It is Not Just Sex

by | December 24, 2021 | Writing Craft | 4 comments

Sex is exactly like magic, except for one very important difference. Both have an air of mystery about them, and practitioners who speak in hushed tones. Both have their rituals, their Words of Power, and both traffic in what some would consider to be dark secrets.

But the biggest, the most important difference between sex and magic is that the wizard who learns every conceivable spell known to man, becomes exalted. More often than not, they are elevated to the rank of grandmaster.

Nobody gets elevated for knowing everything about sex.

At least, not in the way that gets talked about at parties.

You see, while wizards are allowed to experiment, to test the bounds of human experience, the sex mage who screams, ‘I’ve mastered the reverse-cowgirl levitation technique!’ gets buried beneath Azkaban without a ceremony.

It’s not fair. It’s not even really funny, but…there you have it.

The ironic part about all of this is that sex is at its best when it is discussed openly, but even that open discussion can be twisted so easily.

I for one, have always been leery of those who speak of sex in metaphysical terms. Who talk of souls meeting, or celestial bodies, as though by speaking frankly about what they want, they might somehow sully themselves.

But equally as bad, if not worse are those who simply shrug and say ‘It’s just sex,” as though they can’t possibly understand what all the fuss is about.

Telling a devout Catholic newlywed who has to go from demure protector to wild, kinky sex-kitten in one night that it’s just sex, doesn’t do anything except undermine her faith and her identity.

For a woman who has never had a pleasurable experience in bed due to vaginismus, the words do nothing to alleviate her pain.

And for the guy who was so nervous the first several times he tried to have sex that he couldn’t perform, (unashamedly raises his hand) the phrase doesn’t eliminate the nerves. Because by that logic, sex is just a matter of ‘get up and go’ and if he can’t, then he’s left with the exact same fear as the newlywed who can’t turn on a dime, or the woman who can’t ‘just relax.’

The fear that there’s something wrong with me.

Sex, in a lot of ways, is actually better than magic, because it’s defined by the people who take part in it, which means its impact or relevancy changes depending upon the person. Whether it’s to fill a void, relieve stress or forge a connection (however celestial) sex is a pillar of any relationship. Not the most important pillar. Far from it. But neither dressing up sex, nor trivializing it will help those who dread being bad at something that society says they shouldn’t know too much about anyway.

Honest, awkward, flush-faced conversations are easy to talk about, not easy to affect.

(We can all be hypocrites, deep in our hearts. Let’s be honest here.)

But what problems these conversations come with are immediate and often fade just as quickly. The alternatives however, the shame and hushed tones and fear we’ve all lived with for far too long, those effects can last a lifetime.

And that, to me, is the real shame.

Henry Corrigan

I want to write every kind of story. I know this sounds kind of pretentious but screw it, I'm going for it. I've always been an avid reader and started writing poetry in early grammar school. I think there are a lot of people who will say that they wanted to be Stephen King at one time or another, and the same holds true for me. I wanted to be Stephen King, Anne Rice, Ray Bradbury and Rod Serling, but it was in erotica where I really learned the mechanics of writing. What started out as private stories and love letters, soon became publications in anthologies, the most recent of which being Cleis Press' Coming Soon: Women's Orgasm Erotica, which is due out 7/13/21 ( To date, I have self-published a novella, Carnal Theory, and written one full length dark fiction novel that I am currently shopping around. I have the rough drafts of two science fiction books, one horror novella, one play, four children's books, an I-don't-know-how-many number of poems and several song lyrics. I meant what I said at the very beginning. I want to write every kind of story. (Except maybe westerns. I can't watch two men stare at each other for ten minutes without screaming "Somebody shoot somebody already!") I want to be known for not staying where I've been put. I want to always surprise people, especially myself. Because that's what makes it fun for me. The feeling that even I don't know what I'm going to do next.


  1. angeltech

    Not exactly sure on a level plain what the message is here (and perhaps this just comes from the aesthethic sense) but for myself, it’s taken a lifetime (and then some!) to become more comfortable with my sex life… this includes fantasies and realizations and the great dawning understandings, but I also hold the privacy/exploratory nature of Sex sacred and holy. Even such masturbation. As a whole we should become more “comfortable” with the fact that Sex really is everything, that any expression has a plurality of meanings, and we should strive to remember Sex is where we came from (although not shorn of the love). Otherwise, I think we deserve our Sex and our Magic and we can become closer to our Source by working through issues (they might come up again and again to highlight our patience.)
    When black turns back into white, I know we are pretty wounded as a people, and significant to this Is how you express it, that it’s one of the most difficult thing to talk about. It can cause many problems but the sheer exploration of our eccentricities is enough to keep us going; the curiosity and ability to know our own bodies, first and foremost. Thank you for sharing and I hope the best for you!
    Merry Christmas

  2. Jean Roberta

    This is quite a thought-provoking post, Henry. I’m old enough to remember the 1970s, when many members of the post-war Baby Boom generation believed that a sexual revolution had happened, or was happening, and that no one would ever be shamed for talking openly about sex in the future. Yet here we are.

  3. Jean Roberta

    My comments seems to have disappeared.

  4. Lisabet Sarai

    Hello, Henry,

    Sorry for not commenting earlier. I tried but the site has been very flaky lately.

    I think sex IS magic. I have always believed (and my experience has confirmed) that the best sex has a non-material or spiritual dimension. But this isn’t something you can easily talk about (without generating cringes or snickers). It must be experienced.

    Indeed, most mages don’t go around sharing their spells with the uninitiated.

    Magic might be a useful comparison in any case for your shy new bride… we all start as apprentices.

    Happy holidays!


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