studlyChannel your inner Charney

I came in today to find that we had been Gawkered. For those of you who do not know, Gawker is one of those unbearably cool blogs, wading hip deep in a delicious morass of pop culture, gossip and irony, while managing to both denigrate and celebrate the cult of celebrity. Not surprisingly, Gawker is very, very popular and today, Gawker saw fit to link to us. I posted a story in August about Dov Charney, President of American Apparel, the company that makes those unbearably cute crop top girlie-ts, etc. My post quoted from an article in Jane Magazine written by the witty and erudite Claudine Ko. This article went beyond the formulaic profile of a hipster business dude. Of course, Charney’s creative vision and innovative labour practices were amply discussed. But most everybody reading the article focused mostly on Charney’s thing for uh… masturbation – with staff, in front of Ko… This made for an unconventional but nonetheless interesting story.

Since then, we’ve been inundated with people googling for info about Dov. In fact that’s our number one source of search engine traffic. The Internet in general has been awash with message board discussions relating to Charney’s predilection for public pud pulling. Charney and American Apparel have gotten oodles of press of course, including today’s piece in the New York Times, which, as Gawker noted, made no mention of Charney’s onanistic endeavors. Perhaps the money people behind American Apparel wanted Charney to tone down the whole whacking off thing, fearful that it might detrimentally affect their bottom line.

However, it seems as if quite the opposite is true. Women, the bulk of American Apparel’s customer base, seem to love Charney. Despite everything we’ve been told about sensitivity and feelings and cuddling, bad boys are indeed BIG!

So let’s say you’re a well meaning and sensitive guy interested in finding some nice woman to spend time with. Would you reveal your penchant for porn? Would you openly discuss your love of masturbation? Talk about how great it is to receive oral sex from co-workers? Conventional wisdom would say “no to all the above.” However, reality dictates that the answer to those questions is not so straightforward. How else does one explain the enduring popularity with the fair sex of bab boys in general and Dov Charney specifically?

I mean lets look at Claudine Ko, the woman who wrote the underlying Jane magazine article about Charney. She caught a lot of flack for the way she ended the story – after enduring some pretty sleazy displays, she said this about having to spend lots of time in close proximity to Charney: “Then as I step into the depths of the backseat, I realize I don’t want this trip to end just yet.” Now I’ve spoken to Claudine a number of times. She’s a nice, well spoken, otherwise totally normal woman. She’s had to deal with all kinds of sleazy allegations regarding the time she spent with Charney that question her journalistic integrity, as it were. And yet …

I asked Claudine about bad boys in general and she quickly replied “I love them.” When asked about Charney she said “Despite everything (allegations, speculation etc.) whenever I see a picture of Dov I can’t help but smile and think fondly of him. That reporting experience was fun, engaging, stimulating and interesting. Dov Charney is a mad man and I like that.”

There it is gentlemen. I hope that explains everything. And by gentlemen I mean the two guys I spoke to today who were both having personal issues with their women. The details are private and unimportant but suffice it to say that they are both generally good guys.They treat women well and let them know exactly how they feel. They don’t play games and they don’t beat around the bush. And yet, both got unceremoniously shot down and the only explanation I can offer them is that they were honest. And nice. And sincere. They both felt great admiration for the women in question and neither hid the way he felt.

Stupid boys.

Women say they want all that shit but clearly they crave obfuscation. They crave the unknown. They crave mystery and insecurity. They want the bad boy. The nice guy does nothing for them. NOTHING. Wanna snag that bashert? Wanna tap that eyshes chayil? Be a prick. Don’t be so forthcoming. Resist the temptation to sing her praises. Seduce her best friend. Heck, masturbate in public! Just whatever you do, do not be direct about your admiration for her. Let her guess and wonder. Foster a sense of mystery; essentially what I am saying is be dishonest, and base, and inattentive. Channel your inner Charney and let him run loose.

And ladies? The same advice applies to you. Men are just as messed up as you are!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • A. Wacky

    B. Is it possible that his success is the enabler here? I’m thinkin’ Ross Perot.

  • Some of the above, at least about bad boys, is spot on, CK. Charney, on the other hand, is certainly not the cup of rancid tea even bad-boy lovers might crave.

    I blame movies, frankly, for high expectations of excitement in romance. And I think that the reason your honest man-friends got “shot down,” may actually have more to do with the chemistry between the partners than the socially-conditioned expectation of “bad feels good.”

