Our guest today is Mia Levitin, a cultural and literary critic who just published her first thought-provoking book, The Future of Seduction. In this episode, we talk about how online dating shaped the way we meet and relate to each other. We speak about the orgasm gap, and how to find meaning in the online world.

The Beginning

“It really felt like I was living on the wrong channel, and I needed to switch it.”

Mia comes from a family of mathematicians. She was born in Moscow, but grew up in the US. When Mia started university she wanted to become a journalist, but having grown up as an immigrant she had an internalised belief around what success means and mid-way through her studies, she changed to finance and subsequently landed one the top jobs for graduates at Goldman Sachs in M&A. However, she felt early on, that this was not her calling in life.

After her son was born, Mia went through a phase of discovery as she knew her “old career” was no longer serving her. During that time, yoga helped her a lot and she even trained as a yoga teacher, but never taught. She also started to write again and created content for people in the wellness space. She realized how much she enjoyed writing, and how fun it was to write in different styles.

Mia got divorced and soon started dating. However, it was shocking for her how much dating changed while she was married. She met her ex-husband in a traditional way and now she found herself in a different world, online dating. Eventually, she wrote a book about her experiences.

Online Dating

“The low-level sex at your fingertips is not necessarily as satisfying as anybody might think.”

During the research for her book, Mia went on 111 dates. Through that, she learned a lot about online dating apps and how they work, in particular the very addictive dopamine-spike producing reward system they use. 

One of Mia’s most shocking findings was that only 10% of matches are followed up, and very few couples actually go on a date. This means that most people just want a short-term ego boost when swiping left or right. There are also too many choices on these apps, which contributes to growing dissatisfaction.

One of Mia’s other discoveries was the orgasm gap: women orgasm around a third of the number of times as men in one night stands. In friends with benefits relationships, it’s around a half, and around 79% in long-term relationships. This indicates that men in relationships are more incentivized to give a woman pleasure.

How Dating Apps Changed Us

“Empathy is what you need to pick up on those cues.”

According to Mia, there is a difference in age groups in how online dating affected people. Younger people have more trouble starting conversations in real life.

Men, who only search for “no drama” relationships, are most common in Millenials. That means looking for “easy and nice” relationships with little responsibility.

There is also the event of “ghosting”, which was not that apparent before social media and online dating. This can be because of the lack of communication skills, where it is easier to just disappear from someone’s life rather than tell them we want to leave.

Mia also mentioned that our relationship to sex has changed due to social media, and we have more anxiety around sex so we tend to have less of it. 

How To Date In The New Era

“I will say that things can change very quickly.”

Mia’s advice is to stay curious and open, and don’t try to control every situation in our dating lives. Dating apps created the need for control in dating, as we can exactly choose who we want to get to know. However, the real excitement in dating is not knowing and not controlling. If we stay open to new experiences, we can enjoy dating again.

Palma’s Reflection 

This week, we invite you to start making more conscious choices of when you would like to be online and when you would like to be offline. If you see your hand grabbing your phone, just ask yourself for a moment: is this what I really want to do right now in this moment?

We also invite you to start writing morning pages inspired by the writer Julia Cameron. The process of doing this is really simple. Every morning when you wake up, take some time and write three pages full stream of consciousness without planning anything. And just see what happens.

About Our Guest, Mia Levitin

Mia Levitin is a cultural and literary critic, writing regularly for publications including the Financial Times, The Spectator, and The Guardian. She is the author of The Future of Seduction. 

A special thanks to Mia Levitin for taking the time to share her inspiring story with us.

Continue Your Journey

Now it is time to find your own unique path. We can help you to connect with your innate wisdom and create an inspiring vision for a deeply fulfilling and meaningful life. Apply for a discovery session on our website,palmamichel.com.

Learn to meditate with Palma on the MUSE brain-sensing device and receive a 15% discount (will be shown at checkout only) with this link!

Thank You

Thank you for joining us on this journey of the Explorer’s Mind Podcast.

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Until next time, We truly appreciate you listening and look forward to continuing this journey together.