Archive for the ‘sex secrets’ Category

10 Ways to Make Internet Dating—and All Dating—Really Successful.

October 3, 2014

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Author Perry Brass at the Brooklyn Book Fair, 2014.

Huge numbers of people now meet on the Internet, and often they find their Internet dating experiences disastrous. This, unfortunately, is also true for a lot of their other dating as well, including “fix-ups,” that is dates arranged by other people, the regular old “blind dates” that most people either fear or find funny in a bitter, ironic kind of way—and then hate, as well as many “fantasy” dates. These are the dates that feel like they’re going to be heaven, then end up in hell.


Here are 10 important things to think about before you go on any date, whether it’s an Internet thing, the efforts of well-meaning friends, or the someone you spot on the street, at church, or anywhere and are fortunate enough to connect with.


  • Dating is hard—and unfortunately our own life history makes it harder. Dating in adulthood is difficult because of your own expectations. If you remember high school and college dating it was easier simply because you didn’t have the expectations that every date was going to end up as something “serious.” There is a lot of stress here, as in what you look like and appear as, and what the other person looks like and appears as. Do you look like and appear as the person in your profile? Ditto for that person who has already become an “eye candy” fantasy element that you were able to connect with, and the fantasy suddenly exploded. He (or she) was just “too human.” He showed his bad side way too fast, even if his outside was initially pleasing.
  • Try to get sex as far out of your mind as you can on that first date. This isn’t always easy, but it’s important. In other words, as soon as he or she walks through the door, don’t have her (OK, we’ll call him “her,” since I’m writing for both genders) already naked and propped up on a pillow. If you get sex out of the equation, a lot of other things can walk in, and these things can lead to a genuine, satisfying sexual attraction. How is that? Face it, we are attracted to people who show us things that please us, like a real sense of humor, an appealing interaction with life, compassion or a feeling for others, a lack of fear, and the cool, sweet presence of curiosity and adventure. Psychologists call this “investiture.” When you allow yourself to invest some of your real emotional self in another person, they also become sexually more enticing to you. This investiture may not happen on the first date, but might on the second or third as both of you allow yourselves to reveal more of your important inner material to one another.
  • But, an important bit of advice: Don’t offer too much of yourself immediately. A lot of people feel that they have to “get it all out in the open” to make sure the other person is not scared off by all of your hidden warts and past misdeeds. They spill out all their dirty laundry from the past, their endless health problems, their feelings of inadequacy, their sensitivities and history of problems. In other words, they unload every bit of baggage to you, when you barely know their names. You might be able to do that at a 12-Step meeting, but you don’t need to do it on a first date.
  • However, a little bit of honesty can go a long way—and it should. Offer just an inner peek at yourself, a keyhole view that basically invites your date to want to see more. You can pick some part of you that makes you seem more rounded, interesting, and human. This is not a job interview, although in our 24/7 hard-sell environment, it has become that for many people. Remember: You don’t have to be constantly perky, optimistic, and bright. You can have moments when a darker side of you comes out—but just keep them as moments.
  • You don’t have to make every single point in spades: This is especially true for men, but I find that women now do it as well. Part of the inherent territorialism of men is that they too often lay out their opinions and immediately pounce on anyone contradicting them. Retract. Realize that within every difference of opinion are some elements of truth. People love being told, “ I think you’re right about that.” Use that expression a lot. As I wrote in The Manly Art of Seduction there is something wonderful about learning that you are not always 100% right—that is, in seeing another side of an opinion, feeling, or experience. Open yourself up to discovery, even if it’s only to say, “Uh huh?”
  • On the other hand, allow yourself to be strong by being centered, and allowing someone else to be pulled into that center. So don’t belittle other people, even in your mind—you’ll be surprised how easily others pick up on even your unexpressed feelings. Just realize that in a dating situation people easily become unnerved and some of their lesser sides, even their worst ones, can surface. So allow yourself to feel comfortable with yourself, and then bring that other person into your own, more secure area of comfort.
  • Don’t expect perfect dialogue from other either one of you. In The Manly Art of Seduction, I talked about how TV dialogue—written by professionals—has skewed so many people’s ideas of what real conversation should be. They think that everyone, including themselves, should always be fun, witty, sparkling, and have a whole arsenal of zingers. Frankly nobody is, except on TV. Awkward moments are wonderful. They invite a moment for a genuine touching closeness to take place. Try taking someone’s hand. When she stops talking, or you have, just relax. Now you can provide a sanctuary of quiet and closeness that in a noisy world is perfectly welcome.
  • Learn how to smile and invite others in with that smile. Smiling is wonderful and contagious. But too often we confuse the salesmen’s high-voltage, 100-watt grin with a real smile. I advise people to look at the light in another person’s eyes, not directly at his eyes but just at that light, and smile because you’re connecting with it. These are moments of quiet romanticism. They’re beautiful. They can make any date.
  • Grooming, clothes, and the rest of our physical-appearance package are important parts of showing who we are—in that we are taking some effort to look good. But remember, in a dating situation, all of these should be used to invite someone to come closer to you, and not as a way of holding them at arm’s length. So you don’t have to be up-to-the-minute on the latest in style—this is not Fashion Week in New York. But it’s your time to be yourself as your better self (not even your best, remember that). If you are going to wear a fragrance, keep it as low key as possible. Make him or her have to get closer to you to smell it. And don’t wear anything that becomes more of a show than you are—keep that in your closet for another occasion.
  • Be honest, but don’t slam the door in anyone’s face. You can honestly say, “I’m not sure that I came off really well tonight, but I’d like to see you again.” Or, “We really didn’t get to know each other, but I think there’s room to know each other more.” In other words, don’t push a situation that may not be there, but try to open it up gently. Also remember that there may something about a person that you just don’t “get” on your first date. It may take a few days, or even weeks for that thing to find its resonance with you. Maybe it was the way she talked, or was really interested in you, or was—and you knew it—overcoming a lot of her own shyness and reticence just to be with you. So don’t shut the door hard by making her feel that it’s over, when it really isn’t. Dating, like wine, needs a little time to “breathe” in the glass. Give yourself that time.


Perry Brass is the author of the bestseller The Manly Art of Seduction, How to Meet, Talk to, and Become Intimate with Anyone. His next book will be The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love, How Connecting with Your Own Deeper Self Can Bring You Happiness, Sexual Satisfaction, and Save Your Life in a Difficult World. The author of 18 books, he is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a past contributor the Good Men Project. You can connect with him through this contact form, or through his website, You can also friend him on Facebook, or through his fan pages there.

Bradley Manning: Who Wouldn’t Want To Be A Woman, Except to Be A Man?

August 26, 2013
Thetis Imploring Zeus, painting by Ingres

French classical painter Jean August Dominique Ingres presents Zeus as the ultimate Daddy.


I found the latest wrinkle in the Bradley Manning saga to be really dismaying: his revelation that he wants to “transition” into being a woman named Chelsea, or as we say, become transgendered. The Army is going to give him a huge amount of grief over it, but probably not as much as I would give him.

First of all, let me say that I definitely believe in the reality of transgenderism—that is there simply are people who are born into the wrong bodies, or at least the wrong mentality that went with their bodies. Strangely enough, the veracity of this seems more real to me regarding women who transition into manhood than men who transition into womanhood.

Why is that so?

Because I find the almost universally accepted expectation of femaleness still umpteen times more confining than the same expectation of maleness. Or, as one F to M trans person said: “I realized I was an ‘outie,’ while being female is an ‘innie.’” She—now he—wanted to push out of the female role, wanted to play with hammers and nails and not dolls, loathed what was the enforced passivity of the female role, and hated the obsessions of women: how they look, how they “feel,” and how they act. She didn’t want to “feel.” She just wanted to be, and not have to think about it, the way men, classically, are trained not to think about it.

Or maybe they just don’t.

Maybe it’s another byproduct of testosterone.

But the truth is, you see, I have always been a transgendered man. Inside me is a gorgeous spectacular woman who happens to have a male head on her. Maybe even two male heads: if you include the one down below my regular head. Since the time I was sixteen years old, after a suicide attempt at fifteen (pushed into it by my violent schizophrenic mother and her family in Savannah, GA, as well the kids at my high school who started a whispering campaign against me) I have realized this simple truth: in order to be the man I was going to be—flagrantly accepting and enjoying myself, as I was—I would have to turn into what I called a “spy” for myself.

I was the foreign country of pure queerness, sending out a mercenary into the “straight world,” who would report back to my own inner self—my very real inner self’—in order to promote and survive and in a hostile world.

The question is: who was that inner self, and how did he (or she) evolve enough to become the present me? It took me a long time to understand this, as I’m sure it’s taking Bradley Manning, another spy certainly, if there ever was one. But in the evolution I discovered that this gorgeous female inside me could become this amazing guy who would define “maleness” itself, under his very own rules.

“Maleness:” that is the thing now escaping us. And poor Bradley, it’s escaping you too.

I first began to understand maleness as I came out into the underground queer tribe of the mid-1960s, when you had to sneak into gay bars that were usually hidden inside seedy buildings, down dark streets where you could be bumped off for the wrong wink at the wrong time. But there was this spark between queer men that we passed on to each other, that emotionally nourished us because we didn’t have acceptance of any other sort yet: including self acceptance. We were truly underground. We were moles. We made James Bond look like chicken shit. You had to be tough as nails to survive or you died. Gay kids now who kill themselves: God, do I feel for you.

But I realized back then that if you got through adolescence, there was the reward of having all these brothers around you who could recognize you and keep you going. Now in our age of “gay networking” and the totally bland mainstreaming and corporatization of queer life (if it exists at all anymore)—when everyone is emotionally starved on a high-caffeine Starbucks level (and I hope you get what I mean when I say this)—that queer brotherhood which was so important to me is out in the cold and the dark.

It’s sad. I broke all the rules of manhood and made my own up. To me as a young queer, the male gender was rich, romantic, exciting, affectionate, powerful, and mobile. You could move with it any place. You could pee against any tree. You could become the tree. New York, as my own silver daddy Walt Whitman called it, was “the city of orgies.” It was a place where having balls was fun. Now men here are castrated by corporate life, desperate to get married because they cannot receive any kind of emotional support outside marriage, sports nuts because only Derek and A-Rod can give them the kind of homoerotic charge they’re too scared to find in real life, and so isolated that they are killing themselves at a faster rate than they are killing each other. They are also killing women, a fact which is really sad: 80% of all homicides against women are done by their boyfriends or a male they know. When cops see a female corpse, the first thing they say now is: “Where’s the boyfriend or husband?”

So, Bradley, I don’t blame you for wanting to become a woman. But why don’t you become a man first? My kind of man. Wild, impetuous, romantic, secretive, horny as all get-up for the juices of life. Liberate yourself, and then see if you need to take hormones to do that.

Perry Brass has published 16 books including bestselling The Manly Art of Seduction which starts off with the assumption that “men are not supposed to be seductive.” Which of course is all the fun of being it. And, King of Angels, a gay Southern Jewish coming-of-age novel set in his native Savannah, in 1963, the year of J.F.K’s assassination, a date whose 50th anniversary we are celebrating this year. King of Angels was a finalist for a 2013 Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT fiction. You can learn more about him at his website,