Talk show host Bill Maher wrote an unpublished book in 1987 entitled “What I’ve Learned About Women,” in which he laid out for fellow men his strategies for how to be successful with women.
Big League Politics exclusively obtained a copy of this 118-page manuscript, which he decided not to go ahead and publish.
- Maher tells men to kiss women without asking permission.
- Maher says that touching a woman unsolicited with an erect penis on the dancefloor is “the highest compliment a man can give to a woman’s sexuality.”
- Maher tells men that “No” has multiple possible meanings in “female” language and advises men to run “red lights” put up by women.
- Maher advises men to “Liberate the yes inside that no” after a rejected kiss.
- Maher tells men not to ask women what they like in bed.
Maher writes about “The Female Predicament,” which he defines as: “The Female Predicament is basically the contradiction a woman has between possessing the same urges and needs as a man, yet simultaneously bearing the responsibility of being the one to put them in check…”
“In general, then, the lesson is, that in romance, don’t be afraid to be a man in the old sense of what we thought a man was,” Maher writes, frequently appealing to women’s hidden desires and dismissing the merits of feminist thought. Maher writes that of three categories of men — “Pigs, Wimps, and Gentlemen” — it is always preferable to be a “gentleman.”
“Now, if all this seems manipulative and sounds like gameplaying – read on,” Maher writes at the end of one chapter.
Here are some passages from Maher’s unpublished manuscript:
On page 36, Maher writes that “No,” when said by a woman in the context of a romantic approach, does not necessarily mean “No” because the word no has multiple meanings in “female” language.
“What the wimp, or the boy in his short adolescent life, has not learned is that a woman has a justifiable need to test a man’s perseverance. Certainly sometimes “no” means no, and you have to develop an instinct for when that is. But the word “no” in female is best thought of as one of those characters in certain Asian languages that has dozens of meanings depending upon the slightest change of inflection. It can mean “No,” but it can also mean “convince me,” or “let’s see if you have the rocks to stick in a little.” A woman wants to feel that a man really wants to be with her,” Maher writes.
On page 39, he describes a hypothetical situation in which a man hits on a woman who is sitting alone at a bar, who claims that she is waiting for someone. Maher encourages men to run “red lights” put up by women.
“On the upside, there is the possibility that she really isn’t waiting for someone, but that she’s just saying that for…for the basic reason a gentleman would understand that she would – namely, to see if he really has enough interest in her and is really enough of a man to withstand this first discouraging piece of news, or whether he’s a wimp who’ll be scared off by it, or a sleaze who’ll take off at the first sign that this won’t be a 1-2-3 pickup. There is another reason – that being that no one likes to appear to be all alone – that we shall explore in greater detail at a later time. But whatever the reason, what matters is that, in our attempts to get close with women, they often flash a few red lights at us. And the ones who have the balls to run them are the real men,” Maher explains.
Maher uses as an example a scene in Saturday Night Fever in which Tony pleads with a woman to walk her home, and the female character says that Tony shouldn’t have asked but rather should have just done it.
“The lesson being, a man cannot expect a woman to give him those green lights all the way to the altar. Yes, it takes a little guts, because when you run a red light, there’s always the chance that you’ll get hit by something coming the other way. But not everything comes with an engraved situation. Stephanie wanted Tony to walk her home that night; by not doing so, he frustrated her, left her thinking, “I wish he was a little more grown up, a little more knowledgeable about women, a little more of a man,'” Maher writes.
On page 42, Maher compares women, with their conflicting signals, to Vietnam prisoners of war under duress.
“For example, if she’s telling you she can’t do something with you because she has to do something else, but then when she describes that something else she takes great pains to sound overly bored by it, she is looking for you to talk her out of it, and into you. And she’s frustrated by the response of the unseasoned male, who puts too much stock in only what he hears, and completely ignores the entire, more subtle non-verbal world which women wish men would get hip to as much as they are. The analogy that comes to mind is that of the American POW in Vietnam who was forced to read an exoneration of his captors for the cameras, while all the time his hands were subtlely spelling out the word “torture.” With women, their consciouses are making them verbally demure, but the rest of them is trying to spell out “romance,'” Maher writes. “So don’t always go by just what you hear – prick up your ears and eyes, and think a little bit!”
On page 44, Maher equates women’s signals to messages sent by the Soviets to President Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Some messages from women, Maher explains, should be ignored.
