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Bad boy, reform thyself

Dear Jackson,
I recently met a beautiful woman in a bar and had a wonderful evening with her. We talked for four hours, then exchanged numbers and said we would meet up for a coffee the next day. She was the loveliest woman I had met in months. When I texted her next morning for coffee she promptly replied: "no thanks, I have no need for a gigolo." I haven’t heard from her since.
I suppose my first few months in Phnom Penh were lived a little wildly. Now, at every social event I go to there are several women I have slept with. Some are angry that I never called, or didn’t fulfill some expectation. Long story short: I have gained a terrible reputation, and it scares women away. Can I restore it, or am I burned for good?

The problem with you, Gigolo, is not all the sex you’re having, it’s the way you’re treating women. A reputation for getting around is not nearly as bad as one for being an a---hole. You don’t return calls, then you’re shattered when a girl doesn’t want to see you. Call it karma, Gigolo, but don’t worry – all’s not lost.

Let’s talk about this woman. You clicked. She liked you. There could be a chance. But you need to slow down. Coffee the next day? It should have waited. To the ‘gigalo’ text? “Yikes! I’m actually a (profession),” you message her. You tell her you really enjoyed chatting. You invite her out again - for something in the daylight, with no alcohol. Something innocent and somewhere she can easily escape from. Maybe she meets you at the café where you’re doing work that day.

And you play it nice, Gigolo. You don’t make a move. You can act a little awkward. Try to be the sweet guy, if you have it in you.

In the interim, stop being a whore. This is a small town – word gets around. You need to stop pursuing women because you can; you should start only going after women that you really like. The beautiful girl in the bar where sex is the only thing that clicks - forget about it. You want women to think you’re an upstanding dude? Then be one. Be one not just for your reputation – do it, perhaps, because you actually respect women. To be in a relationship, you need to look at women as a hell of a lot more than something to just squeeze your load into.

Back to your girl. If she says yes and you meet, wait a few days before you call her again. Next time, bring flowers. Shatter her expectations of you being a smooth operator. Besides, some women like the idea that they are changing the wild man. Let her think that you are being reformed. Better yet, reform! In terms of saving your reputation, getting into a serious committed relationship is probably the best thing you can do.

Ultimately, salvaging your reputation will be contingent on both how you act and think. None of this will happen overnight. I know, I’ve been there and done this and it wasn’t easy. You have an uphill battle ahead of you. Some people will meet you with an open mind, others that you know will always see you as the Gigolo.

There’s nothing you can do about that. But hey, if this is too much trouble, you can always suck it up and continue your old ways. Live with it. Or move to Siem Reap.



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