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Designing Lifestyles: A New Approach, For The Lady Who’s Dead Inside

Ladies! Have you ever wondered what is the exact blogular equivalent of wandering into a bar full of finance dudes and being expected to order some sort of pink or green cough-syrup drink ending in -tini whilst they stare at your tits and talk about what big deals they are whilst Entourage plays on a constant silent loop in the background and everyone there is somehow generally starting to remind you of Jeremy Piven and you know no-one there’s ever read even one book that wasn’t authored by Malcolm Gladwell or Tucker Max but they all have The Economist on their coffee tables and there’s one girl who’s really into it with like the snakiest-seeming guy and you KNOW she’s going to complain about how he never called her back because HE IS MADE OF LIZARD and the dudes are all being carefully masculine with their drink orders and they’re telling you they’re total “snobs” about it but none of what they’re ordering is actually any good and everyone’s favorite movie was Inception and the whole thing smells like tanning bed and hair product and peaked-in-the-frat-house despair?

Well: Have you heard of a blog called “Four Hour Work Week?” Because one of our readers has! And has pointed us to a gem of a post, that encapsulates that particular I-haven’t-had-anything-to-drink-and-yet-I-may-still-projectile-vomit-on-you-just-to-make-a-point sort of experience! For you see, the post, as it stands now, is entitled, “How To Become a Model Photographer in Brazil.” An amateur volunteer bikini model photographer, to be precise! But what was it entitled originally, URL-Which-Never-Lies-To-Us?

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/11/25/wife-hunting/

Aw, dang! Apparently the four women who actually read the site — ladies! I love you, but get back over here! It’s about “lifestyle design” and is called “four hour work week” and is basically one of those get-rich-quick-with-extra-poontang blogs. STOP SHOPPING IN THE DOUCHE AISLE, MY FRIENDS — pointed out that the entire story was creepy and exploitative as hell, seeing as how if it were not entitled “How To Become a Model Photographer In Brazil,” or “WIFE HUNTING,” it could basically be entitled “How To Fool Strange Women Into Stripping In Front Of You By Telling Them You’re A Photographer Although You Have No Resume Or Experience Or Training And Also You’re Not Paying Them; Basically You’re A Sex-Touristing White Guy With Extra Money And A Predictable Creepy Racist ‘Brazilian Girl’ Fetish, But Also A Camera.”


The details of the “interview,” such as it is, are so profoundly stupid as to be unworthy of discussion. (How did he come up with the idea for a “Girls of Brazil” bikini calendar? Well, “I coined the calendar name “Girls of Brazil” and so the adventure began,” quoth the douche in question. Ah, how I would have loved to witness his creative process! Hmmm… girls… in Brazil… I know! I’ll call it “Indigenous Gerbils of the American Pacific Northwest!”) And yup, he ends up married to a lady he met by propositioning her for an unpaid bikini shoot, and yup, we see the bikini shot, and yup, every dude involved in this is so fucking gross. The photographer, Jeremiah Thompson, is fucking gross! The interviewer and “lifestyle design” guru, posing inexplicably in some sort of yoga crouch with a golf club, whose name is Tim Feriss, is fucking gross! Gross gross gross!

But then we get the defense. For Tim Ferisssss notes that, sorry ladies, if you want to see a “female” perspective on how to find yourself a husband — and you do, right, ladies? That is ALL YOU WANT — he’s published one of them, too! And here it is.

Oh, but spoiler? It turns out to be about how CHOICE IS A BAD THING FOR GIRLS. As in, the title is, “Why Are You Single? Perhaps It’s the Choice Effect.” There’s some story about how if you have a lot of jam samples at the supermarket people won’t buy jam but if you have very few jam samples then people are buying jam all day like crazy? Which is analogous to finding someone you want to see naked and/or hear about the quotidian day-to-day thoughts of for roughly forever? Because if you date around, and sleep with folks who seem like a good idea to sleep with at the time, you will never trap er, entice a man into the holy bonds of matrimony within two years tops. Basically, having too many choices wrecks everything. You will end up with no jam! And you really wanted jam, too! But that’s what you get for sticking all those different jams in your mouth, you jam whore! Now no self-respecting jam will have you! NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS. So settle; settle now; don’t un-settle or re-settle once you’ve settled; don’t fall prey to choice, in any of its many manifestations, for it will lead to you sleeping with a bunch of attractive folks and LORD KNOWS THAT IS A DISASTER.

Anyway. Are you ready to design your lifestyle? Because I think now we know how to design the SHIT out of ANY GIVEN lifestyle, assuming that you’re heterosexual, and also devoid of any individuality, soul, or vaguely interesting personal qualities. Here’s how it goes, at least for the marriage portions.

HOW TO GET MARRIED, FOR GUYS:

Wander around finding girls you think are attractive, proposition dozens of them with unpaid “modeling” shoots, get them all dolled up and bikini’d down at 2:30 in the fucking morning and did I mention you’re not paying them, get them nekkid in your car, get them into your house, and keep on looking at  and recording the vast array of boobies till you find some boobies attached to a girl who inexplicably has not noticed that you are, not merely a douche, not merely the Captain of the U.S.S. Douchebag, but a grand Admiral Douche, commanding an entire Douchefleet, with Douche Battalions ready to follow your every Douchemand. And then get married. Because she fits the “type” you’ve been “dreaming” of marrying ever since you wandered into her country not speaking the language in search of exotic asses to stare at.

HOW TO GET MARRIED, FOR GIRLS:

Pick one dude to fuck for the rest of your life. Keep on fucking him. NO MATTER WHAT.

Also, in these varying columns on how to snag a heterosexual life partner, it’s fun to note the ideal professions of one’s future husband or wife! Because they go,

WIFE:

Bikini model!

HUSBAND:

Architect!

Tits or job skills; who can choose between them? But luckily, you only have to have one or the other. Therefore, I shall just wander around in my bra looking pliable (and “exotic,” assuming someone thinks unkempt Irish-Scottish-probably-some-German girls constitute an Undiscovered Cuntry — oh, Lord! I’ve never been with someone so miscellaneously Midwestern, my suitor shall pant. My sweet, you are as white as the belly of a large-mouth bass that has floated up to the surface of Lake Erie due to its overwhelming toxicity, he shall continue) until I find a Mr. Darcy for my penniless little Bennet of a self.  It’s a sports bra today, gentlemen! Please, restrain all of your many boners!

I know, I know: It’s my lifestyle. It’s just so designed. It gets you all fiery in the pants, you cannot help it. And yet, my bra and I have to track down Justin Fischer, because I kissed him on the playground behind the swing set in kindergarten, and we said we were going to get married, and now I think he might just be my best shot.

53 Comments

  1. Irised wrote:

    (Posts like this are why) I fucking love this blog so much.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
  2. k not k wrote:

    Oh shit, I’m doing this all wrong, I thought I was supposed to become the architect and snag the bikini model. Now what am I supposed to do with this worthless fucking urban planning degree and the proofs for my classy yet erotic Men of Western Europe calendar? Fuck, I’ll never be able to get married…

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Permalink
  3. ozymandias wrote:

    I… actually don’t think most of that is bad advice.

    I mean, it’s somewhat obvious, given that it boils down to “don’t date people you don’t want to date.” And it is a psychological truth that more choices tend to make most people unhappier, so artifically reducing your choices may make you happier.

    Of course the implied belief that everyone wants a monogamous marriage is… somewhat icky… and the gender politics are fucked up as hell.

    So, basically: how do you take something as INTERESTING and AWESOME as the Choice Effect and reduce it to a pile of antifeminist shite?

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  4. emjaybee wrote:

    There’s an essay in “Desperate Women Need to Talk to You” by Joan Frank called “A is A” that this reminds me of. I highly recommend that essay collection, actually.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  5. Em wrote:

    Oh god, the second-to-last paragraph, oh god….still haven’t caught my breath…get back to me tomorrow for commentary that consists of more than pounding my desk and crying tears of laughter.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  6. In case you haven’t dug too deep into the site, you’ll be pleased / shocked / neither that Ferriss is equally douchey about things other than gender relations.

    Like investing! (He asked Warren Buffett for investment advice and ended the question with “thank you in advance for being as specific as possible about asset classes”)

    Like kickboxing! (He mentions in his book – which I [sigh] own – how he won the National Chinese Kickboxing Championship by gaming the weigh-in rules, then shoving opponents out of the ring)

    So it’s deliberate, not accidental. In case there was any worry!

