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Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011: The Red Pill way to sleep with your wife.
Athol Kay’s expertise in sex is not in his formal education – he is a nurse (NOTE: I didn’t say MALE NURSE, because his gender has nothing to do with his vocation, and vice versa – any dude who looks down on what a nurse does as ‘women’s work’ is a self-professed idiot), which my experience working with nurses tells me that he has a whole lot of practical clinical experience backed up with a demanding and difficult medical and scientific education. Being a nurse is not easy, and what you have to go through to get there is hard. (UPDATED: Athol was kind enough to email me a correction: in addition to his nursing degree, he has a BA in Sociology. But he holds that his lack of formal education is one of his greater strengths, allowing him to bring a fresh perspective to the subject. I can see his point.) Athol runs the highly popular Married Man Sex Life blog, (kind of a gateway drug for the Manosphere) from which many chapters of the book have been culled, distilled, and refined. But Athol doesn’t hold any other degree to my knowledge concerning Human Sexuality, Psychology, Anthropology or a related field.
That being said, the man knows how to do research and relate it in a useful and entertaining manner. He begins by using the work of Biological Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, a Rutgers professor who is also the chief scientific officer at the dating site Chemistry.com. Athol's practical explanations of the intricate science behind human desire and mating that he expounds upon in The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 is one of the best, most complete and concise discussions of the subject I’ve ever read – and I’ve been a practicing Sex Nerd for years (and a promising amateur long before that).
Better yet, it’s presented in a blunt, no-nonsense, humorous but utterly masculine style that any dude with the mental capacity to change his own oil will be able to understand. He introduces science to the discussion but doesn’t let it stomp on your buzz. Really, Athol breaks down the complex dance of hormones and the all-important menstrual cycle and its affects on men and women in the course of courtship and mating with breathtaking clarity.
(Oh, and Athol? Total sci-fi nerd. I’m intrigued with how man former jocks are now turning to this hard-core nerd to save their sex lives. The irony is delicious!)
Unlike Dr. Levkoff’s book, How To Sleep With Your Wife, the Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 speaks directly to men in language men can understand. Far from condescending, it is one of the more empowering books on sexuality I’ve ever read. It begins with the premise that it is perfectly normal and natural for a man to want and pursue a profoundly sexual relationship with his wife, and proceeds with how to attain that golden goal through a comprehensive examination of the known science of sexual attraction, desire, and courtship. He covers testosterone and estrogen, vasopressin and of course the all-important dopamine and oxytocin, and their various affects on men and women as they go around pairbonding, falling in love, and otherwise trying to have sex with each other.
But he doesn’t stop there. Athol continuously refers to Evolutionary Biology and its role in the way our mating evolved, and makes quite a point of invoking prehistoric necessity (humorously called The Time Before Writing) to explain particulars of human sexual behavior. He brings a nurse's familiarity with anatomy to the discussion about a wife's menstrual cycle and what it means to your sex life. And while he doesn’t quote sources sufficient for an academic piece, he expounds on the sex lives of our paleo ancestors (and why it’s important to us) in a way that any dude can appreciate.
Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 makes a strong case for monogamy and against any kind of mate-sharing – but it’s not a standard-issue American quasi-monogamous marriage he’s proposing, here. (Partially because he’s a Kiwi from NZ). No, he proposes that the proper way to a man’s happiness is to get laid like tile within the bounds of his marriage. And then he gives his reasoning against infidelity as powerfully as he runs step-by-step through the stark decision-making process a man uses to consider a divorce.
But it’s not a mere “demand for service” he’s proposing, either. The centerpiece to the book is his Male Action Plan (MAP). It’s a comprehensive method for a man to re-invent himself in a way which will leave his wife little choice but to either fall in healthy lust with him again or admit to mental issues and seek professional help. Or it will at least force the issue in a bad marriage and allow a man to cut the bonds cleanly before pursuing a better match. Along the way key traditional elements of masculine identity combine with an enlightened approach to modern sensibilities.
In Athol’s MMSL world, Alpha and Beta aren’t opposite ends of the dial, they’re two separate, distinct, and important controls a man employs to attract and keep a mate. Simply put, you use Alpha to attract her and hold her sexual interest, and Beta to make her comfortable and assure her of your commitment. Alpha doesn’t mean be a dick all the time. Beta doesn’t mean be a pussy all the time. But you have to know how and when and in what proportions to be both nurturing (in that specific fatherly sort of way) and commanding (in that strong Captain Picard way) without being abusive.
