HOLY F*CK: 5 WAYS TO JUMPSTART YOUR LOVE AND SEX LIFE IN 2017

In her final Holy F*ck column of 2016, Alexandra Roxo has 5 ways to jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…Portrait: Alexandra Herstik

2016 has been a wild year for the planet and for America. For me it’s been a year of change and growth and reshuffling and purging and mourning and planting seeds and learning. I also hadn’t been single in 10 years, and have spent this one being VERY single. I’ve used this time to have a giant rethink of ALL my ideas, values, and beliefs about love and sex.

I’ve done some dating, sure, but I put the brakes on things in the name of some deep diving and learning and observing of myself and my clients, which is hard for a Piscean princess who loves to dive into romance. My birthday is just days from Anais Nin (if that means anything to you you’re prob my tribe!).

Last week, in search of my culminating thoughts about love and sex and spirit for the end of this year, I called my friend Gala Darling, whose latest love story is one of my faves! After a divorce, Gala met her adorable boyfriend online a little over a year ago and I’d been swooning over them via Insta for a while. I wanted to hear the dirt…Did she believe in soul mates? Manifesting the man of your dreams with spells and rituals? Making a list of important things in love and meditating on them? I had a lot of questions for her.

Gala said many things but what stuck out the most was: “Relationships are not meant to be easy. Marriage is not easy. They are not meant to be comfortable. They are meant to push you to see things about yourself that are not actualized. Having a soul mate is not a party!” This sentiment is way too overlooked in the twin flame/soul mate discourse. Where’s the footer that says “Hey BTW this shit hurts”?

Gala Darling and her boyfriend Garnett shot by Juliane Berry

She also reminded me that there is no certainty. Like ever. In marriage. In relationships. In any of it. People who are single think “Oh when will I meet that special someone?” And then people who are in partnership may be asking “Is this right? Is it supposed to hurt this much? Be this hard? Do I still love them?” There is no certainty but our devotion to ourselves, and our practice of keeping aligned with our heart’s needs.

So in order to do just that I’ve prepared some writing exercises for this column, to help you too rethink/ rewrite / jumpstart your love and sex life in 2017…

So get out your journal. Put on a kimono. Or silk PJ’s. Select some quiet tunes. Burn some incense.  Make yourself a cozy nest. I rec bed surrounded by blankets and pillows and some rose tea and a few candles.

  1. RETHINK YOUR “LIST”

We all make these grand lists of what we want in a partnership and we often forget that the human we imagine coming into our life will also be flawed. Just like us! Do you have some list you’ve been working on for years? Fantasies in your mind about how your partner should or shouldn’t be? This can change as you grow so def revisit every six months. So use this time to make a list of HARD YES’s and HARD NO’s, and to really meditate on them.

Ask yourself big questions like: “Could you be with someone who doesn’t believe in God? Or do you absolutely need to be with someone who wants kids?”

 

  1. BROADEN YOUR IDEA OF A SOUL MATE

Do you have people in your life you have let see the whole spectrum of your madness and beauty? Your most ugly side and your most beautiful? I believe all the people who can hold all of us and push us to our edges are our soul mates. If you’ve never let your darkness come out with anyone I say deepen a friendship with someone who you can do that with. Not in an abusive way, but in a way where the connection can go deep under the surface. That will get you ready for partnership, and if you’re partnered it will keep you deep diving into yourself.

My friend Rebecca and I really did NOT like each other when we met. I thought she was a dirty hippie and she thought I was a stuck up goodie two shoes. 15 years later we are best friends. During that time we’ve hated each other. Not spoken for a year. Had the most heinous of fights.  But had the most enlightening and fun and hilarious moments together too. She knows me in a way no one else can. Our love is as deep as the ocean.

Ask yourself: “Who are my soul mates now? Who has pushed me to the edges and helped me grow? What can I learn from these relationships about myself?”

 

  1. COMMIT TO A PRACTICE AND STICK WITH IT

If you haven’t dated in a while, will you commit to a dating practice? Perhaps you and a friend can buddy up, open an online account, make a ritual of creating your profile (which Gala says is “like casting a spell!”) Practice connecting with strangers in a non-attached way. Go on coffee dates with no agenda except chatting with a stranger. Maybe 1 out of 10 will be someone you’re actually attracted to, so keep it chill. No expectations. Treat it like a morning yoga practice!

If you’re in a relationship commit to a growth practice. Is it seeing a relationship coach once a month to make sure you are growing? Does your sex life need a reboot? Can you commit to an afternoon every other week of sexual exploration time to keep expanding there? If your relationship has become too dependent can you commit to developing and nurturing solo space?

Decide what practice you want to commit to in 2017 and break it down over the months and weeks.

 

  1. GET TO KNOW YOUR LOVE STYLES

How do you like to be loved? (If you need some inspo you can do the 5 Languages of Love quiz.) I know I mostly need to be loved with touch and kind words, and if I feel I can communicate that to my next partner they don’t waste their time buying me gifts or giving me rides or cooking for me. I told Loulou (one of my besties) about this, and now we know that we both highly value a solid compliment we pay each other loving compliments regularly! It just takes knowing and asking.

Make a list of ways you like to be loved, either within a partnership or solo. Do you need more touch? Schedule a weekly massage or trade with a friend. 

 

  1. LOOK IN THE MIRROR

Don’t make me quote Michael but um…he had a point! If you were a potential partner meeting yourself for the first time what would you think? What would you want more of? Less of? This is good to look at whether you’re single or attached. Would you prefer someone who is more available? Someone who is more financially stable? Someone in better shape? Someone who meditates daily? Well, this is a great way to see where you need to make changes on yourself.

For example, I was thinking I would just love a partner who can chop wood—so fuck it, I guess I’ll learn to chop wood in 2017 too! You can also be the partner you want to your friends. I mean, don’t make out with them passionately or anything (unless that’s how you roll!) but love your friends like you wanna be loved. Cook for them. Write cute notes. Romance your friends and yourself!

Set some goals for how you can become the best partner and self and friend.

***

If you want to go deeper with this work sign up for my Holy F*ck course where we will be using creative writing and storytelling to dive deep into our habits, tendencies, hopes and dreams in love and sex in a conscious way.  I also see clients one on one for six month periods of mentorship and on off coaching sessions. More info here.

Alexandra Roxo is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, writer, entrepreneur and mentor currently residing in LA. She recently co-founded Moon Club with Ruby Warrington (founder of the Numinous) and has been featured in Well + GoodNylon,  Out Magazine and more.

5 HIGH-VIBE DATING DEAL-BREAKERS

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.

Vegan = “undateable”?

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.

HOLY F*CK: IS MODERN DATING ALL ABOUT SECOND BEST?

Is second best enough when it comes to modern dating? Alexandra Roxo breaks her six-month self-love and celibacy regime to find out…

Over sushi last Friday with my friend Kristina, she suggested that perhaps it was time for me to dip a toe back in the dating game. I’d taken a six month break from sex and dating in the name of self-love and self growth, and, Jesus, that felt like long enough. But as Kristina recounted her latest dating exploits, I wanted to run for the hills—a.k.a. bury myself back in Doreen Virtue videos in my muumuu, with nothing but some Coconut Bliss in bed with me!

Okay, so maybe dating isn’t all that bad. I have a handful of friends that have found their “life partners” in the past year. Hopelessly in love. Soul mate status. One couple met on Tinder. One at Burning Man. Two other friends who just passed a decade met their loves out with friends, and just felt instantly “at home.” And these couples keep me full of hope.

But the rest of us perhaps fall into two categories:

-Those of us in a string of casual romances, engaging with people that seem exciting but just aren’t available or right.

-Or those of us sitting it out and waiting/minding our own business (a.k.a. dancing and having fun and meditating and sometimes feeling bored and starved of love).

So what’s best while searching for true love? Keeping on dating people who don’t seem “in it to win to it” (i.e. are always busy, “wanna keep it chill” and “low pressure with no commitment” blah blah) Or waiting it out? I feel like the easiest thing when it comes to modern day dating and sex is to accept what’s there: perhaps someone hot and fun who meets some of our needs, but not all. Especially since: “You can’t have it all.” Right?

Last week in our first Holy F*ck salon I heard a lot of this. Women accepting half loves. Or a morsel of connection. Or a lot of drunk sex with regretful mornings but fun nights. I’ve talked to friends too who are torn about this. We ponder “Should I go on casual dates? Spend that time on dating apps? Is it worth it if you know your heart’s not in it and neither is theirs?”

