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Play or Be Played

What Every Female Should Know About Men, Dating, and Relationships

About The Book

Street-smart and straightforward, Play or Be Played will help you get with a king without being a hoochie, groupie, or a chickenhead.

Got Game? It's a fact. Every woman needs game. Take Oprah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, and Beyoncé Knowles. All three of these women have the one intangible quality that every mack, male or female, must possess: they all have game. In other words, they have intelligence, hustle, and common sense that they apply to every aspect of their lives -- especially in their relationships.

Play or Be Played is an instruction manual for women who are tired of being played by men and who want to be players themselves. Though women may not want to play games, the truth is men often do. So women who hope to win in the game of love must first learn the rules. Bestselling author and true mack, Tariq "K-Flex" Nasheed shares:

-ways to spot a scrub
-what it takes to get with a baller
-why men cheat
-how men really judge women
-the top three mistakes women make in relationships


1: What Men Really Want

I was appearing as a guest on this one talk show, discussing my philosophies on relationships, and one of the topics was "How a women can please her man." There were a couple of female authors on the panel who were trying to explain what men want, and how a woman can make them happy, and so on. These women were so off the mark, it was ridiculous.

They were advising women to use all sorts of sex toys, scented powders, exotic oils, and bubble baths. One of the women on the panel actually advised women to use a dildo on their man if they want to get him aroused.

These women were so caught up in relaying their misinformation they didn't even bother to notice the uncomfortable reactions coming from the men in the audience. As I looked around, I saw some of the male audience members cringing as they listened to the nonsense coming from these female "experts." These women were going on about how women can please their men by using candles, rose petals, aroma beads, and the like, until I just broke in and said what was on all the fellas' minds.

"Look ladies, men don't really like none of that stuff. We're relatively simple. If you want to please us, just give us oral sex and food."

The men in the audience erupted into applause. The women on the panel were flabbergasted. One of the female panelists replied, "Well, some men like these sexual accessories." I explained to her that men will tolerate those accessories, because they don't want to do anything to kill the mood. But generally, men can do without all those foreplay items.

Then, one of the ladies made the million-dollar statement that revealed their real agenda.

"Well, what about a woman's needs?"

But the topic was supposed to be about how women can please their man. You see, that's the problem. A lot of women claim they want to know how to please their man, but they really have an ulterior motive.

Ladies, men are very, very simple. If women aren't pleasing their men, it is because they don't want to please their men. If a woman has an Indian-giver mentality, or if she is disingenuous in her motives, men who may be looking at her as a potential mate can sense that.

Many women ask me what it takes to keep a quality man. Yet, when I then ask them, "If you want a quality man, what are you willing and able to bring to the table?" a lot of these women are stumped. At the same time, many of these women have a whole list of "what I ain't gonna do" for a man.

The four most common items on the "what I ain't gonna do" list:

1. I ain't gonna cook for no man ('cause I ain't no slave).

2. I ain't gonna let no man tell me what to do ('cause I ain't no child).

3. I ain't gonna clean no house ('cause I ain't no maid).

4. I ain't gonna suck that thing ('cause I ain't no ho).

Ladies, if you are trying to get into the dating game with any of these hang-ups, you are losing before you begin, and you will be in a perpetual state of frustration.

In order to have a relationship with a quality man, a woman must have qualifications and credentials. Many women mistake having credentials with having potential. Everyone has potential. If you play the lottery, you have the potential to win a million dollars. But if you educate yourself, acquire specific knowledge, and master certain business skills, you then will have the credentials to make a million dollars.

This is why it is important for women to accumulate bargaining chips. Many women in the dating game make the mistake of relying solely on physical attributes to try and maintain a relationship.

Any woman can get a man. But the game a woman has to back up her looks will help her keep a man. When a man is first getting to know a woman, he usually puts her into one of two categories:

1. The potential girlfriend category.

2. The potential sex partner category.

Now the requirements for a woman to be placed in the potential girlfriend category vary, depending on a man's particular wants and needs. Before a man places a woman in this category, he looks at her credentials. And the credentials could include a hundred things. A man might take a woman's educational background into consideration. He might consider her culinary skills. He might take her sense of humor, her diet regimen, her sex appeal, or a host of other things into consideration before he puts a woman into the potential girlfriend category.

