All Posts by Marcus Neo

About the Author

Enjoys writing about dating, relationship, business, and psychology. Introvert yet extrovert. Likes martial arts and music, but never got around to the latter.

Apr 11

How to Overcome Anxiety – a Psychologically Research Guide

By Marcus Neo | Self Improvement and Social Skills

I remembered starting my first business when I was 22. I dropped out of accounting school and started a website. In, three months, I gave up and told myself: I’m not cut out for this. This isn’t for me. I had too much anxiety and  froze up, not knowing what to do next. If you see an attractive stranger walk by us on the streets. You look at them, faintly hoping they’ll look at us. They might even you a hint or two and even if so, we freeze dumbfounded there with anxiety running through us, unable to make the next step. 

Studies show that fears, anxieties, traumas are imprinted on our brains in similar ways that our physical habits are. They are hardwired into us and never disappear. They are our emotional habits, just like all our other physical habits. If you can build a habit to study hard for examinations, it’s the same ability to build an emotional habit to feel less anxious during social or sexual situations.

How to Overcome Anxiety – Understanding Anxiety

Here’s the thing about anxiety. Everyone has a degree of social and sexual anxiety, no matter how rich, handsome or beautiful they are, it’s part of being human.

The good news is that although anxieties can’t be removed, it can be replaced with higher order behaviours. You can build a habit of acting against your fears.

The people who perform well in a high pressured situation as compared to those who flunk is not due to the lack of anxiety, but how well they managed their anxiety. They both experience similar anxiety, however, one is trained to harness it rather than to be crippled by it. People who are confident in their abilities become more energised and assertive with their anxieties. Their nervousness even goes to help them perform.

I asked myself: How can I look forward to my days? How can I be excited about going to the examinations and feeling competent instead of seeing it as something that is a pain in the butt. How can I be excited to head out with friends on a night out to potentially meet a new romantic partner? Can it not be a non – stressful event? Can it not been as something to be competed and fought against, and something that’s collaborated and enjoyed? This is why I looked into research on how anxieties are formed and how to overcome it.

Principle 1) Questioning our Deep Rooted Beliefs

Someone can be rich and popular but still don’t feel any more secure in their day to day confidence. There are deep rooted beliefs about ourselves that we aren’t willing/able to let go of. Our past pains contribute to our present pain and this may hurt us in all areas of our lives. 

One way to overcome anxiety is to understand why you’re feeling anxious in the first place. This is to question our own thoughts and beliefs about ourselves. This requires self awareness. It’s helpful to take a step back and ask yourself whenever you’re feeling anxious about something. You can ask myself if it’s that really true that if you perform X desired behaviour, you’ll get a negative Y result. 

The other thing you can do is to attempt to understand if a past experience or trauma contributed to your current anxiety. If you’re afraid of start business, could it be because you failed with money in the past and you convince yourself that you’re just not cut out to be an entrepreneur. The process peeling one layer back and another can be emotionally painful whilst doing so, but necessary in the long run.

When I lost money in the stock market, I convinced myself for a year that I merely sucked as an investor. However, that wasn’t the case. One bad trade don’t make me a bad investor. That one horrible trade that I made just meant that I failed at a trade when I first started out. It doesn’t say anything about my long term identity. 

Secondly, instead of believing what’s ‘true’ why not believe in something that’s helpful. Psychological research shows that our human psychology is at most times, biased and unreliable. We often convince ourselves of the ‘truth’ to ourselves and others, whereas, in plain reality, it’s often far from actual reality. So at the end of the day, there’s actually no final ‘truth’. Hence, it’s better to believe what’s helpful, rather than what’s ‘true’, since what’s true is often what we merely convinced ourselves.

Principle 2) Defence Mechanisms

Now, let me get to our excuses. It’s what I call: defence mechanisms. It’s the lies you and I tell ourselves day in and out when you fail to approach that girl, hit the gym or start a business.  You and I all have defense mechanisms that run rampant when it comes to different aspects of life. The common defense mechanisms can morph between apathy, blame, avoidance and procrastination, depending on your life circumstances and different past experiences and upbringing. 

  • The Blame/ Anger

Some of the common ones that I get from myself and people around me: my parents fuck me up, I’m just born like that naturally. I mean, it’s society’s fault, all women are haters. It’s easy to blame something and be angry at someone or something, paint yourself a victim than to take responsibility for something in your life. 

  • Avoidance

When I started improving my dating life, on some nights, I’m completely avoid about social situations by convincing myself that I don’t care. I somehow convinced myself that I don’t want/need to talk to girls and I’m perfectly cool about it. Yeah right Marcus, you are full of crap, you have been talking about this whole approaching girls fearlessly thing the entire week, now that you’re in the club you are not going to talk to a single girl?

  • Intellectualization

Intellectualisation is also another form of avoidance. However, in this case, instead of completely avoiding doing that action, you convince yourself that you can learn more about that subject. Hence, instead of actually performing that action, you end up reading and watching videos or tutorials on how to do that action. 

There’s nothing wrong to get a more insightful perspective on how to better attract women or build a business. However, if you find yourself reading one book after another without doing anything about, then you’re probably using knowledge as an excuse. 

Sometimes, behind these defense mechanisms are emotional truths and realities that we’re out of touch with. The trick here is spotting the excuses you give yourself, and acting despite these excuses. 

How to Overcome Anxiety Principle 3) Progressive Desensitization

When it comes how to overcome anxiety, many are going to teach you a lot of nonsense. Some say it’s a purely a matter of willpower and hustle. Some say that anxiety isn’t real. Others say to focus on the positive and ignore the negative. Some say: just man up the fuck up, grab your balls and just do it.

This strategies work in the short run. However none of these are sustainable and it can actually harm you more than help you in the long run. These solutions only create short term gains, they don’t create permanent habits over the anxiety. Remember, anxiety is an emotional habit wired into your brain and to overcome it, you must hardwire a different, more positive habit on top of it.

Through my experiences as a dating coach for men, I noticed that many of the guys from the community were hyping themselves up before going into the club to meet women. This isn’t really a sustainable strategy in the long run.

One of the most reliable methods of helping you overcome your anxieties is referred to cognitive behavioural therapy, often known as CBT. CBT is based on the concept of progressive desensitizations and gradual exposure to something that makes us afraid.

This is effective on two fronts: 1) It slowly develops our willpower over the course of time instead of overwhelming us at once, and 2) Builds a strong base of confidence in our ability to handle a situation, makes us less likely to freeze up.

If you’re afraid to start a conversation with a stranger at the library, you can start by asking strangers for the time and directions, to build you up, to get some social juices going. Nothing else. Then once you can do that comfortably, you build up to asking strangers for directions and then inserting a compliment. You can get creative with your exercises here. The trick here is this: You continue to progressively push yourself until you’re comfortable with the action.

Willpower is a muscle that can be depleted, and also can be built. If it’s not exercised, it becomes weak. The longer someone becomes a couch potato, the harder it is for them to get up and hit the gym. On the other hand, people who have a lot of discipline and positive habits are able to adopt new habits and push through uncomfortable situations much easier.

Principle 4) Self Acceptance

What you resist, persists. When it comes to fear and anxiety, don’t you notice that the more you focus on it or fight it, the stronger it becomes.

When I was in an academic setting, the more I was afraid of failing my exams, the more I was afraid of picking up my pen and doing some practices to score. Hence, I ended up failing, despite investing an enormous amount of mental effort stressing out over the examinations. It almost felt as if I put in the effort, and yet had no results. 

The times where you accepted that the fear is there, and things may not go how you’d like them to go, you decided that you were okay with whichever outcome that is going to occur, you relaxed and performed fine.

Instead of focusing and spending a huge amount of mental effort on how to beat your anxiety, you can just say to yourself: “You know what, I’m a nervous guy, and this isn’t going to go away or get any easier. I am just going to live with it and act despite it.” This relieves the pressure of not forcing yourself to not feeling anxious.

Till this day I still feel anxious when speaking to someone new. On some days, I still convince myself that I don’t want it, or I don’t need it. Despite writing hundreds of blog posts, I still feel anxious or avoidant when publishing an article. Our emotional habits don’t go away, they merely get replaced by higher order behaviours and habits.

Self development, at the end of the day is changing how you feel about others, and yourself. It ties into concepts such as anxiety, our attachment system, self esteem and etc. The bedrock of acceptance commitment therapy is to go with, instead of against your negative feelings and thoughts as opposed to challenge it.

On the other hand, taking the ACT approach, If I were to just accept these negative thoughts, and be non judgmental about it, I wouldn’t spend the mental energy ruminating over those thoughts in my head.

The Art of Defusing From Your Thoughts

In acceptance commitment therapy, whether a thought is true or not is not that important. It’s far more important if that thought is helpful or not.

Thoughts are also stories we tell ourselves. The mind never stops telling stories, not even when you’re asleep. It is constantly comparing, judging, evaluating, criticizing, planning, pontificating and fantasising.

We all have beliefs, the more we tightly hold on to them, the more inflexible we come in our attitudes and behaviours. 

Fusion happens when you’re blending with your thoughts.In a state of fusion, it seems as if our thoughts are our reality. What we’re thinking is actually happening, here and now. Our thoughts become the truth, the truth of our reality. 

Now, how do we defuse from this ‘self created truth’ to the actual reality of things? 

To defuse your thoughts, it’s first to bring to awareness an upsetting thought that takes in the form of ‘I am X’. For EG. ‘I’m not good enough’, or I’m incompetent’. Preferably a thought that often recurs and that usually bothers or upsets you.

Now, take that thought and insert this phrase in front of it: ‘I’m having the thought that….’ 

Now, this time, phrase it longer ‘I notice I’m having the thought I am X’.

This practice gave you distance from the actual thought as if you “Stepped Back” from it.

You’re no longer making your thoughts your identity, you’re no longer making it your truth. 

Principle 5) Taking Valued Based Action

One part of acceptance and commitment therapy is to take valued based action. Your values are different from goals. A value is a direction we desire to keep moving in, an ongoing process that never reaches an end. You can make the analogy that a value is akin to heading west, no matter how far you travel there’s always farther west you can go. Getting married is a goal. Being loving, honest and empathetic. These are values.

One of the revelations in the book man’s Search for Meaning, written by Viktor Frankl, who was a Jewish psychiatrist who survived years of unspeakable horror in Nazi concentration camps reported that the people who survived longest in the death camps are those who are connected with a deeper purpose in life. The deeper purpose if often rooted in values. One of Viktor Frankl’s values is in helping others, and so, throughout his time in concentration camps. he consistently helped other prisoners to cope despite the atrocious conditions. He also helped them to connect to their deepest values. Taking values based action gives our lives meaning and a powerful antidote to give your life purpose.

Principle 6) The Struggle Switch

The more we struggle with or against these feelings, the more trouble we create for ourselves. When these negative emotions show up, the thing is not to struggle against it, but to just let it be. Our anxiety levels are free to rise and fall. Some times, they’re high, some times, low, more important, you’re not wasting your time and energy struggling against it. Initially, you can willpower through your issues. However, willpower is going to run out.

When we beat ourselves up over our own thoughts and emotions, then that’s when the struggle switch is on.

‘This can’t be good for me.’ ‘I’m such a crappy friend’ ‘I shouldn’t be doing this.’ ‘I’m acting like a child’.

You end up feeling guilty about being angry. You might feel angry about feeling anxious. There are secondary emotions that might come a long with the primary emotion. It’s a vicious cycle. There’s no avoiding discomfort. However, there’s no need for additional suffering. This struggle switch is like an emotional amplifier. When you switch it on, we can have multi layer emotions such as anger about our anxiety. You can feel guilty about our your depression.

When it’s turned on, we’re completely unwilling to accept the presence of these uncomfortable emotions. Not only you’re unable to get rid of them but you’ll also do whatever it takes to get rid of them: this may be through pornography, binge eating and etc.

These are control strategies. Instead of avoiding or struggling against these feelings, it’s better to ‘expand into it’. Expanding into your negative emotions is similar to the defusing technique. It is to step aside from your thoughts and observe your emotions. By allowing these sensations to be there, two things might happen. Either your feelings will change, or they don’t. It doesn’t matter either way because this technique is not about changing your feelings but accepting them.

Closing Thoughts

There’s no fool proof technique to overcome anxiety. It’s going to take practice and effort to practice. Now, I believe that not all negative emotions or thoughts should be merely ‘accepted’. Negative emotions can push us towards value based actions during times of need. Furthermore, it’s not enough to just accept all your negative thoughts or negative feedback. If you see a clear pattern in your life and you’re feeling upset about it, then perhaps you got to do something different. 

