Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from JT Tran, the Asian Playboy

JT Tran, the Asian Playboy
In this exclusive interview with Speaking of China, JT Tran offers dating advice for Chinese men on everything from sexuality and confidence to personality and approaching women.

In lieu of the usual Q&A, this week I’m featuring an interview with JT Tran, the number one Asian Dating Coach for Asian men.

JT has been featured on ABC, Chicago TV, VH1’s The Pick Up Artist, Asian Week, D Magazine, Nichi Bei Times, Entrepreneur, Harvard, Rutgers, Wellesley, to name a few. He offers hands-on coaching through his bootcamp seminars with the ABCs of Attraction. And, just recently, he launched the AMWW (Asian Men & White Women) Magazine to provide dating advice for Asian men in every stage of the relationship (in full disclosure, I’ll be writing for the magazine starting this January). Regular readers may also remember I reviewed his free audio dating CD and eBook in December (which are still available for download).

I talked with JT about a variety of subjects, from sexuality and building confidence to having personality and just approaching women. I’m confident you’ll find the conversation as enlightening and enjoyable as I did.

Since this is a monster of an interview, I’ve broken it down into topics, so you can click your way through to the information you want to know most:


Jocelyn: You once said “don’t buy into all this trash about being out of the league of a beautiful white woman.” This reminds me of a conversation I had with a Chinese guy many years ago, when I became so confused. I’d meet these wonderful men in China, but they always hesitated, or they sent me mixed messages. And then my friend told me that a lot of Chinese men just thought they were almost “not worthy” to date someone like me, because I’m an American.

I think you’re really proof it’s possible, because, as you write and have said before, you’re not the most attractive guy out there, but yet you date attractive women. And you used to be what you call a “textbook nerd.” Maybe you can share an anecdote about what you were like as the “textbook nerd,” before becoming a great Asian Playboy.

JT: What I was like? Well, I went into aerospace engineering, went to a technical college, I got a scholarship and degree and all that jazz. And I was a virgin, I had never kissed a girl up until the age of 20. I went to prom, but I went to prom with a bunch of my buddies, and I was completely clueless.

I remember one time when I was in high school, this cute redhead invited me to her place, along with her friends, because we had this essay to do on Hamlet. So, instead of reading Hamlet, we were watching the Mel Gibson Hamlet, to do a book report on it. And then her friend leaves the room for an hour, and I’m thinking “Where’d she go? Is she having bowel problems or something?” And then the redhead sits down with me, she’s sitting really close, and then I’m freaking out mentally, thinking “What’s going on? What’s going on? Should I make a move? Should I make a move?” And I didn’t do anything. I was just like, okay, we’re just going to watch the movie. And, so, the next day, we do the same thing. When we finished the movie, the other girl, she leaves the room again, for an hour. The redhead, again, she sits with me, really physically close, and I’m just mentally like “What’s going on? What am I supposed to do? Should I ask her out?” And I had no one to talk to about this. Even if I did, you know, this entire concept of saving face and being very shame-based made it difficult to ask her out. So over the weekend, I psyched myself up and said “you are going to totally ask her out.” Then school comes and I don’t see her until Tuesday. And, lo and behold, she’s walking down the hall, holding hands with another Asian guy. I’m like, “Fuck, that could have been me.” I guess she had been specifically looking for an Asian boyfriend and because I didn’t make a move, I lost out.

So it wasn’t until 20 that I kissed my first girl, and this was a girl that hit me over the head. She stayed over in my dorm room after all my friends left, and I didn’t know what was going on until 2am in the morning, I’m like, oh my god, this girl’s going to want my penis.

Completely clueless, trust me on that.

Jocelyn: Wow, I think that’s really inspiring, because I know there are a lot of men out there who can relate to your experiences.

JT: You have to realize, one of the breaking points, when I moved to California for work, I tried to do everything. Standard dating, blind dates, speed dating. My mom even tried to set me up. And I tried online dating and, as you know, online dating, especially interracial dating, is completely horrible for Asian guys.

And then I tried eHarmony, and eHarmony rejected me! You have to fill out this long essay question, and it rejected me, saying I was far too cerebral and analytical, and they could not find me a mate. I was going to die mateless, apparently, according to eHarmony. And after that, I’m like, fuck this.

