BECOME THE MAN WOMEN WANT
13th of July 2014

Dr. Carin Bondar Interview

Introduction:

Dr. Carin Bondar is a biologist with a PhD from the University of British Columbia. She’s also the presenter of Brave New World With Stephen Hawking on Discovery World, Outrageous Acts of Science on Science Channel and Daily Planet on Discovery Canada.

In this episode Dr. Bondar and Tucker discuss the relationship between animal mating behavior and human mating behavior, why being honest and up-front works with women and the difference between confidence and arrogance.

Podcast:


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Key takeaways:

  • Men and women need to be on the same page. Whatever sort of relationship you are after, you need to understand what that looks like in your head so that you can communicate that to a woman.
  • If you want to meet and have sex with a bunch of different women, that’s fine – but don’t say that directly to the woman. You can phrase it as “I’m not looking to settle down at the moment” and it communicates the same message but in a less crude way.
  • If you have nice things, like a nice car or house, you don’t have to point out that you own them. Let women find out about these things for themselves, and you will be much more attractive.
  • A good rule of thumb in terms of respect towards women: would I be happy if another guy was treating my mum or my sister this way?
  • If your goal is lots of casual sex, don’t go chasing the “girl next door” type who isn’t into that – look for girls who want the same things as you do.

Links from this episode

Dr. Bondar’s Bio:

  • Biologist with a PhD from University of British Columbia
  • Author of The Nature of Human Nature which looks at human mating behaviour in the context of the rest of the animal kingdom
  • Writes for Huffington Post, Scientific American
  • Presenter of “Brave New World With Stephen Hawking” on Discovery World, “Outrageous Acts of Science” on Science Channel and “Daily Planet” on Discovery Canada
  • Web series Wild Sex has over 12m views
  • Writing and films concentrate on mating behaviors in animal kingdom and how that might apply to humans

Interesting topics that Carin has written or talked about:

  • TED talk on animal sexual behaviour (1.4m views) has a number of examples of interesting sexual behavior in the animal kingdom:
    • paper nautilus that has a detachable swimming penis that seeks out females
    • bedbugs who stab the female and inject sperm, which then migrates to the female’s ovaries
    • gang rape in ducks (who go from flaccid to ejaculation in less than a second)
    • guppy females who choose males that have a “mustache” (which Carin calls the “Magnum P.I. hypothesis”)
    • elephants and hyenas who have a clitoral penis, essentially an external clitoris, which means the female has to co-operate with the male in order to reproduce (and so elephants and hyenas are matriarchal societies)
  • Having a poor mate raises stress levels in female Gouldian finches (source)
  • More frequent masturbation is linked to rank in males. Research into Rhesus macaques showed that the more often a male masturbates, the lower his rank is the social hierarchy – but they don’t ejaculate as much, which is to make sure that when he has the chance to have sex, he’s already aroused and is ready to go straight away (source)
  • There are examples of transvestites in the animal kingdom for whom appearing as a member of the opposite sex is an effective mating strategy, known as “sneaking a mate” (source)
  • Size matters in earwigs – some male earwigs have sexual organs longer than their actual body, and females choose these males due to the sexual stimulation (source – 9 min video, relevant section starts at 2:45)
  • Zebra finches, when in an environment with 11 males per female, formed strong homosexual pairbonds – and maintained these even when more females were introduced into the environment (source)
  • Multiple animal species have their own equivalent of a ‘chastity belt’ (source)
  • Wild Sex series includes episodes (4-6 mins each) on the following topics in the animal community: BDSM, prostitution, group sex, homosexuality, masturbations, virgins and cross-dressing

How this relates to human behavior:

  • “a lot of my thinking about these sorts of topics started from when I was in a bar. Several of my girlfriends, we were out on one of these ladies nights and we were all sitting together at a table. Thirty something women. And this guy over in the corner sends over a tray full of tequila shooters. The waitress is putting these tequila shooters down, and the guy in the corner is looking like a big chino, looking all kick-ass whatever… and I was just like, “What! What is that? Is there biology behind this behaviour?”.” (source)
  • “I thought about it for a long time and when I wrote about it in my book I likened it to him being a sneaking male, or a male that has to use an alternative strategy in order to be successful with a female, because doing it the old fashioned way doesn’t work for all men.” (source)
  • “I think that there are critical differences between human males and human females and if we’re aware of these differences then we can all get along. But it would certainly be lying to say that we can just have sex and make babies and be done with that, you know? There’s so much more going on on an emotional level that we can address or understand it.” (source)
  • Here is a good blog post about the biology of motherhood where Carin talks about the research and links it to her own experience of raising kids.
  • “We’re not the only girls in the animal kingdom who fall for the wrong guys, strategize about finding ‘Mr. Right’ and occasionally fend off the advances of unwelcome suitors.” (source)
  • “Like many other ladies, from beetles to chickens to dolphins, we’re generally the ‘choosy’ sex — a guy has to prove his worth before we’ll come out to play.” (source)
  • “humans have this misconception that sex is fun and romantic for other organisms, and it isn’t. We also have a very common misconception that we are much better than all the other animals. We’re so much more evolved so to speak. And we are more intelligent. And we do things that other animals do not do. And I feel like in some ways this might be correct, but in most ways it is not.” (source)
  • “I have yet to see an example of complete 100% sexual monogamy in the animal kingdom. It doesn’t happen. Why do we that of ourselves? Like it’s some kind of virtuous thing.” (source – at 29:40)

Further resources:

Audio Transcription:

Tucker:
So, you’re a biologist, specializing in animal sex, basically, right?

Carin:
Yes.

