Untangled Intimacy: An Emotional High-Wire Act

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Today, I am embarking on the next phase of my career, for which I’ve been preparing several years: “Untangled Intimacy: An Emotional High-Wire Act

Can one man maintain multiple emotionally-intimate yet untangled romantic/sexual relationships, in parallel, while recording large parts of them in real time (with consent) and sharing them for public consumption?

We’ll find out. It’s going to be a wild ride either way.

Please join me now for Episode 1, in which you will meet my new lover “Phoebe” (not her real name), who has consented to much of our relationship being audio recorded and shared.

In this episode, entitled “The One Before the One,” you will hear:

3:26 – Phoebe talks about her fear that her relationships always end disastrously

4:03 – Phoebe and Michael crack-up at the idea of them being monogamous, which they both think would be a terrible idea

5:15 – Michael teases Phoebe for being “almost like a dude” when it comes to emotions…

7:40 – Phoebe admits that ultimately, she is looking for monogamy (with someone else.) She’s ultimately looking for “The One,” and her relationship with Michael is “just for now.”

9:19 – Michael says he wants to be “The One before the One” for Phoebe – and even her matchmaker to help her find “The One.”

12:36 – Phoebe and Michael discuss the main ground-rule and boundary in their relationship: Phoebe doesn’t want to see Michael kissing or hooking up with other women in front of her. She says she’s afraid he’ll break that rule.

14:47 – “My philosophy is, you’re much more likely to meet ‘The One’ when you’re getting fucked well already.”

16:03 – “I’m going to be the lock-picker of your heart…”

Join the fun, and listen here (16min):

(Musical interlude at 1:09 courtesy of Adey, from her song “March Fourth.”)

I’ll be adding new episodes regularly, and you can find out about them by joining below:


Seven Months Depression-Free. And… Reintroducing Weed Into My Life…

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Seven months depression-free now. I’ve brought you all along for the “behind the scenes” of mental health journey so far, so I might as well continue.

I’ve been on Lamictal (an antidepressant for bipolar depression) for almost a year now, and it is going well for me. When I first realized I had a serious recurrence of the bipolar, about a year ago when the most recent depression first hit (after the mania of last spring/summer), I got on both Lamictal and lithium. My psychiatrist said the Lamictal was primarily the “floor,” to prevent from going too low, and the lithium was the “ceiling,” to prevent the mania.

I simply could not stand the lithium–I felt lobotomized and castrated in one fell swoop. Everything I liked about myself drained out of me. So, under the guidance of my psychiatrist, I got off the lithium. He now has me on Seroquel, a fast-acting anti-manic agent, on an as-needed basis if/when hints of mania reoccur.

And after the last round of mania, last summer, I take the manias very seriously. I had to do a lot of cleanup from my behavior last June and early July, and fortunately that cleanup is mostly complete. And the mania leads inevitably to the crash into depression, so my psych has convinced me of the importance of nipping the manias in the bud.

As you know if you followed it, I also did a period of Sobriety for Mental Clarity as I was getting out of the depression. I did six months of that, from August through February, and it was very very good for me. Got my head totally clear, as it was supposed to. Read More

The Dark Side of “Conscious Sexuality” – Interview with Michaela Boehm

I’ve interviewed famous billionaires. I’ve interviewed rock stars. I’ve interviewed NYT-bestselling authors. And yet, of all the interviews I’ve done, the one I’m most excited about is the one I’m sharing with you now.

Michaela Boehm is in my opinion the most advanced, master teacher on sacred sexuality currently teaching. For 13 years, she traveled and co-taught with David Deida, author of The Way of the Superior Man. She has now branched out to share her own unique blend of wisdom, synthesized from her 22 years of counseling practice, along with her training and experience as a lineage holder in a tantric tradition of Kashmiri Shivaism. Her private clients include Oscar-winning actors, producers, writers, and multiple Grammy-winning musicians–and now she’s sharing her wisdom with us.

