The Sacred Jack-Off

cw: mentions of religion and religious guilt; images of (ethically-sourced but real) animal bones

[image description: an altar-like set-up with crystals, a raven statue, a candle and broom, as well as a bullet vibe and a glass dildo.]

Growing up in a certain type of evangelical Christianity, sexuality and spirituality always seemed at odds with one another. This was especially true of masturbation—which led to a lot of guilt as a teen, struggling with faith and an extremely high sex drive.

As I left that belief system, I found myself drawn to paganism. I won’t go too into my spiritual journey or current beliefs, but I liked the aesthetic, the history, and the earthiness of it, not to mention the fact that I could finally use all that info on ancient mythology that I’d been accumulating since elementary school. And, in a home-grown faith, I also found more space in my head for my sexuality to become an act of sacred pleasure. Masturbation no longer seemed like a guilty indulgence. It was anywhere from a glorious biological drive to be honored rather than suppressed, to a way of accessing a higher plane of existence, if only for a moment.

I’m a witch and/or a new age weirdo, but you don’t have to be either in order to enjoy a bit of the sacred in masturbation! If it’s something that interests you, I think even the staunchest atheist can enjoy the sensation of spirituality, even while fully aware that it’s self-generated. And I don’t think this feeling is exclusive to non-standard religions like mine, although I’m certainly writing from that perspective. Here are some suggestions to add a touch of spirituality to a solo-sex session. Maybe you’ll find one or more of them useful, or at the very least inspirational.

Set a scene

Candles, incense, crystals, soft instrumental music. Cleanse your space with a prayer or smoke, if that’s your thing. I also like the idea of using fancy herbal soap beforehand, although of course if you’re sensitive to smells that’s not such a grand idea. You might find a bath makes you feel relaxed and open to that kind of meditative feeling. Whatever works to put you in that headspace, do it. I like to make a little altar—something like a red candle, some cherry or rose-scented incense (by some traditions, cherry is supposed to invoke sexuality, rose is supposed to invoke love, but you can Google for herbal correspondences that suit you, or just find something you like), some rose quartz because it’s supposed to invoke self-love, and maybe a goddess statue or tarot card or something, all on a pretty scarf that I don’t mind dripping wax on. I have three regular altars anyway—a big one in my living room for our formal rituals, a small one at the center of the house for our household spirit, and one in the kitchen for my kitchen witchery. Another tiny, temporary one isn’t exactly difficult. And if you want to leave it up, it’s pretty easy to just make it look like a pretty collection of rocks and candles on your nightstand if you’d rather not have questions asked. (Or you can say “that’s my masturbation altar” and stare them down. I don’t know your life.)

[image description: several boxes of incense, a piece of rose quartz with some charms, and a gold bullet vibe.]

Invoke a Spirit (even a fake one)

Consider invoking a god(dess) or spirit that you associate with the feeling you want, or a deity that you already worship. This could be a deity of love and/or sex (Aphrodite, Innanna, or Freyr are some classic examples) or of pleasure (Dionysus, Hedone) or someone you made up, or even just your higher self. Maybe think about them, meditate on what they mean to you. You could set something out that’s reminiscent of them, like a statue or a seashell or a flower, especially if you’re doing an altar like above. You don’t necessarily need to believe in whatever it is, though you should be respectful of other cultures and religious beliefs as you consider who you would invoke, why, and how. But if you don’t believe, this can easily be an exercise in imagination and meditation. Sometimes having an ‘external’ source to invoke can heighten the spiritual feeling, even if you’re just praying to the Goddess Hitachi of the Temple of the Magic Wand. Religion, even home-brewed religion, is often about feeling like there’s something bigger than yourself, and I don’t think that feeling’s any less valid if you’re just doing it as a creative exercise and not a heartfelt conversion.

Use toys that feel special

Obviously, if you only get off with your superpowered but not very pretty Magic Wand, listen, that’s totally cool. Use it. But if you have a few toys, something that matches the aesthetic you want might help. Jury is out on whether stone and mineral toys are body-safe, though SheVibe does carry some but in lieu of that, a pretty glass, ceramic, or wood dildo might seem aesthetically pleasing or have a sort of natural, earthy feeling.

This could also be an interesting way to try out a new toy and even feel like you’re blessing it. I did that once with my Spartacus glass dildo–I thanked a deity for its safe arrival, asked for it to be blessed against breakage, and to give me joy. It’s still unbroken, and I’m still fond of it, so maybe it worked?

Or it could be a time to change your routine. Try a toy you haven’t used much, or one you haven’t used in a while but used to love. Maybe even switch to manual masturbation if you usually use toys, if that’s something that interests you. I can almost never get off that way, and my wrists ache just thinking about it, but you might find it fun and a way to make it feel more drawn-out and ritualistic.

[image description: a green bar of homemade soap embossed with a Celtic knot; a raccoon skull and baculum; and a luxury air-pulse toy]

Take your time

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that new agey ritualistic nonsense isn’t something you can do in three seconds! Let yourself really indulge not only in masturbating, but in some relaxation before and after. This is supposed to be some time special and sacred to yourself. Practice breathing and mindfulness, or really delve into your fantasy of choice—not just the wham-bam sexy aspects, but everything around it. Pay attention to the sensations you’re enjoying. Appreciate that your body can give you this pleasure.

[Image description: several tarot cards (most visibly the Queen of Wands), a raccoon bone, some wooden wands, and the head of a red fantasy dildo]

Reflect

Maybe just take some time to think about it, or do some journaling. Write down what you felt while trying this out—even if what you felt was “kind of silly.” Consider what worked for you and what didn’t, and how you felt about yourself, and whether you felt drawn to any aspect of it for non-sexy purposes as well. And maybe do some sort of aftercare-type activity to ground yourself.


Regardless of your beliefs, I hope you feel joy and peace whenever you masturbate—and, for that matter, when you don’t. And I swear this is the only time I’ll end a post this way, but I tell you now, most emphatically: blessed be!


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