    And I think most of us–at least those of us not really living yeshiva lives anymore–understand that most men are porn-addicted. I’m just not sure that “channeling their inner Charney” is a good idea.

    I think what we’re looking for is mostly nice and respectful, with a tinge of darkness or edge that indicates an essentially flawed humanity. Too nice isn’t anything I can relate to, because I think we all have darker moments. Or maybe I’ve said too much. I bet Dr. Janice analyzes me now. Perhaps she’ll prescribe some meds. Yum, meds.

  • A close friend of mine who ended up marrying a very bad-turned good boy once quoted from Anne of Green Gables to describe him, it stuck with me.
    (forgive me for being so Pollyanna with the reference, but i think it speaks true)
    Anne and Diana are talking about the kind of man they want. Diana excitedly says “i want a man who’s wicked” and Anne counters with “i want a man who could be wicked, but chooses to be good.

    Even bad boys become boring once you get used to their shtick. They may be fun to fool around with, and they may get more play because of it, but I don’t think they are ultimately what we want. We want the good guys with an edge.

  • I’m getting some criticism about this story from people who are too, uh… je ne sais quoi, to post it themselves. It’s been pointed out that Charney is relatively wealthy and successful. Also noted was the fact that Charney was very straightforward about what he was into and that that sort of in your face honesty is uh… attractive. Generally however I’ve been taken to task for encouraging men to be less gallant, more cad.

    I think though that when Mr. Nice Guy sees you oohing and ahing over Mr. Totally Inappropriate, that sends the strongest message possible. So I stand by my initial advice. Be a bad boy, cuz that will at least get you a foot in the door, you can always be nice later. The nice guys I’ve been dealing with lately didn’t even get that.

  • but here’s the difference ck, the ‘nice guys’ you’ve been dealing with, from what I picked up on, haven’t been being ‘nice’ they’ve been being borderline obsessive. No one likes desperation.

    You don’t need to be bad, guys, just be chill.

  • Guys, I can’t believe this conversation. I mean, have you looked at the guy’s moustache? Bad boy, shbad boy, they’re obviously after his good looks and the circa-1800s robber-baron waxed-moustache look.

  • There is that obsessive thing. But it didn’t start out that way. It started off with sincerity and good intentions. And while the recent cases are as you describe them, sort of, past experience still dictates that my initial observations and recommendations stand.

    So, to summarize – don’t be so nice. Get your foot in the door and adjust your attitude as appropriate.

    And yes… crazy facial hair? Why the heck not?

  • Cuz you end looking like a dork and the only way you get chicks is by masturbating in front of them?

  • Hey CK, I’m not sure what your relationship status might be at this time, but you may want to explore the Nov. 23rd post at JMerica.

  • ck, dude, are you really gonna make ME correct YOUR French?
    (And you can’t even give me that tired “I’m a poor immigrant” excuse this time; you’ve lived in a French-speaking country what, like 50 times longer than me?)

  • Facial hair, ok. As someone who has viewed more JDate profiles than I’d ever want to, I can tell you that weird mustaches are a definite “no way.”

    But sometimes, when the chemistry’s off, and one person’s more invested than the other, it’s not because the guy’s a “good guy” or “bad guy.” It’s just because the relationship is wrong.

  • Yeah, ck, what’s up with the French grammar blooper? 😉
    Re. the 3-way conversation about bad boys v. good boys: all I can say is, good guys win in the end (with the women who have already worked their way their the bad guys, that is).
    Oh yeah, and if you love yourself then the chicks will come running. Trust me.

  • The Muffti is amused by Lisa’s post. Essentially you seem to be saying that when the bad boys are done having their way with the women, the good guys end up with their, pardon the phrase, ‘sloppy seconds’ (or thirds, fourths, fifths etc.?) What is even more confusing is the apparent presupposition at the end that bad boys can’t love themselves. And to think that I was going to reform my ways…

  • Doesn’t really give you much incentive does it? What I am hearing is, let us have fun with the bad boys while we are at our prime, and when we are ready to settle down, we will indulge an appropriately good boy.

    No offense, but that’s totally retarded. grandmuffti made an excellent point about sloppy seconds etc. Not very appetizing …

    Maybe I’m cranky because I’ve had to spend so much time on the phone hearing nice guys kvetch, and hearing women talk about how their heart was broken by yet another in a series of patently inapropriate men … believe it or not, in real life I am capable of great empathy, but now? Ooof.

    What sucks the most is that I sincerely adore women. In a totally wholesome way too. But all the feedback I am getting says that I need to hide that, and act like a total dick or else take the risk of feeling used, abused and like, a total loser. That’s definitely the worst part of all this. Feh. Maybe I’ll just get a dog.

  • For sure laya. The bad boys do that to all y’all all the time. While the good boys sit at home eating Cheetos and wondering “uh… what did I do wrong?” the bad boys are laughing and moving on to their next star struck conquest.

    What can I say? I am firmly opposed to the eating of Cheetos.

  • We see what kind of chicks you guys drool over. I never hear a guy, even a ‘good’ one saying “hey check out that girl over there — she looks like a fine piece of intellectual humanitarianism.” “uh huh, dude. Boy, would I like to talk to her about her moral values.”

  • A fine physical specimen of a woman is a nice thing to look at, but discerning connoisseurs understand the need for substance in a sustainable relationship. Good looks and big boobs only get you so far. I personally looove to talk about moral values. Oddly enough, that never seems to get me any booty.

  • Oh dear, I think I expressed myself badly. CK, perhaps we should have our Dr. Ruth moment via email. 😉

  • I think you’re just being cynical, ck.

    If Charney were just some shmedrick, he would be dismissed as an dirty old mustached perv. It is only the fact that he is in a position of fame and power (often, if not always, and aphrodisiac) that girls find him ‘strangely alluring’. I’m sure he knows this and is probably seeing exactly how inappropriate he can be and still get away with it as some kind social experiment.

    I think so much about the western view of sex, love and relationships is quite backwards and opaque, and it’s hard to know what we really want, but i don’t think the answer to our ills is to become ‘bad’ or ‘channel our inner Charney’s’. It might get you more booty in the now, but is that really who you want to be?

  • Yes. Charney is the boss of a company with a high profile and as such excercises a certain measure of heat and moisture inducing power. But not all bad boys are powerful that way, and yet they still get it going on at a rate that befuddles those who try to be good.

    Anyhow, the point is not to actually be really bad, but to feign badness – to be aloof despite the fact that you really want to spend every moment of the day with the object of your affections – to resist the temptation to call her 5 times a day – to bite your tongue whenever the urge to tell her how wonderful you think she is tries to overcome you. See, a good guy would be honest about his feelings, a bad guy wouldn’t have any sincere feelings. The good guy should then pretend to be the bad guy. And then, once the object of your affections is firmly within your grasp, well, then you can be a good guy again – let her think she turned you.

    It’s dishonest but its all for the best. And good intentions are all that really counts, no?

  • Okay, enough is enough!

    Surely there are some interesting, attractive, and available women reading this blog. Somebody please email CK and ask him out on a date.

  • like you said, ck: Intentions. hell. paved.

    You’re starting to get it (or express it, anyeway) It’s all about the timing. No one, guy or girl wants to feel smothered. But you also don’t want ot feel insecure in the other person’s love because they hold back too often.
    Everything in balance.

  • TM: ck has no need for assistance with dates. this is an academic discussion. however, any women in either montreal (under 5′ 4″) or jerusalem wishing to meet otherwise sincere and very nice guys, let me know, I can hook you up.

    laya: yes, everything in balance. you therefor agree with me. the smart suitor would be wise to hide his admiration for the apple of his eye. throw honesty out the window boys, learn how to play the game and you too can get what you want.

    i am sooo getting a dog.

  • Look, sometimes we like to be won over, sometimes we need you to be chill. Just learn to tell the difference.

  • The direction of this line of commentary is of particular interest — about what men and women want from each other, and what men and women want the other to know — and shouldn’t be pondered by amateurs. I’ve been trying to post all night and we’ll have to see if this one takes, as my other ones haven’t and I emailed one to ck but he’s not checking his inbox, nor answering his cell phone.

    I say — women want men to express an interest in them and show them a good time. And I’m not just talking about tickly facial hair. Men want to feel appreciated by women which, unfortunately, has been interpreted by many men to mean putting out, big boobs and all.

    The solution? Talk about what you want, what you need and what feels good. See if s/he can comply, or will make a counter-offer. Shampoo, rinse, repeat as needed.

  • Sorry about the cell phone / email thing Janice….

    Listen Janice, you are an awesome person, possessed of great insight and a veritable fount of wisdom – you’re also great fun to have dinner with.

