For I am the first and the last
I am the venerates and the despised
I am the prostitute and the saint
I am the wife and the virgin
I am the mother and the daughter
I am the arms of my mother
I am barren and my children are many
I am the married woman and the spinster
I am the woman who gives birth and she
who never procreated
I am the consolation for the pain of birth
I am the wife and the husband
And it was my man who created me
I am the mother of my father
I am the sister of my husband
And he is my rejected son
Always respect me
For I am the shameful and the magnificent one
Hymn to Isis, third or fourth century BC, discovered in Nag Hammadi
I read this poem in the front of Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coehlo, a book about sex. He titled it Eleven Minutes because that’s how long intercourse lasts on average. At one point the main character thinks about how the world revolves around something that lasts just eleven minutes.
At the beginning of the book Marie, the main character, meanders through life searching for love. Some of her experiences reminded me of my own life and search for love (and more on this later as I’m reading Byron Katie’s I Need Your Love – Is that True?).
What was most interesting to me was the sexual aspect of the book. Marie ends up working as a prostitute. The man she ends up loving is not a client of hers (he has frequented her “brotheral” in the past).
After her first experience of SM where she has her first orgasm and as a prostitute she writes in her diary:
When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.
When I experienced humilation and total submission, I was free. I don’t know if I’m ill, if it was all a dream, or if it only happens once. I know that i can perfectly well live wihtout it, but I would like to do it again, to repeat the experience, to go still further.
I was a bit frightened by the pain, but it wasn’t as bad as the humliation, and it was just a pretext. When I had my first orgasm in many months, despite all the many men I’ve been with and the many different things they’ve done with my body, I felt- is this possible? closer to God. I reemmbered what he siad about how the flagellants, in offering up their pain for the salvation of humanity, found pleasure. I didn’t want to save humanity, or him or me; I was just there.
The art of sex is the art of controlled abandon.
Later in the book during her first time of being with the man she loves:
[…] and I had one, two, three orgasms in a row. I felt like pushing him away, for the pain of pleasure is so intense that it hurts, but I resisted. I accepted that is was how it was, that I could withstand another orgasm, or anotehr two or even more …
… and suddenly, a kind of light exploded inside me. I was no longer myself, but a being infinetly superior to everything I knew. When his hand took me to my fourth orgasm, I entered a place where evyerthing seemed at pleace, and with my fifth orgasm I knew God.