There was one bullying situation in 8th grade that perhaps demonstrates the way that even the toughest of the boys can get into the manipulation bullying.
We had a project in English class which had to be done in pairs. I chose my friend Wayne as my partner. Our mutual friend Bob - took offense to this because he felt it was his "turn" to have me as a partner. Bob wasn't the brightest guy but figured that if I was his partner, he'd have me do all the work and take the good grade because, well, he still cared enough about school to not want to fail and repeat 8th grade. Bob didn't take it out on me - he took it out on Wayne. Being one of the popular jocks, Bob made sure that Wayne was ostracized by everyone else, including his long-time best friend. Bob even put a "price" on Wayne's head - whereby other boys could prove their value to the "elite" group of cool, popular jocks by beating up Wayne. But Bob never threatened Wayne directly - it was all "behind the scenes" and "by proxy".
Wayne had none of this - he was a small guy, but tough - and invoked the "bully trump card" and had his bigger "bodyguards" (who were in high school) stand up for him. Unlike me, Wayne had 3 older sisters, all of whom were successful and popular, and it was their friends who were Wayne's bodyguards. And since I was already the victim to the popular and cool group, it's not like I could offer any help or protection.