I’m going to tell you exactly how to make love “work” without work. I’m going to tell you how to have the blissed-out, star-spangled, sex-drenched, breathlessly beautiful love affair that most adults get cynical about by the time they get to their late 20s.
I’m getting married in just 5 days and I can assure you, there’s a lot to do around here other than write a blog post. If you’ve been through a wedding, you know, it’s like a giant blender went berserk in the middle of your life.
We have friends coming in from 7 states and 5 countries and everyone needs attention. Worst of all, I’m just not a “details” guy, so plenty of little time bombs are going off every day.
AND… I’ve never been happier.
I have an amazing group of colleagues, and I know some truly brilliant sex, relationship, and dating experts/coaches/authors, but I don’t know anyone who has the kind of effortless, blissful, and just-plain-ol-fun relationship that I have.
But it didn’t happen over night and didn’t happen without plenty of misfires, mistakes, and heart-breaks along the way.
Frankly I owe a lot of it to YOU, because I don’t believe I would have had the deep attention to the mistakes and lessons along the way if I hadn’t been a sex/relationship writer over the past 10 years of my life. I was forced to constantly be learning, reading, observing– always looking to capture the golden nuggets that are worth teaching.
And I continue to teach SEX because I truly believe it’s the highest leverage point in any relationship that hopes for more than just deep friendship and a trusting partnership (and, by the way, even that would be a pretty high aspiration for most marriages).
Here’s the big secret: It’s all about Power.
More precisely, it’s all about giving up power.
I have a lot of colleagues who are experts in the dating world, and they’ll tell you that being good at the attraction/dating game gives you “options,” which gives you the non-needy POWER you need to stay attractive in your relationship.
But it’s no surprise to me that ALL of them have come to me for relationship advice over the years when they just couldn’t make it work the way they imagined.
If you’re good at the attraction/dating game, it’s easy to chalk it up to, “she/he’s just not as great as I thought,” and then, painfully, move on to the next. And the next.
This prevents them from achieving the maturity that comes only from figuring out why things didn’t work and sticking with it.
Of course, in fairness, most folks who try to figure it out and stick with it end up unhappy in the end. They keep sticking it out through stubbornness, fear of being alone, inability to admit failing, or any number of other reasons.
The Truth is idealistically simple, and it’s the hardest thing a human can do in this lifetime…
What I call “Easy Love” happens when you finally give up on power and put love first. When you play “all in.”
Of course, it’s the scariest thing on Earth, because if they don’t play at your level they’ll use the power to walk all over you. Or they’ll break your heart in ways too horrible to imagine.
So we play “almost all in.” We skirt the edge. We put all the emotional “money in the bank” on the table… BUT we keep a few bucks in our pocket in case we need a cab home in case the worst happens and it doesn’t work out.
This is the most painful way to play, because there’s a lot at stake, but the few bucks of emergency money left in our pocket sabotage you at every turn. Your partner senses the withhold and plays the same game right back at you.
Surrendering all of it is the only thing that truly works.
Here’s a few things to know about playing “all in.”:
1) Most people who say, “but I already AM all in!” are full of shit. They lie to themselves, they lie to their partner, and they lie to me. I poke holes in their belief like it was wet tissue paper.
2) Most people believe that if they play all in, breakups will hurt more. The opposite is true.
When you play the power game and then you get dumped, it leaves you broken and disillusioned because “you did everything right!” You played like a master, and you STILL didn’t measure up! You still weren’t good enough! It’s enough to make you so cynical that you turn your back on the possibility of love forever.
But when you give it all up and drop your identity completely in service to love, breakups are sweet, gentle completions. They are recognitions that you serve each other better apart. They are contemplative (and, yes, achingly sad at times) periods to gather what you have learned and bring a better version of yourself to your next relationship.
3) 90% of the couples that I have given this advice to simply don’t have the balls to do it. They make some weak efforts, they get close to the edge, they chicken out. They tell me that in their situation it’s just more complicated.
The 10% that DO manage to take that eyes-closed, terrifying leap into the abyss enjoy the most powerful, transformative, and epic love affairs imaginable.
As for YOU…
You probably won’t have the courage to do this.
But I wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night if I didn’t at least make the effort to tell you about it.
P.S., The other important secret here is that you don’t have to do it all at once. I mean, eventually you’ll have to make the terrifying leap. But you can build your nerve, your courage, your resolve, and your capacity for powerful emotion.
The best way to do this is through committing to better and better sex. Sex is the great training ground for intimacy… whether with new partners or long-time spouses, because it is the place of our deepest shames, our secret inadequacies, our unfulfilled fantasies and most powerful secret longings… so many secrets that we won’t give up. Often we even kid ourselves.
That’s why I teach sex the way I do. It’s your gymnasium for increasing your capacity for love, intimacy, and Truth. Get any one of my programs and actually apply yourself to any part of it for one week and you’ll see the change not just in your sex, not just in your relationship, but in your self.
What an amazing article. I aspire to this type of relationship and am trying everyday to let my defences down, surrender to the bliss and enjoy the incredible intimacy that I am sharing with my man (largely thanks to your advice and others who fully support the magic and life affirming capacity of sex to transform every part of our lives).
I wish you a marriage filled with love, laughter and sacred intimate sex.
Thanks for this and everything you do and congratulations! What an exciting time For tou and your fiance. I’m hoping this gets to you and that you will respond. I purchased revolutionary sex for women and got the links but closed my browser before watching all of them. How can I get them back to view the rest? Is there a URL or a link I need to coonect to? Help! The first couple were great! I’m anxious to see the rest!
Thank you and all the best to you!
Alex, thank you for your wisdom and congrats on the big day.
First and foremost I’d like to offer you congratulations and best wishes to you and your beloved on your upcoming marriage and life together.
There are only five sex & relationship “gurus” I’ve ever felt were worth my time, money and effort to pay attention to. They are:
Why, you ask? Not one among them are about the short cut or the quick fix. Each, in their own way with their own particular slant on things offers material that requires you to do the work. To reach deep down inside yourself to understand, modify your beliefs and to walk the walk.
Alex, you are particularly good at this. Your writing is straight forward and to the point as well as detailed enough to lead to understanding. You’re also persuasive enough to encourage one to take things seriously and to work on them.
What’s even better are your videos. They’re better primarily because of your manner in front of the camera. You come off as knowledgeable and genuinely concerned about the viewer. This quality is priceless. I subscribe to your youtube channel and ALWAYS watch and re-watch what you have offered.
Just one caveat regarding the videos (I’m nit picking). Don’t let the lack of technical quality of the video sink the message. There were a couple of videos you produced while in the Caribbean where the background of the ocean looked OK and your face was way too dark. This is a classic “brightness range” problem resulting from a back lit situation. The traditional solution is to add front light to the subject (you) so that the brightness range of the scene is within the capability of the medium (applies equally to video tape, digital and film) to capture both foreground and background with detail and correctly exposed. A reasonably skilled videographer can readily solve this problem.
Why is this important? Think of it this way. A successful visual must pass through the eye and enter the brain with nothing to hold it back. It just comes flooding in. When a video or photograph contains important areas (your face) that it is difficult to see (too dark, too bright, too unsharp or blurred) the brain resists allowing it in. It’s too difficult to perceive. It gets resisted. When your message is wrapped up in the visual and audible content of a “movie” it is important that the viewer not be distracted by this. You run the risk of the content being overlooked or only partially heard & seen.
You’ve broached new territory with this message, Alex. The concept of being all in, of giving up the power. I’m teachable and would love to hear more.
Thanks for all your work and guidance.
Hey Dick, thanks for the video tips. I am taking it seriously and I am slowly implementing new ideas to create higher quality vid. For me writing always came first and first is the content of the message, but I know that you are right that the quality of the medium matters a great deal. I’m working on it!
As for the new territory, yes, you will hear much more about this!
I’d also add Scot McKay to your list.
I am a woman, and I get a lot out of his daily letters, even if they are written for men.
I think it’s naive for women to invest completely in relationships, particularly given the fact that most men today have zero interest in commitment. It sounds like a recipe for getting taken advantage of.
Obviously you must be wise and choiceful about who you commit to. Equally, paradoxically, but Truly, you also have to throw wisdom out the window when it comes to fully committing to love.
This is where I feel I have always failed in the past, and it has cost me. I know that, eventually, I will find a woman who will help me to really completely give all my love. But in the past I’ve always been holding out, always wishing she was just “a little more like…” or somthing like that.
I’m intrigued by the idea of working out this muscle by opening more in sex.
You the man, as always Alex!
Judith Anne Condon - Judith aka Bliss
I love you too. Blessings!
Great post, and I fully agree with just about everything you’re saying, but I still bristle a bit at this line, especially at its placement near the end:
“You probably won’t have the courage to do this.”
Well that’s not very encouraging is it? (Pun intended.)
While you have a good probability at being factually right on that statement, I still think it doesn’t end an otherwise great post well. I think it even contradicts what I think of as a normal part of your teachings which is “you really CAN do this, you just have to be willing to open up and do the work”.
How about “You might not feel you have the courage to do this, but you might be surprised if you truly try?”…or something to that effect but much better worded?
Hi B, I’m glad you’re bristling! That was my intention. Now… what’cha gonna do about it?
It is a bit factual, and it’s also confronting the grave nature of the quest. It’s big, it’s hard, it’s going to take more than you think you have at times. And I’m hoping to provoke, to challenge, and then, finally cheer like wild if you take me up on it.
Thanks for all the knowlege you have give us, I am complete sure that you are going to be very happy in
this relation 100 % garanty.
You’re welcome. And thank you!
Congratulations on making that deep connection. You deserve all the best. Going all in is a very important idea for living on the edge. Thank you for this golden nugget Alex. All the best to you fellow student. We will be waiting to hear more golden nuggets from you.
Thanks Jean. I’m glad the nugget was well received. It’s the part that I normally try to sneak in with the sex tips instead of writing about it directly. The response is eye-opening for me.
Benet O. A.
A blissful marriage is what I wish you. Great lessons.
God works in mysterious ways. First of all congrat’s on your wedding sir. The concept of “all in” is the fondation and key to not only a a natural relationship but most importantly to a spiritual relationship. While your talking natural..God was dealing with me in the spiritual. Your right i’ve been sitting on the edges etc not 100% into my faith and they only reason i’m not reaping full benefits is because i have not surrendered completely to my faith In Christ. I’m not to particular religious but i am a spiritual person and Irronically thanks to you…That’s exactly what i’m getting ready to do. Who knew..Alex a minister..lol…obviously your sex tips are great. Even though i couldn’t open your revolutionary sex video for technical issues and had to get a refund from your company..’Hated that by the way” was really wanting to read that material…The concept of all in spoke to me diffrently than probably any one on your clientel email list. Now I’ll be free spiritually and naturally and i know my relationships will go through the roof..with God and My wife and no doubt sex will be awesome. Especially believe it or not since Sex is God’s idea…
Mike this is it exactly. You are right on my tracks now and I’ve got much more to say on this subject in the coming months.
Loving your mate IS the love of God. They are not separable.
Not only is sex God’s idea, your wife is God’s idea too! And if you follow that logic, then you must recognize that she’s perfect. So what will you do with the conditional circumstance of your observation of her imperfections?
Einstein was confronted with the problem that if the speed of light is constant, what happens with the light coming from the front of a train? It would appear to have a different speed to the person standing by the tracks vs the conductor riding on the train. But he was certain that the speed of light was constant for any observer. The only way to make that work was a bold hunch: That time traveled more slowly for the conductor on the train. This has since been proven to be so.
Same thing with surrender to your faith, surrender to your love, surrender to your God. You wife is perfect like God is perfect. Your conditional observations to the contrary must lie, not in the woman you love, but in the conditions themselves. Once you get the bigger picture, the picture that include the conditions in the whole, you see the perfection.
The spiritual teacher Adi Da said, “Reality is all the God there is.” The Jesuits had the same idea. You want to know God? See him in his work, which is creation itself.
Once you’re all in, it’s all easy because you recognize everything as perfect. Even what seem to be the hard parts.
Obviously this is a topic that will take more explanation. It’s coming.
Love this! Congrats, Alex!!
Ah, thank you. So glad you’re enjoying these.
This is a great article and I enjoyed reading it. But at the same time, it left me wanting more. On a conceptual level, I’m intrigued by the idea of “playing all in”, in the service of love. But in practice, what does it mean to give up our power and play all in? What does it look like when we surrender? Can you offer some suggestions and examples of how one puts this into action? Thanks!
Hey Dave, I’m writing a book on the subject and I’m hoping to release it super-cheap on Kindle to get it out to the masses, so more IS coming.
It’s hard to say what it “looks” like, because it’s more of a “feels” like.
When you are trying to “hold power” in a relationship by saying the right things, doing the right things, proving your social value outside of the relationship, “having your own life,” etc., you are coming from a position of fear.
Releasing those fears and offering them up to love as a sacrifice, mentally and spiritually, and trusting that you can open yourself completely changes the way your behaviors “feel” to your partner.
It’s easeful. It’s unflappable.
You begin to trust that it’s okay to be a human animal, that you’ll fuck up, that you’ll have bad moods, that she’ll be bitchy and sad and unfair sometimes. But you won’t need an apology for that. You won’t need to apologize for your own humanity. You’re “all in” so you just ride over that stuff and love her more deeply for the shared experience of what it means to be human.
In the end, of course, there is huge power in this. True power. But it’s not power you can use over others, it’s power in yourself in your harmony with love.
Wow!!! Thanks Alex and all the happiness and success in your marriage!
This is a great articulation of such an important idea. From recent experience, I know it’s totally true. I won’t claim to have mastered it yet – and I don’t think that any human being can do it perfectly (even you, Alex, and because you’re a real man, you’d be the first to admit this). But, it’s powerful stuff, and we should all take it as far as we can.
My girlfriend of 2+ years is introverted, cautious, a bit anxious, and has been treated horribly by some guys in the past. She is also the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. She is sooooo slow to open up, and she’s totally worth being patient for. Her being sort of challenging to open has actually been a blessing for me, because I’ve had to be the best man I can be. And I don’t mean that in a macho got-all-the-moves sort of way – it’s in that vulnerable no-holding-back sort of way you just described. This whole time together, I have not said one untruthful word to her. Being truthful also means sharing the uncomfortable things it would be easier to hide. To do this, I have to keep discovering and facing up to my fears – and then admitting to her what scares me. Saying them out loud, to the woman I love, is often what it takes to become free of them. Being totally vulnerable with someone else is one of the bravest things we can do. So, sort of paradoxically – I’m being the “alpha” by letting my guard down and going to those emotional places that few people are willing to go.
Not only is our relationship thriving, but we’re each individually thriving. She is blossoming in some remarkable ways now – taking healthy risks, pursuing what she loves, discovering herself more, overcoming fears. And she’s starting to feel truly loved, in her bones, and trust that love. I’m thrilled, because she so deserves to feel loved.
So, that’s my longwinded way of saying YES! Alex, it is really fucking hard, and it is also really fucking worth it.
And thank you Alex for the part you’ve played in my blossoming relationship. You’re awesome. And you so deserve your own relationship happiness you’re celebrating. Congratulations.
Now include the “I don’t think I’ve mastered it yet” into the things you surrender. You can play that part all in too. It’s a big move.
This couldn’t be more true!
Thanks for sharing your work, and for being vulnerable in your relationships and your writing.
Blessings to you and your beautiful bride.
I was once told by a wise man that true love should be as easy as breathing in and out. That man was my grandfather and he was married to my grandmother for 70 plus years. Their relationship wasn’t perfect but they worked hard at being perfect for each other. They never went to bed angry and they always said they loved each other every single day He was my hero and I miss him every day since He’s been gone.You hit the head of the nail directly with this one Alex good job! Oh and congratulations on your impending nuptials!
Congratulations on the wedding 🙂 and thank you for your contribution. As a female I’ve been enriched by your offerings. I agree with this article as I am currently in the beginning stages of relationship with a man who I say ..liking him is as easy as breathing! We both show up wholly as ourselves and its scary at times but we get through it together. So for me when you say “all in” I actually hear that I am “all in for me” and then I can be fully present for my life! So I take that challenge! And I’ll share this…I have learned many hard lessons about myself and how “playing the game” I have sabotaged relationships through this process. Its been an amazing journey and I hope that it will last a life time. 🙂
@Sara: Ha….ditto. It’s not just women, it’s humans. Most take advantage of each other as far as the other person will LET them. I’m not exactly clear on what Alex is pertaining to on all this nebulous euphoric-feeling “all in” commentary, but seems to me that anyone would get taken advantage of if the other person is the type prone to do that, which I think most humans are. So, just don’t hook up with people who do take advantage of others, and you have to probably take a bit of a hit or loss to find that out. But when you do, very quickly purge them. Most at-bats in baseball are NOT hits. Most stock trades are NOT profitable. Most relationships are NOT foreva. But that doesn’t stop people from getting in the Hall of Fame, or making money overall on trading, or finding a good mate eventually. I find that I personally get taken advantage of (disregarded, unappreciated, etc) by lots of people (as I always have). Although I still give reasonably fully/completely/openly/etc to others (as I always have), the difference now is that I get taken advantage of only ONCE or TWICE from EACH of them. This is because when I find out the type of person they each are (unable to reciprocate, selfish, childish, superficial, egocentric, shallow, shady, boring, too guarded, etc), then I simply purge them in my quest for better people. I simply move on, looking for higher quality people. It’s not getting taken advantage of that’s so bad, it’s sticking around to let others CONTINUE to do it. Getting punched is one thing, standing there “turning your cheek” over and over and over getting pummeled is totally one’s own fault.
It’s fear of losing even a little that keeps people from gaining a lot. It seems to me in life so far that it takes a lot of little losses and corrections before the big gains happen. “What do you want, a boring life?”