“Just as little girls are forewarned that they’ll need to kiss a lot of frogs before they find their prince, society forewarns little boys that they’ll need to slay a lot of dragons before they’ll win the heart of their true princess. These men grow up believing they are not entitled to a princess unless they accomplish some death-defying feat equivalent to slaying a dragon, such as making a ton of money, driving a fancy car, living in a mansion, displaying trophies attesting to their prowess in some sport or being able to flash business cards with an impressive title after their name.”
So begins my new book, Bad Girls: Why Men Love Them & How Good Girls Can Learn Their Secrets, a self-help relationship book written to empower men and women to find the love they deserve. In today’s times, true love has become more elusive than ever. Instead, men and women — fearful of being rejected and abandoned — end up hurting each other and perpetuating the pattern of “bad” relationships. Bad Girls are on the rise, taking advantage of men’s insecurities to trap them by making them feel like the biggest stud on the planet.
My book continues: “A bad girl is a woman whose heart has been hardened by men who have hurt, abused or abandoned her in her past…. To protect herself, she has taken her heart off her sleeve and locked it away, having given up hope of ever meeting a charming prince who will kiss her and make her feel lovable…. She transforms her pain, fear and anger into a single-minded crusade to get ‘something’… leaving men’s broken hearts in her wake.”
Depending on which of the Dozen Dangerous Damsels she is, that “something” can include money, drugs, sex, protection, an affair, a man to hang in there without a commitment, a husband, someone else’s husband, a lifeline, a toy boy, a yes-man, or revenge. What makes each type of Bad Girl tick and why men are attracted to her have unconscious roots in childhood. Here are 10 examples of these damsels.
The Gold-digger (like Anna Nicole Smith and Oksana Grigorieva) wants a sugar daddy to pamper her because she feels entitled to take from a man what her father couldn’t or wouldn’t give her.
The Addict (like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Brooke Mueller) not only wants her substance of choice, but also an enabler to help her fill the inner void left over from lack of nurturance as a child.
The Sex Siren wants to be idolized for her sexual powers and uses sex as a weapon to turn men into lapdogs. Marilyn Monroe was sexually abused as a little girl and later used her sensuality as a survival strategy to hide the pain.
The Sexual Withholder wants to avoid having sex or to have sex only under conditions that she imposes because growing up, her femininity was wounded. As a preteen, Brooke Shields played a nude prostitute in reel life, which later caused conflict in real life about her sexuality.
The Husband Hunter & Trapper (like Jessica Simpson and Nadya Suleman) wants the security of being taken care of and the status of being a “married lady.” Since she doesn’t feel love for herself, she resorts to setting traps to catch a husband.
The Husband Stealer (like Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts and Rielle Hunter) wants to prove that her beauty and charm are irresistible, even after a man has pledged his heart to another.
The Ultimate Damsel in Distress (like Blanche du Bois in Streetcar Named Desire and Susan Mayer in Desperate Housewives) wants to be rescued from fire-breathing dragons, which today means anything from loneliness to a low-credit score.
The Cougar (like Demi Moore, Susan Sarandon and Linda Bollea) wants a boy toy to play with, to help her turn back the clock so that she still feels desired and desirable and still has power over men.
The Ball-buster (like Sarah Palin and Kate Gosselin) wants a man to prove he loves her by perpetually scrambling to meet her insatiable demands and surrendering to her so she can feel as though she has control over her world.
The Bad Girl Scorned (like Alex Forrest/Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and Monica Lewinsky) wants her man to cancel his plans to break up with her. Failing this, she wants to destroy his life by stalking him or extracting revenge.
To uncover the secrets Bad Girls use to make otherwise smart and successful men fall head over heels for them, I interviewed over 100 men who shared intimate details of their Bad Girl experiences. Their stories forewarn male readers and help them heal their wounds by seeing themselves in these similar predicaments. By understanding what makes each of these women tick, a man can crack the Bad Girl code and discover why he gets swept up in the heartbreaking drama, leaving good girls on the shelf who are ready to love him for who he truly is — not how many dragons he has slain. Happy hunting!