Episode 27: Successfully Attracting and Connecting with Women with Carlos Xuma
"I do believe that everything really does come back to that all purpose self-esteem nugget" --Carlos Xuma, relationship and attraction advisor
In this podcast with Carlos Zuma, we discover what it takes for men to successfully attract and connect with women. Carlos discusses common pitfalls, as well as some common myths and stereotypes about what women want. He says that by embracing their authentic selves and becoming more confident, men are better at attracting and connecting with the women they want. Carlos shares his own experience of letting go of insecurities and finding the confidence necessary to successfully connect with the opposite sex.
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Beth Crittenden: Hello and welcome to “A Taste of Sex Guest Speaker Interviews”. I’m your host, Beth Crittenden, coming to you from OneTaste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco.
We also have a center in New York that is dedicated to conscious sensuality and awareness of all the different realms of the human experience as we learn about it through our senses. The center has a wide variety of programs and lots of different guest speakers. We teach courses as well on a practice called “Orgasmic Meditation”, and we’re just generally interested in how men and women can connect with each other and themselves and really feel like they are living as fully as possible.
On today’s show we have Carlos Xuma who is a relationship and attraction advisor. He is also a motivational coach and speaker and teacher. He has written several books. One is the “Dating Black Book”. He also has “Secrets of the Alpha Man” and “Get Your Man” which is just for women. Join us for this episode of “A Taste of Sex” Guest Speaker Interviews on Personal Life Media.
Carlos Xuma: She said that arrogance and self-awareness rarely mix very well. I thought that was a great observation, but self-awareness itself can get in the way of a lot of who we naturally are. Too much of that second guessing because you have become aware of all these things is a trap that I warn guys to watch out for.
Once you become aware of the social games and the social things that we do you start to think that it’s something you can architect. Now that you know the rules, now you’ll win the game. It’s a great way of counting cards at the table or knowing how to fix it in your favor. It doesn’t work that way.
Beth Crittenden: Given what you’ve learned in your coaching business and the people you’ve met all over the place, what do you feel like are the things that tend to trip people up the most?
Let’s start with guys. What are the ways that guys get held back in the way they want to connect with women?
Carlos Xuma: I think for a lot of guys, especially in today’s society, the kind of the post-feminist fallout generation – I don’t know what you want to call that – I’ve noticed a lot of guys were getting caught up in the logical versus emotional versus just being themselves. In other words, they were using too much of the media stereotypes of things they learned on TV.
There’s the whole social thing of being brought up in a single parent family where the mom is probably the one who is going to be raising them most of the time. They weren’t getting good role models. A whole mix of things was creating this creation of guys that were too much in their head trying to figure out what it is that is supposed to be attractive to women, rather than just letting it come out.
Beth Crittenden: What do you think guys think is most attractive to women?
Carlos Xuma: Ah, that’s a good question. I think they don’t know. I think there’s a lot of confusion about that because you get a lot of the mixed messages. You get the messages from bad romantic comedies, the ‘rom coms’. You get somebody like a ‘Luke Wilson’ stereotype that has these frat boy behaviors. He has to be humiliated enough until he’s made worthy of the woman that he really wants to get, right? That’s what they see. They see all of these messages that men are inherently kind of piggish boys, you know what I mean.
Beth Crittenden: Clueless.
Carlos Xuma: Exactly – clueless. They don’t have the social understanding, and to some degree they don’t have the same kind of social understanding that women are brought up with because women are much more collaborative. They tend to interact a lot more than guys do who are much more independent, but at the same time it’s just those bad messages about what men are worth in terms of relationships and things like that. They are immediately putting women on pedestals, and again, they start to rationalize what the attraction mechanism is. Once you start doing that, it falls to pieces.
Beth Crittenden: What do you think in your experience of working with women is what they actually want?
Carlos Xuma: I think they… We talked about this on a previous thing we did here; the panel was the authenticity part of it. Even when you’re not being at your best, when you’re still being real and being true to who you are, like – I’ll give you an example.
My father was very strong willed. He was a classic Italian, old school kind of guy. His way of raising kids today would not be tolerable; it was borderline abuse. He was very harsh, a strict disciplinarian. But, at the same time, it was uncluttered by too much self-awareness, if you know what I mean. It wasn’t second guessed. He just knew the direction to go in.
And for better or worse, there are obviously things I could talk about it in terms of how good or bad it was. I’m still the person I wanted to be.
Beth Crittenden: It was authentic.
Carlos Xuma: Exactly. It was real to who we were.
Back to your question of what it is that women are really wanting? It’s being felt, I think, to a certain degree that even the word ‘masculine’ seems to be almost politically incorrect, but that’s what women want. They want a man that’s masculine, and guys want women that are feminine because that’s the polarity that we still need. Thousands of years of evolution and all that doesn’t get changed just because we’re trying to find a new social structure for this sort of thing.
Beth Crittenden: What are the signs that someone is too much in their head, and they are not being authentic?
Carlos Xuma: For guys and these are the people I’ve worked with the most – these are some of the guys that aren’t sure about what their gender role is in a lot of ways. They put a persona on that is the ‘bait of the lure’ that they hope is going to attract the woman, and between that and their actual personality it’s a bunch of confusion. That’s the spot.
You can see it in their eyes that they’re not quire connected with who they really are. They’re not able to just cut up and be goofy. They’re not able to just roll and be vibe on the spot with somebody. They’re looking at it with too much self-awareness.
I saw a movie recently that brought this to my attention. It was another interesting way of saying it. Oh, it was a James Bond movie, “Casino Royale”, where she said that arrogance and self-awareness rarely mix very well. And I thought that was a great observation, but self-awareness itself can get in the way a lot of who we naturally are. Too much of that second guessing because you become aware of all these things is a trap that I warn guys to watch out for.
Once you become aware of the social games and the social things that we do, you start to think that it’s something that you can architect. Now that you know the rules, now you’ll win the game. You know, it’s like a great way of counting cards at the table or knowing how to fix it in your favor. It doesn’t work that way. The second you start doing that, again you disconnect from who you really are and things fall to pieces, yet again.
Again, back to your question. It’s more or less that they become disconnected from their personality. They just can’t flow from a source of their own passion, of their own sense of humor and really be in that moment. Not to be too cliché, but really they have to be there and present.
Beth Crittenden: It seems like one of the shortcuts that people take is, “Ooh, this is working for that guy. I’ll try that too”. So how do you work with guys who are just starting from scratch and not have them adopt someone else’s…
Carlos Xuma: That’s a good question. Well, honestly, I don’t always say that they shouldn’t adopt somebody else’s behavior. What I think that they should do, and this is the difference I’ve pointed out to a lot of guys, is there is modeling and there is imitation. Modeling is an ‘LP’, terminology for taking an effective example, finding the parts that work for that person and being able to adapt that to yourself.
It takes a lot more thought. Imitation is where you just blindly go out there and do what a comedian does, right? They do a parody, and that’s what it really comes to. We start imitating somebody like that. But those things that other people are using are worthwhile in that it helps a guy understand the experience from that point of view.
In other words, it is like training wheels, right? – training wheels on a bike. It helps them understand that point of view. Sometimes they might say it, and it may not come off right, but as long as they understand the mind set that it came from and they can adapt it to their personality that’s the leap they have to make.
Beth Crittenden: What do you think are the hardest, let’s call it, games that women play for guys to kind of navigate?
Carlos Xuma: One of the ones that I know that a lot of guys are keen to are the things we call ‘testing’. Women are very socially keen. They are very aware of things that are going on, and they’ll do certain things to see how a guy is going to react. And guys don’t always understand what those things are, and they think that there is something there that they have to pass, the test, right? So that’s one of the things I know that a lot of the guys are worried about, is knowing, “Oh, was that a test? Was she testing me?”
Again, it can swing wildly to one end of the spectrum where they think that everything she does is testing them in some way or another. When, in fact, it’s not her. They are getting too caught up in the need to get a certain result from the other person instead of demonstrating themselves, instead of broadcasting themselves. What they are letting happen is kind of a reverse osmosis thing, but those tests start changing their personality and the way they present themselves. And that’s what ends up turning off the authenticity and turning it into kind of ‘pick-upish’ weird behavior.
Beth Crittenden: Tell us about your kind of field testing and the work that you do. How have you learned what to tell people and what works?
Carlos Xuma: That has gone through a lot of evolution in itself. I started out actually using a lot of stuff that I read because I started doing a lot of the things that I think a lot of guys are doing now because of the popularity of its increased media coverage. You know, you’ve got TV shows on VH1 and things like that now.
I did this a long time back from a few books that I had read that are since probably way out of print. The concept that I got out of them was there are certain things that happen in human interactions that are not logical that you do have to respect. It’s just the way we interact. It’s good. It’s good that they happen that way.
So I tried out certain things, based on those rules. I remember this very clearly. Looking back on it now, it seems terribly phony, but I remember calling up somebody, leaving a message. As I was leaving the message, I hesitated at a part that would leave the meaning a little bit ambiguous or change the meaning in such a way that the person would be like… I remember doing that and thought, “You’re so clever”. [laughs] And now, it’s like, OK, that’s kind of silly, but it was part of the growth path, right?
Beth Crittenden: What reaction did you get?
Carlos Xuma: I don’t know. I just did it. I did it like a message in a bottle. I threw it out there to see, just to let it do what it was going to do, and hopefully later on it would reap a dividend. I didn’t care, but I wanted to do it.
As far as field testing, yeah, I’ve gone into interactions, and I’ve gone into situations that I’ve had nothing to fall back on but the things I had memorized or stories and things like that. They were good for a time because they helped me just relax enough so that when I got past all that initial fluff I could then get back to: OK, I can relate to them. I can let go of the nervousness, let go of the self-consciousness and self-awareness and interact with a person. And then get back connected with my own confidence so that I didn’t let that person shake up how I was presenting myself.
Again, those are a lot of the mistakes that I see other guys doing. They are letting the need for somebody else’s perception or behavior dictate how they present themselves too much.
Beth Crittenden: So what’s the solution to having that need to have it dictated? What helps?
Carlos Xuma: I read this concept this morning actually, and I thought this was very applicable. I like working in metaphors and analogies. They really teach a lot and help us become more aware of things. One of the ones that I read was this thing from Sales called “Sales Friction”. The whole process of getting somebody sold on a product or service or whatever it is involves a certain amount of friction.
You can’t interact with anybody without any kind of friction between Point A of them coming into contact with you and Point B, or hopefully Z, of selling it to them. OK, so all the way along the line you’re going to have a little bit of friction. It’s inevitable. But how much of it do you want them to experience before it’s too much and they’re like, “Oh, that’s irritating. I’ve got to go”.
I think in a lot of ways the solution is understanding how much of that friction is in your interactions with other people and why it’s there. Is it because of things in yourself that aren’t resolved? Is it you’re just not that socially aware? Do you need to learn new skills?
Is it the person that you’re with right now is just not somebody you should be with or hanging around? I find that happens frequently, too. Guys will get into a conversation with a person who’s just not there with them and just very antagonistic. Again, they start reflecting it back on themselves. I do believe that everything does come back to that all purpose, self-esteem nugget, though.
If you’re not feeling yourself and you’re not feeling that value, it’s going to be next to impossible to have the kind of healthy relationships that you want to have on the outside. It always comes back to that. Guys will avoid their inner game work because it’s a quick fix, right? But they’ll steal somebody’s clever line and go out and use it, but inevitably they keep coming back to themselves and back to me, hopefully.
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Beth Crittenden: How do you work with people? What’s your business like?
Carlos Xuma: I like to create tools for guys. I love working with guys in the field. I love working with them in seminars, but I feel like a lot of the creative things that I come up with for guys to use are beneficial. So I like to create programs and products that guys can use on their own that are not required for them to sit and delve really deeply into their childhood or anything like that, but to really put into place certain tools that help them find that universal goal to be more confident. That’s what a lot of guys are constantly told.You have to be more confident. You have to be more confident.
Well, how do you do that? Nobody really gives good solid tools for guys to do this on their own because, honestly, you’ve got to be motivated enough to do it there or it’s not going to happen anyway.
Beth Crittenden: How do you know when you’ve been successful with someone?
Carlos Xuma: Lately, it’s been through testimonials. A guy will write in something, and it’d be like, “Wow”. I got one recently. It was a guy that wrote in about really being near suicide which just floored me. I read the start of it, and I was like, “Oh my God. Do I have a problem here?” I kept reading and like, “Wow”. He really did turn things around. I was just amazed because it was as a result of one of my programs. I never thought in a million years I would have that kind of effect on a person which is very cool, very cool.
Beth Crittenden: That’s nice. You mentioned something earlier about they might, kind of, be with the wrong person or something like that. I’m wondering what’s your philosophy around… Is there a natural chemistry that certain people have and just other certain people can’t have it, or do you believe that each person when they get to a certain level and have a certain right amount of tools can find that chemistry with anyone?
Carlos Xuma: There are certain people that do better with it just because of the way they are brought up. There are not as socially carded or socially shielded so they are able to achieve rapport a lot faster with people. As far as that chemistry thing, I think a lot of it does rely on that. I think there are some people, though, that for whatever reason things just click.
