Review of the Primer + Price Increase

One more review of The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 appeared over at The Sex Nerd. (warning NSFW) by Ian Ironwood.

Ah… it’s hard to pick and choose what to quote from the review, it’s kinda glowing… maybe we should run with…

“I could easily see MMSL become the de facto Farmers Almanac of the Manosphere.”

…which is kinda the plan.

Thanks Ian!

Oh and you would think that dropping the price to $3.99 on the Kindle and PDF would have resulted in a surge in sales. I got one day of a boost and ever since sales have been slowly dropping and dropping. I’m selling less copies at $3.99 than I was at $9.99! So the clock is ticking on me shoving the price back to $9.99.

No more Mr. Nice Guy with the price I guess…

How Do I Let A Good Man Down?

Well ain’t this just the Alpha Beta theme song…

How Do I Let a Good Man Down?
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

See we’ve been getting on
So good so far for so long
No, you never hurt me
No you never gone and done me wrong
(Lots of Beta, I feel so safe.)

I know that something just ain’t no good
But you always do exactly what you should
(But I’m a little bored.)

So tell me?
How do I let a good man down?
How do I let a good man dow-ah ha down?
(I love you, but I’m not in love with you.)

You got to believe me
I didn’t mean to find nobody else
I don’t wanna hurt you but I gotta do right by myself
(It just happened… over 40-50 hours of chatting on Facebook.)

You make me happy but he gives me thrills
You give me comfort but he gives me chills
(His Alpha makes me wet. You’re nice.)

So tell me?
How do I let a good man down?
How do I let a good man dow-ah ha down
(This is kinda awkward isn’t it. Can we still be friends?)

I know that it’s crazy to walk away from such a good thing
But I’m gonna gamble and I bet that this ain’t just a fling
(Behold the dopamine effect.)

I can’t have my cake and eat it too
So I gonna get up and walk out on you
(Seriously you aren’t even going to fight for me?)

Please tell me:
How do I let a good man down?
How do I let a good man dow-ah ha down
(I know the dog was yours before we got together, but I want to take him with me. Is that cool?)

How, how do I let him down
I said, I
I gotta let him down
I said, I
I gotta let him down
How do I
How do I let a good man down?
How do I
How do I let a good man down?
I gotta let him down
I gotta let him down
I gotta let him down
I gotta let him down
(The ring was a gift you idiot.)

Buy The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011!
$3.99 PDF at Lulu.com  $3.99 Kindle and $17.09 Print at Amazon.com
(Costs about as much as 3-5 minutes of a divorce lawyer’s hourly fee. A bargain!)

Wife Masturbates During The Day. Good or Bad?

Reader Email:  Hi Athol, You’ve nailed down some great principles for creating a more attractive, thrilling marriage. I’ve seen great results, not only in my 9-year marriage, but in interactions with co-workers too.
I have a question. I’m happy having it discussed on the blog (anonymously) and was planning on just leaving a comment, but I didn’t want to hijack the post since my comment has nothing to do with your latest post. My wife and I have sex about 6 times a week and it’s a great sex life. She has in the last year started to masturbate, partly encouraged by me, to feel more sexual and increase libido. It’s now a daily occurrence with a vibrator while I’m at work. I have no complaints about our sex life, or even the masturbating, but I’m wondering if I’m hurting myself by encouraging this because it may weaken her associations of orgasms/pleasure to me since she’s frequently experiencing them separate from me now.  She states that she makes a conscious effort to focus and fantasize on me and us during the solo time and doesn’t use porn or other sources of erotica.  Does your wife think there could be any concerns of growing to accustomed to the vibrator?
Athol:  As long as there’s no problem with her becoming over stimulated / worn out with all the sex and masturbation, then there’s no problem.
The human body does know the difference between masturbation and having sex, so what’s going on here is more of the testosterone / sex drive hormone rather than the dopamine or oxytocin one.
Most women have orgasms more easily and stronger orgasms the more orgasms they have. So your wife is just very sexually fit. It’s use it or lose it, and she’s using it and got it. Sounds like a win.
Jennifer:  As long as she’s still having orgasms with you, rather than just during the day, it’s fine. If you’re having sex six times a week with her, I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong!