Jocelyn: Are you serious? They called you far too cerebral?

JT: Cerebral and analytical. They said, okay, here’s your money back, we cannot get you anybody.

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Jocelyn: In your audio dating CD, I liked how you said that Asian men need to “realize that they are sexual beings.” This reminds me of my first Chinese boyfriend. When I told him I thought he was sexy, he responded, with surprise, “but I’m a Chinese!” I would love to see more Asian men embrace their inner sexiness.

I think it’s especially challenging when you grow up in a home where things like love and sexuality are not directly expressed, even among family members.

If a guy is struggling with embracing his sexy side, what would you say to him? Where should he start?

JT: I remember a couple of weeks ago, at one of our events in Toronto, and four of our Asian guys had all brought back girls. I’m like, yes, awesome! So they’re talking and they’re talking, and then 30 minutes later, I’m still watching them and not one of the guys had touched the girl. Even though this is something we specifically teach them, to touch, I’m like “come on, guys!” I literally grabbed one of the guy’s arms, and put it on the girl’s shoulder, but at the last second, the very last inch, he stops. Like, literally, he stops his arm from touching her.

There’s a psychological and physical barrier that needs to be broken. Psychological, in the sense that women want to be appreciated. The average time it takes for a woman to get dressed, according to this study on CNN, is 78 minutes. Women do want to be appreciated. They want to be visually gazed at, they do want to be found sexy and alluring. But it just can’t be done in a very obvious or creepy manner. All right? But women, they do want to be called beautiful and they do want to be called sexy. First, guys have to understand that women want to be appreciated, and they you have to express that appreciation. They just don’t want that the only thing you like about them is their butt or their breasts.

So, for the man, he has to be comfortable with expressing that, expressing his desire and intent and not hold that back. I think part of it is, the more rules and more civilization that we put into our lives, the more separated we are from our basic human nature and basic masculinity.

These kinds of rules and social conditioning, I think about how society is set up in a pyramid scheme. There is a finite supply of beautiful, incredible women, but there is an infinite supply of desperate, horny men. So, obviously, society cannot allocate these limited resources to everyone. Even though in the media, everyone can turn on porn and they get this kind of video game, illusionary sense of achievement, where he’s with a woman who is a nine or a 10 in terms of looks, when in actuality there’s no real hope for him.

But societal conditioning in the back of his mind — this is instigated by Western society as well as Asian society — says, instills this fear, this voice in the back of your head that says “you can’t do that, you had better not do that.” For them to succumb to that, I tell them, that’s you bound to the white man. The more you listen to that fear, the more you give credence and power to that societal conditioning that will hold you down.

Because, you have to think, our Asian parents came over to America and took a huge risk. I mean, what I do and what I push guys on in the field, that’s nothing compared to what my mom did, coming from Vietnam during the Communist regime. My stepdad was a police officer, and he got thrown into one of those Community Vietnamese re-education camps. I mean, what we fear, touching girls and expressing our own desire, is nothing compared to what our parents did. My mom had to get a new degree because hers was a French degree and not recognized by the US. And even then, she started several businesses and a couple of them, they did fail. But she always got up and she always tried again until she finally became successful. Somewhere along the way, this risk-taking got lost for a lot of sons. Our parents took massive risks, and if they had listened to the voices in the back of their heads, they would still be back where they are. So that’s a lot of psychological stuff.

There’s also the physical, understanding how that’s supposed to work. A lot of guys don’t know the appropriate way to touch. For example, some guy will walk by you to get in the bar and he will put his hand in the small of your back. And you think, ugh, icky! It’s totally uncomfortable.

There are distinct ways to touch a woman, to show that it’s platonic or sexual, it’s dominant or it’s creepy. I think the basic rule of thumb you can tell your readers is “top down, out in.” You start at the top and work your way down. So, if you were to touch a woman, you would start at the top of the shoulder, like when you slap a buddy on the shoulder, which is more platonic and almost like a dance maneuver, like in ballroom dancing when you’re turning your partner by the shoulder. And then you work your way down to the elbow, and then to her wrist, and then to hand holding. It works on the back as well. You don’t start at the small of her back or her butt, you start at the top of the back and work your way down.

