringing it up carefully and with love.

    • I'm in high school and I'd like to add that some girls (but nowhere near as many) also make comments about how "that test totally raped" them. I've no idea how to explain why the ha-ha-it's-just-a-joke makes me uncomfortable even though I've never been assaulted when my objections are (always) met with "no, but it's true! That test totally raped me. Ha ha."

      • Elizabeth says:

        I just want to say that in my experience, it's not always a black and white division, either, between okay and not okay. I have had several very bad near-rape experiences, and with people I don't know very well this sort of language makes me uncomfortable. It's not to the extent of total inner breakdown (though not to say that isn't happening to other women or men), but it breaks whatever happy, friendly mood there was.

        It stops me from just enjoying the conversation / situation, and, like nomnomchompsky said, I can't show that I'm now uncomfortable because then *I* would be the weird one who had just made a social blunder. I'm sure if I explained that I have had bad experiences, and 'would you please not say that kind of thing around me' most of the people I know would be sympathetic and back off, if they remember to (in this case, most of my social contact coming from a small four-year university where everyone is generally very nice). But that doesn't mean I want to explain that to someone I'm not close to.

        Anyway, the other side of this is that with very, very close friends, I myself make references like this. But these are the 3 friends that I know very well, and we are all definitely okay with it and tell each other all the time if anything happens between us that we aren't okay with. It is kind of empowering to be able to make a reference to "raping an exam" and NOT feeling uncomfortable, because, damn it, I am a confident woman and I don't have to feel vulnerable if I say I'm not going to feel vulnerable.

        What I guess I want to point out is that while I agree with the fact that American society (possibly others, but this is what I live in) has a lot of problems to address with the view people have of rape, it isn't always bad to make those jokes with a women, **as long as you for sure know that she is okay with it**, which probably means that *she* is the one to make that reference first. This seems to go back to the general rule of 'let her set her boundaries and be comfortable'.

    • You are asking for people to be overly sensitive to others' feelings. There are a lot of things women can say that can trigger some pretty bad emotional turmoil in guys, but you don't see us saying it.

    • What statistics are emerging that say that? From what source and with what definition of sexually assaulted or molested?

    • This is a great post. Thank you. To others who don't understand this, because it relates to being "overly sensitive to others' feelings", and that women can say things that offend men, too, please remember that men can be raped too and it is this casual speaking about raping things as destroying them in a way that sustains you that perpetuates the problem of rape being viewed on some level as a positive thing. My brother and I were both raped and I know exactly this traumatic void she is talking about, this attitude others have that rape is not a problem, and you are in the strange position where you can't tell anyone that you are being reminded of your own rape from their words, because you don't want to inform everyone at the lunch table that you were raped. It's a very lonely and sad feeling. Men especially have a responsibility not to do it because other men who have been raped suffer from it so deeply, it affects the core of their masculinity I would say, so you are really hurting other men (and not just women) very deeply when you make a rape joke.

      I know this because I had a friend in college who always made rape jokes. I finally told him it was bothering me, and he just did it more in order to goad me. I finally took him aside one day and said, look, this is really hard for me to hear you doing this, because I was actually raped. I am not just being sensitive about the word. he told me he didn't believe me and that I was making it up.

      This is the reality for most people who are raped. People literally reject you. Please consider that next time you make a rape joke, just try to have a little compassion for someone even if you don't understand at all.

      Stevie Mac it's true, rape and sexual assault are more prevalent in our society than anyone would like to believe. Please look it up if you don't believe because the numbers will shock you. Learning about the high numbers gave me some courage to get counseling as I realized that I was not a special case, but almost the norm.

      About the article I loved it and I think it can really help men get further with the ladies…I would add, don't take it personally if, even after you do everything "right", I still don't want to have sex with you. My reasons might not have nothing to do with you personally, and you don't own my body or get to expect anything from me. If you approach me and I say, no, that's okay! Just move on, don't wallow in the rejection and wonder if you made me uncomfortable and I secretly think you are a douchebag now or something. If you went too far just take a step back–don't make this about what's wrong with me and why I rejected you, just respect my feelings!

  23. I am a nerd girl who just wanted to say, Thank you for writing this article, Dr. Nerdlove! Every geeky guy–no, scratch that, every guy–should read it and take your advice to heart.

    Several months ago, I found an article that addressed almost exactly the same topic but was written by a woman, titled "Schrödinger's Rapist": http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-s… The comments are kind of a shitfest, but the article is, like yours, to-the-point and thought-provoking. You basically covered all of the same points that this woman did, spot-on.

    The world needs more men like you who can understand typical male social behaviors from a woman's point of view, and who can explain the mysteries of opposite-sex interactions to perplexed, well-meaning, nice-but-awkward guys. (As well as to girls like me–you've helped me recalibrate my creep-dar so that I can learn to be more forgiving of guys who seem creepy but are probably just awkward.)

  24. Anonymous10 says:

    I think a lot of the general ideas presented are a good go to in regards to a vague idea of what it takes to come across the way you want. However, a lot of it isn't on the person themselves but on the perceptions of the person looking at them. The way something is interpreted depends a lot of just who is looking at it.

    So let's say a guy of middling attractiveness has a few decent conversations with a potential partner. Then poses the question of going to see a movie. To one potential partner this seems like a great idea. To another it seems creepy. Now, I'm not saying a guy hovering around all the time is charming or anything. I'm just trying to point out the fact that it's not always the guys fault if someone interprets something completely and utterly wrong.

    An innocent compliment. An attempt at a charming look. One small kind gesture. These things can seem chivalrous and charming in one context and utterly creeper traits in another person's view. So I think to say that it's always the guy and not whoever he's interested in that's the one responsible is unfair. Look at situations where people file lawsuits or flip out over total misinterpretations of what's said.

    A guy offers to help a female co worker to carry something cause she's obviously having difficulty and he's sued for sexual harassment. Or a woman is diplomatic about telling a guy she's not interested and he goes around saying she said she was a lesbian. Both are completely overblown and unacceptable reactions to what most people would see as respectable behavior. That in this situation aren't the responsibility of the people who became the victims.

    I understand as a guy, especially a taller and broader one than average. I'm used to not viewing people instinctively as a threat. However, I'm also not foolish enough to think that just cause someone's smaller than me they're not a threat either. Potential violence and strange behavior sets my alarm bells going off regardless of apparent gender or size. A knife is still going to wound/kill, a gun can still wound/kill, and a taser can still disable me. And anyone can likely have any of these things hidden on them.

    TL;DR version – Sometimes a bit of awkwardness or peculiarity in behavior is just that. If a guy is slavering and saying he wants lots of babies when he first meets you? Creeper to the nth degree. If said guy is a bit awkward, doesn't mean he's a threat.

    • I have never heard of anyone successfully suing a guy for sexual harassment because he offered to help a girl carry something. But if you want to safeguard against that, offer to help ALL coworkers who are carrying heavy objects and might need help, regardless of gender. (And perhaps try asking if she would LIKE any help, rather than assuming she needs it.)

    • That's why you have to learn how to read when a woman is showing disinterest. You don't get the creeper label from one action unless it's particularly egregious (like significantly invading the personal space of a woman you don't know). You get it from persisting in hitting on a woman long after she's been giving signals that she wants you to go away. When a woman gives one-word answers, refuses to make eye contact, and turns her body away from yours, she is telling you to leave. The more you stick around, the more likely she'll consider you a creeper.

      • This is not true. Woman will judge creepiness at first sight, similar to how a man judges her physical appearance at first sight.

    • alphakitty says:

      Yes, anyone can carry a hidden weapon. Most people don't. Imagine how you would feel if you lived in a society where 50% of the population — including all the people you wanted to be intimate with, and a lot of people you had no interest in being intimate with but who wanted to have sex with you, not because you're special but because you have the requisite body parts — was carrying a weapon and you didn't have one. And a bunch of those armed people seemed to think you owed them something because they found you attractive.

    • stencilsniffer says:

      I appreciate the sentiment of your comment, but I find the external placement of your locus of control to be problematic. I see that you are concerned about the potential threat of overblown reactions from others. It is definitely possible to criticize the perceptions that other people bring into their social interactions, but your influence on other peoples' viewpoints is very limited. You have much greater control over your own behavior. Focus on that. It's almost useless to ask the world not to retreat from socially inappropriate situations. It seems to me that you would like to control how others react to awkwardness in order to provide a kind-of insurance against social failure. This is a mistake. Failure is an excellent teacher. If you're not failing, you're not learning.

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you. All of these awkward (read: creepy) situations that you've detailed have happened to me at one time or another, and as I went to a school full of extremely awkward people, I am usually better at telling the difference between awkward and dangerous than girls who don't have the dubious benefits of my "education." However, even with that in mind, there have been a lot of situations where the line between awkward and creepy was impossible to distinguish, or what started as one quickly became the other. I had at least two different guys essentially stalking me at one point during my college career, and I'm pretty sure neither one of them realized that was what they were doing. Even years after it stopped, I still get heart palpitations whenever I see someone who looked like one of the guys in question, even when it happens in broad daylight in a public space.

    Girls – especially girls who have experienced some sort of trauma in the past, but ALL girls – do not have the time or the ability to sort out the motives of every seemingly creepy guy they encounter. And what's more, spending that much time with a guy who actually turns out to be dangerous could get them killed, so it would be downright foolish for a girl not to trust her instincts when they're telling her that a guy is creepy.

    So guys, you may think you're improving your odds by hanging around, or being aggressive, or texting a girl just a bit too often even though she's not responding and it seems like she might not be interested. But what you're actually ensuring is that this girl – and everyone she knows – will be permanently eliminated from your potential dating pool. Friends don't let friends date weird guys who followed them through a Walmart for an hour and a half. Don't be that guy.

    • alphakitty says:

      They don't have time and ability to sort it out — and sometimes the only way to figure out for sure would be to make themselves vulnerable to the guy. So not worth it to leave yourself exposed, so that you can say with confidence "yup, that one's a rapey asshole! I know 'cause he raped me." Especially since if you *do* leave yourself exposed in any way, then you'll be blamed for whatever he did.

  26. Thank you so much for this!! I have had first had experience with every one of your creeper examples and I will be spreading this article like wildfire in hopes of educating the male masses!
    <3

  27. Just a couple of additional info for the folks commenting:

    On the subject of fraternities/sororities (Interesting, my browser's spell-check doesn't know the latter): Lisa Wade's great and entertaining piece on the hook-up "culture":
    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/06/21/t

    On the subject of overreacting: Yashar's excellent piece on "Gaslighting": http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a

  28. Helen Huntingdon says:

    Girls…do not have the time or the ability to sort out the motives of every seemingly creepy guy they encounter.

    Exactly. And if you think I should have time to spare for you, then you are a creep. Just because I'm sitting quietly on the bus means I'm not busy re-running in my head some of the mathematics it takes to keep your lights on and your internet alive. Never assume your interruptions are not interruptions of something important; some of us have got a world to run.

  29. Helen Huntingdon says:

    Oops, "doesn't mean", not "means". Reloading to the language buffer can take a minute, which is one more reason I don't care to be interrupted.

  30. i found some of your other writings rather interesting but this one i do not relate to at all… maybe it's because i grew up as a sort of tomboy with a lot of male relatives around who were always there to defend me or maybe because i was a fighter… but i have almost never been afraid of any guy… there was a neighbor once when i was a teen who i felt was stalking me… always going to my families house and bring them gifts and i hated him with a passion… but i was never afraid of anyone… the best thing to do with people is respect them and how they feel. never stair at anyone… if you do then do it from far away not in their face… there was once a kid at a retreat center who used to stair at me… though i found it strange it's something of an indirect compliment… i think the most important thing is to be aware of yourself… it's not about rules about how to stand in someone's face and look at them or not… the important thing is to be respectful in your mind of the people in your presence… whatever you feel for a person if they are aware of their surroundings they will sense it. good or bad… so the important thing is to have a good well balanced respectful mind… and you will be regarded accordingly… as it were you were just giving advice on how to mask a persons crude intentions with indifferent pretensions of not caring… which is nothing less than a mask… however i guess we all wear them sometimes and if that's the best a person can do *sigh* i guess it's better than being directly creepy. but i think a smart chick will see right through it… or not… people can be so oblivious sometimes… the real way to deal with people is mind control and not to think creepy thoughts. then you won't be a creep.

  31. Hey, question.

    If this makes sense, why are men more likely to be victims of violence?

  32. Helen Huntingdon says:

    Kris, that's the wrong question. The right question: Why is the overwhelming majority of violence committed by men? What's that about? Can't you all just calm down already?

  33. Kris, that’s the wrong question. The right question: Why is the overwhelming majority of violence committed by men?

    Right, committed by men, against other men. Maybe I should be squeamish around other men.

  34. It's like, you know, I'm only 56 kg and it's not like I can take my axe with me everywhere soooo…

  35. As a matter of fact: I've calculated that posterior probability someone commits a murder based on their race from various publicly available statistics (FBI crime stats and maybe a few others; it was a while ago) and you know what? I found that blacks were substantially more likely to commit a murder than others. Maybe I should start discriminating against blacks now too while I'm at it.

    Now explain to me what problem you have with me applying your reasoning consistently.

    • AshtaraSilunar says:

      Females are more likely to get raped, males are more likely to get beat up. Whoopdedoo. If I'm out late at night and stop for gas, I'm going to be on alert if someone approaches me, regardless of gender. I'm tiny. I can hold my own in a lot of situations, but avoiding people whose behavior strikes me as "off" is a lot safer in the long run.

      I suggest reading some of the articles and books written by Marc MacYoung. Put simply, the reason males are more likely to be violent is that they never learn how to stop escalating. If you're about to pass a guy on the street, and he steps in front of you and demands "What're you looking at?", how are you likely to respond?

      • “What’re you looking at?”

        I wouldn't say anything, I would step around him; Problem solved. I think it is a basic generalization that men can't control the need for violence in every situation. While some people are quick to do that, that action is based on a personal choice. Just like the times I see women tearing each others hair out for whatever reason is valid at that moment.

        And I actually believe (in some cases) men are just as at risk of rape as women (mainly with example to the military). I just doubt there are accurate numbers since men rarely come forward due to cultural perception of how they are suppose to act and behave.

        Also, I disagree with some of this article. The fact that women can make a judgment based on a brief glance or a feeling is idiotic. As you have said, women use impulses because it's a indicator of if they feel threatened by said "creeper". But is it actually because he's a creeper? Now this many be something connected solely with the anime fandom, but in most cases I'll watch a guy go up to a girl (for example in costume) and he'll ask for a picture, nothing creepy and perfectly courteous. He takes the snapshot, says thank you and walks away. no learing gaze and no lustful stares involved. When the girl goes back to her group of friends, her first words are "Oh my god, that guy was such a creeper". That's the general theme I come across, and yes there still are creepy guys there; but theres creepy guys wherever you go. Creepy girls too.

        The feeling of threat is a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing I think in certain situations. Let's say I got up and approach to talk to you, and I'm a 6'8 half black man with a confident strut. More likely than not under more of the posts I've seen here, your alarm will go off insanely because I'm a perfect posterchild for threat in many peoples eyes. It's not because you know me in the least, but because you see that I'm a large minority. And this is not an uncommon occurrence, because It's seen in portrayal in the media and by the fact that minorities get much harsher sentences on average, people are going to feel treated by that they believe they won't understand.

        But I am the recipient of male privilege you may say? When and where (except for the fact I'm tall) might this have happened? I was raised by all women in a very matriarchal family, and it instilled into me values of equal rights in the purest sense. This was that I was to base people on their actions, not their gender/race/status etc. It also lead me to the belief that people in essence are not equal in their actual capabilities, and many don't want to come to terms with that. Not everyone will have the same level of intelligence, most will have the varying levels of strength, but if you demand equal rights should we treat them as if they do?

        I also believe this article is very off on their idea of male privilege. While theres is a male privilege it's not that men believe that they are entitled to everything their way. Let me point out that my opinion stands for meeting in the flesh, in the online speck it's totally different, and I've spoken to women with as venomous an agenda as the men you talk about. In the flesh I noticed the only perception men have is they they deserve some beautiful woman based off all the animes and games they play. I don't think women can deny not doing the same, because I doubt anyone can say they actually want to settle for something when they can go for the goal. With guys in my fandom, they rarely seem to have entitlement thoughts in regards to women. Nope, their thoughts are solely on how bad their messing up and then panicking when they realize that for many they're living their worst fears. Now realize I'm not saying creepers and crazies aren't there, but I do believe they are a minority of the people you may meet an that many of the "creepers" are just normal guys you blew off.

        Also when I look at the logic that you base the need for the "creeper" defense being that you were (or you knew) someone in the past who was assaulted/raped, I have a question for you? Under you logic, would you say if you were mugged by a black man, would you begin to indiscriminately judge race/sex based on the action of one? Would you find that to be the racist at at? No, maybe its true I'm taking it out of context. Being mugged is not the same as being raped…. understandable, I understand where you're coming from, so let me pose this to you. At one point of my life I was not of the large stature I am now, and a bit more forgiving and uncaring about the state of racial tension where I lived. I was jumped by 6 men and 2 women (all white) and then hung (or lynched if you prefer) from a street light because someone assumed it would be fun to teach me a lesson. I wasn't killed of course, I was dropped and told to remember my place; but I have the odd sensation in my neck to remind me of the noose even today. Now, under your logic ladies, do I have the right to view every last one of you as racist murders because of the actions of a couple? No you say? How could you I judge you on the actions of a few? Under your logic, I have to ask how could I not?