Tucker:
And you’ve done tons of films and writing and books that kind of concentrate on mating behaviors in the animal kingdom and then you kind of talk about how those apply to humans a little bit, but what I want to talk about, and we’re gonna link all the videos so our listeners can kind of see the stuff you’ve done. It’s really cool, especially your TED Talk and the Wild Sex series, it has millions of views. What I want to know is how did you get into this? Like, how do you go from normal nice girl to talking about swimming penises and stuff?

Carin:
I’m still nice, I promise! You know, it’s a very funny progression, and it’s not something that I could have ever seen coming. I did my PhD in a very innocuous setting. I looked at stream communities, very academic, very run-of-the-mill, and after I graduated, I did what females do, which is had some babies and I was at home with an internet connection and small children. So I started blogging and I just started thinking about things that I liked to think about, which are quirky behaviors of the human animal and how they maybe reflected or not reflected in the animal kingdom and so I started blogging and just getting my ideas out there and I found that whenever I talked about anything relating to sex, the crazier the better. The wackier, the crazy penises, anything. I would just get such a greater engagement from my readers, and people just seem to really like, I mean, who doesn’t like sex? You don’t get hate mail over sex. People talking about controversial environmental topics or things like that, they get hate mail, but everybody loves wacky penises. Nobody has a problem.

Tucker:
That actually brings up a really good point, is you talking about people don’t get hate mail over sex, but tell me about your experience, because I know I’ve talked to a lot of really smart women who do a lot of research in sex or somehow are involved in sex, either sex work or whatever. There’s a lot of them who talk about how there’s a lot of shame around sex and that women who are blunt and outspoken, I think, maybe about anything, but definitely blunt and outspoken about sex, can receive a lot of negative feedback. You know what I’m saying? Either from men or women. So, have you found that or not?

Carin:
Yeah. You know, I guess part of me is that I am delightfully naïve on some levels. And I do choose to really celebrate the feedback that I like. I choose to pass over some of the other things. But you are right, in some respects. I remember after I gave my TED Talk, a good friend of mine was sitting in the audience and I thought my TED Talk went so well. I received so much positive feedback. He said this person sitting beside him in the audience after I finished, who was a woman, turned to him and said, “Well, that was slutty.” He was just like, “Wow. Oh. Really?” So, I found that interesting, but to be honest with you, the great amount of feedback that I’ve received about Wild Sex and just for your viewers, I’ll just give you a little bit of a nutshell here. Wild Sex is not your David Attenborough-narrated biology show. I mean, it’s me out there, playing with great big penises or pretending to be a prostitute or pretending to be masturbating on a couch or whatever. It’s very, very bold and unapologetic in its approach. And if anything, I received so much feedback from women, saying, “Thank you for being a strong, sexy woman, and not being afraid of that.” I mean, I’m talking about sex. It might be a little bit misplaced if I was talking about, you know, picture frames or something like that. Then, maybe you don’t need to be dressed up in a corset. But, you know, I’m talking about spiders constricting their abdomens and I’m in a corset, pulling it. You know, it’s totally applicable. So, I have received a good deal of really positive feedback over it.

Tucker:
Right, so actually, I wanted to talk about your TED Talk, but since you brought it up, one of the things I noticed in the talk is – it’s funny, I watched it I don’t remember when, like, a few years ago, and I didn’t really notice this. I just watched it again recently doing research for this podcast, and I realized there was a lot of very awkward nervous laughter in the audience. You know? Nothing that you said was – anyone who studied any biology or animals or sex, it’s like, yeah. This is cool information, but none of it’s, like, shocking or titillating. But there were a lot of people, you could tell, I think, who had reactions similar to – maybe not as extreme – as the woman you said. But it was like it was very uncomfortable on some level, either…not necessarily that they didn’t like what you were saying or they thought you were slutty, which is kind of ridiculous, but more like they were uncomfortable with their own sort of sexuality or discussing sex, right? Sometimes you’ll take something, praying mantis-like sexual behavior, and you’ll kind of talk about it and put it in the context of human behavior. But you stick mostly to animal sex and you don’t really do a lot of – or at least I haven’t seen a lot of – extension into human behavior, at least in your videos. Do you do that because it’s easier for people to think about sex in animals than in humans or is that just – animal sex is more interesting?

Carin:
So, I guess, for me being a biologist, that’s what I can relate to a lot more. I’m not a sociologist. What I know about human behavior is what I’ve experienced as a human, so I don’t wanna pretend I’m an expert and have studied the evolution of human behavior in a lot of ways. So, simply my area of expertise is that of the animals. But interestingly, I like to point out to people, don’t forget that we are animals. When all is said and done, we are part of the animal kingdom and we are equally related to both chimpanzees and bonobos, which a lot of people don’t really realize. They go, chimpanzees, humans. But hold on. There are these organisms calls bonobos and these guys are crazy sexual. It’s something that’s really worth mentioning because I think a lot of the times, humans feel like we need to fully cover up our sexuality and not celebrate as kinky as we wanna be or as – you know what I mean? Like, yeah, and animals don’t apologize for being sexual. You know, if there’s one thing. I mean, humans are very prudish about this. We don’t like to have sex – I mean, some people do, but – we don’t like to have sex in front of others. It’s in our bedrooms, under the covers, and if you happen to see a copulation event of any kind of primate or animal, for that matter, at a zoo or at a wildlife reserve, they’re just like, “Hey, what’s going on?” They’re just going at it.

Tucker:
They have no problem.

Carin:
Like, it doesn’t matter. That’s something that’s unique to our species, and I find that kind of fascinating. Like, what’s the big deal, guys?

