Can Creepy Men Be Cured?

By Kendra Holliday | September 13, 2016

Dear Kendra, I don’t know about you, but I know a lot of creepy men. What makes a man creepy? Can creepy men be cured? Or, once a creep, always a creep? Have you ever met a creepy woman?

Kendra replies:

All right, readers, I want feedback from YOU – tell me about an encounter you had with a creepy guy. What made it creepy? What are the qualities of a creep? Can creeps be cured?

Photo by Tim Rulo

Photo by Tim Rulo

Here is what I have to say on the subject – I hope reader input will help shape my understanding of this unfortunate issue.

Being in the sex industry, I’ve met A LOT of creeps. Here is an example:

A few years ago, a man contacted me through this website. He wrote me a couple emails, then met me at an event I advertised – I was part of a sex fair that was open to the public. He seemed nice enough, and asked to meet me for coffee.

I said sure, so we met for coffee. At coffee, he asked me tons of questions and got this weird look in his eyes. He got excited from all the things I was sharing with him. He walked me to my car and asked if he could get in with me so he could ask me a question.

A huge red flag went up, but I said sure, BECAUSE I’M AN IDIOT. (Since then, I have tightened my security and have read The Gift of Fear, and consider it required reading for every woman.)

We sat in the car and he turned to me. “Can I kiss you?”

Disgusted and horrified, I sputtered no. I had NO interest in this guy. He was creepy. What made him think I wanted to make out with him? (Answer: I gave him the time of day. Other things that lead men to think you are interested in them: Eye contact. Smiling. Laughing at their jokes. Being polite. Being female.) At least he didn’t lunge at me.

He whined a bit, then took his leave. I’m very lucky nothing bad happened. I appreciate that he asked and respected my reaction. NEVER put yourself in a closed space with someone you’re unsure of.

Later, he showed up for one of my TBK get togethers. He circled the party, stared, and kept to himself. His behavior made me uncomfortable.

After that, he emailed me two or three times asking when I was going to have another get together.

I’ll tell you when: NEVER. Or if I do, it will be invite only.

It wasn’t just him that put a damper on the party for me – there were two other creepy guys there who drank too much and crossed some lines.

OK, so what made this particular guy creepy?

1. He had awkward social skills. He wasn’t warm or personable. He came off as cold. He had a bad vibe.

2. HE BROUGHT NOTHING TO THE TABLE. As I sat there and regaled him with interesting stories and advice, I realized I was providing all the entertainment, and that I was basically wasting my time. When I interact with someone, I want there to be give and take. Or, even better, give and give.

3. He was predatory. He watched me like a hawk, staring constantly, circling the party like a wolf. It’s important to be assertive and go after what you want, but don’t treat the person like a walking steak.

4. He had a mustache. Some women love mustaches, but I’m not one of them.

Other things that make a man creepy:

– Being manipulative. Trying to guilt a woman into doing something, trying to wheedle something out of her.

– Being selfish. A creepy man’s goal is to score, and if he keeps hitting on a woman even though she’s not giving him signals that she’s into it, that’s fucked up.

– Being eager. As American Mistress Bardot Smith would say, don’t be “a beggar with your dick out.” Think beyond your dick. Don’t send unsolicited cock shots. Don’t post pictures of your dick on your profile. Don’t choose “Mr Horny” as your Twitter handle.

Here are my big suggestions on how to not be creepy:

– Bring something to the table. Be good looking, intelligent, charming, sexy, thoughtful, attentive, and if you are lacking enough of those characteristics, then at least be rich.

– Make a woman WANT you. Leave her wanting more. So many men’s main goal is to get their dick in a hole. It’s so refreshing when a man plays the game differently – I’m always shocked when a man doesn’t try to fuck me right away. It’s happened a couple times. Being patient and in control is very sexy. Eager and pushy is not.

– Be respectful. Don’t stare rudely. Don’t be crude with a woman you just met. I’ve seen Matthew say to a girlfriend of ours at a bar: “So you want to take my load, huh?” If some other guy were to use a line like that, it would be nasty and inappropriate. But Matthew has already paved the way for it to be hot and welcoming, because he has established that the woman is totally into him through conversations, building rapport, body language, and being attentive to what turns her on. This is why he gives lessons on confidence and how to please women and be successful in the dating game. SO MANY MEN DON’T HAVE A CLUE.

– Respect personal space and boundaries. Don’t touch someone without asking. I met a man for the first time the other day, and right off the bat he touched my hip and called me “sweetie.” He might have thought that was charming behavior, but I found it repulsive.

– A lot of men crave female energy. Don’t be an energy vampire. I recommend David Deida’s book, The Way of the Superior Man. In Chapter 23, he says:

The next time you come upon a woman who sends a thrill through your body, relax into the thrill. Let her waves of feminine energy move through your body like a deep massage. Breathe fully, without resisting the joy her sighting affords you. Breathe the joy all through your body. Don’t stare at her, don’t even interact with her. But when you see her, and you experience your attraction, fully allow the energy of attraction to move freely through your body. Learn to magnify and sustain your desire, so your whole body and breath open and deepen by its force. As you behold her, receive her vision as a blessing.

