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What Does It Mean To Be "Sober Curious"?

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Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

We chat with Ruby Warrington about her new book on the topic

We've long been following Ruby Warrington—author, modern-day mystic, and founder of cosmic lifestyle platform The Numinous—on her journey into what she calls the "Now Age," where she takes new age practices and updates them to adapt to our modern lives. Back in 2017, the former UK Style Times features editor released her first book, Material Girl, Mystical World, a guide to living a high-vibe life, using the same practices she talks about on The Numinous, including everything from tarot and astrology to shamanism and celebrating the Divine Feminine.

And now, Warrington is back with her second book. But this time, it's a different approach to cultivating a wellness-focused lifestyle. Rather than focus on healing crystals, it deals with exploring and understanding our relationship with alcohol. Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol takes a deep dive into exactly what the title suggests—what can happen when we choose to live a life without alcohol—even if we don't think we have an alcohol problem.

If you're expecting something preachy, don't. This isn't a prescriptive book, it's more of a description of Warrington's journey toward a level of sobriety with which she feels comfortable, and can be considered a handbook to starting one of your own.

Below, we chat with the author about her new book, what it means to be sober curious, and so much more.

How would you describe sober curiosity vs. sobriety?
Being sober curious means choosing to question everything about your relationship to alcohol, as opposed to simply going along with the dominant drinking culture. Some of these questions might be: How does alcohol really make you feel? Why is there often so much pressure to drink? Are the hangovers worth it for the highs? You can then use your answers to inform whether or not you want to drink. Sobriety, on the other hand, is more associated with abstinence-based recovery programs, and simply means abstaining from all mood-altering substances. Being sober curious may or may not lead to a person to being completely teetotal, and it's for everybody, whether or not you have a problem with alcohol.

What are the benefits of being sober curious?
The biggest is feeling like you are the one in control of whether or not you drink—and experience the negative consequences. Often, it doesn't feel like we have much choice to become "a drinker." The benefits of not drinking, meanwhile, are huge! Better sleep, more energy, a more optimistic outlook, more confidence, bright eyes and clear skin, more authentic relationships, etc.

In the book, you mention that we're "all a little bit addicted" to alcohol. Can you speak a bit more to that?
We're biologically hardwired to become dependent on booze, one of the five most addictive substances on the planet, which also happens to be marketed at us heavily from all angles. I think this makes it harder not to form some level of attachment to alcohol.

In your opinion, why should we consider sobriety if we aren't people who struggle with addiction?
Why not consider it? Like I said, often, we're not given the option as to whether or not we use alcohol. Nobody is literally forcing us to drink, but it can feel that way in our teens and college years when alcohol first enters the picture for many of us. It's just something that adults do. It's often only when a person cuts out alcohol that they realize how much of an impact even "normal"-levels of drinking have been having on their overall well-being.

What do you think has contributed to the growing number of people choosing to live a sober or sober curious lifestyle?
I see more people getting sober curious as the logical evolution of the wellness revolution. For anybody investing time, money, and energy into their wellness and self-care practices, continuing to drink can feel counter-productive—not to mention, you notice the negative after-effects.

On a wider scale, we are living in times of very rapid and often unsettling change. This has led to a spike in mental and emotional health issues, and while, on the one hand, it might be tempting to use alcohol to "escape," there's a growing awareness that booze actually spikes anxiety levels and exacerbates apathy and depression.

What made you decide to open up and write about your own journey—and struggle—with alcohol?
Based on conversations among my friendship group, I knew I wasn't the only one who had conflicted feelings about alcohol—and yet didn't see themselves as candidates for AA. I began to feel strongly that it was important to create a space for people to talk more openly about alcohol and the impact it has on our lives, outside of addiction recovery circles.

How has exploring your own sobriety changed your life?
It's made me see how much alcohol touched every area of my life—from my well-being and relationships to my work and family life. Removing it has brought so much clarity, confidence, and connection, things that I never even knew I was missing out on when I was regularly using alcohol to not be fully present in my life.

Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to begin their own sober curious journey?
First of all, tell somebody else that you're doing it—or even better find somebody who wants to get sober curious with you. It's important to have support and people to talk to when you're making any big lifestyle change. Then commit to an extended period of abstinence—anything from one to three months is a good place to start—so you can experience all the benefits of not drinking, as well as put yourself in some situations that will challenge your preconceptions about your relationship to booze (a sober wedding, vacation, or big birthday party, for example). Writing down your reasons for getting sober curious and keeping them in your wallet or on your desktop will help you stick to your guns!

Do you have any tips or advice on socializing and dating sober? How can we get over FOMA?
They're all in the book! Most of all, it's important to stay focused on all the positive things you are cultivating in your life as a result of not drinking versus going into thinking you are in any way "denying yourself." The only thing you miss out on by not drinking is getting drunk!

What has been the proudest moment on your journey?
Publishing my book, without a doubt. The reception has been 100 percent positive—and I'm especially happy with the feedback I've had from people in traditional 12-step recovery programs thanking me for making it more normal to talk about all levels of problematic drinking, and making sobriety more accessible and socially acceptable.

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Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for goop

"I had to create a harder shell about being a woman"

In a panel discussion during Gwyneth Paltrow's In Goop Health summit, actress Jessica Alba revealed that she "stopped eating" to avoid unwanted attention from men when she was first starting her career in Hollywood.

According to People, Alba said that she "had a curvy figure as a young girl" and, as such, was made to feel as though her body was the reason that men may be inappropriate toward her. "I was meant to feel ashamed if I tempted men," Alba said during the panel discussion. "Then I stopped eating a lot when I became an actress. I made myself look more like a boy so I wouldn't get as much attention. I went through a big tomboy phase."

She continued, "In Hollywood, you're really preyed upon. They see a young girl, and they just want to touch you inappropriately or talk to you inappropriately or think that they're allowed to be aggressive with you in a way."

Alba also noted that she was raised in a conservative household. "My mom would say, 'You have a body, and it's very womanly, and people don't understand that you're 12,'" she said. "I wasn't allowed to have my nalgas out, which is butt cheeks [in Spanish], but I was born with a giant booty, and they come out of everything. So, I didn't get to wear normal things that all my friends wore."

She said that these reactions to her body really affected her attitude. "I created this pretty insane 'don't fuck with me' [attitude]," she said. "I had to create a harder shell about being a woman."

According to her, her relationship to her body only changed when her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. "[After she was born,] I was like, Oh this is what these boobies are meant to do! Feed a kid!" she said. "And that was the dopest shit I'd ever done. So, I came into my body as a woman finally and I stopped being ashamed of myself."

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo courtesy of Teva

Because of course

Teva, the most obvious lesbian footwear brand since Birkenstock, really knows its customer base. In time for Pride, the brand has teamed up with Tegan and Sara for a gay shoe to end all gay shoes. In other words, your Pride footwear is on lock.

The shoe isn't just your average Teva sandal. Tegan and Sara's design, the Teva Flatform Universal Pride sandal, is a 2.5-inch platform shoe with a rainbow sole. Tegan and Sara noted in a press release that they have been Teva wearers for pretty much their whole lives. "We got our first pair of Teva sandals when we were 16," they said. "This rainbow Flatform collab is like full circle LGBTQ+ Pride validation."

What's better, with each sandal sale, Teva will donate $15 to the Tegan and Sara Foundation, up to $30,000. The funds donated will go toward scholarships which will give young members of the LGBTQ+ community the chance to go to summer camps which will "help develop self-confidence and leadership abilities in a safe and nurturing environment." Tegan and Sara added, "Teva's generous support for our foundation will allow us to help even more LGBTQ+ youth."

Available today at Teva's and Nordstrom's websites, the sandal retails for $80.

Photo courtesy of Teva

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Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

"Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design"

Prada Group has announced that Prada, as well as all of its brands, will now be fur-free. According to a press release from the Humane Society, Prada, Miu Miu, Church's, and Car Shoe will ban the use of fur beginning with the Spring/Summer 2020 collection (aka the Fashion Week coming up next). The list of fashion designers banning fur only continues to grow, with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Coach, Armani, Versace, Gucci, and more having stopped using the material in seasons past.

"The Prada Group is committed to innovation and social responsibility, and our fur-free policy—reached following a positive dialogue with the Fur Free Alliance, in particular with LAV and the Humane Society of the United States—is an extension of that engagement," Miuccia Prada told the Human Society. "Focusing on innovative materials will allow the company to explore new boundaries of creative design while meeting the demand for ethical products."

Following London Fashion Week designers forgoing the use of fur in September and the first-ever Vegan Fashion Week taking place in February, it's easy to imagine an entirely fur-free fashion future. It's especially easy, I presume, for the brands to consider a fur-free future, given that entire cities and states are taking a stance. New York is following in the footsteps of Los Angeles banning fur, with a bill proposed this March that would ban sales across New York State.

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Photo by Johnny Dufort

"Club leisure" is the new athleisure

Alexander Wang is recognizing clubbing as the workout that it truly is with his latest Adidas collaboration. In this fifth installment, he "changes gears," per a press release from the brand, taking the iconic sports brand to the dance floor.

For the new campaign, the collection comes to life in iconic choreographer Tanisha Scott's dance studio and stars dancers Noemi Janumala, Dakota Moore, Avi McClish, and Olivia Burgess. The dancers show just how far these clothes can go when you want to bust a move or stretch, but TBH, I'll leave these poses to the pros and just use my clothes for flexing on the 'gram.

The collection—which features six apparel items, three shoes, and six accessories—features, per a press release, "Wang's knack for pre-styling." Standouts from the mostly black-and-white items include a silver sneaker that was *made* for moonwalking, an airy windbreaker that has just the right dash of bright blue with the scattered Adidas trefoil design, and a towel hoodie that you won't feel bad sweating in.

Ahead of the May 25 collection drop online and in stores, peep the gorgeous campaign images below.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Joggers, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Towel Hoodie, $350, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Sock Leggings, $60, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Adilette Slides, $90, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Futureshell Shoes in Platinum Metallic, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Core White, $280, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Shorts in Core White, $120, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

Photo by Johnny Dufort

Adidas Originals by AW, Sweatshirt in Black, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Bum Bag, $50, available staring May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Towel, $80, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Turnout BBall Shoes, $250, available starting May 25 at Adidas; Adidas Originals by AW, Duffle Bag, $70, available starting May 25 at Adidas.

NYLON uses affiliate links and may earn a commission if you purchase something through those links, but every product chosen is selected independently.


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Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

And Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's reaction to that prediction is literally all of us

Though it felt like no one saw the bonkers end to Game of Thrones coming, Gwendoline Christie, who played Ser Brienne of Tarth on the show, predicted exactly who would end up with the majority of power in the Seven, or rather, Six Kingdoms years before it all went down. During an interview leading up to the penultimate season of Game of Thrones in 2017, Christie sat down with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (aka Jaime Lannister) for an interview with Mario Lopez, and they were both asked to predict how the whole thing would come to a close. Spoilers ahead...

Lopez posed the question, "If you were a gambling man, who would you say?" Coster-Waldau replied: "Well gambling, the odds now are clearly in Daenerys Targaryan's favor. Or, that guy," he said, pointing to a picture of the Night King.

But Christie, knowing Game of Thrones' tendencies toward the unpredictable, came right back at Coster-Waldau, asking, "But don't you think it's going to be someone out of left field?"

"So I'm wondering if it might be Bran," Christie suggested, "Just because we keep seeing the world from his perspective, don't we? We keep seeing the visions. So is he in the future, projecting in the past?"

Coster-Waldau's reaction to the suggestion that Bran will rule over them all is, well, exactly how we all felt watching it play out in real time this past Sunday evening. "The three eyed raven? As a king? No, that doesn't make sense," he said. And, well, same. Because while I usually *adore* watching Christie shut down Coster-Waldau, like they're an old married couple bickering, this time I'm on his side. It made no sense!

Coster-Waldau attempted to reason with her, saying that if Bran was planning the whole thing, then he wanted Jaime to push him out the window, and that makes no sense at all. But Christie stood firm in her belief, and, as last Sunday demonstrated, her commitment to this highly improbably outcome paid off. We hope she placed a sizable bet in Vegas.

Catch the full clip below.

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