Why Men Find Difficult Women So Sexy

Everyone has their type.

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By Mark Radcliffe

I tend to differ from most men when it comes to a certain topic: The women that most of my male friends call difficult, stubborn, and unreasonable are the ones I find truly compelling.

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When I meet someone at a party I’ve found fascinating and then mention her to a friend later, I often get responses like, “Really? Susan? Kind of a b****, don’t you think?” When I press them on why they saddle her with that label, the responses are something like this:


“She’s a little intense.”

“Not exactly a shrinking violet.”

“She comes on a little strong.”

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“She’s pretty stubborn.”

“She’s a little unreasonable.”

“She’s kind of aggressive.”

The truth is, I like a woman with a strong point of view. I find it sexy. One who’s willing to make a scene. Cause a fuss. Storm out of a meeting. Or a date.

Tell a guy to go eff himself. Or an entire room. Or her mother. And father. And the entire family.

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As long as it’s over principle. If she’s willing to take a stand on an issue she’s not flexible over, I’m all ears. I may not agree, but I respect her passion. 

This isn’t about excusing someone’s egocentric behavior, or condoning self-importance, and most certainly not abuse. This is about saluting someone who’s not willing to comply with the status quo — who’s done her thinking, has a strong point of view, and isn’t going to let it be ignored.

Someone who’s done playing by the rules of a game that doesn’t have her best interests at heart. Who’d rather get fired, be alone or lose a friend than condone some infuriating slice of patriarchy in her life?

And a lot of men don’t like that. It doesn’t fly well with their plans. But she’s got other plans.


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I’ve met women who are just trying to “behave,” who rarely speak up, and are happy to just be wallflowers and let men do all the talking. And I never wanted to date or even be friends with a single one of them. It's not sexy.

Some seemed happy to just hitch their carts to someone else. To be a part of his plan. Tag along. Whether or not it had anything to do with their values.


But I want a woman who is just fine without a man. That is sexy. Who doesn’t need him to be happy? Nor even some guy singing her praises in some essay. She’s too busy carving out her own place in the world. And if she happens to meet a man or not, it’s all ok. Because she’s got enough going on with her own life to feed her own happiness.

And that’s the most compelling quality of all.

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Mark Radcliffe is a writer, editor, creative director, and blogger.