I’d been a serial monogamist for ten whole years, and last year upon being single and freshly in Los Angeles I found myself busy but not really satisfied. There was the hot writer who was in a failing open relationship (a.k.a. still in love with someone) but who would stare into my eyes with such passion when we had sex and orgasmed in tandem, and put cinnamon in my coffee.

Then there was the high school teacher who wanted to be called “Daddy” in bed and didn’t tell me he was engaged until date four. The friend of six years who professed his love and then confessed he had a new girlfriend. The Hollywood director who wined and dined me and wrote a part based on my life in his T.V. show, and then mentioned casually on date three he was in an open relationship of two years after ordering me an Uber town car home.

Not forgetting the famous musician who told me he wanted to meet my mom and refused to wear condoms, and who my friend saw on a dating app the next day. All. Unavailable. (And three out of five of these men meditate daily and do plant medicine or Buddhist retreats btw!)

There were women too. And at least they were more forthcoming and told me on date two they were just in it for fun casual vibes or what not. But overall it was a lot of kiiiiinda fun things that didn’t add up to one great thing.

So when I met someone earlier this year mid dating cleanse, who seemed amazing and into me, but who was also in an open relationship, I was like “Nope! I wanna be someone’s number 1!” I’ve had plentya number 2 status in the last year, and I honestly don’t know how I got demoted. So I also said: “Let’s be friends.”

But yes, I’m currently back to dating. And there I am, naked in a bed in a state of post orgasmic bliss, that cool Los Angeles breeze sweeping through the room, after a day having my feet massaged by the very same previously mentioned person. Because after six months of celibacy, I’ve somehow I’ve managed to I convince myself I can adjust my needs and be more progressive—a.k.a. share my lover with his two to three other lovers.

And then he stepped away to take a call. The primary partner of five years. Oh yeah…right. The magic spell lifted and I was reminded of the bigger picture. I was not Queen Bee.

This Rumi quote has echoed in my ears for over a decade: “A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.”

And I’ve decided this is true, for me. And that it applies to EVERYTHING. Not just love, but work. Friendships. Sometimes something is so close, but just not 100% right. And if you say yes to it anyway, you’re telling your self that you will always settle for less. Worse, in lowering your standards, you could also miss that the thing you really want because now you’re vibrating at a half mast frequency.

As my new friend Andi reminded me on the beach last week: “If it’s not a hell YES it’s a NO!”

When you’re hungry for something, sometimes it’s hard to resist whatever comes along that’s almost what you want. It’s like you know that it’s not quite going to satisfy you, but you eat it anyway—then wish you’d waited for what you really want. And yes, sometimes healthy compromise is key—and only YOU can decipher where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Since my recent experience of making a commitment to loving my SELF, I’ve also found myself inspired and in love with art, nature, friends, my work, all of it. As I was up late the other night, deep in celebration of this, I found this quote by Bjork, whom I’ve loved since I was 18:

“I never really understood the word ‘loneliness’. As far as I was concerned, I was in an orgy with the sky and the ocean, and with nature.”

I hope whether single or attached you can commit to finding your own inner orgy—and I believe that from this place it’s impossible to accept half loves, or half jobs, or half friends. You just smile and wink and mosey along if it doesn’t feel right. And by holding space for the most magnificent YOU, all the other stuff will just begin to filter in.

Alexandra offers one on one mentorship and coaching and her Holy F*ck group salon, which was just featured in Amuse/i-d Magazine. The next session of the Holy F*ck salon will begin September 6th for 6 weeks of chatting/deconstructing/and tuning in around love, sex and spirituality. Sign up here!

HOLY F*CK: CAN CASUAL SEX BE SPIRITUAL?

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.

Until then I’ll go back to what I’ve been doing more of what I’ve loved since I was 19 years old…chanting my kundalini mantras, singing Steve Winwood’s Higher Love at the top of my lungs, making Shiva+Shakti cosmic union collages and altars, getting high off raw chocolate, and doing my girl Elyssa’s soul mate manifesting meditation.

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 here and read her past Numinous articles on Now Age love and sex here

COMFORTABLY NUMB: WHY ARE WE ALL AFRAID TO FEEL?

Dry January opened my eyes to how I’ve been comfortably numb, so this year I’m committing to feeling it and healing it, says Kate Atkinson.

‘Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me.” Ringing an opiate bell in your psyche? If you’re a borderline millennial like me, you’re shamefully more likely to recall the Scissor Sisters version before the much more pleasant, sedate and, well, numbing, Pink Floyd original of the track “Comfortably Numb.”

But this song bears a special significance in my world right now. Having completed my first ever dry January I, like I suspect many Instagramming, Malbec-drinking, Bumble-ing, Happn-ing global citizens, have realized to what extent I’ve been moving through my life in a similarly cozy but numbed-out state.

The Oxford Dictionary defines “numb” as depriving us of the power of sensation. So to do so in any capacity means more or less living and feeling at a fraction of our capabilities. Or in Numi speak: “vibing at a lower frequency.” By CHOICE. How depressing is that?

And it’s not just the booze. NYC might be a cultural smorgasbord, but it also offers ready access to all the compulsions that can take you down a rabbit hole of distraction and, eventually, longing.

Rather than dealing with our shit, we drink. Opposed to being alone, we over engage on social media (no wonder “Digital Addiction” has become an actual “thing”). Others get high on the rush of success and pepped on promotion. There’s addiction to substances, of course – legal medications, essential oils, cocaine. Addiction to online dating.  Addiction to people. Addiction to pizza. Addiction to tattoos. Addiction to solitude. Addiction to sex.

The list is endless, and the more you get to thinking about it, the more it feels like anything can become an obsession when you’d rather numb-out than feel…and deal. Then there’s the replacement of one addiction with another. Partying for yoga. Work for a relationship…and so it goes.

Without booze to cloud this revelation, I’ve only become more aware of back-to-back evenings of time wasting on Facebook; the getting obliterated after a bad day at work; the 18 nights a month I eat pizza. And many more obsessions I don’t care to list in a public forum.

And I’ve decided this is no way to live. Along with this newfound awareness, I’ve realized how sick I am of the “terrifying Tuesdays,” the hours spent staring at my phone, of saying I’ll do things I never do, and spending my precious hours on mind numbing, opposed to mind-expanding activities.

So what’s the alternative? Bottom line is it’s tough to to feel the full spectrum of your emotions. It is hard to stay at home and sit with your loneliness, when grappling with an overwhelming desire to put it all behind you, just for one night.

Personally, that social itch and need to be surrounded by others is a compulsive distraction, and when I obey it and ignore my calmer (and undoubtedly more vulnerable) intuition, generally the more disasters head my way. The thing with numbing is it becomes a cycle. Drink too much. Make bad dating decisions. Attack your liver again with Advil. Waste $40 on breakfast. And so it goes.

With this in mind, I’m accepting you have to “feel it to heal it” – which means, for now at least, I am committing to a time of being UN-NUMB. And what this will entail exactly I don’t know, since I’ve been living comfortably numb for well over a decade.

Nonetheless, I want to commit to it this year. I have no idea what I’m doing – and already I’m finding myself interested in activities I would have laughed at this time last year. So welcome to my blank canvas of withdrawal…which right now seems to be manifesting into this column.

Signing off until next time, with one of my favorite quotes from Anais Ninn:

“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book…or you take a trip…and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating.

The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death.

Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”

TANTRIC TINDER? HAVE A HIGH VIBE HOLIDAY HOOK-UP

Love is love, and even a tantric Tinder hook-up can be your route to sexual healing says Hanna Bier. Artwork: Oscar Delmar via Behance.net

There’s lots of righteousness around sex and spirituality. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that sacred sexual union can only be enlightening if it happens between the manifest yin and yang, man and woman, in a solid relationship agreement. But we all know that this isn’t always how it works in our day and age. With so many beautiful humans to fall in love with, so many genders, sexual orientations, and ways of coming together, boundaries have blurred.

And as we break free free from the man/woman gender discussion, allowing ourselves to love whoever we want to love, a new level of sexual awakening is occurring – in which each and every fuck can be an opportunity to elevate the world to a higher level of consciousness.

But generations of religious dogma, Hollywood storyline and societal conditioning still have a way of fucking with our thinking, making it easy to jump to the conclusion that something as non-committal as a one-night holiday fling can’t possibly awaken our Kundalini.

So here’s the truth: Love is love.

The love you feel for yourself, for your parents, for the world in general, and for your favorite fuck buddies is all of the same quality. Love doesn’t get more valuable when we put rings on each other, call each other fluffy nick names, and impose rigid rules on our relationships.

There is a dire need to feel safe and connected in the world right now, and this comes with the misconception that by attaching ourselves to another person by means of official papers and jewelry, we will finally find the security we crave.

But deep within, we all know that our path to safety is 100 per cent related to our root chakra – and has nothing to do with elaborate wedding vows. Connect to this truth, and it’s possible to shack up for one night and feel more commitment and presence with this person than with the husband who only stays in his marriage because the moral code that has been imprinted on him that says divorce is wrong.

Have this in mind when you’re partying it up this holiday season. The only spiritual task you have is to learn to love truly and deeply. If you meet someone whose heart and soul you’d like to fuck open – for one night only – consider it your divine mission!

So what does this look like?

 

Step #1 Set an intention
Before getting started, turn inside and connect to why you are doing this. Here are some questions to ask yourself –

What is my intention for this union?
What I you want for myself?
What do I want for the person I am having sex with?
What I you want for the world?

Remember to open your heart and make LOVE your bottom line. May every fuck be holy and be of highest service to the world.

Step #2 Cozy up
A holiday fling doesn’t have to be about mindless banging. In fact, the female body needs quite a lot of relaxation and trust in order to be able to fully open. If this is a new concept to you, read my article “How to be Intimate” here: https://the-numinous.com/how-to-be-intimate/

Sometimes what helps with the opening is copious amounts of eggnog, but since you probably wouldn’t go to yoga drunk, try not to enter the temple of sexual enlightening completely hammered.

Instead, work up the boiling point by exploring each other and really being present with the other person. Make it slow and deep, because if done right, your holidays can be a banger, not just a shallow exchange of body fluids.

Step #3 Get polar
Create sexual chemistry by playing with your sexual archetypes, your feminine and masculine side.

Every human soul consists of two sexual archetypes, and every person has both a feminine archetype as well as a masculine archetype. This isn’t necessarily related to you living in a male or female body, it is merely a description of the two polarities that are at play in you.

The feminine archetype is the part of you that is soft, that likes to go deep, that feels into everything and likes to fill up with beauty and tenderness. This archetype thrives when she is being adored and worshipped.

The masculine archetype is the part of you that secures the perimeter, so that the feminine archetype can let go more fully. He is the one who waits for the opening, so that he can go deep and penetrate fully. This archetype is more linear, it is about breaking free and thriving with challenge.

Most humans have a strong connection to one of these archetypes as their sexual essence. If you know your sexual essence, feel free to amplify it to create more polarity with your counterpart. You might also have a feeling for the primary archetype of the other person and choose to play the polar opposite.

Again, it doesn’t matter what your body looks like, what gender role you identify with or who you are having sex with.\

The key to strong chemistry is in amplifying your differences – if your partner is playing princess, pin them down, and show them who’s boss. If you want to soften and open, let the other person dominate. Boring sex comes from lack of polarity.

With that said, Happy Holidays. May your fierce love elevate and uplift the world!

PROTECT YOURSELF: IS MY LOVER A PSYCHIC VAMPIRE?

Be Here Nowish creators Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo share their experience fending off Vampire Lovers, PLUS 5 ways to protect yourself from a psychic vampire from Cat Cabral. Images: Pa-kwan Promsri via Behance.net

 

“Vampire Lovers” is our term for lovers that come flying into your world, suck out your life force. You have no idea what’s happened, but next thing you know you feel like a fucking zombie and your friends are calling for an intervention. But these vampires are not really blood drinking creatures (although sometimes they might want to do that too). They are more like psychic suckers, energy drawers, seductive manipulators who can milk your energy, mess with your psyche, throw you off balance, and take away your power.

The people are also sometimes called “energy vampires” or “emotional vampires.” It’s an archetype we all can embody unconsciously at times, it’s just that some of us have learned to master it, using it as a form of manipulation and self-preservation.

Okay, so in theory we all know we should stay away from people that make us feel helpless or weak. But can also be SO SO sexy to allow ourselves to be completely overtaken by someone. We romanticize it, imagining Brad Pitt biting our neck and kinda wishing we were Kristen Stewart in Twilight, even if we’re aware of the dangers of completely losing ourselves in that person. We each had our fair share of experience dealing with people like this in our love lives and found ways to cope with it, which we will share in this post.

At the bottom, CAT CABRAL, a New York based alchemist and tarot reader who’s been peddling the tools of the witchcraft trade for over a decade, has shared tips on how to identify and protect yourself from Vampire Lovers.

 

Natalia: Why don’t we start by talking about meeting vampires on Tinder. You know, like one night stands, and the implications of that spiritually.
Alexandra: You mean the wild post-breakup Tinder phase that I like to call my “Slutty Spring?”

N: Exactly.
A: It was super fun, but you also have to really work on protecting your psyche because you’re exchanging energy with people so fast in those situations. And then you’re like “Wait, what? I’m tied up in a stranger’s bed again?!”

N: Right. Because the minute that you open up and surrender sexually to them, your energies are melding and exchanging whether you like it or not.
A: If they’re holding a lot of darkness you might get in a bad mood the next day and be super grumpy, wondering “Why do I feel so depressed?” or “Why do I feel so anxious?” – psychic gunk you maybe picked up up from the random person you just had sex with.

N: So how did you personally protect yourself and create that boundary?
A: Well, I had a date with this guy and we had really good conversation at dinner and then I went back to his house. I was getting bored and wondering where things were going but I kept thinking “In theory this guy’s great. He’s a lawyer, he’s attractive and also weird in a good way.” When we were kissing he was like; “I could totally see myself with a girl like you, you’re totally the type of girl I would fall in love with,” and that started weirding me out. And then his penis wouldn’t work so he just wanted to go down on me forever and that felt a little too intimate for a first date, so I said no. I did not want some stranger that I had literally known for two hours to just go down on me. Like actual penetrative sex would be less intimate because there’s a barrier of rubber.

N: That’s really sad!
A: Depends how you look at it. Anyway, so then I lost my phone, slipped on the rug, and hit my neck on a shelf, and at that point I was like, energetically, “THIS IS WRONG.” My intuition was like “Get out! Leave!” Not because I thought he was going to be a psycho killer,it was just an energetic thing. He texted me the next day, but the energy, all the way from the initial hook up to me hurting myself was just saying “no.” It took me a minute to shrug off that icky energy. And he ended up texting me like 100 times over a period of three months and I had to block him. So I guess he was a crazy.

N: I guess it’s not so relevant to Tinder hook-ups, but I learned a few things to do after a bad relationship to release that person’s grip. I had one ex who was a total vampire – her energy was so intense. After we broke up, I would just like go to the bathroom and every time I took a shit I would think about her leaving my body, like in my poop. And it really worked! I also associated her with “shit” and so that became suddenly funny and meaningless. It quickly released the emotional grip she had on me.
A: That’s amazing!

N: When I was like having a lot of one night stands, I would sort of protect myself by being the one who was in control of the situation. But there were several times I would just like leave feeling a little icky because of that person’s energy.
A: What we’re talking about now is people that seem like amazing beings, but underneath they just want to suck out the good vibes. We both dated people who did that.

N: So what do you think it the first sign of a vampire?
A: They divulge too much too soon! They tell you their sob story straight off the bat.

N: Yes! On our first date my ex is already telling me how she doesn’t get along with her family and whatever health condition she’s got.
A: Health conditions, financial burdens…

N: They think that playing a victim will make you feel sorry for them.
A: But actually, it’s trying to force intimacy too quickly. The next thing that they do is tell you “YOU’RE THE ONE.” Really quickly. I dated someone like that. We were walking down the street and she looked at me and said: “What if you’re the one?” But I actually have proof she says that to many, many girls.

N: Yeah. At what stage?
A: We had maybe been on three dates. And I fell for it. My heart was beating fast.

N: This girl I dated was immediately doing things to me that I had found out that she had done in multiple relationships in the past. And telling me that she had never felt like this before and how she was going to marry me. I was really freaked out at first and didn’t buy it. To which she’d be like: “Why are you not trusting love?” She would make it seem like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t open to receiving this “deep everlasting love.” She eventually convinced me to give in and surrender to her. Then finally when I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to give you my heart. Here’s my heart.” That’s when she bit me.
A: That’s the dark manipulation side of the vampire lover. It’s the hook and bait. They like pull you in by telling you that you’re the one, and then they start fucking with you. It’s so crazy. It’s a formula. The worst part is…I don’t think they even know they are doing it!

N: They just want your heart, and they’re unaware that they’re manipulating you to get it.
A: I think that those are the people you have to try to watch out for the most because energetically you may fall apart after them. It took me a while to get my “vampire lover ex” out of my life. She would call me in the middle of the night. Then she would text and say “Let’s be friends.” And then when we tried that, out of nowhere she would text “I want to have a family with you.” It got creepy. I just had to block her completely. But two years later I saw her, and she was kind. People change and time does heal.

N: Yeah, after mine ended but it really took me a second to find myself and feel strong again. Taking some time out to be alone, or changing your scenery can be helpful. For a while I was scared of bumping into her, thinking she could tip me over just by looking at me, and not because I loved her or wanted to be with her, just because she had that power and I knew it worked on me for a period of time.
A: So alright, now we’ve shared, let’s hear how we can avoid falling into unhealthy patterns with lovers…

5 Tips On How to Protect Yourself from Vampire Lovers (and vampire energy in general) by Cat Cabral

1) Have a Daily Spiritual Practice: Be it daily meditation, chants, or prayer, some form of daily spiritual practice will not only ground and focus your own energy, but it will open your levels of awareness, sharpening your own intuitive skills. With deeper awareness, it’s harder for vampires to enter your space and it’s easier to spot their unbalanced and often charming yet ultimately harmful nature.

2) Sea Salt Baths On the Full Moon: An old and soothing tradition that will help cleanse your ethereal body. Once the Moon is full, she begins to wane, an excellent time for cleansing and removing negative energies, known and unknown. Fill your bathtub with sea salt and lunar herbs such as lavender and wormwood. Imagine all negative energies, people or situations being absorbed by the water and then going down the drain. If you only have a shower, you can pour the salt and herbs into a bowl, wash as usual, and then pour the mixture over your body following the same ritual/visualization.

3) Glinda’s Crystal Ball of Protection: Remember in The Wizard of Oz, how Glinda sails away in her pink protective ball of light? Before you leave your house, imagine at the top of your head a small globe of white light illuminating at first your third eye, then your throat chakra, moving down towards the heart center, solar plexus, lighting up your reproductive zone and continuing down to your feet, so that you are completely engulfed in healthy protective white light. Imagine this light expanding into an invisible sphere that nothing negative can penetrate.

4) Symbols of Protection: Every culture has unique and powerful symbols to ward off negativity such as the pentagram, crosses, hexagram, ankh, Hand of Fatima, Runes, the list goes on! Find one that has a special meaning to you and either wear it or carry it daily.

5) Banishing Rituals: Letting go is often hard when you’ve been under the spell of a particularly seductive vampire. Create a circle with salt around you and set up an altar for your ritual. Take a white figure or plain candle to represent the person and carve their name into the candle. Dress the candle with oil for banishing (olive oil can also be used). As you light the candle, watch as the wax drips down and imagine the person disappearing from your sphere of influence. Write a letter saying everything you’ve been thinking, saying goodbye, never wishing them ill will, but clearly stating that they hold no emotional/spiritual/physical power over you, that your paths are clear and will never cross again. When the candle is almost finished, burn the letter and then discard of the ashes and wax somewhere far from your house or bury it in the ground. Burn sage, cedarwood or frankincense to cleanse the space and move on with confidence.

Read more from Cat Cabral here and check out Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo’s hit web series Be Here Nowish.

How have you learned to protect yourself from a psychic vampire? Share your tips in the comments below!

TURNED ON: SCENT AND SENSUALITY

Our sense of smell is a basic bitch. This month, resident sex and spirituality columnist Ellie Burrows investigates a case of scent and sensuality. Image: The author shot by Mikal Marie Evans

I am a human animal. I know this because I spend most of my time relatively upright asking important existential questions like ‘why am I here?’ or ‘what is the meaning of life?’

But lately, I feel like a complete and total beast. I’m talking about the kind that walks on four legs, doesn’t speak, and just sniffs its way around its habitat. Like those kind of animals, I’ve been at the mercy of my nose.

Recently, I smelled the best-smelling human I have ever smelled in my life. It came from the neck, right behind the ear. No, it wasn’t cologne. Yes, it was just skin. The smell was so compelling, so intoxicating, so layered in deliciousness that I was completely and totally hooked from the first whiff. It was a case of scent and sensuality.

Even for a writer, describing the mute sense is challenging, but I think it smelled something like clean laundry, drenched in fresh water, wrapped in sandalwood, sprinkled with bergamot, dipped in Yerba Mate, and peppered with masculine musk. I realize these could be the notes in a ubiquitous fragrance called “Eau de New York City Man,” but this scent was specific. It was his scent.

Smell. It’s like the basic bitch of the senses. It’s the sense associated with Muladhara chakra: the first and lowest, the base chakra. This energetic center has to do with basic needs and survival. No one wants to have first chakra problems: trouble making money, and feeding oneself. If we can’t work these things out, it’s pretty hard to function in the world. But the smell I smelled, I would happily get low for, like first chakra low. I would literally get on all fours for it.

Sadly, many people are grossly misinformed and rank smell as the sense they would be most likely to forfeit. But smell is associated with the first chakra because it is the origin sense, both in science (did you know our entire brain grew from what was once a primitive olfactory cortex?) and other schools of thought, too.

I’m not a particularly avid bible reader as that’s not necessarily how I contextualize my spirituality, but so many of the spiritual parameters of the western world, are rooted in The Book. So it’s worth noting that according to the Judeo-Christian piece of the spiritual pie, our nose is how we got our souls: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7). And so it goes; no nose, no breath, no soul, no life. The inability to smell is considered a spiritual impairment, as then the body would not be connected to the soul.

Beyond the bible, in all sorts of spiritual circles, smell is wildly important when it comes to creating scared space. Walk through any house of the divine and you might smell Frankincense or Himalayan herbs. When it comes to my own sacred space, I would never sit down to write without burning something like Spider Woman, a handmade incense to enhance creativity from The Sword and Rose in San Francisco.

But sadly in urban society, smell doesn’t get a lot of attention unless we are avoiding bad aromas, or being lured into a restaurant by the part of our sense of smell that’s connected to our taste buds. And FYI The estimated size of the global antiperspirant and deodorant market in 2015 is $18 billion. That’s a lot of hush money when it comes to B.O.

If our sense of smell is the basic bitch, then in modern society sight is like top dog. Although perhaps touch should be alpha when it comes to love, just consider the fundamental M.O. of generation Tinder: we decide whether or not we’re willing to even meet someone via Google image.

Now more than ever the Internet has forced us to determine attraction in the context of sight, and this is highly problematic. Your eyes can’t tell you important things like if he smells like truffles* – or if he will like the taste between your legs.

I remember a period of time when looks mattered most to me, but that theory went out the window when I met a bald, portly guy who excelled in touch. And in college there was this guys who was totally HST (Hot, Smart & Talented), but something about him smelled like that acronym too – if you add an “I” and rearrange the letters. He smelled of mothballs, stale laundry, last night’s beer, and whatever is growing underneath your nails. You could argue that most college guys smelled like that, but there was something in his skin that was repulsive to me. Easy on the eyes, but extremely hard on the nose.

For all the sight hype, looks can grow on you provided you enjoy someone’s personality or feel they love you in the way you need to be loved. But I would be willing to bet big money that the same doesn’t go for smell. It’s too polarizing. It’s too ancient and primitive, too deeply tied to good and bad and fight or flight. I couldn’t hang around a person who smelled vile no matter how many boxes he or she ticked.

I knew I couldn’t write this piece without reading Rachel Herz’s The Scent of Desire and in it she writes this: “body chemistry plays a startlingly large role in who we are attracted to, and our nose speaks loudly to our souls even if it seems like only a barely audible whisper.”

The smell I smelled on him, spoke unequivocally to my soul – but rather than a whisper, it was an ecstatic scream. It turns out it was actually the mating call of an immune system complimentary to mine, a seed’s serenade to its ideal fertile soil. This scent, which scientifically can belong to one person and one person only, was designed for me. And so, my humanity must surrender and be humbled.

I’m an animal. I know this because lately I feel comfortable on all fours and my nose knows the answers to the questions like ‘who should I have sex with’ and ‘how can I ensure my children will survive.’

Fun Facts:

*Some truffles contain a steroid, androstenol, which gives them the musky nutty taste. That same steroid is also synthesized by human males in the testes and secreted by their sweat glands. I love truffles. I love men. Makes so much sense! Makes me want to listen to this.

Also:
No, it’s not pheromones.
Why using your nose isn’t foolproof.
When Kate met Steven.

Further Reading:
The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell
by Rachel Herz
A Natural History of the Senses
by Diane Ackerman

TURNED ON: THE TANTRA OF ONLINE DATING

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 in The 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:

“High percentages.

Tinder Match.

Missed Connections.

Nice Abs.

Your move.”

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 Generation to 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:

Ellie Burrows is a storyteller, seeker, mystic and guide living in New York City. Discover more at Ellieburrows.com
@ellieburrows (Instagram)
@_ellieburrows_ (Twitter)