By Jade T. Perry
In 2020 through early 2021, I worked with FUN FACTORY to do O Tarot readings, which were monthly sensual readings surrounding exploration and pleasure. We’d look at the messages the cards were giving us and pair them with a sex toy. But there was an overall theme that kept coming up each month: the need to find ways toward full embodiment, pleasure, and feeling—within and beyond sex and/or masturbation—for a range of bodies and body realities.
This is why we need sensual magick for all bodies.
Do you want to know what’s true? I wouldn’t find pleasure if I waited until I wasn’t in any pain to experience it. I live with fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, post-traumatic stress disorder—and that’s the short list. I know what it’s like for the landscape of my body to change rapidly, along with the sensations that come with inhabiting it. Sensual magick has been a way for me to touch in to my desires, to express my eroticism, and to hold space for the changes in my body.
So, what is sensual magick for all bodies? How do we understand it? Sensual magick is a constellation of thoughts, intentions, and actions. It is the space where we can engage in deep, pleasurable, sexy, and sexual feelings—while holding compassion for more challenging sensations and body realities.
Sensual magick is an invitation into the mysteries of our bodies. It focuses on the process rather than the practice.
So, while certain practices can be incorporated (e.g. masturbation, sex, kissing, cuddling, self-touch, massage, etc.), it is not the practices alone that hold the most erotic potential.
It is our own willingness to get curious about:
- The sensations our body craves
- Spaces our body likes to play and rest in
- Desirable scents and/or scent-free experiences
- The sensations our body has an aversion to
- Textures that feel good
- Desirable levels of touch pressure
- The places where we enjoy touch
… and more!
Sensual magick is full of ritual. Sensual magick for all bodies prioritizes ritual ease.
Ritual—the process of doing things in an intentional way—can be full of ease. Rituals teach us about who we are, where we have come from, what we value, and what we are “calling in.”
As a chronically fatigued femme, I don’t always have the energy to complete 10 steps, light nine candles, play a special playlist, and so on. That doesn’t mean that I don’t get to create sensual magick! Far from it.
We find ways to accommodate ourselves. For me, that looks like setting an intention, lighting one candle, and choosing a toy with ergonomic handles. Sometimes, it looks like asking for help to get dressed in something sexy, anointing myself with amber oil…and then taking a blissful nap.
We insist that our lovers accommodate us, when we choose to include them. We talk about what turns us on and the accessibility we need to get there. As BlackQueer femme and erotic coach Rashida KhanBey Miller says, “logistics can be so sexy!”
Sensual magick has a rich intellectual and artistic foundation.
In recent years, there has been an influx of beautiful writings and offerings about sex, sexuality, sensuality, disability, and the body. Adrienne Maree Brown’s Pleasure Activism highlights the importance of “pleasure practices” that can bring us back home to our bodies. Sonya Renee Taylor’s The Body Is Not an Apology reminds us of that very fact, including essays and exercises to build radical self-love. The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability offers a depth of information about the ways to build safe sexual experiences and thriving sexual lives.
Sensual magick for all bodies recognizes that it takes a lot to live in a body, particularly one that is multiply marginalized.
As a BlackQueerDisabled femme and spiritualist, I find the ways that we survive and gain personal and political agency with pleasure along the way to be its own kind of magick. That is to say that magick comes from applied action and intention.
We do sensual magick so our erotic practice can be restful. Can be flexible. Can be full of ease. It’s going to have to be, if it will serve our gloriously irreverent, sexy, and expansive bodies.
Jade T. Perry is an artist, educator, and mystic. You can find more of her work or book services on her website.