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Ask a Bad Boy: What Can You Teach Me About Women?

Steve Santagati, of and author of the best-selling book The Manual, answers your burning questions when it comes to dating, love, and how men think. He's a veteran at giving street-smart, straight-to-the-point advice, so ladies, tell me, what do you want to ask Steve about men? This is your chance to get answers so don't hold back! Submit your questions here. Here's what Steve has to say this week:

The truth is, no one knows everything about relationships; no matter how many diplomas they boast or books they've written. No one is really an "expert"; it's just that some of us have way more experience and are, therefore, better at it than others — it's really that simple. The folks in this business (myself included) have to call ourselves relationship experts because the media (to which we diligently pander) needs an identifiable label for their audience. I call myself a "relationship mechanic" because I get under your hood, take a look at your engine, and can successfully fix 87 percent of the problems I see. Moreover, even I, as bad as I've been and as much experience as I've had, don't know everything; though women have taught me a great deal over the years. So what we're going to do this week is called teach the expert. You will teach and advise me. Maybe some of what you impart will be passed onto other men and therefore make the life of some woman out there that much easier!

Below you'll see my list of the top three things I've learned about women in relationships, and I want you to give me yours. Tell me the three things that guys just don't understand about women. It can be about sex, affection, understanding, your body image, or commitment — anything you want to tell me that you think I wouldn't already know by now or something you just have to get off your chest. Try not to go off on long tangents about what you hate about men, let's keep it positive. Deal?

I go first:

  1. Making a woman feel beautiful and sexy will go a long way in making the relationship more harmonious.
  2. When I argue with a woman, I can usually see her side of the story — even if I disagree — but she will never be able to see mine.
  3. Women are just as naughty as men. Men don't care if everyone knows they're a pig, but women have to feel safe to let their naughty side shine. The better I've become at making a woman feel safe being her mischievous self, the more I see of the real her.

So, this week, you are the experts. Let's see what you know.

Check out his Bad Girls Finish First tee shirts and, for individual attention, visit Steve at or email him at


