Reader Story: Let’s Get Physical

Hi Athol,
I wanted to share 2 small,but significant, things that happened over the past couple of weeks.  I send this to you because I you seem to be interested in real-world “field notes” and experiences of those of us who are trying to utilize the MAP.
Episode 1:  As I’m changing after a shower following a hard-core workout…
Her out of the blue:  “So how does it feel to be sexier than me?”
Me: A bit stunned.  “What does that mean?”
Her: “Well now that you’re ripped you are sexier than me.  You used to be so skinny and I was pretty hot.  Now you’ve got these muscles and I have some pounds to lose…you just look better and have become sexier than me…”
This blew me away because I never knew she actually perceived us in that way.  Both in the past and now as well.   And clearly she is feeling a sex rank shift…at least in a physical sense.
I can’t agree more with what you have said many times before: if you do nothing else,  start eating better and get into shape.  That alone will give you so much confidence and make you “sexier”.
Episode 2:
Me:  Teasing my teenage daughter…..
Teenage daughter joking/teasing back: “Dad, I feel like I don’t even know you anymore”
Me replying Game-ly: “Ha, I don’t know who I am anymore either!”
Wife overhearing this conversation adding a bit cautiously:  “I don’t know who you are these days either!”
She said it jokingly but we both knew she meant it somewhat as well.
The first thing that struck me here was your post about destabilizing a relationship just a bit.  Apparently, the changes I have been making really are getting through to her and she is just not sure what to make of it.  I KNOW its making her a bit nervous.  Its a bit scary to me also as the older (more beta) way was much more predictable – but full of all the usual negative consequences.
I will add that while the sex is getting better (not where I want it yet but improving), its actually our overall relationship that is getting much better and stronger.  She’s always been a very strong, almost dominant personality and my changes over the past few years (but especially over the last half a year or so) have SLOWLY been whittling that away.  She is now deferring to me more, cozying into me (almost melting into me) as close as she can get at night, coming to me for virtually all decisions, etc…  It has been a slow but tangible change.  Often I’m scared shitless myself as we assume these new, different roles.  But I’m also extremely excited about the future.  They key so far has been slow steady change, patience, persistence and growing some balls.
Athol:  Giggty giggty giggty, allllllright.


  1. Yes growing your balls back is a good step.

    Well done.

    Best of luck as you continue forward.

  2. Jean-Luc LeGame says:

    Similar to my experiences. My lady has definitely noticed my physical transformation since I've been hitting the weights and watching what I eat. She's also stated how I've been "acting different" but she's not sure why…The MAP works.

  3. Great post. I have a wife with a very dominant personality as well. I'm going to push forward with the MAP as well. By July 4th, I expect big changes. I'm 30 lbs overweight so my body itself will be much better. But my attitude is going to take an active shift as well.

  4. Congrats. Nice to see it working.
    Be ready for some.critical tests that you must pass. Her comments are both a recognition of you and worry on her. She is vocalizing it so its like "does my ass look fat."
    1. She sees the chamge so her thought "what is he up to and WHY?" Reimforce the +ive alpha and some beta. I want you but with these changes.
    2. She has lost the dominant role and she is ADMITING that you are more attractive. Her self confidence is hit so be ready for sensitivity as she transitions to first officer.
    3. With these hits to her comfortable patterns she wants to see if you are a leader worth following. Be ready for some Major shit tests. Both hold firm so she knows you mean it but be reasonable so she knows you wont go powermad if given the lead. Pass and your laughing. Fail and new kind of shitstorm as you now have two captains no followers.
    4. Once she accepts lay out expectations. With the pressure off.i.e. You are staying you are leading and you want HER she just wants to know what to do. You have given her a new job. Lay out the description just like your first day at a new job. Help her settle in.
    Good luck. Wonderful to see so many making it work.

