Do Whatever Works

Reader:  Is it really about the laundry getting done or you personally working the “nest”. I mean, my time is really valuable and is better spent on other things while I could hire someone to do the laundry cheaper. But, if it’s actually about me doing it that gets her going, I’ll do it lol…
Athol: Run an experiment and see what works best. If getting in a little extra help makes her respond best, then great. If watching you pick up a little more works best, then do that.
There’s no prizes for doing everything exactly as I suggest, and frankly I suggest so many potential things for you to do that there’s no possible way any one man could do them all the time. The core of my advice is simply to get into motion and be actively self-improving with what you do.
I’ve said often before that in terms of the bedroom, only 30% of what you try will really work for a couple. So if you try ten new things, seven of them won’t be all that great, but the three that do work, will change things for the better forever. So you have to push your boundaries and experiment together.
It’s the same thing outside the bedroom. Maybe the L-Spot really gets her excited and happy. Maybe it’s cooking for her. Maybe it’s playing with the kids. Maybe it’s just telling her to drop everything and go out somewhere new. You just have to keep experimenting with things to see what works. Be active and in motion.
Even then, after a while of doing something that does work, it will start being less effective. We all adapt to things very quickly. So just like “muscle confusion” training in something like P90X, you need to keep trying new things and recycling the old ones that worked. Rinse and repeat.
I mean I can do a superb roast chicken that’s crazy easy to cook… but I don’t serve it everyday.


  1. So is the P90X working out for you?

  2. IYT licensed first mate. go figure. says:

    Hey Athol, this is OT to this post, but I figured you wouldn't mind overmuch if I left this here.

    First, thanks. I'm not your target demographic, but I still appreciate the thought you put into all of your observations, and the positive note that permeates your blog.

    My question revolves around this: so much of PUA and Game (both in bars and LTRs) revolves around the premise that what women say and what women do are two distinctly different things. I see the case for this, and won't argue against it. I'm not special — my social programming will make me do this at times. That said, I think I'm a bit of a 'red pill' woman, and am very aware of what I want and what I need in a relationship. I know I'm a First Officer, I'm sexually submissive, etc. — I'm seeking a 51/50 partnership. I've been able to articulate this since before reading your blog, although I think you've given me more eloquent words for it (First Officer metaphor is great, especially since I am actually a licensed First Officer).

    So… how does me being aware of this change the game, as it were? Am I going to be running into a bit of a frustrating catch-22 by seeking a man who understands and internalizes all of these theories, but then (logically) hesitates to believe me when I say "this is what I want"?

    'Cause I'm pretty sure I know what I want. When I come home in a crappy mood and take it out on him, I don't want him to be a supplicating turd. I want him to tell me to knock it off, accept my apology, listen to my unhappy 'work sucked' rant, then give me a swat on the ass and tell me something else will suck later tonight.

    I guess the issues is, I can see myself getting very upset in the future (and have gotten very upset in the past) when I lay it all out verbally, and have a guy refuse to believe me. I get it, but … what gives?

  3. Athol, you've mentioned that most men tend towards having too much beta. Do you think the same can be said for most women? Maybe this is why there are so many companionate marriages around?

    For women to add more alpha do you think that the tactic is similar – to experiment more sexually and try new things?

  4. "I've said often before that in terms of the bedroom, only 30% of what you try will really work for a couple. So if you try ten new things, seven of them won't be all that great, but the three that do work, will change things for the better forever."

    This would be fine. I could accept this. It's the fact that three out of ten things MIGHT work really well, five or six "aren't so great", but one or two cause her to believe you are some kind of sexual deviant that's crawled out of a moral abyss. These particular turds in the punchbowl (and they don't have to be THAT off the wall) mean that by the time you get back to status quo ante, you've forgotten what worked, and your inclination to take the risk to find out again is pretty low.

  5. @Krysie Athol's general advice to women who are seeking to up their Alpha is to get into very good physical shape and be more sexually adventurous and available. For more ideas I suggest you look under the label titled "Girl Game" on the right side of the webpage

  6. 'Cause I'm pretty sure I know what I want. When I come home in a crappy mood and take it out on him, I don't want him to be a supplicating turd. I want him to tell me to knock it off, accept my apology, listen to my unhappy 'work sucked' rant, then give me a swat on the ass and tell me something else will suck later tonight. "quote"

    I didn't realize the wife found this site. My wife co-owns a decent sized small business. I put up with her ranting about work. But ignore it kindly.

