It’s a no-brainer that women experience fear on a different level than men, but that’s not to say that men constantly live in a society governed by fear. We realize that there is a need to be willing to pay attention, ask questions to investigate and look at the differences between men and women and their relationship to fear. Where men often choose to rush into this sensation, women are actually asking them to slow down and take the situation step by step and find a way where there is a genuine connection.
This show is around the concept of fear and scarcity. I’ll rant around the concept of fear, talking about some specific things around a woman’s vigilance center, how to handle it, and how not to project your need around your fears and not to her. We also talk about this concept of scarcity, which surprisingly there’s not a lot of written up about. We live in society of fear and scarcity and we can move against it. We don’t have to believe in it. We can have a practice of knowing that one, you’re awesome and two, you deserve all that’s coming to you. We then bring Cal who hits us with the truth of the situation of what happens to a man in a long-term relationship, what happens to his sexual desire, and how he gets off on that 1% of fear, danger, lying, getting in trouble being a bad boy, and how we can work towards having that feeling and also creating a safe space for his partner.
Listen to the podcast here:
Confronting Fear and Scarcity
This show is around the concept of fear and scarcity. This topic of conversation has been coming up time and time again in many different avenues of my life. When something starts to come up, then it’s important to talk about it, to bring it to the show and discuss it. I did a show called One Unit of Fear, which is available at TuffLove.live. We discussed a lot of the concepts around fear, so I don’t want to duplicate myself too much. If you want to go to my ultimate reference on fear, go check One Unit of Fear inspired by a coaching client.
Let’s talk about some basics of fear. The first is that we all have it a lot. We live and we swim in an ocean of fear and scarcity. We live in a fear-based, scarcity-based society. You might not even be aware of this. It’s like the salmon swimming in the ocean. They don’t even know they’re in the water because that’s all they’ve ever known. All we’ve ever known is that we live in a society of fear and scarcity. It takes an incredible amount of energy, courage, and motivation agency to move away from the basic tenets of the society that’s saying “You’re doing it wrong,” “You’re not smart enough,” “You’re not good enough,” “You’re too tall,” “You’re too short,” “You work too much,” “You work too little,” “You’re on your phone too much,” “Not on your phone too little.” We live in this world that we’re doing this wrong constantly. It takes willpower. It takes an empowerment to move against the grain the society says, “You’re fucked up. You’re wrong. You’re not good looking.” Look at every beauty magazine out there, every show, they’re trying to sell your shit.
I want to give you two of the motivations for this show. The first was that I posted a Facebook video to my professional page and asked people to share it. This is the show from a man’s ego. There was a bit around there why I was no longer teaching men how to touch, and it was funny. I enjoyed it when I did it. It had power and so I took a little cut and sent it to ten trusted people of different viewpoints and said, “I’m thinking about posting this. Is this too edgy? Is this too much? Am I too much? Am I too big? Does this ruffle feathers?” The response I got was positive. I took the video, I made it pretty, I put a little banner and added subtitles, added color, and made it tight. It was a tight video and it was all ready to go. I was ready to post it and I felt this incredible amount of fear around it. I felt this incredible amount of, “What if I get flamed? What if people don’t like it? What if this ruins my career?” It was like the barbarians in my mind, all the phantoms of “What a fuckup this video is going to be” was ringing true in my mind. It took some force inside of me to click to post.
I’ve been working on myself for eighteen years and that fear is still there. That fear of the flame, the fear of the haters, it is still there so strongly. I don’t ever want to be on the show and thinking, “I got this all handled,” because it’s a lie. I don’t have this all handled. I’m still struggling through every single day. It’s a lot easier now than it was eighteen years ago. I certainly like myself a lot more. I definitely am smarter than I was eighteen years ago, but there’s still this battle against the society that I’m going to do this wrong and this will be the absolute end of my career. Every time I get on the air, I think I’m going to flub this show. I’m going to say something dumb that’s going to get picked up somewhere and I’m going to be banned by some podcast society that can close me down. Some censorship is going to come down into my house and remove all my podcasting ability. There’s some weird fear inside of me that wants to shut things down, have my genitals shrink in sphincter, and like how my whole-body fall. It’s some inherent part of me.
