A couple friends who share my interest in the occult and I have discussed this on occasion. It’s a bit of an uncomfortable topic for them. They have the opinion that performing sex magick is tantamount to mind control or rape, and, as responsible practitioners, is off-limits.
I won’t lie, I’ve performed sex rituals. I’ve never done one with another person; my sex rituals have all been masturbatory. I don’t usually do it more than once or twice a month, and sometimes I use toys or just my fingers, depending on what my intent is. So obviously, I’m more comfortable with the idea than others might be.
The way I usually approach ritual magick, my will is imposed on myself, rather than the world. That’s why I do my rituals in private, usually in my closet, hidden away from outside influence. LaVey calls this Greater Magick. To use a gaming analogy, rituals are going to be your buff spells, usually in my case to boost confidence. So when it comes to sex rituals, unless I physically involve someone else, the only person I’m doing anything to is myself.
What LaVey calls Lesser Magick is where I can see how one might have an ethics problem. Lesser Magick is stuff like charms, glamours, and hexes. This is where you impose your will on another person. Even then, I wouldn’t consider any of those true mind control. It’s more a contest of wills. You see, the way LaVey approaches magick, (and subsequently the way I approach magick, since I adhere mostly to the system he created), it’s all psychological, and everyone, whether they identify as a witch or not, practices it. Lesser Magick is all about what you do and how you behave in order to get what you want. If I’m getting ready for a date and I intend to have sex afterwards, I’m going to wear a pushup bra and a low-cut blouse. For a job interview I tie my hair back and cover my tits. I want to hex someone, I adjust my body language to appear more threatening and give my victim the scariest look I can muster. Going back to the gaming analogy, these are your charisma based skill checks.
Is this manipulation? Perhaps. But magick is about imposing your will on the world. Other people are part of the world. If you’re squeamish over the consequences of winning that contest of wills, you might want to rethink this whole witch thing.