Monday, August 30, 2010


Hi everyone,

This is what I call super-therapy. It cuts through a lot of time you can spend, often waste, trying to change yourself or understand yourself so that you can change yourself. Forget all that for now. Just picture the person you want to be. What qualities would you have? How would you deal with people? How would you deal with yourself? With your priorities? With your responsibilities? What kind of life-style would you have? Don't just think about what possessions you would have; include what you would feel. What your mood would be like. Don't think with your mind, think with your heart. 

Focus on that image. Feel it right now and relate to the world that way, even if you're just faking it and even if it feels a little weird. Practice it for the next hour.

**Note: Though I use the word therapy, I'm not a psychotherapist.**

Will things be okay?

dear Edahn, 

the earth shook. will it be forever doomed? will there continue to be darkness without day? will it ever rain? will there be light? will it be safe?

Everything will be fine.

Trust me. I'm a blogger.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I can haz moar sex?

Dear Edahn,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, and while I have a fantastic time when we do have sex, the problem is that I want it way more than he does. I'm a once-or-twice-a-day kind of girl, and he is usually good with 3-4 times a week. He has been this way from the beginning. He says he has always had a moderate sex drive - but it is way less than I am used to. Most guys I've dated previously want it all the time. I just assumed since he is younger (he is 25 and I am 30) that he would want it all the time, too. I can't help but feel a bit hurt sometimes when he turns down my advances, like maybe I don't turn him on. He says he is just not wanting sex at the time, and he tells me all the time that he thinks I am beautiful and sexy...but ouch! It is a blow to the ego when I get turned down! I feel like I'm the guy and he's the girl! LOL - how do we come to a fair agreement on this?

Alright. What you have to do is learn how to seduce him. Seduction doesn't have to be a tricky, manipulative, exploitative enterprise. It can actually be very intimate, and the style of seduction that I'm referring to is indeed that.

Some people need to feel a certain threshold level of intimacy and closeness when they have sex. Other people enjoy intimacy, but don't need it every time. Usually the girl falls into the first category and the guy falls into the second, but it seems like the roles have indeed been somewhat reversed. For people who crave connection like that, the way to seduce them is by making them feel comfortable and intimate. Demands and pressure can make them feel like they can't just be themselves and need to be different. When you take his rejections personally, it adds more pressure to his decision to have sex and likely pushes him further away.

Seduction is meeting him where he is and slowly and gently guiding him closer to you, without making him feel like there's pressure lurking in the background. If he's sitting on the couch watching TV, you might cuddle up with him and play with his balls hair or just be close to him. Pace is very important. You can't rush it too quickly or make it seem like you have an agenda. When he advances, you advance a bit more. It even helps to be close sometimes just to be close for a while and actually being okay if you don't end up having sex. The point is to stay connected and let the feelings grow naturally. If you don't have sex or if he's not responding, that's fine. You might end up having sex later that night, preferably with him.

Seduction is fun. Think of it as a game, learning to connect with him and guide him without using too much force. In a way, it's a lot like the Japanese martial art Aikido. You've got to manage your own responses and learn how to listen to his and work with them, rather than against them. It's something you'll get better at with practice and then at one point it'll start to feel comfortable and natural to the point where you'll realize this is what you want too. This is something that can change your sexual relationship in ways that neither of you can really anticipate. Try it. :-)

* Balls or hair, but probably not balls hair, unless he's really into that sorta thing.

Share my blog with friends if you think they'd be amused. 

Friday, August 20, 2010


[Dearest Edahn,]

Can you be true friends with someone whose intelligence you don't respect? I have an answer, and I think I even put this Q to the test this weekend but am curious to hear your opinion.

No you can't, reason being that true friendship involves intimacy. Let's propose a new definition of intimacy, ready? Intimacy is being able to see things from another's person's perspective. When you can legitimately do that, you have intimacy and feel close, and in a true friendship, both parties are able to do that.

If you're too busy trying to protect yourself from another person's stupidity, you end up putting up a wall. You might see what they're saying (how else would you show them that they're morons?) but you're not really seeing it from their perspective. You're seeing it from your own perspective and seeing how their views don't align with your views properly. That means you don't have real intimacy, just artificial intimacy. Curtis Hardin, my favorite college professor, developed a theory called Shared Reality Theory that aligns with what I'm saying. The theory states, inter alia, that relationships are maintained to the degree that people share reality (ideas, views, opinions). It's a cool theory.

