Category Archives: TheMalePlaybook

The Male Playbook – The Gaylord Focker

 You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. But as any man who’s ever been on a job interview, a first date or a chat room for lesbians can tell you, “be yourself” is not a real option for a first impression. Especially when that first impression involves meeting the parents of a girlfriend. When you’re an adult, you date autonomously, so these rules only apply to those who are meeting parents because the relationship is serious.

We’ve all seen Meet the Parents, starring Ben Stiller as Greg Focker, a man taking the titular action of the film. Greg makes a horrible first impression with the parents of his betrothed, and it happens because he doesn’t adhere to the simple rules of this play, now ironically named for his introductory impotence. Some of these rules are completed with planned execution, and some require the dance of repartee, but each is essential. Know them.

Rule #1 – Meet on a neutral site – Parental turf would guarantee some revertigo from girlfriend to “daddy’s little girl.” It also gives the parents a feeling of superiority as the life they built stands all around you like a testament to your youth. The inverse of that testament is also why you don’t want them coming to your bachelor pad. Restaurants are an emotionally sterile ground. Go there.

Rule #2 – The early bird gets the worm – In this case, that worm is the meal, and YOU are getting it, check and all. Show up first so you can tell the server that the check comes to you, no matter what. Maybe even pre-tip to ensure it.

Rule #3 – It’s an interview. Dress like it. – No matter how open-minded a person is, they tend to be more guarded when their children are in question. Dressing too nicely won’t hurt you. I’d argue that it goes a long way to helping you. Wear a suit, and if it feels awkward, claim to come from a late business meeting with no time to change. This tells the parents you take work and life seriously and that you probably have a little cash in your pocket as a result. When that check lands, you’ll reinforce that assumption.

 Rule #4 – Watch the clock – Dinner and drinks. Dessert if it’s pushed. That’s it. Call it a night. The longer you’re there, the more likely you are to talk about how you convinced their all-too-naive daughter to try touching her elbows behind her back for five minutes when you met her. This is a bad thing.

Rule #5 – You are a conversational cul-de-sac – DO NOT attempt to take their questions anywhere. Answer directly and deflect to a follow up question. If mom asks you where you’re from, you say, “Kansas City, born and raised. What about yourself?” Treat your spotlight like warm potato. It’s not uncomfortable, but you don’t want to be holding it. This works with almost anything. When Dad asks what your intentions for his daughter are, you say, “It’s new, and I’m just really enjoying getting to know her at this point. Any favorite memories you can share with me?” DO NOT swing for the fences. DO NOT talk about yourself. The most common fallacy of people in a first-impression scenario is that they think they can impress people on the first try.

Rule #6 – Hobbies are the new weather – The first time conversation stalls, your automatic question is, “What do you do in your free time?” Whatever the answer is, that’s your tentpole for the evening. I don’t care if their answer is breeding cats. You will be fascinated by the topic. It’s your true North, your base camp, your safety net. When the convo stalls next, it’s because you were lost in thought of the previously rapturous topic that left you wondering, “What kind of cat food is ideal during the pregnancy?” …er, something like that.

Rule #7 – Tip heavy and slow – The “heavy” portion should be a no-brainer. The “slow” portion is in regards to how quickly you close the little booklet enclosing the check. You want to write/place your tip openly so it doesn’t appear that you’re trying to sneak a miserly gratuity. But you don’t want to just leave it out there for the world to see. Tip, look at it for a 2-count as if you’re checking your work, and close the book.

Rule #8 – Thank you card – This doesn’t have to be done every time you meet with parents. Only the first. Place them a “thank you for joining for dinner” card in the mail. Stamp and all. Wondering what to say? The four steps are 1) Thank you, 2) Express pleasure 3) So much pleasure that you hope it happens again, 4) Best wishes.

There you go guys. I’m not going to pretend that parents will walk away thinking their daughter is dating some kind of real life Ed Bloom, but you check all the boxes for “respectable fellow,” and that’s pretty damn impressive.

