Hedonism is one of the things we Satanists are most criticized for, even sometimes by other Left Hand Pathers. The idea of indulging as fully as possible in all the pleasures life has to offer, certainly seems to go against the grain of what most western traditions think is right and proper. Some would argue that hedonism places too much emphasis on physical and sensual pleasure or that it just trivializes life. I disagree. I often feel a deep spiritual connection to the universe as a result of hedonistic indulgence and as a Satanist I have come to see that fulfilling my own physical needs and desires is as important for my self development and growth as a person, as any amount of meditation or the spiritual practices of other religions.
In truth I was probably always a hedonist. The difference since I became a Satanist is that I no longer feel any guilt for my hedonistic impulses; and that makes a big difference. Moreover I have come to understand how and why hedonism is actually healthy and good. Keep in mind that according to common Satanic principles;-
1. Satan represents indulgence, instead of abstinence!
2. Satan represents vital existence, instead of spiritual pipe-dreams!
And, 8. Satan represents all the so-called sins, as they all lead to physical, mental, or emotional gratification!
I am certainly a hedonist and I have brought my daughter up with the same values. I have asked her to write a paragraph at the end because I think her perspective on the subject may be slightly different to my own. Before coming to my own conclusions however I will, later in this post, acknowledge some of the criticisms of hedonism and place my own hedonistic lifestyle within the satanic concepts of intelligence and responsibility.
Hedonism is of course not a uniquely satanic concept. Hedonistic values can be traced back in time at least as far as Ancient Egypt where, rich and poor alike, uncertain of what would happen to them after death, often believed they should maximize pleasure in life whenever possible. At various times in their long history the Egyptians indulged themselves in every sensual pleasure available including various drugs, food, alcohol and sex. They were not shy or prudish about such things. In Ancient Greece, hedonism became an important stream of philosophy.
The following extract comes from wikipedia and there are more details on the same page
Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aris
Ethical hedonism is the idea that all people have the right to do everything in their power to achieve the greatest amount of pleasure possible to them. It is also the idea that every person’s pleasure should far surpass their amount of pain. Ethical hedonism is said to have been started by Aristippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.
Hedonism is a sub-philosophy of utilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal. Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made to further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones
tippus of Cyrene, a student of Socrates. He held the idea that pleasure is the highest good.
Hedonism is a sub-philosophy of utilitarianism, which says to act in a way that maximizes utility. Hedonists equate pleasure with utility and believe that pleasure is the master of all humankind, and acts as the ultimate life goal. Hedonists believe that there are only two motivators of human action, pleasure and pain, and that decisions should only be made to further our pleasurable experiences and minimize or completely eliminate our painful ones
We are so used to seeing things from a Christianized, western world view, that the truth of the above statement can take a long time to sink in; and some people are blind to it altogether. In short, pleasure is good for us, and taking decisions on the basis of what gives us pleasure is better for us as individuals and as a society than deciding in favor of what brings us sadness and pain. This might be in terms of deciding to eat that delicious cream cake rather than being hungry, but it could equally be deciding to feed somebody who is starving because ultimately their poverty makes us suffer too. Satanists always start from ourselves and work outwards but you don’t need to be a brain surgeon or rocket scientist to see the obvious logic… Enjoying the things we like makes us happy, whether it is stroking a cat or drinking a glass of wine. Experiments have shown that such things reduce stress and release endorphins which are good for our health and promote long life. Moving out from ourselves we soon realize that the suffering of others often has a negative impact on our happiness and therefore the obvious solution is to try and reduce the suffering of others. Some people don’t like this reason for being kind because it seems self centered; and indeed it actually is. But I think those who believe they are being purely altruistic are virtually always fooling themselves. In any case, just imagine how enjoyable the world could be if we made all our decisions based on what is most pleasurable for us;-and for others.
For many people who convert to Satanism, one of the biggest reliefs and psychological boosts they experience is the freedom from guilt that is often associated with the things they enjoy. Western society guilt trips everybody. I remember the first time I had sex… Even though I was above the age of consent, I came from a fairly liberal and secular family, my parents did not forbid or object to me sleeping with somebody, the sex was quite good and enjoyable, nobody got hurt, and yet, despite all that, I still had a sense of guilt and shame for not being a virgin anymore! That guilt just hangs in the air in western society! Imagine how much worse I would have felt if I had come from a stricter or more religious family. And then imagine how it feels if you happen to be gay in a society that is still uncomfortable with the idea… My first time was with a man, but when I finally got around to sleeping with a woman, despite being strong and determined, modern and proud, despite it being lovely, there was still that pang of guilt for doing something taboo. Okay, in my quiet way I was always rebellious and I went on to enjoy many forbidden pleasures long before I became a Satanist. But why should these pleasures be forbidden in the first place? Why should we feel pressured or obliged by society to forgo the things which bring us pleasure and therefore health? Satanism and hedonism argue that you don’t have to forgo those things.
