The Mating Grounds Podcast Launch

I’ve already told you about The Mating Grounds, the book/website about sex and dating advice for young guys that I’m doing with Dr. Geoffrey Miller. We are super busy working on the forthcoming book, “Mate,” but in the meantime, launched a podcast.

You can subscribe here on iTunes (if you hate iTunes, the other links are in the posts below). We have a pretty good set of both guests and specific topic podcasts, and the accompanying pages are pretty comprehensive:

John Durant’s Interview (I think the most actionable interview so far)

Dr. Carin Bondar’s Interview (my personal favorite interview, b/c of her Mexico story)

Matt Ridley’s Interview (super cool for me, Matt has been an intellectual hero of mine since college)

Dr. Catherine Salmon’s Interview (really cool, she talks about female porn and other interesting things)

Robert Greene’s Interview (typical Robert Greene subtle genius)

How Do Women Evaluate Men

What Is Dating Like For Women (And Why It Matter’s To You)

What Do Women Want In Men?

Why Do Women Want These Things? (understanding evolution)

 

Quotes, June 2014

“The stronger the identity, the more it imprisons, the more it resists expansion, interpretation, renewal, contradiction.”
-Rem Koolhaas

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
-Lao Tze

“How to manage a project: Limit it in scope. Make it simple. Get success. Then iterate.”
-Auren Hoffman

“The subtext of funny t-shirts is “I don’t have a personality””
-Brandon Wardell

“What we tell students in formal schooling: “Sit down, stay quiet, and absorb. Do this for 12 to 16 years and all will be well.”
-Alex Tabarrok

“It’s always dangerous when boring people think they’re creative.”
-Alec Sulkin

“People moved in across the street and are immediately cutting down a huge tree. Their toothbrushes will know my buttonhole.”
-Rob Delaney

“Hearing the faraway sounds of children at recess makes me understand that I am no longer life’s main character.”
-Alec Sulkin

“When Bill Clinton assembled the top minds of the nation to discuss the economy in 1992, no one mentioned the Internet.”
-David Leonhardt

“Most people’s lives are nothing more than pointlessly frantic activity used as a psychological defense against their own impotence and fear.”
-Tucker Max

“If you have an opinion on what other adults do consensually with other adults when they take their pants off, you’re a weirdo.”
-Rob Delaney

“Reminded again (constantly): there isn’t a more important decision than deciding who your crew is, who to work with, who to spend time with.”
-John Lilly

“Everything happens for a reason” = I neither recognize nor accept that my actions have consequences for which I am ultimately accountable.”
-Nils Parker

“One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear.”
-Nietzsche

“You are not special. There is no plan for you. Nothing happens for a reason. Just try not to die and shut up.”
-Alec Sulkin

“Keep telling people you’re happy and maybe you’ll start believing it.”
-Ty Schutz

“The dinosaurs invented Jesus to test our confidence in science.”
-Karl Hess

“If you’ve finished Finnegans Wake, you probably value feeling clever more than you value enjoying your life.”
-Charlie Hoehn

“It is no coincidence that social media, “everything is connected” (the default is plugged), is a vivid metaphor for globalism, even as so many social media vaginalists think they are against globalism if it is defined as Wall Street. Propaganda doesn’t care about your motivations, so long as you act in the required direction.”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“I have always found that those the quickest to cast moral judgment on others have the most to be judged about in their own lives.”
-Matt Jones

“Tell someone you love them today, because life is short. But SHOUT it at them in German, because life is also terrifying and confusing.”
-Matt Suddain

“No one else knows how to be you. All they can tell you is how to be more like them.”
-@donni

Quotes, May 2014

“History books do a good job of leaving out all the boy-fucking.”
-Julius Sharpe

“On behalf of all of psychiatry: I’m sorry. We have no idea what the he’ll is going on with any of you.”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“The internet makes everything not enough.”
-Alec Sulkin

“Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.”
-Raymond Chandler

“Good advice is priceless. Not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. Not imaginary, but practical. Not based on fear, but on possibility. Not designed to make you feel better, designed to make you better. Seek it out and embrace the true friends that care enough to risk sharing it. I’m not sure what takes more guts—giving it or getting it.”
-Seth Godin

