10 Reformed Playboys Reveal What Finally Made Them Start Respecting Women

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charityhestead

1. “I’m one of those people who blossomed late in life. I was a virgin until 22. So when things started going well for me in the dating world (or, more accurately, the world of meaningless hook-ups), I was quick to take full advantage. I went from social reject to grade-A asshole in the matter of a few months as soon as I matured physically. I was the king of late-night booty calls and one-night stands—and sickeningly proud of it. But the night of my 27th birthday, I got syphilis. It was a real wakeup call. Syphilis is curable, thank every god out there, but it made me rethink my entire lifestyle. I cleaned up my act fast, and not just sexually. With a little introspection I realized I’d been a raging asshole for too long and that I’d have to do better if I wanted a shot at actually liking myself again.”

— Brandon, 28

beetlejuice

2. “Hard to believe, maybe, but my whole perspective changed from watching a twenty minute TED talk. It’s by this guy Jackson Katz, who argues that ‘women’s issues’ like violence against women are actually ‘men’s issues’ too. I started off hate-watching it on this chick’s computer the morning after I banged her. But I quickly realized—to my own annoyance, at first—that the guy was making total sense. And that I was pretty much a jackass for being so conceited and acting as if I was entitled to sex just because I was a man or something. Katz made me see things clearly, suddenly, and now I actually identify as a feminist. Did I just say that out loud?”

— Gary, 36

beetlejuice

3. “I’ve always been a decent looking guy, and I have a career in finance, so I earn a decent living. I say that now just to give you some context. The thing is, girls have always kind of thrown themselves at me. But you know how they say ‘good on paper, bad in bed?’ There’s a reason for that. It took one night out with an awesomely honest, confident woman willing to deliver some hard truths for me to realize that I was a prick, and that I was bad at sex too. Talk about a blow to a man’s ego. I was a wreck and a total hermit for a while afterwards, but when I came out of the funk, I was a nicer person and I actually bothered to learn how to treat (and please) a woman.”

— Kurt, 26

beetlejuice

4. “For a long time, during every date I went on, I was ‘thinking’ with my dick the entire time. One night I was out with this hot brunette at an Italian restaurant, staring at her blankly as I imagined her on top of me, naked, tits bouncing up and down, when she asked me a question. Something simple, probably, but I didn’t hear her because I was distracted by my own egocentric inner dialogue. When I didn’t answer, she tilted her head, raised her eyebrows and said, ‘Not worth it.’ Then she got up and left! We hadn’t even gotten our entrées yet. I was so shocked but I ran after her and I found myself apologizing for everything I’d been doing wrong. Somehow, she set me straight, and we’re still together five years later. I only wish I could say sorry to all the other women I ignored or belittled before her.”

— Jorge, 31

beetlejuice

5. “Thinking back on the way I treated women as a young adult, I can’t believe I ever got laid. But I did. A lot. Then at 28, I got laid off from my job as an advertising exec. Walking home midday, in the depressingly empty streets, I realized that I had nothing. Sure, I had a few thousand dollars saved up, but I had no one to go home to. No one to vent to. No one to hold. I was alone, and it was my fault because I’d been such a dick for so long. I pledged to change my ways that day, and I did. If you don’t want to end up alone, you have to treat people the way they deserve.”

— Ed, 34

beetlejuice

6. “Picture it: A man walks into a club on a mission to pick up a woman, says whatever it takes to her to get her into bed, scores, wakes up, and does it all over again. That was me for years on end because I was a trust fund kid with no direction after graduating but plenty of time and money to spend going out at night. I was a legit womanizer. Until I met a woman who literally slapped me into rethinking things. I threw down some lame line and before I could take another sip of my vodka soda, her hand was smacking the flesh of my cheek. Funny thing is, I couldn’t blame her. I knew I deserved it. It’s sad that that’s what it took for me to change my style, but I’m glad that I’m still young enough to be a respectable man for most of my life. I don’t go to clubs much anymore, and I’m in a serious relationship with someone I feel lucky to love.”