What I like to give guys the alternative is, though, that they can have that happen more frequently if they can mold and really develop themselves better in terms of certain social skills, in terms of how they present themselves, how good they feel about themselves and again working from the whole ‘inside out’ principle. Are you broadcasting your personality out instead of letting the outside world dictate how you’re…Are you being reactive is really the analogy there? Are you being socially reactive? Are you being socially proactive?
Beth Crittenden: When people come to see you, are they usually kind of starting from scratch in terms of finding that passion that you talked about, or do most people have kind of an interest but they just haven’t pursuing all that much? What’s the state of the union around that?
Carlos Xuma: That’s a good question, too, because I’ve also been coming to that as being one of those little areas… Every so often, something will come up and I’ll notice it’s like a diagram of gravity where things just fall into spirals around black holes in certain planets. This is one of those things that the problems keep coming back to.
It is the whole topic of passions for people, especially for men, I think. Presenting and projecting that energy, that you’ve got passions, that you are going after passions, that you are pursuing something in life, that you’re connected to it is important.
And you asked the state of the union, about… [laughs] How was that again?
Beth Crittenden: I mean, kind of like culturally. You have this really interesting segment of clients, and I’m curious whether they start this work after they already have a cultivated interest, or are you really helping people while in the process of a relationship and attraction coaching, helping them also that passion in themselves, specifically.
Carlos Xuma: That’s where I’m different in a lot of respect from some other dating advice guys and things like that. That is the connection I want guys to have is I’m connecting with you on this topic of attracting women and being more attractive to women, but the reality here is that that’s not really what you’re trying to find.
I sense that in most every guy. It is really that he’s not pursuing his passions. He’s not going after his purpose in life, and that’s where I’m trying… I’m kind of like… It’s not a bait and switch. It’s more of I’m trying to get them to recognize that what you thought was over here is actually maybe a little bit over here, and that will come along even more for you if you are pursuing that, meaning the women will probably want to be more interested in you and will be more interested in you if you are pursuing the things that are genuinely important to you rather than making them everything, the be all end all.
Again, back to your question, I think a lot of guys do come to a point in their lives where they sense that there is something more. The women are just a symptom. The problems they are having there in getting the connection or the relationship is just a symptom of the fact that they need to be going after that purpose, that drive, that passion; the thing that really turns them on and lights things up.
That’s where a lot of guys – and I’ve talked to plenty of guys – after they’ve gone through different stuff, “I started a new business. I did that”, and they get connected back to what it is they really ought to be doing.
Beth Critttenden: That’s great.
I just like that book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. The underlying metaphor is you have to be pursuing what is important to you, and even in that book the woman knows that she can’t have a relationship with him until he’s going after it because he’ll always have that in the back of his head. What if I hadn’t? What if I had? Is this holding me back? He’ll always be unsettled, and it won’t be true.
Beth Crittenden: Is there anything that you would recommend guys hold back from women, anything you think that guys shouldn’t show women or reveal…
Carlos Xuma: This is a tough line because your… I say on one hand be real and be authentic, but at the same time if you feel these things… But there is a way of reconciling it. There’s that great saying I like: the sign of a truly enlightened mind is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas simultaneously. This is one of those, that there are certain things that you have to be able to hold back.
One of those things, I would say, is the tendency to be overly emotional or emotionally attached to women, demonstrating too much emotionality in it. For a lot of guys, this comes across as neediness, the need to describe their emotions because they have been falsely led to believe, again by media and things like that, that this is something that women really want.
It’s not really it. So, I do recommend that guys do that, but that just again is a symptom. If they are feeling that need to do that, there’s something underneath there that has to be addressed, right? I can just say, “Just do it” or “Just don’t it” all I want. That’s not going to take care of the situation for him.
So, yeah, there are things. I’ll tell them it’s not a good thing. I’m not going to tell you to do just stop something that. You need to know why you’re doing it and how to turn it off. We’re not going to go delving into your childhood or hug you in your childhood. Let’s find a reason and cut it off at the pass because it’s not helping you. Once they realize that there has to be a motivation there, they’ll do it.
Beth Crittenden: It seems like there are certain tiers to the kind of dating game industry. There’s this first level where you start to get more confident with yourself. Maybe your outer package kind of gets more polished. You learn how to dress and what to say initially; maybe, learn how to just introduce yourself.
How would you describe the tiers after that, like what’s the progression?
