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Why Am I Attracted to Jerks?
Some women may recognize the theoretical appeal of the nurturing male, but cannot deny the superior sexual attraction of those cruel bandits who will take off for another continent the moment the lovemaking is finished. I call it the nice guy–bastard complex. The bastard's appeal is that he's unavailable, so he can't act as a permanent witness to one's sexual vulnerability and strangeness. But the truth is that most of us consider ourselves strange; it's rare to get through life without feeling odd about sex in one way or another.

Philosopher Alain de Botton is the author of How to Think More About Sex.