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.

Another Night Wasted Getting Wasted

I wake up still wearing my jeans,
I didn’t piss myself this time at least.
Room’s thrashed, emptied beer cans scattered throughout.
It’s 2 p.m. on a Tuesday.
Another night wasted getting wasted.

I have nowhere to be; I have no one to be with.
Eighteen, nineteen, twenty empty cans are stuffed into a garbage bag.
There is a comfort in escaping my frustrations with myself,
My frustrations with loneliness and reality,
Seeking refuge in vice.

Sweet serpent drink, whose poison kisses my lips.
Your cool embrace a reliable comfort in my life.
Women come and go, boozing remains.
Jobs come and go, boozing remains.
Cities come and go, boozing remains

Even when I muster the strength to resist your temptation,
Boredom, annoyances, celebration, life eventually strikes,
Causing me to seek your poison kisses once more,
Their gentle touch enhancing reality,
Distorting its undesirable aspects,
Allowing one to lose themselves in the abyss of the mind,
Wasting another night getting wasted.

~Raul Felix

Read: Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Taught A Psycho Bitch How To Shoot
Read: A Day In The Life Of A Debauched Traveler
Read: She Wouldn’t Make Me So Angry If She Didn’t Own My Heart

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

Two Army Rangers Discuss Going Nomadic

IG: leo_jenkins

IG: leo_jenkins

In the formative years of his life, Leo Jenkins was an Army combat medic in 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Having completed deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, in 2007 Leo ended his enlistment after four years of service, exchanging the high-octane world of Army special operations for the uncertainty of civilian life.

He has published three memoirs. In the first, Lest We Forget, he details his war experiences and drunken shenanigans as a Ranger medic. In his second, On Assimilation, he tackles the emotional rollercoaster of adapting to civilian life. His journey takes him from the kick-in-the-gut realization that his intensive training as a special operations medic wouldn’t qualify him to be a basic EMT…to battling alcoholism and feeling of isolation caused by those moments spent in a wartorn land…to opening and operating a successful CrossFit gym.

In his latest book, First Train Out Of Denver, Leo decides to leave the hustle and bustle that had become his life to go nomadic instead. With the utmost sense of purpose and intensity that is a definitive characteristic of an Army Ranger, he seeks to find adventure, enlightenment, and to make sense of those formative years of his life.

Raul Felix: Leo, your life as an unemployed vagabond started when you got up to go to work one morning and thought to yourself, “I don’t want to go to work today.” You then sold your possessions, business, said goodbye to your friends, and got yourself a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. What was the toughest part emotionally for you of that process?

Leo Jenkins: That is a phenomenal question that no one has ever asked me. I was in a dark place when I purged my possessions and took to the world. I was seeking some sort of solace in the comforts of solitude. By disconnecting myself from the only people who share my mutual experiences, I was forced into intense introspection. It’s a perilous endeavor if one is not prepared. Seven years of stuffing down the tumultuous cognitive dissonance created by multiple combat deployments violently surfaced, and there wasn’t another veteran, let alone Ranger, for thousands of miles. I was forced to sit in my own stewing antipathy alone. I was forced to truly come to terms with my youthful decisions and transgressions against my fellow man. It nearly killed me, but I’m a better man for it.

Raul Felix: What do you mean by it almost killed you?

Leo Jenkins: With no set schedule and no real responsibilities, I began drinking heavily. I began writing the book On Assimilation during this time. I was pulling up all the tribulations of my return to society and writing them down. I was alone, reliving my worst moments in vivid detailed prose.

Raul Felix: Just like being in the Army, traveling has a learning curve that can only be learned by actually doing it. What are some stupid cherry traveler mistakes and assumptions you made in the early phases of your trip, and what solutions did you come up with?

Leo Jenkins: Not everyone values what we value as a society. Traveling to any foreign country is an opportunity to shut up and listen, not to impose your belief set. Be a sponge and retain as much as you can. Release as much of your preconceived ethnocentric tendencies before getting on the plane, and almost everything else will come with ease.

The world is not a dark and scary place. Sure, there are assholes abroad, just like there are assholes in your hometown. Chances are, they’re just having a bad day and do not represent the ideology of their entire country. However, when entering their nation you become an ambassador for ours. So if you act like an asshole, the assumption will be that everyone from your country is [also an asshole], due to their potentially limited exposure to your nationality.

On a more specific note, don’t ever exchange currency at the airport; they will rip you off worse than the new Ghostbusters movie. Research the exchange rate ahead of time then hit the ATM. A lot of countries will take US dollars, but every shop will pound you on the exchange rate.

Raul Felix: When Marty Skovlund and yourself began doing your trip Eastbound to raise money for the Gallant Few, you tapped into your social media network of veterans. This dramatically increased the pace of your trip and raised awareness for your cause. Who was the coolest or most unique veteran you met in this manner?