Tucker:
Right. It kind of brings up something I read that I think you wrote or said. It’s one of my favorite quotes from you. It said, “Well, sex is just so much more than insert Part A into Slot B and hope offspring run around everywhere. The sexual strategies in reproductive structures that we see in the animal kingdom basically dictate how males and females react to each other, which then dictates how populations and societies form and evolve.” Which is a very profound point that I think a lot of people miss, is that sex is not just this isolated thing we do. It’s kind of the reason we exist, in a lot of ways and who we are and what we are is, in many or most ways, dictated by how we have sex, who we have sex with, who raises the offspring, et cetera, right?

Carin:
Absolutely. It’s echoed in absolutely every aspect of our lives, and that was, yeah, the main message I wanted to get across in my TED Talk. It’s not like this woman is coming on to talk about kinky sex. Which yes, okay, on one level, you could look at it like that. But on another level, let’s take a look at how sex impacts everything about our lives. As you said, it impacts how we live our day-to-day, how we raise offspring, how we interact with others, the jobs we have, the food we eat. Sex is everywhere, and I guess a really important point that I like to bring up is the impact of coercion, sexual coercion as we call in the biology world. This is called rape in the human world. In animals that are able to rape each other, where males are able to forcibly have sex with females, social structures are entirely different in animals where that’s not possible. And to me, that’s just a huge point about the power of sex and how that can cause or result in the way societies function.

Tucker:
Describe for our listeners how social structures tend to be different in the animals that can rape versus aren’t able to rape.

Carin:
So, we have a few groups of large mammals, for example, in elephants and hyenas, where females have something called a penile clitoris, and it’s an extension of the clitoral tissue that hangs externally and looks like a penis. So, if you’re just looking at these animals, it’s very difficult to tell if you’re looking at a male versus a female. Essentially, they both have penises. So, what has to happen with this penile clitoris is the female has to invert it inside her body, kind of like inside-outing a sock inside her body, and until she does this, males are not able to insert their penis. You can’t put a penis into a penis. It just doesn’t work. Looking at both elephants’ and hyenas’ societies, adult males are actually the lowest on the social totem pole, if you will. The groups are largely comprised of females. Related females, aunts, young children and once males reach sexual maturity, they’re often churned out of the group. And often males are loner. They may form small bachelor pods, whatever. But the point is, they’re very low on the social structure, so I find it really interesting that when you take the penis power away from a male, this is kind of how the societies evolve. The females have all the power.

Tucker:
Right. They’re matrilineal/matriarchal societies.

Carin:
Yeah. That’s correct.

Tucker:
And this is opposed to some sort of animal where rape is prevalent or possible. Pick a couple of your favorite examples. How do those structure differently?

Carin:
So, there’s immense diversity, and I don’t want to say this as the be-all end-all, but for example, if you do look at something like a class of primate, alpha-male scenario where you have, in a gorilla society, that alpha who’s huge and who’s the guy and he basically has a hammer flying, and this is kind of a common scenario in the animal kingdom. You also have a lot of sexual coercion and violence in chimpanzees. You don’t have it in bonobos, but you still do have large groups living together harmoniously, I guess you could say. You don’t have one sex necessarily yielding a lot of power over the other, but you could even draw that argument in and again, I don’t want to totally generalize human behavior, ‘cause it’s not my field, but human societies are dominated by men. There’s really no question about that. On some level, you could certainly say that that contributes to how social structures are formed in our species, too.

Tucker:
I totally agree, and I think that’s something we don’t talk about enough in society or even study enough in science, but what I want to talk about then…let’s maybe take what you know about animal societies and animal mating. What are some things that male animals do that maybe humans could learn from? Imagine I’m, like, an eighteen-year-old dude and I’m, like, kind of trying to figure out the world and I’m, like, kind of trying to figure out women a little bit, and I come to you and I say, “Dr. Bondar. You know so much about sex and animal sex and courtship displays and mating behavior. Is there anything I can learn from any animal?” You know?

Carin:
You know, it’s interesting because what a lot of people don’t realize is that males and females are not harmonious in our sexual needs. Females produce very expensive gametes. We have eggs. They take us a long time – well, we have all of them before we’re born, but as far as one of them reaching maturity every month and being ovulated and, you know, if that happens to get fertilized, we’re out of commission for a very long time. Nine months at least. And then blah blah blah. This is a very big commitment, whereas sperm on the other hand if exceedingly cheap. You have approximately a, I don’t know, 700 million sperms in each ejaculate and you can make, like, another one in ten minutes or I don’t know however long.

Tucker:
Yeah. Like, Bill Hicks used to say he kills entire civilizations with a sweatsock off his chest, yeah. Hundreds of millions.

Carin:
So many. So many, and so conceivably, pun intended, a male could fertilize a whole football stadium full of females. And a female, once she’s fertilized, takes nine months. That’s our species, but generally speaking, we see these same trends across the animal kingdom. So, this notion of romance, this notion of love and happy good times, good vibes…it’s not really, a lot of cases, males and females are very much conflicted in what they are looking for. So, in a lot of cases, we see very drastic methods for insemination. We don’t see candies and flowers. We see stabbing penises and sword-like appendages and plugging females’ genital openings off with nasty substances, and you know, I’m doing research right now for a book that I’m writing and I’m doing a chapter to work on gift-giving. ‘Cause you’d think, you know, males…you know, the idea of it makes sense. Males should get females a gift, so she gives it up for him. Okay. But in a lot of cases, males have been involved to get gifts that are just shams. Basically, they’re nothing except that the females get, “Oh, that’s really nice.” So, I would say what a lot of young guys can maybe learn from the animal kingdom in that regard is that humans are a little different, because we are not expecting to have all of the children that our bodies will physiologically allow. We’re not really interested in maximizing our biological fitness in that way. Being good to a girl is never a bad idea.

