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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.71 – Do Men Really Have High Standards?

High Standards For Guys

  • It’s not about issues of high standards with physical beauty, David Tian Ph.D. reveals the real issue.

  • Some men use the “she’s not enough” as an excuse to not even try, David Tian Ph.D. explains why men disdain what they can’t attain.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. asks men to confront their real issues with wanting hot women.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In episode 71 of Man Up, I answer the question of, do men really have high standards or is it just an excuse?

[Intro Music]

Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. I am David Tian, Ph.D., and this is: Man Up!

[Music Fades]

Hi, I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and welcome to episode 71 of Man Up! Got a question from the private Facebook group and it comes from Ita. I don’t know if that’s a real name. Well anyway, Ita from the group. It’s kind of a long question, kind of took me a little bit to get at the root of the problem or the issue and basically I will sum it up as, “Sometimes I feel that my high standards are impossible to meet and I use them as an excuse to not let myself be vulnerable and risk getting hurt or humiliated.” And I asked him about what he meant by high standards. I asked him is he mostly referring to physical.

Yes, he’s not just mostly, he’s strictly referring to physical attractiveness. “The truth is possibly because of past traumatic experiences, I feel that unless I find a girl is drop dead gorgeous and the sexiest woman alive at all times then there’s no point investing sexually with her. This is because I feel or fear that if I don’t find her that physically breath taking, I won’t be able to perform or get hard with her”. I guess past traumatic experiences, he couldn’t get it up. It’s kind of funny that it’s like a trauma but I’m assuming that he wasn’t raped or anything. I didn’t want to get him to open up in the group on that.

But I think the bigger question that I hear quite a bit or that is not that uncommon problem is this problem of, or this question of… and he’s actually, Ita, you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He was self-aware enough to know that this excuse that he uses about finding a woman who is physically attractive enough for him is that it’s just that, it’s just an excuse because he doesn’t want to be hurt or humiliated because he doesn’t want to be vulnerable. And he is afraid, I mean this whole thing, he’s afraid he can’t get it up unless she’s super, super hot.

I asked him how much experiences has he had with sex and he’s hooked up with like one night stands and flings a few times in his life. Got to give him the credit, he says he’s doing a lot of… you know, he’s gone to Tony Robbins, he’s read some Wayne Dyer and so on. Physically that’s the one area that’s he’s missing. I want to point out a few things here. First of all, this is a common excuse.

Guys do this all the time that she’s not enough as an excuse not to even try. That’s an easy way to get out of anything that makes you have fear. You just disdain what you cannot attain. That’s a common occurrence especially among young men because they don’t want to look bad. So they disdain what they can’t attain. And the problem is, that he originally started with, you know if she’s hot enough, then she doesn’t want me.

And then the girls that he could get possibly, he’s disdaining which is funny. But here’s the deal, you can’t attain it in terms of getting it up. He’s afraid that if he gets her then he won’t be able to perform in bed. It’s not so much that he’s not… he doesn’t think she’s attractive. It’s that he’s afraid that he won’t be able to get it up. And that’s a separate issue altogether.

He thinks the problem is she’s not hot enough. That’s not the fucking problem.  thing you got to know, young men, young boys, all the guys watching this. Two things you got to know. I’m going to just talk about two things and end this quickly. Try to end it quickly. Two things, the first is, nobody is perfect. And if you’re looking for the perfect physical specimen in order to guarantee, it’s not going to happen.

It’s sort of telling guys like, it’s like talking to them about the promised land and they haven’t gone there yet. Now I pull back a bit and I’d be like yeah, whatever you know. They’re not going to believe me anyway. But you know it’s not. When you pull back all the make-up’s gone, there’s no such thing as perfection and you will be… if you’re chasing some kind of ideal of perfection, you will always be unsatisfied.

You might be able to stand to the illusion of perfection or ideal or like a ten for a period of time. You know you could stay in under that illusion for six months to a year, it’s very feasible. You might even be able to stay under this illusion for three to five years. But at some point, reality will pull back – rip off – the scales of… on your eyes and you’ll see the truth that there is no such thing as perfection. The ideal is an ideal. So it’s not real. It’s ideal that doesn’t exist. You must get used to the nitty gritty of it. There’s no such thing as the perfect anything. That’s a myth of Plato. He would have totally conceded it because it’s supposed to be an ideal. It’s just that it’s the abstract form.

Anyway, that’s the ideal, stop looking for that. It’s not there, it does not exist. And he’s also looking for hot girls and the girls who are hot enough for him that he thinks he doesn’t get. Isn’t that convenient? The girls that he says are hot enough for him to get hard he thinks don’t want him. So what happens? He never has to deal… confront with… confront the real issue which is that he wasn’t able to perform on demand. This goes to the bigger issue.

