This week on Helping Joe we split a longer episode into two parts. In Part 1, Joe gives updates on past dates, Tucker and Charlie comment on his progress since beginning the podcast, and they dig deeper into his sex shame issues. While Joe is able to have sex, he comes too quick (premature ejaculation), which is the opposite physical problem of his previous issue with getting hard. Tucker explains how this is even possible and gives Joe a few short-term fixes to help with this, including how to find out what she likes in bed. They also talk about one big difference between guys who improve and get better with women and those who don’t.
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Joe’s Thoughts and Takeaways From This Episode:
Hey this is a running commentary of random thoughts, notes, and takeaways I had during or after this episode. – Joe
- How NOT to behave on a first date
- Short-term fixes for sex shame and premature ejaculation
- The relationship between hormones and behavior: “Hormones don’t cause behavior, hormones follow behavior and thought.”
- When it’s actually better to drink before sex
- How to talk to a woman about what she likes sexually
- What a lot of women really like and want in bed and why 50 shades of grey is so popular
- How to work long-term on shame issues
- One difference between Joe and other guys who have been through this “Helping” process
Beginning – Updates from past episodes
The hot nurse that I liked but I blew off lost interest in me. This kinda sucks because I liked her and she was smart & cute. I talked about this at the end of Episode 13 and in the beginning of Episode 14
What a polite blow-off looks like:
Date with girl from speed dating
So the last time I went speed dating (see Episode 15) I matched with only 1 woman even though I wasn’t dressed awkwardly and had a lot more fun. I went out with her but wasn’t as attracted to her as I was at the event. It’s hard to remember what everyone looks like during those things because the room is dark, you’re drinking, and you only have 5 minutes to talk to each person.
I found out some interesting stuff about her (She lived in France) and I had fun talking about her past awful dates. One guy was from speed dating. I was dying when she was telling me about this awkward date she went on with him.
This story reinforced the point that a lot of guys are just awful at dating. It’s kinda sad that women have to put up with this nonsense and a lot of guys are clueless but also encouraging because I’m not as bad as this dude and I’m like 5-10 years younger.
@4:30 – Recognizing my past nervous behaviors in someone else
When I was on a date with her, I noticed that she was a checklist person just like me (or she didn’t like me and was just trying to get thru the date) because it felt like she had a specific set of questions she had to get through in this interview (similar to how I was in Episode 9, listen to the 2nd half of that).
This is a step forward because I’m recognizing this behavior, next step is to change it, which I am I think.
Tucker’s advice was to say, “Hey are you nervous?” when this happens.
@7:00 – Tucker’s comment on my progress in this podcast
“My favorite part is that Joe has to quickly summarize dates to get to other things to talk to, whereas before he only had one date to talk about and we spent an hour dissecting that date.”
Dates are getting easier to remember. I’m not as nervous on first dates. The podcast would take forever to do if we got into each date like we did in Episodes 3 and 4 where I was making simple, funny mistakes like sitting out in the cold or asking someone if she grew up Hispanic (I still don’t think I said that but whatever).
It was nice for them to talk about this and they’re right. The evidence is there. I’m getting better and miles ahead of where I was when I first got here. But I still don’t feel like I’ve hit my goal or that I’ve succeeded in dating or that I am good with women because I keep making all these awful mistakes and have bad patterns and habits that I haven’t gotten rid of. And the sex I’ve had so far hasn’t been that good. I feel like a failure when I can’t stay hard or I come too quick. At least I’m having sex whereas before I wasn’t but still I feel like I’ve got all these unresolved issues that I’m dealing with and I shouldn’t celebrate or feel like a success. Each show it seems like there’s more and more work I have to do to get to where I want to be, or I have another barrier or shame issue to work on.
Tucker talks about how I can get as many dates as I want and that might be true, maybe, but I don’t feel that way. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m getting better for sure and improving, not totally lost, but I’m there yet. I don’t know what “there” is though. I need to think about this and maybe readjust my goals or better figure out what I want or where I want to go. I also need to work on having a Growth Mindset and being a work-in-progress instead of good or bad, there or not there, success or failure.
