Should you be afraid of crazy pussy?

A lot of men have an irrational fear that the women they date or sleep with are going to fall in love with them and get all needy and clingy. When I was younger, this was a major concern of mine, to the point where I couldn’t even ask girls out because I was afraid of creating the illusion of a relationship that I wasn’t ready to commit to.

If you think about it, this fear is simultaneously self-absorbed and self-hating. Self-absorbed because you assume that women can’t help but fall in love with you (are you really THAT amazing in bed?), and self-hating because of the implication that there’s something wrong with these women for loving you.

This fear ranges from a mild concern to a slightly sexist paranoia, as demonstrated by Matthew McConaughey’s otherwise not-sexist character on True Detective:

Hilarious, but seriously guys, it’s not nice to refer to all female behavior that we don’t understand or that inconveniences us as “crazy”.

But even though not all women who get attached are crazy, the reality is that some women are little bit more desperate and needy than others. This is because they have low self-esteem and they’re looking for a man to prop them up.

Right now I can hear you thinking, “Brilliant, so I’ll just avoid the women with low self-esteem”. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You see, you inevitably attract (and are attracted to) people who are at the same level of self-esteem as you. This is why you see weak women with insecure abusers, and weak men with insecure ball-busters. This isn’t some woo-woo Law of Attraction spiritual nonsense. It works on a very basic biological level via your body language. Women can read your body language instantly and it communicates directly to their sub-conscious.

And this is why when I was younger, I kept attracting these needy women. Younger me would ask “Why do women NEED to have a boyfriend?” and older, slightly wiser me replies “The same reason you NEED to have sex with a different woman every weekend – insecurity and low self-esteem.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to casual sex and variety. It’s the neediness that you should be concerned about because it means your self-esteem is coming from an external source, instead of from inside you.

And it’s also a problem because this neediness will drive you to do things that you know you shouldn’t do.

When I got divorced 3 years ago, I don’t have to tell you that after 7 years of monogamy, I was eager for some variety. To put it mildly, I was a total slut. I would have sex with pretty much anyone who was willing. And I kept attracting these immature women who were playing mind games with me, and the reason was that I was immature and was playing mind games. I was trying to convince them to sleep with me to pump up my fragile ego. I never lied or said that I was interested in a relationship, but I wasn’t up front about my intentions and I got involved with women who I knew were going to get attached. A lot of people got their feelings hurt, including me.

About a year ago, when I stopped drinking, I took a step back from my sex life and decided to be a lot more cautious about who I was fooling around with. I didn’t go completely celibate per se, but I made a conscious decision not to pursue sex and to just let it come to me. I began working on myself and developing my own sense of self-worth and realized that I didn’t need to get it from sexual conquests.

Suddenly, I started attracting all these great women who were confident and open-minded and up-front about what they wanted, just like me.

And for a while now, I haven’t been afraid of women falling in love with me. In fact, just the other day, a woman told me she loved me and I was super happy about it because I knew she wasn’t declaring ownership of me. She was just expressing the affection we both feel for each other even though we’re not in a committed relationship.

This is the beauty of dating women with high self-esteem: you don’t have to worry about them falling in love with you, either because you’re going to be feeling the same thing, or because you know their feelings are not going to be the crazy needy type. And you don’t need to worry about your ability to “spot crazy pussy” as Matthew McConaughey says, because you just don’t have women like that in your life.

When you have high self-esteem, this is the only crazy pussy you need to worry about.

(Another huge benefit is that they don’t give sex or withhold it to boost their self-esteem. They have sex simply because it feels good. Unsurprisingly, they tend to be a lot better at it.)

The catch is that first you have to have high self-esteem yourself. I’m not going to pretend that I know all the secrets to getting there. It’s a long, hard journey that you have to take yourself. But I can give you a couple of tips.

  • Love yourself – Realize that you’re an attractive, desirable man, and you don’t need to fuck lots of women to prove this to yourself or anyone else.
  • Find your purpose – yes, I know that according to biology your purpose is to reproduce, i.e. to get laid. Find your higher purpose, dude. Usually, if you focus on that, the getting laid part takes care of itself.
  • Be patient – You don’t have to get laid every weekend to feel like a real man. Just relax and say “The universe is sending some very good sex my way and I don’t want to spoil my appetite”
  • Get in shape – It won’t get you all the way there – there are plenty of body-builders who lack confidence with women – but the boost in testosterone will certainly help
  • Be picky – I don’t mean being one of those douchebags who sits at the bar finding any tiny flaw in a woman to justify not going over and talking to her. I mean being picky about the whole package. When you meet someone, are you attracted to her personality and her confidence as much as to her looks? Is she on your level, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually? Or is she a hot mess? When someone who’s not on your level flirts with you, you can take it as a compliment and move on. You don’t have to have sex with her just to prove to yourself that you can.