For example, one of my friends is a married college professor, and he interacts with gorgeous young women all the time. Of course he is tempted to touch them and fuck them, but instead of pursuing them and having reckless affairs, he maturely and respectfully basks in their female energy in private. Check yourself before you wreck other people.

I hope this provides a few clues on how to interact with others. So often a guy is creepy and then we avoid them, which isn’t constructive.

I didn’t even get to the question, “Do you know any creepy women?” Do you? I know a handful – they don’t respect other’s personal space. Women who repel instead of attract are a curious breed. Again, the issue seems to be with making other people feel uncomfortable, which can be complicated.

Comments

fuzzilla 2011-07-06 19:25:11

I dated a guy (a setup from a friend…who later apologized profusely!) who pursued me so hard at first. Said he thought I was so hot, I was so much smarter than the girls he usually meets, he can’t wait to see me, he called me CONSTANTLY. I give him a chance because I’m an idiot and we date and he insists we be exclusive and that I give up my FWB. I do and he acts completely indifferent to me whenever he sees me. I had nothing to do on Father’s Day and hung out with him and tried to briefly talk about how I get a little down on Father’s Day ‘cuz my dad is dead. No response, just keeps playing his video game. At one point I said something to him and he said “well, I’m trying to concentrate, I’m playing this game, see…” OH, I HAVE STORIES GALORE.

I would have been fine keeping things casual and light as long as we mutually agreed that’s all it was. Don’t want to have deep emotional conversations? Fine, then let’s just fuck, but leave me free to fulfill my emotional needs elsewhere. I mean, I really don’t get it. Pursue me so hard, insist so hard that we be exclusive and then turn into a robot and act like you can’t stand me? Did he actually even like me or just want to control me? One of my friends said “the friendship often stops when the fucking starts, which is super obnoxious.” No matter how casual a relationship is, basic human decency and communication skills are required.

I actually let myself get modestly excited about “wow, someone actually wants to be my boyfriend and not just fuck around…except he’s a sociopath who’s constantly angry and belittling and makes me feel like crap.” This just happened and I’m still pretty ranty and hurt. Anyway.

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    Kendra 2011-07-23 10:27:30

    I winced when I got to the part about him playing video games while you tried sharing your feelings with him.

    You’re right – it’s not fair for someone to keep you in a cage and not feed and care for you properly!

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    fuzzilla 2016-09-14 13:18:33

    Ugh, these old comments are so embarrassing. I will say that that guy was a real turning point for me; made me take a good hard look at myself and why I entertained his nonsense for even five seconds.

    Reply

Buddha 2011-07-06 22:17:56

Chances are he has a bottle of Chloroform in the car and has been waiting for the right moment. STAY CLEAR OF CREEPY GUYS! Do NOT try to tutor him. He isn’t a special needs child or a lost puppy. Smile, turn the corner, and RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIFE! Seriously.

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    Aspergers 2011-07-07 06:52:54

    As someone who is sometimes classified as a “Creepy Guy” because of Aspergers I find that comment insensitive, people like me at least need feedback as to why we are Creepy in order to grow and learn. I come across as such because I never learned proper social skills. I’ve had to adapt and teach myself everything I know, good and bad. It’s not as easy as people would like to think, and just like you would want feedback from a partner on what you did that worked or didn’t work for them, I personally need feedback as to if I came on too strong/clingy/creepy, whatever it is so I can learn from the experience and grow from it.

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      Buddha 2011-07-07 14:48:06

      Huge difference between someone who has a disorder and a guy who is just plain, yes… creepy. Didn’t mean to offend and someone with Aspergers definitely falls in the former camp. If a woman doesn’t mind the risk that it’s NOT a guy with Aspergers, ok.

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        Aspergers 2011-07-07 17:35:11

        You are right, there is a Huge Difference to an extent when you look at it from the outside, but at the same time, women don’t know it, and it’s not something you exactly want to divulge when you meet someone either. It weighs heavily on me because I really don’t know if I can ever find peace until I come clean to whoever I date about it, but I also don’t want to be judged or looked down upon, or even treated differently. The fact is, Creepy is creepy, and society makes it so people with Aspergers have to keep quiet for fear of being judged.

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          Buddha 2011-07-07 20:24:35

          Tell her. If she likes you, that’s all that should matter. If it were me, I’d wear a shirt that says, “I’ve got Aspergers. There. I said it. Do we have a problem? No? Good. Now get that sweet ass over here so that I can spank it, lick it, fuck it, and write ‘Property of Aspergers Guy’ all over it! I don’t usually make the first move, so hurry up before I repeat the same behavior with that other hottie at the end of the bar. I saw her blowing a blind dude with Alexithymia. Just saying.”

          It would, obviously, be a small font.

          Abby 2013-03-27 20:35:41

          I think you’d have better luck just being yourself. be up front about your disorder. if someone is scared off by it, then maybe they weren’t worth the time anyway. eventually if you just be yourself, though, you’re bound to come across people who like you for who you are. it’s also easier to be comfortable around someone who is comfortable with who they are, and to get to know each other.

