Sexuality in Conversation

Sex Magic: The Art of Summoning an Orgasm

"Sexual energy is natural, readily accessible and incredibly powerful," writes Skye Alexander in her introduction to Sex Magic for Beginners. And although she says right up front that the book is not about reviving the magic in your love life or getting "more satisfaction from your intimate experiences," both of these things are likely to happen when you practice sex magic.

Alexander is the author of many books, including Sex Magic for Beginners and the Modern Witchcraft Book of Love Spells. She was gracious enough to speak with this naïve, magic-curious writer. "You fuel your intention with that creative power that you're generating during sex, and that helps to add some octane to your spell." Although we must admit that ordinary, mundane sex can be good, sex magic tends to heighten pleasure. Because your focus and intention are so strong in sex magic, and because the idea is to elongate arousal rather than rush to the finish line, "for many people, it's going to be a more fulfilling and exciting experience."

Having read about the elaborateness of some sex magic rituals, I asked Alexander if there is perhaps something magical in the very process of preparing for an encounter. She told me a story about her and her first magical partner. " We might plan this to take place a week ahead of time. And each day that leads up to that, is a time of preparation . So you've got like this whole week of foreplay going on."

"Sex magic is a practice in which sexual union is utilized to raise power for a mutually held work of magic, where the members are working together toward a particular goal," Kami, the lead instructor of the Southwest School of Magic and Mysticism, told me in an email. "This can be incredibly powerful, especially if the members of the group are focused on one another, helping each other to raise power, and each person is directing that energy to the work at hand (almost like a dance troupe performing an elaborate piece of art)."

When I asked Kami if there were any ethical concerns about using sex magic, he replied "If a witch is just doing sex magic for personal benefit and to gratify his/her/their own wishes without respect for their partner(s), then that person is basically using the energy of the other person/people and is practicing a form of vampirism, not magic."
Love spells actually work better for attracting sex than love. Unless you yourself are open to love, no spell will bring it into your life. It may, however, bring you a lot of amusement."
"Do what thou wilt," is the infamous decree of "the Beast" Aleister Crowley, who is perhaps the most recognizable figure associated with sex magic. By the way, you may see sex magick written with a "k," and people seem to agree that it was Crowley who turned to the archaic spelling to distinguish this ritual magic from the sleight of hand of stage magic.

Although it's hard to say the name Aleister Crowley without conjuring ideas of chauvinism, many practitioners of sex magic are women, still others are Wiccan—a goddess-centered neo-pagan religion—so the masculine egotism of Crowley is not at all built into the practice. "Harm none, do what thou wilt." seems to be one of the few "rules" that Wiccans can agree on, and represents the views of many witches that, in practicing magic of any kind, it should be for the better of all concerned.

If I've learned anything in researching this topic, it's that witches and magicians are as full of variety as any demographic, and so the answers I received to my sex magic ethics question were diverse. I think it's safe to say that your intentions are everything. Using sex magic against another, or to manipulate another, or even simply performing sex magic with another person not privy to your intention can be dangerous. That said, sex magic, and magic generally, is a practice, and as such mistakes will be made in the development of one's craft and powers.

"Spells that attempt to control another person should be avoided," writes Starhawk in her influential book The Spiral Dance. "This particularly applies to love spells focused on a specific person. More than any other form of spells, these work far more strongly on the person who casts them than they do on the intended object."

Starhawk makes a point that I think is helpful for the layperson who sometimes feels a little confused about love spells and their relationship to sex. In fact, she suggests that love spells actually work better for attracting sex than love because "love itself is a discipline, requiring an internal readiness. Unless you yourself are open to love, no spell will bring it into your life. It may, however, bring you a lot of amusement."

Courtney Weber is the author of Brigid: History, Mystery and Magic of the Celtic Goddess and Tarot for One. On her blog TheCocoWitch.com, she teaches "real magic for real people." In our rollicking phone conversation, she told me several personal anecdotes of sex spell misfires, and how they eventually led her to her husband. But first, a warning: If you decide to cast a spell on someone, even to help them, you have to wear protection. Weber once tried to relieve her sex partner of the anxiety and rage that he constantly felt, and afterwards, she was rewarded with his anxiety and rage flowing through her. He felt better, but through her sex spell, she'd taken on his burden. "I should've used a psychic condom!"
During her "ho phase," Weber did some sex/love spells that did not work out quite as intended. "I did a spell to have sexual attention, and I found myself in a tent in a basement with a coke addict."

Next, she did a spell to find someone more specific: "someone in the five boroughs of NYC, age 25-35, someone who's really good in bed." She also made some specifications about this man wanting a relationship now, and the possibility of marriage and children in the future. "But I didn't ask for honesty." So she ended up having great sex with someone who already had a girlfriend.

Then she did a spell for a nice guy who would wear a top hat and coat with tails, but she forgot to ask for great sex. "No chemistry."

Her last love spell was nine years ago. "Just send me the right one. I have to trust the universe." But she specified "No married men. No boyfriends." And that's how Weber met her husband. "My husband and I are both magic practitioners. Anything that you can do religiously together is helpful. Bring sex into your spiritual practice."

For Phillip English, a long-time magic practitioner, who offers "sorcery for hire" at VitkiArts.com, sex magic is all about the spiritual. "Sex magic is the great key, the great secret, to all of the spiritual work that I do. That being said, I'm not knocking the having sex and making a wish, or directing it towards manifesting something, but I do try to get people to consider other dimensions of experience, that can be very fruitful when it comes to approaching sex as a magical act."

English suggests that ordinary sex is not fundamentally different from sex magic. "I think primarily the best experiences that I've had with a partner or partners in the sexual act are when the sense of the difference between myself and my partner begins to dissolve." He believes that everybody can achieve this, and that in fact it happens regularly "just in mundane normal vanilla sex, right? When you are with a partner, and you cannot tell where your pleasure and their pleasure begins or ends, and you start to feel the same thing at once, when you sync up like that, that is a key to a greater kind of magic."

Eager for some juicy details about how all this works, I asked English to share a personal anecdote. He demurred from divulging anything about his current partner without her permission, but he did offer the story of how he first came to see sex as a magical act. "I'm with a partner, she's on top of me, early in the morning, in my early twenties, with the sun coming in the window and watching the golden light just fall around her body—in that moment, seeing my partner not as just a person that I was with, but seeing them as a spiritual being—having a vision of my partner as what felt at the time like an angel, opened me up to that, and it was spontaneous, and that's the thing that I hope many people have and cultivate."

Although he'd been involved in magic and the occult since he was nine—English was raised by a Neo-Pagan magician—he was still like many other young men who think sex is about hooking up and having fun, until the beauty of this moment transformed sex into a kind of sexual mysticism, a gateway to the divine.

As Alexander puts it at the end of Sex Magic for Beginners, "Sex magic bridges body and spirit. It awakens the divine within us and reconnects us with [the] source, bringing us back to the home we never left and the knowledge we never truly forgot. It lets us see ourselves and our partners as the incredibly amazing beings we are."

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