The 12-Step Douchebag Recovery Program

November 17, 2009

Admit it, you know a bad boy who you think is sexy, irresistible even. You know he’s bad news, and yet. You still hook up with him. You don’t even like him, you just like, need it, you know? It’s like your brain understands, but your vagina has a mind of its own?

You’re addicted to douchebags.

That means it sucks to be you. Because every guy you fall for will make you miserable. It also sucks for the rest of us, because every time you play with one of these guys, you ensure that they’ll go on to douche another day. Which means more girls getting treated like crap. Which means more nice guys going over to the dark side, so that they get to treat girls like crap too.

Stop the insanity.

Douchebaggery is a choice. It’s a strategy, and an effective one. This is a game you cannot win. Think of him as a sexually-transmitted infection. He’s in your bloodstream and you’re going to need some bigass antibiotics to shake this habit. Don’t fret, I’ve got a 12-step program that works if you are committed to changing your life.

Step 1:Admit that you have a problem, and that your romantic life has become unmanageable.

  • Have  you ever felt embarrassed or humiliated about a hookup?
  • Have you ever hooked up with a guy whose age is < 23 but whose number is > 23?
  • Have you ever run into a hookup who didn’t remember your name? Or pretended not to?
  • Have you ever had an STI scare that you were totally unprepared for?
  • Have you ever had sex with a guy you’re not dating after he booty called you late night?
  • Do you keep hope alive with guys who you know don’t give a damn about you?

Step 2: Use the power of reason to restore your sanity.

  • All women like a bit of bad boy. Smart women find a good guy with enough self-confidence to get the job done. Bonus: Good guys are far more giving in bed. Remember Tucker Max and the jackhammer?
  • Stop watching chick flicks immediately. No romantic comedies whatsoever. Under no circumstances should you ever again watch a movie where an asshole makes a bet that he can pull the hottest girl, only to fall madly in love with her despite himself. Ditto for any movie where the bad boy reforms to settle down.
  • Take inventory of your past sexual relationships. Can you name one boy who was CRAZY about you? Treasured you? Wanted you to meet his sister? No? Well, believe it or not, there are guys out there who won’t be quite so anxious to wash off your scent in the shower.
  • If you soil yourself with douchebag drek, you’re going to get all bitter and cynical and trashy. Then when the real deal comes along, maybe even a future baby daddy, you’ll be unfit for a healthy relationship.
  • Listen to your friends. Take a doucheyness poll. If they give a guy the thumbs down, trust their instincts, because you already know that yours are worthless.

Step 3: Wrestle your vagina to regain control.

  • Has your vag been making good decisions? Didn’t think so. Bring your decision-making back up above the belt to the cerebral cortex.
  • Say this to yourself 100 times: It’s not a compliment when a guy wants to get into my pants. It’s not a compliment when a guy wants to get into my pants. It’s not a compliment….
  • When you’re out, don’t drink so much that your libido takes over and you make a complete idiot of yourself.
  • It can be helpful to wear ginormous white granny panties, or at least Spanx, to reduce the risk of spontaneous poor choices. (Hat tip to Bridget Jones.)

Step 4: Take a good look within yourself.

Do any of these common douchebag traits apply to your own behavior?

  • Selfish
  • Arrogant
  • Dishonest
  • Manipulative
  • Possessive
  • Lying
  • Cheating
  • Self-pitying
  • Jealous
  • Insecure
  • Hypercritical
  • Harsh
  • Ungrateful

Stop being a douche baguette. Start hanging around with nicer people, and you’ll find that it’s easier to be nicer yourself.

Step 5: Put your friends on high alert that you don’t go for jerks anymore.

  • Explain why you are trying to change, and encourage them to join you in your effort. Choose one or two who really have their act together, and ask them to keep an eye on you. If you can find a reformed douche baguette to act as your sponsor, that is most helpful.
  • Celebrate by taking your friends out for a great night. With them in your company, you are far less likely to backslide in these early days.

Step 6: Enjoy the dignity and self-respect that comes with your new role.

  • Keep in mind that it will take a while for douches to figure out that you are no longer easy prey. Stick to your plan to clearly communicate your unavailability.
  • Whenever a douche approaches you and insults you in a cocky way, look at him, silently counting to 10. Then respond with a Hahahaha and turn away. It’s also effective to shake your head “no” at this point. Be prepared for further insults; he may respond by calling you terrible names as he storms off.
  • Get choosy. Look around for cute engineering types. Software developers with decent social skills can be very rewarding. Some practitioners of law and medicine are also good bets. Unfortunately, the banker population has a very high degree of douche penetration, so be careful with Wall St. types (they are not nearly as humbled as they should be in this recession). Real estate developers are an absolute no-no, being nearly 100% douche. Artists of any kind are risky, but if you can find one emo enough, it may work. A man with integrity who works with his hands is very appealing.

Step 7: Forgive yourself for your shortcomings.

Some backsliding is to be expected as you make adjustments socially. Remember, a zero tolerance policy is a must.

  • That really cute guy who is sooooo jacked isn’t that bad, is he? Um, yes. He’s terrible. He’s playing with you like a cat plays with a mouse.
  • Douchey Dan swears he can change. Doubt it. However, one caveat: if Douchey Dan was a nice guy who has not been on the dark side for too long, and if he has not yet created a trail of broken hearts and damaged self-esteem, you may give DD one shot.
  • A dumped douchebag is a volatile creature. He will use any and all tactics to make you jealous, so that he may regain the respect of his buddies. If that fails, he will use any and all tactics to exact revenge. He will be merciless, possibly spreading horrible rumors about your sexual performance or private parts. This is very difficult to bear, but bear it you must. It will pass.

Step 8: Make a list of all the douchebags you know. Apologize to no one.

List all the douchebags who have harmed you. Now add the douchebags who have harmed others. Remove all db detritus from your life.

  • Remove all db’s from your phone and buddy list. Facebook removal is helpful, but not required.
  • Select one photo featuring extreme doucheyness, and put this in a safe place where you can peek when necessary. Whenever you think longingly of the intimacy lite, the fake boyfriend, the pretend affection, it helps to see a photo of said douche looking like a complete tool.
  • Understand that your social life may require adjustment when you separate from douchebags. In fact, you may find that you suddenly have zero guy friends. Stay strong. This too shall pass.

Step 9: Actively seek closure by holding douchebags directly accountable whenever possible.

  • Though apology is unlikely and reform damned near impossible, you will benefit from speaking your mind.
  • Moving on will be easier for you if you state emphatically that it is OVER, and why.
  • It may be helpful to speak frankly when douchebag’s posse of buds demand an explanation. They won’t want to hear your side, but at least you can plant the seed that their AWESOME dude friend is a man of poor character. They’ll probably keep their sisters away from him, at the very least.

Step 10: Continue to be watchful and on guard.

Continue to be watchful for temptation. When you fall off the wagon, take responsibility and recommit yourself to the program.

  • It may be helpful at this stage to read novels where the heroine gets completely screwed over. Good ones include Madame Bovary, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Anna Karenina.

Step 11: Plan for the future.

Think about what you want your love life to look like, now and in the next five years. Resolve to continue making the choices that will get you there.

  • What are the qualities you want in a boyfriend?
  • Are you willing to be patient and not settle?
  • Are you continuing to develop yourself so that you will possess strong self-esteem without getting sexual attention every moment?

Step 12: Share the message with fellow addicts.

  • Set a positive example in your own group of friends. When they observe your newly found sense of peace, your lack of desperate, clingy, cries of “Why? Why? Why?” you will be a powerful witness for the program.
  • Don’t enable addictive behavior in others. No matter how much your friends want to be deluded into thinking their douchebag cares, you must not participate in the deception. Speak truth to those you love.
  • Once you feel strong enough, and established in a new and healthy lifestyle, offer to sponsor one of the many women you know you are suffering in the gutter of rejection and degradation of douchebaggery.