So I’ve been reading Radical Ecstasy (off and on) for a little while now, as well as paging through Barbara Carellas’ Ecstasy is Neccessary. In part, I’m trying to sort out what “ecstasy” means, as a term, when applied to sex.
When I use it, I’m talking in part about the “rush” that comes when you and anyone you’re involved with are really hitting your flow, sexually. I’m talking in part about when muscle movement takes over and… the engine catches, if you will. But I’m also talking about sex as magic – that whole “S/M = Sacred Mystery” kind of thing.
It’s funny. Because I tend to top, even vanilla-wise, I tend to think of “sexual ecstasy” as being something that I facilitate in order for my partner (in theory) to experience it. the few times I’ve gone flying, have been outliers – the exception rather than the rule – a “domme space” where I feel like I can contain the whole universe (or, at the very least, a whole galaxy). Bigger than my physical body by a significant margin. And I don’t know whether that feeling is “ecstasy” or if it’s something else.
I miss that feeling of flight. I’ve written a little bit about it over here, but it’s not just a sexual thing. It comes from singing, too. I wonder if I’m not confusing/conflaiting ecstasy with “flow state” – that point where the challenge of what you’re doing is equal to your level of skill, so you can be fully immersed in the activity rather than either (a) getting bored or (b) having to direct most of your focus towards Not Screwing Up and, thus, can’t really get into any kind of a Zone.
So what does this have to do with Paganism?
Partly, it’s the idea of ecstatic states being trance states, and my interest in being able to step in and out of trance when it’s appropriate to do so. I… suspect (’cause I’m not totally sure) that when I do that energy-vampire thing where I’m on a crowded dance floor and can just go for hours because I’m cycling the free-flowing energy through my body and out again, that I’m both (a) in, or near, a trance state, but also (b) I’m approaching something ecstatic.
I don’t reeeeeeeeally have a clue on that front, but it seems like that might be the case, like they might be connected in some way.
The other part is that I’m wondering if drawing on/in ecstatic experience would be a way to attain more Meaning in ritual (for example) or deeper connection in sex/scene experiences. I’d like to know how to get myself there, and how to get someone else into that zone as well. A handy tool in my ritualist’s/top’s toolkit, so to speak.
So here I am, chasing that feeling and wondering if I can find my way to it again or at all.
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