  5. CantBeJustMe says:

    Awesome post. Keep it up. I've known most of what's in Athol's book for years. Problem is I never put it all together and how it relates to my marriage. I always focuses on the changes she should make and didn't realize that I can't control that, only me. Once I can honestly say I've done EVERYTHING in my power, then it's time to consider letting her know that she's not meeting MY needs as Husband, and go from there. It's a slow process.

  6. > "So how does it feel to be sexier than me?"

    I was wondering if this is a variation of the "Do these pants make my ass look fat" test.

    Then Athol would say that you should hear this as "blah blah blah blah SEX blah blah" & get sxy/cocky with her.

  7. Jason
    It is the same but in there is an acknoledgement of change in sex rank. For many women rank is a source of power so this is like them saying to a guy "so whats it like now that i make more than you." we all know how thar goes over.
    So it is a chance for a major win but not as hardcore alpha only. Take charge a la ass is fat but also address the insecurity in the admission.
    Many may think it but she SAID it.

  8. Ian Ironwood says:

    That's pretty much what it is. And that's pretty much how you should respond.

    Horseman's observations about the coming Shit Tests are spot-on. Expect them, and expect them to come out of nowhere. When they do, just handle it. Even if that means shutting her down completely.

    Yesterday Mrs. Ironwood tried to "suggest an alternative" to a carefully laid-out scheduling issue I'd put together, an alternative that would have made things nominal easier on the back end but would require a whole lot of effort and last-minute re-arrangements on my part, with minimal effort on her part. It was a mild shit-test, as opposed to a legitimate attempt to improve the situation. I listened respectfully to her reasons, waited a moment, and then said,

    "Nah, I'm going to stick to the plan I made."

    I waited for the storm of protest, the counter-arguments, the persuasion, all of which would have been possible six months ago. But instead she said,

    "Okay." And that was it.

    An important thing to remember about female psychology (and ladies, I mean no disrespect by this), is that while women do want to participate in the decision-making process by contributing alternatives, they do not necessarily have to have their alternatives acted upon in order to be satisfied with their level of participation.

    That's a Red Pill revelation of my own. My First Officer likes to offer alternatives ("Options, Number One?") even in the face of a well-wrought plan. By doing so she is not necessarily trying to undermine my authority or even assume control, she is providing an alternative that even she may see as inferior . . . but she has the expectation that if it is inferior, that you will shoot it down and hold steady to your original plan. And she can be satisfied with that, as long as you give it your appropriate attention and consideration first. Because her actual point of the shit-test wasn't to get me to change my plans 'just 'cause', it was to elicit my attention and consideration. Once that mission was accomplished, we could move on without repercussion. Had her plan be superior to mine, I would have of course incorporated it into my own, but I would not have adopted hers wholesale without a very compelling argument . . . which she very well could have had.

    The "how does it feel to be sexier than me?" question is the same thing: a plea for attention and consideration. And she will follow it up with further tests of greater magnitude and complexity as she attempts to find out "what you're up to". As long as you stand firm and steady as she spins around, you'll be fine. Buckle, and she'll smell blood in the water and possibly resort to pettiness.

    But don't back down. Redouble your efforts. Go all James Bond on her ass, and see how fast she tries to keep up.

  9. Take anon above and this: " how does it feel? Get that ass over here and i'll show you. " then grab her and lay her like tile.

  10. Go all James Bond on her ass??

  11. This is a great post. It's like Breaking Bad's theme of unforeseen consequences. It's one thing to do it, and another to properly handle the aftermath. Man I have a lot to learn.

  12. My wife said almost the same thing to me. Totally out of the blue. I had never discussed Sex Rank or MMSL with her. But one day she said I need to eat more because I'm getting too sexy for her comfort level.

    It's like women are born knowing this stuff instinctively. I had to learn it in my 40s from the Internet. Better late than never, I guess.

    Also, one of my wife's friends is known in their circle for saying anything and everything that's on her mind, no filter. She's a little older, but very active, European, and very blunt about sex. One day, the friend saw me at the club. The next day, the friend stopped my wife in her tracks to tell her that I am now sexier than she is, so she'd better start giving me lots of sex because I am now turning other womens' heads.