I would not go so far as to say there is no place for guilt. Guilt is a normal emotion that most of us experience from time to time and in it’s proper context it serves a purpose. It is probably right and a useful part of self development to feel guilty when we have done something wrong (something which causes unnecessary harm to ourselves or others) however, is is wrong and self destructive to be surrounded by guilt just for being ourselves and enjoying ourselves.
From my point of view I think Satanic hedonism is healthy for the mind and body and if it includes confronting taboos, that also helps us to grow and come to our own conclusions about things.
Satanism does however require us to use our intelligence and warns heavily against stupidity. We are animals whose survival depends upon being kept in as good condition as possible. In order for our minds and bodies to be happy for longer we have to keep them healthy. An inconvenient truth is that some of the things which can satisfy our desire for experience and happiness, can also damage our health. Thus, we need to be intelligent and wise in our hedonistic choices. There is nearly always a compromise to be made between the gratification of the moment and the longer term consequences of any pleasure we choose to indulge in. In principle we can do anything, but not everything is ultimately good for us, and some things are very quickly harmful. Satan requires that we use our brains and our minds.
It is quite possible that if it had no negative consequences at all, I would be shooting up with heroine everyday. But it does have very serious negative consequences which I know about and some I have witnessed; so I choose not to get my pleasure that way. In fact heroine is one of the few things I would urge people never to even try. On the other hand, I do smoke cigarettes and cannabis which also cause harm to debatable degrees. We make compromises and informed choices. We cannot (and I do not) however claim to be unaware of the potential negative consequences our pleasurable choices may have. There is a good chance I will die younger than I might otherwise have done as a result of some of my hedonistic choices. (I would argue however that my lifespan may also be boosted from the positive effects of the pleasures I enjoy and the lack of guilt and resulting stress I have in comparison to others).
It is also worth noting that while the hedonistic aspect of Satanism might at first entice irresponsible people, such people never stick long at anything. For all it’s emphasis on hedonism, Satanism is often a refuge and rebuilding philosophy for people who are trying to overcome addictions of various sorts. I know of plenty of people who thank Satan and Satanism for empowering them to live a healthier life, free of addiction. For one thing, while we do not rule out chemical and substance fueled pleasures, our emphasis is on enjoying natural pleasures, including sex in all it’s forms, without stress or guilt. This often makes the use of expensive and/or illegal substances redundant.
And while it might sound a bit poetic and “New Agey” I do think some of the most profound pleasures are the simple things like a walk in the forest, admiring a view, appreciating art, reading a good book, or going to a concert. I believe we should always make time in our lives for things like that.
I will now hand over to Tina…
My mother and Cassie are Satanists. My father is not a Satanist but I guess he is still a hedonist in many ways. I have been a Satanist for three years, pretty much through the most important time of my adolescence, right up to now when I can hopefully think of myself as an adult even if I’m young. I suppose that in terms of how I live my life, Satanism and Hedonism is all I have ever known. You might think that would make me some crazy sort of wild child; I’m sure that is what a lot of people expect. But it is not really true at all.
I certainly am a hedonist, but I would say that Satanism has made me a sensible one. I could eat every ice cream and every cake that is put in front of me (I sure would be tempted!) but I don’t because I am not stupid and I want to keep my health and my looks. I could take every drug that was ever offered to me (which would be a lot) but I don’t because I want to stay healthy in mind and body. I could sleep with every man and woman that showed any interest in me (which would keep me busy for quite a while) but I don’t because I’d rather have good sex than cheap sex and I want to minimize the risk of catching a disease or getting pregnant. So I do enjoyable things in a fairly boring and moderate way. I’m sorry if that is not what people want to hear. (I’m not sorry really)!
My studies are important to me because I want to have an interesting career which brings in enough money to do fun things with. So I work hard. I’m kind of glad I smoke because that reduces my stress when I have a lot of reading or writing to do. And to relax after studying I sometimes have some wine or smoke some weed (which is totally legal where I live thankfully); but that is about as excessive as my drug use gets.
