Having Good Tools Matters

It’s official, I’ve about doubled my income in the last three months. Which sounds awesome because it is in fact exactly as awesome as you think it would be. There’s a sort of a surge of money this month as Amazon pays out the Kindle sales two months after the fact, so the first The Mindful Attraction Plan money arrived at the end of August and in September coaching has really caught fire and we’re looking at the second big Kindle check coming at the end of the month before it settles down to something closer to normal.

Suddenly I have more money than I’ve had my whole life.

We’ve done a lot of shopping, catching a bunch of stuff up too. New dryer, new dishwasher, the short vacation to do all the back to school shopping, a second back to school shopping thing that happened that I don’t exactly understand but whatever, a new vacuum cleaner, a giant wholesale run for mass quantities of munchies, a month supply of protein shakes of special magnificence for both of us and plants for the front yard.

The shopping for plants was kind of fun in that we did it at Lowes and I said I wanted to price out some other stuff for the end of the month. Namely a garage door opener to replace the one that’s been broken for mumble mumble mumble years and it’s pretty apparent that the washing machine is dying too. It’s one of those front loader ones and it’s started to drool a bit, so that needs to be replaced too. So picked them out for next week, then routed by the freezers because don’t ask me why, but a freezer filled with extra food just seems to be a symbol to me that you’ve finally arrived at domestic comfort. I have no clue why.

So Jenniferlocks started looking at the freezers. There was a little chest one that was just too small, barely enough room for half a dead body. Then there was a great big chest freezer one and it would have looked more in place on a fishing trawler. Then we saw one that was just right… medium sized and on sale. It was perfect. Jennifer relaxed, this was the one. Then we rounded the corner and came upon an upright freezer, twice as big as the medium sized chest freezer, with internal racks and crazy deep shelving built into the door…

Jennifer:  “That would make it easier to find things and arrange them.”

Athol:  “You wouldn’t be in danger of falling in either.”

(In my defense she is quite short and leaning in to grab frozen salmon from the bottom of a chest freezer could indeed result in slapstick comedy.)

Then she looked at the price. Normally she would have flinched and that would have been it.

Athol:  “I know we’re on an important mission to buy some crappy plants I don’t care about plants for the front of the house, but I’m coming back for this freezer.”

Jennifer: “This is so weird to have money.”

Athol:  “It’s not like we’re buying junk, the freezer is a tool. We’ll use it, you’ll end up getting all the money back and more because you can do better sale shopping.”

Then we got her a new laptop. At some point she’s just going to need one for the business and we went looking for one. She’s used to a 15″ screen size on her work one, but I said she should go bigger to the 17″. Rationale… it’s going to be her primary tool for working her side of the business. Having a 17″ screen is going to be far more user friendly than having a 15″ one. It’s a tool. Hell I would have said go to 19″, but again she’s tiny and at that point the keyboard starts spreading a little making it harder to type. It’s a good laptop. She’s thrilled by it.

The one thing I really splurged on for myself last year was a really good laptop. It’s not so much a beast of computing power, as sort of a plush and sinfully comfortable one to use. I paid far too much for it and it’s worth every penny. I’m a writer, it’s the only tool I use for my job. I love my laptop. It always makes me feel good to use it.

Then it becomes apparent that nearly everything big we’re buying are tools… the dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, laptop, garage door opener, freezer, washing machine. The rest is good food and replacement clothes. But the tools just keep jumping out at me.

Every broken tool you own is draining energy from your life. Having good tools saves you time and energy, plus if they are functional and beautiful, you can gain even more energy by feeling good about using the good tool.

So what are your tools? Are they broken? Can you fix them? What’s your dream tool?

 

The Red Yellow Green Sexual Communication Tool

This is going to be an important post for a lot of couples.

There’s a ton of advice about whether you should or shouldn’t be having sex on any given night. There’s the default yes, fake it until you make it, no means no, push through her resistance, always be closing, don’t push against her shields once they are up, pound her hard and if nothing works be outcome independent.

Got all that?

What I’ve realized is that some of that confusion is coming from me, in that Jennifer and I from the get go were lucky enough to have mutually aligned assumptions about sexual communication. I’ve just assumed that everybody else communicated the same way. So what this post is going to do is reverse engineer what Jennifer and I actually do in terms of a decision matrix about what we do on any given night. Not that every night we have sex, but that every night we make a conscious decision about having it or not. We don’t wait to be “in the mood” to communicate about sex. The goal here is to give you some kind of shared language and avoid misunderstandings and lost opportunities for sex.

For the most part, this is aimed at “MMSL couples” looking to build a better sex life. The assumption is that both of them want to work together to have a better sex life and connection. They may not feel ultra turned on by each other, but it’s enough to want to work on things. It also assumes no medical issues et al interfering with baseline desire.

Also Jennifer is the lower desire partner and I’m the higher desire partner. So most of the time Jennifer is the one making a color choice and I’m more typically the one making an initiation attempt.

Green = This means Jennifer is very sexually interested tonight. Basically anything is up for grabs and I can push for an “above average” night of sex. This is the night of something more rough and dominant from me. Basically the harder I push / desire / want her, the better her response. Green = Just fuck me. Go Alpha.

Yellow = This means Jennifer is neither particularly turned on, nor resistant to sex tonight. This can go one of two ways usually, (1) a longer foreplay toward warming her up and ultimately her coming to orgasm and enjoying it for herself, or (2) her not wanting that but being willing to give me something like a handjob, blowjob, or the quickee intercourse option. This is from me a softer initiation push than a Green night. On a Green night I’m pushing her toward her maximum sexual response. On a Yellow night, I’m initiating for the purpose to get sex and have a mutually pleasant sexual experience together. Yellow = Warm Jennifer Up / Something for Athol. Go Alpha/Beta.

Red = Jennifer does not want anything sexual tonight. I don’t push her at all about this. Not a damn thing. I usually offer some sort of care bear routine for her as well, usually her Red nights she’s sick or genuinely tired. Red = No means no. Go Beta.

Whether it’s a Red, Yellow or Green night, I don’t get upset and complain about it to her. I remain outcome independent about it.

For the most part, my first steps are simply to discover whether or not it’s a Red, Yellow or Green night. Once I know what kind of night it is, I tailor my approach to that.

But until I make a move, I might not know it’s a Green night, because she might not tell me.

Relationship Momentum

In terms of the overall relationship momentum, imagine a 1-100 scale with 100 being the best possible and 1 being the worst possible.

In the 71-100 range, you’ll probably get a mix of Greens and Yellows and a  handful of Reds.

In the 31-70 range, you’ll mostly get Yellow, but also a variety of Greens and Reds.

In the 1-30 range, you’ll mostly get Red, with some Yellow thrown in. Maybe a Green if you’re getting ovulation sex.

Gaining Points

Every night you make the correct call, i.e. she wants Green and you act Green, you get a +1 to your relationship. Same thing on Yellow nights, she wasn’t wildly into it, but you still had a good experience together, you get a +1. On Red nights, you don’t force the issue at all, you get a +1.

Losing Points

Every night you make the wrong call, you get a -1 to your relationship. She wanted “Just fuck me” Green, and you were too soft on approach (Yellow) or ignored her (Red). She wanted something sedate or just for you Yellow and you tried to get her to have pornstar sex (Green) or didn’t make any move on her (Red). She didn’t want anything at all on a Red night and you tried to get a Green or Yellow response.

Adaptive Strategy

What happens with a lot of struggling couples, is that they get advice to “Always Green!”, or “Always Yellow!” or “Ignore Red, just push yourself through it and act Green.” The result of that is some nights get a +1 and some nights get a -1 and they all balance each other out. Thus over the long term, the relationship doesn’t get any better. If your relationship momentum score is a 30 and you go +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1 +1 -1…. you’re still going to be stuck at 30 even though you’re both working hard on your relationship.

You have to have an adaptive strategy to heal a fragile relationship.

You cannot force a sexual response from someone who doesn’t want to give one, without risking seriously negative effects to your relationship. So when the relationship is down in the dumps below 30, that may well mean a whole lot of not having sex at first.

If she’s not interested in sex with you (Red), you must stop orbiting her or expressing anger about not getting porn star sex (“Why aren’t you Green?”), or not even bothering to give you a handjob (“I just want a Yellow, why can’t you Yellow?”). When she’s feeling Red about sex and you demand / pout / threaten / tantrum and she lets your fuck her, you get Red Sex and you complain about that…. (“She just lays there like a Starfish!”)

So my advice from here is to actually start using the words Red Yellow Green until you get a handle on it. Over time, you won’t need to say the words because you’ll internalize them.