        @Helen Huntington- Where is your evidence for your reasoning that men commit almost all the violence? Are you sure? What about all the women in prison, the women who rape/abuse children, who assault, who murder? Did you take into account that some women receive lighter sentences than men? Did you take into account the presumption of innocence on the side of women in court cases. Have you seen any of the cases where men were sent to jail on false allegations from women. Also violence directed at men isn't just crime, that it's also because majority of people hold public safety jobs in hazardous areas are men (these include police, firefighters, soldiers). While violence isn't a force of nature in the least, do you ever notice how when a crime is happening, our culture promotes men to get off their ass and do something about. I had two friends in the army who stopped a man from beating his wife when all the other women looked away, the man then got into a car an ran them both other; but I guess according to your logic this is fine because it was man on man crime and a women was saved. And it's true, people commit crimes, but it's not that most of the people are men, but that men are the ones most often punished (true statement unless you are psychic and know about all the crimes not reported). You attitude vilifying men is whats wrong with the Feminist movement, just like vice versa is wrong with the Masculinist movement. You demand rights for woman, but only care about it going that far. And along with statements like your final sentence, you generalize a extremely complex issue by endorsing the verdict that men are everything thats wrong with the world you live in. Mayhaps you should get an clear perspective and realize once you begin truly endorsing equality for both genders like you do for promoting Women rights above men's (which would be the case without equality for men as well, and if you don't realize why you really shouldn't be promoting equallity), then maybe you won't be seen as sexist.

        • stencilsniffer says:

          Is male privilege a thing? Does victimization necessitate discrimination? I think we can find good answers to the questions you raised simply by examining your own words: "The fact that women can make a judgment based on a brief glance or a feeling is idiotic."

          So, here we see that you are rejecting a woman's ability to use her own faculties to make snap judgements as idiotic. It is male privilege that allows you to dismiss women's reactions off-handedly. You assume women use gross generalizations and stereotype to form their opinions, when it is equally likely they are observing social norms and body language. Your demonstrated investment in highlighting what you see as evil behavior in women is what prevents you from having the objectivity that is required to see the larger truths in these matters. Plain as day.

          And why stop there? I suspect you identify too strongly with an imagined male superiority to see women as people, much like yourself. You will continue to see criticism of historically male behavior as criticism of men themselves, because your ego depends on the superiority you derive from a faith-driven assumption of gender essentialism. How'd I do?

    • Oh No! What about the MENZ!!!! You're derailing.

  36. Helen Huntingdon says:

    What application of what reasoning? Men commit almost all the violence. You're a man. If you don't like the culture of violence get together with other men to work on ending it instead of complaining that "men are more likely to be victims," as though the violence is just a force of nature that comes out of nowhere. People commit the violence, and most of those people are men. Get together with the other dudes and figure out how to chill out already.

    • That's unfar. says:

      That's unfair. There's no "men's club". Any random asshole can be an asshole independent of a group of people that they share some characteristics with.

  37. If you're wincing in retrospect at this article, be assured that no matter how creepy you realize you've been in the past, you probably weren't as bad as this guy:
    http://www.observer.com/2011/12/new-york-investme

  38. What application of what reasoning?

    Excessive generalization over whole groups of people based on statistics.

    If you don’t like the culture of violence get together with other men to work on ending it instead of complaining that “men are more likely to be victims,” as though the violence is just a force of nature that comes out of nowhere.

    And I use my axe only on wood so why are you looking at me?

    Get together with the other dudes and figure out how to chill out already.

    A certain 51% of the population's desire for resources seems to necessitate armed conflict when push comes to shove. I'm no military man but I can't help you with that issue.

  39. ITT: blaming me for shit I'm not personally responsible for. Good job. Economic exploitation of the global South is for the most part carried out in some way or another by white people (with some Chinese joining in now, too), so maybe I should just get together with all the other white people and figure out how to solve this problem. For that matter, "Helen", if you're white, you should as well.

    (EDIT: No personal insults. First warning. – Doctor NerdLove)

  40. My biggest problem with this article is that it says it is a guide for how a guy to not come across as creepy to a woman, but all the suggestions are aimed at how to attract a possible date (flirting, touching, etc). This re-enforces the idea that the only reason women exist is to be dates. What about how to not be a creep while just passing a random woman in your daily life? What about how to not be a creep to a woman because you want to have friends of all genders?

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      The focus is relatively narrow because of this blog's remit. Paging Dr. NerdLove is a nerd/geek love and dating advice blog, therefore most of the advice here is oriented towards the goal of improving one's love-life.

    • Be attracted to women? HOW DARE THEY?!

      • Do you really not understand the difference between attraction and treating someone like a human being?

    • That is the focus of the article. Besides that, in the same way that the men bemoaning that women owe them a date for being nice to them are wrong because men are entitled to nothing from a woman the reverse is also true – women are not entitled to feeling not creeped out by a male who is just passing by. Your feelings belong to you, not the males around you. If he is reaching out and touching, coming onto you, etc, it is assumed that he is interested but in daily life if he just maintains eye contact too long or oversteps social mores but has no interest in you as friend or potential mate he owes you no change in behavior. This is not a one way street.

  41. Helen, the "overwhelming majority" of ecologically unsustainable illegal logging is carried out by poor people. Therefore, by your logic, all poor people should get together and end the practice outright. That's completely brilliant!

  42. slavicdiva says:

    Thank you for this article! I wish someone had written something like it when I was in undergrad school.

    I had agreed to a date with a geeky guy I thought might be interesting. At the time, I wasn't dating anyone and was a little lonely, and the guy seemed to be fun (he wore roller skates to class – gold ones! Seemed like someone with a fun sense of humor!). It was also a double date with another couple I knew, so I felt pretty safe. Unfortunately, he did nearly everything you recommend against, on our one and only date. In the interest of saving other guys the same mistakes, here you go:

    We went to dinner, and he kept staring at me – to the point where I wondered if there was something in my teeth. It made me uncomfortable. He mostly ignored the other couple (my friends), which made me even more uncomfortable.

    We were playing pool, and every other comment he made was about my appearance. All compliments, true, but they were over-the-top. For example, stuff about wanting to drown in my beautiful brown eyes. Would have been sweet if we'd been dating for awhile, but on a first date with a guy I barely knew? Creepy. He didn't say anything overtly sexual, but it was still creepy.

    It got even worse when he started professing, after about 2 hours' acquaintance, that he was in love with me. Whoa there, cowboy! And it wasn't like he had asked me much about myself, either. Big red flag there.

    By the end of the night, I had decided there would not be a second date. Which was when Mr. Creepy mutated into Mr. Creepy Stalker. And no, I did not kiss him goodnight. In fact, I couldn't get away fast enough.

    I had not given him my phone number, which was fortunate, and this was way before the internet. We weren't in the same classes & didn't have the same major, so my chances of running into him on campus were slim, and I avoided places where I knew he hung out. Fortunately, I lived in a security building where the receptionist had to call up to your apartment before letting anyone in – because he started showing up at my apartment unannounced, at all hours of the day. After I told the receptionist that he was never to be let up to my apartment, he started hanging around outside and following me to class.

    To get him to stop, I had to threaten to call the police. Seriously.

    The worst part is, thinking back, if he'd paced things a little more slowly – perhaps gotten to know me as a person instead of employing what felt like a suffocating, full-court press to make me like him no matter what, I might have gone out with him again. Instead, he just came off as creepy – and desperate.

  43. Recently I was out with some friends at 'dance night' that happens once a month at a local bar, hosted by a subculture group that I'm a member of. Early in the night, the friends I came with left, but I was having a good time dancing and decided to stay. (I still knew some of the regulars there but they weren't my close friends.) During the night, the following men tried to hit on me:

    Guy A – tried to block me from exiting a booth I was sitting in as I got up to dance. Physically sat down in the booth, his body right up against mine, and joked, "You can't leave because I'm in your way." When I recoiled and insisted pointedly that I was getting up, he got up and then put his arm around my shoulders, grabbed both of my hands in his, and tried to help me up. I'd never seen this guy before in my life. He may have thought he was being cute or something, but to me his behavior was creepy and absolutely made me fear for my safety because he clearly had no respect for my personal boundaries. To all other men who might take this approach: I get to choose who touches my body. Not you or anyone else.

    Guy B spent a good 15 minutes overtly staring at me on the dance floor while not dancing at all himself, until he started doing this slow half-shuffle-dance that seemed to have the sole purpose of allowing him to move into my blind spot, just over my left shoulder so I couldn't really see him without turning around, yet uncomfortably close (within 1-2 feet of my body). No matter where I tried to inconspicuously dance away from him to, he did his half-shuffle-dance into my blind spot every time. I still kept thinking it would offend him if he realized I was moving away from him, so I resisted the urge to flee. Suddenly, he stepped in VERY close and tried to make conversation. I brushed him off with a one-word answer and refused to make eye contact. It was then that he grabbed my hand and started trying to dance with me, holding my hand. I panicked, tore my hand away, and left the dance floor entirely. When I returned 10 minutes later and started dancing again, the same guy started half-shuffle-dancing over to me again, apparently completely oblivious to the meaning of me ripping my hand out of his and fleeing earlier. I ended up giving up on any hope of being able to enjoy dancing without being stalked by predatory men, and didn't dance anymore that night.

    Guy C was on the dance floor prior to my encounter with Guy B. We made brief eye contact a few times. He was dancing really energetically, smiling and laughing a lot, and seemed to be having a good time. At one point when we were near each other, he sidled over to me and said, "You are SO dancing right now–and there's like, six guys behind you not dancing at all! That makes you the rock star in this situation." I laughed with him, and then he stepped away and went back to dancing.

    After I gave up on dancing to get away from Guy B, I wandered downstairs and saw Guy C in the crowd. Since my friends were all gone and this guy had proven himself earlier to be charming and not predatory, I walked over and chatted him up and we spent the rest of the time I was at the bar having a great chat and traded numbers before I left.

    Men, don't be Guy A or Guy B. If you want to approach a woman, be like Guy C. Give her just a small dose, say something charming or funny or complimentary, and then back off but leave yourself available. If she's interested, she'll come to you later. Trust me on this one. Plus, just think how many women you could approach briefly in one night, and then just sit back and let the ones who reciprocate come to you! Compare that to wasting your whole night dogging one or two women who have no interest in you whatsoever.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      Quick note (and Emily, I hope you'll forgive my using you as an example): This right here is very significant

      I still kept thinking it would offend him if he realized I was moving away from him, so I resisted the urge to flee

      I've mentioned before in my articles about how women are socialized in the US to be less assertive, more concerned more with men's feelings than their own and to avoid giving offense at almost any cost. This is an example of how this plays out in action… not wanting to offend someone even when they're setting off your spider-sense.

      Guys: just because she doesn't immediately leave doesn't mean that you're not being creepy. Part of social calibration is learning to tell whether you're making someone uncomfortable and to dial it the hell back if you are.

      • Helen Huntingdon says:

        Plus she'd already accurately guessed that moving away wouldn't work — the guy had so little respect for decent behavior that he repeatedly moved in close where she couldn't see him. He's not likely to suddenly behave with consideration just because she runs away. At least on the dance floor she's surrounded by witnesses if he suddenly brandishes an ax.

    • Exactly. And for those guys who say, "But what if no one comes back to talk to me?" well, what makes you think they'll be more likely to reciprocate if you come on too strong?

    • Oh, can I play? When I was newly single and wanted to go out (but friends were busy) I went to a local club to dance.
      Guy A: Saw me dancing, danced with me for a little while, then physically lifted me and tried to dry hump me. WTF?
      Guy B: Happened to be his friend. After I fled the dance floor, unable to dance freely without being grabbed, I started chatting with Guy B. We ended up having an hour-long conversation as his too-grabby friend continued occasionally and unsuccessfully to try to flirt with me. I do hope guy A learned his lesson.

      Unfortunately, the only two times I've gone to that club alone, I've had a man physically pick me up and try to hump me. In case if we have any d-bags saying I must've dressed provocatively,* I was wearing jeans and a nice shirt.

      (*Even if i was dressed provocatively, that would not excuse aggressive behavior).

  44. Helen Huntingdon says:

    A certain 51% of the population’s desire for resources seems to necessitate armed conflict when push comes to shove. I’m no military man but I can’t help you with that issue.

    Oh, an MRA troll. No wonder he's not making any sense. I think this one might be close to MRA bingo.

    Helen, the “overwhelming majority” of ecologically unsustainable illegal logging is carried out by poor people. Therefore, by your logic, all poor people should get together and end the practice outright. That’s completely brilliant!

    Yup, that's about as close as MRA trolls ever get to logic. Poor people log because rich people keep them downtrodden and pay them to log. Men commit violence because they constantly reinforce in each other a culture of violence, not because of what an outside group does to them. But, wait, by MRA "logic", it is because of what an outside group does to them — women are forcing men to commit violence, by, er, committing almost no violence by comparison. Women are so scary that way.

    • Oh, an MRA troll.

      What special rights am I demanding for men?

      No wonder he’s not making any sense.

      What about what I said made no sense, exactly?

      Men commit violence because they constantly reinforce in each other a culture of violence

      How am I, specifically, "constantly reinforcing" other men in a "culture of violence"?

      women are forcing men to commit violence, by, er, committing almost no violence by comparison

      They demand resources from men, resources are limited, and when resources are limited, fights break out.

      PS are you sure about the "little violence from women"? http://www.patientedu.org/aspx/HealthELibrary/Hea

    • In fact, how are other men "constantly reinforcing" each other in a "culture of violence"? Where are the facts to support your claims?

      Also have you ever heard of something called the "Reply" button?

    • Well I played Wesnoth today. Sometimes I do multiplayer and I guess that "reinforces other men in a culture of violence".

      Welcome to Helen's world, where killing a bunch of lizard men on a computer screen makes you a violent monster and where casting doubt on the putatively "scientific" status of critical theory's "privilege" concept makes you a "men's rights activist".

    • Poor people log because rich people keep them downtrodden and pay them to log.

      I don't know about that. Not all the time. A lot of deforestation in Brazil for example, is caused by independent ranchers and slash-and-burn farmers. Much of China's desertification issues have similar causes. But you're going to overlook that because you've reduced the world to a neat little narrative about "the vectors of oppression and privilege".

    • Let's see you try to uphold your empty polemics now.

  45. I think much of this advice is more than a bit "white knight": essentially, an abuse of the male privilege by perpetuating shibboleths of victimization and justifying paranoia, all as a "by-differentiation" dating strategy, i.e. "I'm not creepy like him, so you should date me".

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      I'm at a loss as to why you would think that not being creepy would actually be a less-desirable thing than a guy who is being creepy…

  46. This is glorious. Being a rather game centric girl, I am surrounded by 'nerd' types, social awkward gents, and the general 'omg a girl' boys. I really appreciate not only your advice for the gentleman, but the clearly well thought out, deeper understanding of why us girls act the way we do. Thank you for being a man who has taken the time to delve into this! In return, I will continue to be patient with these rather awkward fellows and give them advice the best I can. Thank you!

  47. This smacked me in the face near the end. I didn't expect you to hit the nail so perfectly on the head. In fact, if I'd been writing this post myself I wouldn't have even thought to include the obsessive 'likes'. I once had an acquaintance, someone I wasn't sure how I met but I had several friends in common with him from different places, who would 'like' everything I had done in the last 24 hours in the span of 5 minutes. It was terrifying. http://i.imgur.com/QwoQT.png That's a screenshot I took shortly before people online convinced me to unfriend him. Every time I logged on and saw 30+ notifications, I got this jolt of terror, because I knew it was him again. And he lives near me. Sent a chill down my spine. Even now, it gives me shivers. Thank you so much for mentioning it, even though I didn't realize myself how apt it was.

  48. Y'know how useful this would've been 6 or 7 years ago so I could've read about these things and, possibly, NOT actually done them? Then again I suppose experience is the mother of knowledge. I now know well enough to not bother leaving the house again at least.

    Funny enough, I found this site because of that [Nerds and Male Privilege] article from Kotaku. Some things never change.

  49. One thing I would add is that, especially if you're conversing with a girl you've only just met, you need to actually *listen* to her. When you're nervous, it's so easy to stand (for your more-than-three-seconds hover time) writing up a script in your head, then barrel along down it regardless because you don't think you can do anything else. The girl says something you weren't expecting, you think "Uh shit wait I need a second to understand that and decide how to respond – no wait I don't have a second, I look like a berk standing here with my gob hanging open" and then you blurt out something totally unrelated, probably a repetition of what you were just saying seconds ago.

    The problem is that a guy who has no respect for women, and whose only objective is to have sex with her no matter what, does exactly the same thing. If you've started the conversation by asking for directions, got into small talk, and then I say "Well, anyway, there aren't any around here but if you go back over the bridge, there are loads. Good luck!", then your responding "So anyway, do you live around here?" could mean "Um wait what, no I don't want to stop talking to you yet, ack!", or it could mean "I'm not going anywhere, and I'm going to follow you home".

    Not to mention, it sounds like you're totally ignoring what I'm saying. If you can't listen to and at least acknowledge when I say "Sorry, I'm late, I have to go", or even just "I need the loo, I'll be back in a minute", then that's telling me that you probably won't listen when I say "Get the fuck off me", either – whether it's true or not.

    And, as has been mentioned many times above, it's completely true that a lot of women don't think in ways that flag this kind of thing as threatening at all. But at the same time, an awful lot of women do; and the increasing awareness of violence against women (which is a fantastic thing), sadly makes it much easier for even women who have never experienced such a thing, to be afraid of it nonetheless.

    Finally, one thing which has been mentioned is that men are generally bigger and stronger than women, which makes women vulnerable. Yes and no. It's certainly true that men are usually bigger and stronger: but that's not the deciding factor. Throughout my life I've known a long series of very tall, bulky men who were no doubt far stronger than I, and I have never felt the least bit uncomfortable in their presence. The handful of men, thankfully only three or four thus far, who I have actually been intimidated by were not particularly strapping. But they led me to believe that they had the kind of attitude that 99% of men and women don't, and 1% of men AND WOMEN do, which would actually allow them to use their full physical abilities to assault me.

