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Free Love: On Neo-Pagan Sexual Ethics

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Subject: Free Love: On  Neo-Pagan Sexual Ethics

by Otter Zell, Church of All Worlds Introduction:  I first wrote this
article in 1967, when I was 24 years old, for Robert Rimmer's Harrad
Letter newsletter.  The original title was simply "Free Love."  It was
subsequently reprinted in The Pagan! (Vol. I, No. 1; Nov. 1, 1970), and
again, under the title " Ero-Ethics: Neo-Pagan Sexual Morality" in Green
Egg (Vol. ?, No. ?; Date ?, 197?). When Aidan told me he wanted to include
it as a chapter of The New Polygamy(?), I took a look at it and realized
how much has changed in the last 26 years!  In so many ways

this essay is really a product of its time, and what seemed very radical
in "The Summer of Love" may seem positively pass_ in this age of AIDS,
RU486, and the anti-choice movement.  Indeed, I haven't even heard the
phrase, "Free Love" in at least 15 years !  I have updated as much as
possible and interjected parenthetical comments where necessary, but
please bear in mind the context in which I was originally writing.  In the
spirit of our Pagan "partnership society," I would especially like to
acknowledge and extend my appreciation to my two life partners, Morning
Glory and Diane Darling, who have contributed greatly to the updating and
revisions of this essay, excising obsolete material and adding relevant
new insights.  (OZ, April 1, 1993).

"Free Love"

Over the quarter-century I have been public as a Pagan, I have had to deal
with only a few sorts of reactions from non-Pagans upon learning of my
religious identification. For many years the most frequent question would
run something like: "Do you believe in free love?" If I was in a
capricious mood, I would reply to the effect of: "What, do you think it
should be expensive?"

I have wondered about the concepts inherent in that phrase, "free love."
It is nearly always used in a derogatory sense, as if anyone believing in
it must be some vile pervert. But who would dare deny that "love"
(affection, caring, concern, "that conditi on in which the other person's
happiness is essential to your own," as Robert Heinlein proclaimed in
Strange in a Strange Land 1) should ideally be "free" (unbound, voluntary,
not enslaved, open to all, lavish)? I think the confusion of terms must be
due to a semantic differential, for what most people seem to mean,
pragmatically, by "free love" boils down to compulsory sex." This is quite
a different matter. I am a devout believer in Love, and in Freedom.
Freedom necessarily implies the right to say "no" as well as the right to
say "yes."  Unfortunately for the advancement of love in the world, some
supposed proponents of "free love" use it as an excuse to put the make on
everyone in sight. They seem to think that if another person affirms a
belief in "free love," that person is obligated t o prove it by having sex
with anyone who happens along. This I reject utterly. Coercion is the
antithesis of freedom, in sex or in any other arena.

Love, and sex also, lose all value when they are not free, but compulsory.
Then all we have is rape:  the original sin. Three Points of the
Triskelion Pagan ethics and morality are based on three premises: Immanent
Divinity, the Wiccan Rede ("an ye harm none, do as thou wilt" an
expression of responsible freedom), and "Nature is Good." The underlying
pantheistic thealogy o f Paganism implies immanent divinity, expressed by
the fundamental precept: "Thou Art God/dess." Because "Thou Art God/dess,"
each and every one of us, the only reasonable attitudes toward one another
are: respect, reverence and love. We are all Gods and Goddesses and we are
all Human.

We are divine and sacred beings, proud and glorious.  So it is with
responsible freedom.  If we desire freedom for ourselves, we must also
grant it for others. It has been truly said that "as long as one man (or
woman) remains a slave, no man (or woman) i s truly free." But freedom is
not merely a negative factor: not merely the absence of slavery. We are
not talking about freedom from, but freedom for: freedom for growth;
freedom for self-actualization, for joy, for love. Now, freedom implies
responsibili ty. Obviously, people can only be held responsible for their
actions if they are free to choose those actions in the first place.
Conversely, when people deliberately choose one course of action over
another, the responsibility for the consequences of tha t action is theirs
alone to bear. The two are in direct correlation; the more you have of
freedom, the more you have of responsibility, and vice versa.