      Kendra 2011-07-23 11:25:13

      I know A LOT of people who have Aspergers who are dealing with the frustration of wanting to be intimate with people but lack the social skills. I applaud anyone who tries to bridge the gap and create understanding, it’s often overlooked. I like this article on the topic: http://carnalnation.com/content/55714/999/asperger-s-syndrome-sex?page=0,3

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      morpheus316 2011-08-09 00:07:01

      That’s one of the major things we aspie males face when we’re around women — we creep them out before we even know them without even knowing we’re doing it in the moment — and we feel terrible about it later. Personal anecdote here: I was in my first year of college, did the pre-class socialization/orientation stuff etc. and found out that the women on campus considered me a creep and wanted me expelled. This further intensified when a female student got groped at the bus stop near campus. Because of my reputation, I was accused, hauled before the dean of students and nearly expelled. Judgment was stayed when further investigation found out that I was nowhere near the bus stop at the time in question — I was in class failing Calculus at the time of the incident. Thing is they never told me I’d been cleared and for my own safety, never even remotely thought about dating much less approaching my fellow female students. Even now I’m trying to change into a more sex positive experience while not merely settling, which is what I did by primarily using online dating to get women to see past my awkwardness and taking whatever I could get even if it was a total mismatch. I’d like to transition away from that in my life for my sake as well as my kid’s (the wife seems to have written me off and is just biding her time to leave me) and have been frustrated by my condition at every turn. I know this analogy is going to rub some people the wrong way, but in some respects to be a single aspie is a lot like having HIV in that it screws with your everything. Your health, your job, your prospect, everything, so it’ not just dating. Yeah, I know I may use hyperbole at times and do not at all mean to minimize the horror that HIV is, but I trust I’ve made my point.

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    Doc Brittle 2011-08-27 23:43:54

    Yeah, I find that comment insensitive to those of us with Social Anxiety Disorders. It sucks when you want a sexual and/or romantic relationship but your brain sends off a fight or flight signal whenever you encounter another person. It comes off as creepy but I would NEVER go beyond someone’s boundaries. As such, when you are rejected (it happens quite frequently) you go back into your hole for quite awhile too scared to even approach someone because you think something is wrong with you. I’ve been called creepy before and I have felt as though I am not worthwhile as a mate to anyone. It took me years to realize that my anxiety is all in my head and yes, I will be rejected, and that I need to move on. But to overgeneralize all guys who are considered creepy as dudes with chloroform in their cars is very offensive.

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RainMan 2011-07-07 00:03:38

As Kendra hit on, a lot of the guys who come off as creepy are those types who never learned how to socialize. It is a skill that most people can improve with corrective feedback. Whether you want to risk him actually being the violent type (unlikely) long enough to try is another story.

As far as creepy women, hell yeah, I’ve met a few. Creepy is basically just a mismatch of attraction (some creepy behaviors aren’t creepy to you if you’re actually into the person), nothing specific to genders there. You’re not into them, and they can’t tell.

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    Aspergers 2011-07-07 06:50:13

    I have an account, but I’d prefer not tie my comment to such.

    Sometimes creepy guys don’t really know any better. I can say such because well….I used to be one and still can be, I can say with me, it’s a matter of never learning proper social skills, all the social skills I know I’ve had to teach myself. The suspicion has been my whole life that I have Aspergers (High functioning Autism pretty much) I’d venture to say quite a few of the creepy guys have such. For me it’s a fine balance, some days I can socialise normally, with no issues whatsoever yet other days, I need alcohol to socialise. It’s terrible when you wonder while drinking Alcohol if you are going too far in the conversation, coming across as creepy, sometimes you don’t realise it until it’s too late.

    The fact is Creepy guys (at least myself and a couple other’s I know) don’t intend to come across as creepy, not in any way shape or form, it just happens due to an inadequate ability to socialise.

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      mind_ranger 2011-07-24 14:27:31

      Aspergers guy, your comments and the ones above them ring very, very true to me. I have only recently discovered Aspergers and consider myself probably a very-high-functioning case of it (also high functioning ADHD). It certainly has made me come across as creepy in the past, despite the fact that I consider myself one of the most honourable and respectful-of-women people that I know.

      But first impressions do not convey that. They convey the lack of social skills.

      It’s one thing for people to say, “Oh, you’re an Aspie, that makes everything kosher”. But there’s really no way for you to know that Creepy Guy is in fact someone with Aspergers unless you get to know him much better… and who wants to get to know Creepy Guy better?

      And without people willing to make that step, how does Aspie Guy learn social skills?

      I am very glad to see Kendra addressing this too.

      Reply

bas bleu 2011-07-07 10:37:18

I met my creepy guy through friends. He had good credentials: knew several people I knew, was fairly new in town, intelligent, funny, fairly quiet, a bit shy. Lean and athletic, otherwise average looks. He had gone to high school with my next-door neighbor. Definitely not pushy. We kept seeing each other at the same social events.

