A scheme to become sexier

“Rationality is the master lifehack which distinguishes which other lifehacks to use.”

Applying that principle to a major life challenge: becoming sexier.

Context: Why do I want to be sexy?

I am newly out of a relationship of two years and am back on the great American meat market. It is an exciting time. It is a terrifying time. Relationships and intimacy are a great source of happiness for me as a young man, so it is worth investing time doing this right.

I may do a post series as I figure this out, starting with how to become sexiers, then how to show off my sexiness, proceeding to how to meet women, and finishing with how I will pick my next long-term partner. Since researching how to do all these things from scratch would take way too long, I have borrowed heavily from Geoffrey Miller’s excellent book “Mate”.

This current post is just on how to actually be sexy. In other words, how will I acquire the traits that women find arousing in men. These traits include physical health (toned muscles, stamina), mental health, intelligence (emotional, mechanical), conscientiousness and agreeableness/​assertiveness.

Constraints and resources

I have two jobs and a modest income. I am also very ADD and low-conscientiousness. I need to limit the time I spend researching new behaviors, the time behaviors take, and the willpower required to stick with them. The key here is finding the optimal life changes given my limited resources and the increasing marginal costs of more interventions.

To conserve will-power it is especially important to turn these behaviors into habits. For that reason, I am taking a week focused on each “trait”, working to build consistent habits for each.

Week 1: Physical Health

First, I have started working out. This one is obvious, no need to justify. My workout is focused on building a few key muscle groups ASAP in short sessions. I don’t know if I’m bulking, but I am sore!

10 pushups + 20 squats + 12 arm motions ⇒ wait 30 seconds > repeat 5 times > do workout other day

Second, I have reduced the carbs in my diet. I don’t have the money or time to go “full keto” or anything. Instead I will heavily reduce pasta and rice in favor of nuts/​meats/​cheese/​veg. I’m also buying creatine because it’s $20 for a years supply, so why not.

Lose 5 pounds by reducing carbohydrates and replacing with proteins and veg. Only need to think about this while at Trader Joes.

Week 2: Mental Health

I’m improving my sleep by buying a sleep mask. I tend to wake up at first light, which cuts an hour or two of sleep each day. This is by far the most cost-effective intervention because I can get 3 for $10 and reduce the bags under my eyes. It’ll make me smarter and more attentive on dates, and give more willpower to deal with all the other stuff. A no-brainer intervention.

Buy sleep mask > put them beside bed > put my phone in a charger across the room > Put a book on my bed stand > read until sleepy > put on mask > wake up > put mask beside bed

Otherwise improving my mental health has been difficult. As I said, I’m currently doing two jobs. One is famous for its terrible mental health outcomes, and the other is at a company on the edge of collapse. I’m working on disconnecting my emotional wellbeing from those respective shitshows.

Week 3: Conscientiousness

(Time of writing is the start of conscientiousness week)

The above habit-building exercises should all increase my conscientiousness. After all, it will take willpower to work out every other day, and willpower is like a muscle (I hope!).

Next, I’m replacing my guilt-based self talk with self-compassionate self talk. The idea is to avoid videogames not by moralizing to myself, but by thinking about how happy my future self will be if I write that new piece about Yemen instead. Habits of the mind seem tougher to build, but I’ll give it the old college try. Incidentally, there’s a sequence on EA forum about this, so I’ll listen to that.

Finally, I have one more advantage. I’ve recently moved in with a clean-freak roommate, who I love dearly. She has gently reminded me of regular cleaning responsibilities, so that I build a habit. Not only is a clean apartment sexy to the ladies, it is also practice for my willpower. The key is to think about how fun the sex will be while I’m scrubbing the counters.

Week 4: Intelligence

Like many people on this forum, I am smart, just not in a sexy way.

Specifically, my emotional intelligence is a weak spot. I don’t spend enough time modeling other people in my head. I can get “out of touch” with the people I’m talking to, like a comedian practicing his routine in a closet.

Once I finish the other habits, I will practice more empathy in my daily conversations. Dates are great for empathy. Ask yourself what your date is thinking at any particular time. After each date, think about when your partner was most and least engaged. But dates are high stress and I only do two a week. So I should practice this in pedestrian interactions throughout the week.


There it is: a sketch of my sexy scheme. I mostly wrote it mainly as a planning document, but I’d love to get feedback! As always, don’t be an asshole in the comments.