Ep. 147 – Neil Strauss: The Truth About Relationships

You can’t make everyone happy. Really you can’t make anyone happy.

The sooner you accept this, the sooner you can let go of control, shame, or whatever your parents did to you, and start having sex. Or happiness. Whatever you’re searching for.

I’ll explain.

My guest today, a seven-time New York Times best-selling author, Neil Strauss, has written books on Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, and pornstar Jenna Jameson before exploring the pickup artist scene.

Sex was all around him.

He was immersed in the seduction community, but Neil couldn’t find love himself. No woman would kiss him. He grew up a loser, and he couldn’t get a girlfriend for most of his life.

Now he’s happily married. But between marriage and being a loser, he had a lot of “pleasure fantasy experiences.” Meaning, he learned how to pick up women and started having crazy sex orgies. One after another.

And then he just stopped, and the sex parties ended.

I wanted to know why. What made him decide he couldn’t handle it anymore? But I’ll get back to this.

In his first book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, Neil gives you easy tools you can use to have confidence. He teaches you how to feel like you’re in control of a social situation.

Neil was so busy having sex, he didn’t have time to get back to his normal life.

Personally, I don’t think I’d like that. I would just constantly be jealous or insecure to be honest.

But back to happiness. Which I don’t even like talking about really… We put too much pressure on ourselves to be happy. You can’t be happy all the time. And when you are happy, it should be special.

But Neil had a good friend to help him refocus. “You need someone in your life who can reflect yourself back to you so you can see yourself a little bit,” he says.

His producer and close friend, Rick Rubin, said, “Look you got everything you wanted in The Game. Why are you still not happy?”

That’s when Neil started looking for the truth.

In his book, The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships, Neil shows you how he gave up control. The book is about beliefs. ”It’s so hard to recognize your beliefs, let alone change them, because you’re living with yourself.”

But behaviors are easier to change. That’s what he teaches you in this episode. You’ll learn how to feel healthier emotionally.

When your personal life is together, you’re much more capable of achieving bigger things, accumulating wealth and feeling less stressed and worried.

Neil says, “There’s always a reason for what you’re doing, and if you don’t know the reason, then maybe you’re living an unconscious life.”

And if you’re just curious about the sex, then there’s something here for you, too. Listen here.

Resources and Links:

Other books by this author:

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  • TK

    Extremely interesting and provocative. Makes you want to explore and analyze your psyche. I had the wrong impression of Neil Strauss and never read his books, but I sure will now. Super intelligent thinker.

    • gavin

      Yep, yep, and yep.

  • RES

    I love the reference to “do the work” as I have recently begun describing my sabbatical summer as just that – I did the work. I found it very interesting to hear Neil speak about such things as narcissism as a wall to keep fear or shame out. All chewy good stuff — warrants listing more than twice. Nice work gents.

  • Tami


    Don’t ask why
    to someone close
    for those are the ones
    who hurt you the most

    Don’t ask when
    you started to drift
    there’s too many feeling
    through which you have to sift

    Don’t ask about the past
    it happened long ago
    there’s been too many secrets
    you might not want to know

    Don’t ask about attitudes
    formed in the past
    old habits die hard
    tomorrow they will last

    Don’t ask about tomorrow
    for it never comes
    after too many questions
    you’re the lonely ones

    © Tami Belt
    Poetic Justice: Lessons of love,
    life & relationships

  • I can’t wait for the book about his divorce rape.

  • Anni, amori e bicchieri di vino, nun se contano mai.

    Years, lovers and glasses of wine; these things must not be counted.

  • Radical Red

    Excellent Interview James with Neil. I will purchase and read the The Game and The Truth…today. Thank you two for the Knowledge…BrianJ.

  • Surrender Experiment

    “Become a scientist of your own lows”
    Yes sir. Notice the bugs, the pain defenses, in your robot. This is key to life. Great stuff.

  • Eric Owusu