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  7. jfruh wrote:

    This makes me sad not least because I dream of only working four hours a week, somehow! Why has my essentially harmless laziness been appropriated by awful douchebags? WHYYYYYYY

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink
  8. D. wrote:

    Men who write that sort of crap make me want to live in a convent.

    Mind you, a convent of Valkyries. So to speak.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Permalink
  9. Tabs wrote:

    fuuuuuuuuuuuucckkkkk

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Permalink
  10. Tabs wrote:

    From the “article”: ‘Arriving in Florianopolis in January of 2008, I was amazed by the sheer quantity of beautiful women — they were everywhere! I’d always had this dream of photographing models, so it was a perfect opportunity to make that dream come true. I coined the calendar name “Girls of Brazil” and so the adventure began. Then I just needed to find the models.’

    So amazing. What brilliant art.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  11. Tabs wrote:

    He helped the poor, unrecognized women: “Four of the girls went on to pose for Playboy Brasil. One of the girls got hired on as a dancer for the top television show in Brazil on Sunday afternoons. Many got modeling jobs. And they’ve all appreciated the opportunity, so that’s one of the best things about doing this.”

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  12. AES wrote:

    I could read this on loop forever. Ultimately it is just sad – why have meaningful connections with people when there is so much Brazilian boobies to stare at? And I heartily approve of the excessive use of “douche” in this post – completely merited.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink
  13. Xenu01 wrote:

    “…that’s what you get for sticking all those different jams in your mouth, you jam whore! Now no self-respecting jam will have you! NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS.”

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I knew my destructive indecisive jam habits would get me into trouble some day, but this? Is it too late to switch to butter on my toast? IS IT?

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Permalink
  14. Xenu01 wrote:

    @K NOT K:
    So much win.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink
  15. Jadey wrote:

    You will end up with no jam! And you really wanted jam, too! But that’s what you get for sticking all those different jams in your mouth, you jam whore! Now no self-respecting jam will have you! NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS.

    It’s okay – I have marmite as my back-up plan.

    I wanted to say something intelligent, but that was kind of off the table as of “Douchefleet”.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Permalink
  16. speedbudget wrote:

    I thought this was going to be a discussion of Designing Women and how we, too, could one day have a job consisting of being totally cool bitches sitting on a couch waxing rhapsodic during a rant against the patriarchy.

    I was sorely disappointed.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  17. Mazarine wrote:

    I also cough cough own his book!

    But the douchiness does indeed go on.

    To Make Fun of 4hour silliness, we were going to make a lifestyle porn blog that was WAY more explicit, I mean, like National Enquirer type stuff,

    “I can hold my breath for TWO DAYS!”

    “I’m the monster truck champion of box kickin!”

    “I know 300 languages because I STUDIED THEM IN MY SLEEP!”

    And then, of course, Feriss posted the Tucker Max article. Perhaps I’ve been living under a non-internet shaped rock for the past 10 years, but I had never heard of tucker max before. I read a few of his stories and was completely appalled that this alcoholic misogynist had gotten a book deal.

    And it pretty much supported the whole “Ferriss has jumped the shark” thing, shown his true asshattery, and now we need to go find a different haberdasher, perhaps one a bit more believable.

    One thing that works very well for blogs, of course, is CONFLICT. And OFFENSIVE THINGS. And things which will cause the above by being PATENTLY NOT TRUE. Like many of Ferriss’s stories.

    But his patent untruths, half-truths or true by a technicality assertions are what makes him a cult figure.

    So hopefully the more ridiculously misogynist stuff he keeps posting, the more women who think will be driven away from his trucknuttery.

    Also, also, Penelope Trunk says a lot of funny things about him on her blog.
    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/01/08/5-time-management-tricks-i-learned-from-years-of-hating-tim-ferriss/

    Here you go!

    Mazarine

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  18. Amelia Jane wrote:

    YES, I was going to mention that kick-boxing that. I borrowed his book from my Dad (who is succesful by NOT being a douche) and it read like ‘I won a championship by fucking over a buch of people who had worked really hard their whole lives to get this far. GO ME!’
    I stopped reading his blog after the video post about all the cool gadgets he owns. Thankfully.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  19. XtinaS wrote:

    @Xenu01:

    Is it too late to switch to butter on my toast? IS IT?

