Ritual sex came to me through Anton LaVey. With his crystal ball shaved head, charcoal lined eyes, and pentagram necklace. He shocked the world. I, on the other hand, was enchanted by his gaudy silver rings and sinister grin, the lifted brow that beckoned me forth. When he used words like sacrifice, divinity, magic, power, and ceremony –I couldn’t have been more fixated. My soul resonated. I had to become a follower, but of my own making. He, a follower of Aleister Crowly himself, had used sex as a conduit for attaining power, fortune, and success. And I wanted in.
Then when Marilyn Manson referenced LaVey –something wickedly delicious clicked. My erotic dreams with Manson in a house painted midnight black (LaVey’s house, I suppose), where he –nearly nude and painting, and I –descending to his chamber as if summoned, made sense. Those fantasies were as vivid as waking life. When Manson placed me on his altar in dreamscape, I knew the sex magic. Whether or not he was privy, I shall never know. But what I do know is that I made love to the darkness of his paintings and smoky tones of his voice dripping in my ear. I revisited Manson and other entities on astral planes several times over –an untethered dimension where I built sex dreams and shared energy fields. The rabbit hole was deep, even vaginal, and I delighted in exploration.
But I never once talked about sex magic with other strippers. While some appeared to dabble in the dark arts, it was never clear whether or not they actually practiced the lifestyle they wore. For it’s not uncommon for a stripper’s persona to diverge from her socially accepted one –or vice versa. And it’s not uncommon to have outfits that don’t match the soul. After all, we are but several versions of self, some unrecognized, others swept away into a strip club corner like a hairball, fingernails, or skin. Come to think of it –strip clubs are teeming with sex magic potions. Human remains, not like dead bodies but dead or fallen parts, are what make sex magic so potent. And as I stare into corners, wondering about whose energy I could use from just a strand of hair, I hear them call my name –it’s me, ready for stage writhing on a body to the sounds of Manson.
I won’t be shy about what I mean. Sex magic is wet dreams, but it also focused masturbation and full on fantasy. I might not have been the first to fantasize about another stripper or customer, but I could sense I was one of the few who was using those fantasies to her advantage. Each one was placed on my altar, like Manson had placed me on his. Each one was a sacred act. Each one was pulling energies from bodies that were in some sort of sleeping state.
Once I opened the sex magic door, I knew I never wanted to close it. I saved articles of clothing stained by fluids, I stole pieces of hair or personal items, like cigarette butts and straws. I placed them in a secret wooden box that I initially purchased for pot, pressed flowers, and love letters. The more I fed the box with gifts, the more I realized I could use my sexuality in striking ways. Safe-guarding these items was like festishizing the altar, layered with candle wax, honey, and beads.
I had watched a girl make her own altar on stage, but I wondered how much of the hocus-pocus act she used in her non-stripper life. Strippers manipulate masks better than most –we are the queens of seduction, the heroines of the underworld, we are multiplicity personified. I studied the witch stripper slip knives into her g-string and pull out feather. And when I learned how to use sex magic, there was no going back. I, too, could pull ravens from my soul’s center.
Using my sexuality to get what I wanted wasn’t anti-feminist, it was completely feminist. And being a stripper was the epitome of both. It was goddess worship and it was objectification. But in many ways, I felt called to both stripping and sex magic. It was like I had done it before.
I felt as though I was carrying on tradition. Perhaps, even, stemming from a long line of practitioners and sex orb masters. Using sex magic felt natural to me and being a sex worker, nothing to be ashamed about. I used the energy from sex magic to manifest what I wanted. I put an intention in the world, followed by a few rituals. I did sigil magic and left the symbols under the bed where I knew at some point would orgasm. I used amulets as carriers of the magic seed. And I spiraled sex orbs overhead. These items were symbols of how to transfer intention from one item to another –from my intention into the universe, through the body and out into the universe again.
Women are magic. We simultaneous give life through birth and create death through orgasm –every little bit of Baudelaire. We manipulate life from between our legs. Inside our bodies rests divine feminine energies surging and searching for an exit in order to assist us in reality. It is organic that women practice sex magic. It’s equally organic that we become strippers, once known as temple goddesses. Sex magic is more about self-control, power, and manipulation –the same skills employed when working a stripper pole. In many ways, stripping and sex magic go hand in hand, hand in glove. And each time I slip on a leather glove to touch myself, the stripper pole, or carefully uncover a talisman that’s been buried, I sense all is right with the universe. At least, until the next new moon arrive, staring a new cycle. Or at least, until the Manson album ends or I climax –whichever comes first.
WORDS BY: Jacklyn Janeksela