I first heard of Athol Kay when my marketing teacher gave him as an example of being specific. And he is specific alright – he is the ultimate married men’s coach, teaching them how to improve their marriage and have more sex with their wives. As a married woman I can only say amen to that! Athol is also the author of three books, all of which are getting amazing reviews on Amazon: How To Answer Do These Pants Make My Ass Look Fat; The Married Man Sex Life Primer 2011 and The Mindful Attraction Plan. His website’s tagline is “Dangerously Monogamous” which is something new when it comes to men teaching other men about women.
As I found more and more information about Athol, I knew I had to interview him. As a man giving advice to other men about relationships, I was sure he has something to say to all those women out there, looking for the love of their life. And he didn’t disappoint me. Today we talk about why successful women often suck at relationships and what we never knew about men.
Athol, what inspired you to help married men in the first place?
It was sort of questioning point in my own marriage. We’ve been married for about 14 years and started thinking “Why am I married, what am I getting from this and what can I do to make it better?” I just started looking over the internet at different websites and reading a bunch of books and I came across to two fairly distinct sets of advice. One of them was the very traditional “connect, spend more time together, buy gifts” and the other was from the seduction and pick-up community of displaying high value, being alfa, being more dominant, aggressive and engaging. I also found myself on a forum called Talk About Marriage, where I could see a bunch of married guys, all struggling with the problem of attracting their wives and I got the insight that if they applied some of the advice from the pick-up community the attraction would kick in. It was at this point that I realized I actually have something here, I have a nugget of knowledge that would work for this particular situation. I just started writing about it and it pretty much snowballed very quickly. I never expected to be in the position where I had multiple books or doing coaching. I really thought I was just going to write a blog and continue with my regular life, so it really just snowballed.
And based on your knowledge about men, why do you think it is so difficult for successful women with businesses and great careers to start and keep a loving relationship?
I think it comes back to the big disconnect that exists about what attracts someone to you and what creates a sense of relationship comfort. Let me answer that by looking at men first. For example, with the guys the attraction building factors are often personal power, great body, decent supply of money, some sort of social status. Very often women find this attractive. And what makes them comfortable is the emotional connection, the quality time together etc. And very often guys think if I do all the nice stuff, she’s going to be attracted, but instead what happens is that she just becomes very very comfortable. With successful women there’s a slight disconnect in the way that their success and social status is usually very attractive to a woman, it’s not necessarily attractive to men. And there is a sense in the man where he can look at this woman and say “Ok, she has this powerful career, how much time is left over to connect and have a life together if she’s always at work?” And these are the same kind of troubles that the high status guys have with their wives. Their wives can be back at home saying “He’s never here, I’m always waiting.” That same thing can happen with a woman, the opposite way. And if she is thinking “I have this good career, good income, I should be attractive” it’s not necessarily what works for the guy, which is why basically they should be doing this personal power thing in as feminine way as they can. The appearance and the slightly softer edge is what is going to appeal to the man. So it’s very difficult for a woman in that position, because you have to hold your ground, but at the same time that may not be the thing that makes the guy want to date you.
Why do you think women are attracted to “bad boys”?
That’s one of the cruel tricks that nature and modern society is playing on both men and women. Let’s take an over-the-top vision of a bad boy: very direct person; doesn’t particularly care about anyone else; steamrolls through his life; physically in shape, strong; a really good tribal worrier type. If you go back in time 10 000 – 15 000 years, that type of guy was a really good person to be in a relationship with, because he was a survivor. If your little tribal village is being attacked, he’s going to provide protection, security and comfort, because he’s that type. If it’s a neighboring tribe attacking you, he’s going to survive; if it is wild animals, he’s going to survive. So that bad boy type at one point was the winning ticket for women to be safe, to be able to have kids and raise a family, to pass the genes onto the next generation. If you take that same personality type now, he may not be a good match. You get involved with the bad boy and suddenly you figure out he’s dating two other people, then he’s arrested, then you find out there’s another baby mama. He’s just a guy that now would be a terrible terrible choice. But inside, you have all that wiring on a pure biological level to be attracted and seek this guy out, because from a very old programming stand point, he’s the good catch. So women have this thing where they know the guy is just going to be horrible for a relationship, purely intellectually they know, but there’s still that internal pull. So this is why I teach guys that they have to start playing a little bit more of that bad boy, tribal worrier type, within safe limits, to actually spark that attraction. It’s a real balancing act. A woman is tricked by her own biology.
If you had to give one advice to all women on earth, what would that be?
That is a really complicated question, because there is not necessarily one piece of advice. If anything, I think just try to be conscious of what you are attracted to and be conscious of what truly creates a sense of comfort in a relationship. Understand that, just as you may have this internal disconnect between what you may find highly attractive even if you don’t want to, there’s a lot of guys out there having that same struggle. I can’t tell you how many nice guys are out there going like “I don’t understand why she doesn’t love me.” So understanding what attracts you and what creates comfort and being able to communicate that and give the guy a fair hearing. Some of these things are really fixable. The slightly softer guy can learn to have an edge once you point him in the right direction. The bad boy type, if you point out why all of his relationships fail, because he can’t connect, he can learn over time. But you have to be clear with yourself first, because if you get lost in your thoughts and feelings and just go with the ride of emotions, it can be a real rollercoaster.
When you describe it that way, it almost sounds too easy.
It is! It is incredibly easy once you see it. Let’s pretend that we are in a relationship. If you know what attracts you and you can express that, I can go out and do it. Even though you’ve told me, there’s still going to be some internal wiring in you that will just kick in a reward mechanism and you’ll like it. I know it sounds like I should just know and it kind of ruins it if you say it, but it’s not like that. If you can model the things that attract, it just works.
Tell us something about men that we don’t know.
I think women very much underestimate touch and just how powerful it is to men. You kind of know it and you kind of don’t know it. If there’s a guy you find particularly creepy and you don’t like him, him touching you is the worst feeling in the world. But when it’s a guy you actually like and are comfortable with, I think a woman really underestimates how powerful touch is. Both in terms of relaxing him and making him feel connected and it’s also a great tool for communication. To be honest, there are a lot of cases where guys don’t really listen to the most important things you say. Guys are either 100% comfortable in the relationship or 0% comfortable. Women tend to be a little more graduated. It’s like they are 63% happy and then he does something good, and then they are 64% happy, and then he did this stupid thing and now they are 61% happy. Guys can be completely oblivious to this. You can be miserable and he can be walking around like “Well, I’m in a great relationship, I’m really liking this girl.” Meanwhile she’s thinking there’s three things she would like to fix. And when she expresses that, he may not hear it, because he is living in his bubble of 100%. So sometimes in the relationship, when you want to share something important that is bugging you, physically touching him as you are saying what the thing is, is often far more focusing for him. It’s a stimulation thing.
There is a lot of wisdom in Athol’s words, so click the social media buttons bellow to share it with more struggling women out there! If you are a woman looking for love, feel free to check out our Love Finder Program. I’d also be delighted to read your thoughts bellow.