Listen up, bros: your manhood will shrivel and die if you don’t shape up and show some respect to the female sex, according to this scabrous relationship manual.
Levis, a community health care researcher who says that he’s in recovery from “male behavioral protocols,” takes aim at “toxic masculinity” in this book: every sleazy, selfish, callous, uncommunicative, emotionally repressed, irresponsible, drunken, filthy, stinking, groping, pathetic trait that keeps men from having successful—or really any—relationships with women. His pronouncements cover every conceivable topic, from hygiene (“Floss Your Fucking Teeth!”) to healthy lifestyles (“Get Some Sleep, You Ugly Troll”); socializing (“not dancing equates to being boring sexually and a cowardly man”); fine dining (“eating alone never leads to sex, unless you count whacking off”); deportment (smiling, he says, is better than catcalling); domestic harmony (“man up,” he says, and do chores); romantic technique (“be like a lithe and gentle sex tiger”); and even gastroenterology (“When it isn’t a good poop, take notes”). Underneath it all, Levis, the co-creator of what he calls the “Levis-Pimm Relationship Model” featuring 13 steps and a complex chart, dispenses sturdy, unexceptionable psychological advice: take responsibility for your life; don’t force others to make up for your emotional deficits; relinquish your sexist entitlements or face obsolescence in the age of gender equality; and don’t be “a douche bag to women.” He translates these feminist-inflected ideas into a stridently masculinist motivational idiom, half frat-boy raillery and half drill-sergeant hectoring, and decorates them with cartoons of scantily clad or naked women with large breasts as an enticement. There are sharp clashes among the book’s content, tone, and illustration, and the subtext of male self-loathing at times gets so extreme and Andrea Dworkin–ish that it may backfire and make demoralized readers want to forfeit the mating game and just play computer chess. (“Resist becoming a sexless, pox-faced, fat-assed, dildo-loving, healthcare liability (who will die alone on a toilet)”—and then it gets nasty.) Still, Levis’ prose is blunt, vigorous, colorful, and funny throughout. It will keep readers awake and perhaps jolt them into searching re-examinations of their lives.
A bracing, often domineering, self-help book that aims to guide “jerks” and “losers” through relationship boot camp.