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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Thanksgiving

Robert Manni - Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why am I thankful that my ex broke up with me?

Life is a trickster. It always seems like it’s running two steps ahead. By the time we catch up and process what’s happened, it’s already off making more mischief that we don’t understand. That’s why along with the great food and family sharing, Thanksgiving is a great time to take a half step back to review our lives and be thankful for all of our experiences. The trick is finding the lesson to be learned from what is happening in our lives.

Getting back to the headline, no one likes being dumped. And like most guys, I’ve been dumped a number of times. At the time it seemed like my world was crashing down. But now, although I wish nothing but the best for all of my ex-girlfriends, I’m glad that they are my ex’s. Over time I realized that there was a missing component in each and every one of these relationships. Should either of us have known about this missing link and moved on sooner? Probably, but we didn’t.  We shared some good times and hopefully learned something about ourselves from our time together. I’m sure you have been there and I know it can be daunting for the heart to look into the endless abyss. But there is a reason for hope. That reason is you. 

Okay, it took me an extra decade or two, but I stayed focused and optimistic and continued to work on myself to be a better partner and a better man. I remain a work in progress, but things are coming together and I’ve never been happier. I’m very appreciative this Thanksgiving and accountable for my choices. And, I’m alive and have a new opportunity each and every day. That’s all I can ask for.

Here are a few reasons live in a state of constant appreciation.

No one else can make you happy.
Happiness comes from within. I think you’d agree that it is difficult to love another if you do not first love who and what you are. At times this is easier said than done, but it’s sagely advice that we’ve all heard a thousand times. And, it’s true. Loving yourself does not mean being selfish, but knowing who you are and what you are makes a difference in how you celebrate each day. We are all one consciousness.

Letting go can give you a better handle on your life.
Sometimes a setback can be a step forward. Living in New York is a trip. There are so many super-intelligent, talented, and successful individuals here, yet many of them walk around looking quite displeased. You can see it in their faces. People invest a lot of their energy trying to control every aspect of their experience. Although we are responsible for our actions, we cannot control everything that happens to us. We all know that shit happens. If you loosen up that death grip on your day-to-day world, you’ll probably be in a better position to shake off and move on from the setbacks that inevitably occur. Maybe you didn’t get that guy you thought was right for you, but you ended up with another dude that suits you far better. Or you are blessed with the time to get to know yourself better. When we can relax and have faith in ourselves things work out for us in a way that allows us to grow. If you’re not feeling it, try digging down deep to find what you need to learn. It’s there for you if you can let go, quiet your mind, and ask for it. And when you get that insight, be thankful and keep moving.

Make every day Thanksgiving.
Everyone has to do what works for them. I’m no Dr. Phil, but I’ve found that when I begin each day in a state of appreciation and end each night the same way, I feel blessed and sleep like a baby. We all have to find our own methods and path, but being thankful works for me.

I thank you all for being in my life and for the lessons our connection is bringing forward.  Have a great, restful weekend. I’ll be back at you with more Guy’s Guy musings next week.   

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Image courtesy of iStockPhoto.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Style DON'Ts (Part 1)

Robert Manni - Thursday, November 19, 2015

Guy’s Guys take pride in their style and swagger. That doesn’t mean we’re vain or narcissistic. We’re simply comfortable in our own skin and we like looking good.

But with fashion and culture evolving at breakneck speed, sometimes it’s not so easy to keep our hands firmly on the style wheel. The world has changed and it’s not all about khakis, loose-fitting jeans and goatees anymore. We’re tempted to stretch our stylistic limits by what we see on social media and celebrities. Girlfriend jeans? Man buns? Meggings? What’s a Guy’s Guy to do? That’s where I come in, amigo. Although I firmly believe that as long as you are feeling it, in most cases it does not matter what you wear, there remain certain no-nos when it comes to dressing in the timeless Guy’s Guy style. So here is my first list of things guys should NOT wear.

Drum roll, please.

1. Too many sports logos – You’ve all seen this guy. He’s sporting a Packers jersey, a Yankees cap, a pair of clunky Nike running shoes circa 1995, even though he’s not a runner. Oy. Or the guy dressed in the orange Denver Broncos hat and Peyton Manning jersey. Oy, again. Guys, too much is too much. Unless you are heading to the Giants, Jets, Mets, Yanks, or Rangers game, limit yourself to one, that’s right, one sports merchandise item. When it’s cold or rainy, I top off my outfit with a Yankees cap. Living in Harlem, you can never go wrong with that interlocking N and Y on a navy blue cap. Classic. But, that’s it, amigo, one item only.