Join The Conversation
EJean EJean 8 years
Steve, my man, You are a god and a king.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
I echo others' sentiments. When I have a bad day, don't try to "fix it", UNLESS I ask for your advice. Just listen, hug, kiss, and tell me that I am fabulous, even if down inside you think I am in the wrong. That can be discussed later, if I want your opinion. Also, don't take it personally if I am has nothing to do with you, and if I want to take a walk by myself to blow off steam after work, remember, that is to make me feel better, so that when I get back, I can be the best I can be for you. I am not excluding you, I just need to get my head together, so that I don't vent AT you. Little things like a text saying you are thinking about me goes a long way...guys don't get that...they think that it "counts" more if they make a grandiose gesture on Valentine's day or your birthday, then they are good for the doesn't work that way. If you are with a girl that needs the big gestures on a regular basis, I can guarantee that relationship won't last. Relationships need to be tended, like gardens, but that doesn't imply lots of money and time....I would rather have a guy want to spend his time with me doing simple, sweet things often, including time in bed, than have a guy that I see once a month take me out to expensive restaurants.
AyrtonSenna AyrtonSenna 8 years
This is really an interesting set of replies. Being a man, I think the point about just listening was a good one. I think most men (me included) tend to go into "problem-solving" mode very quickly and this is clearly not what women want to hear at that point. Sometimes we just have to learn to shut up (and pay attention). I find it sad that some posts referenced things like leaving the bathroom door open (!?!?), dirty clothes, poor hygiene, and noisy bodily functions. These are just the basics of adult behaviour. If you are with a supposedly adult male that does these things, I would reexamine him critically. It probably will not get better with time. I agree completely, Muirnea, that women generally put a lot of effort into their appearance and men should up their game to match them (without going to "metrosexual" extremes). Seeing a man slovenly dressed next to a woman makes my heart sink. All the other points are great too. Being kind, attentive, respectful, polite, reassuring, romantic, well-dressed, chivalrous (and doing all this while being fun to be around!) - this is the royal road to a woman's heart. All in all, it should not be too much for women to ask for.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Also, just a bit of a different version of what some other people have said already: Don't expect me to look fabulous (perfect outfit, nails done, hair doing exactly what I want it to,be perfectly shaved/waxed, makeup, the whole nine yards) like I just came out of a photo shoot every single day....when you won't even take a shower ever day, never do a thing with your hair, don't have to ever wear make-up, and throw on an old t-shirt with jeans every single day. Talk about a double standard. And don't expect me to watch shows like Family Guy etc. with you or think it's funny. It's immature. And if you really think its that funny, go find yourself a 10 year old that will laugh at it with you.
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
1. Don't point at other girls and ask why I won't dress like that. I dress the way I dress because I like it, and its always been the same, so if you want to date the bartender in the mini dress, go for it. Don't waste my time. 2. Don't fart any more. Seriously. And don't put your penis on me when we are not getting it on and tell me to touch it. 3. Do the dishes sometime and the laundry. I feel like your mom having ask you to do that crap all the time. Do you think I enjoy it? And I'm sorry those are all negative, but they are just hot button issues with me.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
fancifulfabi, you're so right with your #1. Sometimes venting is just venting... we don't need you to fix anything, just listen.
jessie jessie 8 years
1-No matter how clearly we state will sometimes get misunderstood. Could be bad or it could be good. 2-We baby you when you get sick or hurt...why can't you do the same for us? 3-I know that you love me..when you buy me things or help me with the kids, clean the house, touch me as you walk by....but a simple whisper of "i love you" in my ear as you walk by or a note would mean so much too.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
I have another question for Steve, it's very important, and I don't know where to ask it!!! This has plagued me my whole life, because I've always had a lot of guy friends. My BF thinks they're all in love with me / want to get in my pants / probably jerk off to me in the shower (Eeeeeeew). Is he right? Or is it possible that at least, say, TWO OF THEM, are only there because they love me AS A FRIEND? If you read this Steve, please enlighten my poor feeble mind.
The-Drunk-Lady The-Drunk-Lady 8 years
Sometimes during a fight a good old fashion grudge f*ck is HOT! I'm not talking about the kind where you sleep with someone else to get revenge. It distracts the extremely heightened emotions. When I've done it with my bf, it diffuses the anger, stops the fighting, then we really communicate and work things out. I don't want to and can't do this every time WW3 breaks out. It's not a fetish we have, it just happens sometimes. I prefer emotionally bonding love making instead. To me, making love is a very emotionally bonding experience. But I can't deny a grudge f*ck is pretty f*cking hot, at least not with a straight face. It might sound strange, twisted, something a guy would say or whatever, but oh well it works for us.
rellicDragon rellicDragon 8 years
Guess a lot of points have been covered already ... but I have something else to add ... 1. Chasing can be fun, but please dont make us wait forever by the phone ... Call when you say you are going to... 2. make the move ... dont make us wait forever ... cuz we are capable of moving on too ... 3. i can't stress this enough ... women enjoy sex too ... but we desreve foreplay n cuddling time ...
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 8 years
1. Women are more mental then men and need to hear that they are beautiful and sexy in order for them to get into the mood. 2. If there you have had a fight or irritated a woman or there are communication issues within your relationship, don't expect your woman to feel safe or want intiate sex. 3.If there is a problem in your relationship, or if something is bothering you, it should not be all of OUR responsiblity to fix it. You must take some responsibility and help to find the solution. 4. I might not like mountain biking but am willing to try it if you are willing to try something I like too. 5. Sex on pornos is not real! Those women are being paid to contort their bodies in those weird positions. They don't like it and it hurts! I'm willing to play but be resonable.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I hate being called a bitch because I am being assertive like another poster said. However, what I find far more insulting is that I am generally nice to my man --- I want to please him, and do things that make him when it comes time for me to be bitchy he blurts out with a "don't act like you having a backbone now" or "don't try to act assertive". It's quite hurtful. Oh, and PMS happens ONCE a month. Not every day for a month. If it's any other week but "that" week, grow balls, and don't try to go for the dig and attribute it to PMS. That is such a cop-out remark.
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
Oh, DrunkLady, you make me laugh so hard! But it's true, Steve you need to tell all men this. It is the biggest turn off possible when: -Men do not close the door when taking a crap. -You come to bed and it smells like he shit the bed because he has been farting so much in his sleep. Seriously, if you never, ever want to have sex again with your girl then do these 2 things. Steve, pass the word on. -Oh yeah, and bad hygiene is not cool. EVER. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and shower at least once. Also, wash your clothes on a regular basis!!! Sadly, there are many men out there that need to hear this. Other than that, I agree with what other women here have said. Especially the one about do not give unsolicited advice. Women need to talk and need men to listen. That means do not stare at the tv or computer but then claim that you are listening. Even if you can repeat every word I have said, it makes me feel disrespected and unappreciated when you can't even bother to be polite and look at me when I talk. Show that you care about what she has to say by making eye contact, saying 'oh really' 'uh huh' etc.. at the appropriate times in the conversation. Then at the end, say "Is there anything I can do to help?" or "I love you, would you like a hug?" It really is that simple. Most of the time we don't need you to offer solutions, we just need someone to listen and be empathetic. -Why are men confused when women come home from work, stressed out and find the house is a mess while the guy has been watching tv? She then cannot relax when she gets home, because she has to clean and cook. Do not act surprised when she does not want sex or is exhausted. Men: if you want more sex, then do more housework, listen to your girl and give her a back rub. Do simple, thoughtful things. If she is relaxed and feels cared for, she will be more likely to want sex. That is all it takes. Why are men so confused about this, it is really simple. OK, thanks for letting me talk.
The-Drunk-Lady The-Drunk-Lady 8 years
1. Guys do things that cause us to go nuclear or mid-evil on their asses. So, don't blame it on our period. You have one too. 2. It's a turn off to hear men fart and burp unless absolutely unavoidable. Also, I don't want to see you on the toilet taking a crap, not even by accident. So close the door. It makes me want to claw my eyes out. 3. Foreplay and after play is not always necessary. Sometimes I like to "cum and run" also.
fancifulfabi fancifulfabi 8 years
1) Hear us out! When we are ranting or in a bad mood, don't tell us "It's not that bad", or "Just think positive" or "Stop worrying". We don't want advice, we want you to LISTEN and sympathize. I think most guys want to be Mr. Fix-It, it's just the way they're hard-wired. Don't belittle our problems, let us rant and move on. 2) Romance us! I cannot stress this enough! Hide notes in our purses, plan us a picnic, surprise us with flowers (that never gets old) - we will really love and appreciate you for it. 3) Reassure us! Just because you complimented a woman in the early stages of a relationship doesn't mean that she doesn't want to hear it again and again. Remind us that you love us, that we have a great smile, etc. Sometimes we forget and those constant reminders reassure us when we have doubts.
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Whoa! I think I need a trophy for longest post ever! Sorry guys! I love talking about stuff like this. Lol! :-P
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Ok, I agree with your #1 and #3. But #2 come on!! Why exactly do you think women can't see your side of the story Steve, but you can see our side? That's ridiculous, unless you actually have a good reason you are about to tell us to back it up... Women are proven to be able to connect and understand and feel other people's emotions better than men can, read the book "The Female Brain". To answer the question: It really is simple. And men need to quit laughing and saying how women are so complicated when someone like me says it's simple. Because it is, if you actually care enough to listen to what we have to say. All I want is respect and love and understanding, it's that simple. And everything everyone else has said are just examples of those things. After I have those main things, the other little problems can be worked out fairly easily b/c I will feel respected and loved. I won't feel belittled and used or not appreciated. Once I feel bad, is when I become "a girl" you know, the stereotype that all the guys don't understand and hate trying to figure out. 1)I think the main problem guys have is thinking about things at the wrong time. Guys don't think at first, they wait for a problem to arise, and THEN they start thinking about how to fix it. Just think ahead, prevent problems like girls do. Before you do anything, make sure it isn't going to hurt anyone. Instead of saying sorry after you tell your gf she looks fat in those jeans, think first and realize that saying that will hurt her feelings and make her feel unattractive and then don't say it. 2)Don't EVER consider girls less than you in any way. The sexes are different...that makes us good at different things, no one is better overall. Don't ever treat me like I'm a little girl that needs help to live. I have lived 20 years so far, ever wonder how I survived this long??? 3)Honesty is the one most important the history of the world...since before the universe was ever created. Because being honest shows that you care about a person, it shows that you love them and respect them and understand how they feel. It fills all the first criteria I mentioned at one time. 4)Communication is super important too. But it's important for women and men. But men need to understand that sitting there zoning out pretending to listen is not communication (and it's not caring or respect or understanding either). And avoiding arguments using white lies, is definitely not any of those either. Of course, everyone has their version of what they want, so "standards" can't apply to everyone. So a couple should communicate exactly how they feel about all this stuff at the beginning of a relationship and get all the details straight. After that has happened, there is no excuse for getting a particular situation "wrong" b/c the S.O. has already told you how they feel about it. Really I think that's it b/c everything else falls under those categories. I just want to know