Video – Online and on demand.

Not everyone reads books and if you learn best from hearing someone talk, or watching a video, we’ve got you covered.


The Married Guy’s Guide to Wife Series

If you’re a long time MMSL blog reader and have read the Married Man Sex Life Primer and/or The Mindful Attraction Plan, you will have already come across many of the concepts covered in this series. There are however a number of important additions and clarifications from early material that are well worth discovering. For lack of a better term, this is about as close to a MMSL Primer 2 as there will ever be. The most important improvement is the ordering of the material for someone new to Athol’s work and in a stressful situation. It is explicitly designed to give you exactly the knowledge you need, and the actions you need to carry out, exactly when you need them and without throwing any distractions in your path. If you are new to Athol’s work, please start here.


1 Part One NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife: The Complete Series

This is all FIVE PARTS totaling 26 episodes and a total runtime of 20 hours.

 

All 26 Episodes are live! Click here!

 

For July 2015 there is a 20% discount code  JULYSALE


1 Part One NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife 1

The Truth About What Really Attracts Women

Core Questions: Why is my marriage floundering? It started off so good and now it’s like we’re roommates. How do I get it back to like it was at the start of the relationship?

Key Thoughts: That marriage is always a sexual relationship. Sexual relationships are driven by three primary biological drives. Understanding these drives gives you the tools you need to start recovering your relationship. Introduction to Alpha and Beta concepts.

All 5 Episodes are live! Click here!

 

There is currently a $10 discount code MARRIEDGUY for buying all five episodes for July 2015.


2 Part Two NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife 2

Creating Positive Relationship Momentum

Core Question: I’ve learned the basics, now how do I act as quickly as possible get to the point where our relationship is good and having lots of sex again?

Key Thoughts: Relationships have momentum and your best bet is focusing on a long term strategy of increasing her interest level in you, rather than pushing for sex when she doesn’t want it. Further development of the concepts of Alpha and Beta to find the precise flavor of each she best responds to, and which flavors of each she doesn’t really care about.

All 6 Episodes are live! Click here!

 

There is currently a $10 discount code MARRIEDGUY for buying all five episodes for July 2015.


3 Part Three NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife 3

Being the Strong Man She Wants to Follow

Core Questions: How do I get her to stop being disrespectful to me? How do I stop the fights about nothing? When she fights dirty, how do I handle it?

Key Thoughts: Most wives look to their husbands to take on a confident, relaxed family leadership role. When the husband does this, a great deal of relationship drama disappears. In addition it also starts evoking a more positive sexual interest in him. This introduces important concepts like Leadership Moments and handling the internal power dynamics of a happy marriage.

All 5 Episodes are live! Click here!

There is currently a $10 discount code MARRIEDGUY for buying all five episodes for July 2015.


4 Part Four NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife 4

Bedroom Confidence and Responsive Sexual Desire

Core Question: How do I get her to be really, really sexual with me?

Key Thoughts: Most women have a responsive desire and best respond to an attractive man making confident sexual approaches on them. This series covers fine tuning initiations that actually work. Knowing how to make her want to push her sexual boundaries with you. How to let go and enjoy the sex more yourself. Plus how to make outside the bedroom playfulness turn into inside the bedroom fun for both of you.

All 5 Episodes are live! Click here!

There is currently a $10 discount code MARRIEDGUY for buying all five episodes for July 2015.


5 Part Five NewThe Married Guy’s Guide to Wife 5

Winning the Peace and Keeping it Won

Core Question: This has been a lot of work to get here. Can you make it any easier? This feels like I’ve been doing it all alone and carrying the relationship myself the whole time.

Key Thoughts: Once a relationship is up to speed in terms of it’s momentum, it requires less energy to keep it there. Once you’ve “arrived” at the relationship being in a good place, the things that trip you up and make the relationship start heading downward, tend to be more emotional and whole life energy in nature. There is a genuine transition from trying to “win the war” in your relationship, to trying to “win the peace”. This covers the emotional struggles that you will face along the way of turning your relationship around. It’s unquestionably the most challenging part of the series.

All 5 Episodes are live! Click Here!

There is currently a $10 discount code MARRIEDGUY for buying all five episodes for July 2015.


Coaching – When you have a tangled mess and need a plan, accountability, or a reality check, right now.

If you’re reading this website, you typically have a big problem you want to get fixed. You already know exactly what that problem is and you’ve probably already struggling to fix it on your own. If you are struggling to beat it on your own, coaching can be the difference between success and failure.