A good piece of advice my “Mothers” gave me is to become a connoisseur of all pleasurable things. Find out what I like and don’t like, refine my tastes, learn and increase the pleasure of all things. That works for everything from good food and wine to good sex. And now as a younger adult I am at a time of finding out about all these things, experimenting and becoming an expert in what makes me happy. In comparison to some of my friends who are still at the stage of drinking til they throw up and having sex they don’t really enjoy (because that’s what people do), I think our form of hedonism is much more healthy and wise. And unlike most of my friends I almost never feel guilty about the things I do for fun. (I’m not saying I’m perfect, I’ve obviously made some mistakes).
To finish this post I want to say something simple that sums up what Sophie and I have been trying to say. A lot of people seem to assume that hedonism and stupidity go together. They don’t. At least they don’t have to. Satanism actually calls us to be intelligent and wise in our hedonism; to do what makes us happy without feeling bad or guilty about it, but NOT be stupid.
Sensible hedonism is healthy for your mind and body.
Sophie and Tina
This is a kind of taking stock post, and a notification of subtle changes in our lives and in our blog. I have also edited out “about” page.
Cassie is very busy with work and other projects at the moment and will probably be taking a back seat here for a while, leaving Tina and myself in charge of Devil’s Advocates. It is still a family affair and every time I think about it I have to thank Satan for the part he has played in helping and shaping our family. I remember writing a post on one of our other blogs years ago speaking about the fact that Tina had started smoking. It was, in a way, the first sign that she was transitioning from a girl to a woman. Not long after that she told Cassie and I that she was a Satanist as well. Perhaps we didn’t take it very seriously at first, but her commitment has never wavered… It all seems so long ago, but it wasn’t, not really… I checked, and in fact that was only just over three years ago. Now there is a woman sitting beside me, cringing as I write these words. This woman has become a trusted friend and confidant, a person I am happy to socialize with, a woman who shares many of my beliefs, my tastes and my vices. She is still my daughter, but all traces of the innocent little girl have gone. She has become a sophisticated Satanic woman and while I am still her mother, I find I am learning as much from her these days as she can learn from me. And I like it that way. (Sophie)
My mother has grown up too! Looking back it is clear to me now that until she met Cassie she was a bit sad and lost. I really was still a child then. Sophie was always very protective of me and I was a very babyish child in many ways. Cassie’s arrival in our lives was a catalyst for all of us; including her. Since then, the rest is history… I like to think that I would have become a Satanist anyway at some stage and Sophie says she would have too but we can’t deny that Cassie was the one who introduced us to Satanism. We all started to really grow up then. My mother is much happier and more confident in all things. The same is true for me. But while we are all Satanists, we are not the same. I think some of my beliefs and the way I choose to live my life are a bit darker and more traditionally Satanic than either Cassie or Sophie. I quite like the fact that I can shock them from time to time! While they run their own coven which is very modern and untraditional, I am studying to become a full member of an older coven across the border in a few months. I think it is good that I feed ideas from my coven to my mum and Cassie and I can sometimes transfer their ideas to my coven. That way everybody grows. Meanwhile I have given up writing my own blog for a while to concentrate on other things… I will try to post here though from time to time. Sophie and I are working together on a post about hedonism which we will publish in a few days hopefully.
And don’t worry, Cassie is still around doing lots of stuff. I will nag her to post things here too even though she is busy. 😉 Tina
Our previous post was decrying the kind of exploitation people like Harvey Weinstein are finally having to pay the price for. One or two people complained that we have no right to complain about such things because we are into kinky sex ourselves and we even have a tumblr blog which is quite pornographic. Those complainers don’t get it at all! There is a huge difference between enjoying consensual sex in a variety of forms on the one hand (which can be very empowering) and being forced or coerced into unwanted sexual situations on the other hand (which is very dis-empowering). To put it another way; even if I dress in a way which is sexually attractive and openly speak about enjoying a variety of sexual practices, nobody in the universe has the right to touch me in a sexual way or expect anything more from me unless I explicitly invite them to. There will be a few neanderthals who still don’t get it, but fortunately their time is over and all that remain of that type of sub human will soon be either extinct or in jail.