    It's easy to say that you would go to any length to defend yourself, because an attacker has brought it upon themselves; but it's not true. To be truly brutal and vicious in a physical attack requires that you dehumanise your opponent, and rapists – members of the aforementioned 1% of people – dehumanise a (wo)man much sooner than (wo)men dehumanise a guy who's acting creepily. A brutal and vicious physical attack is rarely sufficient by the time you're absolutely sure that this guy is going to rape you. So the best defence is to get the fuck out of that situation long before any such plainly violently intentions manifest themselves – which is what I do now, because risking sending a sweet guy packing is still a better option than the aftermath of getting so close to that point of no return, that you only manage to get rid of the cunt by calling the police.

    • VigilanteNighthawk says:

      I agree with you for the most part, especially about how you are simply using an broad filter instead of being overtly concerned that everyone is going to rape you. I'm also glad that you mention how women can be dangerous as well. Maybe I'm a rarity, but I don't feel safe going into a private area with anyone I don't know, and I'm a guy with Jeet Kun Do training. Even if we accepted that the old saw about men vs women in the strength department, nothing stops a woman using a weapon or poisoning a man.

      The one area I disagree is that you have to dehumanize your opponent. You don't. You just have to train to act instead of think. The human body is sadly very fragile, and you can inflict severe damage before you have the time to consciously process what you are doing.

      • VigilanteNighthawk says:

        I do want to add, however, that prudence and awareness are far more effective at defending yourself than having to fight your way out of a situation. While I object to the portrayal of women as a paranoid, fainting violets, I do believe that you should still use caution when you feel something is wrong.

  50. My goodness, this article sparked a lot of comment! As a woman, I can say that yes, any uninvited touch is creepy and can be traumatizing. It's happened to me. Oh, and if you're trying to get in with a woman, don't try to pretend you're just wondering if she knows anyone who might be right for you, then invite her to leave the subway in the middle of the night and go talk to you somewhere, then get all insulted when she freaks out. Yup, that's happened to me too. CREEPER, and he must've been twice my age!

    Anyway, I have a geeky, super awkward friend whom I referred to this site. He wished that you'd included more detail on exactly how much space is considered social space and how much is considered intimate space. The rule of thumb I gave him for general American society is that within 3 feet is social space, 1 foot and beyond is intimate space. He then asked how that relates to sitting next to people at crowded parties or dinners where there may not be that much space available between seats, so I suggested that he think about where his face is when he's sitting and where both his body and face are when he's standing. (Obviously touching is a no-no, and he has too much respect for women to even think of going there.) He also has the intensity and staring problems you mentioned…he's one of my best friends and even I find it unnerving…

  51. Paul Rivers says:

    I think this article should be titled "How to go from a guy girls think is creepy, to a guy with lots of female friends every one of whom have completely friend-zoned him".

    The difference between exact same action being a welcomed move that moves things along to dating or sex, and the exact same action being unwelcome and getting you labelled as creepy – is (to oversimplify a bit, but it's important) –

    …Whether The Girl Feels Attraction Towards You

    Imagine you see a guy walk up to a girl and do half the things in this article – he faces her directly and slightly intensely. He keep eye contact for several seconds. He move slightly into her physical space. He linger around when the conversation has died down.

    So – is this guy creepy? By the definition of this article, he's creepy. But – if you've ever watched this happen, you know that these are also the same exact steps where the next week they're boyfriend and girlfriend. I just watched this happen – last week.

    But let's take the original scenario and put different details in. First, let us say the guy is 50 and the girl is 16. He's overweight and dressed like it was a decade ago. Supeeeeeeerrrrr creepy, right?

    But then let's change it – let's say it's the same thing – except that he's her father and it's a family holiday party. And let's say that the guy their conversation is totally about normal family father-daughter conversation stuff like "what should we get your mother for christmas?" and "If you want the car this week you need to do the laundry". You still might think the guy is unnattractive – but it's not creepy. Well it is if you thought of the first one first, lol, but if you *just* saw the second one, it's – really normal.

    But let's change it to something completely different, the guy is – I don't know, Brad Pitt (and here he's single brad pitt from 10 years ago). She's his age, and is *super* into how hot Brad Pitt is (and let's assume he's single, etc). That's not creepy any more. That's called "a dream called true".

    Creepy is when:

    1. The guy does something to triggers an increase in sexual feelings from the girl, or does something intended to do that

    2. That's higher than the level of attractiveness the girl feels towards him – or when she doesn't want to feel attraction towards him (it's creepy to turn your girlfriend on her parents funeral, for example).

    The larger the gap, the more "creepy" it is.

    When you make a judgement call on the creepiness of 2 other people's interaction, your emotions are making a judgement call on the same basis – whether it's ok that those people are vibing on a sexual level. Or it's effect on you…2 really old people making out can feel creepy.

    Part of the reason why guys find this confusing is because as a guy, it generally takes up about 5 seconds to feel attracted to a girl – so a girl coming up to us and hitting on us aggregiously right away is hardly a problem. For girls, attraction is often built up after interacting with or watching you for a while. Or her emotions have an idea of what she's attracted to, and they're deciding if you're really that or not. So you come up to her and are immediately trying to push her "oh yeah, sexy time" buttons – but she doesn't feel attractiveness towards you – now you're creepy. Imagine as a guy that as a girl talks, slowly more and more of what she actually looks like is revealed. Now imagine that girls are constantly trying to talk to you and hit on you.

    Just to be clear, this doesn't have anything to do with defining whether she will date you or sleep with you – only about whether your actions are "creepy" or not. It's the difference between a girl you flirt with her for 15 minutes and it doesn't go anywhere – and everything is totally cool with her. And a different girl and you do the exact same thing and one of your friends mentions that she was talking about it and how creepy it was later. And another girl where again – you do the exact same thing, feel like you should try to kiss her, you lean in and she's totally into it, excited, it's passionate – etc etc.

    The thing is – this article is terrible, horribly, awful advice for the kind of reserved, "trying to figure women out because I really like them but I'm shy and afraid of offending them" kind of guy. It is absolutely horrible advice. The guy is going to go "oh my gosh! I had no idea these things I did are creepy! So he'll practice removing all the things mentioned from his behavior.

    He'll be like "I'm never going to face a woman directly and talk to her! So I won't be creepy! And he's *never* going to make intense eye contact. And he's always going to make sure to leave plenty of physical room between him and a girl. He's going to carefully watch his language to make sure he never says anything that might possibly be offensive. As the above article goes on it starts to add important qualifiers, but he probably has no idea of what "to much" means, so to be safe, he won't do them at all. He won't hover – ever. He won't linger – ever. His idea of "over contact" will become…any contact outside of any activity, or any contact that's not immediately responded to with enthusiasm. He'll never, ever, ever try to run into her outside of their regular activities. In fact he might think that even inviting her to do something outside of their regular activities would be "creepy".

    Do you know this guy? I totally do. I know like 3 of them. They can totally talk to women, no problem. They often have lots of female friends. But they *always* get friend-zoned.

    My big problem with the article is that if you take out the qualifiers – it's a list of "things that a guy and a girl who are going to be dating soon" do. Well, with the exception of the watch your language section. A guy's body language who likes a girl and she likes him says "yes, I'm paying attention to what you're saying". When two people are hitting it off, there is a *lot* of direct eye contact. Smile, really? A smile can be flirty. But do a google image search for "twilight edward" – do you know what the difference between his look being super creepy and super sex is? Is whether the girl is into him. Being closer than normal for comfort – that's exactly what's flirty when the girl likes you. When a new couple goes to a party, is the guy usually "hovering" around the girl? Yes. Lingering – will he try harder to keep the conversation going than normal? Yes. Over-Contact – ever seen the "checking in" phonecalls in sitcoms? That's what couples do. Running into her in her normal routine? It's so cute that you know her and her schedule so well!

    Hmm, maybe this list is a list of things that show or create…intimacy?

    My point is – if you take out the qualifiers, one should never think that doing the things in the blog entry is creepy (well, except for that one). When a girl likes you and you want to date them, you'll need to do some or all of the things on the list. Doing these things is not inherently creepy – doing these things to someone who isn't at the same level of feeling attracted to you – that's what makes them end up being creepy. I mean that's complicated to – she can be kind of attracted to you and you can come on to strong, she can be attracted to you in one sense but not in another, she can be attracted to you but uncomfortable with your advances taking place in public, and one way in which women can differ greatly is in how much of each they like, for one girl a cute guy messaging them 10-50 times a day is awesome (again, after they feel that they're attracted to you), for another even when she's dating, sleeping with, and has plans to marry you, 10-50 text messages a day is waaaaaaaaay to much. But then for the first one, if you *don't* message her at least 5 times per day she'll think something is wrong and think about breaking up with you…lol, different women are different in how much of each they like.

    But my point is – one can't read this list and think "Well I'm just not going to do any of those things so I won't be creepy!" – those things are what people who are moving from friendly talking to dating do. Those actions increase the – sexual tension, level of intimacy, sexual attraction…? I don't know – something – that couples or people who want to sleep with each other want to happen. You can't just turn them off and say "Ok, now women will love me because I'll never be creepy!" They also will not find you attractive. And you can't judge whether an action will be considered creepy – without also knowing how attracted the girl you're interacting with feels towards you. It's an extremely critical part of whether something is "creepy", or whether it's moving the relationship forward.

    Now I realize, having reread the blog entry several times, that the author realizes at least some of this if not all of it as well, as the article goes on there are more and more qualifiers about…overdoing things, or doing something to much. I can just say that from personal experience (myself), I used to read these articles and think "oh, ok, I just won't do those things at all and I won't be creepy", and that is – totally wrong. You need to do those things towards a girl you're attracted to and who's attracted towards you. You usually just don't know the answer, but you can't take "how attractive the girl finds you" out of the equation to figure out if you're being creepy or not – it matter. A LOT.

    • Paul Rivers says:

      Just to add an example, look at the plot from Say Anything – you know, it's that 80's movie where John Cusak stands outside her house holding a boombox over his head.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098258/synopsis

      In the aftermath of the graduation, we see Diane receive a new car from her father as a graduation present. Meanwhile, Lloyd gets his friends to take a photograph of him as he walks behind Diane.

      …stuff happens, stuff happens, etc, they date, sleep together, she breaks up with him "but she still likes him"…

      Lloyd is quite upset. He leaves 7 messages on her answering machine and in what is the iconic scene from the movie stands outside her bedroom window playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" from a boom box which he holds above his head. Diane hears this, but only lies in her bed.

      Lloyd calls her one more time. We watch as Diane and her father listen to Lloyd's message. From Diane's reaction, it is clear that she still very much is attracted to Lloyd. Her father tells her to just pick up the phone, but she replies that if she did, she would just get back together with Lloyd. Eventually, she can't resist and picks up the phone, but it is just at the point when Lloyd himself hangs up.

      The difference – between Lloyd being considered a creepy stalker, and Lloyd being considered super romantic – is whether *she* is attracted to him. If he had left her 7 messages, stood outside her window with a boombox, and then continued calling her at the beginning of the movie, when she barely knew him – that would have been super creepy. But he did it after she was totally, totally into him – in fact the movie makes a point of her saying that if she just talked to him she would end up dating him again. And because of that difference, John Cusack (the actor playing Lloyd) become a symbol for being "Mr Romantic" for like – the next 2 decades. And that's what the difference is – not what he did, but whether she was attracted to him / in love with him / etc, when he was doing it.

    • bouncehouse says:

      Absolutely false. You do not need to invade body space, stare intensely into a woman's eyes, call or text repeatedly, or ANY of the things in this article to get a girl romantically interested. There are tons of other flirtatious behaviors that are significantly more appropriate. Did you see the post above from the girl dancing at the bar? The guy who got her number was the one who approached her once, shared a laugh, then moved respectfully away.

      I'm sad about how incredibly clueless you're coming off.

      What's different about the movie Say Anything is that there was an established relationship before any of that behavior occurred. For the record, I find the main character's behavior pushy and out of line. Ditto the Twilight characters. That's about the creepiest relationship that's ever existed. Hollywood is great at showing how creepy behaviors are perceived as romantic from women. Let's be clear: that's FICTION. No one is writing me a happy ending, so I'm looking out for #1 here.

      • Paul Rivers says:

        "Absolutely false. You do not need to invade body space, stare intensely into a woman’s eyes, call or text repeatedly, or ANY of the things in this article to get a girl romantically interested. There are tons of other flirtatious behaviors that are significantly more appropriate."

        Except I don't think I said that.

        What you seem to think I said:

        1. Doing Above Stuff – > Causes Attraction

        But that's not what I said. What I said was –

        1. Doing Above Stuff

        2. The important variable is whether the girl is attracted / interested in you romantically and/or physically

        3. If she's not – creepy. If she is – things move forward, romantically or physically depending.

        There's also a several other variables that I mentioned:

        – If you go to far over her level it's creepy. If she's like "he's cute, I'd like to know him better" and you walk up to her, pull her body flush against yours, stare intensely into her eyes, etc etc etc you've way overshot how strong her attraction to you is and now you're creepy again. On a scale of 1-10, when she feels 5 you acting at 4, 5, or 6 is welcomed. Acting at 10 is not. And also, acting at 1 usually sends here a signal that you're not interested.

        And that's exactly the problem – while the author probably didn't mean that it would sound this way, if you believe the above behavior is universally creepy, girls feeling a 1 towards you will feel comfortable, but girls who feel a 4 towards you (let's say they talked to you, got to know you, and like you now) will simply assume you're not interested in them.

        – Girls take longer than guys to feel attracted to you. Yeah, she might think you're cute right away, but she (usually) doesn't want to sleep with you right then. As a guy, you often feel like you want to sleep with her within a couple second of seeing. In reality it's more complex, and funny enough guys who attract a lot of women (and who are looking for dating stuff) quite frequently end up not entirely wanting to sleep with a girl until they've know her for longer to, but that's another topic. In general it takes girls longer than guys.

        – Different girls are different on how they feel about where the different levels are. One girl who's really into you will love you being in her personal space in public (you've seen those couples where one is always hanging off the other one?), another will like you just as much but never really comfortable doing that in public. One that really likes you will love you staring deep into her eyes (we just sat on the beach and stared into each others eyes for what seemed like forever!). For another she likes you just as much but never really feels comfortable with that.

        – Speaking of which, context often matters for her comfort level as well. Sometimes it's obvious – usually she likes being more touchy feely in public with your friends (maybe you're holding hands, maybe you're snuggling on the couch while everyone is watching a movie) – than she does while having dinner with her parents.

        "Did you see the post above from the girl dancing at the bar? The guy who got her number was the one who approached her once, shared a laugh, then moved respectfully away."

        Actually, I think that's a great example of what I'm talking about. The first guy pushed hard right away, pushing at a 10 when she was at a one – she even says "I had never met this guy before". Physically moving her when she was at a 1? Creeeeeeeeeeepy. I don't know if the second guy falls under my theory or not, but I guarantee that if she was really into Brad Pitt (let's pretend he's single), but her description suggests that he disliked him as soon as she saw him. But I bet if it was Brad Pitt, his behavior in slowly coming over to her would have been described as "omg, Brad Pitt actually talked to me!!!!".

        I said it before but I'll say it again – I don't believe I ever said that the behavior described in the article will cause a girl who isn't attracted to you (whether it's because she doesn't find you attractive, or simply that she doesn't know you yet) to become attracted to you. I don't think I said that.

        I did say that if you actively eliminate all of these behaviors because you think they're creepy in and of themselves you'll always end up friend-zoned – partially because many girls will friend-zone you after a while when you seem uninterested in her romantically, and partially because…well, it's complex. But how many times have you heard women say "Nobody's attracted to a doormat".

        "I’m sad about how incredibly clueless you’re coming off."

        I think it's a little sad that you didn't appear to actually read what I wrote. :P

        "What’s different about the movie Say Anything is that there was an established relationship before any of that behavior occurred."

        Yeah. (Well there's one slight exception for overall, yes.) But that doesn't dispute what I'm saying exactly either – that when he's doing this "creepy" behavior she's already very attracted to him and that's what makes it not creepy for her. The movie kind of goes out of it's way to illustrate that when he's doing this stuff she's saying stuff like "if I talk to him I'll just date him again" – clearly her emotions are attracted / interested in him…which goes along with my theory. At the same time one could certainly argue that at this point she also knew him well enough that she was not in any danger from him, but in real life often people feel a certain way for more than one reason, it's not out of line to say that it's both.

        • Yeah, but Say Anything was a movie (and one that was written and directed by a man). It's not real life. It's a movie.

          Second, you're assuming that women and men have inherently different romantic motives. This isn't really true. Maybe it's just my friends, but my (college-aged) there's a pretty even distribution of sexual activity/number of partners between my male and female friends.

          The main difference is that women are conditioned to be afraid of rape because 15 to 20 percent of women are raped in their lifetime and physical abuse is more commonly man-on-woman than woman-on-man. Certainly some women are more amiable to men who are attractive to them, but the behavior described in the above article is a pretty good run-down of what can make a woman feel freaked out.

          Girls and guys can come off as creepy to each other (I've known some girls who were borderline stalker) in a variety of ways, but this article lays out some good ways to not seem creepy for guys who aren't used to talking to girls for whatever reason.

          Also, getting "friend-zoned" doesn't mean you stay in the friend zone. A lot of successful romantic relationships come from successful friendships; several of my female friends with geeky boyfriends that were friends first. Individual women have different standards/desires/motivations regarding relationships just as individual men do, because women are people.

          This looks like it's intended to be some advice for guys who are uncomfortable around women and, speaking as a woman who's been around creepy guys and not creepy guys, this is pretty decent advice.

          • Also, I think the problem with the "friend zone" idea is that guys seem to think that if they weren't in the friend zone they would be in the "fuck zone" (or whatever the opposite is), when the reality is usually that it's friend zone versus no relationship at all. If I don't even like you enough to be your friend, I'm certainly not going to fuck you!

          • There's also this implication that they are PUT into the Friend Zone … that it's the woman who made the bad thing happen to the man, not that the man's actions helped shape the relationship he's unhappy with. So she's not interested for one reason or another and suddenly she's the bitch who put him in the friend zone.