Here’s how coaching can help you.

 

It gives you a plan

When you’re in the middle of your own troubled situation, you’re often going to be so caught up with the stress and emotions that you can’t come up with a real plan of action to fix it. Most people get locked into a mindset of continuing to tolerate whatever is wrong because they don’t know what else to do. You being really mad about something and you having a real plan to fix a problem are two different things.

Looking in from the outside, Athol is a master at sorting through tangled messes and coming up with an immediate plan of action to start fixing your situation.

 

It gives you accountability

Having a good plan is great, but it’s not the same thing as actually following through on it.

Having another person checking in on you and holding you accountable to follow through on your plan is a huge influence on success. It’s just like going to the gym, if you are going with a friend or have personal training appointments, you’re more likely to stick with it than if you’re just going by yourself.

What Athol can do is help keep you on track, motivating you and pushing you forward faster than if you just tried to go it alone.

 

Needing a Reality Check

Or maybe you feel like you’re going crazy in the middle of your tangled mess.

Or you want to know there’s a realistic hope the situation can be fixed.

That’s where the reality check of a coaching call can be extremely helpful. Athol will help sort out clarify how much of the situation is fixable by you, how much is really their problem to fix, and whether or not it can be fixed.

In most cases, the situation is fixable and knowing that it is, can be a huge boost in hope and purpose in getting your life back under control. You surge ahead rather than quitting because you’re too tired to go further.

And sometimes it’s the opposite. It’s broken beyond belief and the odds are heavily stacked against you. In almost every case like this, the caller already knows that it’s an impossible situation, but hearing an objective person confirm that can be an enormous relief. You won’t feel crazy after talking to Athol.

 

One Hour Call $149

The One Hour Call is great for triaging your situation and coming up with that initial plan of something to get started on right now. This is a great call to figure out a Plan and get a Reality Check.

If you know you can follow through yourself, this may be all the coaching you need. You’re not going to be locked into something you can’t get out of. About 60% of coaching clients just do a single One Hour Call and another 10% do a second One Hour Call.

 

The 12-Week Guided MAP $1197

The 12-Week Guided MAP starts with an in depth whole-life questionnaire, and comes up with a deeper plan of action than a One Hour Call can. Calls are weekly and are great for accountability as coach and client tweak the plan on the fly in response to how it’s all playing out. The situation can be very fluid when real change gets started.

Each week we come up with “the three monkeys” of three specific things to focus on for this week. Any more than three things to focus on and it all tends to flounder

Calls are weekly for 12 weeks, and if you started with a One Hour Call, the $149 is applied to the 12-week package. We bill $399 x3 months. If you have a critical situation and are facing some sort of time limit to get things under control, this may well be the best money you spend your whole life.

 

How are the calls done?

Calls are via phone or Skype. We can also do Google Hangouts.

 

How do I pay?

We invoice via PayPal. You’ll get an email and you can pay with any credit or debit card or your own PayPal money. You don’t need a PayPal account yourself. We never see your credit card information.

 

When are calls done? Do I have to be in the United States?

We’re in the same time zone as New York, and calls can start anytime Monday-Wednesday, from 9am to 9pm.

Calls can be from anywhere in the world via Skype, or if calling a phone internationally, we typically call via Skype to your phone with no additional charge.

 

Do you coach couples? Can we both be on the call?

Yes we do. There’s no additional charge for the One Hour Call for a couple.

There is significantly more effort for the coach with a couple on a 12-Week package, so there is an additional charge of $100 per month for couples on the 12-Week package.

 

Do you have other endorsed coaches available?

Yes we do.

Rebecca Watson is a specialist in Low Testosterone marriages, helping women display high value and set personal boundaries, coaching men in sparking their wife’s hidden sexuality.

Contact us for more details on Rebecca.

 

If I do a 12-Week Package and like it, do I have to stop after 12 weeks?

We’ve found that the 12 week program is ideal for most situations. It requires a sense of commitment and motivation for the client to begin it, and that’s also a positive factor in how successful it is.

That being said, if you like it and you think there’s more you can accomplish through coaching, it’s easy enough to continue on for as many 12-Week sessions as we both think is effective. There are a handful of small-to-medium business owner clients who have continued on for over a year of coaching, having experienced positive business gains as well.

 

How do I get started?

Leave a message in the message box at the bottom of the page.

Jennifer Kay is the coaching coordinator and she will follow up with you via email and help get you on your way.