“Where as before you were just wandering in a circle lost with poop and cum covering yourself, metaphorically, but also probably literally.” – Tucker
That was hilarious.
@10:30 – Metaphor for my internal monologue
The chimpanzee fight on World Star that I was talking about.
I saw this and thought this was a good metaphor for the ridiculous thoughts and bully vs bully arguments that sometimes go on in my internal monologue.
@13:00 – Low testosterone test and sex
I was down because my follow-up testosterone was the same low level that I test at in February. I didn’t make any progress on this, fuck.
We started having sex but I came too quick. At least I got semi-hard but it wasn’t good sex.
Tucker thinks it’s still all psychological. I don’t know though. With the low testosterone I’m thinking maybe this problem is actually physical.
We talk about the times we’ve hooked up and had sex, trying to figure out where the problem is.
@18:00 – I took her back to my place this time
She didn’t really care that I live like I’m in homeless shelter.
“Once she gets to know you, she doesn’t care [about your shitty place].” – Tucker
“Especially since you were self-deprecating and honest so it set the expectation and you’re fine.” – Charlie
When my sex performance issues happened the last time, I was honest with her in talking about it. Charlie and Tucker were encouraging here because this is a hard thing to do. I was being vulnerable about an embarrassing problem that I was having, and talking about something like this is hard for a lot of guys. I don’t think it was that difficult for me because the alternatives were worse. I could have either blamed her or stayed quiet about it acting like nothing was wrong with me, which would have been way worse than being honest and talking about it.
It was the only way to move forward and I was glad I did that because she was cool. She said that it was okay even said, “At least you know what foreplay is.” I guess because a lot of other guys she has been with are just in a rush to stick it in. She’s right. I am good. At foreplay. I’ve had to focus on and get good at everything around the actual sex because I have problems and can’t get hard or come too quick. Sometimes build up lasts for 30 minutes, which I’m sure she enjoys a lot.
@23:00 – The relationship between hormones and behavior
“Hormones don’t cause behavior, hormones follow behavior and thought.” – Tucker
Thoughts can affect hormones. This sounds nuts but I guess it’s true. This guy Sapolsky from Stanford did studies on baboons and found that their elevation in status caused testosterone to increase. High testosterone didn’t come first. Hormones caught up with status, not the other way around.
This is something I had never really thought about to be honest. Especially with sexual performance, I thought that having a high testosterone came first, then you would have a higher sex drive or be better in bed, etc.
@27:00 – If you can’t get hard and then come quickly. Those are opposite physical problems. Your problem is emotional.
This is a definite sign that my problem is emotional because coming quickly is the direct opposite problem of not being able to get hard. You can’t go from one to the other in the same session because they are opposite physical issues; they would cancel each other out. You can’t do both at the same time unless you’re crazy, which I guess I am.
Yea I didn’t know this and its actually kind of relieving to hear. This means that my problem is emotional, not physical so there’s probably nothing going on fucked with me that’s hidden and just sitting there unseen.
And another thing that it’s not physical… I have no problems jerking off. If you can masturbate fine, then there is no physical problem. If your dick really didn’t work, you would not be able to masturbate, just wouldn’t be possible.
@29:00 – My internal thought monologue last time I had sex
Yea this sucked but it helped figure out what the problem was or the loop going on in my head.
I thought about 1) getting and staying hard and 2) not coming quick once I got going.
THIS is what causes these problems. A lot of this was in the book Choke. When you think about choking or not screwing up, those thoughts distract you and then actually choke.
How to fix this (short-term experiments)
1. Charlie recommends trying to think the opposite:
“I’m going to come so quick now!”
“My dick is never going to hard!”
And see if that is any better.
This sounds ridiculous but it actually might work. I have a lot of fucking doubts about this but I’ll try it.
2. Drink more but don’t get drunk
Some guys have ED issues when they drink too much. But it’s when you are hammered. For me, drinking more will help me fucking relax.
“Shutting down the monkey fight is the best thing we do to help you in short-term, not going to help you in the long-term… You can at least quiet it.” – Tucker
Yea this makes more sense and is something I definitely do. This is easy I think and it should work or at least help me relax.
@34:00 – You have a lot of shame issues around sex.
Possible shame issues I have: you don’t deserve her or to have sex, having sex is wrong, you feel like you’re exploiting her, she’s dominant and that’s threatening, problems with masculinity, being aggressive in bed. There are many ways this plays out.
I know I have sex shame issues from watching porn @14:00 in Episode 16 and I think growing up Catholic, going to a small catholic school, etc. might have fucked me up. I don’t think it did but it probably did unconsciously or whatever.
Tucker gives a good example of how a sex shame issue can play out. Usually, you react to deep shame by avoiding it (withdrawal) or over-compensating (against it). This was something I also read in Daring Greatly (Episode 12), and these are 2 of the reactions to shame, but not healthy ways of dealing with it.
Over the next few months: Think about what your shame issues with sex are and where they’re coming from, etc.
“I bet your issues with testosterone are tied exactly to what your issues with sex.”
I yea probably, but I feel like I have no fucking clue. How am I going to figure this out? They say it will take a long time and just keep doing what I’m doing but I don’t know. I feel like I have to go therapy.
@39:00 – Start with short-term fixes, get some small wins that build to long-term comfort in having sex
Having good sex with one woman will help me have good sex with other women.
This is encouraging because I’ve found a girl who’s cool with me even though I have these issues, like she still wants to hang out and do stuff with me even though the sex isn’t great.
Another issue I have: I don’t like going down on girls
Probably because I’m inexperienced at this and I just don’t care for it. I like how it makes a woman feel and the pleasure she gets from it, but I just don’t like the activity.
That’s something I have to get over because for a lot of women that’s a deal breaker and I’m being hypocritical because I love when a woman goes down on me and it’s deal breaker if she doesn’t give blowjobs regularly because I love blowjobs!
So this is something I definitely have to work on because it’s weird to be 26 and not know the ins and outs of going down on a chick and it’s just going to get weirder the older I get.
@42:00 – How to talk to her about what she likes sexually
This is my homework: Go to a happy hour, get a few beers or glasses of wine (both of you), and casually talk about what she really likes. Keep asking questions about what she likes and this will give you permission and confidence in giving her that side of you that she wants. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this before but this totally makes sense and I think is a great conversation to have.
A great tip Tucker gives is to talk to her about sex outside of sex because this will help make sex much better and might help me get over some of these issues.
One specific shame/fear it helps getting over is being too aggressive and of hurting her. I think I definitely have this. I’m not timid in bed but I am conservative. I rarely slap or spank a chick, I’m careful when pulling her hair or grabbing her neck too hard or physically controlling her too much. The funny thing is (and 50 Shades of Gray proved this out) that women actually like this more aggressive stuff. And the only way to find out if she does is by talking to her about it.
“She’ll probably like basic rough stuff, basic kink stuff that almost every woman likes with guys they are comfortable with… Hearing her say this will make it easier to own. That’s really how I learned by listening over and over again to what women say, ‘This is what I want.’ This isn’t what you’re told growing up, but this is what every woman says over and over again.”
@44:30 – Have this same sex anxiety / sex shame conversation with her
Charlie recommends having a different conversation about all this other stuff we just talked about and all these other issues, “She knows. She’s on your team. And she’s cool with it.”
That makes me a little nervous. I think exploring what she likes sexually is easier and might be fun but having this conversation about the problems I am having is going to be tough and I don’t really want to do it. Tucker recognizes this and we back off of this topic for now.
@46:00 – Shame issue I have is being too aggressive or forceful in bed
She told me that she liked it rough and one part of me was excited, a little relaxed that I knew now what she liked, but in the back of my head I had another thought, “What if I do it too much? And then something bad happens like she’s turned off or whatever.”
“Start to understand where this is coming from and start thinking about it.” – Tucker
For help dealing with this stuff, Charlie recommended, The Inner Game of Tennis
(boring title but amazing book)
It’s a lot of same stuff in Choke but talks about it from a different angle.
They also recommended The Inner Game of Stress (the tennis one is better though)
@51:00 – Work on shame issues by recognizing feelings and thoughts you have in the moment, examine and observe it, don’t fight it, nonjudgment
Same thing with meditation: Recognize the emotion, accept that it’s okay, and investigate it / why are you feeling it, don’t judge or react to it.
Tucker metaphor: “A fight starts with one punch, but if you don’t react to it, it doesn’t start a fight. I know it’s hard but nonjudgment is the most important thing.”
“That’s the biggest thing for you. You are so hard on yourself. You are really hard on yourself.” – Charlie
He’s right. I think I have a lot of ridiculous expectations of myself sometimes. And I get bent out of shape (overly critical) when I don’t live up to them.
“You can’t stop emotions, but you can change how you react to them.”
@53:00 – “What was different about your life back then (when the sex was better, I got hard, didn’t come quickly, etc.)?”
We talk about when sex was good in my life, mostly when I was traveling in South America. One part of this was that I was younger and that was my sexual peak, another part is that I was more comfortable and relaxed having sex with women there because there wasn’t much of a goal or point to what I was doing. I was traveling and having fun.
“Why can’t you take the same approach or have the same mindset here?”
I don’t know. Probably because I put too much pressure on myself to be good at this or not weird.
@55:00 – “Be more normal!”
This was pretty funny.
“Do you judge anyone as harshly as you judged yourself?” – Charlie
“If you did, you would be the biggest dick on Earth. No one would talk to you ever if you treated other people like you treat yourself.” – Tucker
Yep. Judges fucking suck. Awful people.
@56:30 – What therapy really is
All good therapy is essentially finding better ways to connect with people. Helping Joe is therapy. It’s just unusual and uncommon.
@58:30 – The difference between me and most people
“If someone did this with me when I was your age, I probably would have quit. I also would have fought them multiple times during the sessions. Because I wouldn’t have wanted to accept all the problems I had… No one does this.” – Tucker
This was a great compliment that Tucker gave me, like one of the nicest fucking things he’s said to me or anyone on this podcast. And it felt good because it’s true. I can’t disqualify or deny this compliment. I show up every week. I take notes about what I want to talk about. I talk about shitty things on the show in front of 10s of 1000s of people. Tucker, Charlie, Nils help while making fun of me, laughing, and digging deeper into uncomfortable, ugly stuff. And I keep coming back. No one does this. No else who has been on this podcast does this.
Everybody has these problems but nobody wants to talk about them because it’s painful and you have to admit shitty things about yourself. I bet most people can’t even admit these things to themselves, alone, without talking to anyone. I know for most of my life I haven’t been able to but this podcast or weird “therapy” is helping with that.
@58:00 – “Joe is a disaster. But at least 80% of guys are the same level of disaster.”
He right because I’ve seen it. I wouldn’t say 80% though, maybe less. I hope.
As I’ve learned more and more through Mating Grounds and on Helping Joe I’ve started to recognize other guys, sometimes guys who are 5, 10 years older than me who are just disasters either with health, grooming, clothes, way they look or talk.
They’re not disasters, that’s the wrong word, but they are significantly hurting their mate value or prospects, much like I was before and sometimes still am, by being oblivious to simple things or fucking up basic stuff.
Tucker also talks about how they had 2-3 other guys who tried to do this same thing with but they quit or they didn’t want take action on the advice. They were all quitters because it was really fucking hard to do this.
“You’re not a fucking quitter.” – Tucker … That was a great compliment.
Tucker is also vulnerable about times he’s wanted to quit: “There were probably 20 times when I wanted to quit analysis and 3 times when I walked out of the office… Every single time I didn’t want to face the emotional problems so I picked fights with her to avoid these issues.”
He says this because it was so hard for him to accept these things about himself so that he could change them.