Why High-Flying Women Fall For The Wrong Type Of Men

Samantha Brett

Kate Moss lurches from Pete Doherty into the arms of another unsuitable man. Sienna Miller falls for confirmed cheater Jude Law. Britney Spears marries white trash poster boy K-Fed. And Simone continues to return to Shane Warne, despite shenanigans with blow-up dolls, X-rated video footage and way too many text-sex affairs.

So why does this happen? Why is it that so many girls wax lyrical over dating some bloke who refuses to return their calls, won't be caught dead meeting her folks, never buys her gifts (unless he wants something in return) and hardly remembers her name?

Introducing the bad boy - aka the blokes beautiful women tend to fall hopelessly in love with. But why?

There's a brilliant line in the recent Hollywood flick Perfect Stranger, starring Halle Berry, that poses that very same question. "What is it about powerful women and shitty men?" a character asks.

Perhaps Kate Moss would know the answer.

The waifish supermodel seems as addicted to dating bad men as she is fond of illegal substances. Most tellingly is her on-again, off-again romance with Pete Doherty, lead singer of rock band Babyshambles, whom she met at her 31st birthday party in 2005.

It was love (or rather lunacy) at first sight between the wealthy supermodel and the rock star. As Moss lived the high life, jetting between cover shoots for the most glamorous magazines in the world, posing for lucrative advertising contracts (she was the face of Rimmel, Chanel, Calvin Klein and Christian Dior) and prancing around A-list parties, Doherty was plumbing the depths. He continued to commit a string of ludicrous crimes, ranging from possessing drugs to stealing cars, punching band mates and assaulting paparazzi.

What she saw in him, we'll never know. But perhaps, writing in his recently published diaries, Moss gave us a little hint: "You make me high, my sweet," she wrote. "My skin shivers and longs to be held by you."

Documentary maker Roger Pomphrey saw the X factor, too. Having spent 11 months with Doherty creating a documentary on his life, he found himself "enamoured and intrigued" by the bloke, who he said was "very charming, endearing and open, very, very vulnerable, witty, intelligent and sharp. And he's very sexy."

So Moss stayed. Even when he was caught injecting smack into an unconscious female fan. Even when he was snapped supposedly cheating on Moss with a South African model at a hip London nightspot. Even when he went from jail, to rehab and back to jail again.

After the cocaine scandal broke - shocking photos and video footage of Moss ensconced in a drugs and drinking session with Doherty and his junkie mates - we all thought she would finally smarten up.

Especially when she checked into rehab, apologised to the fans, resigned from her contracts (nabbing a few more along the way) and almost doubled her wealth to emerge back on top as the world's most sought after supermodel. But no. Despite pleas from the rest of the world to give up her bona fide bad boy, Moss seemed unmoved.

That was until recently, when she called it quits for good and announced she was "engaged" to her new boyfriend, the Kills rocker Jamie Hince. From one bad boy to another.

"Women become addicted to the bad boy because he's exciting; he's naughty," explains Sydney relationships counsellor Alice Haemmerle. "He has a load of testosterone running through his body and women are enamoured by this. They are often very charming and have the ability to lure you in."

Despite all the philandering, uncertainty and heartache, it seems glamour girls just can't get enough of the bad boy; they are the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese wed shock rocker Marilyn Manson, only to file for a divorce 12 months later due to his "inappropriate relationship" with another woman.

Whitney Houston decided to pull the plug on her 14-year union with singer Bobby Brown after she accused him of beating her.

Tommy Lee reportedly "kicked the crap" out of ex-wife Pamela Anderson, who took three years to leave the bad boy rocker. "I'm one of those people, where it doesn't take a brick to fall on my head, just a building," she said.

Ditto Sienna Miller.

The leggy blonde was applauded for being the one to tame bad boy Jude Law by getting him to propose but things turned sour when "nanny-gate" struck. Law was caught in a compromising position with the hired help, while the kids played in the other room.

Yet despite being smart, successful and downright dazzling, Miller couldn't tear herself away and raced back into his arms - without an engagement ring.

As Cameron Diaz recently mused of Law, her co-star in the romantic flick The Holiday, "He's charismatic, fun, open and charming. It's very easy to fall in love with him."