Tucker:
Right. Listen, I totally agree. So, you’re basic point is understand that women don’t approach sex the same way you do, so you need to understand how they approach sex, how they differ, and then say, “Oh, I get it. Women aren’t the exact same thing as guys.”

Carin:
That’s a good point. And it’s sort of reflective of the fact that, yeah, sex biologically is much, much more expensive for us and so I suppose there must be some kind of carryovers to the way that we think about it that makes it a lot more expensive. It’s emotionally, as well.

Tucker:
So, what are some things you see just with your friends or out or whatever. What are some things you see guys doing wrong, where you’re like, “Ugh. That’s just so, so wrong.” And it can be almost anything related to sex or dating or just interacting with women.

Carin:
Gosh. Where do I even being? And I won’t be too hard on men ‘cause I see women doing it wrong, too.

Tucker:
No, you should. No, I’m telling you, seriously, Dr. Bondar, you should be hard. This isn’t about putting men or women down. It’s about understanding each other so we can connect better. ‘Cause at the end of the day, I think we all wanna get together. It’s just…we kind of do it differently than women, and maybe if we both understand each other, we’ll do a better job getting together with the people we should be together with, you know?

Carin:
Okay, yeah, that’s a good point. So, I think that the first thing that I see is that people aren’t speaking the same language. This whole notion of new relationship energy or NRE kind of clouds your judgment in a lot of ways. I think the best thing for any relationship is for people to be on the same page. This is where I think males and females or females to females and just people in general are often just completely not on the same page. So, I do a lot of research on some dating sites and you see these guys that are, “Hey, Ladies. I’m not gonna say too much here ‘cause…well, let’s just meet.” It’s like, really? That’s the first thing you want to put out there? So, I think maybe the overconfidence, on some level, is a bit of self-foolery, so that could be one. A lot of women appreciate a guy who has thought about these things and who has something to say and who has formed an opinion about what it is that he’s looking for. And if what he’s looking for is a different woman every night and a whole lot of super fun sex, hey, no problem. That is a valid strategy for you. Just don’t be unclear about that.

Tucker:
Right. So, let’s unpack this a little bit, ‘cause you just said a ton of amazing things that guys need to hear. First thing you said was guys need to get on the same page as women, right? Okay, so, if I’m a young guy, Dr. Bondar, how do I get on the same page? I know what you mean, I totally know what you mean, but for a guy who doesn’t know what you mean, what’s a way for him to get on the same page?

Carin:
So, I think the first thing he has to do is he has to ask himself what his priorities are. What does he want? Because I think that maybe a lot of guys approach relationships and women not really knowing and just going, “Hey, let’s just try this out and go and have fun.” And I’m speaking to you as a 39-year-old woman as well. A 39-year-old divorced woman who just went through a break-up and went, “Ah! We were not on the same page!” I’m not a 20-year-old, so I think a 20-year-old guy and a 20-year-old girl will have totally different expectations about what they’re looking for. But I would say that a guy that is sort of serious about wanting to enter into a monogamous relationship or wanting to enter into any kind of relationship just needs to know what that looks like in his mind so that he can effectively communicate that to a potential partner.

Tucker:
Okay. So, let’s unpack that a little, ‘cause that’s fantastic advice and I totally agree. I think I was about, maybe, 24 or 25 in my life when I learned that lesson, and I learned it the hard way. I had been fooling myself for a long time, thinking, “Yeah, I want a girlfriend. I want a girlfriend.” And then I kind of got into a relationship and then I got out of it real quick and I hurt this girl a lot. I didn’t do it on purpose. I wasn’t trying to hurt her. It was just, like, I got into the relationship that I thought I wanted and I hated it, and I got out and she was obviously really pissed at me as she had every right to be. And it was like, she said a bunch of things that were hurtful but also very true, and it was one of those things that made me kind of look in the mirror and be like, “Alright, Tucker. If you just wanna fuck a bunch of girls, that’s okay. But you have to fucking be upfront and honest about this and stop playing a game with yourself.” ‘Cause that’s the thing. That’s the hard part for me. I was lying to myself, you know what I’m saying? And I think the reason was, a lot of guys get the message that they have to want to date girls. They’re not allowed to just kind of have fun, right?

Carin:
That is so key, because the same message is given to women. It’s our society. It’s a lesson in where we are as a western society, and I’m a perfect example of that. I got married super young, ‘cause it was my belief that that’s what I was supposed to do. So, maybe a lot of guys are fooled. They think, “Oh, I’m 25 now, I’m 30 now. So maybe I should be looking to settle down and get that house and get those kids and get the fence and whatever.” I think a lot of what’s happening nowadays is much more of a sexual revolution, where there really isn’t one right way to do things anymore or maybe there never was, but people are just kind of allowed to express their differences in unconventional relationships and unconventional lifestyles a lot more. Yeah, you don’t have to do the traditional thing if that’s not what’s gonna work for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t experience in order to find out, but just be honest with yourself about what you want your experience to be. And if, like you, if you find you’re in something and it’s not working for you, that’s okay too. You can conduct yourself in a way that’s just like, “You know what? This isn’t working for me. I’m sorry. It’s gonna be over.” Don’t go and be disrespectful to your partner by cheating or by engaging in activities that don’t make sense, I don’t know.

Tucker:
Or ignoring them or something like that. Right.