2. The hipster uniform – You seen this guy, too. Tattered skinny jeans, soiled white v-neck t-shirt, chains and beds around his neck, scruffy or urban woodsman beard, wayfarer shades, beat-up leather jacket, and the prerequisite sock hat dangling off the back of his man bun, regardless that the temperature is in the 70’s. Don’t be this guy. You are not Johnny Depp. Although it seems cool, it’s a uniform and it shows little imagination or classic style. In my opinion, you can rock any two items in this outfit (except the man bun), but not the whole enchilada. Ever.

3. Zubaz pants and the sweats culture – Remember those baggy zebra striped pants weightlifters wore in the eighties? Yeah, the ones that make you look like Hans or Franz. I see guys still wearing them out when walking their dogs or on the way to a sporting event. If you insist. But, on a date? Oy. I know sweats are damn comfortable, but please only wear them in the house. But, if you insist on wearing sweats when you are out, find something that fits you, not sized 2XXL that you get all comfy in on the couch.

4. Baseball caps indoors and on dates – When you are folically challenged wearing a cap feels secure. But there comes a time when you need to take that sweaty thing off your head. In particular, I am referring to not wearing a cap when you are on a date or in a restaurant. I get it with the caps if you are out with the boys at a bar watching the game, but not at a sit-down restaurant and not ever when you are on a date. It makes you look like an overgrown frat boy, and we know you're better than that. So, take the hat off when you are with a lady or when you sit down at a nice place to eat. It’s not so bad now, is it?

5. Big chunky, fat sneakers/running shoes with giant logos. Hey, I dig the Swoosh now and then, too, but old school running shoes paired with jeans is a dated look. You are better off rocking a pair of Chucks, chukkas, or Tretorns, my personal favs. Big cushiony running shoes are for running, not styling, amigo.

6. Old school khakis – I'm referring to the baggy kind from the nineties that may even have—gasp— pleats. We all know that many fashion staples come and go, but don’t expect pleats to come back on the scene anytime soon. If you need a break from jeans in your casual wear, there's a wide selection of slim khakis from brands like J. Crew in various shades that fit just snug enough around your naughty bits and bum to make you look fly.

7. Baggy nineties suits - I watched the new James Bond film, Spectre, the other day, and damn, Bond’s suits were freaking tight. This is the style now, amigos, and it’s a tough one for guys with that American “athletic” build to pull off. But if you stay fit, you will look damn good in those little suits that are all the rage. Do you best to find a suit that looks right on your frame, but whatever you do, take a look through your closet and get rid of those suits and sport jackets with the loose fit and big lapels.

I think we're off to a good start, but there is more to come. In the interim, check your closet and do the necessary pruning. You can thank me later.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is actor, Daniel Craig. His version of James Bond is masculine, feral, and brimming with timeless style. And, he rocks some great outfits throughout the film. Hey, Bond is a Guy’s Guy!

Photo courtesy of Peace on That.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Getting Out From Under the Weather

Robert Manni - Tuesday, November 03, 2015

No one likes getting sick. And I’m one of those people who rarely gets under the weather.

But when I do, I usually come down with a real doozy of whatever ails me. Since I had my two robotic surgeries a year ago, I have not had so much of a cold. In fact I have never felt better in my adult life. That is, until about a week ago…

Recently, I’d noticed that all the kids in my toddler’s daycare group were sneezing, sniffling, or coughing and had runny noses including my little guy. Over time, thislet’s call it a bad cold worked its way through their system so I forgot about it. Then, early last week I awoke with an inner ear headache and a stuffed up nose. No problem, I told myself. I’ll run it off in Central Park. Bad idea. I ran the 6.2-mile outer loop a bit slower than usual. That night I sipped a vodka drink, which is a rarity for me these days. It knocked me out cold like a hammer. The next day I woke up feeling lousy. I had the chills, an upset stomach, and an achiness behind my eyeballs. Having spent the past week battling this pesky viral demon and only now being steadily on the mend, I thought I’d gift you with some insights on how I deal with getting sick and recovering, especially when you can’t afford to be sick. Of note, this is my approach. You know yourself, and you know when you need to see your physician.

Drum roll, please…

1. Hydrate. I’ve been a big fan of starting each day on an empty stomach with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed into a tall glass of water.