“Studying history helps you predict the future by teaching you which things are old enough to be permanent.”
-Paul Graham

“Art precedes audience. All these people who don’t make shit wondering where all the eyeballs are…. Go figure.”
-Hugh MacLeod

“My mother on childraising: “All you have to do is love them and show them the world.””
-Paul Graham

“The mark of greatness is when everything before you is obsolete, and everything after you bears your mark.”
-Dave Chappelle on Richard Pryor

“FYI: when you see a grammar nazi foaming at the mouth, you are watching someone with absolutely nothing of substance to say.”
-Nils Parker

“It always seems that people who bring nothing to the table take the most from it.”
-Alec Sulkin

“Nothing annoys me more than when I’m talking to someone about music and for some reason they think their opinion is as valid as mine.”
-@BillMc7

“If you say you had a zen moment, you already didn’t.”
-Alec Sulkin

“When aliens arrive in 2020 and want a symbol for all that went wrong in America in the past 60 years, they will pick the laugh track.”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“American Airlines should sell their planes and just become professional dicks.”
-Julius Sharpe

“And then a white BMW with New Jersey plates reminded everyone about the true meaning of asshole.”
-Alec Sulkin

 

How Crowdfunding Will Change The World

This is the copy of a speech I delivered at a crowdfunding conference in Austin this weekend. It’s similar to the content in the series I did a few months ago. I also did some slides with it, you can download them here if you want to see them:

How Crowdfunding Is Going To Change The World

When new technologies or ideas come up, people tend to draw a straight line forward. They assume the future will be the past, but just more of it. That’s not how new technologies work. Truly innovative ideas fundamentally alter relationships, which in turn creates entirely new possibilities.

For example, TV was not filmed radio. It completely changed the way people interacted with media. The iPhone was not a phone with a screen; it’s actually a computer that makes calls, and it completely changed how humans related to computing and the internet.

I think equity crowdfunding is the same. It won’t take what exists in venture capital and angel investing and create more of it. I think equity crowdfunding will create entirely new classes of business and entirely new business models. In fact, I think equity crowdfunding changes the way that people interact with money and power.

But before I get into my predictions, let’s do something fun: Let’s look at all of my social media accounts.

My Social Media Value

This is not about bragging, I promise, it’s actually going to make a point:

Facebook: I have 450k+ followers. That’s a lot.

Twitter: 375k+ followers. Pretty solid, plus I have a verified account. Nice.

Instagram: 2200 followers. I’m not a picture guy, it’s mostly just pictures of my dog or my girlfriend.

LinkedIn: 500+ followers. Why do they cap that number? Who knows. Anyway, a lot of people on LinkedIn

What If I Got Paid By Social Media Companies

Now, those assets have value. They are nodes in the network, and not just small nodes. I’m a power user of at least two of those networks. So, being that I have created value for them, let’s look at how much money these companies paid me:

Facebook: 0$

Twitter: 0$

LinkedIn: 0$

Instagram: 0$

That’s probably about what you get paid for your social media accounts, isn’t it? So why am I showing you this? What does this have to do with crowdfunding?

What My Twitter Account Alone Is Worth?

 

Hypothetical 1: A different type of social media company

Well, let’s take a second and imagine a different type of social media company. Let’s imagine a social media company that does all the exact same things as Facebook or Twitter or any of these companies, but one thing: it recognizes that all its value is derived from it’s network of users. So what if instead of collecting all the value that the network provides for itself, it pushes all the of this value to the edges of the network.

To make it simpler, what if the people using the social network got paid the profit that the social network makes?

Right now, Facebook exists to make money for Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of its shareholders.

But what if Facebook existed for a higher purpose–to serve it’s network of users? What if it paid the profits that the network made from their activity?

If that company could be magiked into existence, that would be an incredibly disruptive company, wouldn’t it?

