InterviewsPersonal Development

Steve Pavlina on sex 3.0, threesomes, 30 days projects and personal development

Steve Pavlina talks about sex, month-long projects and the world of personal development

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(Literal) Text Transcription of the video :

Hello mes rebelles intelligents.

In January 2017, I was in Las Vegas and as I already met the Steve Pavlina, I asked him « Well, are you available? I would like to do a quick interview with you. »

So now, Steve Pavlina is quite a famous blogger. He started a personal development blog in 2004, quite a few years before almost everyone else. And, it completely changed my life, this blog. So, I was super excited to meet him and, in this interview, he shares a lot of very interesting and insightful advice on “How to be a free human being”, “How to experiment with sex 3.0 with open relationships?” and more.

Now, we met in a coffee shop. So, the angle of the camera is a bit weird. It’s not a perfect setup but just forget that and focus on the content; you will see, it’s really worth it.

Olivier Roland: So Steve, I’m really happy to do this interview with you now because I mean your blog inspired me back in the days like in 2007 to start my online career as a blogger. I will quickly do your introduction for people that don’t know you. You have a very popular website about personal development called “Steve Pavlina” so it’s your name, stevepavlina.com. And it’s full of very deep articles about a lot of subjects like, I don’t know if you are the one who invented the “30 days challenge” for example or you are the one who made it popular.

Steve Pavlina: “The 30-day trials”, yes. As far as I know, I was the one who popularized it. But it was the technique I borrowed from software development because I used to be a computer game developer.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: So, that was very common to use « 30 day trials » with, you know, software. You download a demo, you get to use it for 30 days. And then, you have to buy and register it. So you know, I thought that’s a great way to get people to buy software. It’s also a great way to install or test new habits.

Olivier Roland: Yeah and it was genius to just think about “Eh, why not do like a trial like software trial but to anything in life?” So, you wrote about that, you wrote about your experiment with a polyphasic sleep, very interesting, so like how to sleep two to four hours every day without being tired?

Steve Pavlina: About two hours everyday, that was a crazy experiment.

Olivier Roland: Yes. Because you did the “Uberman” but there is also the “Everyman”.

Steve Pavlina: Everyman.

Olivier Roland: Which is like a little…

Steve Pavlina: It’s a little easier because you get a longer nap at night like maybe three hours a night.

Olivier Roland: And so, the goal is like you sleep like two to four hours or two hours in case of a Uberman and you’re like you are not tired at all. It’s like…

Steve Pavlina: In the beginning, you are, it is a terrible sleep deprivation for the first week or two. And then, if your body can adapt and I don’t think everyone can adapt to it, I think it has to do with something genetic because a lot of people that try it, no matter how discipline they are, they just can’t seem to do it.

Whereas, other people are able to adapt to it a little bit more easily. Then, it becomes a lot easier but it’s pretty strict because you have to take a 20-minute nap at least the way I did it. A 20-minute nap every four hours continuously around the clock.

Olivier Roland: And you cannot be late.

Steve Pavlina: You can a little bit. I could slide it to maybe five hours or six hours but you can’t skip a nap. That’s really bad because you’ll be paying for it for the next 24 hours. You’ll just be very sleep-deprived and really tired. But, I did that for five and a half months and looking back, I almost can’t believe I did it that long.

And the main reason I stopped though is that, it makes a mess of your social life because you have to live your life in 3 hours and 40 minutes chunks. So you know, I couldn’t travel much during that time. I wasn’t really into traveling back then a lot but it’s really hard to break everything.

Olivier Roland: You also are out of sync with everyone else.

Steve Pavlina: You are out of sync with all of reality. But, I’m glad I did it for a while because it’s really fascinating, it gives you a whole different perspective on time because we’re used to living our life one day at a time in these discrete finite chunks. And when you’re awake seemingly continuously because it’s 20-minute naps, just small little breaks out of your day. It’s not like you’re really going for a big rest and resetting a new day. It’s like, it’s one day all the way continuously.

So from October when I started to April when I finished, it’s like one day all the way through. It seemed like, it’s like the sun comes up, the sun goes down, the sun comes up, and the sun goes down. You’re the constant now. It’s not like the world is turning without you. You’re there to see everything happening. And, you see people go to bed and then people get up in the morning. And you know, the city shuts down and the city wakes up again. The city doesn’t shut down that much though, because we’re in Las Vegas.

las vegas surreal life

Olivier Roland: Yeah, Las Vegas, no. You see, it’s like watching a movie of everyone in acceleration.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah it’s a little surreal.

Olivier Roland: And it gives you different perspective on time.

Steve Pavlina: But, it makes you feel much more disconnected from everyone because you know, for one you’re spending a lot of time alone each night unless you make night time friends and daytime friends or something like that. But, it can get almost just too much. It’s overwhelming or exhausting. Just all the input you’re taking in every 24 hours.