If there’s one thing you can say about him,
Dusty “Social Person” Riedesel

The Male Playbook – “The Tony Robbins”

When push comes to shove, men don’t always answer the bell. For reasons that aren’t crystal clear, we don’t always give 110%. So when the going gets tough and no one’s tough enough to get going, what do you do? For starters, don’t rely on clichés. While it’s true that you can answer 99.8% of all sports-related questions with clichés, they’re too narrow in focus to turn an emotional tide. Instead, motivate the troops with a full-blown, perfectly-composed, motivational speech. Motivate them with “The Tony Robbins.”

The Tony Robbins is one of the most important plays to master. It successfully captures the aggregate emotion of all the greatest motivational speeches, and it does so within an easily replicated, functional blueprint that will allow you to spur on any lackluster group. So whether it’s convincing your friend to have the heart to embrace single life, getting the guys to find the stomach to eat every last rib at all-you-can-eat rib night, or giving the team an emotional leg-up on the competition, The Tony Robbins is there to give negativity .

Every great emotional speech follows this three-prong layout. Memorize and execute:

Prong 1: Calmly state the bleak facts.

  • If you break up with her, you may not see any action for months.
  • Maybe this rib joint does have 10,000 more ribs in the back.
  • Sure they’re stronger and grow more facial hair than we do. But you know what….

Prong 2: Excitedly cite intangibles and act as if they can’t fail.

  • …I know from experience that freedom makes an excellent lover!…
  •  …Last time I checked, the heart doesn’t say, “I’m full.”…
  • …I think we got a stronger spirit, and it’s time to grow some balls!…

Prong 3: Get the crowd to commit, physically or verbally. 

  • …Now shout it like you mean it, “FREEEEEEEEEEDOOOOM!!!”
  • …I want my baby back baby back baby back, I want my baby back (keep going until they’re singing with you).
  • …[really anything in this situation. I personally opt for the Titans warmp-up].

And there you have it. In less than a minute, you can turn a room full of despair into a cauldron of positive energy. To demonstrate the flexibility of The Tony Robbins, Watch this YouTube clip:

The Male Playbook – “The Marge Piercy”

The male human has been the undisputed dominant species on Earth for thousands of years, constantly defeating women for the title. The playing field was leveled considerably over a century ago when hitting women became less fashionable. Technology, economic development and “equal” rights have also been minor factors. In today’s world, the woman has become increasingly rebellious when it comes to completing her God-given tasks such as laundry, cooking, dishes, children (bearing and rearing), vacuuming, mopping, dusting, sewing and ironing (to name a handful). In worst-case scenarios, she will actually expect a man to help.

In order to maintain the lifestyle that our forebears have made us accustomed to, the modern man must employ guile and cunning. And what better way to be cunning than to be as stupid as a stoned canine?

You won’t see many plays named after a feminist, but Marge Piercy coined the phrase, “Burning dinner is not incompetence but war.”  She’s right, and war is a man’s game. A well-executed Marge Piercy convinces the woman that you can’t do anything as good as she can, so she should do everything. You achieve this in three stages: effort, incompetence and praise.

1. Effort – You want to do your part. If your lady needs a hand, you attack the chore with enthusiasm! Grab that vacuum and start the metaphorical sucking.

2. Incompetence – It’s the linchpin of a good Marge Piercy. Leave streaks when you dust, burn dinner in her favorite dish, and fold wrinkles into the clothes (especially hers). The problem obviously isn’t with your attitude. You just suck at this stuff.

3. Praise – For every time you suck at something, you should dish out a minimum of two compliments about the way your woman does it to anyone who’ll listen. “Are you using a folding board I don’t know about?” “I’ll be darned if she didn’t steal the Colonel’s secret recipe.” She’ll begin to develop pride—maybe even love—for the work she does around the house, and you can fade quietly into your recliner.

