January 12th, 2013  (1)
A Woman’s Take on HBO Girls: Episode 10 Revisited
Posted by Khiem in: Articles, Product Reviews

Who’s excited for HBO Girls Season 2 starting this Sunday?

I am!

And in preparation of watching the new season, it’s time to publish Thuy’s take on last season’s finale.


I know that Khiem hated this episode the most.  As a writer though, I totally relished in that jaw-dropping, shocker twist.  I know it seems totally implausible that they’d wind up together, especially after I watched the attempted “threesome” scene again.

As an audience, I did feel cheated in that I didn’t see the emotional turn in Jessa.  But I guess that IS the magic of Hollywood to create that dramatic opener.

Drama is the theme of Jessa’s life.  I don’t agree with Evan’s mom in that Jessa chose the successful guy to maintain her bohemian lifestyle.  What I do agree with is that it all started with her talk with the “mom”.

Jessa creates the drama in her life as a way of compensating for the void in her life.  The excitement is replacing the lack of happiness she feels.  She had always jumped from guy to guy – being unpredictable, feeling the thrill of the conquest, and experiencing the extreme highs and lows.

However, she never really slowed down to create a true emotional connection with another human being.  What she felt in the past was akin to being under the influence of drugs.  She never felt a real, natural high.  She never felt real love because she was manipulating everything.

The talk with the “mom” gave her insight into herself and she finally saw the light.  For her to finally experience happiness, she let go of having power over someone for the first time.  She let go of her judgments.  She let go of allowing drama in her life.  She probably thought it was a grown up thing to finally commit to something and a safe bet to be with the successful guy.

But with her motivations half-misguided, we can only foreshadow that she may have just created more drama for herself.

Look into your life.  See where your actions are motivated from.  Are you just creating excitement to fill emptiness in your life?

Everything does seem flipped in this episode – from Shoshanna and Ray’s quirky exchange to Marnie’s hot kiss with the little fat boy.


I do get why Shoshanna asked:

Are you punking me?

Ray wasn’t just forward.  What he gave her was a backhanded compliment when he told her she was the strangest girl he ever met.

Should she have felt flattered?

I have never had a guy say that to me before… but I do wonder how it works on a girl.  It does put a girl on her toes.  It’s not a typical compliment like “You have beautiful eyes” or “You’re so sexy” (which at times are actually pretty generic and boring, when said too often or ingenuinely).

Please don’t misunderstand me though.  I would never tell guys to stop giving those compliments altogether.  When you are in a relationship, girls love to hear that you still feel they are attractive.  However, when you just meet them for the first time, compliments given too fast or too early just sound like cheap pick-up lines.

What is great about Ray is that he is not putting Shoshanna on a pedestal.  He’s pointing out what could be seen as a flaw but he’s actually completely mesmerized by it!  With that intention, his backhanded compliment takes a different meaning… which is what women love:  to know that someone recognizes what is truly unique and real about her.

I had a guy once give me a compliment about my freckles.  Had I been red- headed, that would have been a typical compliment… but I’m Asian!  Asians usually get:  “You have such nice, smooth, porcelain skin.”

That was the first time anyone had ever mentioned my freckles.  I was so flattered.  It showed me he really paid attention to the little details, to who I was… and that he noticed in me something that others hadn’t.

Marnie taking a soft spot for the little fat boy seemed like a man’s fantasy that Hollywood has portrayed far too often.  When is it going to be time for the hot dude to fall for the little fat girl?!!!

Protest aside, unlike Khiem and Evan, I can see it happening just for the same reason we sometimes see a hot chick walking down the street arm in arm with a geeky guy while wondering what does she see in him.  As unbelievable as it may sound, some attractive women like Marnie go for less attractive guys because:

  1. They are afraid hot guys will cheat on them.  Hot guys get constant attention and distraction from other hot girls. It gives the girlfriend a lot of reasons to be leery, jealous, and insecure.
  2. To a certain degree (I say this because even I have a limit to how much of a blind eye I’ll give to a man’s looks), women put less weight on sheer physical beauty than men do and more weight on the emotional connection.
  3. If she dates a guy who is not as attractive as she is, he will treat her better.  He is more likely to be faithful and more willing to keep her happy.  Research has very much shown that. Read this article:  Dating Down: Why Less Attractive Men Make Better Mates.