Carin:
Right! Or not seeing what their needs are. Like, if you’re not meeting their needs, then that’s half the battle. They have to meet yours. You have to meet theirs. I think maybe that’s where a lot of people go wrong, ‘cause this whole love thing gets us all riled up and we forget what our priorities are because we have these feelings. I mean, serotonin and dopamine are very strong and they can make us go crazy. I think that that, again, that’s where your friends and other people in your life can help you sort of get through things like that, ‘cause they can be overwhelmingly strong and you can do a lot of damage to yourself and to other people.

Tucker:
Totally agree. This is a great conversation. Let’s tie it back into what you study, which is sort of signaling, right? ‘Cause I’ll hear guys that kind of will have this problem and they’ll hear this and they’ll say, “Okay, how do I tell women what I want?” Because they’ll think – and I know, Dr. Bondar, you’re thinking that’s ridiculous, you just say it. That’s what’s crazy, is that I think guys and girls, especially. But I think in this specific issue, guys have a lot of problems communicating effectively what they want out of a relationship with a woman. You know what I’m saying?

Carin:
Yeah. I do.

Tucker:
So, let’s say I’m a guy who wants to be single and experience a lot of women. How do I say that in a way that doesn’t sound creepy? Like, if I say, “Hey, I just wanna fuck a bunch of girls and that’s it,” then of course I’m a loser-creep, right? So, what’s a way for me to signal this in a way that’s not creepy, but gets the point across?

Carin:
Yeah. It’s interesting. There’s a reason why your books are so popular, ‘cause I think a lot of people struggle with this very notion. Maybe that is never going to not sound creepy to the people you don’t want to reach, okay? So, if there’s women that want to get married, settle down, and whatever, there’s never going to be a good way to communicate that. But that’s fine, ‘cause that’s not who you should be dating. As far as just being really blunt and saying, “I just want to fuck a bunch of girls,” that’s maybe a little bit rude. Save that for your boyfriends or for your guys, whatever. But like I said, I do a lot of this research and I read these dating profiles and any profile that is thoughtful really kind of rings true for me, and the thoughtful ones can include “I am not looking to settle down. I am looking for friends and more and this and that. I am not looking for that one special someone. I think lots of people have cool things to contribute to my life and to the world.” I think there’s always ways that you can communicate things to make the not obnoxious. I think maybe guys need to think a little bit more about that. I don’t know where they get it from. But this overconfidence, this “Hey, ladies. I’m God’s gift, right?” I don’t understand where guys get this, because really. Even the ones that are, how do I say this politely…phenotypically challenged. They’re still out there, “Hey, look, this is me with my shirt off!” And it’s just like, you know?

Tucker:
That’s such a good phrase, phenotypically challenged. If I saw that on a dating profile, I’d be like, I need to date this girl. If she knows what phenotypically challenged means…Just for the listeners that don’t know what that means, that basically means that you have your genes and then you have the expression on the genes, which is called the phenotype. So, what Dr. Bondar is saying is the expression of your genes is real bad.

Carin:
Like, you’re ugly. And I love doing this as sort of just a social experiment, because that’s another thing. You can have a potentially good-looking photo of yourself but then just wreck it by what you say.

Tucker:
Right. Even if you are good-looking, being an asshole about it makes you less good-looking.

Carin:
Absolutely.

Tucker:
So, can you think of some examples of, like, “Oh, this guy was good-looking and then he said this or he commented this way, and I’m like, ‘ugh. Such a turn-off.’” Can you think of some specific things that guys do?

Carin:
I think anything that kind of just speaks to a level of shallowness, for me, is a big turn-off. And I don’t even think that a lot of times, guys realize when they’re doing it, so this might be a good thing for some of your listeners to think about. Things that just show off that maybe you don’t give a shit about the world – am I allowed to say that? Sorry.

Tucker:
Of course, of course. I’ve been cursing like a drunken sailor. Are you kidding?

Carin:
Things that basically would demonstrate that your judging people or situations or things without having information about them or that you kind of…it’s very easy to pick out arrogance. I don’t really think guys understand how easy it is for a girl to look and just go, wow. You might be super hot, but if you have 25 photos of headshots on a dating profile…Right away. Bye-bye.

Tucker:
Right. This is a question I get all the time. In your mind, what do you see the difference between arrogance and confidence being?

Carin:
Yeah. Great question. Confidence comes with a security in yourself and an easy-goingness and just an ability to let the world happen to you and experience it however you’re going to. Arrogance is the complete opposite, because oftentimes arrogance is insecurity. It’s a reflection of a feeling of not feeling like you’re good enough, so you have to overcompensate by kind of being a jerk and by acting aggressive. So, there’s a difference between acting as though you’re secure in yourself and not even acting. Because if you’re secure in yourself, you just are. But then overcompensating by just being a jerk.

Tucker:
So, what would be a good example? That’s a fantastic description, but think of, like, a picture of a guy where you’re like, that guy is confident. And then tweak the picture a little bit and be like, oh, he’s arrogant.

Carin:
Yeah. Okay.

Tucker:
So, what would be a good example?

Carin:
I was just in Mexico recently, and I was with some people that I knew, and the one person – guy – had rented a beachfront house, right there on the beach. And great! Okay. So, this speaks to your financial stability. This speaks to your taste in location – it was a beautiful resort, whatever, whatever. So, we go there and this guy is playing really obnoxious, cursive music. Brought his own stereo from home, right? And it’s a public beach right beneath, and it’s sex-driven and I don’t even wanna say the words on your program, but it’s like the most disgusting language you can imagine. And he’s like, “You know what I’m gonna say if anybody comes up to me and says something about the music? I’m gonna say, get your ass down to the beach, ‘cause I rented this condo!” And it’s like…

Tucker:
You’re making this up. This is amazing. This is incredible. Hold on. He brought a stereo system to Mexico?

