I’ve learned a lot about sex and dating in my life—especially over the past four years as I've traveled, dated, and had sex in countries across the globe. It's not that we don't want deep connection; it’s that, at this point in our evolution, many humans are unwilling to sacrifice freedom and growth in order to get it. To me, having an evolved one-night stand means not trading deep emotional intimacy for physical proximity.
We are hungry for growth, so we’re looking for relationships where we’re constantly being pushed to learn, to grow, and to evolve. In my travels, I see so many young people opting for diverse connections with a variety lovers rather than settling on the traditional, monogamous connection with one person. We have become a society of information gatherers, each experience we have giving us valuable data on what we do and don’t like, on the inner workings of other people and of the universe.
Historically, marriage held several important functions: People married for safety, for survival, for security. Those imperatives are no longer relevant. In the 21st century, we have the space to challenge our traditions and the freedom to develop our own opinions on what kind of relationships will be the most fulfilling to us. Open relationships are being discussed more, well, openly than perhaps ever before. Looking back through history across cultures and generations, it becomes clear that true monogamy really only pervaded in a small segment of the world’s population for a rather short (relatively speaking) period.
This is the real question: Can we have deep and meaningful connection without being monogamous?
I say yes. And I believe the formula is this: uncompromised desire with real accountability.
We can choose to create any experience we want in our relationships, and doing that starts with creating the vibrational frequency of those experiences and people we want to attract. Every Tinder swipe is an exchange of energy, and the universe is constantly responding to what we put out. No matter how we meet our romantic partners—whether we’re introduced by a co-worker or it’s love at first swipe—these things happen for a reason. There’s something for us to learn. When we are conscious of this, and accountable for what we’ve created, we can explore with calm curiosity how these things are supposed to help us grow.
Now, let’s be clear. I’m not saying one-night stands are the only path to personal evolution. Committed relationships—monogamous ones included—when navigated consciously, are beautiful learning experiences. I simply believe we can benefit from honoring our ability (and perhaps inclination) to grow through a variety of sexual and intimate encounters.
With sex, as with every experience, finding your authenticity is the first step. This looks different for everyone. You can’t see how your best friend does it and then just try to duplicate her process. If her romantic experiences are empowering, encouraging, and growth-oriented, you can learn from that. But it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. You have to honor your needs and then feel it out, one step at a time. I’ve learned that my authentic self desires sexual experiences with many different kinds of people. The important thing here is that I know there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And that I don’t let other people shame me.
One of the biggest revelations for me since I began this journey has been that, if my goal is not to "keep" a man, I have no reason to feel jealous or insecure about anything. This shift has allowed me to embrace loving nonattachment in a truly radical way. And I wouldn't have learned any of this if I did not allow myself to consciously grow without judgment through my sexual experiences with many partners.
I believe sex is a portal to power. It can draw amazing things into our lives if we approach it the right way. So, how do we properly utilize the energy we receive from sex? Whether you're sleeping with a monogamous partner or someone you just met, you can find the answer by asking yourself just one question: "Am I having sexual experiences to evolve, or am I seeking them to distract myself from my insecurities?"
Fulfillment never comes from another person, another experience, another distraction—it's always an inside job. It starts with doing the work to find clarity on what you want, then really, truly believing you’re worth it.
Want more insight into your relationship? Find out the five things couples who stay together do every day and the ways your sex life can show you what's wrong in your relationship.