The Benefits of Casual Relationships

I’ve been single for a few months now since breaking up. When the relationship ended, it felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders. The mistake I made, I think, was not really understanding myself and thinking that a normal relationship was for me. Now I am starting to think that I should not be in a normal relationship because I don’t want the commitment, the obligation, the expectations, the effort, and the drama. It is better to be in a casual relationship.

Luckily for me, there are a number of websites on the internet that cater to casual relationships. In fact, the internet caters to all sorts of types of intimate relationships. I love internet dating. Using friends or family for dating is horrible because, if things go wrong, your relationship with your friends and family can suffer. Dating someone at work is even worse because, if things go wrong, you will continue to see her again and again.

In fact, I believe that even friendships with colleagues shouldn’t go too far. This is a mistake I have already made. I became good friends with a work colleague, he behaved badly to me, and now I distance myself from him, but he is needy and keeps pursuing me. I am reluctant to be frank with him and tell him to piss off because I don’t want bad blood with anyone I work with. After all, he might be my boss one day.

A website I enjoy using for casual relationships is whatsyourprice.com. The idea behind this site is simple: you offer to pay money to women in order to buy a first date. For example, you see the profile of a girl you think is nice, you offer her $100 for a first date. She can accept, reject, or counter the offer with an offer of her own. What I find is that, when you are willing to pay money to women, suddenly they are very keen to see you.

Different dating websites attract different types of girls. One of the benefits of WYP is that the girls here seem to be interested mainly in casual relationships. Supposedly, girls on a mainstream site like eHarmony are all looking for marriage, so if you are not interested in marriage, it is best to avoid this website.

Some people say that paying women for relationships is a waste of money because girlfriends are free. However, I disagree. With traditional dating, you must engage in the entire courtship ritual, e.g. show interest in her, flirt, talk to her, act witty and confident, dress well, ask her out on a date, touch her appropriately, and then after a few dates there may or may not be sexual intimacy. By the time you reach the third date, you will have spent thousands of dollars on gifts, restaurant bills, clothes, and so forth. If the relationship goes well, these costs don’t disappear. They stay high. If you marry, expect the costs to skyrocket once you start paying for engagement rings, marriage ceremony, mortgage, and children. So whether you go with a girlfriend/wife, sugar baby, escort, or prostitute, you will end up paying the same in the long-run. The difference is the level of honesty. The girlfriend/wife will expect you to waste money on gifts in order to prove your earning potential whereas the escort/prostitute will just send you an invoice. Prostitution and marriage are both mechanisms that facilitate the exchange of money/power and female intimacy. Whereas prostitution is subject to market forces, competition, and efficiency, marriage is subject to high entry/exit costs, vendor lock-in, inflexible contracts, and a reliance on old-world customs and rituals rather than an efficient price mechanism.

For young men out there, I recommend they try seeking casual relationships online. Set a certain budget for “female intimacy,” say, $500 per month and then keep track of how much cash you hand over to the girl. If you are poor and cannot pay much, simply seek out older or bigger girls. The reality is that highly cashed up men tend to seek out thin and young girls, resulting in price bubbles. Older and larger girls are more reasonably priced. Over time, if you save up and invest in income-producing assets, your total income will rise, and your budget for female intimacy should also rise.

One additional point I’d like to emphasise is if you do decide that mainstream dating and marriage is not for you and you end up seeking more “market-based” solutions, I recommend keeping it to yourself. Don’t tell your friends, your family, or even the girl you are in a casual relationship with. Just give her cash and tell her it is to help her with her living expenses. I do not recommend honesty in real life when it comes to paying for female intimacy. Right or wrong, there is too much stigma in this area. If you don’t believe me, read up on the following people: Craig Thompson, Eliot Spitzer, and Tiger Woods.

Thoughts on “Early Retirement Extreme”

I love listening to podcasts when I’m driving, exercising, or stretching. It’s free education and entertainment. A recent podcast I’ve listened to that I feel I need to write about is one on the Survival Podcast featuring Jack Spirko interviewing Jacob Fisker of Early Retirement Extreme.

I have always been fans of both Jack Spirko and Jacob Fisker, so having these two together in a podcast is brilliant. Basically, Spirko is a “modern survivalist” who works to set up a homestead in the country where he can take refuge in if there is ever some disaster scenario. He focuses on self-reliance, independence, frugality, and being prepared. Even if nothing happens, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Jacob Fisker of ERE, on the other hand, is different. Whereas Jack Spirko works outside the system (or “off the grid”) in order to free himself from it, ERE is about using the system to your advantage, i.e. applying capitalism to achieve freedom (or as the ERE website sometimes says, taking advantage of “rentier capitalism”).

Fisker’s story is remarkable. He takes retirement to the absolute extreme. Mainstream retirement advice is that you save up 5% or 10% of your income and then over forty years or so, assuming some wildly optimistic rate of return and then harnessing the power of compound interest, you will retire when you are incredibly old and frail with an income that is about $50,000 a year.

ERE, in a nutshell, states that you save up to 85% of your income and then retire within five years. Because you are saving up in five years, compound interest does not matter. What is remarkable about Fisker is that he was able to retire at age 33 after saving 85% of his income with an income of only $25,000. He achieved this by e.g. not having a car and walking to work (walking about five miles back and forth).

Suppose the typical person earns $50,000, and assuming zero taxation (for simplicity), then in five years, assuming you save up 85% and assuming zero rate of return on your savings (again for simplicity), you’d have a little over $200,000 saved up. Assuming a rate of return of 5% on the savings if invested in a mixture of cash, bonds, stocks, REITs, etc, you’d be earning about $10,000 per year or about $800 per month.

Can you live off $800 per month? In a country like Australia or even the United States, I think it’s highly unlikely. Maybe you can buy a place in the country and scrape by, but I’m not too sure.

However, in a country like Thailand, $800 per month is more than enough.

JC of Retire Cheap Asia is a retirement consultant who lives in Thailand. He advises expats from America and other developed countries on how to retire in Thailand. According to him, the minimum amount you need to survive in Thailand is $500 per month. At $500 per month, you live a very rough and bare life. However, if you have $1000 per month, you live a life of luxury. An income of $800 per month achieved through five years of Early Retirement Extreme would afford you a comfortable existence in Thailand (see Retire Cheap Asia Retirement Income Categories). This applies not just to Thailand but other countries like Cambodia, Philippines, and maybe even Belize and many others.

Virtue Fuelled by Sin

According to my phone, it is 34 degrees celcius right now. Now that it’s summer, I’ve been wearing t-shirts a lot, and one of the benefits of wearing the t-shirt is that it accentuates your muscles. I can see it in the mirror when I look at myself, but I am much bigger than I used to be pre-gym. Many other people are also commenting on my better looks. Especially with the girls, if they are not directly verbalising it, I can tell by their behaviour around me that they definitely notice my skyrocketing attractiveness.

For the last few months I have been going to the gym religiously. Whenever I go to the gym, I spend about forty minutes there. I do about five minutes of cardio on the exercise bike, but the rest of the workout involves weight training. I now try to do a bit of stretching afterwards.

Of course, it feels good to be admired by girls, but all this makes me wonder about vanity, sin, and virtue. You see, one of my friends thinks that going to the gym is an act of vanity, and that the only purpose of going to the gym is to look good. According to him, rather than going to the gym, I should play competitive sports like tennis or soccer because it is more social and it is easier to motivate yourself to do something when other people are involved.

I told my friend that I respectfully disagreed. What may work for one person may not work for another. The benefit of the gym is that you have everything you need in one place. When you play tennis or soccer, you are really only getting a cardio workout, which is equivalent to riding on the exercise bike or running on the treadmill at the gym. Tennis might provide some resistance or strength training, but it is mild, probably equivalent to working out with light dumbbells. Sports normally only provide one specific type of workout and that is it. The gym provides everything. You can mix your workout with cardio and strength training, and then with strength training you can increase the intensity easily. You can start with light weights and then as you improve you move to heavier and heavier weights.

Another benefit of the gym is that it is indoors. This means you can go there when it is sunny and not get skin cancer from getting sunburnt. On cold days, you are warm. On wet days, you are dry. Going to the gym, in my opinion, is better than having a home gym, and the reason why is price and convenience. I pay $6 per week to go to the gym, but if I tried to buy all of the machines and weights available at my gym and put them in a room in my house, I’m sure I’d spend more than $1000 (or more), and although in the very long run it may be cheaper to buy your own stuff, do you have the motivation to maintain the machines and fix them when they don’t work? Where I live, it’s not easy to find a spare room, and some of these machines are massive, so how in the world would I move them in there? I’d rather just pay the $6 per week and be done with it.

Another big plus with the gym is that you get a personal trainer (at least mine comes with one). If you do it yourself, you’re on your own, and you don’t know if you are doing it right, which could result in injury. If you have a personal trainer, he or she will watch you and will correct you. The personal trainer will also prescribe for you an exercise program that matches your needs. You don’t have to think too hard. You just do what you’re told.

Now, let’s get back to the vanity argument. Yes, indeed many people go to the gym to look good, but is that really a bad thing? For many people, it seems, vanity is looked down upon but is practised obsessively. Who knows where the roots of vanity phobia come from. Perhaps it is religious. Regardless, society seems to look down upon vanity as sinful but everyone acknowledges good health as virtuous. While working out at the gym satiates the desires of the vain, it also makes you healthy in the long-term. If you burn fat and increase muscle mass, you are not just looking good but you are also improving your health. You don’t need to be a scientist to know that obesity causes heart disease and all sort of other problems.

Furthermore, having muscle increases your metabolism and allows you to burn more fat. Having muscle also slows down sarcopenia and keeps you functioning even when you get old. Old people whose muscles have totally deteriorated need to be kept in a nursing home where other people need to assist them with moving because they do not have the muscles necessary to move themselves. Muscle naturally increases up until the age of thirty after which muscle mass naturally declines, which results in lower metabolism, massive weight gain (especially around the waist), and decreasing strength.

Working out at the gym then is one of those activities that provide you with a virtuous outcome (good health) that is fuelled by sin (vanity). A defining feature of sinful behaviour is that it provides you with much pleasure. Like all animals, we tend to seek out those activities that provide us with pleasure, but many things in life have a tradeoff between reward and pleasure. The more pleasure something gives, the less rewarding it is. For example, eating junk food is gluttonous and pleasurable but bad for your health. However, this tradeoff does not apply to everything, and different people react to different things differently. Many people may hate going to the gym, and they skip it all the time. I know a colleague who has been a member of the same gym I go to for almost half a decade and he has only been there about three times. For me, going to the gym is something that I do because I love it. I know it provides long-term health benefits, and if it also makes me look better, then that is only going to motivate me to be healthier, and there is nothing wrong with that. Sometimes virtue can be fuelled by sin, and this, I think is an ideal situation to be in because virtue fuelled by internal willpower and sacrifice is not as sustainable as virtue fuelled by sin.