Dating in Singapore 01
Dec 23

Singapore Dating Culture – Sex, Love and Economics

By Marcus Neo | Singapore Guides

Over the years, I figured that Singapore’s dating culture is unique and flawed in it’s own special kind of way. Singapore is an Asian cultured society that is sandwiched between Westernized and Asian values simultaneously. This weird sandwich often results in a clash of values, beliefs in our dating lives.

I’m a Singaporean male bred and born from the heartlands in Singapore. I’m not born into a privileged family. I stayed in a HDB, a public flat the majority of my life, received a typical Singaporean education. I grew up in a conservative Asian family setting. You know, the typical conservative Asian family. If you don’t get a 101/100 in school, you get disowned and aren’t allowed to come home. 

If you were somewhat like me, you probably aren’t equipped to talk about openly about sex, intimacy and relationships openly. 

Singaporean Dating Culture: Shame and Honour

If you were like me, you were brought up to think that good grades equal a good job, a good job equals nice girlfriend, a good girl friend or wife equals success in life. You were brought to be ‘useful’ to society. You had to excel in anything you laid your hands on, rejection and failure meant death.

There’s a reason why the dating advice community is much smaller in Asia compared to Westernized cultures. One thing the dating advice community did right was the concept of self-reliance. 

If you take full responsibility for your own behaviour, you can change your love life and not everything is left to fate or genetics.

It’s the most difficult thing to admit to themselves, their families, and other loved ones that they have a problem and need help. The mere acknowledgement of an Asian person having a problem is going against cultural norms because it sends the implicit message to others that you have let them down.

– Psychology Today

It’s quoted by Emerson that society is a conspiracy against self reliance. Asian cultures are collectivistic by nature. The idea behind collectivism it’s that it’s culturally acceptable to rely on groups, stay in groups, rather than rely on oneself.

Collectivism promotes the idea of giving up your individual needs for the ‘greater good’ of society. Giving up your needs is also known to be selfless and considered a ‘good’ moral value in Asian cultures.

However, altruism also be debated philosophically. Our human actions are inherently selfish. You can argue that giving up your needs for the greater good is still selfish because you’re deriving pleasure from the action of giving up your needs. Look, I’m not here to debate if collectivism or individualism is better, there are helpful and unhelpful values in both value structure.

One huge part of Singaporean culture believes that success from dating and relationships will ensue from success in external metrics such as your career, job, academic success or monetary wealth. There’s a common cultural notion that if you’re rich, hold a high paying job, you’ll automatically attract women, or are deemed successful in life.

From my experience as a dating coach, the majority of Singaporean (and arguable Asian) man goes through his whole life believing he needs a lot of external successes to be successful with women. 

You also not suppose to talk about your emotions, you’re not suppose to feel sad, you’re not suppose to swear, to be pissed off. You’re suppose to be that good Asian kid that goes to school and get good grades.

This is also why psychotherapy, mental illness, is much more stigmatized in Asian societies, with the majority of Singaporeans suffering from it not seeking help.

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Sexual shame inflicts not just Singaporean men, but men all over the world, it’s just more so in Asia. 

I remembered that the topic of sex, relationships and emotions were NEVER discussed when I was growing up. Needless to say, I was piss poor with my relationships with women and that single-handedly inspired my dive into the dating advice community.

This lack of emotional depth and sexual shame may lead to us Singaporean male being perceived as ‘boring’ and ‘unexpressive’.

From personal experience, many Singaporeans actually pride themselves on these metrics of success, without questioning if that’s the best way to measure success in life.

It’s no surprise that Singapore has been reported for being a soulless, unhappiest, longest worked culture.

Blurring the Lines Between Love, Lust, and Sex

If you’re a Singaporean male, you probably feel judged or ashamed of bring a woman back home by your parents. Sex is often seen as “immoral and unethical”. This, ultimately, is a source of sexual shame. It’s no surprise that people that has trouble with attracting women often feedback to me that they have got extremely strict parents.

One of the traditional Asian cultural beliefs is that you have to have a great connection with a woman before you can have sex with her. There is unsaid rule that it’s a must for marriage or a long term relationship before you can have sex.

