How to Avoid STDs Even If You Have Lots of Sex

avoid STDsRicardus touched on avoiding STDs a little in "Dodging the Dangers of Sex (and Dating)", though his focus there was more on some of the other dangers that can arise; and I have a post on the forums that covers a good chunk of what we'll talk about in this article here: "Re: The Dangers of Sex." However, I wanted to clean that information up and put it in a more presentable (and scannable) way - hence, this post.

When you're relatively inexperienced with women, it's easy to get freaked out about STDs. Typically, the more sexually experienced you get, the less of a "big deal" these seem like... and, generally, the more likely you are to run into them.

Yet, if you're smart, and you do your homework, it is possible to avoid STDs almost entirely, even while having lots of sex with lots of partners... BUT, you must do your homework, and you must be on top of the ball at all times, because if you're trusting your own sexual health will be looked out for by that pretty stranger you just met (after all, she seems so innocent...), you've got another thing coming.

avoid STDs

The mainstream media is a stunningly poor place to learn how to avoid STDs from, for the same reasons that the mainstream media is a stunningly poor place to learn ANYTHING of much import from - media feeds off of scaring people into reading or watching with the most frightening, alarming, controversial stories it can possibly run - not off of educating people.

Newscasters are not there to inform. They're there to entertain - to suck you into a vortex of emotional highs and lows and keep you there glued to the screen taking in advertisements on commercial breaks.

So, it's disheartening to realize that most of what people know - or think they know - about sexually transmitted diseases comes from popular media.

Well, I've got news for you: many of the things you hear the drums beating so loudly about aren't that big of a concern... while there are other things you should be more worried about, that I'd bet you weren't even aware of.

How Dangerous is HIV for Straight Men?

Here's the HIV risk checklist:

  • Do you take injection drugs with used needles ever?

  • Do you allow other men to ejaculate semen into your rectum ever?

  • Do you have unprotected sex with open cuts or sores on your penis ever?

If the answer to all three of those questions is "no", then your risk of infection with the late 20th century's dread disease is almost zero.

Heresy, you say?

The risk of acquiring HIV is 1 out of 2,000 per exposure to an infected source for penetrative vaginal sex for men. That is to say, if a man has sex with an HIV-infected woman 2,000 times, on average, one of those times he is going to become infected with HIV.

That still seems scary high - but it says nothing about whether there is a difference between the 1 man who becomes infected and the 1,999 who do not. Might there be a difference?

In fact, there is:

Antibodies to cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and herpes simplex viruses types 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) in three sequential serum samples from 62 men who did and 61 men who did not develop human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection at the time of the final (third) serum specimen were studied. Antibody titers to CMV, EBV, and HSV-1 did not significantly rise in or differ between men who did or did not get HIV infection. However, we found that 32 (68%) of 47 HIV seroconverters had antibodies to HSV-2 at the time the third specimen was drawn, whereas only 26 (46%) of 57 men who remained HIV seronegative had HSV-2 antibody positivity. Seroconversion to HSV-2 between any two serum specimens was found in 11 (42%) of the 26 HIV seroconverters but in only five (14%) of 35 men who remained HIV seronegative. The association between HSV-2 seropositivity (or seroconversion) and subsequent or concurrent HIV seroconversion remained when we controlled for factors known to influence HIV infection, including age, number of sexual partners, and percentage of sexual acts involving receptive anal intercourse. These serologic studies do not support the role of CMV, EBV, or HSV-1 in HIV infection but do suggest that HSV-2 infection is a risk factor for subsequent or concurrent HIV infection.

That's from "Prior Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 Infection as a Risk Factor for HIV Infection", published in The Journal of the American Medical Association all the way back in 1988. The researchers here found that 68% of men in the study who came down with HIV also had genital herpes (and further that HIV did not correlate with any other of the tested viruses, including HSV-1, the other common strain of herpes - so this isn't just a "those who have a lot of partners will get both HIV and HSV-2" deal).

The men tested had genital herpes before they picked up HIV... and genital herpes appears to be a big risk factor for acquiring it.

Why does a disease that leads to open sores on the genitals increase one's risk factor for acquiring a fluid-based virus like HIV? Mainly because the virus simply apparently does not really have any inroads to a man's body other than through open wounds... of the sorts that you get through:

  • Injection with needles

  • The tears in anal tissue that occur during receptive anal sex

  • Open sores caused by herpes simplex 2 (genital herpes)

Is there some risk to a straight man who doesn't do drugs, doesn't receive anal sex, and doesn't have genital herpes (or refrains from sex during any outbreaks of it if he has it) or sleep with women when he has a cut or injured penis, of picking up HIV from sex without these things?

There might be... maybe. But if so, it's almost certainly vanishingly smaller than the CDC's 1 out of 2,000 number, which includes all manner of men with open cuts and sores on their members that predispose them to infection with HIV.

So far as I can tell, the risk of infection from this disease - that is the single most focused-upon STD by far in the media - is almost (or completely) zero for a completely straight man who doesn't do drugs or have sex when his member is wounded... whether he's wearing a condom or not.

(of course, if you're a woman, I'd still be worried - you can never tell for sure if that handsome new beau you've just met likes to play bottom to a top some of the time, or has a sore-producing STD he hasn't told you about that might predispose him to this and just isn't flaring up at the moment - no free pass for girls, I'm afraid)

How Hard is it to Avoid All Those OTHER STDs?

Now, here's where it gets interesting.

How worried are you about picking up chlamydia?

How about the clap?

How about HPV?

How about molluscum?

When most people worry about how to avoid STDs, these aren't the ones they're worried about.

But these are the real diseases you've got to worry about... and I bet you don't even think about these most of the time.

avoid STDs

The good news is, almost all STDs are treatable, or clear on their own with time.

The bad news is, if you're having sex bareback with strangers, or even if you use condoms, you stand a pretty good chance of snagging one or more of these at some point or other.

Diseases like gonorrhea (the clap) and chlamydia are surprisingly common - about a third of a percent of the population of the United States gets the clap every year, and a full 1% of Americans get chlamydia. The most at-risk individuals in the States are teens, individuals in their early to mid-twenties, and African Americans... most likely because these are also the groups that engage in the most casual sex with the highest number of partners.

Some diseases - like gonorrhea and syphilis - can occasionally render you infertile or worse (syphilis can actually make you crazy, then kill you, though the disease isn't as common these days). Others, like chlamydia and HPV, are frequently going to be harmless and even symptomless to you, but may harm the women you sleep with if you transmit them. Still others, like molluscum, are not harmful, but are unpleasant to look at (and may get you some bad reactions if your sex partner decides to take too close a look at what's going on with you downstairs).

By age 25, half of the sexually active population has or has previously had at least one STD... but most of these are either HPV or herpes (oral or genital), both of which have no symptoms in the majority of individuals.

To my mind, the absolute SCARIEST STDs there are out there are these two:

  • HSV-2 (genital herpes) - for which there is no cure, only treatments that can suppress outbreaks of sores (called shedding), assuming you show symptoms, and

  • Drug-resistant gonorrhea - for which only cephalosporin remains as an effective antibiotic treatment option, and even that may soon fall if the disease acquires resistance to it

... and of those, one's mainly an annoyance, and the other's still treatable, if kind of scary about what it might potentially become in the foreseeable future.

Another key difference between the two, though, is that one of these diseases is skin-transmitted, while the other is fluid-based. There are important distinctions between these two avenues of transmission, and it's worth understanding them both to allow yourself to best guard against these two very different pathways to infection.

avoid STDs

I went to Catholic school growing up, and what they teach you there about how to avoid STDs is to avoid sex altogether. If you don't want to get an STD, just don't have sex! I always thought this was a ridiculously brainless and unempathetic approach; kind of like the vegan telling someone that if he doesn't want to get fat, just stick to eating nothing but vegetables! Sure, a few individuals might pull that off, but most of us like our meats and complex carbohydrates a little too much... if someone forces me to choose between having very low body fat OR having steak, sweets, and other delicious foods... I'll choose a few extra pounds every time.

Dating without sex is equally impractical, at least in the modern world, and probably always has been, based on the statistics I've dug up (bet you didn't know that 40% of American brides-to-be were pregnant on their wedding days in the mid-1700s - those Puritans sure knew how to party).

The simple fact is, we are biological organisms whose genetic imperative is to mate, and trying to structure in some rigid vetting period of a year plus to wait for some artificial ceremony of vow-exchanging doesn't work for the majority of people with hormones (and erections, and sopping-wet vaginal canals) waiting to be unleashed.

