• 249: Feel like you can never get it right with her? This relationship pattern could be behind it (ft. Jason Lange)

    Ever experienced the relationship pattern where she essentially says, "I was hurt by this thing you did," or, "I need you to love me better/differently" — and then you feel like you've failed, pull away, and maybe even have the desire to just stop trying altogether?

    Whether you're in a dating relationship or a long-term, committed relationship like a marriage, this is a very common relationship pattern. It can be easy for women to be critical or share feedback in ways that are not at all constructive (sometimes even bullying). And it can be easy for a man, when he feels he has let down/disappointed his partner, to get defensive or withdraw (or both), which can trigger even more upset. This, then, can affect your sex life as well as your emotional intimacy.

    How do two people meet in the middle here? How does she soften and share feedback in an openhearted way, and how does he receive it without collapsing and/or entering into a shame spiral?

    The good news is that it is possible to grow here, and for both partners to meet each other in the middle.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "Hearing that nothing was ever good enough for her made me withdrawal into passivity and inaction. Why do anything for her when I’m always going to be shot down for trying?"
    • "One of the masculine’s main fears: We can’t provide enough, we’re not emotional enough, we’re not communicating enough … we’re not enough."
    • "I felt deeply met by him when he did that ... it was the first time I'd ever felt fully expressed that way with a man."

    Mentioned on this episode:

    Dear Men episode 128: Recognizing the signs of Borderline Personality Disorder

    1h 18m | Mar 24, 2023
  • 248: Hot sexting! How & when to sext, and more on sexual communication (ft. Dr. Tara)

    Curious about sexting, or how to bring it up/do it in the context of a new dating relationship? Maybe it's an edge you'd like to push, or maybe you're not even sure what it really is. (Hint: it can also spice up your marriage/long-term committed relationship.)

    Dr. Tara grew up in sexually conservative Thailand, and went through her own sexual awakening over the course of years. Here we cover her fun, sexy journey from Catholic schoolgirl to full-on, liberated tenured professor of sexual communication -- not to mention her happy relationship to her current husband.

    We also talk about trust and safety in relationship, the 3 questions to include in a "sexual check-in" in a relationship, how a sex store in LA changed Dr. Tara's life, and how to be hot instead of creepy when it comes to dick pics.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • “I married a resume husband that I never had sexual chemistry with.”
    • “Shock and awe — there are so many cock sizes!?”
    • “I didn’t have enough sexual self-esteem to pursue what was right for me.”
    • “One of the best ways to help women feel more sexually empowered is to encourage self-pleasure.”


    Mentioned on this episode:

    1h 2m | Mar 17, 2023
  • 247: GirlTalk: Dating apps! What's it like being a woman on them? [Replay]

    Real talk: Dating can be hard! So many of us long to connect with one another, but the process can feel ... challenging. Whether you're contending with approach anxiety, not knowing what to text or when to call, when to ask her on an actual date (should you get to know her first via the text thread?), or how to gracefully handle rejection or ghosting ... it's a lot.

    And straight men on dating apps also have to contend with the fact that they tend to get far fewer messages and responses and attention overall than women. It can be painful.

    We want to make it easier and smoother! There's a lot out there for men about what not to do, but what about what to do when it comes to the dating apps, sex, and building a relationship? Here, we go over how we love to be approached on the apps, with real examples of men who've done it well. Yes, it can be done — and it may be easier than you think.

    If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a woman on Hinge, Bumble, Tinder, OKCupid, Plenty of Fish, Coffee Meets Bagel, Match, eHarmony, or any of the other dating apps, check this one out.

    1h 19m | Mar 10, 2023
  • 246: Getting to peak masculine vitality (ft. Michael Holt)

    Ever feel like you're dragging? Like you don't have enough energy to do all the things you want to do, or just wish you had more oomph in general?

    The fact is, when you're healthy and vital, you're more attractive. You also want to have sex more (your libido goes up). You're more likely to go for what you want in dating. And you show up as the best version of yourself in long-term, committed relationships like marriages. You inspire those around you. You've got what you need to go after your goals.

    Martial artist and masculine vitality expert Michael Holt has a lived experience of feeling energetically depleted and emotionally down. Yet he turned things around and now helps other men do the same. There are both physical as well as emotional landscapes involved in boosting your energy. The good news? You can be more vital, strong, healthy, and alive than you ever have been -- no matter how old you are.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • “The primary regulation strategy in this culture is distraction.”
    • “Why am I in the desert with a bunch of damn hippies? Oh my God, have I become a hippie?”
    • “The highest act of service is healing yourself.”

    Michael's IG: @savageandsaint

    1h 1m | Mar 3, 2023
  • 245: What's it like to be swingers? (ft. John & Jackie Melfi)

    How do you know if monogamy is right for you? Ever been curious about what it would actually be like to be a swinger, or date other people while still being in a healthy marriage?

    Jackie was actually married twice, in two traditional, monogamous relationships (with kids), before she connected with John — or, in fact, reconnected with him, since they actually went to high school together.

    By that point, John was running several clubs for swingers, and Jackie was curious to hear more. She went on a deep dive in researching monogamy, ethical non-monogamy (open relationships), how people "do" swinging and/or other sexual exploration in a way that feels authentic and true to them, and more.

    The two then built a beautiful relationship based on openness, trust, and true vulnerability.

    If you've ever wondered how exactly it "works" in a relationship that's more open, where you can play with other people (i.e. have full-on sex or just to be sexual some way), listen to this. According to Jackie and John, it can actually bring you closer, with tremendous personal growth.

    In particular, when you don't have to cut off that part of you that engages with the spark of life, things get fun and fiery. Flirting, ethical non-monogamy, jealousy, fulfillment, love, and healthy relationships can all coexist, and bring even more joy and magic into your world.

    Notable quotes from this episode:

    • “I assumed that once I got married, my partner and I would be 100% satisfied.” 
    • “Monogamy never really felt like ‘me.’”
    • “If you’re able to walk through your fear you become a stronger person — more whole.”
    • “One of the greatest gifts was it allowed me to get in touch with how I viewed myself, how I can grow, how I can feel confident in my relationship.”
    • “We’re very conscious of what we do in our relationship. We want both of us to be operating from the best place.”
    1h 11m | Feb 24, 2023
  • 244: What if what makes me good at my job makes it harder to date? (ft. Jason Lange)

    We work with a lot of men in demanding professions, whether that means long work hours, high-stakes environments (like hospitals), hard manual labor, or being mentally taxing or stressful.

    Many of these men have to hide their emotions and/or vulnerability at work, and/or are in jobs like software development or IT that have them at a computer, isolated, all day long. Any and all of this can take a toll, and impact your love life.

    When it comes to sex and relationships, it can be challenging to navigate this kind of thing. How do you balance a crazy work schedule with dating, or drop in with your woman relationship partner when you've spent all day in your head?

    The truth is, if the very thing that makes you great at what you do makes it harder to connect with women, you've got to make some adjustments. The good news? They're doable, and will lead to healthier, more sustainable and sexier relationships overall.

    1h 4m | Feb 17, 2023
  • 243: Why are European women more likely to speak up about sex? (ft. Guy Blaise)

    Guy Blaise is a Frenchman who has lived in the U.S. for a number of years. As a man who has dated and had sex with both European and North American women, he has an intriguing perspective. Here we delve into the differences between dating in France and the U.S., and the various questions raised by those, such as:

    Why are French women more likely to tell a man what they like or don't like in bed? How do you approach a European vs. North American woman, and why does that feel so different? Why is the fear of being creepy so prevalent in North America?

    After writing his first book, Love Like the French, Blaise also received hundreds of letters from American and Canadian women asking for dating and relationship advice. We also discuss the fascinating world of what kinds of things the women wrong in about -- and what all men can take from that.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "You go to Barcelona, love is on the subway."
    • "Treat your partner like she’s your best customer."
    • "In France, women are very outspoken."
    • "Sex doesn't start in the bedroom."

    Guy's site: The French Perspective, which includes his books Love Like the French and Love Like a Man

    43m | Feb 10, 2023
  • 242: Stepping off the 'relationship escalator' (ft. Amy Gahran)

    When it comes to dating, relationships, and sex, there's a strong cultural norm -- the plotline of what we're "supposed" to want. It goes like this: You start dating, become sexually exclusive, get engaged, get married, buy a house (with a white picket fence!), have kids, and stay together until you die. No sex, dating, or romance with anyone else, ever.

    This is known as the "relationship escalator," and it can sometimes feel like the only choice out there.

    But what if you got off the escalator? What about the many relationships that fit outside that norm? What if, for example, you want to have kids but your partner doesn't -- and instead of breaking up, you and a close friend become co-parents?

    Amy Gahran has interviewed hundreds of people who've gotten off the relationship escalator and are engaging in creative relationships of all kinds. If you've ever wondered what else was possible, you'll want to listen to this.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "More is possible."
    • "You have options. And even if you want to keep doing what you're doing, make it a conscious choice."
    • "Cultivate the skill to re-negotiate because I can guarantee that at some point you're going to need to."


    Amy's site: https://offescalator.com/

    1h 6m | Feb 3, 2023
  • 241: What if you've ticked the big boxes in life ... but you're still not happy? (ft. Jason Lange)

    Ever felt "flat" in life? Like you've done a lot of the things you were "supposed" to do, but you're still not fulfilled? Or perhaps you just have this nagging feeling that more is possible.

    This is often a subtle pattern, but it's one we've seen in a number of our clients. Some have got a pretty good relationship with pretty good sex, but the sense that the level of depth and closeness with their partner could be much richer. Others have experienced success in certain aspects of life (i.e. job/career), and are struggling because it almost seems a bit "selfish" to want or expect more. But they yearn for, yes, more.

    If you've ever had a gnawing feeling of emptiness, or a growing suspicion that there's MORE to be experienced in your life, you're not alone. And you're not wrong. We frequently find that the men showing up with this kind of pattern do have a way out, and that what's waiting on the other side of the path forward is more glorious than perhaps they were even anticipating.

    1h 0m | Jan 27, 2023
  • 240: How do we raise good men? (ft. Luke Entrup)

    How did you know when you stopped being a boy and became a man (if that's how you identify)? And if you're raising a son, how will he know when he's a man?

    Rites of passage are critical to our development as humans ... but they're sorely missing from mainstream culture. Indigenous cultures and first nations have much to teach here.

    A big issue in mainstream culture is that there's little guidance for dads on how to guide boys into becoming the healthy masculine. There's a lot of talk about toxic masculinity; we know what we don't want, but how do we teach boys what we do want?

    Luke Entrup's son is 11 years old, about to be 12. And his question has been, "How do I do my part to raise a good man?" So he's leading a rite of passage retreat for fathers and sons -- specifically, fathers and sons where the boys are aged 10-14.

    Here we discuss rites of passage across the ages, the relationship between fathers and sons; how to have a healthy connection with men; what it means to be a healthy dad; how to help teenage boys resist the cultural programming that "Any form of emotion is a sign of weakness, and if you show it you’ll get torn up socially"?; and how to raise good men.

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "A fear a lot men have is, 'Your power is dangerous. You hurt people.'"
    • "Initiation takes a level of bravery."
    • "As men, pain turns into numbness. Numbness turns into rage. And beneath it all is the pain of the past."
    • "How do I show up as a good dad?"

    For more info on the retreat:

    The Father-Son Connection Experience: A Rite-of-Passage for Boys and Their Father-Figures

    Luke's website and podcast

    1h 3m | Jan 20, 2023
  • 239: Realized I’m a "Nice Guy." Now what do I do about it? (ft. Jason Lange)

    Ever read No More Mr. Nice Guy, or heard about Nice Guy Syndrome and related to it? If you've identified yourself as a Nice Guy, you may have the feeling, "Where do I go from here?"

    Jason, a self-proclaimed recovering Nice Guy, goes through the steps related to overcoming Nice Guy Syndrome. Instead of being a Nice Guy, there's a new archetype: the Kind Man.

    Overcoming Nice Guy Syndrome includes addressing the pattern of rumination (being in your head a lot, obsessing about what the right thing to do is); addressing the need to please (i.e. not rocking the boat); as well as even figuring out know what you want in the first place. A lot of our clients report having trouble even figuring out what they want at first, which makes it a lot harder to get it!

    Fortunately you don't have to stay stuck in Nice Guy Syndrome forever -- there are concrete steps to take to overcome this pattern and feel your sense of freedom and power around sex, dating, relationships, work, and life overall.

    1h 2m | Jan 13, 2023
  • 238: How do I approach a woman at the gym without bothering her? -- and other common dating questions (ft. me!)

    Here are 4 common questions I get from men, whether clients or listeners like you:

    1. How do I approach a woman at the gym or grocery store or other public place?
    2. How do I approach someone I work with to date? 
    3. What do I do if I contend with erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE) and find that that blocks me from even approaching women at all?
    4. Which dating app should I use, and how do I regulate myself around the apps (i.e. not checking them all the time)?

    Here, I answer all four of these questions. I address the common pattern I find in the men I work with around not wanting to "bother" women, and describe how to respectfully approach a woman in a public environment.

    I also cover how to lead a conversation with a coworker around asking her out. There are certain things you can bring up that will have her feel safe and desired at the same time. I also talk about the tricky nature of navigating power dynamics (she's your manager, or you're hers, for example). As I mention in the episode, social science research suggests that one-third of folks who date someone from work end up marrying that person. So there’s definitely something to be said for it.

    And if you find yourself not even approaching women at all because you're still looking to overcome erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE), then definitely take a listen! I don't think this needs to block you from dating; you can simply communicate with women about it in a way that feels good to both you and them, and I give you some language on how to do just that.

    Finally, I talk about which dating apps I recommend, why, and how we recommend clients handle the use of them (i.e. how to avoid being on them constantly).

    Note: This episode is an experiment. I'm testing it out to see if this is valuable, so let me know! If you find it helpful or you have a question of your own you'd like answered, hit me up at dearmenpodcast at gmail.com. I'm listening!

    39m | Jan 6, 2023
  • 237: Going after the women YOU want (ft. Jason Lange) [replay]

    If you’ve ever had the experience of being too scared to approach or pursue the women you really want, this one’s for you. (It’s also for you if you’ve ever felt like you were settling for a partner, rather than feeling thrilled and pumped to be with them.)

    Many men we work with have found themselves dating or even marrying women who approached them — in other words, they haven’t felt empowered to go after the women they really wanted.

    But this often means that they’re not the ones choosing to get into the relationship — sometimes they’ve fallen into it. Here, we talk about sex, dating, relationships, and choice. Because often, when we think we’re stuck or can’t get what we want, we’re really talking about how to work with our anxious/avoidant attachment style. Fortunately it’s more than possible to do so, heal trauma, and enjoy a flourishing sex and love life.

    55m | Dec 30, 2022
  • 236: GirlTalk: Four women share their hottest sexual experience ever [replay]

    Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall while women talked frankly about their sex lives!? We got you. Here, four of us women who have sex with men go into detail around the best sex we've ever had. We talk about dating, relationships, and what made certain men stand out when it came to the sex part.

    A few things that made the cut: blow jobs, being tied up, oral sex (him going down on her), intercourse, destination sex, getting wet, anticipation, kink, and "The Jump-Off Guy" (you're definitely gonna wanna hear about that one!).

    Memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "He had me blindfolded so he was like, 'I'm going to take care of you, and I'm going to do all the work.'" ;)
    • "You know when you meet up with an ex and it's like, 'Do we or don't we?'"
    • "He was very curious and made sure to know what I liked and what I didn't like."
    1h 9m | Dec 23, 2022
  • 235: "I see a beautiful woman and immediately get triggered. Why?" (ft. Jason Lange)

    Ever frozen up around someone you found attractive? It can be exceedingly frustrating — you're fine around other people, but put you in front of a beautiful woman and your system just shuts down. Before you can even get to dating someone, having sex, or being in a relationship, you've got to talk to them, right!?

    Many of our single clients want to be confident with women. Yet many men report getting triggered before any kind of interaction at all. Thoughts like these interrupt:

    • "Why would she ever be into me?"
    • "I don't even like my body. Why would she like my body?"
    • "I’m 35 and not married yet. What's wrong with me?"

    Underlying all of these kinds of thoughts is the issue of worthiness. We've all heard the adage that you've got to be able to love yourself before you're truly able to love another — but how do you get there? How do you overcome deep-seating self-loathing? The feeling of never being enough is an exhausting one to carry around. Fortunately, you don't have to keep shouldering that burden alone.

    For example, here are a few thoughts Jason used to have: "Why would she ever want me? I don't have enough experience. I don't get why she'd pick me over other guys."

    Now he's married to a woman who cherishes and respects him, and is a heathy father to boot. The truth is, overcoming the freeze response is related to your own sense of self-image, as well as your bodymind's capacity to hold intensity. And all of that is changeable, workable, and capable of transformation.

    If you've ever had thoughts like, "I'm tired of being alone" or, "I'm scared I'll never meet someone," then this episode will also be relevant for you.

    The Dear Men podcast episode mentioned on this episode (on children of neglect): Episode 196: The “invisible” relationship pattern that can affect everything (ft. Jason Lange)

    "If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can't survive." - Dr. Brené Brown

    56m | Dec 16, 2022
  • 234: GirlTalk: Something we crave from men but rarely ask for ... [replay]

    There's a critical dating/relationship skill that some men have mastered, and it makes a huge difference on our side. It makes us feel special and also has us relax such that we can show up in our most exquisite, sexy radiance. But we'll rarely explicitly ask for it. Kinda like certain things in sex, we don't always say this out loud, but it's on our minds and in our hearts.

    What's great is that it's not even a difficult skill! A lot of our clients say things like, "Wow, this is easier than I was expecting." But it pays dividends in terms of boosting polarity.

    It's also a relevant skill whether you're dating or in a committed relationship. If you want a woman to love spending time with you, get this down. Becoming adept at this skill will have women feel more secure with you and more turned on.

    The exquisite hotness of a man with a plan cannot be underestimated.

    55m | Dec 9, 2022
  • 233: Creative monogamy -- how to open up a relationship strategically (ft. Dr. Joli Hamilton)

    Ever wondered what it's actually like to open up a relationship -- meaning explore ethical non-monogamy (ENM), also known as polyamory? Whether you're wanting more or different kinds of sex, or just more connection, love, and variety in your relationships, your desires are valid, and being in an open relationship can be healthy and fulfilling.

    But open relationship/polyamory can be a confusing and scary thing to bring up. How do you say, "I want us to stay together and date other people" without triggering your relationship partner? That said, different kinds of relationships can actually be a better fit for many. Maybe even you and your partner?

    If you've ever wanted to know how to responsibly transition a marriage or other long-term relationship from monogamy to more, listen to this. We explore Joli's work guiding couples through the process of opening up, including how to navigate "the flip." No, this isn't a sex position ;) -- it's when the partner who brought up opening up sometimes becomes less enthusiastic later on.

    This can be worked through, of course, as can all the other anxieties or uncertainties associated with the process. And the truth is, a lot of both sexual fulfillment as well as emotional maturity and health can result in the process of opening up.

    A few notable quotes from this episode:

    • “If my partner wants more, I must not be enough.”
    • “We expect monogamy to protect us from jealousy.”
    • “If I’m a people-pleaser and you’re a people-pleaser, how come no one is pleased?”
    • “I believe that conscious relationships work.”

    Books mentioned on this episode:

    • Polysecure
    • Open Deeply
    • Open Monogamy
    • Open Relationships by Dr. Liz Powell

    Joli's site: joliquiz.com

    1h 16m | Dec 2, 2022
  • 232: Love languages, conflict, connection, and repair

    Ever been in a relationship where you felt like she was nitpicking at you, like you could never do anything right? Or ever been in a phase where it felt like she was never happy with you, and was sharp and poky or picked fights for seemingly no reason?

    Real talk: When I feel loved and cherished by my man, little things don't bother me as much. But when I question that love or don't feel cherished, then I feel triggered all the time ... and I don't show up as the warmest, most loving version of myself. (Also we tend to have less sex when we're not in a connected phase.)

    This is partly a love language issue. Once we're out of the honeymoon phase during dating, which according to neuroscientists actually lasts close to two years, it can feel like we don't know what went wrong. We used to get along so well; we used to have incredible sex and things felt easy. Now it feels harder.

    Our culture doesn't teach this, but a large part of a healthy, conscious relationship involves learning how to love each other well. We're not born knowing that. And love languages are a critical part of this. Love languages are how we feel loved by our partners. We may know intellectually that they care about us, but those warm and safe, connected feelings don't just stick around.

    Listen to hear about the five different love languages, the different dialects within them, and how to apply these in a practical way to love your partner better and feel more loved yourself.

    Other memorable quotes from this episode:

    • "Seafood and me are not friends"
    • "First you need the self-awareness around how YOU feel loved"
    • "Ultimately we're talking about teaching each other how to love one another well"
    1h 13m | Nov 25, 2022
  • 231: Her journey from vanilla marriage to BDSM and kink! (ft. Sara)

    Ever wished you could explore different kinds of sexy things in your relationship? How exactly does one go from missionary position to consensual flogging? Well, let us tell you!

    When it comes to sex, dating, and relationships, there's a lot of mystery around kink and BDSM. What "counts" as kinky, and how do you talk to your partner about wanting to explore it? How does one even get started in BDSM? Is it all whips and chains, or how does that work exactly!?

    We go into all this and more as Sara takes us on her own personal experience going from a pretty vanilla marriage to a full-on kinkster and practiced rope bottom (someone who likes to get tied up). She experiences a tremendous amount of freedom in rope bondage — something that may sound like an oxymoron but actually isn't.

    If you've ever wanted to get your freak on or hear an open discussion of exploration and sexual freedom (as well as hear about BDSM for couples), this isn't one to miss. Talking about sexual taboos is all the rage. ;)

    Mentioned in this episode:

    Shibari: Japanese rope bondage 

    FetLife — a popular social media site for those interested in kink and/or BDSM

    Rigger: Someone who does the tying in a rope bondage situation

    Rope bottom: Someone who is tied up in a rope bondage situation

    1h 20m | Nov 18, 2022
  • 230: How do I inspire my woman to want more sex with me? (ft. Jason Lange) [replay]

    A pattern we often hear from the men we work with is that it's really hard for them to approach their partner for sex. This could be a dating partner or someone they're in a long-term committed relationship with. Heck, it could be their wife. If you've ever Googled, "How do I get my wife to have more sex with me?" you're not alone.

    The fear of approaching a partner for sex is real, and it can actually impact the whole relationship. For example, Jason noticed that after a year of being with a partner, it actually got harder for him to approach her for sex, not easier. Why is this? What's going on?

    Here, Jason delves into his own personal experience with trouble initiating sex with partners in the past, and how he resolved it. We also talk about:

    • How to keep up your confidence if you've been turned down/felt rejected a few times. It's possible, and we also want to validate your experience of it sucking!
    • The magic sauce you can pour on during the day that'll help a woman want to be sexual with you later that night
    • How, when you learn how to initiate sex in a more masterful way, it can actually improve your whole relationship, not just the sex

    As always, if you've got questions or comments you can get me at dearmenpodcast at gmail dot com!

    58m | Nov 11, 2022
Dear Men: How to Rock Sex, Dating, and Relationships With Women