I’ve written about the wonders of ACV in the past. Google it and you’ll be amazed at what you uncover. It’s great for managing the body’s proper ph balance, which keeps us healthy. I drink my ACV following twenty minutes of oil pulling with coconut oil, where I swish it around my mouth before spitting it in the trash. Both of these practices kill a lot of bad bacteria. While under the weather I added another evening ACV drink before bedtime and it’s really helped me sleep. Most people walk around dehydrated so you can rarely go wrong when you consume lots of healthy fluids like coconut water, kombucha, rooibos tea, or filtered water. Forget the soda and the alcohol when you are sick. It will only make you feel worse. Another trick is peeling organic ginger roots, dumping them in a pan of water and brewing tea. I inhale the steam and then drink the tea. Ginger is anti-viral so it kills the bad germs in your nasal cavity and throat.

2. Rest and sleep. As obvious as this may seem, most of us live our lives on overdrive, rarely getting enough sleep when healthy, much less when we are under the weather.

As I have aged, I’ve put my health before anything. So if I need to work at home for a day, I will. We have email, texts, Dropbox, Skype and so many digital meeting apps that it’s really not really necessary to show up in the office unless there is a major client presentation. While at home, I rest and sleep. A lot. I nap (two or three hours in the afternoon) and hit the sack by 9pm. My body needs rest to heal. It’s not that complicated. I also set time aside for self-Reiki or meditation, both which work wonders for clearing one’s energy and allowing the body’s chi to flow.

3. Avoid media. My first day of being sick this week found me curled up on the couch watching bad television and scrolling my laptop.

Frankly, between the ads, violence, pre-game hype, reality shows, sports talk shows, fear-based news coverage, Facebook feeds, and stories about Donald Trump, it’s easy to get sick right there. I don’t listen to music when I’m sick. In fact, as soon as I shut off my television and computer, my mind and heart let out a sigh of relief.

4. Eat clean. Sugar is the enemy. It feeds sickness.

But, it’s everywhere and we crave it. My advice for eating when under the weather is to stick to organic and unprocessed foods. Lots of hot homemade soups, wild caught fish, and spicy foods that help you sweat out the toxins. I also take mega-doses of vitamin C, B12, and probiotics when I’m under the weather.

FYI, I left meat behind eight years ago and I will never go back. My energy has never been higher and my body does not have to work so hard breaking down animal tissue. The more energy I have for resting and recovery, the better. Face it, a bacon cheeseburger may taste great, but is not going to get you well.

5. Keep it simple. When you’re sick, your physical and energetic bodies should NOT take on any additional challenges.

In fact, the opposite may be a better tonic. Pare down your activities to the pure necessities and use as much of your time as possible for rest and recuperation.

These are a few of the basics for dealing with being sick. Did you notice that I did not mention any over the counter, prescription, or on the shelf symptom suppressing tablets or medicines? See a doctor if you need one. And there is probably a CVS close by. But whatever path you choose, make sure to take it easy, eat well, hydrate and get as much rest as possible.

It’s been a week now and I am still not one hundred percent better, but I’m on it looking out for my body and getting lots of rest. What else can a Guy’s Guy do when he’s under the weather?

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Constantine Hering, the father of American homeopathy medicine.   

Image courtesy of Ripped Science.

Guys' Guy's Tips for Your First Marathon

Robert Manni - Thursday, October 29, 2015

Running a marathon means running and completing the 26.2 miles.

Too many runners do not train properly and as a result have to drop out early or look like death if they make it to the finish line. Having completed three marathons, I’m no expert, but I do have real experience to share that will hopefully make your special day one of real achievement, personal satisfaction and injury-free. There are numerous books, online resources and clubs like the New York Road Runners or New York Flyers that can help you train for success. Consider this a topping of marzipan on your training cake, Guy’s Guy style.

Train in Advance.

I was listening to the New York Marathon broadcast on WFAN a year before running my first marathon. I was on a five-mile run and decided that I would train for a year and find a way into the race. It turned out the training was easier than actually getting a number. It was pre-9/11 and a female friend gave me her number, so I carefully made my way past the security checks and got on the bus, into the marathon compound, and up to the starting line at the Verrazano Bridge without a hitch. Don’t do this. It was nerve-racking.

Technically anyone can run a marathon. The key is putting in consistent training, staying healthy and managing minor injuries, and really wanting it. Runners need a foundation. That means logging lots of miles as a base prior to adding necessary mileage needed to be able to run a marathon. Beginning your training early will keep you healthy and focused. I highly recommend allotting a minimum of four months for training, even if many plans call for three months.

Proper Diet.

Face it. We are what we eat, and what we’re offered by the big food companies these days is not so good. If you are serious, you’ll buy a juicer and use it on organic veggies and fruits as part of your daily regime. If not, at least cut out the junk, booze and fast food. You’ll recover from your long runs a lot faster and it will keep your energy up. During the race I ate constantly (fruit, pieces of bagels, energy bars and gels) and slowed down at many of the water stops to grab a cup so I would stay hydrated.

