Feb 27 2009
BY THEBOSTONBACHELOR.COM / February 27, 2009
Comedian Ian Coburn reflects on his college days in this chapter from his book God Is a Woman: Dating Disasters. A highly entertaining read.
Chivalry Ain’t Dead
I WAS CLUELESS ABOUT GETTING LAID IN COLLEGE. (I WAS BETTER IN COLLEGE
than I was in high school. I was no longer the sweetest guy and I
asked out a lot more women in college than I did in high school, most
of whom shot me down. I let that get to me but I shouldn’t have.) I
had not yet learned that a guy needed to be the aggressor and make
a move. It was too bad because college was a buffet of women and
men exploring their likes and dislikes when it came to dating and
sex. Actually, students didn’t really date in college, they hooked up.
They went out with a group to a bar, drank, and went home with
someone. They went out with a group to a party, drank, and went
home with someone. Drinking was a big factor in hooking up. A lot
of guys asked out women who turned them down, only to meet them
at a party sometime down the road and fuck their brains out. I was
completely out of that circle.
My problem was I was treating women like they were delicate
flowers. This naive behavior came from my mom, who taught me
and my sisters that girls did not like sex. I can’t blame her. A single
mother raising three children hardly needs the added headache of
her teenage children sleeping around, maybe making babies. I was
especially nai’ve during my freshman and sophomore years. I went
out with a cute junior with a good body three or four times my first
year. Twice she brought me back to her room. We sat and talked both
times, she walked me out, I got a goodnight kiss, and then I went back
to my dorm. After the second time I was in her room, she stopped
returning my calls. She gave up on me making a move.
There were two really cute girls I liked in my freshman English
class, Dana and Jennifer (the only two real names I’ve used in this
book). I was especially interested in Dana, who had very pretty eyes.
Both girls seemed to enjoy the stories I wrote for class. Jennifer
invited me back to her room after class one day. We sat and talked for
ten minutes, then she told me she had to get going. I headed back to
my dorm, wondering why Jennifer had invited me back to her room
when she had to go somewhere so soon. I had not even tried to kiss
her because it didn’t seem like something people did during daylight
hours. (Yeah, I was that stupid.)
I wanted to ask Dana out badly but I never worked up the nerve.
The semester ended and I didn’t even have her number. 1 told myself
it was no big deal, that I’d see her again around campus. Jennifer, too.
I never saw Dana or Jennifer again, which bugs me even to this day.
Every dorm floor had a mysterious resident, usually a guy. He
was rarely on campus and rumors spread about him, like that he was
a federal agent living with students to catch them with drugs. There
was no way he could be a student; he never went to class, he’d have
been academically dismissed long ago. In my junior and senior years,
I was that guy. I was performing comedy across the Midwest most of
the time. I mailed in important papers and missed midterms. I was
rarely on campus, making appearances only occasionally. Somehow,
I still managed to graduate with a 3.0 GPA. I had changed a lot since
my first two years of school and was more aggressive with women,
but I was still treating them too nicely.
One of my dorm neighbors in my senior year was a pretty transfer
student from a community college. Her name was Linda and she was
a sophomore. She was short, slim and petite. She had a welcoming
charm that made her quite attractive. I liked Linda, but I decided not
to ask her out. Instead I would just go to a party with her one night
and see what happened.
Now, it was extremely unadvisable to date or hook up with anyone
who lived on the same floor. If things didn’t work out—which they
wouldn’t—there were lots of opportunities to run into each other,
which could result in heated arguments. In Linda’s case it was a moot
point. She was not the best student, and she made it clear that she
would not be returning to school after the first semester. Given that
she wouldn’t be around long and that I was gone most of the time, I
figured our chances of running into each other would be slim. My
thinking was far from unique. Whenever a hot woman moved onto
the floor, it was hoped that she would be a bad student or would be
moving soon, so that we guys could hit on her.
One night I headed out with Linda, her roommate, and her
roommate’s boyfriend. We went to a party, where we ran into five
guys who lived on the seventh floor of our dorm. The guys had seen
Linda around the dorm and moved in immediately. She hadn’t even
had a chance to have a sip of her beer, yet. She made it clear that she
was completely disinterested. The guys turned to walk away, except
one, who did something very interesting. He stayed behind and asked
Linda a few questions.
“Who’s your English teacher?”
“What day do you have class?”
“Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
She sighed, “One to two-thirty. Why?”
He walked away.
“I hate it when guys just come up to you like that. I’m not here to
meet anyone; I just want to be out.”
Two hours later Linda was quite drunk. Her roommate, designated
to remain sober that night to look out for the girls’ safety, was also
drunk. I took it upon myself to look out for Linda. The guys from the
seventh floor returned. The tallest one, about six inches taller than me,
approached Linda, “Hey, you’re in my English class.”
“I am? You don’t look familiar.”
“Ms. Boyd’s class, Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, right?”
Oh, come on, please, there was no way that was going to work.
“Yeah, I’m in that class!”
She put her arm around his shoulders and looked at me, “This
guy’s in my English class, Ian. He’s my English buddy.”