This is why girls complain that guys only want sex and why guys complain why girls are needy. In the end, causes a lot of manipulative and nice guy behaviors where you the male end up buying gifts and spending time, effort and attention in hopes at the end of the day receiving sex.

It’s basically saying: I’m going to buy you this dinner/gifts/bags so that you let me fuck you later.

Here’s a truth: Sex is not immoral or unethical when it’s consciously agreed between both parties.

Here’s the second truth: sexual desire should not be in the only reason why you get into a relationship. Ultimately, a long committed relationship should only be pursued if there’s a long-term compatibility in the relationship.

Wanting to have sex with someone and desiring a committed relationship are two separate issues. Emotional attachment/commitment doesn’t automatically/ shouldn’t come after or before sex. Sex doesn’t mean automatically mean emotional attachment/commitment. There are many a times both parties sexually attracted to each but are actually incompatible and differ in life values.

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Throughout the majority of history, sex was a strictly controlled good. If you dated up in social classes, you might find yourself beheaded or shot. Now, you’re living a modern world where you have the knowledge and freedom the choose your sexual partners and relationships with lesser repercussions with the invention of condoms and pills. It’s a gift in itself.

Lastly, sex shouldn’t be seen as a huge deal. It isn’t something that you should hold on to like a badge of honor. Sex, love and intimacy isn’t something that you can earn or objectify.

The Singaporean Culture Ties Economics to Long Term Commitment

One of the cultural nuances of Singapore is that public housing is only purchasing upon marriage or what we call registration of marriage. This can cause a problem, a blog post by MoneySmart.Sg claimed that one of the top reasons Singaporeans cancel their flat purchase is because they break up before collecting their keys.

Singapore is great economically. I have nothing wrong with that, however, when economics is seen as a means to relationships, that’s where people make decisions they are not ready to make.

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If you are more interested and worried about public housing instead of the quality of the relationships when it comes to marriage, then you’re dug your own grave from the start. The purchase of public housing (or anything for that matter) should not be a determinant of whether or not you should stay in relationship.

More often than not, relationships are treated as economical assets in Asian culture. Namely: Guan Xi in Chinese.

If you’re only loved for some extrinsic benefit you provide to someone else instead of mutual support and affection. (and at times, your parents) then you’ll always base your self worth on the things you can provide to others, and not who you actually are as a person.

For example:

  • You’re only accepted and loved if you’re getting full marks for your Science examinations.
  • You’re only accepted and loved if you attend piano classes.

Not this is a conditional form of relationship, it also fucks with your self esteem. It also screws up your perception of love and intimacy.

Ultimately, the healthy dynamic of a relationship shouldn’t be solely measured by externals like achievements or social status. If you sacrificed your personal values, just to be with someone, then there’s actually really no relationship at all.

Singaporean Women Materialistic and Superficial?

There are a couple of articles floating online that suggests that Singaporean women are spoilt, have an inflated sense of self worth and expect to get treated like princesses.

For every stereotype, there’s a small dose of truth. I generally do find the average Singaporean women ‘spoilt’ in the sense that a lot of them aren’t able to hold down a meaningful conversation (which is ironic for being educated in one of best education systems in the world). You also could argue that the majority of Singaporeans can’t hold down a fucking meaningful conversation.

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I did some Googling around, found a Quora thread, another one and some research.

Surprise, surprise, there’s actually an article with data points that goes to show 

YES, Singaporean girls are do account for finances when choosing a long term partner, most of them stating that they account for finances when looking for a husband or a long term relationship. There’s also a survey that says that Singaporean women aren’t willing to date someone who is shorter than them.

You can argue that from an evolutionary standpoint. Females want to be with males that have wealth and resources so that they are able to care for their offspring. Just like how males want to be with physically attractive females that has positive indicators of the ability to give birth: nice hair, wide hips and etc.

However, people also choose mates not just because they want to fuck each other brains out or give birth to a healthy offspring, but also other factors such as personal values, emotional attachment, lifestyle compatibility and etc.

So what gives?

It’s difficult not to ignore the demographic of local Singaporean women dating foreign men in Singapore. 

Every couple of months, I go to the popular drinking night spot club street in Singapore. Whenever I’m there, I’m flooded with the expat crowd from the central business district. It’s hard not to notice the Asian woman wrapping her hands around a Caucasian male.