So, from a practical point of view, we must assume you'll be having sex; the next question then becomes, "Assuming you'll be sleeping with other people, HOW do you not end up picking up something nasty?"

Avoiding Fluid-Based STDs: Using Condoms

Here's the one that everybody knows: condoms. If you don't want to get an STD, just use condoms, right?

In fact, these ARE very effective... most of the time, and against fluid-transmitted diseases. That includes:

(links are to the CDC page on each disease, if you want more information / infection rates / graphic pictures)

Proper condom use (and we'll talk about what that is below) gives you more or less complete protection against these diseases.

There are other diseases whose chance of being acquired are reduced by condoms, though not eliminated altogether:

For HPV and herpes, condoms reduce the chance of transmission by about 70% - because it isn't the fluid you're protecting against, it's skin-to-skin contact, and some of that still occurs at the base of the penis even with a condom on. I haven't seen clear statistics on how much of a risk you're still at for syphilis, molluscum (harmless but ugly scales that form on the genitals and take a year or two to clear and go away), or trichomoniasis (a parasite that lives inside the reproductive and urinary tracts), but I assume their rates are something similar to that of HPV and herpes.

Proper condom use means wearing a condom during any kind of sex; vaginal sex, anal sex, and even (if you're serious about full protection) oral sex. Yep - you can get gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV, herpes, and almost anything else from unprotected oral sex, too. And you thought that was "safe" sex, didn't you?...

The rules of condom use are as follows:

  1. Get condoms that fit. Not too loose, but not too tight, either. If you have any difficulty rolling condoms up onto your member, try going a size up. Likewise if your condoms are slipping off during sex - this is often not because they are too loose, but because they are too tight, and they're getting squeezed off of you during intercourse. I'm only somewhat larger than average for a white man of my height, so never used to think I needed a bigger sized condom, and couldn't figure out why sometimes I just could NOT get condoms on, and why they slipped off so much - nothing helped (all kinds of different brands, types, etc.), until I switched up into larger condoms - and presto, all my problems getting condoms on and having them fall off vanished.

    Trojan Magnums are my brand of choice; my general feeling these days are that regular sized rubbers are made for smaller men and men who are on the low-side of "average", while large-size condoms (which actually aren't any longer, just girthier) are made for men on the larger end of average. If you're especially big, they have XXL and up condoms as well, and if you're smaller than average, there are smaller varieties available too.

  2. Do not use any single condom for more than one sex act. Once you've ejaculated, it's very easy for condoms to slip off if you start up having sex again with the same condom on; the semen inside makes things very slippery. Make sure you change rubbers between rounds if you don't want to lose your protection.

  3. Don't use lubricants of a different base than your condom is. You may not realize it, but most condoms, being latex-based, do not agree with oil-based lubricants - and if you spread some petroleum jelly atop your condomed member to give yourself a little smoother of a time, you may very well end up having the lubricant eat through the condom. Get water-based lubricants (like Divine No. 9, mentioned below) if you want to use these with latex condoms, or get polyurethane condoms if you're dead set on using an oil-based lubricant (like Vaseline).

  4. Keep plenty of condoms on you at all times. If you don't have any, or enough, condoms on you, that means one of two things will happen - one bad, and one risky:

    1. You can't have any (or any further) sex

    2. You decide to just chance it and go bareback

    There's no reasonable justification for not having enough condoms on you - it's easy to stash one in your wallet, a few in an inner coat pocket, and a pair in your pants pockets. If you're wearing swim trunks, get a pair with a little pouch on the inside - you can put your keys there, and a backup condom - nothing quite as exciting as beach or ocean sex. Even if you're not planning to meet women, you should have condoms in your wallet, jacket, and briefcase that are just always there - maybe you only end up needing them a few times a year, but those few times a year you need them, you'll be very glad you have them.

  5. Keep your condoms easily accessible. In the heat of the moment, your first time getting together, do you really want to be telling her to hold on while you run back over to your coat to pull out a little square packet? Will you even have the discipline to (or the balls to - what if she loses her passion and desire for sex while you're running over there, and changes her mind)?

    You should always have at least one condom somewhere that's easy access for you - a pants pocket, a convenient position next to your bed or sofa if you're at home in the bachelor pad - so that you never have to decide that, okay, just for this FIRST round you'll skip the condom, just to get it in her so as not to break the mood, and then for round 2 you'll go and get the condom because sex by that point is already a done deal. If you're going back to her place, take a moment to sneak a condom out of your jacket pocket and into your front pants pocket if you don't already have one there at some point before you start escalating. Make it easy for yourself.

Do all these things right, and you'll be covered like a sausage in a plastic bag.

avoid STDs

Of course, condoms are only two-thirds of the battle; there are still things you can catch, even if you're doing everything sex ed told you to do back in high school... because sex ed didn't properly prepare you for dealing with skin-transmitted STIs.

But I will.

Avoiding Fluid-Based STDs: Using Carrageenan

Ever hear of carrageenan?

They didn't cover THIS in your sex education class!

However, I read, and at just the right period in time for me in 2007, Nature Medicine published a paper on the effects of carrageenan on HPV transmission. At the time, a girlfriend had picked up a high-risk version of HPV, probably from her unfaithful ex-fiancé, didn't find out she had it until she was already with me (she blamed me at first, but I researched the dormancy period and found out it was highly unlikely to be from me), and now I likely had it too.

A quick note on HPV: there are a number of different strains, of primarily two different varieties: high risk (with no outward signs, but a risk for cancer), and low risk (with little risk for cancer, but a fairly high chance of causing genital warts). High risk increases a woman's chance of contracting cervical cancer, and also gives a slight risk of cancer of the various other places a person might contract it (mouth - throat, tongue; anus; penis). If a woman gets a pap smear and this shows precancerous cells in her cervix, that's almost always from high risk HPV; 98% of the time, these go away on their own, but 2% of the time they become cancerous, so standard practice is to cut out the chunk of the cervix that has them when they're found (the cervix heals itself, and the process is painless, but you can't have sex for 6 weeks after, and there's an unpleasant brown discharge from the vagina that means she's going to be running through a lot of Maxi pads).

HPV takes 1 to 2 years to clear from your system in 95% of the cases; that is, unless you have an immune problem, your body's immune system handles it effectively enough that you're essentially clear of the viral load, and no longer experience the symptoms - cancer risk from the high risk variety, or genital warts from the low risk variety (both of these go away when the virus clears). However, if you keep having sex with someone with HPV, what happens is that you continually reinfect each other, giving each other dose after dose of fresh viral loads, so that your body has a much harder time and takes a lot longer to get clear of it.

Back to that paper I stumbled across in 2007 from - here's the abstract:

Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and virtually all cases of cervical cancer are attributable to infection by a subset of HPVs (reviewed in ref. 1). Despite the high incidence of HPV infection and the recent development of a prophylactic vaccine that confers protection against some HPV types2, many features of HPV infection are poorly understood. It remains worthwhile to consider other interventions against genital HPVs, particularly those that target infections not prevented by the current vaccine. However, productive papillomavirus infection is species- and tissue-restricted, and traditional models use animal papillomaviruses that infect the skin or oral mucosa3. Here we report the development of a mouse model of cervicovaginal infection with HPV16 that recapitulates the establishment phase of papillomavirus infection. Transduction of a reporter gene by an HPV16 pseudovirus was characterized by histology and quantified by whole-organ, multispectral imaging. Disruption of the integrity of the stratified or columnar genital epithelium was required for infection, which occurred after deposition of the virus on the basement membrane underlying basal keratinocytes. A widely used vaginal spermicide, nonoxynol-9 (N-9), greatly increased susceptibility to infection. In contrast, carrageenan, a polysaccharide present in some vaginal lubricants, prevented infection even in the presence of N-9, suggesting that carrageenan might serve as an effective topical HPV microbicide.

That is to say, researchers studying HPV transmission found that a popular spermicide increased the risk of transmitting HPV substantially, while carrageenan prevented transmission of HPV, even in the presence of the transmission-boosting spermicide.

After finding out my girlfriend had this and I did too, and coming across this study on carrageenan and HPV, I immediately dove into what little literature there was at the time on carrageenan, and discovered that several lubricants on the market were made from it. I bought four bottles of a brand called "Divine No. 9", and started using that, both to protect myself from reinfection, and to protect myself from infection by any additional strains - there are something like 100 strains of HPV, and anywhere from 50% to 90% of sexually active adults contract at least one strain of HPV at some point or other in their lives.

avoid STDs

Subsequent research came out on carrageenan's impact on the transmission rates of both genital herpes (85% reduction in transmission - contrast that with condoms' 70% reduction in transmission; and assuming my math is right [UPDATE: Torus, in the comments below, pointed out that this math is correct only if condoms and carrageenan protect against completely separate risks; if there is overlap in the risk, which there very likely is, the protection rate is lower], condoms + carrageenan offer you 95.5% protection from HSV-2), and remarkably, when sprayed into the nostrils, the common cold, reducing symptoms and viral load in early stage common cold infections - the first substance ever to have been found effective vs. the common cold.

This stuff is like death liquid for viruses.

One thing it has distinctly been shown to not be effective against is HIV transmission from men to women, so it isn't advised for women to think they can use carrageenan to prevent that sort of infection - either sperm is deposited too deeply into a woman for the lubricant to affect it, or the virus is not affected by the carrageenan itself.

No research yet on other skin-transmitted STIs like molluscum or syphilis, or on parasites like trich, scabies, or pubic lice, but at least two of the most common skin-transmitted sexual diseases - HPV and HSV-2 - are covered.

My general recommendations for using carrageenan-based lubricants:

  1. Apply the lubricant after putting on a condom. If you're using a condom - and if you want maximum protection (as well as protection from fluid-based STDs), you'll use a condom - put your lubricant on last. That's just simple common sense - if you lube up and THEN put the condom on, guess what stands a good chance of sliding right off?

  2. For extended protection, apply lubricant to her as well. After you lube up the part of your skin that isn't protected by the condom, I'd recommend you lubricate the orifice you'll be penetrating as well - this offers both of you an extra layer of protection. You don't have to use a huge amount - you don't want it to be too slippery in there, after all! - but just add enough that there's a light covering of lubrication (that will get spread around further during sex).

  3. Keep your supply of lubricant handy. I'd advise a bottle very near to your bed / couch / other seduction spot at home, and a bottle in your car if you drive (i.e., aren't in a city with lots of mass transit where cars are extraneous). If you're SUPER strict about this, you could always carry a bottle around in your coat, too, but while the bottles aren't THAT big, I suspect it'd get a little uncomfortable to carry around with you everywhere after a while. You could always buy a tiny refillable bottle, and just keep a small supply with you if you wanted to really never leave home without it.

Also, regarding HPV specifically, I'd STRONGLY recommend you get inoculated against the disease. The current vaccines on the market, Gardasil and Cervarix, vaccinate you against the strains of HPV that cause most cancers as well as the separate strains that cause most genital warts. HPV's more an annoyance than anything, but let me tell you, it SUCKS knowing that your penis is carrying something that potentially gives a woman cancer if you stick it into her. That girlfriend of mine had to have precancerous cells removed twice - the first time, from her earlier infection, but the second time may well be because she'd infected me and I'd reinfected her before getting serious about protecting against HPV transmission. There's no test for men, but I'm certain I cleared myself of HPV after a year of strictly using condoms and carrageenan like nobody's business, since girlfriends I was sleeping with less carefully after this period came back consistently negative on their pap smears... but that was not a fun time for me, sexually speaking.

The vaccines on the market are currently only clinically tested on women, and approved only for women under the age of 26, but administering them is at the physician's discretion; if you make it clear you want to be immunized, you won't have too much trouble finding a physician who will immunize you against HPV, even if you're male and 72 years old. The vaccination takes 3 shots administered over the course of a few months, but it's worth it to know you won't ever have to worry about walking around with a cancer-giving rod in your pants.

There's currently no vaccine to protect against herpes, and both strains - oral and genital - you can get orally or genitally (or anally, but let's not go there), however you're exposed - so if a girl with cold sores gives you a blow job without you having a condom on, and she's shedding (has open sores), you may very well end up with cold sores on your little man downstairs. Again, don't think you're safe because it's oral - you're not.

Fortunately, however, Yale is hard at work on a herpes vaccine - here's hoping they can get this one to market as soon as possible, and make mankind's favorite pastime a little less risky.

How to Avoid STDs

If you want a 100% solution, I haven't got it for you. In that sense, the Catholic church is right - the only way to 100% avoid picking up a sexually transmitted infection is to not have sex. However, if you combine smart condom use with smart carrageenan-based lubricant use, you can reduce your odds of picking anything up dramatically. That doesn't mean zero; it just means near zero.

Don't forget to check out the lay of the land before you take the grand tour - if you see any unusual bumps, sores, or discharges (or get a whiff of an especially rotten scent), take a rain check. I'd advise you also do a Google image search for pictures of what the various STDs look like on genitals (herpes sores, genital warts, syphilis sores, molluscum, scabies, etc.) - it won't be pretty to look at, but you'll know what you're seeing when you see it if you run into it in real life.

avoid STDs

Another big recommendation I have for you is this: avoid seriously seedy people. That sexy hood rat, or the hot mess with smeared makeup who loves cocaine and hooking up with random dudes? Pass her up. If she's a sketchy person, she sleeps with other sketchy people, and you're exposing yourself not just to her, but to everybody she goes to bed with. Just imagine 50 other sketchy guys giving you a shot at having whatever they have.

Also, generally speaking, the more sexually experienced a person is, the looser they tend to become with condoms - as partner counts go up, condom use goes down - which is the opposite of what you should want, all things being equal. According to the research, 70% to 80% of teens used condoms during sex, while men in their 50s used condoms during only 30% of their one night stands, and a mere 10% of sex with dates or friends with benefits. As you get older, you just care less.

You also should not count on women insisting on you wearing condoms - if a girl is sufficiently aroused, she's even less in logical control of herself than you are, and in the heat of the moment, nobody WANTS to wear a condom - they want to fulfill their biological destiny and see eggs fertilized and babies made. It isn't until the cloud of sex has passed from their minds and they're thinking logically again that they say, "Oh crap... should've strapped up on that one." If you want a real wakeup call about where that innocent-looking girl lying there naked before you has been, read this article from the U.K.'s Daily Mail - "STD fears as 70% of single women admit to regularly having unprotected sex":

Eighteen per cent of single girls said they are often too drunk to use contraception - and 8 per cent said they 'just don't like using condoms'.

Dr Tony Steele is co-founder of online doctor and pharmacy, which carried out a survey of 2,000 women's attitudes to sex.

He said: 'Unsafe sex on holiday is a major concern, particularly where women plan ahead to have sex with new partners without using condoms.

'Women meet men on holiday who are complete strangers.

'They may know almost nothing about the men they meet, and having sex without contraception is a sure-fire way to increase the chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.'

The study also found 12 per cent think contraception is not always readily available when it is needed.

Despite being older and wiser, one in ten women over the age of thirty still feels embarrassed to bring up the subject of protection with a new partner.

The report also found women aged between 30 and 40 were the most likely to have contracted a sexually transmitted infection, followed by those in the 18 to 29 age group.

Again, this is a situation where you need hard rules if you want to be consistent. You probably don't like condoms, and unless you're very young and inexperienced, don't have an especially burning desire to use them.

In truth, most STDs are more an annoyance than anything, easily resolved with some antibiotics or, in the worst case (herpes), with medication to suppress outbreaks when they occur.

Nevertheless, it doesn't take much effort to avoid them - don't sleep with sketchy people, use plenty of protection if you do, and use protection with new partners as much as possible.

And, of course, get tested regularly - many cities and countries have free clinics where you can go get tested at no cost. Just to make sure you haven't got anything clogging up the pipes or closing off the tubes... this is worth doing every half a year or so.

Most of all, stay safe - sex is supposed to be a wonderful, pleasurable, satisfying experience... do your best to keep it that way, both for yourself and those you share your bed with.

Chase Amante

Chase AmanteAbout the Author: Chase Amante

Chase woke up one day in 2004 tired of being alone. So, he set to work and read every book he could find, studied every teacher he could meet, and talked to every girl he could talk to to figure out dating. After four years, scads of lays, and many great girlfriends (plus plenty of failures along the way), he launched this website. He will teach you everything he knows about girls in one single program in his Mastery Package.


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Anonymous's picture

Chase, I can't stress enough how important the website has been for me and how much I've learned and by reading almost all your articles I answered tons of questions that were boggling me for years!
I'd like to ask you about one situation though and your opinion would mean a lot.
Back in 2009 I met a girl. She was an extremely interesting person and I got infatuated with her but I totally lacked self confidence to move things forward and she wasn' t interested. I acted assholishly because I felt rejected. Not that big of a deal but still my behavious was childish and boorish. We lost contact as she actually subthly cut me off. It was 2010. Now, a couple of months back I came across her blog on the internet. She started travelling the world and is living it to the full like she always wanted to. I felt a stron resentment we're no longer in touch and I emailed her "how are you" and she didn't respond.
Chase, I read your articles how it's difficult to get in touch again and it's more advisable to move on and meet more girls, the problem is though, she was extremely interesting and valuable person. I believe we didn't meet in right time and I have changed a lot over the last couple of years. I started doing a lot of interesting things myself and I feel like I m a different person now. I've met tons of girls over the years and I do have abundance mentality but none of them really stroke the chord in me as much as she did.
Do you think there's a way the contact can come to life again? Can I try text her again? I don't want to make it obvious I watched all her blogs/video from travelling because I'm afraid that would make me look like I'm doing cyberstalking. Any method I can try or just give it a pass?

Chase Amante's picture


I can't say I really have any experience here, and even if I did it still sounds like you're not in the right place to be contacting her yet. Your comment reads as though you've noticed she's living an exciting life, and you want to hitch your wagon to hers and go along for the ride - but the men women are looking for are not the ones who look to them for adventure and excitement, but rather the ones living more exciting lives than their own, who make them want to hitch their wagons to those men's.

My big question would be what are you offering her that she is missing? If she's traveling, she's probably off having a great time, enjoying memorable sites, meeting and dating and sleeping with sexy, romantic, exotic men, and experiencing a wide range of new foods, cultures, and pleasures of all kinds. So she gets a message from a guy from her old life - he's already starting off in a boring and stale position to be starting off at - and in addition to this, he's one that she has a negative history of bad experiences with, and probably views as someone who's been an emotion and value drain on her in the past. This is just to give you an idea of what you're up against, and what you're competing with, and why it's so hard to fight poor precedent. Not only do you have to be more impressive and lusty and exciting than all those incredible experiences she's been having - which requires you to be living a life far more amazing than she is, and have ways of transmitting that value to her - but you've also got to communicate that you're a completely different person now than you were then... and do it all via text, a distinctly emotion-free medium. Or, hope that she's old enough that she's now tired of new and exciting men, and is now casting about for someone safe and stable and familiar to provide for her and start a family with... and that none of those more exciting men she's met have been willing.

You're always going to have some idealization of women you've known in the past, and there will always be some lingering desire to conquer those girls who you never succeeded at conquering, even if you go on to have plenty of experiences with plenty of other women. But, like what we talked about in "Can't Stop Thinking About Her? Here's Why You Need to Meet More Girls", these emotions are never about the woman herself, but rather about your idealized version of her.

So, you could go, build yourself into an ever more amazing man living a life 10 times as exciting as hers, and then go get in contact with her with a message positively exploding with value, but my hunch is that at that point, if you ever got her, you'd quickly realize that she wasn't nearly as wonderful and amazing as you remembered her being.


African boyo's picture

Dope and practical article...thanks dude

Anonymous's picture

yes, wearing condoms means absolutely nothing. i got a stuff and i needed 1 month of antibiotics to get cleared and might still have something though all tests were negative so might be psychosomatic aftermath.

and this is the biggest problem

on one hand
1. i NEED oral attention and i LOVE to give it
2. i cant come with condoms on, i just dont feel anything at all so i just pull out and ask for a manual finish

on the other hand
1. even this stuff was a major hassle
2. i dont have the slightest idea from who i got it from
3. its even possible to get stds in showers of gyms/etc so you cant really protect yourself, i wouldnt be surprised if i got that from the gym shower, i dont use it ever for this reason.

and i never really enjoyed sex anything than oral/handjob. apart from the fact that girls dont stay with you like this its a major major problem stdwise. its all f****ed up.

Chase Amante's picture


Hand jobs you should be fine with, although I can't offer much on oral (other than save it for girls you're seeing regularly who have been tested and you know they're clean, but I realize that's not so realistic when you love oral and love getting it from new women you're just meeting).

I will say that the chances of getting an STD from a shower are extremely remote. It might maybe be possible if, say, you use the same wash cloth or bar of soap on your genitals that another man used a few minutes before on his own genitals, but unless you're rubbing things on yourself that other people have just rubbed on themselves in the same places too, you're fine.


phelwan's picture


I would highly advise against getting vaccinated with Gardasil and Cervarix!!! I was sitting in my doctors office when i asked her about being vaccinated against HPV. She explained to me that it is a vaccine for women and that thousands of women have died or are dying and suffering from terminal illnesses. Who knows what it will do to men!! Its best like you say to always practice safe sex and if anyone contracts HPV let your bodies immune system clear it up. When you get a chance do some research on the dangers and of these two "vaccinations". Gentlemen, DO NOT get the vaccines!!


Chase Amante's picture


Doctors, unfortunately, are far from infallible. I've several times had to rescue friends and acquaintances from very bad advice about procedures from doctors that were based on those doctors' intuitions and directly refuted medical science, which you can find pretty easily by reading medical journals, searching on Google Scholar, or asking any doctor friends you have in those fields who are current with the latest research and not going off their guts. This is a big part of why getting a second opinion is so strongly recommended.

e.g., I had a friend whose doctor told her she had no choice but to get an abortion, because she'd conceived after taking the morning after pill and kept the baby after the RU486 abortion pill; the doctor insisted the child would be deformed or retarded as a result. The research on both pills shows pretty conclusively that both have zero effects on surviving embryos / fetuses, and a doctor she got a second opinion from could only say that she "didn't know if there would be effects or not." Ultimately, the child ended up being very healthy and very smart - if she'd listened to that doctor who was so certain she was right, rather than doing some research and getting a second opinion, the child would've been killed for absolutely no reason.

Re: Gardasil and Cervavix risks, the research is in, and it's pretty conclusive: no risk of death:

Personally, I'd take reputable publications over uncited and dramatic claims from a doctor any day. If you're still unsure, I'd go back to that doctor, request that she write down for you each of the places she's getting this information from, and then go check it yourself. My bet is she won't be able to name a single source, or it'll be some scare-mongering YouTube video that 5 minutes of fact checking disproves.

(the more sinister thing going on here is that these rumors are started by religious fundamentalists who fear the HPV vaccine will turn their daughters into whores, so they end up scaring people into not taking the vaccine with unfounded rumors, that end up resulting in people getting cancer and having parts of their bodies sliced off, or them dying. Pretty f'ed up if you ask me)

TL;DR: lots of doctors run on bad information, especially when it comes to side effects of pills and vaccines. Do your homework and don't believe everything a doctor says just because it's a doctor saying it - even the best don't stay current with all the research, and are susceptible to various Internet urban legends, same as anyone else.


Jim Halpert's picture

Heya Chase,

Carrageenan, I think I will actually look it up and see if I can get any, thanks to you. I've learned several things today and this this is one of them.

As the title suggests I've been having a problem when asking girls out. I really like what you mentioned about keeping things cool and low key when asking someone out. So when I go casually ask a girl if she wants to "grab lunch or dinner" with me I later find out that we were on different pages because I thought of it as a date but for her it may have come off too casual for a date and so she thinks it's as just friends especially when it's lunch.

Now I'm young and have only asked a handful of girls out, a few recently that I asked out gave me the impression that they thought I meant going to the lunch or dinner as just friends. The girls that I asked were not strangers I've known them for quite a while. We're friends I guess but we're not close friends like when I met actually each of the girls they had boyfriends so I was probably put into an acquaintance/friend category.

Q1 Do you think it's because of this^ that they thought I was just being friendly when I asked them out?

Q2 What would you say the balance is for sounding cool and calm when asking a girl out but also formal enough that they understand and know it's a date. Example texts'd be great.

Q3 (Most important haha) If a girl just wants to be friends and will go out with you to lunch or dinner but only as friends can you work with that? Can you change her mindset during the "date" from being just a friend to something more? Or is it more like once on the "date" in her head, you're LOCKED in as just a friend and nothing more?

Thanks so much Chase



Chase Amante's picture


This is what you want! You don't WANT to be taking girls out on formal dates.

I'm not sure what's happening that's bringing you into conflict with these girls, but my guess would be that you start off treating things casually, like a lover would, but then try to get serious and turn things into something formal later on, the switch is incongruent, the girl feels weird, and things blow up. For the proper tone you want to strike on dates, see these articles:

If you're doing things right, you'll have situations like girls paying for you because it's "not a date", then the two of you going off and sleeping together.

If this is too uncomfortable, and you'd prefer to go on a more formal date structure, here's the process to use for that:

Ultimately, if you're having girls tell you they just like you as a friend, then you need to do a better job creating attraction - that's mostly down to fundamentals, and also to things like compliance, attainability, etc. - basically, all the things we talk about all over the site. But if there's an incongruence because you're starting informal and switching to formal, that's easy enough to switch - just focus on keeping things light and informal, and working within that frame, rather than trying to switch to a conventional dating structure... which many women outside of the very religious or the older-and-husband-hunting may not engage in at all. Keep things light, and you'll be all right.


michael22's picture

Hello chase, great topic.

I have a question about oral and condom:

I feel like it wouldn't be enjoyable to get oral with condom on, (not only for me),
but for her to, (But it's probably self-sacrifice for safe sex)

and also,

How can I "justify" when I put condom for oral? it's psychological weird for a girl to suck rubber, isn't it?

Chase Amante's picture


It's always your call, of course, but if you want oral with a condom, I'd recommend getting the thinnest condoms you can find specifically for that (and use a different type of condom for sex), and possibly get some of the flavored ones - they actually do have these (do a search online for "flavored condom" and you'll see all kinds - they're basically for oral sex (there's even a bacon flavored one... guess that's if you like big girls).

As for putting it on, just say, "It's safer," when you do it with a new partner. With a partner you've been seeing for a while, you can explain to her the details on transmitting things like HPV, and just tell her you want to keep both you and her safe, since men can't check if they have HPV - better to be safe, than to risk her getting throat cancer because of a little oral. You'll never get an argument to that, unless she's a complete live-in-the-moment-who-cares-about-tomorrow sexaholic who loves to suck cock. In that case, you'll just have to grin and tell her, "Well, I'm putting it on anyway!"


Anonymous's picture

now that's cool way to reply if she doesn't believe

Moria orc #17's picture


I have a quick question for you that will hopefully assist me in my ambition. Out of the several girls in my life that I'd like to date there is this girl that I am dead set on getting and I can't be swayed of that. Not recently, but I've been a "texting buddy" to her for the past while and we're decent friends but she became single like a month or two ago. I asked her out but she said she doesn't feel the same way and wants me as a friend. She said she'd be game to meet me for lunch or for supper in the evening but as friends. She's an hour away for school so she only comes home every once and a while.
SO my question is: would it be better for me to not give in to going on a "friend date" and just remain her texting buddy or refrain from texting her altogether? Or should I cave and meet her under her conditions so that I can get some god damn face time and in person conversation with her, which doesn't happen very often?
Because that's probably the biggest problem the lack of face to face communication between her and I which means no non-verbals, tone, emotion, connection, rapport, comfort nothin is keeping the tires spinning.

Chase Amante's picture


Continuing to be her texting buddy DEFINITELY won't help your cause - it'll only lead you progressively deeper into the friend zone. If you want to go from, "I like you as a friend," to, "Are you kidding? He's like my brother!", staying a texting buddy is good for that; anything else, it's terrible. She has no reason to do anything else with you, as you provide all the value she needs from you via SMS.

I'm not sure how meeting her for lunch or supper as friends will help you out either - if you were a guy with solid fundamentals and good game, you could go and turn it around, but by that point you wouldn't care about turning it around either - you'd just write it off as a botched seduction, and cut contact. Then she'd either come chasing after you and maybe you'd sleep with her, or you'd never hear from her again and would think nothing of it because you'd be too busy with more interesting women. That's the catch-22 of the friend zone - the guys who can escape don't end up in it, and the guys who want to escape it cannot.

My thoughts on this unpleasant situation are right here:

... and if you still can't be swayed after reading that, I'd point you to Ricardus's article here:


Concerned Bachelor's picture

I've been told that eating healthy and exercising improve the immune system, do you know if that significantly impacts the chance of STD infection?

And for the permanent STDs, do you know if the viral load is the primary differentiator between infection and no infection? Or does the person's immune system have a lot to do with it?

I know you're not a doctor, but I really really don't want to get herpes or genital warts or... penile cancer. I'd almost rather have HIV :(

Big thanks for this article though!

Chase Amante's picture


The food you eat and (even more so) the exercise you do absolutely have an effect on the immune system, as does increasing your levels of eustress (positive stress pushing you to do better) and decreasing your levels of distress (bad stress you feel helpless to fight). Testosterone weakens the immune system, so there's a case of one of the things that makes you feel more powerful and get more women making you more susceptible to getting sick. I'm not sure without looking it up how strong or not the various effects of each of these are, though.

Your immune system certainly affects your susceptibility to STD infection the same as it does your infection to any other disease... but I couldn't tell you how much, and I doubt it's anything close to complete coverage. e.g., if you're exposed over and over again, you'll of course get infected by something eventually, but a healthy immune system puts you at lower risk of infection than a less healthy one. I don't have numbers on this - it may be that the protection of a stronger immune system is slight; work out more, eat better, etc., and maybe you've got a mere 10% protection boost, or less. I haven't seen any research on this, so my guess would be that the effect is small enough that no one cares to research it, though it might just be no one's bothered to research it for any of a hundred other reasons.

If you want to be safe, condoms and carrageenan are a much better bet than relying on the immune system alone. A healthy immune system no doubt places the odds more in your favor, of course, though it's hard to say how much.


Limp's picture

Hi Chase.

After you posted the original article on this, I attempted to purchase divine 9, but it was no longer sold anywhere. Checked again, and it is back on sale, but looks drastically different. Might be worth changing the pic.

Also, FYI, I did ask my MD about getting the vaccine (28 y.o, virgin, was in a relationship at the time and starting to get mildly active with the gf). Was told there was no need and that it was too risky at this time for some reason. It wasn't monetary, as I offered out of pocket if insurance didn't cover it.

Also 2 questions. 1) what are your thoughts of protection needs for oral. 2) are you suggesting we stick divine 9 up our nose for the cold (is it safe to ingest?)

Chase Amante's picture


Yeah, they've changed the bottle / box design a few times. For the purposes of the article, I opted for an image that would look clear; the only pictures I could find of the present design are all tiny and look blurry if you try blowing them up to the appropriate width, unfortunately. Pretty tough to mistake what it is when you go searching for it, though.

I wasn't suggesting placing the lubrication up your nose to stop a cold; haven't done that myself, either. I was merely sharing some interesting research. However, the research itself would seem to suggest that if you're starting to catch a cold, putting Divine No. 9 up your nose might just ward it off. If I ever found myself coming down with something at a very inopportune time, I'd probably try this, personally. Better than chicken soup, it would seem.

Protection needs for oral I'd say are the same for penetrative sex. If you want to risk it and go raw, you can do it, same as with penetrative sex. If you love oral but are scared of STDs, get some thin condoms that won't affect sensation much and use a dash of carrageenan. Myself, I've never much cared for oral anyway, so I usually just pass on it considering it's something risky but that I don't tremendously enjoy... but when I do employ it (e.g., to have a girl get me hard if I'm not hard), I'm personally less strict about condoms there than I am with penetrative sex - that's more irrational emotional bias than anything else; I've grown up being told oral is "safe" by uninformed individuals, so even when I know logically that it's not, I tend to be dismissive of these concerns because it doesn't "feel" risky. A girl I wouldn't have sex with without a condom I may still have give me oral without one (though there are girls I'd never accept oral from without a condom, too). If you were going purely off the data, you'd tell me this is foolish though, and I'd probably suggest you do as science says, not as Chase does. Personally, I'm not super scared of STDs anyway; I'm more afraid a girl's going to bite my dick off with all those hard teeth and powerful mandibles during oral than I am of her giving me a nasty infection, even though the odds of the former happening are much lower than the odds of the latter.


limp's picture

Oh, I'd definitely wear a condom receiving oral from someone untested. Wondering more about giving a girl. I've read risk rates are very low, but would still prefer a dam. Wondering if you feel the same.

African boyo's picture

Hi chase

I think I speak for all the readers on this forum when i say this website has been a great help however I have a question pertaining to pick up long term. My question is would you still encourage pick up even after youve married a woman. I ask this question because whenever im in a relationship with a girl and seeing other girls my main girl is way more attracted to me than when im just seeing her exclusively. Although this is fine now as im still young i often think this will be problem when i get older as i eventually want to settle down with one girl but deep down i know that my future wife wont be attracted to me as highly as she would be if i were seeing other girls. Basically my question how do you still get married and run a fantastic marriage and maintain strength and not get complacent? Further will you continue picking up women until you die or will you eventually settle and please outline your reasoning for your answer

Chase Amante's picture


That's a very complicated question, and it's not one that's easy to answer. There's essentially no "correct" answer here. If you are a good and loyal man and do not pick up, your woman will lose some of the attraction she has for you that women retain for men who are highly desired. If you continue picking up and sleeping with women, while telling a wife that you are exclusive to her, if you're otherwise running the marriage right her attraction toward you will remain at a perpetual high level, but you will be lying to her and breaking the marriage vows you made. One path in the middle may well be granting exclusivity while continuing to flirt heavily with women, but not escalating things to sex. That's obviously easiest if you're in a career / lifestyle that puts you in constant contact with attractive women, and not so simple if you're not. Because we're getting into the realm of personal morals and value systems here, I don't have a specific recommendation - you'll have to choose your own path, and whichever path you choose is going to be a difficult one.

Another option is "don't have a traditional marriage", but that, again, is fraught with its own problems, like having to fight against society, constantly undo the reconditioning society does every time your woman leaves your side and starts getting bombarded with cultural messages contrary to the relationship setup you have, and the like.

As for me personally, all I can really say is... I'll let you know in 60 years ;) It's easy to say, "I will do XYZ forever!" but I've watched far too many men saying things like that go on to do exactly the opposite of that in as little as 6 months or a year after they've said it... and usually, the firmer the man is, the sooner he flips. I have no idea what my long-term relationship trajectory is going to look like, and can only tell you that it's probably going to be something fairly unique.


Torus's picture

Hey Chase,
Although I have been really careful with STDs (only skipped condoms when I had the girls tested which worked well so far),I agree that the media exaggerate the problem. I think it still comes from the negative attitude towards sexuality in society.
Just compare airborne diseases and STDs:
-both have rare but dangerous disease (SARS,AIDS)
-both have more common, annoying and harmless diseases (common cold,HSV)
-both are transmitted by normal human behavior (gatherings,sex)

But nobody would suggest to avoid social gatherings and it is ok to have airborne diseases, even if you spread them easily. But better avoid Sex or you get an STD, talk about it and be an social outcast, even if the consequence are not different (you get treatment).

On math: your math is only correct when you assume that the risk reduction from condoms and lube is independent, a conclusion you cannot draw from these studies. A simple (madeup) example of dependence:
Let say condoms protect 100% from Herpes when only the cervix is infected.
Lets say carrageenan protects 100% from Herpes at the cervix and the vaginal canal.
Lets say neither protects form herpes at the labia.
If these 3 assumptions are true, you would expect no additional benefit form using condom in addition to lube, when its on the labia, you will get it.
These assumptions could be true or false according to the data given, so we cannot conclude that the combinations gives 99.5 % protection.

On lube:
I think you should mention silicon based lube. It works well with condoms and does not try up, so is working better in longer sessions and with rougher sex. Situations where I learned that condoms DO break sometimes, a risk I avoid by using silicon lube or changing condoms even without coming.

One Questions:
Did you put in more research into transmission rates on oral sex?
I figured the mouth is easier check for visible infections, and I kiss the girl anyway, so I would be interesting to know what the additional risk of unprotected oral sex would be.

Chase Amante's picture


Good notes on the math, and thanks for the correction; I've added an update to the article where that's mentioned. Silicon-based lubrication sounds interesting, though I haven't tried it myself.

Re: oral transmission rates, it depends on the disease. There's a good article with a lot of different stats collected here: How Risky is Oral Sex? The research dug up by the article finds that, for instance, HSV-1 transmission occurs 9 times as often from men to women via oral than vaginal sex; conversely, of gonorrhea, only 5 to 10% of infections are of the throat, vs. other places. It also points out that oral's riskier for the woman than it is for the man when it comes to fluid-based transmission, just as women are at higher risk of contracting STDs via vaginal sex than men are, though skin-transmitted STDs have a roughly equivalent transmission rate most likely.


Petr's picture


I have a question for a musing. There was a guy in a video saying, that a man can have the same power as a girl has. The power that equals to the one where a girl has this choice, that she can pick any guy she wants because they keep coming, that she is desired. I am not sure exactly what the topic was, maybe the abundance and neediness, the contrast between these two or it was related to this inner happiness that if you are happy with yourself, then you have the power. My only thought about that would be that we have the power in choosing the girl too, but the difference is that we must be more proactive and are choosing based on who we will approach.

Don't get me wrong, please, I know you can't know what it was about, but there is this question in my head unanswered and it keeps bugging me like "What it is? What is that same power we can have." We might have the power once we are really good with women, but there are girls that look great, have non much experience with guys and they get hit on because they are beautiful. And they will get this experience sooner or later. But a guy on the other hand... I just thought that you might have an idea.

Thank you,

Petr's picture

I guess I remembered. I did not find the video but... The idea was like - if you lose your ego, you can get power like a beautiful woman, because you do not take yourself so seriously. My thought about it is like, the hottest girl kinda knows someone will take care of her even if she produces no value to society, because she provides her beauty already. And she is basically a factory for babies. But her rational mind knows and tells her that she is not completely perfect and she might be insecure because of that. And also that perspective how everyone treats her as this gorgeous unicorn and she wants to be acknowledged by her personality too. And how it gets tiring for her.

And also once she judges you (early in the conversation) as not that attractive but with potential, starts testing you and you just take all that and exaggerate it and laugh at yourself. Or own it. While other guys will be like: "No! Other girls like these jeans." or "you are this" and they respond with "So what, you are this". Maybe she starts being curious like what the hell is that if you just own your insecurities, she is more attractive than you, she can have all this and that and yet you seem to be below her from societal point of view, but you seem like you do not care about that. And maybe that is the power? Truth is that what you tell yourself can change your view on things. Well, accomplishing something that you value may do more for you than just changing perspective on things.

Chase Amante's picture


You can become quite powerful as a male, but you can never achieve exactly the same kind of power a woman holds, just as a woman never quite achieves the same power as a man. A very beautiful woman could walk down the street and point at any man she wants, and sleep with 90%+ of those men if she so chose, regardless of what's going on in that man's life or how "committed' he is (or thinks he is) to his current partner. Even the sexiest, most well-known, most desired man in the world can't do that... even rock stars deal with flakes and LMR and girls blowing them off.

A man's power is in his ability to be completely independent, and powerful in his independence. This is something women can never truly achieve, because their need to be protected and approved of is too great. The man's power with women is as the approver, while the woman's with men is as the accepter. A powerful man approves of women and validates them; however, for his approval and validation to hold salt, it must first be accepted by the women he wishes to use it with - they need to assess him as worth of approving of them and validating them, even if this is just a quick millisecond read of his fundamentals, before his approval matters to them.


Cosmo Politan's picture

What's up, Chase? Bravo on the informative article.
I'm in my high school years, so this is likely: if two virgins have sex, regardless of the use contraceptive protection, will they have a chance of receiving an STD?
I have the same question for if, say, I was not a virgin, but my partner was one.

Cosmo Politan

Chase Amante's picture


For the most part, the odds are pretty remote you'd catch anything, presuming both parties are TOTAL virgins (e.g., no sexual contact of any sort whatsoever). If you have sex with a girl who's never had penetrative sex, but she has given or received oral sex, she may still have picked something up anyway, either on her mouth or her genitals. Likewise if she's not had vaginal sex, but has had anal - you can have skin-transmitted and some fluid-transmitted diseases in the anus as well as the reproductive tract.

If she's had zero sexual contact with anyone else, the only way to be infected with something is if her mother had a disease and passed this onto her during childbirth, which can and does happen, though the odds aren't super high. This is less likely if she was delivered by Caesarian section, as she doesn't pass through the vaginal canal this way.


MrManly's picture

Even if both are virgins you could pass HSV-1 (herpes simplex type 1) if either one has it orally. Many people get "cold sores", which is HSV-1, without sexual activity. Could contract it from an infected family member or friend giving an innocent kiss, or possibly from sharing eating utensils. As you stated HSV-1 can be passed to the genitals. Oddly enough I recall reading that people with HSV-1 may have a lower risk for contracting HSV-2 (genital herpes) due to a stronger immune response

Que's picture

Hello Chase, great article. What I wanted to ask is what type of music do you listen to and which music do you recommend to someone who is trying to unplug from pop culture that contains crappy messages about women and how these regular guys view them as superior and putting them on a pedestal (by the way I've already started listening Biggie and that's the types of messages I need to hear)

Chase Amante's picture


Rap music can be good; just keep an ear out for some of its vices, which can include too much braggadocio, victim mentality, and violent lashing out (a common defensive reaction by low social status individuals, which many rappers either are, or assume identities as in their raps). It's "angry" music, if you will. Some of the less angry rap can be quite good - Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, OutKast, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Nas, and Jay-Z fall into this camp. Tupac and Biggie were always my favorites, though, again, lots of violence, bragging, and victim mentality there, but at least it's a more manly version of victim mentality ("The world's against me, so I'll strike back") than what you hear in, say, punk rock ("The world's against me, so I'll just sit down and take it").

I myself mostly listen to music that doesn't have words these days; classical music (listening to a lot of Debussy recently; "Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun" is wonderful), soundtracks from movies with music I liked (the Lord of the Rings movies have stirring scores, as do both of Joseph Kosinski's latest films, TRON: Legacy and Oblivion); and I took a liking to house / ambient / electronic music back when I first started picking up in house clubs, and find it great for setting the mood when a girl is over, or just generally relaxing / unwinding - Thievery Corporation, Kaskade, Chemical Brothers, and Daft Punk are some favorites there. I'll also occasionally go through an 80s music binge, mostly just because I have early childhood memories attached to a lot of those songs. Round that out with some oldies - The Temptations, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, all are good - and you've got a pretty good picture of what my music diet is made up of in 2013 / 2014.


Anonymous's picture

For the record, punk rock is not about "The world's against me, so I'll just sit down and take it". Punk rock is more about "Fuck you!" "Bite it, you scum", etc. And I know your comment is very old, but I thought, hell, might as well add something to the discussion. So google Iggy Pop, Fear, Dead Kennedys, Sex Pistols. Also, punks were into swastikas and nazi symbolism, and usually not because of the ideology, but just for the crack of it, just to piss everyone off, lol.

Knight's picture

Good information, thanks.

Chase's picture

You have perfect timing. I've been freaking out about an STI after a brief visit to WebMD, and though I don't know for sure yet whether I have something or not, you've definitely helped calm me down quite a bit. Thank you.

Troy's picture

Hey C
hase, Self-anylasis with my practise, field reports and persons in my social circle have all been helping me to identify my social problems and ive started tackling them as fast as i feel comfortable enough while pushing past my comfort zone.

In my self analysis and field reports ive recognized a few problems with my social skills that is:

1) Approach anxiety and overall anxiety with even my family

2) Lack of good conversation skills in every way

3) Not requesting favors from people the way a socially calibrated person would do it

4) Me having victim mentality

5) Me having an awkward vibe around people because im shy.

I was told by persons in my social circle at school that a few problems i have that make for me enemies/annoy people are:

1) Ignoring people when they call me nick names i dont like example: "mad one" would be a name they call me that i just dont like and i just try ignoring them or fighting against the label they give me. the reason why i dont want people calling me this name is because people, especially girls who hear me by my nick name "mad one" instantly ask me if im crazy or treat me like i am crazy. a friend sat with me today and told me that for a person to stop labeling me that i should just answer when im called a name i hate. my friend told me that if i dont answer them and fight/ignore the label, that the label with just stick on me more. what do you think about this?

2) Me asking rhetorical questions and things that are totally obvious example:
Someone is using a machine at the gym and im not familiar with that equiptment and i ask
me: what is that machine used to do?

everyone: (they give me the doe in the head light stare then laugh)

I have realized that i miss A LOT of obvious social cues that most people would get instantly. So i ask questions that i dont know the answer but everyone else just knows it an obvious answer. This makes it very easy for me to get noticed and singled out then teased or bullied.

How would i tackle being socially uncalibrated?
I try thinking before i talk but i just end up thinking too much that i end up not talking at all. Ive been singled out and embarassed every so often all my life that its so hard to know the right thing to do. Its like talking and thinking at the same and sounding stupid in the process. I know its a deep fear that has been stacked on more and more over the years. how would i deal with such a situation?

I was wondering why "how to overcome depression" article wasnt on the new diagnostic begineer eBook. why wasnt it there?

i have some good news today also: my suicidal thoughts are basically gone. I couldnt afford medication but your great article on "how to overcome depression", has done wonders for me.

I still have depressive thoughts but im chiping it away a little everyday. It feels so refreshing and i had to thank you a hole lot. chase, thanks my friend *hand shake and friendly hug*. im bursting with joy just typing this :).

Chase Amante's picture


Great to hear you're pushing your comfort zone. If people are calling you things directly to your face and asking you questions directly, it's impractical to ignore it, yes - you've simply got to deal with it in this case. If some girl asks you if you're crazy, just lean in, smile mischievously, and tell her, "I'm not the kind of guy you bring home to Mom and Dad," then lean back again.

If you're asking obvious questions, just start prefacing them with, "I know this is silly, but…" or, "Maybe this is a dumb question, but…" Asking these this way shows a measure of self-awareness and makes you look less ignorant and more just simply out of your element, but at least aware of it.

And re: depression - that's wonderful, man! Takes time, I know, but all good things do. I didn't include it in the beginner eBook simply because it wasn't something I thought would be applicable to everyone reading the book, but maybe that's one that ought to be in the appendix anyway - if it only helps a fraction of the readers, that's still something meaningful in the end.


Anonymous's picture

Chase, what is the best thing to say when these women come up to me comparing themselves to other women in terms of looks,body and they hope for me to say "Yeah, sure you are way more beautiful than her" even though she isn't to me. Thanks Chase

Chase Amante's picture


The answer is... bust her stones! See this article: "How to Be an Asshole – and Become Adored by Women."


Jonas's picture

Hello, Chase.
Your article about wrapping made me realize one thing so I started to search for an answer. I look at it like.. our goal as men should be to take power over the world, to produce something. Get prestigous job and these things. Have resources. And on the other hand women who should seduce this kind of guy and marry him.
I found a video of some tattooed dude, his name is Arash Di-something - point is he mentioned how girls want to know what a man does. While we want to know how she looks like. It was a really strong generalization but on some level I think it is true.
So I wanted to ask, if as in the "present article" you mentioned 60% to your present and 40% on wrapping. I think I need to focus on the present now, but I think if you focus 95% of your efforts on that, it will shape you in a way that your wrapping becomes good too. If I start a business, I will have to learn some etiquette and these things, groom myself and stuff like that. And I would say that once people start to talk about you, your activities or things you have achieved it becomes part of your wrapping. I mean if you did not know who Brad Pitt was and he just came into a bar, you would not be hit that you just met world wide famous actor. You would think he is cool based on his behaviour of course. But the fact that you know him gives stops that red light in your head telling you to just quit conversation with him, because you think "oh, he is famous, so lets just find out what he is REALLY like".

And also that difference between men and women. That if you had on one hand the love of their love, that dream person and on the other hand their biggest dream, that a man should choose the dream and a woman should choose the man. I think we as men should do those little rituals like washing our face if we have pimples or sometimes some redness so we look healthy, stretch our muscles so we can retain our posture, or maybe even meditate, but also that we should focus our primary energy on the goal and achieving it. Finding a way of making it happen. Because we are men. All this is becoming like a high voodoo to me, I am talking about seduction now. I just want to find a girl and keep her and what I read there and saw in some videos from different seduction teachers it just looks like value is very important for girl to keep her around. How other people treat you, how you treat them, how they view you and these kinds of things are maybe more important. But I think you will be surrounded with people if you offer something unique to them. And based on this thought I am battling myself as "I want to do this, but what does it bring to other people? Is not it a waste of time because I will do it only for me." Currently I feel like I should focus on things that bring value to society (I do not mean supplicating) but then I have also things that will serve only me - like I always wanted to be a Power Ranger. So taking a martial arts class and become really good at it and maybe compete. But it would tell other people like I just do it, it is impressive for some and for others it means I would be able to protect them to a degree.

Summary: I just know I need to take action but I am not sure what should I participate in.


Chase Amante's picture


The reason I recommend a split in focus on wrapping vs. present is that no one of these is enough on its own - focus entirely on the wrapping, and you'll be good at getting girls, but not good at keeping them (to put it simply); focus entirely on the present, and you'll be good at keeping girls, but not good at getting them. There is some feedback between the two, but not as much as you might like to think; that's why there are so many flashy people with nothing to back it up, and so many very solid people who are utterly boring and uninteresting. Just because you get very good in one department doesn't mean you're going to automatically become good in the other. You need the substance AND the style in presenting it to others.

As for what to work on substance-wise, it should be on whatever you feel most driven to work on. e.g., if martial arts are important to you right now, then work on that - that's absolutely substance. It contributes somewhat to your wrapping - people who are martial arts experts tend to be more at ease in all kinds of situations than people not as readily equipped to defend themselves - but it's more substance than it is style. Building up your present is more about building up various different aspects of yourself - taking different skill-building paths - which takes time, and it isn't something you can do all at once. So, pick out whatever seems most immediately interesting to you, and whichever seems like the most important to learn for right now, and start putting your time there.