You may not like acting incompetent. Understandable. Men aren’t awesome because they can’t do things (like use double negatives or make public speeches), but you have to remember that by acting incompetent, you are actually exhibiting a higher level of competence.


The Male Playbook – “The Gangbuster” was a tongue-in-cheek blog I authored when I was 23 years old.  I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.

We’ve all been there. Outnumbered and shamefully intimidated by the “fairer” sex–not named for their methods of social interaction. “The Gangbuster” is a knife in the back of females’ group dynamics. The recipe for success is equal parts moxy and shamelessness. We’ll use a group of five girls in this example. Here’s the breakdown:

Step 1: Assessment. Use a relative ranking system to sort the girls from 1 to 5 with 1 being the girl that’s most likely to be the group ringleader (usually the hottest and bitchiest in the group) and 5 being the girl that’s most likely to inherit the earth.

Step 2: Action. Go talk to a girl that is a ranking below the least attractive girl you would want to be seen on a public date with (whenever in doubt, always pick girl 4). Don’t waste any time with the hottest girls. They’re used to getting hit on, and they stomp on male egos because they need to prove to their female acolytes that they’re SO fabulous. Actually, this need is the best thing you have going for you. It’s the beginning of jealousy. Talk to the lower level girl. You have to make her believe that you’re sincerely interested. You have to put the “act” in action. Win an Oscar.

Step 3: Hang out. The reason female friendships don’t last is because of their attention-based class system. If a girl is cute but always hangs with hotties, she and the hotties will assume there’s something wrong with her within two months because she’s not getting enough attention. Anyway, this lower level girl will welcome your attention. For once, she’s getting the free drinks and over-bearing eye contact. The longer you can hang out, two things will happen. 1) You’ll become “safer” and more accepted by the entire group. 2) The hotter girls, not used to being ignored, will become more desperate for your valuable attention.

Step 4: The Switch. The group now accepts you. You made your “in” by preying on one girl’s waning self-esteem. During the “hang out” phase, you should have slowly been opening your focus to the entire group. Now it’s time to narrow that focus to a hotter girl in the group that is feeling attention withdrawals. Converse for a while, attempt to get some distance from the group and go for your own personal close (“I’m going to call you sometime.”; “Want to get out of here?”).

Don’t ask if this really works. If you don’t succeed, then you’re not doing it right.

You’re Welcome,
Dustin “I’ll go out in riot gear” Riedesel

The Male Playbook: The Cindy Margolis was a blog I authored when I was 23 years old.  I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.

The Cindy Margolis

We all know that guy that’s always with a hot woman. And we’ve all seen the other hot women that want to be with him strictly because he’s already with a hot woman. You’re probably not that guy. So how do you get to be that guy if you don’t have any hot women to start?

In a time before the internet, your best option (assuming those scratcher’s tickets never pay off) was climbing the vaginal ladder. Hooking up with progressively less ugly chicks until you’re in the big leagues. Practice girl arguments aside, it’s not worth it. Instead, just follow the steps of the Cindy Margolis.

Named after the original “most downloaded person on the internet”, the Cindy Margolis isn’t just to make yourself feel better while scoping out hot women on the internet (although that side effect is one of the underbellies of The Male Playbook). Instead, a well-executed Cindy Margolis is a believable profile on a social network like MySpace or Facebook tactically used to make you look like a stud by placing you in the driver’s seat with a digital (albeit fake) hotty. In less than a month, hot women will be fooled into thinking that you only swim in the deep end.

Step 1: Find Your Cindy – Since you’ll be creating a fake profile for a non-existent woman, you need a lot of pictures of the same not-famous person, at least 20 or so to start. Look is crucial, and I’d recommend a blend of seductive and promiscuous. Even though women commonly use the word “slutty” as a negative reference to scantily dressed women, these “sluts” (and I use those quotes vengefully) have the physical confidence that draws out insecurity in other women. Use MySpace’s advanced search settings to find the woman you’re looking for (just click the “bi” check box under orientation for the sluttiest pictures.