The title of this post is “Kinky Sex and Satanism”. I am sure there are many who think that the two things inevitably go together. They don’t. Some Satanists including a few of our own friends have no particular interest in sex at all. In fact the majority of people we know in Satanic circles have rather conservative sex lives which are a private matter between themselves and their partners. However, one thing that the majority of Satanists in our experience do have in common in matters of sex, is an open minded attitude and a tendency to question, if not break, some taboos associated with it. I say some taboos… The taboos we tend to challenge and break are those which historically have been part of the rules and regulations of religions we reject, as well as those rules which deny our right to be masters of our own bodies and our own lives. There are a few rules which we don’t break however, not because they are taboo, but because in our own judgement such things would be plain wrong and go against our own values and the priority we place on recognizing the power and dignity of the individual. So the rules we don’t break are these:- We don’t engage in any sexual activity with anybody against their consent. We don’t under any circumstances have sex with minors. We don’t have sex with animals. If anybody needs more of an explanation as to why we don’t do those things, they clearly need more therapy than I am expert or patient enough to give!
Having explained that not all Satanists have sex which could be described as kinky in any way and having clearly stated the things we would never do, I will now talk about some areas of sexual activity which some people think are kinky which some of us do enjoy.
The first thing to say is that we are hedonists. We think hedonism is a good thing. We think it is good for the human psyche and general physical condition to make the most of all pleasures life has to offer, including sexual ones. Perhaps we need to write an exposition on why hedonism is a good thing sometime, but for now just take it as read that hedonism is an important aspect of Satanic life.
A small but perhaps important point is that Satanism is not homophobic. While nothing is compulsory; we tend to be experimental, open minded and respectful of all forms of sexual identity and preferences. Personally I don’t see that as kinky but I guess some do. Often those who feel excluded by various religious authorities because they happen to be gay, bisexual, transgender or whatever, find Satanism a safe haven. Tina, Cassie and I are bisexual, but interestingly we rarely feel the need to describe our sexual tastes and preferences in such a prescriptive way inside our own satanic circles.
One of the things that some people might find “kinky” about Satanists and sex is that many of us do not feel obliged to limit our sex lives to our romantic lives. In many religions there are laws (written and unwritten) which stipulate that sex can only happen in a relationship between a man and a woman which is legitimized by the church or religious authority they adhere to. We reject that idea completely. It seems an obvious fact to us that humans have always enjoyed many forms of sex which happen outside recognized relationships such as marriage and we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. We think it is a normal and usually pleasurable aspect of human development and behavior. So for the Satanist there is the possibility to enjoy sex in all sorts of situations inside and outside of relationships. In reality it is just normal life. We suspect there are very few adults who have not had and enjoyed sex which is not in the context of a serious and “God-Blessed” relationship. We are just honest about it, and as hedonists we enjoy it as much as we can. Cassie and I love each other and I think it is fair to say the best sex we have is with each other. Hopefully no Satanists would underestimate the value and importance of love. When we first met, we only had sex with each other for quite a long time. But as our love and our relationship grew deeper and more mature, we no longer felt the need to restrict our sexual activities to each other. I think our relationship has become stronger as a result. Personally I think a lot of relationships might be stronger and more loving if partners allowed each other more sexual freedom… Maybe that’s just me… Anyhow, our lifestyle and our choices are not necessarily the norm for all Satanists, but Satanism does at least allow us to make those choices for ourselves and not be slaves to the norms of society.
Following on from the idea that some of us do not limit our sexual activity to the conventions of coupledom, is the fact that there is sometimes sexual content in our rituals. This does not occur in all Satanic communities or covens but it does happen in some; including our own. We do not have orgies as such, some do… However, nobody should be forced to indulge in any sexual activity they are uncomfortable with. In our coven we have learned from experience that having a sexual element in some rituals and magical workings adds great power to what we are doing. Symbolically and psychologically it can be extremely potent and influential in terms of personal development. It also bonds us as an extended family and is fun. Moreover, we do it partly because such behavior is forbidden and seen as taboo in Christianity and some other religions. We are reclaiming the space and circumstance and refusing to allow outside forces to dictate our actions. We are very much stating that sex does not have to be limited or controlled in the way many religions have tried to do over time.
In group rituals and individually some Satanists like to infuse a large degree of blasphemy into some of their sexual activity. Some pornographic images posted by Satanists seem to be almost exclusively full of this stuff. Personally I think that kind of thing can get excessive and therefore loses the point of blasphemy which is mainly to mock the powers which have been used to control people over time. Therefore in our own coven we tend to keep such things to the minimum so that when they do occur, they are more transformative. Moreover, we feel there are some significant health issues with some of those activities.