I know what you’re thinking, that’s impossible. First off, there’s no way that company gets funded. Who would put money into a company that can’t be profitable? No VC I know would do that. And why would people even use it, we already have Facebook, right?

OK, let’s put a pin in that discussion, and come back to it later.

Hypothetical 2

Let’s imagine a different scenario. Let’s imagine that a few of the best engineers and programmers in Silicon Valley get fed up with the political status quo in America–they’re pissed off at the government. Either end of the spectrum, doesn’t matter which–whether they think Obama is coming to take their guns, or they think Bush did 9/11, doesn’t matter, the point is, they’re not arm chair revolutionaries–these are smart, serious and capable dudes and they want to create REAL change.

What could they do?

Well, right now they only have three options:

1. Altruism: This is bullshit. They’re not going to fly to Africa, dig a well, pet some poor people, and fly back (ahem charity:water). They want to really create a new system that is freer and more democratic, that creates real value for lots of real people, not just for the elites.

2. Make Money For The System: they have to create a company that does something good, but in order for it to exist, it has to make money for the capital system that it comes out of. Make no mistake about it, Facebook and other social networks create IMMENSE amounts of value for users, but the problem is that they capture most of it themselves. Or at least a lot of it. So anything they do like this, the money will inevitably go to the system they think is unfair and corrupt.

3. Attack the System: they have to attack the system. They can join Anonymous, or Wikileaks, or Occupy Wall Street, or do something like that. But lets say these are peaceful guys, and they don’t hate America, they don’t want to destroy things, they just want to make the world better. Doing any of these things makes them outcasts and quite frankly, could endanger their lives. And violence is never a good path for change. None of those are good options for them, or for real long term change

Hypothetical 3

Well, let’s jump forward to when equity crowdfunding becomes fully legal in the western world. And let’s pretend that all the legal issues are worked out, and equity crowdfunding works great. What happens then?

Well, here’s one possible way this story can play out, a way to combine hypothetical 1 and hypothetical 2 and create something new:

Take this same team of engineers. Let’s even assume they’ve already made some money in a start-up, so that’s not an issue to them. Like I said, what they really care about is making the world freer, more democratic, and they care more about delivering value to people than to making money for Wall Street or corrupt politicians or terrible VC’s, or pick your evil of choice.

So, what if they decide to create a new social network. One that is basically just like Facebook (or Twitter, or Instagram or whatever). Except there are three huge changes:

1. Every decision is about what’s good for the users: They decide their social network will be technologically exactly the same (or better) than the current Facebook, it will put the user first, not the company. This means they respect the privacy of the user, they don’t work with the NSA, offer every customizable feature possible to make Facebook how you want it, etc, etc. The point is–they make it their mission to make decisions will favor the users of the network, NOT the shareholders of the company. Think of something like Patagonia’s mission statement, and you’ll know what I mean.

2. Profits go to the users, not the company: They decide to structure the company such that 50% of the net profit of the company goes to the people who financed the company, and 50% goes to the users of the platform. There are no major investors, no way for this company to exit, no IPO, no sale. It’s like a co-op, sort of, except they run it. They’re doing this as a mission, not about their personal profit.

3. Equity Crowdfunding: They finance this through equity crowdfunding. Let’s even say they restrict investments to $100 from 10,000 people worldwide, under the assumption that it’ll take them 1 million to get started on building and growing the platform.

[Let's assume for the sake of conversation that 1. the founding team has the engineering chops to do this, and 2. the credibility that people believe them.]

Is This Even Possible?

I know what you’re thinking–this is impossible. No company could do this.

Is it really impossible though? Let’s see…what are the arguments against it:

1. They couldn’t raise the money

Normally, you’d be exactly right. Under the current VC capital system, they’d NEVER be able to raise money for something like that, because what VC would finance a company that won’t create a huge ROI?

But they’re using equity crowdfunding. There are about 3 billion people on social networks now worldwide. If they are believable and do a good job with marketing, they could raise more than they’d ever need to build this out.

And if your argument is that 1 million won’t get them to scale, you’re right. But once they have a working prototype, why can’t they raise more money? Especially via crowdfunding? Yes it’ll get more complicated to do this, but there are ways to do it that aren’t hard.