Same with “out in.” You start on the outside of the knee, work your way up to the thigh, then work your way up to the inside of the knee and thigh, but you don’t go straight for the “goal,” you know?

See, that’s the thing that women don’t quite understand. When women say they want a man with confidence, a man isn’t necessarily born with confidence. We’re not born coming out of the womb knowing how to please a woman. That confidence comes with experience. I know women want a guy that’s awesome in bed. But they also unconsciously realize that he has been with enough women to know what he’s doing.

But if a guy says how many girls he has been with, his buddies might slap him on the back, but girls think it’s gross. The thing is, even if he rocks her world, she doesn’t want to think that she’s number 101 — even though it may have taken him 100 tries to get good enough to give her an orgasm.

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Jocelyn: Speaking of sex, in your e-book, you reference your own sexual prowess frequently as an example. I’m going to play devil’s advocate here — so let’s say that I’m a guy who’s not looking to be a player, or to sleep around, that I just want to find “the one” woman to marry and settle down with. What if I look at this and say, You know, JT’s got some good advice, but how can it work for me? I don’t want women to get the impression that I’m just another player. What would you say to this guy?

JT: I think that’s awesome, that’s great! My hat off to him. I have had students that have gotten married.

One of my students was a Korean virgin. He met his future fiancee at a New York City coffee shop. Everyone was staring at him because he was 5’4” and she was this 5’10” African American woman. And, one year later he proposed to her. So I think that’s great.

I do want to point out two stories about Asian guys who were not necessarily players, but really good looking Asian guys, and really inexperienced.

So we had pictures of this one guy and put them on Facebook, and all of the girls are like, “oh my god, this guy is so good looking, why is he going to boot camp?” He was a nine or a 10 in terms of looks.

But the student only dated one girl, very beautiful, she was a model and blonde. She picked him up, essentially. Slept together, they had a long-term relationship and then they broke up.

So he goes on this date with this girl I happen to know. He thinks it goes well, they make out and all that. But he never hears from her again. So I talked to her and asked her, why didn’t you call him up? Why weren’t you picking up his phone calls? There were basically two reasons. One was he was being too cocky — the way good looking guys can be too cocky and off-putting. But that wasn’t the deal breaker. The deal breaker was when he kissed her, she said he was incredibly horrible.

So this good-looking student, he was always holding out for only beautiful girls. He had only been with one girl and would only sleep with someone who was a nine or a 10. So here’s this girl that is a nine or a 10, truly gorgeous. And she loves Asian guys. But when it came time for him to step up and perform, he couldn’t. Or when he did, I don’t mean to be demeaning, but he was not a very good kisser. And he blew his chance.

Another student from New York, also 6-foot-tall Asian guy who was a virgin. He lost his virginity to an Asian girl that he met in the subway. So he posted this message to me saying “I finally lost my virginity, yay!” But he said it was the most horrible experience in his life. He didn’t know what to do. He was fumbling with the condom, he was so nervous, he didn’t know which hole to put it in.

Over 75 percent of my students want to have meaningful relationships. But the bottom line is, if you don’t have experience pleasing a woman, you’re not going to get seconds. Maybe you’ll sleep with her that one time. But if you just don’t know how to kiss, how to please her, then your chances are going to diminish rapidly. Especially for experienced women. Statistically speaking, most Asian women and White women are more experienced than Asian men. Now I know people will protest against that, as if I made that number up. But White women and Asian women are more likely to have more sexual partners and lose their virginity faster than Asian guys are.

The reason why we get into the game is to find the future love of our life, the future mother of your child. She could be at the supermarket, she could be at the coffee store, she could be at the bar. But not only do you need to have the confidence to approach her and get her to go out with you on a date, you have to be good enough in bed, so that she says this is a guy I want to sleep with again. Because there’s only so much charm that will save your ass if you’re just a one-minute man in bed.

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Jocelyn: You talk a lot about confidence as part of your program. I was particularly inspired by William’s example — that, thanks to all of the work he had done, when he finally met a girl and she said “I don’t date Asians,” he didn’t run away.

I really liked William’s daily affirmations, as a way of building up confidence. Do you think that’s a good place to start, for someone who isn’t sure how to improve their confidence?

