Why “Good Guys Finish Last”

by | Jan 18, 2022 | Solo Play

As a sex coach, I’ve been talking to A LOT of amazing, available heterosexual women about what they want in a man over the last several years, and I think it’s high time I talk to you guys about it. I co-wrote Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men nearly 15 years ago to help you out, and I’ve got some new insights I think you’ll want to hear. This is part one in a 3-part series especially for heterosexual-leaning men about sex, relationships and women.It’s the classic question—the one thousands of books and films have capitalized on, and I still hear it from both men and women: Why is it that nice guys finish last? Why do they never get the girl?

Joseph Gorden-Levitt as “nice guy” Tom in 500 Days of Summer

Or, Why am I NOT attracted to nice guys who treat me well? Are we all just encouraging men to be assholes who don’t give a crap? Is the pursuit of the bad boy just creating an impossibility of satisfying relationships? Is sex with the bad boy good? Can sex with the good guy be good?

There are a few things you should know about why this pattern exists and what to do about it. Let’s talk about sexual dynamics and how to be a good guy AND have a delicious, mutually satisfying sexual life. You can do both, but it takes courage, consciousness, and comfort with power and sex.

First of all: what does it mean to be a “Nice Guy”? When we talk about that term, we usually mean a man who ISN’T macho and who avoids our culture’s crap that teaches men to be sexually aggressive. As a culture, we create all kinds of media images of disgusting treatment of women by men—women being raped and objectified and seriously harmed. And we say that that’s sexual boldness, when of course it’s not about being powerful at all. There is plenty of research about the low-self esteem of men who commit violence against women to back that up. If you have to assert your power over someone else brutally, that’s not really power. That’s force. It’s violence. We train men to be like that.

If you are nice guy, you do your best to respect your partner and she probably really wants that. Who wouldn’t? But all bets are off when we hit the romper room because so many other things surface. It’s the erotic space where we allow our shadows to come forth and be expressed. And yet if you inch into the bedroom, carefully avoiding eggshells, over-checking-in, overly tentative to really make a bold move because it might not be the right move, or what she wants, or you don’t want to offend her, sex is NOT going to be hot.

While “Slut!” has been one of the most avoided sexual labels for women, “Creep” and “creepy” are the most avoided for men. No self-respecting man wants to be seen as creepy. So when guys are avidly avoiding being a creeper and don’t want to be associated with rapists who have no respect for women, it can be hard to find the middle ground. What is the middle way?

This is where things fizzle. When it comes to sex, the middle isn’t sexy…it’s…boring. Lukewarm. And the Nice Guy tends towards the lukewarm. Here lies the problem.

Everyone wants passion and excitement. Any powerful woman wants a man who can meet her where she is and who can handle his own power and not be totally emasculated or threatened by hers.

In the sexual realm, that looks all kinds of ways. Sometimes a woman wants to be “taken”. She wants the passion and the fervor that playing nice doesn’t really allow for. Of course, you have to know that she is into that and not assume it is okay and cross a hard boundary, but if you are too concerned with equality in the bedroom, and do nothing bold, the passion will fizzle.

You have to understand, this does NOT mean that outside of the sexual realm she wants you to dominate her. It doesn’t mean she is going to take sexist crap — IT’S NOT THE SAME. She might want equality in life, yet wants to submit sexually. It’s normal to want to play out exciting fantasies sexually that you would never live in your day-to-day world. Most people who have an active fantasy life have fantasies like that.

She also might want to dominate you sexually, but women are not trained to be in their full power so that might be hard for her to pull out without your encouragement. At the same time, if she does not have the wiring for sexual domination (or at least the willingness to experiment), trying to turn her into your personal dominatrix is never going to work. In the next installment of this series, I’ll share a story about that.

The bottom line? Someone needs to take the reins. Someone needs to drive. Someone needs to assert. Everyone can’t or it’ll be a brawl. And if no one does, you’ll just end up watching another movie.

Most nice guys need permission to explore these parts of themselves. Consider this permission. Do something bold! Take sexual action! Do the thing you’ve wanted to but are afraid to. If you both keep dancing around each other and not stepping into fully expressing your desire because you are stuck in what it might mean about you, your sex life will remain insipid, and you’ll never get to know those deeper parts of yourselves. 

The bedroom doesn’t need to be about equality in the sense of “we share all power equally,” because that doesn’t really happen anyway. We all have different ways we assert our power and embrace it. The idea is to compliment our partners.

If you stay in a place of both you and your partner being too careful, there is no tension and the passion fire is out before it ever gets lit. Sex isn’t meant to be “nice”, Nice Guy. It’s meant to be exciting, passionate, transformative, raw, deep, self-effacing. You’ve got to put “nice” away to have all that.

In next month’s men’s article, I’ll talk more about roles, playing with power, dominance and submission and how to manage desires that are outside the box. For now, think about what part of yourself you haven’t unleashed because of your own fear of what people will think of it.

Jump on the registration of Fire Woman Retreat here: FireWomanRetreat.com

A’magine is a pioneer in sexual empowerment and her extensive real-world experience sparkles throughout this book. This is a delightful journey toward better, richer, more fulfilling sex, for women who want more joyful, creative, pleasurable lives.


co-founder of Cuddle Party

Hi, I’m A’magine

I’ve been a Sexual Empowerment Educator
[&] Coach for over 25 years

I’ve helped thousands of people improve their lives, boost their confidence, learn the art of asking for what they want, step into their power, learn to radically love their bodies, show up as emotionally powerful in their relationships, rock-star their mid-life with the best sex ever, and put in perspective and practice the very real and important role sexuality was meant to play in their lives