So perhaps this is the point to mention health. While in principle we allow ourselves to enjoy sex in whatever ways we want, we are also big believers in personal responsibility. Cassie and I grew up in an era when AIDS was still a big fear; and while it is not in the headlines as much these days, we are well aware that it still exists. Moreover there are all sorts of other sexually transmitted diseases, some of which are on the increase at this time. Therefore we urge caution. Cassie and I are at an age where we may be prepared to take calculated risks from time to time with people we know well, personally I think younger people should be even more cautious. I have a daughter who is hungrily and enthusiastically exploring and enjoying the part that sex can play in her life. She has been brought up in a Satanic household with Satanic values which she has heavily invested in herself. It shows; and I am delighted to see her blossom and grow in this and other ways. However, I of course want her to have a long and happy life and have equipped her with all the practical advice I can. There will always be risks attached to any form of sexual activity, but with knowledge and forethought it is possible to minimise those risks. Ideally Satanic women should be confident, knowledgeable and self empowered people who are not afraid to say No, or Not Unless….
Some people regard the various activities contained within the BDSM label as “kinky” and it is true that many of us do enjoy some of those things. Cassie tells me there are often elements of bondage in Wiccan and Pagan rituals. In truth I think most people enjoy or experiment with these things and that they are more widespread and normal in many people’s lives than is sometimes thought. Cassie and I have found that exploring our own boundaries within this field of sexual activity can be very enriching, satisfying, empowering and even beautiful. We have found that other Satanists are often into these activities for the same reasons and in order once again to be experimental, adventurous and challenge taboos. I think it goes with the Satanic mindset to a degree. However, once again, none of this is compulsory for Satanists and as I have said before, the sex lives of many Satanists are actually very conservative and mainstream. We can, but we don’t have to.
Is it kinky to like porn? Well I have to admit that Cassie and I enjoy some of it and a lot of our Satanic friends do as well. Perhaps that is just us and our kinky circle, but I doubt it. Again it is about challenging taboos and actually celebrating sex as a normal part of life rather than denying it. Cassie and I enjoy erotica that depicts all the things I have mentioned so far and lots more besides. We like to think our tastes in such things are fairly sophisticated, but I suppose even that is down to personal taste. What we don’t like however is anything that suggests rape or any form of sex that doesn’t involve the meaningful consent of all involved. We detest and report anything we see which crosses that line.
So called kinky sex tends to be more adventurous and breaks many barriers. As a result I believe it brings with it the potential for learning and personal growth. I am sure I know and understand myself better as a result of some of my sexual experiences. I think it has made me stronger in many ways, and more understanding of myself and others. I think it is a good thing.
Why have I written this post? Partly, I suppose, it’s that sex is a big part of my life and I get a kind of kick from writing about it… Partly it is to dispel the myth that Satanism is nothing but orgies and kinky sex, while at the same time admitting that for some of us it is a part of the Satanic lifestyle and experience. For any non Satanists looking in I think it is fair and honest to give an overview of the degree to which sex may play a part in our lives. But mainly in fact, it goes back to the Harvey Weinstein controversy.
Most women and men enjoy sex. Many of us enjoy sex which is described by some as kinky. Neither of these self evident truths apply only to Satanists. However, admitting to enjoying sex, even kinky sex, should not in this day and age mean that we are gagging for it with any man who passes our way. No matter how dull or how adventurous our sex lives are, NOBODY has the right to force or coerce us into any form of unwanted sex. I want my daughter to grow up in a world where she can enjoy sex as much and in whatever form she wants without being labeled in a way her male counterparts would not be. I want her to live in a world where sexual predators are few and are dealt with harshly when discovered. And I want her to live in a world where the latent sexism of the past is finally laid to rest. I am proud to be a Satanist and I think in many ways people like us are at the vanguard of positive change in society. Kinky sex is just sex. It is part of being human. I believe we have the right to enjoy that part of our lives without prejudice.
Introduction by Sophie
We guard our privacy pretty well, but the fact that we are a family of three women who are all Satanists means we are quite well known in some circles and, it’s fair to say, a subject of curiosity to some. An acquaintance of ours who is a radio journalist here in Switzerland recently asked if we would do a radio interview about being a family of Satanists. After a bit of reluctance and a lot of conditions we finally agreed. Obviously we didn’t allow our real names or locations to be broadcast on the radio and part of our agreement was that we should be allowed to publish a written form of the interview on our blog after the radio show was broadcast. Thus we are publishing part of it here. Please bare in mind that the original interview was in German, so this is my translation and I am leaving out all the “errs” and “umms” that creep into normal speech. I have also edited out some parts of the interview, including part of the introduction, which are just repeating things we have already said here. Hopefully our readers will find our five minutes of fame interesting! The interview itself provoked a quite big response and we have been invited back to answer some listeners questions. As for our readers here, we are always happy to answer any sensible questions. Here is the interview…
Interviewer: I am sitting in a suburban kitchen drinking coffee with three polite and well spoken women. On the the surface there is nothing particularly unusual about the women. All three of them have tattoos, but then so do half the people in Zurich these days. The two older women are in a lesbian relationship but hopefully that fact alone should not raise any eyebrows in 2017. The youngest of the three is their daughter, she is in her late teens and looks a little older than that. If you passed them in the street you wouldn’t notice anything unusual about them. They are in many ways a modern version of the typical nuclear family. But the room opposite the kitchen where we are sitting now has been converted to a temple of sorts. It is dark, all the walls are painted black and there is a table on which a black candle is burning in front of a small statue of Satan. On the four walls of the room there are framed pictures of demons. The women I am speaking to are Satanists. All three of them. Their names are Cassie, Sophie and Tina.
