Think and Grow Rich: Sexual Transmutation Demystified

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the best sex tips for men? How can following these tips lead to a better sex life?

In No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert Glover offers his step-by-step plan for getting what you want in love, sex, and life. Glover’s best sex tips for men are not just about performing better in bed but are also about how to have a healthier, more empowering relationship with sex. 

Read his ten best sex tips for men below.

Dr. Robert Glover’s Best Sex Tips for Men

Glover says that for many men the pinnacle of approval is sex. But the following issues—combined with their lack of self-acceptance and their tendency to ignore their own needs—almost always ensure these men miss out on satisfying sex. 

Here are his best sex tips for men, that focus on a healthier and more confident relationship with sex:

1) Don’t Assume You Know What Women Want

According to Glover, many men incorrectly assume a woman is sexually available so long as she’s in a good mood. This makes them think they’re likely to be “rewarded” with sex if they can keep a woman from getting angry and fix all her immediate problems. 

(Shortform note: In 2008, a qualitative review examined multiple studies on how different genders perceived others’ sexual availability. Most of the reviewed studies found men more likely to assign sexual intent to behaviors and actions than women (even if the behaviors or actions in question were not sexual). While the result of these kinds of misconceptions can be as harmful as sexual assault, they may also lead to much less serious outcomes, such as minor embarrassment. If the average man is already more likely to misread “sexual” signs from women, we can assume the average Nice Guy—with his skewed belief that “bad mood = sexually unavailable”—isn’t as skilled at interpreting women’s behavior as he may think.)

2) Have Confidence

Glover emphasizes that women aren’t attracted to “jerks,” as many men assume. Rather, they’re attracted to fully realized, confident, independent humans. He states that when men grapple with simultaneous feelings of worthiness (“I’m so nice”) and unworthiness (“But I’m so bad”), their inner tension leads to a suppression of the self that can make them appear tense and boring. Ultimately, trying too hard to be “nice,” “right,” and “good” all the time makes for a lifeless (and thus unattractive) shell of a person.

(Shortform note: Why do we find confidence so attractive? It has a lot to do with our own self-esteem. When someone is confident, we tend to assume good things about their skills and personality, often believing that they’re good at all the things we’re bad at. We’re thus drawn to them, as we feel they can protect or look after us. People who are less confident are especially drawn to those who are positive, capable leaders, and confidence is a major indicator of these traits.)

3) Address Sexual Shame

Perhaps the most important of Glover’s sex tips for men is addressing sexual shame. In childhood, Glover says many men used arousal as a form of distraction from stress and loneliness. Thus, compulsions like porn and masturbation became crutches in times of discomfort.

Glover explains that as children, they thought they were bad for being sexual and therefore practiced their sexuality in secret. In adulthood, they still feel ashamed of their sexual impulses and habits. Because they’re afraid of getting caught, they exert a disproportionate amount of time and energy concealing their sexuality.

The Effects of Sexual Shame

Sexual shame can have serious effects on your mental (or even physical) health. Glover mentions this type of guilt is likely to lead to sexual addictions, but here are a few more outcomes as explained by clinical social worker Rachel Keller:

Decreased sexual arousal or pleasure: Mental blocks can prevent your natural sexual responses from functioning properly. Arousal and pleasure may be buried so deeply beneath a layer of shame that they have a hard time coming to the surface.

Feelings of disgust: When guilt and shame are tied to sex and the body from an early age, you may respond to things we deem sexual with disgust. This includes being repulsed by your body, genitals, or desires. Being disgusted with bodily functions may cause you to ask, “Is something wrong with me?” even if what you’re experiencing is natural.

Psychological splitting: If you actively conceal your sexuality—as Glover says many men do—this sexual part of yourself may “split off” from the rest of you, thus enforcing a “bad” self and a “good” self. This will only increase feelings of shame and a need for secrecy, as your “good” self continues to judge your “bad” self.

Problems with communication: Discussing things you’re ashamed of is particularly hard, so trying to work through issues in your sex life in these circumstances often leads to frustration, shutting down, and avoiding the real issues out of embarrassment.

4) Don’t Settle for Bad Sex

According to Glover, some men will distract from their own shame and anxiety by focusing solely on their partner’s pleasure. This may sound generous, but it guarantees a one-way sexual experience in which their partner isn’t able to reciprocate. Partner-focused sex also causes men to keep doing what “works,” which leads to repetitive sexual routines.

Glover explains that a man may also engage his partner in half-hearted sex through manipulative or sneaky tactics. He thinks if he focuses hard enough on pleasing her, she won’t get mad at him and will enthusiastically reciprocate. But this tactic only leads to frustrating sex. Still, to many men, bad sex is better than no sex.

(Shortform note: Despite the similarities between Glover’s Ideal Man and Deida’s Superior Man, these authors’ approaches to sex are quite different. While, as we’ve seen, Glover discourages the Ideal Man from partner-focused sex, Deida encourages the opposite. He suggests the Superior Man turn his focus outward by prioritizing connection with his woman over his own pleasure, as he believes the complete union of masculine and feminine energy is the ultimate goal of sex. Glover, on the other hand, believes pleasure is the main objective.)

According to Glover, men who settle for bad (incongruous, passionless) sex will likely keep having bad sex. If they continue to accept lazy, passive lovemaking, it will become the default.

These men won’t have good sex until they can say “no” to bad sex. But what does “good sex” look like to Glover?

  • Both partners are responsible for ensuring their own needs are met.
  • There are no prior expectations or objectives (no “She has to orgasm 3 times or I’ve failed”).
  • It’s a natural, intimate, and vulnerable expression of sexual energy with unpredictable potential—not a reenacted performance

5) Reset With a Temporary Freeze on Sex

To start having good sex, reset with a temporary freeze on sex. This may sound counterintuitive, but Glover challenges men to stop seeking out sex for a set amount of time. This will allow you to learn how you use sex (as a distraction, ego-boost) and how you go about getting it from others so you can develop a healthier relationship with your sexuality.

