Sodomy & Sorcery
by Phil Hine
I remember very well the first time I got fucked. Exhausted and relaxed after all-afternoon sex, I lay sprawled on my boyfriend's bed and uttered those fateful words "do anything you want with me". From the corner of my eye, I saw him pick up a glass bottle in the shape of a unicorn, filled with a yellowish liquid (sweet almond oil), and I knew what was about to happen. I had no fear, only a deep sense of relaxation. It didn't hurt, but at the moment of penetration, one self died and another was reborn. An 'initiation', certainly, and one that gave me insights which I will now attempt to collect into a coherent article.
What feelings does being fucked stir within me? Two words perhaps, describe them best - abandonment and possession. In being fucked, I am abandoning my ego-defences, opening myself at a deep level to another person, and able to cast aside the socially-crafted 'masks' I put on to deal with the world. I abandon myself to total pleasure, and to the pleasure of my lover. I cross back and forth between the borders of ecstasy and agony, until I am moaning and crying uncontrollably; soft liquid fire in my belly and a fierce tingling that seems most discernable at my fingertips. To date, I haven't had an orgasm from being fucked alone, but then, ejaculation and orgasm are two different experiences for me much of the time, and penile ejaculation seems unimportant, compared to the sensations which threaten, it seems, to tear my body apart when a lover is inside me. A lover's orgasm within me brings about a feeling of deep peace and satisfaction. I feel as though I have been revitalised, and can go forth into the world with an inner glow. I regret deeply, in these AIDS-conscious times, that I cannot receive into myself a lover's semen. Yet it is as though in abandoning myself to another, I reaffirm my sense of selfdom.
At the same moment that I abandon myself, I am also in a state of possession. This is more difficult to write about, but it is linked, I feel, to a common misperception about intercourse - the concept of 'active' and 'passive'. For myself, I prefer the words 'giver' and 'receiver'. Our miserable, patriarchal conditioning has given rise to the conception that 'active' = 'masculine' and 'passive' = 'feminine'. I have increasingly come to reject this sort of thinking. Just because one person (male or female) takes a lover's penis into their body, doesn't neccesarily mean that they are automatically 'passive'. This is clearly illustrated into the Tantric icons of Shiva mounted by Kali. Societal conditioning is strong enough to make some Gay men feel that anyone who takes it up the arse is somehow less than 'male' because abandoning oneself to pleasure is not appropriate 'male' behaviour. Why not? Personally, I feel that being fucked is a celebration of my maleness. I hardly ever feel that I have relinquished my personal power to the other (unless of course there is role-play of 'surrender' as a sexual game).
I often feel a sense of power 'over' the lover who fucks me. His pleasure and ejaculation reaffirms my own inner power. Somewhere in his magical diaries, Aleister Crowley said something to the effect that he liked to think that "when a man fucks me, it is because I am beautiful". The exhaustive records of Crowley's sexual opera (such as The Paris Working) show that he much preferred to be the receiving partner when it came (pardon the pun) to homosexual sex-magick. Yet the importance of his sexmagick with partners such as Victor Neuburg has tended to be overlooked by those who have inherited his magical philosophy. Any ideas why?
The intensity of these feelings - of abandonment to pleasure and possessing another, and at the same instance, of being possessed, I have encountered in another setting; that of the shades of trance ranging from overshadowing of a spirit upon my consciousness, to the full possession by a spirit during ritual and dance. The possession-trance is dubiously regarded in western occulture, just as allowing another man's cock inside them is anathema to many men. In many ways, allowing my psyche to be entered by a spirit (Goddess, God, or whatever) stirs the same feelings as being physically fucked. The key seems to be the conscious or willed displacement of the ego to another - of offering up my body as a vehicle for the transmission of energy. Crowley hinted of this in his essay on devotional magick (Bhakti Yoga), Liber Astarte (Magick, p460 - 471). The ultimate in Bhakti is being entered by the spirit one is working with. One Beltaine, I drew the Goddess Eris down from above me and Pan from below (or should that be behind) me - they met somewhere in the middle and I lost consciousness in their climax.
Jean Genet suggests that a homosexual relationship "obliges" men to discover the 'feminine' elements within the psyche, but that it is not necessarily "the weaker or the younger, or the more gentle of the two, who succeeds the better; but the more experienced, who may be the stronger or the older man." (Querelle of Brest). There is an element of truth in this, but it is equally true that both partners may delight in allowing free rein to the feminine aspects of psyche, at the same, or at different times. Here I might as well discuss the magical concept of 'polarity', which in it's most simplistic form is the much-quoted idea of God and Goddess within the self. The problem of 'polarity' is when divinity is confused with conditioning and what is supposed to be 'masculine' and 'feminine' qualities. Thus we are told over and over again that fire is masculine and water is feminine; that the capacity to display emotions and be intuitive are feminine and that intellectual analysis is masculine. Says who? Feminist critiques of conditioning make the point that we only know what masculinity and femininity are because they have been defined in specific ways. Working beyond these limitations is surely a primary task in the developmental process. So much of what passes for 'occult laws' is just a 'spiritualised' justification of social conditioning and prejudice. For Gay men, polarity needn't be as simplistic as one partner assuming a feminine role - you can acknowledge the feminine and still give your penis to another man. You can celebrate the masculine elements of psyche and still receive another man's cock into yourself. Goddesses and Gods are not subject to the same restrictions as humans - after all, what would be the point if they were? Imposing our own narrow limits upon them is to miss the point of the whole exercise of invoking them. I invoke upon myself to go beyond my present limitations - to join momentarily with something greater, or outside my ego. Sometimes my lover becomes to me a God, or a Goddess - or is that too freaky for you?
An early conditioning-block that I had to deal with was the mistaken assertion that from a Tantric point of view, sex between men had no value. However, as I became more comfortable with my feelings and longings for sex with men, I soon disabused myself of this notion. From experience, I can say that I have had equally strong Tantric experiences with men as I have had previously with women. Sensations such as the 'Bliss-wave'; seeing my lover bathed in gold light; the total-body orgasm and increased sensitivity to kundalini activity can are just as possible in a homosexual partnership as a heterosexual one. Anal intercourse is a very effective way of stimulating the muladhara chakra, despite what some sex-magic manuals might say. Personally, I would say that my sexual experiences with other men that have given rise to the experiences described in Tantric Magick have been all the more powerful due to the obvious element of catharsis - being able to actualise desires which have long been repressed is generally a powerful source of energy, which can be magically directed, of course.
Modern (post-Crowley) works on sexual magick seem to treat homosexuality in one of two ways. There is either the admonition that it is wrong - it blocks your chakras, 'reverses' the kundalini or 'creates a dark astral vortex', or the more positive view that the gender of partners doesn't matter, and that the 'energy' is the same. Obviously I prefer the latter position, though I feel that things are just not that simple. The writers that cleave to this latter view tend to stress that sexual magick only works properly within an established relationship, which is true to a point, but neatly excludes all the facets of Gay sexual culture which straight society finds so disturbing - anonymous sex; S&M, and group sex particularly. In the UK at least, there seem to be few individuals or groups who are attempting to write intelligently (or more importantly, feelingly) about the possibilities of Gay-positive Tantra, and the only group which provides support and magical approaches specifically tailored for gay men is the international Voudou Network. Hopefully, as the issue of spirituality raises its profile within the wider gay community, and more gay occultists declare themselves, this situation will change.
To conclude then, I dare to assert that being fucked is, for me, an intensely sacred experience; that spirituality lies in the celebration of pleasure rather than the denial of the body. Giving my prick to another man is pleasurable too of course, but of a different order, and my reflections on this will have to wait for another time.
*This essay was first published in Chaos International #11