Why women love bastards – and how you can be one

Another of my friends has become enamoured with an arsehole – and science has provided her with the perfect excuse to keep putting up with his bastardry.

It’s been a confusing few months for women – on the one hand we have new research that women are hard-wired to find ruthless, unpleasant bastards attractive, on the other Harriet Harman announced a new Equality Bill that will force firms to reveal the salary gap between their male and female staff.

On the plus side, this means that some of the callous, self-obsessed and deceitful men that have been underpaying us for years will get their come-uppance, on the minus side we’ll probably end up sleeping with them for their troubles.

According to scientist Peter Jonason, women’s attraction to bad boys is the work of ‘the dark triad’ which is, before you get even more excited, a set of three unpleasant personality traits and not a really awesome kung-fu gang that operate at night.

Hold on to your petticoats, ladies, its the Dark Triad!

Hold on to your petticoats, ladies, it's the Dark Triad!

Apparently, it’s self-obsession, callousness and deceitfulness that really get women’s pulses racing because we equate men behaving like arses with masculinity and the ability to father healthy children.

The key for men who want to knock up as many women as possible before doing an early runner is to have the right amount of dark triad traits – too many and you’re a social outcast, just enough and you’re every lady’s favourite swordsman. Frankly, I’m not sure who comes out of this looking worse – the men who worship both Satan and the mirror or the gullible women who put up with them.

Jonason went on to give James Bond as the ultimate example of the kind of man that women find irresistible, telling New Scientist: “He’s clearly disagreeable, very extroverted and likes trying new things – killing people, new women…” Well, everyone’s got to have a hobby or two.

A bed-hopping psychopath with commitment issues - dreamy!

James Bond: A bed-hopping, crotch grabbing psychopath with commitment issues - dreamy!

Now I’ve met plenty of self-obsessed, callous, deceitful men (and, in the spirit of Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill, lots of self-obsessed, callous and deceitful women, too) but not one of them could have been compared to James Bond. For a start, not many international playboys are in the habit of living with their parents, driving a Mini Metro or being sick in my lap after one too many lagers.

James Bond may employ the dark triad in order to get women into bed, but in fairness, there are several mitigating factors that would probably make a one-night stand with him seem slightly less regrettable than normal the next morning. For example:

(a) James Bond is eye-wateringly attractive.

(b) James Bond is exceptionally, ridiculously rich.

(c) James Bond has a single digit sonic agitator unit on his ring finger. Imagine how that could liven up a dull evening.

(d) James Bond drives an Aston Martin that’s worth more than your house.

(e) James Bond may sleep with lots of women, but at least he’s choosy: all his bedfellows are required by law to have a name like Christmas Jones, Holly Goodhead, Harlot Bignips or Vixen Lovepocket.

(f) James Bond is unlikely to say: “If you’re looking for somewhere to sit, love, you can always try my face.”

(g) James Bond’s stories about his day at work are genuinely interesting.

(h) James Bond does not wear a t-shirt that says ‘Let’s Play Hide the Sausage’ or ‘If Found, Return to The Pub’.

(i) James Bond does not get involved in tawdry street fights, rather he harpoons his enemies to trees, or cuts them in half with a laser or a hovering killer tea tray.

(j) James Bond never pretends he’s going to call you. He’s James Bond. Simply being alive the next morning is bonus enough.

In a nutshell, being seduced by James Bond – even if he is partial to other women and killing people – is probably more fulfilling than spending the night with a more run-of-the-mill womaniser who can’t bring any spy gadgets, helicopters or speedboats to the party.

Jonason also believes that the dark triad traits may be genetic, meaning that some men are literally unable to stop behaving badly because they’re following an obscure evolutionary strategy developed specifically to impregnate/annoy women. If this is evolution, I think I may have to start believing in God.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, however (for women, at least), because the seduction techniques of the dark triads are only a short-term strategy for making babies. Women tend to settle down with nice men rather than one-man population explosions who pretend they’ve been in the SAS, continually rabbit on about their muscles and then make you sleep in the wet patch.