    But talking about feelings and mushy stuff at the begining of a relationship is the hallmark of the nice sensitive guy and might flip the woman out. Best to keep the woman guessing till you seal the deal I say. That’s what they like no? A bit of mystery, a bit of ambiguity, what’s wrong with that Janice? Aren’t some things best unsaid Janice? Can’t you determine whether a person is your basheret just by spending time with them?

  • Be careful what you wish for lest you get more than you bargained for.

    Listen to Laya. Is it a sin to lust after a womans mind?

  • This post just gets better and better, and I have more and more to say!

    I think I’m better than most at dealing with sensitive guys, and I’m not all that good with it. Not discounting my obvious Nice Jewish Girl appeal, I would (and in fact did) find it hard to believe that I’m inspiring such intense emotions and, amidst tears of joy, proclaiming your love and devotion after two conversations and two in-person meetings. (BTW, not a theoretical. Happened to me twice in the last two years. Not bragging, just saying…) Not discussing the ins and outs of intense emotional connection until later in the relationship is a better idea, IMHO. But what do I know.

    Chemistry between two people is an unquantifiable thing. Whether we tend to be attracted to “good” or “bad” boys we still want our men to be strong in every aspect–from their desire and ability to serve as protector and pater familias to having a humor and personality worth coming home to for the rest of our lives. (Dang, this needs to be a column. I better get to it before fancy boots Janice gets to it.)

  • ck — Thanks for the fashion critique. Now please post what I’ve been trying to post for the past 2 days already (that I sent you as an email attachment). I’m too busy now to coach you and Esther, although Esther may not be aware that she’s asking for it. I noticed that she did ask for meds earlier in this comment thread. But alas, I can’t prescribe them. Bummer — could use some myself. (note to self — talk to the Grandmuffti about alternative substance use)

  • Hmm, I must be a total freak. My husband is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, poor as a shul-mouse, a total mensch, and an awesome dad to our daughter. Not a mean bone in his body.

    Personally, I think it takes a lot more self esteem to be a nice guy than it takes to be a bad boy, and I happen to find self esteem to be very sexy. That whole monogomy thing and coming home from work on time is a real turn on, too.

    I think that women who dog nice guys are just messed up in the head. These are usually the same women who think that breast implants will solve all of their problems. They make me embarassed to be female.

    Where women lead, men will follow, so women really can’t complain about the type of guys that they are attracting. They need to look at what they REALLY want, and then act according to those standards, and quit sending mixed messages.

  • That’s amazing, Grace. How sweet it is – your comment I mean. But to be fair, this is something that really applies to both women and men. What is perceived as less than attainable, suddenly becomes more desireable. This implies that the savvy dater ought to be less than honest and ought to keep his or her initial feelings in check. And yet, when you ask anyone what they are looking for in an ideal mate, honesty always seems to rank right up there. So where does one go? Either you are perfectly honest and risk scaring someone away, or you lie and play games and enter into a relationship under false pretenses. Lucky for you Grace, you don’t have to worry about such things, but for the rest of us Dog ownership begins to look like a better and better alternative.

  • I refuse to let negativity end this discussion. People, the right person is out there and s/he will accept you for who you are.

  • TM’s final comment meets with Muffti approval. If there is someone out there and she will accept me for who I am, I guess there is no need to try to improve… 🙂

  • Esther said, “Chemistry between two people is an unquantifiable thing. . . (Dang, this needs to be a column. I better get to it before fancy boots Janice gets to it.) “ I already did in “Chemistry & Consciousness part 1” and “Chemistry & Consciousness part 2”.

    As for T.M.’s contention & the G.M.’s agreement that “the right person is out there and s/he will accept you for who you are” can only happen if singles look beyond chemistrycreating a relationship with a life partner requires thinking. Only your mother will “accept you for who you are.”

  • When I visited American Apparel in Los Angeles I observed 95% of the employees are from Central and South America. Does anyone know for a fact the legal status of these workers?

    Also, I do not agree with the Creative Argument. Charney claims his company is creative so therfore he should be allowed to “express” himself to his workers in a sexual way. First of all, what is so creative about a plain T shirts? Nothing, that’s what. Second , the women who are being harrassed and 99.9% of the company has nothing to do with the “creative department” (assembly line sewers, sales department, warehouse personnel, Accounting Dept, etc).

  • CK, r u that hardup and desperate for booty that you’d slut urself out over and over to have fun with “bad boys” while you’re in “your prime”?

    disgusting disgusting disgusting. please don’t get aids.