          • this is advice for girls, actually. these guys are not "uncomfortable" around girls, they probably interact with girls like this all the time. this article is an unjust reaction by a girl to a perceived "creepy" interaction, which is totally unfair to the guy, who has no idea he's getting this reaction. it's not his fault. it's the girl's fault for giving this guy intentions he does not have.

    • you are 100% correct, Paul Rivers!! :) as a shy guy, often labelled unjustly as a creeper, i must say you did a good job explaining just how awful this article is!!

  52. YES! THIS!

  53. "Most women are socially conditioned not to give offense or hurt men’s feelings and so they’ll rarely break off a conversation directly."

    Great point. I also want to go a little deeper into exactly how women are socialized this way.

    The first time I directly rejected a guy, I thought I was fairly polite but clear about it. "Oh, I'm flattered, but no thank you" is what I said. Men always say they wish women could communicate more directly and just say what they mean, right? I'm not wasting his time, I'm not leading him on, we can all just move on from this.

    Well, this guy responded to me with: "Oh yeah? You stuck-up BITCH, I am going to find you out by the fence and RAPE YOU." Then he proceeded to describe in graphic detail exactly how he would rape me.

    Guess what age I was when this happened? Eleven years old.

    Ever since then, "I'm going to RAPE YOU" guy has been in the back of my head when men show interest. You might say this is an overreaction, and I wish it were. But frankly, that was just a prelude to a lot of subsequent crappy experiences with men who wouldn't take no for an answer. I've had other men get hostile when faced with direct rejection. I've had strange men on the street get hostile when I simply ignored them ("Bitch, I'm TALKING TO YOU!!") I've had the "Well you're fat and ugly anyway" response. I've had men grab me violently and attempt to force something even after I said no.

    And I am not alone; nearly every girl/woman I know has at least one similar experience in her past. Not to mention that people of all genders are usually full of after-the-fact opinions of what you should have done differently, usually to the tune of, "well you shouldn't have made him angry or hurt his feelings; you shouldn't have dressed that way, made eye contact, smiled, etc."

    So you know what? My concern with the feelings of men I don't know isn't based on niceness or some magical womanly intuition. It's because I HAVE to be attuned, to carefully modulate my rejection to make it as impersonal and indirect as possible, out of very rational and cold-blooded concern for my own personal safety.

    Even if 95% of men are awesome and nice and stand-up gentlemen who would never dream of doing the things I've listed… that other 5% can do a lot of damage and I have learned by my own experience to avoid them at all costs. A few "false positives" of mistaking a nice person for a creeper is honestly nothing compared to hearing a guy describe in detail how he would break your eleven-year-old genitals apart if he could get away with it.

  54. AshtaraSilunar says:

    There wasn't really any mention of what to say when you're interested in getting to know someone. I'm a geeky girl, so I tend to wear fairly geeky t-shirts and jewelry much of the time, and I've always got a book with me.

    I respond well to things like:

    "Oh hey, I loved that book, have you read ___?"

    "Love the shirt/necklace/whatever, where did you get it?"

    Generally, try questions that show interest in her interests. If she gives curt answers, she's probably not interested. Don't necessarily expect a phone number. Offer yours, if you're very interested.

    I'll talk to anyone who seems generally interested in what I have to say. That's all there is to approaching me.

    But if you're at least twenty years older than I am and sit down *right beside me* on a very long bench while I'm reading (at a grocery store, waiting for someone), and start talking about how your mother said you'd find your soulmate here, and you love my hair, and you believe in love at first sight… I'm going to bolt. Because you're creepy.

  55. I just wanted to add one more sign that a girl is not interested. I use this tactic to intentionally make it clear that I am interested in making friends at best, but it just doesn't always seem to get the point across:

    If a girl talks to you and refers to you with pronouns like "dude" or "man", or anything you can safely assume a male would use on one of his friends, that is all she wants. Just be glad she is willing to get to know you at all. And while friendships can lead to more, that doesn't mean you should EXPECT them to.

  56. I have a question for you Dr.NerdLove (please pardon grammatical errors as I'm coming off an all nighter). Now my exposure may be different from the norm in this case but I wanted to get your 2 cents. While a gamer (not of the online variety as much, more like the Skyrim and Disgaea kind) I am more aligned with the anime fandom, and I have had a different type of exposure to male privilege. While I have noticed a sense of entitlement in the young nerdy males of my genre, I don't think it's to the same effect you are referencing. Yes, they're are insane idiot's all over the internet due to in being anonymous(and safe) for the little bastard to say what they wish, my question has more to do with in person meetings. The entitlement I come across is more along the lines of the guys desire extremely attractive women (in many cases Asian due to the anime culture) due to the influence of media. But with the people I've spoken with on the subject (which is a sizable margin since I've been to more than 70 cons of different types) I would believe that the guys that approach women at cons don't do so with a sense of entitlement, but with fear. Most of these men are social inept as you have said, and social ineptitude goes hand in hand with fear of the unknown. I also think this would ring more true since these guys are outcasts, so I would assume they have gone through pretty harsh rejections before at some point or another, or have learned to fear it due to their lack of social graces. What are your thoughts on this? A second part to this question would be does the concept of male privilege apply to minorities who often the recipients of just as much (or more in some cases) discrimination than women in the fandom? Also, are we assuming that "every" man/boy/guy has this sense of entitlement no matter race/status/orientation?

    The other question I have is in regards to the creep factor women use. Now you say that they weigh the level of threat and judge the man based on this (normally only taking a look or a instant) due to the constant threat they are under. Yes this may be a awesome thing at many places and serve a purpose, but technically would this not be discriminatory in a way also? I say this because I know what I look like, I'm 6'8/black/athletic. Just the first part makes me set off alarms based on size alone, the second will send off alarms because of the way minorities are portrayed in the media (and the fact more black men are sentenced to crimes they did not commit than any other race, plus they receive the harshest penalties). Now under this logic I have seen, I will never be given a fair chance due to a woman literally believing I will rape here cause my race and size tells me it's what I need to do? Also, I've read in the comments that if a man assumes he should be given a chance, that's a creepy sign; when it's actually the textbook definition of racial discrimination and sexist on the part of the women? Your thoughts?

    Last question, you've touched on Male Entitlement, but do you not believe there is such a thing as female entitlement in the same fandom? For example, the men being given all the rules and putting themselves before the judge (prospective women) to find if they're worth of he attention, does it no seem that it is the women who actually have the entitlement? Part of this idea comes from the fact that you said women are easily in the minority in nerd culture, and are highly sought after by the guys in the fandom (the yes, more people will flock to the more attractive women, that's life).So under this idea, why isn't the female entitled just like the male because she can sit back and have her pick from the men who approach her (citing off the ones that don't meet her perceived standard as being a creeper)? Your thoughts?

    • latebloomer says:

      I don't think it really matters at the end of the day, honestly. If a person, male or female, does not feel comfortable around someone, little can be done to change it. Let's see if you get it from this…

      I don't like hurting people's feelings. I am extremely empathetic when it comes to people's distress. I go out of my way to be polite and kind to people. I even go out of my way to greet new arrivals and be welcoming so that people don't feel left out and unwanted. However, even I cannot get past some creeper issues.

      There was this guy in high school that everyone found creepy. He was, in all honestly, rather unattractive and walked slumped over with his hands shoved in his pockets. However, that was not his down fall. Everyone, even the nicest people I knew could not stand being near him. One of my friends tried to date him at one point, but broke it off with him because he was overly clingy and going way to far with his "affection". He wasn't a bad guy. I knew he meant no harm. He just wanted someone to spend time with. He was desperate for attention. However, if you were a girl this turned into "I'm in love with you", stalking, unwanted touching and things of the like.

      We ended up having a class together… it was the chem/phys class that people in my area have to take before they can take physics or chemistry. This guy was in my class and I sat on the opposite side of the room from him, however, since I was such a nice person my teacher put me in a group with him because she knew I wouldn't ridicule him. Both of the other lab partners were extremely cruel to him. They made fun of him and snubbed him. They ignored his input, which made me seem all the more attractive to him.

      Now, he already kind of made me uneasy. His body language was always off and he tended to hover in my personal space. He started complimenting me, and brushed my hair back out of my face when I was intentionally putting it there so that he could not see exactly how uneasy he made me. The second time he did it, I snapped at him not to do that, but he still tried to find some reason to touch me. He demanded my email address so that he could harass me when I was home. He begged for my number. He made me dread going to class and then even school because I worried about even running into him. I didn't want to be mean to him. I tried to gently and politely tell him I wasn't interested in hanging out with him much less dating him. My classmates made fun of me because of how he behaved. Eventually, two of the guys that sat near me told him to leave me alone because I wasn't interested in him and I felt horrible when I told him that they were telling him the truth, but it didn't even come close to how his presence made me feel. I wasn't afraid of him, but I did feel something akin to fear of him. His behavior made me feel physically ill.

      I was more than aware of my reaction to him. I didn't understand why he made me feel so uncomfortable, and part of me blamed it on my own insecurities, but I knew he wasn't interested in me. I wasn't the first or last girl he did this to. I would say he did this to one or two every week and gained quite the reputation. Every time he did this, he became more and more isolated from the people in our school.

      Now, I know that doesn't make it easier being a minority geek man looking for a woman, but I suggest that you just move on if a woman is afraid of you because of your race and size. She may not want to be intimidated by you, but in a fast moving setting you are unlikely to get the time to change her view. Cut you losses and find a woman that will not only give you the time of day, but does it with a smile. You owe it to yourself.

      Also, woman are not labeled as creepers when they overstep their social boundries. They are called crazy bitches or something else along those lines. They rarely get the polite excuse of being "socially awkward". A well socialized woman knows when to move on when a man isn't interested and she isn't welcomed,

      • I'd like to second everything latebloomer said and add a few things:

        1) Race, size and other physical things, like tattoos, a lot of muscles and so on, aren't generally a red flag on their own. If you approach someone and say hi and follow all the "don't invade personal space/touch/grab/say something overly sexual right away"-rules, it won't matter what you look like (hygiene is, on the other hand, key).

        It's only if you start acting creepy (stare a lot/don't respect a no/don't listen to what the other person has to say/etc.) that size and height come into play in the threat assessment. Race shouldn't come into play at all, unless the person you're talking to is a) a racist or b) has been assulted/harrassed/raped solely or mostly by men of the race you belong to – this goes for white/asian/etc as well.

        So as long as you act like a decent person and respect people, you shouldn't ping anyone's "creeper"-radar. Unless they've actually been a victim of rape, but then you'll only have to work yourself up from "possible threat" to "actual nice guy" by doing the whole "being a decent person and respecting people"-thing.

        In other words, no woman will think "stalker/rapist/THREAT!" just because you're tall or black – unless you look _a lot_ like her creepy abusive ex or something like that.

        2) Don't take women being vary of you as a personal insult. It's not. No woman _wants_ to threat assess. We do it because we _have to_. Because you can't tell a rapist or a stalker or a plain, common asshole from a nice guy at first glance. All we have to go on is what you do and say. And we women know that should something go wrong, in 90% of the cases _we'll_ be blamed for it.

        The same goes for other "opressed" groups as well: people who aren't homosexual or white or able to walk, to mention a few.

        For example, I grew up in a small town in Sweden. There's mostly white people here. Also, a shameful large part of the population in this town is racist or suspicious of non-whites. Therefore, the non-whites who live here are suspicious of white people they don't know, since there's a significant chance the stranger will turn out to be a douchebag. And I don't blame them. I blame the racists. They're the ones doing something wrong.

        So if you feel insulted by women being vary around you, blame the rapists who make it necessary, as well as the people who blame the victim ("what were you doing out late at night? why did you wear that? are you sure you didn't lead him on/enjoy it?" etc.). If they didn't exist, women wouldn't have to be alert just because you're a guy and a stranger to them.

        3) It's true, women can be mean and cruel too. Just as some men are rapists or murders or just assholes, some women are too. More men than women are rapists, but I'd say that just as many men as women are assholes. Sad but true.

    • Titan- I think you raise some valid points on race and size. I think in the end some people are going to be racist and there's not much to be done about them (except avoid those jerks and try to teach children differently). I will tell you from my own experience (I'm a lady), that what puts me on alert is not the size or race of a guy. I'm small so pretty much any guy is going to be bigger and stronger than I am automatically- my threat assessment alarms would be constantly ringing if that were the only criteria. What sets off my alarm bells are the behaviors and verbal cues coming from a guy, and (forgive me, I live in LA) his general energy. I think Dr. NerdLove's article beautifully explains what a lot of those cues are. Thank you!!!

      Guys of any race who are low-key, friendly and respectful of personal space aren't scary, whether they're 5'2" or 6'8". A little dude who emanates anger and won't leave when I pointedly say, "I'm here to catch up with my friend; we'd like to be left alone to chat" scares the daylights out of me and probably triggers alarm bells for most ladies, much more so than a man of any color who says hello, cracks a good joke and is respectful of boundaries/picks up on social cues.

      And for what it's worth, the guys who raped me were white (I'm white also). So if anything, I actually feel safer being approached by an unknown man of color- but truly, in the end, it's about respecting women, their boundaries and all the good tips shared in the article.

      Thanks again, Dr. NerdLove, for your sensitivity and excellent writing. You're truly being of service.

    • Honestly, if I get into an elevator and there is a man in it (even someone I know) and we're alone, in the back of my head I have a plan in case he tries something with me. Why? Because I know the odds of a woman getting attacked are and it isn't good. It doesn't matter what race they are or even their size… I'm going to be prepared.

  57. So this one time when I was around 20 years old.. I had recently met this guy. He was a nerd.. Linux heavy.. Social loner.. Gamed whenever he could.. Over weight.. Acne scars.. Black rubber bracelets and band shirts.. Hacker.. These are all things I learned about him on the first day we hung out. No big deal. I really liked him. I thought he was pretty darned cool. I wanted to get to know him better.

    (Side note: I can't even remember his name or how/where we met.)

    About 3 days after we met, we had hung out twice. I was liking him more and more.

    On the 4th day, I got pretty sick. I had the flu and it rendered me pretty immobile from the first day on. I was online chatting with a friend from work when I got an IM from this guy. He asked if I wanted to hang out and I told him "I'm sorry, but I am really sick. I just can't do anything right now without puking everywhere. Maybe when I feel better?"

    I am going to sum it up here.. Or it will get really long and full of opinions.

    An hour or so after I sent him that IM, I heard a knock on my door. I was still living with my mom.. She answered the door and then a few seconds later, this guy walked in. I was instantly Get-the-phone-and-try-to-dial-911-without-him-seeing-it creeped the HELL out.

    I never gave him my address. I never told him where I lived. I never gave any hint to where I lived.

    He was well and truly dumbfounded by my intense anger and loud shouts of "I should have you f*cking arrested, you sick CREEPER! GETTHEF*CKOUTOFMYHOUSE!!!"

    He did not see ANY problem with what he did.

    It turned out that he got my info in a still unknown way.. And came over to try to give me a pleasant surprise of a bottle of Nyquil to help me get better fast. The good stuff.. Before they messed it all up because of those damned tweakers and their damned meth (different story!).

    My point is that while you might think that something you are doing is A-Okay or even gallant or awesome.. I, as a woman, might take it as "I am a creepy stalker serial killer psycho. Be afraid. Wield a sharp weapon or very efficient firearm at all times around me."

  58. The takeaway from this article: women live in constant worry and fear about violence that could be done to them by men, whereas men merely have to second-guess every single thing they say and do around a woman (or else interact with them as little as possible) lest the woman (and, according to this article, all women) think he's "creepy". I think its worth noting that the first part (what women have to endure) is bordering paranoid and based solely on worst case scenario thinking about something that hasn't even happened, whereas the second part (what men need to be aware) is a constant REAL TIME phenomenon. Its a bit surprising to me that you can use culture, past experiences, and how you THINK men perceive you to justify the "women have to be constantly vigilant" (paraphrased) view, whereas you don't seem to consider that if men are being viewed that way by women its going to have an impact on them. Maybe its not that there "aren't any good men" (a relatively common complaint from heterosexual females), maybe its that all men are being viewed through such a skewed lens that you can't TELL which ones are "good".

    And to sum up Paul's point (I think) more succinctly: the difference between creepy and non-creepy is (most of the time) whether the person in question looks like Wallace Shawn (The Sicillian in "The Princess Bride", for those who don't know) or George Clooney.

    • That is kind of funny, as I saw the direct opposite of that.

    • VigilanteNighthawk says:

      As someone who grew up in an environment in which public violence was an almost daily occurrence, I have to agree. Just because I have a penis doesn't mean I don't know what it's like to feel very real and present danger to my safety routinely. I've honestly run across this line of thinking before, and frankly, I'm calling bull, at least on the manner in which it is described and how women are being portrayed. I've also noticed that women who do tend to agree your analysis with this usually have either a) PTSD from a real trauma, or b) have never seen real danger. Most women I talk to from where I used to live think this is a load of crap.

      However, I do think that his behavior exists on a more subconscious level, and it has more to do with evolution than any conscious fear of rape. I also don't think it has anything to do with gender. Everyone has boundaries. They vary between cultures and people, and anyone can feel uncomfortable in the situations you've described. I've had women do the things you mentioned above, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn't fear being raped, and I have the feeling it's more this ill defined sense of unease, and I have no doubt that most women who are creeped out feel the same way. The manner the article describes the feeling, however, makes women seem frankly to be suffering from some form of anxiety disorder or paranoia (and I saw this as someone with OCD.)

      • (In answer to VigilanteNighthawk): I think this might be a cultural/geographical thing. If you come from some place where violence is common place, of course you'll be as much on your toes as a woman from the same area. I think the person who wrote the article assumed the readers would be from places where violence and murder isn't too common, while rape is. But, and I'm asking this because I'm honestly curious, are you as wary of strange women as you are of men? Or are you wary of strangers at all?

        Also, when rape is the crime committed (or sexual harassment), rather than violence or attempted murder, there's a lot more victim blaming going on.