The Wiccan Rede echoes the Hippocratic Oath, which begins "Firstly, do no
harm,"  as well as the Pagan Hindu concept of Ahimsa:  harmlessness. In
all our actions, it must be our primary goal to help, to heal¾and not to
harm. While this is an ideal that ca n seldom be achieved in totality, it
must remain foremost in our thoughts as we contemplate our path of
conduct.  A friend, Anna Korn, says that her father taught her that a
statement made to another person should always fulfill at least two of the
follow ing three criteria: it must be kind, necessary and true. These
guidelines may be applied to actions as well, including sexual behavior.

To say that "Nature is Good" is not to assert that Nature always operates
in the best interests of humanity. We are, after all, only a small part of
the picture. Rather, this is a commitment to deriving our values from
Nature Herself, of which the two gre atest ideals are Balance and
Diversity. To this end, Pagans tend to agree with the Vulcan edict from
Star Trek:  "Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations."  Or, in a more
expanded form:  "The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity, and
in the myriad ways our differences combine to create beauty and meaning."2
Civilization has largely been a long journey away from Nature. Hence we
have lost our balance and chosen monoculture (monotheism, monopoly,
monogamy, monotony) over diversity. In reclaim ing our natural sexuality,
we must restore the balance between the sexes and enthusiastically promote
diversity in sexual lifestyles and orientations, thus maximizing our
evolutionary options.

"For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals" (Doreen Valiente)3

The "new morality" of the '60s, the sexual freedom ethic, promised to be
the healthiest movement since the settling of the Oneida community.
Historically, only recently has such an innovation in basic interpersonal
relations really been possible, since on ly in the past 30 years has birth
control been so simple and convenient that responsible freedom in sex can
be realized. The availability of efficient contraceptive techniques at
last changes procreation in the sexual relationship to a choice rather
than a chance.

Freedom in sexual love could never exist without this choice. Freedom
arises from availability of choice. Hither arises responsibility for
consequences:  with control over them. Socially, responsible freedom can
exist only when consequences can be limited in effect to the consenting
actors themselves.

Paganism, as life-affirming Nature worship (in contrast to the
death-orientation of ascetic monotheistic faiths) takes a positive and
joyous attitude toward all of life and sensuality, including sex. Pagans
regard sex not as humanity's greatest weakness, but as our greatest
strength. Corollary to "Thou Art God/dess," sex is the supreme act of
worship¾in love, joy, reverence, passion, exultation and pure fun. We feel
this way about all of our life experiences, and living itself: we rejoice
in the sheer glory of being alive!

Children of a future age, Reading this indignant page, Know that in a
former time, Love, sweet Love! was thought a crime!  (Oscar Wilde) Ascetic
religions, in their anti-life orientation, have focused their most
concentrated attack upon sexual joy. Free, happy, joyous, loving people do
not feel wicked and sinful they laugh at death and hell, and feel no need
for confession or salvation. Ascetic religions have no appeal for such
people and have no power over them. For this and other reasons, throughout
the ages Christian s, Moslems, and even Buddhists have condemned,
suppressed, tortured, murdered and defamed Pagans. The Church knew a rival
when it saw one. Since sex can bring ecstasy to everyone, it was rightly
recognized as the greatest single threat to the institutiona l churchmen,
who taught that paradise could be reached only through them, and then by
only a select few.  So they made sex a sin, except under certain
conditions (marriage, "missionary position," for procreation) and an
onerous duty even so. The Christian-Puritan "law and order" was maintained
by the familiar double standard which, in turn, was based on and arose
from two things: patrilineal inheritance and male jealousy. In most tribal
(i.e. Pagan) cultures, inheritance was matrilineal, with children
inheriting their mother's name, family, and property. In such societies,
the very concept "father" was often unknown, biologically as well as
socially. (The missionaries ran into some real snags here, with the "our
Father in heaven," and "Son of God" bits.) However, in patriarchal
cultures, inheritance is patrilineal, with sons inheriting their father's
name and legacy. Thus assurance of paternity was important, for a man
wanted to be sure that he is indeed the father of his sons (never a proble
m for a woman, who knows perfectly well that she is the mother of her
children.) Hence chastity belts, the premium on virginity at marriage, and
the creation of a double standard.

