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The Story of the $100 Million Urinal

The most valuable urinal the world has ever known was created in New York City in 1917.

It had no diamonds in it, nor any precious stones at all. It was not made of gold or platinum, but of porcelain, just like every other urinal. In fact, in every respect, it was just like every other urinal, into which the common men of the time were relieving themselves in the public bathrooms around the world.

In 1917, an artist calling himself R. Mutt signed his name to such a urinal—said to be a Bedfordshire model bought at a foundry showroom on Fifth Avenue—and submitted it to an exhibition organized by the Society of Independent Artists, paying their $6 fee. Even though it was a nonjuried exhibit, open to anyone who paid the fee, the Society’s board took the extraordinary step of exercising jury powers. They turned down Mr. Mutt’s submission as not being art and returned the urinal to him with a rejection slip. Continue Reading

#30DaysofSignalBoosting

Guys-I propose a learning exercise for us. For the next 30 days, each day, read an article about gender/sexual politics written by a woman. Then, write down a few sentences about what you learned reading it (and perhaps some quotes you found valuable from the article), and share the article on your Facebook and other social media. 30 days. 30 articles.

This is called “Signal Boosting.” (I learned about it in the reading I’ve been doing since #MeToo started.) The idea is, for too long, the public sphere has been dominated by the voices of men, mostly talking to other men. So, one of the simplest things we men can do to change male-dominated society is to listen and learn from women, and then–giving full credit–provide a “signal boost” to the women’s voices we’ve learned from. And use our influence with other men to encourage them to listen and learn from women as well.

I’ll start. My next post on my social media feeds will be my first of #30DaysofSignalBoosting

Guys, at the end of your 30 days, create a final post with all 30 links of articles by women on the #MeToo movement that you read, and email/message me the list or tag me. I’ll start compiling all the articles on a site so that other men who want to participate can find a wealth of articles to start reading.

And, pssst… pass the word of this on to other men.

#IWasThatGuy

#IWasThatGuy – More times than I care to admit, in my long and tortured path of exploring my own sexuality. And I’m ashamed of it. And I’m terrified of admitting it in public. But nearly all the women I know are taking the courage to share in public their experiences of being on the receiving end of “that guy’s” inexcusable behavior (actually, dozens of “that guy’s” for each woman, reading the harrowing accounts that have been crossing my feed.) So guys, it’s time we develop the balls (or ball, in my case, ‘cuz I’ve only got one), step up and admit to and apologize for being that guy, however scary it is to do so, and whatever comes our way for doing it.

Here’s just one example, of many I could write about. Continue Reading

6 Annoying Cliches of “Conscious Sexuality” and How to Move Past Them

Here is my second in a series of audio interviews with Michaela Boehm, one of the most subtle, advanced and wise teachers about sexuality, spirituality, and the intersection of the two, currently teaching.

Today’s interview gets controversial- it is entitled “6 Annoying Cliches About ‘Conscious Sexuality,’ and How to Move Past Them”

In this interview, we analyze several ideas about “masculine” and “feminine” that have become dogma within teaching about conscious sexuality.

Specifically, we examine the cliches that men are supposed to be “present, deep, and on purpose” in order to be masculine, whereas women are supposed to be a “wild storm of emotions, radiant, and surrendered” in order to be feminine.

These concepts have become so ingrained in the west coast workshop and personal development culture that we rarely step back to examine where the concepts might be leading us astray.

We discuss where these ideas came from, how they are misunderstood and misapplied, and ways to think about these concepts that don’t lock people into rigid pre-defined gender roles.

In this interview (linked from the comments section), Michaela teaches us about: Continue Reading

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]

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??!! Continue Reading

Sexy Psychodrama of the Absurd: Psychedelics and Sexual Healing in Lovership

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be giving this talk at the Breaking Convention international psychedelics conference at the University of Greenwich, London, on Saturday, July 11th.

This is already an “edgy” conference (psychedelics being studied at an academic institution). And I’m proud that I’m the guy who is delivering the really really edgy talk at the edgy conference :) The talk is called”

“Sexy Psychodrama of the Absurd: Psychedelics and Sexual Healing in Lovership”

It is no secret that sex and psychedelics can go together quite well, but what is less discussed is that psychedelics can be powerful tools for sexual healing, when used with this intention. Archetypes such as Mother, Father, Daughter, Son, Sister, Brother, which may have been the source of one’s deepest sexual repression or victimization in childhood or adolescence, can be re-accessed, re-embodied, and re-worked in psychedelic space, with a loving partner. As can any manner of other powerful, light-bearing or demimonde archetypes. When the other partner is also embodying reciprocal archetypes, lovers can enter into a space I call “sexy psychodrama of the absurd,” where old scripts and dramas from the past can be re-written with a more empowering emotional tone and resolution. Continue Reading

The Art of Writing for Facebook

There is no better platform on the planet to practice your writing, get known for your writing, and revel in the joy of writing, than Facebook.