The second motivation for the show is I’ve had this conversation five or six times lately and so I thought I might as well make it into a podcast. This is a very important topic around the difference between men and women in their relationship to fear. A lot of times, men don’t quite understand what’s happening with their women when fear and scarcity arise. There’s this thing called the vigilance center. The vigilance center is the right hemisphere of the amygdala. The amygdala in the right hemisphere where the fear conditioning arises. I’ve been taught that the amygdala is bigger in women than men, but I researched it and that’s not true. Women’s amygdalas develop quicker than men’s, 1.5 years faster than men, so women’s fear conditioning tend to grow faster, but they’re not larger. The main part is in terms of practical relationship, a woman’s of vigilance center is very different from a man’s. As a man, I have this feeling like I could just jump out of the plane with a knife between my teeth and slay. I could land anywhere, land on my feet, and just cut down the field with that knife. I have this inherent belief that I will land from every action movie I’ve seen as a kid. Women, on the other hand, have a very different experience in terms of fear.
I went to an Alison Armstrong workshop about two years ago. Alison Armstrong is a great teacher. I highly recommend you check out her work. There was a crowd of about 300 people in this conference room and it was evenly split between men and women, maybe a little more women, 55% women or something like that. Alison said, “Men, how many of you have felt physically threatened in the last year?” Of the 150 men, maybe five or ten raised their hands. I did not raise my hand. “Men, how many in the last six months have you felt a physically intimidated?” and then maybe three or four. She went down to 24 hours and no guy in the last 24 had raised a hand. Then she turned the question to the women and said, “How many women in the last 24 hours have felt physically intimidated or threatened?” 80% of them raised their hands. I got the depth of the difference between men and women in today’s society around this concept of fear in that moment.
It was a great educational lesson. I’d always understood the theory, but I’d never seen it played out like that. What does this mean? How do we turn this into a practical piece for men to know? The first thing is to know that it’s different. If you’re trying to project as a man how to handle a woman’s fear, don’t use your methodology of how to handle your own fear to handle a woman’s fear. I have my techniques for handling my fear: breathing, grounding, thinking positive thoughts. If I take those same thoughts and project them on Morgan, odds are it’s not going to work very well because what she needs to have her fear handled is very different from what I need. The willingness to pay attention, to find out, to be curious, to be investigative, to look at the details of what my lady needs to have her fear handled is important. We’ve been discussing since the beginning of this concept of open relationships. What I need to feel solid in an open relationship and what Morgan does is significantly different than what she needs.
I can say “You’re fucked up. What’s wrong with you? What’s going on with you that you can’t handle your fear? You dumb bitch.” I can do it that way, or the second option, which is the one I picked, is, “Let’s go into that. Let’s figure out what you need to feel handled. I get curious. I get very sensitive and I slow the fuck down.” Men often want to rush through the sensation. They want to rush through it. You have to slow down. You have to be willing to take this step by step to find out what those details are. You don’t have to fix her fear, it’s not your “responsibility” to handle her fear. It’s your opportunity. If you want to have a free-flowing, honest conversation, if you want to have a way of communication to rise, you need to take the time to create the safe space to communicate. I’ve talked about this on lots of shows. People talk about people who cheat. The cheater is the one who is the “bad person.” No, it’s both people’s responsibility because they haven’t created a safe space to be honest. Your ability to create that safe space to have the information flow back and forth is paramount of importance. Take the time, be patient and be inquisitive. Don’t push it.
The second thesis is around this concept of scarcity. Before every show I do some internet searches, I spend about an hour to an hour and a half looking up things and just trying to get ideas for the show and trying to get concepts. I spend time Googling and checking the Oracle about what’s out there in the world. Interesting enough, there isn’t a lot written about scarcity and I thought that was fascinating. I thought there would be a huge amount of information around scarcity, but there’s not. Google scarcity and the first few are definitions. Wikipedia doesn’t have a great deal about scarcity. Scarcity often has to do with financial situations: scarcity of goods, scarcity of money. They talked about the concept that gold is expensive compared to air. You die without air, but because air is relatively available and gold takes a large amount to produce, the scarcity of gold has it to be of higher value.