The worst afflicted by the bad boy syndrome has to be Britney Spears. Once a teen pop sensation sporting cutesy pigtails, a lengthy list of morals and a "no sex before marriage" mantra, meeting Kevin Federline in 2004 changed everything.

The not yet divorced father of one (with another on the way), looked and behaved like the ultimate bad boy. And goody-two-shoes Spears wanted in.

After declaring her love for the back-up dancer, she purchased her own ring (at a whopping $US400,000), had loads of sex (telling the world about it on her reality television show, Toxic), got drunk, discovered drugs and gave birth to a baby boy.

Despite rumours of Federline having an affair, cavorting with strippers and leaving Spears at home to look after the kids while he spent all her cash, she nevertheless stuck by her man, telling US TV program The Today Show that she loves Federline because he's simple.

"[I love] his simplicity and he's just like a boy, he cares," she said.

"He cares so much and his heart is awesome. He has a really big heart and I love that."

But after giving birth to a second child, shedding the weight she gained during pregnancy, hanging out with Paris Hilton and flashing her nether regions for the paparazzi, she plucked up the courage to give K-Fed the flick. Bizarrely, however, these days it seems as if K-Fed was the saint in the union. Nevertheless, it's an interesting quandary: why would celebrities such as Spears and Moss risk losing it all in favour of the bad boy?

Theories abound. Many experts conclude that these gorgeous women believe that if they flounce about with a villainous cad, it will be their magic-carpet escape ride away from their image-conscious existence.

Others, such as relationships expert Allan Pease, author of Why Men Don't Have A Clue And Women Always Need More Shoes, say women want two different types of men depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. "During ovulation she wants the macho man, bad-boy type who can pass on genetic strengths to her offspring, like Russell Crowe," he says.

And the rest of the month?

"She desires the stay-at-home caring, secure nice guy, like Hugh Grant."

No wonder so many modern men are confused.

Some blokes, however, have perfected their bad boy persona. Colin Farrell, the chain-smoking, hard-drinking, "hot and horny" Irish bad boy reportedly dated Demi Moore for a week, Spears for a night, Kate Beckinsale for a day and discussed the possibility of something more than friends with Angelina Jolie. When he upset feminists by declaring he was "sick of love" and looking for "a lifetime of casual sex", it only added to his bad boy appeal.

Robbie Williams is no different. Having bedded more women than Casanova, Williams, on his recent tour to Australia, declared he wanted to "shag himself silly" and bed as many more women as possible.

And despite his penchant for swearing, boozing and belittling women, he remains the ultimate bad boy that most women would love to tame.

Which brings us to another conundrum: can a woman ever truly change a bad boy? While it's every woman's dream to have the skills to change a man, experts reckon it's an impossible ask.

"The second you go about changing a bad boy, you instantly get this cardboard cut-out of a guy who pretends to be one thing, but is really another behind your back," says Geoff Barker, author of What's On A Man's Mind?.

"Society does err on the nice guy's side these days, so women, after getting over the bad boy, do revert to the nice guy eventually."

Ah, the nice guy. The one that supposedly always finishes last. For those entrenched in Planet Dating, deciding between the two can be a vexing decision. Just ask Bridget Jones when it comes to the Mark Darcy versus the Daniel Cleaver debate.

On the one hand there's the sweet, loving, adorable bloke who loves your imperfections, laughs at your lame jokes and holds your handbag while you're shopping. ("Ew!" say the bad boys, "never!")

On the other hand there's the bad boy; the bloke who doesn't like your friends, is rarely complimentary and would rather eat dirt than carry around your Witchery purse. But you try him anyway because, well, he makes you feel sexy.

Melbourne dating coach Nige 54 explains why we're usually too quick to ditch the Darcy: "Nice guys are just too feminine."

"Relationships work best when there is the existence of masculine and feminine polarity," he says. "The sensitive new age guy that was created in the '90s by many women's magazines and was initially welcomed by women as it was an interesting change was soon kicked out of bed for the more sexually aggressive and appealing masculine alternative which women cannot resist."

But ladies, don't fret if you've been burnt by the bad boy. As Mae West once said: "A woman has got to love a bad man once or twice in her life to be thankful for a good one."


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