The Epidemic Of The Pretty Laid-Back Guy: Is There A Cure?


A few weeks ago I tore apart the basic bitch (BB), sucked out all her juices, and laid her out dry and exposed for the vultures to pick at. I did. I did that. But as an equal opportunity employer, I’m not about to let dudes fall to the wayside, safe from my scrutiny. On the contrary. Because believe it or not, there is an illness circulating among men-folk that may be even MORE DEADLY than basicness: “laid-backness.” 

The best way to identify an infected male is ask him to describe himself in 50 words or less. If he says, 

“I’m a pretty laid-back guy…”

 ….Run. Or meander slowly, rather, because it’s not like he’s going to chase you. 

The Pretty Laid-Back Guy, or PLBG, is basically a privileged, usually white, hetero male in his 20s or early 30s who is somehow so satisfied marinating in his own mediocrity that he has snuffed out all his passions for the sake of comfort and convenience. He probably has a pretty good degree from a pretty good university and a pretty good GPA. He may have a job at his dad’s company, which he’s perfectly content with. Sometimes he and his bros flirt with the idea of a tech-start up while they smoke weed and eat Doritos in PLBG’s loft, which no one, including himself, knows how he is able to afford. He lets women come to him, and for some reason, his nonchalance is very attractive to some of the lower-hanging fruit. But PLBG gets bored easily, and sustaining any meaningful relationship with these women would simply be too much effort. So he throws a puppy photo and a beard-y adventure photo up on Tinder and waits for his goblet to overflow.  

I know how serious of a problem laid-backness has become because I have had the displeasure of dating a couple of them. 

Meet *Kurt. Kurt drove all the way from San Jose to Santa Cruz just to have coffee with me, which I took as a good sign. He was a law student at a mediocre state university nearby, although he expressed his apathy toward his chosen career path early on in the date.

“I’m probably only in the 50th percentile in my class, but that’s okay. I’m fine just kind of cruising in the middle.” 

Oh no. OH NO NO NO. 

“Just to let you know, my dad hires associates right out of law school, and just based on what he’s told me, you are about to get your ass handed to you.”

He shrugged. 

And we never spoke again. 

*Names have NOT been changed because IDGAF and none of us are ever going to see or hear from these guys.

Then there was Julian. A nice-looking, tall, sheepish fellow who had never left Hollywood in his life. He wasn’t the sharpest tack in the box, but I was wooed by his gentlemanly charm and good hair. Julian worked part-time in a bank and spent the rest of his time “working with computers” (i.e. disassembling and reassembling his three Macbooks) and playing pickup basketball with James Van der Beek. He would have me believe that his bank gig was enough to afford a spacious one-bedroom right on Hollywood and Highland, but now I’m thinking he probably just sold a lot of drogas. After he initially canceled our plans like 600 times, we had a couple of great dates. And then this happened.

Me (texting): “I can’t wait to see you tonight. My place or yours?”

Julian Shithead: “I’m not gonna be able to make it tonight babe, I forgot I made other plans with friends. I feel like I’ve bailed on you a lot. You deserve a guy who can make time for you, I’m sure plenty of guys would jump at the chance. I’d love to keep you as a friend.”

Oh no. OH NO NO NO. 

Me: “If you don’t have time to date, then don’t date. You wasted my time and I’m upset.”

Julian Shithead: “Sorry :(” 

Only a PLBG would deem a woman an inconvenience in such a warm, glossy manner. Getting rejected by a PLBG is like getting bitch-slapped by a Care Bear. I swore off men at the point to avoid getting involved with another PLBG. And that’s pretty much where I’m at now.

Now that I’ve taken a step back and tried to put the puzzle pieces together, I’m more perplexed than ever by the PLBG phenomenon. Where does this apathy come from? Where is the ambition? DONDE ESTA LA PASION?

I think a lot of men jump to blame feminism. They believe that their role as men is completely contingent on their relationship to women. How are men expected to “be men” when women are kicking their asses academically and professionally? What is their use beyond providing baby seeds and kickin’ back to watch the Girls Run This Motha? My question is, has the fact that women have become more assertive professionally and romantically really shriveled your balls beyond repair? Is that really our fault?

Here’s where I believe the problem lies, guys. (Ladies, listen up too.) Centuries of patriarchy have reinforced the notion that if you are a (white) man, LITERALLY EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING EXISTS TO SERVE YOU. The world spins around you. Things fall into your lap. You don’t know how to reach. You don’t know how to climb. You don’t know what it’s like to swim against the current because you are the f**king current.

I’m aware that you can afford to be a “pretty laid-back guy,” but I’m not interested in what you can afford. I’m interested in what you want. I’m interested in what you would be willing to scale a mountain for. I’m interested in whatever that thing is that is just outside of your grasp. If you are satisfied, then you are oil in my water. I live on a planet where if you aren’t climbing upward then you are falling backward, and if you are suspended in gravity somewhere above me, get off my planet.

featured image – New Girl