One thing I did find in Google was this one MPR Show that discussed when you feel scarce about something, be it money, time, resources, sex and love, whatever that is, your mind will become fixated on acquiring and eliminating that scarcity and it’s like a revolving record. You can’t stop it. You get stuck in that viewpoint of trying to solve your own scarcity. Why was it great? The concept of scarcity is we live in a world of abundance and it’s only our mind that self-perpetuates the concept of scarcity. I always know, no matter what, that I can create the resources I need if I just stay in the mindset of abundance. This doesn’t always mean an immediate hit of abundance, but your willingness to believe that it’s possible to move out of the scarcity is the first step and the most important step. If you don’t move out of the mindset, your mind will, and your soul will continue to have that scarcity.
Let’s pick up the concept of money. Everyone believes on some viewpoint that they are scarce of money. Even the most affluent people I know are still afraid that the money is going to be taken from them. There’s a very small percentage of people who tend to know that the money is available. Abundance of money for some people with their upbringing and viewpoints could be having $100 in savings. That could be an incredible abundant situation that they are not living paycheck to paycheck. Some people who think that $100 million isn’t enough, there’s something that they still have to work towards. I know a lot of rich people who are scarce. The point is you need to look at your own views of scarcity and when you’re binding your own hands because you’re afraid it’s going to go all away, the fear in the scarcity is on some level your mindset. A lot of people are afraid of time, “I don’t have enough time. Don’t waste my time. Don’t steal my time. Don’t lose my energy. Don’t take my energy.” It’s all a bunch of crap. You can expand time because you’re willing to sit in the possibility of it and that mindset.
These are great high-level theories. What are your practices to be in a place where you can do it? The first thing is you need to confront your fear in your scarcity. This is what most people don’t do. You need to sit in the situation and the flow of it. What I often do is I remember that I’ve been in a situation a thousand times before with different flavors and I’m still alive and I’m still breathing and I’m still inflow. I still have a house and I still have food. If you can go back to the feeling and the experience of your past experience of abundance, you can bring that sensation and that belief into your current time. If you’re not willing to look at those details, if you’re not willing to confront it, then you’re going to get stuck in your scarcity mindset. Then you can ask for help or look for resources.
I have friends who are stuck in situations and I send them to twelve-step meetings or I send them to different places where they can get support, coaching, asking family or friends, posting on Facebook. How many people are asking for help on Facebook and get a huge response? I saw this one post about a mother who has trouble with her son who doesn’t want to learn Spanish. The response to it is creative. One wrote, “Get him a Spanish or Latina girlfriend and watch his desire to learn Spanish increase.” I thought that was great. In other words, there’s a wealth of resources out there. We live in an age that you are and can be connected to a great amount of resources without leaving your house, without leaving your phone. It’s out there, but you have to move out of this place where you’re believing time and time again that you can’t have it.
The last piece that I want to talk about fear and scarcity rings true throughout it and this concept of self-worth. This is something that I’m confronting over and over again as I move into this next phase in my life where I’m going to have to do a lot of self-promotion. I’m working on my first book. I am submitting a proposal to Hay House and a big part of the proposal is that I have a platform with listeners, email lists, Instagram followers, and Twitter followers. I fucking hate the whole concept of having to self-promote. I’m doing a lot of internal work around it. What it comes down to is I have this basic belief that I’m not worth it. I have this basic belief that, “Who cares what I have to say?” It’s not even worth my time to ask someone to post or to share my video.
We live in fear and scarcity. Internally, if we don’t do the work to believe in our own self-worth, you can’t expect other people to value, to provide for you if you’re not willing to provide and work on your own internal self. Start with the inside game. Start with the concept that “I am worth it.” Start with a concept with these simple three words, “I am awesome.” Because if you do not think you’re awesome, that’s what you’re going to project out into the world. If you want to meet your mate, if you want to meet your partner, where are they feeling? What are they noticing inside of you? They’re going feel that own internal shame and self-flagellation. You have to start with the ability to say to yourself, “I am awesome. I truly believe it and I’m worth it. I’m worth the time and attention. I am worth the investment. I am worth the world noticing me. I am worth someone sharing my three‑minute and two-second video on Facebook.” That is the details. That is the starting point of all aspects. If you’re not willing to go there, you’re up shit’s creek.
Fear and scarcity is what you make of it and it’s projected and powered by your mind. Your ability to go into it and play with it and not be victimized by it is how you interact with it. All it takes is you willing to say, “I am worth the time to face my own fear and scarcity. I am worth the time to go against the cultural grain of scarcity in the world and I am going to have my life exactly and precisely the way I want to have it.”
Our coachee is my good friend, Cal. How are you? Thanks so much for being on the show.
It’s my pleasure. I love that rant. It’s very insightful
My friend, how can we make this time most valuable to you? What would you like to about?
You’re going to change my entire life in just fifteen minutes?
It’s possible, but I’m not going to change your life. You’re going to change your life.
There is a common thread that has come up in so many of my conversations. The longest relationship I’ve had that has been a consistent, committed relationship has been two years. My first relationship was one year. That’s in my 20s, and then when I was early 30s, it was two years. I used to tell myself it’s going to take me another ten years to get to another year. My libido, my interest, my excitement, my level of sexuality goes down in most of my committed relationships I’ve been in. There’s an entire pool of how I’m experiencing myself and stories around it. The bizarre thing is that it’s so close to me and I have the least amount of insight into it whereas I had been in an open relationship most of my life. Lots of those relationships obviously come with early interests, with excitement, with newness, with exploration, curiosity as you know from your own personal experience.
What I’ve watched in the few committed relationships I’ve had, the more intimacy or the more familiarity, the less sexual excitement. I tell myself that most human beings are like that. I don’t know that to be the case. It’s one of my adult interests that one day I want to get a sample of a few thousand people and asking a few thousand people that question. For some reason, I tell myself that when people are together for a longer period of time and they know the ins and outs of their partner, they are less sexually active. It is the exception or the anomaly of people that stay as excited and turned on through the entire duration of their partnership. You speak to a lot of people about their relationship. I wonder if my assessment is correct or wrong and what you might suggest.
Thanks for being honest and vulnerable and speaking around this topic because it is a universal question. In my experience, in my coaching and studying and also my personal experience, as I’ve gone through a committed relationship with Morgan, the sexual excitement that we’ve felt in the first two to three months does decrease over time. You get into habits, you get into a row of experiences and it does take an incredible amount of energy to continue the sexual connection that goes on over time. For me, intimacy has skyrocketed in this relationship with Morgan over time. You said intimacy and sexuality goes down over time for you, the intimacy. Is intimacy and sexuality linked? Do they have to exist at the same time? For you to feel intimate with your partner, do you need to feel that sexual interest?
The answer is no most of the time in the sense that my current partner, her skin, her scent feels like home. There is a sense of everything is going to be okay. There is a sense of this is a comfortable place from a physical and a visceral sense, but the sexual arousal goes down, so that will be the distinction. My sexual arousal goes down because it almost feels like family. It feels familiar. My sexual arousal or some of my history growing up has always been synonymous with danger almost, almost violence in a sense of extreme sensation. When I slowed down or when I get more subtle, I can be intimate, but sexual arousal disappears.
This is a common problem and it’s a problem that all of us face, “How to keep the spice?” How many books are there about hot monogamy? How many books are there around self help to get this piece? This is a challenge, and to be honest, this is a challenge in my relationship as well, it is how to keep things alive and real and expanding, especially when it comes in terms of fear. As Morgan and I get closer and closer and as we get more and more deeper inside of each other, the fear of loss increases.
It seems like women’s turn-on will keep going higher with commitment and men’s turn-on goes down with commitment.
I’ve seen that in a lot of experiences. The thing to keep thinking though is the honesty around this piece, and so the level of intimacy will increase. The amount of sexual charge will increase your willingness to be honest and forthright around it.