JT: I think yes, but I say that with a caveat. Because some people, they will only do that. It’s kind of like playing a video game, because you get this illusion of achievement, because your thoughts have to follow your actions, and your actions form your thoughts. If all a person is doing is daily affirmations, and not actually taking action to improve his life, then it’s just mental masturbation.

Yes, though, it’s better than nothing. It’s better than the students I’ve had who, because of their upbringing, their high academic concentration, are always critical of themselves. If they can’t say anything good about themselves, then yes.

But I’m also a firm believer in taking action. Maybe it’s because I’m an engineer. At a certain level, I still have self-doubts, and still have a voice in the back of my mind that wants me to fail. But so far, I’ve successfully muted that ever since I dated my college girlfriend. And even though I hear that voice, it’s never really held me back. To me, it’s always action. I’ve always been willing to take action. Making that first step is always the hardest, but it’s the most important.

You know, ever since the conversation with William, I’ve done something very similar, creating a list of self-expanding beliefs. I now have a list of 100. I’ll sit down and play this CD of Australian music and I’ll read through the list. It has things ranging from “I will keep my patience” to “I will not yell at my employees when they mess up.” Things of that nature. But if you’re not doing something now, that’s definitely a place to start.

Jocelyn: When you talk about action, what are some things to start with?

JT: For the typical Asian, there are some very easy things that they can do, before they get to the hard stuff. They can fix their hair, that’s always important. It’s surprising how much women unconsciously put confidence in a man’s sexual value based on their couture. I have noticed a significant reaction when I was being very lazy about my hair and it looked messy and ugly, versus when I was doing something unique or different, like a fauxhawk. If I was to simplify, I added one to two attraction points. It made my life easier in that regard.

Fashion also plays a part, it shows your status and sexuality. I tell guys to get rid of the “Asian uniform” — add some color, and make sure your clothing fits. That’s incredibly important. My mom, to this day, always buys me clothes two sizes too large. And I love her, but she still buys big clothes. But, yeah, fit is incredibly important. It makes you look like more of a man.

I’d also say — and I know, again, some Asians will read this and think that I’m putting down Asians — but I’ve seen this a lot more than many of my non-Asian students. Asian guys need to start using more body deodorant. So, go out there and get some underarm deodorant. I think it’s just because it’s not that prevalent in Asian culture. Students show up and I ask who’s got cologne or deodorant and half of them say “no” and I’ll tell them that’s part of their problem. Asians don’t smell as significantly as other races do, but still, we all sweat.

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Jocelyn: You’ve told Asian men to “stop being generic.” This reminds me of the advice I’ve given before, to show a woman personality. I once dated this really nice Chinese guy, but he had zero personality — nothing. He was like a Ken doll, and he gave me no reason to keep dating him.

After all, most of us are looking for that soulmate, for that person we have a deep connection with.

But the question is, where do you start if you are being too generic? Knowing who you are is really tough — it’s even taken me a long time to figure this out for myself. What would you recommend for guys struggling with this issue?

JT: Don’t be bland, don’t be forgettable, don’t be replaceable. Nice guys are all three of those. Guys should have the confidence to have a sense of identity and boundaries. And like you were saying with your example, he was being very nice and very sweet, but very bland. In other words, if he’s nice, he thinks you’re going to like him back. But timidity will kill attraction and dominance will create it. Obviously, not all the time, but the majority of the time.

Let’s for example, say, you’re both musical aficionados, you both have this creative commonality. But then maybe one of you loves Moulin Rouge and the other one loves Chicago, and you hate each others’ movies. The idea is that you have the confidence to say, even though she’s a beautiful girl, I’m going to disagree with her. I have the confidence to know that this is what I believe in, and even though I don’t agree with her, it doesn’t mean she won’t like me.

Because what nice guys are trying to do is, “If I agree with everything she says, she’ll like me. But if I disagree with her, she’s going to stop liking me.” Here, the nice guy is trying to make you like him. As opposed to a man who says “These are my values, this is what I stand for. Like me or don’t, I don’t care, because these are my values.” So you have these conversations and you might think to himself, “He’s bonkers! How could he not love Moulin Rouge?” But you respect him more for that because he’s able to have a very cogent argument, and it’s a very enlightening, impassioned argument that the two of you are having. And you have a clearly defined sense of his personality and why he likes Chicago — maybe it’s the 20s or the fashion, or something like that. As opposed to being this “jello mold of a Ken doll,” as you pointed out.

