When I hit puberty, I did what most guys do: I discovered women. And like most guys, from that moment forward, pretty much everything in my life revolved around them.
Learning about them, understanding them, talking to them, interacting with them, figuring out how to get them to like me, learning how to impress them, being in relationships with them, etc. Either directly or indirectly, everything I did–even my writing–was ultimately because I wanted to be successful with women.
I got to be pretty good with women. Not the best–I don’t even know what that would mean in that regard–but I was usually able to accomplish my goals. When I wanted to just sleep with as many women as possible, I slept with a lot of women. When I wanted to have lots of short term relationships with lots of different women, I did that. When I wanted to casually date a few women at a time, I did that. And now that I want a serious, meaningful and committed relationship with one woman, I have that–with a great woman.
My books were not really about women, they were about me and all the things I did that were funny or ridiculous or entertaining to other people. But so much of what I did revolved around women, as a result, lots of people–especially young guys–saw me as an expert with women. This wasn’t totally off base. My whole life I’ve made it a point to understand the things I care about, and as a result, I’ve made it a point to really understand women, and all the things revolving around women: sex, dating, etc. And at each stage of my life, I made sure I knew enough about these issues to be successful with women.
The problem is that young guys tend to be really stupid, and mistook where my expertise was. They’d take my exterior behavior–the assholish or ridiculous things I wrote about–as what made me successful with women. But that’s the thing: the behavior I wrote about is very rarely behavior that is attractive to women. In fact, I was often successful with women in SPITE of my boorish, asshole behavior, NOT because of it. It’s not that I didn’t know what to do to get women, I just only wrote about the outlandish things, not the effective things.
But that didn’t stop my young male fans from doing two different things:
1. Imitating the behavior they read about in my books in the hopes that it would help them get women (which usually doesn’t work, because they do it wrong), or
2. Asking me for advice on how they can be better with women.
Because of my books, I’ve had tens of thousands of guys ask me for advice on how to properly deal with women over the past decade. I would sometimes make an attempt to answer their questions, and those writings were usually very popular, but I never really did anything systematic with that advice. It was haphazardly given.
Part of that was because I was busy with fratire. Another reason is that I never wanted to be associated with those awful pick-up artist clowns; as a new writer, I was fighting my own battle for legitimacy and didn’t want to have to fight that as well, so I shied away from giving sex and dating advice.
But I think the biggest reason I didn’t write more sex and dating advice for young guys was because I really didn’t understand how bad it was for guys. How little most guys knew, how desperate their situations were, and how much more I knew than the average guy. I knew I was better than most guys with girls, but I didn’t think it was that bad for guys. I just didn’t realize how lost most guys were.
And you know what’s funny about this? It was pretty obvious, had I paid attention. The questions I get aren’t about sophisticated pick-up techniques (not that I even use any) or complicated relationship questions. The questions tend to be very fundamental. For example, just searching through my email, here are some real questions just from the past month:
“How do I get girls? I mean like any girls.”
“What do I do to make girls like me?”
“Why am I such a fucking loser with girls?”
It slowly dawned on me how bad most guys had it with women. How lost they were, how much help they needed, and most relevant to me: How much I could help them.
This was all becoming more and more evident, and it crystallized with a conversation I had about two years ago. I was at dinner with Geoffrey Miller, the famous evolutionary psychologist (who wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Mating Mind). Geoff explained to me that he’d heard of my books from his male nephews, who worshipped me, and he lamented the fact that he had to spend hours explaining to them that they were not advice books.
Tucker “Well of course not, my books are entertainment. They’re just funny stories about the really stupid, ridiculous things I’ve done. Why do they think they’re advice??”
Geoff “Well, they’re all 14-20, and your writing is the only frank and honest thing they’ve ever read on sex and dating. There is nothing else that talks about these issues the way you do. In the absence of that, they use what they have, and they take your books as advice.”
Tucker “That’s fucking stupid, it’s not designed as advice! There must be something that explains sex and dating in a clear, informational way for young guys.”
Geoff “I have looked, quite extensively, for a book or something that honestly and frankly addresses the entire spectrum of sex, dating, women and relationships, especially for men. I’ve never found one. I spend hours answering their very basic questions about these issues.”
Tucker “No fucking way. This book has to exist.”
Geoff “It doesn’t. Tucker, I teach Human Sexuality at my college, don’t you think I’d know about it and recommend it to them if existed?”
I spent the next 30 minutes on my phone, scouring Amazon. Geoff was right. There was nothing like that. This was a hole in the market so big, it was hard to see unless you stood far enough back.
Tucker “How could this not exist?”
Geoff “Well, there are several reasons; the social climate in this country is such that it’s hard to talk honestly about sexual issues. Furthermore, most of the people who do talk about these issues have an ideological agenda that colors their view and distorts their advice; religion or abortion or abstinence, etc. Even the stuff without explicit agendas suffers from a complete lack of scientific rigor, or even worse, is manipulative and unethical, like all the pick-up artist garbage.”
We talked more about this, why this book didn’t exist, and what it would look like if it did…then we had the epiphany that should have been obvious to me years ago:
Tucker “What if we could take everything we know about sex and dating now, put it in a book, and give it to the 15 year old versions of ourselves? What would that book be worth?”
Geoff “I can’t imagine a price a 15 year old would not pay for that knowledge.”
Tucker “What if we did that? What if we took what we know now, and make it available to every man in America, in an easy to understand, accessible way? All the problems with sex and dating advice are solvable. How great would that be? Why can’t we do that?”
I was immediately in love with the idea and totally ready to do it. Geoff liked the idea, but wasn’t fully sold. So we agreed to keep talking about it and exploring it.
A few months later, Geoff was at a Thanksgiving dinner with his entire extended family. He was chatting with his young male cousins–the same ones who recommended my books–about women and dating. They were peppering him with questions, the same basic questions he was telling me they ask, the same ones I get from my fans.
Geoff brought up the idea about creating a guide to sex and dating for young men. They went ballistic, and begged him to do it. They were all very different from each other–some fundamentalist, some atheist, some young Republicans, some hipster liberals–but the commonality was that they didn’t care where the insights came from, they just needed guidance.
So Geoff and I started talking seriously about doing something about this, about helping all these lost guys–young and old–understand women and dating and sex better, and get the relationships they want.
It’s Time To Help Guys Understand Sex, Dating And Women, Part 2: What we’re going to do, and how you can help