Ruby Warrington on Sex, Sober Parties and Her Book ‘Material Girl, Mystical World’

The British journalist behind 'The Numinous' discusses upcoming wellness trends and dating without alcohol

Author Ruby Warrington. Courtesy Ruby Warrington

Ruby Warrington is the writer behind The Numinous, a lifestyle site that’s a resource for modern women who want to integrate spirituality into their daily lives, but in a chic and realistic way.

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Today, the writer is releasing Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Lifeoffering her take on 2017’s biggest wellness buzzwords, from Burning Man and Brooklyn. But it isn’t all about mysticism. The book takes on self-love, period pride and orgasms, in chapters where she shares her personal experiences of intimacy, alongside studies on relationships and reflections from healers.

The Williamsburg resident is also the mastermind behind Club Soda, where New Yorkers can flirt and party without a drop of alcohol. She hasn’t been on a date since 1999, when she met her husband, who she calls “the Pisces” and “undoubtedly the love of my life” in her book, dedicated to him. Still, she understands why flirting without liquid courage could be difficult (and even feels awkward dancing sober at times), so she works to help others learn how healing is the new nightlife.

The Observer spoke to Warrington about crystals, dating without drinks and sober dance parties, and she revealed the upcoming wellness trends.

Tell us about creating Club Soda. 

I was becoming more and more disillusioned with drinking alcohol as a way to access relaxation, fun, connection with other people or even escapism. It’s one thing to escape, but using alcohol to do it is obviously a big price to pay.

A meditation led by Biet Simkin. Biet Simkin/Instagram

What are some Club Soda activities to help people date without help from alcohol?

It’s one question that comes up consistently with our audience because drinking and dating go so hand in hand. I run the events with meditation coach Biet Simkin and she does this technique in pairs, and you have this very intimate connection with someone in the space of five minutes. It’s very emotional and very bonding.

Biet asks, ‘Would you ever turn up for a job interview drunk?’ Essentially when you’re going on a date, you’re kind of interviewing someone to be your partner and you want to show a person your best self, whereas you know you’re not your best self when you’re drunk—depending on the person.

The Softer Image throws sober dance parties between Bushwick and the Lower East Side. The Softer Image/Instagram

Do you have date suggestions for people who want to avoid grabbing a drink? 

In the book I suggest healing dates, which might be something like go to a gong bath together or a yoga class. Alcohol doesn’t bring anything to you, apart from drunkenness. And the hangover. My friend Luke started a sober dance party called The Softer Image, which is really hip.

There’s been a wellness shift, where people are more accepting of many topics you discuss. What do you think caused the shift?

People are becoming a lot more open-minded about alternatives to feel better. Our lives have been so much more deeply intertwined with technology and people are seeing much more of a need for the practices and tools that help us be in our bodies and shut out the noise and help us remember we are human beings. You can exercise and cut out alcohol. What you’re left with is a lot of emotional stuff that maybe you were numbing out from with food and booze and that is asking to be addressed. Five years ago green juice was weird, but now I’m surprised it’s not in McDonald’s already.

Social media has also exposed these practices to people.  

It’s made it so much easier to kind of dip a toe in. You don’t have to go to an ashram in India to find out about these things now. You can observe it from the comfort of your own home and then decide how far you want to go into it.

What do you think the next major wellness trends will be?

Amanda Baker from Moon Juice is a friend of mine and she has come under a lot of criticism for being so out there and peddling all of these kind of inaccessible ingredients. I think she’s really an incredible pioneer and the foods she has introduced in her very chic, high-end way, will maybe trickle more into mainstream.

The concept of self-care has had a similar evolution, and now people are embracing it. Do you see it becoming an even bigger trend? 

Without wanting to get too political, the current climate we find ourselves in has led to people wanting to protect themselves literally. It’s about wanting to feel nurtured and protected, and there’s so much change happening so rapidly in all areas that people are looking for practices that really help them feel in their body, safe, grounded, comfortable, free of anxiety. We basically try and keep up with our computers. We get burned out so quickly doing that.

Another wellness trend becoming more popular is crystals, which you discuss in your book. What would you tell someone who wants to start learning about crystal healing?

Go into a store and just see which crystals you feel the most drawn to. I’ve gotten into a habit of just choosing a couple. Every new moon I pick a couple of different ones to to carry around with me and if I can just have them on or by my computer or in my handbag. I think of them as talismans. They are just beautiful objects to have around, that I can put my own intentions into.

Ruby Warrington on Sex, Sober Parties and Her Book ‘Material Girl, Mystical World’