I’ve started today’s post with an image, as usual, but it is unusual this time because it’s a pen and ink drawing that was included with the letter Erik sent me.
I apologize for the poor quality scan. Best I could do with the tools at hand.
Still, it’s enough to give you the idea.
I’m reminded of the totem poles I saw on a school trip when I was thirteen or fourteen years old. My social studies class had gone to a museum that was full of interesting artifacts, but the ones that stick out in my mind were these carved wooden people, twenty feet high, with immense erect phalluses on the men and huge jutting breasts and buttocks on the women.
They were an eye-opening depiction of the human form, as seen by a culture which thought nothing of nudity. They made me realize that sex, and sexuality, had at one time been accepted as an integral part of daily life, no more or less taboo than, say, washing the laundry, or smoking the day’s catch of fish. Human beings, at one point, lived simply, in communion with the natural world, and in touch with their natural place in it. They would learn of rutting from watching the elk, perhaps, and maybe try it themselves. Their fumbling, eager clumsiness might be laughed at by their elders, but never ridiculed. These children were becoming men and women, and this, too, was a part of it.
Later in life I would read about the numerous shamanic rituals of tribal peoples, many of them sexual in nature, and begin to realize that the advent of religion was largely responsible for the development of sexual taboos in many parts of the world. Once removed from the realm of the mundane, sex was a useful tool with which to control the people, directing their strongest pleasure-seeking urges towards cultural activity that was beneficial to all (though often even more beneficial to an elite few).
In some places sex was used to invoke the god or goddess or spirit of fertility and ensure a bountiful harvest of corn, for example. Numerous rituals addressed the very real dangers of pregnancy and childbirth, and were highly sexualized. Transition from childhood into adulthood often involved numerous rites of passage, trials both physical and spiritual, involving everything from deprivation, physical violence through combat or hunting, tests of knowledge or skill, and, of course, sex.
Sexual worship wasn’t uncommon even in more civilized times, where Bacchus or Eros held sway. A quick glance at this list, which is by no means exhaustive, will show you that love and lust have, for the bulk of recorded human history, been placed in a realm beyond the understanding of mere mortals. While many cults would encourage inebriation and revelry, indulging in wanton orgies and uninhibited pleasure, more organized and successful religions eventually stamped out most such worship, relegating it to the realm of the devil and successfully burying openness and honesty about sex beneath thousands of years of guilt and shame.
Is it any wonder, then, that we hesitate to discuss it?
Is it such a surprise that many of us don’t know our own desires?
Never mind the desires of our partners!
Erik’s story is one of personal revelation, and it came about because of the Lust Totem, which he found one day in a pawn shop. The drawing above is Erik’s attempt to depict it for us. Why didn’t he take a photo, you may ask? Well, Erik now worships this little totem, and it has begun to take a central role in many of his sexual rituals. He feels the time and effort involved in capturing the Totem’s true spirit through art is a better expression of his devotion than simply snapping a digital pic.
After reading his letter, I’m prone to agree.
When I saw it, I knew I had to have it.
I can’t really say why. It was crudely made, vulgar. It squatted there, lasciviously tonguing itself, and it cared not one bit what I might think of its shameless autofellatio. It gripped its massive phallus, fully half the length of its own body, without the least concern for who might walk by. It was as careless of the other abandoned carvings on the shelf around it as it was of me. It dared me to come up with even one good reason why it shouldn’t revel in the pleasure of its own body.
I couldn’t. Who was I to judge? Overweight, always sweaty, greasy hair, pimply skin. I got so nervous talking to girls that I would shake and stammer in terror. If they spoke to me at all, it was to ridicule, to scoff at my attempts at conversation. At home, alone, I was no better than this gross little mannikin, feverishly tugging at myself, inserting the smaller soap and shampoo bottles into my anus whenever I was in the shower. Craving human contact, knowing it would never come from anyone but myself.
It got me thinking: why shouldn’t I own that? Why shouldn’t I be shameless about it? If someone were to tell me it was disgusting to touch myself in those ways, I could always ask, “Well, are YOU going to do it?” I knew the answer to that. In just a few minutes, staring at this nasty-minded little beast, I already felt different about myself.
I picked it up. It was surprisingly heavy. Red lacquered wood of some kind. A little orange sticker on the bottom read “$4.99” I tested the heft of it, and it felt good in my hand. Dirty and perverted, but somehow right.
Sweeping my eyes across the shelf, I could see there was nothing else in the inventory quite like this. If anything, the little carvings of deer and dwarves, of bears and bards, of racecars and rastafarians, would be glad to see this impudent little prick taken away.
I bought it, from a very pretty girl, and didn’t even blush.
When I got home I went straight to my room and I took the randy little bastard out of the plastic bag where he had been smothered. He looked at me, wagged his tongue, and he seemed to laugh.
He said, “Put me back in the bag. Asphyxiation can enhance the fun. I wasn’t quite done yet.”
I ignored him and scraped his price tag off, set him on the top of my book shelf.
Seated at the end of my bed, I stared at him. He, in turn, ignored me and carried on licking himself. His hands kept kneading the swollen flesh of his shaft. The little face on his tongue cooed and moaned in delight. It lived for that taste. The strongest urge to masturbate came over me, but I hesitated. Something wasn’t quite right.
I glanced around the room, ostensibly to be sure the door was closed. It was, but I noticed the laundry hamper had spilled over. Rancid clothes were strewn around my room.
