Meet the Whimpster

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A friend of mine sent me this link, just wondering if any other female ilxors have encountered this kind of guy?

By Rachel Elder 02.12.04

There is a new post-feminist plague afflicting single women and his name is Whimpster.
He is a man who has perfected his male insecurity as a way of manipulating the very expectations women have come to have. He is a man who uses self-deprecation and vulnerability to prey upon a woman's need to nurture to sate his own massive ego. While he seems to reject a terrible macho-ness, he's constructing a careful persona designed to reel in unsuspecting targets.

Maybe you've dated him? Even worse: maybe you *are* dating him.

Who is this whimpster?

Simply put: He is male. He is white. He is wimpy. He looks a little bit emo, a little bit hipster, and he's more dangerous than you'd think. So, the next time you wake up next to someone whispering

acrimonious nothings about his ex-girlfriend instead of going down on you, you'll know a little more about this seemingly gentle boy you went home with. This is the 'dark side' of Lloyd Dobler, of our precious Duckie, and life with him is much different after the credits roll. Whimpsters are men who use cultural artifacts and politically correct platitudes in place of the empty spaces where real thought and emotion should be. Whimpsters are men who unwittingly enjoy Bukowski's misogyny. Whimpsters walk a tenuous tightrope between their secreted, terribly warped masculinity and the mainstream manliness that they claim to abhor.

Fuck Lloyd Dobler.

This male insecurity-as-manipulation thing really needs to

be stopped. If you're a whimpster, consider yourself outed.

Why They Seem Attractive, at First.

Initially, these guys can seem super sensitive, super "deep." You'll probably receive a mix tape or quoted song lyrics during the initial courting session. He'll spend a lot of time talking about how he relates to some sort of super-sensitive movie character or musician, or mention how much he enjoys those reruns of My So Called Life. And he's done his research. He knows chicks die for the characters in John Hughes' movies, and whimpsters bank on these characters' worst traits: The hang-ups over small, inconsequential things; the chronic need for reassurance; the grade school hints that he might just "like you like you."

Martyrdom is a big part of it; it's their raison d'etre. They like to tell you how much they like to do "sweet" things so they can seem like the nice sensitive guy who bends over backwards for everyone. But this martyred, "I'm just that kinda guy"-ness clashes with the masculinity that inevitably comes out. For example: A girl he feels something for is being cornered in a bar. The whimpster feels he has to do the chivalry thing... but that could mean a messy display of overt masculinity. So in place of kicking the guy's ass (or at least asking him to leave you alone), your defense will consist of loud sighing and a glare or two. And in the rare case where the whimpster might

defend your honor, you'll probably have to hear about how guilty he feels about it for the next two months. Plus you'll need to tend to his wounds after he gets his Bright Eyes blackened.

But the attraction is strong. We want to blot his tears, wipe his nose and take care of this whimpster, because initially, he doesn't seem like an asshole. Unlike other dudes, he's not loud and obnoxious -- he's quiet and soft-spoken. His pants are short and he'll hold your hand. He's okay with just sitting around listening to your favorite record and he's not going to talk sports in front of you. (He hates sports. You get your Sundays back.)

The cruel irony here is that the only people whimpsters are "emo" or particularly passionate about, are themselves -- although they're known to tote around some pretty decent-sized messenger bags full of resentment and hatred toward women. But these women are the litany of ex-girlfriends who made broken promises. Assuredly, you are different. You are special.

Sure, whimpsters can be physically attractive. Super sensitive looking, a lot of sweaters, sweatshirts, and artfully mussed bed-head. But upon closer inspection, is the general whimpster aesthetic attractive? Some common traits are: the receding hairline, dandruff, skinny to the point of the caved in chest, vitamin deficiency, chronic allergies, the soft mixed scent of B.O. mixed with Tide, not boxers, not briefs, those boxiefs, hoodies, glasses, knit caps, scarves, glasses, skateboarding shoes, complete with un-ridden skateboard.

And you fell for it. You want to wipe that 10-year-old's nose.

The Whimpster Relationship.

The whimpster relationship is always the passive/aggressive stalker type.