6) Communicate With Your Partner

Mental health journalist Beth McColl encourages you to discuss your sexual likes, dislikes, fantasies, and fears with your partner before, during, and after sex. Open communication is key to understanding each other’s needs and desires.

7) Try Something New

Social psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller encourages you to experiment (with positions, boundaries, location, and more) so you keep things exciting and don’t get stuck in the same routines

8) Get Out of Your Head

According to the Good Men Project, distractions take you out of intimate moments and away from your woman. So, don’t think too hard about orgasms, chores, or impending deadlines while you’re seeking pleasure. Instead, let yourself be fully present and connect with your partner.

9) Practice Healthy Masturbation

As part of his best sex tips for men, Glover also encourages healthy masturbation. Men must learn to pleasure themselves without shame, discomfort, and distraction before they can seek pleasure from others without shame, discomfort, and distraction. It’s easier to learn about your sexual likes and dislikes without the pressure of another person.

Like good sex, Glover says healthy masturbation is a natural, intimate, and vulnerable expression of sexual energy with unpredictable potential. It’s about doing what feels good and accepting responsibility for your needs and pleasure.

(Shortform note: Not only is masturbation good for your mental and sexual well-being, but it may also be good for your physical health. According to one comprehensive, 18-year-long Harvard study, men who orgasmed 21 times or more each month decreased their chances of prostate cancer by 33%. The reason why is still unknown, although doctors speculate you clear out harmful toxins and bacteria that might otherwise build up in your prostate when you ejaculate. Orgasms with a partner produce the same outcome, so prioritizing both masturbation and partner sex can help you reach these ejaculation goals.)

Masturbation is a generally sensitive topic for those with sexual shame, especially if they live in a repressive environment (due to religion or family) or have dealt with compulsive sexual habits in the past. However, Glover wants you to remember there’s nothing shameful about healthy masturbation. He even stresses that with a focus on pleasure (without porn or fantasy), it’s almost impossible for healthy masturbation to become compulsive.

Many sexual and mental health professionals agree that there are healthy and unhealthy ways to masturbate. In addition to Glover’s tips about refraining from porn and fantasy, here are some more ways to help you practice healthy masturbation:

Take it slow: Good masturbation is a process—not a race to the finish line. Don’t rush through your pleasure. Take your time by experimenting with other parts of your body or changing the speed of your stroke. This will help you practice taking things slow with a partner as well. 

Prep your environment: Set the mood for yourself. Make your environment comfortable and distraction free. Light candles, put on some music, dim the lights—whatever you need to do to feel good and in the moment.  

Pay attention: Be aware of your bodily responses as you pleasure yourself—your breath, your heartbeat, and any tension you might be holding. How does your body react before you orgasm? Understanding your body and its physical responses will only help you control your sexual functions with yourself or with a partner. 

Engage your fantasies: Although Glover feels fantasy is not a part of healthy masturbation, many sex therapists—including those at the Between Us Clinic—disagree. Due to mirror neurons (or visuospatial brain cells that fire whether we perform an action, picture the action, or see someone else performing the action), using your imagination to picture yourself having satisfying sex can lead to better sexual performance. (However, these therapists agree that porn doesn’t engage the brain in the same way our imagination does and therefore should not be relied on when masturbating.)

Try edging: This sexual control technique requires masturbating to the point of orgasm but stopping before ejaculation. Take a break for a minute or two, then begin again and repeat as many times as you’d like (or are able). This exercise helps build stamina and prevent premature ejaculation.

10) Have Healthy Porn Habits

Glover isn’t opposed to pornography in theory, but believes it negatively affects men by creating unrealistic expectations and increasing feelings of shame (especially when consumed in secret).

If you are going to consume porn, Glover says you must do so openly and without shame. This ensures it won’t become a compulsive, guilt-inducing habit.

Like Glover, sex educator Laci Green agrees that porn is ok to consume as long you reflect on your relationship with it and ask yourself the following questions:

Can I masturbate without porn? Glover and Green both caution against pleasuring yourself to porn. While Glover believes it should never be used in this context, Green encourages you to shake up your routine and method of arousal when masturbating so that your body doesn’t become conditioned to only respond to porn.

Am I using porn as a coping mechanism? While Green acknowledges that porn can be used for entertainment or arousal purposes, you should recognize when you’re using it to distract from negative feelings. If you start to lean on porn in times of distress, she suggests finding a different outlet, such as journaling, opening up to a friend, or seeking therapy.

Do I recognize porn isn’t realistic? Green explains that although porn may be fun to watch, it’s in no way a representation of what real sex looks like. From the actors’ “perfect” bodies to an imbalanced focus on male pleasure and penetration, porn is a fantasy. Green encourages you to remember that porn sex does not necessarily reflect good sex.

Is the porn I’m consuming ethical? The porn industry is huge and unfortunately, exploitation is not uncommon. Green urges you to consider where your porn is coming from and if all parties have consented to being filmed. She says the best way to reduce exploitation is to pay for your porn (preferably from a reputable source).  

By following Glover’s best sex tips, men can improve their confidence and ultimately will have more empowering sex.

Dr. Robert Glover’s 10 Best Sex Tips for Men

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Robert Glover's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full No More Mr. Nice Guy summary :

  • Why being a "Nice Guy" isn't actually a good thing
  • Why Nice Guys miss out on a life of self-acceptance, empowerment, and satisfaction
  • How to know if you are a Nice Guy and how to become an "Ideal Man" instead

Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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