As I love to do, in this interview we dove right in to the nitty-gritty – “The Dark Side of ‘Conscious Sexuality.'” I’m a student of conscious sexuality—but every scene and every philosophy has its own shadow side. What is the shadow side of the “sacred sexuality” scene? In this wide-ranging, no-holds-barred interview, we dive into the conversations no one else is having, and the things no one else is saying, around this controversial topic. Some of the topics we cover include:
2:30 – The true meaning of the “shadow side”- as opposed to how it is usually used in personal development circles

6:55 – Why “sacred sexuality” should not be used as a tool for healing

12:46 – The most important factor for healing old sexual wounding

23:00 – How so much spiritual practice ends up being a futile quest to gain love or approval from “daddy” or “mommy” in our minds- and what to focus on instead

26:11 – How so many teachers or “gurus” of spirituality and sexuality use scarcity and subtle shaming to keep students hooked on constant up-sells.

29:40 – Why the focus on “commitments” and “accountability” in Men’s Groups is misguided and ineffective, and what Men’s Groups should be focusing on instead

37:25 – How Women’s Groups often end up perpetuating the same shaming of women that the women are going into the groups to avoid, and what Women’s Groups should be focusing on instead

40:08 – The rise of the “Stepford Dakinis”

42:33 – Many women ask “Where are all the good men?” – and why asking this question is barking up the wrong tree .(The discussion we get into for the next 15 minutes is hands-down the most controversial segment of any interview I’ve ever done, watch out!)

57:36 – How can independent, strong-minded women (who are into men) find the man they want?

1:01:47 – How can a woman who wants the experience of surrender with a man, decide which man she can trust?

1:09:55 – How polyamory often bogs down and leads to “a lot more discussing than fucking”

1:16:03 – Why the tantra worlds and BDSM/kink worlds often judge each other, and how they can be integrated

1:22:15 – The single best first step for opening to the divine in sexuality Get ready to get riled up.

Join us for the discussion!

The interview is available on Soundcloud here.

Find out more about Michaela Boehm here.

How to Spend a Mind: Collected Short Writing by Michael Ellsberg

After three books published by major publishers, I’m ready for a new model. Even though I’ve received six-figure advances for both of my last two books, and I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, the old publishing model just isn’t working for me anymore.

I’ve become tired of holing myself up for 2-3 years working on long books, without interaction with my you, my readers, and then appearing out of a cave when the book comes out, trying to hawk that book to the same people I’d just been ignoring for years!

I want to write my books in dialogue with you. I want you to help shape what I write, in real-time. I want you to know what I’m working on, as I work on it, not years later when it comes out in a hardcover book. I want you invested in the project as it develops and unfolds. I want your input.

And so, I’m experimenting with this new model: writing and publishing shorter books, with greater frequency, directly to my readers via Kindle, and funding my work through “pre-sales” of the Kindle books through the crowdfunding site Patreon, which I love.

For my first Kindle book via this model, I will be publishing an anthology called “How to Spend a Mind: Collected Short Writing.” This will gather all my best articles, posts and interviews from the past six years, which have appeared on my blog, my Facebook, on other people’s blogs, and on Forbes, the New York Times, and other mainstream outlets.

If you love my writing, this is going to be a strong dose of it, all in one place for your reading enjoyment.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not just putting out old material via this new Patreon/Kindle model. Stay tuned for announcements about several new, edgy books I have in the works, which will contain all the saucy, steamy, controversial, hard-hitting writing you’ve come to expect from me. But with 10x the intensity, now that I’ve decided to free myself from any corporate intermediation in my art, and to write directly for you, my audience, the people who matter most in my career.

I’ll be funding this work not by seeking out publishing contracts or advances any longer, but through support directly from you, my readers, via my Patreon profile.

By “pre-ordering” my Kindle books here, and otherwise becoming my patron of the arts via this platform, you become an important part of my writing and creative process. You will get let in to the “back stage” of my work, and you allow me to focus on writing more content, that educates, entertains, and inspires you.

Check out all the rewards available to you for supporting me. You can get:

  • access to private patron-only writings
  • a secret FB group to interact with me and other patrons about the topics I write on
  • private Google+ Hangouts with me
  • access to fresh unpublished chapters of new books as I write them
  • access to otherwise-unavailable recordings of private classes and courses I’ve taught
  • 1-on-1 time with me, on the phone, or in person, to get personalized consulting on any topic I write about, tailored just to your needs and circumstances.

Thank you so much for supporting my writing via this new model. I am so excited to go on this journey of co-creation TOGETHER.

Love,
Michael

Happy 85th Birthday Daniel!

Dear Dad,

Here are some messages from people around the world expressing their appreciation for the impact you’ve had in the world, and on their lives. We are wishing you a very HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY today! *Love, Michael

[Note to everyone: Please share here your appreciation for the impact Daniel has had on on you, and the world. Please write more than just “Happy Birthday!” Think about what his life and work have meant to you over the years, and let him know. This is a surprise, and will be unveiled to him tonight. Thank you! *Michael Ellsberg]

Back in Action…

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Looking back over the last year, both the wild ups and the recent incapacitating lows, I cannot help but conclude that, given how many writers have gone mad (or perhaps, more accurately, how many of us mad people are drawn to writing!) …. part of the writer in me was subconsciously curious about the outer limits of my own sanity. To finally find my breaking point. Not intentionally. But that’s where I went.

And now that I’ve been there, I do not wish to go back.

I’m happy to report–from this side of it (that is, the alive side)–that I finally found my own psychological and emotional limits. (And boy were they out there!) I finally got the daylights scared out of me. Which I think, on balance, is a good thing.Read More

4-Year Follow-Up on “How I Overcame Bipolar II (and Saved My Own Life)”

I don’t usually revisit my past writing. But I feel it is now time to write this 4-year follow-up to one of my most popular pieces I’ve written, “How I Overcame Bipolar II–and Saved My Own Life.”

When I wrote that article in 2011, I had been symptom free for 4 years previously. This summer of 2015, looking back on it now, I had a major recurrence of mania. (You probably noticed if you were following my Facebook around May, June and early July!)

I say “looking back” because I didn’t realize something was wrong–you rarely realize something is wrong while in mania–until I crashed.Read More

Dominance for Nice Guys – With Nina Hartley and Michael Ellsberg

Around 100 million women bought 50 Shades of Grey–which means if you’re a guy, there are probably women standing around you at this very moment curious about exploring sexual submission to a man. It’s one of the biggest “open secrets” of hetero female sexuality.

If you’re an average “nice guy”—the kind that cares about women and respects them—you might think that this is not for you, that you have to be an emotionally damaged billionaire (or at least some kind of cocky alpha male asshole) to make a good Dom.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Because the reality is, average “nice guys” have what it takes to make the best Doms.

What??!! Huh??!!Read More

How to Have a Personality in Marketing

I just spent a few hours doing something I hope you never put yourself through—scrolling through a bunch of emails from marketing lists I had somehow gotten myself on.

These all offered some version of the same thing: overnight success with little work, dramatic results by applying tiny “tactics” and “tricks,” and secrets to simplifying the difficult areas of money, business, marketing, and also romance, love, and sex, as if these were just video games with hidden hacks.

As I read through these emails, I kept asking myself: would I invite the author of this email to a party I hosted, to become part of my social circle?

After all, if I wouldn’t want to socialize with this person, why would I want to do business with them? That’s my philosophy.

And the answer kept coming back: hell no.Read More

Why I Support Amnesty International’s Call to Decriminalize Sex Workers

Tomorrow, Amnesty International starts deciding whether to formally adopt its draft call to end the criminalization of consenting, adult sex workers. I just added my voice to a petition supporting Amnesty’s sensible proposal, which strongly distinguishes between sex work among consenting adults, and trafficking and children in sex work, which are already illegal.

The petition was organized by the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, whose membership is made of “237 sex worker-led organisations in 71 countries across the globe.” This petition calls for the full support of Amnesty’s proposal, and defends it against the list of famous actors attacking Amnesty publicly.Read More