Olivier Roland: But so, you couldn’t create a community of people who are like you. It’s too rare.

Steve Pavlina: You could. In fact, the people I know who’ve succeeded the longest, they created a community like five or eight people got together and they did this as a group and that gives them a lot more stability. Because now, they can hang out with each other while they’re doing this. I was doing it by myself which I think was a lot harder. And it’s… It gets a bit lonelier at night because all your friends are asleep.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. So, four months and a half, five months and a half.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah, five and half months.

Olivier Roland: For sleeping two hours a day man, Wow. So, that’s a kind of stuff you write about on your blog like so many articles. How many articles do you have more than one thousand, two…

Steve Pavlina: I think about 13 hundred.

Olivier Roland: Really? Okay. So, we are not talking about short articles. I mean, go to the site and see it. So, I’m curious about these 30-day challenges you did. What is the most life-changing 30 days challenge you did in your life?

Steve Pavlina: That’s an easy one. It was actually the very first one I did.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: Which I did, this was long before I started blogging, before I did anything in business when I was back at university between two semesters in college. I got the idea that I wanted to try going vegetarian for 30 days. And, I had a friend who is Indian and he would always eat vegetarian you know. So, we’d go out for pizza and he would eat cheese pizza and I would have pepperoni pizza. And I always thought, it was interesting and he seemed very sharp mentally and I thought he was like one of my smartest friends.

I thought interesting, I wonder if there’s a connection there. So you know, I decided… At some point in my life, I just wanted to try being vegetarian. I had no interest in going vegetarian but I just wanted to try it. And I thought “What if I just try it for a month?” like during the summer when I’m on vacation.

So, I did that and it was just… it was really cool because it was actually really easy to do. And I noticed like I never went back on day 31 because I still had vegetarian food in my house. And so, I kept eating that way for a while. I don’t six months had passed and I was still eating the vegetarian. And I thought “Well, I guess I’m a vegetarian”. You know, I felt sharper mentally, just a little bit. It wasn’t a huge increase but that got me started and it inspired me to three and a half years later to go vegan.

And now, I did that with a 30-day trial as well. I liked it a lot. I just felt much more energy, I was doing martial arts at the time and it really increased my sparring endurance.

Olivier Roland: This time, it was not a little increase. You really…

Steve Pavlina: This time, it was a much bigger increase. And then, I’ve used that to spawn other kinds of 30-day trials. I’ve gone raw for 30 days, you know hundred percent eating raw foods for thirty days at a time or eating raw for six months at a time. You don’t have to do just 30 days. And now, I’ve been vegan for twenty years. And that has made like a huge difference. People ask me “How do you write so much?” And it’s because of eating lighter foods so you have more energy for your mind.

Olivier Roland: And focus.

Steve Pavlina: So, you’re not spending all your energy on digestion breaking down heavy foods. So then, it’s great for focus, it’s great for mental endurance. Being able to write for four or five hours at a time without taking a break, concentrating on just one article idea, you know all the way through. That was… you know, if I had just one change to make, it would be going vegetarian and vegan. If I could throw out everything else I did in my life. You know even entrepreneurship, I would throw that out.

Olivier Roland: Really.

Steve Pavlina: I would just keep that one thing because that gave me more benefits than anything else. Just eating, it’s really simple to do in a way. I mean, just eating lighter on the food chain and it just gave me everything else I wanted in life really, came from that so.

Olivier Roland: Wow. So, I hope it inspires you to do tests because yeah you really like…

Steve Pavlina: I’m really into testing. I’m not here to like preach any particular change to anybody, but I am really into testing. So, try it for yourself.

Olivier Roland: How many tests did you do during a year? Do you do twelve or like one a month?

Steve Pavlina: Oh a year? It depends. I also do some really strange experiments. So sometimes, I’m not doing any trials at all. Other times I’ll do longer trials like this year one of my goals is to go all of the whole year without any caffeine. So no coffee, no black tea, no green tea and no white tea and also no…

Olivier Roland: Oh, no tea.

Steve Pavlina: No chocolate, no stimulants whatsoever the whole year.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Steve Pavlina: So, I guess I’m saying that on camera. Now, I’m committed to it.

Olivier Roland: Yeah because it’s the beginning of the year. So…

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Yeah wow. So, how do you… when you have changes like that, how do you fight against the struggle? You know the urge to eat chocolate or to drink coffee or…

Steve Pavlina: You know after gone a while on it you know, it’s not that difficult. So last year, I would have coffee occasionally, sometimes a lot especially when I would go in Europe because they have such a good espresso there. When I went to Italy, I’ll have an espresso everyday because it’s really good or when I would go to France, you know I’d have it there. And you know, I’d get hooked on it and I get addicted to it.

coffee addict for breakfast

I noticed it would make my thoughts more scrambled, I would be as clear, as focused. So then, I’d make a bigger commitment like I’d go “Okay, I’m doing a month with no caffeine at all”. You know after like a week or two, once I got past the caffeine hangover, I’d be done with it. I wouldn’t even want it anymore, I wouldn’t crave it anymore.