Everyone's been in one of these... also known as: "hanging out", "coming over", "friends", "not my girlfriend", "whatever," "trading mix cds" or even worse: the pretend marriage.

This is the tricky part, because you realize that whimpsters really reveal more about your character than theirs. They prey on your insecurities by revealing their own. This is how you get stuck in a codependent, passive, jealous relationship with a whimpster you hopelessly try to fix, even though he won't let you. You'll spend a lot of time wondering why he's around, because his emotional unavailability is staggering. "If he's so sensitive, why isn't he even talking to me?"

As for the Sex?

Ah, what whimpsters do -- and don't do -- in bed! Here's where the real horror begins. And were they ever to get an erection, they'd probably apologize for it. You'll hear a lot of "don't touch me there." He's flaccid at best, and very awkward. Having sex with a whimpster is like cramming an emo record into a knapsack on the bus. (And on a related note, he will also almost always vehemently swear on his 7" collection that he does *not* download porn, all while toting a dog-eared copy of Henry Miller around.)

The moment you finally get a whimpster in bed, you'll usually

Is Your Man a Whimpster?

As you know by now, whimpsters are deceptive and manipulative, hiding their intentions behind a pair of Descendents frames. With this quiz, you can move past those mumbled emo lyrics and see the truth.

1. Whenever you're over his house, you always end up listening to…
a.) Steve Miller band's greatest hits CD collection advertised on TV.
b.) The JeJune/Jimmy Eat World limited edition 7" that he taped to his iPod.
c.) Ennio Morricone soundtracks from foreign films.

2. He buys his clothing ...
a.) At the mall, with his mother buying and picking out most of the crap.
b.) At Urban Outfitters, but only after checking the label to make sure that it wasn't made in Tibet.
c.) Only online with his Banana Republic card, to get the 20% discount.

3. After you've finished having sex, he immediately says…
a.) "Gaaaah! You're so fucking hot. Man, you're so fucking hot. I'd fuck you again."
b.) "My tummy hurts from coming so hard. Did you come? Did I make you happy?"
c.) "Do you have any more Vitamin Water? I'm a bit parched and need to stretch my lats."

4. You come over to his house in need of a drink and he offers you…
a.) A shot of tequila.
b.) Pabst Blue Ribbon, Miller High Life, Rheingold...
c.) Low-carb grape vodka and an astonishing array of fruit juice mixers.

5. A quick check of his bed-side table reveals...
a.) Bed-side table? What bed-side table?
b.) A second-hand copy of Catcher in the Rye, box of Kleenex and picture of his ex-girlfriend.
c.) Kiehl's lotion and a sterling silver travel alarm clock that keeps time in Jakarta.

6. When he talks about his ex-girlfriend...
a.) It's as if he's a member of the CIA, talking in code, never revealing any names, places or details for fear of exposing an operative.
b.) He's talking about psycho-Carrie, the one who destroyed his soul and never returned his Low Christmas album.
c.) He's got brunch plans with her and her new fiancé on Sunday, which is why he can't be out too late tonight.

7. His idea of a great date is...
a.) That new million dollar movie where the dude kicks so much ass followed by jumbo slices of 'za.
b.) It's not a date. You're just hanging out and watching some Cartoon Network.
c.) Nobu, because he wants you to see the Yves St. Laurent shirt he bought from an oxcart while in Amsterdam.

8. The classic, "go to" pickup line he always uses is…
a.) "If I told you that you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?"
b.) "I never ask girls out because I don't want to sound like some sexist asshole." (exasperated sigh) "I don't know how you put up with these cretins."
c.) "Did you get those Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans at the Henri Bendel sample sale? You look familiar."

The Answer Key
Give your man one point for every a.) answer, three points for every b.) answer and two points for every c.) answer. Now add them up!

8-to-13 points: Regular Guy Mandude. In the land of stereotypes, Guy Mandude is the blueprint for all hetero males, unable to wash a toilet if the Super Bowl depended on it, immune to displays of emotion and right there on the dull edge of what's hip or cool.

