Ep. #51 Accessing the Power of Emotional Transference with David Tian
After a break up, striking out with a girl you're really into or just generally not getting anywhere with your dating efforts, most men's reaction is to pull back. You hide your emotions. You bury them deep.
Scientific research clearly demonstrates the power each of our emotions can have over others. It shows that "emotions are contagious" as the saying goes.
Today we explore this theme, some of the academic research, and more importantly a long time practitioner of an emotional style of relating to and seducing women, David Tian (also known as The Asian Rake), talks about his experiences and how using your emotions works in practice.
David recently released his personal "emotional transference" based method in his Desire System. I personally found this to be a very mature, deep, healthy and effective course. You can read more about what I thought of it in my review.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- How David was forced to focus on elements of himself that led him to become a "Rake" during his stay in China.
- David's relationship stats, background including details on the longer time he's spent in relationships vs many other dating coaches, including a marriage and how his dating lifestyle is today.
- How David ended up taking the name "The Asian Rake" which he first became well known for as an effective seducer in the year 2007.
- Comparison of characters in the public eye that David sees as Rakes, versus those that Robert Greene identified when we spoke with him recently.
- The natural Iranian Rake and the story of how David first came face to face with the results the Rake personality gets and got inspired to investigate it more.
- Different viewpoints of what the fundamental attributes behind the Rake are - do you have to love women? is there room for any misogyny?
- The dangers and anti-climax of a long seduction or build up before having sex with a girl, especially when it ends up you both ending up in bed very late at night.
- More emotional aspects of your character that you may shun, but can actually work well for you with women. Love of deserts, candy and sugar and teddy bears.
- The proportion of female friends that can help you develop your Rake character.
- How to balance your Rake feminine side with your masculine through investment of your time in manly activities.
- A strange Chinese historical story that illustrates some of the advanced mechanics of being a Rake.
- How men need to learn that they are not just one person, or personality, and access the multiple dimensions beneath them.
- Truth bombs: "You kind of have to be detached to get good at this.".
- Where David disagrees with how Robert Greene looks at the obsessive personality of the Rake.
- Blast from the past: Reminiscing on MrSex4UNYC, one of the earliest successful pickup artists from the 1998 to 2002 years.
- Digging into the science behind emotional transference, mirror neurons and the studies and research supporting it.
- The problems with parental investment theory from evolutionary psychology and how women's long term driven sexuality has been put into question by harder data on their physiology captured in studies.
- The mechanics and a process for taking control of your emotions.
- What exactly is 'being confident'? How do you actually create confidence and project confidence in the right way? (Not arrogance or bravado).
- How to build your own self-reliance and confidence though the experiences you pursue in life and David's story of a recent self-reliance building experience he had.
- David Tian's top 3 recommendations for men to act on to get results with women as fast as possible.
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- The Desire System review: Our review of David's course where he teaches emotional transference, awareness of and controlling emotions to become a Rake style seducer. You can go directly to check out The Desire System on David's site here.
- DSP Episode 19 with David Tian: Last time David joined me on the podcast we discussed Asian women, Asian culture and how it affects dating and relationships.
- DSP Episode 47 with Robert Greene: We also discussed the Rake at length with bestselling author Robert Greene just recently, who infamously covered the archetype in his book, "The Art of Seduction".
- A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal, 2004: The study carried out by Meredith Chivers PhD based on hard physical data that revealed that women have a wider range of arousal than men, and put the "parental investment" theory from evolutionary science and many other of their theories into question.
- The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy: David recommends reading the infamous fifty shades series to better understand how women really think about romance and sexuality.
- Marcus Aurelius' Meditations: Marcus Aurelius was a greek philosopher, and the last and most developed of the 'stoic' philosophers. Stoicism has deep connections to the issue of Self Reliance we discussed. "Every man should read it".
Books, Courses and Training from David Tian (Asian Rake)
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[David Tien]: Really?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, you were.
[David Tien]: Awesome. I did not know that.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, I know. People loved that show. It's kind of funny, because it's just about Asia and Asian women. It's kind of a niche subject, but it still turned out to be the top one.
[David Tien]: That's great. It's cool to hear. I love talking to you. I love being on here.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, me too, and great to have you back on the show. It's awesome to have you here. Last time, we didn't really go a lot into your background. It's something I've started doing with a lot of people here now. Could you just give us a quick background of how you got into this whole dating and relationship stuff? What happened?
[David Tien]: Well, when I was 25, I got married. I was a conservative Christian, Chinese-Canadian boy, who wanted to have guilt-free sex. I married the sweet girl that I was dating at the time, and then of course it did go well, because I had no clue about relationships.
I was insecure and so on, and it fell apart after about four or five years. We were separated and we were in different parts of the world, and I needed to get my social life back together, let alone my dating life. I didn't even have a social life.
I was lucky enough to have met, at the university campus, one of the key guys in this pickup artist community at the time. This was almost a decade ago. It was Christian Hudson, who now runs The Social Man.
He was my first mentor and just got me started, an entree into this whole world. I'm a very avid learner, so I just devoured all of this information really quickly and went out and applied it as much as I could.
Then I went to China and tried it there. What was great about China was, as I was getting better in Chinese, my game and results got better. But I was forced to focus on the nonverbals, because my Chinese fluency wasn't as good at the beginning.
That really forced me to get back to the fundamentals and focus on body language, just the sound of my voice, the strict tonality itself, fashion, and eye contact.
That's really where the rake style became my main thing, because it wasn't so much about eloquence or a lot of routines or complicated words. It was a lot more about just understanding, feeling your emotions and letting those take hold.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, I want to dig quite deeply into all of the rake thing in a minute, because basically, as you said, you started right from that at the beginning, and I want to look into why that was, apart from what you just said.
Quickly, let's cover a few other things. How old are you right now?
[David Tien]: I just turned 37 a few months ago.
[Angel Donovan]: Where do you live?
[David Tien]: I moved to Singapore to become a professor of Asian Philosophy and Religion at the National University of Singapore. Then a few years into that, I resigned to go full time into starting the Aura Dating Academy, which is my company here, which trains people in dating and relationships.
That's very successful now. We've had hundreds of live clients, and thousands of people all over the world who have benefited from the materials we've been putting out.
Yes, it came down to a choice of do I want to make a difference in a very important part of people's lives, which is relationships, or do I want to keep teaching college kids something very erudite and abstract that they may never use in their lives?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, I can totally understand how you switched there. How many women would you say you've slept with to date?
[David Tien]: Oh, over 200. I haven't been counting for years.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, that tends to happen. I stopped counting somewhere around 80, and then that was a few years ago.
[David Tien]: Yes, I stopped counting around 150, but even then, I passed 150 and it got really fuzzy. I just kind of guesstimated.
[Angel Donovan]: How many relationships have you had?