Welcome – Learn the bare essentials of what Athol is about.

Athol Kay is an innovative thinker, coach and author focusing on marriage and personal growth. Pulling from multiple disciplines, he creates simple, actionable steps to create positive change in your relationship and life.

Core Theory

Athol pulls from five separate veins of knowledge and knits them into a powerful single approach.

The first is from a biological understanding of the three primary biological “love systems” that make up our feelings of attraction, relationship comfort and sexual drive. An example of a book from this genre would be Dr Helen Fischer’s “Why We Love”.

The second is from the dating community about how exactly romantic attraction works, and how to create it. This aligns with the first love system of attraction.

The third is from the traditional marriage advice community emphasizing positive communication skills and expressions of love and commitment. This aligns with the second love system of relationship comfort.

The fourth is from the sexuality community about the actual expressions of sex men and women really enjoy the most, not all of which is exactly politically correct. This aligns with the third love system of sexual drive.

The fifth is an all-purpose general knowledge of health, common sense, basic morality and a holistic approach to life that ties everything together.

Message First, Marketing Second

Athol is fanatically driven to find “the answers” to the underlying reasons why people act as they do in relationships and life. Without understanding why people act as they do, the solutions offered will always be of limited value. That being said, theory must always translate into some kind of effective practical action that works… or it’s all a waste of time. Theory must work in reality.

What Athol teaches is strong enough that it will succeed without some kind of sleazy marketing campaign to bait people into overspending to get his core information. You will never be told a 30-page eBook is “worth $197, but just for today it’s on sale for $79”. Naturally there is marketing as its all part of paying the bills and sticking around long enough to spread the message, but at the end of the day, prices are reasonable, books are on Amazon, you won’t be screwed over.

Some History

Athol started writing about marriage and sexuality on forums in 2009, and then started his Married Man Sex Life (MMSL) blog in January 2010. MMSL has since grown to a number of books, a forum and a life coaching practice. Originally aimed at men fixing sexless marriages, it slowly widened its scope to a co-ed, dynamic approach to relationships and your life as a whole.

The move to opening AtholKay.com is to allow the full scope of Athol’s work of “everything related to marriage and personal growth” to be expressed, and allowing MMSL to revert back to a tighter focus on helping men create change in their sexless marriages. Much of 2015 will however be focused on the final polish to MMSL style material.

Athol and Jennifer

Athol has been married to Jennifer for 20 years. If Athol is the front man, Jennifer is the behind the scenes woman assisting with editing print and video, social media, marketing, coaching coordination and generally making sure Athol pulls away from his computer once in a while. They still have sex nearly every single day.

What is the MAP?

The MAP was originally called the Male Action Plan (2010-2012) but reframed as the Mindful Attraction Plan (2013). Essentially Athol refined the concept from his first book (The Married Man Sex Life Primer) and made it the complete focus of the third book (The Mindful Attraction Plan). The MAP takes all the key points of MMSL and channels them into a coherent plan of action to maximize your attractiveness and sense of self-worth. Then from that stronger personal frame, it allows you to more positively influence people to have better relationships with you.

“Running your MAP” means to start your own personal process of positive and productive self-improvement. Many people start the process of their MAP with a fixed objective they want to meet, i.e. saving their marriage, restarting a sex life, finding a new job and so on. However the further you get into running your MAP, the more you will find the true power in self-development is becoming Outcome Independent and seeing where the MAP takes you. You will become stronger and more capable than you could have ever imagined and far more often than not you reach your relationship goals when you stop worrying about them.

Branding, Rebranding and Landing on Our Feet

If you’ve been a long time reader, you’ve seen the posting frequency slowly dropping down in the last 12-18 months. I’m still alive, but 2014 in particular for me has been a difficult year to come to terms with. There’s been some highs and lows, but mostly I’ve been struggling with direction. In no small part because I’ve hit some finishing lines and achieved what I’ve wanted to…but there are other things that have seemed so far out of reach I’ve considered giving up. In the end, 2014 has probably been my greatest year of personal growth.

So now it’s time to talk about what I’ve learned, what I’ve done wrong, what I did right and what is coming up next in 2015.

 

The name Married Man Sex Life

I actually remember standing in the hallway outside our bedroom door talking to Jennifer about choosing it. I figured it was going to be great for SEO purposes, which it is, as about 30% of my daily hits are gay guys searching for “Man Sex”. I kid you not. It’s never fallen out of the top one or two search terms for the blog.

