“It is only by enlarging the scope of one’s tastes and one’s fantasies, by sacrificing everything to pleasure, that the unfortunate individual called Man, thrown despite himself into this sad world, can succeed in gathering a few roses among life’s thorns”
Marquis de Sade
“Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns”
Miller and Devon
IT’S MIDNIGHT AND I’M OUT WALKING. At this time of night the only sounds you hear on the streets are your own footsteps. The house I’m walking past was built about 150 years ago and out back is an old tree. 75 years ago it was still huge, and no doubt just one of many that once stood in this neighborhood. The branches seem impossibly long, the trunk curved like a body ready to pounce, with ten or twelve long, crooked arms. Where the head would be is the moon, looking huge tonight. It was full a few nights ago and still bright enough to light up the eastern sky, defining the wispy clouds crossing at its equator.
Nights like these conjure up memories.
I grew up in the sixties when Vincent Price was torturing very naked witches on the silver screen, while vampires dripped blood on bare breasts. Even John Wayne was more than eager to toss the occasional heroine over his knee and give her a sound spanking. Sex, sorcery and sadism were coming out of the closet. It was the era where dark love came into being. Suddenly the idea of your mate being less than wholly mortal wasn’t such a bad thing.
Those of us who grew up in that era can’t see that moon through the trees and not feel like the opening credits have just finished and we’re in the first scene.
“But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.”
Love doesn’t go in a straight line. There’s pain involved, sometimes a lot of it. If you’re afraid of getting burned, it’s a good recipe for a life devoid of romantic passion. If you do it right, it’s a fair trade.
Sometimes the pain is intentional, or at least a somewhat welcome by product of passion. There’s a lot of energy released in the heat of passion. And perhaps the Duke wasn’t completely wrong in his reliance on spanking. There are people of both sexes that like a well timed slap on the ass now and them.
There was a sadomasochistic element to horror almost from the beginning. If the vampire’s kiss is a visual metaphor for something deeper, what about all those scenes where the hero or heroine found themselves tied up, chained or otherwise restrained? As modern horror has proven, it’s nothing to make a torture scene in a film gruesome. But it took Hammer Films to make it sexy.
I love the night
The day is OK and the sun can be fun but I live
To see those rays slip away
I love the night
There’s so much that I can show and give to you
If you will welcome me tonight
Donald Roeser, Blue Oyster Cult
When she told me she had a fondness for Blue Oyster Cult, I knew she was the one.
There are witches all full of “merry meet” and white light, the new age equivalent of Glenda, the good witch of the east. God bless them for that, but I prefer my witch to be able to chill my blood.
My first clue was when I described the house to her, and mentioned the dungeon that our conversations took on a whole new kink.
For the record, it’s not a dungeon, it’s a basement, crumbling brick walls, uneven brick floor, pipes overhead and the look of a space that’s been disregarded for over a century. In short, it has real potential.
Perhaps that’s what dark love is, potential. Dark love can be tragic, brutal, supernatural, mysterious as well as quirky, campy and downright funny.
But overall there’s a feeling of anticipation, that something amazing could happen at any moment, and it’s going to change your life forever. It could be ecstatic. Or it could sting a bit.
When love first blooms you have to navigate the proper conversational channels to build trust. Sometimes all it takes is the mention of a single word and speaking those next few sentences are themselves an act of trust. And that’s the key element, trust. It’s a lot safer exploring your dark side if you have someone you can trust to pull you safely out of it.
“When she’s abandoned her moral center and teachings…when she’s cast aside her facade of propriety and lady-like demeanor…when I have so corrupted this fragile thing and brought out a writhing, mewling, bucking, wanton whore for my enjoyment and pleasure…..enticing from within this feral lioness…growling and scratching and biting…taking everything I dish out to her…..at that moment she is never more beautiful to me. ”
Marquis de Sade
My witch can be a real proper lady if she chooses. Thankfully she doesn’t choose it very often. I prefer her as she is, hungry and knowing her own mind.
Over the years, certain words have taken on negative connotations. A sexually adventurous woman gets labelled tramp, slut, whore. It’s often said that there are no male equivalents except playboy, but there’s another term which fits the bill.
She doesn’t care where I got my experience, nor I hers. But I love her for it. Unless you’re very young or truly evil, technique trumps virtue. But if you’re collecting souls and need a virgin, then be my guest. I don’t judge.
Some people look right inside you and pull out what they see. When you’re our age you have a bit of experience built up. You know what you like and how you like it. It takes trust, to know each other well enough to get past things like fear, jealousy, and you have to work hard to understand the motivations behind what we might not understand. What we may have learned about ourselves with other partners might be, should be totally different with someone else.
Because it may be the same organs, same flesh involved, but it’s a whole new set of emotions. An entirely different love than what you’ve known before. And so she accepts the rake slipping into her bed, and I take the woman I find there as she is, wild and loving.
She recognized the rake in me and I the hoe in her. Appropriate for two gardeners, yes?
SO I’M STANDING THERE, LOOKING AT THE MOON THROUGH THE TREES and I feel her. I see her eyes open in the darkness and she realizes I’m not there. And she needs me there.
I laugh at myself, it’s just my imagination, running away with me. But all the same I turn on my heels and head for home. She likely is asleep, but to be curled up next to her is just as good. And there’s always morning.
