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Category Archives: Masculinity

Fashion Dos and Don’ts

**EXCLUSIVE** Australian model Sophie Turner seen leaving her hotel and heading to judge the Cambridge Style Week in Cambridge, England

Australian model Sophie Turner leaving her hotel and heading to judge the Cambridge Style Week in Cambridge, England.

To attract a Sophie Turner, we need our fashion to be in gear. Right?

It’s funny ’cause, as you and I know, attraction works differently for women. If a woman’s hot enough, she could be wearing the tackiest outfit from OK! Magazine and we’d still want her.

Not so for a woman.

A guy could be six feet tall, have perfect teeth, eight-pack abs, but if he’s wearing white socks with black shoes, she’ll instantly be like, “um no.”

So, to attract a Sophie Turner, we NEED to have our fashion in gear.

Now, fashion isn’t the whole story when it comes to attracting chicks. Of course not. But it IS a fundamental. Clothes sends a message about ourselves before we open our mouths. One of them being: “if his fashion is together, he must be together. He’s got status.”

Women DO judge a book by its cover. It’s helpful to have an attractive cover.

But if you’re anything like me, you’re not huge into fashion. For the longest time I had zero interest in it. Thought it was unmanly. That’s about the time I also had zero success with women. Since I learned pickup, I learned  improving your fashion doesn’t make you any less of a man. Just the opposite. Makes you more of an adult man.

Think James Bond. Is he unmanly? Course not. Yet he’s got his fashion in gear.

Before I share with you what I’ve learned about fashion let me say: I’m no fashion god. But learning these Dos and Don’ts have been SUPER helpful to me. So, of course I wanted to pass them along to you, too.

Again, the benefit of following these guidelines: you’ll feel more confident. And it attracts women before you open your mouth.

Okay, here they are:

::: DON’Ts :::

1. Don’t wear clothes that don’t fit right.

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Don’t wear clothes that are too baggy. Wear clothes that show your shape. Even get rid of clothes that fit ALMOST right. Keep clothes that fit EXACTLY right.

2. Don’t button your shirt all the way up.

Button all the way up looks nerdy. Not to mention stuffy.

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Martin Short showing us what happens when we button all the way up. Not the best look in the world.

3. Don’t unbutton your shirt too far down.

Unbutton too far down, like douchey. And like Tom Jones.

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Don’t unbutton your shirt too low either. Good rule of thumb to follow: Don’t unbutton more than two buttons.

 

Always leave the top button undone. For a more relaxed look, you can leave the second one undone. But don’t unbutton more than two buttons.

4. Don’t tuck in sweaters, T-shirts, or sports jerseys.

If these are your outer layer, don’t you DARE tuck these in. Unless you intentionally want to look ridiculous. The only shirts to tuck in are button-down shirts. We’ll talk more about when to tuck these in, in the DOs section.

5. Don’t wear Sneakers.

Shoes and Boots are better than sneakers. Some sneakers are okay, like Diesel or Puma. But stick to shoes and boots. They look more masculine.

6. Don’t wear Sandals.

Plastic flip flops are a no-no. High-end sandals are okay in places like Florida or Hawaii. Otherwise sandals are a no-no. Girls don’t like seeing guys’s ugly toes. On a related note, absolutely DO NOT wear socks… especially white socks… with sandals. This screams “Goober.”

7. Don’t wear anything that hangs from the waist.

Sweaters, cellphone holsters, fanny packs, clip-on chains…

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Lord have mercy!

 

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*gulp*

 

Uuuuugly. They’re aesthetically DISpleasing.

8. Don’t wear shorts.

Looks like a high school kid. They’re not manly. Wear shorts only at the beach or if you’re playing sports.

9. Don’t wear Khakis/Cotton dockers/Pleated Pants.

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These scream “Mr. Nice Guy.” There’s no edge to them. Jeans are the best things to wear at a bar.

10. Don’t wear pants that have a sagging crotch.

It looks sloppy. And you look like an old man.

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Beware the sagging crotch.

 

Wear pants that FIT.

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Jeans with no sagging crotch. Much better.

 

11. Don’t wear free T-Shirts from advertisers and businesses.

These make you look cheap… like you’ll wear whatever you get for free.

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Um, no.

 

And they make you look like a billboard. It also kinda says you lack your own personality. Don’t do it.

12. Don’t wear T-Shirts with Vulgar Sayings and Negative Connotations.

These messages associate you with seventh grade humor. And they send a negative message about you before you’ve even opened your mouth.

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Seriously?

 

Don’t do it. Please.

13. Don’t wear the same color head to foot.

Variety of color pleases the eye. Don’t go monochrome.

14. Don’t wear white Socks with Black Shoes.

Match your sock-color to your pants-color. Michael Jackson got away with white socks and black shoes because he wanted to draw attention to his feet when dancing. If you don’t have Michael Jackson’s dance moves… at the very least… wear black socks with black shoes.

::: DOs ::: 

1. Make sure your clothes fit.

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Again, wear clothes that show your shape.

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This communicates you’re a sexual person. And that you’re sexually comfortable.

2. Always look your best.

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Joe Manganiello (from “True Blood”) looking his best.

 

Even if you’re going grocery shopping. You never know when you’re going to run into a woman you want to attract. Plus it does something to your confidence when you look your best.

3. Evaluate yourself in the mirror before going out.

Make sure there’s no lint. No bulges in pocket. Clothes are ironed. Also… nose hairs are trimmed. Haha

4. Wear things that have no purpose.

Like jewelry, hats, wristbands.

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Johnny Depp sporting items of clothing that serve no purpose, like his wrist band, ring, and handkerchief. His hat is also more for ornamentation.

 

This is what Brad P calls “sexual ornamentation.” (See his excellent ebook “Brad P’s Fashion Bible” for more.) This relates to the next item…

5. Wear at least one interesting piece of clothing, no more than two.

Have a showpiece in your outfit.

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The blazer and scarf are examples of show pieces.

 

The idea is if you have the COURAGE to stand out. Learn from the peacock.

Examples:

  • Necklace.
  • Ring.
  • Wristband.
  • Earring.
  • Cool coat.
  • Crazy hat.
  • Cool glasses.
  • Unique button-down shirt.
  • Funky shoes.
  • Scarf.
  • Unique belt.
  • Tie.