  7. You sound like you may get it. Male's are simple. Keep our ball's empty and our belly fed. We will ignore the minor drama females like to be involved in. We prefer a nap.

  8. Athol, this blog is super excellent. I am a single guy who reads your blog and sometimes I am wondering wow… Now I think these are stuff that could be handy for when I get married if they dont get outdated… but wouldnt that mean I am holding on to the oneitis as you so called it? One thing though I know is I am so beta and trying to get out of it, but it seems more like it makes me even more beta… How do I not go into a relationship this way? I could try the other bloggers, but it seems they are not thinking one day to marry, its more like how many more notches…

  9. Regarding getting help around the house, does hiring a hot young thing help qualify you?

  10. the reader who submitted the question should just shower his wife with expensive gifts. sounds like more his style, would probably be easier for him and just as effective.

  11. Hmm, I bet the returns on this one diminish at lightning speed if you just personally assume all laundry duties one day, BUT if your wife always does the laundry herself and one day when she's stressed, you quietly (and correctly) just do it yourself, out of nowhere… I'm guessing that would get a reaction. Probably the same for hiring someone, if you have a permanent laundry-doer it won't get you points for long.

  12. Confused Female says:

    I'm curious about the answer to Anon 12:31's question as well.

    I'm not married but I'm living with my boyfriend. He's unemotional and does not verbalize his feelings or give compliments. He is affectionate in his own way, mostly right before sex, but I'm starting to resent how he is only affectionate at that time. I guess maybe he's alpha in the sense that he has a good job, supports me financially (we relocated to another country and I couldn't get a job right away), people follow his lead in social situations, girls are always throwing themselves at him (and he doesn't flirt back), and he barely flinches in stressful situations. So I'm obviously attracted and turned on by him on the alpha front, but as you mentioned before, I need beta to feel safe and secure.

    Beta-wise, he's lacking. I like hugs and attention, having playful conversation and someone to cry on if I get bad news or whatever. He doesn't do well with emotions and says its very hard for him to express them, especially verbally. I get frustrated and say that I don't think it's such an impossible thing to ask for (more affection, compliments) because it builds comfort for me. He then says that my insecurity is not something he can fix and therefore my problem. What do I say to this??

    Now that I realize that I also want the First Officer role, it's frustrating to try and explain to him what I want. I leave out the marriage part but trying to explain how I trust him to take the lead or take the initiative to do a fun activity together (including sex) is so frustrating because he doesn't seem to get it. I tried to tell him I want a bit more attention throughout the day (texts, hugs, conversation, asking how I'm doing) because that sets me up to be much more ready for sex later. He does have a busy and stressful job, but I can't just turn on and off when he's ready to "relieve" his stress. It's like he just wants to get it done with so that he can relax after. It kind of takes the fun out of things makes my hamster run like crazy.

    So I have this issue where I'm young, cute, very very willing to have sex with my attractive boyfriend, but when he shuts me down bc he says he's tired or doesn't pay attention to me unless right before sex, it makes me less willing to give him what he wants when he wants it because I'm not getting what I want (beta attention). I think, Athol, that you said on another post that it's rewarding bad behavior if I keep giving him sex because it doesnt encourage him to change, but I want sex, too!

  13. Confused: You've got yourself a cold fish boyfriend and it's very unlikely he's going to change into the more cuddly, warm type you want. You can tell him, nag him, supplicate and beg; it might work for a short while, but basically this is who he is. I had one of these types for a boyfriend; usually they come out of a stern, suck-it-up, somewhat or very dysfunctional family.

    You can either accept him as is or move on to someone less chilly and more emotionally healthy; I strongly advise the latter.

    (they're always affectionate right BEFORE sex!)

  14. "I think, Athol, that you said on another post that it's rewarding bad behavior if I keep giving him sex because it doesnt encourage him to change, but I want sex, too!"

