Here's the thing -- on paper, I'm actually one of those Nice Guys you often hear and/or read about. I'm uncomfortable to the point of nausea at the idea of being a jerk to women in order to manipulate them into sleeping with me. I do everything in my power to make a girl I'm interested in comfortable and happy, and I refrain from any remotely creepy or suggestive behavior.

So, although I actually do qualify as one of the Nice Guys, there's a paradox -- there's no such thing.

The Nice Guy question had always vexed me, because I'm Nice -- but really only in comparison to some of these hammers and nails I see in bars, aggressively hitting on you women. (I really don't know how you all deal with it.) Then it struck me one night while I was being Nice to a girl -- I want to sleep with her just as much as that a-hole over there does. Which makes me just as much of a creep.

Let me explain.

Look -- you know how you and every one of your friends dated a worthless waste of internal organs at some point in your life? That's because every single one of us is at least a little bit of a worthless waste of internal organs. You guys aren't strictly all a bunch of Ma Teresa's and church mice, either. But hey -- guys aren't all Lloyd Dobler or the Antichrist. There's a spectrum for these things -- and that's good.

The sooner you accept that most guys are --- like me -- nice guys and metaphorical-leather-jacket wearing sacks of crap, the sooner you'll find a guy who's a good balance of the two.

Look, I Really AM One of the Nice Guys
I love talking and listening! I do. And I especially love talking and listening to women. I love language and stories and I love talking about emotions and feelings. Why? Oh, I don't know, perhaps my body's making too much estrogen, or maybe it's because I have sisters and nieces and a mom I love. I've been told I'm utterly guileless! Hear that? Guile-free, ladies!

Wait, No -- I'm the Worst
Nice Guys, like perverts and douchebags and Mormons, also want to get down. Yes, I just spent 45 minutes talking to you about the show "Degrassi: The Next Generation," but I still want to take your bra off. Oh, and I've never actually seen "Degrassi!"

Make no mistake -- we sweet, self-deprecating, talky, emotionally available and thoughtful types want sex, too. Nice Guys want you bad and, just like the a-hole, we're ready to compromise ourselves in order to get what we want. How bad? "Degrassi" bad.

Wait, No, Don't Go -- I'm Nice
I honestly want to get to know who you really are. You want to talk about heartbreak or longing or your fear of death? Done. I'll talk to you for hours about almost anything. If there's a house party and there are dudes on a couch in front of a giant TV and women in a kitchen with a giant bottle of wine, I'll be in the kitchen. Why? Because you women are baffling, exotic creatures and just listening to you talk thrills me to no end. I'm constantly marveling at how much more interesting you are then men. Why do you even like us??

Oh, Wait, Nope, I'm Still a Creep

While enjoying your company and conversation, I will also have a parallel narrative running in my head in which you tell me you want to ball up your panties and shove them in my mouth. I will entertain both the real you and the Hopefully You in my head, and by our second or third drink, you and I will be married in my insane freakshow of a mind. If by drink number four you don't give me your number or generally grow less enthralled with my presence, I will go home alone and have an extremely depressing masturbatory moment involving the thought of you debasing me horribly in some way. I'll want to cry myself to sleep, but won't be able to because I'll pass out.

In Sum, I'm Actually Just a Normal Dude. Sorry, Ladies!
So I'm a bit of a merman, but it doesn't mean I'm not a calculating, diabolical bastard-face. Now just because most of my calculations end in failure doesn't diminish the fact that I am, much like the intentional a-hole who "negs" chicks, engaged in some form of pathology that I'm hoping will get you to make out with me.

But here's the thing -- all of my personality traits -- the self-deprecation, the willingness to share my actual feelings, the sweet temperament -- they're not manufactured. They're real. But they also conveniently help get me what I want. See? It's complicated.

I don't do it for this purpose, but I do realize that my ability to listen and synthesize information may also get me a shot at having you sweat on me later. See, we all work with what we've got. A Nice Guy's guilelessness? Still his guile.

[Redacted] writes for Lemondrop when he's not breaking fragile hearts and avoiding Victorian diseases all over the Eastern seaboard. You can send him hate mail and love letters here.