Last month I was sitting on the subway, bemoaning the fact that I was riding the M train and not whisking my way to Bushwich on a broom, a thought that must irritate almost all 21st century witches, when my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was a scruff message from Lion27 (I changed the name but it was ruffly that), asking “can I see your noodz”, his words not mine. With out much of a thought, being that I was lost some where between the witching hour of drunk and horny, (aka heading home alone at 3 am on a Saturday,) I send off my prick pick and went back to meditating on how much more enjoyable the world would be if everyone had access to flight via common house hold objects.
He responded, I responded, more images were exchanged, address were given, plans were set to stone like commandments, and I sighed, the sigh of a man still secretly debating between getting off two stops early to get off, or simply staying put and allowing our digital exchange to fizzle out into nothing but half held hopes, and pipe dreams that perhaps a random tumble in the sack with a stranger would become something more delicious. (Like everyone in New York these days I too am looking for winter cuddles.)
I mention in my profile that I give structural massages as part of a skills exchange. Having apparently read this, he then sent me a text saying he cuts hair, and wanted to know if I needed a trim. … the prospect of a hair cut for a massage followed by sex if we vibed was promising to me in my drunk state, yet as I debated it my mind continued to wander. Lost in the question about how to be a more fully actualized 21st century witch.
It was somewhere over the Lorimer stop, the train wrat-wrat-rattling around me, my body swaying, from the movement of my mechanized steed and rich honeyed cider, spiked by all the bottles of rum I could find, when I began to recognize the witchcraft present in this moment.
Being a witch in the real world in the 21st century means that though nothing might be as magical as you would like it to be, there is magic here all the same, you just some times have to look for it. Some times you accidentally cast a spell, or find a magical object, or brew a potion, life is like that. But I did none of those things that night. Instead, I am proud to announce, I realized that I have a familiar.
Familiar: NOUN: A demon supposedly attending and obeying a witch, often said to assume the form of an animal.
It’s my dick pic. I was always worried it was going to be something insipid, like a toad. No offense to toads, but if I am going to have a daemon side kick which both is and is not made from the fabric of my flesh and desire, I want it to at least look real cool, and either be practical, like a ferret, or absurdly awesome like a dire wolf. Yet it turns out, that in the realm of 21st century witchcraft, your familiar might just be a dick pic, shot from a flattering angle, with good lighting, taken while you lay mostly naked on your bed. (My feet get cold, I like to wear socks, most photos of my cock, include my socks in the background.)
See I am actually a witch, of the reclaiming tradition, and given that much of the world is mundane I rather enjoy meditations on moments where the magical and the real intersect and I am gifted new vistas, new ways of articulating my relationship to reality and space. Magic is mostly in how you choose to relate to reality. It’s an active choice. Sure, things occur which feel ‘magical’, ‘unexplainable’, ‘miraculous’. But the majority of the time it has much more to do with seeing things as magical. In many ways it’s actively choosing to explore reality with an edge of child-esq wonder, for children, with their comparative lack of social programing, often interact with the world as if it is magic. When boiled down to its essence, I see the divisions as such; the world, both physically and socially is governed by a set of laws, (in the form of constants such as gravity, or social codes, like ‘respect your elders’) Magic is the anarchic. It’s the potential to disrupt these codes. I don’t think I have ever seen some one use magic to violate the laws of physics, but I certainly have seen magic deployed to deconstruct if not fully destruct expected social norms.
One of the most powerful ways that magic can remake social codes is in offering us alternatives. Rituals, circle casting, coven meetings, personal practices, all of these tools can and are used by the witches I know to change their own reality, and in so doing change the reality of others. But even though all of this is great and groovy, I would be lying if i did not say that really what I want to be able to do is fly on a broom and hurl fire from my fingers.
Perhaps this is because I grew up on Harry Potter and other fantasy novels and I have unrealistic expectations around magic. However the bond between pet and pet ‘owner’ (I dislike this term owner. but you know what I mean.) has always been a space where ‘the magic’ has been tangible to me. Not only can we learn so much from our pets, but we can develop odd and uncanny ways of understanding them. Sure most dogs are creatures of habit with limited desires, but that does not make the bonds we have with them any less magical and profound.
As a kid, I had many pets, and often imagined that my dogs were my familiars. I would read the tales of witches who had magical familiars in the forms of cats, ravens, and geese, animals they would set off into the world to do their bidding, and then try to get my dogs to do things for me. It never worked.
But as a social tool for reworking your relationship to social norms the familiar to me functions as a representation of the animalistic, the natural, the raw and the wild as present within ourselves. A symbol of the bridge between the human social and the wild natural that I meditate on often. The familiar as a concept is a way to externalize and in externalizing honor and try to understand, (be in relationship with) your wild desires and passions. For a few months I have been meditating on what my ‘familiar’ would be. I kept looking towards the animal world to find a creature I thought represented me. (probably a Sifika Lemur, Thank you my dear friend NEON ANIMAL for suggesting this) but after months of looking, it dawned on me, that evening on the M train that the singular concept that combines my human social wants; community, relationship, snuggling, security, love of the digital, and my wild natural side; sex, consumption, scents, smells, tastes and fluids, is a photo of my cock.
So now as a 28 year old in a world where technology is exploding around us, and divisions between the mundane and the magical are being deconstructed daily, I find my mind turned towards the powers my phone grants me and find within it lays a host of quasi-magical abilities. Instantaneous access to maps, communication, memory, my phone augments my reality so deeply that I can only truly understand it as magical. Without question my favorite magical element of my phone is that it is the digital home, (aka pokeball,) for the familiar I have always dreamed of, my dick.