[David Tien]: Wow. Well, significant ones is the ex-wife, and after that, I would say five relationships that really mattered. Each lasted more than a year.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, you just came out of one that was quite long. You've had really long relationships.
[David Tien]: Yes, I just came out of one that was four years exclusive.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, and then your marriage was how long?
[David Tien]: Seven years total, seven years. I'm an old guy.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent. What is your dating and relationships lifestyle like today? Are you happy with it, or are you changing it?
[David Tien]: Now, I got out of a longer relationship. I didn't just get out of it. I think it's been now more than half a year, from a four year relationship. I'm not in any mood to settle down in terms of forming deep attachments.
One interesting thing that changed a lot is I used to do a lot of dates, and I would close on the first date. I'd try to close on the first date and really gun for it.
Now I'll put in maybe fifteen minutes, and if it's not a done deal, I'll either friend zone her - and I love just having female friends. It's great. Or I'll just next her, and I don't have the patience to invest any more time.
[Angel Donovan]: You do the coffee dates kind of thing?
[David Tien]: Yes, exactly. No coffee dates, no cocktail dates.
[Angel Donovan]: Oh, I thought you are doing coffee dates. How do you make a fifteen minute date?
[David Tien]: Oh, I just go clubbing and I just escalate hard core. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Usually, half the time I go out, something happens. Then there's just exploring, just more extreme lifestyles.
I think when you've decided in your mind that you're after something short term and you get really good at the sex - I remember I sent you some emails about me exploring this different knowledge, like the squirting thing I asked you about.
I've been really training myself in the sexual area. I got one on one coaching in tantric sex, which was just awesome, three days of intensive one on one. I think I'm putting out a vibe. It's emotional transference again, and it's been attracting a certain type of a girl, the girls that are looking for a good time.
I don't judge, I just give them that we're all going to have a good time. I've had quite a lot of group experiences in the past half year that have been fun. I'm just having a lot of fun. I'm just having a lot of fun.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, man. It does sound like you're having a lot of fun, and you'll have to give me the reference for that tantric sex coach afterwards, because that's something I want to get into, too.
Awesome, let's talk about the Asian rake and where he came from. How did you decide that name? You just mentioned that you had to focus on your fundamentals, which weren't language. Is that where it really came from originally? Why did you decide to call yourself the Asian rake?
[David Tien]: It turns out that I'm a very emotional guy, so my horoscope, if you believe in things like that, is a dragon Scorpio, which is the most explosive, baroque, dramatic figure, when you combine the two. It's crazy.
[Angel Donovan]: I didn't know that.
[David Tien]: I'm the crazy drama dude, and if I can channel that emotion into something productive, it's very instructive. I've found that I was just this boiling cauldron of emotions, but I read the description of the rake in Robert Green's book, Art of Seduction.
It helped me see when I was effective and why I was effective when I was effective. That made me decide that I would specialize in this style and explore that even more. I just amplified everything. I had to see how far I could take it.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. When we had Robert Green on a couple of months back, he gave us some specific examples. We were talking about who could be rake role models in today's society, who would we look at if people wanted to understand what a rake is like.
Some of the guys we came up with were Mick Jagger, Tiger Woods, Russel Brand, 50 Cent, Ben Affleck, Bill Clinton. Are there any guys you have in your mind, that are obviously in the public mind's eyes, so everyone can see them, who you've been inspired from or you think they represent true rakes?
[David Tien]: Yes. Well, I don't know these people personally. Tom Cruise in Top Gun. I know the characters in the movies. Tom Cruise in Top Gun definitely. To me, Bill Clinton, I haven't read enough about his personal life. He might be like a rake, but he seems to be more like a charismatic, and that was my sub-character.
When I was in situations where I wasn't just hitting on girls, like just trying to get sex fast, and I was just hanging around and there were girls in the social circle, the rake style is not great for that, when you're trying to preserve social value over the long term, like when you're doing social circle games.
The charismatic style is a lot better suited to those situations. I look to Bill Clinton actually as an example of a charismatic, emulating his charm, really laid back.
But yes, the rake - there's one guy. Let me tell you about this one guy. He's Iranian. He's an Iranian citizen, speaks Russian fluently, has a medical degree. I think he practiced medicine for a little while, as a resident in Moscow.
I met him in Beijing through a mutual contact, and this guy was the quickest, most effective seducer I've met in my life still to this point, that I've seen. He didn't speak a single word of Chinese.
He was there to learn Chinese, but he was a total beginner, and I never heard him try to speak Chinese. When we were out, everything he did was just pure emotional transference.
He had this sexy tonality, he had great body language, and he had a decent body. He was a little bit taller than me, good shape, and wasn't a model or anything. He would do the whole, "I'm in love with you."
He'd stop the girl and his opener would be, "I'm in love with you," and he'd do that thing where he'd stick his lips out and he'd do it very seductively, and he'd do it with unblinking eye contact, where it's this soft eye contact.
He would put his head side to side, inquisitively. Everywhere in the world, I think women understand the English word "love." A few times, the girls would say to their friend - he'd say, "I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you."
The target would look to her friend and say, [Chinese 00:14:19] "He wants to make love with me?" But then I'd translate for him, "They think you want to fuck them." Then he's like, "Oh, she's already thinking about sex. She's already thinking about sex."
He's like, "No, no, no, I don't want to make love to you. I'm in love with you." This is the verbal content of his entire interaction, just this whole, "I'm in love with you, I'm in love with you."
It's almost like this Horse Whisperer, or like Crocodile Dundee, where he looks at the girl and then just hypnotizes her with his eyes and his voice, and then they're making out.
I remember the third time we're hanging out. I was on the phone with some girl. We were at a club, and he was in front of me. He was telling me some stuff. I looked at my phone to check my text message, and when I looked up, after reading one text message, he was making out with some girl.
I didn't even see her there. He was just sitting there, making out with her. It wasn't that uncommon to have that happen. The first time I hung out with him, he got me kissing this girl in ten minutes at a club, and then in the cab on the way home, he's like, "When you fuck her, you've got to remember to thank me. Remember to thank me when you fuck her."
I was like, "Whatever, whatever." I get home, it's 2:00 am. She texts me, "Where are you?" I said, "I'm at home." She's like, "What's the address?" I couldn't believe it. I went and met her downstairs, and he was so right.
After that, I was like, "Dude, I've got to hang out with this guy no matter what." He was rake all the way. I just started to copy that, integrated it into my identity and my style. That became my main way of going about things, wherever I went. It was just my go-to style.
[Angel Donovan]: Great. Then it was 2005? Whereabouts was that?
[David Tien]: It was '06, '07, '08.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, cool. One of the things you say in your court, which is all about this, is your strength is your desire. Is it all about that? Is that what you would sum the rake up as?
[David Tien]: Yes. Maybe some guys have noticed this. If you're not horny, or if you have low testosterone and you go out and try to meet women - it's a Friday night, let's say, and you've worked from 8:00 am and you've got no mojo, you've got no drive in your eyes - I've done this on nights where I've worked really hard.