I'm loved, the guy should show me and tell me that I am the most important woman in the world to him, b/c if I'm not, he needs to go find the woman that is and leave me alone. I want to be respected for the intelligent strong independent person I am, not for being a piece of meat or cute little girl that can be entertaining for a while. And I want a guy to truly care about how I feel, I want a guy to want me to not be sad, not be angry, not be hurt, and to try and prevent those feelings b/c he doesn't want me to feel that way. See that's the problem Steve, guys hardly ever treat women nicely. And then they go and get mad and complain when the women doesn't treat them nicely back. When a guy treats me the way he should, nicely and respectfully, and he honestly cares, I reciprocate. My ex can vouch for the bad side, and my current can vouch for the good. I'm a completely different person with both of them b/c of how they treat ME. I trust my current more than any guy I have ever met in the entire world b/c I can tell he cares and is completely honest with me 100% of the time. Personally I tend to be a bit meaner and more aggressive and closed off when I met new guys just b/c I truly am used to guys being mean jerks, so I don't open up or be nice at all, until I can tell they are going to do the same. That way, I prevent being taken advantage of and not respected. Just my 2 And thanks for listening to a lot of people's comments on the last Steve post. ;-) :) And sorry for the super long post, except not really, b/c I think all this stuff is very important and needed to be said. I wish guys would listen when I gave speeches like this in real life... :(
maeir maeir 8 years
This might not be new to you but it seems that while most guys might know these things they rarely put them into practice: - An honest, level headed woman can usually see all sides to the story, even if they disagree with your point of view, whether they will let you know this or not depends on how much your point of view offends her & how stubborn she is. - What every woman loves more than sweet-nothings whispered tenderly into her ear is the actions that back up such words. You say you are going to fan her with a palm leaf while feeding her grapes- Instead of telling her this try actually arranging a romantic rendez-vous that involves you pampering her prior to getting into her pants. A gift for gab will get you far but sweet gestures and thoughtful conduct will get you a lot farther and count for so much more. -We want honesty. Consider our feelings and desires (emotional as well as carnal) and how your conduct might affect us before you put your plans into action. Women are far more reasonable when they are shown some consideration.
karlotta karlotta 8 years
1. Don't ever blame our mood on PMS. That's just horrible, it makes it even worse, and it's totally unfair to blame us for something we can't control. Just roll with the punches and we'll be eternally grateful (and maybe make an effort to be more rational next month...) 2. Direct sexual overtures are not sexy to us. My boyfriend has a tendency to just "ask" for sex, instead of getting me in the mood for it. And it never works. NEVER. I don't know why after 3 years he still comes up to me and says "how about a handjob now?" when it simply will never happen (and it would if he looked at me with dark smoky eyes and kissed me passionately, dragged me to the couch and put my hand down his pants...) 3. We're all kind of cheesy deep down. Every and any kind of romantic gesture, even if we find it silly, will make our heart melt. Probably the fact you accepted to humiliate yourself for us :D I'm talking for me - there are probably a whole bunch of women out there who feel differently; but I'd guess not that many :)
nm1188 nm1188 8 years
Women like a challenge too.
Holly-Page Holly-Page 8 years
I agree with NiceDriveway's #1: Not only do women crave touch (backrub anyone?) like men crave blowjobs, it is also the fastest way to get us in the mood. "Wanna do it?" is far less of a turn-on than 10 minutes of a shoulder rub. Actually, I'd settle for 5. Also, a man should emphasize that his partner is the most important woman in his life. Women are more susceptible to jealousy and insecurity when men notice other women if she doesn't understand that while her man WILL be attracted to other women, it's about quantity, not quality.
NiceDriveway NiceDriveway 8 years
P.s. Steve, you're totally hot.
NiceDriveway NiceDriveway 8 years
1. Women liked to be touched, and by that, I mean simple contact...a hand on the small of the back, an arm around a waist, a hand on a forearm. It doesn't have to be sexual--it's just about intimacy and human-to-human contact. It's comforting. And doing it ONLY when we're in public really doesn't cut it. 2. Don't patronize or roll your eyes if we cry while we're angry or frustrated. Our hormones work differently. It happens. Just because it doesn't happen to you doesn't mean you're better. 3. DON'T call us a bitch when we're being assertive. I know men aren't the only ones to blame here--women do it do. It's a horrible and hideous double standard and it's got to stop. When we stand up for ourselves, think for a moment--if a guy did the same thing, would he be strong and assertive? If the answer is yes, then we are too. Is he being an arrogant dick? If yes, then you can feel free to call us what you wish.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
1) We are verbal. We need to vent, and by venting, even if we are screaming, it doesn't mean that we are taking our issues out on you. If we don't say that you are specifically what we are venting about, don't get all b*tchy and defensive, we just need to blow off some steam. 2) Don't give us advice unless it is solicited. Also, never use "Calm down", "Think rationally", "Chill out", "Get over it", etc before offering us your advice. 3) Little things go a long way. It may seem lame to send us an email if you live with us...but chances are, if we say we want that little thing, we don't mean buy me a puppy or some extravent (which you are too cheap to do anyway!) Just stop being lazy, and do those little things: like a one minute hug, a big kiss, a cute card, a nice email, a text just to say you love us. 4) Yes, women need to feel sexy, and if you make a woman feel like she is, the relationship will be better! But just saying "you're sexy" or "you're not fat" will not make this any better. If you do something like take "you're sexy" and turn it into "Wow, you're so beautiful" goes a long way. Also, if we know we are on the chunky side, saying that we lost weight is a good idea, too. OH, and on't harp on one body part. I know my boobs are nice, but is that IT?? You need to be specific, don't just say "all of you is sexy" -- vague and impersonal. 5) Women want sex as much or more than men. Don't tell us how we are acting like "sluts" or whatever little snide remark you think is cute, but is not. If we are in a relationship with you, grow balls, and start putting them to good use.
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