        If someone punches you in the face or kicks in the stomach, no matter what you said or did to "make them" (unless it was something more violent or otherwise illegal), your attacker still did something unacceptable and will be judged by that (though if you aren't white and you're unlucky and get a racist judge, you risk taking the fall). You might even get called "stupid" for going to the wrong parts of town, but that doesn't change the fact that attacking someone is illegal and wrong. In other words, the attacker will still get sentenced.

        If someone rapes you, however, you'll see a lot of this: "Why were you walking home on your own? Why were you dressed like that? Are you sure you didn't enjoy it? How many times have you had sex before this? Are you sure you're not just saying this to ruin the poor man's reputation? You weren't bleeding, so how can it be rape?" etc.

        In short, if a man offers a woman a drink and she says no, she's a bitch for being paranoid and not getting that he was just trying to be nice. If a woman takes the drink and it has drugs in it, she's an idiot because she should have realized he was a creepy rapist. No matter what you do, you know it will be your fault, so the best bet is to just try avoid being harassed or raped at all.

        However, I do think that his behavior exists on a more subconscious level, and it has more to do with evolution than any conscious fear of rape. I also don’t think it has anything to do with gender. Everyone has boundaries. They vary between cultures and people, and anyone can feel uncomfortable in the situations you’ve described. I’ve had women do the things you mentioned above, and I felt uncomfortable. I didn’t fear being raped, and I have the feeling it’s more this ill defined sense of unease, and I have no doubt that most women who are creeped out feel the same way. The manner the article describes the feeling, however, makes women seem frankly to be suffering from some form of anxiety disorder or paranoia (and I saw this as someone with OCD.)

        I agree with you, while at the same time I disagree. Yes, we all (men and women) have a in built "alarm" that allows us to judge if someone means us harm. If we didn't, we'd all be dead long ago.

        But I don't think the "women described in the article" are paranoid. No one said they think the men are rapists, just _creepy_. And when you do creepy things (like stare at people too long, follow them around, don't accept a no, won't leave people who want to be left alone _alone_) it's only logical that the person you're doing this to will think you're creepy, because you are!

        And what a woman will find to be creepy behavior from a man will be different from what a man thinks of as creepy behavior from another man (because the article is addressed to men, specifically geeky men – having a "women don't do this, it's creepy" would make little sense in a blog with dating advice for _men_), because the chance that the creepy man will want to fuck the other man is lower than the chance he'll want to fuck the woman.

        I'm not saying there aren't men who want to fuck other men (gay & bi people do exist – I'm one of them – and a small percentage of them are creepy), but there are more men who want to fuck women. Thus, when a man does something creepy towards someone, if the recipient is a man he's more likely to think "this dude want to be my friend and has no social skills", while, if the recipient is a woman, she's more likely to think "this guy is just talking to me to get into my pants".

    • Yes, most women are more wary of strange men than of strange women. Do you know why? Because the chance that strange woman just wants to fuck us are significantly lower than that a strange man wants to fuck us. Simple as that.

      And no, every woman you meet isn't going to think "RAPIST?!" the moment they see you – unless they've been a victim of rape and you look a lot like their attacker.

      Instead, this is how threat assessment goes:

      Imagine the assessment as a scale with 0 being "I know nothing about this person" and the two extremes being "awesome person!" and "rapist". When you approach a women, you're at 0 – she knows nothing about you and thus has no opinion on you. With me so far?

      Now, everything you do/say will either give you "creepy" points or "nice person" points. _And_ just because you've gotten a "creepy" point, it doesn't mean the woman thinks you're a rapist. Far from it.

      If you "orbit" someone for a while before talking to them, stare a little too much or don't quite listen to what she says because you're just so nervous, _women will take this possibility into account_! She'll think "either that guy is following me because he's too shy to talk to me or I'm just being paranoid _or_ he's a stalker in training" – but until the moment you open your mouth and prove that you're a nice guy, she can't know which one it is.

      What will get you the big creepy points are the things that can't be judged as "just because you're nervous"-behavior. E.g: not accepting a no as an answer, touching without permission, staring at her breasts – to mention a few things. When you do those things the woman will judge the man to be an asshole, not because she's paranoid, but because he obviously has no respect for other people's personal space or the rights they have to their own bodies.

      But does this all mean that strange men are more likely to get creepy points than strange women? Sadly, yes. But not because men get creepy points for things that aren't creepy – as long as you're act like a decent human being with respect for others, you'll do fine – but because the chance that another woman is talking to you just because she wants to fuck you is significantly lower (it does happen, but not as often).

      Its a bit surprising to me that you can use culture, past experiences, and how you THINK men perceive you to justify the “women have to be constantly vigilant” (paraphrased) view, whereas you don’t seem to consider that if men are being viewed that way by women its going to have an impact on them.

      What do you mean by that last part? How much of a burden is it for a man to be expected to act like a decent human being? Yes, adjusting your behavior might be a little tricky, but these are adjustments women have to do as well. Women can be creepy too. This article, however, is specifically aimed at men. Thus it's only natural that it only talks about what men can do to be perceived as less creepy.

      That said, I do believe that in general, more women have met men that come off as creepy, than men have met women who come off as creepy. Are women then automatically better people than men? NO. Of course not!

      So what's the difference? Well, the chance of a woman raping a man is much lower than the chance of a man raping a woman (though both do happen). Thus, when a woman does the things mentioned in the article, she'll come off as annoying, but not threatening – unless you've been assaulted or raped by a woman, in which case she'll be creepy as all hell.

      To sum it all up, I personally don't think asking men (or women) to watch what they do or say around strangers to be putting too much pressure on them. It's called manners. When you know a woman (or man) you know what they're comfortable with. Some people love surprise hugs. Some people don't mind a rape joke. But until you _know_ that, err on the side of caution or risk being seen as creepy. That's it.

      Maybe its not that there “aren’t any good men” (a relatively common complaint from heterosexual females), maybe its that all men are being viewed through such a skewed lens that you can’t TELL which ones are “good”.

      Interesting. What women have you been talking to? I'm honestly curious. Women who say "there aren't any good men" usually do so because they've run across a lot of douchebags or because they have insanely high standards (i.e. by "good man" they mean insanely rich model who knows exactly what I like because he can read my mind). That judgement is not fair, I'll agree to that, but it's certainly not the opinion of all women.

      As for "you have to be a model not be creepy": Wrong.

      Yes, if a woman is attracted to a man she won't mind the less red flag actions (i.e. hovering, leaning closer, touching), but that's because she's signalled she's okay with such things – if not verbally, then with body language.

      The moment you start doing creepy things (e.g: staring too much, following someone for too long, touching someone without permission, grabbing someone, blocking someone's way, not accepting no as an answer), you'll set off alarm bells because you're demonstrating that you think that what you want is more important than what others want. You can look like Johnny Depp and still be creepy as all hell, trust me.

    • Uh, no. Women don't interpret the listed behaviours as creepy because we're irrationally paranoid about men; these are, straight up, disrespectful and intrusive behaviours. This bs about how it's so unfair to expect men to constantly check themselves for fear of offending oversensitive women — please, spare us. And, as for your last point? If a woman rejects a man because she thinks he's ugly, that's entirely her prerogative and entirely as valid as rejecting him for his personality. Yeah, it may be shallow, but whining about it isn't going to make a man any more attractive, and pressuring her about it is absolutely unacceptable. She doesn't owe him a damn thing.

  59. For those who doubt the need for paranoia, and particularly the inappropriate jokes some statistics put roughly the offender count as high as 1 of 20 men having committed rape (by the legal definition).

    Here's a good read if you're interested.
    http://oforganon.tumblr.com/post/11150747104/to-a

  60. "I’ve also noticed that women who do tend to agree your analysis with this usually have either a) PTSD from a real trauma, or b) have never seen real danger. Most women I talk to from where I used to live think this is a load of crap."

    That is a mighty bold statement there, guy.

    I have seen plenty of danger and I don't have PTSD. And I am in agreement with this message. However, I won't hesitate to cut you if you f*ck with me. Not you as in you, the poster. You as in the "general" you.

    On a lighter note:
    http://thedoghousediaries.com/2700

  61. I was shocked to realize that many of the men in my life have *never* been in a fight or had to physically defend themselves. I don't know of any woman who *hasn't*. According to recent stats, 60% of women have reported being the victims of sexual assault at some point in their lives, but I'll bet 100% have had to deal with unwanted sexual attention.

    It's not that the men in my life aren't competent, attractive, normal humans who would step up if they saw violence or would throw a punch in a bar if they had to. It's simply that most men in this culture never have to deal with it constantly in their daily lives. They might have had an altercation with their siblings or some a-hole at a party once, but it's not something they believe is going to happen in their own homes or on the job or heading to their car. It's the women, regardless of race, age, or attractiveness, who experience some form of violence on an ongoing and regular basis, whether it's from their family members, co-workers, caregivers, or random jerks in public spaces who feel free to comment on their sex appeal… And it's almost always men that offer that violence.

    This article is basic gender relations that delivers practical advice for men who are blissfully unaware of what their actions appear to those with a different world view. It's one of the reasons that most women enjoy hanging around with gays. Not just because there is almost no chance that they sexually assault or harass you, and we are deeply grateful for the temporary reprieve from the worry btw, but because their abusers are *also* men. Lovers, family members, and random gangs of frat boys are just, or more dangerous, to them as they are to us. Gays are far more aware than most het men about body language, male violence, and social cues, since they, too, unfortunately experience it disproportionately. Gays always leave room for your body to escape, their eyes and the rest of them completely understand socially appropriate timing and distance, their touches on women are in good humour and comradery rather than 'copping a feel', and they almost always smile at parties. In fact, rather than an animal shelter, use a human example to learn better social skills. When a young attractive built het friend of mine started working as a bouncer for the local LBGT bar, he suddenly had more dates than he knew what to do with. It wasn't simply that he was now perceived as open-minded, which he was. He was still a burly het male bouncer-type and has a higher risk assessment for most women. It was that a few weeks he had completely changed his social behavior. His body language, his opening lines, his choice of topics, his friendliness and smiles had been an integral part of the acceptability in that scene. It was a crash course of appropriateness in an environment that needs to take male violence, respect, and safety of the entire community very seriously, and he picked up it quite naturally, proving once again that it is the violence inherent in the current system that accounts for the different gender interactions and not sexual biology.

    I was a hot female nerd (now not so hot, but time ravages all), and always went for other hot nerds. Almost always, I had to make most of the moves. In fact, I made it a bit of a point *not* to go for the ones who were too focused on pursuing me. The few times I relented (give them a chance, they could be nice) were a disaster. Most times, that aggression really IS just aggression. So I made an effort to unwrap the quiet, shy ones and was rarely disappointed. They were usually very grateful for my effort, didn't often assume that they owned me, almost never thought about using violence to solve a problem, and I could have intelligent conversations with them in the morning. Now, admittedly, almost no one is going to see a socially forward tiny elvin beauty with long blond hair to be a concern, except maybe women who feel threatened and men who aren't sure they can handle all that, but no one is going to envision me breaking into their car with a knife. I mean, I could, you know! There is no real logic behind that kind of assumption but clearly that kind of extroversion in social situations isn't going to work for everyone.

    Yes, women can stand to step up a bit, but to be able to do so, men really need to step back.

  62. MrsOctopus says:

    This whole post is brilliantly said. It makes me think of a quote from Gavin de Becker's 'The Gift of Fear' — "I don't remember where I first heard this simple description of one dramatic contrast between the genders, but it is strikingly accurate: At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them." Either way, a great book to read, regardless of your gender.

  63. RehcamretsneF says:

    article is bs from the get-go.

    I feel the same fear of every male I ever encounter on the street, and I'm a guy.

    I don't know who told you that men get to assume we're safe.

    And yes, it IS offensive to look into a woman's eyes and see fear, just for being male.

    I didn't ask to be male. In fact I'd rather not be one.

    • Dr. NerdLove says:

      I've done you the service of picking out which comment to keep, since I'm assuming your double-post was accidental.

    • Minor Ramblings says:

      If you feel the same thing, then why get offended? If a strange man makes you go through a quick calculation of 'how close is he/how safe is he/where can I go'? then you know what women go through, and you know that it has nothing to do with how nice the guy may be in reality. That it has nothing to do with you. It's a reflex, and it's a reflex honed through too many chancy interactions, or too many friends and loved ones who've been hurt.

      Don't be offended. Be an ally. Be a refuge. Follow the tips that the Doc lays out here and be one more man that doesn't creep people out. The more people do it, the fewer women (and some men) that have to go through that honing of the self-defense reflex.

    • If you see fear, it ISN'T just because you're a man. It's because your body language is setting off red flags.

      And statistically men are a lot less likely to get raped either on the street or through getting drugged at a party. So yes, either in public or in a social setting women are more wary than men when getting approached by a stranger.

    • how classic. That's very narcissistic of you to think they are not supposed to be afraid of you. You aren't entitled to women's trust as you don't try to emphasize with them. I'd say you are creepy.

  64. This post is delightful. Thank you.

    I'm an abuse survivor who lives in a major city and, yeah, has to deal with creepy attention all the time. It doesn't actively bother me on most days, I'm – unfortunately – used to the constant street harassment and sketchy guys hanging out in front of the bodega next door. But you know what? I absolutely refuse to deal with that bullshit from people whom I actually invite into my life. I am done with people creepily objectifying me or assuming that because I'm friendly, outgoing, and openly queer that I actively want to bang them and maybe bring a friend. (My time on OKC made me want to cry a lot.)

    I love it when people are passionate, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable about what they enjoy, so you'd think that fellow nerdy folks are right up my alley. Unfortunately, I've had some of the worst dating and general-encounter experiences with nerdy dudes with poor social skills. Nerdy guys, take note: I don't want you to corner me, stare into my eyes, and tell me how hot I am. I would so much rather hear about Marvel vs. DC or French military history or obscure anime from the 80s. Who you are as a person and what you're interested are what makes you interesting to me. If you make me feel unsafe and physically uncomfortable, I'm out.

  65. Great article. Here are a couple different examples of two recent run-ins with men I've had, one ending creepily, the other not-so-creepily…fellas, take note. I go to the same place about once a week to get groceries, and there is a cute cashier who I bump into at the store every so often. We've flirted a few times, but nothing more. One night I randomly ran into him at a bar and we pleasantly talked for a few minutes. He helped me carry the drinks I had ordered to my table, told me to have a good night, and then went back to his own group of friends. That, in my opinion, is a successful interaction. We flirted, he made an impression, and then he let me do my own thing. Conversely, the other night I had an incredibly creepy bar interaction with a guy who used to date a friend of mine. He was sitting alone at the bar, I saw him, felt it would be rude not to say hi, and chatted with him for a few minutes. When my friends arrived at the bar he didn't really get the hint and insisted on trying to talk with me–hey, I came to the bar to hang out with my friends, not YOU. He offered to buy me a drink. I refused. He insisted. I refused again. He went ahead and bought me the drink. After making the bartender change the charge to my tab instead, and literally turning my entire body away from him while he tried to talk to me, my roommate and I called it a night and headed home, a place about two blocks away from the bar. We get to our building and turn around at the sound of a voice–it's The Creep. He followed us, SILENTLY, for two blocks. He asks to come in. We refuse. He asks again. We refuse. We wait till he walks away and run into our place, terrified. Listen fellas, do what the first guy did–make your presence known, and be casual. Don't be a creeper.

  66. ConspiracyTruth says:

    If you are typical, you really have no excuse not to do simple things like paying attention to how people respond to you. I send out bad non-verbal cues as a result of my Nonverbal Learning Disability and have come to grips with the fact that, a thousand dollars in seminars, books, and self help CDs later (stuff on how to interact with people better and notice this stuff for dating and success) I will basically never wow a girl, face to face. I have improved, slightly, but it will never be natural for me, I will always have tics, and nothing will change that it will always be faking at best since it is neurological.

    Since I got diagnosed, though, I have begun informing girls I was going to go on a date with about my issues with not being able to perceive or send out appropriate body language cues. My tics and the like. If you are in the same boat (NLD, Asperger's Syndrome, etc) I would strongly suggest reading up on your condition and learning all you can, then informing potential partners of the truth so they understand. Emphasize that many of these problems are environmental and not genetic so they don't think you are messed up in the genes and try to be sensitive to them as best you can as many have misconceptions about this stuff. Communication is key. Just don't be a douche about it or use it as a crutch or excuse – being an ahole isn't a diagnostic criteria for either of these problems.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree with this. I would like to emphasize: The key to note for anyone reading this, is the 'research and try to improve' part. Don't assume that just because you have a condition that it gives you a free pass to use it as an excuse. Yes, other people should be understanding, but you should as well. Accept the times when you do offend someone without meaning to and gracefully apologize, make a mental note, and try not to repeat the same mistake if possible.

      I have met a lot of people with Asperger's and similar, some of whom are friends and others were not. The difference between those (assuming that both have common interests, etc that would generally be basic grounds for friendship) is that the friends know that theyŕe going to step on toes and try to be nice about it. They are just as forgiving about when I misunderstand their intention as I am forgiving about their difficulty in conveying that intention. It is *definitely* a mutual sort of thing that has to happen. Yes, they should try to be understanding, but only as long as you give them a reason to by also being understanding of them. Many people haven't really interacted with someone who has a legitimate problem, and it is easy to confuse the same behaviors for those people who are just jerks. Give them a reason to want to get to know you as a person past the standard social rules, rather than waving it in their face that they have to put up with it or be labeled intolerant. It goes both ways. :]

  67. anonwhatev says:

    As a men I find this both, partially enlightening and partially depressing.

    It definitely is a big factor of reading a womans alarm signs and to back off, but from reading this essay I feel kinda screwed for being male.

    So we basically should not be too distanced, but also not too offensive. Hmmm, kay, I can understand that any extrema is bad, but the problem is that every women does have different opinions about what is too distanced and what is too offensive.

    Despite the fact that woman as well often read mens signals wrong and don't really know where their own borders of what goes too far are.

    If they don't know exactly what they want, how should we men find out?

    • latebloomer says:

      Practice. not with someone you are attracted to, your nerves could blind you to their ques. Just talk to someone. Strike up a conversation with someone in the grocery store line. That interaction has a built in timer so things shouldn't get to awkward. That is just a suggestion though. Each woman is different. You won't pkease everyobe, but I think some brief interactions would help you hone your abiluty in knowibg when to brush it off and move on. The more casually you approach most women the more at ease you will be and the more at ease most women will be. And remember that when you approach a woman for the first time you might not even like her enough to ask for a number or a date. She is on display as much as you are. There is always a chance that she is hoping you will like her.

      (wrote this out on my phone. Please forgive any mistakes.)

      • ye, thought already that practice is the answer

        I just know that I am still a bit blind when a woman rejects me with signals, usually I can see it but there was once a girl I could really not find out if she is just teasing me or if she just wants me to get the fuck out of her radius (it was the second which I found out later).

        Thanks for the answer, definitely will try to watch and analyse my approaches more closesly in the future.

    • I feel like something that is probably one of the most important factors in this is being able to simply read and respond the woman's social cues. Everyone's different and some women will be more or less comfortable with you — so dont worry too much about yourself, just act normal, and when you see how she's responding, adjust your behavior accordingly.

  68. WELL FUCKING GOD DAMN IT!!

    i do all of this

    no wonder i only have one friend girl

    damn it im creepy

  69. Electrically says:

    A similar guide: http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/guest-blogger-s

    Some of the directions about eye contact were… oddly specific. Specific enough that it's almost impossible to follow. You can't really write out step by step directions for comfortable body language. But I do appreciate any effort to educate people who are not threats come across as less threatening – and to try to make more dudes understand that this is a valid issue. Thanks for bringing this up again.

  70. thisconceptofwuvconf says:

    What I don't get is where you'll say girls are always in threat assessment mode because of real danger from men. Then you'll see girls that seem to have the attitude that they can wear what they want, get as drunk as they want, wherever they want.

    I'm not giving permission for the evils of predators. I'm just saying. If they know the wolves are out there, why walk through the woods covered in barbecue sauce?

  71. Pixiegirl says:

    I think that the information on how women are on constant alert is being misconstrued. Yes we do assess most people as a potential threat. I'm 5'2 and so I consistently look to make sure I know my exits in unfamiliar places and what I would need to do to get out. However, to think that we look at every guy and say he's a potential rapist or whatnot at the moment of meeting him, would be incorrect. Most of this is an instinct thing. We do it without really thinking about it. Unless very naive and innocent, in which case those of us who aren't usually try to protect those until they understand what is out there. As far as the behavior goes that thisconceptofwuvconfusesandangersme points out, how would you feel if you are told constantly that you wear a certain thing and you're asking for rape, or you go to a party and get drunk you're asking for rape, and so on and so forth? This is what this society has ingrained in our minds, in fact in alot of cases, its advised not to fight back because if he's going to kill you it was decided before he decided to rape you. Think of that, all instincts should go to fighting back, but it is really BETTER not to fight back. So this "behavior" you touch on…its our way of fighting back and saying I will not let the fear control me. Whether we do it consciously or subconsciously, it's our way of saying screw you to the world. Oh and most chicks who let themselves get to that point of plastered, look around, I bet they have friends there who will get them home safe. They started the night out aware of what they were going to do and most of us usually prepare for that by bringing someone out with us to make sure nothing happens. That being said…why shouldn't girls have the attitude that they can wear what they want, get as drunk as they want, whenever they want? Guys get to wear whatever they want (even when we don't want them to), get as drunk whenever and wherever they want (its usually us women who get them back home and safely to bed). So exactly why shouldn't we have the same priviledges?

  72. -Women are incredibly paranoid.

    -It's all your fault.

    -Change everything, and then double and triple check your actions all the time or you'll be creepy.

    Well, dying alone isn't so bad.

  73. Deliverator says:

    Too much fucking work. Short of the "Don't linger" and "Don't hover", all seem to telegraph "be a pansy-ass weakling". No matter what you do, some woman will label you a creep by the sheer fact she finds you unattractive and will thus view any advance towards her in the worst possible light, period.

    • that's not necesarily true – recently there is a guy that has been bothering me in the linger/hover sense. He is very nice, but I am not attracted to him. I honestly would love to be friends with him, but its because he doesnt take hints, and follows/lingers when me and my friends go somewhere else, that it really bothers me. Its like I cant escape it. and because he's being too much of a sissy about it he wont be direct with me, so I dont feel like I can properly say "no" to a direct advance. I wan to be friends, but because of his actions I am now terrified that any form of kindness I may show, that it will be mistaken by him for something more. — sure i am not attracted to him, but thats not the problem, it's his behavior an inability to recognize certain social cues to "leave me alone"

  74. Thank you very much for this. I've had some of these in my life, and it's nice to have it fully articulated just what's wrong with this behavior.

  75. One piece of advice for those already dating: Don't randomly show up at her apartment. The first time was fine 'cause I'd had a bad day and he just wanted to cheer me up, and he succeeded. The second time was kinda iffy, even though it was just a brief "hi, how's it going" at the front door, I wasn't at all prepared to see anyone at the time. Luckily a third time didn't happen, (maybe he caught a vibe from that second time,) I would've snapped at him if it had. The fact that it happened twice already started a little paranoia that he might appear behind my door at any time. How stressful! Becuse then I'd have to tell him to bugger off and, as mentioned in the article, we don't like to offend. Don't creep around my place unless invited!

    One time I was out dancing with my friends, and this random guy appeared. None of us knew him or anything, and he just stood there maybe three feet away and watched us dancing. After a while of trying to ignore him, I asked him if he could stop staring, and he said "I *could*" with a smirk and kept staring. I snapped at him and told him to leave us alone, but got no better reaction, so we moved to another part of the bar, and gladly didn't see him again. Ok, you like looking at girls dancing, fine. But do you have to stand so close and make it painfully obvious you're only there to ogle? I'm trying to dance here, and you're making me incredibly uncomfortable.

    Great article, thanks for writing it!

    • That is a bit different since you are dating him. Depending on how long you have been dating, a guy just showing up is ranging from alright to unacceptable (after two dates having him show up would be super creepy). That said, if you guys have been going out for months and he shows up and creeps you out, you could have a talk with him about it. Unlike strangers on the street, dialogue is a powerful tool for guys you are in a relationship with. You couldn't just talk to some dude on the bus but you are well within your right to say "I like my privacy so please don't come over till I ask. It isn't you, I like you, just etc etc"

  76. I can think of so many guys who could benefit from reading this that it isn't funny. Even if you have no intention of getting with a woman, acting like you might hurt her or making mock death threats is a bad idea.

  77. feistykitty says:

    As a girl who used to work in a comic store, I can relate to a lot of this. I have two examples that stick out in my memory:

    The guy who came across creepy was exactly the opposite of the first things you describe. He was a pretty typical skinny geek with long hair in a ponytail, and glasses. He avoided direct eye contact, would not face me directly, and was timid in his speech patterns as he tried to decide which wolverine pins he wanted to purchase. He came across as DECIDEDLY creepy. I really wanted to see him as cutely pathetic, but it was just creepy.

    Then there was the really good looking guy. Well dressed, assertive but not aggressive, looked me in the eye, made conversation, and I almost thought he was flirting with me. Almost, until I realized what he was purchasing. Gay furry porn comics.

    Going by the things laid out in your article, the first guy should have made me feel more comfortable, while the second should have put me on guard. And you'd think the guy buying gay furry porn would come off as creepy, right?

    But for some reason, the timid guy is creepy and the other is not.

    This could also be a sign of how I am different than typical women, having different levels of comfort with different types and situations.

    Of course, I also obliviously shot down the first attempts at conversation my now-husband made to me, without him making a lasting impression on that first occasion. Maybe I am just a totally skewed example. ;)

    • well actually I feel that the 2nd's behavior was more normal than anything. I mean, he showed confidence, and it all fell into place – obviously he didnt cross any social boundaries, and he was overall friendly – not suspicious. but the 1st's lack of eye contact, confidence, etc just the obvious lack of social skills can make anyone uncomfortable around them. I would have felt the same as you did.

  78. Wow, thank you. you are doing the lord's work.

  79. This article was right on track and I hope that it will be read and re-read many times- like right before you go out for a night on the town!!

    I haven't read all the comments so I don't know if this has been brought up, but I hope that WOMEN will also benefit from the advice intended for men in this article. I think many women may be misunderstood by making these same mistakes as men. Although most men are not thinking in terms of protecting themselves physically from a woman, I don't think any guy wants to deal with some chick who could potentially go from "creeper" to crazy stalker bitch!

  80. As the good doctor pointed out, “women live in a state of near-constant threat awareness…” which is why I am a gun advocate. I believe that everyone, especially women, should get a handgun, a concealed carry licence, and expert training. I read a study by the DOJ (National Survey on
    Private Ownership and Use of Firearms) estimated that over 300,000 times per year, a women used a gun to defend herself from rape. As is pointed out in the report, this is actually more than the total number of rapes/attempted rapes reported to police every year, ignoring the fact that at least 54% of rapes go unreported.

    In any case, my point is thus: GET A GUN.

    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf
    http://www.saf.org/LawReviews/KleckAndGertz1.htm

  81. Eric Toombs says:

    Itseems to me that any half-decent rapist can pass this gauntlet with ease, making tis litany of required litany of arbitrary social posturing completely pointless. But then again, the threat of rape is really serious and some gauntlet is needed. The current one looks pretty good, but it has a major problem. It rushes to judgement and devalues words, personnally my favourite form of communication.

    ‘But it is instinctive,’ you object. Well, it is instinctive for me to be direct and honest. You ask us to change our deeply-ingrained behaviour, and I will try, but please, do what you can not to write me off because I botch a step in the social dance.

  82. brychan says:

    Ok. Fine. I'll just keep a copy of this post in my pocket….

    o_0

  83. ArthasReborn says:

    What are my options when I walk home and a girl happens to walk home the same way? Rumours started spreading once and I ended up needing to walk an extra 20 minutes out of my way just to get home.

    • Ignore her, because it shows that you're conscious about it. Pretend like she doesn't even exist and do whatever you would normally do.

      • ArthasReborn says:

        Part of the problem was I tried to ignore it, but then she got her friends to threaten and harass me, both inside and outside of school.

  84. Elizabeth says:

    I think for the most part the women you speak of are young. In most cases, definitely under, say 40, probably under 30, and to go on a limb and say "most likely in their teens or 20s" I don't think would be a stretch. There are a couple things to think about here. (I don't have answers, just some relevant ideas.)

    a) Teens to twenties come with a period of "I am young and nothing bad can happen to me".

    b) Some women (also men, but the focus here is women) are apt to confuse any attention with good attention. She wears skimpy clothing and gets good responses. Hey, life is good! She is attractive and feels good about herself, and, well, she's not harming anybody, right? And, ideally, she would mature and see that to find the right sort of guy, the kind that she would be happy to marry and share a life with, she should tone it down and not just flash her goods to everyone. It would pass and she would grow up.

    c) Some women confuse *bad* attention with good attention. This is very unfortunate, but it does happen. She gets the attention of a man, or several. It seems good. There is excitement and sexy thoughts and/or actions. Then he acts like a douchebag. Later, she seems to think that the only way to get those nice, good things out of a relationship are to find those douchebags.

    Especially if her friends who think similarly to b) or c) encourage it. "Oh he's so hot. Look he is so jealous of that other guy flirting with you, and the one looking at you from across the bar, and your male friend who you talk to often. He must love you a lot to be so attached to you!" (Yes it is only one example.)

    Hopefully, most friends see abuse starting and would talk to the woman, *but* what if she thinks this is normal? What if she doesn't see the private lines where passionate romance crosses the line into controlling abuse? What if she thinks that if she doesn't flirt with the douchebags, she won't have a chance finding someone? What if she is taught that this stuff is okay?

    Sorry, I don't know if I stayed on point too well, and obviously these things will affect things differently between, say, flirting with a guy somewhere vs the third date vs after dating for a few months. I will also note that I don't entirely get it either, but that is coming from a woman who has had real experience with this kind of danger. I don't know if I am in a position to properly guess at the perspective of a woman who hasn't.

  85. birdieboots says:

    (slow clap)

    I want to post this on the wall of the guy in one of my classes who literally waited for me outside the bathroom to ask me out. Then commented on all of my stuff on Facebook. Then followed me on Tumblr.

    But oh wait, I defriended him because he was giving me the creeps! So I can't post this on his wall.

    However, I could probably email this to him, or send it to him via Facebook message – which is totally what he's done to me since I defriended him. Dudes, once a lady has defriended you, sending her an email saying "I think you're a very beautiful and intelligent woman (also good luck with finals and stuff)" is NOT the thing to do.

  86. Man just big dumb jerk who notices nothing and wants to speak to pretty lady. There is more and more of this feminist crap rolling around, and the worst part of this article is it not only insults men, but insults women as well. While there are some good social norm tips, this should not have been aimed at either gender group, and should definitely not have used nearly as many stereotypes as it did. Many of today's men are not the caveman era slogs running around carrying a club, and many of today's women aren't petite Victorian era princesses either. Ditch the preferential treatment and admit people are people and I could easily approve of this article more, though as it is I wouldn't even recommend it to anyone.

    • Um, it didn't insult me (a woman). It's not saying all men are going to attack women. It's saying hey, there's a reason women might be nervous around you if they don't know you – you can't change their behavior, but be aware that you might need to change yours if you want different results.

  87. It amuses me that the majority of the complaints about this article are from men. What do we call that? Ah yes; proving a point.

    The one that leads all the way back to Male Privilege.

  88. I have a question about one part, Is a smile showing no teeth also alright? I damaged my teeth at an early age never had the money to have them fully fixed and and very self conscious of them and dislike them very much?

  89. alphakitty says:

    Also, NEVER ignore an explicitly-stated boundary, or try to tell someone what they really want. For example, "Please don't touch my face, I don't like it." "Sure you do." or just the general "I/you know you think I'm hot."

    I will decide what I like, thank you. And if you think your ideas about what I want are more important than what I have said? You might as well be wearing a T-shirt that says Rapist… because overriding what I've said I want with you've decided I *really* want is rapist behavior.

  90. Honestly – I absolutely LOVED this article. I feel, as a young woman, that this helps me understand better WHY (often nervous) men do these terrible habits, as well as helping the man understand why it makes the woman uncomfortable. I myself am having difficulty with a very nice young man who is just making me honestly uncomfortable. He is mainly doing the hovering/lingering thing on a constant basis, and when i want to walk off with my girlf firneds or something (unless its a trip to the ladies room) he tends to follow uninvited. Also I might like to add 2 other forms of "creeping me out" that I think could have been on this list:
    1) Clingy/Hanging on your every word — I mean I understand to an extent but if its done excessively it can make you look like your really are a stalker… or just really really needy.
    2) Breaking the touch barrier — I really enjoyed your section on touching, but I'd like to add, at least from my perspective that generally women are the ones to first 'break the touch barrier" — this young man however, has initiated that with me, adn right now its not at a point that I'm creeped out or anyting, but most certainly I am more aware and alert about his actions (because of the hover/linger) — and thus am more cautious about touch. It just makes me worry if he will continue to keep pushing the boundaries.

    Now, don't get me wrong. Honestly, I could see myself being friends with him, we have had pleasant discussions, but I am so afraid of leading him on, and this behavior of his freaks me out even more. I went to an event over the weekend and it seemed like whenever I was somewhere he'd magically turn up there too, and then if I wanted to go somewhere he'd follow, or if I was watching something, he'd come stand right next to me and pretend to watch with me. Idk – it just made me uncomfortable… and to top it all of he hasnt really been DIRECT about any of this – its been all very light casual and indirect which, I feel – does not give me an opportunity to say 'no' …

    So guys, not only do girls find a man who's Direct to be more attractive & confident, but also it could save you a lot more time in the longrun.

    ANYWAYS — So there you have it. I really appreciated this article, and I feel like a lot more guys should read it. I dont think that there are generally bad guys out there – but certainly if they are not using the right techniques they could be mistaken for something that they really arent. Thank you for writing this, and keep up the good work!

  91. ProfileVictim says:

    Good God people. Is this what we've degenerated into because of political correctness, diversity, and urbanization? This is a complete lesson in profiling, except that the profile fits EVERY MALE. Wow. They are all rapists. You people need to go back about a century and see how much easier life was back then. Move to the country. This stuff is ridiculous.

  92. I think you have given very good advice Dr. Nerdlove. I can't even explain how many of these things I have experienced by guys. The rape, abduction jokes (am a survivor of an attempted sexual assault) the never ending text messages, the "wow, funny we keep running into one another," the keep asking in hopes that no will eventually turn into yes, and finally the stare at her uncomfortably just so she knows you are interested and therefore creepy. Pretty much all of these things become terrifying, gross, discomforting, and in general undesirable–so then the person saying or acting in this way becomes those same terms.

    If guys took this to heart at this a little more, I think they would have a better chance of meeting and talking to girls, regardless of the opportunity of a future relationship.

  93. Wow, good article and lots of posts; actually read them. Glad that this is being brought out into the open.

    The article was good in the fact that it just made everyone aware of just how paranoid and screwed up women are these days. God help men. Lets put this clearly, men being larger and more physically imposing that women has existed throughout human history. Seriously, how far back does human history go? Have women EVER been larger and more physically imposing than men? Nope.

    Ditto rape. And crimes of violence; both by and against both sexes. Now I'm not saying these things are right or acceptable … not at all, what I'm saying is what is new the availability of the feminazi's who have taken over the legal system to torment, torture, and destroy their victims. The victims being men of course. And the accuser's being women. Yes, what is new is women accusing men of crimes whether they were committed or not and using the legal system as a means of torture.

    A guy tried to talk to a woman and she'd didn't want it or he actually stood in front of her and looked her in the eye, so therefore his guilty … and should be sent to prison for rape !!! This is seriously Effed up. Really, a crime doesn't need to have occurred and their doesn't need to be any evidence. What matters is a women made an accusation and the man goes to prison. And when a man isn't jailed over having looked at someone wrong the women are all outraged !!!

    What it comes down to is that women have become so paranoid that they think its their right to ostracize, penalize, rape, and send to prison anyone who gives them attention when they don't want it. While this is seriously eFFed up, it does happen to explain what is currently going on in our society. All I can say is if you thought our society had any hope of propagating beyond this generation, you are very wrong. How can society exist when all men (except gays) are in prison and women control everything. Which unfortunately is where this is heading. So please tell me again, just how do I speak to a woman without ending up in prison ? Mindreader ?

    • Back throughout history single women were accompanied by their chaperones. And you didn't speak to them unless you were properly introduced. And back then if you behaved ungentlemanly to a young lady, her male family members made sure you never had to deal with any messy court system. That wasn't actually better for you then.

  94. You left out the part about being handsome.

  95. The entire article misses one key fact. Men are victims of violence far more often than women are. Women are 3 times as likely to be raped. However, men are more likely to be assaulted, mugged, and murdered. In fact, men are about 20 times more likely to be assaulted than a woman is to be a victim of any crime.

    It is drilled in to men from a young age that we are not supposed to hit women, even in self defense. The vast majority of men naturally desire to protect women, not to harm women. The focus on rape ignores the fact that men are victims of all other types of crime far more frequently than women are.

    • Men are very likely victims of violence…but who commits that violence the vast majority of the time? Men…which doesn't do much to make men seem less dangerous.

      Also, about your assertion that men are trained not to be violent towards women…that training doesn't seem to have been all that effective considering that, according to the Beaureau of Justice statistics, of all the women murdered in the US, one third are murdered by their intimate partners.

      Also, rape is a form of violence…and 1 in 4 women are raped in their lifetime…

      • Also on top of what Trooper said I would argue-once again male privilege comes into play; why? More crime happens at night-who's more likely to be out alone at night a man or a women? Basically my point is it could be because there is more men out than women. For instance if there are 100 people in the room, and a shooter and 90 of them are wearing red and the rest blue. The chances of someone getting shot in red is much higher than those in blue because there's less of them.

    • This is a dating advice site, and this article is aimed at helping men understand the perspective of the women they hope to get dates with. Sexual assault and rape, when they occur, frequently occur in the context of dating relationships, so women's concerns about them are relevant. How are assaults, muggings, and murders related to dating?

      The article isn't "missing" the fact that men experience those types of violence; it's not addressing that fact because that has nothing to do with the topic of the article or the website.

    • Rape and sexual assault is vastly underrreported.

    • FYI, this article is about how to date, not about how to protect ourselves from street assaults. It is very funny to see how many men are offended by this article and post irrelevant replies.

  96. This article is very helpful thanks Dr Nerdlove. I see how time and time again i have been the creeper. Its annoying though that you cannot be honest with your feelings when you meet the right person. Most beautiful women i meet I can talk and be around no problem. But then theres the select few that just set off every thing Ive ever looked for in a woman…. and you lose it… lol… it seems like an honest man will never get the girl of their dreams due to the "creep" factor.
    Pretty soon were going to have to email our resumes to women in order to get them to talk to us. Its unfortunate we cannot just be our animalistic selves and get silly. I do COMPLETELY understand this has to do with the constant dangers in life. I have a younger sister as well and I have been to guys houses to straighten things out. I believe that rape and murder rates are slowly declining but that chance no matter how small it is, is not worth risking.
    It is VERY unfortunate. I just have to learn how many dates I have to hold back from being my normal "intense" self. How long I have to dam my flow of humanity

    • It's great that you're taking DNL's advice and seeing how it applies to you! But I just want to point out that restraining yourself to avoid coming across as creepy doesn't mean you "cannot be honest about your feelings". There are all sorts of situations where we have feelings we recognize we need to downplay or not express at all publicly–e.g., when your boss does something that pisses you off, when someone gives you a gift you're disappointed by, when you're happy about something very personal (having a great one night stand? a friend just got pregnant?) and you're among strangers or casual acquaintances.

      When you're just getting to know a woman, she seems like "everything [you've] ever looked for", and you're incredibly excited about that, holding yourself back from telling her she's your dream woman and showering her with attention and affection isn't being dishonest. It's recognizing that a) realistically you don't actually know her that well yet, so you might *feel* like she's the perfect woman for you, but you're a long way from actually *knowing* that; b) the woman in question knows that you don't know her that well yet, so if you start acting as if you're totally in love with her, she's going to feel like you're projecting an image on to her rather than focusing on who she really is (which isn't a comfortable feeling); and c) the woman in question doesn't know *you* all that well yet, so she's quite likely not ready to make declarations of love or whatever, and even if she likes you, she's going to feel uncomfortable getting a level of attention and affection she can't reciprocate yet.

      You're not lying, you're just holding off on completely following through on your feelings until you're sure they're totally real and you're close enough with the other person that sharing deep emotion is appropriate, not overstepping boundaries.

  97. Seven years ago, I decided to give up on dating. Giving up dating is perhaps one of the postitive things I have ever done for myself. Any of those nice guys out there who can't deal with the seemingly inconsistant behaviour should consider dropping out of the dating pool. Not a single regret.

    It ended for me when I woman (Jen) I was dating said I was stalking her. I stopped all contact with her and even dated another woman a few times (it wasn't going to work out, she was kind of strange). My friends made all kinds of fun of me about the stalking as Jen had told everyone in the social circle about it. About a month after I stopped all contact with Jen, she cornered me in a club I was hanging out with some friends and asked why the fuck I stopped calling her. That was the point at which I decide I would never date again. I just can't handle it.

    • Unhappy male says:

      I hear you on that one. All this emphasis on learning protocol, on understanding where women are coming from, it is all a one-way street, and forever to the disadvantage of men. If we're supposed to spend this much mental effort in understanding women and anticipating their insecurities and fears, how can we possibly avoid not obsessing over things and putting women on a very unequal pedestal? How can we ever have respect and sufficient concern for ourselves if we're supposed to be this omniscient and compassionate, but not receive any such thing in return? Women who want men to adopt such careful behavioral self-governing had better be willing to put forward an equal effort, be unequivocally accepting, or they will soon find themselves with nothing but disrespect for these men who have reduced themselves to little more than hollow actors on a stage. Finally, women are smart enough to question all male behavior, especially when men do the "right things," since there are so many resources that abet manipulative social programming.

      • I'm sorry you went through that. Jen seems like a psycho. Her calling you a stalker when you weren't stalking is a huge disservice to women who really are stalked. I've been stalked by every man I've ever dated once I broke up with them. I define stalking as a an intent to continue to pursue someone who has made it very clear that they are not interested. Stalkers ignore the wishes of their victim and repeatedly overstep their boundaries. They follow their victim and watch their every move. It's damn creepy. I went for all of the stereotypical nerdy guys and avoided the jocks. These nerdy guys couldn't believe I would give them the time of day and ended up being extremely clingy and obsessed. One attempted to rape me. I know not all nerds are like this, but I have a habit of running into the ones that do. Funny enough, these are the guys that claim to be nice guys.

        To all the men out there: if you want to increase your chances of getting a girlfriend, try smiling and simply introducing yourself. Don't use a pickup line. Keep it simple. If a girl says no, then back off. Respect her decision. Some men think this is an invitation for them to try harder. News flash: it isn't.

  98. Couldn't get past the "women are in fear of men, men are not in fear of women" bullshit. I am a guy. Average size, not very tall, and I have been in fear of women before. Women can be the most evil destructive creatures ever seen if they wish to be, and can scare guys off just as easily as the other way around.

    • if you would have kept reading you would see he mentions that

    • that means you are still a little boy…… women are not that interested in you, dude. They want marriage, long-lasting relationship, not fucking a total stranger. Although I'm not homosexual, I'm more comfortable while staying with women, simply because they are biologically decided to not think with dick (not conclusive, just statistically speaking).

  99. Christopher says:

    So how should a man deal with a creeper woman?

    • Well, what kind of stuff does she do to make you uncomfortable?

    • It depends how she's behaving and how you interact with her. If it's a one time interaction, excusing yourself can be the easiest way of dealing with the situation. If she's someone you see occasionally but not a major part of your life, lines like "I'd really rather not talk about that," or "Uh, hey, I'm not comfortable with that," or "Well, that's sort of gross… [intentional pause]," or "Wow…[intentional pause]," (for something really inappropriate) can get the message across. If someone's being creepy, it's better to be sort of flat and focused on boundaries than to be friendly.

      If she's someone you see constantly, sometimes it's easier to focus on the people who make the constant contact necessary. Point out what the problem is, and explain that you don't want to be around her any more than is strictly necessary. This will sometimes end up separating good friends from…well…not so good friends who are apologists for the creeper. If it's some sort of official situation, like a workplace or a convention with a sexual harassment policy, there are also formal ways of dealing with the problem and people who can be intermediaries.

  100. Tom Leykis says:

    You might want to focus on losing your virginity first, tool. :)

  101. MALE privilege?
    WE don't have the vaginas!
    We just have the Y chromosome, that makes us do some INCREDIBLY STUPID SHIT to obtain access.

  102. This is an excellent article, and sums up a lot of things I've been trying to figure out how to explain recently. If you have any advice on how to gently let a guy know that he might need to work on his creepy behavior, I'd love to read it. I'd love to simply direct them to this article, but I suspect that if not in the right frame of mind, some guys might just skim through it and think "Oh, I don't do that" — when really they could benefit a lot from simply being more aware of the way that women have to be constantly aware of, and guarded against, potential threats.

    Here's one more thing guys should be aware of if they don't want to be creepy: If you met her on the Internet, she's probably not going to want to give you her phone number right away. At least not until she's met you face-to-face and judged that you're probably not going to use it to (a) harass her (b) stalk her or (c) send her dick pics.

    Also, related to the average woman's reluctance to offend people (not just men, actually): if she "casually" mentions she has a boyfriend in the middle of your conversation? That's why. Ironically, many guys are actually offended by this attempt to avoid offense, seeing it as a sign that the girl assumes he just wants to get into her pants. To be fair, she might very well be assuming that, but this is more of a "just-in-case" thing and may not have anything at all to do with the particular guy. In my experience, it just means she wants to make 100% sure that you BOTH understand where this conversation is, and is not, going to end up. It's about making sure everyone is on the same page while avoiding the confrontation that a direct "Look, I don't know if you're looking for a sexual relationship with me, but if you are, you should know it's not gonna happen" would provoke. Because what if you WERE expecting sex? And what if you were one of those dickwads who suddenly becomes aggressive or even violent when he doesn't get the sex he believes he is owed? I know you probably aren't — but just in case you are, I really, REALLY want to forestall any possibility of your drunken rant calling me a stuck-up bitch whore slut etc. who thinks I'm too good for you. Just in case. Is there a better way to do this? Probably. But a lot of women haven't figured out what it is yet, so you'll probably run into this method a few times.

    And relatedly, don't "expect" sex from the women you date. That is to say, don't act like sex is obligatory. Ever. HUGE turn-off and in some cases a red flag for a budding abusive relationship. This may seem obvious but some guys don't seem to get it (see above) so it's probably worth reiterating.

  103. argelfraster says:

    I can't speak for all women, but for me personally: I would see nothing wrong with a guy just straight-up asking "Am I bothering you? Does it make you uncomfortable when I —? Do you want me to stop doing that?"

    This might help make things a little less mysterious. A lot of the lines between creepy and acceptable behavior are pretty subtle, and I don't think there's anything wrong with checking in with the person. In fact, it shows that you want her to feel safe and may be taken as a sign that you are, let's say, hip to feminist issues. Although of course it might get weird if you ask every five minutes.

  104. Be aware of where you are approaching a girl. Places that are not good:
    -anywhere that is dark
    -anywhere where she doesn't have a place to walk away from you (ie: inside seat of bus/plane/metro)

    Another note: the less people who are around, the more room you should give her. If you approach someone in a parking lot/along a road, give her more room. It makes us feel like we have places to maneuver.

    If you do want to approach and talk to someone and there is limited room, give her more space to move around. For instance, guy sitting next to me on a bus, taking the seat between me and the isle – A LOT more creepy than guy sitting in the seat in front of me and turning around and saying hello (I now have a way to slip out.) Seat behind me a little more creepy, because I can't see behind me as easily.

  105. Theantibitch says:

    This post blog is completely misandirstic. I don’t think women would appreciate a blog called “Don’t be a cunt” I take the same offense to the word creep as they do to cunt. This blogs feeds into the falsehood about men perpetuated by female chuvanism. If women want to be looked at as empowered then they shouldn’t have to passive agressivenly play victim to behavior that is falsely precieved as threatening. Yeah okay, we got it femminest, it’s wrong to treat you like they did in the Mad Men era, but you want to have your cake and eat it too. If men have to play by the rules then you have to stick to them.

    • I would say your correct and incorrect, if men were to play by these rules and not come off as creepy I would happily hangout with them, talk to them etc. However I am not obligated to do more nor are you with women. 1) it could be while I find you attractive you are not attractive enough to dump my boyfriend I have had a relationship with for 5 years.
      or
      2) I could find you very friendly and a cool person to hang out with; maybe a potential someone for a friend but not me. Everyone has types, certainly you don't not think every single women you meet/hits on you is attractive and/or you don't want to have sex with them correct? Why should we be expected to find every single male that hits on us attractive?

    • Agreed. Feminism aint what it used to be, I can confidently say that it seems nowadays to be nothing more than a platform for females trying to get as much as they can… its not about equality anymore and they damn well know it. Correction though, if women want to be seen as empowered.. THEY MUST FIGHT THEIR OWN BATTLES. Don't get your (boy)friend to beat that creeper up, don't put the responsibility of shielding you from guys you're not interested in at the club on your guy friend, and don't fucking lie all the time to people you're not (sure that you are) interested in. 6 simple words ladies, I promise they will work 90% of the time: "Thank you, I am not interested" (omit or include thank you as per situation). Treat people like people, women AND men both demand respect equally.
      Seriously, girls nowadays, and especially each successive generation, are just like those obnoxious little purse dogs that yip yip yip, and back the fuck off once you take a step. I've said it before and I'll say it again: when it comes down to the theme of "guys vs gals", guys are profoundly stupid and women are out of their fucking minds.

  106. Brad Marshall says:

    Ever heard of the racoon?

  107. Blah fuckit says:

    And this is whi i gave up dating for good. Women set these stupid rules that only affect ugly guys like me. The real secret to dating is 2 things good looks and a lot of money. Because lets face it women only care about 2 things making there friends jelouse and money. Women are bassicly whores anyway if date a girl you paying for it anyway wethere it be buy her stupid shit she doesnt need buying her measl she will only eat half of or listing to her stupid fucking problems. You might as well save the money and fuck a whore women are all the same and deserve everything they get.

  108. PorcelainSpider says:

    women can also be creepy. I am sure I have been in the past, when I was less aware of how I appeared to other people. Fortunately I had male friends who kindly pointed these things out to me. (and, I got that I was actually creeping folk out, from their responses) Women also can be unaware of themselves enough that they scream "victim ripe for picking" to creepers. I've been that, too. Fortunately for me, I got out of those situations merely ruffled. and then I went and got self defense courses. Now I know that there are also guys out there (in my social circles!) that play the 'socially inept card' when they are in fact, bona fide creepers, that ought to be maced, at the very least.

  109. Regarding liking every comment and picture, I know a number of girls who post stuff just for the attention. I sometimes give them what they want, but Im learning not to. It makes you more mysterious and also doesnt feed them what they want. If some picture really stands out, Ill like it, but thats about it.

  110. What do I need to do to avoid being called creep when people see my ugly ass on Chatroulette or Omegle?

  111. At this time I am going to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read additional news.

  112. What's the point of dating? As a guy you have to jump through hoop after hoop to even be considered given a shot, whereas as a female all you have to do is to look pretty and bam, you are entitled to everything in the world. BTW as for entitlement guys are bashed for being entitled if they have any dating criteria whatsoever (don't want a serial cheater with every STD in the book? You're such an entitled prick!), yet if you are a woman, you can have laundry list of whatever minor stuff that gets elevated to deal breaker status (eg. must be 6' or over. You're 5'11'' and 3/4''? Too bad, get out loser!), and no one can so much as bat an eyelid.

    • - Do you have any idea how many hoops an average-looking woman has to jump through to be pretty?
      – Some women will never be able to be pretty, at least not by conventional standards. How do you think it would feel to not have any hoops available to jump through, and to just be told that it's going to be impossible for you? (Personally, I think most women have to do more than just be pretty, but under your theory, the world is a really bleak place for unattractive women.)
      – There are some women who only date tall men, There are others who don't care that much, and I would say most are basing their judgments more broadly than 1/4 of an inch categories.
      – When women are picky, people bat eyelids. Then they tell them to settle. Or be prettier.

      • Oh please. Have you seen celebrities without make up or Photoshop? Not so "stellar" anymore, are they? Actually, those who are pretty with make up still tend to be rather pretty without it whereas those ugly without makeup are still ugly with it.

        • Um, how does this address any of the points eselle made? She didn't say anything about celebrities. And suggesting that even with make-up it's hard for someone who's not pretty to look pretty basically confirms her point: that if the world actually works as you said, average and below-average looking women (which is the majority of women, given the definition of "average") are way more out of luck than the average guy.

          • Average is new "pretty" now, even below average women get plenty of attention. See online dating for example and how bombarded with messages women are. In fact in OLD women rate 80% of guys as below average or worse looking, so yeah, there's that…

          • As a woman who is definitely not below average, and I think on a good day is at least a little above, I'm so glad you know more about how much attention I get than I do! Which is–I basically get none. I have never been asked out or even really hit on (not counting the–still very occasional, like once or twice a year–walk-by crude comment which obviously isn't intended to lead to a conversation let alone more) in person in my entire life. There are lots of other women here who don't get "plenty" of attention despite before perfectly nice looking.