Being picky is a very powerful mindset to have. The average man can’t afford to be picky. He’ll take whatever he can get. Every time you say to yourself “I deserve better”, you’re reaffirming your status as an exceptional male, a man who has his pick and can choose to only be with the best – the ones who are beautiful inside and out. As my favorite sex-guru, Nicole Daedone says:

You deserve it. And when you truly know that in the core of your being, they will flock to you.

The tricky part is knowing it, deep down. Not just acting cocky and confident, but really believing 100% that you’re a desirable man. True confidence expresses itself in your body language, and because all people, but especially women, are experts at reading each other’s body language, they’ll know right away whether you’re faking it or not. Sooner or later, a micro-expression, which can last for a fraction of a second, will give you away.

Stay sexy, my friends.

Why Facebook Is Making You Stupid

When I was growing up, there was endless debate about how watching TV made you stupid. The basic argument was that the mindless consumption of non-information made you lazy, and the constant channel surfing destroyed your ability to focus on one thing at a time.

The way most people surf the web today, however, makes channel-surfing seem like a deep intellectual activity. When we scroll through our Facebook news feed, we’re switching from one thought to the next in a matter of seconds. If you don’t already have ADD, this constant over-stimulation and task switching is a great way to develop it.

The saddest part is that almost none of the thoughts we’re switching between are worth reading. When you think about it, all of the interesting things that human beings are creating are being created in other media. People are writing, composing, producing great movies and TV shows, building new software, creating art and architecture, and none of it is on Facebook. The only reason people go on Facebook is to toss off some throw-away thought or pithy quip. Facebook collects all this mental garbage and displays it to you, with ads. It’s the sewer of human thought. It’s appropriate that it’s called a news “feed”, since when you sit down to read it, you’re just like a pig shoving its face into the trough to feed on whatever garbage the farmer doesn’t want.

“But wait!” I hear you protest “I have this one friend who always has really funny status updates!” or “I have friends who always post really interesting articles!”. I’m sure you do, just like I’m sure there are vitamins in the pig trough, and that interesting things occasionally get flushed down the toilet and wind up in the sewer. That doesn’t mean you should spend all your time there.

At least on TV, some of the shows are good. Some are educational, or some are critically acclaimed works of art. How often do you actually learn anything from your Facebook news feed? How often do you see something that genuinely makes you laugh, not just click “Like” or if you’re feeling generous, type “LOL”?

Sure, it happens once in a while, and this is the key to the addiction: variable reinforcement. It’s why rats will push a button 100 times even though they only get a a food pellet once, and the same reason gamblers keep playing even though they’ve been losing for hours – the anticipation of a reward is just as powerful as the reward itself.

So how can you break the cycle? I’m not really sure. I don’t recommend quitting Facebook completely. It’s still a useful way to stay in touch with friends. But I have noticed that I feel happier, calmer, and more focused on the days I don’t scroll through my Facebook news feed and I just check messages on my smart phone. Usually, the insipid and irrelevant status update at the top of the news feed is enough to remind me that I don’t want to scroll through 4 more pages of the same. But somedays I get bored and I start wading through the sewer looking for a hit of mental stimulation. And I always feel a little gross afterward, like I just ate too much junk food.

Because when you have attention-deficit disorder, like I do, you realize that attention is your most precious resource, and you must be very careful about where you spend it.

Or put another way “There’s lots of good food for thought out there. Don’t fill up on bread.”

And stay the hell out of the sewer.

How eating more fat can help you lose weight

What's the most unhealthy thing on this plate? Hint: it's not the bacon or the eggs.

For decades, it was the received wisdom that fat made you fat. Yet despite the proliferation of low-fat foods, obesity has only continued to rise. I don’t need to quote statistics to convince you of how fat Americans have become. You can see them all around you. Maybe you see one in the mirror.

If you are what you eat, then why doesn’t cutting the fat out of your diet cut fat from your waistline? Allow me to illustrate with an example from my own life:

I recently was out with a friend and I suggested getting gelato and she said “I prefer frozen yogurt because it’s low fat”. So we go to the frozen yogurt place and she orders a large. FAIL! She reduced her fat intake, but doubled her sugar intake. Of course, this is fairly typical behavior at a frozen yogurt place, many of which now price their yogurt by the pound, and have a whole selection of toppings so you can add in the flavor that was lost when they took out the fat. Gelato places never have toppings, and they always price their product by the scoop, because you don’t need more than a scoop or two to feel satisfied because it’s so rich in flavor and texture.

Maybe if the yogurt had more flavor, you wouldn't need to pile all that other junk food on top of it

Now, some of you may be thinking that none of this matters, that since fat has more calories per gram than sugar, you end up eating the same number of calories anyway. But not all calories are created equal. The human body is not as simple as the calories in/calories out model of weight management would have us believe. In reality, the sugar is digested much more quickly by the body, causing your blood sugar to rise. Your body can’t tolerate this condition, so it pumps out insulin to get the glucose out of your blood and into your muscles, liver, and fat cells. If you’re a sedentary, well-fed American, your liver and muscles are already storing everything they can, so your body puts the surplus glucose the only place it can: your fat cells.

This is why frozen yogurt is worse for you than gelato, despite the fact BECAUSE it’s low-fat. There’s no fat to slow down the absorption of the sugar, so all of it goes straight to your fat cells.

But that’s not even the worst part. You see, now that the insulin has done its job, you have low blood-sugar again. You start to feel hungry and cranky, and your willpower gets weaker. And eventually you give in and eat another low-fat, sugary snack, and the cycle repeats itself.

This is how we’ve become a nation of big fat dieters. Everyday, somebody eats low-fat cereal with skim milk for breakfast and then feels hungry two hours later, so they eat a muffin or a donut. Every day, somebody orders a salad with low-fat dressing, then has to hit the vending machine around 3pm because they’re hungry and cranky.

But if you add fat to every meal, you’ll feel full and satisfied longer. It’s not a silver bullet. You can’t eat gelato every day and expect to be thin. You can’t put butter on all your pastries and hope to mitigate the damage caused by the carbs. Fat is not, as one author suggests, “a condom for your carbs”. But adding healthy fats to healthy meals will decrease your appetite for junk food and help you get through the day without running to the vending machine to eat whatever some corporation thinks you should eat.

Here are four easy ways to add more healthy fats to your diet:

  1. Eat raw or dry-roasted nuts. Avoid salted nuts, since the salt will trick you into eating more than you need to. I like to keep a jar of natural unsalted peanut-butter in the fridge for nibbling.
  2. Eat more avocados. Some people think it’s hard to find good avocados, but the trick is to buy them when they’re still rock-hard and let them ripen on your counter. Placing them next to bananas will speed up the ripening process.
  3. Keep Greek yogurt in the fridge for a dessert. It’s deliciously creamy and very high in protein. And yogurt doesn’t have as much lactose (sugar) as milk does.
  4. Pour olive oil and vinegar on your salad instead of a sickly-sweet low-fat creamy dressing. Cream doesn’t belong on salad.

What you add to your diet is just as important as what you take away. Add more fat to your diet and start leading a richer, healthier, more delicious life.

Stay sexy, my friends.

The Sexy Geek at WonderCon 2012

I will be at WonderCon this weekend meeting fans and making new friends. Stop by the House of Silk booth (#813) on Sunday from 11-11:30am or 3-4pm to hang out and chat. There’s also some hot models and hot artwork from my friend J.P. Roth’s new Ancient Dreams series. And don’t forget that you can get a free preview of my soon-to-be-published book The Sexy Geek by entering your email address in the sign-up form below:

 

Stay sexy, my friends.

The truth about body odor and how to prevent it

Body odor is caused by bacteria that live on your skin and turn your sweat into rank-smelling acids. You can’t eliminate these bacteria (at least not without severe antibiotics and their attendant side-effects), but you can reach a state of rapprochement with the enemy by bathing daily and using a deodorant or antiperspirant. Some people use these terms interchangeably, so I want to make sure we distinguish them.

Deodorants do just that: de-odorize, mainly by attempting to kill the bacteria, most often via alcohol. Obviously, if you sweat a lot, eventually these anti-bacterial chemicals will be washed away and the bacteria will return, but if you’re not very active during the day (aside from when you exercise, obviously), deodorant may suffice.