But it doesn't take much for a man to put a woman into the potential sex partner category. The requirements are minimal. As a matter of fact, a woman just needs to have two things in order to get placed into the potential sex partner category:

1. A poon-tang

2. A pulse

In most cases, when a woman is first dating a man, if she doesn't meet any of his qualifications to become a potential girlfriend or mate, she automatically gets placed in the potential sex partner category.

On the other hand, a woman in most cases actually has to like something about a man before she will have sexual relations with him, and she will require him to have certain credentials before she gets physical with him. So a lot of women end up thinking that just because a man wants to sleep with them, he must see some special qualities in her as well. Which brings us to:

Play or Be Played Rule #1

A man does not have to like you to have sex with you.

A very common question that I often hear women ask is, "If a man just wants sex, how come he doesn't just say that in the beginning?" The answer is, most men at least have some common sense. Let's be realistic, ladies. Do you honestly think that a man is going to step to you and say "Hey look, I don't really want a relationship with you, I just want to hit that ass?" If he did, you would dismiss him with the quickness. Men know that, so guys at least have enough common sense to know what to say, and what not to say, to get what they want and not salt their own game.

So ladies, it's up to you to figure out what a man's true agenda is, instead of complaining about what he should tell you, and what he ought to be doing.

In order to do this, you have to break relationships down to their basic components. There are basically three types of relationships:

  • 1. emotional
  • 2. sexual
  • 3. financial

That's it. There are relationships for emotional gratification, sexual gratification, and financial gratification.

If you are in a relationship with a person, it will be for at least one of these three reasons. The problems come when the two parties have different relationship agendas. A woman may be dating a man because he is paying her bills, and he may be dating her strictly for the sex. Or a woman might be dating a guy whom she's emotionally attached to, while he is dating her because she gives him a couple of dollars every now and then.

In the ideal relationship the two people dating are on the same page emotionally, sexually, and financially. If there is a deficiency in any one of these areas, and the deficiency has not been rectified, the relationship will be temporary. So ladies, when you start dating a man, you must first be real (with yourself especially) about what your true agenda is. If you are dating a man strictly because of his financial contributions, acknowledge that to yourself. Don't try to justify your agenda by getting into a BS relationship with the person and deceiving yourself into believing that you can learn to like other qualities about the person.

You must also figure out what the other person's true agenda is. Don't leave it up to them to tell you. In any game, you have to at least play good defense until you are absolutely sure that the other person is willing to be on the same team as you.

When you first meet a person, you can't tell if they are with you or against you. And if someone has plans to get over on you, or to get what they can from you without reciprocating, they damn sure aren't going to tell you this up front.

Over 90 percent of all communication is nonverbal. So it's up to you to look and listen very closely to a person's nonverbal language (and not your own hopes and expectations) so you can figure out where they are coming from.

What Do Men Really Want?

Even though people have unique qualities and characteristics, all men have a common thread, and all women have a common thread. Every man has two basic needs: a primal need and a social need. A man's basic primal need is to have an orgasm (I think a lot of you ladies have figured that one out already). And a man's social need is to have power through leadership.

When I say power, I don't mean in an Ike Turner, "sing-the-song-like-I-wrote-it" context. I mean power as far as a man being his own man. I mean power as in being a leader, and not having to conform to anyone. I mean having the power to be the king of his castle. The master of his domain. I mean the power to lead his family in the right direction, and the power to achieve financial freedom.

If a man doesn't utilize his energy to achieve social power, he will settle for just achieving an orgasm. An orgasm gives a man a false sense of power. The basic instinct of every living species is self-preservation. And when a man doesn't have social power, he will resort back to his basic primal need, which is to procreate. And in the mind of a primal thinking man, having an orgasm will ensure his lineage.

Since a man's two basic needs are to have an orgasm and to have power, the level of his game depends on how important one is over the other. Now a man who is disciplined and secure with himself will usually seek out power. But a scrub, or other socially powerless man, will settle for an orgasm.

Now notice I stated that a man's primal need is to have an orgasm, and not just to get coochie (many women erroneously assume that this is basically what all men really want, which causes many women to place a false sense of value on their vaginas). Getting coochie is just the easiest way for a man to obtain an orgasm. But some men will settle for oral sex, hand release, or any other thing that will help them reach an orgasm. Some men with extremely low character will literally bang anything that's moist.

In ancient times, when primitive warriors conquered an opposing tribe or city, they would extend their dominance by conquering the women in the form of rape. And many men still have traits of this primitive mentality today.