Then after work, I go out, because I feel like I should go out, and I've got nothing happening. I just get discouraged, and I realize it's just because I'm tired. I'm really, really tired. If I took a blood test, my T levels would probably be really low.
That's a big part of it. Managing your biochemistry, so that you can call up this tremendous fountain of emotion and energy, and then you control it. That's where the power's at.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, because I was going to talk to you about this. This is where I've been looking at it for a while, because when you're doing this rake stuff, you're shining this light of your charisma, of your emotions, on the girl. It's like this energy just goes into her.
I got this idea from a natural friend of mine. He was in Shanghai, and he just had so much energy. He must have good genes or something. This guy was unstoppable. He would party all night, he would go all day working. He just had so much energy, it would make you jealous, because he was never tired.
He would always be the last one in the party, still going, and every time he turned to a girl and he switched his energy on her, or guys, or the whole group, he would just get them all a bit more energetic and get them to get up and do stuff.
It was really like he just chose where to put this light and shine it on them, and it would get passed around. Can you relate to that? Is that something you think about, too?
[David Tien]: It's something like that. One of my clients here is super high energy. I was just out with him Saturday night, and he was just unstoppable. In fact, he's so loud that he overpowers conversations in the near proximity.
If I'm talking to a girl and he just starts his thing, everybody just looks at him and it's kind of cock blocking. Like, "Dude, tone it down." But he's drawing everybody in like a fucking whirlwind, and he picks girls up and they all want to get on him.
That's a style that is very effective, obviously, in certain venues. I would need to have that energy. That's the amount of energy that you would need - that if you could call on, that would be very powerful. But the rake energy is controlled. You can't just be this wildfire, like a scorched earth method energy.
It's more like Cyclops, like the X-Man? That's what I'm talking about, because for me, I have relatively large eyes for an Asian guy. I noticed that I coped the Iranian guy, just doing this hypnosis thing on girls, just through eye contact, like a trance.
If I widen my eyes, and I can try to dilate my eyes on purpose, like consciously, just by opening up my eyes more and just thinking really horny thoughts, I can dilate my pupils. Then my eyes are really wide, and it girls have remarked to me many times that they didn't hear what I just said, but they were looking right in my eyes, smiling in this trance look.
To me, the image I have is Cyclops, where he's got those laser beams coming out of his eyes, every time he opens them, but he's got to control them or they're going to kill people, you know what I mean? It's like that.
I can't turn it on all the time, because it's a limited resource. Energy is a limited resource, and I'm 37. If I was 25, maybe I could keep it going, loud, high energy stuff. I try to control it, have it sublimated, so that when it comes out, it's just me and her.
I don't need to draw attention to a group. I'm just honing on on that one, and then I can tell her, "I'm in love with you. Stop, look at me." The world fades away, because it's just the two of us. I think that's a different energy from the party guy or the frat guy, who does keg stands and gets everybody involved.
[Angel Donovan]: It's more efficient as well, like you're saying, right? If you don't have boundless energy, that's a better strategy.
[David Tien]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: This is what Robert Green said in our interview, about the rake, how he likes to look at it. I just want you to see if you think of this way, or you look at it differently. He says, "If you look at the rake, a simple way of looking at it and measuring it, it's a degree to how much the person is obsessed with the woman."
If someone is just interested in sex and going to bed with 300 women, but it's cold and they're doing it out something else, that's not necessarily a rake. It's more the fact that this is a man who really, really is obsessed with women, their psychology, with who they are.
He really likes them deep down inside. He likes their company. He's not necessarily a man's man. In fact, most rakes have a slight feminine edge to them.
[David Tien]: Yes, feminine edge. It's combining a bunch of different themes in that statement. One is that he's not just after sex, but he loves women.
[Angel Donovan]: The way I think about that, there's some guys who are teaching dating advice in this cold, hands-off manner today, and if you look at the reports, like some of them write stories and stuff - they're sleeping with women, but it's very cold.
They're also getting - I find that these guys tend to be very negative about the whole experience and they tend to be more misogynist, and they also don't want to put very much time into it, because they're not really enjoying it.
They just want to get laid, and get it out of the way. It seems like when they get laid and they get it out of the way, they're not happy anyway, right?
[David Tien]: Oh, yes.
[Angel Donovan]: I look at those guys, and I read this, and I'm like, "Well, yes," because they don't really love the women at all and they don't even want to spend any time with them.
[David Tien]: Yes. Guys like that do the coquette style better. He's right. I'm just thinking about I'm full of emotions. I look backwards at what happens. It didn't occur to me, about this loving women thing.
I grew up with two sisters, so I've never hated women, and it's a really foreign thing to me. One of the things that I noticed is when it goes badly, sometimes the interaction might go wrong.
The time when it goes wrong is when I get her back to my place, and if I go cold, in terms of I just want her for sex, it's 5:00 am sex and I just want to sleep after, then the illusion that I was projecting to her just crumbles, and she's really pissed.
I was always, at the beginning, like, "Why are they so mad? They agreed to come back, we had sex." But I realize now that, with all the desire that was going through my eyes and I was projecting, that "I'm in love with you" kind of thing, that they were expecting more.
I realize that this is a very powerful and dangerous tool, if I don't use it responsibly. One thing that I started to do was I would be more selective with the girls that I'd bring back, but then I would also go out for brunch in the morning, or go for an early breakfast, just so that I can let them down softly, if I'm not that interested. Or that would create a more permanent attachment.
[Angel Donovan]: Just to pick on your point, you said you were tired. I'd say that that's something important, too. It's happened to me, too. When you're with this girl and you've created this - I'll give you an example. When you're traveling and you meet this girl, it can often be this big adventure, where she meets you and it's all crazy, go around and do a whole bunch of things during the day.
Then you go back and you're having sex, but actually a couple of times, I've been so tired because I'm traveling and everything, and all my energy's gone and I'm half not even interested anymore, I just want to go to sleep, and it's been the worst sex ever for both of us.
After all the buildup, which it was expecting to be this amazing thing, and then everything's gone out of it, because we're probably both really tired, not just me, right?
[David Tien]: Yes. It's dangerous, when you do that big build up to the sexual act, because it's almost like the building - there's so much pressure. It's almost impossible to meet.
When I feel that happening, I just preemptively surprise her. I'll fuck her in the afternoon or something. I've experienced that. You just can't live up to it, because you've built up too much. But yes, that's accurate for the rake.
In that quote, he had something else there, the feminine, that there's a feminine thing to it. Yes. The rake is not going to have a lot of male friends, and that's something that I think you'll see this in common.
There's going to be a lot of jealousy. The rake, he's an emotional guy, so in a way, that's already feminine. He's indulging his emotions, childlike. I can be very childlike, too. I can really get into desserts. I love desserts.
[Angel Donovan]: I've seen that.
