Sex Magic: Flick Your Bean and Achieve Your Deepest Desires

Sexual alchemy 101.
Arielle Richards
Melbourne, AU
Andrew Holt, Maciej Toporowicz, NYC​,  dvulikaia​ via getty
Andrew Holt,
Maciej Toporowicz, NYC, 
dvulikaia via getty

The theme for the month of April is THE OCCULT. We are observing how it has manifested in various ways in Australia over the past 200 or so years of settler colonialism. 

“The occult” is a nebulous term, generally used to describe anything pertaining to the esoteric, supernatural, or preternatural. The month of April conjures images of cute Easter bunnies, pastels and Catholicism. So, naturally, we will be exploring its antithesis: witches, black magic, and Satanism.


It’s May, this isn’t an Australian story, and it’s not really about the occult either. 

But if you aren’t breaking at least all of the rules you set for yourself in one fell sweep, can you really claim to be living? It’s an exercise in free will. 

Immersing myself in the world of Rosaleen Norton and early Melbourne’s satanic symbolism has clearly affected a change somewhere deep in my innermost corners. I see it manifested in my TikTok for you page. I wasn’t even using TikTok to research, and now my feed is flooded with videos like “things I learnt growing up with a mom for a witch that just make sense” and “this is the oldest secret society in existence”. Or, more likely, someone’s been listening as I’ve rattled off buzzwords like “pentagrams” “magic” and “witches” to anyone in proximity. Either way, I do not care. For it was here that I came across Amber Eros’s Sex Magic Playlist.

“I am ritualistically flicking my bean as an offering to the gods,” she proclaimed. “So they give me whatever the fuck I want.”

Sex magic. It has its own Wikipedia page. Sometimes spelled sex magick, it is the practice of using that most divine of all human experiences, the orgasm, in spiritual, religious or ritualistic pursuits.


The earliest known practical application of sex magic in the west was brought by an American occultist, Paschal Beverly Randolph. I mention him because there are some quotes I would like to include, for your interest. 

As quoted in Magia Sexualis: Sex, Secrecy, and Liberation in Modern Western Esotericism, “True sex-power is God-power”.

In his own text, The Mysteries of Eulis, he wrote, “Success in any case requires the adjuvancy of a superior woman. THIS IS THE LAW!”

He then goes on to say “a superior woman” means no harlots [boo whorephobia], no virgins [valid], and no one under 18 [thank God].

Sex magic is obviously not a western invention. Nothing is. Tantra has been practised for millennia in South-Asian countries, in both Hinduism and Buddhism. Sex across countless societies has been seen as a divine practice, putting you in direct communion with the gods, to be revered and studied.

Amid the abhorrent ick of our rat-on-treadmill existence, these days it can be easy to forget that sex is everything. Not to be gross, but it’s where we came from, and it is the centre of pleasure whether it be loving, hedonistic, kinky, baby-making or frivolous. There’s also incredible power in not having sex – abstinence, asexuality, celibacy – but… we are here to talk about sex.

Amber Eros is a shadow worker and self-professed “sexual alchemist”. Shadow work is a type of alternative therapy involving working with your unconscious mind to uncover repressed ideas, traumas, desires or the parts of yourself you might not even realise you hate.


Shadow work is intrinsically tied to sex magic. And it would seem that sex magic can help you get everything you desire. VICE spoke with Amber on a video call from her home in New York, suffused in warm candlelight, backgrounded by a rose-patterned backdrop, to find out how it’s done.

VICE: Hi Amber. For how long have you been doing shadow work and sex magic?

I've been studying this world for about a decade now. And it's taken a lot of different embodiments. My business is actually in the process of going through another shape-shift right now, I'm kind of transitioning from being primarily a sex coach to being mostly a shadow worker – they're very related to each other. 

I'm full-time, getting paid to guide people into a realm of their own unconscious and the realm of their own shadow. And to just lovingly hold their hand and give them so much grace and love as they come into contact with this really tender part of themselves that feels really filled with shame, and really ugly and really grotesque, and really unlovable. 

I give them tools to be able to dialogue with that part of themselves and to eventually be able to make love to that part of themselves. There’s so much healing that comes out of that. It also guides people into the realm of being able to really powerfully manifest in their lives. 

How would you explain sexual alchemy? In the most basic, laypeople’s terms?


So there are different levels to it, and we can kind of go slow and break it down a little bit.

The most broad stroke of sexual alchemy is using sexual energy to be able to manifest your desired reality. And this has become a little bit of a term in pop culture, which is fantastic.

“We desire to have more money, but we're actually terrified of having it because it means that we would turn into some pompous, obnoxious, greedy asshole, who nobody loves, and we will just die alone on our pile of money.”

The version of sex magic or sexual alchemy that a lot of people are familiar with, is this idea of masturbating while you visualise something that you desire. That's a beautiful form of sex magic, and you can actually have massive healing and massive manifestation happen from exploring that first level. 

But there are these deeper, grittier levels to sex magic that I would love to dive into a little bit. Because you can totally hang out in that space of masturbating while you're visualising, but I would love to teach people how to drop down even further.

Please. I’d love to know. Where would you like to start?

That first level is like, licking the frosting off the top of the cake. And that's a powerful lick of frosting. For many people, that’s a really radical process within itself. You get to ask yourself the question, what do I desire? Which is a revolutionary question in itself, because there are so many different layers of society-conditioned bullshit on top of our desires, where many of us are not even really in touch with what we actually want for ourselves. So part of sex magic, and part of this kind of first level, is really asking what the fuck do I want? 


It really takes a tremendous amount of courage and audacity to peel back these layers. Many of us have fear and shame around even getting in touch with our own desires.

Once you go past that step, you can drop down another level into asking the question of okay, now I know what I want, what terrifies me about actually getting it? And that’s a juicy question to dive into that you could really spend a long time sinking your teeth into because the truth is that for every desire that we have, we have 10 fears about actually getting it.

And I can give examples of this, but we kind of already know this on some level, right? We desire to have more money, but we’re actually terrified of having it because it means that we would turn into some pompous, obnoxious, greedy asshole, who nobody loves, and we will just die alone on our pile of money. There are these fears around actually getting what we desire. 

In the process of doing that, you’re giving a voice to this unconscious part of you. That is just trying to protect you. And this is why we get stuck in so many levels of self-sabotage, right? we’ll take one step forward, and two steps back in our lives. Because there’s part of us that’s really scared of having this stuff. So that’s the second level, which is also exquisite and really has a lot of potential for eroticism, because you can start to give yourself pleasure while you're working with these fears. This fear of actually having it and feeling that current of it come through your body and you can start to give your body pleasure while you tap into these spheres. That’s a really gorgeous level of sex magic. 


And what is the third level?

The third level, which is the final level, is super naughty and super kinky. 

The third level of exploration of sex magic and sexual alchemy is this question of, is there some way that having lack actually turns me on? Is there something about the constriction and the limitation of my current situation that’s actually turning me on? It’s not conscious at all. But am I, on some level, kind of perpetuating some of the limitations on my own life for the kinky drama of it? 

This is based on the work of Carolyn Elliot, who’s one of my beloved mentors, and her body of work on existential kink is so beautiful, I recommend that everybody dive into it, it's absolutely life changing. If you can have the courage and the naughtiness inside of you to begin to dig into that question, you can gain a tremendous amount of manifestation power very, very quickly. So that’s kind of the gist of sex magic. 

Do you have any tips for beginners who want to get into sex magic?

I'll give just a few quick exercises that people can begin with. To lay the foundation would be to really answer the questions that we mapped out together. Just begin with journaling – what do I desire? –  that’s a beautiful place to start. And seeing what comes out, seeing the wide variety and complexity of all the desires that live inside of you, and learning to honour them, learning to take them out from the hidden places inside of you and to really let them breathe. 


The second thing that I would invite people into is to begin to learn how to build pleasure inside of their own body. To play with that and to expand that pleasure that you’re experiencing. Then when you're ready, you can bring those two things together. 

You can set ritual space in whatever way that means for you. It’s very different for everybody. But just letting your psyche know that you’re going into ritual space in which you can transform, you’re leaving mundane reality where you are the person that you know yourself to be, and you’re going into this new space where you can transform. 

You can do that by lighting a candle or turning on some music or writing some intentions down. And you can begin to feel into your desires and begin to give pleasure to your own body and to start to mix things together. And that’s a beautiful beginning to sex magic, in taking wild, life affirming, erotic control of your life.

You mentioned “existential kink”... incredible, really. What is it exactly?

For me erotic existentialism is about really honouring that we’re on this tremendous ride as human beings. This is a crazy batshit ride that we’re on with ups and downs and ins and outs and so much beauty and so much chaos. And I think that when you can tap into your capacity to take charge of your own experience, inside of it, it can get really hot. 

There’s also a tremendous amount of suffering going on, but there’s a thrill to being alive, isn’t there? Especially during this time. And we get to be alive for it. And we get to support each other during it. 

There’s some fear there, but there's some excitement as well. I think we get to have all of it, we get to have the fear and the grief that's coming up. And we also get to be wildly wildly turned on by being alive.

That’s erotic existentialism for me. If I’m going to suffer, I’m going to be turned on while I’m suffering. The best that I can do is to empower people to really feel their power during this time, so that they can start to get turned on as well.

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