32 Things I Learned By 32

IG: raulfelix275

For the last two years I have been happily embracing the life of a 30-something. The world is a much less intimidating place. People in general take me and my ambitions more seriously. As a man, I’ve come into my own emotionally and in maturity. It would be foolish to imply that I’m fully enlightened, but I’m glad to say I’m no longer a clueless 20-something. As your friendly neighborhood wordsmith, I think it appropriate to share with you some of the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years.

1. The past is the past, yet it isn’t. The past lives inside of us and molds us into who we are. I think about the Iraq War and my brothers-in-arms everyday. I think about the women in my past nearly as often. I think about my friends from high school and the stupid shenanigans we used to pull. I think about the way my family used to get together for the holidays and the values instilled in me. Not all of these memories are wonderful, some bring deep despair into my heart. They’re always there, ghosts who help me take better steps than the ones in past.

2. Travel has a point of diminishing returns. One of the biggest must-do experiences that’s been sold to our generation is the need to travel. It will help you learn and grow, but there is an eventual plateau to that growth. The core of who I am was always the same whether I was back on the block in Huntington Beach, California, serving in the Army, contracting in Israel, or finding peace in Upstate New York. If you are a cowardly, apathetic loser with no social skills in your hometown, what makes you believe that your’e going to be more outgoing in a strange environment where no one knows or cares about you?

3. Petty rivalries are a part of life. There are always going to be people in your social circle who don’t like one another, and you’re in the middle of it. There are always going to be people who don’t like you. It’s ingrained in our instincts to constantly be at war with some group of people or idea.

4. Bitching and moaning about who has more privilege isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. Shut your mouth and put in the work required to make it irrelevant. If you are at rock-bottom, you can still have clear-sight picture of the moon. There is more respect those who conquered and triumphed over adversity more than those who acquired their status through windfall wealth.

5. Hey, what scandal in the media were you pissed off about two weeks ago? Oh, you don’t remember do you?

6. Anger is both a powerful fuel and destructive force. I have an anger that is harbored deep within my soul. Correctly harnessed, it’s a fuel that gets me through my work day, pushes me harder in my work out, and helps create quality written work. When my anger is allowed to go rampant through excessive consumption of booze, it destroys much of the good I have done.

7. Some women will leave you broken and tattered. Others will help you heal. Hopefully, one will make you whole.

8. A true artist has no typical look. Growing up, I never had any ambitions to be a writer or any form of artist whatsoever. I didn’t feel it fit my personality. I was a clean cut, athletic, stuttering video game geek. Artists to me were those scrawny, trendy kids with crazy hair styles and with an insatiable need to express their tortured souls in a moleskin labeled “My Poetry.” As I experienced artistic work from people from all walks of life, I realized being a true artist is a state of mind, not a fashion statement.

9. Vice is a form of hiding from your true self. I’ve used drinking many times to keep my mind off the fact that I haven’t written shit in a while. It’s easier to pick up the bottle and forget about what you should do, than it is to do that task. If you don’t break that cycle at some point, it’ll break you.

10. It takes about a year to fully set yourself up and feel comfortable in a new city. Building a social life, acquiring a job, learning your way around town, and knowing the cool unique things takes pure raw temporal investment. Especially building new friendships. Face time is needed and is very important. Its hard to build a solid connection with someone you don’t have physical interactions with.

IG: raulfelix275

11. When you get into any new relationship, give the person a clean slate on your emotions. That means not projecting any past hurt any former lover may have inflicted on you. Don’t allow yourself to let the person project those past hurts on you either.

12. You are a product of your environment. I spent the formative years of my life in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Like anything else, I didn’t quite appreciate it until I left that place. I got to grow up in an environment full of the most type-A, competitive, intelligent, tough, and rough men in our country. It taught me level of masculinity, manhood, and perseverance that is probably unmatched anywhere else. It set the foundation of the man I am.

13. You are not defined by your environment. I still have the freedom to mold and sculpt myself into the kind of person I seek to be. I don’t have to be a certain way because that’s way people from the environment I grew up in tend to be. I am the master of my own character.

14. You don’t have to go to college right after high school, but really, what’s stopping you from taking that one class at community college. Knock some random general ed out. It doesn’t cost much and may benefit you more than you expect.

15. The worst thing they can say is “No.” That’s the mindset you must take whenever approaching anything in life: jobs, women, reaching out to possible mentors, applying to colleges, starting a business, and giving art the good junior-varsity try.

16. Embrace your minor vices. I love to start my day with two 16oz sugar free Rockstars®. Yet, every so often I get someone trying to lecture me how bad they are. Mother fucker, I work out and keep myself in pretty good health. Talk to me about your essential herbal teas when you have some muscle.

17. Go back and read books that you read when you were younger. You’ll be surprised by how much your world view has changed. One of my favorite writers, who I originally read when I was nineteen, is Tucker Max. While I still enjoyed reading his stories, I wasn’t as impressed now since I’ve had equally crazy over the top experiences.

18. Building good study habits is a discipline like anything else. You have to constantly be keep tabs on yourself and learn that in order to be successful tomorrow, you must sacrifice today.

19. Priorities in people’s lives change. Even those who you were at one time closest to may no longer align with what you value. Friends gets married, have kids, change a career, quit drinking, or may simply no longer believe the things that brought you together in the first place.

20. Information is a drug. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter is how it’s administered. So much data is shoved down our throats that will never be useful. I’ve fallen into this addiction also. Constantly refreshing the feed for my “like” fix and those so precious comments. The social validation keeps one yearning for more and more, it just takes more likes and comments to get that high once again.