They grab your attention. They’re unusual. They show boldness of attitude. Adventurousness. Fearlessness. Standing out from the crowd. Sometimes they make you stand-out so much that women approach YOU. That takes care of the most challenging parts of the pickup. Nice!

WARNING: If you have no showpieces, your outfit will be boring. And you risk blending in. And if you have more than two showpieces, you’ll be too busy. Like this guy below:

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This guy probably has too many show pieces on: sunglasses, wrist band, necklace, scarf, jacket, designer pants. His only supporting piece is the T-shirt. Result: too busy.

 

The eye can focus on so many things at once. Stick to one, two maximum, showpieces.

6. Wear supporting pieces.

Wear supporting pieces. They support the show pieces.

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Johnny Depp’s supporting pieces: T-shirt, jeans, boots.

 

For example:

  • Well-fitting jeans.
  • Good shoes.
  • Plain white T-shirt.
  • Plain belt.
  • Plain jacket.

They’re not meant to grab your attention. They’re high-quality pieces of clothing, but they’re more plain. They’re meant to support the one or two “show” pieces.

7. Colors:

Rule #1– stay away from bright, neon, vibrant colors.

These come off feminine.

Rule #2– don’t wear colors that blend too much with your skin tone.

For example, if you have a dark skin tone, stay away from dark tones. If you have an olive complexion, stay away from olive-colors. If you have pale skin, stay away from pinks, reds, oranges, yellows. Better to have colors that contrast and complement your skin tone.

Rule #3– be aware what color you wear says about you–

  • Red: Dominance.
  • Pink/Peach: Upbeat, calm… by the way, pink is totally acceptable.
  • Black: Authority and elegance.
  • White: Virtue and cleanliness.
  • Blue: Trustworthy and intellectual.
  • Yellow: Alertness and optimism.
  • Burgundy: Passion and luxury.
  • Gray: Class and efficiency…

Gray is also a neutral color, and goes great with a lot of other colors. Black and white are also go with virtually any color, too.

8. Belt.

The simplest rule is this. A belt should match your shoes in color and finish. Shiny shoes demand a shiny belt. Matte shoes demand a matte belt. Black shoes demand a black belt.

And here’s another great rule about taking care of your belt: Belts should always hang vertically. A lot of guys leave belts in their pants. I know I have. If you do, you’ll curve and damage the seams.

One last rule. Don’t wear a shirt tucked in your pants without a belt.

9. Tucked vs. Untucked.

Rule #1– Look at the hem of the shirt. Does it dip or is it straight across?

  • If the hem of the shirt dips in the front, and in the back, the shirt is meant to be tucked in. It’s a business shirt. The dip is there to keep the shirt tucked in.
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See that large dip in the shirt on the right? Shirt’s meant to be tucked in.

 

  • If the hem is straight across, and there’s a split in the side, it’s meant to be untucked. It’s a casual shirt.
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The shirt on the right has a hem with a slight split in the side. You know you can wear that untucked. (The shirt on the left falls too far down the crotch to be left untucked.)

 

  • There are also shirts, like from Express, that can be both tucked AND untucked. The hem has a SLIGHT dip in the front and back, so you can tuck or untuck.
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This is a shirt from Express that can be tucked or untucked. You can tell it can be both by the slight dip in the front and back. 

Rule #2– Does the hem cover most of the crotch?

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  • If the hem covers most of the crotch, it’s too long. Tuck it in.
  • If the hem is less than half-way you can keep it untucked OR tuck if you’d like.

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Rule #3– Do you want to go for a polished look or a casual look?

  • A tucked shirt gives you a polished look.
  • KEEP IN MIND: too polished, you risk looking effeminate. But there IS a time and a place to be polished. For example, formal occasions or first impressions. Here, polished says: “put together.”
  • An untucked shirt gives you a casual look.
  • KEEP IN MIND: casual tends to put people at ease. And a more rugged look makes you look more masculine. There’s also a time and a place for casual, too. Like informal occasions.

OPTIONAL IF YOU GO UNTUCKED: unbutton the top two buttons. Roll up the sleeves no higher than mid-bicep. This’ll give you a cool, casual look.

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Ryan Gosling sporting the mid-bicep sleeve roll. Highly recommended look.(Just don’t roll the sleeves any further than this.)

 

BONUS: Make sure the arm of your shirt isn’t too long or too short. See pic below:

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Rule #4– What’s the rise of your pants? High or low?

  • If the rise of your pants is high, leave the shirt untucked. Unless you wanna look like Urkel.
  • If the rise of your pants is low, it’s safer to tuck.
  • Also, look at the environment you’re going into. If it’s formal, tuck. If it’s casual, it’s safe to untuck. That’s a good decider.
  • I myself prefer untucked because it sends a more relaxed message.

Rule #5– You can tuck and untuck at the same time.

Here’re some pictures to show you what this looks like:

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The tucked/untucked look.

 

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David Beckham killing the tucked/untucked look.

 

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Another prime example of the tucked/untucked look.

10. Socks.

Rule #1– When in doubt, match your socks color to your pants color.

Rule #2– Wear black socks with black shoes.

Purists say to extend socks over calves to prevent your bare leg from being exposed while sitting. It’s not necessary. But avoid wearing tennis socks with shoes.

Rule #3– Wear tennis socks with sneakers.

Visible socks with sneakers make you look like a kindergartener.

Rule #4– Wear NO socks with sandals.

Rule #5– DO wear socks when your toes don’t show.

Foot and shoe moisture attract fungi, viruses, and other bacteria. Socks are good.

11. Workout.

The form beneath your clothes make your fashion pop. So if you’ve got a good body it makes your clothes look better. I wrote a post on how to build muscle and lose fat over here. But a great place to start is p90x or p90x3. Those programs got me in the best shape of my life.

In any event, a great body is universally appealing. It makes you look healthy, sexually ready, and like your life is together.

Muscle is masculine. All of that attracts.

12. Change your wardrobe every 2 years.

Keep up with the times. Styles are constantly changing.

13. Check out these stores.

> Diesel: Good for many sexy stereotypes.
> H&M: Rapidly changing rack. Inexpensive. But falls apart in a year.
> Century 21: Good closeout deals on “label” clothes.
> Express: Stay away from “Modern Fit” shirts (too loose). Go for “Fitted” shirts. You’ll find great styles here.
> Abercrombie: Their muscle shirts will show off your shape well.
> Nordstorm’s: Great prices on sales rack.
> Urban Outfitters: good for supporting pieces
> Bloomingdale’s: Best department store (stay away from JC Penny and Sears. Macy’s is so-so.)