Manage Your Injuries.

When you are logging in so many training miles—including a minimum of two twenty-mile training runs where no one is cheering you on— you learn a lot about your body and its capacity for pain. I suspect you will experience some discomfort or minor injury. Don’t ignore injuries, no matter how small. They can get serious quickly. You may need to take a day or two off to heal. All the more reason to begin your training months in advance. A marathon is a long haul, not a sprint. Treat your training the same way. Long and slow. If you want to amp up your strength and endurance, work in speed intervals, but regardless of your approach, pay attention to your body and your mental state. You will need to keep both in top shape.

Don’t Overtrain.

Your body needs rest so few days off after a twenty-mile practice run is a good thing. One reason is that you’ll do another twenty-miler in a few weeks and before the marathon. Get to bed at a reasonable hour and take advantage of naps whenever you can afford the time. Stress is your body’s archenemy, so do your best to keep your mind relaxed. I mentally mapped out the plot and necessary revisions for two novels while running. Let those endorphins be your ally.

Enjoy the Race.

When marathon day arrives, make it a time of celebration. If you’ve put in the proper amount of training, you should have a great time soaking in a once in a lifetime experience of competing at the level of an elite, world-class athlete. It is a real accomplishment. Here is my number one tip for the race—go slow. You are embarking on a twenty-six mile (plus change) journey. It’s long, really long and you are only competing with yourself. Focus on enjoying the day, the experience, the spectacle and the people. If you are full of pep with less than ten miles to go, you can pick up your pace. I assure you that while you are making up time, others will hit that wall and bonk out after mile twenty.

My first NYC Marathon was my favorite. I ran with a good friend, took my time, had lots of energy after we entered Manhattan, and actually sprinted through Central Park and across the finish line. That evening I went out with friends, devoured a plate of Mexican food and pounded a few celebratory tequila shots. Yeah, I was sore as hell the next few days, but I felt great. I ran my race exactly as I planned it. I completed two more marathons, but it wasn’t the same, for me at least. I became too concerned with my time and as a result struggled both times in the last third of the race. Take it slow and you won’t be sorry, friends.

Are you ready to run your marathon?

This week’s Guy’s Guys and Gals of the Week are theparticipants in this year’s NYC Marathon. Have a blast and stay safe. 

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Love - An Exploration of the Heart

Robert Manni - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jagger had it right when he sang, “Love, it’s a bitch”.

Sure, it makes the world go around and can make your heart go pitter, patter, but love can also break your heart and cause a lot of pain. How can we maintain a loving heart in a world filled with so much hateful behavior? At times it’s hard to love our fellow man. But, it’s not all bad. If you look deep inside, there is a light that shines. It’s a spark, that part of you that comes from God. And it keeps burning no matter what.

This week, your Guy’s Guy is taking on love, with all the hurt and happiness that accompanies it. This one’s is not about my novel, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Love per se, but it runs along a parallel path by exploring the different kinds of love we experience—romantic, friendship, family love, and the love of humanity and all its flaws. Hopefully, we’ll come to the same conclusion; ultimately love is all we have, and we need to do everything we can to express it every day.

Let’s take a look at the various forms of love, to see if we can find common ground, and ways to understand how we can keep our love alive.

1. Family - The old saying states that you can’t choose your family. But I’ve also read in spiritual texts that before incarnating we choose our parents and family based on lessons we need to learn.

This makes more sense to me, because human ascension requires certain experiences for growth. I’m sure many people would welcome the opportunity to choose their families again because not every familial situation brings joy. Throughout history, family members have done horrible things to their relatives. Not all, but some. That’s just how it goes. And I think you’d agree that at times, everyone’s family seems like it’s totally screwed up. But however we became connected to our families, we’re here now and in it together, so we need to find ways to make the best of it. I’ve learned this the hard way.

Maybe your family is like mine. I like speaking my mind, and for years I assumed you could talk to your family honestly about anything. But I was wrong. My family is made up of good, well-intended people. The problem is, they don’t get me—at all. Compounding the issue, my brood doesn’t share its feelings. Over the years, this has created frustration and occasional outbursts. Over time, I reluctantly decided to shut up and look elsewhere for understanding, validation, and honesty. At family functions I bite my tongue (for the most part) and I’ve learned that it’s better to simply love them than try to get them to understand me. There wasn’t one incident that switched on the light. It took time, lots of time, to understand that although these nice people are my family, it doesn’t mean that they think the same way I do or live their lives the way I do. And, it’s okay. I’ll love them unconditionally regardless. In my heart I thank them for their love and the lessons they are teaching me. I love them.