Huffing and puffing, cursing the flab of my middle that forced me to work around it, I set about putting my room to rights. Gathering my clothes led to gathering the books and magazines. The collectibles scattered about were put back into their places. The rumpled bed was made up. The pictures on the walls were straightened, sagging posters re-tacked. The accretion of bric-a-brac on my computer desk was tidied away into drawers and cubbies. Within an hour, my room had never looked so clean.
Looking back at the totem, I felt that urge to touch myself again. The pressure was intense. I wanted to display myself to him, to revel in shamelessness the way he did. I even moved towards him, fumbling at my crotch.
He looked at me, while he slurped at himself contemplatively, and he said, “You’re a disgusting slob. I’d rather touch myself than play with you.”
I bit my lip, feeling self-loathing and despair encroach like a rising black tide. Viciously, I shoved it down.
“Fuck you,” I told the totem.
He grinned at me.
“Fuck you!” I shouted. “FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU! YOU WANT DISGUSTING?”
I snatched him from the shelf, dropped to my hands and knees, and spat on his head. Reefing down my sweatpants, I worked his bulbous skull into my asshole with one hand, grabbed my burning cock with the other. In less than ten seconds I spent myself on the rug, collapsing into my own ejaculate. I worked the little lust god around my anus a few more times, enjoying the final shivers of pleasure, then pulled him free.
He grinned at me.
“Now you’re getting it,” he said. “But you’re still living like a pig, wallowing in your own shit. Use me and abuse me all you like, but you’re kidding yourself if you think I’m the one suffering.”
I left him lying on the rug. With my pants once more firmly tied around my belly, I moved the laundry out into the hall. Stepping back into the room, I realized how cluttered it was, even after being cleaned. I tugged and shoved the computer desk and all its freight out into the hall as well, dragging wires like intestines. Next to go was the stereo, and the table, and the bookshelf. The bedside tables went, too. Considering, I brought one back into the room and put it where the bookshelf had been. I draped it with a folded black bedsheet and placed my cruel new god, grinning under his crown of shit, in the center. Then I rolled up the rug and tossed it out in the hall with the rest of my junk.
Dust floated in the sunbeams peaking in through the blinds. Emptied of the years, my room looked abandoned and forlorn.
I tore down the blinds, tossed them in the hall, and came back with a broom and a vacuum.
The rest of my day vanished in a feverish storm of activity. I reconfigured the den with all the furniture removed from my bedroom, the computer and the books. Anything I couldn’t find room for I hauled out to the dumpster. I washed numerous loads of laundry, and threw out piles of ratty, sweat-stained clothes. The rug and the blinds got similar treatment. I went to a home decor place and purchased blood red curtains for my window, a matching rug for the floor. Wall hangings and bed coverings in similar shades completed the effect.
With my room redecorated, the bed remade, the idol now cleaned and sitting atop an altar of ruby red cloth, the entire room felt different. It had become a temple. A feeling of peace descended. For a few minutes, a sense of tranquility blossomed.
Then I caught a whiff of myself. All day, running around, sweating like a pig. The oversexed little asshole was right. I was disgusting.
I showered until the hot water ran out. I touched myself all over, and it was an excuse to rub soap in places it hadn’t been rubbed in ages. When I emerged, I was flushed and pink, but not like a pig. More like a cherub.
Since then I have been transformed. Self love has led to self respect. As I told myself, more and more, “Why should I care what anyone thinks? I’ll touch myself however I like!” that attitude began to spill over into other aspects of my life. Why should I care what anyone thinks? Gyms are for people just like me. I shouldn’t have to be ashamed to walk into a gym. I shouldn’t have to be ashamed to let my rolls jiggle and fly as I struggle to destroy them. If they don’t want to see it, they don’t have to look. Fuck them. Fuck everyone. I will love myself, because only I know how to do it best.
And so I’ve lost weight. The acne has vanished. I shave my head, because I can’t stand my greasy, curly hair. I shower regularly, and the body I see in the mirror has slowly, slowly, become sleek and muscular. I notice women looking at me now, and I am flushed with a sense of triumph, most especially because I know I don’t need them. I have myself. It was doubly satisfying to discover I could have women whenever I wanted, as well. The first time I brought a woman home, I tried to explain to her about the pugnacious little masturbator on his altar.
Now I don’t bother.
This is my ritual:
Every morning, I kneel in front of my lewd little sculpture. I lick his shaft from scrotum to frenulum. I kiss his mouth. And I masturbate myself, praising my body, my will, my ability, my courage. I stroke myself to the point of explosive release.
But it isn’t until I believe the words I’m saying, until I feel their truth suffuse me, that I allow myself to let go, to crest that hill, to ride the avalanche down the other side.
I’m telling you this story because radical self love is what’s missing from our world. Like an animal, it has been systematically hunted down and exterminated. Religion stigmatized healthy sexual expression. Now capitalism, our latest god, building on what religion began, has penned us in with fences built of our own guilt and shame. Know this: that guilt and shame is imposed upon us! When we fail to measure up to the unrealistic standards of a society that does not care for us, we abuse ourselves worse than anyone else can. We must not be ashamed of ourselves, our bodies, our faults. Only by embracing who we are can we find the power to accept, love, and respect ourselves. Only through love and self respect will we change for the better, and thereby create positive change in the world around us!
Start talking about it!