    You should’ve appreciated the butter you had in front of you back when you were young and firm enough to attract it, VIRGINIA.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Permalink
  20. patrick wrote:

    i am restraining SO many boners right now!

    i…i think i may have a serious medical condition.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink
  21. Josie wrote:

    “…keep on looking at and recording the vast array of boobies till you find some boobies attached to a girl who inexplicably has not noticed that you are, not merely a douche, not merely the Captain of the U.S.S. Douchebag, but a grand Admiral Douche, commanding an entire Douchefleet, with Douche Battalions ready to follow your every Douchemand.”

    Basically, I love you. This is my new favorite insult.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
  22. Just delurking to say that this is the best chunk of sentence I’ve read all day: …you are, not merely a douche, not merely the Captain of the U.S.S. Douchebag, but a grand Admiral Douche, commanding an entire Douchefleet, with Douche Battalions ready to follow your every Douchemand.

    If I was the tattooing type, I’d want that in cursive across my back, arcing above an illustration of privilege Denying Dude as some sort of Judeo-Christian religious icon.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Permalink
  23. The Best Kelly wrote:

    Oh man the Captain of the U.S.S. Douchebag brings back so many fond memories. Remember when you told off the original douche captain and sang that little song about it and we drew penises on the dry erase board at work back when we were both employed? Good times…

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Permalink
  24. Sady wrote:

    @Best Kelly EVER: As I recall, the song was a charming sea shanty, of the sort employed by Popeye, and it went like this:

    Doodle DOUCHE DOUCHE DOUCHE
    Doodle doodle doodle DOUCHE
    Doodle DOUCHE DOUCHE DOUCHE
    Doodle doodle doodle DOUCHE
    Doodle DOUCHE-a-doodle DOUCHE-a-doodle
    Doodle doodle DOUCHE
    You’re a douche DOUCHE douche DOUCHE douche
    DOUCHE BAG

    Ah, we were an employable bunch, weren’t we?

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink
  25. Sady wrote:

    @Best Kelly: Also, I could not have made the “The Economist” joke without you. AS YOU KNOW.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
  26. TD wrote:

    “I am the very model of a modern Douchey-Admiral,
    I’ve information creep-ical, douche-ical, and bag-ical”

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink
  27. Elise wrote:

    Can I use “you are, not merely a douche, not merely the Captain of the U.S.S. Douchebag, but a grand Admiral Douche, commanding an entire Douchefleet, with Douche Battalions ready to follow your every Douchemand,” as an insult for true douchebaggery in my life from now on? I mean, it just makes my standard, “That [comment or action] was bad, you should feel bad, and you’re a bad person.” right out of the water.

    Monday, December 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink
  28. Amanda (Not Hess) wrote:

    What makes me even sadder is that he appears to see himself as some manner of savior to woman-kind, having apparently discovered the secret of female orgasm… and I quote:

    “After much diligent fieldwork, he hit on a technique capable of producing orgasms lasting up to 15 minutes. He says that it’s effective more than 95 percent of the time.”

    The original source: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/mf_qa_ferriss/

    How an arch-douche like this manages to get published continues to baffle me.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:22 am | Permalink
  29. scrumby wrote:

    I make my own jam and by that I mean there is a lab in my basement and he is going to have the legs of a dancer, the heart of a poet, and the hair of many a Great Clips customer.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:55 am | Permalink
  30. Noelle wrote:

    …When I view the main TBD page everything is fine, but when I try to view the individual entry page, everything is squished over to the right side and in a thiiiiin column that’s totally unreadable. Help! I want to read the rest of this one.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink
  31. Sady wrote:

    @Noelle: If you’re viewing it in Google Chrome, try un-AdBlocking. It seems to work for other readers.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 3:03 am | Permalink
  32. rhiain wrote:

    This is amazing. Thank you for continuing to write about this sort of thing in such a wonderful way, because reading it is a real outlet for me.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:57 am | Permalink
  33. rhiain wrote:

    @Noelle, I was having the same problem in Chrome; rather than disable AdBlock altogether I just added TBD to the “excluded sites” list, and it went back to normal for me.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 6:59 am | Permalink
  34. drinkwater wrote:

    NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink
  35. Erin wrote:

    @Amanda: I bet if I fell into bed with him I would fake an orgasm even for 15 minutes just to make the whole nightmare end (and I am ethically and morally opposed to faking under almost all circumstances), 95% of the time.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 9:25 am | Permalink
  36. Sady wrote:

    @Erin, Amanda: “When you try to find out about female orgasm, you get into a lot of misinformation really quickly. Separating fact from fiction is really hard.”

    IF YOU’RE THIS GUY, SURE.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  37. Kathleen wrote:

    drinkwater: aw, you beat me to it.

    NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS.

    I am gonna laugh to myself all day. thanks Sady.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  38. Jezebella wrote:

    I just discovered something awesome about living in Buttcrack, Mississippi: there are no bars full of those finance douches anywhere around here.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Permalink
  39. That Girl wrote:

    Pieces like this remind me why I need to do that Paypal button again and again.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink
  40. alanna wrote:

    I read this at work, and laughed so loud and so long that my boss (who works in ANOTHER ROOM ENTIRELY) asked me what was so funny. Whoops.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
  41. N'Awlins Contrarian wrote:

    Our popular culture (an oxymoron, I think) encourages and celebrates shallow and simplistic notions of romance and romantic compatibility. To a substantial extent, it treats potential romantic partners as fungible, or at least reducible to simplistic, often fairly shallow qualities (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?, etc.). Maybe this guy has won the race to the bottom?

    That any individual may practice, or even encourage, reptilian behavior is not too surprising. That such a person gains a substantial, public following is a sign of real societal trouble.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
  42. MagneticCrow wrote:

    @Scrumby
    I think you just perfected that jam metaphor.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  43. firefly wrote:

    @ozymandias:

    I actually thought it was creepy because their implying that you shouldn’t know/date a lot of men, and instead date only one guy and marry him.

    Of course you shouldn’t date guys don’t want to, but if you know many dudes, why should you date one? What if you don’t like him, or he’s not the right one? So I know what you mean, but the jam analogy icks me out.

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Permalink
  44. Lkat wrote:

    Actually, the jam story/paradox of choice is a real, measured phenomenon. There’s just not any unstupid reason to assume that it applies to women but not men in the dating and marriage arena.

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Permalink
  45. Suzers wrote:

    YOU ARE THE FUNNIEST. The funniest. Tiger Beatdowns are the very best beatdowns.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  46. Kate wrote:

    Sadly, that is not a golf club he’s holding in his wacky yoga-esque pose, it is something even more pretentious: a hurley, used to play the Irish sport hurling. Grand Admiral Douche indeed.

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink
  47. tylrjm wrote:

    LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!! Reading this in class was a bad idea! I had to stifle my mirth so many times, lest the entire class give me a weird look. Sady, you are the most hilarious and insightful person alive!

    Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink
  48. MN wrote:

    Thank you!!!

    Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink
  49. OH GOD THANK YOU. I tried reading 4HWW but wanted to toss it out halfway through. One of the few books I regretted reading (and I am a VORACIOUS reader).

    Sadly he’s not the only example of “lifestyle design” douchebaggery – in fact, he’s not even unique:
    http://www.tiarashafiq.com/2010/04/03/the-problem-with-lifestyle-design-blogs

    Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  50. I didn’t think the women-directed advice was terrible (certainly better than their advice for men), except for the fact that it was only directed at women, rather than anyone looking for a spouse. (It was written by a guest blogger; that probably helps.)

    @Firefly: Note that in the jam studies, the ideal number of choices wasn’t zillions, but it also wasn’t one. And you probably are willing to spend more time deciding on a mate than deciding on jam, so increasing the number of decent choices probably doesn’t lead quite so quickly to walking home with no jam. The article didn’t actually advocate dating just one guy your whole life (or give a specific number at all)–that was an exaggeration of Sady’s, presumably for comic effect and to highlight the contrast between advice given to men vs women.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink
  51. Sharonica wrote:

    That man inspires more use of the word “douche” than anyone, anywhere, including people with the unfortunate last name “SummersEve.” Jen Dziura called out TF multiple times here in May:

    http://thegloss.com/career/bullish-ladies-who-get-their-businesses-confused-with-their-need-to-be-loved/

    Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink
  52. Casey wrote:

    I snorked at the “NO, NOT EVEN SMUCKERS” line.
    BWAAAH! XDD

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink
  53. Laura wrote:

    doooooooooooooooooouchey.

    but then, tim ferriss is a douche.

    http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2009/01/08/5-time-management-tricks-i-learned-from-years-of-hating-tim-ferriss/

    Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink