“Girls say I’m ‘such a great guy,’ but don’t want to sleep with me. How can I project more sex appeal?” —Mark S., New York, NY

There’s a reason that girls flock to assholes. It’s not because girls like being treated like shit—it’s because guys who are confident and direct are sexy. My guess is you’re doing two things wrong: You’re not being direct, and you let yourself get walked on. To their credit, assholes are direct with their intentions. They’re not sweet and attentive and waiting for her to do something. So make a move. This does not mean get drunk and try to sleep with her. What I mean is be bold: Ask her out, go for that kiss at the end of a good date, and don’t be afraid to tell her you’re interested.

It’s important not to appear paralyzed by fear of rejection. If you’re feeling freaked about being open, rest assured that it’s not like you’re spilling some government secret. When you like a girl it’s probably obvious, and she probably knows—so be straightforward about it. Don’t treat a girl like your girlfriend if she’s not. Don’t bend over backward to do things for her if she doesn’t reciprocate. No one has feelings for someone they don’t respect. Show respect for yourself as well as her, and that’s your ticket out of the friend zone and into the bedroom.

Amber Madison is a New York–based therapist, author, and sex columnist.

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