Sometimes people describe a sexual experience as a religious experience. I try to keep the power of sexuality available for transcendence, for spiritual awareness, as well as for things like pleasure and self-expression. Sexuality is one of the strongest, most powerful and direct connections to your spiritual life. Through sexuality you can connect with your spiritual power much more directly than by going to church, where people deny your sexual and spiritual power and try to take it away from you with guilt trips and rules and regulations. Throw those away and connect with your own magic and acknowledge your own sexuality and your own spirituality. You’re bound to find that they’re deeply connected. All my sexual energy is spiritual energy and, as such, it’s one of my most important tools of magic and one of my most important sources of material for self-growth.
I use ritual in my sexuality because I’m devoted to merging sexuality and spirituality. That’s where the greatest pleasure is. The greatest fears are transcended in that arena and the greatest benefit comes from there. Our recent piercing rituals are not about sexuality, per se, but they have the same kind of energy. People are naked. People are tribal. People leave the outside world, enter a sacred space and come to a place of incredible intimacy with one another, as if they are making love. Even though they are not sexual or orgasmic, these rituals culminate in a penetration of one of the initiates with steel and a new mark of honor, of courage, and all the attendant erotic overtones. When the drums hit the crescendo, when the person is pierced and there’s a great tribal scream, that’s orgasmic.
When I was 12 years old, I read in National Geographic about the manhood rituals of African tribes. An elder of the tribe would pierce the young boys’ foreskins with a piece of obsidian. This was so fascinating to me that I tried it. I took a needle and tried to punch a hole in my foreskin. Now, as an adult, I understand much more about what was going on. We have no manhood rituals in this society, no appropriate rites of passage into the community. I wanted some and I tried to create them for myself. By doing that I was taking power, even though at that time I didn’t finish it, I didn’t make a piercing.
Many years later, I saw genital piercings in the flesh for the first time and I knew instantly that I would do that. Most of my piercings have been done as a rite of empowerment, a taking power in my own life over pleasure and pain and what happens to me. It’s also a leaving behind of childhood, where I’m dependent upon mother, upon authority, and saying, “I am now of the age to make my own decisions and choices.” Today I walk in a community that likes those kinds of secret or forbidden things and shares them with each other. It’s not elitist, but a rite of empowerment not only does bring you to a place of power, in some ways it sets you apart from other people that don’t share that power.
from an interview with Ganymede
A long time ago, when I first began to experiment with bondage, all I was interested in was being boundthat was a turn-on. Now I realize that being the dominant one is also interesting, also a turn-on. There is an exchange of energy, an exchange of power, whether you are the top or the bottom. The bottom is in bondage, so you think that the top is in control. In a way, since there is so much trust, the one on the bottom is in control of the situation. He’s not going to get something he doesn’t want. And, some people don’t want to be controlled, no matter what; when they reach their limit they’re going to say “stop.” So, they are in control, not the top.
Sometimes I feel it’s fine to let someone put me in bondage; it’s as if someone is taking care of me. That’s the only way I can describe it: someone is taking care of me and doing something to me that will be fun and pleasurable. I surrender completely to that contact. Then, when I top the person, I am in control and it’s my turn to give to them.
It’s much harder to get the right balance or to get the right people together if one wants to be only the bottom or only the top. I do both and I explore; there is no boundary.
from an interview with Alain