Tucker Max: Increasing Your Charisma, Finding The Perfect Mate, and How Learning to Cook Will Transform Your Life

Tucker Max


He’s the New York Times bestselling author of the somewhat controversial and always entertaining book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell—which sold over 2 million copies and made the New York Times Top 100 Most Influential Books list in 2009.

So, why is he on the show? Well, not only is he a good friend of mine, but he has some awesome insight into mating strategies for men, why most things men know about women are wrong, and a secret skill that will transform your dating life and your health all in one swoop—and it’s all based solidly in science!

PLUS, Tucker tells us how he applied his dating advice to the business world to make really profound changes in his own life.

Fair warning: Even though Tucker’s a family man now, he had a hard time keeping this talk G rated.


This is no joke, so listen up, guys. When you walk into a bar (or a coffee shop or a gym or anywhere you’re likely to meet women), a woman is actually going to assess you at first sight, and within about 1 – 30 seconds, she’s already made up her mind. This is not because she’s being superficial or a jerk, it’s because there are deeply-rooted biological signals you send out simply by the way you look.

According to Tucker, there are about 10 things a woman sees and assesses in under a minute that make up 80 – 100% of whether she’s going to be attracted to you or not.

She’ll start with your size and shape: We all immediately assess size and shape because we are biologically tuned to assess threats. Once you’re eliminated as a predator, she’s giving you a once-over for some mate-quality traits. A part of this quick check includes your gait, clothes, accessories, body language, age, race, gender, level of fitness, grooming. 80 – 90% of the time, you’re eliminated right off the bat.

Seriously, guys. It’s important to pay attention to your personal hygiene and clothing if you want a date. If you go out with greasy hair, yellow teeth, dirty nails, a crappy t-shirt, and Velcro grandpa shoes, you’re going to be checked off the list before you even get through the door. It’s NOT because girls are superficial, it’s because the science of signaling is so primal and pervasive that it cannot be ignored.

“If you’re fat, do you realize how hard that is to overcome?” asks Tucker. “You can, but it’s hard.” Sometimes, you have such a fantastic personality or you have money or you’re funny and you can get beyond your weight, but you are fighting hard against it.

And it’s NOT about vanity—I can’t say that enough. “It’s not about looking like me, either,” says Tucker. It’s all about signaling.

It’s really important to understand the science behind this selection process, and maybe it will help you find your “why.” Like, the reason you decide to lose weight, utilize better hygiene practices, or just get healthier. If finding a mate is your “why,” that’s a fantastic reason.


“I didn’t have a problem with women,” laughs Tucker. “My problem was with business.”

Tucker thought that everyone he dealt with in a business context was just as confident and self-assured as he was. So, he dealt with everyone like they were—and he didn’t realize that other men were intimidated by him. Tucker is self-admittedly direct and opinionated… but his mind could always be changed by a good argument. He had no idea that he was intimidating, he just projected that—the signals were their own language.

But once he understood the signals he was sending and how they effected his working relationships, he was able to tone down the unconscious dominance and start connecting with other men. He says that he went to a tech conference with this new approach—and it was the best conference he’d ever been to because he learned to stop unconsciously threatening other guys.

The problem is cognitive bias—we think everyone approaches the world the same way we do. Once we understand that is not the case, we can work on changing our approach.

Tucker says that when he used to go to conferences, a lot of these tech-type guys saw him as the big, strong, confident cool guy that used to pick on them in high school. He triggered a script in their heads that had nothing to do with who he was as a person, so he had to work extra hard and be extra nice to undo that narrative.


When you combine warmth with capability, you get charisma.

Say you go into a business meeting, you immediately assess a new person’s charisma by asking yourself subconsciously: Does this person like me? And, is this person capable?

If you can engage with someone in a way that shows them you are interested in them, and like them, on their terms; AND, you are confident and capable, then you are a charismatic person! And charisma goes a long way in this world.

Without getting political at all, Tucker and I both agree that Bill Clinton is one of those people who is incredibly charismatic. When you meet him, he treats you like a peer on your level—reflecting back to you who you are in a warm, caring way… at the same time, there’s no question in any of his demeanor that he is confident and capable.


When you see another male in a room, especially if he is a big dude, you need to account for him—on a primal, biological level. Again—assessing threat.

Being trained in MMA or Jiu Jitzu is probably one of the best things you can do to reduce your anxiety around other men. Why?

Jiu Jitzu is like the force. It completely changes the energy around you because it changes how you see yourself, it raises your confidence, and it helps you know where you fit.

Deep down in their brains, every guy wants to know how he’d do in a fight. Practicing MMA or Jiu Jitzu helps you understand exactly that.


Tucker is an awesome cook—but he doesn’t feel like NOT cooking will ruin your life or anything. Instead, he thinks that if you’re interested, you should go for it. Here’s why it’s cool:

  • It’s a practical skill that teaches you about economics ($), follow-through, organization, and creativity.
  • It’s a great way to build confidence.
  • It’s a reliable skill to display to women—even if you can just create one delicious dish, it’s really sexy and appealing to women. There’s something primally satisfying about being able to feed someone well.

So, go learn how to cook something! Not only will you be able to feed yourself, you’ll attract a mate and learn a lot of important life skills along the way.


You can find Tucker in a lot of different places, depending on what you’re looking for. He’s working on his next book—Mating Grounds—which will be out soon. In the meantime, go here to get all your mating questions answered: thematinggrounds.com.

Check out his bestselling book of debauchery and all of his young male escapades on his web site, tuckermax.com. AND, read his blog at tuckermax.me. He also has a podcast called Mating Grounds, so you can listen in there as well.

If you need some great recipes so you can become the kind of cook the opposite sex adores, then hop over and grab a copy of The Fat Burning Chef today. It has all you need to look like a pro in the kitchen with simple and delicious recipes that will make the perfect centerpiece to your next “date night.”


Discover how to drop fat with chocolate, bacon, and cheesecake. Plus: learn the 3 worst foods you should NEVER eat and the 7 best exercises for rapid fat loss. Click below to to claim your FREE gift ($17 value)!

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  1. I almost didn’t listen to this podcast, not looking for a mate…didn’t sound like anything on this one would apply or appeal to me, so glad I listened now. The biggest revelation was about how the same perceptions about sizing people up for potential mates translates into business relationships. I guess I sort of knew that at a gut level but didn’t think about how to apply it or how much it directly affects everyday interactions. Some great information to chew on and digest. Thanks.

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