14. Model guys who dress well. 

Pick a movie star you admire and steal his style. Copy it. It’s a great place to start.

::: Things You Can Do Right Now :::

1. Get rid of anything in your closet that doesn’t fit right.

Even stuff the “almost” fits. Get rid of it. Donate them to like Good Will or Salvation Army.

2. Find a movie star you admire.

Choose two or three of his favorite get-ups. Copy it. That is, list the accessories (or “show pieces”) he has on as well as his supporting pieces. Then…

3. Go to a few of the stores I listed above and buy the items on your list.

H&M is an inexpensive place to start. Bloomingdale and Macy’s has a variety of brands and clothing items to choose from. They’re good places to start. Here’re some classic staples to get if you don’t have them already:

Show pieces/accessories:

  • Sunglasses
  • Vest
  • Tie
  • Watch
  • Cologne
  • Hat
  • Jewelry (like necklace or wrist bands)

Supporting pieces:

  • Blue jeans
  • Button down shirt (a white one is a staple)
  • Black shoes
  • Black belt
  • Blazer
  • Black socks
  • White T-Shirt

4. Try on your new style.

The coolest thing is you’ll feel like a new man. If your friends and family give you shit, ignore them. It’s sad, but people we know sometimes try to hold us back… especially when we’re bettering ourselves. It’s their egos at work. Keep experimenting with your fashion and bettering yourself. Don’t let them hold you back.

5. Check out other resources if you need.

HIGHLY recommend Brad P’s “Fashion Bible.” I learned a lot of what I know now from that ebook. Plus I’ve also got more on fashion in my ebook “The Mystery of Women” coming out in the fall of this year (2015), too.

::: Do it! :::

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When a guy gets his fashion in gear, here’s the result. 😉

 

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Appearance, Foundation, Home, Masculinity

 

Tags: , , ,

Increase Your Testosterone

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I’ve found there’s two keys to attracting women.

First, making her feel wonderful. If she feels great around you, she’ll link those feelings to you, and will want to be around those good feelings… and you… more.

Second, being masculine. Make her feel wonderful, yes, but in a way where she feels like she’s the woman, and you’re the man.

A man who’s masculine puts a woman into her feminine. And it creates a sexual charge. Like how the north pole of a magnet’s attracted to the south pole. A man in his masculine pulls women toward him with a strong, delicious, irresistible charge. David Deida taught me that one.

The most important way to increase your masculinity is to discover your purpose in life and give your deepest gift to the world. Purpose, direction, and driving things to completion is the essence of masculinity.

But another great way to increase your masculinity is to increase the hormone that’s responsible for it. Namely, testosterone.

Well, HOW do you increase your testosterone?

As far as I can see, there are four basic ways: get enough rest, build muscle, get erections, and eat more protein.

Let’s check each one of those things out.

1. Rest and Sleep:

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Get enough rest and sleep. You create testosterone while you sleep. And you decrease testosterone when you’re stressed.

7-8 hours a night. Your body makes testosterone while you’re sleeping. Ever wondered why you get morning wood? Hello. Without enough sleep, can’t produce testosterone. 4, 5, 6 hours of sleep? Won’t cut it.

Stress won’t cut it either. Stress raises cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are high, testosterone is low.

So, take 10-30 minutes breaks after focused 1-hour blocks of work. And get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

2. Exercise:

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More muscle and less fat boosts testosterone.

The more fat you have, the more your adipose tissue converts testosterone into estrogen. Obviously that lowers testosterone levels. Exercise blasts fat. Less fat, more muscle… you raise testosterone.

So, 50-100 push-ups in the morning. Lift weights. Jump rope. Bike. Play basketball. All you need is 30 minutes a day. Hell, p90x is a FANTASTIC way to get started. It was for me. (If you want more info, check out my article “Lost Fat, Gain Muscle.”)

3. Sex:

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Getting erections increases testosterone.

Erections put “testosterone” fuel in your sex drive tank. Scientists found that men’s testosterone levels were higher after looking at porn than before looking at porn. Yeah.

So, get erections, look at sexy pictures, have sex. See? Increasing your testosterone can be fun.

4. Diet:

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Protein helps you build muscle and increase testosterone.

Eating protein helps increase testosterone. Whey protein is the best because it has all the amino acids your body needs. Protein shakes are great. Steaks, eggs, bacon, burgers, fish, nuts are good too. In fact, believe it or not, cholesterol is a precursor of testosterone.

So, eating red meat and protein can actually help you increase testosterone.

When it comes down to it, increasing testosterone is just being a guy. For more great resources, check out this great article from “The Art of Manliness” and this video by John Romaniello:

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2013 in Home, Masculinity

 

Tags: , , , ,

Decisiveness

Making decisions is hard. Believe me, I know.

But to be a strong man, we’ve got to be decisive. For example, if you tell to a woman: “You decide,” she won’t feel like you’re protecting her.

Here’s the toughest thing about making decisions.

Sometimes you’ll make decisions people won’t like. They’ll call you stupid or get angry with you. So, we become afraid to make the wrong decision. To screw up.

I’d say this, though. It’s better to make a bad decision than to make no decision. I used to think if I avoided making a decision then I couldn’t be blamed for making a bad decision. Then I realized there were still consequences of making no decision at all.

How do you know if you’ll make the right decision?

You won’t, but get as much info as you can. And trust your judgment. It’s impossible to ever know if it’s the “perfect” decision. Just do the best you can do based on the info you have. If it’s the wrong decision? Oh well. Now you know. Learn from it.

Here’s the other thing. I’ve been in relationships with women who pressured me to do the wrong thing. My gut was telling me it was the wrong thing, but I did it anyway, just to please her. Please don’t do this. Please. Do what you know in your gut is right. Even if it doesn’t “please” her.

I’m not saying don’t listen to her. Yes, listen to her. She might give you good feedback. Understand where she’s coming from. If it’s good feedback, by all means use it. Sometimes she’ll make you aware of things you hadn’t thought of. Cool. Compromise.