21. You must treasure your free time where you can indulge in your ambitions and lazy habits. Some weekends I’ll go on a sweet motorcycle trip to a new city. Other’s, I will layabout in my apartment watching 80’s and 90’s sit-coms and laugh uncontrollably. There is no shame in taking care of your needs, no matter how wild or typical.

IG: raulfelix275

22. Confidence is a muscle. The best way to build your confidence is to succeed at one task. Use that success as a spring board that will power through the inertia of doubt and make you stronger for the next challenge.

23. A good relationship is not built on only a few huge acts of generosity. Rather, it’s built on many small acts of kindness and caring compounded over time. The little sweet things you and your lover do for each other is what will keep your relationship healthy.

24. The significant other of your friend may not like you. Maybe you represent a part of his past that she wishes he’d leave behind. Maybe she doesn’t like that you go out and get drunk together. Maybe she doesn’t care for your general attitude toward life. It’s a frustrating position for me to be in because I can’t do much about it.

25. Some people are poison. A toxic person can destroy the most beautiful and promising of souls. Being able to keep those venomous personalities out of your life can literally save it.

26. Religious people don’t have a monopoly on love or morality. You don’t need to believe in a higher being in order to be a good person or one of character. I once had a Ranger buddy tell me that I couldn’t know love because I didn’t know Jesus. The self-righteousness of that statement infuriated me. I love my mother, my family, and my friends. I’ve been deeply in love with a few women. That belief in an of all knowing sky-daddy being the only way has caused more harm to humanity than any heathen activity.

27. The best way to get over a woman you loved deeply is to completely cut off communication with her. No trying to be friends. No checking up and seeing how the she is doing. That’s masochistic emotional torture. It prolongs the process of healing your heart and may keep you from pursuing other worthwhile relationships.

28. Nobody gives a fuck about what you could’ve done. You could’ve joined the military, you could’ve gone to an Ivy league, you could’ve been a doctor, you could’ve invested in bit-coin in the early years. But, you didn’t. What matters is what you did do and what you’re currently doing.

29. Writing as a craft is never ending. There will always be that next sentence, next paragraph, next article, and next book. As I’ve grown and changed over these few years, so have my challenges. The stuff that would burst out of me like wildfire a few years ago doesn’t even light a spark today. I’ve said a lot of what I’ve had to say on some subjects. It’s up to me as an artist to find that subject matter that reignites the flame in order to pour onto the page the words that are kindling in my head.

30. “You know what I liked about you helping me today, Raul?”
“What is that?”
“When I asked you to dig a hole two feet deep, you dug a hole two feet deep.”
Following simple directions is a core competency that is more valuable and less common than you think.

31. Ever notice that the news media makes you feel like the world is falling apart, but then you go outside and see the world is not falling apart. It’s like they have some sort of incentive to keep you glued to their programming.

32. The biggest myth of our lives and times is that we believe our lives and times to be especially unique. War, love, politics, civil unrest, creation, destruction, struggling, thriving, social norms, and social deviancies have always been a part of us. The reasons, locations, values, and methods may have changed, but at our core, we’re the same as humans from thousands of years ago. The greatest gift that our ancestors have left for us is the accumulation of the lesson they have learned. By reading, studying, and looking into the past we can apply those lessons into making our present and future greater.

Now, have a drink with me. A toast! To making it to thirty-three!

~Raul Felix

Read: Two Bros Smoke Weed And Compare Notes About Women
Read: 29 Things I Learned By 29
Read: 4 Things That Happen When You Start To Mature As A Man

Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.

4 Things That Happen When You Start To Mature As A Man

IG: raulfelix275

IG: raulfelix275

I, like any self-respecting man, have done a lot of stupid shit that I am not proud of but not really ashamed about, either. There are some things in life you can’t learn by just reading a book. Some things you have to experience firsthand in order for the lessons to drive themselves into your skull. Some men mature relatively early; others opt to stay a man-child for life. While every individual is on his or her own maturity timeline, when you reach a certain threshold of growth, you begin to see the world a bit differently.

You Begin To Reject Chicks You Would Have Fucked Before

Being a young man sucks in many aspects. You have little to no money, you haven’t accomplished shit, and you’re not fully developed physically or mentally. Girls have it easier during those years when it comes to getting laid because they’re in their prime in appearance and are usually banging guys who are older and way more interesting than you are. Or because they’re in a band or an all-star athlete. Regardless, they have dick buffet and they get their pickings. For young men, these bleak years, pussy dry spells are more like dust bowls. So when some random skank who may be missing a chromosome is all over you because she’s in dire need of a dicking, you dive in with reckless abandon.

As you’ve slowly grown over the years, experienced more, and hooked up with varying qualities and kinds of women, you’ve become more frugal with the amount of effort you’re willing to put into a particular type of chick. You begin to think of not only about wetting your dick, but the possible consequences. Not just STIs and babies, but of social, time, and emotional cost.

Some homely chick is giving you clear signals she’s eager to let you test her gag reflex, yet you’re way more into her friend. Since you’re no longer in a poon deficit, you’re in a better position to gently yet firmly turn her down in order to continue flirting with the cutie. Even without a third,party factor, you know you’re going to hate yourself later for messing around with her because she’s going to want to be around you post-coitus. That’s precious time you could be using to work out, play video games, read a book, stare off into the ceiling of your room as you contemplate life, start a multi-million dollar business, or jack off.

Yet the most important thing you learn is to respect your emotional health as a man. You’ve become weary of girls who are flakes, liars, complainers, negative, lazy, and who create drama for drama’s sake. When a girl tries to play emotional games with you, you don’t play their game; you simply cut them out of your life. Being emotionally crippled, broken, and unstable may create character depth and interesting plot points in movies and novels, but a girl like that can ruin your life in the real world. Many a good man has been destroyed by a she-serpent’s charms.