Anti-perspirants are a sub-category of deodorants. They have the same germ-killing properties of deodorants, but they also block your body’s sweat glands. I don’t want to sound like one of those paranoid people that think everything is carcinogenic, but this just strikes me as a little bit extreme and unnatural, especially since it’s really the bacteria, not the sweat, that cause body odor. Beside, I’ve never found an anti-perspirant that could actually stop me from sweating. Nevertheless, if regular deodorants are not working for you, give anti-perspirant a try. The most effective one I’ve found is Mitchum (I like the unscented, sensitive-skin variety). It never stopped me from sweating, but it did an awesome job at keeping odor away.

Another obvious approach would be to just try to reduce the amount of sweat in your arm pits. Here are some ways to sweat less:

  • Wear 100% cotton undershirts and underwear. Cotton breathes, keeping you cool so you sweat less, and it also absorbs sweat, so less of it is sitting there in your armpit irrigating the bacteria colonies. There’s really no need to wear polyester or polyester-blend shirts on top of your undershirts either — textile manufacturers are doing wonderful things with cotton these days.
  • Trim your arm pit hair — the less hair you have, the faster the sweat will evaporate. I don’t recommend shaving it off because it looks weird, and armpit stubble is really uncomfortable, but most men have way too much armpit hair and it’s becoming socially acceptable to trim it or remove it.
  • Try to improve your heat tolerance — After three years of living in boiler-heated New York buildings, I find any temperatures below 78 degrees a bit chilly. Yes, this makes me side with the girls in the office who are constantly complaining about how cold it is, but you must admit: it’s a lot easier to put on a sweater than to try to cool off in a hot room. When summer comes around, try to see how long how you can last without turning on the air conditioner. And don’t set the thermostat lower than 75 degrees if you can help it.
  • Relax and keep a positive attitude — Getting stressed out about how hot it is will only make you sweat more. Try to remain calm and realize that it’s really not that hot. Think of the troops in Iraq, where it’s regularly above 100 degrees. That’ll put things into perspective. Or think about how lucky you are that you’re not living in Alaska, next door to the Palins.

 

How to maximize your enjoyment of alcohol while minimizing the negative effects

When I was growing up, my experience of alcohol was seeing my older brothers get completely shit-faced. This made a real impression on me, and it took me a while to rid myself of the idea that the purpose of drinking was to get blindingly drunk and pass out. I’d go out to parties at college and be really confused when people would look down at me for being drunk. “Of course I’m drunk! Isn’t that why we came to this stupid party?” was my attitude.

It took me about ten years to realize that real men don’t guzzle down huge quantities of cheap hooch or beer. Real men drink real booze. Slowly, like gentlemen. “It’s for sippin’, not for chuggin’ “, as my cousin Paul says.

When you get black-out drunk, your friends may have a laugh with you about it the next day, but please realize that though it may feel like they’re laughing with you, they’re really laughing at you. And I don’t think I need to tell you that getting black-out drunk greatly increases the odds that you’ll do something you’ll regret the next day. You might even do something you don’t remember. What’s the point of having an experience you can’t remember?

To drink slowly, it helps to drink something you respect enough to sip slowly, either because you respect the quality and/or price of the booze you’re drinking, or because you respect its power to make you do stupid things that you or someone else will regret tomorrow. Don’t assume beer will keep you safe. Beer tends to taste like water, and you can end up drinking a lot of it before you realize how drunk it’s made you.

Another good reason to avoid beer is that it doesn’t taste as good as wine or whiskey. And do you really need the extra calories?

A few more rules:

  • Never drink on an empty stomach. Have some greasy protein, like a burger, before you start drinking. It will slow down the absorption of alcohol. You still need to drink slowly, but at least you won’t get drunk after two drinks and forget how to drink slowly.
  • Drink a glass of water for every drink you have. Hopefully, this will slow down your drinking, but if not, it should at least reduce the potential hangover.
  • Never drink alone. Drinking is a social activity. Take away the social aspect and you’re just a sad, lonely alcoholic. Not sexy.
  • Don’t drink every day. Chronic drinking is one of the fastest ways to destroy your waistline and your health. If you have problems in your life that are driving you to drink, figure out what they are, and fix them. Alcohol doesn’t actually make you feel better, it just numbs you temporarily and leaves you feeling worse the next day.
  • Don’t use alcohol to boost your confidence — Alcohol only lowers inhibition, it doesn’t make you interesting or charming. If you’re trying to talk to girls, having one drink might help you take the edge off, but anymore than that, and you’re not a sexy geek anymore, just a drunk guy like all the others. Your brain is one of your best assets. Keep it functional and your night will probably turn out better.
  • Know when it’s time to quit. A little bit of alcohol makes you feel good, but there is a point at which it starts to make you feel worse. I know it’s hard to realize when you’re at this point, and this is all the more reason to drink slowly. Don’t let it sneak up on you. When you start to feel tipsy, stop or slow down. If it’s late and all your friends are drunk, say goodnight. They’ll plead with you to stay (’cause misery loves company), but they won’t remember the next day that you left early. That way, you get the best of both worlds: a satisfying social life and a good night’s sleep.
  • Know when it’s time to quit. Alcohol is a powerful drug. If you can’t handle it, there’s no shame in that. If you’re gregarious and outgoing in social situations, no one will notice or care whether or not your glass has alcohol in it. It helps to have an amusing one-liner about why you don’t drink. One of the best I ever heard was: “Every time I start drinking I always seem to end up in handcuffs”. Or you can say what I say: “I don’t like the way it makes me feel”. If the people you’re with don’t respect this choice, chances are they’re not very nice people. They may be alcoholics, or just immature jerks with a penchant for peer-pressure. Find some more mature friends.

 

Drink like a man, not a teenager, and you’ll be more likely to enjoy yourself and have fond memories the next day.

 

Geeks are more creative when left alone — No duh

I’ve been saying this for years, and now a nice lady named Susan Cain has come along on written a whole book about it: “leave me alone so I can get my work done!”  From an op-ed by Ms. Cain in the New York Times:

the most spectacularly creative people in many fields are often introverted, according to studies by the psychologists Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Gregory Feist. They’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas, but see themselves as independent and individualistic. They’re not joiners by nature.

I like the part about how “they’re extroverted enough to exchange and advance ideas”. A sexy geek knows how to socialize and is aware of the benefits of human contact — stimulation of creativity, being able to bounce ideas off of people, and of course, being able to meet people of a certain gender. But we’re comfortable with solitude, indeed, it’s crucial for us to do our best work.

Especially relevant for us programmers is this paragraph:

Privacy also makes us productive. In a fascinating study known as the Coding War Games, consultants Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister compared the work of more than 600 computer programmers at 92 companies. They found that people from the same companies performed at roughly the same level — but that there was an enormous performance gap between organizations. What distinguished programmers at the top-performing companies wasn’t greater experience or better pay. It was how much privacy, personal workspace and freedom from interruption they enjoyed.

Unfortunately, most managers refuse to grasp this incredibly obvious fact and continue to herd their best employees together like cattle. Sometimes they even have the nerve to call it a bull-pen. When they get a bunch of programmers into one massive cubicle, I call it a nerd-pen. I also call it an insult to my professionalism, a hindrance to my productivity, and a living hell (yeah, I know, #firstworldpains, but still).

If you can’t get your manager to see the light (or if you can, but they have no ability to change anything because the CEO wants everyone working in an “open-plan” office), here are some things you can do to get some productive alone time:

  • Come into work early or stay late. I’ve tried to come to work early, and it never works. I’m just not fully awake at that time of day to be productive. But the trouble with staying late is that a bunch of other people stay late, too. And they don’t seem to realize that the reason you’re at the office late is to work, not to hang out and chat.
  • Book a conference room for a few hours. Don’t invite any of your colleagues, or even tell them where you are. Lock the door in case they come looking for you.
  • Work from home, or an internet-connected cafe.

Any other ideas?

How to be more interesting in 10 simple steps

This article is great: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2011/11/30/how-to-be-interesting/

But they forgot the most important way: become more interested in other people.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you” — Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Taking a genuine interest in others is the fastest way to become more interesting for two reasons:

1) People like people who like them. As the Roman poet Publilius Syrius said “We are interested in others when they are interested in us”.

2) The things you learn from listening to people will make you more interesting. Never turn off your intellectual curiosity. Think of yourself as an anthropologist studying a different culture, which you very often are. Even if the person is a complete bore, you’ll learn something about how the mind of a complete bore works. Wouldn’t you like to know more about how the mind of a complete bore works? I would.

Stay curious and stay sexy.

From the article: