On the Dating Skills Review Podcast #66

Hiya,

I did the Dating Skills Review podcast with Angel Donovan.

http://www.datingskillsreview.com/ep-66-keeping-marriage-and-long-term-relationships-alive-athol-kay/

This was a fairly laid back interview. Ended up going more into my personal life than the Alpha Beta stuff et al, but all good. I forget sometimes people don’t always know the early bits of the relationship.

The one weird moment was a disagreement over the math of how many times Jennifer and I have had sex. He made a corrected note on the transcript. My math wins!

 

Specifically, in this episode you’ll learn about:

  • Athol’s origins (03:58)
  • Athol’s introduction into relationship advice based on his own relationship (05:20)
  • Athol’s personal background and meeting his future wife (07:08)
  • Keeping focus on his long distance relationship (10:05)
  • Athol’s sexual life with his wife (see correction in introduction) (13:00)
  • Is marriage different compared to any other very long-term relationship? (14:55)
  • The positives and negatives of marriage versus a long-term relationship (16:33)
  • Why should marriage be a consideration when in a long-term relationship? (17:40)
  • Scenarios in which marriage should or should not be considered, from one’s own perspective as well as with the other person (19:50)
  • Changes and transition periods leading up to a sustaining marriage (24:05)
  • Scenarios involving men giving up certain traits that lead to marriage problems down the line (24:45)
  • Why men drop their alpha activities when in a long-term relationship or marriage (27:35)
  • When critical moments of neglect or failure take place that result in a lack of trust or support, whether intentional or unintentional (30:20)
  • Excuses pertaining to critical moments of neglect or failure (31:52)
  • Miscommunication scenarios: Athol’s personal example (33:54)
  • Fixing breach of trust and miscommunication issues (39:20)
  • Identifying alpha / beta problems versus trust problems (42:03)
  • Worry benchmarks to consider when there is a decrease in sex (44:48)
  • Reasons for sexual lifestyle changes (46:00)
  • Balancing alpha and beta behavior concepts in a relationship (48:00)
  • Recommendations for high quality advice in this area of dating, sex, and relationships (54:30)
  • Top three recommendations to help men get results as fast as possible in this area of their lives (55:38)

10 Reasons It’s “Endocrine Maybe” Instead of Batshit Crazy

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-love-hate-image29322025For a long time I’ve been saying that all can do for Batshit Crazy, is either medicate it, or run.

Except by “medicate it”, I meant psych meds. I’ll blame my psych / behavioral nursing background for that. Crazy = pills for crazy. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?

But…

I’m starting to see more and more supposedly Batshit Crazy people suddenly stop being so crazy after getting on the correct set of endocrine meds. It’s really been apparent in watching all the stories of men with low testosterone on the forum who are Cranky Shit Weasels (TM) determined to avoid sex and intimacy, slowly but surely turning into normal guys once they get on testosterone therapy. Which is to say pleasantly dickish.

I’m seeing some of the same changes in personality and mood with women too. Frankly it’s getting to the point when someone presents as simply having something as simple as depression, I’m starting to think endocrine rather than psych as a starting point. Same thing with wildly inappropriate anger or disinterest in sex and other activities.

In general what triggers a “you should go to the doctor and get checked out” thought, is typically a collection of symptoms into what I call Endocrine Maybe. Here’s a list of some you might have…

(1) Lack of sexual interest and/or ability to enjoy it. That covers everything from acting like a captive Panda in the face of the zoo keepers showing you bootlegged Panda porn, to erectile dysfunction or inability to orgasm.

(2) You’re incredibly moody. Your husband stacked the dishwasher incorrectly and you’re acting like a wrestler being called out for cowardice. Stuff like that. Everyone around you walks on eggshells.

(3) You’re exhausted beyond all reason, except you are now specializing in not really doing very much.  You’re tired and unmotivated. You’re starting to see paper plates as a solution to doing the dishes.

(4) You’re forgetful and can’t think straight. You miss important things you have to do and your brain is fuzzy. You probably feel stupid because you keep losing things and can’t figure stuff out. Being moody is a great cover for not knowing what you should do when you just screwed up something by forgetting the obvious. Plus you’re too tired to think straight anyway.

(5) Your weight is keeping pace with inflation. You exercise and eat right, but you’re slowly blowing up like Veruca Salt. Or on the other hand, your weight is mysteriously going down even though you’re eating like Fat Bastard.

(6) If your menstrual cycle was made into an infographic, the graphic designer may as well be a three year old with a red crayon who was told to draw dinosaurs fighting. Goodness knows what’s happening down there. You period is random and confusing. Or maybe it’s just gone completely.

(7) You have your own weather. Everyone else is nice and warm, you’re too cold. Or vice a versa. If the kids are messing with the thermostat again, there’s a 17% chance you’ll drown them in the bathtub.

(8) You’re starting to drink, do drugs, or some other kind of self-medication to keep yourself mentally stabilized.

(9) Everything sucks. It just does. You experience First World Problems as genuinely depressing and frustrating.

(10) Someone printed this blog post off, handed it to you, then dove for safety.

So…

If you have some sort of reasonable collection of those symptoms, maybe it’s time to go visit your doctor, and this is the important part… Tell. Them. Everything.

Seriously now. Don’t hold back on anything that’s wrong with you. Don’t be afraid to ask for an endocrine referral to a specialist if your labs come back with numbers all over the place like a Lotto drawing.

Bonus reason that it might be endocrine…. you’re enraged at the suggestion you should go to the doctor to be checked out.

The good news is that if it is in fact an endocrine disorder, then it’s usually pretty fixable with medication. You can make really quite significant progress on a personal and relationship level once it’s treated. The counter-point to that though, is if it’s endocrine related and you don’t get it treated… well… enjoy the slow gradual worsening of the Batshit Crazy.

And as an aside, Rebecca Watson is the go-to of the MAP Coaches for endocrine stuff, most particularly low testosterone men. You can also check out her blog Secret Life of a Low T Wife.

 

Your Wife’s AAAAAF Report Card (The “F” is for Sex)

I keep coming across this thing where a husband will positively gush about his wife. She’s an amazing cook, looks great, is kind and sweet tempered, keeps an excellent house, fabulous mom to the kids and on and on and on. Then the sad face comes… and he mentions that there’s hardly any sex. The husband always looks depressed and defeated because she’s far too good to leave but he never gets what he really wants from the relationship. There may well be delicious pie and a nice home, but it feels like he stumbled into a trap nevertheless.

For a long time I’ve been seeing that as a form of compensation on the wife’s part. She doesn’t want the sex for whatever reason it is, so she becomes like a kid coming home with a school report card with five A’s and one F. As a parent you kinda have to look at the report card and think… Well she did flunk math… but everything else is amazing, so I don’t think I can really be too much of a hard ass about it.

Except when it’s a marriage and she’s flunking sex, it really is way more aggravating than your kid flunking math.

“In fact”, I usually say, “you’d probably much rather have the house be a bit messy, have her dress down a little, have a little more noise from the kids and less perfection with the money, just as long as you got some more regular sex. Instead of an AAAAAF report card from her, you’d rather see her turn in a BBBBBB report card.” 

That’s the husband’s cue to scream in relief that someone finally understands his situation. Up until this point, complaints about his wife to anyone else typically gets looks of confusion and polite questioning of the husband’s sanity. The wife is after all perfect, because the AAAAA part of the report card is what everyone else sees and only the husband has to lie awake at night with a raging hard-on silently cursing the cruel F that fate has dealt him.

So she’s compensating for her sexual disinterest by maxing out everything else. It’s a great strategy for keeping him on the hook.

But…

There’s another angle here too.

As much as she is compensating for her weakest area, she’s also mirroring her husband.

Pretty much all the AAAAAF wives have AAAAAF husbands.

These guys are really great. Hard working, good jobs, pleasant, agreeable, great with the kids, helps around the house, yada yada yada. But they all have a giant lack of attractiveness somehow.

Maybe it’s their weight. Maybe it’s the cluelessness about how to instigate and flirt. Maybe they just fold up like wet napkins any time she challenges them. Maybe they fail to do anything when other guys blatantly hit on the wife in front of them. Whatever it is, it all sums out to some huge defect in being attractive and pulling her sexual interest.

Meanwhile, the wife probably has her internal hamster treading water coming up with reasons to be happy in her marriage despite the bed death. He’s such a great guy, any woman would be happy with him… just… ugh. This would all be simpler if he just cheated so I had a reason to divorce him.

So…

Whatever it is that’s causing the F in your sex life, you have to find it and root it out. Helping you in that process are the books, the forum and the 1:1 coaching.

So get to it. Class is back in session.

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?

High Fructose Porn Syrup

Somewhat off topic in a forum thread…

Athol:  Actually it’s become clear to me over the last year that it takes very little porn at all to start guys detaching from their wives.

@Haniel:  Might be a derail, but this is where my thoughts are now. I never had a porn problem. My wife never had a problem with me watching porn. I just viewed it as a little extra on the side since I’m more high desire than my wife. It’s way different sensations than sex so I figured just something different and I would do it on off nights–nights were my wife had a busy day and all. Usually two nights a week.

Anyways after reading a few threads here and on r/redpill and the infamous http://yourbrainonporn.com I finally said hey why not just try not using porn ( I thought maybe a month or so to see if there’s a positive change in anything). The main argument to turn me was the simple drop in testosterone. The second was just thinking about how unnatural it is to be able to click click click get aroused anyway you want.

I really didn’t expect much of a change as I was never a heavy user and have a very healthy sex life with my wife, but wow, after two weeks I already decided no porn ever again. My energy towards my wife and during sex just felt so incredibly better.

1) I became much more dominant in my initations. I don’t know if this is because I knew that was the only way I was getting off or just because I hadn’t wasted energy jerking off to strangers.  But I’m just way more proud of the way I initiate and have been getting better reactions from my wife too. It’s hard to define the change it’s just the energy I have when I approach her.

2) Emotional closeness. It’s hard to explain this without getting sappy. I no longer look at other women to jerk off ( I still notice women in day to day life but I’m not stroking at the time so its not as impactful). So my wife is my sexual half. Everything sexual for me is my wife. Every time I get a random boner now I think of her in a hot dress or her sucking me or me pounding her. It used to be oh remember that awesome video the other night, or man that one video I’ve saved for years that always gets me off. Now its random boner  = wife. So now I just feel really connected to her. Boner wife boner wife. That’s the least sappy way to describe it.

3) Noticeable increase in load size, orgasm sensations and duration of orgasm. Even light porn use effected this. The thing is with light porn use say 2 nights a week and with wife 5 nights I never had a break. Now I have a break 1-2 nights a week and that’s enough to really up the pleasure and make the time with my wife more powerful. Who doesn’t want better orgasms with their wife. Now that I don’t watch porn I finally cum like a pornstar.

Its been around 3 months now. Never going back.

Athol:  I’ve had a long time saying that “Something isn’t a problem until it’s a problem.” I still believe that. It’s just become apparent more clearly now how quickly porn does become a problem. We’ve come a long way from a secret stash of stolen Playboy’s.

Never really considered myself a heavy user by any means, and it’s not like I was even jerking off to it. I had a bunch of pic based Tumblrs I was following and when Google Reader kicked the bucket, I was just too busy to find a replacement for it. So the porn just vanished on me one day and that was about it.

It wasn’t until about 3-4 weeks later that I got a adult ad in my email inbox that I got the face full of porny tits and ass. I was shocked by it and that was really surprising to me. Oh I don’t mean “shocked” in a clutch-the-pearls way, just in a wow-that’s-a-lot-of-stimulation way. When you’re a sex writer and a screenshot of box covers makes you have a reaction of any kind it gets your attention. What the fuck just happened there?

So anyway, pretty much everything Haniel said above I’ve noticed too. It’s just a whole lot easier feeling attracted and horny around Jennifer without the porn around. Not like we were even having marriage trouble / sexual dysfunction / serious whatever as a side effect either.

And don’t get me wrong here. I don’t have a moral qualm about watching porn. It’s not even a hard no forever either. I’d just rather not suck down the High Fructose Porn Syrup.