3 things that many men don’t understand and how one deals with them

1. Metrosexual or spornosexual is not the same as homosexual
When I observed a friend of mine – back in 2007 or some time like that – while he, rapt by admiration for the shining pop star, watched Justin Timberlake perform live on MTV Music Awards, I wondered: “Is he secretly gay or what?”

But the friend of mine is indeed not gay – he is just a common metrosexual guy who wants to be inspired and influenced by a successful and appealing male person. The current trend in terms of appearance is that one as a heterosexual male ought to be metrosexual and/or ‘spornosexual’ (a less common but continuously more used term) like for instance Jeff Seid. Mostly masculine, but probably with some kind of androgyne touché, and with appearance and attitude as the backdrop.

This certainly has got to do with taste, but I have not seen guys who look better than Korean pop groups like TVXQ and Super Junior. I think that they overall dance and dress very well, while guys like for instance Jeff Seid has the better physique and therefore I am more inspired by someone like him in that respect. I also think that a hybrid of different traits can be quite fruitful. Unless one wants to be dressed in training oufits 24/7, broaden the horizon beyond Seid Wear and Gorilla Wear.

Anyway, the main point is to emphasize that if a guy think it is ‘gay’ to inspect talented celebrities and fitness models, then the person might have got it all wrong. If he sits with a beer in his hand, then it is most likely the case.

Solution: If you have not yet adapted to the current ideals, do it.


2. Alchohol consumption will not make you masculine but feminine
Alchohol is a complex topic of its own, and some significant studies indicate that small or moderate doses – especially of red wine – can be benificial for one’s health and well-being.

However heavy drinking is not good at all, and it is misguided to think that it is somehow masculine to drink – even if it is in the company of one’s male friends. In fact, beer consumption in particular increases the estrogen levels, and in conjunction with junk food and physical complacency it will eventually lead to man boobs and other androgyne characteristics.

Solution: Unless you perhaps work in business, finance or entertainment, contexts that might require frequent social drinking, consume selectively – that is mainly on special occasions and/or in interesting locations, such as Las Vegas, Ibiza, Hong Kong, Thailand, Tokyo, Budapest, and Seoul. All else is probably dull and waste of potential and money.

3. Girls/women don’t need you anymore
In the wealthy parts of the world, like for example the U.S., U.K. and Sweden, girls/women do not, generally speaking, need men anymore for their material and economic support and safety. If a divorce or breakup occurs – which it often does – the girl/woman can go on and live on her own salary. This implies that the patriarchy is of the past, even though some patterns might remain, such as domestic violence. Relationships of this day that do work quite well are generally more balanced, equal and complementary, and both females and males do often become more complacent. Feminists think that this androgyne society is fine and I do not blame them. Girls and women do nowadays have a much better situation and well-being as individuals, and as a group too.

However, this type of society will also lead to a somewhat sad situation in which a significant share of males become losers on the dating market – having few if any mate choices since virtually no one needs their wallets, and/or think that they are attractive enough to have romantic relationships with. And the males who have the skills to attract more or less females will become cynical. Females too. This cynicism does partly stem from promiscuity among both sexes, magnified by popular culture, social media and online dating.

Solution: Be a top version of yourself and remain unattached, regardless of one meets one girl/woman per month or per year. One might find a good enough girl/woman some day, in the Western world or elsewhere, but until then it is more wise to invest in oneself.

2016 summer K-pop top 10 playlist

I will travel to Seoul this summer and I am inspired by all the great K-pop songs that I have listened to since I was there last time, in June of 2009. I realize that many of these I have been listening to for several years. Hence this summer’s list is more of a best of K-pop list than a fresh summer list.

All the songs are from 2009-2015. To be honest, I have heard very few good songs from this year and most rookie groups and comebacks appear to be quite lame. Tiffany’s (Girls’ Generation) solo album is okay, though, but did not make it into this list. Most songs do have an official music video but some have not, such as EXO’s “Machine” and “Transformer”.

As one may notice, groups from S.M. Entertainment dominate, with G-Dragon and Taeyang as the only exception.

Obesity around the world – where and why?

It is interesting to look at obesity rates for men, women, girls and boys around the globe. The differences between countries and their populations are striking and more or less pronounced, with poor places such as Ethiopia, Niger, Chad and Mali (about 2% obesity for women), and rich countries such as Japan and South Korea at one side of the spectrum (about 4% obesity for women), and a variety of emerging markets such as Mexico, South Africa, Turkey, Algeria, Kazakhstan and Venezuela, and wealthy nations such as The U.S., Great Britain, Saudi Arabia (50%!), Australia, New Zeeland and Finland on the opposite side. But why?

Red = most obese
Turquoise = least obese

The reason for these patterns is most likely that in really poor countries, virtually no one can afford to be fat – food sources are scarce. That is true for not just a large part of Sub-Saharan Africans but also a significant share of people who inhabit nations like India and China. With regard to the two last-mentioned countries – with the two largest populations in the entire world – their middle-classes are growing in parallel with economic and material development, and their shirt sizes as well. However, it will take a while before an even larger share of people can afford easy accessible food supplies. Many are still too poor to be (over-)fed. Hence, we can expect higher obesity rates in many emerging markets, although beauty ideals and collectivistic cultural patterns may hold Chinese people – especially women – back.

In wealthy East Asian states like Japan and South Korea on the other hand, the dietary habits and beauty ideals are very distinct. People are also more collectivistic and in-group oriented than Western people. Japanese and Koreans – both sexes – eat some degree of unhealthy foodstuffs but do nevertheless keep themselves in check. This is how beautiful women in general should look, according to the current standards.


In emerging markets on the other hand, a significant share of people can nowadays afford regular food and it has gradually become more accessible. Some products may of course be too expensive, but red meat, poultry, bread, sauce, sugar, rice, cereals, etcetera can be afforded. The same is obviously the case for rich OECD countries like The U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zeeland, Finland etcetera, and the combination of cultural individualism and relative fat acceptance can explain the current – more or less pronounced – obesity rates in these countries.

The outlier Saudi Arabia can be explained due to the fact that it is rich and that most women do not partake in regular physical exercise, and overall not nearly to the same extent as Western women. A huge share just stay home – often dressed in niqab – and eat, I guess. Similar national-cultural patterns are to be found in other Arab-Muslim countries, such as Egypt and Iraq, but the poorer share of inhabitants decrease the total obesity rate, making Saudi Arabia the most extreme in this respect. Plus, the Wahhabi doctrine magnifies the radical denunciation of female influence and activity in both public and private.

5 life hacks that might help to do your best under the circumstances

This text is an extension of this lengthier post, as well as this more brief one. It focuses on concrete life hacks that will get a person – males in particular – look better, feel better, and experience more valuable things in life. It is directed towards active persons who put demands on themselves. Rather than to try to live the perfect life it is more about to do the best under the individual circumstances. “I am I and my circumstance; and, if I do not save it, I do not save myself”, as the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset has asserted.

1. Consume protein
Regardless of place of sojourn or residence, go find youself some quality, mainly animal proteins. Proteins constitute the basis for a healthy, strong and athletic physique. This is not the same as to say that other (macro) nutrients are unimportant – each and everyone should strive for a balanced diet – but proteins are one’s priority, and vital.

In the Western world it is generally very easy to find proteins, whereas in other locations it is sometimes a bit trickier – quark and cottage cheese can be hard to find in for instance certain parts of Southeast Asia or Africa. But eggs, fish, beef and chicken can be found even in the most distant places. While travelling in emerging markets or far-off locations, I often pay extra for more fish and chicken, in order to cover the requirement, while eating less of foodstuffs such as bread, rice and sauce.

2. Get into shape while saving money for a trip
To travel and to experience trully interesting things ought to be a top priority, although not throughout one’s entire existence. While one saves money and plan for a trip, it is wise to focus on other siginificant things, not the least to come into decent shape.

Let’s face it: if you are going to visit Bali, or New York, or Paris, or some other interesting location, do you want to appear as a random and average tourist or be a top version of yourself (and if not for other reasons, then because it makes you feel better about yourself, and plus looks better in pictures)? 10 per cent of body fat or slightly lower is a good benchmark, regardless of degree of muscularity. Everything above is below one’s true potential.

3. Invest in fashion – not electronics
Besides from a very limited number of professional gamers and YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie – who make up much less than a per mille of the total global middle class – the consumption of electronics will not get you anywhere. It is mere distraction and pastime – at best more or less worthless and somewhat relaxing for those few who actually deserve a moment of numbness after a hard day of work. However, most don’t. The same goes for social media, TV series and films, although there are some particular products that should catch one’s attention. Selection is the key in this regard, both time- and money-wise.

Fashion on the other hand is, in conjuction with physical development and personal hygiene, worth to invest in to a reasonable extent. It makes you feel better about yourself and appear better in the eyes of most beholders. In a competitive society, it is sometimes good demeanor that is the key difference between loneliness or a good relationship, or at least a couple of temporary liaisons.

Just think about it: Who would a girl/woman rather hang out with (if we for the sake of the argument ignore other crucial factors such as personal chemistry): The well-dressed guy with 10% per cent of body fat, or the complacent sucker for social media and online games that is dressed in yesterday’s shirt? Hence, dress well, at least often. For inspiration, check out for instance Exo’s video just below.

4. If you withdraw from the city – do something constructive in the meantime
This conception will perhaps change in the future, but to live in the countryside or in a small town is just boring. The goal should be to live in a city of at least a reasonable size. However, sometimes one just have to stand a period of time of withdrawal from the urban landscape. It can even be a wise choice to do it deliberately, if the goal is to eventually move somewhere else, more akin to one’s individual taste. (Some prefer Uppsala more than New York.)

For instance, at the end of my master studies I resided in my parent’s big house for more than a year. They are just a normal middle-income household, but since they are fine with to live outside city areas, they have taken the opportunity to rent big and quite impressive buildings in the past. To rent a small mansion (herrgård or slottsflygel in Swedish) is actually good life hack if one prefers that kind of living. It is not very expensive but will get you a lot of space in return.

Instead of complaining too much, I grasped the situation and did what I thought was the best things to do: worked out 4-5 times a week, joined the local football team, read tons of books, and dated to the extent to which it was possible in that context. I also visited my friends in Norrköping and Stockholm quite frequently, so that I was not cut off from social life. Occasionally, I also invited people to the big house for dinners and parties. Overall, I think that this time was great in many ways.

Most importantly, I saved money so that I could travel parts of Europe, The U.S., and Southeast Asia. Another limited period of my life, I spent in a small town, working as a upper-secondary school teacher. Much like while living with my parents, I concentrated on work, meeting some new friends, training and saving disposable income, but always focused on the next step. Thanks to the savings I could afford to go to Iceland, Austria, Morocco and East Asia. That would probably have been much more difficult, although not impossible, if I had lived a more costly urban life.

5. Read at least one good book per month
To read relevant literature makes you smarter, more focused, and extend one’s inner universe beyond the limitations of computers, TV screens and smart phones. If you have more time and read relatively fast, it is reasonable to deal with more than a whole book per month. Sometimes one can read as much as two or three in a week. But overall, only one entire title per month is a decent aim in this respect.

And linked to the above concept: read before you travel and while you travel. For some it is the perfect, perhaps only opportunity to read. In conjunction with trips, there tend to be plenty of time to wait – at the airport, on the airplane, and while travelling with bus or train – and which makes it the best time to consume literature.