In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul connection? Gabriela Herstik lays down her high-vibe dating deal-breakers…
Material girl, mystical world. It ain’t always easy. Take dating, where finding a partner you click with, who also shares the same values as you, can be a minefield. In a world of hookup culture, where’s the soul-connection? And you shouldn’t have to explain what the position of the moon has to do with your pressing and urgent need to sage wash your iPhone. Right?
And then there’s food. Apparently November is World Vegan Month (we were clueless too), which led some company to publish research showing 1 in 3 would NOT date a vegan. Like, even if he happened to be Liam Hemsworth! It goes without saying that having BBQ for every meal is a swipe-out in our Numiverse. Here are 5 more high-vibe dating deal-breakers…
1. Not being a feminist Honestly ya’ll, it’s 2016. How is it that Hillary Clinton was up for president against someone with literally zero experience in any sort of government, and who is openly a racist bigot, and yet a vote for her still wasn’t a no-brainer. Intersectional feminism is vital for deconstructing patriarchal structures that affect women all over the world—from the wage gap, to war-mongers who use crimes against women as ammo, to the violence experienced by queer and trans women in the United States. So if you’re not down for feminism, I’m not down for you. Awaken or leave me be.
2. Not respecting my spiritual beliefs You don’t have to understand why I do what I do. You don’t have to read the tarot, come to yoga or even have to believe in a higher power. But you know what you DO have to do? RESPECT MY BELIEFS. Because there’s nothing more low-vibe than judging someone for what they believe. And obviously this goes both ways, and can be an amazing way to grow together! Amelia Quint of The Midheaven sums up her high-vibe relationship perfectly: “When Zach and I met, I still kept some Christian philosophies and he was atheist. Now we’re both cosmic space children. Don’t write someone off because of their beliefs. Follow your heart and soul.” AMEN SISTER.
3. Being closed-minded I know that the occult is not everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s totally fine. I feel the same way about sports. But the sexiest thing you can wear is an open mind! This goes for any sort of relationship: them not being willing to learn or listen is a major red flag. A conscious relationship means being open to the full experience each other brings, after all. You have to be willing to taste some of the salty and sour to truly enjoy the sweet, and being open to all experiences makes life way more delicious.
4. Non-communication As someone who has been gaslighted and manipulated by past partners for sharing my feelings and emotions, I am NOT down with non-communication. If I can try and communicate with my higher power, you can try and communicate with me! When you’re in a space of deep self-exploration, being able to talk to your partner about what you’re learning, how you’re changing, and what’s no longer working is vital. We are all mirrors for one another, after all, and as you deal with your own shit you’ll more than likely see it reflected in your partner as well. If you can’t talk to them about it—even fight about it—then the relationship has nowhere to expand.
5. Disrespecting Mother Earth As we witness the water bearers and Native people of Standing Rock struggle against the government for basic human rights, we’re reminded of ALL our responsibilities to Gaia—our Earth. Which makes being disrespectful of our planet—whether it’s littering or having zero regard for your carbon footprint—is a total deal-breaker. Like, IF YOU CAN’T RESPECT YOUR MOTHER HOW CAN YOU RESPECT ME?? We all walk this Earth together, and it’s on us to protect her for the sake of generations to come. You don’t have to be a total hippie to get this, but if you’re not FOR the Earth, you’re against her—and that’s just not okay.
In the second installment of her column Holy F*ck, Alexandra Roxo questions if modern-day hookup culture can co-exist with a Numi gal’s desire for conscious dating and sex…
As I sat next to my two friends Malia and Loulou watching Marianne Williamson speak to a crowded LA auditorium, I slumped further and further down in my chair as she discussed that which had been keeping me busy post breakup for nearly nine months…CASUAL SEX. Her words: “When a man puts anything in any of your orifices he has unspoken claim on you”, stung me. And to add insult to injury she went on to state: “Some Buddhist teachings say after sex the energy of the other person doesn’t leave your aura for seven years.”
Shit. My aura was starting to feel real crowded.
Not to mention that on my way to see Marianne talk I had casually mentioned to my new friends how I had recently had phenomenal sex in the back of a Prius under the Hollywood sign with a TV actor in an open relationship after drinks at the Soho House. (#Cliché.) I laughed about it, but now I felt a little uneasy…
Last year when I broke up with my girlfriend of nearly two years and decided to try dating dudes again, I had a period of being “free.” Meaning I hit Tinder hard. I was still meditating. Practicing affirmations. Reading Marianne and Louise Hay. But I was also determined to learn how to have casual sex in a casual way. Remember the “Sex and the City” episode where Carrie tries to have sex like men and can’t? That was me. But there I was on Tinder, wondering: is conscious dating and/or sex even possible through online apps? Can you explore deep sexual bliss with a stranger you drunk swiped on? In fact, can you explore sexual bliss with a stranger at all?
Obviously sex and religion is a whole big Pandora’s box I will not attempt to open, except to say that I do have massive PTSD from spending too many hours at “youth camp” where I was saved/told I was a sinner for being a sexual being. I’ve been healing from that for years as a non-religious “spiritual person,” but still many of the same judgements and questions continue to come up. Is casual sex an obstacle towards enlightenment or can it be an aid?
My friend Karley (a.k.a. Slutever) who is a sex writer and creative collaborator, turned me on to Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, who did a rad TED talk on how casual sex can be super healthy, which inspired me. In the last year I decided to fully commit myself to this quest. Oddly (or not – cause the Universe knows what it’s doing) I attracted quite a few “spiritual” dudes down for the cause. According to Dr. Zhana, healthy casual sex must be sober (at least pretty sober) and feel authentic to you. Once alcohol, drugs, and sadness enter, then it’s a whole ‘nother thing. Thing is, I couldn’t seem to get naked with a stranger without at least three drinks. (If this isn’t a sign I dunno what is!)
Then I started seeing someone. I thought maybe this was gonna be someone I would partner with for a long time. We meditated together. We have the same agents. We write and direct comedy. It seemed perfect. And it was – but only on paper. In person we didn’t get along and never laughed. So cut to the breakup, and the same night that a friend asked me to go a “very progressive” sex party. She said I could just watch and that it was going to be a great experience etc…I mean…how could I turn that down?
So in my fragile, broken state I put on a tight black dress and lipstick and got myself into an Uber, and embarrassingly sang the Weeknd’s “Hills” to the driver getting into my “empowered single woman” space, i.e. hot mess space. When I arrived at the sex party I stood on the sidelines until a man with a top knot and a jar of organic coconut oil offered me a Thai Massage. This seemed harmless enough. But then again I was drinking large amounts of Patron. And nothing under the influence of tequila is harmless.
As I was being twisted into yoga poses I heard strange gurgling sounds. When I opened my eyes I saw the woman next to me was double deep throating. I was shocked, and took another deep sip of tequila. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against deep throating – it was just that in my vulnerable state, it was all too much for me. It just didn’t feel like my truth.
I like to think that I’m “sexually progressive,” and open, and sex positive. I think I said yes to at least 2 out of 5 threesomes last year…but maybe that’s just not me anymore. Not my authentic truth now. Though, at this party I kept downing tequila hoping to “make it my truth,” and the next thing I knew I was laying in some couple’s arms, naked. I still have no idea how I made it home, though I did get a text from the wife who is a yoga teacher inviting me to class and telling me: “Congrats on no longer being vanilla!” If she only knew…
The next day I decided to stop drinking. To stop smoking weed. And to stop having casual sex. At least for now. Because none of it seemed to be serving my highest good anymore. (Did it ever?) I had put so much pressure on myself to “be free” and have fun, but the truth was I was covering up loneliness and a feeling of separation from Source.
I can see that my true freedom now lies in healing my wounds, in meditation, and safe self exploration. But my fear was…does this make me…boring?! (Um, if anybody’s watched Be Here Nowish season two I basically wrote a character that I have become! Yoga pants and celibacy!) But you know what: I don’t give a f*ck about becoming boring. I haven’t drank or done drugs in over a month, and I’ve danced, laughed, and sung a ton recently, and felt myself surrounded by beauty and magic.
I’ve also just come off a 3-day meditation retreat where I chanted and sat in a circle for three eight hour stretches with amazing humans deep in spiritual search, which is something I’ve been actively in, off and on, for the last 15 years. I realized how sometimes I veer so far from this part of myself, and thank GODDESS something always brings me back. This time in the form of a best friend who I’ve known for 14 years, Rebecca, beckoning me to Berkeley. And hours of meditation and chanting and crying and healing brought me back, yet again, to myself. The self who is held by Source, and doesn’t need to be held by random strangers.
The truth is, as much as I want to believe in the glories of casual sex, I don’t think it brings me personally closer towards Bliss, Peace, and Spirit. If it works for you then that’s beautiful and more power to ya. For me, I hope and think that having sex with someone I love deeply in a soul partner way will do that.
