Bio

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“Become yourself and go all the way.”–Lao Tzu

Hey, thanks for visiting my site!

I’m a writer, a life coach for women, and a transformative tango teacher living in Buenos Aires helping my clients here and via Skype worldwide. I’m also a tango guide and teacher who helps women reconnect with their confidence and sensuality through tango.

In my books I look at taboo topics we rarely speak about. . through writing about the deeply personal and mixing the personal with the sociological and cultural. My readers tell me they have a “Thank god it’s not just me” reaction to my work. In addition to writing books, I write personal essays. My essays have appeared in Vice, Wired, the Village Voice, Utne, San Francisco Chronicle, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, and many more.

Quirkyalone: It’s about self-love and being true to yourself, not being alone, actually

I’m most well-known for starting the quirkyalone movement back in 2000, which is all about recognizing our ability to create happiness whether we are single or coupled. As the New York Times puts it in 2016, “The single state itself is also now aspirational, with boosters like Sasha Cagen, the author behind the Quirkyalone blog and book.”

A lot of people get confused and think I’m just about supporting single people. That’s not it at all. I support you to be quirky and true to yourself. And to be “quirkytogether” too. And even to marry yourself if you feel called to do so! Self-marriage is not about being single–it’s about honoring yourself.

Here’s a video where you can see me chat with Anderson Cooper about quirkyalone back when my cult book Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics first came out.

To-do lists, and what they reveal about us
My second book is To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soulmate, What Iur Lists Reveal About Us which was a follow-up to my popular magazine To-Do List.

Here you can see me give a talk at Google about some of my original research on our to-do lists and what they reveal about us.

My coaching (wet and quirkyalone with a dash of to-do lists)
I work with amazing women to help them stay true to themselves and lead turned-on lives. I work with my clients remotely via Skype, so my clients live all over the world.

Here’s a video where I talk about how I help my coaching clients.

Self-marriage
I’m a proponent of self-marriage, not as a barrier to relationship or a commitment to celibacy (no, not at all!) but as a way to honor and commit to yourself through vows. I’ve been interviewed in many media about self-marriage since I was one of the first to popularize the concept in Quirkyalone.

. . . women who decide to take their own hand in marriage aren’t necessarily rejecting traditional family structures; in fact, many of the women interviewed for the Cosmopolitan piece said they hope to find a life partner in the future.

The self-marriage lot are, however, pushing back against the stigmatization of single women by proclaiming their independent lives as something worth celebrating. “Marrying yourself is a way to commit to your dreams,” said Sasha Cagen, a women’s empowerment coach who got married to herself three years ago. “It helps you go for the life you want if your life hasn’t fulfilled the storybook requirements.”–the New York Times, Women in the World, December 25, 2016

Tango: More than a dance, a way to heal and find yourself
I’ve been obsessed with tango since I discovered the dance on my “life churn” solo travel through South America. I actually discovered tango in Cali, the world capital of salsa. SInce then I have written about tango extensively and since 2014, I have taught a 7-Day Transformative Tango Holiday in Buenos Aires called the Tango Adventure.

Here’s a video inviting to you to learn tango with me in Buenos Aires. What if you could discover yourself through dancing?

When I was just beginning tango, I did something absurdly audacious. I gave a show in the place where I first ssaw tango, La Matraca, in Cali, Colombia, after only dancing for six weeks. You can see that show here.

And here’s me dancing in Buenos Aires in 2015 exploring “active” following from the traditionally female follow position.

Wet
I’m now at work on a memoir that’s tentatively titled Wet. Wet is a memoir, and on a literal level, it’s about a woman in her thirties who had literally dried up, sexually and soul-wise, working in Silicon Valley trying to regain her sexuality (wetness) and aliveness by going to Brazil, a country of sensual and alive people, and finding not only cultural blocks but internal blocks to feeling worthy of love, happiness until she finds the key to her healing by finding the courage to face the darkness in her past. That healing comes via undersanding herself through her posture in tango, the most intimate partner dance.

(This is all about me, of course, but I’m describing the narrator.) A universal, abstract question short enough to fit on a Post-it Note from this book: How do we heal from damaging incidents in the past? It’s also about, how do we heal and let go of shame to move forward?

This is a podcast conversation I did about WET with the ladies at “Fuck Dating”–listen to this to get a sense of what I mean by “Wet” vs. “juicy” and also some of the deep themes of boundaries, self-respect, shame and self-love I’m exploring in this book.

Some kind words from readers, students, and clients

“Finding the Quirkyalone book by accident was a miracle for me.”—Jodi Gillitzer, Wisconsin

“The top thing I learned by working with Sasha is to value sex. I’m having the best sex of my life.”–Jeannette, 46, UK

“Taking the shame out of being single is a gift you have given our culture.”—Martha, 39

“I like the uplifting, positive, adventurous, creative feeling of Quirkyalone.”—Erica

“Sasha has a gift for naming the shit that comes between me and getting the hell out there.”—Jenny

“Reading your blog, I felt such a relief – I'm definitely not crazy, and there’s more of us out here than I ever knew.”–Melissa

Sasha Cagen is up to something that could be as important for women (and men) as The Feminine Mystique was years ago: We aren’t just halves of couples; we are distinct individuals—as complete and potentially happy alone as we are with our families and lovers.”–Barbara Ehrenreich, veteran muckraker and author best known for Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.

Sasha Cagen is something of a hero for the growing ranks of singletons who are learning to feel secure with their status, and she is often their public face. She appears frequently on popular national television and radio programs to explain that going solo is a viable, legitimate, and not necessarily lonely way to dwell in a city—a point that is surprisingly controversial given how many people are already living alone.”–Eric Klinenberg, professor of sociology at NYU and author of Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone and co-author of Modern Romance with Aziz Ansari

FAQ

Homeown: Cranston (Creeaaaanston), RI

Education: Amherst College, Columbia University, CTI (Coach Training Institute), and thousands of tango classes

Origin of name: Sasha is a Russian nickname for Alexandra. I’m named for a Ukrainian great-grandmother.

Words clients use to describe Sasha: adventurous, wise, willing to be vulnerable in her work, highly intuitive, funny, and articulate

Selected Press
BBC World Service’s “Why Factor”: Why do we make lists?
Diario Critica de Argentina: “Solo y Sin Apuros” Fascinating magazine article on Buenos Aires quirkyalones
London Guardian: Are you a single or a quirkyalone?
The London Independent: Note to self: The therapeutic effects of reading other people’s to-do list
New York Times: The Quirky Habits of Solo Dwellers
NPR: Talking about spinsters, old maids, and how our ideas about being single have changed on this Quirkyalone Day 2013.. (A commenter called this show insightful and therapeutic and I agree.)
NPR’s Talk of the Nation: What Does Your To-Do List Say About You?
NPR’s All Things Considered: Talking about New Year’s resolutions and to-do lists
Self magazine: More and more women are marrying themselves, here’s why
USA TODAY: interview when my book Quirkyalone had just come out
Wall Street Journal: “Conquering the To-Do List”
Vice: Women Who Married Themselves Talk About How It Feels

Want to get in touch?
Want to work with me as a client, come to Buenos Aires to learn tango with me, or just want to say hi?
Go ahead and write me a message here.

6 comments on “Bio
  1. Eva Roos says:

    Hello!
    Just wanted to say I like you and it’d be nice to have some more people like you.
    And so that I would seem less of a weird person (thouhg I think the effect is reversed, I just finished the comment and now I’m re-reading it, to insert some more spelling errors probably… the speller isn’t working…), little something about me.
    I was googeling to-do-lists and I found your blog. And I read it and I liked it for two reasons:

    I envie you and I’d like you to know it. (In case you sometimes doubt the quirkyalone thing.)
    I’m married and I have two wonderful children and there are several other social checkmarks I will not point out, but nevertheless I can’t help dreaming sometimes (with appropriate amount of quilt) what I’d do if I had a week of single life. I even keep a list (:$) of dream, that are on hold and are waiting for the time.
    And some friendly jealousy is reserved for the fact that you have published a book and not just one… :)
    I dream of being a writer, but since I’m not published yet (my manuscript is not done yet), I can’t properly think about myself as one.

    Second thing is, about the lists, I remembered a weird little memory
    it was Dec. 2004, I was spending an evening with a (girl)friend and we were talking about men. And to be clare on everything I suggested we’d make a list. We did and we had a laugh with it (about all the little things that seem to matter to us in other people and realizing how some “important” things don’t make any difference). We also made my course mate to do a similar list (otherwise we would not let him read our lists :) and it was fun.
    And weird thing about this was, that my list turned out to be a sort of spell
    (in case you wonder about the word “spell”, there was a movie “Practical magic” in which Sandra Bullock made a list, so she would never fall in love), few weeks after, I met somebody, how meets, say 97% of the things in the list. And it was creepy when I realized that. Be hold – the power of The List!

    Well..
    I share your fondness to the lists.
    I think the fact is now quite grafficly illustrated 😉
    Truth is, I like write things down and I like thing to be organized, so I’m all for lists and I think I’ll follow your blog from now on, because it’s different.
    Bye!

    • sasha says:

      Hi Eva, Thanks for this kind comment! It is very lovely indeed to hear from a married woman with children that she sometimes envies the single life. There are so many times when single women are made to feel envious of married people, or at least told there is something incomplete about their lives, so it is nice to hear your story. We can all long for what we don’t have. Being quirkyalone is not just about being single–it’s really about valuing the possibilities in both and all states and making a relationship work for you. I hope you get to do some of the things on your dream list that you think you need to be single in order to do. I like your list story too–tis true, the POWER OF THE LIST! Bye! Sasha

      • Eva Roos says:

        So me being married will not automatically kill all my chances of being quirkyalone? (no need to answer that ;))
        I kind of like the word. and the idea.
        I’m not the kind of person who’s whole reason for being is getting married and having kids. It sort of happened…
        And I’m telling this because lately I’ve been stumbling across the comments and posts and blogs of perfect housewives and supermoms and frankly I fear that if I share some of my thoughts, they’ll stone me to deaf. 😉
        You and the quirkyalone idea feel like a refreshing wind 😀
        I’m guessing you don’t have kids? If you ever feel bad about that, read this:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2218515/Think-ready-children-Hilarious-new-parent-test-taking-mummy-blogs-storm-MIGHT-just-off.html
        All true. Even the part with goats. Especially the part with the goats.
        To end on high note, I should mention that when you are actually there, you wouldn’t mind most of it.
        Bye!

  2. Sasha says:

    Eva, that is hilarious! I’m in Buenos Aires now and will have to go looking in the plains for some goats to bring with me to the supermarket to see if I am indeed ready to have children. I like that test.

    And yes, you can be quirkyalone and married! You can call it quirkytogether or you can call it quirkyalone and married! I plan to continue on with my quirkyalone mindset when/if I get married. It’s really about making sure you nurture your own self and create a relationship that allows for both partners to do what they need to do to shine individually and as a couple. So yes go quirkyalone you.

    • Eva Roos says:

      Oh no. Don’t get the goats! They are actually a bit (not much mind you ;)) worse than an actual children. They simply eat everything and they do it all the time.

      On the subject of the goats (I just don’t know when to shut up :S). There was a rumor, that Leonardo da Vinci made some notes about food and kitchen contraptions, the manuscript was discovered not long ago, it’s nicknamed the Romanov Codex, since it turned up in Russia; in Estonian (my language) a book was published, called Leonardo’s kitchen notes. Best laugh ever! And interesting too. Leonardo or whoever wrote this really had some good ideas (like blender and toaster etc), I even though that there might have been some clairvoyance involved, unfortunately the power source (electricity) remained mystery, so he tried to make everything work using oxen and horses. So this is the book that introduced a garlic crasher that needs five horses to turn the wheels and gives a recipe for “the goat head pie (for pour and banal people)” and similar. First time I read this I got no further than few pages, since the hiccupping got too bad and my stomach ached from laugh.
      If you get the change to read this – do it.
      Anyway, word of advice from the genius, a note labeled “Goats in the kitchen”:
      There’s no place for the goats in my kitchen. When alive they smell bad and eat everything, even tables and chairs. When they are dead the smell is even worse. To escape the goat-smell keep goats away from the kitchen!

  3. Sam Davies says:

    Hey Sasha, I stumbled upon your website when I was searching for reason to travel alone. I write about travel as well and found it to be a really good article.