Facebook and Old Boyfriends and Girlfriends…

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post “The Roads Not Taken”:
What is your opinion of friending old contestants on facebook?
Athol: This is both simple and complicated.
On one hand it’s a very clear shortcut to losing your spouse to an affair. Old flames can reignite into an inferno of dopamine and desire amazingly quickly. Facebook is cited in 20% of all divorces as a contributing factor, so you’d be totally stupid to tolerate it happening. People only hunt up old friends they still have sexual interest in. Simply contacting them is a major indicator of interest. 
On the other hand, both Jennifer and I have old contestants as Facebook friends. Jennifer is naively trusting, so she basically does nothing. I pay attention and run a low level cockblock, which isn’t hard in that I quite like the guy and we chat probably as much as Jennifer does with him. There is significant distance with both involved as well and that’s a major factor in me being comfortable with it.
That being said, our computers face out into the room, we both have access to each others passwords, and half the time we’re on Facebook we’re sitting side by side and surfing over each others shoulders anyway. We kinda gossip with each other to be honest. You tell one of us something, you tell both of us something. (But that’s as far as it goes.)
We also have each other on GPS on our phones. Which if Jennifer wanted to cheat on me would be framed as “creepy and controlling”, and as “intimate and involved” if she’s into me. I just like to be watched….
So Jennifer and I have a very open access relationship. She’s able to get in my stuff and I’m able to get into hers. So if something was going on with either one of us, there would be a high likelihood of discovery. Now if Jennifer suddenly started closing off that access on me and acting evasive as to why, I would become suspicious of why that was happening, and start rolling out the Secret Squirrel approach.
It’s important to restate that I am a geek, and in this day and age, angry paranoid geeks can pretty much find out anything about you with the right computer and surveillance equipment. Computer access and public records are a beautiful thing. So if something was up, I would find out about it. If that sounds controlling and creepy, that’s because it’s controlling and creepy, but I’m just playing a Tit for Tat strategy. If she’s nice to me and open about what’s going on, I’m nice to her and open about what’s going on. If she wants to play Spy vs Spy, I’ll play Spy vs Spy.
As it is, we both play nice.
The other thing to think about is whether or not Facebook is a cause, or a symptom. If she’s into you, some random ex looking her up on Facebook isn’t going to matter. If she isn’t into you, it could be a random ex looking her up, it could be a co-worker, it could be her best friends husband, it could be a guy at the gym or a guy in a bar. If 20% of divorces mention Facebook as a factor, 80% of them do not.
So my approach is to allow Jennifer total freedom while granting her total access to me, and vice a versa. Then if someone sees something inappropriate starting to happen, they are meant to bust down hard on the other. So innocent until proven guilty, but don’t think for a minute we wouldn’t go Law and Order on each other. (And wow is writing a blog about monogamy a chastity belt!)
On a more positive note, just act like her lover and much of this resolves itself anyway. We text a lot and take up headspace in each other. It’s really not an endless torrent of sexy stuff either, half the time it’s just something funny we just saw or heard about. We’re involved and intimate.

The Roads Not Taken

Anonymous said in a comment to When You Discover You Were Her Plan B
Eh… while I see the general point, unless your mate has never dated before, chances are you’re a Plan B one way or the other. My wife would have married a previous boyfriend had he stuck around. I could have married (several) previous girlfriends had I not been so painfully beta at the time. Ergo, Plan B.
Athol: Some clarification is in order and some of these thoughts snapped into a better focus after I had written the post last night. (I have to write to think, if that is any help in explanation.)
Yes we all usually have prior love interests and roads not taken. I can think of three quite significant girlfriends/relationships that I had prior to meeting Jennifer. Two of whom would have resulted in bad marriages, one of whom potentially a good one but we’d possibly had more a volatile relationship and that would wear on me. There’s fourth woman that I actually passed on after she made a move on me, and looking back I can honestly say it’s probably one of my stupidest decisions ever with a woman. She’s fabulous and we would have had a really good marriage together.
So from that perspective, Jennifer isn’t even my Plan B… she’s Plan E. I think from that perspective I’m her Plan C.
However, we’re both each others number one priority now. We both hold each other in the center of our hearts and thoughts. In gamespeak we have oneitis for each other. So we really are each others Plan A right now. The plan really is both of us staying together in love together until one of us passes away in the others arms. For both of us now, Plan B involves using MMSL as a platform to finding the survivor a new partner after an acceptable period of grief. (Four or five years for Jennifer if I die, 17 minutes for me if she dies.)
As an aside, if the wayback machine dumped me in 1988 knowing what I know now about women, I probably would have worked quite hard to end up happily married to contestant number four, never left New Zealand and by all accounts probably had an easier life. That being said, without having moved to America, I would never have been a nurse, never worked human services, never been long distance for three years, never been so helplessly thrown in the deep end and forced to sink or swim. Without Jennifer, there simply would not be an MMSL to read about. And that’s as Gandalf says, “A comforting thought.”
And more importantly, I think Jennifer loves me more than anyone else would have. Well worth the trip.
So for the guys suffering with the discovery that they are still their wife’s Plan B, the real issue is that somewhere out there is their real Plan A now, and whoever that is occupies their thoughts and emotions, leaving minimal space for feelings or attraction for their husband. Meanwhile, she’s his Plan A / priority. So in practical terms, it’s no different than her having an affair with someone, which means you fight this situation with the same tools as you use to deal with an affair.
The kicker being that if her real Plan A ever shows up and wants her, she’ll very likely dump her husband like yesterday’s newspaper and that will be the last he’ll see of her. When you make someone else your priority, and allow them to see you as their option, don’t be surprised when they treat you like crap.