The second factor, male jealousy, arises out of the old Indo-European and
Semitic idea that a woman is property owned by, respectively, her parents,
her husband, and her sons, and she ("it") may not be "used" by anyone
else. (The same attitude is found in most Eastern religions as well.) In
the West, the idea that a woman is a human being in her own right was an
Old European and Celtic notion, and has been revived only recently by
feminists and humanistic psychologists (and, of course, the new Pagan
reviv alists). The revival is far from complete, and many of the old
"I-it" relationships still exist¾ again, a double standard. In addition to
these two primary factors, Puritanism has inculcated the absurd notion
that "nice" women don't enjoy sex. This has led to male sexual
exploitation of women, not only as prostitutes, where there is at least a
business arrangement, but also a s dating partners and wives. Naturally,
when the woman is enjoying sex as much as the man, there can be no
exploitation. "Nice" women drove Victorian men to professionals, as making
love to a woman who does not enjoy it is hardly a pleasure, except for me
n who are very damaged emotionally.

"The times they are a-changin'"  (Bob Dylan)

With liberated women more willing to experience sex in the context of
meaningful, total relationships, men of today no longer need to seek out
professionals in the droves their grandfathers did. That they are still
doing so indicates a lack of trust betwe en men and women and the failure
of the institution of monogamy. In new, total relationships, herein women
are treated as total persons, the effects of jealousy can be diminished.
Once there were only two means of contraception available: "Vatican
Roulett e" and rubbers.  Neither was quite satisfactory, as people who use
the former often became known as "parents," and people who stopped to
apply the latter tended to turn off their partners. (Now, of course, in
this era of AIDS and other new and nasty--if not so lethal--STD s, we have
had to learn to come to terms with condoms just as we've had to learn to
wear our seat belts. I personally think this is a great thing, as the
widespread adoption of condoms as an acceptable social practice allows us
to enjoy sex with multiple partners while releasing women from having to
bear the entire responsibility for birth-control, as the same little latex
raincoats that protect against disease also prevent unwanted conception.)
However, thanks to the progress of science, we have been blessed with "The
Pill," dia phragms, intrauterine devices, subcutaneous capsules and
vaginal foam, the latter of which has the distinct advantage of being
available in any drug store without prescription. (At the time this
article was written, "The Pill" was still in its honeymoon p hase, and
complications and side-effects that have caused many women to give it up
had not yet become a major issue. Hence the perhaps overly optimistic tone
of this paragraph.) Morning-after" pills, monthly pills, and male pills
are in development, and will hopefully be readily available soon. Thus the
total elimination of unwanted pregnancies is at last possible for everyone
(except where still prohibited by religion, law or lack of technology).
Responsible freedom in the sphere of sexuality has become attainable to
all.  (And then of course there is abortion. When this article was
written, an abortion could only be obtained through the black market, a
risky and often lethal procedure. Since "Roe vs. Wade" 20 years ago,
however, effective and relatively safe medical abortions have been
available for most women in this country. In contrast to many of the
Christian churches' adamant opposition to termination of unwanted
pregnancies, modern Pagans have been in the forefront of the movement to
guarantee the full rights of reproductive choice for all women. The Church
of All Worlds issued its first official "Encyclical" on this issue: "It is
ecologically, psychologically, spiritually and politically indefensible to
bring unwanted children into the world. We are pro-life, regarding the
quality of life for all beings to be of utmost importance. The Church of
All Worlds unconditionally su pports the right of a woman to make her own
decisions regarding her ability to responsibly raise a child. We declare
and defend a woman's right to safe, effective birth control and to a
timely abortion whenever she should deem it necessary. We work for th e
rights of women to maintain and expand their reproductive options."4)"Thou
shalt not..."

Well, so much for the historical and contemporary analysis. I am not
trying merely to tear down the old system, but to build up a new.

Paganism is a positive, not a negative.  This is a difficult understanding
for most people committed to the Judeo-Christian culture, for Christianity
itself started as an anti-Pharasaic force and has continued to foster
anti-Semitism. The whole Protestant movement, even its name, is
anti-Catholicism. The schisms which begat the Protestant sects and
denominations were all reactionary anti's.  Islamic religion is even more
so. The Mosaic Law was a collection of "thou-shalt-not's." Much
Christianity as promoted today is anti-sex, anti-joy, anti-science,
anti-intellectual, anti-life there is rarely a positive note in it.
Nowhere do we find a "pro " element. This is reflected in our child
rearing ("No!"), our legal system ("Stop!" "Don't!"), our domestic
policies ("anti-poverty," "anti-crime," "anti-drugs"). We live in a
society of taboos. Paganism is not anti-Christianity. Paganism is truly
pro-life, pro-joy, pro-love, pro-human, pro-woman, pro-sex, and pro- all
the rest of the spectrum of human potential.