So we started dating. And the sex was OK, totally vanilla. Again, no pressure. A year later, we were sharing an apartment. I started noticing a few odd things. Nothing horrible, just not quite, um, normal. I put it down to his sometimes off-beat sense of humor.

Over time, I learned a lot about his history and his family. He was non-religious, but from an extremely religious background. He had been in the military, then drifted around for a while before finding his present job, but that didn’t seem too unusual. We got engaged, and planned a modest wedding. My Mother did NOT like him.

About a month before our wedding, we went together to the wedding of friends. On the way there, I nearly had a panic attack. “What in the hell am I doing? Let me out of here! This getting married is not what I want to do!” I kept it to myself.

Ten years and three children later, I found that he had for several years been sexually abusing our young daughter. Instant divorce, and all the trauma that it brings. The mandatory social worker accused me of complicity. “The mother ALWAYS knows!” The possibility had never crossed my mind. He went to prison. I never saw him again, thank goodness; I would cheerfully have murdered him.

I love my children, who are now adults. Not a creep in the bunch. I wouldn’t want to have spent my life without them. But sometimes I wish I had trusted my own doubts. On some level, I knew he was a bit of a creep. I had no idea how creepy he actually was. An intelligent creep can be dangerous.

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    Kendra 2011-07-23 11:31:10

    Wow, just now discovered this comment. I had no idea you had this life experience, bleu. Thank you for sharing your incredibly personal story, amazing that you had that thought on the way to getting married but went through with it anyway. You did not trust your gut. I am fascinated with how we so often go through with things so as to not rock the boat or offend anyone, only to have it bite us in the ass later. Have you read The Gift of Fear? I wish I could give a copy to every woman I know.

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Stephen 2011-07-07 11:46:58

I SO don’t want to come across as creepy. And I SO often do.

I have borderline personality disorder. I also have emotional needs that are deep and are caused by such pain and abandonment in my life.

I never knew how to start relationships correctly. I do bring something to the table, and I can be a great boyfriend. But I’m a lousy FB. I become selfish and controlling and totally manipulative when it’s my time to fuck. It takes huge effort for me to be there when it’s YOUR time to fuck, because all I really want isn’t that fuck, it’s either the control (like poor Fuzzilla found) or I try to extract as much of my emotional need out of that fuck-time.

Which, of course, makes women think I’m de bomb and really into them, because during our FB time I’m kissing like crazy, totally into them, will make them explode as often as I can…it’s me turning our little encounter into the ‘girlfriend experience’ and then when it’s over? Buh-bye. Get out. Why? Because I need to abandon you before I fall in any way and then feel abandoned myself. Fuzzilla is right, it’s control, otherwise we might feel crazy pain, and we’re scared to death of that.

And after about a zillion of these encounters, we (I) totally lose any ability to socialize properly with a woman we might actually wish to date. In my case I’m lucky – I’m charming and funny enough so I can flirt with everyone. But if anyone shows any interest back, I become lost. I over-react with affection and desire, overwhelming the poor girl until she either runs away fast (like you did in the car, Kendra), or agrees to fall for me (like Fuzzy did with her guy). But then I have no clue what to do next – my last longterm relationship was 20 years ago. I’ve forgotten how to be vulnerable and mature and open. All I know now is how to score with easy girls. It’s why I (we) keep going after either young inexperienced girls, who haven’t the self-esteem to know what to do either, or girls I (we) can perceive as easy, like sex bloggers.

So we become predatory, looking for the easy mark. I (we) can spot deeply hurt girls a mile away. Daddy issues, abandonment issues, folie-a-deux prospects with mental issues? I can smell it, and will stalk and hunt and conquer with abandon, knowing I can drop you like a rock whenever I choose…only adding to your deep pain.

So it’s been suggested here that us creepy guys need social skill-set training. I know better. Asperger guy, yes. Creepy guys like me? We need therapy. Lots. We have to learn to be aware of our issues. We have to learn to address these issues maturely with women we are interested in. There will be backsliding days where we predate again, where we manipulate again, where we strike without education (which means missing the mark on how to approach a woman by a mile). Which means women who gave us a chance at first turn into wary souls (like Kendra with coffee/kiss creeper), and abandon us. Man, when that happens the adreneline kicks in, we feel like absolute shit and know we fucked up. But our intentions weren’t bad. Coffee/kiss dude didn’t want to hurt you, I promise. And when you turned him down, he got defensive and stammered away. And then the pain kicks in, he tries to make it up but is now scared of you, Kendra, and ends up just staring, wondering what to do, without the means to do anything.

After 8 years of therapy I’m still a ways away from now creepin’ peeps out. It sucks, hard. It’s horrible and lonely and, well, horrible.

So women? The best you can do is take charge to help us and recommend therapy for us in a mature and firm way. We’ll get defensive and be pissed, but we WILL hear you, I promise. It’s the only hope for us creepers (who don’t have aspbergers), and I can speak for myself (and us) when I say a mature and open response to us is the very best thing for us. Telling us you feel uncomfortable and why is respectable and welcome. It’s not your job to save us, to help us, but we (I) appreciate it so much.