I did some Googling on the internet’s general sentiment on state of Singaporean masculinity.

I found out our popular blogger Xia Xue’s opinion on how Singaporean men needs a certain amount introspection, start adding value to society, stop whining about the government, stop posting on forums and stop reference colloquial sexual terms when it comes to sex.

Spoiler: She ended up marrying a foreigner.

There is also another long article by a foreigner living in Singapore titled: ‘what’s wrong with Singaporean men’. 

He argued that 1) Singaporean men aren’t independent because they don’t move out of home 2) Singaporean men are sexist and are stuck in the last century 3) Singaporean men are stingy on dates 4) Singaporean men dress poorly and put no effort into their appearance 5) Singaporean men look great on paper but are poor dates.

Unfortunately, being a Singaporean male myself, I agree with some of their points.

However, does that mean that Singaporean women aren’t choosing Singaporean women as dating partners at all Interestingly, I found statistics that the majority of Singaporean women are still marrying Singaporean men.

However, you could argue marriage doesn’t really demonstrate the sexual desirability of Singaporean men. There are even evolutionary theories that suggests that women choose long term commitment with men because of long term safety, security/ economics.

I’m not going to debate you on the multiple of evolutionary theories on this, but you get the rough drift.

From my experience, Singaporean men are a great at putting in the hours and grinding it out. However, I think a lot of us measure up pretty poorly in other areas, especially when it comes to certain traits: being outspoken and having independent thinking.

Here’s my critique.

Singaporean men are ‘boring losers’ when it comes to standing up for their own ideals and values. This is the opportunity cost of a relatively conservative Asian culture.

Emotional Independence from Our Parents

In Singapore culture, it’s a cultural norm to stay with Mum and Dad all the way till 35 or till you are married. Look, I’m not against staying with your parents, however, there are tons of benefits from gaining independence from your parents.

However, our emotional dependence on our parents often lead to issues in our dating lives.

It’s also common to hear the phrase: you’re not marrying the girl but you’re marrying the family.

I completely disagree. It’s an outdated traditional belief that shouldn’t hold true today. It’s a piss poor form of boundaries. In any long term committed relationship, including marriage, you and your partner are going to start a life together. Your life choices should be independent of what your parents expect of you.

I’ve dated girls that are always worried about what Mum and Dad thought of her. This is despite reminding her constantly: “Hey look, I’m dating you, and I’m not dating your parents.”

Our life choices are often dictated by the judgment and opinions of society. This includes our friends, our family and society expectations in general. We never bothered to differentiate ourselves in a manner that might be different from a societal norm. This plays out in our career choices as well. 

Singaporean men often choose the more ‘safe choices’ of being an accountant, a lawyer or a doctor as their career choice. You often also hear people lament that the arts, music scene in Singapore is a dead end, and there’s no money in art of music.

There is also a huge cultural pressure of males to be financially successful. Hence, we often sacrifice our own ideals and values for the sake of financial success. When you adjust your behaviour to follow suit with society with the fear of being seen as different, or standing out, those aren’t exactly bold traits.

It’s a cultural norm in Singaporean culture to stay with Mum and Dad till you’re married. That’s because rent is known to be expensive in Singapore and almost everyone I know stays with their parents (including me). That’s a problem many Singaporean men face.

Freudians believe that the defining emotional struggle for men is emotionally disassociating from the safety and care of the emotional attachment of their mother. 

However, in Singapore, a lot of us still live with Mum and Dad and are emotionally dependent on them. Even the Singaporean billionaire, Min Liang Tan is proud of living with his parents

Personal experience backs this up as well, I always notice a stark difference in motivation whenever I’m back home with my parents as compared when I’m travelling alone abroad. I always felt more free and motivated to pursue my own endeavors when I’m living alone.

The Singaporean Metrics of Success

There’s a pervasive invisible script that a Singaporean male has to go to a good University, please Mum and Dad, get a respectable job, purchase a HDB, pump out 2.5 kids and retire by 65 or some age that the government decides. This model used to work for our parents. That’s because that was what it was required economically for their generation at that point of time. 

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So what is the result of this cultural script?