[David Tien]: Yes. I love girlie stuff, in the sense of I like to go to places with teddy bears. I don't know, it's weird. I like flowers. I don't think I come across gay.
[Angel Donovan]: Not at all.
[David Tien]: But yes, I hang out with my sisters. I think that really helped the whole rake thing, because I was surrounding myself with women as much as I could.
[Angel Donovan]: And getting used to the thing - like you said, I've see you many times grab all these different cakes and stuff and put them on the table, and the girl's like, "This is awesome."
[David Tien]: Yes, right. Yes, I think that's a part of it, part of being the rake. It could also be a weakness. In the new edition of the Desire System, I added a component on neediness.
That's when your emotions take over, and you're not in control anymore. That's the weakness of the feminine core, needing support, needing to be filled, because you're empty and you need validation or you need somebody to fulfill you.
Those are all very feminine things, and the rake, because he's got this feminine side, could easily fall into that trap.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, that's really interesting. Just before we cover that, I don't want to forget this other thing. You said a lot of friends of his are girls, so what proportion of your friends are girls versus guys?
[David Tien]: Well, pretty much until last year, late last year, it was - I dated this psychopathic girl as a challenge for myself. Her duty, she won the last couple of years, because she cut off all my female friends. Before that, it was all female friends. I would roll into a club with just female friends.
There was this cute girl down the hall from my condo, and we were totally platonic, but we were like sister-brother. She was pretty hot, and so everyone was like, "Oh, Dave's sleeping with her," but I wasn't. We were just friends.
This ex just cut her off, and there was many of those. When you cut out my female friends, I'm left with very few friends, actually. There are other guys, like yourself, but because of my nature of loving desserts, getting really excitable about - I proactively just try to surround myself with women.
I made it so that I naturally didn't have as many male friends, but I discovered that you need balance in life, and the rake's weakness, I might as well - it's not a necessary weakness, this neediness and this feminine nature. It's not a necessary part of being a rake.
You can call up the desire and the emotion and love women, and express sexual desire just as strongly as if you're a manly man. I've been doing a lot more of survival things, like survival trips, mountain trips, just doing a lot more fitness and just working out.
Singapore's a really hot and tropical area, and I've been working out in a gym with no air conditioning, very little lighting, just hard core lifting stuff. It's raising my testosterone quite a lot, and it's great. It's like getting more in touch with my masculinity. It's a good corrective to years and years of being a rake.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. Would you say that's something you have to do? Are you still going to be a rake with this testosterone, or is it going to change your approach?
[David Tien]: This is great, to actually discuss this. This is a very specialized, master-level thing about the rake, and you find this in Asian history. A great depiction of this is the movie The Emperor and the Assassin, with Zhang Fengyi and Gong Li.
Anyway, the Emperor's mother, the old accounts of history, the actual chronicles, said that his mother was so horny, she was fucking all the ministers, all the officers. It was just a disgrace to him. The minister in waiting said, "You have to do something about your horny mother."
They scoured the land and found this dude with a huge penis, who apparently walked through the village, strapping a wheel to his penis, just walking through the village like that.
They got this hung Chinese dude, and gave him to the Queen Mother. He just satisfied her and apparently she stopped fucking other dudes. But then she had two babies by this big dick guy.
In the movie, it's a great depiction of this interesting dynamic, where he launches a rebellion against the king, and the king heads it off and kills him and kills the kids.
What's interesting, though, is his style is he's super feminine. If you were to watch this movie, you would see that their depiction of the big dick guy is that he's very gay. He paints his face white, he has a very high pitched voice, he has all of these feminine hand movements, like the Chinese opera thing.
Then he has a scene, when he's doing the rebellion. He lunges, runs into the court with this sword, and he's very manly then. It's like Russel Brand. You present this feminine front, but inside, you're a killer, you know what I mean? It's just an act, like Prince.
You can imagine this guy, behind closed doors, he probably pulls women there and is very dominant, sexually. But in the video, he's a flamboyant gay dude, almost trans.
[Angel Donovan]: Russel Brand's aura comes off as very feminine.
[David Tien]: Yes. It's like you lull them into this place so that they let their guard down, and when they don't expect it, oh, there's this huge penis in you. They didn't think they'd be coming.
That's the feminine part of the rake, and you see this in the dandy, too, this ambiguity in the sexual identity. It's just a device, really. The core has to be masculine, or there will be no attraction. There will be no sexual attraction.
The masculine core is about knowing your purpose or your passion, and getting really, really good at that and finding fulfillment in that, and then it can't involve women.
On the outside, you can dress feminine, you can talk feminine, you can have feminine hand movements, but if you're doing your thing and that's the most important thing to you, and you're a killer about it, you're ruthless in pursuing your own passions, then that is going to be incredibly attractive.
You're going to be able to incorporate both sides. You could get all the benefits of being the feminine gay guy that you can relate to, has lots of fun with, can let her hair down with, and then, oh, there you are. When she needs sex, sex. You can provide that, too.
[Angel Donovan]: I think guys listening to this, they might think that you can't be two people, you can't be these two different people, but I can imagine from your perspective, it's really not that complicated. It's like when you're at work versus when you're in a club.
I think most people can relate to that. When you're at work, you can be this really serious guy getting stuff done, and then taking responsibilities. Then you go to the club and you relax, you're having fun, you're a completely different person.
If they saw both of those people in front - I know girls, when they've got to know me a bit and they see me at work, they're like, "Wow, you're so serious." It's shocking to them, when they see me in a work mode versus when they've met me just playing around, messing around all the time.
[David Tien]: Yes, right.
[Angel Donovan]: But it's not really difficult to access different emotions. It's the point I'm getting to. Maybe at first, I'm thinking about the newer guys who aren't used to this material. It may be harder to access their emotions, and I guess that's what your system is more about as well.
[David Tien]: Yes, you never want to be one-dimensional and predictable and boring. Presenting different sides of yourself is great. I don't want to people think it's like, at some times you're one way and at some times you're another.
This is all consistent. I think it's when you think about it very simplistically that you think either you're always aggressive and mean or something, and dominant in a very strong way, or you're always soft. In the west, we have a rake tradition of the Don Juan stories and Casanova stories.
In Asia, their only tradition of a lady's man is a rake, the dandy rake. It's like Jia Baoyu in Dream of the Red Chamber, The Pillow Book, [INAUDIBLE 00:33:36], Tale of Genji. All of these guys, because they were upper class, even in upper class Europe, the courtiers wore wigs and they painted their faces and they had to speak in relatively feminine language and so on.
They weren't warriors who were sweating and killing people out in the fields, but they didn't stop them from when they needed to get something done. They just got it done. That's the masculine part of it.
Your style, the external style could be feminine, but the internal core is still going to be, "I get stuff done, and I know what I want to get done, and I go and get it done." That's the masculine part of it. That's what they'll respond to, as well.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, and like you said, it's more like we have all these immersions, all of these various different immersions in us, these different aspects to us, and it's more about letting them out.
I think that's what makes a difference. I wanted to get into this a bit. If you look at some of the guys who come into this dating advice realm, often I think they've withdrawn from a lot of their immersions because of rejection and bad experiences with women and so on.
They close off some of those immersions, I think, a lot of them. Some of the guys also, as they get more into dating advice, they also take on this more controlling mindset.
It's like, "I'm going to control everything" and they get a bit colder and less emotional. How does that compare to the way you look at it? Is that a problem? Have you seen it as well?
[David Tien]: Yes. Guys get hurt and so they withdraw emotionally over time, and it becomes such a second part of themselves. It's second nature. Yes, this emotional withdrawal makes you into a social robot, and I think at that point, it becomes very difficult for you to attract women.
I think you have to go with the traditional means of amassing money and status and just getting plastic surgery to look good, because you're not going to be attracting women emotionally, because you have no emotions. Yes, if you go cold emotionally, I don't think - you might be able to try a cocky funny style, maybe. But it's going to be very limited, your options.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. I do see some guys, when they get into this controlling approach, they do get some results. Some of them can get pretty good results, I think, like I've seen a few of them.
However, what I think happens is that it negatively impacts their level of happiness. They don't seem to get happier with it. In fact, if anything, they [INAUDIBLE 00:36:01], even if they are meeting girls and getting results, getting laid from it, they don't really have relationships. Maybe they just get laid, some of those guys.
[David Tien]: They're controlling. They get off on being able to control that?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, or they'll control the situation, I think. It tends to be the ones who are, like you said, a bit more socially robotic. It's like, "Do this, do that, do that," and it makes -
[David Tien]: Oh, you mean the robot civilian.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. They are very - they have these cold, misogynist, Machiavellian side to it, I guess.
[David Tien]: You know, we all kind of do. To get good at this, you kind of have to be detached, especially at the beginning. You can't get too attached to any one woman. I mean, that's part of the rake strength. I think I might be deviating from your main point here, but the rake feels strongly, and I guess that word Robert Green used, obsessed, I think it's dangerous.
Obsession usually means that you're thinking about this one girl to the exclusion of all else, and that's not what an effective rake is doing. If a rake is doing that, then he's just a needy guy. A rake would be someone who is overwhelmed emotionally, in terms of his desire and so on, when he's in the presence of that one girl.
But when she leaves, he might be immediately feeling the same thing towards another girl. He's just always liking girls, and he's never completely attached or obsessed with any one girl to the exclusion of all others.
If he is, it's just very temporary, and that's the thing. "I'm in love with you, but I'm in love with her, too, and I'm in love with her, too."
[Angel Donovan]: Right. I don't know, maybe you remember this guy. Do you remember this guy called Mr. Sex NYC? Mr. Sex For You NYC? This was 15 years ago, a long time ago.
[David Tien]: On ASF?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, ASF, way back. He's the kind of guy I guess I'm talking about. He definitely gave off this investment banker, very hard, and he was super controlling. He was always, as soon as a girl did anything he felt was a little bit negative, he'd boot them out of his life, you know?
[David Tien]: Yes. I have some very effective clients like that. I had this one guy I called Ice Man. He's very effective. He's cold, man.
[Angel Donovan]: But is he happy, too? Can you give that perspective? Is he [INAUDIBLE 00:38:24], or is he accessing his immersion?
[David Tien]: Yes, I think he goes through his player phase. That lasted a year or so, a couple years. Now he's trying to soften up. I think he's just feeling a little lonely or something. You know what?
I think a rake needs a little bit of that, the detachment, because it's very easy to go over-emotional. That's why I inserted this new segment in the new Desire System on controlling that neediness.
A lot of guys I've noticed who are beginners have a lot of neediness and can't - if they're emotional like me, they can't control their emotions, and the overpowering emotion is, "I need a woman to complete me. I need you to like me for me to feel good about myself."
Those are very repellent emotions. If that's your dominant emotion while you're talking to a girl, even if you're doing sexual tantrics and all the techniques they teach you, you can be transferring very repellent emotions to her, and you'll get a very strong negative reaction.
But if you can control the neediness - for guys like myself, who are naturally more - we have big hearts and it's easier for us to fall in love, we can use a little bit of that Ice Man thing.
Some guys who, for whatever reasons, are emotionally detached, they're not going to be experiencing the fullness of life. At some point, they're going to wonder what's this all for.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. Well, you've outlined a bit. Some guys, they get cold at the beginning, and then they realize something's missing and then they start getting softer and warmer as they get better at this.
Okay, I want to take advantage of the fact that you're an academic and you know that world a bit. It's always good to get into the science. You were talking a lot about emotions and how they affect women. What do you feel about this state of the art of science right now, as to the proof as to if this is really relevant or not? We're not just talking about opinions here.
[David Tien]: People who doubt the truth of emotional transference, I don't even know what world they're in. This is so well understood and documented. I've come across it in so many pop science books that are just reporting reports and reports and reports.
It's so common knowledge that you don't even need to cite anything anymore. Existence of mirror neurons, it's just assumed. You don't even need to argue for it. You don't even need to have a citation for the proof of it.
[Angel Donovan]: Quickly, just so people know what the mirror neuron concept is?
[David Tien]: Okay. These are neurons in the brain, and they are in all the parts of the brain, the brain stem area, the motor activation area, the middle part of the brain, and basically what they do is, their function is to help us feel and detect what other human beings and animals are feeling.
We're much better at reading the emotions of human beings, but it works for anybody with a face and a brain. We've evolved this, because we need to make split second decisions about whether the person is a threat or a friend. It's fight or flight.
If we stand there and have to calculate consciously all the cues, we'd probably be dead, because we're too slow. The human beings, the homo sapiens that had this in their brain, they had a distinct advantage, and we have that passed down.
We're able to detect other emotions by feeling the same emotions that the person we're looking at has. That's how we detect it. Here's a quick way to use mirror neurons.
If you're looking at a girl and you're feeling very sexually aroused, you just need to make sure you distract her logical mind, distract her prefrontal cortex from what's going on in the rest of her brain.
You arouse yourself while looking right into her eyes, and talk about something else. You distract her, and then slowly you just let the mirror neurons take hold, and it could be as quick as thirty seconds, or a minute. She'll start to feel it, and she won't know why, because it's unconscious.
She'll be looking at your face and getting aroused, sexually, and she won't know why. She'll just assume you're really sexy, and she'll want you. That's how it works.
[Angel Donovan]: It sounds like magic, but it's science.
[David Tien]: Yes, that's right, it's science. Now, one of the things I wanted to mention, and we were talking about this before we started the interview, in getting feedback from the desire system and the neediness thing, one of the issues is that guys have trouble projecting sexual states, because they feel like there's this sinfulness or this dirtiness.