Christianity (in common with Buddhism) tells us that life is to be endured
in hopes of a better break after we die. Paganism teaches that life is to
be celebrated. Ascetic religions are a negation; the new Paganism is a
total affirmation.  Given the above cultural heritage and bias, most
people seem to feel almost intuitively that, just as religion is a "good
thing," so is non-marital sex a "bad thing."  Even most of those who
indulge in it. In line with the life-affirming phi losophy of Paganism,
let us consider the alternatives. . .

"The Function of the Orgasm" (Wilhelm Reich) The human female does not
have an estrus cycle. Women are sexually responsive throughout the month.
Although the sex act is performed thousands of times in the lives of most
women, the average United States family has only two or three children.
The avera ge woman becomes fertile around 12 or 13 years of age, and
continues so until menopause, in her early-fifties. This gives her 40 or
so years as a potential baby factory. Gestation is nine months, give a
month in between to recuperate, and she can have a b aby every ten months.
Be generous and allow her one set of twins, and the theoretical maximum
number of offspring a woman can produce in her lifetime is on the order of

In contrast, the domestic cat reaches reproductive age between 7 and 12
months and lives to 10-15 years. She comes in heat 4 or 5 times a year
(mating only during these periods) for about 5 days. Gestation is 63-65
days, with nursing about 2 months.  The average litter is 4. This means
that a female cat with an active sex life of around 12 years can produce
up to 144 kittens by mating a total of 36 times.

A woman can mate five times a day or more, every day of her fertile sex
life of 40 years, or a total of 73,000 times in her life! And there is
nothing to prevent her from continuing an active sex life long after she
is no longer fertile. Consider this: m aximum number of sex acts compared
to maximum number of offspring¾cats, 36/144, or .25 to 1; humans,
73,000/40, or 1825 to 1. The point is that while sex among most animals is
entirely procreational, sex among humans (and even some other animals,
such as dolphins and bonubo chimps) serves procreation only incidentally,
being primarily functional, biologically and psychologically, for pleasure
and bonding, the Catholic Church's edicts to the contrary notwithstanding.
Further arguments to this effect (pleasure vs. procr eation) might be
derived from the observation that pleasurable sexual variations (so-called
"perversions") unrelated to procreation occur almost exclusively among
primates and cetaceans.

(Regarding the aforementioned bonubos, or "pygmy chimpanzees," genetically
our closest primate relatives, Frans de Wall, an ethologist at Emory
University's Yerkes Primate Center, says that theirs is "egalitarian
society in which the females have consider able power over food and sex."

"This balance of power, combined with the use of sex to reduce tension,
makes the bonobo an extraordinarily peaceful animal, not at all human-like
in this respect.  Humans rape, chimp males fully and intimidate their
sexual partners, but bonobos apparentl y know sex mainly as an expression
of affection, reconciliation, pleasure, or a kind of social currency. . .

"And while chimps and humans kill and make war, bonobos rarely even come
to blows. When two unrelated groups meet in the wild and rival males
posture aggressively, it's soon followed by -- any guesses? -- sexual
contact between females and between males.

Primatologists consider bonobos the flower children of the primates."5 Or
perhaps the Pagans?)"The saddest sight of all is to see, far behind you,
temptations you've resisted."  (Robert Heinlein)6 What could be more
absurd than to spend twenty years convi ncing a person of the utter
abomination of an act, then expect competent and cheerful performance of
that very act shortly after a few words are mumbled out of a book? If it
were not so tragic the whole idea of premarital chastity would be
preposterous! T he scars of the wedding night are often borne for life in
the minds and hearts of women raised in this manner. In African and Middle
Eastern cultures where women are genitally mutilated, they can never
achieve either pleasure or trust at the hands of the men they are married
to. This great burden of guilt and frustration is unfortunate in the
extreme. Societies who stress premarital virginity in both sexes create
men who are selfish and incompetent lovers and women who become frigid
martyrs to male insens itivity. The loss of virginity is a delicate and
far too often traumatic event in the lives of women, both inside and
outside of marriage. Yet it can and should be a wonderful and magical
initiatory experience where pleasure triumphs over pain, and Trust and
Love are shared in an ecstatic bonding experience.

The key is that the woman must really desire sex and the man must be a
tender, patient and competent lover. It is difficult for men or women to
become skillful and receptive lovers when they are bombarded from birth
with a "sex is dirty" message of social conditioning. I believe that
premarital sex is a positive good, and I would recommend that two (or
more) people should not marry until they have slept together, preferably
often, and preferably with other partners. Trial marriages, which have
become incr easingly common, seem to me a perfect arrangement, allowing
invaluable experience in a context of relative freedom and relaxation.
Unless or until there are children involved, the sexual arrangements and
relationships of a cohabiting couple remain their own busine ss and can be
dissolved by mutual consent.

"Many beautiful friendships end in marriage." Putting fetters on love is
the surest way to destroy it. The point of John Hartford's lovely song,
"Gentle on My Mind," is that he stays because he is free to go. Free love
forges no chains. Anyway, there is n o longer any social stigma attached
to "living together."  Nobody has to get married anymore. And in any case,
premarital sex does accrue considerable added sophistication to the
participants, which should render them less apt to rush into marriage on
the basis of a purely physical relationship.  I guess that will suffice
for premarital chastity¾now for marital fidelity. I can ascertain no
particular reason why this should continue to be imperative, once we
outgrow the ideas of jealousy and sin. "Sin" is commonly defined as
willful opposition to the will of God (as revealed by the Church) and has
little meaning for those who do not believe in that God. This leaves
jealousy. Over the years I have come to understand "jealousy" as neurotic
anxiety based on fear of losing control over a partner one regards as a
possession. Contrary to popular opinion, jealousy is not a desirable and
healthy emotion concomitant with love. Jealousy is unh ealthy, obsessive,
and destructive, existing in inverse ratio to love. "Jealousy is a
disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one
for the other, or assumes, that the greater the love, the greater the
jealous - in fact, they' re almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves
room for the other. Both at once can produce unbearable turmoil."7

Now be it understood that in advocating open marriage and "free love," I
am not here talking about "adultery" in its usual sense. I most certainly
do not favor sneaky, clandestine, surreptitious, dishonest relationships.
What I do favor is honest, mature, responsible sexual freedom and love
among compatible people, with the mutual consent of everyone involved, --
especially in the case of married couples. I can think of no reason why
this should not be as long as all people concerned are happy and satisf
ied with the arrangement. (And indeed, I have the personal experience of a
successful 20-year open marriage, ten years of which have been in an open
triad, to support and validate the feasibility of such practice.)

There may even be more positive benefits to be derived from extramarital
sex. For one, the variety of experiences would tend not only to relieve
the potential boredom of monogamous monotony, but would also give everyone
concerned more experience in pleasi ng members of the opposite sex, which
could be utilized in their own marriage. In addition, the compliment of
being desirable, particularly for a woman, can build her own
self-confidence and give her that special little glow of being loved.
(Indeed, I hav e had the pleasure of seeing a 44-year-old woman become
radiant as a teenager through the special magic of a very precious and
passionate extramarital relationship...)

If we are to grow and progress, "live long and prosper," we must rid
ourselves of hate, ignorance, fear, suspicion, superstition and
intolerance -- the cancerous effects of ascetic faith and morality. We
must learn to create and to give happiness, freedom , love and joy -- and
abolish guilt. We must learn to accept all our perceptions and experiences
to conscious awareness, and to live by the dictates of our own judgment.

Appendices (Writing at the same time as I was composing this article,
Marshall McLuhan seems uncannily prophetic, envisioning the very sorts of
intimate tribal family structures that have become the hallmark of the
evolving Neo-Pagan community, especially in the Chu rch of All Worlds:)
"Looking toward the future, I see the evolution of a new kind of family --
one of voluntary association rather than biological, and on a tribal plan
and scale. I see children and adults living together in loving family
communities, where every adult is a "parent" to very child. Sex in these
"nest" family communities will be part of a total multilateral
relationship of joy, love, trust, concern and sharing. And part of the
grandeur and glory of this divine vision is that it is not merely a dream
for the fu ture, but a reality for today. For here and there across our
lovely green planet, such family communities as I have described are
already coming into being -"Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land,
a popular underground book, tells of an attempt to set up Martian, rather
than the usual human, relationships here on earth. In these relationships,
what we term sex is communal and multi-sensual. There is no sharp,
artificial distinction between male and female roles. Sex blends with
other activities that might be called mystical. And there is even the need
for a new word (Heinlein calls it "growing closer") for this demi-erotic
mode of relating - "In this rich cont ext, those reports on the death of
the American family may turn out to have been premature. Actually, the
family may be moving into a Golden Age. With so much experiment possible,
marriage may come later in life than ever before. Future family units may
n ot be separated from each other in little capsules, but may join
together in loosely organized "tribes".  The informal tribe of the future
can provide a sounding board and a source of support for each of its
families, far more responsive and more loving t han any professional

As a conclusion, I append a series of excerpts on the ethics of sexual
freedom from Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, one of the most
provocative and influential books of our time, and a prime initial
inspiration for the real-life Church of Al l Worlds:  "The ethics of sex
is a thorny problem. Each of us is forced to grope for a solution he can
live with¾in the face of a preposterous, unworkable, and evil code of
so-called "morals." Most of us know the code is wrong, almost everybody
breaks it.
 But we pay Danegeld by feeling guilty and giving lip service.
Willy-nilly, the code rides us, dead and stinking, and albatross around
the neck. "I see the beauty of Mike's attempt to devise an ideal ethic and
applaud his recognition that such must start by junking the present sexual
code and starting fresh. Most philosophers haven't the courage for this;
they swallow the basics of the present cod e--monogamy, family pattern,
continence, body taboos, conventional restrictions of intercourse, and so
forth--then fiddle with details, even such piffle as discussing whether
the female breast is an obscene sight! "But mostly they debate how we can
be made to obey this code -- ignoring the evidence that most tragedies
they see around them are rooted in the code itself rather than in failing
to abide by it "This poor ersatz Martian is saying that sex is a way to be
happy. Sex should be a means of happiness. Ben, the worst thing about sex
is that we use it to hurt each other.  It ought never to hurt; it should
bring happiness, or at least, pleasure. "The code says, 'thou shalt not
covet thy neighbor's wife.' The result? Reluctant chastity, adultery,
jealousy, bitterness, blows and sometimes murder, broken homes and twisted
children and furtive little passes degrading to woman and man. Is this
Command ment ever obeyed? If a man swore on his own Bible that he
refrained from coveting his neighbor's wife because the code forbade it, I
would suspect either self-deception or subnormal sexuality. Any male
virile enough to sire a child has coveted many women, whether he acts or
not. "Now comes Mike and says: 'There is no need to covet my wife -- love
her! There is no limit to her love, we have everything to gain -- and
nothing to lose but fear and guilt and hatred and jealousy.' The
proposition is incredible. So far as I recall only pre-civilized Eskimos
were this naive -- and they were so isolated that they were almost 'Men
from Mars' themselves. But we gave them our 'virtues' and now they have
chastity and adultery just like the rest of us . .  "Eskimos were
invariably described as the happiest people on Earth. Any unhappiness they
suffered was not through jealousy; they didn't have a word for it. They
borrowed spouses of convenience and fun -- it did not make them unhappy.
So who's loony? Look at this glum world around you, then tell me?"9
Epilogue (by Morning Glory Zell) In the years since the Sexual Revolution
in the '60s, we have seen the rise of both the Women's Movement and the
Men's Movement. There has been a lot of loud debate over "what women want"
and "what men wan." The simple idea of "Free Love" has gotten lost in the
shuffle. To a person practicing a polyamorous Pagan lifestyle, "Free Love"
is actually a very good response to that question.

Men have complained that women have asked for them to be more sensitive,
then they have fled with assertive men. They have also complained that
women have become so assertive that they have lost their sensitivity to
men's need entirely. What is needed her e is a restoration of the old
balance of prepatriarchal values inherent in the Old European partnership

The missing ingredient that these societies had in abundance was healthy,
joyful, reverent and ecstatic sexuality. Most women really want men to be:
sensitive, caring, competent, erotic, assertive, courageous, tender and
honest. Most men would like it if women were likewise. Men have for too
long appropriated the competent, erotic, courageous and assertive
qualities to themselves, leaving women to be the exclusive custodians of
sensitive, caring and tender feelings. Neither sex were being very honest
with the other.