For 2.5 years, I’ve been writing original prose on Facebook, nearly every day. Some of you have loved it. Some of you have shared it. Some of you have at times been infuriated by it. But likely, if you’re reading these words now, you have at some time or another been touched by my writing on Facebook.

Now I’m creating my ultimate Facebook “share”:

The Art of Writing for Facebook
A 4-Week Course by Michael Ellsberg
(Details & Registration Below)

In this course, I will break down for you exactly what I do, why I do it, how I do it, and all my secrets for getting the results I get.

Would you like to have a larger audience for your ideas, writing and creativity online?

Are you looking like to become a writer for real, yet wary of needing to get past “gatekeepers” of the publishing industry such as literary agents, book publishing editors, and magazine editors, etc? Would you like an *immediate* channel to start getting results, feedback, and an audience now without having to get past the gatekeepers?

Are you ready to tap in to a billion+ potential audience, who are all completely f*cking bored out of their minds of yet ONE MORE F*CKING CAT PICTURE or one more recounting of last night’s restaurant meal, and who are…

… Waiting!!!

… Praying!!!

… Begging!!!

… for SOMETHING F*CKING ORIGINAL

to PLEASE DEAR GOD

cross their

F*CKING FACEBOOK FEED?!!

If this describes you, then there is a massive audience for your taking, if you’re just willing to learn to write more originally and creatively on Facebook.

You’ve probably heard all kinds of “gurus” telling you the “secret” to gaining a “massive” Facebook audience. They come at you with all kinds of tips, tricks, and schemes.

Well, I have only one simple trick for you. It will take some cojones to implement, and a bit of practice, but if you’re willing to listen to what I teach and try it for yourself, you’ll be ahead of 99.99% of other Facebook users, and you’ll grow a steady and loyal audience on Facebook.

You see, most people use Facebook exactly the way the corporate buy-ocracy wants us to–by “sharing” banal updates about how much we looooove whatever latest gadget we’ve just stood in line for hours to purchase, or how delicious the exotic beverage we just drank was.

Because nearly everyone under-uses the potential of Facebook (compared to their own creative potential) that means that there is a

HUGE OPPORTUNITY

if you are willing to step out of the mold and post something original on Facebook.

Something edgy.

Something daring.

Something vulnerable.

(And no, I don’t mean faux-vulnerability–“oh I’m so scared of my own greatness,” etc. etc. —the 2010’s version of the #humblebrag. I mean real vulnerability—the kind that has you scared shitless to press “post”—which is usually the sign you’re about to post something great.)

Something creative.

If you can do that—as I’ll be supporting and guiding you to do in this course—then the world of Facebook is your oyster.

Your readers will begin following you, waiting for the next dose of your creativity to save them from the endless trite pictographs and uplifting truisms set to sunsets and puppies. Your audience will begin:

–> Liking and sharing your posts more. This has the effect of your posts being seen by more people, expanding your audience.

–> Commenting on your posts more. This creates a community of people who invest their time reading, discussing, analyzing, debating, and bonding over your work. Often times the comments spark fascinating discussion which refines your own work and expands your intellectual horizons powerfully.

–> The additional shares, Likes, and comments from your originality have the effect of making your posts showing up in more people’s feeds, further exposing your work to more potential fans, in an ever-expanding upward spiral of influence.

Developing your voice as an original writer on Facebook has several benefits, beyond simply growing your audience on the platform itself:

–> I have consistently found that my Facebook audience is where most of my buyers and paid students and clients come from. Most of my creations are free, but when I create something I want to charge money for, Facebook is what pays the bills.  (Thank you Facebook readers!)

–> In The Education of Millionaires, I write that “Your brand is what people think of when they hear your name.” I have consistently found that my Facebook writing is the bedrock of my brand in that sense—even more than two books published by major publishers, and a blog on Forbes.

I have lost count of the number of times someone unknown to me has come up to me at a party and said, “Man, I LOVE your Facebook posts!” and started commenting in detail about their thoughts on one of my most recent posts, always leading to lively discussion.

My first book manuscript was entitled Rock Star Envy. To the extent I ever have the “rock star” experiences (something I’ve always wanted,) of having reached, touched and been appreciated by strangers for my original creations, these experiences have largely been catalyzed through my writing on Facebook.

BUILDING OFFLINE TRIBE 

When you start writing original content for Facebook, a community of people you don’t know personally (i.e., “fans”) forms around your work. This is different than when you’re committed to sharing cat photos, etc., because for the most part the only people who hang around to read/see/comment on those cat photos are people who already know you offline, most of whom already know each other.

But when you write original content, you develop a readership for your writing that extends beyond your already-existing friend network. Which means, you become a hub for lots and lots of people meeting each other, connecting with each other online and offline, and viewing you as the person responsible for the cool new people they’ve met. This creates massive good-will for you, and once again, your readers will go to bat for you when you need them to.

CREATIVE EXPRESSION

There is simply no medium on the planet that gives you the instant feedback on your creative work that Facebook does. If you learn the insights of writing I will share in this course, you can have an idea, bang out a few paragraphs, share it on Facebook, and BOOM… you will instantly have readers commenting on it, Liking it, sharing it, telling you what they love about it, and what think is wrong with it. (Yes, learning to listen to and handle feedback productively while keeping your center and your sanity is one of the key skills of writing on Facebook.) In all the mediums I’ve explored as a writer, I’ve never found one which sparks my creativity as Facebook does–which is why I keep coming back to it again and again.

And guess what, on FB you don’t need to spend much time polishing or editing your writing—Facebook is the one platform that rewards raw expression rather than worked-over PR-approved prose. One of the key skills we’ll be learning is how to “improv” your writing on FB and share your immediate creations. This is a totally different approach to writing than you’ve ever experienced in school, and is part of what makes FB such a powerful tool for writers.

WORLD-CLASS NETWORKING

Facebook is, after all, a social NETWORKING site, right? So what is the best way to actually NETWORK on that site? Is it people simply telling their friends how they are #SoBlessed to be on vacation right now? Is it people sharing how cute their puppy/kitten/new gadget is?

I have found that the best way to meet new people on Facebook, is to share your own creativity and originality. And what better way to do that than through your original writing? Nothing else gives people more of a flavor of who you really are.

DATING & MATING

And guess what? If you’re single, you just might meet your special someone through your writing on Facebook. I recently met my new sweetie, from the UK, on Facebook—a story I’ll be sharing soon. How did she first find me? By reading my writing. If you’re looking for love, learning to become a better writer on Facebook may be the best investment you ever make.

In this class, you will learn and gain:

–> My #1 secret for coming up with original, provocative, discussion-worthy writing ideas for Facebook. This one secret alone has been responsible for 80% of my content on Facebook.

–> How to overcome fear of being judged or seen as weird. This is the #1 reason people don’t post more original ideas on Facebook. I will help you blast through these fears in this course.

–> How to develop your own writing “voice” on Facebook.

–> How to make sure your writing is edgy and provocative, yet consistent with your career, family life, and “brand.”

–> The types of posts that, in my experience, get the most commenting, Liking, sharing, discussion (these are not the type of posts that you *think* would be successful.)

–> How to “test” writing ideas out, and get tons of input from your audience, without “giving away the farm” or “spilling the beans” on your writing projects before they’re ready.

–> How to engage with commenters in a way that encourages high-level, hard-hitting, yet respectful and enlightening dialogue around your ideas. (This is one of the aspects that people will most appreciate about your writing on FB—the intelligent dialogue that ensues.)

–> Weekly assignments and “writing seeds” to get you started on your path to being a prominent, successful, recognized Facebook writer with a growing and vibrant audience.

–> A community of fellow students (probably 100+), tied together as a private FB group dedicated to the course. These new friends will serve as your initial audience, reading and commenting on your work, and giving you feedback. You are guaranteed to meet new friends and creative collaborators in this private group.

The Art of Writing for Facebook
A 4-Week Course by Michael Ellsberg
4 Mondays in December:
12/1, 12/8, 12/15 and 12/29
8-10PM Eastern / 5-7PM Pacific, via live teleseminar (live webcast for international students)
(All classes will be recorded and distributed, and the course is set up so you can participate fully, with Q+A, even if you can’t make the live class times)



Develop and Deepen Your Talent on FB Before New Year’s. 

When you buy the course, I will also send you Recent Status: The Facebook Writing of Michael Ellsberg. This ebook collects and curates my best, most provocative posts posts over 2.5 years—the ones that generated the most discussion, Likes, and controversy, complete with links to the original posts. It will also serve as the “guidebook” for the course, so that you can see all the different types of posts, the evolution and learning curve I’ve gone through over this long period of near-daily posting. (This ebook will be delivered by 12/1, before the start of the course.)

Facebook gets a bad rap these days. You are probably bored of your friends’ feeds (admit it!) sharing the same things in the same way. But you will never catch me bashing Facebook, because I think it is the most massively under-utilized tool on the planet.

The specific way it is underutilized is that people are not taking enough risks sharing their original creations, and particularly their original writing, directly on Facebook. Until now. In this course you will unleash all the secrets to becoming the writer you’ve always wanted to be, with the audience you’ve always dreamed of.

Are you bored of how you and most everyone else is using Facebook? Are you ready to more ready to fully utilize the vast potential of Facebook, for yourself, your creativity, your writing, your business and career?

There has never been a course like this. Because there have been few people as consistently devoted to original writing on Facebook as I have for the last 2.5 years.

This course is going to teach you my mindset and skills around Facebook writing. It will completely change the way you relate to this medium, transforming all the time you spend on this site into a creative and productive investment of your time, rather than draining and frittering your time away. You will develop tens of thousands of new, creative words of original prose, and more important, oodles of new readers who appreciate you and your work.

Take this course, and by New Years, you will have an entirely new relationship to Facebook, a growing Facebook audience, and new friends and connections through your writing. Just in time to make 2015 your most amazing Facebook year ever.

Ready to start? See you on the Monday after Thanksgiving!



(Once you’ve registered via the button, click “Return to Michael Ellsberg” to be taken to the Welcome page for the course.)