“With women, as with much else, that phrase is invaluable to remember and to live by. Now, I know you’re getting tired of political analogies, but there is just one more that I have to make, and that is this: During the Cuban Missile Crisis, at the height of the tension that the world was about to be blown apart, the men in the White House situation room received, in the space of twelve hours, two letters from the Soviet Premier, Nikita Kruschev. The first was extremely belligerent, the second, exceptionally conciliatory – and neither letter made any reference to the other. The leaders of the country wracked their brains trying to formulate some way of dealing with this situation, until Robert Kennedy suggested something that was brilliant in its simplicity: respond only to the second letter, and ignore the first,” Maher writes. “Which is my advice for the analogous situation with women: respond only to the good news, and let the bad news slide off your back as if it had no meaning at all, because often it doesn’t.”
Maher continues in this passage, explaining that rubbing an erection on a woman while dancing is “the most honest compliment a man can give to a woman’s sexuality.”
“And assume the best,” Maher writes. “We manlymen have the stupidest tendency to do the exact opposite – to shortchange ourselves by thinking that our overtures to a woman might be an imposition. That is never the case if we make those overtures in a gentlemanly fashion, and its taken that way, its the woman who’s fucked up. Any time a man does what it takes to let a woman know he likes her, he’d like to spend time with her, even that he wants to sleep with her, it is a compliment. I often think of the fact that when I was in high school and, it took, like, a gust of wind to give me a hard-on, I used to live in mortal fear that such an act of nature would be detected by a girl if I danced with her. Now, I’m not suggesting that a man should be purposefully brandishing that puppy at the drop of a hat; but I am saying that dancing is foreplay – and if in the course of a tender and sexy moment on the dance floor that foreplay causes the results that foreplay is supposed to cause, well then so be it. I mean, we can’t will an erection into being (well, we can, actually, but in this case give us the benefit of the doubt); its nature’s way of saying “Hi – I like you a lot!” It may not be the subtlest, but it is certainly the most honest compliment a man can give to a woman’s sexuality; as any man will tell you, there’s definitely no room for lying when you’re standing up like a highway pylon. To stand there naked with a major woody, and tell the girl you’re with she’s not turning you on – talk about conflicting signals!”
“So assume the best. I know this is sometimes bad because we guys are really so damn sensitive underneath all the bravado, and all it takes sometimes is one real bitch, one truly stuck up, mean, bad bad lady to make us gunshy about the whole shooting match,” Maher writes.
“But I’m here to say that’s silly, so get over it. Any woman who treats you with utter contempt for just saying hello is like the celebrity who won’t sign an autograph – they’re both ungrateful brats who don’t have the brains or the soul to remember that it was God who gave them whatever it is that has made them so popular, and God will take it away if they continue to act like assholes,” Maher adds.
On page 105, Maher encourages men to kiss women without asking first
“There is no overemphasizing the importance of the kiss. As a woman’s last line of defense before actual sex, it is Rubicon not to be crossed lightly. But if you’re going to cross it, do it with confidence, and do it well,” Maher writes.
“I must add, however, that confidence does not include insisting that a woman kiss you; if she demures, cease and desist immediately, perhaps in favor of a light hug and a gentle peck somewhere other than the mouth. Do not snap her head back as if it were a target that fell out of place. And whatever you do, do not start talking about it! This is a sure way to make anybody throw up. Being rejected in a kiss is a Minor Awkward, but if your start yammering away about what just happened, you make it into a Major Awkward. Its just not a manly thing to do. Even to ask a woman “May I kiss you?” before you try for the first time is, at least to my romantic ear, out of tune. A kiss needs no words around it; it speaks for itself. The difference between a man saying “May I kiss you?” and a man looking straight into a woman’s eyes with a gaze that unmistakably says “I’m going to kiss you” is the difference between a nice guy providing a pleasant evening and a real man providing serious, industrial strength romance and feet-sweeping. And if you don’t know by now which one women prefer, then you’ve been doing entirely too much skimming so far,” Maher writes.
Maher writes that if a woman rebuffs a kiss, a man should continue trying in an effort to “liberate the yes inside that no.”