You grow to appreciate the girls who aren’t girls, but women. Who do what they say they’re going to do. Who tell you the truth, even when it hurts. Who go out of their way to make you feel worthwhile, instead of when it’s convenient. Who try to help you accomplish your goals without being a nagging bitch. Who compliment your manhood, not belittle it. Who respect your time and emotions. Who are trustworthy. Who make you happy to be man.

You Realize Who Your True Brothers Are

Women come and go. Your ex-girlfriend whom you told all the little tidbits of your life one day becomes a total stranger whom you avoid all means of contact with because she has blocked you on social media and changed her number. That one fling you spent a whole summer with begins to fade from your memory. If you’ve been a solid dude who has been loyal and maintained some semblance of contact with your male friends, you know when shit gets real, you’ll have someone who has your back.

Whether it’s going on a mission to kill or capture a high-value target, riding motorcycles side-by-side, playing video games, or getting thrashed and attempting to pick up chicks, male friendships are forged by doing activities together. Through many nights, months, and years of consistent shit talk, laughs, and tempers being pushed, you’ll develop a good idea of the character your best male friends possess. You’ll learn who the fake thugs and who the real gangsters are.

These are men who will attempt to keep you from getting into a fight with that douchebag of the pop-collar variety. If that fails, they’ll assist you in bringing the hammer down. Men who will give you some realistic perspective on your flaws when your delusions of grandeur have gotten the best of you. Men who will help you, within their means and ability, when the world has beat the living shit out of you. Men who will mentor and give you some solid advice when you’re crossing the same path they’ve crossed a few years back. Men whom you can call brothers.

You Learn To Accept You Character Flaws and Take Responsibility For Them

We all have character flaws that hinder or set us back. Maybe it’s a short temper, a severe drinking problem, overwhelming shyness, womanizing, gluttony, sloth, or arrogance. Owning your character flaws and attempting to fix them is what separates you from the typical boy.

The boy blames others for his shortcomings; the man figures out how to eliminate or mitigate them. The boy does the bare minimum in order to get by; the man does more than his share of the task, one hundred percent and then some. The boy believes that the world owes him something; the man knows he must earn everything. The boy avoids the consequences of his actions; the man accepts them, no matter how painful.

We aren’t robots, we’re people. Each of us has our dark secrets and insecurities. Our moments of selfishness that hurt those we love. Those times where we let our outlandish emotions get the best of us. Where our vices caused us to make a mockery out of ourselves. Where our hubris and cockiness caused us to push beyond on our true competence and we were schooled by reality as a result. Where we stood by quietly when we should have spoken up. Where we lied or omitted details in order to get what we wanted.

Your flaws and mistakes and how you interpret them will mold you into a man, whether it’s the kind of man young boys look up to or one who will serve as an example of how not to be. The small actions you take each day in your effort to harness and control your flaws will determine which you shall become.

You Start To Realize How Not To Be An Idiot With Your Money

Being broke fucking sucks. Anybody who has been in that position for more than a moment knows it’s detrimental to the soul. Maybe you’re not so broke to the point where you’re out on the street sucking dicks for a tuna sandwich. But you’ve been in a position where you’re barely scraping by. Where after your rent is paid, driving further than ten miles becomes an economic decision. It could mean the difference between eating one meal or two that day.

When you’re young and stupid with your cash, payday becomes a spending frenzy. All those promises you made to yourself about setting aside ten percent or more go out the window. Because you’re fucking rich, bitch! #YOLO, carpe diem, and fuck the police! You go out on the town and treat yourself to a good, hearty dinner with a few fruity cocktails because you don’t give a fuck if they’re chick drinks. Then, fuck it, you’re out and about anyways; time to hit up the bars and chug some shots and beers. You then see some cute chick and want to impress her and show her how much of a baller you are. Even though your game is weak as shit, you convince yourself that buying her a Merlot from some vineyard whose name you can’t pronounce is a surefire way to pound that puss.

The next morning you wake up alone fully dehydrated and still wearing your piss-dampened jeans. You check your bank account and see a bunch of pending transactions that total $147. Fuck it, it was just one night though, no biggie. You’ll be a good boy with the rest of the money in your account. Oh yeah, your car payment is due, minus another $280. Toss in another couple of nights of drunken shenanigans with your buddies, minus $170. Oh yeah, you must pay your cell-phone bill because you definitely can’t miss out on texting them fine bitches, $47. Two credit-card payments from those cards you have maxed out, $100. Random little toys and trinkets you absolutely need, $150. Don’t forget that little trip to the strip where the woman of your dreams seductively tells you her life story while taking off her clothes. Damn it, you’re broke again. Payday is still seven days away. Looks like you’re eating Ramen noodles and Spam again.

Give or take a dozen years into adulthood, you begin to realize how stupid this cycle truly is. It’s great to treat yourself and buy those experiences to help you grow as a person, but it’s also great not to have to be constantly vigilant about the money in your account lest you get an overdraft fee. While being a penny-pincher makes you a mundane waste of existence, blowing all your money unscrupulously isn’t going to get you ahead in life, either. You learn both the skills needed to increase your earning potential and the discipline not to spend it all on snorting cocaine from an escort’s ass. You set aside cash for the hard times because the boom-bust cycle that is life comes hard and fast…an expensive car repair, a lost job, a medical emergency, or worse, getting some chick pregnant and thus ruining all your hopes and dreams. You have to hedge a bit for those unforeseen circumstances, or being broke ceases to become a cycle and instead a lifestyle—one that makes it really hard (not impossible) to reach your full potential as a man.

~Raul Felix

Read: 3 Life Lessons An Old Man Called “Wild Bill” Taught Me
Read: How To Find The Greatness Within You
Read: 29 Things I Learned By Age 29

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.

Two Bros Smoke Weed And Compare Notes About Women

When you spent enough time working alongside someone, you tend to develop a good understanding of them. Sometimes you like them, sometimes you hate them. Usually, it’s a healthy mix of both. Yet when that former coworker who became your friend comes to visit you for a couple of weeks, you can’t help but get back to the old shit-talking routine. When my crabby and grumpy security contractor buddy, “Grumps”, came to visit, that’s exactly what ensued.

Grumps: “That chick from last night won’t text me back, fucking cunt.”

Raul: “That’s because she’s getting a train run on her by a bunch of black dudes.”

Grumps: “No, she’s my little white angel. We had such a deep connection. I’m fucking serious, Raul; I would have married that bitch.”

Raul: “You only talked to her for thirty minutes.”

Grumps: “So? I felt it, man. We were made to be together. Why is she being such a bitch and ignoring my texts?”

Raul: “Because she’s currently getting triple-rodded by Tyron and his buddies.”

Grumps: “Fuck, you’re probably right.”

Raul: “It doesn’t matter. You probably would’ve taken her out on a nice, fancy date and only gotten a peck on the lips as you dropped her off. What was her name again?”

Grumps: “Sammy.”

Raul: “Then Tyron would’ve called her up and been like, ‘Yo Sammy, I’m comin’ over. I’m bringing my boys, too. You better have some good weed this time, not that weak bullshit of full seeds and stems like last time. ’”

Grumps: “That white boy feed you good? You gonna need dat energy.”

Raul: “Speaking of weed, roll us another fucking blunt.”

Grumps: “Goddamn it, hold on.”

Grumps rolls us a nice blunt.

Raul: “These are fucking good days we’re living, Grumps.”

Grumps blows smoke into the air.

Grumps: “Mmmmmhmmmm. Dude, I’m having so much fun. Listening to music, smoking green, drinking, and hanging with my boy Raul.”

Raul: “Yep. You see how many hot bitches there are out today?”

Grumps: “Yeah, man. It’s like as soon as I stop checking out the ass of one, another fine bitch passes by. Too bad they’re all a bunch of libtards.”

Raul: “Hey, man, liberals ain’t that bad. Sure, they’re annoying as fuck, but they’re pretty cool and nice if you avoid political conversation with them.”

Grumps: “Oh man, don’t fucking get me started on these fucking liberals, you know what the fuck I saw on Fox News…”

Raul: “No, no, no. We’re not getting into your simpleminded Midwest rhetoric. All you do is fucking get on Facebook and hate-read whatever the conservative propaganda machine wants you to be pissed off about that day.”

Grumps: “All right, fine. Oh man, did I tell you about that fight I saw earlier?”

Raul: “No, what happened?”

Grumps: “Oh, fuck, man. It was hilarious. These two fat bitches start yelling at each other in the middle of the street. One of them was pushing a baby stroller, too. Then one of them starts screaming some shit about the other being a gossipy, shit-talking slut. Then they start slapping one another until a few dudes broke them up.”

Raul: “Holy fuck. I wish I would’ve seen that. Did you get it on video?”

Grumps: “No, it happened way too fast for me to record it.”

Raul: “What time did it happen?”

Grumps: “About three or so.”

Raul: “Oh yeah, that’s when all that welfare trash starts walking around town after going to their appointments or picking up their kids or whatever the fuck people on welfare do.”

Grumps: “They did look ratchet as fuck.”

Smoke fills the room as Grumps swipes through his Tinder.

Grumps: “Oh Raul, so many bitches want my cock.”

Raul: “No, they don’t.”

Grumps: “Yes, they do. I got all these hoes I’m working all over the place. I take them on a date to get some good food, then I let in my fucking rags-to-riches life story and their mouth drops.”

Raul: “Bitches only want you for your money, Grumps.”

Grumps: “They ain’t going to get shit. Making them sign a prenup.”

Raul: “That’s good that you think you got some game. Remember, I ain’t no broke piece of shit either, motherfucker. Sure, I ain’t contractor-rich like you, but I do decent.”

Grumps: “Fine, you’re a mini-baller.”

Raul: “Damn straight. Plus, you need money to get bitches. You’re not a fucking artist like me, Grumps, where you can just work a low-paying gig while waiting for genius to surface.”

Grumps: “Raul, your writing sucks. I could write better shit than that without trying.”

Raul: “Like I really respect your opinion regarding literature. What the fuck is the last book you read?”

Grumps: “Hell if I know.”

Raul: “See Grumps, I play the long game. Using my words, stories, and shit to show chicks I’m a deep, thoughtful soul and not just a Latin stud.”

Grumps: “Well, I got a Mercedes SLR and my own house paid for. Bitches’ panties get drenched for that shit. Maybe one day you’ll be rich like me. I hope that for you.”

Raul: “Awwww…you’re sweet. Whatever happened with that one college chick you took out on a date the other night?’

Grumps: “I took her to the mall and bought her some lingerie. Had her little tight twenty-one-year-old ass model it for me. Then I tore that puss up and filled it full of freedom!”

Raul: “Smash that puss! You know she is going to be wearing that lingerie for one of her college boys, right?”

Grumps: “Pfff, I don’t give a fuck. She was just a random piece of pussy to me.”

Silence fills the room for a few minutes as we relax.

Raul: “These are good days we’re living, Grumps.”

Grumps: “Mmmmmhmmmm.”

~Raul Felix

Read: Four Things Only Mexican-Americans Will Understand
Read: Guy Talk: Hot Tranny
Read: 3 Winning PR Strategies For Muslim Extremists

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.

Teaching Men How To Mate: An Interview With Tucker Max

The name Tucker Max inspires either approving smirks or rolling eyes. Tucker is (in)famous for his hilariously written stories of drunken debauchery and philandering, graphically depicting both his epic failures and towering successes. He has amused many a man and woman who possess a raunchy sense of humor. Feminazis scorn him because of his supposed misogyny.