I’m also filtered out by spam filters in many places and you can’t even access the blog from many locations.

That being said, it does identify a target audience quite well. Married guys wanting a better sex life.

 

I attracted a female audience along with a male one

This was unexpected. I really had no clue this was going to happen, though now I look back, it should have been expected. If you explain to guys how to attract women, if women aren’t showing up to your blog, you probably aren’t teaching the guys what the women actually want.

This has turned into both a good and bad thing, good in that it’s attracting a new potential audience, bad in that the original audience starts feeling neglected.

 

Over time I have fine-tuned my theories, tools and approaches

This is both a good thing and a complicating thing. Compared to what I knew in 2010 when I started, I’m several degrees higher in experience, knowledge and above all – smoothness in application. There’s not much I disagree with in what I’ve said in 2010, or in The Primer, but there’s so many missing thoughts and nuances from what I know now.

This fine-tuning has all come from reading tens of thousands of emails from 2010 through 2012 and reading thousands of people’s threads on the forum from 2012 through 2014. The biggest influence though has been the coaching from 2013 through 2015. I don’t give advice in a vacuum. Thousands of people follow my advice, then report back. If I see a problem somewhere, I start altering my advice to compensate. In an abstract sense, MMSL is also been a giant research project where I watch a massive data set playing out. More personally, I have lain awake at night worrying about hundreds of painfully real situations, trying to figure out how to best solve them.

This is all good, because I’m not stagnant and the advice is better now than before. It’s bad though because it’s almost impossible to see that change unless you wade through 1300 posts, read all the books and have a conversation with me. If you read something from 2011… you’re getting 2011 era advice and there’s some disconnect with what I think now.

 

I’m in competition with a free (slightly confusing) version of myself

Back at the beginning, MMSL wasn’t a business. It was just some guy with a day job, blogging at night. Back then it didn’t matter what I said, or how I said it, because worst case scenario I could just delete the blog and that would be that.

There are 1300 blog posts. All free. So most people just read the blog and maybe buy a book. You can essentially get five years of my work for $20. That’s fine in the sense of it having built something, but long term it’s not sustainable as a business model. Just as importantly, if you go the free route, the advice is less clear and easier to misapply.

In part posting is down in 2014 because I don’t want to continue to give it all away for free anymore. Plus it’s exhausting to write for nothing.

Essentially *all* the marketing types I’ve ever talked to about this have been utterly horrified at the idea I have that much content freely available.

Likewise the free forum is in some senses competition with the paid coaching. The coaching is superior to the forum on multiple levels, but there’s probably plenty of people who would pay for the coaching, who just opt for the forum. Plus it takes time, money and effort to support and moderate the forum. I don’t have a solution for that at the moment.

 

I’ve only been a writer, instead of a communicator

I’m a big reader and I love books. So I wrote a blog and wrote books. Because that’s how everyone else in the whole world learns too.

Er… no they don’t. It’s been a huge error to have focused on nothing but writing. Just because I would never listen to a podcast without a gun to my head, doesn’t mean other people wouldn’t love to have my stuff as a podcast. Or a webinar, or whatever.

And apparently Jennifer has been trying to tell me this for the last couple of years, but I’m obviously so much smarter than her that I didn’t listen very well. Which explains why when I told her about this amazing breakthrough in insight I had about this, she put her forehead against my chest and hammered her fists against my shoulders. My bad lol.

 

I’ve not been sharable

Here’s the thing, there a huge barrier to most people to link a blog post from “Married Man Sex Life” on a place like Facebook. Yet that exact same post from “AtholKay.com” might have been linked.

Plus I’ve now had hundreds of people say they want to share the Primer, but can’t because of the language. That’s tons of lost business and people who could have been helped, who aren’t.

 

Jennifer finishing up her old job

I’m not sure I can ever really explain what it’s like to write something on your blog, and have someone start mailing it anonymously to your wife’s employer. We were fortunate enough to be in a place to be able to pull Jennifer from her job, and she has never given me a hard time about it. But the fact that sometimes, people really are out to get you, kills any sense of enjoyment or creativity and both are factors in writing well.

The up side to that though is Jennifer is home now. We get to see each other all through the day. Despite the doomsayers, it’s gone pretty well. She’s fallen into a mix of SAHM and my assistant. She’s enjoyed a year of reduced duties compared to her frenzy of full-time work, and she looks happier and more relaxed than I can remember her being for a while.

But for a long time us getting to hang out and be together was the goal driving the bus on a lot of motivation to work. Goal reached. Now what? Beats me, wanna go to lunch again? Zzzzzzz….

Our two girls are happier too and the travel bug trio have been more places this year than ever before.

 

So anyway… where from here?

2015 is going to be a long branding and rebranding project.

(1) MMSL will continue to exist on what is planned as a permanent basis. I’m not pulling posts et al. It’s too time consuming to change it, and people can just dredge it all up with the wayback machine anyway. I’m not planning to add lots and lots of new posts though. 1300 posts is already a colossal blog.

(2) The nexus of all my future work will start happening on atholkay.com. As of right now it’s currently in a maintenance mode as I finalize the layout and seed it with some content. MMSL will fairly closely match atholkay.com for its template and probably this weekend I’ll switch that over as well.

(3) If I’m identifying with a particular topic, it’s “marriage”. There are a number of sub-topics within that though, so atholkay.com is intended to be the nexus of “marriage everything” and each sub-topic gets its own little website focusing nothing but that sub-topic and linking back to atholkay.com.

(4) That allows MMSL to start defaulting back to nothing more than the question of “how does a married guy get laid more with his wife”, and over the years atholkay.com gets to expand into anything and everything else marriage related. Thus MMSL defaulting back to focusing on men, doesn’t simply dump the women off at the side of the road and wish them the best of luck.

(5) Defined content chunks. I’m moving toward a model where every content chunk needs its own small website and advertising, with some basic good but free information, followed by more advanced but paid information, in every format and delivery system I can reasonably produce, namely webinars, audio and books as a starting point.

(6) Point 5 is of course an information marketing model, but I don’t see myself doing the greedy evil of “it’s a $197 value, but if you buy in the next 24 hours, it’s just $79!!!” thing. There’s enough need out there that I think I’ll do vastly better long term with reasonable prices and having it be sharable. I have more than enough potential content chunks to create for years to come.

(7) The vast bulk of my efforts for 2015 will be in “finishing” MMSL as close as I imagine it can be finished right now. This will be a five part series aimed directly at the guy who *just* got the wakeup call that his wife is horribly unattracted to him and a step by step plan to turn that around. In terms of balance, think about two parts Primer, one part MAP Book, two parts unpublished + more recent posting, and all vastly more focused on simple, clear action steps. Webinars are the easiest to produce so we’re starting there, books et al starting the second half of the year.

(8) 2016 and beyond. The next thing I want to do is a series aimed directly at couples, though the college age guys / dating / spouse selection thing is high on the list too.

The big topic that I am drooling messily to get to do, is an integration of Enneagram personality typing into the MAP, but that’s going to need a serious cash on hand / Kickstarter approach to do what I what it to.

(9) Coaching is pretty close to where I want it now. I’m seeing ways to better target it to the clients I feel I best work with though.

(10) Jennifer and myself. We have 2.5 years before youngest goes off to college. Our goal is to work like crazy and then move to a warmer climate city as we both hate the snow with a passion. Then we get to do more traveling for fun and doing live events. She’s really put in serious effort supporting me this last five years and I think she deserves success too.

 

Thank you

And as always, I am very grateful that so many people have read and supported me over the years. It’s been a long road and Jennifer and I would have failed several times over were it not for people reading and supporting us.

 

WordPress Update Pain and Comment Loss

Just a quick one to say that WordPress has been extremely demanding about installing version 4.0.1 to cover a security hole in earlier versions.

Unfortunately it has some sort of database error for me and it’s making page loads 12-15 seconds long. I’ve tried to go back to an earlier restore point on 12/1/14, hoping to be rid of 4.0.1, with the unfortunate side effect of removing all comments and posts since 12/1/14. Which seemed like a good idea at the time, but hasn’t removed 4.0.1 anyway. I couldn’t reinstall the 12/7/14 database back up because it had an error. So crap.

If you’ve commented in the last 5-6 days, I do apologize for their loss.

Doing the Thing Again and Compounding Errors

There are plenty of marriage situations where one person has a problem with doing the thing.

It’s a thing they clearly should not be doing, but they do the thing anyway. Their partner at first tolerates the thing, then loathes the thing, and finally hates the thing. At some point it all goes to harsh words, threats and various assorted drama, and the evil thing-doer eventually promises that they will not do the thing anymore, they are sorry for the thing, and will get the thing all sorted out.

It goes well for a little while, they make some good progress… then they do the thing again. Whereupon their partner becomes Batshit Crazy about the thing.

So here’s the issue with these situations were you keep doing the thing.

Each time you start recovering and then lapse back, it’s typically a compounding error, meaning each lapse will tend to have a greater and greater negative impact, and take longer and longer to recover from. You might have collected a lot of +1 points as you made progress, but what look like minor screw ups can net you a -10 reduction.

Each time you lapse, you’re training your partner to believe you’ll never beat it, and you set the bar higher and higher to regain their trust. You’re also probably lapsing at the particular moments where they want to see you as being at your best, and doing the thing again is going to be a Display of Weakness every single time. Often that Batshit Crazy explosion from your partner is an expression of loss of attraction as much as anything.

Is it “just doing the thing one time”? Sure it is. I get it, it’s one bad day in a while, and you’re on an upward path. But the days where you lapse into doing the thing get you vastly more negative points because of the “boy who cried wolf” effect of all the previous failings, lies to cover up doing the thing and so on. It’s death by a thousand papercuts.

The risk is that you get yourself into the situation where you are in fact making progress, but the repeated steps backwards of the “two steps forward, one step back” shuffle, are framing you as not making any progress at all because the one step backwards carries more emotional weight than the two steps forward. It often requires some sort of outside person talking your spouse down repeatedly and reaffirming that progress is indeed happening.

If you’re the person who is doing the thing, you have to (1) very much frame the positive progress made as actually happening, and (2) acknowledge as justified any anger your spouse has about you doing the thing again, (3) not defend against their anger, just accept it, and (4) continue to make progress and stop doing the thing without trying to burden or make your partner accountable for stopping you from doing the thing.

The thing is your problem. You are your spouse’s problem. If you make you doing the thing your spouse’s problem to solve, you’ve now given them two problems to handle and you  simply aren’t attractive enough in this moment to carry it off successfully. You’re effectively giving them a reverse ultimatum of (A) just accept responsibility for my shit, or (B) dump me. So…

Depending on just how bad and big your thing is, I understand stopping might not be either an easy or simple matter. But it’s really the only way forward. It’s going to take some time, but the thing is draining your life away for no gain.

I’ve also seen a large number of Batshit Crazy people become rather less Batshit Crazy after their spouse finally stops doing the thing.

Do you have a thing you need to stop? What’s your thing?

And for those unfamiliar with the story of “the boy who cried wolf”…

20 Years and General Catch Up

 SD:  Hi Athol and Jen, it’s Thanksgiving Day and I’m taking a break from the family and working on my computer. Checked MMSL blog and see no entries since October. Just wondering if you guys are doing okay?

I’ve bought all 3 books. Athol’s advice is great and I appreciate all the work you’ve put into MMSL. Hope all is well. Just checking since no new posts for a month. New content is not the (only) point — just wanted to make sure one of my favorite bloggers is doing ok. And will be posting again when ready :-)

Athol:  Hiya, it’s been a busy month. I am alive!

Firstly, the easy one, Jennifer and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We went to Florida and essentially did a repeat of our honeymoon, namely visiting Universal Studios and Disney World. It was a great time and we did two days at Universal and two days jumping around the Disney parks.

If you go to Universal, it’s completely worth it to stay in the on-site hotels. The benefit of walking distance to the parks, early access to the parks and the free upgrade to your tickets to the Express Pass completely rocks. We caught some lower traffic days but were completely exhausted from riding rides rather than standing in line. Both the major Harry Potter rides are exceptionally well done.

Disney World… I guess I’ll just assume you’ve heard of it. Stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and it’s all giraffes and zebras in the back yard of the hotel. Nice. The major change from last time we were there was the advent of the Magic Bands – your all purpose park tickets, credit card and Fast Passes – in the form of a handy little electronic wrist bracelet. I’m told they can track down lost kids who wear them too, so there’s probably some kind of GPS thing in there as well. It’s the sort of thing that if you really think about it, this is the way the entire country will be in about 15-20 years and it smacks of population control and Big Brother. But holy crap the lines move so much faster to get into the parks and for some reason the white swirly light thingy turning green just makes me happy.

So fun, fun, fun, fun…. and came back home and immediately got a low level pneumonia that I’ve fought off heroically for the last two weeks. I knew I was getting sick before we left for Florida, but at that point the money is already spent, you aren’t getting it back and all complaining can do is make everyone else enjoy themselves less. So just grin and bear it while away and come home and crash.