2. Friends – What’s the old saying? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. At times, they can feel like one and the same.

I’ve done my very best to maintain long-term friendships, and as you know, that’s not always easy. Some people change and evolve, and others travel a different path. But that’s okay. If my friends and I remain on the same page with how we relate, laugh, and treat others, we’re good. But of course, that’s not always the case. Everyone relates to their friends differently. Some never initiate a call, but they are always there if you come up with an idea. There can be misunderstandings, and for some, it’s easier to talk behind a friend’s back than engage in an honest conversation about a point of contention.

I have a friend of over thirty years who for some reason did not respond to my wedding invitation. Ironically, I had been his best man. Eventually I called him two days before the wedding. When I asked if he was attending, he danced and dodged about things that were going on in his life. He couldn't bring himself to just say “no”. Instead he said, “I might stop by.” WTF? Initially I was understandably irked and cut him out of my life. But over time, he began reaching out and acting very cordial and differential to me. Still no mention of the wedding. I finally got together with him this summer when he arranged a road trip and bought concert tickets for our old crew. I showed up and had a nice time. Still no mention of my wedding. I had to make a decision. We’d been friends for decades, but it just wasn’t in him to deal with that issue. Like me, he is a flawed individual, although we do things differently. So, although I don’t go out of my way to see him anymore, I let the ”issue” pass. In my heart, I love him as a person, and for the good times we shared. I’ve moved on. That’s all there is.

You have to make smart choices about friends and which ones are worth keeping. You’re not going to change them, so you either accept them as they are or move on. Sometimes, the choices are tough, but if you use your heart as a guide you’ll make the right decisions. And, you can still love them for the times you shared.

3. Romance – Love hurts. No matter how you look at it, we’ve all felt the pain of a broken heart.

The good news is that relationships are great teachers. The practice of opening our hearts is a great practice. I have loved and lost, loved and lusted, and simply loved. I most enjoy loving and lusting. The biggest challenge for most people when it comes to love is letting go. In retrospect, every time I got dumped turned into ultimate good fortune. I managed to avoid marriage until a few years ago, and I am glad I did.

My last long-term girlfriend dumped me. I suspect she was cheating on me with a colleague. She didn’t cop to it, but all the signs were there. They took unnecessary business trips together and then he and his wife, at the time, took us to a concert, and it felt weird. When the end came, I was at initially devastated. My heart did not want to let go. But, it was time, so I shed a tear or two and moved on. They got married and I dated like crazy before finally meeting my wife. Now I’m beyond grateful that all of this happened. I had my fun, got away from an unfulfilling relationship, and met the right person for me.

Looking back on all of my relationships, I can honestly say that at the time I loved all of these women and regardless of the dirty details of the break-ups, I harbor no negative feelings for them. In fact I love them as people and hope they are happy. We had our good times and I am grateful. It’s so much easier this way. After all, who wants to be in a relationship with someone who does not share the same feelings toward them? It’s easier to simply love.

4 . The Human Race – People do screwed-up, crazy, mean shit to each other every day.

It upsets me, especially the little stuff, because it is so unnecessary. Here's an example: I hire a plumber to replace my water heater. They do the job, but while at my place, promise to come back a replace a cartridge in my leaky faucet. Since he did not have one on the truck, the guy who did the work said he would come back in a few days, give me the plastic cartridge for free and charge me 15 minutes time to fix it. I’ve been calling the main office on a daily basis for over a week now to get this done. Unfortunately, I’m forced to deal with the same repressed, passive-aggressive person who always answers the phone. She keeps finding reasons for why the work has not been scheduled yet. “I told my boss”. ”He doesn’t come in to the office much”. “I gave her the message”. “We’re very busy right now”. She’s got a new excuse every time I call. And she never calls me back. It’s obvious that she has no interest in helping me. In fact, in her own strange way she’s getting off on exerting her minuscule bit of power in life by preventing me from having my faucet repaired. What can I do?

I decided to thank her internally for helping to teach myself how to control my temper and develop patience. I’m almost choking on my words, but I love her. I may feel like giving her a wedgie, but I realize that she has her own issues. I recognize that we both come from the same loving spark of God. And so, I will love her, no matter how difficult it feels. And, I’ll check out YouTube and most likely fix the faucet myself.

There’s so much more to love. For me, the key is to recognize that we all come from the same spark. It’s not up to us to decide who is worthy or not of love because we are all equally deserving. I know it can be a challenge, but love is why we are here. Learn how to love everyone.

This week’s Guy’s Guy of the Week is ex-Beatle, John Lennon, who so aptly said, “It matters not who you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love”.