Leo Jenkins: I’ve had the distinct honor of interviewing veterans all across the world regarding their experiences in war and assimilation. While Marty and my fundraiser across the world to raise awareness and funds for the Gallant Few provided me the opportunity to get to know many amazing war fighters, I’d have to say our conversation with a particular Korean War veteran and former UDT diver (predecessor to the Navy SEALs) was a standout. His narrative of war was equal parts adolescent inquisitiveness for the world, tragedy, and the dark profane humor of a salty special-operations soldier. Shrouded by a leathered face, his eyes told the story with the razor-blade poignancy of a young warrior. And his words regarding the separation, the isolation, following combat rang like a church bell through the ardor of my being.

Raul Felix: Aren’t you pissed off you got assigned to 3rd Batt instead of 2nd Batt?

Leo Jenkins: 3rd Batt was actually my fourth choice. At the end of the special operations medical course, each of the six Ranger medics graduating with my class were asked to list, in order, where they wanted to go. My list went, 1st (cause the beach), then 2nd (because the mountains), Regiment (because I already had a bunch of medic friends working there) and finally 3rd. To be honest, I was pissed at first, but the journey connected me with some of the most inspiring and amazing men of our generation. I wouldn’t trade those relationships for anything.

Raul Felix: In the past, you made your name known for your military articles and books. What made you make the shift from military writer to travel adventure writer?

Leo Jenkins: I believe vehemently in the necessity of evolution throughout the course of life, to expand and contract and flow with the natural fluidity of a river. It’s taken a decade since leaving 3rd Ranger Battalion, and in many ways my experiences there will always influence my writings, but being who we are, not who we once were, is the acme of a free and jubilant soul.

Raul Felix: I agree with that. Human beings are human beings everywhere you go. It’s easy to think X or Y people are bad because the narrative the media portrays of them. If you weren’t an American, what nationality that you encountered could you see yourself growing up and fitting in with?

Leo Jenkins: I’m often asked if I’m a Canadian when traveling through foreign countries for various reasons. My fiancée is Canadian and I do associate with their culture in many ways. I’ve even been told to tell people I am so as to not provoke the negative connotations associated with being an American abroad. I don’t do that; I will never do that. I am proud of where I come from because I know firsthand how many truly amazing people come from the US. I’m as welcome to external cultural experience as any human on Earth, but I’m simultaneously unapologetically American.

~Raul Felix

Read: 3 Signs A Woman Is A Dependopotamus
Read: Army Rangers Talk About The Times Their Words Have Shocked Civilians
Read: Jumping Out of Airplanes: How It’s Really Like

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.

Buffalo Hill Will Make A Man Out Of You

“I’m a fucking beast,” I say to myself,
I take those first steps running up Buffalo Hill.
There is always some college student slowly walking up it,
Occasionally, it’s a chick whose glorious ass I get lost in,
I’m reminded of what I want in my life.
More often, it’s a scrawny nerd unaware of the world around him,
I’m reminded of what I don’t want to become.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

When the body is in pain, it’s best to let the mind wander.
Halfway up, my mind runs rampant.
Thoughts of women past, family, friends, war, motorcycle trips,
Parking tickets, writing, money, and schemes for pussy.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

I’m approaching the final incline,
My stride becomes faster, eyes focus, bellowing grunts.
I reach the peak, smile as I stare down on conquered land.
Nice warm up. I continue my run.
Buffalo Hill will make a man out of you.

~Raul Felix

Read: She Was Traveling Through My Country
Read: Becoming A Beast May Help You Win The Beauty
Read: Keep Moving, Young Man

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

Oh Well, We’re Off To War Again

“Ones!” yells the private as he opens the door of my hooch.
It mildly annoys me.
It’s a pretty fucking good episode of Scrubs, damn it.
I quickly slip on and tie up the laces of my boots.
Oh well, we’re off to war again.

I zip up my top as I speed walk to the ready room,
I make a quick detour to grab a couple of Rip Its and Pop Tarts from the MWR.
From my cubby, I slip on my kit, Peltors, and MICH.
I test my NODS, grab my M4: clear it, pop in a magazine.
We’re off to war again.

The gunner and I begin our respective duties.
The gunner turns on the comms and loads the .50 cal,
I hop in the Stryker driver’s seat, fire up the engine,
I stand on the seat, looking out the hatch.
The TC approaches us after the hasty mission brief,
A steady flow of men, the tip of America’s spear soon follow.
Sixty-seven men, six Strykers, two Little Birds, and a military dog will descend Tonight on some poor souls’ door step.
Fuck yeah, we’re off to war again.

~Raul Felix

Read: Eager To Pop My Cherry On The Battlefield
Read: Jumping Out of Airplanes: How It’s Really Like
Read: The Military’s Parasite Problem

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

Why Young Men Should Become Cougar Slayers

(c) Sergey Furtaev

(c) Sergey Furtaev

For all their youthful vigor, beauty, and perfectly angled selfies that show off their best assets, most young chicks are a real pain in the ass to deal with. Most of them think that the average young guy is incapable of fulfilling them and haven’t been humbled by reality enough to know what characteristics to truly look for in a man. Also, they’ll elevate a minor problem into full-blown drama and then yap about how they’ve been through a lot (of dick). Regardless, many boys and men will compete for their attention because nothing screams Alpha Male like having a hot 21-year-old with an hourglass figure hanging off your arm. Instead of directly going toe-to-toe with other dudes who have airtight game or higher social value than you in such a fiercely competitive atmosphere, why not change the field you operate in and become a cougar-slayer?

For those of you slow on the uptake, cougars are older, mature women usually 40+ who still look pretty damn good because they’ve taken care of themselves throughout the years. They are not to be confused with spinsters and fat-acceptance twats whose bitterness and sloth has left them with a body that only devouring hundreds of gallons of ice cream while watching romantic comedies compounded over many years can produce.

I learned about the unique prowess of these wonderful creatures by pure luck. When I was in the Army, my unit was constructing a bunch of new barracks and ran out of the room to house all the single soldiers. So they decided to give a bunch of us single dudes who had been there for a while an extra allowance for housing so we could get our own places off-post. The apartment I got for myself was near a bar that catered to a more mature clientele because they often hosted cover bands that played classic rock.

As I began to frequent that bar, something occurred that rarely happened to me: Good-looking women with amazing fake breasts and wild 80s-style glam-rock hair began to flirt with me. At the time, my MO was to hit up the bars, hit on chicks who were in my age range, and get promptly rejected. This would lead to me drinking alcohol in frustration and making another sloppy attempt at convincing a chick to let met touch her lady parts, which led to more severe rejections. Frustration drinking would morph into rage drinking, which would have me falling toward a downward spiral of angst and loneliness that ended with me jerking off to nude pictures of my ex-girlfriend.

A new world opened for me. Instead of constantly having my ego destroyed by 6s or 7s who wanted nothing to do with my goofy Mexican self, I was exchanging witty banter, dancing, making out, and more with cougars who were 8s and 9s in their prime and still looked like total foxes. They loved that I was an eager, muscular, clean-cut Latin 22-year-old with an outgoing personality and quirky smile. I loved their feminine physique, no-bullshit attitude, and ability to hold real conversations. It was the beginning of an infatuation that has maintained my interest until this day.

Why should young men experiment with dating cougars? Because they have an insane amount of knowledge to bequeath upon you to expedite the process of growing into a real man. A lot of these women have been hardened by the real world. They have been married, divorced, have full-fledged careers, and may have a few kids to boot. They don’t have time for the petty games that late-teen and early-twenty-something chicks love to play on the male psyche. When they decide to spend time with you, they mean business. They’re able to stimulate you physically and mentally.

Through your interactions with them, you’ll learn about the mistakes both men and women tend to make as they grow older—from having children before they were truly ready to allowing the romance in the relationship to wane. You’ll be exposed to their lifestyle and see how life can look like for you if you make the right or wrong moves. You’ll learn to interact more intelligently and have deeper conversations with the opposite sex. You’ll have a ton of hands-on experience on pleasing your woman in the sack because most cougars are more than willing to coach you into being a good lover.

You shouldn’t exclusively date cougars, but add them to your repertoire of women you consider dating material. Depending on how successful she is, you’ll be able to catch a taste of the high-class life. You know all those pretty young chicks going to all sorts of fancy, exclusive parties and places on social media? Most of them didn’t pay the bill for that. They got there by dating older men who have already established themselves. It’s tough to compete with that as a young man who is barely starting off in the world.

Don’t think just because you’re with an older woman that you can be a lazy sack of shit. If you’re a broke, sloppy mouth-breather with poor personal hygiene and the inability to hold a conversation, these bitches will shut you down quickly. You’re the young stud—play the part. Have enough money to take her out for drinks, be in good shape, dress nice, and have something of value to say. They are still women, after all. You must spark their interest and gain their trust. If you’re able to do those things, you’ll have more than you fill of cougar love, as opposed to trying to scrounge for a bit of attention from a mediocre chick with an overinflated self-worth because she has 2,000 Instagram followers who bombard her with likes every time she posts a cleavage shot.

~Raul Felix

Read: She Had The Body Of A Greek Goddess
Read: Army Rangers Talk About The Times Their Words Have Shocked Civilians
Read: 4 Things Women Can Do To Be More Attractive (From A Non-Beta Bitch Male Perspective)

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