I’m interested in sadomasochism and Occultism in roughly the same way. I don’t practice either, but I find them both rather intriguing. On seeing the title of this book, I knew I’d have to read it.
The main idea in here, as far as I can tell, is that S&M can be used for magical purposes. That seems very peculiar until you understand the kinds of magical purposes that the authors are talking about. Don’t expect to able to levitate after a good caning. That’s not the kind of magic we’re dealing with.
The book is titled “Carnal Alchemy”. Alchemy is the science/art/ practice of changing one thing to another, the obvious example being lead into gold. The authors of this book claim that Sadomasochist magicians can transmute themselves/each other from total losers into successful individuals through the practice of sadoshamanism. I’m very sceptical when it comes to promises of magical powers, but I can accept this idea.
For an S&M freak, the pain/torture/humiliation is part of or at least powerfully linked to the sex act. I don’t go for that stuff myself, but who doesn’t feel like a success after a good shag? If somebody who gets off on pain is in a safe, loving, sexually active relationship with a person with complimentary interests, this could certainly have beneficial effects on their self esteem and general success. Is this magic? Sure.
My only issue with this idea is that it’s a bit self aggrandizing. Any sexual fetish is potentially empowering in this way. If a person likes something (safe) and they get it, they will be happier. There’s no need to write a book about it. This whole book has a bit of a “We do S&M. We’re magicians. We’re so cool’ feel to it. The authors do seem to suggest that any sexual act has magical potential, but that the ritualistic nature of S&M makes it particularly effective. I don’t know guys. I think you just wanted to write a book about the things you like.
The rest of the book describes the depraved proclivities of several famous occult practitioners, including Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey and my ol’ buddy Willie Seabrook. There’s also a short section describing basic S&M techniques and a bit about the order of the Triskellion, Sadomagical group run by the authors.
Willie Seabrook and his babe.
The Order of the Triskellion takes its name from the Story of O, a classic of erotic literature. I remember reading that book at work years ago. I had a shitty office job, and I would download PDF books and read them instead of working. It makes me very happy to think that the dickhead owner of that company unwittingly paid me to read kinky erotica.
Anyways, this book is fine. I read it out of curiosity, and reflecting on it now, I didn’t really learn very much. At the same time, if you do enjoy dressing up as Hermione and having your bum spanked, this is doubtlessly the book for you.