And I noticed how much more relaxed my mind was. It was you know calm instead of like crazy all over the place, you know with coming up with constant ideas and just cluttering my mind with all this fluff. And without caffeine at all, it’s like “Ah, it’s nice and calm” I can just focus more easily on one thought at a time.

Olivier Roland: So, Tim Ferris just released a new book “Tools of Titans” and…

Steve Pavlina: I’ve heard but I haven’t read it.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. I began to read it and it’s like a lot of interviews from his podcast you know. And, it also gives like a few in very interesting questions to ask people, so I borrow a few of the questions he shares in this book for you.

Steve Pavlina: Okay.

Olivier Roland: So the first one is, when you see, when you think of the word successful, who is the first person who comes to your mind? And Why?

Steve Pavlina: Leonard da Vinci is one who comes to mind.

Olivier Roland: Oh, okay. Why?

Steve Pavlina: Because he was successful in so many different fields because he mastered so many different arts. I mean, he was an artist. He was designing military technology, he was learning about early aviation.

Olivier Roland: Yes, very early.

Steve Pavlina: Mathematics, you know various Sciences, he was getting into. So, I like that model because you know, a lot of people in the world tell you, you have to niche down and go to just you know one narrow focus and you have to be an expert of that. But, I’ve actually found that very disheartening because when I was going to start my blog in 2004, I realized that if I pick any one narrow focus like time management, I’m going to be bored with that in a year or two or maybe five years if I can stretch it.

And then, it’ll just be heartless work to maintain that empire or whatever I built around it. So I just thought “I don’t want to do that”. I have so many different interests. I really want to explore life and I don’t want to get to the end of life and look back and think about all the things I missed out on because my focus was too narrow. So, I like doing deep dives temporarily. And then, I like to resurface, look at the big picture of life and maybe pick a whole new direction.

Olivier Roland: And you have new skills.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. So, I don’t want to just be like just one guy who does only one thing you know, really well. I want to do a lot of things and do them at a significant amount of depth. So, I call that the “Mile wide mile deep strategy”.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Steve Pavlina: And you know, people say you have to go a mile wide, okay so,

Olivier Roland: One mile.

Steve Pavlina: If this is for French a kilometer wide and a centimeter deep.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, or the reverse.

Steve Pavlina: Sure, yeah and… So, or you have to go, you know, the opposite of that and…

Olivier Roland: So to do that, you have a period of time when you focus deeply on a subject. And then when you’re done, you’ll go on something else. Like, when we met in Los Angeles a few months ago, you told me you were really into typography for a time like two months maybe?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: And you wrote a lot of articles about that in your blog. But now, you don’t write anymore about this and…

Steve Pavlina: That deep dive was just a couple of days.

Olivier Roland: Oh, really.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. Just about two days to learn typography.

Olivier Roland: Really?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. And there’s a lot of good websites for your learning the basics really quickly.

Olivier Roland: And I have to say, on your blog you have pretty good fonts and we exchanged a few emails and I asked you “What is the font you’re using?” Because I don’t know, it’s so smooth. You know so smooth? It’s like a… it’s pleasurable to read your emails because it’s different than the font of everyone else I exchange emails with.

Steve Pavlina: Ah, okay.

Olivier Roland: Yes.

Steve Pavlina: Well, the one I use on my website there is a font called “Charter”. The one I used in email is just one of the built-in fonts that Gmail lets you use. I pick Garamond for that because it only gives you a handful of choices. And so, I picked the one that was closest to the one on my website.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Steve Pavlina: If I could use charter in an email easily, it would work. I’d have to copy something from my blog, paste it into the email and then edit the text and they would continue using Charter I think for that. But otherwise, it’s… you know, it’s close enough.

Olivier Roland: But so, Leonardo da Vinci was a genius in a lot of fields and he had an impact in lot of fields. Also in some fields his impact didn’t last like early aviation. It was not really, you know. Don’t you think that’s also it can be…?

Steve Pavlina: Modelling a bird didn’t quite work for airplanes.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. Don’t you think it can also be dispersion to do what he did? And do you think it’s possible to have an impact in a lot of fields today? Because it’s like five centuries later on. We have way more knowledge in every field than before.

Steve Pavlina: You know for me, I originally made the decision just for lifestyle reasons. But, I found it beneficial and one of the things I noticed is that people get a very narrow focus in a certain field. And they only use you know, let’s say you’re running a business in a certain field. You’ll find that everybody in that field uses the same marketing technics. Like lawyers, they all tend to market themselves the same way. And then, you are at a different field like you know online marketing and online marketers marketing themselves. They do things very differently than lawyers do.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: And then, you go to a totally different field like you know restauranteurs and you’ll find that they market their businesses totally differently. And so, if you just look at it from a marketing perspective, if you hop around different fields and you deep dive into different areas, you’re going to learn so many different techniques for marketing your own business. And, that’s very true. You also learn different techniques that can help you grow faster by adapting ideas like, since I used to be a computer programmer and worked as a game developer, I use ideas from game development to enhance my current business or my lifestyle like the “30-day trial” idea, I got that from software development.

Taking an algorithmic approach. You know, like a step-by-step. What’s the process approach to personal development or setting my goals, I use a very methodical approach to goal achievement a lot of the time that I got from writing computer programs. You know, there’s so many things you can transplant from one field to another that will make you look like a genius because nobody else is doing that.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Steve Pavlina: And because I explore so many different fields, I notice things in the blogosphere, you know in blogging that everybody says “Okay here’s the rules, you have to do this”. And I tend to find better results by breaking the rules.

As soon as I see somebody saying “Here’s what you need to do, here’s what you need to focus on”. I realize that their focus is being too narrow and they’re missing a lot of the big picture that they would get if they explored different fields.

For instance, there’s a huge emphasis on search engine optimization which is something I completely ignore to a large extent. And I’ve been ignoring that all along and yet my website does really well in search engines.

Olivier Roland: Very well.

Steve Pavlina: And you know, people are constantly telling me they’re searching on something and they find my website that I don’t want. You know, old friends look me up because they found my website from you know various searches. The thing there is though is that I see a bigger picture because I’ve explored other fields. And so, I know that this over emphasis on search engine optimization is a dead end because you just… it’s all tactic based. And that’s all technique based and it’s not going to last because Google’s going to get smarter and smarter and smarter.

And I thought this is not the way to go. So, I focused on instead of SEO I call it HVO “Human Visitor Optimization”. I decided and I’m going to write my articles for human beings not for computers and I thought about “What’s the long term here?” And, I thought what I want to do is I really want to connect with people on a human level, on an emotional level not come across as fake or phony or stuff all kinds of artificial keywords on my articles just to get a ranking. That’s only going to last for a certain amount of time instead like really impact people.

And so I focused you know, instead of trying to trick technology into doing my bidding for me, it’s like really help people, you know, really focus on deepening my sense of caring, deepening my sense of compassion when I write. Really getting into the mindset of the people I’m writing for and what their problems are. And going deep on the human side versus going shallow, you know semi-deep on the technology side in a way that’s going to be very temporary.

And the cool thing is people are still… You know, somebody in a Lunch Club actually just posted one of my articles in the group that they found by doing an organic search on Google. And there was an article I wrote in 2006.

Olivier Roland: Ah, interesting.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. And then, people are discussing the article. And so, I’m like “Okay, an article I write ten years ago, people are still finding in a search engines”. And you know, what rises you up in a search engine, it’s… a search engine is just another type of referral. When enough people start referring through social media, through linking to your articles from their blog, that causes you to get a higher page-rank and rise up in Google.

So, I focus on, you know, getting the humans to refer, not the machines. And if the humans refer, the machines pick up on that.

Olivier Roland: Right.

Steve Pavlina: And then, they refer if that makes sense.

Olivier Roland: Yes.

Steve Pavlina: But, I think if you try to bypass the human element and go straight to the machine element,

Olivier Roland: At one point you’re missing something.

Steve Pavlina: You’re missing something really important there. And then, when people get to your website, they’re like “Oh, this is just a fluff piece” and they click off because they don’t feel engaged.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. So, to summarise what you say is we should like, everyone should like have a scientific approach to their life by doing experiments. You do with this, you fuel this by your curiosity. You want to explore different area and just learn the basic stuff that everybody is using in the field but not in another. And just by bringing common stuff in another field that nobody knows about it, it’s like you are genius.

Steve Pavlina: Exactly.

Olivier Roland: You look like a genius but you’re just using like basic stuff that nobody heard of in this particular field. And so, when you mix a curiosity with a good approach which is the experiment, so you’re really open-minded and you’re just looking at the results you get. You can get more skills and more creativity than most people without too much work and it can be very fun.

Steve Pavlina: What people are missing is, they look at the opportunity cost of like switching fields. But I’m not suggesting you have to switch fields, I’m suggesting you explore deeply in a lot of different fields. And you’ll find that all those things enhance each other that they actually make you a better expert in each thing that you explored.

Olivier Roland: Because you see the inter-relations.

Steve Pavlina: But it’s not about doing a shallow exploration of each thing. It’s actually about going into significant depth in each area. So, you’re not just going to dabble endlessly and just do things for a couple days here, a couple days there. It’s like go really deep into more than one thing.

Olivier Roland: So for example, you just said like you studied typography for few days. Do you think it was a deep dive or not?

Steve Pavlina: That was a very temporary, short deep dive but it was a very functional one. I needed to look at better fonts for my website. So, that included looking at 600 different fonts before I picked which one I want.

Olivier Roland: Six hundred?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Steve Pavlina: I went through every Google font, you know. And then, I ended up picking something that wasn’t even in the Google fonts.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Steve Pavlina: And you know, looking at even more to try to find something that I felt look good. You know, things I learned about typography you know like I could see how they impacted or are related to other fields. And, I could use knowledge in one field to enhance my knowledge in another field. You see, when we learn you know if you study the brain and I’ve studied a lot of neuroscience, the way the brain works is, it’s always building connections with what we already have.

And so, when you learn new knowledge, it has to find something to connect it to. So, if you create a broad base of things that your brain can connect new knowledge to, then it has an easier time classifying things.

You know, when you study something new like typography, I was like how do I hang this? You know like what is this? And this seems like this whole field hanging out there by itself. But, I very quickly was able to connect it with something else that I already understood like typography is actually a form of self-expression. And I understand self-expression really well because I do that as a speaker and as a writer. And so, the way I’ve picked the fonts is I thought what is the message I’m trying to deliver and I realized typography communicates something.

You know, if you do use a really flowery font that might be appropriate for a wedding invitation. But, it may not be appropriate for reading technical material. So whatever I picked I thought this is communication. So, I wanted to pick a font that aligns with the message I want to put out. I want something that’s accessible, fairly easy to read. But when you look at it closely, there’s some depth to it.

And so, you probably won’t notice this but if you look at some of the fonts on my website, you’ll notice they have slight embellishments around the edges like certain letters will have like these little curved parts, and these little triangle shaped parts.

And it’s not something you’ll notice at first glance but you only notice it when you look deeper. There’s other actually a message behind the typography I chose and everything was chosen, every font on every element of the site was chosen very deliberately. And it’s to enhance the message and it’s just like, you know any kind of communication. But, I didn’t realize it was a form of communication. I thought it’s just something you pick to look nice, right?

Olivier Roland: Yes.

Steve Pavlina: And so, when I understood it then I can connect my study of typography to things I already knew like self-expression and then I go “Ah instantly, I get it”.

You know, another example was I explored fashion many years ago. It’s not something I got terribly into. But in 2009, I did a deep dive into fashion. I had a friend that was interested in it and we went to the Las Vegas strip. And, we went shopping and he was showing me all these different things. And I bought like a two-dollar shirt, you know. And I was trying this on and I was like, “Okay, I see what’s…” You know, I understand a little bit more about this and typography is much like fashion.

So “boom”, two things, very different fields.

Olivier Roland: Ways to express yourself…

Steve Pavlina: But now you can connect the dots, and now I could use all my knowledge that I understood from doing a deep dive into fashion. I can instantly transfer it over to typography. It is self-expression.

You know, what I understood about picking clothes that I liked and that would express myself, I liked that. Like I like clothing that it looks plain and simple. And when you look at it from far away, but when you get close you realize there’s a pattern to it. Like, this might look like a plain solid colour shirt, but it actually has texture to it. It’s got lines going across it that are slightly different colours.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Steve Pavlina: You know, there’s like something a little bit different about it. And that’s the kind of thing I like to express because that’s how I feel. I like being accessible but when you get to know me you realize there’s a lot of depth.

And that’s how I like to get to know people. It’s like, I like to have a very friendly connection but go deep quickly.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: And so, it’s all communication but you see how everything like from all these different fields that you wouldn’t even think you could connect, it does connect.

Olivier Roland: I had a lot of other questions from Tim but since we are running out of time. There is a topic I really want to talk about, it’s the open relationship.

Steve Pavlina: Okay.

Olivier Roland: Because you share a lot about these like a few years ago. You don’t do it too much anymore. So, I think you have like a lot of things to say about this. First, are you still in open relationship today?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah for seven years.

Olivier Roland: Seven years.

Steve Pavlina: In fact, our seven year anniversary is in two days.

Olivier Roland: Wow. Congrats.

Steve Pavlina: Seven years since we first got together.

Olivier Roland: Wow. So, just to…

Steve Pavlina: But we’re not married though.

Olivier Roland: So, how would you define the open relationship?

Steve Pavlina: You know, everyone defines it differently. We tend to be monogamous when we’re together but if we’re in other cities where we travel a lot, then it’s like, it’s okay if you want to connect or play with somebody else or we’ll have threesomes together. We’ve done that many times. We even went to an orgy recently.

Olivier Roland: Really.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. First time, I’m not really an orgy kind of guy but it was kind of fun and just to just have that experience for the first time and see what it’s like…

Olivier Roland: Here in Las Vegas?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah, here in Las Vegas. I don’t think either of us were all that into it but it was like “okay”.

Olivier Roland: Let’s explore.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Yeah okay. So, it means when you’re together, you’re together. You do threesomes and sometimes you go, you have adventures when you go abroad and you’re not together. Do you share this or you don’t talk too much?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah, no we share.

Olivier Roland: You share.

Steve Pavlina: But there’s an unusual element to our relationship in that we’re not just in an open relationship, we’re also in a long-distance relationship. So, I’m American,

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: and she, Rachel is Canadian.

Olivier Roland: Yeah and she lives in…

Steve Pavlina: And she lives, she’ll stay here with me about six months out of the year which is about the legal limit.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: So, we don’t break the law or anything like that. But since we’re not married, you know we can’t be in each other’s countries for too long. So, I can sometimes go visit her in Canada or more often, we’ll go travel together somewhere. Like last year, we went to spend a few weeks in Mexico, we went to Costa Rica, we went to London, we went to Rome and we also spent some time in Canada together.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Steve Pavlina: So, we’ll travel to usually a few countries each year. We’ve been to France a couple of times, just Paris and Versailles.

Olivier Roland: Okay Versailles, yeah which is very close. So, you see each other like six months a year or more with all the travels.

Steve Pavlina: Usually more. Usually about seven, eight months a year I’d say.

Olivier Roland: Okay so still, that’s like a few months.

Steve Pavlina: But we will spend four or five months apart each year. Sometimes for a pretty long stretches. It could just be for a few weeks apart but it might be for two or three months apart. So, I think the longest we’ve done is maybe just over three months.

Olivier Roland: So, do you share spontaneously the adventures you have with other people or it is like sometimes you ask who are you into right now?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah, it’s kind of… just spontaneously. I tend to be pretty opportunistic and pretty lazy. I don’t tend to just go out of my way to try to create a new connection but sometimes things just happen. It often happens when I’m traveling by myself, then you know I might have a nice playful connection with somebody… it’s usually just really short term, so that could be just for a few days up to, the most was maybe like three weeks.

Olivier Roland: Three weeks, yeah of course when you’re traveling, it’s like… okay

Steve Pavlina: But this is another area where I, you know, neither of us is the jealous type, this is another area where I feel doing this other exploration, it actually enhances your primary relationship because it gives you more of a sense of variety. You know, when we’re out of town or when I’ve connected with somebody else and then I go back to Rachel, that reminds me what I appreciate about her and I feel much more gratitude. It’s like our relationship doesn’t get stale in that sense.

Olivier Roland: And so, you are not jealous at all in the first place.

Steve Pavlina: No.

Olivier Roland: So, you don’t have to deal with it because it’s a big problem for a lot of people.

Steve Pavlina: No in fact, I’m like trying to push her to connect more with other guys. I’m like “You haven’t connected, you’re not doing enough in that area”. It’s like go out and connect more with other guys.

Olivier Roland: And why do you feel that she needs more?

Steve Pavlina: I think it’s good for us. I think it’s good for the variety, you know. And anything she learns from connecting with another guy, it’s like “Now, she can bring that to our relationship and enhance it”.

Olivier Roland: Interesting.

Steve Pavlina: Because that’s how I feel when I connect with somebody else. It reminds me of what I really appreciate about Rachel. And anything I really liked about that short-term connection, then I can bring that into our relationship. You know, like what went so well. Why did they go well? You learn something from every person.

Olivier Roland: So, a lot of people would ask what if you want a child with this type of relationship.

Steve Pavlina: What if you…?

Olivier Roland: …want children?

Steve Pavlina: Then that’s going to be more complicated.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, because you already have two children from your previous marriage.

Steve Pavlina: Yes.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. So, you don’t want them more.

Steve Pavlina: I don’t want any more kids right now.

Olivier Roland: Yeah. It’s something to consider.

Steve Pavlina: You know it’s a lifestyle choice. It’s not something I think is right for everyone.

Olivier Roland: So, you don’t feel it’s challenging at all? This kind of relationship.

Steve Pavlina: Challenging? No, it feels totally normal, totally natural to me. Getting into it can be challenging. Because there’s a lot of limiting beliefs to unlock but once you’re in it, after you’ve been in it for seven years, it’s just normal. It’s like breathing. Then you look at other people’s relationship, then you see “Okay, their relationship is in a box”. You know, it’s what one person calls “fenced relationships”.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, fenced yeah exactly. So,

Steve Pavlina: The book “Sex 3.0” talks about that.

Olivier Roland: Sex 3.0

Steve Pavlina: Yeah, Sex 3.0

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Steve Pavlina: It talks about using open and closed relationships. It calls them fenced and unfenced, so like you have a fence around it. And with unfenced, it means there’s no fence. So, you can walk out anywhere connect with anybody else.

sex 3.0 steve pavlina relationship

Olivier Roland: Yeah. I think it’s such an interesting topic because first it is very interesting to experiment by yourself and it’s also something that is so shaped by society. Society is defining how you should behave in your relationship with people you love. And when you realize, society tells you something but like everything it tells you, you can challenge it and try something else. Because when you are between others and you’re just you agree on something, you are just limited by your imagination and the comfort zone of other people. So, it begins to be a whole new playground.

Steve Pavlina: Yes.

Olivier Roland: And you can experiment a lot with that.

Steve Pavlina: You also find out more about what you like while you’re still in a relationship. So, you can explore your current relationship and also just learn more things you like, like more patterns. You don’t have to put your personal growth in your relationship area on hold or put it in a box.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: And limit yourself, you get to keep exploring.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: There’s some things that surprised me. Like, I’m actually really into women that have some kind of French in their background.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: As funny as that sounds.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: Rachel is French-Canadian but many of the women I’ve had the best connections with, they have been you know like partly French. Like French and something.

Olivier Roland: I think the universe is sending you a sign that you should learn French.

Steve Pavlina: Maybe.

Olivier Roland: Steve, Right? Maybe the next interview will be in French. Let’s hope for that. You want to do a deep dive in French?

Steve Pavlina: I thought about it. I did take three years of French in high school but I had a teacher who was Basque. And so, he taught us…

Olivier Roland: Basque?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. For the first two years.

Olivier Roland: Okay.

Steve Pavlina: And so, he apparently we learned this weird accent when we were trying to learn French.

Olivier Roland: Ah, okay.

Steve Pavlina: And then, the third year we had a woman who had actually been to France for a while, lived there for a while and she was having to correct all our accents.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Steve Pavlina: But when I don’t speak it, I just forget it. I could actually read French fairly decently but speaking it and pronouncing it, it’s really difficult.

Olivier Roland: All right.

Steve Pavlina: Understanding the spoken word, I can understand a little bit of it. I’ll pick up you know few words here and there like “quelque chose”; I know that word.

Olivier Roland: “quelque chose”.

Great so to finish this interview, I think a lot of people would be interested in trying or exploring an open relationship. But at the beginning, it is hard for them to meet other people who are open to this because it’s not very mainstream right? Did you find it hard to connect with women who were open to this?

Steve Pavlina: Not at all.

Olivier Roland: Not at all. How come? It’s because you live in Las Vegas and it’s like…?

Steve Pavlina: I think no, but I’ve actually had hardly any connections with people locally. It’s almost always when I’m traveling.

Olivier Roland: Interesting.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. It’s almost always when I’m traveling or it’s somebody else traveling here, but I’m not really into the local scene here. In terms of like open relationships.

Olivier Roland: It will be in the last question but first so, how come you connected so easily with…?

connect to people relationship

Steve Pavlina: I feel like a lot of it had to do with just aligning my beliefs and getting past the fear and the shame and you know the, like how will other people judge me? So, I worked on that first. And when I did that, it just unlocked everything. And I realized people think that the block is that, it’s something external that there’s nobody out there that will be into this. But really the block is, I think a lot more internal than we realize and that we’re blocking ourselves because we’re not comfortable with it on some level.

So, I gradually did things to make myself comfortable with it. I blogged about it was one. So, I put myself out there. And you know when I had a Twitter account, I don’t have a Twitter account anymore. There is somebody impersonating me on Twitter now but I don’t have an account. I haven’t had an account since 2014 but when I did, I had around 30,000 plus Twitter followers. And I practiced, you know sharing things with them like I wrote “A heart heart heart threesomes”.

And, I realized what happened is, when I got to the point where I was no longer ashamed of it and I was no longer worried about what people thought, I could do anything.

Olivier Roland: And people come to you, who are saying “Oh great”.

Steve Pavlina: Like when I wrote “I heart heart heart threesomes”. So, I love threesomes. I put that on Facebook to 30,000 people. I didn’t get a single negative piece of feedback.

Olivier Roland: Really.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah I got people writing back like “Oh me too” or “good for you” or things like that. And I realized like when you have no resistance to something, the world stops resisting bringing it to you. But when you resist it, people pick up on that and now, I see from the opposite perspective. Because when I’m in an open relationship and I see somebody who might want to connect in that area but they’re not really congruent with it yet, I can feel the resistance in them. I can see it. And I wouldn’t want to introduce them to that world.

And I realized that’s what people were doing with me. And I know, as soon as I opened myself up and became comfortable with it, people I already knew told me “Oh yeah. You know, I’ve been in an open relationship for years”. You know, like famous authors, speakers that I knew. They would come and tell me via private email. I won’t say who it is but I said “You were, you’re that way” and they said “yeah”. I said “why didn’t you tell me?” They said “Because I didn’t think you’d be cool about it” and I thought “Oh okay”

Olivier Roland: Interesting.

Steve Pavlina: So, as soon as I put myself out there as a person who’s comfortable with it and it’s curious about it. That’s especially important. It’s like be a good student, say “I want to learn this”, say “I like this idea, I’m open to it and I really want to learn”. And then, it was just like the floodgates poured in. So many people from that community just emailed me and they’re saying “Read this book”, “Read this book”, you know “Here’s how you can find people”, “Here’s how you find partners”. They just told me.