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Beating the Blues

Robert Manni - Friday, October 02, 2015

Face it, amigos. Life is tough, and even a Guy’s Guy catches a case of the blues every now and then.

Maybe your girlfriend dumped you via Facebook, your job interviewer was late, rude or just a plain douche, or you forgot to play the right QB in your fantasy football team. It’s okay, amigo. Like the song says, the sun really does come out tomorrow.

Your Guy’s Guy is offering a few tips to get your mind out of the gutter and your sights set on the heavens. It’s not that difficult if you approach each day with an open mind and a sense of humor.

Life has ups and downs, and like a professional athlete, some days we’re just not feeling it. Every now and then we wake up uninspired. That’s to be expected. If your life is anything like mine, you are probably smack dab in the middle of a roller coaster ride and don’t know what’s waiting for you around the next bend. Take heed. You are not the only one who has caught the blues. In fact, there is an entire musical genre dedicated entirely to it. I’m not referring to clinical depression here. I’m talking about the malaise that accompanies our media-driven culture and the negativity and feelings of lack it eschews.

It’s easy to get down on yourself. But when shit happens or when we’re just not in the mood for the nonsense, it’s okay to kick back, lick your wounds and learn from our experiences. That doesn't mean wallowing in sorrow over why things haven't worked out as planned or on your timetable. The Universe is on your side amigo, but it’s not on your schedule. So be patient and not too hard on yourself. Remember, Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team. So the next time you hit a bump in the road, even one that knocks you off your high horse, be cool. Dust yourself off, take a deep breath and never, ever stop believing in yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.


1. Cut back on media- It’s never a good idea to watch too much television, especially when you have a case of the blahs. Television is built on an advertising or subscription-based model. Content is secondary and it’s really there to sell us stuff we don’t need. At the same time, the news selectively hits us over the head with a few select topics of the week, usually built around fear. The ads sell us everything we “lack” or that we need to counter our feelings of helplessness, futility and impeding doom. In fact there were many blog posts or articles about a series of cataclysmic events that were supposed to happen in September. But nothing happened, did it?

It’s a vicious cycle and to top it off, most of the shows are either very dark or about dysfunctional people and families. It’s enough to make you sick, so watch out for what you watch and how much time you send starting at a screen.

2. Get outside – We’ve got lot of creature comforts and it would be easy to shutter ourselves behind locked doors plinking away at your laptop or binge-watching shows or sports. I suggest making sure you get your butt outside every day, even if you are not working and feeling down in the dumps. Go for a walk, a run, meet a friend for lunch, anything that gets you out in the fresh air and your blood flowing. I assure you your mood will perk up. Circulate, amigo, circulate.

3. Shake it off - I know that depending on the circumstances, this can be easier said than done. But, it’s important that we put things into perspective and focus the big picture. You lost your gig? Well now you have time to create. You’re low of fund-age? Now you can feel compassion for those less fortunate and learn how to stretch a dollar. Okay, this isn't something you want to do on a long-term basis, but the point is you can learn from every experience and improve yourself as a person if you keep an open mind and maintain your sense of humor.

4. Meditate – When things are not going well, staying focused can be challenging. So it’s critical to keep a relaxed mindset at all times. I have found that sitting quietly with my eyes closed and following a steady meditative practice for fifteen minutes a day works wonders for my mental outlook, productivity, and interpersonal relationships. There are myriad ways to meditate. Find one that suits you and be diligent in your practice. It really pays off.

5. Do something you like – When I’m feeling blue I occasionally treat myself to a movie, ballgame, a long run, a good book, some rocking sex, or even a short nap. It’s important to not allow our monkey chattering conscious mind to get the best of us. Remember, the E-G-O likes to whisper negative, fearful things into our ears. Now and then it’s healthy to tell your conscious mind to f--k off and go hit a pail of balls. If that’s what it takes to change your mood. No worries, pal. It’s going to be all right.

6. Believe – That’s right, amigo. Things will work themselves out if you believe that they will and you believe in yourself. It’s really that simple, but even now you are probably allowing your monkey mind to dredge up fear and doubt about what you’ve just read. That’s up to you, friend. Take it from a Guy’s Guy who has had his share of ups and downs. Life is what we make it and a lot of it happens right between the ears and in your heart.

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Pope Francis. His openness, tolerance, and love really made a difference in the energy of New York. I felt it while running in Central Park the morning after his short swing through the park. Hopefully his message and vibe will help our planet and people ascend. He certainly did not have the blues…

Ask The Guy's Guy: Meeting an Online Connection for the First Time

Robert Manni - Monday, September 21, 2015

The Guys' Guy's Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working

Robert Manni - Thursday, September 17, 2015

Most men have experienced a romantic episode where their mind and spirit were willing, but their body did not respond as nature intended.

