In a post on a private, sex-positive forum, a person whom Iâ€™ll call EW asked about the difference between Sacred Sexuality and Sex Magick. He writes, â€śIâ€™ve heard many people use the terms interchangeably and Iâ€™ve also heard them used to describe two different things.â€ť He adds without defining either that he can do them separately or together.
He received a response from a man Iâ€™ll call SN. SN writes that Sacred Sexuality â€śis taking physical sex and linking it (usually though ritual of some kind) to the sacred/divine. Sex Magick is similar, but tends to have a concrete goal beyond just experiencing divinity.â€ť
A woman Iâ€™ll call K2 responded that Sacred Sexuality is more than just physical sex, itâ€™s â€śthe opening of the spiritual barriers we create and allowing the flow of sexual energy to expand and reach a higher level of being. It is not always done through ritual, but can be.â€ť K2 glosses over Sex Magick, saying that it is simply â€śused with a goal and practiced with intent to enhance a magickal working of some kind.â€ť
I think this is an interesting question, especially when addressed to readers who are not necessarily familiar with any of the concepts of magick, Sacred Sexuallity, or Sex Magick. Here is my response.
I agree with K2, but would like to expand upon it. The concept of Sacred Sexuality is that of turning away from the idea that sex should only be done for reproduction (very “olde” school thinking) or for reproduction/bonding/fun (newer, but still old school thinking). Rather, sex and everything connected with it is a direct link to the Divine.
For thousands of years, humans have used all sorts of means to access something…more. In the past, one of the better-known means of shamans and mystics has been the use of mind altering substances. The modern and accurate term for such substances is entheogens, literally a substance that “brings the Divine inside us.”
It turns out that virtually every aspect of sexuality can cause our glands to release powerful chemicals that can have the same effects as entheogens. This means, as K2 points out, that the idea of Sacred Sexuality greatly expands the concept of what sex is, moving it from a purely physical activity to one that involves the energies that are automatically released and are intimately involved with sexuality. Virtually all ancient cultures have a name for this energy associated with sexuality that can bring us closer to the Divine, ranging from kundalini in ancient India to ruach among the ancient Jews. Sigmund Freud originally believed that this energy, which he called libido, was a real, physical energy. Later he change his ideas and claimed libido was only a desire and not an actual energy.
In many instances, the idea of this energy is associated with breath, and indeed, when we’re involved with sexual activity, our breathing tends to speed up and deepen.
Sculpture showing woman in Divine Ecstasy from the attentions of the god Pan.
From theÂ MusĂ©e de l’Ă©rotisme (Paris)
Of course, if we run for even a relatively short distance our breathing will also speed up and deepen. To some this implies that the energy has nothing to do with sex. Rather it is about exercise and movement. To mystics, however, this implies that we should expand our definitions of what sexuality is and be able to find it in all activities of life. The energy of sexuality is at the very core of our being, and it is special even though so many people ignore it.
I agree with EW that Sacred Sexuality (practices that lead to a way of thinking, acting, and being) can be used with Sex Magick or separately. Sex Magick, for me, is a technology.
There is a stereotype that after a couple has energetic and physical sex, she wants to talk, cuddle, connect, etc. while he rolls over and falls asleep. It is just a stereotype (I’ve been with women who are amazed that I even want to talk after ecstatic sex when all they want to do is sleep and I should shut the XXXX up!), and as with all stereotypes, there is some basis in realityâ€”even if it is limited.
My point here is that for some people, sex is energizing while for others it is enervating; One person gets more energy while the other person feels drained of energy. The key thing here is that energy is involved and moving, in some way, within each person and between the couple.
One of the simplest scientific definitions of energy is: “the ability to do work.” Sex Magick is the set of techniques that allows a person or persons to consciously raise that energyâ€”increase its levelâ€”and then use that energy to do some actual work toward achieving a desired goal.
But what work? Obviously, by the use of the term magick we don’t mean “mow the lawn” or “balance the checkbook.” So what do I mean by magick? I call it black box willed change. By “black box” I mean:
I know that if I do X I get the result Z, but I don’t know what happens between (Y).
For example, I know that when I perform the “ritual” of putting my car in gear and stepping on the accelerator (X) the car goes (Z), but I don’t know everything that is going on every second in the engine and drive train (Y). Even though it is all that unknown Y stuff that directly makes Z happen, the original cause of it was the action I began by willing X.
As a magickal example, let’s say it is your desire for things to be less tense at work or school. To indicate to the powers that be (your higher self, God, the Divine, the universe, etc.) that it is your will that things calm down, you perform a ritual you believe should have that result. This is the X part of the equation. A few hours or days later, things calm down. This is the Z part of the equation. What went on between X and Z, the Y part of the equation, is unknown. What is known is that the magick worked.
So for me, Sex Magick is the set of technologies that allows me to use the energies raised during any sort of sexual or sensual activity (physical or even mental) to achieve a desired goal by means that are not currently understood by Western materialistic science. Sacred Sexuality is the process through which we appreciate all the blessings that are found within sex and sensuality, and how sex and sensuality can bring us closer to the Divine. As such, Sacred Sex and Sex Magick can be used separately or to enhance each other.
For more information on Sex Magick, see my Modern Sex Magick, Sex Magic for Beginners, andÂ The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. For more information on Sacred Sex, see my Modern Magick, Ecstasy Through Tantra, Kundalini, The Essence of Tantric Sexuality, Sex and Transcendence, and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment.
Do you agree with these concepts of the nature of Sacred Sex and Sex Magick? Do you see them differently? Add your thoughts in the comments section below.