As an aside, it's really interesting to see people with artificial intimacy (I see your thoughts from my perspective) transition into true intimacy (I see your thoughts from your perspective). Sometimes this can happen when group boundaries are redrawn. For instance, you have a "friend" you've been arguing with about everything. You go out to a place you don't know with people you can't stand even more and your friend gets into an argument. You suddenly come to your friend's defense and see everything from their perspective. All the knowledge you had about them and their views can become suddenly integrated and you feel very close. Which is to say, you share reality. It's also interesting how that can fade. It really shows how vulnerable and arbitrary our ideas about the world can be.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why am I still single?

'member her?
Dear Edahn,

What is wrong with the single people in this city? It seems that everywhere I turn I am surrounded by young, attractive single people with wonderful qualities and a lot to give. Yet, increasingly, it has come to my attention that more and more people in my community are completely incapable of getting into relationships and maintaining them.

I have attended many different types of events across this city and I have observed. I've observed people standing around with their drinks and making inane conversation with people they don't care about. I've observed people engaged in mild flirtation with members of the opposite sex. I've observed the guys checking out the girls and the girls gossiping about the guys. What I haven't observed is anything authentic or real. I haven't seen any real connections made or if they are, they seem to be easily broken. Giving a number out a party usually ends with text tag, inconsistent date booking, and general douchebaggery.

Why are authentic, real connections so difficult to make? When did a female or male who is simply interested in trying a connection become the hottest commodity? And more importantly, where are the normal people who say what they mean, mean what they say and know a quality female or male when they see one?

Authentic connections are difficult to make because people aren't authentic to begin with. Part of the reason has to do with fear, and the other part has to do with expectations generated by certain environments. 

It all works like this. We're raised to think that we must be all these things for people to like us. We must be confident, we must be smooth, we must be charming, we must have our shit together, we must have ambition, direction, personality, humor, depth, interesting things, sexual knowledge, friendships, the list goes on and on. We start measuring ourselves against those standards and comparing ourselves to others. I've got this, but I need more that... He has that, she doesn't have that, they need this... It's an endless game of one-up that we play in our head.

Certain environments bring out those expectations even more. Bars, clubs, escort services, dating events, they all trigger those anxieties and comparisons. Right away, we start to shift into our persona. (Traditionally, the persona was the mask Greek actors would wear when performing, hence Jung's adoption of the term.) The persona blocks out the stuff we think others will find unacceptable and emphasizes the stuff others will view favorably. This is every conversation at a bar. It's awfully empty. 

It takes guts to show people who you really are, with all your flaws and mediocrity. Our society doesn't really encourage it. It prefers to keep people on pedestals. It's socially unacceptable to have doubts. I'm speaking in generalities.

Two solutions. One, practice authenticity. Practice being honest and look out for the desire to hide and modify who you are. Authenticity is contagious, so being authentic will attract authentic people. (Has nothing to do with the god forsaken Secret.) Second, hang out in venues with less pressure to be someone. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, as is going to dinner parties or establishing yourself as a denizen of your local coffee shop. Plus, you get free coffee.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why does my boyfriend want me to take control?


My boyfriend of 2 years just informed me that he wants a relationship controlled by the woman (me). This guy has been hypervigilant in his control from the start of our relationship, now there is this sudden change. He even emailed me websites about this lifestyle. I'm hesitant because it doesn't make sense to me. Seems like every girl's dream come true but something seems a little off since he's usually so controlling. I love him but I'm uncertain if going down this road is a good idea?

Normally, I would guess that he's just exploring his feminine side, but the fact that he was hyper-controlling makes it sound like he's giving up a role.

See, guys are brought up to think that they need to be assertive to keep a girl interested. They think they need to call the shots, be leaders, know what's always going on, and always have the next thing planned. We think we're being dominant, but were's just mimicking dominant behavior. We're playing the role we think we're supposed to play.

The problem is that all roles are exhausting and inherently inauthentic. Inauthentic behavior leaves us feeling disconnected from our true self and alone. This doesn't mean that he's a powerless twerp; he might actually be a pretty dominant guy. But as long as he's playing a role, he's really living in fear--fear that by not being this assertive guy you're looking for, you'll walk away. 

What I think he's doing now is shedding, or challenging, that role by asking to play the opposite role. He's making room for himself to not have to be the assertive guy so that he can come into his own skin. From there, I would imagine, he would naturally start to call the shots and it'll seem less overwhelming and clumsy. Why? Because he'll have challenged his fear and that's the mark of real leadership.

It doesn't sound like you're really comfortable with being the leader, probably for the same reason he isn' feels forced. (For the record, I don't think most women would really enjoy that role.) I unfortunately can't predict how things will turn out, not knowing you and not knowing him, but what you can do is have a conversation and propose a less-drastic alternative. First, talk to him and ask him why he wants to do this. See why he's uncomfortable being the leader and tell him that you're not so sure you'd be comfortable either. You can ask him if he feels like he's supposed to be assertive with you (as I've been suggesting). If he admits he feels that way, then let him know it's okay if he isn't. Give him a little room to be unsure and confused or even afraid. Acknowledging those feelings are important. It's cathartic. If he does, then you can just suggest that you both share decision-making powers and responsibilities. Instead of having one leader, have cooperation. 

You can propose that option even if my theory is incorrect. You can also try his fem-dom arrangement and see how it goes. It might be kinda fun, ya know? Decide what you feel more comfortable with. If you can't decide, just ask him to. ;)

Please share my blog with your friends! I need the exposure. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

To Send or Not to Send


I ended up with a girl who, after a couple months of what seemed like some nice, quality dating, stopped returning correspondence for a solid three weeks. She then wrote me a confusing email claiming her phone had been off because she had a "girls weekend" and has been really busy and would call me soon. I waited for her to make the next move and never heard from her again.

It's been a month now. I've since moved on dating-wise, but really want to write her back now and burn her for being an asshole. What's your take on spiteful emails to former lovers? When, if ever, are they worth the catharsis? I know it's not classy, but I have a giant middle finger burning a hole in my pocket.

If you put a dash between "a" and "hole" in that last sentence, it becomes much, much more interesting. Just sayin'.

Alright. Where to start. It sounds to me like you felt dismissed and disrespected by this girl. You thought things were developing smoothly, and she suddenly disappears. I would be pissed too. But knowing that she's flaky and inconsiderate would be enough to make me write her off and not be so offended. It's kinda like getting a rejection letter from Harvard, but then realizing it was actually sent by Cornell. Meh. I didn't really want to go to your shitty freezing suicidal school anyway.

Take a day and think about that a little. If you still feel pissed, then figure out what you want to know or say. If you're just trying to make her feel bad, I would say don't do it. That kind of letter, in my experience, always ends up backfiring. You think you're ordering catharsis, but you end up getting confusion and agitation with a side of remorse. 

On the other hand, if there are things you feel you need to say to put this behind you, questions you need to ask, perhaps, then draft an honest email to her. You might let her know how you felt or ask her WTF happened, or maybe acknowledge how you felt deceived when she offered that explanation of why she didn't contact you. (Being busy is not a real excuse; we're all busy.) It's definitely a bizarre sequence of events. Maybe she lost interest, maybe she was dating someone else, maybe something else. I would probably want to know if I really thought the relationship was unique or was really offended and absolutely needed to say something to move on, otherwise I would probably move on and save myself the hassle. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

What is a soulmate?

My grandma on her wedding day, Romania, 1951.
Dear Edahn, 

How do you define soulmate?

If you think of your life as a journey from confusion to understanding and peace, then you can expect to meet all sorts of people. Some people will travel with you. Others will simply help steer you in the right direction. Others will get in your way and try to frustrate you until you figure out a way to disarm them.

I think you can make a legitimate argument that all these people are "soulmates."

The Companion -- The Companion is the person who travels the path with us. They're learning as we learn, deepening as we deepen, enjoying as we enjoy. They have a way of making us feel at ease, safe and secure. We feel intimate and close to them and are able to unleash our inner dorks with these people. This is the Imago Match.