They think these women don't want to feel sexually, they don't think sexual thoughts, because there are these horrible studies with no basis whatsoever that men think about sex every seven minutes and women think about sex once a day or something.
There's no such study that actually says that. Nobody knows where that even came from. Actually, women respond just as strongly - or more - to visual stimuli as men do, sexually.
There's a pioneer scientist who works at Queens University. He's at Sage Lab, Meredith Shivers, who's created or developed this instrument, the tesmograph, which is a bulb that detects blood flow and basically can tell, when you insert in the vaginal canal, how aroused a woman is.
When the series of tests showing women various kinds of stimuli, including male on male sex, female straight sex, female on female sex, bonobos fucking, an erect penis, a naked guy walking on the beach, and then in between each of these scenes, they show a landscape, so they'd go back to zero baseline.
Then they're aroused. They have an FMRI scanner, they have a penis bump kind of thing. The men are aroused by what they expect to be aroused by. Straight men are only aroused by female-female porn and female-male porn. They're not aroused by looking at bonobos fucking. If you're a guy listening to this, you'll totally understand why.
Women, however, have shown arousal across the board. They feel aroused by everything. They're aroused by bonobos fucking. But on the keypad, they'll say, "No, I'm not aroused." They're confounded. They don't even know. Either they're lying, or more probably, they have no conscious access to that, or they're socially programmed or socially conditioned not to say so.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, so covering it up, even though it's a study.
[David Tien]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: Even though they feel slightly aroused, you're saying that they're lying in the data.
[David Tien]: Right, they're confounded. Now, we don't know if it's conscious or not. The point is this: women are horny, and women are very sexual creatures, and women can have four times more types of orgasms than men can. Women are much more also able to achieve multiple organisms much more easily than men can, and so on.
They're sexual creatures, and they want to feel sexual. When you're presenting this, this is cutting edge science for mirror psychology. They want to be aroused. They're looking for that, from their knight in shining armor. Don't think that they're these virtuous princesses that never think about sex.
They are just as sexual as we are, and they will welcome it, and they're looking for that. Go read 50 Shades of Grey and you'll see it.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, that is an interesting book. It's worth reading.
[David Tien]: Yes. Did you read the whole trilogy?
[Angel Donovan]: No, I've read half of the first one.
[David Tien]: It's tough going, as a guy, because your insight's in a girl's head and it's weird. But yes, I learned a lot. It's worth reading, for sure.
[Angel Donovan]: We're talking about the science here. We're talking about the data versus the surveys a little bit, and you've just pointed out that, basically, what the data is saying, because now you're talking about some studies that have really focused on data.
What is the physical changes that are taking place in the brain and in the vagina and stuff, versus what the surveys have said to date? What do you think about the surveys and the research on sexuality?
[David Tien]: Yes, most of the research - if you've even read the research based on those surveys, you're already ahead of the game. I applaud you for that. Most people have not.
They're completely ignorant of evolutionary psychology, but what's going on in the field is that a lot of the evolutionary psychology in the sexuality and dating is being overturned by the research findings in neuropsychology, and in sexology, with the tesmograph and other types of research along those lines.
The old research in evolutionary psychology have been based on self-reporting. You just ask a girl, "What do you like in a man?" and she just looks at a piece of paper and either writes it down or checks it off or orders them in priority.
This is all looking at the prefrontal cortex, just depending on her knowing what she likes. I think anybody who's spent any time picking up women, they know that what they say often is not what they're really feeling.
Most of the time, it's not conscious. They're not purposefully doing that. They just don't have conscious access to what they're really feeling. This is why emotional contagion is so effective with women, because they're so blind to what's happening actually in their own conscious. Do you want me to continue on the surveys?
[Angel Donovan]: No, we just want to get a view of what you think. We were talking about it earlier. You were saying there's a change taking place at the moment, and there's a conflict in the scientific community, because you have the data versus the surveys, and you also said that even people are still trying to publish this survey-based data, and it's not very rigorous.
[David Tien]: Yes, right. I'm involved with some cutting edge research in evolutionary psychology, co-authoring papers and so on, and my PhD was in philosophy and in religion and in Asian history. Now I'm seeing it from the psychology side, and I see that there's a lot of finessing, like the results.
There's a lot of massaging of the results, to get the desired result. It's pretty easy to manipulate data, actually, statistics and so on. Especially with just surveys and reporting, it's easy to manipulate that than scientific data, like the natural sciences.
One of the results of basing your conclusions on surveys for the past 40 years, which is what evolutionary psychology's been doing, is that there's this very misleading theory, called the parential investment theory, that is the dominant theory in evolutionary psychology when it comes to mating.
The theory basically is that women have to invest a lot more in parenting, in childbirth, than men do. That would dictate a different mating strategy. They should, if they're rational, be looking for a stable, dependable, long-term mate who is high in resources and status, because that will ensure more resources and more money and food for their children.
They should never engage in slutty behavior. I mean, slutty is a negative word, so they should never engage in short term mating behavior. Evolutionary psychologists have been puzzled over why women are engaged in short term mating and they have to posit all these different theories to explain it, given their adherence to the parential investment theory.
The new results from the tesmograph studies, from all the neurospychology and sexology, from natural sciences, turned that on its head, that women are sexual creatures.
We've evolved to have emotional lives and emotional connections for short periods of time. I mean, lifespans 50,000 years ago, the life expectancy for a male was less than thirty years. For women, it was 35. Now we're living to 70, 80, 90, and so on.
We're not really evolved and equipped to deal with that level of commitment. Once society lets people get divorces relatively easily, people will take advantage of that, and you're seeing the dissolution of family structures and so on, as people get horny and they want to fuck other people.
This goes right alongside the new views on how evolution impacts or helps us understand mating strategies. The takeaway, the simple takeaway: women are as horny as we are, and enjoy sex as much or more than we do. Give it to them. That's what they want.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, that's great. Thanks for the update, man, beaus I know you're further into the scientific world than a lot of the people we get on this show. It's really nice to get an update of where things stand, because people are reading about evolutionary psychology across a lot.
It's good to hear that so many data is proving some of that wrong, and so we get that right. Now, we're talking a lot about getting in touch with your immersions, basically. Part of becoming a rake is getting more in touch with your emotions.
What are some of the requisites to this? Some of the things I was thinking about, for guys who haven't had many relationships, is it easy to do this?
[David Tien]: Getting in touch with your emotions?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes.
[David Tien]: Well, it's never easy to actually get in touch with them. If you're a naturally emotional guy, like myself, you'll have emotions. The trick is knowing when you're having them, what they are, what it is that you're exactly feeling. Naming the emotion helps you take control over it, and being able to control the emotional expression.
Those are all relatively difficult. We talked a little bit about some methods for training yourself to be more emotionally aware, more emotionally intelligent. A big part of that is being able to calm yourself to see the flow of thoughts in your mind as they go by, more dispassionately.