    It's like she'd written the Primer and was quoting it verbatim. Only she's about 70 and from Germany.

  13. Ian Ironwood says:

    It's the appeal to the sophisticated masculine. If she's remarking that he's "more sexy" than she is, then that is a powerful sign of interest despite whatever else falls out of her mouth. Going more Conan isn't probably going to accentuate this any more than it already has. The primal Alpha barbarian warrior thing is great for working out and flexing that Alpha muscle . . . but to continue to both maintain her interest and challenge her sexuality in a productive way, you need to appeal to her desire for cultured sophistication . . . James Bond.

    James Bond is the modern Scarlet Pimpernel, a cold-blooded killer with exquisite tastes in the finer things in life. James Bond is the reason Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is so expensive (it's JBs coffee of choice, so when ever someone gets money they just HAVE to drink it), the reason by Walther PPKs still have a market, and why some women will still drop their panties at a well-delivered teasing line if done in conjunction with champagne or fine single-malt.

    Bond is a kind of ultimate Alpha, just like Conan . . . only in a different direction. He's the picture of masculine sophistication. He has a working knowledge of "the finer things in life" which he shares vicariously with his many women. He loves gadgets, precision machinery, and beautiful women and knows how to do so with consummate poise. He is the best example of the Alpha Sophisticate icon I can think of.

    So "go all James Bond on her ass" translates roughly as "Increase your displays of cultural sophistication in a manner consistent with your ability to confidently present them but in such a way that inspires admiration and excitement in your woman." Learn about fine wines. Coffee. Chocolate. Sushi. Sports cars. Airplanes. Art. Architecture. Buy a tux. Take her to the opera or ballet. Introduce her to new cuisines and study enough to know what you are talking about. Make a surprise, "spontaneous" date to a local art museum. There has to be some area of human culture that you have an interest in, one that could benefit from study and practiced sophistication. She already acknowledges that you are attractive . . . now hammer that thing home until her head is spinning from excitement.

    The goal is to compound her natural attraction to you with an appreciation of your mastery of cultural affairs. Otherwise the thought "oh, he's hot and all, but he's kinda boring" never occurs to her. Babes don't get bored with James Bond. Laid and shot at, sure, but never bored.

    Hope that helps.

  14. Ian Ironwood says:

    Don't underestimate the power of Preselection, even by a 70 year old.

    I got hit on the other day by a shallow, vapid drug rep at my son's pediatrician's office. She was hot (8+), blonde, well-appointed, and had utterly no chance with me (married, kids, happy) but I of course did a little casual flirting just 'cause I just gotta be me and I was setting an example. I didn't mention a word of it, but my son told my daughter about "how dad almost got picked up by this hot babe" and by nightfall I was being thoroughly interrogated before the natural result of preselection kicked in.

    Fair enough — hot blonde, professional woman, no real danger. Two days later I'm at the grocery store with my daughter and a much, much more mature woman (in her late 60s, early 70s) approaches me to ask me to reach something on the top shelf. Good-natured casual flirtations results, as I flatter her for fun and good neighborly relations — thought nothing of it.

    But then that night my daughter busts out with "Mommy, there was another one after Daddy today!" and talks about this "much older woman" was "all over me" in the canned goods section. Much lively debate over how I handled it, what was proper, etc.

    But the kicker was that night. Long story short, she didn't want me more than four feet away for the rest of the night, and made certain I was far, far too tired to respond to flirtations from anyone before I went to work the next day.

    The female mind is an amazing and mysterious thing. But sometimes it is refreshingly consistent.

  15. Thank You,
    Excellent explanation.

  16. This! Or, "well I guess you better do something to catch up".

  17. Yeah, I was going for that alpha/beta combo… Letting her know you *want* her, and want her to be the best version of her she can be. For both of you.

    If all else is good, taking the pressure off can give her enough breathing room to figure out on her own what she needsto do.

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