This leaves nice men picking up the pieces from their partner’s last relationship with a womanising cad who they will always suspect their girlfriend fancied more than them and a host of ancient dark triad merchants propping up bars across the land muttering about how they used to be ‘a player’ and trying to seduce your Nan.

Interestingly, the same research discovered that women aren’t considered irresistible if they’re callous, self-obsessed and deceitful, although if we get Harriet Harman on the case, we might be able to make it law on the grounds of equal rights before the next election.

PS J, if you’re reading, A is a twat.

15 Responses to “Why women love bastards – and how you can be one”

  1. 1 brucehood
    February 8, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Damn. fail on the Aston Martin category!

  2. 2 Ram Venkatararam
    February 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    This is very helpful information given my current interest in dating and my determination to obtain a spouse within the calendar year. I will starting working on my dark triads immediately (are there specific squats and lunges I should be doing???)

    As for Mr. Bond…sure, he’s okay, but can he get you a 30% discount on margerine? Check and mate, Mr. Bond, check and mate.

  3. February 8, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    I’m going to spurn the research and say I find callousness in a woman a very attractive trait.

    Although I agree that self-obsession and deceitfulness are definite turn-offs.

  4. February 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    haha. hilarious. but i mean, come on, you know you wouldn’t pass up the chance to canoodle with james bond. unfortunate, but true. I think he’s right though, most women end up with nicer guys. i think it’s just a phase that we all have to go through – a rite of passage if you will – kind of like guys and their man-whore phase, which they usually come out of. Hey, wait, maybe we are all ending up with ex-man-whore’s turned nice guys?

  5. 5 pinnythewu
    February 8, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    God, I remember my “bad-boy phase”. I just ended up sleeping with idiots. They were sexy idiots though.

  6. February 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Here is my problem. My lovability and charm are drowned out by my incredible modesty

  7. February 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    So you are saying (f) is NOT a good way to pick up women? There’s five years of my life I will never get back.

  8. 8 dragonseast
    February 8, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Hilarious. I don’t have a dark triad. I think mine is more light gray.

  9. February 9, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Now, you know as well as I do that that Peter Jonason guy is just jealous… and wishes that he, too, could walk on the wild side (that’s hollywood-ese for behaving irresponsibly and having no conscience with which to hold oneself accountable…otherwise referred to as childhood, if I’m not mistaken)

  10. February 15, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Aww… the “bad boy phase” – It is forever rhetoric for my own blog and bar time stories with friends… I think the worst part of this is as you stated, being the friend on the outside. Watching a total tool date your friend sucks, but its sure good blackmail for later.

    Congrats on the blog win 🙂

  11. August 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    the dark triad will always give you chlamydia

  12. 13 blondy
    October 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    If you look at the original study at


    you will notice that the authors describes the “dark triad” traits as:

    “Our study indicates a connection between the Dark Triad and more positive attitudes
    towards casual sex and more casual sex behaviours. To the extent that lifetime number of
    sexual partners is a modern-day marker of reproductive success, and given that the Dark Triad traits are heritable and exist in different cultures, we speculate that these traits may represent one end of a set of individual differences that reflects an evolutionarily stable solution to the adaptive problem of reproduction.”

    By “one end of a set” they mean that it is very well likley that other sets of behaviour (e.g. submissiveness) can also be a stable solution (in terms of reproduction). And this is what I think we are seeing – some people thrive well with a “dark triad” strategy while other follow other strategies – so it is not usefull to recommend this strategy to everybody. As we all are a product of constant evolution it is likely that other behaviour pattern work as well and have their advantages too.

  13. December 4, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    these r a lil misguided infos bcoz everyone can’t b lyk bond..
    i really luv women specially those dark ones they really fascinate me.
    since frm my school days i am a bad boy but nailed many women thing is tat u don’t have to be a jerk to get them.. just make em feel special wid u make em laugh a u should have to look a bit dangerious..n do unexpected things to em..get in style never fear of rejection n speak up ur mind before em..they really wanna listen to dirty things specially adult bed times story ..
    best of luck..

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