Meditation is really, really good in this regard, and I would say also, the more cognitive behavioral therapy, especially the cognitive side, the better off you will be.
If you know how to identify automatic thoughts and then question them and then change them, you're going to be a very, very proactive, self-actualized person who will be able to manipulate emotions much more adeptly. You'll have just a more happy life.
[Angel Donovan]: That's great. I know that, in the Desire System, you had this long process which you'd take people through in a big part of that, to go through that whole self-awareness thing.
I wanted to talk a bit about some of the outside things, like in the general. For instance, you see Russel Brand. He does a lot of yoga and spirituality. I know that you mentioned in your cross positive psychology as well, and then of course counseling and therapy. Which one of these things, in the mainstream world, do you think is valid and useful?
[David Tien]: Oh, in the mainstream world? I think all of them are. Yoga is relatively easy to learn. I first did yoga through P90X, YogaX.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes. Have you done kundalini, by the way?
[David Tien]: No, I haven't. I just saw a kundalini yoga retreat in Bali. I was thinking about going and doing that.
[Angel Donovan]: One of my friends, she just started a place in Malibu. I was reading up on it, and it sounds like you want it for this purpose, like the mind and your immersional side. It sounds like it's the one to really get into.
[David Tien]: Yes, and you can get in good shape that way, physically. Then the cognitive therapy, I'm just a big fan of that. It's all around.
[Angel Donovan]: When you say cognitive therapy, that's counseling?
[David Tien]: Yes, you can go to counseling yourself. The basis of the therapeutic approach I take in the Desire System, is confronting your [INAUDIBLE 00:53:45] beliefs, reframing them and so on, conditioning, has its basis in cognitive behavioral therapy, which is the most proven method of talk therapy in the world right now.
You can get Beck's book. It's just a classic, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It's not a very inventive title, but yes, it's a great book. Basically, what you're doing there is the same thing that the stoics and the Buddhists have been doing for thousands of years. In order to change your emotions, you have to question the interpretations that are causing the emotion.
It's a matter of identifying the emotion and asking yourself what thoughts led to this emotion, and question whether those thoughts are accurate or true, whether they're irrational thoughts. You're then questioning that.
It's what I call psychological archeology. You just keep asking the why questions. Is this accurate? Why do I feel this way? What are the reasons?
[Angel Donovan]: I feel like your program, like I said in my review of it, it's a very mature program and quite advanced from that perspective, because it's really demanding, to take it, to do the high level, in terms of self-awareness.
It's doing this work on yourself, to become a better person as well, and more aware of yourself, and communicating better. It's quite advanced. I'd say it's one of the most advanced things I've read.
[David Tien]: Cool. Well, this is all work that you do in your study room, so it's not advanced when you go out into the field. It's super simple, as far as the system goes when you're talking to women.
All the complex work is done at your computer, or at your desk. There, I assume all my readers, every who's watching this is really intelligent and hard working, because there's really no excuse for any laziness there.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes, I feel like it is a program that takes quite a bit of effort to get through. It's not going to be one of these magic, just pick up a book for a few seconds or a few minutes and it just works. You have to do the work.
[David Tien]: Yes. It rewards and repays study, but I think everything in life worth having is difficult to achieve. Otherwise, you would already have it, or everybody else would have it.
But I try to make it as simple as possible. See, the difficult part you can do at home, because you can just watch the video and just follow along in the way.
But when you're out, talking to women, you can't just turn on the video and say, "Hold on, girl. Let me check this thing out." You don't want a complex system to apply when you're out in the field.
[Angel Donovan]: Well, no, because yours is all about learning, basically to master your emotions. If you can say it one phrase, I guess that would be it. You're doing this homework, and then when you go out, it's like it's internally done. You just have to remember a couple basic things. Is that how it works?
[David Tien]: Yes, exactly. Right, exactly.
[Angel Donovan]: Alright, and so one of the topics I know is a bit more conflictual that you talk about, is confidence. You talked about different ways that people try to be confident, because we've heard thousands of times that you have to be confident, women are attracted to confidence, but of course it's one of these concepts which is like, "Okay, but what does that mean?"
Guys always complain when they first hear this, "Okay, but what does confident really mean?" What is your take on that?
[David Tien]: I've always wondered why women like a confident guy, because I had trouble back then when I first started out, understanding the difference between confidence and just being arrogant or having bravado or something.
When it comes down to it, confidence is a belief in yourself, and you can get shit done. You can take care of yourself. It's basically like a room-level self-reliance and self-efficacy.
That has to be earned. It would be a false confidence if you just kept repeating to yourself, "I am confident, I am confident, I am confident." That's not going to actually build confidence.
Before I get into how you build it, I'll just point out the reason why women are most attracted to a confident man is because if you display confidence, if they detect confidence in you, then they assume that there's a good reason for that, and they assume then that you can take care of yourself, and you can take care of other people.
The feminine essence is to be supported, to look for support, to lean on the rock or whatever, to lean on something stronger. They're looking for that. If you're doubting yourself, if you always need somebody else to complete you, if you're looking to women to tell you you're worthy, then this is a big turnoff.
That's why neediness is the ultimate turnoff. Anyway, to build confidence, the most effective way is also the most effective way of building your masculine essence, of bringing that out.
It's basically to find your purpose, or if you're younger, you can just think about what you're passionate about, and then find flow in that activity, and just get really, really good at it, to the point where you're proud of your achievement in that area.
It should be, actually, completely unrelated to women. It shouldn't be about women. That's what will build your self confidence, and that's really attractive. At the most basic level, self-reliance should be like survival.
You know, no matter what, you're going to be okay, and you're going to get through this. Sometimes you're missing that rite of passage. I was just talking about this with one of our mutual friends, the guy I was just mentioning to you when we started.
He just came to town. We talked about how, for modern men, we don't have that rite of passage or those wars. We've never fought those wars. This is a fight club theme, you know?
Especially in Singapore, you see this a lot, and more very safe, civilized, sterile nations, that men are babied and they never were pushed to the extreme. They don't have the self-reliance, and then they blow these first-world problems up into something really big.
[Angel Donovan]: Right. One of the things I've been thinking about for a while - I don't know if you've been thinking about this. Have you done any martial arts, or any fighting?
[David Tien]: Yes, yes.
[Angel Donovan]: I've been thinking that that's a key thing I need to do, when I get a bit more time. I'm going to go on some of these boot camps around the world, and learn a few different arts.
[David Tien]: Yes, totally.
[Angel Donovan]: Because of what it does to your mind.
[David Tien]: Yes. Yes, I did a junior black belt in tae kwon do when I was fourteen, and then I've been doing quite a lot of fitness. Like I was saying earlier, about just rediscovering the masculine essence and building on that.
[Angel Donovan]: And lifting heavy helps as well.
[David Tien]: Yes, yes, lifting, pushing yourself through pain.