Maybe this is the one I should have gone to right away. Hopefully you’ve been watching this long enough up to this point that you realize that it takes me a while to get warmed up sometimes and that’s the challenge. So here’s the thing, modern men all around the world especially with the way the internet has changed our brains cannot get it up. In general, modern men have… global…it’s a global epidemic, let me say. Global epidemic of erectile dysfunction and low testosterone. The low testosterone is a lot more complex because it comes from a lot of other factors especially the food we eat but also in the environment wherein the work we do every day, the daily routines of most males.

But the erectile dysfunction, what I mean is, they’re not very good at getting it hard and staying hard because their brains have been rewarded on the wrong stimuli. The internet has made pornography and really extreme angles and views and activities. Obviously there are these really extreme ones but then even just the availability, the quick availability of the airbrushed with the right angle all that and the right make up in all that which… it seems like it’s this fantasy and the fact that you can go through a thousand videos or whatever it is or a hundred videos in a short period of time and choose the one that fits your fantasy just right.

And then when you come to real life – the nitty gritty of real life, the imperfections of real life – it fucks with your head. Your brain literally is not trained. The dopamine receptors aren’t working. You’re getting the wrong reward. You’re conditioning your brain to only act on the wrong stimuli that you’re not going to get in real life.

Just google interviews of women about Tinder. Because with Tinder now, and that’s a whole separate awesome topic. With Tinder now, it’s made women less squeamish about anonymous sex. They’ll show up and act all slutty on Tinder because they purposely look for guys who is not in their social circle and they don’t have to go to a club or bar to do it so that no one else will see. Their friends won’t see that they can meet this guy in the sly. They just keep complaining these guys can’t get it up like another limp dick. This is an epidemic, it’s largely because you’ve been feeding your brain with the wrong stimuli.

The internet, even if it’s not porn, the internet’s given you Victoria Secret’s models *snaps* like that. You just train your brain on that. Now it’s one thing to train your eye to appreciate a certain kind of beauty. It’s another thing to be jacking off to it and ejaculating to that beauty because what’s happening is – your brain which is the largest sex organ of your body, the brain which is controlling down there – even if you take Viagra or Cialis or something, you won’t get hard unless in some way you’re turned on here.

Now if it’s your first time taking it and it’s a strong enough dose, just a little bit here will turn that on down there but this brain to dick connection still has to happen. And a lot of dudes because they’re trained on the porn or they’re trained on easy gratification, this to here is broken. I read about this ten years ago on all these PUA forums. To be honest, I actually suffered from it for a couple of years not knowing why. I just got off porn. And for other reasons. I didn’t make that link between the porn and the challenge of staying hard.

Then I started to notice performance was much better and then also I was much more eager to go out and do it. It’s sort of like you’re a lab rat and just keep getting fed the thing you want. You’re not going to get up, you’re just going to be a lazy fuck. You just sit there like a lab rat and just keep eating the pellets.

You’re not going to go on the treadmill and run around and stuff. Overall, that’s really fucking with our evolution, I mean our evolutionary produced adapted brains – porn is. And it’s going to get worse, because now there’s VR porn, and there’s 360 porn, and there’s like, it’s very realistic. All these dudes when they start getting on that, it’s like a drug.

They’re going to check the fuck out. They’re not going to be able to perform in real life. They’ll need the fantasy that they can control. She’s just got to be just this way, with just this lighting, and doing just these things saying just these things in just these angles and he’s got to be able to see it from this angle and then real life is not generally like that.

I’m just guessing, if you’re like most men that’s what’s happening in you, you’ve got to go through a program of detoxing from that. I do not think that your issue is that you have such high standards with physical beauty because that would happen naturally. You would just work your way up naturally and you would be able to… just outside your reach. You’d be able to get them. You’d be able to attract that… but, I mean every guy wants to attract the Victoria Secret model at the beginning. Like he wants to have sex with someone like that.

Whether he wants to be in a relationship or not is different but he wants to have sex with that. So that’s how I first read the question. And on the surface of it, you know it’s like get better game. But you’ll become more attractive as a man. But that’s not the issue. The issue is actually the running from the fear of not being able to perform and the convenient excuse that would never put him in the situation where he has to confront that fear again is that the ones that he thinks would make him perform don’t like him… don’t want him. And the ones that he can get, he disdains so that he doesn’t have to confront the real issue getting naked and then having to perform.

So physically, that’s why I asked physically and he said he’s doing nothing physically. Or in Tony Robbins’ vocabulary of physiologically, you got to get your testosterone levels up and you also have to get off the porn. But the testosterone levels would really, really help. That’s outside the scope of this video and you can go google it. A friend of mine runs a great site that has a lot of information on that. It’s you can go there and poke around on that… haha! Poke around.

Okay! Damn it! Too long! So deep this question. So join the private Facebook group and click on the link, join the group. I’ll see you in there. Until next time, man up!