Jocelyn: That makes me think about my husband. He’s 5’4”. I was kind of interested in him, and then I saw him stand up and thought to myself, I don’t know about this guy. But then when I got to know him and found out he was interested in psychology. And he told me this story about how, in his hometown, there are these stone factories building up in residential areas, disturbing the peace. He actually confronted the owner of one of these factories and he was going to try to sue them. And I thought, Whoa! This guy has some character. He’s 5’4”, but he’s a fighter.

JT: That’s a really good point and I’m really glad you brought that up. That’s what I call, in attraction parlance, DHV or demonstration of high value. I use the example of how every time you see a person, you form a pie chart, and based on first impressions, you fill that pie chart in. For Asian guys, “educated” is typically one of the slices in the pie chart. “Educated,” “has a good job,” those kinds of things are filled in. But then, as you pointed out, he’s 5’4”, and the vast majority of women want a guy to be at least as tall as they are. So that right there, that huge chunk, is not filled in. So, you think in the back of your mind, he’s 5’4”, this is never going to filled in, and he’s not going to change that.

So the concept, in pickup, is that we are going to fill in that pie chart for you. We’re going to display our personality. And, in this particular case, when Asian guys are short, one of the biggest slices of that pie that is missing is “Protector of Loved Ones.” I hear this all the time from my girlfriends. I kept on hearing it until I looked into the statistics and found that, for one out of four girls, someone tried to sexually molest them. And probably, for a beautiful girl, that’s even higher. It’s an incredibly tragic thing. But I bring this up because every girl has the right to expect a man who can take care of her. So with someone that’s short, subconsciously you think he would have a more difficult time, that the “Protector of Loved Ones” slice isn’t going to be there. But in the case of your husband, or as I tell others, we’ll fill in that slice. Maybe it’s not the case of me beating up someone else, but telling a story where I take care of my friends. Or, in your husband’s case, he takes care of his people. He’s someone who stands up for himself. Because you unconsciously know that if you were to get in trouble, he would stand up for you.

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Jocelyn: I get a lot of questions from Chinese men about the approach — how to go up and initiate conversation with a woman. Obviously, there really isn’t just one, magic line you can use to charm a woman (as you write, pick-up lines just don’t work). But on the other hand, you wrote about being prepared in advance, knowing what to say to a woman. Could you give me an example of how that might work, in some everyday setting such as a campus, or coffeehouse, or bus stop?

JT: Well, practice — practice makes perfect.

I understand some guys don’t want to go to bars and clubs. But, in our program, this is where we take them. That’s because mistakes you make at the bars and clubs, no one remembers.

I was reading on your blog, that one student who wanted to approach a brunette and that’s an everyday environment. The only problem is, if he flubs it in some way, he’s going to remember that and he’ll have to see her again.

I get e-mails from guys who are asking for advice and I remember one guy who wasn’t a student, but was practicing pickup and pickup stuff is just weird, I’m not going to lie, and he was just practicing it. He got dinged by his supervisor, and it got put into his corporate file for sexual harrassment. I don’t want to bring these examples up to dissuade men. I just want to say that, to be prepared and to be confident, it helps to practice. And that’s why I say we go to the bars and clubs to do that, rather than saying “hello” or trying to pick up a girl or whatever.

I would also say, with regards to your fanmail, he said he acted like a stereotypical Asian guy, quiet and all that. I would ask him if he can go to the mall, and, as he is walking around, make eye contact with 10 random strangers, smile at 10 random strangers, and say hello to 10 random strangers. Because otherwise, what’s going to happen is, let’s say this girl is in his class everyday from Monday to Friday and they’re working on the same degree. He goes for it and she’s like the first girl he’s ever talked to, and he’s stuttering. The problem with everyday settings is that the social consequences are more far reaching than they are at night.

Jocelyn: That makes a lot of sense, I never thought about it like that.

JT: I also say, try to give value. We have a saying: “be a fun-maker, not a fun-taker.” The feeling of rejection is, she won’t give you her number, she won’t go out on a date with you, she won’t have sex with you.

You want to enter into a conversation not asking for something. You would like to get her number, but that’s not why you’re in this conversation. You’re in this conversation to have fun, because she’s a cool, pretty girl, and you’re a cool guy yourself. You’re there to add value. It’s like the Dos Equis commercials, where it’s “the most interesting man in the world.” I’ve had girls compliment me, saying I’m the most interesting Asian man she’s ever met. She can die happy now, having known me. So, be that person where you offer this, whether day or night. And the outcome, it’s more of a bonus if she gives you her number. You are this person, you exude this value and charisma.

There are different styles of approaches. You can do a low investment, a simple “hi”. Some sort of reason to come up and approach her. Or you can do a more direct style, a more kamikaze style, going up to a girl and saying “You are beautiful.” Obviously, in a certain social setting, it’s more slow-burning, so you’re not going to be as direct.

It’s about socializing. I had my first girlfriend at the age of 20, and a white guy loses his virginity at age 16. So I’m battling a four-year deficit. So instead of going to college at 18, I’m going to college at 22. Now I have to go to night school. So instead of doing four years of college, I’m compressing it into two years of night school. That’s the example. I’m just compressing what I should have learned earlier on.

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Jocelyn: You mentioned you had some fanmail you’d like to respond to — let’s get to it.

JT: This comes from Jason, and his e-mail says “a possible win for Asian men.” It reads:

Hey JT,

There’s this White girl that I’ve been talking to and I think it could escalate. I’m 18 years old and this girl is 20 years old. And she’s the kind of girl who is into Asian guys and anime, although very good-looking. We met on Facebook about a month ago and she has already met me in person. However, the date was very awkward and became very, very boring, so we just went our separate ways. However, a few days ago she started messaging me on Facebook again, and said a lot of sexual things she wanted to do to me, and said she thinks I’m really cute. She says she is going through her “time of the month,” and her hormones are going out of control. I jokingly said she should come to my room and watch movies with me, but she said it was a good idea. What should I do to ask her to hang out again and successfully execute it, given I made the first meeting awkward.

This is a fun little fanmail from Jason here. So many things to pick at here. I think the most glaring is the sexual anxieties. That’s obvious.

So, going in reverse order, he says “I jokingly said she should come to my room and watch movies with me, but she said it was a good idea.” And then in the next sentence, he asks “What should I do to ask her to hang out with me?” Well, Jason, since she said it was a good idea, why not just ask her to come to your room? Again, like you pointed out, Jocelyn, it’s sexual anxiety. He’s joking around about it, and she’s being quite serious. This is never going to be a better opportunity. But he’s thinking, “oh, I should offer to take her out on a coffee date,” which is going in reverse, taking a step back. She wants to go to his room and watch movies.

That’s actually what happened with my college girlfriend. Me and my friends, we went up to my dorm room to watch movies. And one by one my friends left, they all left by 12, and she was still there, and it was only until 2am and she was still there with me that I figured it out.

It’s this clear indication, she’s giving him clear indicators, but he’s failing to act upon them. And he knows it. He just wants either my permission, or he wants me to tell him what to do, or he wants my permission to fail and not take action.

I’ve had one fanmail say, he was a masseuse or something like that, but she started joking around with him, saying her vagina could so use a genital massage right now. And he asked me, JT, do you think that she was hitting on me? And I’m like, yes, come on! She’s totally hitting on you. Why didn’t you do anything?

Guys, you know she’s interested in you when these things happen. You know this. You don’t need me to tell you. And this is the frustrating thing — and I don’t mean to be harsh on them. They’re asking it because they want someone to tell them what to do, and they want permission to fail. And so, he needs to do what she suggests, he needs to ask her up to his room. Whatever excuse to get her up into his room, it doesn’t matter. It just needs to sound legitimate. When I ask girls up to my place to see my marble collection, guess what? We’re not going to see my marble collection.

Women are not stupid. If there’s any big advice I can tell any guy is women are not stupid. They understand why you want to buy them a drink. They understand why you want to ask her out for dinner. They understand why you want to be alone in a room with her. Maybe she’s not saying that she thinks she wants to have sex with you, but she understands that there’s a sexual connotation to it, and she’s allowing you to progress. She’s allowing you to make the sexual first move, but you have to make it.

The other point I want to make is, he says the date was very awkward, and it became boring. I’m going to hazard a guess, because this is not the first time Jason has e-mailed me with similar questions, that his conversational skills are probably lacking. He’s not taking charge of the conversation. He’s not making her laugh. He’s not telling stories about himself and opening up to her so she can open up to him. Girls expect a guy to have the reigns of the first initial phase of a conversation. It’s only typically after, when a girl is very attracted to you, will she then take control of the conversation. But do expect, in that first 10 to 20 minutes, to be the one in control of the conversation.

Jocelyn: So, clearly, this guy needs to work on his social skills.

JT: Basically, and he’s doing it at a good age, 18, as opposed to much later. But I get the feeling that he’s probably very inexperienced. Nothing wrong with that, you know. I was inexperienced. My students are inexperienced. He does need experience talking to women. He does need experience making the move. Sexual anxiety is a real killer for Asian guys.

Jocelyn: And then you also made that point about how this guy wants “permission to fail,” and maybe there’s that fear of rejection, that “what if everything does go wrong.” And, as you’ve mentioned before, you don’t always succeed with women, but it’s about building up that confidence and realizing that you are going to fail sometimes. For every failure you have, there’s always going to be the opportunity for success next time around, the more you improve on your skills.

JT: Yeah. To be honest, I always give a speech: “the hallmark of a man is not how many times he wins, it’s how many times he fails.” But it’s more than how many times he fails — it’s how many times he gets up after he’s knocked down. That’s the hallmark of a man. Life is tough and you’re not always going to win. But it’s your testament of character, of manhood, forged in fire. These conflicts, these struggles, define us as men.

Women learn through encouragement. If I tell you or some girl that that red dress makes you look incredibly sexy, odds are she’s going to wear that red dress for me again. If I tell a guy, I bet you can’t climb that fence, I dare you to climb that fence. What’s a guy going to do? He’ll be like, fuck you, I’m going to climb that fence. Men learn through challenge, women learn through encouragement. I know I’ve been accused of being harsh and unsympathetic. That’s because being nice to guys has failed them their entire lives. And it’s the wrong way to approach success with men. We have to challenge our sons and our little brothers.

Jocelyn: So, in other words, a little tough love can really turn them around.

JT: Or, as I like to call my program, it’s tough love, just without the love. 😉

Keep on keeping on, I would say. My heart goes out to this guy. He’s e-mailed me a couple of times, always with a different girl, so I know he’s getting out there. Good for him! But, definitely, he’s got to pull the trigger.

Jocelyn: What message would you like to leave with my readers?

JT: I do want to emphasize, as I’ve been reading in some of your comments, “this is better advice than some of those pickup artists give” and know this is the stigma of the industry, I like to uphold a certain value and integrity that my industry does not hold as a serious principle. I hope to impress upon people that I call myself an Asian Pickup Artist, but I’m more than just a Pickup Artist. And I wrote this not too long ago. To me, there’s a difference. I didn’t realize this until this year when I was doing a video interview. I use my company to try and instill social change, to be about more than just women and money and travel and fun. It’s to bring about social change for my Asian brethren.

You may be familiar with this, Jocelyn. In 10 years time, because of China’s one child policy, there’s going to be 24 million Chinese men who cannot get wives, because there are not 24 million Chinese women due to infanticide. And in 10 years, that social pressure is going to reverberate throughout the globe. I see this as, what I do specifically, as far reaching. It’s more than just pickup. It’s a calling. What I’m trying to do is more than just pick up women — even if that’s the fun part.

JT Tran is a top confidence and relationship expert who, as featured on ABC and other national media, has trained Fortune 500 professionals, corporate executives, political activists and actors alike on how to improve their confidence over one weekend. He can be reached for live training at He is also available for media interviews and inquiries at 1-888-689-GAME (4263).

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12 thoughts on “Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from JT Tran, the Asian Playboy

  • January 14, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Very interesting interview! I totally agree that Chinese guys shouldn’t be that shy and instead learn how to make the first move. I wouldn’t be with my boyfriend right now if he wouldn’t have come to talk with me first. And still he is little bit worried that I’m going to find someone else and leave him. I told him that he shouldn’t be scared, even I could be angry with him, I’m not going to leave him.

    So all Chinese guys, just a little bit more self-confidence and you can find a Western girlfriend. Actually many Chinese boys are asking me to help them to find a girl, but in the end it is their charm that gets them the right girl.

