Do Girls Like Assholes? No, They Like Avoidants

young man with a leather jacket and cigarette

Do girls like assholes?

In part, yes.

And I highly recommend you first start reading about:

  1. asshole game
  2. then come back here,
  3. then go to “how to be a good asshole“.

However, more than “liking assholes”, it’s some asshole traits that are attractive.
And being “barely available” is one of those traits.

Let’s learn more.

man flips off to play the jerk
That’s the wrong, low-quality way of being a jerk

INTRO: The Asshole Myth

I remember years ago.

A colleague of mine was complaining about women who, in his mind, “just want to be mistreated”.
And he said:

Really, next time I’ll just go over to a woman and kick her. They always like men who treat them badly.

Urgh, what a bad attitude!

Was he wrong?

Not 100%.
There is latent masochism in some women -and people in general- that seeks abuse.
Hopefully, you are not interested in that subset.

But was he right for the majority of women?

Not really.
But we need to dig a bit deeper.

In a complex world, black-and-white thinking is bound to be wrong most of the time.

You see, high-quality women don’t really line up for assholes. And especially not the crudest, less attractive types -obviously, no?-.
But they like them just a tad better than too nice guys.

But that does not make assholes great. Just a tad better.
And women don’t like much of an asshole. Just a few traits.

Let’s see more.

asshole type of boy smokes a cigarette wearing a leather jacket

Some assholes are attractive because they’re handsome, and they’d be attractive anyway

Why Assholes Are Attractive

Some of the (potentially) bad traits of the asshole are attractive.

And these include:

And, in some cases, it’s not to write off some women’s tendency towards masochism and self-fulfilling low self-esteem.

But it’s mostly what the asshole doesn’t show that is attractive.
And those are the negative traits of the pushover.

Things such as:

All the above traits scream powerless, fear, and subordination.
And of course, women are attracted to the opposite of that: competence, authority, and power.

So it’s mostly what sets the assholes apart from the too nice guys that make them attractive. And not really being an asshole per se.

Indeed the asshole attractiveness is often overplayed.

In “Attraction Explained“, psychology researcher Virem Swani well explains that assholes are only better than pushovers.
And research shows that most women, albeit not all, would otherwise prefer “kind men”.

Here is an example from 500 Days of Summer:

Some guys may mistakenly think that guy was cool in his approach because he “had balls”.
But again, that’s not what’s most effective.

Assholes Are Not Women’s Magnets

The idea that girls like assholes and assholes get women like nobody’s business is also somewhat wrong.

And it happens because of representatives’ bias.
Such as, we see lots of too nice guys struggling in life. Then we see a few assholes getting women and we generalize that all assholes get girls and that all girls like assholes.

Of course, there are many assholes who are very successful and sleep with lots of women.
But there are also many assholes who don’t get any women and end up bitter and on their own.

Example here from Sex and The City:

What’s an Asshole?

There are many characteristics of an asshole.
Some of them include:

  • Being rude
  • Putting his needs first
  • Being unruly
  • Not listening to people around
  • Disregarding her needs
  • Etc. Etc.

But the two major overarching traits of the asshole are the following:

  1. Self-centered (“me comes first”)
  2. Not fully committing to the relationship

However, most people use asshole as an umbrella term. And therein lie the mistake of why so many people wrongly believe that women do like assholes.

The Definition of Asshole is Wrong

One of the reasons that many think assholes are attractive is because of the vagueness of the term.

Jen Kim, for example, says that many women use the word assholes for pretty much any behavior or outcome they didn’t want, including non-committing.

Someone doesn’t want to commit? He’s an asshole.
He doesn’t call when he says he will? He’s an asshole
Mean? Asshole.
Bitter, inconsiderate, emotionally unavailable, unfaithful…? Asshole, asshole, asshole, and asshole.

Girls Don’t Like Aholes, They Like Avoidants

We have seen that girls do like some asshole traits associated with the “me comes first” attitude.

But what about the other side of the equation?
Do girls like assholes who can’t commit?

Yes, they do. Quite a few of them, at least.
But those guys are not (necessarily) assholes. They have a name, and that’s avoidant attachment men.

Avoidants naturally do the following:

  • Send off mixed signals
  • Pull her close… Then push her away
  • Keep her at arm’s length
  • Unavailable when she needs him

… And all the other unavailable signals that many labels as the umbrella term of “assholes” but which are actually the typical signs of an avoidant personality.

Who Do Avoidants Attract?

Avoidants are especially addictive to anxious attachment-type women.

This is important, because if you’re a woman and asking yourself “why do I always end up with assholes”, well, here is the answer: it can be because you have an anxious attachment style.

Anxious and avoidant, together, form the highly volatile, highly addictive anxious attachment trap.

The anxious attachment trap, such as a relationship where she needs him but he stays noncommittal and out of reach, is exactly what people mistake as a relationship with an asshole.
People look at that dynamic and believe that assholes are attractive and addictive to women.

And albeit that dynamic of being out of reach is very attractive for many women who keep going after these guys, not every woman is into it.

Secure Women Don’t Like Assholes

Amir Levine in Attached introduces a secure attachment-type woman.

You will see how her mindset would be impervious to assholes.
Here’s what she says (I paraphrase for brevity):

All men I have been with wanted to be with me in a relationship.

 I know that I get the message across that I’m someone who’s worth getting to know, that there’s a treasure to be revealed if they stick around.

But it’s very important to me that the guys don’t play games. When they call me right after, I show interest in return right away. Only two men in my life waited to call me back. And I cut any contact with them.

Notice that her high self-esteem prevents her from thinking think it was she who was not good enough.

She thought those guys were playing games, and she is only interested in men who can communicate her affection openly.

This is the type of high-quality girl doesn’t like assholes. And who rarely fall for them (albeit, never say never).
And they also tend to be higher-quality women.


So do girls like assholes?

They like them better than the completely spineless guys, yes.

However, assholes are far from the peak of sexual market value.

And the guys that women often get hooked on are not assholes. It’s avoidant men whom they get hooked on and that erroneously end up being labeled as assholes.

And we have also seen that some of the highest quality girls, those with a secure attachment style, don’t like either assholes or avoidants.

Hence, often, it’s lower-quality women that the assholes end up with.

I highly recommend these two articles:

Scroll to Top