2. It can’t make money, so it can’t survive long term without more capital

Why can’t it make money? It can sell ads, just like Facebook does. I am not talking about using the Wikipedia model–that’s stupid–I’m talking about the basic Facebook ad model. This is designed to be a profitable company.

It will NOT be as profitable as Facebook, that’s for sure. We all know advertisers will go where the eyes are, and if this thing takes off, they WILL pay to get access to people.

If it’s selling ads, then it can easily make enough money to survive. Remember, the users own it, it doesn’t need to be “profitable” in the Wall Street sense. If just has to make more money than it costs to run it, because all excess profits goes to the users.

3. No one will join the network

Are you sure? Why not? Are you telling me that Facebook can’t be technically improved upon? Really? You don’t think “Facebook but no NSA and you control the ads you see and your privacy functions” would be a huge hit? Or a Facebook with a social conscience might not work?

Now, your argument might be that the network effects make the cost of switching high. OK fine, that’s a good argument. But they’re using crowdfunding, so the first 10k users are already on it, they’re the investors.

And what happens when announce that they will structure the profit payouts such that, let’s say, the first 1 million people who sign up get a bigger cut? Or that they will have an algorithm that rewards the 1% power users a little more than everyone else?

All of the sudden, this becomes the place to be. And if it’s better than Facebook–less privacy issues, more responsive to customers, more about the user experience and not about ad experience–why won’t everyone eventually shift?

It’s at least possible, right?

This Is Already Happening

If you’re still unsure of this hypothetical, there is already a great examples in rewards based crowdfunding alone:

Ghost

They’re a blogging platform designed to replace WordPress (and disrupt Automattic, the company that created it). The idea is that they are dedicated to making the best possible blogging platform for USERS. And they’re going to do it by creating an open source platform, curating the best attributes, cutting the rest, and eventually creating an open source company out of it.

The developer is a world class talent who could easily have done this as a start-up. Instead, he wanted to create the best possible blogging platform without regards to having to please investors, etc. The point is that he wanted to make the best possible product, not to just make money (though he will make money), and he knew that if he did this as a start-up, he wouldn’t be able to do that. That once he took money, he would be beholden to the money guys. What he cared about was the product, and he raised the money to do this because he shared his vision with the world, and the world agreed.

In case you are missing it, let me be clear: This is a new business model. This is a new business model, and it can’t exist without crowdfunding.

Its not pure altruism, it’s not pure profit motive, its not really a socially conscious business, it’s a combination of these things, and it focuses on the thing that actually matters: how the product actually benefits real people. It focuses on meaning first, profit second.

[Incidentally, I found out after the speech about something called a Benefit Corporation, so even the legal world is moving this way].

These are just a few hypotheticals and one specific example. I don’t want to get bogged down in them. But what I am telling you is that equity crowdfunding is not going to be what you expect. Its not just going to be Angel and VC investing, but more of it. It’s going to create new things, things we haven’t seen before.

What Does This Mean?

Plainly put: Equity crowdfunding will change the world because it puts any idea–no matter how difficult to implement or revolutionary or challenging to the protected powerful elite–into the realm of possibility.

How? Equity crowdfunding connects ideas with the money and people that can make them happen.

There is now a true path that enables anyone to do anything. You can already build companies cheaply, and you can already connect with people all over the world. The missing component was that you couldn’t effectively raise capital unless the idea appealed to institutional investors. This meant big companies had incredible advantages over everyone else.

But now anyone can do that. raise the money to directly compete with the biggest companies in the world. All you have to be have are three things:

1. An internet connection

2. A compelling idea

3. The ability to convince other people to commit money to your idea

That’s it.

Now, whether you can implement the idea is a different thing, that’s up to you. But the obstacles are now gone.

The dreamers can’t sit in cafes and sip their lattes and talk about what they’d do if the system was fair. It is fair now. It’s as fair as we’re ever going to get in this imperfect, shitstorm of a world we live in. You are free to come up with ideas, the means to connect to the world exists, and now you can raise the money for the company.