Included within the MAP are suggestions for improving both Alpha and Beta qualities; the use of physical fitness in your regime; the importance of setting boundaries within your relationship; holding your wife accountable; the use (not abuse) of domination strategies to encourage your wife; the potential consequences of ignoring major problems in the relationship; and the importance of a good, healthy, and attractive physical appearance in your relationship.
Athol gives you some intriguing strategies for Game, as well as examples from his own life that illustrate how to apply Game to your marriage. He and his wife Jennifer are very much in love, love each other, and apparently have an enviable amount of lusty sex while maintaining a two-career life with two adolescent daughters to raise. That’s a perspective so many men can relate to in contemporary America, and the fact that both Athol and his wife freely use humor as an essential part of their marriage to disarm potential negatives and accentuate positives gives us an outstanding example of how to do likewise in our own relationships. Dude is funny, no joke.
There’s a lot of specific terminology to master: Sex Rank, Rationalization Hamster, Red Pill/Blue Pill, Sex Strategy, Body Agenda, Preselection, Fitness Test, Beta Orbiter, Nice Guy, Oneitis, L-Spot (women love that one!) and of course the all-important term, Game. He revisits some pop-culture answers to marital problems, addressing the importance of Date Night and what it entails from a male perspective, for instance. He is devout about his insistence of positive affirmations, saying “I love you” and meaning it, and other beta-oriented stuff. But he puts it in Red Pill context, which makes it less demeaning to your spirit and more approachable as a practical matter.
This is a profoundly important book for the Manosphere, as men search for a new and successful mating strategies. While Athol’s focus is clearly on post-marital life, he devotes a good amount of space to proper Wife Selection – something far too few men even consider while they’re searching for a decent date. He points out some telling red flags in a potential wife, things that we rarely think of as we’re ogling the boobs across the room that could spell our doom. He empowers husbands to take control of themselves, their wives, and celebrate their sexuality and masculinity without shame or remorse. He doesn’t ask that you kiss your wife’s ass – unless it’s an appropriate time and place to do so and leads to you actually getting laid more. His MAP is far more about tearing yourself down to the bare metal and rebuilding your manhood without fear of being judged. After all, who can argue with becoming a better man?
Athol also respects the power of porn, which is an important thing for me. He isn’t a crazy advocate or staunchly anti-porn, and he freely acknowledges the role that porn can play in a sexually healthy marriage, and for a sexually healthy man. But he also points out that constantly whacking off to porn is not real Alpha behavior, and is ultimately not going to get you laid. Unlike other books I’ve reviewed, he understands the dangers of porn in a relationship, but he addresses it without judgment, merely as a practical matter.
If there are any criticisms I have about this book, they’re constructive, as in: I wanna see more! The promise of further annual editions is encouraging, as long as fresh material is added to augment the already-bountiful content. I also see plenty of room for additional guides dealing with more specific issues: dating, aging, recovering from divorce, and social elements for men. There is plenty of additional material Athol could introduce, such as the role of pheromones, the importance of keeping control of your social life, and how to deal with economic disparities within a marriage.
But as it stands, I could easily see MMSL become the de facto Farmers Almanac of the Manosphere. It’s about as useful a tool as a married man could ask for in terms of understanding his wife and their sex life despite whatever pscyho-fad is in vogue amongst our wives at the moment. And for $3.99 it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than marriage counseling. In fact, it’s not exactly a marriage manual – it’s more of an anti-divorce manual. But it begins with the prospect that getting laid by your wife early and often is a worthy endeavor for any man, and proceeds from there with stunning logic and blunt style. I’m very intrigued, actually, in the possibility of distilling some of the basics of his guide into easy-to-understand lessons for my boys to prepare them for the problems they’ll inevitably face when it comes to women.
Wish the hell someone had done that for me.
But my advice? Buy a copy, read it, contemplate it, begin the plan . . . but don’t tell your wife. And don’t let her read it, at least not yet. Just man-up, begin your MAP, and let her experience the newly-evolving you in all of your masculine glory.
It’s more of a surprise that way.