Confessions of a Lusty Mage: All Acts of Love and Pleasure
“For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and mine is also joy on earth; for my Law is Love unto all Beings…. Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth, for behold: all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. And therefore let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honour and humility, mirth and reverence within you.”
–Doreen Valiente, Charge of the Goddess, via The Doreen Valiente Foundation
If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know that I frequently discuss being true to yourself and showing up authentically, and how that contributes to discovering and becoming the person you wish to be.
You’ve also probably heard me talk a lot about how getting in touch with your own sexuality can strengthen and unleash your personal power, and how you can channel that power into having a more fulfilling and engaging life—both on the magickal and mundane levels.
And if you’ve heard me talk about those things, you’ve certainly heard me talk about Our Lady Babalon as a face of the active divine feminine principle, an example of the Sacred Whore archetype, and a model for a worldview that is based in unconditional love, openness, justice, and equity.
In short, for years now, I’ve been encouraging people—especially women—to explore and explode their old inhibitions, get in sensual touch with their own desires, and to embark on the sacred journey to get to know and love themselves.
Now it’s time for me to walk my own talk. Let me show you what this looks like in real life…
When I started this mission to awaken my true self and live more authentically, my sensuality and sexuality were on “married professional” autopilot. I loved my husband, of course, but I was so focused on our outward appearance, there just wasn’t much time or space for inner desire recognition, let alone fulfillment.
Once I opened up to myself (and marveled that I was ever closed to myself!), I found there was so much desire there that I had been ignoring, shaming, denying, and even actively subverting. In doing so, I had thoroughly lost my awe and wonder for life, as well as my own sense of power, attractiveness, and magnetism. Now that I was back in the driver’s seat of my own authority, I discovered that I wanted more… much, much more.
And that, my delicious babes, was the beginning of my foray into the world of ethical non-monogamy—specifically, it was the advent of my life in swinging, a.k.a. “The Lifestyle.” My spouse and I chose to get into The Lifestyle (LS) for several reasons—
- Sex, pleasure, and joy are spiritual and religious expressions for us. They are evidence of the existence of a reality that is principally based in love, unity, and integration.
- Like most married couples, we both enjoy sex and wanted to have even more of it. But unlike most married couples, we wanted to experience it with different people, together.
- For my part, there were things I wanted to experience that I literally couldn’t do with just my husband, including sexual encounters with other women.
- We wanted a more structured path to these new experiences than just opening our relationship, which felt too open to us, and a more casual set-up than polyamory (the practice of engaging in multiple, consensual romantic/sexual relationships), which felt too closed.
- We wanted more intimacy in our friendships. We wanted the freedom to be our whole, real selves in our social lives, and we realized that we were often massively editing ourselves.
- We discovered that we are “intimacy junkies,” who not only get off on getting to know and love a new person, but we also get off on seeing each other be pleased (a phenomenon known as compersion).
- We wanted to find “our tribe” of sensual, magickal friends. As a voluntarily childfree couple, we want to build an extended “family” network of our own that is based on mutual aid, affection, friendship, abundance, and attraction, instead of one based on childbearing and child-rearing.
You may be wondering why I’m sharing this. I’m certainly not sharing it in the spirit of exhibitionism, or to imply that everyone needs to get into non-monogamy! This path is NOT for everyone by any stretch of the imagination.
Rather, I’m sharing it because it’s a perfect example of how one’s sexual current directly impacts their magickal and spiritual practices, as well as one’s own sense of empowerment and joy.
So, what DOES this “Lifestyle” business have to do with witchcraft? Well, several things:
First of all, this has been a fabulous exercise in magickal manifestation, as well as a direct expression of my work with Babalon. I asked for and manifested a crew of incredibly hot friends to lust with via a petition to Her. Working in Babalon’s current encouraged me to develop the characteristics necessary to have a safe and pleasurable time in the LS: self-possession, self-determination and direction, directness, and yes, receptivity—the active kind.
As you may have heard, Babalon’s role is to receive all and deny none, and swinging has helped me adopt not only a more open and loving attitude toward others, but also helped me become more a more active participant in my life. By learning to be more communicative about my own needs and desires in the bedroom, I’m better able to voice them in other areas of my life (including spells!), and more confident in getting those needs and desires met. Because I feel loved and desired (and therefore seen, respected, and secure in myself), I’m able to tune into others in the same way and help them receive what they want and need, too—within the bedroom and without. It’s wins all the way around!
The LS has also completely exploded my notions of dirtiness and shame. There was and continues to be some serious shadow work going on here, forcing me to repeatedly step outside the old paradigm in intensely sensational ways…
- Rethinking my values and mores.
- Locating and validating my identity as an ethical slut, a self-employed consultant whore, a bisexual, and a playmate.
- Taking my power back from patriarchal demands that are rooted in destructively capitalist, colonizing, misogynist, racist, ableist oppression.
- Enjoying my body—its beauty, what it can do, and they joy it can provide myself and others, instead of fixating on all that it’s not and all that it can’t do.
- Finding beauty in diverse minds, bodies, and spirits, despite what the world around me would designate as an “appropriate” partner for me.
Through the LS, we are acknowledging and honoring sex as a holy sacrament. It is the miracle that begets miracles, the wellspring of life, and it is a deep, important part of our faith, just as much as it is an important part of our health and wellbeing. My sexual practices are therefore undeniable expressions of my love and reverence for life and the wonder of this existence.
Finally, the Lifestyle has challenged me to stay true to myself and my faith. My city is notoriously small and conservative, and that forced me into the so-called broom closet, hiding my pagan faith, for close to two decades. Extracting myself from that magick-killing shame was the crucible that produced all of what you see here. When I decided to enter into the LS, my fears of “being found out” started all over again, so I hid it. I told myself that I was protecting my spouse. That I was keeping my private life private. That I was avoiding rubbing people’s noses in all my fun. That I was being respectful. Then I looked around and realized… all I had done was find another closet to hide in! And this here witch is not hiding herself, or her faith, any more.
So, if you see me out having the time of my life with my husband and all our hot and sexy friends, don’t worry about starting a rumor… I’m telling ya straight out. 😉