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This is a really good post. I think people do a lot of things out of fear or a sense of duty rather than genuine desire, and it was refreshing to read your lucid examination of what you really, actually want.

You might enjoy this radio podcast: http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2013/11/07/how-dollars-and-sex-intertwine/

It's about how money shapes sexuality, in that women are becoming more financially independent, and this is changing relationships. In the early twentieth century, for example, a woman basically -needed- a husband or she could end up destitute. Now that's not so true, so women are more free to pursue a courtesan lifestyle (or any other lifestyle that might appeal to them).

I think The Rules and the Relationship Escalator are holdovers from this more restrictive time. They continue to trundle forward out of sheer inertia rather than any remaining value.

Posts like yours are, I think, part of a conversation that will make these holdovers gradually fade.


I love this post. What I love about the relationships you envision are that they are so much more than the escalator. It *is* revolutionary to embark on a relationship where your commitment to each other comes from a place that values each person's own self and freedom and personal responsibility. It's not a safety net, a crutch, or license to dump your debris in this person's yard. Nor are either of you trying to tame or own the other, or expect them to change you or give you inherent value. You commit to being a refuge for each other, the one place where you can be true and vulnerable and passionate and deeply authentic in your passion and vulnerability. I'm a little daunted by how much internal strength and self-sufficiency you need, not only to give so much to yourself and your partner, but also to let go in order to let them be that person to you.

I don't know if this kind of relationship is possible but as Arden has said to me, the fact that I am here writing this demonstrates that there are others out there who are unable to settle for anything less. I say "unable" because I have left every monogamous traditional relationship I have been in for the same reasons. And I'm to the point where I can see that expectation coming a mile away. The escalator is a waste of time and energy and I'm willing to forego it in order to cultivate the strength and self-sufficiency to have a relationship that is *real*. Arden, I'm joining you in the revolution and I'm stepping the f*#$ up.


Hello Arden,

I`ve been reading your blog for quite sometime, and one article in which you were introduced as a female PUA, teaching seduction. I read that part of the interview/article written by yourself, and I just wanted to say that I admire you very much. And I totally identify with you, as a younger version, your conclusions even your hobbies (I have a thing for dark, and hairy rock stars too :)

And you are so right...My God. I want to buy your book, or at least find more of your writings about seduction and everything. Hell, I want to join your Sirens club, and get to know you personally.

Cheers, I think you are an amazing woman. I am myself a self-made, Siren in progress you may say :) Cheers and let me tell you, whether you will read this or not, that there is nobody who deserves these d***s more than you!

Just sayin`, a s a joke, from someone who knows.

Take care, and be fabulous!

Much love,

Kat from Europe

Lisa Marie

Well said and thank you.


Arden, we are cut from the the same cloth. I am madly in love with you and your ability to put to words the thoughts I have been wrestling with so long. Thank you for the clarity.


Dear Ms. Leigh,
I have been following your blog for almost a year now, and particularly enjoy your wit, social commentary, and excellent writing skills. However, I was hoping to read from more sources like you. And when I say "like you", I mean sex positive, conscientious, and it would be a bonus if the blog happened to be as hilarious and outspoken as you are (but I understand that is a little hard to come by). Other than "Psychology Today" magazine, I am not sure where to look. The trouble is, on my searches, I often just stumble into women's magazines that have titles like "how to keep any man" or even worse...irrational rants. Perhaps you can suggest a few sites/books?

JoAnn Davidson

Your "Don Draper" friend should not have gotten on the relationship escalator in the first place: sex in marriage is like oil in an engine -- it's not the fuel, but too little or none at all and you'll do nothing but grind gears until you ruin the engine. The perception that "you don't fuck wives" is not the result of stultifying marriages, it's the cause. The oxytocin, vassopressin, and opiods you wrote about are important if you want to be happily "together" instead of just "together."

You have the sense to know marriage isn't for you, which puts you money ahead of half the people who get married and, later, divorced because they got in way over their heads. Marriage means that if he gets a bladder infection you both wake up in a urine-soaked bed, that if you get fired you both can't make rent, and that even if you separate you'll be a part of each other's emotional baggage forever (especially if you have kids). Studies have shown marriage mates affect each other's financial future, blood pressure, hormone levels, and even life expectancy. That is a tremendous responsibility AND a privilege, and the number of people who enter into marriage simply because it's ~expected~ is MADDENING.

Which is something to point out the next time someone uses your single state to question your credibility: the skill set needed to get from "Haven't Met Yet" to "Dating" is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the skillset needed to get from "Dating" to "Thriving Monogamous Relationship" (if that's your chosen endgame). That second skillset is neither your circus nor your monkey, and neither you nor male counterparts make any claims to the contrary.

And for the record? The Rules team's advice is just as useless for that second skillset. Playing hard to get and withholding sex as a bargaining chip gets you nowhere but miserable.

Arden Leigh

Joann - I agree with you entirely, but back in my Don Draper's day, marriage was just what you did, without question.

I also agree that (traditional) marriage and monogamy are not my circuses per se, but I am interested in sustaining longterm relationships that perhaps become more viable precisely because they do not carry the expectations and burdens of tradition. I want all the best of all possible worlds.

And yeah, The Rules suck for endless reasons.

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