Equity Crowdfunding + Bitcoin = Democracy

What happens when you add Bitcoin to this?

“The Internet allows any two individuals to transfer data without permission from any central authority. Bitcoin does the same for value.”
-Naval Ravikant

 

And add blockchain technology on top of this–like Bitcoin–and all of the sudden, not only can you finance any project, you can do it from anywhere, taking money from anyone.

This allows people to vote on the world they want to live in, WITH THEIR MONEY. This enables the poor and disenfranchised a chance to compete with the rich and powerful.

What equity crowdfunding does then, is that is basically enables the closest thing to a true democratic meritocracy ever. The closest the world has ever gotten is to this sort of freedom is probably America in the 20th century (pre-9/11), and even as free as we were, there were–and still are–so many barriers, not to success, but to competition.

This is actually my ultimate point:

Crowdfunding will be one of history’s great developments because it provides large masses of otherwise disenfranchised people to organize ideas and capital to compete against entrenched powers.

Equity crowdfunding + bitcoin, on top of the existing internet framework, creates the truest economic democracy the world has ever seen.

I think a mechanism for EQUITY crowdfunding was the last piece of the puzzle.

That’s as world changing as it gets.

Conclusion:

Given these facts–that equity crowdfunding allows true competition of ideas in a free and fair market–implies that everyone should back it. Think about it; if you care about these things:

1. Democracy

2. the American Dream

3. freedom

4. and human empowerment, and

5. fairness

How can you not be excited about the opportunity to create more of each of these things?

Equity crowdfunding creates true economic democracy. The only people who can reasonably be against crowdfunding are those who have a powerful position who don’t want competition.

Where To Start If You’re Lost With Women

We soft launched one of my new projects (The Mating Grounds) last month with a series of posts about “Where To Start If You’re Lost With Women.”

The title pretty much describes what the 8-part series is; a breakdown of the barest fundamentals of sex, dating and women for guys who are completely, totally lost. Part 1 covers mindset, the rest of the posts are linked at the bottom if you want to read them. That site is still in it’s infancy, so feedback is always welcome.

We’ll be launching a podcast and accompanying video series with tons of expert interviews soon. It should be pretty cool, and I’ll announce it here when I do.

 

Quotes, April 2014

“Parental love so much easier to give than romantic love; one spares kids that unfair expectation: that they should understand one.”
-Alain deBotton

“The future is the only thing we can improve.”
-Kevin Kelly

“Questions draw us together. Answers push us apart.”
-Peter Block

“A flawed [education and certification] system isn’t better than no system at all, it is worse than no system at all, because at least with no system we are forced to be accountable to ourselves for our education. “Not everyone will be so dedicated.” Correct, but now those same undedicated people get an official blessing of their ignorance. Who doesn’t walk out of even this ridiculously meaningless exam not feeling smart, accomplished, up to date? And who would dare, after passing, to criticize the exam that warmed his ego?”
-The Last Psychiatrist

“The Internet allows any two individuals to transfer data without permission from any central authority. Bitcoin does the same for value.”
-Naval Ravikant

“The difference between a scholar and a fundamentalist: a scholar asks questions, while a fundamentalist gives answers.”
-Gary Marx

“Facebook is probably better off that they didn’t hire Acton in 2009. He wouldn’t have created WhatsApp as an employee.”
-Paul Graham

“Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.”
-Robert A. Heinlein

“Change occurs when the pain of the new is less than the pain of the old.”
-Robb Wolf

“Give me control over a man’s economic actions, and hence over his means of survival, and except for a few occasional heroes, I’ll promise to deliver to you men who think and write and behave as I want them to.”
-Benjamine A. Rooge

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
-Socrates

“No success in the professional realm can compensate for failure in the home.”
-Anon

“The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.”
-Zhuge Liang

“You need a long hard day’s work to reveal the logic of the craving for very bad tv and alcohol.”
-Alain de Botton

“It used to be that companies with industrial economies of scale created business success. Now, success will come from the information economies of scale, either the ones with complete breadth, or complete depth.”
-Tucker Max

“People who are pedantic are usually trying to hide their idiocy.”
-Michael Malice

“In the age of strategy, advantage flowed from owning resources. In the age of wisdom, it flows from seeding and connecting them.”
-Umair Haque

RIP, Seth Roberts

Last night, I found out that my friend Seth Roberts passed away.

You may not have known Seth, you may not even have known who he was, but he was a very important person to the lives of many people.

Though a professor a Berkeley, he championed personal science. He was one of the leading proponents of the Quantified Self movement. He was willing to not just test ideas on himself, he was willing to be one of the first academics to call personal science efforts legitimate.

He also helped start the Ancestral Health/Paleo movement (especially the Ancestral Health Conference). He lent his name and his status to a movement that was new and had very little credibility. But he knew the data was right, he knew they were onto something, and he backed them in every way. I started paleo in large part because of Seth.

Seth not only embraced new ideas, he came up with them and tested them himself. His blog is full of amazing ideas, ideas that other people used to improve their lives. Just his Shang-ri La Diet is such an incredible idea, and so far ahead of its time, it is still not understood. The mainstream immediately dismissed it–how can eating two tablespoons of oil between meals cause you to lose weight–without even engaging the idea. I tried it. It works. He didn’t even care that they ignored him, he just kept on trying new things, finding counter-intuitive ways to see the world.

Seth had real courage. Though a well respected academic, he took on other academics who lied, plagiarized and otherwise cared only about their status, and not about the quality of their information or their ideas, or how they helped other people. He called them out in public, and took the consequences that always come with attacking powerful exploiters.

Seth had intellectual courage as well. He examined ideas in themselves, not who they came from, and he defended and stood up for the things that were right, regardless of what they cost him.

Seth loved people as well. He listened to you when you talked to him, he didn’t just wait for his turn to speak, and he treated you like a person deserving of respect, no matter who you were. How many people do you know like that, not to mention professors?

Seth also made a profound impact on my personal life. He was one of the first people to not only take me seriously as a writer–long before I had much commercial success–he gladly brought me into his social network, introduced me to people he knew, and defended me and my writing in a far more eloquent way I ever have. In many ways, he showed me what was great about my writing. He saw me as an innovator and courageous writer long before I ever thought to look for those things in myself. And not only that, he explained it to me in a way that was so right, so awesomely eloquent, I now use his words to describe those parts of myself. Seth Roberts gave me–a writer–the words I use to describe myself.

People live and people die. Most people never impact anything or anyone outside of a very small circle directly around them. That’s OK, it doesn’t make them bad, it just means they lived a small life.

Seth was not like this. He changed me, and he changed many, many other people far smarter and more important than me. Seth changed the world he lived in. He made it better. He was a true thinker, an authentic innovator in a world of imitators. Seth’s particular mix of traits–incredibly brilliant but still highly empathetic–is exceedingly rare, and he used it to make a real impact. The world has suffered a terrible loss with his passing.

People like Seth Roberts are not replaced. They come, they do incredible things, and they are missed when they go.

And just personally, I will miss him so much. I can’t remember the last time I cried, but I am crying for his loss. I mean that literally. It hurts. I considered him a great friend when he was alive, but I honestly didn’t realize how important he was to me until he passed. This has been a very sad, very emotional time for me.

It isn’t just about his ideas and his blog all that other things he contributed to the world–he was such a kind, wonderful human. I often wondered how I could be more like him, especially the way he dealt with the intersection of ideas and people. I’m a better human being because I knew him…how many other people can that be said for? How many, when they pass, actually leave a hole?

Seth has left a hole in the world. I’m so glad I knew him, and I will miss him so much.

 

PS–Some other people have praised Seth in far better ways than I did:

John Durant
Richard Nikoley
Ryan Holiday
Ben Casnocha
Nassim Taleb

First real Mating Grounds post, thanks for feedback

First off I want to thank all the guys who sent me questions, I got several hundred in just the first two days. I read them all and answered all of them (I think I answered all of them, some of recent ones might still be waiting).