In the psyche of a primitive-thinking man, using someone to help him achieve an orgasm gives him a perverse sense of victory. This makes him feel dominant and powerful. Some men have such low character, and are so desperate for power, they don't even care who or what helps them achieve an orgasm.

This is why some men will have sex with crack whores, animals, underage children, and other men, simply because a female isn't available at the time.

For the record, I'm not knocking the gay lifestyle. If a man is living a gay lifestyle, and he is honest with himself about it, I have no problem with that. More power to you. You go girl. Do your thing. But, I do have a problem with a guy who is fronting as if he's straight, by acting mackish and gangsta, but on the DL, he will substitute another man's booty for a vagina if he runs out of other options. In the minds of these men, they don't consider themselves gay (this mentality is prevalent with many men who are in prison).

Men like this will compromise all of their integrity, just to bust a nut. These types of men are what I refer to as caveman players.

In my book The Art of Mackin', I pointed out that the terms pimps, players, and macks are not synonymous or interchangeable. There is a difference between the three. A pimp is a person who is financially motivated. A player is a person who is sexually motivated. And a mack is a person who is knowledge and power motivated. And when a man has knowledge and power, he then has a king's mentality, giving him the option to get sex and money at his whim.

The Difference Between Kings and Cavemen

Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians were the first people to rise above being led by their primal instinct to simply procreate. They utilized that energy to create social order, language, science, and mathematics.

This social structure made it possible for the person who acquired knowledge and power to move higher up on the social totem pole. As evident in the drawings and hieroglyphics left in Egyptian tombs, the men who were more socially powerful received the biggest praise, had more women (or wives), and had more money than the men who had less game.

The Egyptians kings and pharaohs were ancient macks.

In those ancient hieroglyphics, you see them chillin' with three or four women standing by their side. These men were powerful, and they had the respect of their people.

Now, around the same era, in certain European territories, people were still living as primitive cave dwellers.

These cavemen had no game.

They had no social order, no knowledge, and no power. Their main concern was to procreate by any means. Since these cavemen didn't have the game to spit at a female correctly, the only way many of them could get a female was by brute force.

One infamous strategy these cavemen would use involved hiding in the bushes, waiting for a female to walk by, and hitting her on the head with a club. Once the woman was knocked out, the caveman would drag her by her hair into a secluded area, and basically take the coochie.

This was the foundation of Western civilization's approach to man-woman interactions. And even now, guys who have no game, or social power, still use some of these primitive, caveman techniques. There are many examples of how the caveman mentality is prevalent in modern society. One of the most popular TV shows among young men today is Jackass, which is simply about a group of men who do a lot of primitive stunts while torturing each other in the process.

The caveman mentality was also clearly seen a few years ago when following the Puerto Rican Day parade in New York, a large group of men rampaged through Central Park, snatching women's clothes off, then dousing the women with water.

If you go to certain nightclubs today, you will see some guys grabbing on women, literally pulling their hair, and making offensive and aggressive remarks to compensate for a lack of verbal game. So it is very important for a woman to learn how to differentiate a king from a caveman player.

The Main Thing Women Should Look For in a Man

As I stated before, one of man's basic needs is to achieve social power. To become the alpha male. In the wild, the male animal who outfights, outhunts, and overpowers the other male animals becomes the dominant male of his group. And by virtue of being the most powerful, he gets the most respect from the other male animals. Plus, most of the female animals want to procreate with the alpha male, because this will ensure the strength of her lineage.

Human males have this competitive nature as well. This is why men are more intrigued with challenging and combative activities such as sports, politics, war, and the stock market. These things give men social challenges to overcome, and overcoming obstacles and stepping up to challenges builds strength that leads to greater social power.

Once a man has overcome certain challenges, this establishes him as being more powerful than those who could not rise to the challenge. And social power makes a man more desirable to women. Many women have acknowledged that power in a man is an aphrodisiac. When a man has power, he doesn't have to chase women. Women chase him. But when a man doesn't have social power, and he isn't making an attempt to achieve social power, he will waste his competitive energy on dominating coochie -- on finding challenging ways to achieve an orgasm. So the best way to judge a man is to see what he is doing in life to achieve social power, if he is even trying to achieve power at all. Is he disciplined? Is he educating himself? Is he doing anything constructive? Is he proactive? What is he passionate about? These are the questions a woman should ask herself about a potential partner when she first meets him.

