An Examination Of The Bodily Fluids And Excretions

(especially as regards their possible consumption by ritualists)

by Asa Rhadon

   Semen - the primary male sexual fluid, which like blood is composed of both cellular and non-cellular material. Though blood consists of numerous differentiated cells floating in a plasma, the only cells swimming in seminal plasma are sperm. These cells, the only human cells that move under their own power, are in fact almost too archetypically male, consisting basically of a warhead containing 23 chromosomes (half the usual cell's complement) which is driven toward destiny by its engine's whiplike propeller. The plasmas of red blood and white blood (semen) are also quite different. While both types are a complex mix of organic and inorganic chemicals, blood plasma feeds and interacts with a multitude of varying cells and tissues; seminal plasma, on the other hand, serves only to nourish and assist the spermatozoa. Also, it is unique among human substances in its high levels of fructose (as opposed to glucose), for which fact science can presently find no proven explanation. The remainder of the seminal fluid consists of various proteins, the functions of which are also unclear. The spermatozoa are formed in the testicles and lodge in the epididymis until they are ejaculated through the vas deferens and the urethra, mixing with a rich variety of glandular secretions along the way. There can be no doubt that, considered from a purely nutritional perspective, fresh semen is a highly nourishing food. As with all the substances discussed in this essay, there may be infectious agents like human immunodefiency virus or various of the hepatitis viruses present in semen. Most of these agents are inactivated by the hydrochloric acid that does the digesting in human stomachs; however, there is a danger of an infection passing through a sore or irritation on the mucus membranes of one's mouth or throat. The safest way to do any ritual involving the bodily fluids is to know in detail the medical status of your partner(s).

   Menstrual blood - one of the very most important bodily fluids used in the performance of advanced sex magick techniques. It is the normal quasi-monthly discharge of ovulating women, and consists of a mixture of ordinary blood, the sloughed-off layer of endometrium, and the virtually microscopic remains of (usually) two unfertilized human eggs . The blood is made up of plasma (a pale brownish aqueous solution) in which is suspended a myriad of cells and chemicals . The endometrium is a mucus membrane which lines the uterus. It thickens in response to the release of certain hormones, its mucus glands and cells swelling and the circulation of blood increasing. After a period of time, if a fertilized egg fails to implant itself, the blood vessels in this waiting endometrium go into spasm. The outer layer of the thickened membrane falls apart and is expelled in the process called menstruation. Each egg is a specialized single cell containing only half the chromosomes of a normal human cell; it is tens of thousands of times larger than a sperm, though at around an eighth of a millimeter one could easily fit inside this next period. Most of the egg is made up of what is called yolk, a nutrient-rich cell plasma used up during the egg's development. If an egg is not fertilized within about 24 hours it begins to disintegrate, and is usually expelled as part of the menstrual blood.

   Female sexual fluids - the vaginal fluid is composed of mucus, the remains of dead cells, white blood cells, and a complex liquid that is sweated by the vaginal walls. Sexual excitation almost invariably causes some increase in the production of vaginal fluids, primarily mucus and sweat, though the amount may range greatly for different individuals and at different times. The exact sources of all the components of human vaginal fluid is still not certain, but the list of ingredients is long: inorganic salts, urea, amino acids and other proteins , and a number of volatile fatty acids. These acids evaporate easily making them ideal for conveying messages by smell; in fact, their role in sexual attraction among rhesus monkeys is well established. All women produce some of the two major human fatty acids, acetic acid (the major constituent of vinegar) and lactic acid (an element of sour milk). Around a third of them also produce significant amounts of other volatiles. The exact role of these aromas in human sexuality is not understood, but the smell of the vagina is known to affect many men quite strongly. Also, there are some women who produce vaginal fluid quite copiously during orgasm (the so-called 'female ejaculation'); the source and composition of this orgasmic fluid has not been sufficiently studied to enable a report on their significance at this time.

   Sweat - there are two different types of sweat gland, and they are both found only in mammalian animals. The eccrine glands help our bodies to regulate temperature by secreting water (with a mix of inorganic salts) whenever our internal temperature rises. As this water evaporates from our skins some of the excess heat is dissipated into the atmosphere. During sex the increased respiration and circulation, along with some perhaps vigorous physical activity, usually causes a rise in internal body temperature, and therefore produces sweat from the eccrine glands. However, there is also another type of sweat gland which is more important in creating a specifically sexual type of sweat. These are the apocrine glands, generally situated around the hair follicles in the armpits and groin, which secrete a fatty kind of sweat into tiny tubes in the skin. In response to various strong emotional stimuli (anger, stress, lust, etc.) the walls of the tubes contract, pushing the fatty substance up to the surface of the skin; here bacteria soon break it down into a variety of aromatic fatty acids. Some of these fatty acids smell good to humans while others are considered unpleasant, even offensive. The influence of sex magick practices upon the specific odor and amount of apocrine sweat produced by sexual activity has not yet been thoroughly scientifically investigated, though anecdotal evidence is copious enough to form a basis for at least one Thelemic ritual practice.

   Saliva - a somewhat viscous fluid which normally is constantly present in the mouths of human beings, being secreted by their variously surrounding salivary glands . The fluid itself is mainly simple water, but it also contains mucus, numerous proteins and digestive enzymes , and inorganic salts. Once in the mouth it mixes with the remains of food, bacteria, dead cells, and white blood cells (as well as red blood cells if there are any openings in the mucus membrane of the mouth). Saliva has multiple functions; moistening and lubricating the mouth to help with speech and swallowing, beginning the digestive process with enzymes which break down complex carbohydrates into sugars, removing organic debris, and it also plays an important part in the sequence of dehydration->thirst->potation.

   Mucus - the one human bodily fluid which is a constituent of most of the other substances listed here. Its usual function is to form a generalized protective layer which also serves to dampen and lubricate much of the respiratory, reproductive, and digestive systems. It consists of various cells and chemicals suspended in varying amounts of water . In a few cases (i.e., the lining of the stomach, the endometrium or uterine lining, etc.) the mucus' thickness is such that it takes on a semisolid appearance.

   Urine - consists mostly of ordinary water, but at least 158 different chemicals have been found in normal, healthy samples. Urea and other nitrogenous wastes, along with the inorganic salts of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium make up by far the largest part of the substances present, but urine is a veritable soup of organic and inorganic compounds. Some of these chemicals may be good for you, and the toxins are usually present in such low concentrations that the daily consumption of one's morning urine (a yogic practice of long standing) is doubtless far safer than the ordinary use of tobacco.

   Feces - its exact composition varies widely depending upon the diet and health of the defecator, but broadly speaking fecal matter consists of water, inorganic salts, food residues, amino acids and digestive enzymes, cellulose and fiber; mucus, blood, bacteria, and parasites are also commonly present. We have seen no reports of any scientific study undertaken to determine the health effects of customary shit-eating, but from the standpoint of contagion it is probably not a great deal more (though certainly it is not any less) dangerous than the consumption of semen, menstrual blood, etc., all of which, as noted above, may be risky.