If you’re reading this, hopefully you are already experiencing pleasure in your life, whether you’re solo, partnered up, or somewhere in between. If not, perhaps sex magick can provide an incentive to get busy. Sex magick is a powerful way to clear feelings of shame around sexuality and receiving pleasure while boosting body positivity. You can also harness the fuel sexual energy provides for manifestation in other areas of your life.

So, what exactly is sex magick, and how does it work? In its simplest form, it’s a way to harness sexual energy and direct it towards a desired result. It’s the same as any other magical practice or spell crafting, but with a little extra oomph. As with any magical practice, you want to observe strong ethics, avoid bending free will, and focus on asking to receive what is in your best and highest. Sexual energy is potent, and requires responsibility. Sex magick is obviously deeply personal and best practiced solo or with a partner you implicitly trust, and in alignment to what your desired outcome is. Want to try it out without the added variables a partner brings to the table? Don’t be afraid to start your sex magick practice with a little me time.

Step 1. Set the Mood
This is self pleasure with a lot of mental focus, so you may want to get into the mood for the union of sensation and ritual. Try burning some herbs (mugwort is a great choice), taking tinctures with libido boosting herbs like damiana, or taking a salt bath. Have a sex magick playlist to engage the senses and begin your ritual. You can also create an altar to your intention that you meditate at beforehand or even practice in front of.

Step. 2. Create an Objective/Intention
What are you trying to achieve? Really think it out–consider giving it an image and a mantra. This gives you more tools to be crystal clear on what you are hoping to achieve. Instead of simply saying “love,” or “money,” ask for your life partner, or money specifically to pay your rent. Create an image of yourself writing a check or paying off that bill, holding hands with someone, or whatever aligns with your objective, and will be easy for you to remember when you’re losing control over your body. Keep it simple and direct, and don’t be afraid to go big. What do you hold as a deeply held heartfelt desire?

Step 3. Slow Down
If you are experienced at pleasuring yourself, you probably already have a routine down. Racing to the finish line is not the goal here. It’s helpful to really allow the sexual energy to build. The longer you can extend your pleasure the better (the more sexual energy you create, the more you have to fuel your intention with). Deep breathing is important to keep yourself open and receptive. Try basking in experiencing your sexuality, honoring any blocks or thoughts that come up while still returning to your intention (you can sift through those later). One note: if this is triggering or traumatic, please stop! No magical practice is worth that.

Step 4. Focus on Your Intention
This takes some practice, because pleasure is distracting and most people use their imagination during masturbation. However you need to keep your intention in your mind and stay focused. Saying it out loud can be helpful as well. The more intense your feelings, the more magnetic your powers to attract and manifest, so try to stay focused in the mind while allowing the body to lose control.

Step 5. Release!
When you’re ready and feel like you have built up enough energy allow yourself to climax. Remember, this is a working orgasm, so keep your intention in mind and think about how happy you will feel when you receive it or it comes to fruition. While feeling the physical pleasure, let yourself feel the emotional pleasure of receiving what you desire. Your orgasm serves to be what pushes and releases your intention out into the universe. Let yourself stay in this post-orgasmic place for a moment or two.

Afterwards it can be helpful to write down your ritual. What herbs did you use, how did the experience feel? Did you experience any blocks? Sex magick is really powerful for manifestation but one of its biggest benefits is that it can really heal your relationship with your sexuality. Being able to access your sexual energy for you and not just with the physical expression of sex with a partner is pretty potent and can open up all kinds of avenues for creation and experience. Books worth exploring for more info are The Art of Sexual Ecstasy and The Art of Sex Magic, both by Margot Anand.