[Angel Donovan]: That's a challenge to yourself. When you're lifting heavy versus light, you've got this mental challenge part. I don't know if you've been through that.
[David Tien]: Yes, pushing through the pain, looking for the pain. You need to hit that pain point in order to grow your muscle. One of my most transformational experiences was last year, I did a trip through Vietnam on a motorcycle for seven days. Did I tell you about this?
[Angel Donovan]: No.
[David Tien]: My seven day motorcycle trip? I went with five guys and a guide, a really cool guide. We went through some very, very dangerous roads on mountains, and you can imagine there's no railings. It was Vietnam. It's not very developed at all.
There's railings, and it's a one way street, just one lane each way, and there are a lots of blind turns and trucks just overtaking each other, just horrible third world traffic. It's just a straight drop down, a dropoff on one side, and then a cliff on the other. Then there's some really steep uphills and downhills.
I had not ridden a motorcycle. I had six hours of training on a coast, a track, on a dirt trail before I went on this thing, and we started in Hanoi and just drove out. On the first day, I fell under a moving steamroller that went over the front of my bike.
That was the trip. The first four days, I risked my life at least three or four times a day, where I almost died. I got into a head-on collision where the other guy's scooter went right into my chest, as I was flying forward. I got pinned between his bike and mine.
Luckily I had a backplate on, so I didn't break my spine or anything, but I had to postpone my tattoo, because I had this huge bruise from the scooter tire.
Anyway, there was a day when there was a mudslide, so a four hour ride turned into a nine hour ride. There was this mudslide, and total clouds. There was no moonlight, so if you turned your bike off, it was pitch black.
We were on the side of a mountain, with an incline. There's a straight drop-off, but we can't even see it. Our headlights sucked. You can see to the side, but you can't see in front. At this point, we all got separated, and I was on my own at a fork in the road.
I turned my bike off, and it was totally pitch black. I couldn't see a fucking thing. I pulled out my phone and it was the only light source. No one was picking up their phones, no on was on the WhatsApp group. Shit, it's 8:30, the sun had set three hours ago. We're god knows where, but I was like - that was one of the happiest moments of my life.
I realized I am alive. I am. I have four limbs. Sure, I'm in the middle of this mud that's up to my knees, but if worst comes to worst, I can sleep on the side of the road, hope no one runs into me, and I've got 70 percent battery.
That was one of those things where I don't need even - my lifestyle in Singapore was quite good, and I don't need a fancy condo. I don't need girls. I don't need money. I don't need all this shit. I have all myself, I have enough cash, I've got these language skills, blah, blah, blah. I can survive.
That was just another example, just teaching me. Even if I lose everything that the world thinks is important, I'm fine. That's self-reliance, man. I used to teach the Castaway example.
[Angel Donovan]: But before you go on, it's having these experiences which makes the whole difference, because we can read about self-reliance, and we can study it, and hopefully that insights us to do the sorts of things that you've just been talking about, right?
Once we learn about it and we're like, "Okay, this is important, it needs to be part of my life," then you start doing more of these things that you're just talking about, which actually make it concrete in your life and you get to feel it.
[David Tien]: That's right.
[Angel Donovan]: That's an awesome example. I get it. I totally get the feeling, but it's hard to describe. It's a bit like stoicism. I don't know if some of the guys have read about stoicism, or if you've read about stoicism. It's this great Greek philosophy [INAUDIBLE 01:04:14] thing.
[David Tien]: Marcus Aurelius.
[Angel Donovan]: Yes. It does get pretty deep.
[David Tien]: Yes, every man should read Aurelius's book. I used to teach this example of Castaway - you know, the Tom Hanks movie?
[Angel Donovan]: Yes.
[David Tien]: He's stuck on this island by himself for four years or whatever. If you could reach the emotional point - this goes back to the Ice Man example, the tension in the rake, and I covered a little bit of this in the old desires system, but a lot more in the new.
You need to reach the advanced level of the rake, because when you reach this emotional point where, if you lose everything, you're on this island all by yourself, are you going to be okay?
You're not going to be elated or really happy, but are you going to be okay? I used to teach this, but I've never lived on a deserted island. I just knew, theoretically, that that was true, but I've never had to confront that. I've never been in a war, I've never really had to put my life on the line for anything.
This motorcycle trip was the closest I've got to that, and man, it was so liberating. It was so powerful. Anybody, if you can do a survival camp, a boot camp or one of those Navy Seals week-long boot camps or something, I highly recommend trying that.
[Angel Donovan]: I'm just thinking, to help get the guys to see what were'e talking about clearer, this is really everything that was Fight Club, the movie Fight Club. You see, he's like, "All your emotions are dulled down and nothing really seems big."
They actually do it in the film, where the audio's turned down. He's in the office and he can't really hear the guy yelling at him, right? It's like that, because it's no big deal. It's like, "What's he saying?"
[David Tien]: Yes, exactly.
[Angel Donovan]: It puts things into perspective. That's what it does.
[David Tien]: At the beginning, that whole Ikea lifestyle, first world problems, yes, exactly.
[Angel Donovan]: It's a good movie if you haven't seen it. It'd be pretty amazing if you haven't seen it, but you should defnitely watch that, if you haven't. It's an awesome movie. This has been an awesome interview as usual.
Before you go, I want to get the usual question out, that we give everyone, which is what are your top three recommendations to men wanting to get results as fast as possible in this area of their lives?
[David Tien]: Well, get the Desire System. Well, assuming you've gotten the Desire System, implement it. One is try to develop a greater self-awareness. I don't know if that's too deep for some guys, but basically, the whole problem, is you, as a person, trying to get better with pickup, and you have some big gaping need that you're looking for women to fulfill.
You need to sense when that's happening, because when it's happening, you need to figure out what the triggers are for it and kill that. That's the most unattractive part of you, the neediness part, needing somebody else to fulfill you. The first step is self-awareness.
The second is proactively trying to kill your neediness. The third is, when you're able to get rid of your neediness, then you're able to project the positive emotions that you're feeling towards women.
In terms of just the words, you could just talk about anything that's non-sexual, just to distract her prefrontal cortex while you're projecting through your mirror neurons, letting those work, the sexual desires that you have, that are healthy and non-needy.
Non-needy sexual desires are the most attractive thing in a man that he could project, emotionally. But it's dangerous. If you project needy sexual desire, it's very repellent. Kill the neediness, and as you're doing that, you get good at projecting your desire. That's all covered in the Desire System, actually.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent. Well, David, man, it's been a pleasure as usual. Thank you very much for coming in today.
[David Tien]: Yes, it was awesome talking to you as usual, man. My pleasure. Thank you.
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DSR Podcast is a weekly podcast where Angel Donovan seeks out and interviews the best experts he can find from bestselling authors, to the most experienced people with extreme dating lifestyles. The interviews were created by Angel Donovan to help you improve yourself as men - by mastering dating, sex and relationships skills and get the dating life you aspire to.
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