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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

What They Really Want?


Once upon a time, there was a boy who had an unyielding question. He wanted to know what girls and women wanted from boys and men. In this regard, he desired an answer that would one day result in his success concerning an intimate partner relationship.


Seeking the counsel of boys on the playground, he was told that the answer didn’t matter, because girls apparently had cooties (fictitious childhood disease). In this way, his male peers were of no help.


When daring to risk contracting cooties, he asked girls what they wanted. The sum of responses he received was that a “cute” boy was most desirable. Being an obese child, the boy was dissatisfied with the idea that he wasn’t what girls wanted.


Still, the boy sought answers. If elementary school-aged girls who supposedly had cooties wouldn’t have him, perhaps his opportunity at romance would change with the passage of time.


One uncle told the boy that what women wanted was a man who stood out from other men. The uncle’s strategy was to drive through the streets of their town, blaring music uncommon amongst his peer group, so that women would notice him.


Still, one aunt informed the boy that what women actually wanted was someone who would treat them well. Thus, the boy was instructed to be “nice” to girls his age and as he grew older girls would take notice of his behavior.


During middle school, a cousin told the boy that girls and women valued boys and men with “style,” so the boy was invited to develop ideal traits which would cause him to be noticed. For instance, that particular cousin wore inexpensive three-piece suits to school.


Alternatively, as the boy tended to get along better with females than males, girls his age expressed that what they wanted was a “hot” boy who wouldn’t talk to other girls. Albeit true that he was a good friend, they weren’t interested in the boy who’d lost quite a bit of weight.


Undeterred in his quest for knowledge, and having moved to an entirely different state, the boy continued seeking answers regarding what females really wanted. He read fashion and entertainment magazine articles which provided countering narratives about what females wanted.


Magazines marketed to women contained articles about what women actually wanted were men who could provide mind-blowing orgasms, provide resources (e.g., money for dates), and retain an air of mystique. Careful instructions were provided in regards to these elements.


As an example, men were encouraged to provide no less than 40 minutes of foreplay. As well, fully funded dates were required to be extravagant. The more money spent, the more a woman would be impressed by a potential suitor.


As well, women apparently wanted men who were open, honest, and vulnerable; yet, women didn’t want to know much about men. Maintaining a mysterious essence, women supposedly wanted a man who was perceived as somewhat dangerous to others though not toward women.


Magazines targeting adolescent girls were filled with articles and photos of boys and men. Advice columns expressed that ideal males were those who were nice guys towards females though simultaneously perceived as “bad boys.”


The boy who sought knowledge paid close attention to the information he consumed. In additional, girls and women during that time expressed differing requirements about what they wanted.


One woman told the boy that subservience to her husband was commanded within the Bible. It apparently didn’t matter what she wanted, because biblical precedence required men to assume mastery over women.


However, another woman instructed the boy that while women enjoyed when men pursued them, what women truly wanted was someone who wouldn’t cheat on women, so the same chasing behavior wasn’t ultimately what was desired. She added that women were complex beings.


One girl informed the boy that a “good kisser” was necessary. Another girl said she wanted someone who would listen to her rather than spending time with friends.


Still, another girl said that although girls may say they wanted commitment, they actually enjoyed the thrill of drama. Apparently, girls wanted males who may be unfaithful, because such behavior somehow influenced this particular girl to actively pursue her love interest.


In high school, much of the same advice was prescribed. However, girls of the same age as the boys had begun dating college-aged men, because adolescent boys were said to have been “dumb.”


It wasn’t uncommon for high school seniors to date freshmen, or even girls in middle school, so the boy learned that courtship within the same age range was limiting. Thus, he adapted his behavior to remain on par with how other boys and girls acted.


One of the boy’s close male friends expressed that all girls really wanted was sex. He and other boys kept tally sheets of their sexual exploits, with the boy’s friend having slept with 40 girls by the time of his junior year.


Nevertheless, one of the boy’s close female friends advised that boys who slept around weren’t something girls actually wanted. She preferred a guy who was discerning and who hadn’t amassed experiences in which she wasn’t involved.


Surprisingly, one lesbian madam (engaged in the business of procuring prostitutes) informed the boy that regardless of what he heard, girls wanted boys who seemingly didn’t want them. This is how she tailored her business of pimping out three or four girls to high schools across town.