Thou art a flower, dear heart, a fragrant flower
And I, the wandering, hair-clad, amorous bee.
’Mongst all the regal beauties of the bower,
I seek but thee.
I feel the ivory of thy petals fair
Brush lightly on my belly as I woo
And I would sting thee, if I did but dare,
So sweet you are.
I suck the honey from your dewy bowl
And drunken mad, with wild, delirious bliss,
Within your cup, I yield to you my soul
And drink your kiss….
We don’t actually need a dungeon, as just the conversation about it, poking around down there and planning becomes a new kind of foreplay. The old clothes line in the witch’s garden with this new perspective became a cross with four eyelets, awaiting ropes and willing wrists, beneath the moon and surrounded by monkshood, bella donna, other plants of the witch’s art. We don’t need to use it, just being there has the effect.
These things become symbols and symbols are powerful. When a symbol has meaning to you, simply seeing it fires those nerve endings. For some of us, we live to have those nerve endings ablaze.
It’s that potential, that anything can happen feeling that keeps the blood pumping for each other.
“She had already allowed her delectable lover to pluck that flower which, so different from the rose to which it is nevertheless sometimes compared, has not the same faculty of being reborn each spring.”
Marquis de Sade
After you’ve tried most of what there is to try and you find yourself older and alone, it takes a lot to coax you back into romance. You fear the newness won’t be there, that you’ll be competing with memories.
So you ask yourself, “what can I do that I haven’t done before with someone?”
The answer was simple – do it right. Fall in love with the right person and live life the way it should be lived. You’re with the one you love to drink deeply, and when you meet later in life, you have a lot of time to make up for.
Do you really want to accept that the great passions of your life are behind you? Or do you want to wake up beside the one you love and feel more for, feel deeper than you’ve ever felt before?
So my witch and I set out to do it right. Not worrying about what others might consider to be a fulfilled life. We’ll live it how we like, and not worry about things like age or our approaching doom.
We seem to have missed that day in class when the students were told we’re supposed to be less horny as we grow older. Or maybe we just take our cue from Morticia and Gomez Addams, rather than Mike and Carol Brady.
Innocence can be sweet but it can only be given once. I’ll take her experience and knowing what she wants any day.
Be no longer tender.
Cover me with frenzied kisses —
even as I would drench my body in the cruel torrents of the rain.
Envelop me from throat to ankle in delirium intolerable….
~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff
There is a time for tenderness, and there’s a time to devour – not just each other, but love and life as well. Our days are numbered and every morning marks the beginning of one fewer day to actually live the life you want to live.
As the saying goes, “contentment is wealth.” Fuck that, I’ll take the poverty of passion any day. There’s a line attributed to Pope … “to feeling tremblingly alive.” Life isn’t a cycle of work, domestic chores, child rearing and lovemaking by rote, unless that’s your idea of wealth.
For my love and I, dawn finds us falling awake to kisses and rising passions, to greet the new day as a celebration. We encourage, no we insist that the other feed upon our love whenever we’re hungry, and we get hungry a lot. Quite often, before our eyes have opened to the new morning, our lips have found each other, our arms entwined and as I feel her thighs part I’m pulled into the center of my world, the love of my life and life is too short to sleep away these golden days.
To love you like the midnight storm!…
To hear the wild beating of your veins; to feel flame shuddering your blood and to agonize you with my ardor.
To crush you as a flower upon my breast,
To bear you away to some secret valley where I would love you into insensibility….
~Blanche Shoemaker Wagstaff
There is a garden of earthly delights, and you find it in the kiss and hard embrace of the one you love. You don’t find it in your lust, for that’s fleeting and as any gardner can tell you, till you’ve brought these plants to life, till you’ve nurtured it and watched it grow, you never really know your garden.
Because like a garden, there are new surprises in every season of love. May flowers bloom more fully, more prodigiously over time than in the beginning. You learn what feeds it, what to plant near it to attract more life to it. You learn how moist to keep it, and as the root goes deeper, the red of the rose’s petals grow a darker burgundy.
When you know your garden, you know what to do, when to plant the seeds deep, when to scatter them all around. What flowers reseed themselves each spring, and when taking a cutting will result in a whole new plant.
And in my dream she sang so sweetly
A melody I hope to sing
So enslaved by her sweet wonder
It cut my legs and fingered hunger
In her arms I trembled electric
Oh and she let me and she held me
Then waking she was older still
And holds my love against its will
In spell cast with her palms extended
Cursed love is never ending
My witch burst into my life with a yank of the hair and a bite to the lip. Her voice in my ear is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard, as well as the most electrifying. It’s not dominant nor submissive, it’s hunger never completely satisfied, it’s pulling each other up one peak after another, just to find out what’s up there.
All we need is out appetites and our appetite for trust, for trust gives us the courage to match our passion.
It’s not complicated, for love should never be complicated. For what could be more important than your lover’s heart? It’s simply doing it right, throwing out the stereotypes and looking into each other’s eyes and loving the person we find there.
I turn the corner and from down the street I can see the house. There’s a torch lit on the deck in the back, the beacon she uses to tell me she’s awake and hungry. As I get closer I see her standing there in her nightdress, hands on the rail, looking down on me like the whore who caused the mutiny and sailed the ship to hell and back.
And she has secrets to tell.
I say “fuck the gate and climb the fence to reach that rail and her kiss.