The Mirror -- The Mirror is the person who shows you who you are without distortion. They show you where you're walking, where you're misstepping, and how to get back on track. They're wise and understand you deeply. Originally I thought the Mirror and the Companion were supposed to be the same person, like you were supposed to get all your nourishment from one source. I don't think that way anymore. The Mirror and Companion can exist separately. You can't take Mirrors in high doses because they're exhausting and draining. Like an intense therapy session, It's good now and then, but you wouldn't want to be in therapy 24/7. Good listeners *coughahemcough* can act as Mirrors for lots of people.

The Obstacle -- You might think the obstacle is the furthest person from a soulmate, but the Obstacle is actually integral in your spiritual path. The Obstacle is a lot like the Mirror, but in a more intense way. The Mirror shows you how to solve a problem, whereas the Obstacle forces you to solve it on your own. Obstacles are really nature's accidental guides. They force you to confront your values, summon your wisdom, and decide how you can best correct this situation. At first, when you're young, you meet an Obstacle and think "fuck this person, GTFO of my way, I'm trying to develop as a person here," but as you mature, you realize that that kind of abrasive approach, while appropriate in some situations like abuse, can actually hurt you. You're forced to investigate new avenues to resolve the problem and in so doing, grow tremendously.

Notice how you're not limited to one person. You can have lots of Companions, lots of Mirrors, and a shit-fucking-ton of Obstacles. The question, I think, is whether you'll recognize them. Who are your Mirrors? Who are your Obstacles? Who are your Companions? Hmmmmmmmm.

Hey. Share this post with your Facebook friends. I'm checking my feed, motherfuckers!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Books That Changed Your Life

Which books changed your life and why? Feel free to share with a comment. I read them all. (The comments, not the books. *wink*)

The Naked Ape - Human Ethologist Desmond Morris connects animal behavior and human behavior. It'll completely change the way you see people and understand society. It helps you wake up to your surroundings. A good way to become more aware of what's happening. Amusing and easy to read.

The World As I See It - It's been referred to as Albert Einstein's autobiography, but it's not. It's a collection of essays, letters, and speeches Einstein authored throughout his life. He shares his views on life, religion, science, pacifism, Zionism, Jewish people, the bomb, and society. The writing is crystal clear and brilliant and all the ideas are still very very relevant. Einstein was so articulate that reading his ideas is kind of like admiring a great work of architecture in the way it's structured and held together. It's magnificent and changes the way you see conflict. It forced me to reassess my values.

The Wisdom of Insecurity - Alan Watts, Buddhist Philanderer, wrote this. He explains what Buddhism is and what it strives for and why. Some of it is esoteric, but much of it is explained very very well with the help of poignant analogies and simple language. He causes you to rethink what you know about people and psychology. This is not a self-help book. It does not teach you how to meditate but will give you great clues and a great feel for it.

Watts will change your perspective on the individual. Einstein will change your perspective on society. Morris will change your perspective on the human species. Guaranteed, or you didn't read them carefully enough.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Blog Theme Today!

I changed the theme of my blog to space today for three reasons.

1. The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks today. Last year I woke up at 3am in the morning to watch it. From LA. The only thing I saw was the moon and a bee, and my neck hurt and I was cold. Ah, the Perseid Shower.

2. My friend Ron Allen passed away last night. He was a surrealist poet, a philosopher, a Zen Buddhist, a playwright, a he had the deepest voice you have ever heard. Some of his tones were subsonic. Only dogs and walls could hear them. This is a website I helped him make. It has some of his poetry which is fucking awesome. I wrote this poem for him after I visited him in the hospital a couple days ago.

Ron Allen,
Poet extraordinary,
African spectacular,
Dharma mafioso.

A crybaby in the best way,
Sensitive canvas to the myriad shades
Or worry and heartache.

Self-replenished curiosity,
Dissecting time,
Dissecting space,
Dissecting itself,
Setting traps to be realized in future lives.


Your gentle soul searching for words to share a humble love,
And demolish the obstacles in its path.

Soldier of the quantum empire,
Keeper of paradox,
Fugitive of truth.

Ron Allen.
3. I was sick of the old theme.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today I'm going to write a post about desperation. The theme of desperation has come up more and more in my meditation sessions and I want to share some views because I think they're universally applicable.

If you know about Buddhism, you've probably heard that "desire is the root of suffering." A lot of people write about what this really means. Are you supposed to be totally desire-less, in some kind of nihilistic stupor? Are you supposed to not care about anything? What about others? What about yourself? How can you have desire not to have desire? It's tricky.

Some of my favorite Eastern philosophers have translated the word to mean "thirst" or "clinging," but think of it as desperation. Desperation isn't the same as desire. Desperation has a sense of urgency attached to it. I must get this--this thing, this person's approval, this question resolved, this confusion abated--now. This desperation always leads to two things, panic and seriousness, which in turn rob people of the feeling that things will be okay, their connection to themselves, and their ability to connect to others. The stuff we all ultimately consider important in life begins to disappear.

The antidote is of course patience and honesty, confronting the feeling of desperation and challenging it by not following it, by withdrawing from it, which is to say, no longer being in a rush to change things to suit our preference. Letting things be, desperation included, and not being desperate to change them.

It doesn't matter if you don't know what it's all supposed to look like. I often find myself apprehensive about letting go of the drive to change things. Where will I go from there? Will I ever recover? Is this the right path? Will I harm myself psychologically? I don't always know, but I go for it anyway and I realize after that all those doubts were just the desperation talking, not me.

Now you know what enlightenment tastes like.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How do I not be shy?

dear edahn,

there's this woman i see all the time. the thing is i'm a shy guy when it comes to approaching women, though i'd like to talk to her so very much. the other thing is, i'm not sure that i'm looking for a relationship with her but she has this intelligent, gentle look on her face, my 'instinct' just tells me i must get to know her, even if we just end up good friends. of course, i'm also afraid i'm gonna annoy the living lights out of her, but frankly i don't really give two pennies about that. what would you do in my place? do you approach a woman you like or you just wait for them to come to you, like me?

How do I put this gently...


You sound like a dork. 

Now, being a dork is no problem at all; my favorite people are all huge dorks. But they don't sound like dorks. You sound like a rich, uptight 50 year old British nobleman who sips brandy, wears a top hat and says Cheerio! too often. (Note: once = too often.) So first off, lose the formality. Tuck out your shirt, mess up your hair a little, and try and walk with some style. Right now, out loud, complete this sentence using the most ghastlyyy curse words you can think of. Ready? GO.

If Edahn wasn't such a _______, _______ _______, 
he probably wouldn't have to date _______, _______ _______ 
with _______ the size of _______ .

Good. Very good. Now, regarding this woman, you've got to just try talking to her. It doesn't matter what you say, just say something like "Hi, I think I've seen you here before. I'm Sir William Wellingtoncox," and smile. Hopefully you're not peeking through her bedroom window when you say it.

You don't have to look at this as your only opportunity to get her interested in you. You run into this woman a lot, right? So just look at this first conversation as a chance to say hello and show her that you're not a total creeper. That way, the next time you run into each other, you can say hello and she's already familiar with you because she'll recognize your top hat. The next conversation will feel much more natural and you won't be as nervous. And if for some reason it doesn't work out, well, that's okay. You stood up to your fears and that's a victory all by itself. Good luck, friend!

*Readers! Do this too! I'll start it off: If Edahn wasn't such a shit-eating, sloth-raping vomit bag, he wouldn't have to date moldy, disease-infested cock jugglers with nipples the size of dinner plates.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Is marriage practical?

Believe it or not, this is what we all look like inside,
medical science be damned.
i would like to have your take on this. is it better for two people in a relationship to see each other exclusively until they live out their love for one another, or is it more healthy to have an open relationship, since nowadays most people are non-monogamous?

First, the statistics on marriage and divorce are often misrepresented and inflated to make the divorce rate seem higher than it is. The 50% or more than 50% rate refers to the current marriage to current divorce ratio, meaning, the total number of people getting divorced this year (including marriage that started 40 or 50 years ago) to the number of people getting married. It doesn't measure how likely a marriage starting today will last. If you look at the total number of people who were ever married, the number is closer to 41%. It's still hard to make predictions about how a marriage that begins today will turn out. Things are changing very quickly these days for lots of reasons. There're new ideas about marriage, about identity, and about creating healthy relationships, especially from Eastern psychology, that continue to change the marriage landscape. This blog is a testament to that shift.

