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The New Dating Game

Back to the New Paleolithic Age.

Feb 15, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 21 • By CHARLOTTE ALLEN
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Late last September a college student who called herself Courtney A. posted a story on the feminist website Lemondrop: “I Slept With Tucker Max, the Internet’s Biggest Asshat.”

The New Dating Game

Courtney, 21, is a student at Penn State University. Tucker Max, 33, six feet tall, extrovertedly good-looking, and usually photographed latched to a girl, a bottle of booze, or a cheeseburger, is an honors graduate (in three years) of the University of Chicago. He has a law degree from Duke University, whose admissions committee was so impressed with his academic record that it awarded him an academic scholarship. Yet his only experience practicing law to date has consisted of getting fired from a $2,400-a-week summer-associate job at a prestigious Silicon Valley firm for, among other things, showing up intoxicated at the orientation meeting and complaining that he couldn’t see anything because he had lost his contacts in a hookup with a girl he had met at a party the night before; informing a female recruiter at the firm that he was “calling a porn line” when she walked into his office unexpectedly; and getting fall-down drunk at a firm retreat and shouting the F-word at a charity auction attended by the partners and their spouses. His email account of the last escapade made its way to laughs around the country.

Max is famous as a blogger (tuckermax.com), and his website is replete with stories like the ones above, all involving graphically rendered bedroom exploits (if your definition of bedroom includes vans, offices, and the great outdoors), massive quantities of alcohol, and copious vomiting. He is the author of several books, including The Definitive Book of Pickup Lines (2001, out of print but selling for close to $200 on Amazon), the 2006 blockbuster I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, which spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and the forthcoming Assholes Finish First. Beer in Hell, a dramatization of some of his website yarns, became an indie movie hit in college towns last fall (playing to less-than-enthusiastic audiences elsewhere).

Max and Courtney got together because upon reading a friend’s text message late one Monday evening announcing that Max would be at a bar near campus after a screening of Beer in Hell, she jumped up, changed her clothes, and rushed off to await the great man’s arrival. At the bar, she worked her way through a knot of female rivals to meet him. 

“34C?” Tucker asked.

“32C,” Courtney replied, “but good guess. What, are you trying to touch them or something?”

“Oh, I know I can touch them,” he said. “But I like to guess first.”

At the Hampton Inn where Max was staying, he introduced Courtney to his dog: “Say hello to the new slut.” The next morning, after some sessions of “jackhammering a sidewalk,” as she described his sexual technique (although she did concede that he was a “great kisser”), he handed her $20 for the taxi ride of shame back to her apartment. His last words were, “Call me if you’re ever in L.A.”

Many of the commenters to Courtney’s tell-all expressed “disgust” at Max’s manifestly unchivalrous behavior. In a September op-ed for the Washington Post, feminist Jaclyn Friedman, who inexplicably blamed Max’s perverse success with females (half his fans, perhaps the more enthusiastic half, are female) on abstinence-only sex education, sniffed that she found his “antics revolting,” blasted his “unapologetic misogyny,” and accused him of contributing to a campus atmosphere that allows 150,000 young women to be raped every academic year. (Friedman derived that extraordinarily high figure by counting drunken sexual encounters between students as rape.) Amanda Marcotte, the feminist blogger briefly hired by John Edwards during his presidential campaign, chimed in, accusing Max of a “bone-deep hatred of sexual women”—and also of possible “sexual assault” because he had bragged on his website about sleeping with a drunk girl while a friend hidden in a closet filmed the encounter. In May, feminist picketers so disrupted an appearance by Max at Ohio State University that he needed a police escort to get away.

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