So let me get the awkward question out of the way first. “Are you evil? Do you sacrifice animals or practice black magic?”
Cassie; “Well the easiest of those questions is the middle one. We don’t sacrifice animals. We don’t harm animals in any way. And before you ask; we don’t sacrifice virgins or babies either! The other two questions are a bit more difficult to answer because the terms you use mean different things to different people. We do practice what some call black magic; by which I mean we are witches and we practice any kind of magic that achieves our goals. There are some witches, such as Wiccans who have a kind of moral code attached to the magic they do which says they should harm nobody. We don’t make a vow to keep to any such code, but that doesn’t mean we spend our time creating spells to hurt people. It just means we don’t rule anything out.
Sophie; “For the record, I don’t think that so far any of us have ever done any magic that could be called evil or malicious. We just don’t rule out doing such things in the unlikely event that it became necessary. We do however sometimes do magic that helps us. We don’t have any rules about not using magic to make our own lives better.
Tina; “Black Magic of the type we use, also implies using techniques and working with forces that people of some other religions think are bad or wrong.”
Cassie “Which brings us back to the question of evil. Some Satanists, including Sophie and Tina, don’t particularly mind other people using the word evil to describe us. But it kind of sticks in my throat. I do lots of things, like practicing black magic for example, which some people think are evil. But I also do a lot of things which some people, probably most people, think are good. We don’t believe in absolutes and we don’t really think anybody else has the right to judge whether we are good or evil. Personally I prefer to use the word Satanic. I’m happy to be described as that.”
Interviewer; “Well let’s get to the basics. What does it mean to be a Satanist? What do you believe? Do you worship The Devil?”
Tina (Laughing) “Do you always ask three questions at once?”
Tina “It’s okay. But those are big questions. There are different kinds of Satanists just like there are different kinds of Christians or Buddhists. Probably, the biggest group of modern Satanists are those who follow the basic teachings of Anton LaVey. He became famous in the 1960s. He was a kind of showman really, but he popularized a form of Satanism which was like an antidote to Christianity and other organised religions. He was trying to challenge people to think for themselves and break some of the rules and taboos that Christians insisted on. But actually he was an atheist and so are most who follow his line of Satanism. For them everything is symbolic and the devil is in some ways our inner self; all the parts that other religions say we should be ashamed of…
Interviewer; “So that is the kind of Satanism that you follow?”
Sophie “Not exactly. We use Laveyan Satanism as a kind of guideline but while they are atheists we are not. We believe there is an actual force or being which we call Satan or The Devil. So in a way you could say we worship The Devil.”
Cassie; “But only in a way… We don’t really use the word worship in the way Christians understand it. Maybe a better word is “respect”. We Respect Satan, and we also interact with him… But even then it is not what most people think… We do not believe Satan is the way Christianity describes him, so we don’t actually think he is evil. We believe Satan is a force in the world that the organisations of other religions fear. Basically, if you look at the Biblical texts and other writings, Satan is simply saying that it is wrong to worship God or the institutions of the church. Satan is the voice saying we can work things out for ourselves and it would actually be better that way. Satan is the champion of those who don’t think any religion should repress or control people just to hold on to power. Satan is telling us we can be our own Gods. And Christianity and some other religions hate and fear that idea…
(The three of us then explain those ideas in a bit more detail, which we have already done in several posts on this blog. Then there is a section on how and why we became Satanists, which we have also written alot about in this blog)…
Interviewer; “So how does all this work out in daily life? Are you completely hedonistic? Do you have any morals that other people could relate to?”
Tina “You are doing the three question thing again!”