The only caveat to this idyllic fantasy is that Marnie once again has found a boy who might put her on a pedestal… just like Charlie!

Now, the biggest flip in this episode is Hannah and Adam.  Typically, it’s the girl who pressures the guy to move in and the guy gets cold feet about it.  Here, the roles are reversed.

I’ve had similar experiences on both spectrums, strangely with the same guy.  After about five months of dating, my then boyfriend said that we should start thinking about moving in the direction of marriage.  I was surprised!  We hadn’t even said our “I love you’s” yet!

I gave him some of the same excuses that Hannah did, like I had so many bills to pay off and I had to focus on my career.  Although I thought his talk of marriage was premature, I did admire how much faith he had in our relationship at that moment.

Adam had that pure faith but Hannah did not believe in herself.  She was afraid that she was going to screw things up.  When I gave my boyfriend the career excuse, he gave me the same response as Adam did:

That’s why we have each other to support.

I didn’t buy it.  I grew up underprivileged.  I didn’t want to start a marriage in financial strife and to have my children lacking what they need.  In retrospect though, he did have a point.  Wouldn’t you want someone to be there for you as your cheerleader through your struggles?  If they have stuck with you through the challenging times in your life, then wasn’t the relationship more likely to last in the long run?

If you wait for things to line up perfectly before you take that plunge, it may never happen.

I realize now that it is sometimes prudent to take things slow and not move a relationship too fast.  Yet you have to ask yourself what is holding you back?


Procrastination is rooted in fear and Hannah was paralyzed with fear.  She didn’t say it out loud but I’m sure she was jumping ahead into the thought of what living together could lead to – responsibility, marriage, and family – all the things that she wasn’t ready to have, all the things that meant she was going to be accountable to someone.

You don’t necessarily have to think that far ahead when you make the decision to move in with someone. (I know I’m going to get girls hating on me for saying that.)  Years ago, I went to Belgium to visit my great uncle.  His son just started dating a girl.  She moved in to live with him and his family just a couple weeks after they had started dating!  It sounds totally radical to us Americans but it turns out it is commonplace to do in Europe.  It’s their way of figuring out if they are compatible with each other.

What a novel idea?!  Why spend such an expanse of time meeting just a couple times a week over a period of a couple years when you can just cut through the chase and figure it out in a couple months?  Making that next step in a relationship may be a scary thing but you will waste less time in figuring out if he or she is the right one for you.

Speaking of the right guy, in every podcast Khiem and Evan complain about how there are no strong men in this show.

Admittedly, I would like to see a male version of Jessa.  Ray is probably the closest character to Jessa but he doesn’t draw in the women like how Jessa does men.  The only time that I can foresee a strong man appearing in the show is if he is a guest character who plays the “straight shooting man” that calls out on these girls or that briefly acts as a romantic mentor to one of them.

Otherwise, how can there be a strong man in the show when there are no strong women?  Each one of the women on the show is so flawed. They’re still figuring themselves out.  None of them have a clear direction of where they are going or who they are.  The fact of the matter is you attract people who are in the same place as you are in your life.

… I can’t wait for next season to see what other guys the Girls will attract!

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    September 21st, 2007  (1)
The Fallacy of Wanting More
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

So you’ve done all this “work.” You’ve gone from total loser to complete stud.

You walk slowly in the bar, you scan the room, a girl is checking you out. You half-smile back at her but you know not to eagerly walk up to her yet. She’s actually not the only one who’s been glancing at you ever since you stepped in. You have the choice. Hmmm… who are you going to pick tonight? There, that one! She’s sitting in the back corner talking to her friends. She’s pretty. Cute face, boobilicious body, curvacious hips. She notices you as you start walking to her. She pretends not to see you but you can tell she’s getting nervous as she realizes the prospect of meeting you.

You start the conversation with something you can’t even remember. Within minutes, all her friends love you. Her entire social circle is mesmerized by you. Without knowing why or how, she senses the sexual tension rising between you and her. She’s feeling a little bit flustered inside, maybe a little warm. With calm confidence, you pull her to the side. She smiles or laughs at the drop of your every word. She touches your arm and brushes herself against you. She tells you things she haven’t shared with many guys before. She really likes you. By the end of the night, you get her phone number. Maybe you’ve kissed her. Maybe you’ve made out with her. Maybe you’ve even slept with her.

Pick-up is easy for you now. If you wanted, the same scenario could play over and over again every night. Women call you non-stop to hang out with you. You have more dates than you even know what to do with. Now what?

You actually have a few girlfriends, some more serious than others. Some are actually so in love with you that they want a committed relationship from you. However, you don’t know if you can honor that commitment. Now what?

Let me tell you this. Don’t be afraid to go to the next level.

I see so many Pick-Up Artists working so hard at staying in the position to “have the choice in women.” After suffering so many years of not having any options, they are now constantly looking for new, better, hotter women. It’s like they collect them. They always need “one more.” I know… having someone new is fun. It’s like having a new toy every day. If that’s what you enjoy and want, keep playing the field. I respect that decision and you should stop reading now.

But if you are done sowing your royal oats, if you have now decided to find yourself a “real” girlfriend/wife or if you are not finding fulfillment in meeting more women, then ask yourself: what’s the point of having a choice in women if you don’t exercise that choice? How long are you wanting to stay unattached for? Do you want to be that creepy 65 year old man who’s still chasing after 3-4 women?

It’s time to look hard at what you have already. I am sure that some of the women you are seeing today are worth pursuing a real relationship with. Why aren’t you?

In pick-up, you learn to conquer your own fears and insecurities. Be that confident man, they say. Don’t let fear take over you when it comes to talking to a woman. Just approach and so… you’ve learned to overcome that anxiety. Well… now that you have the choice in women, what are you afraid of?

My roommate used to tell me:

In the end, you only need one woman to be happy.

I have a friend who was dating a wonderful girl. He met her only one month after taking his bootcamp with theApproach. He came to a dilemma that many Pick-Up Artists would eventually have to face. After a few months of dating, he sensed that she would soon want a committed relationship with him. She was hot, she was caring, she was fun, she was sexy and for a while, she did tolerate his uncommitted ways. Yes, she liked him a lot and so did he. But what was he to do: go exclusive with her or keep seeing other women?

At this moment, a lot of Pick-Up Artists would have chosen to break-up with the girl to maintain their position of choice. They prefer to break it off rather than become more attached to her. They don’t want to miss out on meeting and seeing other girls. Maybe they are afraid of liking that ONE girl too much. Maybe they don’t want to hurt her because she’s falling too in love with them and they don’t want that to get out of hand. Whatever.

My friend decided to give exclusivity a shot. It’s not like he couldn’t break-up with her later if things didn’t work out. When he made that decision, he wasn’t thinking marriage either but now, I can say he’s happier than ever. You should have seen the big smile he had at his wedding. He married her earlier this month. If he didn’t take the time to connect to her on a deeper level, he wouldn’t have realized how much she meant to him. When you are done with the thrills of “just sex,” only a committed relationship can allow you to grow on a deeper personal level. We sometimes forget to notice the very gem that is in front of us. If you have a quality woman in your life who is worth savouring, don’t let her slip you by.

So when the time comes, don’t fall for the fallacy of wanting more. Recall why you became a Pick-Up Artist in the first place. Wasn’t it to have the ability to eventually find that special someone? Look at Hugh Hefner. At 80 year old, even he is getting married again.

I am not asking you to settle down but if a girl feels right, stop looking around. Allow yourself to grow with her. Try things out.

Another friend of mine who has always been very successful with women reminded me of something I’ve told him in my college years. I didn’t remember it but it was something that have stayed on his mind for years:

On a deep emotional level, when you sleep with someone, you give away a little piece of your soul. Don’t spread your soul too thin.

Maybe there’s some truth to that.

Can you be happy with what you have?


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