Thanksgiving was remarkably low key this year in that we didn’t host it. We just got to eat the food, though for some unclear reason there is now more food in our fridge than we took to Thanksgiving. Which I suppose defines it as a good Thanksgiving.

Writing the blog is complicated these days.

One issue is time, I’ve been in a situation where I can only reasonably do two of the three potential things of, (1) coaching, (2) the forum, and (3) new content creation. I’ve been slowly extracting myself from the day to day of the forum, and the coaching is going well and I’ve finally got it down to a solid three days a week of calls, rather than spread all through the week.

Just doing the coaching itself is teaching me a lot more fine tuning of my overall approach. I’ve posted less, but some of the posts are my most important ones. The Leadership Moments one is crucial for example. It’s also a case of seeing a ton of people working through the process step by step and seeing where the common stumbling blocks are. I’ve not so much been wrong in the past, but there are unquestionably ways the emphasis on certain things can be better defined and some things are just quicker to apply now.

I’m also seeing how much of a jack-of-all-trades I was trying to make MMSL. It’s Sexy Moves, it’s for men, it’s for couples, it’s affair busting, it’s about adding basic Alpha when you have too much Beta, it’s Nice Guys, it’s dealing with toxic spouses, it’s about personal energy, it’s anything and everything. Plus everything was essentially on the blog in some form and it’s hard to sell something as a book when you also have it on your blog for free. #Facepalm. Thus new content, actually has to be somehow new.

I’m seeing more and more how each thing can be sliced off and defined as it’s own topic and really the only long-term solution is simply more coherent content. So… defined audience + defined problem + defined solution = defined product topic and therefore long term success.

If there’s a problem in the marriage right now, it’s Jennifer going crazy that I’m spending all this time thinking rather than producing *anything* of the next layer of content that I could create.

So, um… working on my marriage lol.

Jennifer:  Happy Anniversary to us! Wow, 20 is a strangely impressive number. And yes, I do go crazy with Athol endlessly thinking about the many permutations of producing huge amounts of content and what should come first…and…and…and. But the end product is always so impressive that I find it hard to truly be angry.  (And as a completely unrelated side note, the place holder note for this section for me to write a little something said “Jennifer: something something dark side”. Thought you all would get as much of a kick out of that as I did.)

 

 

Boo the Villians, Cheer the Heroes

Most women have a need to verbally decompress their day. Which is a fancy way of saying they need to talk when they come from work, or you come home from work when they’ve been home all day. Women tend to be more emotionally fluid than men, and it can often seem to the guy like he’s been dropped into a verbal puking of half a dozen emotions and disconnected storylines. This is just her  clearing her daily event cache.

There are two mistakes a guy can make here.

The first potential mistake is to simply tune her out and ignore her. It’s low effort, but the cost is that more and more she simply feels like you don’t care about her. Also there’s the obvious risk of along with tuning out the clearing of the cache, you are missing more important communications. This is why you never should make grunting noises of agreement without being consciously aware of what you’re grunting agreement to. Unless you want to risk being forty-five minutes drive away from “the thing” when the thing starts in ten minutes and she’s holding seats for you both.

“Got great seats! See you soon!”

Shit. Soon for what?

The second potential error is too listen too hard, and start engaging your powers of problem solving when she doesn’t actually want to have a problem solved. She’s just clearing her cache and reconnecting with you. If you start trying to problem solve when she isn’t actually looking for it, it tends to both be interpreted as you “not listening” and as somewhat demeaning in that you’re acting like she can’t solve her own problems. It’s frustrating to her because you’re stopping the problem solving she was doing, which was simply clearing her head and feeling connected to you.

The actual solution is to do what I call “Booing the Villians and Cheering the Heroes”. Which is to say you treat it something like watching a TV show with a bag of popcorn, and simply enjoy the show. When good things happen you say “woo-hoo”, when bad things happen you say “that sucks”. Her friend does something good in her story, say “she’s awesome”, and when some bitch does her bitch thing, say “that bitch”.

That’s it. Seriously, that’s about all you have to do. Boo the villians, cheer the heroes.

Caveats…

You don’t have to sit through endless reruns of the same show. If you start hearing the same sad story of her failing or losing or whatever negative again and again, call attention to it as her making some variety of a Display of Low Value.  Then ask if she needs help troubleshooting the issue. You don’t necessarily have to run out and assist with the application of the solution either. If it’s her workplace drama for example, there’s usually zero you can do to help anyway.