Sophie “Yes, we are hedonistic. Actually we reject the concept that it is wrong to be hedonistic. We also reject the concept of sin. So we enjoy our lives as much as we can and we place value on that. We treat ourselves well. We enjoy all the physical and sensual pleasures that come our way without guilt…”
Tina; “So we party! We drink. We smoke. We enjoy good food and having fun. And sex of course…”
Cassie; “And we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. But as Satanists we believe we should take responsibility for our actions. So while we have fun, the responsibility to look after ourselves is ours and so are the consequences. To put it simply if we want to go out and have some drinks we decide for ourselves how much is too much and how much of a hangover we are prepared to put up with. Of course you don’t have to be a Satanist to have that attitude; it is just sensible… But in a way, that is the point. Being sensible is pretty much fundamental to Satanism. And that applies to more serious things too, like what we do in our sex lives or even what we do or think politically or magically. It is all about thinking the consequences through and taking personal responsibility for our actions; even when it comes to having fun.”
Interviewer; “That all sounds very reasonable, but it also sounds very selfish. Don’t you care how your actions affect other people?”
Sophie; “This is a mistake in thinking that a lot of people make. Why should the fact that we think about ourselves and our own wants and needs mean that we don’t care about other people? It just means that we put ourselves first. I know some religions say that is wrong but we just think it is a sensible starting point. We do care about other people. We are not obliged to by some outside force, we just do. But we choose who we care about and what we can or can’t do to help them.”
Tina; “I could give you a list of what we do for other people but… That probably isn’t the thing to do… But you know… Cassie and Sophie work with young people who have difficulties. They are teachers. You can’t be a teacher without caring. We all give money to charities we like. I have organised help for refugees and I help out in an animal sanctuary… We do lot’s of things that most people would think are nice, or good… But in our free time we enjoy ourselves… We have fun… We have sex… We indulge ourselves… But we are not so stupid as to let those things get in the way of other important things we have to do to be successful in life.”
Cassie; “And as for morals. We have our own and we try to be true to ourselves. Basically we try to be kind and helpful most of the time but we don’t feel obliged to be nice to people who treat us or other people badly. In our daily lives… Well, Sophie and I have quite a lot of organisational work to do for our coven. We have the room you described earlier where we sometimes meditate or get together for learning or small family rituals… But otherwise, our daily lives are pretty much like other people… We have breakfast. We work. We have meals together when we are all home. Sometimes we argue. Sometimes we just chat. Sometimes we watch TV. Our daily lives are not very unusual.
Interviewer; “I’m sure when a lot of people think about Satanism they will imagine dark rites and rituals with perverted sex and lots of blood. Is there any truth in that?”
Cassie; “Well the true answer is that sometimes there is some truth in that. We do have rites and rituals which emphasize the darker side of life and death even. There is sometimes some sexual content in those rituals which we don’t see as being perverted, but admittedly our sexual morals are maybe a bit more liberal than the norm. And sometimes but not always, there is blood. Usually our blood, or the blood of animals which have already been humanely killed to be used for food. Yes, I know that can sound a bit grotesque to a lot of people; but a lot of those same people will routinely sit down and eat beef for dinner with the blood oozing out of it… In fairness there are also quite a lot of Satanists, some in our own coven, who are vegetarians and who do not participate in anything which involves animal blood. But the point of all these rituals is to change your mindset for a while, to break common taboos. It has been recognized for centuries in many different religions, that breaking taboos combined with the theater, the language and drama of ritual can have powerful psychological effects. Anton Lavey recognised that, and so do we and many other modern Satanists. In our group we feel it opens up a channel between us and Satan. In other groups they see it as opening up the inner self, the God within. We think that is part of it too.”
Interviewer; “Sophie, I am sitting here looking at you and your daughter and I would like to ask a blunt question. You are a mature woman and it is clear it is up to you how you live your life. But your daughter is so young and, dare I say, innocent. How can you condone or justify her getting mixed up in the kind of things Cassie has just described or even the wider implications of living as a Satanist? Don’t you worry about her as a daughter? Some… A lot of people would argue that it is your duty to guard and protect her against the very things you seem to be advocating.”
