Among a certain set of young women, just the mere mention of actor Robert Pattinson is enough to elicit uncontrollable shrieks and gurgles. Seriously? This guy? What the hell is wrong with you, ladies?

Pattinson appears on the cover of the new issue of Vanity Fair, showing his lumpy potato mug on all the newsstands in the universe. We can't fault the magazine for putting him front and center. It will help them connect with a younger audience, for once, and do it with someone who is astronomically popular. But just how did he become popular in the first place? What do these women and young girls see in the Twilight star?

I just don't get the attraction to Pattinson at all. He looks sort of like an injured WWI soldier with a severe case of the dropsy, or maybe Hugh Grant's less attractive and less charming younger brother. Even if you don't lust after other historical objects of tween obsession—everyone from Justin Bieber to Jordan Knight and Justin Timberlake to David Cassidy—you have to admit that they are somewhat attractive and some of them (we're looking at you, JT) have aged extremely well. But Pattinson?

Maybe it's because his sexuality is non-aggressive and non-threatening. Maybe that's what makes him another one of those lady crushes that gay guys like myself just don't understand. He's like the second coming of Colin Firth. But while Colin Firth can scoop up a lady in period garb and plant a solid kiss on her lips, Pattinson seems like even that would be too much effort for him. Even when he's completely aroused he's probably still a wet noodle.

If it isn't the raw sexual energy that draws women in, what is it? The sense he'd protect them and keep them safe and provide a nice stable life for years to come? Pattinson's probably the kind of guy who would join a damsel on top of a chair at the first sight of a mouse. In his Vanity Fair interview, Pattinson bitches about his fame and tries to adopt the persona of tortured thespian. If I were going to for the affected artiste type, I'd take James Franco (and all his attendant assholery) before Pattinson any day.

Even devotees of Twilight weren't a huge fans of Pattinson when the news broke that the Harry Potter bit player would be starring in the movie version of the hugely popular teen-lit franchise. Naturally once the first installment debuted, they came out in throngs to chant his name and make signs asking him to marry them. But it wasn't so much him they wanted to marry, but some idea of him, some image they linked between the real man and his character, Edward Cullen. All these young women have been bitten by the vampire, and they would have been feverishly devoted to whichever young buck was lucky enough to land in the role. His throngs aren't really rooting for him, they're just rallying for Team Edward.

So, congratulations Robert Pattinson. Through a lucky stroke of casting, you've burrowed your way into a million female sex dreams. But we have a feeling one day they're going to awake, and you'll be found wanting.

[Images via Getty]