It can happen to any guy. Too much booze or recreational drugs, a bad diet, high blood pressure, diabetes, stress, or whatever. Shit happens, and sometimes it’s in the bedroom. No man is immune from the possibility of his flag not saluting when unfurled. Unfortunately, few women understand a man’s psychological trauma from a failed interlude. No worries, amigos. Your Guy’s Guy is here to help.

I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on television. My credentials? I’m like a lot of blokes reasonably intelligent, successful and attractive with a twist. After twenty-five sex-fueled years of single life in New York City I got married five years ago. Now I’m a dad. Things have changed in all areas of my life, including the bedroom. But, as my wife or my exes will attest to, I’m a guy who loves sex. So I’ve made it my business to take care of myself so I can keep on thumping like the Energizer bunny. My goal is to share what’s worked for me over the years. As always, these are simply ideas for your consideration and potential research. But ultimately, I think us Guy’s Guys can agree that there are few better feelings than a sturdy, “Boing”.

First, let’s level set. There is a physical and a mental component to men’s arousal. The most important physical consideration by far is circulation and blood flow. Think about it. An erection occurs when your penis becomes engorged with blood. And what guy doesn’t love being engorged? Those colorful little pills advertised on television that help men get it up are all about enhancing blood flow to the penis. They work, but a healthy man doesn't necessarily need a pill to ensure proper blood flow. I’ll share some tips that address circulation. The mental side of the equation is trickier. Guys continually roll through different thoughts and emotions, and half the time we don’t even know how we feel about what’s going on in our own worlds. It’s stressful. And if the body is slow to respond, panic can set in and things may snowball quickly. That’s never a good thing. So I’ll also offer considerations for the mental side of the game.

Enough about the ground rules. In no particular order, here is my Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Keeping Your Mojo Working. Drum roll, por favor.

1. Diet – Studies have shown that a highly acidic, meat and fat based diet loaded with hidden sugars and salt, GMO’s, and chemical additives does NOT do a body good. And amigos, your penis is part of your body, so its functionality is negatively impacted by an acidic, low alkaline diet. Meat, sugar, simple carbs, gluten, caffeine, nicotine, salt, food additives, all contribute to the demise of your performance. A diet rich in organic veggies, wild caught fish and sprouted grains and supplements will help keep you on point. And we all know that drugs or too much booze can turn Mr. Happy into Mr. Droopy. Be mindful of what you consume.

2. Exercise – Want to bolster your circulation? There is no better way than a good hard workout. Cardio and strength training do wonders for keeping your blood flowing throughout your body and organs. There is no mystery to this, but due to the stresses and western diet in modern life, many guys schlep around feeling lazy and tired. Don’t let that be you. Are you walking home instead of texting Uber? Are you climbing the stairs instead standing on the escalator? The good news is that if you really don’t have time for a workout you can still do good things for yourself. Walking is great for your health and circulation, as is adding any amount of incremental cardio to your day. And guess what? Sex is cardio and it’s great exercise, too.

3. Managing Stress – There’s an old saying that “stress kills”. Sadly, it’s true for not only the body, but also for a man’s sexual performance. Sex is supposed to be a fun sport. But these days a lot of men, and surprisingly many young men, are filled with anxiety about their lives and sexual performance. Women are finally getting their long-overdue recognition, but many young dudes see this as a threat. To what, I ask? For this Guy’s Guy, there has never been a better time to be a man. Back in the day, a guy had to really work to bed lady. There was no Tinder, no texting, no “hanging out”. We had to prowl the city like lone wolves searching for prey. Then we had to introduce ourselves, buy drinks, dance, make small talk and actually charm a woman into a few dates before hopping into the sack. Nowadays, many young women are the sexual aggressors with no issues about taking the lead in the sack. That makes life easy. As long as you treat women respectfully, there is no reason a Guy’s Guy can’t enjoy a very healthy, robust sex life. These are the good old days.

So why all the stress, amigos? Relax and enjoy. There are many great looking, intelligent, capable women looking for a Guy’s Guy. But if you find yourself tightening up when it’s time to get it on, try slowing your mind down and don’t be in such a hurry to force things to happen. Kiss, cuddle, massage, laugh… If you’ve had too much to drink to perform, think of it as a lesson well-learned. Get some sleep and come back hard in the morning.