But if it’s something against what you KNOW to be true, throw it out. Do what’s right. Don’t make a decision just to please everyone else. You’ll end up getting tossed by the wind. You want to be a rock, instead.

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Be the rock haha

So, guide your decisions based on your values. That conviction gives you confidence in your decisions. And makes you more resilient to criticism.

Hey, and if the decision turns out to be the wrong one, fine. Take responsibility for it. You’re human. Owning up to mistakes is actually a sign of strength. Never deny or try to blame someone else or the circumstances for your mistakes. Own up to it.

So, the biggest thing I’ve learned about being more decisive is this. It’s okay to make mistakes. Just decide. If it’s the wrong decision, learn from it.

We respect people who have the confidence to take charge. We don’t admire people who stand back like a wussy boy. Have the balls. And decide.

Here’s some stuff I’ve used to help me become more decisive:

1. Next time you’re out with friends and no one knows where to go to eat, say “we’ll go here.” Lots of times people are just looking for a leader. Step into that role.

2. With your woman, instead of putting the responsibility of deciding where to eat on her, pick YOUR favorite place to go. What your gut says. Say: “We’re going here.” If she criticizes you, or puts you down for it, she doesn’t have to come along. And if it does suck, oh well. Now you know not to go there. And really, when you think about it, you can make any place fun, right?

3. When you’re by yourself and you have to make a decision, listen to your gut. Socrates used to call this his “inner voice.” And he said it never steered him wrong. Listen to it. Check it against your reason and the facts. Then go back to your gut. Make the decision to the best of your ability, and go with it 100%. No looking back.

I got this “aha” moment about letting go of the fear of making the wrong decision from Elliot Katz in his book “Being The Strong Man A Woman Wants.”

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Awesome book.

High recommended, by the way. So, I wanted to share it with you.

Decisiveness sharpens your masculinity. And, of course, makes you more attractive to women. Can’t complain about that.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Home, Masculinity

 

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Lose Weight, Gain Muscle

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I know they say don’t judge a book by its cover, but a good looking cover doesn’t hurt… especially when it comes to attracting women.

I mean, seriously, you can like fuck up your approach… and lose steam 15 minutes in… but if you’ve got a great presence, the girl will still be interested in you. I got this concept of “presence” from Brad P.

Part of having a great presence is taking care of your body (other parts: body language, fashion, grooming).

Anyway, the reason I’m even bringing all this up at all is because I just found out I passed my personal trainer final exam. I’m now a certified personal trainer!  Puh-Pow

In celebration, I wanna share some stuff I learned along the way about getting fit and staying fit.

Yes, yes, I know. Personality attracts women more than physical looks. You’re absolutely right. But like I said, having a nice physique doesn’t hurt either.

For one, women read into things. They’ll ask, “What does this guy’s physical appearance SAY about him?” Where we’re like “Ooh, nice tits,” they’re like “He’s wearing white socks with black shoes… what’s THAT say about him?”

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So, if you’ve got your health handled, what message do you send? Exactly. You’ve got your life handled, too. That’s attractive.

For two, more important than attracting women, getting a nice body is important because, well, the woman is kinda right. Get your health together, and it’s a good sign you’re getting your life together, too. Making time to exercise and eating right honest-to-God helps you get your whole LIFE into shape.

For three, a woman who takes care of herself is attractive to us…

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…right?

Same damn thing for them.

And for four, probably the best part of it all, getting your health handled gives you an added strut of confidence to your inner-game. Sweet.

Oh, one last thing before I spill the good stuff.

I got my certificate through ISSA (Internal Sports Science Association)…

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There’s a lot of places to become a trainer, but most of them are crap. There’s only five or seven places that’s recognized as credible… and ISSA is one of them. The textbook I had to read was 600 pages and my final exam was a practicum (110 pages of written) and 200 multiple choice questions. They’re serious.

So, here’s the good stuff. You only really need three things to get a kick-ass physique. They are:

1. Right Food

2. Right Exercise

3. Consistency

That’s it.

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I just put that there because that’s a nice looking stomach. Plus the words are kinda true too.

Eat right AND exercise consistently. You’ll get damn good results from that. No short cuts or magic bullets. Just good old fashioned work. Then, if you wanna keep the results you got, make all this a lifelong habit.

Now let’s take each of these three things and break it down.

Right Food

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I remember this one time I was trying to lose weight and I exercised every day. After about a month or so I was the same weight. I was like “what the hell?” Then I looked at what I had been eating.

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Um, no wonder I wasn’t losing weight.

Exercise all you want, but if your diet sucks, you ain’t gonna be losing any weight.

Not only that, I had this girlfriend once who told me she ate whatever she wanted while exercising and she lost weight. Yeah, right. But let’s say the miraculous happened. Guess what happened after she stopped exercising? Welcome back thirty pounds!

Abs are made in the kitchen. 70% of losing weight and keeping it off is in what you what.

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How do you eat right? Here’s the Top Ten List I follow.

1. Find Out How Many Calories Your Body Burns A Day, and Eat Within That. Here’s a way you can figure this out right now:

STEP 1: Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). If you were to lay down all day and do nothing, this is the number of calories you would burn. It’s the basic amount of calories you need to be alive: breathe, pump blood, grow hair, blink.

_________________ (Your Body Weight) x 10 =  _________________ (BMR in calories)

STEP 2: Calculate your daily activity burn. These are the calories you need for your daily movement, but without the exercise.

_______________ (Your BMR) x 20% =  ___________________ (Your Daily Activity Burn)

STEP 3. Add the calories you need for exercise. You’ll burn anywhere between 300 – 600 calories, depending on how long and how intense you exercise. Let’s take the number 300.

_________ (Your BMR) +  ________ (Daily Activity Burn) + 300 = ______ (Energy Amount)

STEP 4. Find your energy amount in the table below to determine your daily caloric needs.

  1. Your Energy Amount
  1. Caloric Level
  1. 1,800 – 2,399
  1. 1,800 calories/day
  1. 2,400 – 2,999
  1. 2,400 calories/day
  1. 3,000+
  1. 3,000 calories/day

YOUR DAILY CALORIC NEEDS = ______________________

Eat that amount in calories each day.

It’s a numbers game. Expend more calories than you consume, you’ll lose weight. 3,500 calories make up a pound of fat. Burn 200-300 of these fat calories a day, and you’ll get there. It’ll take some time. 90 days of this and you’ll see awesome results.