Whether you love or hate him, Tucker—along with Maddox—pioneered the literary genre of “fratire.” After having his three books— I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell, Assholes Finish First, and Hilarity Ensues—simultaneously on The New York Times bestsellers list, he retired from fratire.

He is one of my influences as a writer. In his retirement essay, he said something that got the juices in my mind flowing:

I’m the Dr. Dre of fratire. Which means that the Eminem and the Biggie and the Tupac and Jay-Z are all still out there, and I’m just as excited as anyone to read their stuff when they come along.

I read that and was like, “Fuck yeah.”

Tucker Max has moved on from the entertainment realm to the self-help genre. In conjunction with the academic expertise of Dr. Geoff Miller, an Evolutionary Psychology Professor at the University of New Mexico and author of The Mating Mind, Tucker has written Mate: Become The Man Women Want. He says he hopes to teach men through science and empirical data—as opposed to biased religious, cultural, and political agendas—what traits women find attractive.

Raul Felix: Tucker, your new book started off from a conversation over dinner with Dr. Geoff Miller after you learned his nephews saw your books as some sort of manifesto with how to get women to sleep with them, then began mimicking your asshole behavior with probably lackluster results. I personally remember reading your books when I was nineteen and thinking that I needed to act like a dickhead in order to slay bitches also. Regardless, you still got laid. What things did young Tucker Max do right and what things did young Tucker Max do wrong that align with some of the things you teach in Mate?

Tucker Max: What young guys never understand is that my books were only a small slice of my life. I only put in the funny and ridiculous stuff, without a whole lot of other context, because that was the stuff that was entertaining to read. They were NEVER intended as instructions or even a guide at all. That’s absurd.

The reason young guys took them that way is because our culture does a terrible job honestly teaching young men how to effectively attract women, so in the void of instruction, they just use the only honest thing they see working—which was my writing. But they missed all the context.

First off, I failed at getting women A LOT. Go actually read the books. I fail far more often than I succeed, and in most cases, I fail spectacularly. They never really thought about that, because it takes experience to understand that. They only focused on the successes.

But make no mistake, I was successful with a certain type of woman. The problem was that young guys didn’t even understand why. They thought it was BECAUSE I was a drunken asshole. That’s ridiculous. If anything, I succeeded IN SPITE of being a drunken asshole. No guy has ever been successful with women by JUST being a drunken asshole.

They were missing all the other things I was doing well, because they didn’t know what to look for, and I didn’t talk about them in the book—things like my humor, my extraversion, my quick wit, my body language, my social intelligence, my singular focus on certain types of women looking for the same things as me (short-term relationships)—these things are invisible to inexperienced young guys, because no one explained them.

That’s what Mate is about: making invisible into the visible so that guys can understand what works and what doesn’t, and then focus on doing the things that work for them. It’s not about acting like I did in my books. No way. It’s about understanding the core fundamentals of attraction, and then improving them so you can have the success you want with women.

Raul Felix: Yeah, I remember you saying in an interview that no one wants to hear about a time you saved a puppy because that isn’t funny. You said time and again that your books are for entertainment. A consistently recurring theme in Mate is the need to be physically fit as a display of masculinity, health, willpower, etc. As a man who has been consistently in shape my entire life, I can attest that women love how strong I am. Yet there is a point of diminishing returns with how in-shape you have to be, like bodybuilder status. Why do you believe that stereotypically, being buff equals brainless meathead and being book-smart is correlated with being fragile and weak?

Tucker Max: Yes, definitely. We say this in the book: You need to be in shape, but you do NOT need to be an elite athlete. In fact, being too in shape—think of a bodybuilder, for example—can often be a negative sign to women and hurt you. Most women look at guys who focus an extreme amount of time on appearance as being narcissistic and self-involved. This is very unattractive. The best bet is being in good shape—think of the body of a swimmer, or a CrossFitter, or decathlete.

The question you ask about perceptions of men is a complicated one. The idea that strong = dumb, and smart = weak is very modern. If you look at ancient Greeks and Romans, or Mongolians, or almost any preindustrial culture, strength and intelligence were not seen as conflicting. In fact, they were seen as helping each other.

I think this split happened in the higher social classes in the industrial age. Essentially, if you were rich, you could afford to not do manual labor and [to not] be brawny. For a while, it was seen as a marker of high status. This is an old idea and has shifted, though. There are very, very few women under 50 who like scrawny men.

Raul Felix: One of the most enlightening things I read in the book was the need to see it from a woman’s perspective. I honestly never thought of that before. Some huge guy trying to get into her panties that could easily overpower and have her way with her if he wanted. The fact that she’s been dealing with creepers, losers, stalkers, and potential rapists ever since she took on real feminine features. How can a man show he is not a threat, but still sexually attracted to a woman without give off those negative vibes she’s used to getting from window-licking mouth-breathers?

Tucker Max: A lot of guys have said this—that they never thought about looking at dating from a woman’s perspective. Think about how absurd that is! I was the same way too for a long time. It just goes to show how broken our dating notions are—we don’t even think about the most important thing to think about—the perspective of the other person!

The most important thing a guy needs to understand is that women see men as a threat, because they are. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person; it means that she’s had to deal with awful men her whole life, and until she knows you aren’t one of those guys, she doesn’t know. This does not mean you should be an apologetic coward. It means you need to be respectful and not aggressive at first, and not do things that set off her danger alarms. We go into this in-depth in the book; it’s actually very simple. In short, it boils down to, “Approach her like a human and not a sex object.”

Raul Felix: A big limiting factor for men is their Mating Market. I saw this a lot while I was in the Army. The local community would have an overabundance of young, in-shape men with a steady paycheck—more than there were women of equal quality. Many a Joe will get have to settle for sloppy seconds on subpar women because that’s all there really was. In my hometown of Huntington Beach, CA, it was tough to stand out even as in-shape guy because people take having a beach body very seriously and Latinos are everywhere. Now that I live in Central New York, where both my buffness and my ethnicity is way more rare, I have more options than I’ve ever had in my life. What are some of the key things a young man needs to know about Mating Markets and what are some of the best places to be a single man in the US?

Tucker Max: This is possibly the MOST important thing in mating, and very few people have any idea about it. This is a stark fact we hope to drill into the head of every man: If you don’t live in a place where there are a lot of single women, you are drastically hurting your chances of dating success. This is very simple math that economists and biologists have understood for years, yet no one gets it when applied to dating.

Think of it this way: There are two bars next door to each other, each with 100 people in them. Bar #1 has 60 women (and thus 40 men), and Bar 2 has 40 women in it (and thus 60 men). Which do you go in? OF COURSE you go in Bar #1, because your odds are way better.

Well, you should apply this logic to EVERYTHING in life. How you pick your school, your job, what city you live in, where you live in that city, what activities you do, and where you spend your time. But very few guys do this.

Raul Felix: Thanks, Tucker. Any last bit of random advice for your typical male who really hasn’t accomplished much but wants to get started?

Tucker Max: The big thing is to not see this as a big hard thing. Start with what you want, then figure out what you have to offer, then work through how to show that what you want is what you have to offer. We walk our readers through this process and break it down into simple and actionable steps. You can do this. Every guy can find at least some success with women if he works the process.

~Raul Felix

Read: Influences: Maddox, Tucker Max, APB, TC Luoma
Read: An Army Ranger Interviews A Navy SEAL On Resilience.
Read: Why Men Look Up To Tony Montana

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.

29 Things I Learned By Age 29

Screen Shot 2015-09-01 at 12.30.22 PM

A couple of months ago I turned 29. Another year passed where I read a ton of books, had new adventures with different women, made new friends, traveled, wrote, and kept trying to be a better man. In celebration of another year of beating the Grim Reaper, I have put together a new list of lessons that made their way into my baboon mind. While I still don’t know jack shit about life, I’m probably qualified enough to give you my subjective opinion in list format.

1. It’s OK to have separate groups of friends for different aspects of your personality. Not all of your friends or acquaintances are going to click with one another.

2. If you’re a writer who is published online and you don’t make your entire living off your writing, keep that shit separate from your day job. Don’t ever tell anyone at your place of employment whom you don’t sincerely trust that you write. All it takes is one freedom-of-speech-hating coworker with a fragile ego to fuck you over.

3. The moment you think you have women all figured out, you don’t.

4. The right guy doesn’t always get the girl; sometimes it’s just the guy who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

5. It seems that no matter where I go to in the world, people feel trapped in their hometown.

6. Yet people always seem to have a sense of pride about where they grew up. Be mindful before you talk shit about it.

7. A cute chick’s #selfie that is pretty much the same as every other #selfie she took will get 100X more likes than whatever deep, intellectual shit you have to say.

8. A 19-year-old said to me upon hearing that I’ve been to New York City, “Don’t you think it’s the most amazing place ever?” I said, “No. Because I’ve actually been to other places around the world.” You can insert whatever city you wish into that statement. I’ve been to enough places to know that each city has its beauty, its unique quirks, its culture, its one-of-a-kind food, its slums, its overpriced tourist traps, and its hidden treasures. Quit trying to compare one iconic city to another. Just enjoy the city you’re in and explore as much of it as you can while you’re there.

9. “Normal” is subjective. From ages 18-22 I didn’t consider training and going to war to be anything special because everyone I interacted with on a daily basis did it. It was just what we did. Looking back on it, I think to myself, “Holy fuck, I used to do that shit?”

10. Everyone you meet in life has something to teach you. Listen to what they talk about and ask questions. Most people have one or two things they are passionate about, whether it’s sports, food, gambling, music, drugs, money, books, guns, cars, history, fitness, video games, motorcycles, sex, or writing. The list of possible knowledge is endless. Even the lowest, most worthless piece-of-shit human being you meet can teach you how not to act.

11. Hard work does not always equal success, but success is not possible without hard work.

12. Though I am not religious, I have a statue of the Virgin Mary in my room. As a Mexican-American, it’s a symbol of my culture. It gives the place where I live a true feeling of home. You must embrace whatever gives you comfort.

13. There is no glamour in being poor. You know who glamorizes the starving-artist lifestyle? Middle-class suburban kids who can count on a check from their parents when the bohemian life gets too tough. Then there are those of us who know that if we borrow money from our parents, they may not be able to pay their bills. Or some of us don’t have that safety net at all.

14. When you’re a writer, it creates an emotional imbalance with any person you are dating if they have read your work. They know more about you than you do about them at the beginning stages of courtship. It feeds into your ego that they know things that take the average person weeks, months, or even years to reveal, and yet they still like you. Yet you fail to realize that you’re the one who is more emotionally invested. You’ve shared your heart and soul to a person who may only have a passing curiosity in you.

15. Don’t let politics and religion get in the way of friendships. I have conservative friends who can’t believe I am friends with tree-hugging, fetus-killing, smug-ass libtards. I have liberal friends who can’t believe I am friends with gun-toting, women-rights-oppressing, Obama-hating conservatives. I simply don’t care how another person chooses to live their life if it doesn’t affect me. Part of being an open-minded person is accepting other cultures’ ways of doing things, even if it goes against your own belief system.

16. Treating someone with respect is the best way to start a relationship with them. Either that person will prove you right and will keep your respect or they will turn out to be a piece of shit and will lose it. Yet it’s better to respect someone who doesn’t deserve it than it is to disrespect someone who deserves your respect.

17. Time equals love. Judge a potential mate by their actions, not their words. If they’re not giving you any of their time, they don’t really care about you.

18. The mainstream media gives the populace outrage porn, and a majority of people are masturbating to it.

19. One of the best compliments a soldier can get from his comrades is “He’s a good dude.”

20. It’s human to feel jealous—of someone’s success, girlfriend, and good luck. You don’t have to let it negatively affect you. You can use the jealousy as fuel to make yourself chase after what you want.

21. People who constantly talk about how America is losing its values or how life was simpler and easier in those golden days have no understanding of history and view it through rose-colored glasses. The 1950s was an age of the nuclear family, wholesome American fun, and economic prosperity. There was also the Korean War, the impending fear of a nuclear destruction, and the Jim Crow South.

22. Find a place that makes you feel insignificant. One of my favorite things to do is swim at Cayuga Lake three or four times a week. Not only is it ridiculously beautiful, it also reminds me that whatever problems I have aren’t that significant or whatever I am working on isn’t that big of a deal. It humbles me. This body of water has been here way before I was and will be here way after I am gone. That’s some Zen shit right there.

23. Lots of people are cowards—emotional, physical, or moral. If you’re able to muster up the courage and show strength in these aspects, you’re doing way better than 90% of people.

24. Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses. Mine is women. I have an almost insatiable lust for them. Once I accepted this about myself, it made it easier for me to control my emotions and not fall and melt for whatever little cute thing who batted her big, brown eyes at me. I still fuck up on occasion, though.

25. It’s OK to not be accepted. Find the people who accept you. Thanks to my crude sense of humor and my machismo, I find it hard to connect to most people in general. Yet I found that by being myself, I was able to attract the kinds of people—both civilian and military types—who dig how I am and what I have to say.

26. There are two types of people in this world: those who do what they say they’re going to do and those who don’t.

27. If you have a dream, start small in whatever way you can. When I started as a writer, I knew no one in online media. It all seemed like this big exclusive club of people. They were obviously smarter than me. How the fuck was a nobody like me going to break in? I didn’t really know how to go about it, but I knew I had to produce quality work. I’m still not a big name, but I accomplished more in a couple of years than most. Now I have a plethora of contacts and learned that not everyone is as smart as I thought they were. Also, a lot of the writers I looked up to and thousands of people know my work.

28. Life does get better for men who spent time developing their minds and their bodies. While I haven’t found the love of my life yet, I have gone on dates and at times have hooked up with more women than I can remember—beautiful, smart, and ambitious women who three or four years ago wouldn’t even give me the time of day. The fact that’ve I read a ton of books, traveled, am self-sufficient, and have worked out consistently most of my life has put me above a lot of my peers.

29. Having an amazing mother is one the best things a man can have. While it’s “cool” to have mommy issues and not like your mom these days, I harbor none of those feelings. My mom gave me a good example of what a strong, hardworking, courageous, and caring woman is. As my uncle once told me: “You know who has the biggest balls I’ve ever met in my life? Your mom.”

~Raul Felix

Read: 28 Things I’ve Learned By 28
Read: 3 Life Lessons An Old Man Called “Wild Bill” Taught Me

Read more of my work at Thought Catalog
Follow me on Instagram.
Follow me on Twitter.

She Wouldn’t Make Me So Angry If She Didn’t Own My Heart

“Fuck you, cunt!”

She deserves it. She deserves to be called out for what she is. Just because she has a pussy doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of doing wrong or being a malicious, self-centered cunt.

“I wish you nothing but the worst, bitch!”

This is the sort of frustration that only a woman can bring to a man. Her fucking bullshit, lies, half-truths, omissions, and contradictory behavior. Just because she has those pretty eyes, perky breasts, and amazing ass doesn’t mean she is immune from being a bitch. She’s not some fucking innocent little angel unaware of the bad things she does. She will make whatever excuses she can to justify her behavior to herself and to others.

“I fucking hate you. God, I fucking hate you!”

Only a woman who owns your heart has the power to evoke so much rage inside of you when she wrongs you. Only a woman who made you believe in love once again and then destroy that dream has the power to make you lose your cool in that heated moment. Only a woman who made you feel emotionally secure—and then ripped the security away from you—has the power to make you hate her so.

“Fucking rabid whore.”

The tears fill your eyes. You hold them back because men don’t cry. Your once-proud demeanor is now replaced by a browbeaten slump that gives the world an indicator of how utterly defeated and deflated you’ve become. The booze hits your lips and you play your angst-filled ballads and hip-hop songs that objectify women. She, like others before her, broke something inside of you.

“They are all the fucking the same. They are all the fucking same.”

The tears overwhelm you, and you sink your face in your hands. The booze lets you access that raw part inside your heart. You blame yourself for allowing yourself to believe she would be different. You’re smarter than that, yet you let you heart loose recklessly because you’re determined not to let the darkness, cynicism, and hopelessness that comes with the quest of finding love completely eliminate the genuine tenderness, sweetness, and ideals you harbor.

“Fucking bitches…”

Fucking womankind. You try to understand them, yet they’re always a step ahead of you. It would be admirable if they had actually put forth the effort. Instead, their natural lot in life has simply placed them in that position. As the man, you must struggle daily to capture their attention and curiosity. Most of them are throwaways and you can remain hard, tough, and stoic because you don’t give a shit about them. Yet every so often, one prances into your life and swiftly knocks down the barriers you’ve built.

“Fuck! I thought she was fucking different. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

You pound your fist on the table, causing some beer to spill. There is a mess, but you don’t fucking care. She was different. She was smart; you’ve met too many dumb girls. She was pretty; you’ve met too many ugly girls. She was charming and funny; you’ve met too many humorless bores. Most importantly, she understood you. You’ve met too many girls who don’t understand you. She took the time to dig deep and sought out who you were, and for that, you cherished and adored her.

It’s over. The reasons why don’t really matter. All that is left is the empty void in your heart that she filled. Loneliness is your companion once again as you drunkenly pick up the last remnants of your dignity and your heart.

“Fuck her! I don’t need her.”

You have to motivate yourself because there is no one who is going to pick you up but yourself. You’re right; you don’t need her. It’s not a matter of need, but of want. You want her, but she no longer wants you. It’s soul-wrenching coming to terms with the fact that someone you desired more than anything no longer wants you. Little by little you’ll accept it. Little by little you’ll push the thoughts of her outside your mind. Little by little you’ll be able to let yourself be warm, soft, and caring again. But as right now, you just want her.

~Raul Felix

You can read more of my writing at Thought Catalog.

3 Life Lessons An Old Man Called “Wild Bill” Taught Me

During my time working in Israel, I had the good fortune to be coworkers and friends with one of the most badass old men I have ever met in my life. While he was flawed, he also possessed traits any young man would want to have: He had tons of money in his bank account, was physically fit, and was a womanizer. Through many long work hours and discussions over the course of a year and a half, I got to learn a lot about “Wild Bill” and his philosophy. In turn, he taught me that even though you’re in your 50s doesn’t mean you can’t keep up with the young bucks.

1. Money management is very important.

“Hey! Raul! Why’d you call off work yesterday?” he’d ask.

“Well, Wild Bill…”

“Nah, nah…I don’t want to hear it. I know what you did. You went out and got drunk with your buddies.”

“Yeah…”

“What have I told you about that? Not only did you lose out the money you could have made from coming into work, but you also spent all that money at that bar. Knowing you, I know you spent at least a hundred bucks.”

“I know.”

“You say you know, but you keep on doing it. You don’t listen!”

If there is one thing Wild Bill loved, it was making money. Wild Bill was a workaholic. People knew if they wanted to take an extra day off, all they’d have to do is call up Wild Bill and he’d cover their shift. He’d cover so many shifts that he once went 112 days without having a single day off. After having that day off, he went on another 60-day streak.

He had a simple mindset: You’re either working and making money or you’re not working and you’re spending your money. Wild Bill loved receiving his paycheck and seeing it pile on top of all the money he had already saved.

“How much money you got saved up, Wild Bill?”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Come on…”

“I’ll tell you this—I’m not a millionaire, but I’m close.”

Wild Bill had no debt, owned a house, and had a nice car back in the States. He did that by always being extremely frugal with his money and avoiding debt throughout his life. Wild Bill was a bit on the extreme side, since his diet consisted of ramen noodles, chicken, and the cheapest beer in Israel, Günther’s. Nonetheless, he never made six figures, but his financial intelligence put him in a position where we wouldn’t have to worry about money like too many people arriving at retirement do.

2. Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you have to get fat.

Wild Bill consistently worked out, which put him on a higher tier above his peers. Running and weightlifting were constants in his life. Even during our work shift, it would be common for him to do some wind sprints and knock out some pushups to get his heart rate up. While he was a heavy boozer, he knew it was important for him to counteract the physical effects. It would be common practice for him to run to the store two miles down the road because beer there was 25 cents cheaper than at the place right down the street. He’d buy three or four Günther’s, drink one in front of the store, run back home, drink them all, run back to the store, return the cans for some money, buy a few more Günther’s, and run back.

Other than a serious injury or illness, there is no reason why a person can’t keep themselves in shape throughout their lives. You don’t have to have a bodybuilder’s physique or be one of those crazy in-shape cross-fit buffs, but you can at least maintain a level of fitness that helps you counteract all the bullshit you put in your body over the years. Veterans tend to get fat after they leave the military because we no longer have that forced physical training to burn away all the booze and junk food we consume. Wild Bill showed me firsthand that you can be a boozer and a physical badass at the same time.

3. You’re never too old to philander.

Next on his list of life essentials was the quest for getting new pussy to destroy. Wild Bill was a womanizer and a pretty good one at that. With a strong body in his mid-50s, Wild Bill stood out from all the other old farts who let themselves go. Combined with the air of confidence that only age and experience could bring, that made him a poon-slayer to be revered.

Whether en route or at the store, he would get the attention of some fine young things, which for him were women in their 30s and 40s. Being a man who has fucked hundreds of chicks throughout his life, Wild Bill knew how to make his potential prospects swoon. Whether it was a Moroccan businesswoman or Philippine caregiver, he knew the right things to say to get them to come over to his apartment sometime in the near future to cook him dinner while he drank beer and watched music videos.

He kept his women in line by adhering to the age-old adage of “money over bitches” and refused to ever take a day off to see them. They would work around his schedule, not the other way around. They would get pissed at him, stop talking to him, and try to knock him out of their lives. But eventually, they’d call him back and agree to be in the relationship on his terms because they realized that men of his age and caliber were rare indeed.

Wild Bill wasn’t a perfect man. He had many faults and demons like we all do. He was an alcoholic, was never loyal to a woman in his life, could be cheap to the point of absurdity, and was stubbornly stuck in his ways. Yet he worked, kept in shape, and fucked like he was in his 20s. He didn’t let the notion of being an old man stop him from living life on his own terms. In a society where too many people let their age be a hindrance and only look back on their glory years, Wild Bill decided to keep his glory years going. As he once said to me, “One day you’re going to look back at this time in your life and think to yourself, ‘You know, that old man, whatever his name was, he was a pretty badass dude.’”

~Raul Felix

See more of my work at Thought Catalog