If a man isn't focusing his energy on constructive or proactive social activities, then most likely he will utilize all that energy on getting his next orgasm. And having power doesn't necessarily mean being rich. Focusing his energy on something he's passionate about makes a man more confident and self-assured. And when people are knowledgeable and thorough about something that they can contribute to society, they have more power. And the thing that a man is passionate about could seem trivial to other people. But all knowledge is a form of potential power, because we never know when certain knowledge may have to be utilized.

It can be any kind of knowledge. Let's take something as far fetched as, say, beekeeping. Now, there isn't a lot of money in beekeeping, but for beekeepers it's their hobby and it's something that they are passionate about. Other people might look at beekeepers and think that they are strange for having such an odd hobby. But a few years ago in California, there were a number of unprecedented cases of wild bees swarming and attacking people and animals. When the authorities couldn't explain where the bees were coming from and why they were becoming so violent, who did they turn to? That's right. The beekeepers. So now the beekeeper that everyone thought was strange, and that everyone ignored, was suddenly the man, and his specialized knowledge helped save a lot of lives.

It's gratifying for a man to know that his expertise can be an asset to society. A man who seeks social power takes great pleasure in knowing that people will come to him to utilize his specialized knowledge. And if his expertise is sought after on a continual basis, his knowledge has the potential to lead to financial gain, and increased power.

Take a guy who is passionate about computers. People might even label him a geek. But if this geek diddles around on his computer, and creates a software program that everyone becomes interested in, as Bill Gates did, and ends up making over $50 billion, all of a sudden he's not a geek anymore. He's now a mack. That's power. Every man wants to be the best at something, and every man wants to be the leading authority on something.

This is why actors become directors. Salesmen become CEOs. Athletes become coaches. Because once a man has been through the rigors and the difficulties of gaining skills in something he is passionate about, he gets more passion out of teaching, training, and directing others on what he has learned. This is social power.

Another very important trait that women must look for when selecting a potential mate is leadership skills. In order for a man to be a good leader, or to have others respect him and look to him for guidance, it's imperative that he has integrity.

When a man is being led by other people, he has to conform to the rules and standards of the people he is following. If a man is working for an employer, he has to follow the rules and regulations of that employer. If a man is still living with his parents, he has to follow the rules and regulations of his parents. If a man is financially dependent on a woman he is dating, he has to follow the rules and regulations of that woman.

In many cases, following the rules and regulations of others causes men to rebel and want to branch out on their own. Now, it's perfectly normal for a man to want to be self-sufficient and call the shots for himself, because following the rules and standards of others will often limit a person from growing to his fullest potential. But when you become a social "free agent," you have to be disciplined enough to set rules and standards for yourself. This is the basic definition of integrity, and the presence of integrity separates the kings from the cavemen.

It's in a woman's nature to seek leadership in a man, because leadership represents strength. However, this natural instinct causes many women to gravitate toward men who are considered bad boys or thugs, because many men who are considered rebels give off the illusion of leadership.

Anyone can rebel just for the sake of rebelling, so when a man rebels, he should do so in a way that credits his character with integrity. This is an important quality for women to look for in a man. If a man wants to be self-sufficient because he doesn't want any limitations on how high he wants to rise, that's perfectly fine. But having integrity will also ensure that he puts limitations on how low he can sink.

Sports and entertainment are two of the very few occupations in which a person can become extremely successful without the foundation of integrity; and this is why many very successful athletes and entertainers get into trouble with the law.

If a man is to be successful in his position as the president of a Fortune 500 company, he has to have enough integrity to lead employees to handle their duties and responsibilities with an equal level of integrity. But you don't need integrity or leadership skills in order to dribble a ball or write a hit song.

So a lot of ball players, rappers, and singers will use their talents to rise to the top of their field, but many of them will jeopardize it all by getting into trouble over dumb shit that could have easily been avoided. This is why it is essential for a man to have integrity. And this is the main thing that women should look for in a man.

Tip #1 on how women can have game:

Be a queen by always taking full responsibility for your actions and decisions.

No one respects a professional victim, and no man wants to invest in a woman who blames everyone else for her mistakes, because men know that sooner or later, that woman will be blaming them for something. Plus, it shows good character when a woman can take responsibility for her actions and acknowledge any mistakes she might have made. This shows she is willing to improve herself, and reflects a king's own desire to constantly improve himself, and build on his existing knowledge.

Copyright © 2004 by Tariq "K-Flex" Nasheed

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Photo Credit: Kevin Stagger

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