Since this blog opened last year, I have not talked about sex. So that’s the first; I’ll be talking about sex. And what it is and isn’t like between Loki and me. And how it all connects to this post, where I tried to express the pain of doubt creeping into my heart. If it weren’t linked to that episode, I wouldn’t be talking about it at all. But that right there, the doubting–would be the rehash.
If the concept of sex between humans and Gods bothers you in any way, this is where you stop reading. If you’re hoping to read porn, this is also where you stop reading and I stop wasting your time.
Firsts first, then. You see, here’s the thing. What developed into a bone-chilling and ongoing crisis of faith? It started, with sex. It should not feel as nerve-wracking as it does to admit that I am in a sexual relationship with Loki. Or more succintly put, my relationship with Loki has a sexual aspect. It has been there right from day one and has only developed from there.
If I were to describe it — and therein lies the rub — I would have to say it is different. It is different from all the accounts and portrayals of sexuality with Loki specifically and Gods generally that I know of or have witnessed. The way it happens, when and if it does, does not fall neatly into any of the categories that Del describes in his rather epic, wildly popular (and also excellent) post about God sex. But most notably, it does not blend in with the particular flavours of sexuality that I have seen expressed by others who are in a sexual relationship with Him.
There are three basic types of sexuality I see reflected most often by people in the various online communities — there probably are more out there, but the three I am going to mention are the ones that left an impression, for better or worse. There’s a form that seems young, all-consuming, intensely passionate, lively and maybe just a little less than fully fledged. The second is one whose particular flavour is influenced by the kink/BDSM/fetish community, the pagan department thereof. This is a kind of sexuality that by its very nature lends itself easily to the God-human relationship specifics. The third form I have noticed is a form that I would not feel sorry to have seen the last of (would that it were): a banalising, frivolous form that is focused on the most rudimentary act of sticking genitals into genitals, with no sense of the sacredness of the act.
Myself? I don’t feel I am really a part of the first group, although there is much to recommend it and little to condemn. It is just that I am not a twenty-something anymore, and at twenty-something, one’s sexuality still has a long way to go. There are differences, and yes, they are related to age. For example when I was twenty, I had not experienced an orgasm yet; I simply didn’t know how to navigate the equipment. If I compare that to what my sexuality is today, there are a lot of differences maybe not as obvious as this one, but no less stark in contrast. Of course I can be a gushing fool and I am absolutely smitten when it comes to Loki. If you let me go on about Him, you’ll see my eyes turn into little pink hearts (the likes of which I have been doodling all over my work stuff) and observe a grin on my face that will make the sun rise even at midnight. But all that does not mirror the way my relationship with Him works. Much as I enjoy the youthful “feel” to those portrayals of sexuality with Loki, I cannot help but notice that I don’t really belong there. There, in case you were wondering, being tumblr for the most part.
However, I didn’t start out interacting or even only reading information, on tumblr. Tumblr was where I fled after I got intimidated badly elsewhere and almost turned my back on Loki and the “God-experience” as a whole. But that’s another story. Before that happened, I was prowling the Internets for information, and came across the BDSM/kink community people’s contributions about sexuality with Deities. Still today I find that the quality of the according posts (Del’s epic one, but also other, more personal accounts) stands out. Maybe that is because there’s a high percentage of sex educators in this group, or the fact that being sex educated is a must if you want to practice BDSM sexually. I don’t know.
But there definitely seems to be a dynamic of mutual permeation of mundane sex-work — such as workshops, talks, podium discussions, events — and spiritual work that involves sexuality. The competence and visibility combine into an immense online presence. Sometimes, I (wrongly) think that there are very few who write high-quality contributions and are not in the BDSM community, so that the overall picture that emerges is one that paints a sexual relationship with Loki, or any Deity, as one that has a kink/BDSM flavour by default. (This is my rather muddled way of saying that I think kink/BDSM backgrounds are overrepresented in the pagan communities when it comes to questions of sexuality).
But thoughts of over- or underrepresentation don’t figure into the equation when it comes to intuitive impressions, emotional responses and the like. I read those posts and due to their quality found myself nodding along. Additionally to being well-written, there’s is also the fact that it makes sense. The power dynamics of a relationship between an incredibly powerful, divine Being and a human… is staggering. It organically lends itself to a kink/BDSM lifestyle. When I started delving into the concept of a sexual relationship with a God, in summary, it seemed natural to assume that this is the modus operandi for all God-human relationships, especially as far as sexuality is concerned.
And myself? Well, I’m kink-curious, somewhat, and have experimented a little with soft forms of kink… but I am definitely not a member of that community.
The third form of sexuality that left a lasting impression on me, is one that I could go just fine knowing nothing about. One where the sexual act itself may even be misused to define a person’s identity — this is no joke, I have been in a chat where one person in particular introduced herself by saying, “hello, my name is <name>, and it’s been ten minutes since I banged Loki”. There was no reverence, no awe, no feeling of sacredness. Just, in a word (well, two), God porn. Loki’s name would sometimes be used semantically interchangeably with a reference to a penis, or a sex toy. He would be reduced to wanting to perform this or that sexual(ly deviant?) practice on or with this or that person. He would be reduced to a protagonist in a cheap purple prose novel, or a porn film.
I am hit by the realisation how much even just writing about it here makes makes me feel wrong. I have rewritten and erased, and re-rewritten the previous paragraph into something that may seem harsh and judgmental; tough. This harsh form is the only way I can accept this being on my blog at all. I dont’t think I have to mention that I don’t feel at home in that corner, either.
But where does that leave me? It leaves me somewhere in the underrepresented nowhere-space of erasure that is a part of the pagan community where people like me exist. People who are not part of a vocally present group. I’m writing this post, in part, to show them how it can go wrong if you start letting these things get to you. I’m also writing this to wrap up what became the most unsettling, painful time ever since Loki touched me for the first time one and a half years ago.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not about being a misfit. I don’t mind being a misfit (sometimes, I actually am glad that I am one). I don’t mind that I’m not twenty anymore, and I don’t mind that I’m not a heavy kink person. I most certainly don’t mind that for me the act of sex with Loki is something holy (yes that is possible even if He pokes fun at sex stuff at the same time!).
Much as I don’t mind not being able to identify with those groups, I don’t mind that the technicalities of my sexual relationship with Him are different, too. My most intense sexual encounters with Him were neither horsed sex (I doubt I could ever trust a horse enough to be comfortable with horsed sex), nor astral sex, nor “masturbation with intent”. They were absolutely non-corporeal, non-body-related, ethereal and transcendental. Perhaps the most similar approximation of it was described by a Luciferian when they explained how they experienced ecstatic union with Lucifer. The image they used to describe what happens was one of lightning bolts striking the ground (I have lost the link but if you recognise yourself here, drop me a note and I’ll be happy to link to your post). I would not, personally, use the same imagery. But that spiritual blurring of the boundaries of self, and the feeling of being invaded, consumed… maybe comes close. In that state, even an act as essential as breathing becomes sex.
But things didn’t stay as happy as that.
The first slivers of a problem came up when I started thinking about… frequency. Yes, you heard that right. The question how often one has sex. The frequency of intercourse. It is a widely known fact that Loki has a seemingly endless appetite when it comes to sex. Look around, look at the myths. People describe Him as “highly sexual”, “over-sexed”, etc.
I, on the other hand, am not. To be perfectly honest, given all my experiences with partners (before Loki), I would describe myself as asexual if it weren’t for sudden, short but somewhat intense bursts of sexual interest. Regardless of my own sexual orientation, what I’m saying is that I don’t usually have a strong sex drive. Contrary to the reputation preceding Him, however, Loki wouldn’t mind in the slightest, if I wasn’t in the mood. If I simply had no interest in sex. He would be perfectly content to just be with me, to teach me things about Himself instead, to go travelling, tell me a story, or to just keep me company. As if I was the most interesting little thing in the universe (He does that with ants, too, sometimes. And smarties.).
And I found that increasingly odd, and then increasingly worrying. At first the worry was only about frequency. But then I began to worry about the fact that whenever it came to sex, my perspective would not match with anyone else’s, in any aspect of it. Specifically, I began to worry about why Loki seemed so different with me than with other people I knew had a sexual relationship with Him. Why it would feel like whatever He did was about me, when, according to “everybody’s” opinion, including my own, it should be about Him? What about His preferences? His desires, wishes that I had internalised as “voracious”, “kinky”, sometimes not even caring? I worried because I never heard Him voice anything of the sort. I worried because it had begun to make me doubt whether I was even interacting with Him in the first place. It became worse and worse, until one day, I stupidly threw into His face that I thought He ‘should be’ pushing the issue. Which is Myriad-speak for coercion, just so we’re clear about what I was challenging Him to do. Yeah, you heard me.
He heard me, too. Luckily for me, He didn’t agree. Instead, from one minute to the next, He was gone. There was nothing when I felt for Him, like I’m wont to do. Just nothing.
The doubt, however, was still with me. What if I was just kidding myself? What if… He didn’t even exist? I’m not going into that much detail again; suffice it to say that this was doubt beyond the all-present intellectual doubt. (That is just something my brain does, because I deal with logic professionally… occupational hazard). It was rather more deep-seated than that. Doubt of the heart, I called it, but even that doesn’t quite cover it.
The feeling of connectedness that I cannot put into words was completely gone, as I crashed headfirst into the great void, silence and desperation of heart-doubting. There was this question, this big, unknowable question: Who are You? What are You? Are You real? I spent hours sitting at His altar, tormenting myself by entertaining a vague and futile hope that I would somehow be able to feel Him, that the heart-doubt would simply stop, somehow. It didn’t.
Even knowing that it wouldn’t put the doubts of my heart, and much less those of my mind, to rest, I tried asking for an omen. “Show me a strawberry”, I said to Loki, “if You’re really there, show me a strawberry.” — It was late October, and thus pumpkin time. Pumpkins and strawberries are diametrically opposed, so the chances that I would actually see a strawberry were slim. Still, I didn’t want to give up hope, so I went about my business with open eyes…
… and against all pumpkin-biased odds, He showed me strawberries[*], the likes of which only He is capable of finding and picking. Still, I felt nothing. I sat “with Him” for hours, lost in thought and questioning some of the most important life decisions I had recently made, challenging the reasoning behind some that I am still to make. I woke up to the crushing certainty that “a good night’s sleep” was not going to make the problems go away (which is a lie I had called my mum out on when I was 6 years old — so that was old news, really).
The chatter and goings-on of my online communities became unbearable; I wasn’t able to pretend like nothing was amiss, and I knew there were no words in this world that could make that Not-Feeling within me go away. I would start babbling nonsense myself, declaring a love to Him that I wasn’t feeling, couldn’t feel.
But I wanted to… so I kept trying, refused to give up on Him. Loki was given His offerings to the best of my ability. He was given my time — it was the most and the least I could do, as I couldn’t give Him my devotion. Not in honesty at least.
In retrospect, it’s astounding how little time passed like that. A couple of days, not much longer than two weeks was all. But it felt like… longer.
Until one day, as I sat in silence waiting, I was suddenly regained my capability to feel His presence again; it was subtle at first, so that I didn’t immediately even recognise it — I filed it under “strange things that my body sometimes feels”. But then that “strange thing” grew into that wonderful pressing-into, tingling-vibrating sensation that He creates. His presence that I have come to know so intimately by now.
It was… I cannot put into words how it was. I was sitting there with a huge lump in my throat and sudden tears in my eyes, physically trying to touch the very air around me. I felt Him as if He should be solid, corporeal, right there.
I learned that day (He told me), that He would rather put me through that over and over again, than to force me into a sexual encounter I don’t want.
Yeah, sounds romantic like fuck, but suspending disbelief for a moment here, I think the bigger picture here is (once again): expectations and assumptions. Expectations are hurtful and harmful and altogether useless where Loki is concerned. Where any Deity is concerned. We do not know what it is that They want. We may have an idea, and perhaps some day, when we’ve been in this kind of relationship for years or decades, we might have a somewhat more fleshed-out idea, but at the end of the day: We Do Not Know. The Gods are not there to meet our expectations of Them (in this particular case, luckily). So, in the interest of all involved parties, I politely ask you to kick your the assumptions in the balls, please.
When I sat down and started looking into that particular assumption, I talked with a friend who, while having a romantic (correct me if I’m wrong in that, please?) relationship with Loki, does not have a sexual aspect at all to this relationship. When I explained to her how my crisis had come about, she told me that she could relate to my wondering whether I was even dealing with Loki at all. Whenever this (or something similar) comes up, there is an individual cause that acts as a catalyst. In my case, it was the fact that I’m almost asexual and have had experiences of being pressured in sexual matters in the past. However, we also explored wider, more general causes for this problem. As far as my conclusions go, it has two different roots: a socio-cultural one, and a theological one.
The socio-cultural root grows thus: as women, we are used to being portrayed as ‘focused on home-making’, ‘prioritising romantic love’, and ‘not possessing a strong sex drive’. We are also used to the fact that men, contrarily, are often shown as “sex-crazed” beasts whose primal instinct tells them they only want to “stick it in”. While this, of course, is utter bullshit, it also is a socio-cultural reality of partriarchic society. So, when my “not so strong sex drive” (among other points in which I sometimes resemble the stereotypical female) started showing up as an actual thing, the intuitive leap that happened was to expect that the stereotypical male was also a thing. And since I perceive Loki as male (YMMV), that’s what happened. It’s easy enough to recognise when it happens, and mostly, forewarned is forearmed.
The theological root to what happened is much more nefarious, because there is simply no way how it can just be argued away. It is hard for me to talk about that (sexual) aspect of my relationship with Loki, simply for the reason that I feel uncomfortable with how different it still is, all things considered. It just isn’t like what “everybody else” experiences. But there are things one needs to remember about “everybody else”.
One: “everybody else” does not exist. It’s an umbrella term that your psyche makes up to describe the roughest, vaguest impression that you have about other people. It’s not about actual, valid statistics; quite simply it’s about nothing but your own, subjective reception of the societies you identify with. Two: even if “everybody else” contained an accurate description of things that are going on — meaning even if all information available to you were pointing out that Loki is a kinkster and hyper-sexed (and so are His worshippers)… even if that were the case, there would still be an enormous sample bias (because not everybody talks), and there would still be the possibility, or certainty rather, of incomplete information.
Because none of those nebulous “everybody else” people knows every single thing there is to know about Loki. So yes, He can be a perfect gentleman (if it suits Him? If He knows He’d chase you away with saucy shenannigans, why the fuck not). He can likewise indulge in sexuality that doesn’t incorporate kink, and enjoy it. And so on, and so forth.
But the actual problem, the theological problem here is that the above line of thinking can easily lead to an “anything goes” approach wherein all the devotee’s desires, issues, opinions, preferences, etcetera, are projected onto the Deity without discernment. At the end of the day, we accept that the Gods are bigger than us by some metric (I believe in the metric system) fuckton of orders of magnitude. Hence, They are unfathomable, and all information about Them must necessarily be incomplete. But that same inscrutability that dooms all attempts to pigeonhole the Gods also lends itself to adaptability and ultimately to Their mirroring our issues back at us in order for us to learn from Them.
Extending that thought, however, there is a point at which one may ask oneself the question, “how are They different from mirrors of our own psyche?” — especially because our perception of Them takes the long, winding road of our subconscious. And further down that thoughtline still, there is “if They are mirrors of our own psyche, what does that mean in terms of externality?” And I think that the answer at that point would be one that is inherently non-polytheistic. Ultimately, for a hard polytheist, They are either external, or They are not Gods.
The way I see it, in our reception of the Gods as polytheists, there is a constant struggle to reconcile the individuality and personhood of the Gods and Their ability to mirror us perfectly.
And when things went downhill regarding the sex issue, I had become unable to reconcile what I knew about the Person Loki, with what I perceived of the Person Loki.
The end. All wrapped up. All analysed, and hopefully widely understood… any comments?
[*] Regarding the above-mentioned strawberries: it was funny. I saw several strawberries that day, but the first one was the one He meant for me to see. It wasn’t exactly a strawberry, you see. It was a protective cover on someone’s bike-saddle. It was bright red in colour, and had pale yellow dots all over. I saw it in a place I pass by every day, but I didn’t accept it. It wasn’t a strawberry to me. (I saw more, so regarding the omen that was a moot point at the time. But then, considering the context, the whole omen search was moot, as I was in doubt anyway.)
The point however, is that I saw that same bike in a completely different place a couple of days ago. That was when I noticed that the cover was tied around the saddle with a green rubber band that was pulled into a bow at the wide (aft pointing) end of the saddle. The whole thing was actually meant to be a strawberry, including the green bits at the top. At which point I dissolved into a fit of laughter and a puddle of real, heart-felt goo-ey love for Loki.
The End. (This post has been a monster. I apologise for the length of it).