Carin:
Yep. This was somebody that I didn’t know before this trip. I have to say.

Tucker:
Oh, my god. I want to get him on this show and just laugh at him for an hour. Oh, my god, this is such an amazing example. Okay.

Carin:
In addition to the fact that he was already being a jerk by playing this music, but even me, as somebody in the company of this little villa. I didn’t even want to hear it, much less the families that are right down on the beach, listening to this…you know what I’m talking about. The kind of music that’s just totally bad words and so on.

Tucker:
It’s not music you play at a beach where you’re having fun at high volume. If you’re with people, socializing, yeah, I get it. It makes total sense.

Carin:
But then there was this additional step, because he was already ready in his mind. “Do you know what I’m gonna say to people if they complain?” You know what I mean? So, he was already ready for a fight, and I was just like, wow. If you could be anymore textbook of how not to behave in order to be attractive to someone of the opposite sex, I don’t know what you could do. So, there’s our scenario. Fine. So, now we take it and we go, okay. A confident guy. Same beautiful resort, same beautiful condo. We don’t make obnoxious noises with our stereo. We simply enjoy the way it is there and if we’d like to play some music in our room, we’ll do this, but we’ll also be aware that there’s other people around us and we don’t need to be doormats to them, either, if somebody else is being really loud and obnoxious, I would like to think that someone would say, “Hey. It’s great that you’re having a great holiday, but it’s a bit obnoxious for us.” Or something, you know?

Tucker:
Alright. So I think the first thing is you don’t bring your own stereo to Mexico. Let’s start there. So, you don’t bring your own stereo to Mexico. The second thing you do is – and this actually ties back into something that you talked about earlier, when you said men don’t understand women. They don’t think that sometimes women have different sexual needs, et cetera. This is just basically understanding other people. You know, it’s funny, I have in my car two – I used to have four – I have two 12-inch subwoofers and 1000-watt amps. So, you hear cars going down the street and that massive bass, right? I’m one of those assholes. But, for the most part, I don’t play that when other people are in the car with me unless they love that music, too, ‘cause if they don’t, then it’s like, what kind of a dick am I being? That’s ridiculous, right?

Carin:
See, that’s arrogance versus confidence, right there.

Tucker:
Right. Confidence is what I like. Arrogance is imposing it on other people and being combative about it. And the fact that he hasn’t read the group socially to understand…Here’s the thing. I can imagine 19-year-old girls who might think that behavior was cool. Right? But professional, doctorate-holding women in their thirties are rarely going to find that behavior cool. So, he had no ability to read the social situation and say, “Hey. Maybe I should adjust my behavior slightly. I don’t have to change who I am. But maybe I don’t pull out the massive stereo and play obnoxious music. Maybe I play Carlos Santana or something that makes sense for the social situation. Now, what I’ve displayed to these people is that I can understand them as well as myself and now I’m attractive and confident instead of a combative asshole.” Would you agree?

Carin:
It’s a selfishness versus an ability to read the other folks around you. Females are intuitively very good at reading the people around them. Males, females, whatever. Our gut intuition is very, very strong. And sometimes it’s not as strong with males, so that’s okay as long as they know this and they listen to advice like the advice that we’re giving, which is, yeah. By all means, if you like music, play music, but then when there’s other people around, your opinions about the music aren’t the only ones that matter.

Tucker:
I think there’s another more subtle point in your amazing example that I’m gonna laugh about for days. You kind of brought it up at the beginning. You said he rented this really nice house in this really good location. So, if he had just done that and said nothing else about the house, anything else, just acted like a normal person, then how much more attractive would he have been? Like, ten times more because you know who rented the house. You know who picked it. But he doesn’t have to say it. If he says it, it makes him unattractive. Sort of like if I have to tell you that I’m powerful, I’m not powerful.

Carin:
That’s a really good one, because again, females especially are intuitive. We know, like, it’s so obvious you rented the house. So obvious that you did that. And I think it’s a very common characteristic in males in many, many situations. I was just working in San Francisco the other week and it was the cutest little thing, when I go there to work, I’m working with people that are quite a bit younger than me and one of the guys at the desk beside me turns to the girl at the desk behind him and he’s like, “Oh, that game? I have that game. Yeah. Beat it a couple times.”

Tucker:
“Well, I’m gonna sleep with you now!” Right. Of course.

Carin:
You know, but it was his need to – I was just like, oh my god, that’s adorable. But that’s this on kind of another level. You don’t need to say it. We’re able to see that that also speaks to a lack of confidence. If you have that confidence, you know that you don’t have to shout it out to us all the time, ‘cause we don’t need to hear it.

Tucker:
I can’t agree more. This is a lesson that took me I don’t know how long to learn. It took me a decade or more to learn it. I’m still not very good at it, but now at least I know what I don’t know. But that’s such a great example of confidence, is doing really good things and then not feeling the need to push them in front of other people’s face. Let them find out. So, you could imagine a situation where this guy rents the house, doesn’t bring his stereo, acts like a normal person, and he’s probably very attractive to you, as opposed to the situation that happened, where he was totally unattractive, and it’s almost like four, five different things that are really simple to change and you have a totally different view of this guy.