When You Discover That You Were Her Plan B

I’ve come across this scenario three times in the last few days. For whatever reason, it comes out that the husband is in fact the wife’s Plan B for choice in partner. She may like him, she may love him, they may have a great life with house, kids and careers, but he simply doesn’t occupy her head-space of hotness. Someone else does.
Case one the best friend of the husband was the wife’s prior boyfriend, but he dumped her. So ex-boyfriend Plan A, husband Plan B.
Case two was the first husband. The wife makes an international trip to “close the chapter” on the marriage, but discovers on the trip she’s pregnant to her boyfriend and the first husband rejects her. She returns, finalizes the divorce and marries her boyfriend. So first husband Plan A, second husband Plan B.
Case three she has some sexual abuse history and marries for safety to a nice guy. Seventeen years later she’s come to terms with her abuse and announces that she’s never been hot for her husband as really he’s just not her type and requests an open marriage. So “her type” is Plan A, her husband Plan B.
Now obviously the best solution would have been to never get involved with any of these women in the first place – if she’s obviously emotionally/sexually engaged with someone else, or not emotionally/sexually engaged with you – then don’t marry her unless you want to live a life of misery and desperation. But here at MMSL we do our best to play it through from where the ball lies, so that’s all I’ll say about how they got into the situation. You met a pretty girl, she smiles at you, you get all stupid. Shit happens.
The trouble is once she’s openly stated that she is not into you and/or you aren’t her Plan A, it’s a major turning point in the relationship. She’s basically coming out to you that the charade is over, and you aren’t really her sexual orientation. I mean it makes minimal practical difference if she says “I’m a lesbian” as opposed to “I’m just not sexually interested in you”.
Once she reveals the truth, you have few choices, and all of them suck.
(1) You tolerate the situation and try and make things work as before. The trouble with this is that once you go this route, you’re accepting her sexual interest in others by default and eventually she will act on it, so you’re really making a choice that screams weakness here.
(2) You emotionally firewall yourself from her but stay in the marriage for practical reasons (the kids, the house, the career yada yada yada) and start looking for emotionally connection and sex from others outside the relationship too. Of course this only works if you don’t have oneitis for her, and because you’re a Plan B type of guy… you have oneitis for her bad.
(3)  You start the divorce process, which totally sucks. The silver lining to this approach is that it just might shock her into reality as the rug is pulled out from under her feet and you start heading for the exit. There is the possiblity that dumping her sparks a quick (and genuine) hormonal response increasing her interest in you. There’s a whole lot of reality impacting when a good husband holding the moral high ground unleashes a dumping and goes no contact for a few weeks and her Body Agenda may just have a say in how things play out…
OMG girlfriend, we just lost our good thing that we could actually have!!! Okay forget about the other guy, let me turn the dopamine off about him. I’m gonna jack the dopamine for our good thing up and you gotta go get him back!!!
Though quite obviously, you should have your Sex Rank maxed as best you can to increase your chances of success at that gambit, and it is a gambit. It may work, it may not. In any case, all the options are hard roads to go.
 

Wives Denying Sex and The Porn Firewall

Here’s the situation…
After several months or a few years of his wife denying sex, the husband ends up seeking some kind of sexual solace in using porn to masturbate to. Typically he carefully hides this activity from his wife, because he knows the reaction it will get.
Sure enough though, eventually he slips up and she discovers the porn. Whereupon she reacts just the way he knew she would – with a huge explosion of rage. Porn, it will be explained to him, is demeaning to women, disgusting, immoral, wrong, disappointing, revolting and hurtful. It’s also very likely to be explained to him that his use of porn has now put the relationship back several steps, just as she was starting to feel like she could open up to him, but of course now she can’t, and it’s all his fault.
Thus The Porn Firewall is created.
Now I’m not mindlessly for or against porn. I can see benefits and concerns about it, and I do understand that many people have acute moral and religious concerns about it. But lets’ save the debate on the ethics of porn for another day and focus strictly on the direct effect The Porn Firewall has on the sexless relationship.
In a sexless relationship where the wife denies the husband, she’s reneging on the core agreement of the relationship and thus defrauding her husband. The defrauded relationship will only continue for as long as the husband allows himself to tolerate the situation. The primary unmet need of the husband is for sex, and this is typically drip fed to him by the wife with the express minimum to keep him engaged in a relationship with her. In short, he acts like a drug addict, and she acts like his supplier.
The unmet need for sex is a powerful impulse, and to keep a physically healthy male in an intimate relationship, but deny him sex, requires a heavy hand of control. Him actually sleeping with another woman and ending the relationship is a serious concern, but it’s also a big bold step for him to take. When he uses porn though, it’s a smaller less serious event, but it’s easily seen as a stepping stone to ending his sexual reliance on her, so she smacks it down as hard as she can. After all, if she lets him get away with using porn now, maybe in a few months he’ll be bold enough to push the limits a little further and visit a strip club, or meet someone for coffee, or start fantasizing about kissing someone else. After that it’s all a slippery slope to him meeting someone really serious and an affair starting, or him just leaving and filing for divorce.
It’s an old behavioral technique to smack down hard on a person making a minor infraction, to intimidate then into never even considering a major infraction. It’s exactly why when I went to high school most teachers would routinely yell at you to tuck your shirt in and straighten up your uniform. Late to class wasn’t even really an option, let alone talking back to a teacher.
Thus while The Porn Firewall will be framed as a moral issue, but the purpose of the Porn Firewall is to control the partner that wants to have sex through shame and intimidation.
So the question becomes what do you do when faced with with a screaming ball of feminine rage over possession of a small supply of rather vanilla boy-girl porn. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Take your pants off or shut up.” about sums it up the response. That will of course make her go absolutely ballistic, but then that’s what people do when you start breaking free of their control. So mission accomplished.
But importantly, before you push something like this to a showdown, make sure you’ve started the process of making yourself the best version of you possible. Ideally your Sex Rank should be higher than hers to do anything like this. If you’re a 5 and she’s a 7, the lack of sex is directly related to your lack of hotness relative to hers. A 5 husband sparking a porn showdown with a sexually denying 7 wife is going to end up a loser in the debate every time. Work your way up to a 7 or an 8 and it’s a much different set of outcomes you’re looking at.
If you don’t think “Take your pants off or shut up.” is going to work for you, try this one. “No.”  Then just let that hang in the air like a zeppelin of awkward.

We Got The Power!

Along with the rest of Connecticut the Kay family got taken down with the freak October snowstorm. We lost power around 11pm Saturday and finally the lights all came on again at 4:52am Thursday.

So here are the rules to surviving a long power outage.

1. Dress Warmly. Never mind how silly you look.

2. Have a gas BBQ Grill or gas stove.

3. If you have a gas grill, have a cast iron dutch oven. If you have this, you can cook anything in it. Soup, scrambled eggs, pasta, rice, boil water for drinks, interesting canned vegetable creations. Seriously, anything you can do in “one pot cooking” you can do on a gas grill with a cast iron dutch oven.

4. Put gas in the car as soon as you can. Lines for gas were over 100 cars in some places.

5. Get cash as soon as you can. Supermarkets often had emergency power to run lights and the cash registers. No debit/credit.

6. Coffee singles and hot chocolate singles.

7. Find any power source and recharge laptops and cell phones shamelessly. Laptops make great DVD players. Get at least three DVD’s for the 7th grade sleepover party happening on the Saturday night at the beginning of the power outage and re-watch them endlessly.

8. Yankee Candles burn for an exceptionally long time. A proper camping lantern throws an epic amount of light and saves on batteries amazingly well. We still haven’t replaced any for it.

9. Know that even though most of the kids fish are going to die, you must try a heroic water warming effort over multiple days anyway. It helps to think of how bored those fish are in those cruel little tanks, and how badly they want to die.

10. Everyone sleep in one bedroom. Humans are heated to 98.6 F. Therefore you are all heaters. So huddle together in one room.

Also sex during an extended power outage is amazing, well at least for me anyway lol. Mmmmmm warm vagina. Though I gotta admit sneaking into a frigid living room for a quickie was getting really old. Jennifer truly hates the cold with a primal passion and she stayed non-cranky all week.

So anyway…

…returning to regularly scheduled awesomeness.

I’ll be getting to everyone’s email sometime today hopefully.