I was very annoyed. I watched as the guys talked to a now very
willing Linda. They pushed me out of the conversation and tightened
a circle around her. (I had not yet learned how to deal with cock-
blocking.) I pounded back beer after beer in frustration. Later, three
of the guys huddled together and whispered. They then rejoined the
circle, one of them taking the lead, “Hey, I just heard the police are
on their way.”
Linda was concerned, “The police?!”
“Yeah, the police. We better get going; you don’t want to get
arrested, do you, Linda?”
“No, I don’t! I better warn my roommate.”
“Oh, don’t worry; we’ll make sure you get back to the dorm
“That’s so sweet.”
She gave the tallest guy a kiss on the cheek. She found her
roommate and said, “Goodbye. These guys are going to make sure I
get home okay.”
“All right, bye.”
They hugged and Linda rejoined the grinning guys to leave. I
followed. One of the guys pushed me back, “Dude, don’t worry, we’ll
make sure she gets home okay.”
“I’m sure you will; I just don’t want to be arrested, either.”
They didn’t know I was a senior.
“We don’t want you coming.”
The tallest guy signaled for him to relax; he must have figured the
five of them could deal with me later. We walked across campus back
to the dorm. The guys spoke about the various things they planned to
do to Linda and of the various positions in which they planned to do
them. One of them couldn’t wait and turned to her, “I bet I can guess
how much you weigh just by picking you up.”
“No you can’t.”
“Let me try.”
He picked her up and squeezed her tight to his body. He slid his
hands down to her ass and let her slide all the way down his body to
the ground. He looked at his friends and mouthed without speaking,
“Wow.” The other guys weren’t about to be left out of the fun. They
each took a few turns copping feels in the guise of guessing her
weight by picking her up. I should not have allowed this to continue
but there were five of them and only one of me. We resumed our walk
to the dorm as I crafted a plan.
These guys are drunk, I thought, and drunk guys can’t fight, so I
got that going for me. The only problem is I’m drunk, too. I better
practice. As we walked back to the dorm, I fell slightly behind the
group. I shadow-boxed the air and threw some kicks. I got more and
more intense as I realized more and more that the odds were vastly
against me in a fight. I became aware that I was uttering things, rather
loudly, “You want some of this? I’ll kick your ass…you’re going
down.. .way down.. .down to downtown.”
The guys kept looking back at me and laughing while they pointed.
This served only to further infuriate me; they were really risking the
taste of my wrath. I kicked and punched harder, occasionally adding
in the famous Karate Kid crane technique. By the time we got back to
the dorm, I was drenched in sweat. We waited for the elevator, which
is where the guys made their error. They should have kept me from
getting on with them.
Linda and I lived on five; the guys lived on seven. There was no
way I was getting off the elevator without her. Also, the guys didn’t
know which room was mine. Linda lived in the room closest to the
elevator; my room was the very next one. My roommate was in for
the night, studying, so I could call to him for help, not to mention
anyone else that might be on the floor. The doors opened and I took
Linda’s hand, “Come on, Linda, let’s go.”
The guys intervened, “Hey, watch out for this guy, Linda. He’s
trying to take advantage of you.”
“Yeah, you better come with us.”
They tried to push me away. I stood my ground. “Ain’t happening,
Linda thought about it and got off the elevator with me. As the
doors closed, she spun around and shoved her arm through them,
causing them to reopen. She pointed to the tallest guy, “YOU can
come with me.”
He grinned and got off the elevator, leaving his very disappointed
comrades behind. The doors closed and Linda took him to her room. I
don’t know if I was more pissed or concerned. Linda opened her door
and flipped on the light. She then fell to the hall floor in a drunken
stupor, giggling, “I have to pee! I have to pee!”
Some of her friends came out of their rooms to see what was going
on. They dragged Linda down the hall to the restroom. The tall guy
walked into her room and waited. I thought this was a good time to
talk to him, so I also went into her room. I had no business doing it;
Linda had invited him there and it had nothing to do with me. I walked
up to him and suddenly became a member of the Mafia, talking with a
thick Brooklyn accent, “Hey, you better be good. She’s a nice girl and
I like her a lot. I really care about her. She’s in no condition to have a
guy over; she should just be going to bed. You better be good.”
“Oh, I’ll be good…I’ll be real good.”
Uh-oh…now he had done it. I imagined myself reaching up to his
face and lightly smacking him twice on the cheek, being the mobster
I was. The thing about being drunk is that sometimes what a person
thinks and what he does become one and the same. As I imagined
lightly smacking him on the cheek, I saw my hand reaching out. I
smacked him twice on the cheek as I uttered his final warning, “You
better be a good. Don’t fuck with me. Capiche?”
He just stood there and stared at me. I waited until I was sure
he understood I meant business then left. I went into my room and
slammed the door behind me. I whipped my keys against one of my
posters, tearing a big hole, and yelled, “Women suck!”
My roommate lay on his bed, holding his gut and laughing.
He could barely speak, “Don’t…don’t fuck with me? Are you
“You heard that?”
“I…I…I was walking…”
“Dude, you know I have your back and I would have jumped in
there, but that guy was big. I was walking by Linda’s room and saw
you in there, so I stopped to see what was going on. You smacked that
guy so hard, his head fucking turned both times.”
“It like snapped quickly both times you smacked him.”
I couldn’t believe it. The guy wasn’t huge, but he was bigger than
me and had a six-inch advantage. I saw him waiting for the elevator
in the hall ten minutes later. My handprint was very visible on his
cheek. The next day, a very hung over Linda thanked me for getting
her home safely.
“It’s good to see that chivalry ain’t dead.”
Two days later she started to date another guy on the floor. They
liked to make out with her door open, so I got to see them going at
it quite frequently as I got off the elevator. Ah, what a bonus to my
I learned five things from Linda and the coeds in my English
• Make a move.
• Opportunity may only knock once; be ready.
• Women aren’t always honest with themselves about what they
• Women don’t want to be accountable.
• The nice guy doesn’t get the girl.
When going on dates with girls in college, I waited for a sign from
them to make a move that they had already given me: They invited
me back to their rooms. When a woman invites a man back to her
place or accepts his invite to his, that’s her move. They are not likely
to do anything else. It is up to the man to take things from there. A
woman’s willingness to be alone with a man in his place or hers is
not an indication of a desire to have sex. It is, however, often an
indication of a desire to take things further. What move should a guy
make to find out how much further? A good one is to try to remove
some of her clothes. She’ll stop the guy if he goes further than she
That’s what I should have done with the coeds back in their
rooms; kissed for a while and then tried to remove their tops. If that
worked and I wanted to go further, I should have then tried to remove
their bras or pants. Once the process of removing clothes begins, an
interested woman will often make her own moves, but usually not
until the guy has initiated the process.
Somebody once said, “Tomorrow is another day,” and it became
a famous quote. Bullshit. Tomorrow is not another day. Tomorrow
is today’s backup plan. I should have asked out Dana and Jennifer
when I was in English class with them, but I waited for tomorrow.
Tomorrow never came. Why didn’t I ask out Dana and Jennifer?
Remember that all-important rejection I mentioned? I hadn’t had
enough rejection at the time and was afraid of getting some. I hadn’t
yet lejarned that rejection is part of the dating process and that I would
survive unscarred if I got some.
Linda was not honest with herself about what she wanted. She
said she went to the party just to be out, that she didn’t want to meet
a guy. Later, she invited one back to her room, after letting a group
of guys grope her and press their bodies against hers. Lots of women
aren’t honest with themselves. I have tons of women friends who
utter the most ridiculous untruths.
“I don’t like guys who showboat.”
That friend dates only guys who showboat.
“I hate lines.”
That friend gets picked up every time we go out by the lamest
lines I’ve ever heard. Both women deny these facts when I point them
out. Why? Remember? Yeah, because women want to be right.
If women aren’t honest with themselves about what they really
want, how can men know what women want from what they say?
Oftentimes we can’t, which is why we must pay attention to their
actions. If their actions match what they say, they are being honest; if
there’s no match, go along with the actions. Their actions speak the
Women like to avoid accountability. Linda didn’t want to meet
guys, the alcohol made her do it. She therefore was not accountable.
(She actually claimed this and most of our floor agreed with her,
much to my surprise.) Women want to avoid accountability so much
they’ve coined a now popular phrase, which allows them to avoid
accountability under the guise of change: “It’s a woman’s prerogative
to change her mind.”
Desire to avoid accountability is one reason why some women
will knowingly date a jerk. When things don’t work out, they simply
blame the jerk. Everyone knows he’s a jerk, so no one holds the
There is a real danger with women taking this attitude toward
accountability. They put themselves in harm’s way. Linda could have
really been hurt the night of the party, had I not been present. She was
easily on her way to being date-raped or worse. Certainly, Linda’s
drinking did not give the seventh floor guys the right to hurt her, but,
being drunk did not give her the right to hurt herself, either, which is
what she almost did.
Drunk drivers used to be able to hold alcohol accountable for
their accidents years ago. They went right on drinking and having
more accidents, even though they chose to drink and drive. A woman
drinking herself into a stupor, then going somewhere alone with
strangers is extremely dangerous. This woman does not have a right
to be hurt by those strangers, but she needs to realize that she is
behaving very much like a drunk driver. Both have greatly reduced
their odds of arriving home safely. Don’t avoid accountability, ladies,
by drinking until inhibitions are gone. It’s unsafe and a turnoff. The
only guys who want to be with a drunken woman are desperate losers
who have no intentions of dating her. Accountability is part of life.
Accept it and be safe.
The nice guy does not get the girl. I took care of Linda, I got
her home safely, I had no intention of taking advantage of her in her
drunken state, and I always treated her nicely. I didn’t get her; another
guy on the floor, who hooked up with her one night at a party when
she was drunk, did. Being the nice guy doesn’t get the girl. Being a
jerk is not something of which I’m capable. There is a happy medium
between the two. The day Linda started to date the other guy on my
floor was the day I realized it…and the day I set out to be that in-