A naive optimist like me would tell you not to be afraid of statistics but to seek to understand them so you can avoid bad decisions. There are lots of reasons people choose to get divorced. Many, I'm sure, are simply mismatched: different priorities, different levels of depth, and very different needs. Others, I suspect, are divorcing because they're unhappy by themselves, independent on their relationship. They don't know how to be themselves, to be happy, to protect their authenticity, to navigate through their own pain, anxiety, and depression when it eventually rears itself--to simply be happy without needing to do anything or get anything else. They turn their frustration outward, blame their partners, and think "if I had someone else, this emptiness would go away." They end up feeling more and more alone and then decide to leave. They don't understand what's happening.

At its root that problem is, to put it very simply, not having an open heart. (Don't roll your eyes at me! Just hear me out.) An open heart just means that you admit what's happening inside you and open up to the pain. That pain takes the form of frustration, confusion, sadness, fear, and desperation for progress and solutions. When you see that in yourself, plainly, simply, and quietly, your heart naturally begins to open. It might hurt, but that kind of soft attention is actually healing taking place. It's the source of real confidence and real power. It helps you negotiate your fears and make heart-felt decisions that are always directed toward peace and beauty. It will guide you towards the right decisions, whether in love, career, or -- well that's kinda it, isn't it? :)

Here is what I say to you. Open relationships--I could never do this and I doubt someone sensitive could do it either. It sounds like a fucking meta-Rubik's cube. (I don't even know what that means, but I imagine it's hard to solve, like this.) There are things in this world that are worth fighting for. Love, authenticity, and peace of mind are worth it, and they all begin when you learn how to be honest about what's happening inside you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Will he leave his wife for me?

Get it?
Dear Edahn,

I'm having an affair with a married man. We only have sex we don't really hang out. I want him to leave his wife for me though. How do I make that happen? Will it happen? 

The situation is I work with this man a few days a week and see him often enough. He has been married for 2 years. A month after he got married we started sleeping together. He has told me a few times if he wasn't married he would be with me. He has also said he loves me. I feel some guilt and remorse because I would not want this done to me as a woman, but I can't control my emotions or actions when it comes to him. I don't know what to do and I feel something one way or another has to be done. I like the attention but I am not fully getting what I want, obviously, because he is married. What do I do and say given that my ultimate goal would be to have him leave his wife for me. Am I stupid?

What makes you think this guy won't cheat on you once you end up with him, assuming you could? Don't you think his wife felt the same way about him, and don't you think he fed her the same lines? This is a guy who has been able to lie to the person he is supposed to be closest with for 2 years straight. Do you really think he's a man of integrity and honor? Absolutely not, and unfortunately, you've compromised your own honor by participating in all of this. I'm not saying you're a bad person, but I'm saying that you made a mistake and need to fix it. You are betraying your conscience and you need to stop and listen to it. More than any guy or any relationship, living in accordance with your conscience will give you real gratification. You know this deep down already, but you've been ignoring it.

The part about you not being able to control yourself is not accurate. It's an justification your mind made up to allow you to disregard your guilt and act irresponsibly. You can always control yourself. But I'll tell you what. I'll make it easier for you, and I won't do it through any trickery but simply by pointing you to the truth.

If this guy really wanted to be with you, he would have left his wife shortly after meeting you. It's easy to tell someone you love them, but it's harder to actually commit to them, and commitment he has not done. He uses you for sex and tells you what you want to hear so he can keep having sex with you. Think about what he said, that he would be with you if he wasn't married. What kind of thing is that to say? That's like saying "I would eat salad if I didn't have a hamburger, AND THEN ORDERING A HAMBURGER EVERY DAY." It's absolute nonsense. He hasn't left his wife for you because he doesn't want to. He is not the guy you think he is, and this is not the great relationship you think it could be. I'm sorry. 

Wake up to what's happening, do the right thing, and find someone with real integrity who isn't bound up in a relationship. He's out there.