Maturity is a hard thing to come by, and your site helps with showing people what mature discussions are, Kendra. It’s why THIS guy will keep reading and following your ‘site for women!’

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    anon 2011-07-07 12:30:13

    Thank you for the explanation of what it can be like on the inside. Your vulnerable sharing is healthy and useful to help us understand. I am glad for you that you are finding the therapy process healing.

    Your explanation also helps me realize why I rarely get creepy guys. I am secure and confident, with clear personal boundaries. I’m not easily controlled nor easily flattered. I am secure in who I am. So I am both unapproachable, and unlikely to meet their needs anyway.

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    Belladonna 2011-07-08 12:09:46

    Your openness and honesty is very much appreciated

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    fuzzilla 2011-07-08 21:53:00

    >So women? The best you can do is take charge to help us and recommend therapy for us in a mature and firm way. We’ll get defensive and be pissed, but we WILL hear you< Meh. Yeah, I dunno about that. Been there, done that. I appreciate your honesty, but I'm done "saving" people. What's in it for me? I bet he did smell "bullied childhood" and "Daddy issues" on me. Unfortunately for him, I have had lots of therapy and worked very hard on my self-esteem. Not to mention I miss the hell out of the FWB and his mad oral skillz. The thing that ended things with this dude was, we went to a 4th of July party with some friends/acquaintances of mine. He was talking to a friend of mine and they seemed to hit it off and have lots of sci-fi interests in common (which I don't really give a shit about and so didn't have much to add). People started complaining about OKCupid and the weird people you meet there. He asked this girl "hey, so, what's your name on OKCupid?" I said "hey, why you want to find her on OKCupid if we're dating?" I didn't mind him being friends with her, I just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page that we were dating. Find her on Facebook if you just want to be friends. Also, if he thinks OKCupid is so innocent and meets lots of friends that way, why did he insist I turn MY profile off? He got really angry at me for "ruining his chance" to make a new friend. Later I apologized to the girl if I said anything to make her feel weird. "Oh, I'm sorry, it's just a new relationship, we're still figuring things out..." Anyway. After we left the party he SCREAMED at me about what a jealous, neurotic, insecure little bitch I was to think he'd hit on my friend right in front of me. I said "I'M FINE with you being friends with her. Just the whole dating site thing made me uncomfortable so I did a little heads-up." He said I'm just like his ex-wife. I mean, he SPITTING and SCREAMING, like I stabbed his mother in the face. The next day I sent this girl a Facebook message giving her his info if she wanted to keep in touch. I called him to tell him I did this. "Well, that was nice of you, but I can guarantee you she doesn't want to be my friend now 'cuz she thinks you're a crazy bitch. How well do you know her, anyway?" I said from parties and Facebook and we meant to hang out more but something would come up like she was sick or something. He said "I'm beginning to think it's no coincidence that she canceled with you to hang out with cooler people." I thought - now, this is nothing but abuse and I don't need it. I said "fuck off" and hung up on him. The next day I texted him my therapist's information to be nice (he had said earlier he was interested in this). He texted back "don't text or call me ever again." I couldn't resist texting back "BTW, that girl at the party? Told me herself she avoided you because of how angry you seemed and how you treated me. Learn some personal responsibility and maybe you'll be more mature than a 16-year-old" (he often say himself he has the maturity of a 16-year-old). He texts back "leave me alone, I want nothing to do with you, text me again and I'll take this to a court of law." So. You still think creepy guys WILL LISTEN when you reach out? Life's too short, I got enough of my own problems without having to metaphorically change the diapers of some hateful 44-year-old manchild.

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      Stephen 2011-07-09 12:53:14

      Okay, Fuzz, this guy wasn’t creepy, he was just crazy. And you dated him, which makes you a crazy-lover. Your crazies just didn’t match up. Gotta find a perfectly fitting pair of crazypants to fit.

      Creepy guys (in this discussion) don’t get too many dates.

      You’re describing two very different things/people.

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        fuzzilla 2011-07-09 13:13:55

        Thanks for saying “give creepy guys a chance” and then calling me a “crazy-lover” when I describe what happened when I did exactly as you recommend. That totally wasn’t creepy or manipulative or shaming at all.

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        fuzzilla 2011-07-09 13:21:23

        You say “creepy guys don’t get too many dates” yet you describe yourself as “creepy” yet can be charming and go through woman after woman because you either sabotage the relationships out of fear or because they bail. You don’t describe a lot of happy or successful dates, sure, but you mention a high quantity of them. That actually reminds me a lot of the guy I just dated. I said “you talk about how terrible and awful your ex-wife was and how you’ve had tons of one-night-stands. Have you ever had a HAPPY relationship? ‘Cuz I’ve had plenty. My history is generally to have a boyfriend who’s my best friend for several years.” He said yes but seemed vague on the details which made me think he was full of shit.

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Christianne 2011-07-07 16:17:26

I’ve met a ton of creeps, in part because I’m trans and men who chase after trans women tend to be even creepier than other creeps. The (mistaken) assumption that trans women are even more likely to be interested in fucking as some kind of validation of their identity tends to enable these guys. They’re also more likely to offer some kind of compensation for sex, whether it’s money straight up or some other service or item (a promise to pay for surgery is not uncommon). There’s almost never an attempt to offer anything of themselves or to get to know me as something other than a fetish object. It sucks.

That all said, the creepiest person I’ve ever met was a woman who somehow fixated on me as some kind of project. She crossed the line into outright stalking. Eventually, I had to get a restraining order.

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DaddyFr0gg 2011-07-07 19:41:50

I was with you up till reason #4. Dislike mustaches as much as you want, but to say that makes a man “creepy” is to reduce the topic and the description to appearance rather than behavior. I hope you were trying to inject a little humor, but it didn’t seem that way to me.

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    Kendra 2011-07-23 18:26:20

    Yes, by mentioning the mustache I was attempting to inject a bit of humor along with my personal preference in the topic. I also think comb-overs, excessive tongue tics/lip licking and long, greasy hair looks creepy.

    Also, not everyone can pull off a bow tie.

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      Braaainz 2014-12-25 02:10:49

      FYI, excessive lip licking and tongue movements are frequently a side effect from certain medications, anti-depressants a common cause. Interesting to think that someone might be depressed, thinking no one likes them, only to have the medication they’re takin add to their problems.

      I’d also like to point out that anti psychotics is the most heavily prescribed drug class in the United States, which also frequently cause that kind of side effect. Be prepared to see more of that kind of thing from NORMAL people.

      Reply

Creideiki 2011-07-07 20:02:58

Seems like I’ve covered this topic before. 🙂 My first post on the old TBK site started this way:

“Hi, I’m Creideiki, and I’m a recovering social skills creep.” I’ll still introduce myself this way, because I while I do believe I’ve made huge strides, I also believe that social skills will always be a constant practice with me. That’s okay; it will keep me sharp, and keep me present when I’m around others.

I have to say, after reading the posts by Asperger’s and Stephen, that I’ve had it relatively easy compared to those two. That said, I was painfully shy as a boy, and was constantly teased and tormented in school to the point of physical abuse at times. My first attempts to socialize with girls always ended badly, both because of my shyness and also simply not knowing how to be around them. It was so bad I didn’t even start dating until I was 30. THIRTY.

Then, at age 50, having been told by my second wife that she was leaving me, for, among other reasons and in her words, “lacking social skills,” I realized I had to go back to a clean slate. I asked trusted friends to be brutally honest about how I was coming across; I read everything I could on socializing (including TBK); I saw a therapist regularly; I went the gym and worked out; I practiced yoga, tai-chi, and meditation. All of those things helped.

But the best thing I did for myself, above all, was to actively break the cycle of introversion. I took up social dancing (I’ll withhold the exact type to keep some anonymity, but it was “touch dancing”, an example of which would be swing). I started taking lessons, and going to clubs and practices every night that I could. That put me in constant contact with people, in a situation where I had to interact and talk to them, and also be brave and ask women to dance with me, which was especially brave when I was just starting out, and had few dance moves. It was incredibly difficult, and I nearly quit three months in, but a chance encounter with one of the woman regulars, which led to a conversation over drinks, kept me in; she told me that she had seen lives change in those who kept dancing, and encouraged me to not give up. I took her at her word.

Months after that conversation, both my dance and social skills have grown markedly, so much so that I’m much more confident in dance situations. Women are starting to notice–and, more importantly, I’m starting to notice them noticing me.

At an outdoor dance recently I was taking a break, and glanced around at the people there. I noticed an attractive woman I had not seen before making eyes with me, and smiling. I smiled back, but didn’t make a further move at that point. At length I asked her to dance, and found that I had to persuade her; she was self-conscious about her lack of ability, but at length she agreed. The dance was rough around the edges, but I led some spins with her, and she was smiling and clearly having a good time!

The led to a conversation, and her suggesting we trade contact information. We also became Facebook friends, and she started “liking” and commenting on my posts. I got the hint, asked her out, and she said yes! We had a nice first date, and a second is soon to come. This is with a woman I would have called out of my league as recently as a month ago: tall, dark-haired, intelligent, slender but shapely, just plain gorgeous! (Kendra has seen pics of her, she can vouch for me!)

Folks, this is the career introvert who pulled this off, the guy with allegedly “no social skills” who, back in the day, couldn’t even TALK to gorgeous women. At least for now, I’ve hooked the most gorgeous woman I have ever been out with. I have never gone from a causal meeting to trading contact information to a date with any woman, EVER, let alone someone like this.

Yes, a social skills creep CAN be cured–but only if he or she wants to change, and has the strength and patience to carry it out. It was almost 18 months from the time I decided I had to do something to the day I described above, but I would do it all over again, because the rewards look like they are going to be truly great.