Lastly, these techniques shouldn’t be used as control strategies. When you’re throwing your arms in the air and being frustrated and pissed off at why ‘defusing your thoughts’ isn’t working as it should be. You’re probably using it as a control strategy. There’s nothing to control here. Just a plain awareness of your thoughts, accepting them, nodding at them. With no judgement. Our anxieties don’t go away, you merely form better habits on top of them.     

Apr 08

Cold Approach – How to be Rejection Proof to Women

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

If you’re actively attempting to better your dating life by cold approaching and trying to get more ‘leads’ into your phone. Sooner or later you’re going to realise that dating is a numbers game.

If You Measure Your Cold Approach Results, You’re going to be Far Better

One new heuristic I adopted over the years is: whatever gets measured, gets accomplished. I was doing a slight form of that through the years, by tracking appointments, time and scheduling out gym workouts, classes, putting aside time for work, ahead of time and wasn’t too strict on this through the years. I experienced one of my biggest business growth in years after adopting this heuristic. If you put in the work, measure your results, you’re going to get success far faster than everybody else.

You can measure:

If you make it a point to approach 3 women everyday, that’s 90 women a month. Let’s assume out of 10 women, you get a strong ‘lead’. That’s 1 out of 10. That’s also 9 strong leads to work with in a month, just from approaching 3 new women a day. This is not account for your leads from your social circle, Tinder or just about any avenue. 

How to be Rejection Proof: Don’t take things Personally

It’s human psychology to overvalue the bad than the good. I find this human effect similar in business and our dating life. If you went out and approached a hundred women, 10 of them that you’re extremely attractive and 90 of them told you that you’re an asshole, you’re going start thinking that you’re an asshole without valuing the fact that 10 out of a 100 thought you’re extremely attractive. That’s part of our human psychology.

In social psychology there’s an argument that people behave accordingly to their situations, as opposed to their innate personality trait. They may be reacting in jest, or merely under those circumstances. There’s nothing you need to take personally, especially so if it’s from a stranger. 

These days I learned not to take things personally, in business or in dating. I get rejected a ton (if any tells you otherwise, they are bullshitting you) and I get labels and opinions on me as a person. They can range from being an asshole, to being foolish, to being smart to ‘X’ personality trait. 

Mar 30

Reshveen Rajendran – Idiocy in Selling Options for ‘Income’

By Marcus Neo | Rants

This is a review of a value investing seminar I attended years ago. It’s taught by Reshveen Rajendran. You can find his website at MillionDollarRush.Com. Here are the reasons I am publishing it after all these years: 1) I’m much more educated in financial markets today. 2) I researched my rights as a consumer. 3) I avoided writing negative reviews for the fear of potential legal action taken against me. 4) I decided to balls up. I am also exasperated at Singapore’s investment education industry pitching flamboyant theories that don’t work in real life to prey on unknowledgeable public. I got nothing against education. I am all for it. However, when you’re teaching the wrong information leveraging on the knowledge gap and using unethical marketing strategies: over promising and under delivery, I’ve got a problem with that.

How Did I Sign Up in The First Place?

So why did I sign up in the first place? I was a naive person in my early twenties. I wanted the short cuts. I wanted the quick answer to the financial markets. I also knew most of the programs in that market were extremely expensive: charging up to 5000 dollars for a seat. Since Reshveen Rajendran’s program was relatively cheaper than what the market was offering, I gladly participated along with a couple of other factors:

  • Reshveen was recommended by a friend (social bias here)
  • He safely assured me that doing 10% a month on my portfolio was easy and many others including himself has achieved those returns
  • The course’s irresistible marketing angle was: generate ‘part time’ income as a student.

Now, before I’m accused of making false claims here. I’ll back it up. The following pieces of information are taken from his Facebook page and his website’s blog post.

The Review of Reshveen Rajendran’s Course 

The instruction taught in the course was entry level. The course promoted using options to generate ‘insurance premium’ on underlying assets. It serves as a ‘monthly cashflow’. This wasn’t substantiated by the course instructor in his profit or loss statement. For the ones more financially savvy, you’ll know that options don’t always expire and there’s a possibility of it being exercised. Since you can’t predict the market, you can’t guarantee a cash flow from premiums generated from selling options.

Secondly, in the instruction, commodities were also recommended by the instructor as an investing vehicle. This goes against the fundamental principle of value investing. The fundamental principle of value investing is purchasing companies when their prices are traded below their intrinsic value. Commodities are entirely different from companies.

Thirdly, to claim that your ‘6 figure’ equities portfolio generates you a passive income is highly suspicious. Now, assuming you built a portfolio around the highest paying dividend yield stocks in Singapore. The average yield would be approximately 5-7%. You’re required to have one million dollars invested to have a dividend income of 6%, $60000 annually, which adds up to $5000 per month. That’s a million dollar account, alongside with the assumption that you’re invested in the highest dividend stocks for the last 10 years and the companies pay out dividends regularly. 

Lastly to cite a quote from his blog:

My returns have been very substantial with 5 -7% compounding growth every month!

– Million Dollar Rush Blog

Let’s take an average of 6% compounded growth on a $10000 starting account balance, you’ll end with $20121.96 at the end of 12 months. You’ll achieve a 101.21% per annum returns. Let’s compare these returns to actual, audited investing track records.

  • Warren Buffet’s Track Record

Everybody favourite uncle: Warren Buffet. His returns are 23.8% compounded per annum.

  • Charlie Munger’s Track Record

Vice CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, partner to Warren Buffet. Charlie Munger’s compounded returns: 19.8% per annum.

  • Walter Schloss’s Track Record

Referred by Warren Buffet to be one of the greatest value investors ever lived. Walter Schloss’s compounded Returns: 16.1% Per Annum.

Here’s the reference. You could argue that Buffet claimed that he could achieve 50% returns per annum handling smaller amounts of capital. However, I’m sure Buffet himself never claim he could generate 201% in a year, much less this trainer.

Selling Put Options as a Strategy to Own Undervalue Stock

You’re required to have some basic options trading knowledge and experience to understand the following.

One of the theories proposed by the instructor is that you are able to sell put options to generate cashflow and to potentially own undervalued stocks at at a discount. Firstly, not all stocks have an options market at the price at which you valued it to be your purchase price. Secondly, not all stocks have an options market trading far out of the money. Yes, you could sell options at stocks are trading ‘at the money’ of your valuation. It’s barely worth selling a put option when it’s valued near ‘at the money’ (it’s better to own the stock itself, since it is undervalued in the first place right?)

Henceforth, the entire notion of selling options on an undervalued stock to generate free cash flow that leads to passive income, is absurd.

The Lack of Empirical Evidence

I don’t make these arguments without evidence. I’ll retract this article if there’s new evidence supported: audited or non-audited profit and loss sheets: namely the trainer’s profit and loss statements and trades.

Years ago, I negotiated with the trainer for a full refund of my course fees, citing the evidence and stating the mentioned case studies. However, he outrightly refused and cited that I haven’t applied any of his instruction on my end and am unable demand a refund of his course fees as it would be unreasonable. Ironically, I took it upon myself to test out his methods. I also took it upon myself to do acquire investing knowledge independently of his course material and instruction. 

Note: If you’re looking to sue me, there is a difference between online defamation and a negative product or service review. I present my case with basic mathematics, supporting evidence and no intention to accuse or character assassinate the company nor trainer.

2020 update: Low cost index fund investing has gotten me a far better returns that actively managing capital for the last 7 years. No fancy options trading or theories. Statistically, the average individual is not going to outperform the market. No, you’re not a Buffet or a Munger. No, you’re not special. No, you don’t belong to the minute percentage that are able to generate an income from trading options. Unfortunately, the trainer is still going around selling the same program to the public at scale.

References:

https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/articles/columbia-business/superinvestors

Mar 27

How to Stop Watching Porn – It Can Ruin Your Life

By Marcus Neo | Self Improvement and Social Skills

I remembered that I had a Windows 95, a dial up connection and that was all I need. I was one resourceful kid. I caught on the hard core stuff really fast. The BDSM porn, lesbians and foot fetishes. You name it, I watched it. It was only when I started in reading up on psychology that I was exposed to the effects of pornography that I started limiting my intake.

In the men’s dating advice community, there are many positive reports from guys who went through the ‘no fap’ diet. It’s proposed that if you are masturbating too much, watching too much porn and not getting much out of your sex life, then going ‘no fap’ can help. So, can reducing pornographic intake help in multiple areas of your life? If so, how can you stop watching porn in an effective manner?

The Science of Pornography

The intake of pornography is researched to be a supra normal stimulus to our brains. This means, it’s way more pleasurable than the average arousing stimulus. Our brains aren’t ready to take in those kind stimulus and hence develop a need for higher forms of stimuli and arousal. This is why you become desensitised and develop a need for more novel stimuli through fancier or more hard core pornography.

Ultimately, pornography paints an unrealistic picture of sexuality. This skews our perception of what beauty is and gives us unreasonable standards for sex with the people we meet. In my younger days, I used to think that having sex with a porn star in multiple crazy positions would define my masculinity.

That can’t be further from reality. The majority of partners you meet aren’t going to live up to the unrealistic narratives in pornography films. Sex is an intimate act for both partners. When it actually happens, it’s usually nothing like you see on computer screens. Sex is actually an activity where either parties may feel unsure about themselves. Everyone get’s a little nervous before an intimate act. It’s nothing like the hard core bravado you watch on pornographic sites.

Shame, Guilt, Addiction and Pornography

Okay, if you’re wondering if pornography is an actual addiction. It’s debatable. Whilst it isn’t a ‘real addiction’, you can’t ignore the data that shows many people do experience real life problems with it. It has been linked to issues such as unhappy and unsatisfied partners, depression, anxiety, and loneliness.

Whilst pornography ‘addiction’ isn’t validated as a clinical form of addiction, I’m guessing that there is some correlation between toxic shame and pornography overuse. I suggest that because there’s research that suggests that clinical addiction is used to cope with shame, to soothe out their feelings of inadequacy. They just do it through alcohol, drugs and etc.

There’s research suggesting that toxic shame is related to pornography usage. It also suggested that people that had shame were less motivated to alter their behaviours. I’m not going to go on about the differences between guilt and shame int his article, however they found the exact opposite when it came to feelings of guilt. There are other factors leading to compulsive and addictive pornographic usage as well: namely: depression and anxiety. In my personal experience, healing shame through the means of hiring a professional therapist can be a useful way of dealing with overconsumption of pornography, not to mention therapy offers insights into depression and anxiety as well.

How to Stop Watching Porn

Now, let’s get serious here. It’s not only your dating life or your relationships you’re talking about. It’s your entire life. This will not only determine dating success, but also determine your ability to hand up work on time, increase your productivity, cure cancer or send someone to Mars. It’s life changing stuff.

I’ll share with you some methods that have helped me over the years.

1) If you can’t quit porn overnight, leave it to the last activity of the day. You can use pornography as a reward for the productive work you’ve accomplished during the day. You’re using this to rewire the pleasure reward mechanism in your brain. Ideally, you want to land yourself in a position where you have accomplished so much work in the day, that you don’t really want to jerk off to ‘spoil the good track record’.

2) Psychological research shows that building habits in a small way is a more sustainable way to do it rather than flooding yourself with too many habits at one go. Habits are built small and then compounded over time. Starting small such as keeping masturbation and pornographic intake the last activity of the day is a small step that anyone can start applying in their lives.

3) If all else fails, fly to another country for a week or two. Travel can be used as an effective means to break and build habits. Whenever I’m out of the country, I’m much more productive and I don’t use pornography that much. You can use environmental changes to break or build habits.

4) Create an environment of inevitable success. When I was studying in the United States, I was stressed out of my head, behind time on my academic schedule and had a ton of assignments to finish. On top of that, I had personal responsibilities such as laundry, phone bills, making friends and making sure I go out on dates. I suddenly had much more important priorities as opposed to using pornorgraphy.

5) Take a step back and ask yourself the underlying reason you are using pornography. Are you’re using pornography to cope reduce stress? To relief oneself from boredom. Or used to cope with negative feelings or situations? Research suggests that individuals with maladaptive coping skills are much more vulnerable to using pornography as an outlet. Hence, are you merely using porn as a coping strategy?

6) If you do wish to masturbate… think of women you’ve met in real life instead of using pornography clips. Let’s say you met a girl last week in the club and you’re sexually aroused by her. Instead of relying on pornography, you can fantasize about her. It’ll tremendously re-wire your mind to more sensitive and engaged with real life interactions.

7) Change your environmental cues that leads you to watching pornography. Habit researchers found that in order to create new habits to break the old ones, you should not focus on the behaviour but the environmental cue itself. You can do this by installing pornographic blockers, restricting your computer and etc. Clinicians have also recommended such a method.

8) Therapy. If nothing else works and you find your life being interrupt by your intake of pornography. I recommend working with a clinical psychologist. Cognitive behavioural and acceptance commitment therapy has been researched to potentially help with pornography addiction.

The Positive Effects of Not Watching Porn

Going out a masturbation diet and limiting pornography is one of the methods dished out to be more sexually motivated. Self development books such as Think and Grow Rich talks about the ability to transmute sexual desire into creative pursuits such as productive work or art, instead of it depleting one’s energy and motivation. Successful personalities such as Steve Jobs are said to withhold from having sex just to get a creative boost at work.

If you’re overusing pornography, you may also have found yourself desensitised in your dating and relationships life from the years of using pornography. You may find yourself numbed to a real woman’s touch. This is because you are probably desensitised from unrealistic portrayals in pornography. On top of that, a female touch is completely different from the tight grip of your hand.

It was only when I started being serious about getting my dating life handled that I consciously chose to limit pornography and masturbation that I felt more motivated and confident. I also made sure that whenever I’m seeing someone, I would also limit pornography intake as well. (Read: This is to also ensure performance)

Over the years, I’ve never really quit cold turkey or completely. However, the times that I consciously limited my pornography intake, I’ve felt the positive side effects of it. I used to worry and get nervous about performance issues from being desensitised. I am happy to report that I’m facing less of these problems with the reduction of pornographic intake.

Cutting down pornographic intake has also helped me performed better in other areas of my life from academics, sports and be more confidently aggressive in my dating life. The women I notice on a day to day basis became more beautiful and I started appreciating their physical imperfections instead of fake pornographic displays. There’s also a noticeable improvement in general motivation and sense of well being.

When I find myself watching pornography on a more frequent basis, I find myself a lot more judgmental of the women I’m willing to approach. There’ll be a perfectly beautiful girl who walks past me and I’ll put it off and give myself the excuse that she isn’t hot enough. I also notice a difference in general anxiety. I feel more grounded and centered going about my day to day activities when I’m not on pornography.

Relapse and Should You Quit Pornography Completely?

Through the years, I didn’t see a need to quit pornography completely, I actually attempted a couple of times and I found myself unable to focus after a week. However, I am sure that I’m not addicted to it. There are many periods when I’m feeling the urge and if I’m not dating someone, I’ll ‘relapse’ and use pornography there and then.

Here’s my verdict: it’s different strategies for different people. Personally, I believe by keeping pornography intake to a minimum is sufficient. There are clear benefits. If you’re an upwardly mobile individual trying to balance out academic commitments, business commitments and personal relationships… it can get stressful. Sometimes, you just need to get one out. That’s perfectly okay. Just make sure it’s done in moderate dosages that don’t affect your day to day productivity.

It’s ultimately up to you to figure out what works for you. I don’t see it as an all or nothing thing. If pornography isn’t interfering with your day to day life, there’s no reason to be super strict on a no fap diet. There’s no hard and fast rule. However, I do encourage limiting pornography intake on the whole.

Works Cited

Hilton, D. L. (2013). Pornography addiction – a supranormal stimulus considered in the context of neuroplasticity. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3, 20767

Koukounas, E., & Over, R. (2000). Changes in the magnitude of the eyeblink startle response during habituation of sexual arousal. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 38(6), 573–584

Stewart, D. N., & Szymanski, D. M. (2012). Young Adult Women’s Reports of Their Male Romantic Partner’s Pornography Use as a Correlate of Their Self-Esteem, Relationship Quality, and Sexual Satisfaction. Sex Roles, 67(5-6), 257–271.

Schneider, J. P. (2000). A Qualitative Study of Cybersex Participants: Gender Differences, Recovery Issues, and Implications for Therapists.Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, 7(4), 249–278.

 

Mar 19

How to Tell If She Wants You to Make a Move – 3 Signals

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

I consider having better social and dating skills than the average Joe after being a dating coach for so many years. However, I’m still flabbergasted at times at how poor I am at deciphering if a girl is attracted or wants me to make a move or not. The signals women give can be quite confusing at times. Some women show it openly with strong eye contact, and some don’t. Some show it through being around you and some show it by shying away from you. How can you really tell if she wants you to make a move?

How to Tell if She Wants You to Make a Move – Indicators of Interest

The idea of indicators of interest is popularised by the pick up artist community. Hair flicking, physical touching, starry eye contact are some examples. I categorize indicators of interests by mostly 1) positive 2) neutral and 3) negative.

1) Positive Signals

Indicators of positive interest can range from hair flicking, strong eye contact, her making excuses to spend time with you or her. She reciprocates your signs of interest. Some more overt interest includes her asking you your number, initiating physical touch with you or invite you out with her friends. She may ask you a lot of questions and seem genuinely interested in you. 

Some Examples of Positive signals:

  • Flicking her hair
  • Touching you
  • Qualifying to you (being more compliant to your advances)
  • She’s double texting you
  • Strong eye contact
  • She agrees to go out with you
  • She allows you to touch her by not moving away when you do
  • You tease her and she responses well and giggles

If you’re looking to date attractive women that get hit on almost everyday of their life, it boils down to subtlety. Subtleties be displayed in the form of stealing tiny glances at you and then looking away almost immediately. Whether it’s intentional or not, it doesn’t matter. Your ability to notice and play along with these subtleties is something you develop with experience. Chances are, if reading this article, the majority of success you had with women only happened because she initiated. In my experience, a lot of women, especially attractive women, won’t initiate with you, in addition alongside with the cultural pressure to wait for the man to initiate.

This brings me to the next category.

2) Neutral Signals

Typically, a man knows within a couple of seconds if he’s sexually attracted to a woman or not. Women aren’t like that. They are often quite unsure about a man and need to be swayed on way or another. 

The majority of girls you approach are going to fit into the neutral category. She doesn’t seem interested or doesn’t seem particular uninterested. If you’re out with her, when you slightly touch her on the shoulders, she will not move away, however, she may not give you any signal that she likes it. She may agree to come back to yours, however, when you make your advances, she pushes your hands off.

Neutral signals:

  • She gives you logical responses
  • She’s lukewarm with her attention
  • She’s doesn’t really agree or disagree to your opinions
  • She agrees to go out with you but post phone it
  • She pays attention to what you say but isn’t too bought in

I’ll say that 80% of the women you approach and go out on dates with are going to end up in this category. The ones that you don’t weed out is going take up the most of your time from the get go. I highly recommend you screen from the get go (it’s a good frame to screen either way) so that you don’t end on on a date that goes to nowhere.

Secondly, women do not ever stay in this category. They’ll eventually become receptive or unreceptive. If you’re not going to make a move, she’s going to figure out you’re not the confident individual you frame yourself to be and she’s going fall into the unreceptive category.

3) Negative Signals 

Negative signals can come in the form of wanting to bring her friend along when you ask her out for coffee. If you approach her by the bar and she tells you she wants to spend time with her friends, then she’s unreceptive. It’s important to note that a lot of sexual attraction is fleeting. You might have a lot of attraction going for you with a girl at the night club and she totally forgets you the next day.

Negative signals:

  • She comes up with excuses to why she can’t meet you
  • She’s moving away from you in person
  • She’s not texting back at all
  • She has negative body language to you
  • She doesn’t give you a slight bit of attention
  • Your interaction with her feels coldly indifferent

All in all, negative signals are pretty obvious. If you’re a functional human being with least bit of social skills, you SHOULD be able to figure out negative signals. No, they are NOT  a ‘shit test’. You do not continue pursuing women that are not interested in you. That’s border lining on harassment.

Her dis interest can stem from multiple reasons. You’re probably of lower status that her. She is already in a committed relationship that she’s happy in. There’s no to and fro and natural chemistry when you’re with her hence, leading to incompatible. She has her period on. She’s not looking for a casual experience.

Lastly, don’t be biased about indicators of interest. If a girl isn’t into you, then see it for what it is and move on. If you find yourself conjuring up reasons as to why she’s interested in you, she’s probably NOT into you, and you’re going to waste a lot of time.

However, there are nuances to this. There are many women out there who are quiet and shy that won’t show obvious indicators of interest. This brings me to the next portion.

What if She’s Acting all Quiet and Shy? 

When getting good with women, you’re often told to dress well and fix your body language. You might think: I have done all this work by investing in myself, why isn’t she marrying me on the spot right away? Naturally, you’ll think that putting all this work will lead to a smooth sailing social interactions, right? This may lead to you to have higher expectations of your interactions with girls and people.

This isn’t often the case. On the flip side, from the girl’s point of view, she may perceive you as an attractive individual that she feels shy being around. No matter how many suits you purchase or the deodorant you wear, understand that girls are human’s beings too. They feel shy or stifled and that social interactions are imperfect by nature.

In the modern world of dating advice, many forward thinking dating coaches for men have came forward with the idea that the biggest indicator of interest is if a girl is still there with you. She’s willing to spend time with you.

If a girl is standing beside you, whether she’s quiet or openly flirting, you can assume it’s a sign of an indicator of interest. I used to think that a girl will always openly show that she likes you. Only then, I would only be able to move the interaction forward. That may be true for Western cultures, however, in an Asian centric dating culture, a good percentage of women are shy and reserved in displaying affection.

There were dates that I went out on that didn’t ‘seem right’. There weren’t any of the obvious hair flicking or flirty touching. They’re often quiet and somewhat little introverted. I thought they were plain disinterested. However, that isn’t always the case. The fact that a girl is willing to spend a Saturday noon with me demonstrated that she’s already interested. She just felt a little reserved around me.

To put things in perspective, think of the time when you were a teenager and you had this huge crush on this girl. Every time she walked by, you felt stifled and you don’t know what to say. You would just stand there, dumbfounded, silent and quiet. This is especially true if you’re an attractive individual yourself. If you have good game, that can make girls and others naturally feel reserved around you initially.

So, ultimately, what gives? How can you tell if she’s interested and wants you to make a move or not: 1) she’s quiet and attentive 2) if she’s flirting openly with you back and forth. Here’s where experience kicks in. One of the ways is to observe and listen to why she does or says something.

You’re trying to read her intentions here.

In one of my last relationships, a girl I dated was really sweet around me. However, as soon she and I were around her friends, she acted the total opposite of prim and proper. If I had read her ‘disinterest’ when we were around her friends, I would have discounted the fact that she was only sweet around me.

She could be shy and reserved around you but outgoing around her friends. So ask yourself, why is she only outgoing around her friends? Could she be shy around someone she’s interested in? Instead of seeing her introverted nature as disinterest, that could be an indicator that she wants you make a move. On the flip side, some women are shy in group settings, but may be expressive around you and is able to open up to you.

How to Really Know: Pull The Trigger 

If you’re not sure if a woman is attracted to you, or think that you’re stuck in the ‘neutral’ category. The best way find out if a woman she wants you to make a move is to pull the trigger and move the interaction forward. You can sit on the fences, debilitating your next move for months…. OR… you can risk the rejection. Not by trying to overanalysing the hundred and one indicators of interest, but by acting.

This means being moving the interaction forward deliberately to a more sexual and romantic one. It’s also forcing her make a decision about how she actually feels about you. This can be as simple asking her for her number, asking her out on a date or being more sexually aggressive in your interaction with her.

You don’t want to waste time on women who are a time sink. You’re rarely going to change the mind of a women who’s not interested in you. Yes, you can lay off for a period of time and then come back and try again, with a new frame. However, in my personal experience, it rarely works in that way. You’re better off meeting someone else.

How to Move Forward in a Calibrated Manner

For the risk averse, you can always pull the trigger in a calibrated manner. You can always use mini tests to see if she’s slightly interested and would not mind you making a move.

Instead of blurting out:

“Hey, I’ll like to go on a date with you”.

You can always reframe and say:

“Hey, just popped into my mind, what are you thoughts on coffee with an interesting Singaporean guy?”

This way, you can baby step the interaction and see if she’s ready for you to ask out. If she’s not, then you tune it back and chat and flirt some more. The key idea here is to be able to demonstrate interest without forcing her to make a final decision on the relationship.