14-to-19: Metrosexual. This guy spends more on skincare products than you, lets you know when all the sample sales are and generally treats fashion as if it were a contact sport. Bonus: Knows what manscaping is.

20-to-24: Whimpster. Would invite you over but the only furniture he has is a sandy futon, often beat at arm wrestling by stray gusts of wind and can be seen updating his live journal during the parties he throws.

experience the following: two minutes of thrusting, a crying session, then he's sound asleep.

Oh yeah. He's real sensitive, in more ways than one.

The Breakup?

Dare you break up with a with a whimpster, you'll suffer the shrill roar of the wounded male and the email death threat. Your immortalization in the liner notes of his life will become angry song lyrics, and before long you'll be de-Friendstered, re-Friendstered, your CDs will go un-returned, and in the worst case scenario, he'll try to win you back.

We all prefer a clean break but let's face it, a whimpster breakup can drag on pathetically, for weeks, even months, as he nobly attempts to "just be friends." The drunken apologetic phone calls, the Craigslist missed connections, the messages of his burning heartbreak sent through mutual friends. Or, for the most dramatic whimpster effect: he'll write a letter and then wait for it to rain in the middle of the night so he can bring it to you.

At the first sign of whimpster: grab your sweatshirt and your dignity, and run!

E.S.P (ipsofacto), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:12 (twenty years ago) link

Ha ha, I just read this article (or a reprint of it) in Bust this weekend. Oh, how I laffed. And then I cried. And then I went home and wrote a song about it. (ha ha, not really.)

Apostrophe Catastrophe (kate), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:20 (twenty years ago) link

very funny :)

E.S.P (ipsofacto), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:21 (twenty years ago) link

I could not help but think to myself "how many guys on ILX does this describe?"

Yes, I've dated Wimpsters. It's shameful. Guys who think that being a "sensitive indie guy" means that everyone should be sensitive to *their* feelings, but they don't have to be sensitive to anyone else's feelings. Oh dear. I better stop now or this could get ugly.

(What's the equivalent of a wimpsterette coz I suspect I might actually *be* one of those?)

Apostrophe Catastrophe (kate), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:22 (twenty years ago) link

uh, i'm not female, but i know a few men like this, and they really do my head in. i hate them quite a lot. but then i get worried (in a narcissism-of-small-differences way) that maybe that's because i'm like that too! i don't think i am though, haha, errr.

in general though, the idea of men playing the sensitive/non-macho card as just another strategy to get laid is nothing new, is it?


pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:24 (twenty years ago) link

yeah except for when they can't get it up, then it backfires no?

E.S.P (ipsofacto), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:25 (twenty years ago) link

i haven't slept with any of these people so i wouldn't know but yes i guess that would count as a 'backfire.'

(btw this was an interesting thread on similar lines: Sensitive people are insensitive bastards)

pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:32 (twenty years ago) link

i don't think i know anyone like this

stevem (blueski), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:32 (twenty years ago) link

i am making adjustments for US/UK differences. i don't actually know anyone who listens to Bright Eyes.

pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:34 (twenty years ago) link

No, nor do i but i know the guy all too well.

E.S.P (ipsofacto), Monday, 21 June 2004 11:34 (twenty years ago) link

Oh dear, I appear to be totally busted!now how am I ever going to get laid! It's not fair boohoohoo! I'm off to listen to the Red House Painters and think long and hard about what a failure I am.

But seriously, let me at least try and make a defense here:

If one takes the stance of the article to an extreme, then who the fuck isn't a deceitful cretin at the best of times? Whether you're a macho lout, a manipulative bitch, a needy damsel in disguise or a skinny white mama's boy - are you really going out of your way to destroy the ones you love or to control them in some way? The article assumes that the "Whimpster" is a fake, that he puts on a soft facade so that women walk into his web and get caught. Isn't this exactly the same as accusing big dudes as wanting nothing but 24hr sex and getting that by flexing their abs all the time?

Wake the fuck up! Is it a crime to be uninterested in sports? Or to want to get to know someone well enough to consider them a friend instead of fucking a bunch of slags you don't really give a shit about and then turfing them out?

And guess what else - guys DO have insecurities every so often! Obviously there's a difference between constant whinging about broken nails or flies getting caught in your hair, but for goodness sake!

And the bit about being crap in bed, well that's probably the biggest pot shot you can throw. Rachel Elder, I realise you just lost the guy of your dreams and now you're pretty sore about it - he is too. Now go get fucked up the bum by Geoff Capes if it makes you feel any better!

Oh yeh, I'd just like to state at this point that I don't listen to the Red House Painters, chzthxbye!

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 21 June 2004 13:13 (twenty years ago) link

Also, is it as much the other side's fault for encouraging Whimpster behaviour? The kinds of girls who will fall for the Whimpster type will have as many deep-set tendencies as he will. They need someone to listen to them for days on end, take them out shopping, take them to dinner, behave and not get all wound up and violent if they go off and flirt with someone else. They also know that this guy isn't going to fuck off and leave them in the lurch either.
Again, the arrogance that assumes that some guys act in a certain way just so women feel sorry for them is so skewed. As if someone is going to wear certain clothes, eat certain foods and listen to certain music, not because they like to or want to but because they're trying to prey on poor innocent females who'll get roped into their evil trap. It's dumb. It's just dumb!

Haha, now everyone's going to say, "yeh but Dog Latin, look at you, you're whining just like a typical Whimpster faggot and you're blaming women too, so there you go QED".

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 21 June 2004 14:12 (twenty years ago) link

haha, dog latin OTM for the most part. this kind of article obviously just creates spurious types out of broad personality & behaviour brushstrokes, it's pretty unsavoury. and of course it's a generalisation to say that men who act like this necessarily have ulterior motives. but some of them do! i know some people like this! it is not good!

pete b. (pete b.), Monday, 21 June 2004 15:37 (twenty years ago) link

one month passes...
I like the random fuction on ILX. I like sports and eating cakes too much to be a whimpster, plus who is Lloyd Dobler??

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 15 August 2004 14:34 (nineteen years ago) link

Why, Lloyd Dobler is the lead male role John Cusack plays in Say Anything. He is also the ultimate romantic hero for any number of female friends of mine, I've noticed.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 August 2004 14:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Hmmm, don't think I've seen Say Anything! To IMDB I go.

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 15 August 2004 14:40 (nineteen years ago) link

"A noble underachiever and a beautiful valedictorian fall in love the summer before she goes off to college."

I would remake this with Adam Sandler in the lead role.

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 15 August 2004 14:42 (nineteen years ago) link


Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 August 2004 15:25 (nineteen years ago) link

Hmmm, don't think I've seen Say Anything! To IMDB I go.


Jimmy Mod, Man About Towne (ModJ), Sunday, 15 August 2004 15:36 (nineteen years ago) link

To check out the details of said moving picture on the Internet Movie Database, to see if it would in some way refresh my memory, and so I could return and say I have seen this film after all. However, it didn't refresh my memory. I didn't even know that John Cusack was in films in 1989.

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 15 August 2004 15:41 (nineteen years ago) link

He was in films in the early eighties at that!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Sunday, 15 August 2004 15:47 (nineteen years ago) link

blimey, he was in Stand By Me!

jel -- (jel), Sunday, 15 August 2004 15:50 (nineteen years ago) link


R ickey Wright (Rrrickey), Monday, 16 August 2004 04:04 (nineteen years ago) link

and who could forget his standout role as one of the nerds in sixteen candles?

gem (trisk), Monday, 16 August 2004 04:09 (nineteen years ago) link

doglatin OTM -- this "whimpster" is clearly a composite comprised entirely of her last boyfriend. It still pretty funny, though.

Harold Media (kenan), Monday, 16 August 2004 04:10 (nineteen years ago) link

i know it's a generalisation yada yada, but i've been out with this EXACT guy, except for the poor-in-bed bit. he STILL hasn't given my cds back after 6 months and numerous requests and for a time stalked me on internet forums i post to and then emailed me when drunk to ask if i was posting about him....

gem (trisk), Monday, 16 August 2004 05:01 (nineteen years ago) link

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