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    fuzzilla 2011-07-10 11:18:13

    I can vouch as well! ;o) It does seem the main thing you did right was get to the root of the problem (brutally honest feedback from friends and a therapist…more objective opinions than your ex-wife!) and choose an activity in which the thing that scared you (talking/interacting with women) became an everyday thing, not a “do or die” situation. I think that learning to chat with women as friends first was important step (and hey, got you new friends!).

    I have to say it sounds like you were more shy than creepy (from what you say, anyway. From what you say I’m really curious what your mom was like, but you can tell me to shove it). So maybe whoever said we throw around the word “creepy” too freely was right. So then just what is it we mean when we say “creepy”? I’d say it’s more than being a little shy, it’s not understanding/not caring about personal boundaries, actively pursuing no matter what signals the woman (or man) gives off because you’re just all about what you want.

    Don’t lots of guys write into this site wishing they could have the pull with women that Beast/Matthew does? They say “man, if I did that, they’d think I was a creep!” Then he wrote that brilliant article about “you know WHY they don’t think I’m a creep? I know how to talk to and listen to women and only pursue the ones I can tell are interested.” (Is that one on the new site? I think that was my favorite TBK article). Probably also creepy guys have a lot of issues and negative opinions of women, which Beast/Matthew does not bring to the table.

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    Braaainz 2014-12-25 02:16:19

    Creideiki,
    Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed reading it.

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    Daniel 2015-01-08 14:07:42

    I’m a guy with Asperger’s as well, but I’ve developed a quasi social life through dancing. I approach it as an individual most of the time, naturally, and I’m frustrated with just staying alone and dancing by myself. Can you tell me about the places that you took lessons from? I’m interested, in order to improve my social and dancing skills.

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Molly 2011-07-09 16:03:55

I think we probably throw the label “creepy” around too much. I might think a guy is creepy for hitting on me while I’m doing my grocery shopping, when he may very well be a nice guy I’m not attracted to, who caught me off guard with his friendly conversation. I’m pretty sure Dan Savage has commented on how the only difference between your come-on seeming creepy and getting you a date is whether the person you’re hitting on happens to be attracted to you or not. Things that would be sweet in some circumstances (getting flowers at your office, for example) could be incredibly creepy (how much stalking did he have to do to get your work address?) or incredibly sweet (the hot guy you’ve been flirting with looked up your office address after you mentioned where you worked in conversation).

So, if you are labelled as creepy once or twice, don’t take it too personally. Examine your behavior, ask a friend or two if what you did was creepy, then work to improve if necessary. But keep in mind that striking up a conversation with a stranger might be taken as creepy simply because some women are suspicious of strangers who approach them out of nowhere.

I was once walking home when a guy walked behind me for about a mile, just far enough behind me that he wasn’t invading my personal space but close enough that I had turned around to see who it was. Mid-20s, kind of geeky, but he didn’t look like much of a threat and wasn’t close enough for me to complain about. I was a little uncomfortable, and I was planning escape routes in case he followed me when I turned. I was walking along a major road, mid-day, so I wasn’t really concerned about being mugged, but there were no shops or places to drop into and force him to walk past me. When I did have to turn down my street, he got my attention and complimented me on my knee socks as we parted ways. Had he been trying to think of a way to start a conversation with me for that entire mile? Maybe he was so wrapped up in plotting his next move that he didn’t realize that a woman might be suspicious of a guy who walks a steady distance behind her for an entire mile. I know I can get so wrapped up in whatever I have on my mind that I don’t think about how others are perceiving my actions, but I’m a woman so I don’t tend to appear threatening to people. I can see how a guy might appear creepy accidentally, and I urge you to not take it too personally if your intentions are not bad, so long as you make efforts to see your actions from someone else’s point of view.

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    Stephen 2011-07-09 17:41:13

    Excellent post.

    In my stand-up comedy I do a bit about sexual harassment that’s exactly the same thing – if *I* do it, a lawsuit quickly follows, but if Brad Pitt does it girls are all “oooh, Brad, you’re a dirty boy aren’t you?! tee hee!”

    The Chris Rock thing.

    But truly creepy guys aren’t the mistaken nice ones or the ‘you just thought they weren’t attractive’ ones. We’re the social maladroits who just can’t get it right and just keep crossing boundaries.

    But you’re absolutely right – I love your analogy about flowers at the office. It totally makes a difference whether you’re into the guy or not.

    Again, great post.

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aspergersII 2011-07-18 23:54:17

i have to side with Aspergers, socialization doesn’t come to me. i am more than likely listed by several ladies as the CREEPY guy. Unfortunately for me it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that i learned i have Aspergers. Since then i have learned to ask when i am unsure. Still for some that still freaks them out.

i would be one of those guys that was afraid to talk to a woman, unsure of what or how, etc to say. It never helped that the times i did try to talk or even ask a woman out more often meet with a short blunt no or even cruelly replies.

Yes there are real strange and dangerous guys out there but there are also lots of us out there that either don’t know how not be creepy or are just so focused and worried about themselves and unable to read the others emotional response and therefore clueless about the creepy effect we are having.

Sorry about being a creepy guy.

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bob 2011-07-23 01:31:10

I think people should understand that guys who are “creepy” are in fact just bad at being social. The worst part is that it is out of their control. I had to learn as a grown up to be more socially acceptable, like the people on this website, I deal with the crap that flies my way because of the life I want to live. But other then that, it was weird for me because I wasn’t as social. I had to learn it. I read lots of books, and got better about it. Some people call it learning “pick up” but I would rather call it social science.
personally I never want the creepers to learn about it or get taught it. Why would I want that? Let them stay that way and make it easier for guys like me.
In my perception, women think a guy is a creeper if he can’t physically control his actions because of the presence of a woman. Which is ok if you have rapport, but not if you just meet them. For example, if I decide to have my way with a girl after we get into the house, thats fine because the trust and comfort is there. In public, its socially awkward for someone to give obvious sexual signs.

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Steve 2011-08-09 19:03:22

Hey – It’s normal for a guy to want to get his Dick in a hole. That’s the way men are.

This guy is creepy to you because of other things: no social skills, bringing nothing to the table, etc.

A man needs to learn what women really want, and websites like yours help a lot. Were this guy to back off a bit, and perhaps offer a few ideas or stories of his own, and NOT ask to get into the car, things would have been a lot better, methinks.

It’s not the “man” in him, it’s the lack of social skills in him that makes him “creepy”.

An equivalent “creepy” woman would be a wall-flower, complaining that she can’t get a date.

The difference is that that woman is just pitiful, where the guy is not only pitiful, but potentially dangerous.

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Tat 2014-12-23 11:49:41

I’ve had plenty. Most extreme was a guy who wanted me to stab him for his sexual fantasies. He also tried to force unprotected sex on me.

I’ve had some women come off as creepy as well. . .touching me without my permission or asking too many times if they can kiss me.

Most all the time I’m targeted by creepers based on my ethnicity. They see me more as a fantasy than a person and get angry that I won’t give my consent to fulfill their so called needs.

Nowadays it’s mostly lurkers who watch me for an uncomfortable amount of time, but this is because I have learned how to set up boundaries. Before then I gave these people chances because when I had a bad feeling in my stomach I would wave it off, thinking: “oh maybe I’m too judgmental. I’ll let them prove themselves to me.”

I am tired of ignoring my instincts just to “give someone a chance” or “fix them”. I have learned that my mental and emotional health and safety is more important than catering to someone else’s feelings. It’s not my job to fix them- it’s their own. They must put in the effort to learn and become a better person.

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    Kendra Holliday 2014-12-23 18:29:40

    Excellent comment, thank you! I always recommend “The Gift of Fear” to reinforce that “trust your gut” feeling…

    Stabbed?? Wow. I had a guy ask me to brand him once.

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Lis 2014-12-24 00:29:21

I got into an elevator with four men today and could FEEL them staring at my ass. It was creepy. I have been followed, catcalled, stared at, grabbed and pulled on. It was creepy. I’ve broken up with someone, and he insisted that he loved me. I was firm, and he sent me close-up pictures of his eyes telling me that I would fucking regret it. I have been made to feel uncomfortable by men and women who make gross jokes, inappropriate comments, what have you.

I don’t know if these people had social disorders or Aspie’s. I don’t know. What I DO know is that I felt uncomfortable, scared, pissed off or vulnerable and that it was NOT OKAY. I should be allowed to feel safe. I feel that Kendra’s point is valid, and I will ALWAYS err on the side of safety and risk hurting someone’s feelings if I perceive I am not safe.

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    Gary 2014-12-26 11:07:45

    Followed, catcalled, stared at, grabbed and pulled… yes, those are all totally creepy and I’ve never done those things. Well, maybe stared a few times, but not after a woman appeared to be uncomfortable.

    And you may well be right about the four men staring at your ass in the elevator, though you could only FEEL it, particularly given their body language, where they were standing etc. But frankly, if you want to prevent men from staring at your ass when you can’t see them, you’ll need to wear baggy clothes or an oversized coat. Because otherwise lots of men will do that, including lots of men who are not creepy. But please understand that for many fine men, it’s a moment of appreciation of you and happiness that they are men, and they want you to be happy too.

    However, there have also been times when I’ve been alone with a woman in an elevator, with her standing close to the door, facing away from me, and I can tell from her body language that she’s in fear and waiting for the ride to be over. She might be FEELING that I’m staring at her ass, but I’m not. Sometimes I try to break the ice by saying something “normal” to put her at ease. But there’s only so much you can do in a 20-second elevator ride. It makes me sad for women and what they’ve likely experienced from other men.

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Beth 2014-12-24 21:43:06

As a socially awkward woman, I find it very easy to tell the difference between a true creep and someone who has a social disorder. Maybe other people don’t have as good of sense when reading people. I have only met a couple of truly creepy guys in my experiences, and their actions were predatory. Generally I give people the benefit of the doubt. Sure some actions can be creepy but that doesn’t make the person themselves creepy.

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