To use another example, instead of grabbing her by the face and attempting to kiss her on the onset, you can try to touch her on the shoulders, then the waist and the face to test out how comfortable she is with physical touch. Instead of outrightly saying that you want to have sex with her, why don’t you invite her to your place for a popcorn throwing contest? Or something casual such as hanging out with your dog or taking a look at your baby photos? This way can always soften your approach and leave an exit route for her.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it’ll come a point where you need to move your interaction forward and ‘attempt to close’. If she’s not interested after a couple of tries, then I suggest you move on.

This is why learning how to generate leads through online dating methods or cold approach is extremely important. One of the reasons why people get hung up on figuring out if she’s interested or not is because they are not talking to enough women. Either that, or they are too afraid of a rejection: fearing that a rejection may challenge their self identity.

One of the most important concepts here is: time sink. You do NOT want to be wasting time stuck in your figuring out if ONE woman wants you to make a move on her or not. You want to be proactive, pull the trigger and figure it out yourself.

You should be pursuing women from your own personal values. You approach and talk to her because it’s your personal values to pursue women you desire. Whether she rejects you or not, it does not matter, your actions are merely an expression of your values.

When you’re upfront and honest about your desires, there’ll be good percentage of women that are going to say no. That’s fine, take the rejection on the chin and move. This saves you wasting time, effort and needless mind games of asking yourself if she’s attracted to you on not. However, they’ll also be the ones that say yes.

Mar 18

How to Get Laid – Even if You’re Afraid of Asking for Sex

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

One of the top question that males desire to answer: how to get laid? If you want to get laid, let’s just say you got to be minimally sexually attractive to women. There’s hope. There’s an entire movement dedicated by men figuring out how to get laid.

If you haven’t noticed by now, this site dedicated to dating advice for men and we cover everything from approaching women, to conversation skills, to attract women, to ninja first date advice. However, for this particular article, I’m going to presume that she’s already attracted to you, you have been going out on dates and you’re looking to take it to your next goal: to get laid.

Your end goal?

First Of: Dealing with Sexual Shame with Getting Laid

There’s a common misconception in modern culture that women desire long term relationships before being willing to sleep with you. Look, there IS going to be a demographic of women that’ll strictly believe in sex after marriage. No, despite all the crazy dating advice out there, you can’t actually change someone’s values overnight. You’re going to be hitting up against the wall, no matter how smart you think your lines or techniques works. It rarely works, if even at all.

However, sex need not be confused with commitment or attachment. It’s perfectly okay to be sexually attracted to a woman and never desire long term commitment with her.

There’s a quote by entrepreneur Tim Ferris:

“A person’s success in a life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have. This is true especially when it comes to setting out expectations and boundaries in your dating life.”

I argue that dating is statistic game. It’s a numbers game. There are going to be a percentage of women that you interact with that’s going to be willing to go out with you. Out of that, a percentage is going to be attracted to you and are willing to date you. Then out of that, a percentage is going to be alright with casual sex, and the other percentage is going to be a conservative no. The art of good game is to figure out the ones that aren’t, so that you don’t waste time on them, and capitalise and not make mistakes on the one that do.

How to Get Laid: The Art of Being a Hard Closer

If you’ve always been a ‘Mr Nice Guy’, then you must be willing to be pushy and willing to piss off some people around you. Yes, attracting women and getting laid IS controversial by nature. You need to be pushy and assertive in your interactions. You need to play to win. Women are turned on by your desire for them. You need to be a hard closer.

On the other hand, if you’ve alway as believed yourself to be extremely attractive and you’re still not getting laid, then it’s time to adjust. Only by letting go of the narratives you tell yourself, that you’re free to pull the trigger.

Step 1) Mindset: Take Responsibility for the Situation

There is a difference in the perception of casual sex in Eastern and Western cultures. This is largely, and hugely ignored in the dating advice industry. This is also something I stress upon time and time again.

Ethics is a cornerstone my philosophy in attracting women. However, it’s important to note that Asian cultures are much more sensitive in nature. If you are too ‘honest’ in your interactions, it might come off as rude, insensitive, blunt, even if don’t mean it to be. In Eastern cultures, you’re dealing with sexual shame: relationships, love, intimacy isn’t exactly openly discussed over dinner tables.

When starting out, I was brash and upfront. I mean, that’s what you read in pick up artist books right? Such brash attitudes only connected with women who are more liberal minded. It didn’t really click with the majority of the women in an Eastern culture.

Like it or not, women (and human beings) are influenced by cultural values. Consciously or subconsciously, when in their dating life, women are also influenced by cultural values. In general, I don’t believe that women in Eastern culture desire to sleep with the cocky funny asshole player type of person.

Look, I’m not saying that getting laid in Eastern and Western cultures are completely different. The fundamentals of how to attract women are the similar. However, it is how you actually go about doing it. If you wish to get laid, then you need to adapt.

Step 2) The Anti Slut Defence

One of the defining philosophies that was born out of the pick up artist community is the idea that you got to understand the ‘anti slut defence’. In modern society’s eyes, if a girl hooks up with a guy, she’s a slut. If a guy hooks up with a girl, he’s the hero. It’s a double standard by modern society that makes sex, dating and relationships complicated and confusing. 

This is why women in most cultures (especially collectivistic cultures) are going to be more passive when letting you know that she’s interested in you.

You got to come from a mindset that if she hooks up with you, it’s your responsibility. It’s not her fault and or responsibility at all. If you take all responsibility away from her, she’s allowed to blame you or external circumstances when you make your sexual advances.

If you’re looking for casual sex, she has to be able to justify it amongst her friends. It has to ‘just happen’. They need to justify their behaviours to their friends why they went with you and hooked up with you.

Part of having good game is being socially aware to make sure she’s not perceived as a slut. This means only kissing her when her friends are not around, knowing when to make the right excuses and being empathetic about how she may be perceived.

I see men using misconstrued pick up artist routines such as handshakes or using bombastic pick up lines. The point isn’t to go over the board with your fanciful routines or a ‘high value’ portrayal, but to be empathetic, at the same time demonstrating that you are someone with strong boundaries and you have a willingness to walk away.

Understanding how to get laid in an Eastern culture is going to take time and patience. If you’re not into long term relationships, you still have to be prepared in investing time, effort and emotions into the dating game. This can mean going for 2-3 dates before hitting home run. This means going extra lengths showing her that you also care for her as a human being.

If you’re looking to get laid with a woman amongst your social circle. Then keeping your mouth air tight about getting laid with her is going to hugely lower the potential “social cost” of her hooking up with you. This is especially true for an Eastern cultured society. She definitely doesn’t want others around her and you to know about you guys hooking up.

I used to purposely take the girl I am dating out of University grounds just for the sole purpose of not letting others know that we’re dating. 

Step 3) The Right Frame

Let’s assume most women do not desire date down. She’s also most likely do not want to have ‘casual sex’ with someone of a ‘lower status’. To get laid, a lot of it is down to the right frame. How can you convey to her that you are a high value male that she wins by sleeping with you. Are there stories that you can tell from your life that demonstrate that you are non judgmental, discreet that makes sex a win for her?

How can you frame sex as a win for her? Even better, can you frame sex in such a way that she’s the one desire it, and not you? The best way is to get her to close you.

To give you an example, you can always pull back after escalating on her. If you’re already taking her bra off, you can always put it back on and say “you don’t fully trust her yet”. You are the one that feels it’s going too fast. You are the one that doesn’t want you to come off slutty now.

Frame control is an advanced concept that can be nurtured. To give another example, you can frame it in a way to get her to ‘earn you asking her back to your place’. 1) You’re perceived as a high value individual. 2) She doesn’t feel slutty. This can be easily framed by saying: ‘Hey I can totally trust you to come to mine right? You’re not going to embarrass me in front of my siblings right?”

Or… “Hey are you a little adventurous? That’s cool perhaps I can take you somewhere after this”. In this frame, she earned it by being adventurous and you seed the idea that the interaction may go somewhere after this.

Step 4) How to Get Her Back to Your Place

Now, assuming you’re on your third date, you guys are already making out and the next logical step is sex, then going from there to sex can be as simply as making an excuse to go back to yours. The general rule of getting her back to yours isn’t to ask her. It’s to lead. It’s to make the interaction subtle and socially intelligent. Finding an excuse to get her back to yours is a socially intelligent way to do it. You can stock up on alcohol at yours and then ask her over for drinks.

There’s no need to outrightly verbalize: “let’s go home and we’re going to have sex now”. If you’re verbalizing everything, you’re also showing a lack of confidence and social intelligence. That’s unattractive and a turn off for women. It shows that you aren’t able to put yourself out there emotionally and have to somewhat verbalize to justify your sexual advances.

Some men face the problem of staying with their parents. I recommend ironing out this problem out with your parents. It’s the matured thing to do. I remembered that I would awkwardly drive my Dad’s car to my place without asking her if she wants so to come after a date near a bar at my place.

Step 5) Dealing with Last Minute Resistance

The term last minute resistance or ‘LMR’ is coined by the pick up artist community. LMR is when women resist last minute when she’s already in your room or bed. It when you’re taking out her bra and she pushes you off and tells you “we’re not having sex tonight.” I’ve had these situations quite a couple times throughout my dating career.

  • Be Empathetic about It

Ideally, you don’t want LMR to happen in the bedroom. You want to frame it right from the start. This can be done by setting out expectations in an open and calibrated manner. The majority of men are going to try to manipulate their way into a girl’s pants. YOU are going to be the minority is actually able to communicate and lay out expectations in vulnerable manner

Basically, be 100% open about sex and talk about sex openly. This can mean talking about sex openly with her. If she asks you about if you see this going into a relationship, don’t fucking say yes just for the sake of getting into her pants. Please don’t. Have some fucking self respect and ethics. Paradoxically, it’s this self respect and ethics that gets a girl to open up. In my experience, you can say that you don’t know and you aren’t looking for a committed relationship at this point of time. There are multiple reasons why you do not want to have a committed relationship because of work, travel, difference in geographical location or you just want to explore your options. 

Up till this day, I’m proud of the fact that I’ve never mislead any women before. Ethics as a principle is also a value I want to stress as a dating coach.

She’s not going to feel like a slut if you’re honest about your desires with her. In fact, she’s going to feel the opposite, she’s going to feel you’re a human being and that you care for her to a certain extent. 

I once had a girl over and she said: ‘We’re not going to have sex’. I immediately replied: ‘Yup, we aren’t.’ I was totally chill about it. To be honest, it’s a turn off to me when sex is forced or manipulated. Spoiler: she and I end up doing it anyways.

 

  • Talk about It

I find that openly talking about some of the objections she may have can help. It is to ask her if she’s comfortable with you. Is she looking for a long term relationship? Does she feel uncomfortable to hook up before a relationship/marriage? What are her values?

For years straight on, when I get asked if she and I are going to end up together: I simply say I don’t know and that is true. I’ll tell her I like her a lot and is attracted to her, but I don’t see myself in a committed relationship before sex. It’s kind of like being in a relationship just for sex.

When you’re upfront and honest about your desires, you’ll remove a lot of the necessary mind games. There’s no need to pressure anyone into doing something that they don’t want to do. 

Either that, if she asks you about you being a player or the number of girls you’ve slept with, you can simply say that that’s none of her business. 

  • The Freeze Out

Okay, assuming the sex really isn’t going to happen. You can try the ‘freeze out’ technique. I’ll turn on the lights and ‘freeze out’. This may elicit her to ‘miss’ the sexual tension and desire it more. This strategy is coined from old school pick up theory.

If all Fails… Then What?

Okay, assuming it’s way past midnight and are you going to let her stay? I used to be alright with girls coming over and not wanting to have sex. I even rationalised it as ‘at least I got someone to hug to sleep.’ That was due to my lack of boundaries at that point in time. However, if nothing is going to go down, I’ll politely ask her to leave.

How to End things with Zero Drama

Usually, the male is more invested before sex and a woman is less invested before sex. The power dynamic of the relationship flips after sex. The power of choice that a woman had (to have sex or not) switches over to the man (whether to commit or not). If the power dynamic doesn’t switch, it usually a sign of neediness from the male.

You’re no longer chasing her and she’s the one chasing you. The length of how long you’re able to stay friends with benefits with each other depends on various factors. It’ll depend on both party’s abilities to keep things perfectly casual, which is tough. 

One side will desire more out of the relationship. It’s no longer just about the sex, it’s also about identity and attachment. So, assuming you’re not in it for the long run, how do you end a casual relationship on drama free note? The solution is to have a clean break, or take a break from have a purely sexual relationship. This means setting strong boundaries, setting expectations clear and for Christ’s sake: stick it to it.