I recently read Paul Feig’s memoir Superstud: Or How I Became a 24-Year-Old Virgin. (For those who don’t recognize the name, Feig directed Bridesmaids and created the cult classic show Freaks and Geeks.) The book begins with his discovery of “the rope feeling” at age 7 and ends with the end of his virginity at age 24. In between, Feig’s journey to non-virginity reads like a compendium of mortifying beta male experiences, except funny, because Feig is a deft, honest writer and the young Paul Feig of the book is so earnest and so sweetly naive that you can’t help but find him lovable even as you’re groaning at all of his colossal beta mistakes.** Additionally, Feig was raised as a Christian Scientist, which meant that his hormones were always at odds with God, and a lot of the humor from the book comes from Feig’s ongoing inner dialogue with God as he tries to bargain with God and rationalize away his desires. I imagine that every guy raised in a Christian home can relate wholeheartedly.
If you liked Freaks and Geeks, you’re almost guaranteed to like this book. The young Paul Feig is clearly the inspiration for the geeks on that show. But even if you’ve never been exposed to any of Paul Feig’s work, Superstud is still worth reading because it’s so honest, funny, and sensitive about growing up in contemporary American society as an awkward beta male with romantic dreams in his head. It’s also a nice antidote to the Roissyness that’s out there that’s all about cold calculation and shielding yourself from feelings while you spit out glossy negs, crusade against feminism and hypergamy, and judge women for failing to meet all of your criteria on your checklist of ideal femininity. Not that there isn’t a place for Roissydom, but it’s nice to know that not all men hate themselves for having a marshmallow center, either.
**Such as asking out the girl with the biggest boobs in school and then taking her to an REO Speedwagon concert to impress her, only to get AMOGed by drunken twentysomethings at the show; deciding to move across the country for the summer in order to break up with a girl he didn’t really like; enduring a day at Cedar Point with his crush and her boyfriend after he and his crush had secretly made out; and getting the woman who eventually deflowered him up to his bedroom only to freak out and play two games of MouseTrap on his bed before forcing himself to face the music.