Minimalism is a Clear Mind

October 30th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s Friday! Which means that it’s almost the weekend, for most of the working world. I want to leave you, at the end of this week, with one observation that I had this morning.

I was calmly walked towards the train, I noticed that my mind was exceptionally clear. I hope you’ll share this observation that I had with a friend, if you know someone that would understand.

Minimalism and meditation go hand in and with forming a clear and healthy mind.

Think about it: meditation is about taking your thoughts, sitting with them, and simplifying them until they no longer trouble you. Until your mind can sit still, you can release all of that psychobabble that the inside of your brain is constantly engaged in and let it all go.

This is why Buddhist monks renounce their possessions, so the brothers can meditate without worrying if they need to dust their television set off, or if they need organize their closet.

If you begin to live simpler, your mind will become calmer.

With less worry, you’ll get more done.

You’ll accomplish more, and feel more fulfilled.

By aspiring to live an existence at minimum level, we open a path for ourselves to achieve greatness and also to be free.

Have a safe and peaceful weekend, everyone.


Minimalist Guide to Personal Finance (and the stuff that dreams are made of…)

October 29th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter

I’m going to say a slogan that you have probably heard before: spend less than you earn. It’s the only way to get out of debt. We nod, we get it. It makes sense, right?

So we spend less than we earn when we’re in high school, and then we spend way more than we earn in college, and then get out of college and most of us spend less than we earn and try to pay off those loans.

Than an interesting thing happens, if we have one of those day job situations that most people are in.

We get a raise.

And suddenly we have this extra thousand, or two thousand, or ten thousand extra dollars. Oh my! What are we going to do with all of this money?

I can tell you: most people spend it.

People are exceedingly good at spending all of the money they earn. I’ve known people who were making $12,000 a year and getting by fine in New York, I’ve known people making over $100,000 a year and struggling to save anything in New York. They were living in the same house, paying (nearly) the same rent.

But what if you spent way less than you earn?

What if you said to yourself: I don’t need to fill up my life with useless crap anymore. I don’t need my cable TV bill. I don’t need my first car, or my second car, or my third car.

I can tell you the answer, if it hasn’t already occurred to you. You’ll save money, you’ll pay off your debts, and then someday if you’re really lucky, you’ll be able to spend that money on your dream.

The stuff that dreams are made of.
If you live a minimalist lifestyle, spending exactly the bare minimum to survive every month. You’ll someday be able to do something. Or better yet, quit your job right now and you’ll be forced to spend the bare minimum to survive, and eventually you’ll actually do something.

Something that’s yours, something that you own, that you’re responsible for. Something so important that your actually passionate about it. These are the kind of dreams that you should be dreaming.

But all of this is confusing, they told me I wanted a house, that I wanted a full time job.
Some people get really confused here, which is understandable. You’ve been conditioned your whole life into thinking that dreams are a bigger house, they’re a bigger yard, they’re a new kitchen set, they’re keeping your old kitchen set in storage.

Dreams are not made of bigger houses.

I’ve seen where that old kitchen set sits in storage, and it’s dusty and not used very much. It’s in fact, useless.

A fork is just a fork, and a plate is just a plate. It doesn’t matter how fancy they are, and you certainly don’t need twenty five of them to eat dinner.

A dream isn’t a dream unless you do it.

You can’t have the money to do a dream if you spend it.

If you stop spending your money on perpetuating a corporate cycle of consume, destroy, consume destroy, you’ll be able to do something important.

How to save for the future, minimalist style.

  1. Make sure every cent you spend is for absolute necessities.
  2. Move to a smaller house, rent a smaller house, one costs less.
  3. Abandon cars, take public transportation (move to an area with public transportation.
  4. Save the rest for your dreams. You’ll have way more than you would if you spent it all.

Here’s an article and a blog that will help you.

The True Cost of Stuff [Mnmlist]

And basically read everything on GetRichSlowly

Owning Nothing: Describing the Ultimate Minimalist Society.

October 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

Leo Babauta just blogged at about a hypothetical minimalist society where no one owned anything, I think this is an outstanding idea.

These are ideas that I subscribe to already, but there are limitations to how far you can take them in a society that feeds on permanent ownership and throwing objects out when you’re done.

However, there are methods that we can put into play to make a system like Leo describes work.

Let’s develop some of those ideas, in my real world situation.

Obviously these get harder to execute with the more belongings you accumulate, but I think that’s kind of the point. If you cut down on your personal possessions than you can start to live in this society that Leo describes.

Car Libraries:
Zip Car has this down. Next week when my girlfriend flies in from New York we’ll be renting a Honda Hybrid and driving up to Seattle. We never would have been able to do this without Zip Car

Housing Libraries:
This isn’t easy, but I’ve seen it done. I’m doing it now, by renting a room month-to-month in Portland. I’m going to move out at the end of November and head to Chicago. We had a kind of a housing library system set up at The School House in Brooklyn–we had ten rooms in the place–and we subleased when someone was traveling. It was kind of like a housing library system, the only thing is that socially it was a lot more complicated than renting a house.

We need push for social change and start to install systems where it’s okay to rent a house for a week, or two months. We’ll call it Zip-house. Someone should get on this idea, there’s a lot of money to be made.

Bike libraries:
I’m really surprised that Portland doesn’t have these. They have a tool library, they have public libraries, but no bike libraries? I think I remember someone talking about how they tried to implement one and failed. Try again Portland.

How I’m renting a bike:

When I moved to Portland on September 21st, my first goal was renting a room, my second goal was buying an inexpensive bike that was nice enough that I could resell again just before I skipped town again. The bike cost me $140. I’m trying to resell it for at least that much before I leave on November 18th. It’s kind of like a free bike rental if I accomplish this.

Clothes rental:

This is harder, because clothes wear out. I personally just stick with a weeks worth of clothing, with a little extra underwear and socks thrown in. This way I just wear them until the clothes wear out.

It would be really nice if I could check a winter coat out of a library though, because right now my winter coat is in a box in my mom’s basement in Chicago, which I had to time ahead of time, because I knew I’d be in Chicago around the holidays.

Let’s build this minimalist society that Leo dreams of.

Minimalism is Freedom from Location

October 26th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter

We’re living in a society that is rapidly evolving to point where we won’t have to live in any one specific place. I’m currently working on a website for a woman in New York, I’ve been illustrating for a company in San Francisco. I’m working on a magazine with colleagues in New York, Mumbai, and Peru.

It doesn’t matter where you live anymore.

It used to be that humans had to wake up every morning and go into a place where they could communicate with human beings in order to get things done. But now communication has evolved to the point that people, who choose to, can interact with everyone all over the world.

Minimalism is the ultimate freedom from being tied to a place or location.

On November 18th I’m going to be getting on a train to Chicago, where I’m going to exist for the next few months, before returning to New York for a bit.

How often you move around is simply restricted by how much you should choose to build up your collection of junk in any one area. Many people are still renting large homes, and then slowly filling them up with stuff that they don’t necessarily use.

This makes it impossible for them to achieve this dream, this reality of existing without the need to be in any one place at any one time.

In broad strokes, this is how to achieve this dream:

  1. Limit your belongings to only the things that you can carry. The absolute essentials.
  2. Start interacting with the internet as a source of doing business.
  3. Start moving around. Just get on a plane and see where you end up.

Easy, right? Well, it’s not that easy, but it’s a goal you can achieve. It’s made possible by the technical advances of the last ten years.

Oh, I watched this Ted Talk yesterday by Seth Godin. If you haven’t watched it already, you really should. It’s about how ideas travel in the modern day.

Clearing Surfaces: The Easiest Way to A Minimalist Household

October 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Yesterday, I discussed some of the fundamental problems that are associated with clutter. How we get it, where it comes from, why we have it, and how to get rid of it.

In today’s post I’m going to keep it simple and just discuss my favorite time-tested method to improving your clutter situation.

Clearing surfaces, a simple way to combat clutter.

Everyone has a number of surfaces in their household, how many varies by how big your house is. The most important ones are usually your kitchen counter, and your desk. If either of these spaces are cluttered, you’re bound to have trouble being productive making food or doing your work.

Ideally you want every surface in your household clear of things, except maybe intentional ornamentation. Like a tiny potted plant, or a picture of your cute girlfriend.

How to combat this clutter:

1, Start small. If you’re overwhelmed by the clutter, pick a small corner of your surface and start there. If you’re clearing the kitchen, do the dishes first, dry them, put them away. If you’re doing your desk, start by clearing objects blocking your mouse movements, and then move to the junk behind your monitor.

2, Find everything a home. Every object that is sitting out needs to have a place where it gets put. If it doesn’t have a place, you need to find it a place. If you can’t find a place than seriously question whether you need the object.

3, Get rid of things. If you don’t use it, you probably don’t need it! Don’t be afraid to recycle, donate, or trash objects that aren’t useful to you.

I have a one-month rule, if I don’t use it at least once a month than I probably don’t need it. Ask yourself whether or not you use each and every object, if the answer is ‘yes’, then keep it. If the answer is ‘someday’ than perhaps you should reconsider whether or not you need the object.

4, Try a thirty-minute cleaning spree. Sometimes I like to just go crazy, and I’ll set aside thirty minutes to just blow through cleaning a space. I usually do this by throwing everything into a bin and just making the surface completely clear. Then I use a dishrag to clean it, and then I deal with what’s in the bin.

5, Aim for absolutely clear. At the end of the day, your surface should be absolutely clear. Everything is put away, ideally where you can’t see it. I promise you that you’ll really enjoy looking around your house at all of the cleanliness.

Here’s a more comprehensive article on uncluttering over at Zen Habits.


Let me know how you’re tackling clutter in the comments! (yes, I have comments now. Yay!)

The Minimalist Guide to Uncluttering

October 22nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Post written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter.

This is the first in a series of articles I’m doing on reducing clutter in your life. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment!

Many people have too much stuff. We’re faced with endless choices in modern day society, and the most common choice is ‘yes, let’s have another.’ Another plastic knickknack, another candle holder, another footrest, another little cute bowl to put your keys in.

Take a break from this post for a second, and look around whatever room in your house you’re in. What do you see that you haven’t used in a month? In six months? In a year?

If you’re at a coffee shop, take a look inside your bag. What have you been carrying around for a month that you haven’t used?

I have a roommate currently that brings back a bag of little useless objects every day when she comes home. I had a roommate back in New York that did the same thing, except she made far more money than my current roommate, so the situation incredibly worse. Both of these roommates left their stuff all over our apartment, and then promptly forget they’d even purchased the item, as far as I could tell.

Why did you buy these things? I asked them. For someday, they replied. What use is someday if you’ve forgotten you even purchased a thing?

Think about the life-cycle of your average inexpensive mostly useless object for a second.

1, Somewhere, probably in the United States, someone has an idea: they’ll make a Useless Object, and it’ll make them rich!
2They sketch it out, they mull over it. They send the idea to their friends. Hey, that’s a good idea! I bet a bunch people would buy that and you’d make money!
3, They get a few made at a factory in the US. They seem to look good! They work perfectly at doing the useless thing that they do. Good!
4, They send their sample over to a factory in China, South Korea, or another asian country, and the factory sends a note back. Yes, we’ll make that for ten cents per Useless Object! They make five million of them.
5, Stores in America spend endless amounts of money and resources bringing these Useless Objects into American stores, where American consumers spend their hard-earned cash buying these Useless Objects because they think they will make them happy. Either that or an American consumer buys it for their friend, because they think that it’ll make them happy.

That’s the basic life-cycle of the thing you haven’t used in a month’s life. Insert the real name of your object where I put ‘Useless Object.’

The only solution to this is to stop buying. Stop indulging that little voice in the back of your head saying to you that one more object will make you happy. It won’t. You’ll be happy for fifteen minutes, and then you’ll go back to being sad.

Let me tell you a secret, that all of materialistic society doesn’t want you to know. Ready for it?

The best step you can take to be happy, right here, right now, is to stop buying useless physical objects that you think will make you happy. They will only make you sad, and make you feel more trapped by society than you already are. That and you’re spending all of your hard earned money on useless things. You’ve been deceived by advertising and people who want to make money off of you into this pattern that’s robbing you of happiness and your wealth. Isn’t that outrageous?

What’s the secret to happiness?

To make yourself happy the best thing you could do is to start eliminating the clutter in your life, to the point that you’ve pared down your possessions to the absolute necessities for your life.

This opens up a whole new can of worms, I know. You’re probably looking at all of your stuff and wondering what you can do to start getting rid of things. This isn’t going to be easy, the more clutter you have, the larger the project.

Start small.
Pick one section of your house to start decluttering. Maybe your desk, your bedroom floor, or your closet. Perhaps you have a garage or attic that’s full of stuff. Pick one corner, and start from there.

Bring a sizable box with you, and throw anything in that box that fits under this criteria:
1, You haven’t used it in a month.
2, You don’t use it regularly for your work.
3, It doesn’t belong to someone else (throwing away other people’s things will lead to confrontations. Take a moment and speak to them about the problem, and maybe send them this blog post.)

I’m ruthless when it comes to clutter. I just take it all and put it in a box, let it sit for a day to make sure I really don’t need anything, and then start figuring out how to sell, recycle, or donate the materials to people who need them.

Personally, I only have a computer bag, camera bag, a yoga mat, and seven day’s clothing. I’ve determined that this is all I need. Think about it for a second, what would your life be like if you could just pick up and go wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted?

Wouldn’t that be amazing? Yes it would.

Minimalize Your Life: Ten Simple Things You Can Do Today to Become A Minimalist

October 19th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The path to a minimalist life is not an easy one. I’ve found that my own life, minimalism has a cyclical pattern. Some years I’ll have more stuff, others I’ve purged everything.

Right now I’m pretty pared down, with only a bag of clothes, a Macbook, a camera bag, a hard-drive, a sleeping bag, and a yoga mat. I know, that’s pretty minimal, but at this moment in time it’s where I need to be.

Not everyone needs to take minimalism to the extreme that I am right now. You’ll find that some areas of your life really could use some simplification, while others may need to just be left alone.

Paring down my life to just the basic essentials for my own survival didn’t happen over night though, it takes a concerted effort to keep from gathering more stuff. I also have had to let some things go.

But being the ultimate minimalist has its rewards.

1, Less organizing. If you have no things, you don’t have to move them around.
2, Less expensive. When I wanted to move to Portland, all I did was hop on a plane.
3, I can live a more organic life.  I can spend each day doing exactly what I want, without having to feed the junk that surrounds me.
4, I need less space. I can basically live anywhere. My room right now costs mostly nothing and it doubles as a yoga studio, because I have nothing in it except a newly acquired bed.

But for those readers who are investigating the possibility of becoming more minimal, how can you go about making these changes?

Here are ten simple ways you can make your life more minimal today:

1, Clear one surface.
Whether it’s your kitchen counter top, your sofa, or your living-room floor. Pick one surface and clear it! Take every miscellaneous item off that surface and find it a home –a home is a place where an object is supposed to be, like a drawer, or a closet. The best place for homes is out of sight.

Ask yourself, when you pick up each object individually: “Do I need this?” If the answer is yes, put it away somewhere. If the answer is no, find out a way to get that object out of your life. Recycle it, donate it, gift it, throw it out.

2, Eliminate one obligation.
Take a look at your schedule, is there anything that you absolutely hate doing but you continue to do? This can be anything for many different people.

Maybe you’re watching a television show that you really don’t like anymore, that’s eating an hour of your life right there, for nothing. Cut it out of your life. Or maybe you’re helping your friends with all of their computer problems: make it known that you don’t enjoy installing printer drivers and helping people remove their viruses anymore.

By eliminating obligations you free up your time to accomplish things that are actually important to you. I use my free time these days to study yoga, and read books on yoga.

3, Walk slower.

Buddhists call this practice walking meditation. I’ve become a huge fan of walking everywhere slower. Everyone in modern society is rushing somewhere, but where are they rushing? I’d love if I had the answer.

Rushing does the opposite of getting you to your destination faster, in fact by rushing you make mistakes, you can hurt yourself, you’ll stress yourself out. All of these problems accumulate until you’re not a very effective person anymore. Slow down, and you’ll notice that your productivity will improve.

4, Remove five things from your life.
Identify five objects that you don’t use, or don’t need, or are just over-complicating your life, and get rid of them! So many people keep things around ‘just in case’, and in most cases they never use them for anything. For myself I keep a one-month rule. If I don’t use an object at least once a month, I don’t need it at all.

5, Clear your email box.
Inbox Zero is a powerful state to achieve. If you have tons of unread messages, they will weigh heavily on your mind. Take a moment and clear out that inbox. Here’s what I usually do: throw anything that you haven’t read that’s at least a week old in the trash. People will email again if it’s important. Now delete anything that is junk, or useless, like newsletters. On newsletters: unsubscribe from as many of these as possible. Everyone signs you up for their newsletter, but do you actually read any of them? If it’s not important it shouldn’t be coming to your email box. Next deal with any important emails from this week, one at a time until they’re all taken care of. More on attaining Inbox Zero.

6, Un-friend one person.
People can be bothersome, and everyone has that one friend that they wish they never had to talk to again — whether this person is constantly asking for advice, or asking for favors, or just being annoying. Take a moment to block this person on every service that you have. Un-friend on Facebook, remove from Linkedin, block their g-chat name, send their emails to the trash, make a commitment not to answer if they call.

Good, now you don’t have to deal with this person anymore.

For some people this will be really hard, but you have to understand that your time is valuable, and there will always be people who want to take up most of yours. If you surround yourself with people you love, you’ll love being surrounded by people.

7, Make one important decision.
You’ve been putting it off, I know. There’s got to be one thing that you’ve yet to say yes or no to. Whether it’s dinner on Friday with your best friend, or finishing a project at work. Make the decision now to either do it or not. Call and cancel with your friend, or bang through that project.

8, Spend an hour in silence.
Silence is important, it gives you time to reflect on your life; what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong. Important answers can come to you in the space in-between doing. Lock yourself in a room, step out onto the front porch, or go sit in a coffee shop and stare out the window. Answers will come to you. The most important thing is NOT to do anything.

9, Get yourself off one online social network.
People think they need to be a part of everything, but it’s important that you maintain your connection with the service that’s connecting you with people. If Facebook is eating too much of your time, get off it! If you haven’t checked your profile on Yelp in awhile, consider getting off that service. The social networking you do on the internet, the more time you’ll have to accomplish important things. How to quit Facebook.

10, Do one thing that you really love.
Minimalism isn’t about doing nothing, it’s about finding time to do what’s important to you. By getting rid of all your clutter, you’ll find that you spend less time maintaining your existence, and you’ll have more time to do what you really enjoy doing. So ask yourself now: what’s the most important thing to me? Now answer it. Then do it.

For me, at this very moment, Yoga is the most important thing. So now, I’ll bid to goodbye, and go practice.


Observations on Yoga as a Basis for Existence.

October 16th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Portland has some amazing yoga centers, and at the time of writing this I’m three days deep unto a two week (for $20 dollars!) unlimited trial at Yoga Pearl, downtown. I’ve been falling in love with Power Vinyasa practice, with the room heated to 95F, which has the effect of warming muscle tissue to the point where tightness is an afterthought.

I’ve been doing Yoga daily since I arrived in Portland, almost to the point of having my practice be the focus of my day, and it’s had some interesting effects:

1, My practice has accelerated.
I’m starting to feel like my practice has begun to develop. I’m getting deeper into poses, and with that comes a sense of effortlessness, which is really important.

2, I’m becoming more relaxed.
There’s a lot going on in my life right now: I’m freelancing full-time, which has its challenges, I just moved to a new city, I’m separated from my awesome girlfriend, ultimately I have no idea what I’m doing (like the rest of us, I suppose.) By practicing Yoga daily I’ve found that I can maintain peace and calm amidst the chaos.

3: I’m concentrated in the moment.
A lot of people practice yoga like it’s a race. They’re racing to the end of each pose, and eventually each class, and then they race out of class to the shower. I’m coming to realize (more so than I have in the past) just how important it is to move through every moment, in yoga and in life, as if it’s the only moment. Yoga is about the journey, not how fast you can get to the end of the pose.

The most powerful changes come in the in-between moments. If you’re not paying attention you’ll miss them.

Simplify Your life: Restrict the Flow of Media

October 15th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Post written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter

My blog buddy Tammy Strobel, over at RowdyKittens, recently went on a media diet, which got me thinking about the subject.

Why are we consuming all of this news?

The media: newspapers, television, radio, can be intoxicating. If you wanted to, you could spend twenty-four hours a day devouring little bits of news coming from every direction. There are news sources targeting every demographic, every nationality, every personality.

They all have one thing in common: they want you to read more.

But, just like if you were to eat food (even fresh vegetables!) for every single second for every day, what would happen? You’d get fat, and you wouldn’t get anything done. The media has the same effect as over indulging as everything. It’s time to take a break from the media.

Why should you take a break?

1, Because everything will continue to happen without you.
Obama will continue to make amazing speeches, Lohan will continue to make a fool of herself, Afghanistan will still be a cluster-fuck, Jennifer Aniston will still be sad and un-datable. It doesn’t matter if you’re watching or not, what the media thinks is important in the world will keep happening. It’ll still be there when you get back, but if you take a break maybe you’ll realize that you have more time in your life.

2, You’ll find more productive things to do with that time.
Think about it: if you spend three hours reading celebrity-obsessed blogs every day, what else could you do with that time? I can think of a few things: raise money to save starving children in peru. Sign this petition to get keep off-highway-vehicles (OHV’s) from destroying the habitat that yummy Chanterelle mushrooms grow in. Maybe you could start a blog on minimalism and start promoting values that will save the entire world.

I love having space in my day, to sit and meditate, to read an informative book. Empty space in a day is a lost art, why are we filling it up with useless information?

3, The news doesn’t effect you, you have no effect on the news.
Chances are that most news doesn’t impact your life directly. Of course maybe you’re super interested in the health care debate, or whether or not the employment in the U.S. is still down (it is.) But chances are there is nothing you can do about this personally, so why are you worrying?

Trust that you elected competent representatives for the job (you did.) And let them do their jobs. Tell yourself that health care will happen if it happens. And if you feel really strongly about the issue, actually do something to make it happen, don’t just read about it all day.

4, Because you’ll stop feeding a part yourself to the corporate machine.
Why do they want you to read more? Because it makes corporations richer. Time-Warner, Newscorp, Conde Naste, Bloomberg, the list goes on and on. By abstaining from the media you’re giving the big money less ad clicks, and thus less ad revenue.

Obviously not all media is owned by huge corporations, but most of it is. If you read independent blogs (like me!), instead of eating what the big media wants you to, you’ll help support people who are trying to make an honest living.

5, You’ll have time for everything else.
Is there something in your life that you’ve been meaning to start doing? Like maybe you’ve always wanted to start doing yoga daily, cook dinner for your loved ones or friends, or learn a new skill?

The list goes on, the possibilities for the time you’re not spending reading the news is endless.

I’m going to take a break from the media myself this week. No New York Times for me, and sorry Vulture blog you’ll have to inform someone else!


If you liked this post, send it to your news media outlet of choice so they can run a fluff piece about me. Thanks readers! Oh, and subscribe to my RSS feed.

The Minimalist Guide to Sex

October 14th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Post written by Everett Bogue | Follow me on Twitter

It’s Wednesday, it’s raining lightly, it’s a bit chilly here in the Pacific Northwest. Inevitably my mind is going to wander to…. the subject of sex. Yes folks, we here at Far Beyond The Stars are taking it there, and we’re going all in.

Minimalism and sex fit together like…

Sex is a powerful thing, it’s one of those rituals in life that can save you, or destroy you; bring you vast pleasures, or immense sorrow. Some folks sleep with a few people in their lives, others sleep with legions of horny individuals. I, personally, have taken a very minimalist approach to sex (at least until my girlfriend and I are in the same room, together again.)

Mom and dad, don’t read any further, I beg of you. You’ll just feel gross afterward.

Now, Minimal sex isn’t no sex. Having no sex is what inanimate objects do, and we’re leaving breathing life forms, so don’t deny yourself, please. But if you must have sex with strangers you meet in dirty bars, rock protected! People really do get diseases if they’re not careful.

Here are my five guidelines to Minimalist Sex.

Quality over quantity.
People get their kicks a lot of different ways, but in my experience, the best sex is the kind you’re having with one person. Doing it five times a day can be exhilarating, but as a seasoned professional, I’d like to suggest keeping the volume down as well. Too much sex can lead to boredom, burnout, and eventual disinterest (and potential injury!) Infrequent sex keeps your mutual interest going strong.

Keep it simple.
Women and men like it many ways, but some of them like particular ways more than others. Ask your partner which position she likes best, and make that your exclusive focus–experimentation is fun once in awhile, but for your average lovely before-sleep sex? Keep it simple.

Take it slow and easy (at least for a little while.)
This is universal, at least in my experience: everyone likes it to start slow. Light some candles, undress one item at a time. If you take it slower, the experience will last longer and also be more pleasurable for both of you. You’re not jack-hammering concrete here, you’re engaging intimately with a human being.

Make every time count.
Ask yourself the question, before you’re yanking your clothes off in front of someone that you don’t know too well: “Will this make me feel better about myself?” because, it really does matter. Meaningless sex is just that, meaningless. So why are you doing it when you can meaninglessly masturbate?

Wait for it.
The minimalist approach to sex defines waiting in two ways: one, make your sex last as long as possible (see take it slow.) and two, don’t have it all the time! Infrequent sex can be extremely rewarding, because you’ll spend a week waiting in eager anticipation for the lovin’ to go down.

Only with someone you love.
A minimalist doesn’t give his or her love indiscriminately. They wait until they’re with someone who they adore with the utmost enthusiasm, and then they let lose with their extreme lovemaking power.

There are a million things you can do in the world that are more rewarding than having sex with someone who you don’t like. So instead of going back to not-so-sure-about’s place and banging with your eyes closed, go take a yoga class! Or eat fresh vegetables! Or sit on your roof and watch the sunset. I promise you, that the sunset is so much better.


If you liked this story, email it to your boyfriend, girlfriend, or fuck-buddy friend who you adore dearly but don’t really want to go out to dinner with. Maybe they’ll reward you with something nice. If you’re sitting all alone in your room wishing you had a lover, tweet about it!

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