Also a very high risk option is to tell her to “stop bothering me with all this and take it to your girlfriends instead”. They don’t always end up talking to their girlfriends… it’s a situation tailor made for a Beta Orbiter to get a leg up on her attention. As soon as she says you told her to get lost unless she wants cock, it’s almost impossible for another guy to screw up the stock-in-trade husband/boyfriend destroying tactical responses. Unless of course her talking to another guy, with him saying you sounded abusive was your intention. In which case, carry on.

And ladies… same thing applies to listening to talk about sports.

His team was sporting very hard, and they sported sportingly. Go sports team of his preference. Go!

 

Self-Deprecating Humor

Forum Question: Can a comedian with a self deprecating sense of humor be an Alpha Male? I remember hearing that John F Kennedy had a self deprecating sense of humor and he was an Alpha Male. I have always had a self deprecating sense of humor and wonder if I should alter it. 

I think you have to separate the comedy from the comedian when you’re thinking of whether it’s Alpha or not.

Being a comedian… especially a professional one… is unquestionably Alpha in that anyone with the balls to stand on stage with nothing but a microphone, and entertain a crowd of people for an hour, is very much walking a tightrope of victory or failure. A big part of it is not caring what the audience thinks, and how they might be offended et al. That’s Alpha.

The caveat to that being you actually have to be good at it and pull it off to be Alpha. If it goes well, it’s amazing. If it goes poorly, you reek of the most awkward social failure.

It’s also Alpha to a decent percentage of women to have a high intelligence, and the average IQ for a professional comedian is in the 140 range. Connecting different nuggets of information into something funny requires a high IQ. Almost everyone is smart enough to get the joke, but the creation of the joke requires a moment of very high IQ.

The comedian, or perhaps more correctly the comic persona, can be more or less attractive, based on what vein of humor the comedian is attempting to mine. Usually comedy is based on some sort of social disconnect, vulnerability, fear or frustration. Less common professionally is wordplay, because after an hour of wordplay humor, it’s no longer punny.

Self-deprecating humor is a variety of using personal vulnerability as a power source. As such it tends to reduce your attractiveness. However it’s possible to use the observation of that same vulnerability, and the under lying social disconnect creating it, and do it from a stronger frame of attractiveness.

It’s the difference between making a joke about you being some variety of loser, and you making a joke explaining how losing happens. You essentially frame yourself as a winner by default.

As a rough example of this, Louis CK is unquestionably at the top tier of the comedy world, but a fair bit of his material is centered on being unattractive and failing with women. Someone like the late Patrice O’Neal mined a lot of humor out of explaining male-female social dynamics. The average guy in the street is probably going to be a lot better off doing Patrice-like humor than Louis CK-like humor.

Oh and in terms of Presidential humor, well again, you already have massive social proof in that you’re the President of the United States.

And drones. I’m pretty sure having the ability to unleash attack drones makes you funny.

 

Who Is Your Jury?

There’s often a generalized line of advice that you shouldn’t worry about what other people think, and just do what seems right to you. It’s meant to cut through the self-doubt, the people pleasing and get you finally doing the things that you’re best suited for doing. There are some people who feel like their life is an endless jury trial where everyone passes judgment on them. It’s generally good advice.

However, there are two basic problems with this advice…

(1) The type of people who really don’t care what other people think and just do what seems right to them, tend to also be called sociopaths.

(2) Most people who aren’t sociopaths, are pretty terrible at trying to act like sociopaths.

So let’s just admit that we all do worry about what other people think to at least some degree. We all like to be liked, we all like friends, most of us don’t want to screw our fellow man over either. In short, we do care what other people think.

The real question though, is not whether we care what people think, but who you allow to sit on your internal jury to pass judgment.

Seriously now, sit back and have a long think about who you worry about pleasing, who’s opinion you to try and follow and why you want to follow it. Who have you put on your jury? Most of us tend to have some automatically assigned people like parents, siblings, spouses, close friends and peer group members. All these people have been selected uncritically.

Now think of all the different situations you have today, the choices and challenges you face.

Are any of the people currently sitting on your jury, qualified to have a genuinely valuable opinion on the subject at hand?

Are any of the people currently sitting on your jury, free of self interest when it comes to the decisions you’ll be making?

If you were starting from scratch in picking out a jury for yourself today, would you pick any of the people currently on it?

Who would you pick instead? If you had to please / impress / get the approval of five or six different people for the rest of your life, who would you pick?

What’s interesting is how much power we give away to people who essentially have no real leverage over our lives, apart from that which we give them.

So who is on your jury? Who should be?