4. Supplements – If you take one thing away from this post, this tip is a gem. Since blood flow and circulation are critical to male sexual performance, there are natural supplements that help increase blood flow and oxidation. I started taking two L-Arginine and one Pycnogenol tablet twice a day for sports performance and things started happening. L-Arginine is an amino acid used by athletes. Pycnogenol, made from French maritime pine bark extract, is considered an anti-aging anti-oxidant for better skin and life-extension. You can find lots of info about it online. And since I began taking these supplements twice a day, my workouts and physical capacity has been through the roof and my libido is as strong as when I was a teenager. And it was pretty darn powerful. Just sayin’.

5. Porn, or Lack Thereof – Will everyone who likes to whack off raise your hand? Okay, that’s almost all of you. Clinical studies show that masturbation can be a healthy activity in moderation. You could even argue that masturbation is a distant cousin of meditation. But when you’re surfing porn for hours every day and always before having sex with your honey, it’s a problem; both psychologically and physically. Do you really need to think of that chick you saw online with the six-pack and giant boobs to get it up for your girlfriend? I think not. Do your best to keep the porn and stroking to a minimum. Trust me—there ain’t nothing like the real thing. If you’re with the right woman and you treat her well, she will do anything your little old imagination can come up with. Focus your energy on your partner. She’s the one who should be handling your equipment.

6. Love – One of the most fantastic nights of sex with my wife came after we attended a two-day workshop on love, guided attunements and channeling, and raising frequency. Our lovemaking was pure, clear and filled with heart-opening love. A few weeks later my wife was pregnant with our son. I’m sure I would have had no problems performing with my wife without the workshop and maybe she would have become pregnant anyway, but this is what happened. Love makes a difference, and I have always found love to be a core ingredient for great sex. Sure, lust is good, but love lifts the act to another level. And I would argue that feelings of love translate to better sexual performance because it everything feels so natural, so right. Love is ultimately what connects us.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. Lovemaking is a gift and the more we clear our cluttered minds and clean our bodies, the easier it is to perform like a champ. If you want to perform every time, make loving yourself and your partner the bedrock of your sex life.

Time to take my supplements…

This week’s GUY’S GUY OF THE WEEK is Vatsyayana, the author of KAMA SUTRA, the classic tome on sexual pleasure.Thanks, amigo.

Saying Goodbye to Summer

Robert Manni - Monday, September 14, 2015

The media began bemoaning the end of summer on September 1st.

Guess what? We've still got another week of summer left. Let’s stay positive and recognize a handful of reasons why September is a great month and fall is a great season, Guy’s Guy style.

Farewell, tourists.

As a fan of the beach and the Jersey Shore, nothing pleases local inhabitants and beachgoers more than the disappearance of what are referred to as “Bennies”, tourists from northern NJ who come down the shore, go crazy and then leave after Labor Day. More parking spaces, no waits at restaurants and fewer drunken dudes from Staten Island pounding shots of bubbleberry vodka all make up the fall dream. The same can be said about the overload of summer tourists in fanny packs clogging our NYC sidewalks. Have a nice day and goodbye.

The weather rocks.

It’s summer for three more weeks, amigos. The beach is empty, the temp's perfect, the water warm and clean and it usually stays this way through October. In the city, the days are spectacular and the nights are no longer hot and humid.

The Women.

In NYC, the women’s fashion parade begins in full swing in September and for a Guy’s Guy, it can be heavenly. Women in NYC have style and go to great lengths putting together cool outfits. Beyond their $400 jeans and designer dresses, Manhattan women have made an art of putting together their hair, shoes, and bags and the results are pleasurable to the eyes of any Guy’s Guy. It’s all in the details, so let's give it up for the ladies.


The baseball season is rounding third base and heading for home while at the same time football and the accompanying fantasy football drafts are in full swing, making this the best time of the year for sports. Football has never been so popular and fantasy football has taken the game to a new level of fandemonium. Let’s face it—football is built for television viewing and now is the time to get our fill. And let’s not forget the US Open tennis and the NYC Marathon.

The Arts.

Film, books, television, the Met, the museums, Broadway and even the dreaded DWTS all kick off new seasons at this time of year.

Okay, these are but a few obvious reasons why they we can say “yay” to the end of summer. What I like about September and the new season is that it reminds me how each day is a new beginning filled with new opportunities. If we live in the now and focus on what can be, and tune out the media’s incessant ringing of the doom and gloom alarm, we can savor life as it’s meant to be, one beautiful day at a time.  And then we can watch the holiday sales ads.

Are you saddened over the end of summer or pumped up for the fall?

This week's Guy's Guy of the Week is Sir Thomas More, an old school 16th century Guy's Guy, and the subject of the Oscar-winning, "A Man for All Seasons."

Ask the Guy's Guy: How to Connect with Someone Online

Robert Manni - Friday, August 28, 2015

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