Carin:
Yeah. That’s right, and it’s these things that on some level a guy might think that’s really manly, but a girl would just be like, “ooh.” So, we have to sort of learn to appreciate the differences in our values between the sexes, and females do this with other females, as well. We might be like, “Well, her nails are really pretty,” and guys are like, “Nails? Why do you care?” So, we all have our own intrasexual competitiveness, and I guess what we need to think about when we’re looking for a relationship is how do you let go of those within sex, competitive things and start looking between the sexes at what somebody who is potentially eyeing you up as a mate might be interpreting from your actions.

Tucker:
Excellent advice. So, you said earlier you have kids, right?

Carin:
I do, yeah.

Tucker:
So, I assume maybe one or two boys, something like that?

Carin:
Yeah. I have two boys and two girls.

Tucker:
Okay. So, are the boys starting to get, like, puberty-age or are they still young?

Carin:
The oldest is nine, so they’re still really young. You know, it’s interesting, as a biologist, they have an amazing dad. I chose extremely well. I don’t have any worries about how his influence is going to be amazing on their lives. But yes, they’re getting not to the point of being prepubescent and sexual, but just to the point of being kind of obnoxious.

Tucker:
Right. Alright, so, they’re kind of in the annoying stage, but they’re gonna start getting into the really annoying puberty stage soon. So, given all your knowledge and experience and training with animal sexuality and stuff like that, have you thought about what you’re going to talk about to any of your children? How you’re gonna teach them about sex and dating, but specifically the guys especially?

Carin:
Yeah. I have a very, very open policy about anything. I mean, just ‘cause of my background and because of…I’m very comfortable talking about anything. It’s kind of funny. People joke to me, like, “Wow, when your kids see your videos, they’re gonna hate you.” And I was like, yeah, they’re probably gonna hate me, but all of their friends are gonna be like, “Okay, we need to ask her something.”

Tucker:
Hold on. Hold on. Why would they think your kids are gonna hate you? Your videos are great.

Carin:
Yeah. I guess, maybe it’s just embarrassing if Mom is out there talking about penises and stuff.

Tucker:
Alright. Okay. I could see that. Except, I don’t know, man, maybe I’m weird, but when I was 13 years old, if I had a hot mom who was doing sex videos on YouTube, I would be, like, the coolest kid at my school.

Carin:
Right? And I think they are. And I am still learning about relationships, so I mean, how can I even counsel my children about this? But I think I would speak to them in a very similar way to how we have been speaking today, which is just honesty – always the best policy. Respect – always the best policy. And just don’t be a jerk to anybody. Ever.

Tucker:
Let me ask you, then, and that’s great advice. I totally know what you mean. Be honest, be respectful, and don’t be a fucking dick and you’re gonna be fine.

Carin:
Whatever that means!

Tucker:
Right, but here’s the thing. A lot of guys don’t really understand what that means. So, they’ll think that, “Okay. I’m honest,” so they’ll go up and be like, “Hey, I wana have sex. Do you wanna have sex?” And I’m just like, no, that’s not honesty. That’s kind of being rude in a way. And then they’ll say, “Oh, I’m respecting her,” and then they sort of act like a doormat. They’re like, “Oh, can I do anything for you?” It’s like, everything’s like, almost like servile. This might not be a problem with your kids, but let’s assume it is. They don’t understand the balance. How do you teach that balance? Is there a way? I’m still trying to figure that out in helping the audience. So, what’s the way to do that, you think?

Carin:
Another sort of important aspect of our biology, too, I think, is that there’s different stages of it. So, when you are young and you’re just learning to explore, there’s certain themes that have to stay throughout. Honesty, integrity, and respect. Always. No matter what. But young guys are gonna want to just bone a bunch of females. Like, that’s kind of what they’re built to do. That’s what’s supposed to happen. And girls are gonna get their hearts broken by guys. That’s also very much par for the course. So, I don’t know if there’s one specific formula that’s gonna work for everybody, but if you just stick with those things. With being as honest as you can, and that’s not always easy. It’s not always easy to say, “Hey, we had sex last week, but I’m kind of over it now and I’m moving on to Jenny down the block.” That’s very hard to say, but imagine how much heartache could be solved if we just stopped wasting each other’s time by hoping we’re gonna get back together or hoping that things are gonna be better or solved or, you know, “I’m gonna change him into thinking that he’s gonna become what I want or I’m gonna make him what I want.” We just do so many things that make it complicated. Respect for the other person. I can’t say it enough, as someone who has been around both ends of that – I’ve been on the end of being respected so much and I have also been on the end of being treated like garbage, and it’s like, wow.

Tucker:
So, let’s dig into that. What respect actually means on a granular level when two people are interacting, I think, is something that a lot of people don’t talk about. And it’s like, people say, “Oh, respect,” and everybody nods their heads, but nobody actually knows what it means. So, can you think of some examples? They don’t have to be from your life. Just whatever, of like, okay. This is respectful behavior and this is disrespectful behavior. Things that might seem ambiguous, and I think a big one that you talked about already is understanding women. And for a guy, if you understand sort of the perspective the woman is coming from, what her wants and needs are, then at the very least, you’re respectful enough to understand she’s another separate person with her own identity, her own desires, her own thoughts and feelings. That’s a basic level of respect. But what are some things you can think about where especially guys that are disrespectful that they don’t even understand?

