This piece was first published on another site on June 4, 2014. Later, it was published at the Good Men Project where it was shared over 50,000 times.

Men’s Rights Activists have invented a new part of the male anatomy. It’s called a “mangina,” and apparently you grow one any time you show respect for women.

Fine then. Want permission to access a vagina? Prepare to grow a new body part, because you need to show some respect for the female gender.

It really sucks that I have to write this stuff. I mean, I’m a fitness guy, I’m supposed to be writing about lifting heavy shit. The reality, however, is that a lot of young men get into fitness in order to improve their odds of getting sweaty and slippery with a member of the opposite sex, and the advice out there for doing so just freaking sucks.

Pick-up artistry (PUA) is a bullshit industry. It’s false promises and worthless tactics designed to separate desperate, horny young men from their money. My advice is free, take it or leave it.

My first advice is this: Whether or not you get to have sex on a regular basis does not define you as a man. Dry spells are to be expected, and that’s why God gave you a hand. There may be hope for you finding someone, and there may not. Depending on your situation, you need to face the possible reality that you are permanently screwed. And by that I mean not screwed. This isn’t anyone else’s fault. You don’t get to blame women by calling them shallow bitches or teases, and it’s not the fault of other men either. You can try to improve yourself and make yourself into someone that at least some women will desire, and maybe it will work, but maybe it won’t.

In other words, don’t hate, and don’t rape. I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: Life is not fair. Don’t punish others for your lot in life.

That’s one bummer of a disclaimer. I write this stuff because, well, I really like sex. I understand the draw, because it’s awesome. If there is anything I can do to help bring some realism to this quest for love, then I suppose it’s my duty. Again, I’m not getting paid to write this. (Please buy my not-a-relationship book so I can eat.)

If you’re serious about not just getting sex on a regular basis, but also finding love, this piece of mine, entitled How to Find (and Keep) a Girlfriend is pretty much required reading. It’s damn long, but it tells you most of what I know.

In some ways, this is Part 2 to the above link, and in others, it’s for those who think that girlfriend post is tl;dr. Still, this one is kinda TL, because popular culture has misled you about sex. A lot.

I’m not going to blow sunshine up your ass. I know that’s what you want. I know you want me to tell you there is some magical game I can bestow upon you with a few secrets that will get you awash in lady parts mere moments after you finish reading this, but I am the king of brutal honesty. So much so that the words “brutally honest” are in the subtitle of my book. This is not information that you want to hear. However, if you actually want to achieve some results, then perhaps you should suck it up and pay attention. Here we go.


  1. You have unrealistic expectations

This is a nice way of saying you only chase women who are out of your league.

Part of the PUA messaging is that anyone below a “7” is not worth pursuing, like assigning a ranking system to a woman’s attractiveness is a good idea in the first place. That should be red flag #1 about these assholes.

The desire for an attractive mate is something ingrained in our genetic code, because physical attractiveness sometimes denotes health, and we want to breed with people who will provide us with healthy offspring. This is a two-way street, skewing male, of course. It may be stereotypical to say that men are more visually oriented than women, which is why a rich dude can always find a plethora of hot, young women, but observational data supports that looks are at least somewhat more important to men than they are to women. That being said, looks are still damn important to women. All else being equal, they’ll usually go for the taller, more handsome man with the better physique.

But you don’t believe this, because you’ve seen the Big Bang Theory, and Revenge of the Nerds, and Frasier, and a bunch of Seth Rogan movies. We’re lead to believe that nerdy guys will get the hot girl if we just work for it. That persistence is key and that we can wear the babes down and show them that muscular jock isn’t right for them and they should love us for our dorky ways. Read this excellent piece for a full exposition on this phenomenon.

If you’re Leonard, your chances of getting a Penny are remote unless you use your nerd-brain to patent a multi-million dollar invention. And then you got yourself a gold digger. Congratulations.

Geez, this guy is telling me to date ugly chicks. Screw that.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And beauty turns ugly real fast when everything that comes out of that person’s mouth is something that is the opposite of what you’re interested in. You can feel a lot of attraction for someone with whom you share like interests and values and sense of humor etc.

You need to ditch a lot of the thinking about how life owes you a hot girl. Life doesn’t owe you any kind of girl. Most of the people on this planet are pretty average looking, so stop thinking you won’t settle for anyone who doesn’t resemble a porn star.

Speaking of which …


  1. You let porn warp your thinking

I am amazed that some young guys think life is supposed to be like a porn movie. That men have magical penises that can cause women to instantly achieve orgasm, and that the landscape is overrun with beautiful, hairless women just waiting for an excuse to drop their panties and commence copulation.

I have no issue with porn as an occasional outlet, but it’s about as far removed from sexual reality as X-Men is from genetic mutations. But it goes beyond that. Misuse of porn can have a negative effect on your brain that in turn harms your sex life. Read this piece of mine for details on that.


  1. You don’t quit

This links back to the first point about having unrealistic expectations. Leonard kept chasing Penny, and now they’re engaged, and that whole “just keep chasing her and wear her down” messaging has been repeated in movie and TVs so much it makes some men think it’s actually reasonable.

It’s not reasonable. It’s stalking.

If you express interest in a woman, and that interest is not reciprocated then YOU ARE WASTING YOUR GODDAMN TIME! Not only that, you’re being a creepy douche canoe who is making her uncomfortable and word is going to get around that you’re a creepy douche canoe who makes women uncomfortable.

Look for an opening and start a conversation (more details on this in my find a girlfriend post), and be attuned to her reactions. If she is giving you the get lost vibe, then you need to get lost, perhaps reevaluate your approach, and try with someone else.


  1. You’re in a hurry

PUAs are lying. You’re not getting laid tonight unless you pay for it.

Have you heard “women want to have sex just as badly as you do”? This is one of those too good to be true type of things. Within relationships this certainly does happen, but a random woman of average looks can come up to a typical guy on the street and ask if he wants sex, and most men will jump at that chance. Reverse the situation, and women will flee in the other direction.

Women want sex, but most want to feel a level of comfort with the person first. A while ago I wrote a piece about picking up women at the gym, and I interviewed real-live women for it. A common theme was that they wanted you to be a regular at the gym first. They wanted to see you there a few times before you talked to them, and then they wanted to talk to you a few times before you asked them out.

And then they’re probably going to want to go out with you for a while before getting naked with you.

No, this isn’t always the way it works. One-night stands happen. It happened to me once, about a million years ago, and it was clumsy and weird.

You need to give a woman a chance to get to know you. Slow progress is still progress, so forget timelines and a rapid release of clothing, and just go with the flow.


  1. You view sex as something owed to you, or something to be taken

If that header didn’t make you cringe, there is something really wrong with you.

You aren’t owed shit. You don’t have the right to take a damn thing.


  1. You don’t work to improve yourself

I’m not just talking about fitness. Self-improvement is something every human should engage in. There are things you can do look better, and smell better. There are ways to enhance your personality as well.

I used to be terrified of public speaking, but 20 years ago I was thrown into having to present for over an hour to 200 university students, and while I crapped my pants during, I walked out of there thinking “I need to get better at that” instead of “I’m never doing that again.”

You need to embrace a variety of challenges that can sculpt not just your physique, but your character and enhance who your true self is. Stop trying to be some bullshit alpha male and just do cool shit that takes work. Find worthy tasks and work at them. Be an interesting human being who isn’t afraid to try new things, including getting a hair cut, acne treatment or nicer clothes. It’s not any one thing; it’s a whole bunch of things that can slowly enhance your personality, your look and the vibe you give off over time that others find attractive.


  1. You’ve never accomplished anything

People talk about confidence being sexy. News flash: confidence isn’t something that can be faked.

I’m proud of the stuff I’ve accomplished. Millions of people read my stuff each month because I worked hard. If a major magazine tells me they’re giving me the cover story, I don’t shit my pants, I get to work because I know what to do. If I need to go on national TV, I kind of freak out a little, because I haven’t done it that much, but I realize it’s all part of getting better, so I suck up my fear and go for it.

Being afraid of something, then doing it anyway – that is what builds your confidence. Taking on a tough task and through hard work getting the job done – that is what builds confidence. Do this enough times at enough different things, and you will become a more confident man in many different things.

And still, know that it can take practice in approaching women to build your confidence with that as well, but it’s good to have a base of other accomplishments to give you the knowledge that you are someone who can be successful and persevere.


In conclusion …

Don’t read that last sentence in the above paragraph the wrong way. Again, this is NOT about being persistent in chasing the wrong woman. NO STALKING!

I’m talking about persevering in finding the right one, the one who likes talking to you and doesn’t ask you to leave her alone. The one you share some interests with. The one who you enjoy spending time with and vice versa.

I know this wasn’t what you wanted to hear. Find someone in your league. Work on you. Stop worrying about looks so much. Be patient. Realize movies and TV are bullshit. Stop thinking the world owes you a porn star …

Women don’t want men who are living in such a fantasy world. Embrace reality, and you might get lucky.

Follow James on Facebook and Twitter.


James S. Fell, CSCS, is an internationally syndicated fitness columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and He is the author of Lose it Right: A Brutally Honest 3-Stage Program to Help You Get Fit and Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind, published by Random House Canada.