BACK TO THE STORY:
This particular incarnation of my familiar and I have been together for about 2 years (it really is a flattering picture, and I mean I love my dick in the flesh, but it looks real good in this picture). Yet why you may ask is my cock my familiar; a familiar who has perhaps become too familiar to too many men?
Because as I lay in bed in the wee hours, or sit at a cafe waiting for some friend to show, I send him on adventures like the witches of my young-adult fantasy novels did send their crows: to deliver messages, promises and spells to other creatures in far off parts of this magical land. He flies down digital pathways, given wings by my need to grapple with the human condition, by grappling with another and delivers the promise of magical union, sexual bliss, to strangers. He is a magic key, from him comes addresses to magical doors, portals to pleasure and ecstatic bliss. He casts spells for me; wanders the world and does my bidding for me; he seeks out prey and sings sirens calls, luring them into my erotic fantasies, he tells them of times we could have, and pleasure we could feel, the joy of bodies, strangers bodies, friends bodies, lovers bodies, pressed together, mingling sweat with promises, with cum.
My physical cock is of my flesh, it is me. The photo of my cock is an object an icon, here named familiar. Though it is of me, it is the promise of a sexual dimension of me stripped of complexity and emotions and rendered into a purely sexual object, into the promise of an orgasm. The cock picture-object is very different then who I am, it is myself locked into a state of the wild erotic, it is hungry and devilish and desiring. It is glorious. In seeing ‘my hard cock’ as different from ‘myself’, I also open up space for multiple dimensions and parts of my own sexuality that include ‘my hard cock’, but also hold space for other forms of erotic interaction and exchange that often get lost or swept away in our dick in ass or mouth obsessed gay sex cultures. Forms of erotic interaction such as massage, snuggeling, role play, bdsm play, kissing, hugging, verbal sex play, mutual masturbation, and so on… My dick pic can be the raw, hard, hung version of myself, and I can be just authentically me. At times I am my familiar and yet sometimes, I just need a snuggle.
I have come to understand my dick pic as something that symbolizes what society wants from me. It wants me to be a ‘MAN’, and MEN are HARD.
But that’s so reductive, I am not my erect cock, nor should I be, and I should not try to act like it. But often I do. I feel a weird social compulsion, especially in gay space, to always be READY for sex. To always be flirting, to always be seeking it out.
The eternally hard cock is part of my psyche but it’s an element of me, rather than me. So much of me is flaccid, is weak, is supple, loves to bend and be mutable. Weakness is a strength. I am only now coming to understand how I can ask for help when I need it, or show weakness and not be ashamed. I feel that for years I tried to live up to these unobtainable expectations, sexually and culturally, and this personal move to see my dick pic as a familiar, even just in the last month, has actually helped me hold space for flaccidity. It helps me both honor my sexual and erotic impulses, while reminding myself to remain present and myself within those interactions. It’s like I recently went to an orgy, but when i showed up, what I really wanted was to chat and have a glass of wine and unwind with friends. Traditionally I think i would have felt incredibly bad about myself. About not getting hard the moment I walked in, in not being sexual enough, but then I remembered this was a community of men who have all seen photos of my hard familiar, and I could take my time. Be my fleshy, tired from the day me, rather than jumping right into THE SEX.
I don’t have to be hard always, because my Dick Pic Familiar is. It is never anything other than a dick in a permanent state of arousal.The way I see it is the capitalist – patriarchal system has always desired and tried to make us into, the eternally hard cock, ready at a moments notice to fuck anything. Fuck, consume, fuck, consume, fuck, consume, CAPITALISM.
Personally I love both of those things (the fucking and the consuming that is.) But I want to reclaim them from a capitalist dialogue, and use those terms, and perform those actions intentionally and with understanding. To position my dick pic as the object that is those things allows me to be something else. What I am perhaps not sure, but I am beginning to question it.
My familiar also allows me to gloriously claim my desire to fuck in a new way, it is a step in a long journey towards honoring my own earth based sexuality — my desire to explore the orgasmic, my desire for new modalities of sexual exchange, new forms of touch. Sex is now a communion between me, my cock and everything from my hand to the orifices of another.
My dick pic as familiar helps me interpret the act of digital cruising as Magical as well. As a ritualist act of giving myself and my sexuality over to the worship of the god/dess, of cycles of desiring and death, love and lust, things fleshy and infleshed and human. It makes Scruffing an almost spiritual practice where I honor the fact that I love sex, and I love ‘hunting’ for sex, I love my cock, and I’m not ashamed.
There is nothing wrong with my (or your) desire to penetrate and be penetrated (or whatever in whatever way you want) and to be TOTALLY ROCK HARD FOR HOURS, but I think the big old metaphorical straight white man who thinks with his cock all the time has fucked this world up enough and it’s time to change our relationship with our sex organs while still honoring them. (BECAUSE SEX IS TOTALLY SACRED EVEN WHEN IT’S WITH STRANGERS OR YOU KNOW LIKE EHHHH NOT SO GREAT…) I have no idea if I’m doing it right. But I’ve got a dick, a dick pic, a phone and a whole lot of dreams. Seeing my dick pic as a construct I am in relationship with rather then an object, helps me to see other men, and their sexual images as something I am in relationship with as well rather than as objects. It helps me remind myself that though we are communicating with each other through an application designed to foster sexual connection, I am speaking with people who have dreams and fantasies and insecurities, and moments of flaccidity themselves.
Which brings me to where I am headed in the next installment, perhaps, an expanded conversation on the spells of capitalism, which I briefly touched on, and how capitalisms desires for us to see each other as objects rather than as people. How capitalism wants us to never actually have sex but to just have huge amounts of sexually inflected frustration, desire and dreams, for an unhappy and frustrated person is more likely to buy things. I’ll also keep talking about this Lion27 character. maybe… does it really matter if we had sex anyway?