Please feel free to keep sending me as many questions as you want. I can’t guarantee that I’ll answer them all, but I will read them and it really does help us write the best guide to sex and dating possible (which will help you).

And because of these questions, I actually changed up the posting schedule on Mating Grounds, and this post is first result. There will be fine more in that series, if you’re one of the guys who it’s intended for, please feel free to let me know if it helps.

 

 

It’s Time To Help Guys Understand Sex, Dating And Women, Part 2

[Continued from Part 1]

Once we realized this was a great idea with a huge demand, we set out to really think about what this book would look like. What information would it contain? How would it teach this information? How would it be so different from everything else on the market?

We decided to add another writer to help us–Nils Parker–and then dove full into the project. Geoff, Nils and I probably spent 4 or 5 entire days sitting around talking about these issues. What was missing in the dating advice market for guys, what was needed, what angle it had to take, what information it needed to have, how should it be presented, what do we want to avoid, etc. We talked it out until we thought we had a really good vision for the book and what we wanted accomplish with it.

You can read what we came up with on the About page if you want.

But I’ll be honest–even though we believe every word of that–until we start really putting material out, and show what all of this looks like, the About page is just speculation. It’s what we hope to accomplish, not what we’ve done yet. It’s just our goal.

In service of that goal, we are doing two big things:

1. Writing a book: We are already well into this process (about 20k words done). The tentative release is February 2015. So yeah, it’s a long way off. This isn’t just some rehash of advice you’ve heard before, so it’s going to take time to get right. But don’t worry, in the meantime, there is the site.

2. Posting lots of content online: Much of the book material will be sandboxed on the website. Plus we are going to write SO MUCH more for the book than it will be able to hold; it’ll be about 80k words long, and we’ll probably write 200k words for it, and of course, most of the excess will go on the site. In addition to writing, we’ll be doing videos and have a podcast where we interview lots of really smart and interesting people. We have lots of different things planned, but I’m not sure what we’ll eventually release to the public and when.

To be clear: We’re starting small. Geoff and Nils are hard at work on the book, so for the next few months, I’m the only one that will be posting on the site. I’m pretty busy, so I’ll probably only get 1-2 new pieces a week up on the site, so be patient with us.

In fact, if you just want to ignore the new site for now, feel free. We’ll get a little bit better every week, so if the first time you check out the site is in 4 months, that’s fine; it’ll be much better then.

You might be asking the logical question: If the site barely has any info, why am I even fucking posting this then? Because I have an ask:

I need to understand what it is you guys need help with. What you want to know about. What your issues with women, sex and dating are. What I actually want is interaction with guys who want and need help. For the first time in years, I’m asking for guys to send me emails asking for advice.

Please go here, and let me know.

I’m doing this as form of market research that protects us from being too far in our own heads. Instead of writing and posting a bunch of stuff and then reaching out to my audience (which was the initial plan), I’d rather get feedback from guys who need help now, and start thinking about their perspective as soon as possible. In essence, we want to write the book that guys actually need, not the book we think they need, and the only way for us to make sure we do that is to interact with guys who need help.

NOTE: This isn’t to say we need help understanding guys in general, or the overall tenor of the issues men are facing. Please do not tell me what you think about the dating scene, or the problems of other guys, or send me some rant about women. That’s an opinion, and those are worthless to us. We want to know what problems you specifically are facing, what your issues and insecurities are, etc. Anything you think we can help you with, I want to hear about.

SECOND NOTE: As should be obvious, this applies to men only. Sorry ladies, you are welcome to read the site, but it’s only designed to offer advice to men.

ALSO: If you live in the Austin, Texas area, and want possible in person help–from me and Geoff–email me and we’ll talk. Yes, it would be free, and no, this is not going to open to many people, or available for long.

It’s Time To Help Guys Understand Sex, Dating And Women, Part 1

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.

 

Tomorrow:

It’s Time To Help Guys Understand Sex, Dating And Women, Part 2: What we’re going to do, and how you can help