“So shut up when you kiss – and don’t be thrown if the first try is not entirely successful. As we discussed how women feel the need to demure, to check us, to test us, in the other phases of “Getting to Know You,” so with the kiss. She may want to kiss you more than she wants her next breath, but she also may be determined not to acquiesce on your first attempt, just because…well, as you remember, “just because” is a pretty damn good reason (and we know the underlying reasons now, right guys?) In which case the gentleman does what he did in the earlier, analogous situations – he says nothing about the rebuff, but sticks in with a perceptible attitude of “OK, but I’m not finished trying, and before we’re through, I’m going to do what you want me to do, which is call your bluff and liberate the ‘yes’ inside that ‘no,'” Maher writes.
“I must also add that the worst possible thing that you could do after a rejected kiss, worse even than babbling about it, would be to apologize for it. Don’t get insecure and ask her why she wouldn’t want to kiss a guy like you, and you feel bad about trying it, and maybe you should go home now, and eeeechhh! Your desire to kiss her is a compliment, not an insult, to her, and her preference for not kissing you at the same moment you decided to kiss her is not a rejection that merits…anything. Just get on with what you were doing or talking about, and get those antennae up for when the timing might be better,” Maher writes.
Maher writes that Benjamin Braddock’s pursuit of Elaine in The Graduate is something all women would want to be treated to.
“Is this sexist? Well, I’m sure that there are feminists who would say that for a man to make up his mind he’s going to marry a woman without consulting her is the height of male chauvinism. If it is, though, I’m confident that most women would be more than happy to live with that, because what Ben Braddock does is the most romantic, the most exciting, and the sexiest thing in the world. To be wanted that badly and pursued that hotly – that’s stuff that lives in the heart, and stuff that lives in the heart is always going to beat out stuff that lives in the brain, like politics. The character of Ben Braddock was more than a little bit of a nerd – but in his quest for Elaine Robinson, he was anything but a wimp. He was brave, devoted and undeterable, and there isn’t a woman in the world who shouldn’t love to be treated to a blast of that kind of affection,” Maher concludes.
Maher explains that it’s okay to lie to women.
“So to feign moral indignation about it and say this is all very cynical, the best policy is to be honest all the time, is simply to ignore what kind of world and what kind of people we are: the kind who get hurt very badly and very easily by matters d’amour; and also the kind, who when hurt by anything, learn ways to protect ourselves from it happening again. For every phrase on the order of “happily ever after” and “love at first sight,” which pertain more readily in fairly tales, there is also “all’s fair in love and war” and “the battle of the sexes,” etc., and they didn’t wind up in the language by wishing it were so, they earned their place by being unfortunately real. People play games and tell white lies in their romantic encounters because they need a defense, and for that they shouldn’t be judged too harshly,” Maher writes.
“A gentleman understands this. He understands that the psychology of the male-female dynamic is extremely complex, and cannot be handled in simplistic terms. Trying to get a woman to do what she wants to do, but for other reasons feels restraints about doing, then it is a positive and gallant thing to do; it is part of what we said before about women wanting men to still do certain things for them, wanting us to get them. By the same token, a gentleman understands why a woman does certain things that on the surface might seem manipulative or duplicitous. Its not usually because she wants to be duplicious or difficult, but rather because a little tapdancing gives her the time to find out if a guy can be trusted,” Maher continues.
Maher details his advice for manipulating women by dressing “different and funky.”
“Another tip I would offer on the subject of first meetings, again in tune with “thinking like the criminal,” is clothing. Women love clothing,” Maher writes on page 32. “They notice it, they pay attention to it; men, generally, much less so. So if you want to catch a woman’s eye, wear something really different and funky and interesting to the post office, or later to a bar if you have to have your suit on during the day. Its the easiest, most superficial think for her to comment and converse on, and it gives a gal-thing in common, which women love. Look at the way rock stars dress, mostly in the trappings of very feminine garb, complete with heavy make-up, and how sexy women think they are. Women are narcissistic just like men; a lot of what they find attractive in themselves (and Lord knows, they notice everything about each other) they would also find attractive in men if men cared to cater to that. The old saying “Women dress for women” is only partly true, but for a man to dress for a woman is a great untapped source of immediately having something about you that a woman is interested in.”
Maher writes that men should not ask women what they like in bed.
“There is nothing I find more repulsive than the querstion “What do you like?,” which people have been known to ask a new sex partner their first time together. That’s a question that should be answered as you go along; no research project could ever be so much fun, and why anyone would be in a rush to finish; I have no idea,” Maher writes.
Maher’s listed agent Steven Lashever at Creative Artists Agency did not return requests for comment by time of publication.