A literal translation of "le petite morte", a French euphemism for an orgasm. Sounds a lot worse than it really is.

The closest you can ever come to death, short of visiting that tunnel of light, is the orgasm. Or so some would say, at any rate. It is for this reason that the orgasm is sometimes known as the "little death".


Well, think about the last time that you had an orgasm. Now, tell me precisely what was in your head at that moment.

Drawing a blank? That's probably because you weren't cognizant of anything at the time. The orgasm, at least to me, appears to be a reduction to a state of pure physicality. There is the radiant sense of pleasure and release, there is the physical knowledge of the moment and there is nothing else. If you remove the physical element from the moment of orgasm, what remains?

I know there are a lot of people clamouring now about love and deep thoughts and so forth, so I want you to do a physical exercise: the next time that you're having sex or masturbating, repeat one word in your head over and over. Then, at the moment of orgasm, change the word on-the-fly.

It's a bit troublesome, and this is one aspect of sex magick, something that came to notoriety due to Aleister Crowley. Focussing your mental energy during orgasm to achieve cognizant thought is probably possible, but it's just tricky enough that some people think it's magic. Of course, I think that the best part of the orgasm is the oblivion so it seems strangely self-defeating.

Oblivion is the keyword: when you are immersed completely in the physicality and sensation of a moment, your consciousness is in oblivion. You do not have control any longer. You are free, for just a moment, from the prison of the mind -- and it is every bit as much a prison as the flesh. This is the little death.

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