Olivier Roland: Awesome

Steve Pavlina: And it was actually really easy. And so much of it is just getting the comfort and putting yourself out there. And then, then you can just make invitations and things will show up like when Rachel and I decided we want to have our first threesome, this was back in 2010. We didn’t know how to do this so we just… I think I posted on my Facebook page, that we were interested in having our first threesome.

Olivier Roland: Wow.

Steve Pavlina: And somebody from my Facebook followers said “Oh, I’m coming to Vegas in a few weeks, I’ll have the threesome with you guys”. Somebody I never even met, you know.

Olivier Roland: It’s crazy.

Steve Pavlina: So, she comes over to my house and we have a threesome together. I was like “Oh, wow. That was awesome”.

Olivier Roland: You just have to…

Steve Pavlina: Yeah. It was like… that’s all it took. And once that happen, it’s tend like you know, then it was almost just happen spontaneously sometimes. Or it would just be like you can kind of tell like, you pick up this radar you think “I bet that she would love to have a threesome with us”. And then, you would ask her and she’s like “Yeah okay, why not”. You know, so… And you’re realizing it’s that easy like you could just ask and somebody might say “yes”.

I’m trying remember if we even asked anybody that ever said “No” or it’s like…you just get… Maybe, I don’t recall but you just get kind of fine-tuned to it. Then, you kind of know when the “Yes” is going to happen. It’s just… it’s like a calibration process. And it’s like you get that sense but you don’t even notice that kind of thing beforehand. Because you’re repelling people and not even realizing you’re doing that.

Olivier Roland: Wow, awesome. So to finish on a lighter touch, I was always intrigued to see someone… because you’re someone with really high integrity and high transparency as we can see. So, why are you living in this city, I mean Las Vegas? The surname of Las Vegas is Sin City, so… I don’t know. For me it was always a mismatch somewhere.

Steve Pavlina: I get asked that a lot.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: Some people say like “Steve, I know you’re kind of a spiritual guy too. Why would you want to live in a city like this? You know it seems like the total opposite of your message”. And I say “No. It’s completely aligned with my message”. I said “Las Vegas is all about freedom and possibility” and here, we’ve built this oasis in the desert to me I find that inspiring. You know, we have our own Eiffel Tower here.

Olivier Roland: Yeah, true.

Steve Pavlina: It’s about…it’s like half scale but it’s…

Olivier Roland: Yeah, I see.

Steve Pavlina: I’ve been to the top of both, the one in Paris and the one here in Las Vegas. What I love about Las Vegas most is that it’s a very non-judgmental place to live. And so, I can do all these crazy lifestyle experiments. I can constantly reinvent myself and not feel a lot of social pressure to be a certain way. This is a city where a lot of people come to reinvent themselves.

You know, a lot of people come here and start new lives and, you know, I found that really fascinating. I really got caught up in the energy of that place. I’m not into the drinking or the gambling or the staying up all night, you know. Going to the casinos, that’s not my scene but I that the sense of freedom and possibility that the city has.

Olivier Roland: Awesome.

Steve Pavlina: And, you know that we built this oasis in the desert. It tells me like “Hey, if we can do this”. You know, we built these huge structures. We have a pyramid, we’ve got our own Statue of Liberty, we’ve got a…

Olivier Roland: A rollercoaster in a casino.

Steve Pavlina: We’ve got Venetian canals.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: You know, it’s like everything.

Olivier Roland: It’s crazy. The pyramid is like…

Steve Pavlina: We have ancient Rome with Caesars Palace.

Olivier Roland: Yeah.

Steve Pavlina: So, it’s like it’s all here. You know, we brought it all to what was once a barren wasteland. And I thought if we can do that, that’s wonderful. And so to me, Las Vegas is one of the most spiritual cities on earth. Because it gives you total freedom to explore who you are as a human being without shoving you too much in any one direction, you know. And all the temptation is there.

Any direction you want to go, you want to drink, gamble, stay up late at night, and sleep with prostitutes. You know, it’s like people aren’t going to judge you for that. So, you want to explore anything, it’s fine. And that I love, so I’ve lived here for actually this month is 13 years.

Olivier Roland: 13?

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: And you love it.

Steve Pavlina: Yeah.

Olivier Roland: Because now, you could live anywhere.

Steve Pavlina: I could. I still like this city.

Olivier Roland: Yeah interesting. Okay. Wow.

So, thank you very much for this very deep interview.

So, if you want to connect with Steve, you can go on his website stevepavlina.com.

To compliment this video, feel free to receive an extract of my upcoming book “The 3 principles to succeed in life”. You will see it’s really, really a great complement of what Steve shared here. So to receive it, just click on the thumbnail here. Don’t forget to see these complimentary videos, and of course, subscribe to the channel to make sure you don’t miss any future videos.

Thank you for watching. See you next time. And meanwhile, don’t forget: be intelligent, be rebels and be part of people who experiment interesting stuff in their life.

Ciao

 

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