Alexandra Roxo is an LA based filmmaker and actress who is currently developing a holistic coaching business. She has a company called Purple Milk that makes all kinds of fun stuff including the popular web series Be Here Nowish. Follow her on Insta hereand read her past Numinous articles on Now Age love and sex here.
2014 has been a year of SELF-EXAMINATION, TRANSFORMATION and ADVENTURE! Here are 11 posts that made us laugh, gasp, cry…and take a good long look at our lives from the inside (listed in no particular order of awesomeness).
Ellie Burrows is pretty sure she’s discovered the secret to online dating. And it’s Tantra. Not super-connected, total body orgasm, tantric sex – rather the energetic concept that makes that kind of sex possible: a balance of the masculine and feminine energies.
Dealing with a situation that had left her feeling vulnerable and alone, when Ruby Warrington met her spirit power animal last year…it got emotional. Here’s how to connect with your own beast of the wild unknown.
Yay, you’re going on a yoga retreat! You want to get the most out of your experience, right? Who better than Heather Lilleston and Kumi Sawyers fromYoga For Bad People to lay down some summer retreat etiquette. We’re talking less freaking out, more more F.U.N.
Guru Jagat is the outspoken face behind the Ra Ma Institute, the only all kundalini yoga studio in California’s Venice Beach. She talks to Madeline Giles about her vision for the Age of Aquarius, life on the 33rd parallel and outsmarting the Global Elite. Conspiracy theories or conscious debate?
Right after a powerful New Moon in multi-faceted Gemini, gifting us an opportunity to embrace the quicksilver side of ourselves, Nadia Noirgives an insight into a life spent searching for “the other me.”
In the second instalment of her brilliant column on sex and spirituality, Ellie Burrows takes a Tantric approach to online dating…
I’m pretty sure I discovered the secret to online dating.
And it’s Tantra.
I’m not talking about super-connected, total body orgasm, tantric sex. I’m talking about the energetic concept that makes that kind of sex possible: balance of the masculine and feminine energies. Let me explain.
After getting out of a very intense five-year relationship, I actually took a year off from dating altogether. At the end of the year, I met a lovely lawyer in LA who subsequently flew to New York City to woo me. The weekend was wonderful. He really had his shit together, but one night lying naked in bed he called me a “stallion” – and I knew as soon as he uttered that word that we weren’t a match.
The part of me that was also a mare shuddered. But to his credit, the dating experience was so positive it got me back in the saddle and over my fear of opening up my sacred sexual energy to a new partner. I wanted to repeat it many times over with all different kinds of men. And that the fastest way for me to accomplish this was to bite the bullet and get online.
Almost immediately my inbox was flooded with hundreds of messages from dudes who:
1. Hadn’t actually read my profile: “hey sexy ;-)”
2. Were clever but weren’t particularly attractive: “Multiple photos of you in leggings before 11am. Thank you.”
3. Were so totally wrong for me (and also crazy, with really poor grammar): “So I was reading your profile and then I was like goddammit…this always happens every time, I’m reading some nice girl like your selfs profile and then I remember I didn’t check your diet…Bam! I know I’m fucked before I even look, she’s going to be a god damned vegan, CRAP! Then by some magical stroke of luck or maybe the stars have aligned in my favor I see, I see: “Strictly Anything”…fucking finally a girl who isn’t a new age picky bitch, thank god! Hi I’m Johnny, its nice to meet you.”
Where was the quality? Where were the guys that I would actually want to meet and touch in person? The discerning, thoughtful men weren’t sending messages to every chick on the site. Then I remembered three very important things.
1. I’m a class act. And if I’m online, then my equal is probably online, too.
2. Insecurity is not gender specific, and rejection is scary.
3. We all have egos that need to be stroked once in a while.
As I browsed through the online shopping mall of men, I realized my approach needed to evolve. Big time. What if the right men weren’t reaching out to me because they thought they might get rejected? What if they needed me to reach out to them? After all, my profile status was set to “Replies Very Selectively”. This was going to require a serious shift in consciousness. So like everywhere else in my life, I decided to approach it from a spiritual perspective.
When it comes to love and sex, Tantra is my subtext. And Tantra embraces opposites, playing with concepts of light and dark, attraction and repulsion, hot and cold, and obviously, male and female.
As Osho writes inThe Book of Secrets; “Tantra says that when the ultimate bliss and ecstasy comes inside you, it means your own positive and negative pole have come to a meeting – because every man is both man and woman, and every woman is both is both man and woman. You are born not only from woman or from man, you are born out of a meeting of the opposites.”
Now do me a favor and look between your legs. Seriously, look. Imagine what’s underneath those jeans…Now, completely forget what you just imagined. We’re all over the spectrum, people. There are masculine and feminine energies in all of us despite what our genitals tell us. Male energy is about focus, purpose, and drive. Female energy is about creativity, nurture, and radiance. ALL of those qualities are in EVERYONE. However, sometimes we get our energetic wires crossed when it comes to the dating dance and we can short circuit.
In 1995 the authors of The Rules, claimed that the male must be the sole initiator when it comes to dating. Yet according to ancient tantric rituals, the female is deeply revered and considered an initiator of sorts. She’s the creator. So you see, either the male or female energy can initiate. The feminine is always on the receiving side of the masculine penetration, but in Tantra “penetration” and “initiation” are two different things, and that’s where we get confused.
Having wrapped my head around this, I was now ready to send out some serious digital fuck me eyes.
My first online date was EPIC. A dreamy Vintner from Northern California (match 97%) was visiting the city and geo-locating attractive ladies using a feature called Quickmatch. Basically, the equivalent of telling me I was hot but not being bold enough to send a message.
I showed his photo to my friend Sarah who was staying with me for the week. Call it kismet, fate, even divine intervention, she responded; “Oh my God, I know him. That dude is amazing. I did some day-drinking with him a couple months ago in L.A. You need to message him.”
I dreaded sending my first message, but I knew it was all in the name of Tantra: “Small world moment of my day. Sarah was overlooking my shoulder when your face popped up on my quickmatch. She says you’re good stock.”
I gave no name. No mention of his profile. Didn’t ask him out. I wanted to rouse him out of his man cave, give him a little confidence, and let him know I was willing to play. Now it was up to him to show me his peacock feathers.
And boy, did he show me. He was only in town for two more days so he asked me out immediately. I was supposed to leave town but it was a blizzard outside and when I got snowed in, I agreed to meet him that night – which turned into a 36-hour first date. It included closing down two bars (Smith and Mills and a deserted Greenwich Hotel), dim sum (with his friend), sushi (just the two of us), two sleepovers (one at his, one at mine), and one flight change (his).
I can’t believe a computer told me I would like this person so much. So okay, online dating is kind of awesome.
Next, I tried my newfound strategy on a very handsome Corporate Lawyer with perfect abs and a brilliant mind whose profile I had been circling for a couple weeks (match 89%). We had also matched on Tinder, very equal opportunity in the cave-door knocking department. On OkCupid, we both had the same answer to the question “The most private thing you’re willing to admit?” which was that we both loved reading Missed Connections. I sent him the following:
Again, no name. No overly thorough message. Just a little Tantric taunt.
Well, Corporate Lawyer asked me out immediately and told me that was the most effective message he had received to date. We went on a date and shared some steamy make outs and engaged in a pretty intense cerebral texting relationship. He also serenaded me with The Magnetic Fields’ “Come Back From San Francisco” begging me to return from visiting the aforementioned vintner. Timing wasn’t on our side; he got a new job, moved to Colorado, and although my body was back in New York the truth was that I had left my heart in San Francisco.
A key part of online dating is discernment. Over the course of four months I went on six dates, with five truly viable options. Only one was terrible. It was my first Tinder date and I didn’t vet him enough over text. Amateur hour.
But my point is, I didn’t go on hundreds of dates. I didn’t shoot twenty arrows and hope one hit a bull’s eye. I shot six and missed once. The men I met were of the highest quality and I had played my part in the courtship. It’s too bad I can’t have five boyfriends at once.
I’m sure it’s no surprise that in preparation for the this article I picked up The New Rules: The Dating Dos and Don’t for the Digital Generationto see how the game had changed with the advent of social media.Inside, I came across lines like “Don’t talk too much in the first weeks” and “Don’t write to guys first,” and “ignore winks.”
Yikes. I had to throw it across the room. It was entirely missing the opportunity for an open dialogue about the nature of our hearts and gave total disregard to spontaneity, two pretty important tenants of love. More importantly, it diminished the equal power of the male and the female to ignite something.
At its core Tantra is about expressing everything that “comes up,” including all that you feel. It’s about allowing ourselves to feel and express everything between two polarities. It would never have you suppress anything for the sake of strategy or gain. It wants you to dance openly with everything and everyone you encounter. It’s all checks and balances, and I am glad I went with the ancient wisdom on this one.
Which makes me a rule-breaker I guess. But I expressed myself fully and created something magical.
NB: I had roughly 1000 words to make my case for Tantra as an online dating strategy, so I’ve seriously cherry picked my way through the infinite Tantric garden here. For a more in depth lesson, see the following reading list: