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. 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

On-Ramps to Sexual Play

Unless it’s intentionally for procreation, sex is purely a form of play (non-goal oriented activity). Men who are into women usually want to engage in much more of this form of play with women, than they’re currently doing. But they don’t know how to go from just talking, to playing sexually, in a way that women consistently say “Hell Yes!” to.

Recently, my friend Shana James interviewed me on this topic, in a segment she titled “Stepping Into the Sexual Power That Makes Women Melt”.

This is some of what I shared with her: you can’t just go from talking, to sexual play, without something in between (obviously.) So what is that something in between? Many guys think it is a bunch of pick up lines or funny banter. But that rarely works for most men. Continue Reading

How to Be a Woman’s Best Sexy Friend

For women who are mostly into men, a woman’s best sexy friend is the sexually experienced man she can explore her sexuality with (or aspects of her sexuality that have been repressed, and that she wants to unleash) without the pressures of a relationship, and without fear of being judged or shamed for her sexuality. Often, this is in service to her finding “the one”–in service to her being totally sexually open, awakened, and alive and ready for her match.

This is different than a “fuck buddy” because I take the word *friend* VERY seriously. When you are woman’s best sexy friend, you are showing up for her first and foremost as a FRIEND–a true friend–in the realm of sexuality, and beyond. There is a code of honor for earning the privilege of being a woman’s best sexy friend–instead of being her BFF, you are her BSF–and I take that code very seriously.

–Code of Honor for Being a Woman’s Best Sexy Friend (BSF)– Continue Reading

Affirmative Consent and Erotic Tension

If I’m connecting with a woman, and it begins to go in a sensual or sexual direction, I pause for a moment and say: “I’m attracted to you, and I want to feel free to express my desire with you. And, I’m committed to you feeling totally safe and comfortable with me. So if anything I do with you tonight makes you feel even slightly uncomfortable, I want you to say ‘Stop’ or ‘Slow down’ immediately and I’ll stop or slow down.”

This almost always puts a woman I’m already connecting with at ease; she usually thanks me for saying that and tells me how much more comfortable she feels with that in place.

I then often also combine this with affirmative consent. If at any point I want to escalate the physical touch, I will look her in the eyes and say, “I want to kiss you. May I?” etc.

This means she has affirmatively agreed to any touch between us, and she knows she is totally free to stop what we’re doing at any point: we have set up a space where yes means yes, and no means no, layered on top of each other.

Which means, we are both more free to explore our desires and attractions, knowing everything is totally consensual and we can stop easily at any time. That, it turns out, is a very hot space. 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.)

Untangled Love

[Scroll to the bottom for an audio I recorded about untangled love several months earlier–it expands and elaborates on much of what I share below.]

I am single, and divorced, and for the first time in my adult life I am allowing myself to *not* be seeking (or in) a relationship in which my life is deeply intertwined with another person’s life. For much of my twenties, I was seeking that, and for the last six years I was in a beautiful and intense relationship with Jena. For now, I am wanting to develop my relationship with myself.

And yet, I am also not wanting to be alone all the time; I am wanting to connect, to share my heart, my soul and my body with others–without necessarily wrapping my life up in another’s life.

Society gives men and women in my position several options, none of which quite “fit” for where I am right now:

1. Casual hook-ups. I had plenty of that in my 20s. I’m no longer interested in sharing my body without also sharing my heart and soul.

2. Dating. But the premise of dating is that it is potentially leading to a relationship. So to tell a woman I’m “dating” would be a lie, because I’m wary of intertwining my life with another’s life right now.

3. Polyamory. This is probably closest to the right “home” for where I’m at. While I respect that practice, and the people who practice it (of which I have been one), for a variety of reasons, I don’t particularly like that term. Part of it is that I’m a writer and I simply don’t like the way the word sounds; as a word it is not sexy to me, and I want the term describing my sexuality to feel sexy to me. A more substantive not-liking comes from seeing that many people involved with polyamory seem to being going for *multiple* deeply intertwined relationships–which is the opposite of what I want! I want (for now) *zero* intertwined relationships. (A committed poly person could say what I want is “poly with secondary lovers but no primary,” or “solo poly,” which may be accurate, but those just aren’t descriptions I’m likely to use about myself.)

What I have come to instead is the concept, and practice, of what I call “untangled love.” It could be thought of as a form of poly, but I prefer to simply call it untangled love.

The basic idea is this: we have come to see romantic/sexual love as inextricably linked to a whole bunch of other things such as: (a) Are we in a committed relationship? (b) Are we eventually going to live together? (c) Are we eventually going to get engaged, married, have babies? (d) Are we going to pay each other’s bills, take on each others’ debt, buy real estate together, who is going to support whom financially? etc., etc.

I call these extra considerations “tangles”. They are ways our lives get tangled with another. I do not mean this word pejoratively. Tangles can be both delicious and agonizing, and give us some of the deepest, most meaningful experiences we can have as humans, tangling our lives and hearts with another; for six years my life was deliciously tangled with Jena’s, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

But what if you want to love, without the tangles?

Untangled love is the practice of opening your heart as widely as possible to another person, while both committing to remaining untangled in other areas of your life. It *is* a form of commitment, in a sense: it is a commitment to opening your heart, *without* getting tangled in any external considerations other than the love you feel in each others’ presence. Not for the faint of heart.

A cynic might try to slut-shame me (yes, slut-shaming of men is absolutely a reality), and say that this just sounds like a dressed-up way to be promiscuous, a convenient way for a man to explain wanting to sow his wild seeds without commitment.

Contrary to this cynical view, however, I have found that when I tell women I talk with about this concept, many of them tell me they are looking for exactly same thing in their lives.

It is a cultural myth and stereotype that all women are looking to get shacked up with a man, and that women only want erotic intimacy in the context of a committed relationship. Many women are, like me, coming out of a relationship and needing space. Or they are, like me, free spirits and modern nomads, not sure where (or when) they will settle down again, if ever. Many women are (gasp!) excited by the idea of erotic and romantic variety.

They may have high standards for whom they would settle down with, and are not currently finding men who meet their standards for settling down… but they still want to *get* down. But casual hook-ups feel too emotionally disconnected to them.

Perhaps they are, like me, divorced, and are questioning the wisdom of professing again to another person life-long marriage, after seeing just how quickly both parties can change in a way in which that commitment no longer makes sense to either person. (Perhaps one of the best ways to respect the institution of marriage, is to know not to re-enter it if one has doubts about one’s ability to maintain it.)

Whatever it is, I have found that this concept of untangled love feels like a breath of fresh air to many women who encounter it. And it is a breath of fresh air to me.

Thank you to the women who have been dancing with me untangledly. I love our freedom together. We sexy mis-fits are co-creating a new option, for those for whom the currently-existing options don’t fit.

(Note: There are a lot of comments on this topic in my original post of this content on Facebook here.)

Loving the Unlovable Within – Introduction

A few days ago, I released a new audio program, “Loving the Unlovable Within.” The same day, I received a letter from a listener that moved me to tears. After reading the letter, I have decided to release this program to everyone, for free. (I returned the money of those who already paid me.)

Why? Because after receiving this woman’s letter, I decided that I wanted everyone in the world who needs the information in the program, to have it immediately, without the material being stuck behind a paywall. Which means YOU get it now too.

I have posted the audio program, in its entirety, at the bottom of this post.

Here is the letter that moved me so deeply, from listener Sarah (who gave me permission to reprint it here):

“Michael, I just wanted to send a short note to express my gratitude for your ‘Loving the Unlovable’ audio. You said that you hoped this 90 minutes would be life-transforming and I can honestly say that it has TRULY been just that for me. I’m nearly speechless at how deeply it landed and has impacted me. I was drawn to buy it from the get-go, but had no idea how strongly your perspective would resonate with exactly what my soul has been hungering to hear and integrate!

“Over the last year I’ve been inching my way towards being in a more accepting, open relationship with my ‘dark parts,’ but this audio felt like a beautiful coming-home and culmination (for now!) on this journey. I’ve also done numerous re-parenting exercises over the years and have NEVER been able to fully relax into those exercises. However, I found myself undergoing a very natural, organic and deep opening/relating on a cellular level in nearly each exercise you offered. I’m not sure how you did it, but that is a pretty miraculous feat Anyway, I so look forward to returning to this audio many times over and implementing this profound yet grounded practice in my life.

“THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing this work with the world! It has already impacted me more than you know.”
–Sarah, listener

I believe that the topic of this audio is the most basic aspect of personal development we can explore. When you get this piece in place–loving the unlovable within–all other personal development becomes much easier. Without this piece in place, all other personal development becomes much more difficult, and can even ground to a halt.

I hope you will give this audio a listen! Set aside 90 minutes for it. It is the material I’m MOST proud of that I’ve ever developed. I believe this audio has a very good chance at changing your life, as it did for Sarah.

I’ve also created a main page for all the follow-up classes I’ll be teaching on this topic. New classes will be posted there as I develop them. There is a Facebook group there if you would like to discuss and ask questions about the practice.

Try the audio out, and tell me what you think in the comments below!

And if you find this recording valuable, please share it with friends whom you think would benefit from it, and on social media. Thank you!

Love,
Michael

Here is the class. The audio is available for streaming below. To download it, CTRL-click on the “Download” link below and select “Save Link As” (on a Mac) or right-click on a PC.

Discovering Your Hidden Emotions

This is Class 3 of Immersive Awareness meditation. What I found consistently in my practice of this form of meditation is that, at a certain point in the meditation, I would get stuck—and I discovered that what was “sticking” me was some emotion that was present, but that I wasn’t acknowledging. Perhaps shame, fear, self-judgment, or even sometimes the hidden emotion was joy that I wasn’t allowing myself to feel! It was still there, and operating in my mind and body, but just below the surface of awareness.

I call this a “hidden emotion”—and what I discovered is that hidden emotions, unacknowledged, run the show. We run away from these emotions (or dissociate from them) because they’re scary, but they are actually causing much more pain (and repercussions) in our lives unacknowledged than if we learn to dive into them, accept them, and integrate them.

If you think you might have some hidden emotion that is running your show, just below the surface, this recording and meditation will help you dive in, discover it, and love it up so it doesn’t need to hide in the shadows so much. Give yourself 35min of quality uninterrupted time to listen to this recording and do the practice.

The audio is available for streaming below. To download it, CTRL-click on the “Download” link below and select “Save Link As” (on a Mac) or right-click on a PC.