Oh, and by the way, as you lose weight, your daily caloric needs will change. So, recalculate when necessary.

2. Eat 5- 6 Meals a Day. Divide “Your Daily Caloric Needs” by either 5 or 6. Eat that many calories for each meal.

The idea is simple. When you eat a lot of small meals throughout the day, your body is working a lot. Your body becomes like a sauna… which burns more calories. When you don’t eat a lot, your body thinks “starvation mode.” Instead of burning the calories, it starts storing them up so you don’t starve later. Your metabolism drops. Eat more meals (each of moderate size), and your metabolism rises.

Think of a horse that grazes throughout the day. They’re lean. Now think of a bear that binges and then goes for days or even months without eating. They’re fat. Same thing with us. By the way, I got that image from Bill Phillips, author of “Body For Life.”

Horse-with-Bear-Hat

Okay, well, maybe not THAT image, but you know what I mean.

Anyway… to get a lean body you want to be a grazer, not a binger. So, graze. Meaning, eat a small meal or a snack every 2 hours (no more than 3 hours). That’s about how long it takes for your body to digest a meal.

Here’s another reason to eat 5 – 6 “meals” a day. There’s less of a temptation to binge. When you let a long time pass between meals, don’t you get super-hungry? I do! I mean, after starving yourself, you can’t even help it. You WANT to binge. But if the time between your meals is small, like two hours, you’re more likely to eat a moderate meal. It’s all about moderation.

That’s one of my favorite sayings by the ancient Greeks: “Everything in moderation.” It’s here in America, land of “Super-Size,” where our food portions are so huge. Everything is either Jumbo Size, Super Size, Extra Large or a Double Big Gulp. But our bodies just don’t NEED that much food. It feels weird at first to stop eating when you’re full. But that’s the secret. Eat only as much as you NEED.

I’ve got a great story about this.

A college girlfriend I had, who may or may not have been a little chubby… and who I may or may have expressed I wanted to breakup (not because of the weight) before we left for summer break… came back after the break not chubby anymore. I was like “holy shit!” I asked her how she did it. She said she had listened to her body. She said when her body said it was full, she stopped eating. And she looked great. We still broke up. But that’s another story.

3. For Each Meal Eat Carbs, Protein, and Fat.

It’s not just the quantity of calories that matters though. The QUALITY of proteins is just as, if not MORE important. What does that mean? In EACH meal/snack eat protein, carbs, and unsaturated fat.

Let’s take each one of those groups.

First, carbs. They are THE primary source of fuel. If you don’t eat enough carbs, your body will eat your fat deposits. That’s why the Atkins diet can work at first. The only thing is after your body eats fat, if it still doesn’t have carbs to chow down on, your body starting chowing down on your muscle (and other protein) for fuel. That’s why the Atkins diet can be so damn dangerous. You might lose a ton of weight at first, but chances are high you’ll lose muscle, too.

Another girlfriend I had (man I’m talking a lot about my girlfriends here, huh) told me a story I’ll never forget. She had cut protein out of her diet to lose weight. I can’t remember why. Maybe she was a vegetarian or something. I don’t remember. Anyway, when she noticed she was losing hair, that’s when she decided to starting eating protein again. Hair is made out of protein after all. After she put protein back into her diet, her hair grew back. Thankfully.

Which brings us to the next thing we need in our diet. Protein.

Your body is constantly changing. In 3 months you’ll have a new skeleton, in 5 days a new stomach lining, in 6 weeks your cells in your liver are replaced, in 1 month you’ll have new skin, and in a year 98% of your atoms will be replaced. Now, where does your body get the stuff to replace the old cells with? From the food you eat. Specifically, PROTEIN. Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids build your body.

And if you want to gain muscle? Holy crap, protein is a MUST. You tear down your muscle when you lift, but you need protein to build the muscles back bigger and stronger. Whey protein and cottage cheese (surprisingly) are great sources of protein. So are eggs, white meat, fish, and natural almonds.

Finally, we need unsaturated fat, too. Unsaturated fat is the body’s second preferred source of fuel (after carbs are used up). They also pad vital organs and your skeleton, make up cell membranes, and they help absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K. Stay away from saturated fats, though. They clog the arteries. Unsaturated fat is where it’s at.

Saturated_Fats-vs-Unsaturated_Fats

But how much of each… carbs, protein, and fat… does the body need?

Great question.

There’s a ratio I learned from ISSA that’s killer. It goes like this. Eat 3 parts carbs, 2 parts protein, 1 part fat. Now, what does THAT mean?

Imagine a pie and cut it into six pieces. Three pieces would be carbs, two pieces would be protein, and only one piece would be fat. This is how you can figure out your own ratio right now:

STEP 1. Calculate how many calories are in a part.

____________ (Your Daily Caloric Needs)  / 6 =  ___________ (Calories per “slice”)

STEP 2. Calculate how many calories you need from each nutrient

How many calories from fat

__________________________ x 1 part = _________________ (Fat)

How many calories from protein

__________________________ x 2 parts = __________________ (Protein)

How many calories from carbs

__________________________ x 3 parts = ___________________ (Carbs)

STEP 3. Convert the calories into grams

Fat grams per day

________ (calories from fat) / 9 calories per gram of fat = ___________ (Fat grams per day)

Protein grams per day

_______ (calories from protein) / 4 calories per gram of protein = ______ (Protein grams per day)

Carb grams per day

_______ (calories from carbs) / 4 calories per gram of carb = ________ (Carb grams per day)

STEP 4. Calculate how much of each nutrient you need per meal

Fat grams per meal

________ (Fat grams per day) / 5 or 6 meals = _____________ (Fat grams per meal)

Protein grams per meal

_______ (Protein grams per day)  / 5 or 6 meals = __________ (Protein grams per meal)

Carb grams per meal

_______ (Carb grams per day) / 5 or 6 meals = ____________ (Carb grams per meal)

Now, make sure to eat that amount of carbs, protein, and unsaturated fat in each meal/snack you eat.

4. Add Veggies to (at least) 2 Meals, And Fruits To (at least) 1 Meal.

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This is another gem I got from Bill Phillips, and it works. Add a portion of vegetables to at least 2 meals every day (a portion is the amount of food that could fit into the palm of your hand). Add at least one portion of fruit to a meal every day.

5. Drink 64 Ounces Of Water Per Day.

water

water-man

Here’s a tip I learned from Eben Pagan the world-famous information-business entrepreneur (and the guy behind David DeAngelo). Drink 16 ounces of water when you first get up. Then drink three more of these glasses throughout the day. That’s a total of about 64 ounces of water total each day (4 16-ounce glasses or 8 8-ounce glasses of water total).

6. Supplement.

Isotonix OPC 3

In my opinion, the best supplements on the market: Isotonix.  Check out the link if you’d like.

Isotonix_AbsorptionChart

This is the reason I consider it the best… and yes, I’m biased.

I take just 3 supplements: multi-vitamin, anti-oxidant (OPC3 or a cup of green tea works), and Omega-3 (for the heart). I also drink protein shakes and eat power bars as “snacks” between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

7. Cheat Once A Week.

The Rock on his cheat day

The Rock on his cheat day

Once a week, cheat. Eat WHATEVER you want. Go to town. Have fun. You deserve it. Incorporating some crap actually helps you to keep eating healthy. There’s less temptation for it later.

Plus, after a few months of eating healthy, you’ll compare how your body feels after binging on crap versus eating in moderation. You won’t like it. You’ll feel the difference. And you won’t be able to wait to the healthy stuff. No joke.

So, it’s a psychological trick. Like Carl Jung once said, “What your resist, persists. What you allow to be disappears.” Allowing the crap (once a week, mind you) can actually help it to disappear.

8. Eat Within 1 Hour Of Waking Up. This revs up your metabolism for the rest of your day. That’s why they say breakfast is the most important part of the day. It sets a solid foundation for the rest of the day.

9. Don’t Eat Within 2 Hours Before Going To Sleep. It can give you a belly ache, true. More important, it allows your body to burn off fat while you sleep, instead of the food you just ate. Your metabolism obviously slows down while you sleep, so the chances of your body storing the food you just ate as fat are higher, too.

10. Journal Your 5 -6 Meals At First Until It Becomes A Habit. When starting out, it helps to keep a food journal each day. It ensures you eat 5 -6 times a day, keeps you accountable, and helps to establish a eating habit that lasts the rest of your life. I made a link to a food journal that you can download at the end of this post. Check it out.

Right Exercise

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Now, here’s the flip side to eating right. You’ve gotta exercise, too.

Another time, way back before I discovered what an exercise was, I was trying to lose my McDonald’s Coca-Cola Belly. ALL I did was eat below what my body burned in calories per day.

And that worked. I did lose weight. But…

skinny-guy1

…I had no muscle, and no shape to my body.

Muscle changes the shape of your body. Abs are made in the kitchen, yes, but exercise SHAPES your body. And it keeps your body working well and tuned up.

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So, how do you exercise? Here’s another Top Ten List. It’s based on the famous “F.I.T.T. Principle” of gym rats everywhere.

1. FREQUENCY: Exercise between 5 – 6 days a week. Rest on the 7th day. Alternate between cardio and weight lifting each day.

If you only do cardio you look like a marathon runner. If you only do weights you look like a body builder. Combine the two you get the body of a gymnast or swimmer:

nickauger

From what I hear, women like that body the best.

2. INTENSITY:

::: Cardio :::

Bill Phillips has a great suggestion for this. Break your intensity into 10 levels. Level 1: sitting on a couch watching TV. Level 10: balls to wall everything you got. You only need like 20 minutes of cardio if you incorporate the higher levels of intensities.

For example, on a stationary bike. Let’s say you do 20 minutes on it. The first 2 minutes: you’re at level 5. At minute 3 you’re at level 6; minute 4 level 7; minute 5 level 8; minute 6 level 9; minute 7 return to level 6. Repeat that sequence three more times. By minute 19 you’re at level 10. At minute 20 you return to level 5.

MINUTE   INTENSITY LEVEL

  1.             5
  2.             5
  3.             6
  4.             7
  5.             8
  6.             9
  7.             6
  8.             7
  9.             8
  10.             9
  11.             6
  12.             7
  13.             8
  14.             9
  15.             6
  16.             7
  17.             8
  18.             9
  19.            10
  20.            5

“Interval Training” does a very similar thing. You start at a low intensity for 20 seconds, go to a medium intensity for 20 seconds, and finish at high intensity for the last 20 seconds. You repeat this low-medium-high intensity over and over again with different exercises. Do this for 20-30 minutes. It burns calories like crazy.

Here’s a third way to gauge intensity. Wear a heart rate monitor, and exercise at your maximum heart rate.

What’s your maximum heart rate?

Subtract your age from the number “220.” So, if you’re 30 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 190. If you’re 50 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 170, and so on.

But the best way I’ve found is gauge intensity is to mix lower intensity (to catch your breath) with higher intensities (balls to the wall). You can tell when you’re balls to the wall.

::: Resistance:::

As a general rule, max out between 8-10 reps. That means using weights that exhaust you at reps 8, 9, or 10. (For example when I started out I maxed out with 20 lb dumbbells doing biceps curls at rep 9 or 10 for 3 sets. I’m now at 40lb dumbbells.)

Now, if you want even more size, max out at 4-6 reps. Never do 7. Just kidding.

For calisthenics, like pull-ups and pushups, it’s a little different. For pull-ups a good place to start is 10 – 12 reps. If you can get up to 20 – 25 reps in one set… nice. For pushups a good place to start is 30 reps. If you can get up to 75 reps in one set… again, nice.

The basic rule is whenever a set gets too easy, add more reps or more weights. If 30 pushups are too easy, do 35. If 30 lbs dumbbells are too easy, do 35’s.

When it’s easy, no gains. When you feel the burn, it’s working.

In my workouts, I’ll do at a MINIMUM of 3 sets for one body part. For example, I’ll do 75 standard pushups, 30 diamond pushups and 30 pushups where my feet are on a chair. That’s all for the chest.

3. TIME:

::: Cardio :::

You only need 20-30 minutes per cardio workout. Anything over 60 minutes, and you enter “Over-Training” Land, which is counter-productive.

::: Resistance :::

Rest for at least one minute between sets. Your muscles need about that time to recoup enough energy for the next round. Total resistance workouts should take you between 30 – 60 minutes. Again, anything more than 60 minutes per workout, is counter-productive.

4. TYPE:

::: Cardio ::::

Sky’s the limit here. Biking, swimming, running, plyometrics, basketball… Make sure it lasts for at least 20 minutes, and you’re working up to your highest intensities during your workouts.

::: Resistance :::

I used to be confused about resistance exercises. There seemed to be so many different ones out there. After I did my exam, I realized there are only a few core exercises. Everything else is a variation on those themes. And each core exercise is based on a body part. For example:

UPPER BODY

i. Biceps: Dumbbell curls

Curls

Dumbbell Curls

ii. Triceps: Dumbbell extensions, bench dips

Extensions

Dumbbell Extensions

Dips

Bench Dips

iii. Shoulders: Dumbbell press

Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell Press

iv. Chest: pushups, dumbbell bench press

Pushups

Pushups

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

v. Back: pull-ups, dumbbell rows

Pull-ups

Pull-ups

Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell Rows

LOWER BODY

vi. Quads: Dumbbell squats

Dumbbell Squats

Dumbbell Squats

vii. Hamstrings: Dumbbell lunges

Dumbbell Lunges

Dumbbell Lunges

viii. Buttocks: Dumbbell squats

Eye Candy

A little more Eye-Candy for ya

ix. Calves: Dumbbell calf raises

Dumbbell Calf Raises

Dumbbell Calf Raises

x. Abs: Crunches

Crunches

Crunches

5. Breathe. Exhale during the difficult parts of a resistance exercise, and inhale during the easy parts. Also, don’t tighten your face. This can actually work against you. Make it easier on yourself. Relax your face.

6. Warm-up, Cool-down, and STRETCH. Warm up for 3 – 5 minutes before your workout. Cool down for 5-10 minutes after your workout. During the warmup and cool down, STRETCH!

Brittle things break easier. Elastic things are more durable. Stretching gives you durability. So, it prevents injuries. Also, it gives you flexibility, which makes your body more excellent.

7. Rest. Your body needs to recuperate. Get 7 – 8 hours of sleep.

8. Drink plenty of water. Here it is again. ‘Cause it’s important. Drink 64 ounces a day. This cleans your body from the inside out. It’s got minerals. No poison. And it’s free (unless it’s bottled of course).

9. Consistency is key. If you get off track, no prob. Just keep showing up. As long as you show up you WILL succeed. There’s no such thing as failure unless you quit.

I now see exercise like showering or brushing my teeth. It’s a hygienic thing I do daily. After all, it flushes out toxins, opens my heart, and gets me inside my body. And it clears the mind. The byproduct (not so much the goal) is a great body. The never-ending goal is daily renewal of inner-strength, and care of the self.

10. Track your workouts. I mark each workout I do on my calendar. It holds me accountable, and keeps me on track. Again, I made a link at the end of this post for some workout logs. Please, definitely, check em out.

One other thing before I leave this section about exercise. I learned this really cool thing from ISSA.

We humans aren’t supposed to die at 70 or 80. We’re supposed to live until 110. You can shed 30 years off your age through exercise. A person in their 70s or 80s who exercises is as strong as person who’s 40 or 50. Exercise is the closest thing we have to an anti-aging pill.

Makes sense. If you don’t use your body it disintegrates. If you use it, you keep it sharp and healthy. Exercise is just as important as right eating… and brushing your teeth.

Consistency

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Way, way, way before I learned this stuff, I thought if I exercised a couple of times and ate healthy a couple of times, magically I would get a rippling 8 pack abs and 16″ biceps. Two workouts and I thought I’d see results. I was so sad when I learned that’s not how it works.

When I did learn all this stuff and finally lost 40 pounds and gained some muscle, I asked myself how the hell I did it. When I look back I realize it was because of one thing.

Consistency.

I exercised six days a week and I cut out the crap food… day after day after day. It took me about 4 or 5 months to do, but through CONSISTENCY I finally did it.

ISSA taught me why consistency works.

It’s because the body is so damn stubborn. The technical term is “homeostasis.” That means the body likes to stay the same. So, to get results, it’s simple. Work over and over and over again. That must be why they call it “training.” Through consistency you train your body into a new way of being or a new “stasis.”

So, the first step of consistency is to make the decision to change. The second step is to commit to a plan to get there (see “right eating and right exercise”). The third step is to execute that plan over and over again. Even when you’re tired or sick and don’t want to, exercise 5 – 6 times a week and eat moderately 5 – 6 times a day.

Magically… or not so magically… when I followed those steps, I lost 40 pounds of blubber and gained muscle. Hell, yeah. Same exact thing for you.

Now, let me just say this one last thing. It’s easy to get off track. It happens to me all the time. It happens to everyone. It’s no reason to stay off track though. Just get back on the horse and keep going at it. No need to get discouraged. With consistency or persistency or whatever you want to call it, you WILL win the battle against your body’s stubborn homeostasis. No doubt.

Keep showing up. Over and over again. That’s all it takes.

What’s Next?

You can create your program, you can hire a trainer, or… the way I got my head start was doing p90x. It’s an awesome program. I used to be a varsity athlete, and this program reminded me of those intense preseason trainings. It’s also like having your own personal trainer… that you can keep forever.

The down fall is p90x takes about 50 min – 90 min a workout. You’ll have to purchase some dumbbells and a pull-up bar. I mean, that’s not really a downfall because it’s so worth it. Lifetime investment. And if it’s important enough to you to get your body back into shape, it’s very easy to make time for those workouts. Doing p90x was a life changer for me. No gadgets or fad stuff. Just good old fashioned fundamentals that have been around forever. It’s such a solid program.

But if you feel like you don’t have the time, the company that puts out p90x… Beach Body… has some other great programs like “10 Minute Trainer” or “Power Half Hour.” They’re shorter workouts that can also get a good job done, too.

Their website is p90x.com, in case you want to check it out.

Here’s a website, if you want a little more eye candy, I mean, inspiration.

Finally, here’s some Trackers I made that you can use: a food journal and some workout logs.

Again, eat right and exercise six days week CONSISTENTLY… you WILL lose weight and gain muscle. Guaranteed.

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Posted by on March 28, 2013 in Appearance, Home, Masculinity

 

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The Romantic Hero

What do women want?

Ahhhh, the age old question.

For the record, I have no idea.

But I do know that in 2010, romance novels accounted for 13.4% of mass market book sales (source: www.rwa.org). $1.358 billion was spent on romance novels in that year. Neither classic literature nor science fiction nor mystery nor religion earned a billion dollars in sales. And 91% of the readership of romance novels is female. Think we can learn a thing or two about women from romance novels?

How many of you guys heard of a book called “Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women”? If you haven’t checked it out yet–HIGHLY recommended. It’s all these romance writers talking about what it is about romance novels that appeals to women so much. It can help us learn about women and what they want.

I read this one essay called “The Androgynous Reader” by Laura Kinsale and it gave me a mini epiphany into why women love romance novels. Check this out…

Women seem to read romances the way we read centerfolds. In this essay, Kinsale claimed female readers identified less with the heroine. What they really liked about the novels is the hero. She uses this quote from a female reader (among others) to make her case: “If [the hero] isn’t in in the first chapter or two, I’ll put the book down. It’s just boring.”

She says women enjoy that sexual admiration. The way she puts it: “it’s a simple, erotic, and free-hearted joy in…desirable maleness.” Just like we to admire the tits and ass of a centerfold, women like to admire the desirable masculinity of the hero.

Case in point, the Twilight series. And now Fifty Shades of Grey. How many women read the Twilight book because they wanna be just like Bella (she’s the “heroine” of Twilight)? I’ve even heard girls say they like the Twilight movies in spite of Kristen Stewart. It’s not Bella women flock to Twilight for. It’s to experience that relationship with a man like Edward (vampire guy) or Jacob (werewolf guy).

But notice the difference between a centerfold and a romance novel. We LOOK at a picture of a naked chick. There ain’t no guys in the picture. Heeeeeell, no. In fact, better if it’s two chicks are going down on each other or something.

Pure male fantasy. Haha Credit: Alan1828 at Deviantart.com

In romance novels, though, women EXPERIENCE being in a relationship with an ideal man. It’s sex with love, with emotions, a story-line, struggle… it’s like this whole internal experience.

The centerfold? It looks nice. No love necessary. In fact, it’s more an external experience.

This was the other epiphany I had. It’s incredible how central love is to romance novels, including Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve been watching the Twilight series with my girl, fascinated, learning what women want. Watching the movies made me realize how incredibly important LOVE is to women. Women want to be loved voraciously by a man, and she wants to love him voraciously in return.

Now who is this ideal man of hers?

Yes, good-looking, but there’s way more to it.

He has a painful past, he has suffered, he’s wounded. As a result, he lives outside the structure of civilization, doesn’t give a damn, a melancholy rebel. He rejects the standard guidelines of society, the established norms and behaviors, the restraints of social conventions. It’s as if he represents the force of physical nature, amoral, ruthless with a sense of power, and leadership. He’s got an edge, depth. No bullshit here.

Women want him, but he’s like whatever.

But he meets the heroine of the romance… there’s something different about her. He sees beyond her beauty, beyond her physical surface, and falls in love, in spite of himself, with her inner qualities that make her different than other girls. He pursues the heroine relentlessly like a beast, an animal, a panther stalking his prey. He’s like a sexual threat. She finds him dangerous and exciting.

He’s strong, PROTECTIVE, masculine. Yet gentle, compassionate, feeling, and tender at the same time. He’s got character, integrity. Noble, sophisticated, gentlemanly. Perhaps he can even play an instrument. Sensitive, never wimpy.

She falls desperately in love with him. And out of all the women in the world, she can teach him how to be happy again.

It’s been said the great poet Lord Byron created the model for the romantic hero in his long poem, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.

Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Apparently his hero was so well received, it was copied over and over again from Emily Bonte to romance novels today. The term “Byronic hero” even entered the language of literature. Models we can follow in this tradition (without having to read romance novels) is Count of Monte Cristo. Or even Batman (not as much Superman).

Takeaway?

Stay strong. Don’t care what others think of you. Serving a higher purpose than self is more important. In other words, stay masculine. Yet be kind and empathetic, too. Appreciate a woman not for her physical beauty, but her inner qualities that make her unique. And always take the sexual lead… in fact, be a sexual threat. You don’t have to marry her. We can be that mysterious stranger passing through town that sweeps her out of this ordinary world, into a more extraordinary world. Women want love. Let’s give her love, while always still staying the man.

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Home, Masculinity

 

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Lessons from Spider-Man

This picture is THE secret to success with women. Don’t make your woman #1. Find your mission in life. Make this #1. Don’t make intimacy your priority. Make it your purpose. She’ll guard the intimacy.

Mary Jane wants Spiderman to stay. She’s sad he’s gotta leave for “war” and be a superhero. She tells him all the time, “please don’t go.” He goes anyway. You can tell how disappointed she is.

But can you imagine if Spiderman said, “Actually you’re right. I won’t go. You’re more important than protecting humankind. You’re the most important thing in my life. Who cares if I’m needed. I’m staying here with you.” She might be glad, but she’d probably also feel let down.

You’ll hear a woman say she wants you to make her #1. The irony is she’ll love and admire you more if she’s not. If you make your woman your priority, she’ll feel like you’re dependent on her for your happiness. She’ll feel smothered. She’ll feel she doesn’t really have a man.

I don’t think she would ever admit she doesn’t want to be number one. She’ll complain she wants more of you. But what she really wants is for you to be dedicated to your purpose–and to also love her fully.

You have a gift to give to the world, everyone does. Don’t submit to your woman and kiss her ass. Discover your gift and purpose. Despite her pleas to the contrary, make giving your deepest gift to the world your priority.

I’ve gotta give credit where credit it due. I learned this insight from David Deida. And it changed my life.

We’ll inevitably get this question. “Does this make me look fat?” How do you respond? If you say no, the danger is you enter “supplicating” land. Obviously never ever tell her she looks fat. The best response is to agree… jokingly. “Yeah… I wasn’t going to say anything.” She’ll hit you on the arm. That’s a good thing. Hehe

Yes, to hold a woman that looks like this is every man’s fantasy. But there’s a great lesson here, too. See how Mary-Jane just relaxes and surrenders in Spidey’s arms? Women yearn for this. See how Spidey is like a rock? Solid, strong, still, protective. That’s the role we want to play with women. When we’re strong and able to steer the course of things, whether sexually, financially, emotionally, spiritually, it allows her to let go and relax.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Confidence, Home, Masculinity

 

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