Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hillbilly tantra sex magic on the cheap

Today I want to share an article I wrote back in 2003, which was published in Immanion's Magick On The Edge, and several other magazines and zines in the years since,

"Erotism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death... If a precise definition were called for, the starting-point would certainly have to be sexual reproductive activity, of which erotism is a special form. Sexual reproductive activity is but only humans appear to have turned their sexual activity into erotic activity. Eroticism, unlike simple sexual activity, is a psychological quest independent of the natural goal." -Georges Bataille, Erotism: Death and Sensuality (1986.)
Imagine two sexual encounters, on the surface identical in every way. You went through every possible posture permutation in the Kama Sutra. All the paint on the walls is now clumped under your fingernails. Your neighbors hate you passionately.
However in the first encounter, both people’s energies are depleted as a result. Perhaps they feel like a dog that keeps getting scratched in that one spot and can’t keep it’s leg from twitching no matter how it might try. Now the alcohol has worn off as they slink into a dark hole somewhere to listen to The Smiths until the mascara has run so badly they look like they just did nine rounds with Muhammad Ali.
In the other case, they feel energized, more in synch with themselves and those around them. A feeling of being personally reborn accompanies it, a new springtime in the soul whether or not it was a tryst or the beginning of an extended engagement.
What is the distinction between these two events, absolutely indistinguishable on the surface?
Of course, to a certain extent, the answer must be specific to the context of the interaction. The “context” is merely the environment, the factors that play into creating a mood and state of mind that we find pleasurable. However “context” also includes elements like ideas, emotions, our past histories, and all of the minutiae that make up the subtext of our everyday reactions. So we can see the distinction between good and bad sex is subjective, and thus in no way moralistic. Well and good, but none of this does a whole lot to answer our question.
There is an organic dimension as well, and this may tell us more. Though the Kama Sutra puts a great deal of attention into the more physical side of this, how lovers can be trained to give each other more pleasure, a more crucial and subtle element that leads us to match or mismatch is electro-chemical. This of course includes the electro-chemistry of our brains, but as you explore this in practice (and as we will later see), the fact that consciousness is a field is part and parcel of the boundless bliss that some experience through sexual contact with others. Many relate experiences of unity, lack of a sense of anything but Self, the slowing or even stopping of time, and many other things which we associate both with religious experience and the pre-formative stage of human development before Self and Other is clearly demarcated. During this stage, magical thinking has also been largely untouched by cultural boundaries and definitions.
This is what we are hunting for, and why there is any sense in speaking of “sex magick” at all. I have experienced “it” many times myself, so I’m not going off what I’ve read in books here. At the same time I can honestly say I’m still trying to piece together exactly what “it” is.
A dissatisfying experience results when there is no transition of energy on both sides. There is harmonic dissonance between the “fields” of the participants. When there is harmonic congruence, and these flood gates do open, there is an active interplay in both directions like the Taoist yin-yang symbol which leaves each participant forever changed, touched in part by the divine presence of the Other, whether the event was the beginning of a long relationship or a so-called one-night-stand.
So we’re driven to have this experience, yet many personal and cultural factors block us from this bliss which is our birthright.
How do we begin?

(PDF of full essay.)

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