I have had about enough of people claiming women sleep their way to the top in this business, especially since I’ve never seen that happen, and in my experience, men are very quick to try to cozy up to geek chicks for proximity and professional advantage.

Twenty years ago, I briefly dated a guy who later openly bragged he was just trying to use me for his career.

We met when a client screwed him over, and I knew the client was lying. I stood up for him. I would never have given him the time of day if this had not happened. Definitely not my type.

He was very grateful, and started turning on the charm. I asked around. He seemed like a party dude, and I don’t like those. His friends assured me he was a great guy. Totally straight up. And his party image was just a convention thing. He was really shy and down home. We’d be great.

So we exchanged numbers, I had him meet my folks, and we gave it a try. Yeah, before I dated him, I ran it by my folks. I’m that kind of girl.

Even though I was actually in his presence less than THREE WEEKS, here’s the damage he managed to do:

Claiming he had no credit card, he asked me to make hotel reservations at a show. I’ve done this for other people, no biggee. Guess who got stuck with the bill?

Shortly after this, when I tried to follow up for the money, I was blinded in an accident. I picked up a bottle of swimmer’s ear medication instead of my eyedrops. Ow.

Guess who dumped me immediately? Our nice few weeks on the phone and about 5 days of face time, over. Who wants a blind girlfriend who won’t help your comics career?

Weeks later, my eyes improved. YAY! Guess who came back?

“Oh, Colleen, I am so sorry I was not more caring! My horrible past of child abuse has damaged me! Please forgive me! BTW, I have no way to get to this upcoming show, I will pay you out of my proceeds if you get me a plane ticket.”

Yeah, I fell for it.

But I had to put my Amex card on file with a travel agent, and that meant giving out my signature. (Remember…20 years ago.)

Guess who went to a huge convention and treated his pals on my corporate card?

Yep.

Guess who didn’t get paid the money he owed from the prior convention? “Whoops, Colleen, just forgot!”

Guess who didn’t find out about the Amex spend-a-thon until over a month later when the bill cycle was over and the charges showed up?

Guess who’d handed over a portfolio of art hoping dudebro would make me some consignment sales at a convention, (because I used to do this all the time with pals, and never thought twice about it?)

Yeah.

Anyway, so dudebro now owes me a buttload of money. I am no longer charmed by dudebro. I am a little scared of dudebro. Dudebro’s behavior is erratic and he says abusive things. But he insists that he will pay me, and I don’t want to antagonize him. I have never had a relationship like this and I don’t know what this is.

And the months roll by. And the bill is so big, I can’t pay it. My corporate card gets suspended, and my cash flow is tanked. There goes my credit rating! Thanks to dudebro.

Dudebro claims he will pay me when he comes into town. (He lives far away.) But…alas, for dudebro, he still has no credit card. He will pay me IF…you’ll love this…IF I agree to get him a credit card because I have (now HAD) good credit, and as a foreigner, he does not.

I swear to God he did this.

BTW, did I mention during all this he was pressuring me to get him jobs as well? No? OK, he did that.

Dudebro shows up, and there is NO charm. No attempt to even BE charming. He is grumpy, rude and nasty. He makes vicious comments, and even threatens to “beat the shit” out of me when I confront him about his behavior and his lies about the money. Angry I won’t let him smoke in my home, he smokes anyway when I am not watching, putting cigarettes on plates, stuffing them in and around furniture.

And then I can’t get him to leave. He takes up residence on my couch. I call my family, desperate for advice, and my dad the police chief nails it: drug abuse, which turns out to be true. (In fact, after denying he did drugs or drank to excess, he spent one memorable night puking all over the place.)

Only after I begin calling his friends to confront them about this shit, does shit decide to leave.

Without paying me.

And those cigarettes? A slow smolder in the bookcase, and there went the bookcase. Stephen King limited and first editions gone to ash.

By now, I am scared for the art he has, and desperate to get my cash.

I agree to get him a credit card…but I need some kind of assurance he will pay for his charges.

He finally pays me, and adds about $1000 to the balance.

I inform him I cannot and will not get him a credit card. I want my art. Send it back.

After SIX SOLID MONTHS of not being able to get my art back, and after finding out that not only has he trashed me to everyone who will listen, claiming he dumped me because I cheated on him, AND that he has been handing the original art out as PRESENTS saying I’d made it all a gift to him, then I inform him that his $1000 bought my art and we’re done.

David Mack has one painting that dudebro gave him claiming I’d handed the art over as a “gift”.

After dudebro lied about me to everyone in sight, bragged that he was just using me to get gigs (like that was a good thing,) claimed we had an “open relationship”, (as if I would EVER and which negates any claim he made to my cheating, which is actually what he did to me,) and pretty much trashed me to anyone who would listen.

As of this weekend, he was still at it.

My agent had a confrontation with a notable pro over it all at a show, because notable pro bought this filthy creep’s BS that he’s been selling since around 1994. And since dudebro badly used my agent, and my agent witnessed PERSONALLY some of the crap he did to me, my agent gave notable pro an earful.

Men continually slam women as having ulterior motives, but I have NEVER spent a day in this business when men have not behaved toward women the way they claim women behave toward them. I know women pros who’ve had their bank account emptied by dudes, who have been used for professional access over and over again.

But when men do it, it’s business as usual. All a man has to do is hurl the “slut” word, and a woman is dirtied.

Oh, and his friends later apologized for lying to me about dudebro’s virtues. They thought I’d be good for him. Help him clean up his act.

Say, did the fact that I didn’t want to date a criminal come into this? Anywhere? Did the fact that I was actually looking for a decent guy, a straight arrow, someone of good character make any difference to anybody?

No, because it is my duty to nurture. My wants are irrelevant.

Dudebro is a liar, cheat, thief and has a criminal record. He abused heroin and cocaine and is an alcoholic with many trips to rehab.

But I am woman, therefore I am the one who gets sullied.

It doesn’t matter if dudebro smacks you, goes shopping on your credit card, sets your home on fire…we all know the real evil in this world is a woman who has sex.