Roxanne Tellier: Bad Boys/Bad Girls

january roxanneLord Farlsworth, that magnificent cougar-faced beast, has been waking me up at ever earlier hours (4:15 a.m. today … a new record!) with yowls that pierce through a sleep-sodden brain. If ignored, Lord F pounces on little Jay, my delicate flower of a girl cat. Since he outweighs her by 10 cat alarm clockpounds, and she can’t stand him, a classic cat fight, complete with Siamese screams, ensues, and I’m getting up, damnit, like it or not.

But the crazy thing about the Jay/Lord F battles is that, once physically separated, the tiny Jay will then search the house to find him. It’s a classic “good girl” love/hate relationship with a “bad boy.”

brandoApparently there’s a biological, hormonal, ‘survival of the species’ instinct involved, in humans and in animals. The drive to procreate appears to favor that hottie in the leather jacket with a cigarette behind his ear. The closer a female is to ovulation, the hotter the sexy rebel will seem. They will even delude themselves into thinking that the bastard would be a great choice as a partner, and to father their potential mini-bastards.

Of course, it’s more than just the hormones moaning – there’s a psychological aspect to the attraction as well. With a bad boy, things can go either way. And you can’t be sure of how he’ll react at any given time. It’s a crap shoot, a pull on a slot lever; you take your chances, a hope to come up with three of a kind, but you just never know. It’s an addiction to uncertainty.every girl wants a bad boy

Some women find themselves seesawing between a physical attraction to a bad boy, and a less emotional/more practical relationship with a good man. They may alternate between the two for years before settling for one or the other.

But if nature prefers the philanderer, where does that leave the nice guy, the one that actually does want to settle down? Take another cue from the animal world, my less good to bad scaleswaggery friends. Fake it till you make it. Appearing confident, and perhaps just a tad more aggressive, can also win over the ladies. After all, it’s a sliding scale, which goes all the way from milquetoast to axe murderer. Finding a point somewhere in the middle is probably your best bet.

And it does seem as though women eventually grow out of their attraction to heartbreakers as they – and the men – grow older. Once bitten, twice shy applies after a broken heart or two.

Pop music is popular culture, and there’s been no shortage of songs that reflect this particular aspect of life. Who could ever forget this classic bad boy song, from 1964 – The Shangri-Las Leader of the Pack. This video features a very young Robert Goulet, hamming it up.

Gloria Estefan sang about her Bad Boy crush, and the subject of Carly Simon’s 1972 hit You’re So Vain caused years of speculation, with the controversy over the identity of the self-obsessed lover still raging today. (Taylor Swift claims that Simon told her the bad boy’s name after they performed the song together in 2013.)

The SOS Band had a hit when the ladies admitted shamelessly that they really couldn’t care what their man did away from home. “People always talkin’ ‘bout your reputation. I don’t care about your other girls. Just be good to me.”

But Janet “Miss Jackson if you’re nasty” wanted her “Black Cat” to be aware that he was skating on very thin ice.

We also have guys who want to be bad boys. Some, like George Thorogood, revel in being Bad to the Bone, while Alice Cooper seemed to be reacting to a bad review when he sang No More Mister Nice Guy. “I got no friends ’cause they read the papers. They can’t be seen with me.” David Lee Roth boasted that he was a bad boy for hire in Just a Gigolo. And then there’s that Atomic Dog, George Clinton, who just accepts that his nature is what it is. “Why must I feel like that? Why must I chase the cat? Nothin’ but the dog in me

In music, as in life, there are those girls who want to be bad girls. Even Donna Summer wanted to get her naughty disco on with her hit Bad Girls. Suzy Quatro rocked her leather hard enough to inspire a character in “Happy Days,” and pretty much any Joan Jett song puts Joan in the driver’s seat, from Do You Want To Touch? to The French Song  (in which she encourages a lover to have a threeway.)

The tiny perfect artist currently known (again) as Prince, himself the consummate bad boy, coached his protégées Vanity Six on how to be the sort of Nasty Girls he enjoyed in his own fantasies.2 night I’m livin’ in a fantasy, my own little nasty world. 2 night, don’t U wanna come with me? Do U think I’m a nasty girl?

And Meshell Ndegeocello funked it out for real, kicking butt and taking (no) names in If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night.)

But there’s so often a dichotomy in bad girl thinking. She’ll be torn between wanting attention and power, and the lure of living a more respectable life, as determined by society. As Amy Winehouse said, “I cheated myself, like I knew I would. I told you I was trouble, Yeah, you know that I’m no good.”

Or if you are a very young, super talented Whitney Houston, you may find yourself making a video about pining away for a married bad boy, but having the record company ensure your fresh All American face doesn’t actually get any nookie.  Rumour had it that Saving All My Love for You closely mirrored an affair between Houston and the already taken Jermaine Jackson.

Some boys want to tame the tigress. Michael Jackson’s Bad Girl excuses the bad behavior by blaming her actions on her past.  Prince wanted to slow down the Little Red Corvette. And switch-hitter, Ricky Martin, encouraged his bad girl Livin’ La Vida Loca, “She never drinks the water, makes you order French Champagne. And once you had a taste of her, you’ll never be the same. She’ll make you go insane!”

Leave it to the suave Bill Withers to understand how good a bad girl can be. “You just keep on using me, until you use me up.”

And in the ultimate paean to a married bad girl, Billy Paul’s silky voice chronicled his daily dalliance, “we got a thing going on,” in Me And Mrs Jones.

Be it nature or nurture, it seems that, as long as there are sensual, sexual, human beings on the planet, there will never be a shortage of bad boys and bad girls. Because, when it comes right down to it, as Dalbello said – we are all of us … Animal

= RT =

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

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DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. After years of doing things she didn’t want to do, she’s found herself working with a bunch of crazy people who are as batshit crazy and devoted to music as she is, and so she can be found every Monday at Cherry Cola’s, completely unable to think of anything funny to say, as the co-host of Bob Segarini’s The Bobcast. Come and mock her. She’s good with that. And she laughs. A lot. But not at you.

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