Review of “The Married Man Sex Life Primer” by Athol Kay

(The book is here)

I don’t believe in God, nor do I believe that God has work. But, if there is such a thing as God’s work, Athol is doing it.

The book is divided into four parts – 1) the science of human attraction; 2) the male action plan; 3) helpful suggestions; 4) mistakes. Each section deserves some discussion.

The science of human attraction

The first part is – by far – the weakest part of the book. While I strongly recommend the book, my only substantive criticisms relate to this first part. The scientific discussions are not Athol at his best (see part 3 for that). Generally, a person’s writing suffers when they’re not at their best, and as a result there are a fair number of typos in the early part of the book.

More substantively, there is a line between describing the science behind human attraction on one hand and making the whole process seem like it’s subject to scientific laws on the other hand. I think Athol probably crosses the line – you may disagree but he certainly comes close.

Ultimately, knowing the science helps, but Game is an art – you’ll do well to keep that in mind and I don’t think it can be overemphasized. I can almost picture the really dorky types reading the first part of the book and getting out their Excel spreadsheets to calculate their likelihood of success with a woman based on her point in her menstrual cycle and the amount of dopamine he’s released into her system.

If Athol plans to re-write this book – and he should – I would suggest focusing on the way he discusses the science. He needs to find a way to explain the science without making seduction sound scientific.

The male action plan

The second part explains the basics of Game. Athol explains sex rank and tells men how it increase theirs. This is familiar stuff (to me at least) but I’m not sure anybody explains it better.

Athol is the best around at explaining what alpha and beta really mean. Both should be viewed positively, as both are necessary for a successful relationship. If you’re a beta, you need to work on alpha characteristics and vice versa. This is Game as it should be discussed and used. The book should not be underestimated as an introduction to realistic thinking about sexual relationships – it’s not just advice for married men who want more sex from their wives.


The third – as I said – is Athol at his best. It’s filled with tips that will work on your wife and on anyone else that you’re interested in. Much of this section is taken directly from old blog posts that I’d already read, but it doesn’t really matter. The stories are good and the writing is great. Here again, basically nobody does it better.

My own style is different than Athol’s. If tried some of the stuff that works for him, my wife would call me a douchebag (in a loving way). But the overall advice works for all relationships.


In this section Athol covers common mistakes. Then he concludes with some thoughts on marriage 2.0. If I were dictator for a day, I would make everyone read the final chapters on modern marriage.


14 Responses to Review of “The Married Man Sex Life Primer” by Athol Kay

  1. Handle says:

    Anything in there about child-rearing and related matters?

    • Handle says:

      Oh, and totally unrelated, my best fried a “finalist” and he’s in in DC all week for the PMF job fair. Know anything about it / have any advice for him in re: getting hired?

    • Foseti says:

      Not directly, but there is some decent advice on running a family in general.

      Frankly, some advice on post-pregnancy sex would have been sort of nice.

      • Yes I’ve been surprised at how many people have mentioned pregnancy and menopause as issues.

        I kicked myself about the mid-life crisis posts not turning into a chapter too.

        I think a “seasons of marriage” section is highly likely to make it into 2012.

      • Foseti says:

        It creates some interesting issues. My wife is breast-feeding, so she’s not ovulating. We had a son, so I didn’t want her on the pill while breast-feeding. Plus, there’s the whole issue of getting back in the saddle (so to speak) after delivering a baby.

      • In general I’d just say up the Beta in terms of helping out, but maintain the Alpha frame that you still need a reasonable level of sexual initmacy.

        Handjobs and blowjobs ftw while she recovers post partum. Ease into the vaginal stuff as tolerated.

        Don’t “stop” the sex… do what you reasonably can together. I think stopping the sex too long turns into a rut for many couples and that can extend into the future as a pattern of interaction.

  2. Hi there!

    Thanks so much for your review, I truely appreciate it. You’re very genorous on a number of points.

    I don’t think I over reach on the science other than purposely keeping it simplistic. Linking Beta to oxytocin is the underpinning that Beta isn’t bad.
    Typos are the bane of my existence. I conceed this point.

    There will be a 2012 version, each year to get better and better.

    And yes… the God’s work thing. I get that all the time and I’m an atheist. I’m just taking it all as a compliment.

  3. PRCalDude says:


    Have you guys tried since she delivered? If she built up scar-tissue after the episiotomy, there’s a quick outpatient procedure to remove it and the consensus seems to be that it’s a really good solution. A lot of it can break up with time.

    As long as she’s breastfeeding, you won’t need birth control, and maybe for a long while after that also. My wife stopped breastfeeding several months ago and she just now had her first period.

    • Foseti says:

      We been trying and we’re close to full resumption of normal activity – it took a while though. I hadn’t heard of that procedure. That might have been a good option for us.

      While ovulation ceases during breastfeeding, I think it’s a pretty mediocre form of birth control.

    • If she “just got her first period”, that means two weeks ago she was ovulating and could have gotten pregnant.

      Breastfeeding as birth control is only moderately reliable.

      • PRCalDude says:

        I guess I don’t really care. We’re going to crank them out as fast as possible. YMMV.

    • A Lady says:

      Breastfeeding only works as highly reliable birth control if the woman is sleeping with the baby at night, napping with the baby during the day, wearing the baby in a sling (not on the back), and nursing both on the infant’s demand and offering frequently (more than hourly in the first three months, hourly after that).

      Just breastfeeding or worse yet feeding the baby pumped breastmilk does relatively little for fertility. The constant skin-close contact with the baby is what keeps the ovulation away in conjunction with the suckling of the child. A lot of people think breastmilk magically confers infertility, but that’s not how it works.

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