Cristy, the narrator of Tilsa Otta’s novel The Golden Children of Sexual Alchemy, experiences otherworldly orgasms with her partner: not only do they make her see God, they also give her visions of the future. Her curiosity about this “gift,” its purpose, and how it might properly be deployed prompt her to research the world of erotic spirituality. Here she offers notes from her fieldwork.
Frozen with One Foot in the Air
After leaving Cosmos, I make my way over to the Alchemist of Light Center for Alternative Therapies. I’d like information about courses on Suprasexuality. I hope I don’t run into Daemon.
“Did you come for the Feast of Venus?” Ámbar asks when she sees me.
“It’s Wednesday. Today is the sacred love meeting. It starts at six.”
“Ah, right . . . ”
I’d like to think coming today was a coincidence, not my subconscious—secretly drawn to this activity—deceiving me. Ámbar informs me that the Suprasexuality Workshop starts in August. It’s 5:20. I should go soon, before everyone arrives. I haven’t even finished the thought before a very beautiful girl comes into the apartment. A colorful shawl holds her hair in place, and big, shining hoop earrings dangle from her lobes. Her body is graceful and strong. I think it’s perfect, just like her smile. I’m taken aback even though I don’t like women.
“Hey, beautiful.” She comes up and affectionately hugs Ámbar, then turns to me just as I’m trying to sneak off for the exit. “And you? Are you joining us today?”
I freeze, one foot in the air.
I put my foot back down. She cocks her head to the side the way a puppy does, awaiting an excuse.
“I can’t. I have to work.”
She comes over, planting herself in front of me, then stares intently into my eyes for a very long second while caressing a lock of my hair.
“You’re so pretty! Please stay!” She grabs my hand, tugging on it like an insistent little girl.
“Sorry.” I free my hand with a tug. “I have to get back to work.”
“What’s your name?”
“Ámbar, tell Cristy she needs to stay.”
“Stay, Cristy!” Ámbar exclaims, also childlike.
Do they think this is a game? I don’t understand how they can take an orgiastic session so lightly and insist on my participation, like we know each other. It’s really quite presumptuous, unreal, absurd!
“Do you know Daemon?” this stranger asks in a confessional tone.
“Yeah, we’ve met,” I answer, not disguising my distaste for him.
She leans close and whispers, “He’s not coming today, if that’s why you don’t want to come.”
Wow. It seems like this Daemon is quite unpopular with the ladies. Just as I suspected, he’s one of those players who takes advantage of all the spiritually curious girls.
“I really can’t.”
“He’s not a bad person. He’s just too sexual and struggles to control himself.”
That’s not a valid excuse, I think. A high sex drive doesn’t justify harassing women, but I don’t want to get into an argument. I’d rather just go home. Still, I take my opportunity to gossip a little.
“Is he a seer?”
The girl laughs.
“Why do you say that?”
“I just don’t know how he found out what I was interested in. It felt like he was able to sense my exact worries.”
“Hmm . . . Did you take a slip of paper from the machine?”
“Ahh . . . ” She laughs, clearly enjoying herself. “Daemon is obsessed with that machine. He counts the slips of paper almost every day to check which ones are gone. For sure he just saw that the one you chose was missing, and when you came, he figured out you had taken it.”
I didn’t answer. It appears as though this community has advanced deductive reasoning skills. That’s probably what really happened. Daemon checked the machine the next day and saw that one mini-paper on the pineal gland was missing. OCD: 1, magic: 0.
“What’s your name?”
“Alexa, and I’d really love for you to come to one of our rituals. Please don’t think I’m just trying to sleep with you. We don’t encourage homosexuality anyway. I just feel like you’d really enjoy them.” Her expression after saying this is quite seductive.
Ámbar takes great pleasure in watching our conversation from her desk. With nothing left to add, I leave the building. I’m liking these people less and less; now it turns out they’re kind of homophobic.
Now, as I’m fucking Leo, esoteric ideas of the complementarity of opposites start to sound conservative, dominant, and exclusionary to me. Shiva and Shakti, the lingam and the yoni, the serpent and the lotus. I’m almost embarrassed I ever invoked that argument to bring Leo into my research. If the people from Cosmos heard me talk like this . . . with all the inclusive talk we have in our space. This time, I can’t orgasm because of all the thoughts in my head. Leo seems kind of annoyed, and he’s not wrong to be. He moves over to his side of the bed and falls asleep. I keep thinking about the mechanics of sexual magic: Is it really like an electronic system, powered by polar opposites? As a defender of LGBTQIA+ rights, I can’t wrap my head around the existence of a natural human gift that would exclude some.
3:00 a.m. Undoubtedly this counts as insomnia at this point . . . and it’s ’cause I’m trying to formulate energetic theorems based on other physiochemical principles. After all, I did take four semesters of chemical engineering in college. I feel the task I’ve taken up is quite relevant. At dawn, my mind’s turbulence suddenly clears up, and the sun powerfully illuminates a fascinating hypothesis I hadn’t considered: What if the combination of my sexual energy with the opposite (masculine) sexual energy yields the future as its byproduct? And with the union of my energy with a homologous (feminine) energy—what dimension would I then face? The past? If we adopt a Western binary approach, the polar opposite of the future is time past, but how could we know if the images of the past revealed to me during a homosexual orgasm had indeed really happened? Must I add playing detective with past historical events to my task of researching and understanding my current process? Or could those visions pertain to my own life? Could they be a flashback to my own past lives, my tenderest infancy, my days in my mother’s womb? Or could they be a flashback to her past? But . . . who is she? Who could she be? Should I already know? And what if I find out during sex with Leo? Could I have visions of “the other woman” while making love to Leo? Could Leo unknowingly introduce me to the person I’d cheat on him with? Fit for a telenovela. Though we aren’t so radical with monogamy, ever since our orgasms became supernatural, we’ve been taking better care of our energies. We don’t want something that should’ve stayed in an intimate terrain of utmost safety to happen in the presence of someone unworthy of miracles. I trust she will be worthy. I ought to tell Leo about her, but . . . when did I decide to sleep with a woman? Now that I think about it, it was at that exact moment, in the androgynous present.
Visions I’ve Recorded up to June 24, 2018
(fewer than a fourth of all the visions I’ve had in the five months, thirteen days I’ve been with Leo)
I’ve seen a gray elephant walking down a main road carrying three Hindu youths on its back.
I’ve seen a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy dancing at a Zumba class. The whole wall was made of glass, so you could see her from the street.
I’ve seen a whale explode on a beach in New Zealand; it was covered in blood and guts, surrounded by curious crowds.
I’ve seen the prime minister of Israel step down over a corruption scandal.
I’ve seen a series on the life of Luis Miguel streaming on Netflix.
I’ve seen a newspaper article on a war fought with high-speed boats and, on the facing page, a chewing gum ad offering bicycles and a free flight to an island destination where people travel only by bicycle.
I’ve seen a man who’s going to buy a house visiting it for the first time, pointing out details that will require an investment to an agent, and jotting them down in a notebook.
I’ve seen my aunt María looking at photos from a distant journey, including one showing her with a Venezuelan missionary and a New World monkey in the gardens of Neuschwanstein Castle.
I’ve seen parts of a telenovela where a domestic worker decides to run for president, and during her campaign, she falls in love with her top adviser; their relationship risks ruining the election of the young woman who ultimately does become the president, but, tragically, she can’t marry her adviser as it’s against the law.
I’ve seen an ethereal being whose body wavered between black and metallic blue, then dissolved in a small lagoon on a mountain in the Peruvian Andes.
I’ve seen a huge caravan of very poor immigrants crossing Latin America.
I’ve seen Leo naked and perched atop a leafy tree.
I’ve seen a group of people (it looked like I was there, too) in a dark cave performing a strange ritual with shiny objects and sex toys.
I’ve seen the neighborhood wrapped in missing posters for Rubí, my neighbor Natalia’s puppy.
I’ve seen Daemon dying after being run over and dragged by a car on Angamos Avenue.
I’ve seen the construction of the first evangelical church on Mars executed by mini robots under human supervision.
I’ve seen myself choosing Ferrero Rocher, muesli, and strawberry toppings for a frozen yogurt.
I’ve seen an Italian neighborhood meeting—convened to discuss measures after a burglary in the building—turn into an orgy that ended in fisticuffs when they found the burglar, who was the one who instigated the orgy in the first place.
I’ve seen a pair of black leather pants hanging from the handle of a white door.
Something like a red sea coming down from the sky.
From Lxs niñxs de oro de la alquimia sexual. © 2020 by Tilsa Otta. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2020 by Jacob Steinberg. All rights reserved.