Likewise, a female gangster advised that she enjoyed boys who would occasionally hit her. Apparently, physical battery was interpreted as passionate devotion, because someone who truly cared would apparently beat another person out of an unbridled expression of love.


The boy even paid close attention to what pimps from across the nation expressed about how they procured the services of females. Ostensibly, men were meant to attract females through “peacocking” behavior so that females were empowered to “choose up” pimps.


Taking into account the helpful and unhelpful information he’d collected up until that point, the boy began dating girls. He was going to be a nice guy who never abused women while essentially continuing his open, honest, and vulnerable demeanor toward females.


If girls wanted bad boys and abuse, they could pursue those aims. After all, he wasn’t interested in playing a role that was inauthentic to whom he perceived himself to be.


He established a first-name basis with three local florists, made mixtapes and handcrafted gifts, wrote poems, and spent what little money he had on inexpensive dates. Likewise, he sought advice from how-to books addressing the art of romance.


The boy was able to establish and maintain short-lived intimate partner relationships with a focus on monogamy. Understandably, the majority of girls he dated were unfaithful, as the boy had previously been informed about this likelihood.


Entering adulthood, the man who was once a boy began traveling across the United States (U.S.) and he eventually established residence in foreign lands. Continuing to seek answers about what women wanted, the man received mixed accounts from women overseas.


Although there was some dissimilarity with what he was told by females in the U.S., women apparently wanted men who could provide for and protect them. Still, men were expected to give women “space” and not prevent women from establishing independence when in a partnership.


At around that time, the late rapper DMX released an album entitled ... And Then There Was X. It contained a track called “What These Bitches Want,” featuring Sisqó. The non-explicit version was entitled “What They Really Want.”


DMX’s track addressed the man’s lifetime of seeking to understand what females truly desired. While the rapper’s perspective validated some of the information received by the man, it was countered by advice given from many other females in his life.


Speaking with more women, men were somehow to exercise understanding if or when women eventually cheated on them. After all, if women returned to men after seeking opportunities with other men, this was supposedly a sign of endearment, because returning again alluded to desire.


One woman told the man that her provocative style of dress was a compliment to the man. When other men expressed desire for her, this was apparently indicative of her value to the man with whom she was in a romantic relationship.


Another woman outright told the man that what women wanted were options. Therefore, the man could expect that while he was with her, she would continue looking for other men.


Many male friends told the boy that women didn’t actually know what they wanted. Per their worldview, it was incumbent upon men to dictate to women what they desired.


One male friend told the man that no matter what “bitches” said, they wanted a man who would cheat on and beat them. Skeptical of the claim, the man’s friend demonstrated behavior to support his claim.


No matter how horrendously he treated women, each of the women the man’s friend dated eventually came back to him. It was then that the man began to consider dropping out of the dating pool altogether, if that’s what women actually desired. 


Around that time, a film entitled What Women Want was released. It contained a number of anecdotes which corresponded with what the man was told throughout his life.


With very little consistent answers to his unyielding question, the man decided to stop pursuing women for anything other than casual acquaintanceship, aside from friendships. It was then that he met the woman he’d marry.


She would effectively demonstrate to the man that the undesirable pieces of advice he’d received in regards to his question were likely true. After that union dissolved, the man dated various women though couldn’t piece together what women really wanted.


Ultimately, the man made the rational decision to forego intimate partner relationships altogether and instead go his own way in life. Still, he learned an invaluable lesson which is now shared with the reader.


A rhetorical question is one that is asked in order to create a dramatic effect or to make a point rather than to get an answer. It may not even have a suitable answer to the posed question.


The man concluded that his lifetime quest for an answer related to a rhetorical question. Although he received countless answers, there is no response that can possibly satisfy the question for all females (girls and women).


Girls and women aren’t a monolith, although they fall under the same biological category. Therefore, pursuit of an answer which makes the point is an effort of rhetorical value.


The point is that there is no complete answer to the posed question regarding what they really want. Suggestion to the contrary is irrational. Thus, unconditional acceptance of this fact may assist one who once tirelessly sought answers is the path to reducing self-disturbance.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW




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DMX. (2009, June 16). DMX - What They Really Want (Official music video) ft. Sisqo [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from

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Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from

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