Tucker Max, Infamous Bro-Lit Writer, Grows Up

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Amazon / Citadel Press

The notorious bad-boy auteur has apparently started to act his age.

Tucker Max’s unapologetic essay collections chronicling his adventures in douchedom — I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell  and A–holes Finish First — are supposedly no longer a reflection of Max’s ideals or lifestyle. Forbes published a profile of the bro-lit writer a few days ago, and it seems the 35-year-old writer has experienced something of a reinvention over the last few years:

“This is something I’ve never really said before in public or admitted on the record, and I’ll admit it now: I didn’t realize this when I was writing it, but I think if you read between the lines a little bit, in between all the bravado, you can see a lot of self-loathing.”

The profile by writer Michael Ellsberg is lengthy — exploring “mommy issues and daddy issues” and all — so we present to you a few takeaway gems to illustrate just how dramatic the former playboy has reformed:

Freud is largely to thank for Max’s new lease on life, women, and love. “So many people describe my book as just pure id. What I’m trying to do now is to connect my ego and my superego to my id. I’m trying to understand, why was I doing all this stuff? Why was I acting this way? Through understanding all of that, you start to resolve the underlying problems that you’re acting out, in a healthier, more productive way.”

Max credits psychoanalysis for the bulk of his transformation, and he visits his psychoanalyst four times a week.

He’s detoxed his life. Ellsberg writes, “Where once there was beer, now there is kombucha.” Indeed, Max has been making lots of organic shakes, follows a low-carb Paleo diet, and started practicing yoga and mixed martial arts. “I was a ridiculous narcissist in my twenties. It’s not even that I didn’t care about other people. It’s way beyond that,” he tells Forbes. “I just didn’t even understand that other people even existed or mattered. I do not believe I was a true NPD [narcissistic personality disorder] in the clinical sense. But, dude, I was close.

(READ: The 2009 TIME 100 Finalists: Tucker Max)

He’s in a stable, domestic, Saturday-visits-to-Costco kind of relationship. In what the author of the profile calls a “for now” relationship — Max has found a kindred spirit in a woman who was a fan of his books and whom he later referred to therapy to deal with her emotional issues. She also sees a psychoanalyst in Austin (where Max now lives), and the two are navigating the waters of a healthy relationship based on “respect, trust, honesty, and communication.”

Surely, this is the last thing many would expect from a writer who made his fortune selling stories of promiscuity, partying, and general debasing of women. Some-odd deep soul searching sessions later, he’s essentially done a 180 on his views regarding relationships: “And I’ve found that, what I now want the most in a woman is — I want a partner. I want someone who is my partner in life. Who supports me, and I support her. I can share all my experiences in life with her, and she can share hers back with me. Not only do we love each other, but we accept, embrace, nurture, and care for each other.”

Max has a book entitled Hilarity Ensues out Feb. 7,  and it’s supposedly the last in the “fratire” era of his writing. Maybe his future work will make being a nice, stable, communicative guy all the rage?

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