— Marty, 26

beetlejuice

7. “I realize it’s frustrating when a man says that becoming the father to a daughter made him respect women more automatically. Because we shouldn’t have to become parents to appreciate something as basic as equal rights. And yet, if I’m going to be honest, that is what did it for me. I impregnated someone I was seeing casually a few years ago and I was truthfully pissed as hell when she decided to have the baby. I wanted to keep on doing my thing, sleeping with multiple women at the same time without getting serious and without thinking about anyone’s feelings or the future. All that’s changed, thanks to my little girl and her mother. We’re not together, but we co-parent really well and I’m a new man—a real man, you might say—thanks to those two.”

— TJ, 29

beetlejuice

8. “My younger sister gave me the wake-up call I needed without even knowing it. I was a jerk to her and every other female who crossed my path throughout adolescence. Finally, my lil’ sis couldn’t take it anymore. Know what she did? She bugged my room and cybersnooped through my computer. Then she compiled this thorough report—some kind of serious CIA type shit—for our parents showcasing my misogyny. I was so humiliated and rattled and angry, but also kind of impressed, truthfully. I mean, she had some balls, my sister. Or should I say she ‘had some vagina?’ Anyway, I gradually reframed my attitude after that by limiting the amount of sexist porn I watched and adjusting the way I spoke about and to women. Sometimes you have to be shamed into being a better person. Sis and I are close, and I just decided to take my fiancée’s name once we’re married six months from now.”

— Henry, 32

beetlejuice

9. “It makes me cringe to remember how rude I was to women as a young man. I would stand girls up if something or someone better came along in an instant, without explanation. I could tell you I was the captain of my high school’s football team, but that seems like a lame excuse to become totally numb to human emotion for a decade. Anyway, what changed everything was the woman who’s now my wife. She had no fear, and she told me on our third date that I was being an idiot and that I shouldn’t bother calling her again unless I planned to treat her with the respect she deserved. She shocked me into reconsidering my behavior. I’m so grateful she came along and bitch slapped me. Except that ‘bitch slapped’ isn’t something I say anymore. She humanized me, dude.”

— Justin, 27

beetlejuice

10. “About two years ago, a gorgeous woman knocked on my front door. At first I didn’t recognize her, but it was someone I’d dated once who had blossomed from an average looking college student into a confident, glamorous woman. She explained that she was confronting everyone who’d mistreated her in the past as part of the therapy she was undergoing. I was at the top of her list, and when she sat me down and explained how I’d made her feel by dismissing her back in the day (we’d been intimate a few times, until I threw her out of my dorm the morning she refused to give me head), I couldn’t contain myself. I started crying. The next day, I started therapy myself to reform my approach to the female sex. I used to be a perpetual cheater but I can’t imagine doing that to a woman ever again. Therapy has definitely made me a better man.”

— Oliver, 25 TC mark

Mélanie Berliet

I adore the following, in no particular order: knee-high tube socks, acrostic poetry, and my little brother. Click here to learn more!

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  • http://wanderslutt.wordpress.com Wanderslutt

    Excellent, excellent read, for women and me alike. Thanks for the unique perspective Mark!

  • http://chewonthewritewords.wordpress.com Chew On The Write Words

    Very refreshing! Not just because I’m a woman, but on a human level. We all could work on approaching each other with empathy and respect.

  • http://Abeautifulwhim.com ABeautifulWhim

    The title of this post seriously captured my interest. Jorge’s story really cracked me up. What a great post. And a thanks to the guys who contributed with such candor and honesty. I have a 15 year old and I hope he doesn’t go through a womanizer phase but if he does, I know there’s hope.

  • http://miagataaa.wordpress.com miagataaa

    Very insightful! :-)

  • http://anitaozolins.wordpress.com anitaozolins

    Very interesting read! Thanks so much. I wish more men would work these things out sooner! I am still single at 36. I am yet to meet a decent single loving awesome man to be honest. I am glad these guys have all reformed their ways and quite young too! Thanks for the share, I love getting inside a man brain, its a different world in there.

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