This has all been largely focused at the guys/higher desire partner, so a final thought for the women/lower desire partner…

If you force yourself to have sex you don’t want and hate every minute of it. In what bizarro world does that fix your relationship and make you love your partner more?

Side Effects of Carrying Cash May Include Sudden Whoretex

Whoretex: A portmanteau of “Whore” and “Vortex”. A whoretex forms when a woman becomes suddenly sexually motivated in the presence of a man with money.

FuzzyBunny:  I work OT and pay off a large bill early.  No reaction.  I work OT again, when offered, and buy new comfy bed she likes.  Still no reaction.  Change out an outlet that was not working, get a BJ while watching TV.  2 months of no OT, griping about money.  I don’t understand.

I make enough to pay our bills and then some.  WTF?

Athol:  Firstly, you gotta get a new member name on the forum. FuzzyBunny isn’t very metal.

Anyway…

Usually the women have to actually see the money to have a positive emotional reaction to it. Money that is in bank accounts is often invisible to women, unless it’s not enough to cover the bills and they have a negative emotional reaction to it. So working some over-time, taking the money out of the bank and buying a new comfy bed with cash = win.  It’s kind of the same with the changing an outlet cover. It’s an objective observable task you did. It nets more points than something she can’t readily see.

Something else to consider is that women do adapt to a certain level of income and you don’t get points for it after a while. So if you make $25,000 a year and get a bump to $35,000, you’re going to get a happy wife reaction. Making $400,000 and dropping to $350,000, is in her mind likely a concerning fuck-up on your part. Objectively speaking $350,000 is more than $35,000, but the $35,000 wife is likely happier about things than the $350,000 one.

I don’t make the rules, I just report them with a wide brush. And just to repeat one more time, women aren’t all gold-diggers, but they are at least copper and silver-diggers. The bills have to be paid, nice things once in a while are nice. But there is unquestionably an adaptation thing where women hate going backwards in standard of living the same way men hate blowjobs vanishing off the menu for no clear reason.

Always have some cash if you can.

Anyway…

In terms of Jennifer and myself, all the book money just funnels into the joint checking account. She pays the bills and I trust her implicitly with handling that. But I do have a affiliate thing that pays into PayPal and now the coaching money gets funneled that way too. There’s been a couple times where “my money” has paid for something and she had truly a palpable look of relief. The big one being the month Amazon paid out several days later in the month than usual… now on the “wrong side” of the forum bill and scary close to the mortgage payment. It’s a nice feeling saying “no problem” and having “magically appearing” money in your hand.

I’ve also lightly teased her that giving her cash entitles me to additional services lol… and she’s been flexible meeting my demands. Bearing in mind all this is a game between us. Half the money is hers anyway. Even if I was technically paying her for sex, I’m paying her with half her money. So it’s really like a 50% off sale… which gets me to second base with Jennifer.

It’s actually kinda fun. Scratch a good girl, wave $300 and see how fast a whoretex forms to suck you dry.

Savings and Standing Taller

Athol:  I have a slight hunch that “A.F. Bannerman” is a fictional person created in the marketing department of J.P. Morgan, but the quote attributed to him is rather good….

A.F.Bannerman:  “Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice – in short, your physical well-being and self-confidence. A man without savings is always running. He must. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him into the hands of others.

Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place in which to live. A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.

A man with savings can afford to resign from his job if his principles so dictate — and for this reason he will never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to his company and therefore more readily promoted. He can afford to give his company the benefit of his most candid judgments.

A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. He can take the level stare of any man … friend, stranger or enemy. That ability shapes his personality and character.

The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people spend it all. They are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.

J.P. Morgan, once advised a young broker: “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive the haste out of your life.”

If you do not need money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.”

 

There’s Enough Pain For Everyone

There’s enough pain for everyone.

The way to get past the pain and anger is to learn the pain and the anger of the opposite sex.

Then you start to realize that for every total fucking cunt that’s out there…

…there’s more women crying themselves to sleep because their husband doesn’t love them, cheats on them, has a broken dick, or is just totally fucking useless.

Then you start to realize that for every wife beating asshole that’s out there…

….there’s more men lost and confused as to why they held down a job, were nice, didn’t have some crazy addiction or defect but still live a life of endless rejection and grinding sorrow.

There’s enough pain for everyone.