Three Questions, Three Answers

Quest had a bunch of questions in a comment…

Quest:  I am still running the MAP and believe it will eventually allow me to get to this homework assignment. By the way, I think your book may save my marriage, so again I want to thank you and Jennifer. Like Average Married Guy I am looking forward to MMSL 2012. Do you know when it will be out?

Please let me throw out a couple of more questions. What advice do you have on marital counselling? Can it help?   Also what do you make of the many women enjoying Fifty Shades of Grey?

Athol:  Three questions, so lets go one at a time.

Fifty Shades of Grey:  This is essentially a romance novel with emphasis on some BDSM erotica as part of the plot. It grew out of being Twilight fan fiction of stories of Edward and Bella, then grew into it’s own trilogy of novels. So essentially it’s hitting the same demographic as Twilight did… horny bored housewives craving the same erotic thrills their college boyfriend gave them before he dumped them and they had to marry normal guys.

Look there’s really no mystery with this. Women like sex. They like kinky twisted rough sex… as long as the guy turns them on. It’s a book about kinky twisted rough sex a girl has with a guy that really turns her on.

I think I’ll get Jennifer a copy and find out how she likes it.

Marriage Counseling:  I gotta be honest, I get a ton of email where “marriage counseling” is mentioned in the same breath as “waste of time.” I’m not a wild fan of it. I suspect cats like going to the vet more than men like going to marriage counseling. Nothing like losing the argument at home and then having to rehash it again for $125 an hour.

If you have some kind of serious communication issue where you just don’t know what the other is thinking and feeling, marriage counseling can help. It however won’t make you more attractive to her. If the problem is that she’s just not attracted to you, marriage counseling can be counter-productive in that she can start with vague feelings of lack of attraction, and really explore them more fully so she gets to grips with exactly how unattracted she is to you. My hunch is that most couples are communicating just fine and walk into the marriage counselors office knowing extremely well how the other thinks and feels, they just don’t like how each other thinks and feels. They walk in looking not so much for communication but some kind of resolution. If you’re walking in with her being unattracted to you, it’s not going to be weighed toward resolving in your favor.

That being said, when emotions are really volatile, the expression of thoughts and feelings can do as much damage as good. Sometimes it’s the words spoken in the moments of anger that carry venom greater than intended or justified. Calming things down a little and talking things through with someone can help then.

In short, marriage counseling is talk, which if you actually need help talking, is a good thing and worth it. However talk rarely makes men more attractive to women. So marriage counseling is also good for stalling for time while you get your crap together and run the MAP.

Just say the phrase “Men of action” and “Men of talk” out loud and see how you feel about saying that lol.

The Next Primer:  I’m struggling to finish it. It’s been a huge push through to get to this point and two and a half years of double duty of my nursing job and MMSL have worn me down. I’ve got this odd mix of feeling crappy that the book isn’t done, and yet the surreal experience of having actually written two books and doing so well that I’m done with the day job at the end of May.

It’s also become apparent I’m not going to have material to add to it year after year. The 2011 edition is a little too comprehensive as it is. Writing the book is significantly harder than writing the blog and it’s all consuming when I’m seriously writing. Also going over the same material feels like I got held back a grade and have to do it all over again. This time around I’m going to get the book much closer to what I imagined it was going to be and I’m writing to please myself as much as anyone else. When it’s done, it’s done. After that I have a ton of other book ideas to get to do. I’d rather do them than repeat the Primer again and again. So the next edition will be it for the foreseeable future.

So anyway – the 2011 Primer is still a great book. The Second Edition will simply be an improved version of that book. If you need it now, buy it now. When the Second Edition is out, I’ll tell you what’s new and different.

Jennifer:  Okay now I need to read Fifty Shades of Grey…



  1. Skip it. Get the original. The Story of O.

  2. Angeline says:

    I agree with H. The author freely admitted she knows nothing about BDSM or the dynamics of dom/sub, she just wrote this as chapters of fan/fic on the Twilight website, and those fans liked it. Not a ringing endorsement of quality.

  3. What cracks me up is that 50 Shades is really awful writing. Why is 50 Shades so popular when there are far better books that hit the same buttons on the market. Answer that question and you’ll learn something about viral marketing and being in the right time and the right place with the right (if not best) product.

  4. My wife can’t put them down. The writing and the authenticity are not the draw. It’s the explicit sex and the indulgence in it that she likes.

    FTW – while she was reading it in bed after we had sex I said “You haven’t had enough yet?” And clued between her legs and started again while continued to read. She finally couldnt hold out and threw the book down. She said the next morning that it was in the highlight reel. (an expression we use to refer to very memorable sex). So I like the books.

  5. If you want a BDSM novel, check out Anne Rice’s take on Sleeping Beauty.

  6. Shimshon says:

    Regarding marriage therapy, I could write a lot about my own personal experience. My wife has an almost cultish affinity for a certain type of therapy with a trademarked name. The truth is, as far as therapy methods go, it’s pretty good. Still, we would have been divorced months ago if I left things solely up to the therapy. After years of reading about Game, first at Vox Popoli, I started my own personal journey last fall.

    Back to therapy. A recent insight I had, at least regarding female therapists, is that you can use Game on them just as much as on your wife. Not to bed them, of course (well, I hope that’s obvious!). But to enlist in your own effort to change the relationship dynamic.

  7. “That being said, when emotions are really volatile, the expression of thoughts and feelings can do as much damage as good. Sometimes it’s the words spoken in the moments of anger that carry venom greater than intended or justified. Calming things down a little and talking things through with someone can help then.”

    Athol, I second this. In fact, my marriage ended the night my exhusband called me a fucking cunt in front of an eight year old boy. He was frustrated because I wouldn’t agree to do something absolutely ridiculous and unneccesary for him (a shit test). The fact that my nephew had just witnessed such complete disrespect and hatred was the final straw on my camel’s back. You simply cannot pretend that the words never happened; once they’re out, they’re out.

    We had (wasted) spent a year in couple’s counseling already, but I found that meeting with her on my own was much more helpful. She was the one who threw the responsibility of my own control and happiness back into my face: What did YOU do wrong? (Answer: I tolerated it the first time, which “gave” him permission to be a repeat offender. )

    Overall, though, I think therapists just agree with everything the wife whines about because it makes her feel good in the short run and, for the long run, continue to schedule ongoing sessions ($$$). If you want a manageable wife, just pay for her own weekly individual counseling, and then she won’t take out all her frustrations on you when you come home. Some women have remarkable tolerance for absolutely intolerable behavior and situations so long as they have an outlet to vent (to add to Therapists don’t have the incentive to fix anything in your marriage, because unhappy couples are their bread & butter. (Your friends do, of course, because nothing is more frustrating than listening to someone who complains but never does anything to remedy the situation.)

  8. More on counseling … my ex and I did plenty in the last 10 years of our marriage. The whole therapy system is broken, if you ask me.

    My ex chose not to talk about his non-stop cheating. I didn’t know about it, so it never came up as a problem. He kept blaming me for being frigid, that was discussed plenty. I was shy, therapy helped with that. I then kept trying to get him interested, but of course, there was nobody at home, LOL. Even after I discovered his cheating he refused to talk about it or accept any blame.

    Athol is better than every marriage counselor we saw, put together. I got more from one hour of reading the blog than all the therapy sessions. And I plan to use it in my next relationship. Thanks!

  9. Brian M. says:

    I’m about 2/3rds of the pay through 50 Shades right now as a study in female psychology. It is a terribly written book, worse in style and language even than Twilight, but I think that’s the draw. It’s basically a young adult fiction with poorly described sex scenes.

    The BDSM is really tame too, they make sure that all of the really edgy stuff is off limits and then resort to basically light bondage and spankings. Yawn. Anyways, this means that it’s totally safe for housewives to read.

    My biggest problem with it is how unbelievable the “Alpha” character is in the book. Here’s some supposed 27 year old CEO who is never described actually working except for when he is depicted ordering around his minions on personal errands. His mother shows up at unexpected times, like when he is having sex, and he kowtows to her. The main character , we are led to believe, really wants to “control” this besmitten young lady despite having an endless number of blond bombshells at the office who do his bidding. This sets up many unrealistic expectations in the minds of the reader.

    Ladies, when you finally find that 27-year-old, “gorgeous”, CEO, who is interested in your boring ass, he’s going to be so sick of bossing people around all day that he’s going to be the one that wants to be tied up and spanked. Just be ready for that.

  10. Skip Ann Rice
    AND The Story of O
    Everybody LOVES the latest
    and only the latest B & D story

  11. I just want to say to Athol, congrats on “being done with the day job at the end of May.”!
    Clearly you have stuck a chord with a lot of people through your writing. My dad is an author and I know writing a book on a deadline (even self-imposed) can consume you. Don’t lose sight of the fact you have a natural talent for this and people are hungry for whatever you have to write on this topic!

  12. About 50 Shades of Grey – the main Alpha character is only 27? Meh.
    If he would have been 37 or older, I might have sampled it. (Thinking George Clooney types.)
    But 27? That’s hardly older than a frat boy.

  13. I had to take some courses about counselling when I was in University, it was a requirement for my degree.

    It was painful, the only thing that made it better was I always paired up for the practical work with a hot russian girl. I think she was hoping I would leave my girlfriend at the time (who is now my wife and mother to my two boys) but that’s another story…

    Any form of counselling is not designed to solve your problems for you. Generally speaking, it is designed to help you communicate with each other better and come to your own conclusions through the help of the counsellor providing you with direction and suggestions in communicating.

    So in my opinion, it is worth doing if you want to communicate some things with your wife but suck at it on your own. If you and your wife/husband communicate fairly well and have some underlying issues going to counselling will likely not solve those issues for you. You will be paying someone to help you communicate better and get to your own conclusions on your own.

  14. Athol,
    I just wanted to give you a word of encouragement for your book! The 2011 version is great. I’ve bought a copy and two copies for friends who needed it. I do look forward to the 2012 version, but I don’t think you should feel bad for not having it out yet. (As an aside, I think that a goal of having a new version each year is unnecessary — it doesn’t seem that human nature, or our understanding of it, is changing that fast).

    It is clear that you are balancing a variety of things, to include keeping current with the “Red Pill” community and responding to emails. Those things have extremely high value. I’d rather see you take your time and publish 2nd edition when it is solid with sufficient new material/insights than something just thrown out there to meet a deadline.

    I’d just like to say, keep up the good work

  15. Don’t worry about getting new material for the Primer. Look at all those ridiculous “Chicken Soup” books. There’s what, 15 different versions now? You’ll be able to do the same about sex, no sweat. (lol, maybe some sweat if it’s about sex…sorry bad pun)

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