  • January 14, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Thanks so much for holding the interview, Jocelyn! I hope that any men who read it can learn and be inspired by it to step out of their comfort zone, become more confident, and hopefully meet the woman of their dreams. Coincidentally, I was just told that one of my very, very first students just got engaged and will marry this year. It’s a good start for Asian men and I’m also glad that you’ll be contributing to AMWW Magazine: Asian Men & White Women’s Interracial Dating Lifestyle Guide.

  • January 15, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Great interview 🙂 Dating and getting the hot girl is all about confidence and acknowledging that YOU are hot too! As a matter of fact, I find that when Asian men are sexy, they are the sexiest of all: no-one else can possibly compare!

    I hope Asian guys realise that they DO have the potential to be hot and attractive in a MANLY way like every other race, not just cute or hyper-metrosexual as the Western media unfairly likes to portray Chinese men. Don’t listen to the typical solely white/black alpha male message- it’s getting old and you’re cooler than them anyway 🙂

    Good luck to all you Asian males out there; it’s your time to shine!

  • January 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

    >>> In 10 years time, because of China’s one child policy, there’s going to be 24 million Chinese men who cannot get wives, because there are not 24 million Chinese women due to infanticide. And in 10 years, that social pressure is going to reverberate throughout the globe.<<<

    JT is right on this point. There is going to be a paradigm shift. Chinese men are going to have to go outside the box if they want to find someone and that someone could well be non-Chinese. Being an over age 35 female myself, the paradigm shift is coming too late for me as Chinese guys my age are still thinking inside the box – that they have to have a Chinese girl. But it's nice to see the paradigm shift start happening in the younger generation.

  • January 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I love to see the shift and there will be balance in discrimination. Love to see more asian men with white women. soo yummy!

  • January 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I am a little disturbed that his magazine specifically targets white women, the same way I am bothered when white guys give classes on how to court Asian women. Can’t it just be women in general?

  • January 17, 2011 at 1:47 am

    JT you are right on target with the confidence thing. It’s the number one thing I tell Chinese bachelors they need to work on before any woman will find them truly attractive.

    Thanks Jocelyn for another great post!

  • January 18, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Hi all, I love this interview, it’s lengthy but it’s totally worthy to read. I would like to comment a little bit, though a bit lengthy too.

    JT was a bit playboy to me in the past whenever I read his article on the internet (nothing against you JT) especially he mentioned Sex quite often. Yet as I tried to practice by “talking to strangers” in bars and clubs, I start to realized that it’s doesn’t hurt to equip certain “skills/strategy” by “practicing” in the bar/club. Below is what I have learned since practicing….

    1. Be more confident talking with strangers
    2. The more you talk to people, the more “topics” in your brain to talk to someone new
    3. A great way to know what usually western girls talk about
    4. Be less desperate, I was a bit desperate before when I couldn’t get the girl I want, but that sucks, and now, I realize that we are not perfect, hence not every western girls are attracted to us, but we need not be too sad when she doesnt want to talk to us, just try what I have to try, and do not care too much about the result. This is the same in the bar, out of 100 people I said Hi, not all of them will reply me right? so just get used to it, need to be too sad.
    5. We need some kind of natural skills to make a girl attracted to us right? Before a girl can appreciate the inner beauty of us, we need to at least past the 1st screening test by them, so that they are interested in us and we can show them our inner beauty. And usually this screen test comes in the beginning when you first talk to the girl.

    So “practicing” in the bar/club is not an evil idea, if you know what you are doing. If you rarely talk to w.girls, you would be so nervous when talking to the one you really like, and chances are gone! Chances are given to those who has prepared! A side note is that whether bar/club is the right place to look for stable/long terelatiorelationship is another story.

    Overall, I am so glad to see JT and Jocelyn work together, suming up the advice from them will be the best advice we can get to have a western girl friends. And this is obviously a GREAT NEWS FOR ALL THE READERS.

    I wont give up, I am still trying, learning, improving, and so do other Asian brothers, it’s our time to SHINE!!!

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  • October 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

    ahahahahahahaha im not even gonna read this garbage; this fugly mofo is a player?? What a joke; just cause you’re Asian doesn’t mean you’re ugly like this doucheface. Exhibit A: Me


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