Carin:
So, I think a really good rule of thumb is that anything that you’re doing in your life, whether it is flirting at the ballpark or texting with someone you met here or there or talking with your guy friends, a good rule of thumb is, “Would my partner be okay that I was doing this?” And that’s not to say you need to be living under the thumb of a partner who doesn’t want you to do any of these things. These are perfectly natural things to do. But I think if there ever comes a point where, “No, I’m sure Sally would hate it that I am XOXOing with this person or that I made out with this person.” Anything that comes up. I think we can all use that as a sort of general rule of thumb, and I’m not saying flirting is bad. I love flirting. I love men. I think, again, this is where humans get a little caught up. We’re built this way. We’re built to appreciate each other and be attracted to each other and that kind of thing, and when you get married or when you get in a relationship, these things don’t end. This is not the problem, the fact that you still want to do these things. It’s just that, if it’s something that’s gonna be a dealbreaker for your partner, that’s when you have to look at it. I think, and maybe this is just me being a little more mature talking, a lot of women are like, “Yeah, go do it. I flirt all the time. Let’s just keep our clothes on.” You know what I mean? Flirting’s not bad.

Tucker:
So, you’re talking about, in this case, in the context of a relationship. But I think it’s almost the exact same thing in the context of…even if it’s not a relationship. It’s sort of thinking….Like, it’s funny, the rule of thumb I usually give guys is, “Are you treating this girl the same way you would treat your sister or your mom or some woman in your life you care about? What if someone did what you’re doing to her to your mom?” Then, if you’re like, “Oh, man, I’d be really pissed off,” then you need to evaluate your own behavior.

Carin:
True. That’s tough, because I think that when you’re talking about feelings between the sexes, your relatives like your mom or your sister…it’s this whole other level that you have. And we have this capacity to hurt each other without really meaning to, sometimes. When it’s somebody of the opposite sex that we have had really intense feelings for and we don’t have those same feelings for our siblings or cousins or whatever. But again, it just does come down to, just treat everybody with a certain level of respect. But yeah, as a single guy, I think you couldn’t do better than to just let girls know what your intentions are. You know? There’s a lot of girls out there that are happy to have sex, too. That’s not a problem. Just letting them know ahead of time is just so critical.

Tucker:
Listen, I could not agree more, which actually brings up a really good question. I know a lot of guys who are like, “Alright. I’m totally honest. I just want to kind of have casual relationships and I tell girls this and girls get put off by it. Some girl will get put off by it, and then I’ll see that same girl go hook up with another guy.” I’ll be like, well, okay. Let’s assume that you guys are at the same attractiveness level, which, clearly may not be the case. Here’s a good way of framing this question: What do you see guys doing – the guys that are asking for casual relationships or engaging in casual relationships, the successful ones – what are they doing that the guys who aren’t in those relationships doing? You know what I’m saying? And I’m talking about guys who are honest about it with women who want the same thing, you know? What do you see?

Carin:
So, I see a couple of things. I see the guys that are successful at it settling for – not settling, that’s a bad word – choosing to partner up with women who are also successful at it. The guy who tells the girl, “Look, I just want to hook up casually,” and the girl who goes, “Okay, no. Not for me.” Okay. That’s not who you should be batting for, then. So, I have another friend who is quite wealthy and who is not attractive and who likes to hook up with attractive women. So, he buys them things and then they hook up and this works for them. It’s a win-win. It’s a nuptial gift in a fly, or a Gucci handbag for the human.

Tucker:
So, he finds gold-diggers, basically, is what you’re saying.

Carin:
Totally! This is called prostitution. It’s the oldest lifestyle for many, many animals, including our own species. So, this works for them. Who am I to judge? Okay. Go too. But the guys who want to have their cake and eat it, too. The guys who want the girl next door. The honest, loving, caring girl who is going to give him all of her but they don’t want to give her all of him.

Tucker:
They don’t expect anything back, yeah.

Carin:
This is where rock meets rock. So, if your goal is casual sex, don’t go looking for Julie next door or whomever. That’s probably not what she wants, and don’t feel hurt when she doesn’t want that, ‘cause she wants the guy who’s gonna give her what she wants.

Tucker:
That’s such amazing advice, and I think it’s lost on so many guys. I know I didn’t understand this for a lot of years, is I want everything and you can’t have everything. You can have lots of emotionally unconnected casual sex, which for a certain point in your life, can be a lot of fun. Or you can have a really great relationship that’s emotionally connected and beneficial or whatever, but it’s either gonna be monogamous or basically monogamous, or pretty close.

Carin:
Yeah. I really – like in principle, I totally agree with Chris Ryan. I hope you are interviewing Chris Ryan for this podcast.

Tucker:
Yeah, Chris was great. Yeah.

Carin:
Okay, sweet. In principle, I am with Chris without question. His deal is that polygamy is very natural and polyamory is the natural way that humans evolved. But I don’t think our brains can handle it. We want to, and our bodies want to, but it’s just like – I dated for a while, a guy who was married and they were a polyamorous couple. And god, was it ever complicated. Like, every time we went out, the wife had to know and this and that, and he had to be home by ten. We can’t handle it.

Tucker:
I lived with a girl who was bisexual and kind of dated her, and it was like, yeah. It’s like one of those things that as a 19-year-old you dream about and then you get it and you’re like, this is kind of shitty after the sixth threesome or whatever. You’re like, oh god, this is terrible.

Carin:
It makes so much sense on paper. But just, yeah. I think, like you said before, you can have this way or you can have this way, and in very rare instances can you have that middle way. Very rare.

Tucker:
It’s not impossible. It’s just very difficult and there aren’t a lot of people who—

Carin:
It’s like a full-time job. Yeah.

Tucker:
Exactly, right. Exactly.

Carin:
Most of us have other things to do.

Tucker:
So, Dr. Bondar, I want to thank you. This has been an amazing podcast, and I would love to have you back sometime. You’ve been an amazing guest. Thank you very much.

Carin:
It’s been my pleasure to be here. Thank you so much.

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