Step 2: Build Your Cindy – Your safest bet is to keep it believable. Don’t swing for the fences on the profile. She doesn’t need to own three Taco Bell franchises or love Mario Puzo’s writing. Just fill up the profile with meaningless quotes from fake friends with phrases like “—Amy, the sexiest bitch alive <3”.

Step 3: Friend Your Cindy – Now that the profile is built, you need four or five of your closest friends to be connect with your Cindy Margolis. Also send about 300 friend requests people you’ve never heard of, almost all of whom will say yes because of the look-at-my-boobs profile pic. Then start interacting between yourself and your Cindy Margolis.

Step 4: Step Your Game Up – Start interacting with real women via your online network. If you write on their wall or comment on their status, they’ll at least check out your profile. Once there, they’ll see comments on your wall from your sensual Cindy Margolis saying things like, “OMG!! Last night was SO much fun! LOL. I still can’t believe you did that!!! Call me on Friday.”

And your work is done. Watch as women just lay down for you. Soon Cindy can drift off as she’ll be replaced by the genuine article on your profile. If you’re a real gamer, use multiple Cindys to start, but be careful that you don’t overcrowd the market. Cock-blocking yourself with fake women is not cool.

You’re welcome,

The Male Playbook – “The Rip Van Winkle” was a blog I authored when I was 23 years old.  I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.

The Rip Van WInkleMen as a group are pretty much split 50/50 on whether they love their girlfriend or hate their girlfriend. But one thing that all men have in common is that they need personal time away from their girlfriend. The Rip Van Winkle is a solution, but it is only to be played with girlfriends that don’t live with you.

This will require a higher level of commitment than nearly any other play in the book, and you need to have it in your head well before it is needed. Even before a girl is your girlfriend, this should already be in play. Here’s how it works:

The Rip Van Winkle is nothing but a lie with teeth. You simply insist that you always go to bed early (9 or 10PM) no matter what night of the week it is, and with nothing to wake up for, you will sleep until noon. You love sleep more than the average man, and given the choice, you would only wake up for sex and food. You will also try to wake up for sports, but then probably fall asleep on the couch.

Stick to this play, and your girl knows not to disturb you after 10PM, and that if she calls early in the morning on a weekend, you’re not going to answer. These now become your free hours. You can go out with the guys without receiving constant check-up calls and texts. You can watch TV or a movie instead of talking her to sleep. In short, you get to punch the clock a little earlier.

The magic is that since you’re actually staying up late, she’ll be more inclined to believe that you just love sleep because that’s all you’ll ever be doing around her. Snoozing in the car, on the couch and maybe even on the toilet will become regular events that sell your affliction.

The major hang-up of the Rip Van Winkle is you sometimes need to fake sleep if she stays over or is just hanging out late, but as with anything, you can make this a strength by “forcing” yourself to stay up late because you love spending time with her. You win twice.

The Male Playbook: The Show-Me State

I believe it was the great Nelly who said in his slightly popular song “Midwest Swing,” “I’m from the Show-Me state, show me 7 I’ll show you 8.” Well said Mr. Nelly.

One-upping is an art among circles of men. It’s an art that can leave you looking like the Alpha Dog in a social situation or a Douche Bag. The only time the latter is preferred is if you’re on Jersey Shore or if you’re simply from New Jersey. This takes place in the office, at the bar, in the gym, pretty much anytime there’s at least 2 guys present. Much like wolves in the wild, there’s a natural order of men in conversations, Alpha –> Omega. Let’s just be honest, a girl, your co-workers, everyone wants to hang out with the more interesting Alpha. He’s just more fun and his stories are just so damn good!

You want to see yourself as more Brad Pitt (I’m just gonna be effortlessly more interesting than you) and less as Donald Trump (I have to flash my money, suits, buildings so you think I’m interesting). Since this is a dangerous line to walk, I wanted to outline some do’s and don’ts (sp? dont’s? don’t’s?) of one-upsmanship.


  • Listen to the entire story of the lesser man and always acknowledge his story before starting your own “That’s awesome man. Yeah when I was…”
  • Stick very close to the truth on your story. embellish a little if necessary, but once you start lying it snowballs and next thing you know you’re story ends up with you riding unicorns and drinking magic beer with leprechauns. people will see through your lies.
  • Act it out where appropriate. Some people are more visual, you want everyone in your audience to appreciate your better story.
  • Have a solid punchline. I’ve heard a lot of stories that build me up, only to let me down with their weak, uninspired, pointless punchline.


  • Interrupt. If you interrupt, you’re gonna look like a D-Bag. End of story.
  • Use words to start your story like “Oh yeah, that’s nothing…” “I had that happen to me but it was way worse (better, stronger, etc)…” “Listen to how much better my story is…”
  • Try and one-up more than once. After that it just becomes a pissing contest and no one’s gonna win this. It’s just gonna get really awkward for all parties.
  • Tell your story first. Unless you’re absolutely sure that nothing can top your story.
  • End your story with “and then everyone just laughed” “i blacked out and don’t remember” or any iteration of this.

Follow these do’s and don’ts and you’ll be the largest Silverback Gorilla at your next company outing…the peacock with the brightest feathers at the bar…the most interesting M’Fer.

You might now be thinking to yourself, “who is this guy, and how arrogant of him to write on such a topic..?” Well guess what, do not try to out-humble me, because I have stories for days that will out-humble your humility.


The Male Playbook – “The Beanie Campbell” was a blog I authored when I was 23 years old.  I was pleased with it in terms of followers and reaction, but when I started a new job, I discontinued it. Now, the 40+ plays in The Male Playbook will be making appearances in Writing Bareback over the next year. Enjoy.

Public speaking holds a rare place in the ultimate male lifestyle. It’s like playing pro sports or having more than ten children. It’s an enviable skill that puts you in an elite class of masculinity, but chances are good you lack the ability and should probably avoid it like an argyle sweater. It will only make you look stupid.

Unfortunately, there are times when making a public statement can’t be ducked. Classic cases would be a Bar Mitzvah, a wedding, or after bringing the house down with a particularly strong round of karaoke. If thrown into any of these situations, the only thing less manly than bombing the speech is declining to attempt it. So you might as well stand and deliver.

If you’re not capable of delivering like Gale Sayers (and who is?), then your only option is the Beanie Campbell. The key to a Beanie Campbell is remembering that short is sweet. This is a three step play (with or without the cherry) that should be executed in under thirty seconds.

Step 1: Grace. Thank the appropriate party for the opportunity to even be at the event. You should be stricken with humility by simply being in the presence of whoever’s presence you’re in. And even though you know you’re about to kill this speech with a perfect Beanie Campbell, you ooze the humility of plebeian scum.

Step 2: Quote. You aren’t witty, and someone else already said it better. If you’re not stealing (and tweaking it to make it more applicable), then you’re not trying. Fit something in that’s tried, true and meaningful.  Funny is too risky, but a seemingly heartfelt quote can never disappoint. Pick a catch-all you can remember like, “My dad used to always say, follow your heart and you’ll never get lost.” Don’t dally here. This is merely a bridge to your big finish.

Step 3: Love. Tell the appropriate party how much you love them. You can’t over-emphasize this. In fact, a strong statement is, “I can’t over-emphasize how much I love you guys.” Always end with love.

The Cherry: It’s not for everyone, but if you’re feeling dangerous or have just had too much champagne, wrap this number up with a parting shot. This is a statement that drifts as you pass off the microphone. The classic Beanie Campbell cherry is “I’m not a talker.” Other options include a final compliment or an inside joke with the appropriate party. Never, under any circumstances should the cherry be overtly self-aggrandizing. That only undoes the subversive self-aggrandizing of the first three steps.