She doesn’t want anyone to know her name. Not even her RBD screen name. And who can blame her? Not when this heretofore happy Bay Area dweller logged on to OK Cupid this morning and discovered Michael Ellsberg to be a 93% match. The greasy gargoyle’s profile:
Badass writer with a sensitive soul. Devoted to discovering truths about the human heart–in all its infinite light and dark–and expressing them out loud. I want to dive into a love worthy of writing: a love that leaves us astonished, exalted, trembling at the mystery of it all. Or at least, a love that leaves us with a good story 😉
I was born in San Francisco, raised in Berkeley, and educated at Brown. I’ve lived a good part of my adult life in New York City, paying my dues as a writer, and have just moved back to my hometown.
I’m one of those rare writers: I support myself comfortably from my art and passion. It wasn’t always that way; I definitely lived the “starving artist” life in my 20s, but since then I’ve built a career for myself that I’m proud of, writing books about entrepreneurship, creativity, and self-education. I’m hard at work on a fourth book, a book on sex and conscious kink (ask me the details 😉
I’m intensely introspective, yet at the same time (situationally) hyper-social and extroverted. I have wide and deep communities, in artistic and entrepreneurial circles in NYC, SF and LA, which I’ve built over years through my obsession with meeting as many exceptional people as possible and connecting them to each other to forge tribe.
My writing has been published all over the place, including in the New York Times, Forbes.com, Time.com, and in books from Penguin and HarperCollins.
Spirituality: why is “witch” not an option in any of the spirituality-related OKC Match Questions??!!
I’ve experimented with a lot of psychedelics in my life, and am an experienced psychonaut and explorer of the inner realms. I tend to prefer people who have tried psychedelics at least a few times in their life. At the current moment, however, I’m in a sober period, enjoying getting high and expanding my consciousness naturally.
I’ve done the Burning Man thing extensively earlier in my 30s; while I’m grateful for the wonder, learning, and expansion I had there–and my times there shaped who I am today in important ways–I feel “complete” with my Burning Man experience for now.
Spending lots of money to spew carbons into the air (as the global ecosystem collapses) for a week of nihilistic partying in the desert just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. Especially as I’m leaning more towards sobriety. Also, I’ve come to find the BM pictures that people post to their Facebook (which I once posted ad infinitum as well) repetitive and predictable, all blending together as if it is a new form of conformity. I’d rather re-create the undeniable magic of the playa, beyond the playa, in my day-to-day life and in my home communities. These are just my preferences, though. I have no problem if you’re really into BM right now, and if we hit if off, you just might convince me to go with you 😉
Oh, and you might ask, of all places in the Bay, “Why Alameda?” Good question! 1) I live in my own unit in a beautiful home, and upstairs live a married couple, who are also two of my closest friends; the home is a focal point for our Bay Area tribe, and I love the mix of autonomy and community this arrangement offers. 2) I literally live on the water. As in, there are sailboats bobbing in the bay right beyond my back porch, and I walk along the water every day from my front door. Island living–surprisingly hard to come by in the Bay!
I believe that every relationship is an adventure, and a journey, and that each one lasts exactly as long as it is supposed to–from months to years to a lifetime–in order for us to learn what we were meant to learn from each other and share what we were meant to share with each other; if it ends, hopefully we’ll be great friends after. So it never really ends. As long as our hearts are open and we are present to each other, and communicating openly and honestly, then our connection will be perfect exactly as it is.
What I’m doing with my life
Writing books that change people’s lives, inspire people to think differently about important topics, and bring joy and inspiration. I want to have published ten before I die, and I want at least one of them to be my “legacy” book– the one I’m remembered for. I think the one I’m working on now might be my best shot at that so far.
I’m really good at
I’m known for the parties I throw, which combine creative social curation (arts, entrepreneurship, personal development, spirituality) with wellness, sensuality, exploration of consciousness, and badass all-night music and dancing.
I’ve been some form of poly in most of my committed relationships, and it’s always run exceptionally smoothly. Which means, I’ve learned how to be a very good communicator regarding boundaries, consent, desires, and expectations (yours and mine.) I take honesty, transparency and consent in relationships really seriously.
I’ve been salsa dancing since I was a teen and am a strong lead on the dance floor; I used to teach Cuban salsa professionally.
I speak fluent Spanish. I’ve lived in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, and have travelled widely in Latin America. I have visited and studied dance in Cuba three times, and Cuban culture and music is a big part of my life.
I’m part of the kink world and co-teach a workshop called “Dominance for Nice Guys,” with feminist porn star and sex educator Nina Hartley. I write openly about kink and poly on my Facebook.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Music: I’m obsessed with the Bay Area singer/songwriter Adey. (OMG look up her albums “Rogue” and “Vesica” on Bandcamp–listening to her music is a spiritual experience for me; she’s a witchy one.) I’m a friend of hers and volunteer as her “Chief of Fan Magic.”
Susheela Raman’s “Salt Rain” is an exquisite album; go find it if you haven’t listened to this gem before. As is “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud” by Miles Davis.
Otherwise, I’m passionate about danceable, sensuous psychedelic downtempo, including: Phutureprimitive, Desert Dwellers, Bluetech, Beats Antique, Shpongle, Kalya Scintilla, and other aural messengers of psychonautical soundwaves. And of course, los reyes de la salsa Cubana: Juan Formell y Los Van Van.
Books: “The Surrender” by Toni Bentley; “Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism,” by Daniel Pinchbeck, who is one of my favorite authors, and is also a close friend; “The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships” by Neil Strauss; “Witches, Midwives, & Nurses: A History of Women Healers” by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English; anything by Noam Chomsky; most books by David Deida, though I haven’t drunk his Kool-Aid totally (I find his gender essentialism outdated); “The Antichrist” by Nietzsche; “The Gift” by Hafiz (stunning poetry); “Romancero Gitano” by Federico García Lorca; “Post-Porn Modernist” by Annie Sprinkle; “Cuffed, Tied and Satisfied” by Jaiya; “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate” by Naomi Klein; my father’s memoir “Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers”; and my books–“The Education of Millionaires” and “The Last Safe Investment” (just sayin’ 😉
Movies: Secretary; Midnight in Paris; Vicky Cristina Barcelona; Adaptation; Easy Rider; Children of Men; Sideways; Bowfinger; What Women Want; Her; Six Degrees of Separation; Ex Machina; Man on Wire; Century of the Self; Tierra y Libertad; After Hours; The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
The six things I could never do without
Love; vibrant health; meaning; writing; wisdom; adventure; mind-blowing sex. Oh, that’s seven. Well, I can’t figure out one to cut.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
My next book; love; relationships; community; my tribe; business & entrepreneurship; the ecological crisis; women’s empowerment.
The future is female: I consider myself a feminist and an enemy of patriarchy; I express this primarily through the way I treat the women in my life, my support for their empowerment, and my unabashed stand for their greatness and full expression in the world.
On a typical Friday night I am
Hosting a raucous party; out salsa dancing; curled up reading a book; or looking into your eyes.
You should message me if
You’re ready for a soul-adventure; you’e OK if love leaves you a little bewildered, as long as it opens your heart and stretches your passion; you like your men on the complex and enigmatic side, so long as they are present to you; you think writers are sexy and romantic; you’re ready to be fully *seen* and *met* by a man, finally; you want a man to explore depths of your mind and soul that you didn’t even know were there; you want to support him in going deeper into his own power; you’re not ashamed of you’re own sensuality; you love men and want a man, not a boy, in your life; you like a man who knows himself, who has lived his life thoroughly, through all the ups and downs, and who has never stopped learning or loving.”
An experienced psychonaut? Jesus. No wonder our dear cat compatriot is experiencing a crisis and is “off to fully re-examine my life as I am clearly failing in a big way.” How can we help? Start a Go Fund Me account? Just name it!
Bottom Fan in the ‘Stan: Fuat Özkandaş!