Hundreds of Singaporean men working in jobs they don’t enjoy, just to keep impress people they don’t like, to earn money they don’t need and splash it on the common Singaporean 5 Cs: Condo, credit card, car, cash and country club membership.

You get a generation of successful men who are pushovers, don’t assert themselves, can’t get a date and end up embroiled with sex with mommy issues.

Historically, men attached their entire identities to their careers and professions. That’s where we’ve always derived our sense of self worth. That’s how men asserted their emotional autonomy.

However, Singapore has evolved to a society of financial luxury. This is true for many Western cultures and in Singapore. Not to mention that women have equal opportunities, work harder than men, and there even cases of women outperforming men in Math and Science

In my experience, many Singaporeans are afraid of making independent valued judgments of their own, especially when it comes to life choices.

It’s no surprise that the alternative media in Singapore often expresses that Singaporeans are often politically silenced and generally are afraid to express their opinions. 

There’s societal pressure of financial success as a commonly used metric of success in Singaporean culture. If you’re rich, that meant you’re successful. Why is academic performance and wealth such a huge metric of success in Singaporean society? What happened any sense of meaning?

Thirdly, the Singaporean education system doesn’t really encourage you to stand up for yourself or think outside of the box either. 

Since day one, you are spoon fed and told to just follow the system. It felt stupid to me that the sole purpose of going to University of it isn’t the actual role of learning but to get the highest grade in your examinations. Curiosity is sacrificed for the sake of extrinsic rewards. You’re memorizing that periodic table in chemistry class not because you give a fuck about chemistry itself, but so that you can pass your examinations. 

Whilst many may think that NOT out rightly or directly expressing their opinions help with harmony, it may not always be the case. There’s a difference between harmony and conformity. Through the years, I often had friends and family criticizing me for voicing out my personal opinions. However, it was these controversial opinions generated long term trust and meaning in my relationships.

Yes, you want to be secure. Yes, your Mum and Dad wants you to be ‘successful’. However, don’t just slave away at some career that you aren’t interested in. I’m no different from you. I was shit scared of not finishing my accounting degree. I’m shit scared of failing financially in life. Hell no, I am even more afraid than you are. I was brought up to think that I was an absolute failure if I didn’t achieve these things. I was brought up to believe that only a ‘well respected job’ meant ‘success’.

The Old Metric of Success Isn’t Helpful Anymore

These cultural narratives that are instilled in us growing up in Singapore are no longer helpful anymore.

There’s no particular party to be blamed here, it’s merely an evolution of economics and culture. Here’s my theory: back then Singapore needed rapid economic growth, hence the government pushed for it. That was required in my parent’s generation. However, things are different now. Singapore is an economically advanced country and we’re still measuring success in the same way as we did back then.

The result?

The meaningless pursuit of financial success.

Countless reports and cases have stated that Singaporeans are one of the unhappiest people in the world. Our Singaporean forefathers focused heavily on economic growth for the last 50 years. It’s also researched that Singaporean workers are constantly the highest worked, workers in the world, beating even the industrious South Koreans. Singapore is also reported to have low fertility rates.

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Research shows that economic growth in a competitive capitalistic economy is related to this low fertility rate. There’s a popular argument that suggests when people have more disposable income, people are more willing to put off marriages and courtships.

Have you sacrificed the other aspects of life in this mad chase for economics? Have you dug a hole so deep economically that you have to constantly pile up on it to keep it going? It’s no longer enough to define ourselves through our unhelpful metrics such as our pay check. You and I find ourselves as the first generation of men that must create our own.

This isn’t easy. In a multitude of ways, we’re ill equipped. However, you can be the first of Singaporean men that take a different step.

Just like how our founding fathers did half a century ago.

Works Cited

Health, I. o. (2016, September 23). Latest study sheds light on the state of mental health in Singapore.Retrieved May 29, 2018, from Institute of Mental Health: https://www.imh.com.sg/uploadedFiles/Newsroom/News_Releases/SMHS%20news%20release.pdf

Photo Credits: Joe Siegal

Interview With Ngee Ann Poly
Nov 01

Interview With Ngee Ann Poly – Is Dating and Relationships a Skillset?

By Marcus Neo | Singapore Guides

I make the main argument that dating and relationships are a skillset, just like any other skillsets in life from business, sales, negotiations and sports. I also address that approaching girls can be done in a normalized way. Cliffton also asked interesting questions about pick up artists and I address the point that approaching a girl you fancy is a mere subset of the entire skillset of dating and relationships.

Interview by Ngee Ann Polytechnic

You can look forward to my featured article on Ngee Ann Poly’s magazine next Valentine day!

How to Attract Women
Jul 23

How to Attract Women – The Psychologically Researched Guide

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships

I’ve nerded out on tons of dating, relationship, pick up artist advice on how to attract women. Some advice said to tease her, some said to ignore her, some said to do it directly, some say to text her only after X number of days, some say you got to be ‘masculine’. When I started out, It was all really confusing to me, I needed a clear model that is replicable across cultures and different demographics of women.

There is a couple of school of thoughts from evolutionary to social psychology, just like all of the social sciences, there’s no one fit all answer. However, what are some principles one can adopt to be attractive to women across all cultures.

How to Attract Women – The Universality of Status                              

Psychological research shows that there’s one universal denominator that women find desirable across all cultures, ethnicities, age groups and socio-economic standing and even in time periods.

The largest common denominator of what attracts women to men is men who are perceived to be of higher status around women.

Note, I used the word perceived, that’s because status is relative, and I’ll get into that later.

This is commonly known in the pick up artist community as being of higher status, or ‘demonstrations of higher value’. People also usually decide to pursue a relationship by weighing the value they see in another person, including qualities such as physical attractiveness, wit, interests and intelligence against their expectations of success in the relationship.

So, how do you become ‘high status’, then? Is it something that’s demonstrated through good looks, money and success?

That’s both true and untrue.

If you’re brought up like me in a conservative Asian culture, you’re probably told a hundred times to think that once you do well in school, get a good job, you’ll automatically be able to kill it when it comes to women. There’s a huge pressure for us Asian males who grow up in a culture that associates monetary achievement with success.

Not to mention that hot women are splashed over and associated with the majority of advertising campaigns. The bouncers at the clubs treat her nice, she gets social opportunities shoved in her face, she gets into clubs for free and everyone loves her… for being pretty. Admit it or not, these cultural narratives influence your confidence with women to a huge degree.

However, if money, looks and success are all it takes to attract women, then why do women all around the world find themselves flocking to the broke musician or the 6 pac-ed athlete?

If attraction is determined by purely monetary assets, then why do many wealth off males in developed cultures can’t lay a date to save their lives and resort to dating sites or prostitution? Why is it that a good portion of the female population in the world make romantic/sexual decisions with pretty average males and are okay with it?

The Relativity of Status: Looks, Money and Status

Welcome to the relativity of status.

Yes, looks, money and success are external signals of ‘status’. However, assuming you’re an average male are not born into a privileged family, you can’t rely on looks, money and success.

Wearing a Rolex watch, flaunting material wealth and boasting about it in a developed country will get you eye rolls. You’ll come off as insecure and try hard. However, if you go to less developed cultures, wearing a Rolex watch will be all you need to attract women.

Take a male who has a high paying job. He may be able to come up with silly jokes or one-liners may come off as confident. However, he’s in a job he hates. He does it please his parents, impress girls, or is saying those jokes to get validation from her. It’s not a genuine or authentic expression of his identity.

He’s still an unattractive male at the end of the day.

Whereas, a truly attractive man may not have the best lines, however, he’s authentic in his words and doesn’t try to impress anyone. He lives life on his own values, doesn’t try to impress anyone and is capable of standing up for himself.

He may not be as financially well off as the former. However, he is a leader and the former is a follower. From an evolutionary standpoint, who do you think women are attracted to?

So, how do you be of ‘high status’ to the girl? Is it accumulating money, looks and success? If material objects or social status aren’t the only measurements of your attractiveness to women. Then how can you truly measure how attractive you are to women?

Fortunately, research shows that YOU too can be attractive to women.

The Potential for Status

Interestingly, the potential for status is equally attractive with status itself.

This means that if your behaviour shows that you have the potential to be rich, famous, successful, it is equally attractive to being rich, famous and success already.

Personal experience backs this up as well. I had one of my best dating life as a broke, underperforming accounting student. Even though I was a broke and not really an academically stellar student. I was passionate about personal growth and trying out a bunch of activities from martial arts, music and travel. This zest for life rippled through all my interactions with women, and they took to it.

From personal experience, women in developed societies are educated and are able to finance their lifestyles independently on men. They aren’t exactly looking for wealth or prestige. I’ve dated women who told me that they can provide for themselves and are not looking for a guy to provide financially for them. Of course, minus the gold diggers.

In modern culture, there’s a there’s a huge value placed on external success such as prestige, jobs and wealth. It’s misconstrued that by racking up job security, cars, wealth, and prestige, it’ll automatically make you attractive to women.

Let’s just say women don’t spend their nights fantasizing of your bank account.

However, I’m not saying that you should not thrive to make money, get good grades or look good. They all help, just like academic success don’t translate directly to career success. However, the discipline to perform in school can be applied to similar skillsets required to attract women.

I’m saying that you shouldn’t be reliant on your monetary success to attract women. You also do need some money to go to social events, use public transport, put yourself in demographics, go out on dates, dress well and have your own place etc.

There’s also research pointing that self worth and social desirability are also factors that influence one’s attractiveness (read: not just your bank account)

On Dark Triads and Pick Up Artist Strategies

Yes, unfortunately, it works. I’m not going to be idealistic and say it doesn’t. There’s also research suggesting that dark triad traits can be helpful in short term mating strategies. These traits are namely narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.

However, just because something works doesn’t mean you need to adopt it. I don’t recommend such a philosophy. You are who you date. Research shows that people self selects similar values in relationships. People with similar values and self-esteem often end up together.  If you’re attempting to adopt dark triad ways of behaviour, don’t be surprised if you end up dating psychopathic women.

Our Behaviour as a Determinant of Being Attractive

Looks, houses and cars are all displays of external wealth, prestige and social status. These external displays of status can lead to attraction. However, assuming you’re not born rich, famous or you aren’t there yet, these variables are not directly in your control.

If external variables such as looks, money and social status can’t be controlled, at least immediately, what CAN be controlled then? That’s our behaviour. 

How does this play out? This can play out in obvious ways and subtle ways.

If you’re going to go to University and doing a degree because your parents, society or your friends think it’s a good idea too and you secretly hate it, it’s going to come off. If you’re getting that job just because ‘that’s what everybody does’. What does this say about you?

You’re a follower and not a leader. You’re not living a life based on your values and not at all being assertive in your life. You’re more concerned about what others think about you than what you think of yourself.

Secondly, if you’re basing your self esteem on external signals such as making a million dollars, popularity, factors that are out of your control, then you’re not going to be really attractive that’s because your self esteem is going to fluctuate based on these external variables.

For example, a rich banking executive may display external signs of prestige such as monetary success, cars and more. However, he may secretly resent his work and isn’t truly happy or satisfied with his lifestyle. Compare this to an entrepreneur running a small scale business. He may not be extremely rich, however, he bumbles passionately when pursuing his projects.

The first is a follower and the later is a leader.

From an evolutionary standpoint, which one will women be attracted to? The follower or the leader?

When you assert yourself and lead a life based on your values, you dress a certain way because it’s a genuine expression of yourself, you pursue a lifestyle that you enjoy and pursue projects that you feel passionate about. You’re a leader. From an evolutionary standpoint, you’ll be a reliant and dependable father can take care of her offspring. Hence, you’ll be attractive to her.

Note, there’s a difference between being assertive and being over domineering. If you go around not caring about social norms and not giving a fuck anybody, feeling like you need to dominate yourself in any social situations, then you’re not really a ‘true alpha right’ Someone who is truly confident doesn’t need to be right all the time. Being truly confident means you respect the boundaries and ideas of others, but at the same time, you’re not fazed if someone else disagrees with you or rubs you off negatively.

Ultimately, whether you’re born rich and famous or not, you’re still required to adopt attractive behaviours to be successful with women. There’s no way around this.

Now, let’s take at the second universal determinant on what attracts women.

Physical Arousal: The Desire to Be Desired

The one other universal determinant of female attraction is the desire to be desired. There is data and new conclusion suggesting that women are turned on by being wanted, by being desired. Personal experience backs this up, your single ability to be sexually assertive with women will determine 80% of your success with women.

If the perception of status leads her to be psychologically aroused, then the desire to be pursued leads her to be sexually aroused.

In laymen terms, the perception of status, psychological arousal, makes her want to be your girlfriend. However, sexual arousal, makes her want to have sex with you right there and then.

Women don’t light candles and lay in bathtubs fantasize about condominiums and cars. They fantasize about far stranger things. This goes against the conventional idea that female attraction is solely tied to ideas and displays of security, investment, and commitment.

This is why Fifty Shades of Grey sold millions of copy all around the world. It’s literally porn for women. Why does a woman get turned off by the man who asks for permission when taking off her clothes, but get turned on by the male who doesn’t hesitate in the bedroom. Why are women reported to have rape fantasies?

So what does all of this mean for you and me?

If you’re afraid to ask her out, afraid to kiss her or afraid to touch her, it’s going to be a turn off for her. It means that your inability to assert yourself socially and sexually is going to turn her off. I can’t tell you the number of times I screwed this aspect up, in tons of micro ways possible.

In many cultures around the world such as the Asian culture, there are cultural narratives to reserve your advances when pursuing a girl. This is a narrative that I told myself for YEARS, SEVERELY deliberating my success with women. It was only when I started behaving in a more dominant manner, that I started getting more results.

Your Intentions: The Why Behind Your Behaviour

So Marcus, what you’re saying is that all I got to do is to show that I’m of ‘higher status’ and tell that I want to have sex with her right there and then? NO. Intentions aren’t covered by the majority of dating and relationship community. That’s because partly intentions are hard to describe and put a finger down to.

It’s NOT about ‘not giving a fuck’ and not caring about social norms and going up to grope her in broad daylight. It’s about pushing the interaction forward in an assertive but respectful manner.

Intentions are the ‘WHY’ behind your behaviour. In life, what motivates your behaviour is equally as important as the behaviour itself. It is also a determinant if your behaviour is truly confident or you’re trying to be confident.

Think about it, you ever hung out with someone who was trying way too hard to be cool? You probably felt turned off and slightly disgusted right? If you’re complimenting a girl just because you think she wants to hear it, it’ll probably turn her off. This is why men in bars who trade alcohol for attention fail miserably night after night. His behaviour or the surface may come off as high status but his intentions are way off.

When in doubt, always check your intentions.

It’s always good to ask yourself:

Is what you say to her authentic, a genuine expression of your desire for her? Or are you saying it because you read it a book somewhere that it is a good idea to?

This is why lines and a lot of the pick up artist literature can be limiting in the long run.

This is why memorizing lines and then mouthing it off like a robot ultimately going to come off as un-confident behaviour. You’re using these lines, routines and strategies because you’re inherently unconfident as a person.

The Primer on Sexual Shame

Having social skills and being extraverted also doesn’t mean that you’re automatically great with women. I was an extravert during my late teens, I still got nowhere with women. In fact, I was really inhibited when moving my interactions to anything sexual. You can be social with everyone, however, if you freak you when it comes to talking to a girl you’re into, then being Mr Popular still isn’t going to get you anywhere. This is why I’ll like to talk a little more about sexual confidence, in particular, sexual shame.

80% of your success is going to be determined by your ability to assert yourself physically and socially with women.  The majority of this attracting women this is actually about unlearning behaviours, being more in touch with your psychological maps than actually adding on more ‘attraction’ behaviours.

There’s also an over emphasize on how to get a woman attracted. Secondly, attraction is barely enough, she can be attracted to you, yet her life circumstances (she has a boyfriend) makes it difficult for anything between you and her to happen. The majority of people get together due to other reasons such as proximity (and other social reasons). other than being sexually attracted itself.

Now, back to sexual shame. Sexual shame is rooted in one’s inability to be sexually assertive. Sexual shame is feeling guilty, bad or worthless when expression or asserting your sexual/ emotional desires/ needs.  This can be rooted in many factors such as cultural influences, past traumas such as overly strict upbringing or poor relationship with your parents.

This is also something the majority of pick up artist/dating advice community do not talk about. This is why you don’t go up to talk to her. This is you’re afraid to touch her after she has given you a thousand green lights on a date. This is why guys that mouth out: ‘I’m going to kiss you now’, and then attempt to kiss her is a universally unattractive statement.

How to Go Forward from Here: Something You’re Proud Of

There is no way about this. Yes, you’ll get rejected. You’ll get rejected a lot. However, if you’re looking to have independence and choice in your dating life, then this you got to get this skillset down.

I was hanging out with a couple of friends who are into ‘pick up’ and they asked me: what do your friends and parents think about this? I simply say I’m honest about it. I tell them that I used to suck at this, I started reading a couple of books and that’s how I got the ball rolling.

Is attracting women something you should be proud of and something you invest in it? Is it something you can tell your parents, sibling, friends and colleague about? From what I observed, a lot of people getting into this dating advice thing (especially in Singapore) don’t see it this way. I boil it down to a couple of reasons:

  • Certain cultures, especially Asian
  • They think it’s a game: they are TAKING something from the girl

I’ll let you in on a funny story. Whilst I was coaching last month, I demonstrated a live interaction for him. The interaction went well. Well, because he’s new this, he actually mouthed off to one of the girls:

‘I’m here with Marcus, he’s teaching me how to talk to girls’.

It was a huge facepalm moment. Needless to say, the girls wanted to chase me away.

‘Why are you still talking to us? Why don’t you follow your friend and teach him how to talk to more girls?’

At this point, you may see this as a ‘shit test’. To be honest. Fuck shit tests. What’s the difference between a shit test and a girl genuinely doubting you? In this case, these girls were GENUINELY doubting me.

What could I have said at that moment?

I simply said: ‘Well, he’s my client and I’m teaching him. Don’t you think some guys need help in this area of your life? Would you want a cool, socially intelligent guy talking to you when you’re in the club? I happen to once suck in this area of my life as well, that’s why I had to learn it, just like he did.

The fact that I was unapologetically about my interaction, we continued talking and we exchanged contacts.

Through the years I came across clients that were somehow ashamed of this area of their life. I guess this is the Asian culture. However, fundamentally, of all dating advice is self improvement. This includes getting other areas of your life down. This means your job, maximizing your income, surrounding yourself with friends you liked around you and building self awareness.

You’re also going to have a far better batting average by taking care of 1) how you present yourself 2) what you talk about and your ability to communicate interest in a socially savvy way. This way, every single interaction you have is optimized for success.

This way, you are attracting women from a position of self investment. This means coming from a place of boldness and empathy. This means being proud of the fact that you’re walking up to her and creating an opportunity for both of you. That’s what you want to be gunning for in the long run: long term true confidence.

Boldness balanced out with empathy is an effective way to pursue women. 

When you pursue women in an open and authentic manner, it’ll force you to force you to overcome your shame, shape you to become more comfortable with your sexuality. It’ll shape you to become truly confident. This isn’t only about something that you do, it’s now something that you are.

Works Cited

Manson, M. (2017). Models. Sydney, N.S.W.: Macmillan.

Buss, D. M. (n.d.). The Evolution of Desire. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from Academia.Edu: https://www.academia.edu/325352/The_Evolution_of_Desire

Jonason, P. K., LI, N. P., & Buss, D. M. (2010). The Costs and Benefits of the Dark Triad: Implications for Mate Poaching and Mate Retention Tactics. Personality and Individual Differences, 4, 373-378.

Locke, D, K., Horowitz, & M, L. (1990). Satisfaction in interpersonal interactions as a function of similarity in level of dysphoria. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58(5), 823-831.

Ph.D., N. S. (2013, August 22). What Do Women Really Want? Retrieved August 29, 2017, from PsychologyToday.Com: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/insight-therapy/201308/what-do-women-really-want

Yang, W. (2011, July 29). Sex, Lies and Data Mining. Retrieved February 27, 2019, from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/31/books/review/a-billion-wicked-thoughts-by-ogi-ogas-and-sai-gaddam-book-review.html?pagewanted=all

Ineichen, B. (1979). The social geography of marriage. In M. Cook & G. Wilson (Eds.), Love and attraction. New York: Pergamon Press.

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