A look at the invisible anti-sex forcefield surrounding "nice" guys.

"You're so nice."

These three words will plague some boys their entire lives. Some will even go to great lengths to prove what assholes they can be.

Cue the defensive, "Nice guys finish last." They say it like it's a bad thing, but what are we talking about here? Some kind of race I'm not aware of? In Karmic poker (a game I just made up for the sake of argument), virtue beats depravity hands down.

There is a delicate balance between being nice and being a victim. Girls don't generally like victims. But there's not a thing wrong with 'nice.' Nice guys have the privilege of weeding through the women who hate themselves and seek drama and abuse from their lovers.

The first crush I ever had was on a boy named James. The boy next door. Literally, right next door. A nice boy. A really nice boy. He was safe and warm and preteen-awkward. He was a soft place to land, and completely out of my reach. He had a crush on my sister.

His kitchen window was adjacent to my bedroom. My daily contact with James was behind two panes of glass and a three-foot strip of yucky Detroit grass. I'd sit in the dark and watch him wash dishes until the hot water would steam the window.

He'd talk to himself, laugh, dance around sometimes.

I've had a crush on James for thirteen years.

When I'm in town, I make a special trip to the basic brand-name bookstore to watch him pour coffee and stack purple romance novels. Of course, I pretend that I need these specific tarot cards, or that I only like the atmosphere of this generic Borders.

With my husband in tow (also a 'nice' guy), I point him out. "That's James. Isn't he cute?" I say, misty eyed.

James never sees me. Never really has. I don't need him to. He's my pinnacle of nice-boy...the reason I never equated sexiness with meanness.

He has no idea how appealing he is. As do most nice boys who think their personalities have cursed them.

I'm thinking nice is not what stands in one's way. Isn't the finish line in terms of one's life death? What moron is rushing to finish that race first? Is the winner the one who out-dies everyone else? Nyah nyah, I beat you!

So, I'm thinking it's not about winning... Not about finishing first... But about seeking what you think you deserve. And then getting it.

Or, in this case, getting some.