MY SISTER has a theory. It says there are four types of men you encounter on a night out. She first told it to me when I was sat in Trafalgar Square, fresh out of a breakup, and emptying my heart to her about what a loser I was, and how much I sucked with women.
Back then, I was terrified of them.
She’d always believed in me, and had to some degree bought into the mask I used to present to other people – the one where I was confident, and “didn’t give a fuck”. So when I told her the truth – that was I anxious, socially terrified, and had rock-bottom self-esteem – she looked at me like she’d been slapped in the face.
But then she thought for a little while and said she was going to help. And she began to tell me her theory.
I’ve heard her say it a few times since. It’s a theory that almost every girl who’s heard it unanimously agrees with and one that every man she’s ever told it to has laughed, fallen silent, then quietly admitted he’s one of them.
I’ve now put that theory here, more or less as she told it to me, but with my own experience, and journey through the types added on.
THE FOUR TYPES OF MEN ON A NIGHT OUT
TYPE ONE: THE DRUNK
You’ve seen his guy before. He gets all up in the girls face, says something that he thinks is funny, or perhaps even, intelligible, gets handsy, and usually gets rejected. Then he brushes himself off, drinks some more, and starts all over again.
This type of guy fucking blows. Not only does he stink of booze, slur his words and have a stupid fucking look on his face; he fears women and fears rejection, so he numbs himself to that fear through alcohol and/or drugs. He knows deep down he fears women but has resigned himself to the fact that alcohol is his only way out.
In short, he’s a coward with self-efficacy issues. For a long time, this was me.
How you end up here: You probably live in a culture where this is the norm, and haven’t questioned whether it’s worthwhile or healthy.
What to do about it: Stop drinking / limit your drinking, confront your fears, develop your self-efficacy.
Probable outcome: Depending on your looks and sense of humor – a non-existent to unfulfilling sex life (at best).
TYPE TWO: THE ORBITER
Ever been in a bar and seen a girl you really like, and instead of doing anything about it, you just stood there with a drink in your hand, occasionally making eyes at her?
Yeah, this one is you. And 99% of other guys.
This guy, because he is so common, has an enormous amount of variation. But the principle is always the same. He is not okay with his own sexuality. He tells himself it is bad, and it is not wanted. He does not give himself permission to express it.
So he freezes, or he overcompensates. In my case I spent years as a teenager as the dumb frozen guy, then as the loudmouth who tries to suck all the attention in the room up, then when I first started going to clubs, I was that guy who danced near to girls, but never actually did anything.
Maybe one of those is you. Maybe it’s not. But if you aren’t the kind of person who gives themselves permission to express their sexuality, then your issues with sexual shame are going to imprison you as this type of guy.
How you end up here: You’re the kind of person who avoids leaving their comfort zones, and you’re probably not very self-aware.
But as The Joker says all it takes is a little push.
What to do about it: Take a small step. Then another. Start approaching. You will get rejected. Eventually, after you realize it isn’t so bad and you don’t have to know what to say, you won’t. You need to confront your sexual shame.
Probable outcome: Always knowing you’re a coward deep down, and a permanent, low-level feeling of dissatisfaction, like you, had more to offer but never lived up to it. But if confronted, a simple enough step to type four.
TYPE THREE: THE INSULTER
This is every single guy who uses ‘banter’, ‘jokes’, ‘arrogance’ or whatever facade he’s chosen to attempt to lower the girl’s self-esteem in order to get her. He’s the guy who is condescending, insults what she’s wearing, points out a flaw in her body or face, all whilst trying to pick her up.
And he’s the biggest loser of the bunch.
He has the basic level of courage that the first two lack, so he can approach consistently, but he has enormous issues with his own self-worth and resents women deep down. For a long time, I would step in and out of this like putting on new shoes.
And it was always down to my narcissism and anger at other people. Y’know, that voice that says it’s never “your fault” and that other people (read: women and/or society) are to blame.
Yeah, that was me.
I find this guy the most transparent of the bunch. Even more so than the orbiter. Because this guy fears rejection he tries to control rejection. He tries to control the interaction, to be the dominant one, to be the “alpha male.” In reality, he’s just scared, using learned behaviors to simulate someone who isn’t, and is essentially bargaining for some kind of validation from the girl. He ‘games’ her so that she needs his. But only so that he can get hers.
The worst part of this is that it gets you results – but the results you get are gained in trying to scratch an itch they can never actually scratch. This is the toxic mentality that pervades the “manosphere”, “the red pill” and most dating advice I’ve ever come across (which is usually either “win her like this” or “trick her like this”).
How you end up here: Unresolved emotional (read: Mommy) issues which resulted in a desire to validate yourself esteem through a vagina.
What to do about it: Urgh. I’d recommend starting over completely. Top to bottom restoration. Maybe some therapy. You need to accept that your sexual desire is okay in and of itself, and that rejection doesn’t mean anything about your self-worth. You also need to understand that the more you try to stay in control of interactions, the longer you will never be fulfilled and will always be trapped in this mindset.
Probable outcome: Likely to reach type four. Which is a waste because this one has the most potential but will unlikely achieve it.
TYPE FOUR: THE MAN
This is the guy the walks up to a girl and hits on her. He’s okay with his sexuality, expresses it in an honest manner. If he gets rejected, that’s fine, he doesn’t take it personally. If he doesn’t, he starts chatting and sees what happens.
It’s really that simple.
He sees what he wants, and he goes for it. He doesn’t try to smother his fear in booze, or freeze, or try to lower her self-esteem. He just feels the fear and does it anyway.
How you end up here: You built a life you’re proud of, you think you’re okay, through a lot of experience being awful with women but powering through. You’ve been rejected hundreds of times.
What to do about it: Nothing. You’re nailing it.
Probable outcome: A solid dating life and self-esteem. You’re probably pretty happy too.
NOW IF YOU’RE FEELING INSECURE…
The interesting thing is – all of the above… It applies to women as well. Regardless of what you’ve got dangling between your legs, if you aren’t comfortable expressing your sexuality – if you’re overcompensating, numbing yourself, or outright avoiding – you’re going to fall somewhere on this scale.
Somewhere that isn’t type four.
For every type of guy listed above, I’ve met some kind of girl that falls within this spectrum. Only she’s the, uh, girly version.
So, which are you?