            And I don't know where you're getting your data from, but the studies I've read have shown that only above average women get lots of attention even online. Even that survey you're referring to showed that men don't rate most women as above average–it's a pretty normal curve. It also showed that men message the women they consider above average (i.e., the minority) far more than other women, and that despite the way women rated men, they mainly message the guys they rated lower on the scale (average and slightly below). So even the data you're pointing to doesn't prove that guys have to do so much more than women (it shows something they have to do less–i.e., look "above average"), and it proves the opposite of "average is the new pretty" and "even below average women get plenty of attention".

            You might want to try stepping away from the internet and it's echo chamber of guys claiming they know what women experience for a while, and talk to some actual women. Or even just look around at what's happening in real life.

          • http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-looks-and-

            Actual informative reading instead of thinly veiled insults you seem to love to throw at anyone who disagrees with you.

          • Actual quotes from the article you linked to (which I was drawing my actual information from in the comment above because I'm familiar with it):

            I said the survey showed men don't rate most women as above average, and that the survey showed a normal curve. The article says, "the majority of women have been rated about “medium.” The chart looks normalized, even though it’s just the unfiltered opinions of our male users." (bolding mine)

            I said the survey showed men message women they consider above average far more than other women. The article says, "When it comes down to actually choosing targets, men choose the modelesque. Someone like roomtodance above gets nearly 5 times as many messages as a typical woman and 28 times as many messages as a woman at the low end of our curve. Site-wide, two-thirds of male messages go to the best-looking third of women."

            I said women mainly message guys they rated at the lower end of the scale. The article doesn't talk about this in the text, but if you look at the graph (here: http://cdn.okcimg.com/blog/your_looks_and_inbox/F… ) you can see that the majority of the messages women sent to men (the blue line) were sent to guys rated 1 or 2 out of 5, and the guys rated 4 or 5 got hardly any.

            Try reading your sources for yourself and making sure they say what you think they do, instead of insinuating that other people don't know what they're talking about with no apparent basis whatsoever.

    • I think you may be responding to portrayals of women in the media. I've certainly seen movies where yes, women get to be stupidly picky and behave badly and it's all okay because they're physically attractive. Most women, though, aren't actually like that. If you're encountering women like that in real life, then you should think about where you're meeting women.

      I'll add that nerdy women, specifically, tend to really hate the "all a woman has to do is be attractive" message, whether it's coming from the media or being propagated by guys like you. Being a nerd means being willing to buck the mainstream, to follow our own interests away from the crowd. It also means that we want to be valued for more than just our bodies. When nerdy women get told that we have to conform to a VERY mainstream standard of attractiveness in order to matter, it's a rejection of who we are and how we choose to live – regardless of how closely we may actually conform to that mainstream physical ideal.

      For what it's worth, I do think that the consumerist mindset of dating leads to SOME men AND women being incredibly picky about minor, stupid stuff. A guy I know just dumped a woman because she had thick wrists and ankles; a female friend turned down a perfectly nice guy because he liked hiking and she doesn't. Speaking personally, I think love requires more generosity and less consumerism – but that doesn't make the problem specific to women.

      I also think that the people who make you jump through a million hoops to get a date are not people you'd be happy dating anyways, so it's good that they're filtering themselves out of the dating pool.

    • I'm glad that you don't fancy dating, coz there will be one less creeper. Keeping yourself alone is the perfect way out for both you and the girls you stare at :-)

  113. To go with the Facebook/internet advice – do NOT bring up information you did not learn from her directly, with her! If you just friended her and you notice she has a status about her favorite band, your conversation strategy the next time you see her should NOT be "Did you check out the new single by [favorite band]?" That's creepy. From anyone – this goes for girls too. (The rule about FB creeping is everyone does it, but you do not admit that you do it!) One way to avoid this is to mention the source if it seems reasonable that you would have a reason to check the source (NOT "I spent the last 6 hours paging through your FB profile"). Like if you are just meeting someone online from a dating site it's probably expected to say something like "I saw you liked [favorite band] on your profile, what got you into them?" or if you have a mutual friend, you could bring it up by saying "[Mutual friend] told me you like [favorite band] blah blah".

    I recently had a short interaction with a guy who is a year below me at school. A few days later, I passed by him talking to my friend and my friend said a quick "Hi, KitKat" to me. However, he did NOT introduce me to this guy. The next time I saw the guy in question, he called out to me by name. This came off as creepy, because we'd never actually introduced ourselves. I mean yeah my friend said hello to me, but he didn't involve this guy in that interaction at all and it wasn't meant for his ears. So that made calling me out by name like we were already BFFs seem just a little too personal or like he had specifically tracked my name down. If you should not know information about her, don't let her know that you know it. Instead of calling out to me by name, he could have just called "Hey!" and then proceded to say "I just wanted to introduce myself since I feel like we've talked a few times and it's a little weird that we don't know each others' names yet! Sorry about that! I'm X." That would have been seen as friendly to me, but not creepy. I have a feeling this guy is just socially awkward and this alone wouldn't make me totally write someone off (especially since I know how he learned my name – just didn't feel we were *acquainted enough* to use each others' names yet), but if someone's actions continue to make me uncomfortable, I don't want to be around them no matter their intentions :/

  114. I'm a guy, that's shy, and I've been hurt by women before. Rape and violence are not solutions to anything and are unacceptable actions towards ANYONE (and, yes, not funny).

    That being said, thank you all so much for pointing out once more that it is indeed MEN's fault that American girls get creeped out at the drop of a hat, not the media, not ueber religious parents, not our historically sexually repressive society, not girls who choose to lead guys on for their own purposes and whatnot and incite emotional turmoil that may even manifest in physical violence (not acceptable, but maybe understandable in some intense situations of passion), or even those cookie-cutter brainwashed cosmo girls that have replaced all substance with fashion and "how to turn him on" columns.

    And you know what? The last rape "joke" I heard was from a girl squawking drunkenly across the street from me. Speaking of which, alcohol seems to turn girls into impish, demanding little things for whom the world must bend over backwards…. and no matter how much they puke, they're at it again the next thursday (guys too, but girls are definitely more obnoxious, and I know women who say the same)

    When was the last time a girl approached any guys here? Or bought him a drink for approaching her and being interested in him? Or offered to split the check at dinner? What? Why should a GIRL have to get off her pretty little bum and get her hands dirty, of course they man should put in all the effort.. after all, that's what evolutionary biology tells us: the man is the provider and he who desires, the woman is the desired one! Try approaching someone you don't know in the pursuit of a mate or just to shoot the shit with a pretty face for a bit while you finish your drink…. it is not the most comfortable or easiest situation to know what to say or make sense in and you fear being labelled a creep, rejection, or being completely ignored after each letter that comes out of your mouth, each angle that your eye hits her eye at.

    I am sick and tired of hearing this shit. Love romance dating, these are two way streets that society has tangled into a horrifying mess… that along with the ever increasing western mentality of ME ME MEEEE first! and you get the highest divorce rate in the world.

    This is not to say that there aren't creepy ass dudes out there, or that all men are angels around women. I can't stand those people just the same.

    When you find someone to be with remember this: in the morning you will be waking up next to another human being: brain (hopefully), heart, muscle, blood, skin, bone, ligaments… DNA.

    A quote from Venus in Furs by Leo von Sacher-Masoch:
    "woman, as nature has created her and as man has reared her, is his enemy. She can only be his slave or his despot, but never his companion. This she can become only when she has the same rights as he, and is his equal in education and work"

    You wanna be equal as men? There is take, but there is also GIVE. If you want to be a team with your significant other, share responsibility and work and child-rearing, share POWER in the relationship… that is a beautiful thing and how things out to be (see German, dutch, scandinavian and eastern european girls). If you expect to play the pretty girl/damsel in distress role, control men with sex, and play the victim when things don't go your way, passive aggressive… then I want my goddamn dinner on the table and laundry in the wash when I get home. Hang up my hat too and change the baby.

    "You're such a creep!"
    "You're no prize pig yourself ma'am"

    FYI I am not single.

    • FWIW, I approached my husband first, I kissed him first, and I paid for 90% of our dates during the first three years of our relationship. I think it is really smart for women to take the initiative in approaching men. Among other things, it's a great way of eliminating guys who just want you to conform to gender roles.

      I tell you this so that you know I'm not being defensive when I tell you that I find the way you talk about this to be really mean-spirited. Please consider that your attitude may be alienating many women like me, who are already doing exactly what you claim to want women to do.

    • I feel sorry that you were assaulted, and seriously she cannot be forgiven for this. That's why I didn't vote you down. However, misogyny isn't the solution. I don't pursue "equality", because this world is by its nature diverse — man and woman are different. Women take the responsibility to give birth, but men do not. It doesn't matter if you fancy a child or not, because women risk much more than men do in terms of intercourse no matter what.

      What does matter, is freedom (negative freedom, "freedom from", rather than "freedom to") and interpersonal respect. We should respect that difference between people, and don't ever cross the line. Again, I feel sad that your past experience negatively affected your perspective toward others, and this should be helped by a professional.

  115. Men, the solution is clear: turn gay and save yourselves!

  116. Ladies a suggestion if I may: If you are not impressed with what is coming your way, then why don't YOU go find it instead?
    It seems to me that if you're sitting there looking pretty and waiting for men to come to you, then you must expect the best and the worst to cross your path. It's a fundamental law of the universe my dears, and frankly you can do something about it or stop complaining.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." – Albert Einstein

  117. anonymouse says:

    I used to go out with high hopes of meeting a girl, I was more social then when I was still a virgin. But eventually I had my few experiances, a dagger through the heart, a number of frustrating situations beforehand, and after, even been toyed with a few times. And the the conclusion I have come to is that the juice largely isn’t worth the squeeze. It’s allot easier to be cold inside with regards to relationships, and just play the part of a loving caring person than actually being one inside, I’ve found it’s just safer to be that way, you don’t get hurt as easily that way.but that’s just my take on things.

  118. I've been texting my co worker just to say hi or start a conversation since i wanted to get to know her more and eventually ask her out,get to know her more and tell her that i do like her.one time she replied saying "ate you bored pr something"?then i replied "i'm not cause i'm texting you". Girl: "oh ok..just making sure that you're not a creeper…lol"…what does her reply indicate? Thanks…

  119. RebeccaB_V says:

    Great article, and even better comments!!!

  120. Here's an idea rather than any sane human being trying to navigate the murky waters of the female social cues. How about lets skip all the misread signals and let women be the ones to approach men, and state their intentions clearly

  121. I get the desire to go through a new crush's Facebook photos, but for the love of god, don't like a girl's picture from 5 years ago. That shit is time stamped and we know if you were going through Ll of our photos at 3 am.

  122. rebekkalien says:

    Thanks god someone wrote this…seriously, men can be so creepy.

  123. My life would be a lot easier if women were more likely to ask men out than vice versa. Forget women, I have a hard time talking to almost anyone who makes me nervous.

    • eselle28 says:

      I'm sorry to hear that, but if that's the case, I don't actually think that your life would be significantly improved if women were approachers and men were approached. The fact that one gender tends to do more of the approaching in heterosexual interactions doesn't necessarily mean that any one given individual is going to receive any approaches from people who interest them, or in some cases any approaches at all.

      It's also not as if men will keep on talking to women who are awkward and who struggle to make conversation with attractive strangers. When women can't hold up their end of the conversation, all but the pushiest and most boundary-violating men tend to get either bored or discouraged and find someone else to talk to. I suspect you'd find it the same if women were approaching men.

      There are lots of awkward women on this site, and I think you'll find that we struggle with dating too.

  124. peanut butter says:

    This is HORRIBLE advice.

    “You may be honestly missing the clues that it’s time to go; she’s going to see it as you ignoring what she sees as very clear signs that you’re not wanted.”

    An honest misreading of the clues is just that: honest. Perhaps a little irritating. Definitely not creepy.

    The author of this article doesn’t understand what creepy means. Over on YouTube, vsauce made a terrific video explaining the concept. His focus is not the romantic context. But since women are just people, it still applies here. Watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEikGKDVsCc

    The key insight is that being “creeped out” is a natural reaction to the ambiguity of a threat. Forcing yourself to smile is a terrific way to come off as ambiguous.

    “Oh hey, that guy’s smiling. He doesn’t seem comfortable, though. He darn sure isn’t happy. I wonder what he’s hiding.”

    Welcome to Creepsville! Population: You.

    This same rule of thumb applies to most other forms of social interaction. Pretending to respect her space will only send the message that you’re waiting to pounce. Being in-authentically squeaky-clean will only send the message that you’re a ball of rage, on the verge of explosion. If you make excuses to bow out of the conversation, she’ll think your interest in it was fake.

    Why not rely on your natural sense of space? Why not spend more time with people who share your comedic sensibility? Why not end a conversation without an excuse? If you care about this subject enough to read about it, your instincts are good. Trust them.

    The only thing I agree with is the 3 second rule. Any longer than that & you’re over-thinking things & concealing your authentic self.

    Guys, just keep doing do. You’re going to get shot down. Doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It takes 2 to tango & she can lack interest for a variety of reasons. Even if you did do wrong, just remind yourself that you’re trying your best & that’s all anyone can ask. No one can WILL themselves to be better at reading social cues. Over 90% of people are good at heart and just as nervous as you. Everyone wants to get better at social interaction. Practice is the only way that will happen. Like riding a bike, reading about it & getting advice isn’t helpful.

  125. I belong to a film group on Facebook that is predominately male. The online film review community as a whole sees a shortage of women, and a good 60% of these guys think it's ok to immediately worship me via Facebook chat because 1) I am a woman in the film community and 2) I am attractive to a good portion of the community.

    I've had about 10 guys in the group either try to flirt with me in the comments section of my posts (none of which are pertaining to anything but films/reviews/etc.) or go for the messaging.
    "You're so pretty", "Are you single?", "Why are you single, you're so pretty, you love nerdy things, that guy that rejected you is stupid!", "If I lived near you, I'd date you!"
    These comments may seem sweet to them, but when I am getting several messages a day, sometimes after midnight, it's very unsettling and annoying.

    One guy about a week ago messages me for the first time, and the conversation started fine, but then he started telling me how awful his life was and how he is socially inept and how his mother wouldn't let him do anything or go anywhere and how much he hates life.
    Mind you, I had JUST met this guy online.

    So, yes, fabulous article that I wish more guys would be aware of.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] words on male geeks (or nerds, or whatever your preferred terminology is): Don’t be a creeper and Nerds and Male Privilege. (Full Disclaimer: I (Tallulah) have a Bit of A Thing about [...]

  2. [...] people can do to be less creepy, but John Scalzi beat me to it, adding to the excellent work of Dr. Nerdlove and Cliff Pervocracy on this subject. If you wrote to me (or commented at length) looking for steps [...]

  3. [...] I wish I could make these into flyers and pass them out. [...]

  4. [...] chaps might also benefit from taking a look at these: how not to be a creep and how to get laid at Burning [...]

  5. [...] staggering just how many messages are conveyed by simple eye contact. Eye contact can signal a threat, force a battle of wills, indicate one’s social superior or social inferior, convey boredom and [...]

  6. [...] Don’t Be A Creeper – Dr. Nerdlove Also good stuff. Lots on Male Privilege and Creeper behavior. [...]

  7. [...] Scalzi: An Incompetent Guide to Not Creeping. – Lisa Magnusson: Flirtar hon med dig? – Dr Nerdlove: Don’t be a Creeper. – Captain Awkward: #322 & #323 My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear [...]

  8. Anonymous says:

    [...] Also, on the subject of creepy men, I'm going to go ahead and throw these helpful links out there: http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2011/1…creeper/all/1/ http://kateharding.net/2009/10/08/gu…t-being-maced/ Reply With [...]

  9. [...] when you check back on Friday, I’ll provide you with some concrete applications on how being cognizant of male privilege will improve your relations with [...]

  10. […] I found it.. I think the author overstates the fear factor, but given that his target audience is socially clueless nerds, maybe he needed to. […]

  11. […] there have been many useful guides that are meant to help bring awareness to creepy behavior, including John Scalzi’s. Perhaps the most well-known guide is Schrodinger’s Rapist, which […]

  12. […] angry racial invective when you don’t cosplay a black character). Brush off being told that you’re overreacting because that guy was just being awkward hitting on you, being asked what’s the problem with booth babes and chainmail bikinis, and having people say […]

  13. […] Don’t Be A Creeper, on: Paging Dr. Nerdlove, April 22, 2013, by Dr. Nerdlove. […]

  14. […] Don't Be A Creeper | Paging Dr. NerdLove […]

  15. […] it was a side effect of closing off empathy out of fear of being seen as 'weird'. I would suggest Dr. Nerdlove, honestly: his stuff is specifically tailored to factor in institutional sexism, stuff a lot of (or […]

  16. […] if she was fully clothed?” If you aren’t sure how to figure this out, check out this guide to not being a creeper and reading body language. Go from there. And for the love of all things sparkly, HANDS […]

  17. […] A lot of what makes us react one way or another to somebody is unconscious. When we see somebody, we instinctively process many, many non-verbal clues as to the person’s inner character from the way they walk, the way they smell and the way they interact with other people. One of the benefits of being approached, rather than being the approacher, is that you have more time to get a read on somebody. The manner in which they approach you tells you a lot about their personality and their level of confidence or social intelligence1; this can make the difference between being attracted to someone or having them set off your creeper-sense. […]

  18. […] Ironically, one of the commonest descriptions of “creepy” behaviour is of “testing what you can get away with”, which gives the impression of wanting far more than you’re really admitting to (literally, the appearance of creeping up on someone to get close to them – metaphorically, think of a big cat prowling through the grass to pounce on a buffalo calf or something). The counter-advice on how not to be creepy is generally to be more direct about your intentions, make each action deliberate and purposeful (with a clear end-point), and basically avoid equivocation in word and deed. And if you get a “no”, respect it and back the fuck off. (For example, here’s Dr NerdLove.) […]