Honesty I can integrate. Honesty I can choose. I feel I have less acumen around choosing sexual desire, and that’s annoying.
We live in a world of the next thing. We live in an ADHD society, the next porn, the next experience, the next thrill. We live in this world where your mind is looking for novelty and excitement. You’re swimming in that piece. You have to go against the grain of society to keep finding that sexual excitement with your partner. There’s also a big piece around your fear of intimacy.
I’m told that often and although it’s not like I’m looking at something and I go, “I don’t want to see it,” or “I don’t want to look at it,” I don’t see it. It’s pointed out to me a lot, but it certainly isn’t a conscious and deliberate denial of something I’m noticing. I’m like “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
I understand it’s a vague term. Do you feel like you want your partner to see all of you?
99% of the time.
What’s the 1% you don’t want her to see?
The 1% that creates excitement and turn-on of her not knowing. The 1% of wanting the kid that enjoys being caught in a lie, enjoys being caught with his hand in the bowl that he was told that if you put your hands in there, there’s going to be bad ramification. Experiencing the bad ramification doesn’t come with complete honesty because I wouldn’t have done it.
What’s the thrill of being caught? What turns you on around that?
Being bad, being wrong. If I was taking judgment out of it and I was just looking at my nervous system, what you will see is spike and sensation, high sensation, back to my initial introduction to turn on.
Because you grew up in a world where turn-on and sexuality were mixed in with danger and adventure, abuse.
Not so much adventure, more like abuse, almost the divulged version of fear. It’s like “How do I get the experience of that 1%?” Where for women, or at least my partner, that 1% is the poisonous one thing she doesn’t want to experience, which is me going against the integrity of the rest of the 99%.
That is a challenging math equation around a woman with her fear and her vigilance center. I’m not going say it’s probable, but do you think it’s possible that she could feel fear and security in the danger and adventure?
You’re asking is it possible that she could feel security in that adventure? As in “Could I figure out a way where I can contextualize that she can also find security and trust in that 1%?” Perhaps it’s possible.
If it’s possible, then it’s your challenge and your opportunity to go with her to create that security. Morgan, at this point, does not feel comfortable for me going off for my own adventures. It’s a definitive. It’s an agreement that we have, and so I’ve made the agreement to not do that until she feels comfortable. She may never feel comfortable in that situation. My relationship is so important to me and her security is so important to me that I’m willing to travel down the road to find out what’s underneath, to follow through underneath all the pieces of her viewpoints around this to help her discover it that maybe some way down the line, it would be possible.
You’re saying that if chocolate was your favorite ice cream, you’ve created the relationship where you’re willing now to not eat chocolate ice cream anymore because other tastes has her feeling more comfortable, even though chocolate is what turns you on the most?
I’m not saying chocolate turns me on the most, but in your experience, yes, because the intimacy that the relationship provides is more important to me than the chocolate ice cream. That’s my choice. That’s my decision. You have to decide if the intimacy of the relationship with your current partner is more important to you than the chocolate ice cream.
I do have to admit that she is more comfortable being the person finding me the chocolate ice cream than me going to find it myself. She’s not the partner who says, “I don’t want you to ever to eat chocolate, but let’s only eat on Saturday and let’s make sure we get it from the best place possible.” I have to give her credit. I’m not saying I’m living with somebody who is like “Never chocolate.”
You have a partner that’s willing to figure out how you can eat the ice cream. You guys do have the connection and the foundation. This sounds convoluted, but this is powerful what you’re saying. You have found a way that she feels comfortable providing the ice cream to you, when she decides, when she sets the date and time. There is a way for her nervous system, her security to be gratified for you to have what you want. What’s fucking this whole thing up is that you get off on destroying the whole thing because you love the fear and the danger.
You have to make the decision, and this is not an easy decision. I don’t want to minimize how challenging this is. You have to make the decision. Is the danger and excitement, destruction, the chaos more important to you in this lifetime than setting aside an environment and a situation where your partner feels secure? I’m choosing to have my partner feel secure. It is totally my choice. She’s not forcing me. She’s not making me. Every single day, I make that choice and I’m thrilled with my choice, but you’re not in agreement with your choice. That is the fork in the road. The thing that’s fucking you up is that you’re not in agreement with your choice.
From all the other relationships I have been in, she has been the biggest champion on figuring out how to deliver that to me, but I still found myself or deliberately have been choosing to be stupid enough to still experience the old thrill.
Let’s take out the word ‘stupid’ because that’s self-demeaning and I don’t want you to do that.
Stupid enough not in a condescending way. Stupid enough like against all evidence.
Let’s use the word ‘self-sabotaging’. You know exactly what you’re doing and self-sabotaging the relationship. There’s some nutrient you get from the thrill, and again, this is all value neutral. I totally believe in your desire for the thrill. I respect your feelings for it, but there’s something inside of you that wants that thrill, and in doing so, you’re harming the relationship. You have to find the path of the road where you are in agreement with the security, you find other ways with her to create that excitement to get those nutrients. I’m going through the same struggle in a different manner to find it, but I’m doing it in partnership, not out of partnership with my partner.
The inquiry of, “Do men in long-term relationships still experience sexual arousal and excitement and turn-on?” is still very interesting to me.
Statistics would show that sexual excitement decreases significantly over time. Your viewpoint is validated from my experience of talking to people. It doesn’t mean anything because every single person can go against that viewpoint to keep finding the sexual excitement with dedication. For me it’s, “Why bother?” Time and time again, the more honest I am with my partner, I find that again, how to find that excitement, how to find that thrill to keep going into the intimacy, but it’s a practice like everything else.
A comment said, “People experienced this arousal ever since.” You could talk to him. I can hook you guys up if you want to chat about his experience and what he does, but it’s true. Your willingness to do this in partnership will stop the self-sabotage of destroying your relationship.
I love that feedback and I do get that any type of practice, you can deliberately change the neurological responses, hence behavior, hence feelings and ideas around it, but it goes back to the beginning of the conversation. Are there parts that I’m not seeing that I can see yet? Is it the natural state to have different partners all the time to continue to feel arousal or is it something that I went through my past that has made me this particular way? Whereas the normal thing would be like if you’re attracted to somebody one day, 50 years later, you should still be attracted to them.
Statistics will give you information, but at the end, it’s your experience. Christopher Ryan’s Sex at Dawn can give you some data. There are plenty of books out there that can give you solid data, but at the end, you have to look at what you want in this life, what kind of partnerships you want, what kind of relationships you want. If you have a partner that’s willing to go find you ice cream, then what tweaks do you need to make in your practice and your experience if you want to continue that relationship, to keep having it? That’s the decision.
That is a decision and that is a lot more of a communication to be had around that. The next question becomes how do you rebuild trust in somebody who you have practically lost that trust with? One simple answer is time and the demonstration of a particular new behavior, but if you have any other insight on that, I would love to hear it.
Show up, presence, honesty, and let her more into your world for your motivations to find out why you’re doing things, so she understands them and then make agreements and keep agreements in your right time to show up and proving it. It is doing what it takes to have her know that you’re dedicated to the path and the partnership and you’re willing to go against your own grain of that 1% in order to stay connected. I met her one at one time, she’s a good woman, and I hope that you do what it takes because it will be hard if you lose her. Thanks for being on the show.
Thank you for your insight.
Thanks so much for being on the show. Thanks so much as always for your support. If you like more shows, please visit us at TuffLove.live. The best way to support the show is telling your friends, your colleagues, your family, your enemies to sign up for my mailing list, “You annoy me, so you should sign up for Rob’s mailing list,” or “I love you so dearly. You should sign up for Rob’s mailing list.” Send them to TuffLove.live. I have this new five email autoresponder that is slick and fun on how to have five better communication techniques.
Thank you so much for being on the show, Cal. It’s an honor to know you and to be your friend. Thanks so much for showing up and talking on a sensitive topic.
Thanks so much, go forth, get some nooky. Think of us, think of you. Take care of yourself. I love you.
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