Anonymous's picture

Hi Chase,

Just got a fast question for you. Sometimes I approach girls, then later find out they rejected my text by saying they had a boyfriend. For usual rejection texts that do not involve mention of a boyfriend, I usually say "Hey, no worries, let me know when your schedule frees up" and put it in her hands and leave. However, when a girl says explicitly she has a boyfriend, what is a correct way to replying to her rejection text? thanks Chase!

Chase Amante's picture


Make sure you're following this process for getting phone numbers, as anything else is going to get you a much higher flake rate / rejection rate.

Assuming you're doing things properly, and asking for phone numbers just as a way to set up logistics, if you're getting "I have a boyfriend" over text, that's a pretty hard rejection. It's safe to interpret those as just total failures, where you botched something with the girl in a really big way, or came off very awkward, pushy, or uncalibrated, so just write them off and don't even bother responding to the girl, because you're just expending extra energy on something that has a 0.0% chance of ever going anywhere.

If you feel you must absolutely respond, just send this:



Deves's picture

Does pubic hair increase the chance of getting an STD? If so, is it preferable to shave it?

Chase Amante's picture


Actually, molluscum has been shown to be much more contagious among people who've shaved or waxed, and other skin-transmitted STDs (HPV, herpes) may be more easily passed as well.

So, pubic hair seems to decrease the odds of getting an STD, rather than increase it (both yours and hers).


Anonymous's picture

Dear Chase,

I read your guide to online dating but had a quick question specific to my situation. I am a virgin at age 25 and would like to date a virgin girl as well due to religious reasons. I found a girl on okcupid who wrote all over her wall that she was still a virgin around my age. Would you tailor any of your advice back from 2011 for online dating? I intend of writing the subject for the message as being something that stands out but knowing she is not sexual, would this change change your standard online dating advice? Thanks Chase!

Chase Amante's picture


This is not my area of expertise, but I'd be a little wary of a girl claiming to be a virgin on OkCupid, especially if she's writing it all over the place. Most normal girls who are virgins don't go around advertising it like crazy... this one sounds like she might be an odd duck. I'd suspect a much better bet would be a niche website, like Catholic Match; it's kind of a long story how I ended up on there, but I set up a trial profile as an experiment and got WAY more messages on that site than I have almost anywhere else. Of course, this was a few years ago; may since have changed... but my impression back then was that there were a LOT of religious to semi-religious women on there looking for a husband. Again, of course, some of those women may have been virgins, but many of them were almost certainly not.

In any event, online is really just a pure numbers game - I've yet to see a system that allows you to pick the girl you want to talk to, tailor the perfect message for her, then get a response. So, my main recommendation if you were trying to find virgins would be to find the profiles of 20 cute virgins, and message all of them with the best thing you've got, and see who writes back. Otherwise, probably better odds meeting girls through a religious community or in a small town area, where you're more likely to find women who have yet to be deflowered.


Balla's picture

Sup chase, im at a point right now where I don't have any females to sleep with, so I guess I gotta cold approach. Im tired of feeling like this is some big life or death situation and I want to have fun doing this, instead of making it so serious and un fun. How can I have fun doing this and take pressure off of me?

I remember my first cold approach, it was a mistake and I thought it was a girl I knew, she looked like this girl I knew from my peripheral, I was looking at something else so I couldn't see her face, so I wrapped my arm around her, she let me and then we walked, then when I looked at her I realized it wasn't her, but she smiled and said it was ok.

My question is are most girls nice like this? I mean even if you get rejected will the majority be nice about it? Nice way to get started huh?

Now im looking at a sales job, its for cell phones, I read your sales article about social styles, I just want to know how should I try to sell these phones? What should I ask them and how do I make my sales sky rocket?

Thanks man.

Chase Amante's picture


You'll sometimes get nasty rejections, but it's very rare - most women are indifferent at worst, and many are very nice. The only times you'll get bad rejections usually are if a girl's walls are up very high because she's been set upon by the wolves (e.g., she's in a nightclub where tons of shady guys are hitting on her one after the other) or your approach came off REALLY bad (like, scary or intimidating or super creepy) AND she's in a very sour mood. The only other time you'll see this is if you approach in situations where you're potentially compromising a girl's reputation if she's even nice to you - e.g., in some very conservative countries, if you approach a girl of a different race in front of her social circle, she'll reject you hard, because if she's even seen talking to you her friends will start gossiping about how she's "dirty" and "chases foreigners." Not so much a problem in the States though, unless you're going for immigrant girls in front of their families or circles.

Anyway, only way to make it remotely fun that I know of is getting a good wingman to go out with you. If he's a positive guy, and you're a positive guy, and you make a game out of challenging each other to approach, approaching together, and laughing about your blow outs when it happens, it can be fun to learn. If you don't have that, then it's just swallowing the pill and putting up with the uncomfortable learning period until you break through to the other side where it starts being easier and more enjoyable.

As for sales... well, I can't give you a script, because I don't know the product! I'd advise paying close attention to how the other guys sell, and trying out their methods and seeing how people react to you using them. Beyond that, make sure you find out exactly what customers want: what features do they want? What kind of battery life do they need? Do they have a specific operating system or type of phone they prefer? I know personally one of the most annoying things I've run into in phone stores is walking in and having the phone guy right away trying to steer me toward the model he wants me to buy without knowing anything about what I'm looking for. Find out what the other person wants first, then take him to the phone that's going to do the best job of giving that to him.


The M's picture

Hi Chase,

Thanks for the informative article! I have a few questions about what you wrote:

1) Once you get warts or sores on your genitals or mouth, you're stuck with them for life, right?

2) How likely am I to get warts or gonorrhea if I give a girl oral? (I know it's not a laughing matter, but every time I say gonorrhea I think of Jim Carrey in The Yes Man saying "I am gonnnnorrhea...", lol)

3) Not an STD (or is it?), but what do you do about mononucleosis? Also, once you get that you're giving it to everyone you kiss for the rest of your life, right?

4) How/when do you bring up these issues with a girl, especially before/during first-time sex (after that it's too late!)? For instance, right before you have sex or oral sex would you ask a girl if she has an STD? Seems awkward and probably not helpful since she could just say no. I'd prefer to be casual about it, just like everything else up to that point in the date, but I know it's a serious matter...

The M

Chase Amante's picture


Cold sores (herpes simplex virus 1) on your mouth, it varies from person to person. 75% to 90% of people with HSV-1 never show symptoms (never get sores, ever). Some portion of those who get the sores only show them once or twice, then never again. Then there's another segment that has them where they flare up from time to time - I had a girlfriend who had these, and a few other friends, and they would flare up when the person was feeling particularly stressed, OR if it got very hot and dry. So for them, the key to avoiding flare ups (aside from taking medication / applying yogurt) was keeping cool and staying calm.

Genital warts most people's bodies clear between 1 year (75%? of people, if I recall) and 2 years (something like 95% of people). You'll still have the disease at very low levels in your body, but unless you're repeatedly reinfected during that timeframe, your body will fight the viral load down to something very low, and the warts will disappear.

I'm not sure of the transmission rates of HPV from woman to man during cunnilingus offhand, though the rate of oral HPV is actually higher in men (10.1%) than in women (3.6%), so it oddly seems to be higher (research here). Gonorrhea, conversely, seems to be more easily passed via fellatio than cunnilingus, with 5% to 10% of gonorrhea cases being oral, and more of these female than male.

Mono I don't know much about, but a quick visit to Wikipedia's entry with a scroll down to "Transmission" tells me it's most contagious in the first 6 weeks, and may be contagious for up to 18 months after initial infection, though it's unclear how long it normally remains infectious (although it sounds like 18 months is an outlier and it's probably usually a lot less than this).

Re: bringing STDs up, yeah, I'm not sure how you'd bring that up prior to first sex with a girl. It isn't something I do myself, so I couldn't give you a process or a script for that; if a girl objects to a condom, you can just tell her, "It's safer," and then proceed, and you usually won't get further objections. If it's something you really want to talk about prior to sex, I might recommend using Alek's sex talk and then transitioning into a sex story about how you picked up something from a girl sometime (make it funny), and then find a natural place to ask her about her STD stories or if she's ever picked up anything crazy. Still go with your gut though, even if she says, "Nope! 100% clean since the day I was born!"


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