If we are to achieve a society that truly practices "Free Love," then we
must rebalance these values. Much of the '70s and '80s therapy movements
have been about recovering the values that have been repressed by gender
roles. But it does no good for men t o become sensitive by rejecting
assertiveness -- it only leads to more imbalance and snide jokes. It does
just as much damage for women to embrace assertiveness while rejecting
sensitivity -- unless they really want to become like the selfish macho
guys t hey claim to despise.

Men need to hold onto their assertiveness in balance with sensitivity as
women need to hold onto their sensitivity in balance with their
assertiveness. Both need to practice honesty in order to foster Trust.
With Trust one can allow oneself to become emot ionally vulnerable again.
Emotional vulnerability is essential to the practice of Free Love at its
deepest Tantric and most committed levels. Free Love is the opposite of
casual sex. A balanced man both sensitive and assertive and a balanced
woman both as sertive and sensitive can learn to balance each other and
then "the Battle of the Sexes" can truly become "the Dance of the Free

1. Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, Avon V-2056,
New York, 1961, p. 345 2. Doreen Valiente, "Charge of the Goddess" 3. Gene
Roddenberry, Star Trek 4. Anodea Judith, et al, "Church of All Worlds
Encyclical on Reproductive Rights," Green Egg, Vol. XXIV, No. 92; March
21, 1991 5. Benedict Carey, "Kissing Cousins," Health, March/April 1991 6.
Heinlein, op. cit., p. 348-9 7. Ibid., p. 345 8. Marshall McLuhan, "The
Future of Sex,"  Look, July 25, 1967 9. Heinlein, op. cit., p p. 345-9

CONDOM COMPACT The purpose of this Compact is to clearly delineate the
rules of the Condom Committment so that all members of this Condom Cadre
shall have full understanding and agreement. The basic rules, as
delineated by Morning Glory Zell in her article, "A Bouquet of Lovers"
(GE89) are simple:

1. All members of the Cadre may have unprotected vaginal or anal sex only
with other members of the Cadre.  All members of the Cadre must use
condoms with any outside lovers.  This rule does not apply to oral sex,
which at this time is considered safe.

2. The Condom Committment begins with a founding Primary relationship
where trust is absolute.  Long-term Secondary lovers may join only by
mutual consent of both Primaries and any other Secondaries who already

3. If a member of the Cadre slips up and has an unprotected fling then
they must go through a quarantine period, be tested for all STDs, then
accepted back in only by complete consensus of the other members of the
Cadre.  The duration of the quarantine pe riod shall be determined by the
other members of the Cadre based on the most up-to-date medical knowlege
available.  The same drill applies if a condom breaks during intercourse
with an outside lover.

The procedure for obtaining consent from all members of the Cadre for the
admission of a new member shall be as follows:  All extant members of the
Cadre must be asked in advance, and not in the presence of the prospective
new member, that they may delibe rate without pressure before returning a
verdict. Members must exercise respect and restraint by getting written
approval from all members of the Cadre before having unprotected sex with
a prospective new member.  If it somehow it occurs that a new member is
accepted into the Cadre without the knowledge or permission of one or more
extant members (who may, for example, not be available or actively
involved when the decision is made), it is imperative that said extant
members be informed of the inclusion o f a new member prior to their next
unprotected sexual encounter with any of the other members of the Cadre.
In order to clarify these issues and assure mutual knowledge and
agreement, all current members of this Cadre shall be listed herein.
Signification of approval by other members shall be indicated by initials
following the names.  When new members are add ed, an updated copy of this
document shall be presented to them and to all other members.  If a
present member wishes to withdraw from the Cadre, they must inform at
least two of the members who will inform the others, and a new copy of
this list will be presented to all to reflect the change. Inclusion of our
names here signifies agreement with these conditions.

Names                   Admitted                                Initialized
_________________       _______          __________________________________

_________________       _______            ___________________________________

_________________       _______            ___________________________________

_________________       _______            ___________________________________

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Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
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Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
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