Carlos Xuma: In a realistic situation, you mean, for the average guy? I think there are a lot of guys that do find a lot of this information. Men have kind of the engineer mind set. They like to follow a plan, a rulebook, a map. Like I was talking about before, if they can figure a way of figuring it out, that’s cool. We’ve somehow engineered it.
So I think a lot of guys go from that step of fixing their exterior a little bit to maybe even using some of these lines, routines, storytelling, things that are put out there which are still good tools in themselves because it helps them understand social interaction better. But they still end up coming back to that inner work, that what is it that’s stopping me from being myself when I’m really talking to people because it’s not the clothes, it’s not the appearance, it’s not the looks. It’s always in that ability to connect with somebody.
I don’t think there are that many layers out there, honestly. I think it quickly comes back to that, and I know that so many guys want that easier, quicker, the American quick fix fast food response. It’s not there for a lot of them.
Beth Crittenden: So when someone’s just starting off, let’s say; they’ve had some success, but they’re a little bit baffled. How much time would you recommend they prepare themselves to do that inner work?
Carlos Xuma: To do that kind of work? You know it’s really going to depend on their situation, where they’re coming from. It doesn’t have to take as long, I think, as some people think. I think significant changes can be made in your life to the point where progress becomes exponential. I know sometimes it feels like you are kind of creeping along. It is very, very slow.
I think you make significant changes, but it always comes back to motivation. Why are you doing it? Do you have a significant enough reason to compel you to do it because you’re going to always run up against those universals, pain and pleasure? Unless you see an incredible amount of pleasure at the end of the road for you to do these changes and an incredible amount of pain if you don’t and really get attached to them, it won’t happen because you’ll become so…
It’s like the way a lot of people approach the dating world, I think. The unfortunate thing is I think a lot of people, this is men and women, look at being single as painful. So when they get in a relationship they’re not going to walk away from it out of just the pain of feeling they are going back into pain by going back to being single. They find themselves putting up with, tolerating a lot of things. I see relationships all the time that just lack that fire, that spark that keeps them going.
Beth Crittenden: What do you think is, let’s say, top one or two for each: most surprising thing that genders have about the other? What do you think men are most surprised about women, and otherwise?
Carlos Xuma: What men are most surprised about women? I think they’re surprised by how sexual women really are because, of course, there is also the social stigma of women who are very protective of their sexuality. You have to ‘get’ it from them. What did you ‘get’ off of her? That was like the terminology used back in high school, right? Because it was something you were trying to ‘get’ from them.
Beth Crittenden: How far did you go?
Carlos Xuma: Yeah. How far did you go? How many bases, man?
And I think the reverse is that women are usually really amazed just how emotional men are below that surface and how much of an emotional life is actually going on. Of course, so is it a big shock to a lot of guys, too. [laughs] Yeah.
Beth Crittenden: Nice. Is there anything else that you want to add about your business or your philosophy that you’d like people to know?
Carlos Xuma: I think that we have to be careful. There are a lot of traps I think we fall into, especially in enlightened days that we’re at right now. You look at the self-help section in the bookstore. It’s just clogged with every which way of handling relationships and people. And they all have great kernels and nuggets of information, but again it leads us down that path of too much self-awareness.
It all does come back to - you have to be careful of what I call the self-help trap or sometimes it’s called the New Age trap of being too aware of these things going on and just realize that we’re still men and women. Before we had to deal with all of this, back in the 1800’s and 1700’s we found no problem with getting together with the opposite sex.
I’ve actually talked to people in other cultures that say this, too. They say that men and women don’t have any of these problems like in certain other countries because they know who they are. They don’t really have a problem with their gender identities, and it seems to be a growing problem for a lot of people. In the end you’ve got to be willing to just let go of all the stuff you know and get back to that reality, and the reality is that the things that make us attracted to each other are not logical, they are emotional. And they’re still important and still worth respecting. So, there you go.
Beth Crittenden: Thanks so much for visiting with us.
Carlos Xuma: It’s been great. Thanks for having me.
Beth Crittenden: If you would like to learn more about Carlos’ work you can visit www.DatingDynamics.com. If you would like text or transcripts of the show, you can go to www.PersonalLifeMedia.com, and the One Taste website is www.OneTasteSF.com.
Beth Crittenden: Thanks for joining us.
Carlos Xuma: And the ladies can go to www.DatingAdviceGuru.com.
Beth Crittenden: Perfect. Women, there’s information for you, too. Thanks.
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