    Yeah, this is kind of a problem. I'm realizing that I can try to tell my husband till I'm blue in the face that I have a real issue, but as long as I'm still generally nice, willing to have sex and not actively threatening to walk out, why should he care? He's not the one who's unhappy. In fact if I would just quit telling him that I'm unhappy, he'd be loving life. So I guess the real question is, am I in fact willing to DO something? Because if not, I'm basically saying the status quo is ok.

    This would all apply to men as well, and is what the site is about of course :-)

  15. Another Anonymous here….just call me Orange.
    Confused: Your description sounds very familiar, rather like my husband. We've been together for 21 years, married for 10. I'm going to strongly disagree with the other anonymous here. Your boyfriend sounds like a rather serious, analytical, self-directed kind of guy. Is he very steady and dedicated? i.e. makes sure he's there for you when he says he will and plans very carefully for your future together? How does he interact? Instead of giving you a hug when he gets home, what does he do? Talk about how the stock market did? or his most recent work accomplishment?

    Where am I disagreeing here you might ask? It can seem a little cold. Now I have to admit that my husband will swing by and feel my up while I'm chopping onions…but compliments? teddy bears? flowers? These are not something he can dish out easily.

    It has taken me a long time to accept these things and a long time to understand communicating with him better, but I have seen huge improvements to both our happiness in the past year. I'd highly recommend the Bob Grant ebooks ( love those!) and the takeninhand website. It might sound extreme to you or him but I personally have found it incredibly helpful. Here's a couple of things that I learned-

    His actions really are expressions of love and I treat them as such.

    Trying to explain any of this stuff rationally only sets off his super analytical, competitive streak and starts a debate where I lose because I'm "weaker" emotionally…i.e. I want validation where he doesn't need validation himself.

    If I just talk about how I feel, it gets in through the shields. Instead of asking for more compliments, I tell him that I feel unloved or lonely. Somehow that doesn't trip the same response at all. He'll usually give me a cuddle and a kiss. I can't tell you what taken in hand has done for our sex life….rather amazing.

    I hope that I read your question right and that you can relate to what I'm talking about.


  16. Confused Female says:

    Thanks to Orange for the response. I know he shows his love in other ways (supports me, taking us on vacation), but I waffle between trying to realize this and being grateful to him (because I also have flaws) vs. being resentful and sounding like a self-entitled brat. I sometimes have streaks of "I shouldn't settle", especially when I feel that giving comfort and security in the form of affection should come naturally to someone you're attracted to physically and emotionally. Can someone explain why I feel like this?

  17. Confused Female – tried the 5 Love Languages stuff yet?

  18. Confused Female says:

    I looked into the 5 languages concept and a bit confused which one speaks to me most…am I being greedy by wanting all of it? I guess the gifting isn't as high as everything else but I definitely want words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service…maybe in that order but it always switches around. As for the boyfriend: I have no idea. He doesn't react to stress and he doesn't react to affection…he says he has emotions but he just doesnt show them, which drives me nuts. I feel like I've tried all of them and he just doesnt. react. (&)(^&&*^*#)(*@!!!!!

  19. Confused Female says:

    Actually, I think quality time is my primary language…I get very annoyed when he comes home and doesn't say much, only to go watch tv or play video games before paying attention to me. Maybe it's because he needs to "zone out" first but…ugh, this is when I start to feel too needy. Gross.

  20. Looking Glass says:

    @Confused Female:

    Pick the one that fits, take the quiz (it's like 30 quick questions), then you'll have your answers.

  21. Athol-
    I absolutely agree with your recommendation of the 5 Love Languages. My two languages are Quality Time and Touch. I am a very Alpha female and my 2nd marriage was to a Beta male. I would have had problems with that except for the fact that he read the book,understood those two languages, and spoke them to me daily. I could clean the house, weed the garden, do the laundry (all after a 10hour work day) and he would sit in a chair, reading to me or talking as I worked. I was happy as a pig in mud. In the bedroom, we alternated alpha roles. It worked, even though outside the bedroom I was the alpha. I guess I'm just saying that perhaps the whole Captain/First Officer thing + a good dose of full love tank can do wonders for a relationship.

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