Sophie (I was bristling a bit about this question and my tone was a bit angry!) Firstly I love Tina very much, and yes, I am still her mother and I will always protect her as much as I can in all ways… And if anybody were to hurt her, they would come to wish with every bone in their body that they had not crossed me! But… I didn’t raise my daughter to be an eternal child. Part of a mother’s responsibility is to help their children grow up and become all that they can be, as adults. And I think I am doing that. Tina is not a child. I recognize that. She will be at university next year and she is making a life of her own. She is already an adult. Young…yes. But an adult all the same. And I welcome that. She is NOT innocent and wouldn’t want to be. I don’t care what other people think of me, but I think there is something beautiful about your child discovering the riches of the adult world and learning some of the pleasures we sometimes take for granted when we are older… And also of course some of the problems and extra responsibilities that go with being an adult. And as I don’t think there is anything at all wrong with the things we have described in the interview today, I also don’t think it is wrong for my daughter either. About the ritual side… Tina does not participate in our own coven at the moment. Partly because we do have an age limit and would not allow people to join us until they are eighteen; and Tina still has a few months to go before she reaches that landmark. But anyway after lots of discussions we all decided that it would not be right at first for her to join our own coven, so she is in training in another coven… We do however do a few smaller rituals and magical workings as a family group. We feel it brings us closer together.”
Tina; “I’d just like to say that I have a very close relationship with my mother which is more than a lot of my friends do. My Mum and I do argue sometimes but basically we are friends and we trust each other. I study hard. I don’t do any illegal drugs. I pay my way at home. I don’t cause problems. But I’m not innocent and never wanted to be. I have a boyfriend. I’ve had other lovers. I do go out and have fun. But if I have problems, which is just normal because everybody has problems… My Mum and Cassie are the first people I come to. I can talk to them about anything and I trust what they say and mostly take their advice. How many other teenagers can truly say that?”
Interviewer; “Well we are coming to the end of the interview and have to finish off. I’m am sure there is much more we could have talked about and which you might have liked to talk about. So can I ask each of you to sum up in your own words what you feel you gain from being a Satanist? And feel free to add anything you think is important which we didn’t have time to go into detail about.”
Cassie; “To put it simply I gained in every way. I learned to like and understand my whole self better. I became more confident and more successful. My life has been more interesting, more rewarding and more fun since I became a Satanist and I have gone in all sorts of directions I never dreamed of. Having said that, I know that Satanism is not for everyone… And we still have friends of different religions or of no religion, but I should also point out to listeners that there are some crazy people who pretend to be Satanists, just as there are idiots in all religions. So if anybody is seriously interested in finding out more they should do a lot of research and be quite careful when they are first starting out.
Sophie; “I found when I came out as a Satanist, it was like a weight was lifted off me and I could be myself, my real self, for the first time. Like Cassie, it has taken me in all sorts of new directions. I would say however that we didn’t really discuss the details of all the different groups and types of Satanists. I was an atheist before becoming a Satanist and thought that was how I would stay… But I came to see things another way. Atheists are the biggest group of Satanists though and I would kind of recommend that type as the best way into Satanism for anybody that is interested in finding out more. The emphasis of Satanism is self improvement and self empowerment.”
Tina; “I think Satanism has given me a bit of an edge… A kind of protective coating… It also helps me to understand people and life much better. Some parts of it are like a free psychology course! Like Sophie said, it is mainly about empowerment. Actually I also like Satanism because it is scientific. Today we have mainly spoken about some of the things people who are not Satanists would probably think about… But when you study and find out more about it, you realize it is very scientific and it respects science. That is important to me.”
Cassie “Just one quick thing I’d like to add. Being a Satanist doesn’t make you a good person or a bad person. It just helps you to understand yourself better and empower you to achieve all you can. Your listeners may know some people who they think of as very good, kind people, and they might just turn out to be Satanists. And we all know people of other religions like Islam and Christianity who think they are doing good but really aren’t. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you don’t often find homophobic, bigoted Satanists!”
Interviewer. “Thank you for your time. So that was three real live Satanists. As I said earlier, you could pass them in the street and you would have no idea about this aspect of their lives… A lot of what they say sounds reasonable, but is it? Let us know what you think.”
I suppose this post is vain, but that is ok, we are Satanists after all!
Apart from being Satanists, another thing our family share is a tattoo fetish. Cassie and I became addicted to ink in our teens. At first our tattoos were small and discrete. After university we both had “respectable” teaching jobs and as this was about twenty years ago when tattoos were not quite so common and popular as they are now, we felt obliged not to get inked anywhere that was too obvious. By the time we met however we felt confident enough in our respective jobs that we encouraged each other to be ever more daring in our inkwork. The result is that by now there is no disguising the fact that we are heavily inked women and when we spot some virgin skin on ourselves we immediately plan how to cover it in ink! Yes, by some people’s standards we will be ugly, ink stained old crones one day. Good. We wear our tats with pride and we love them. I can’t pretend I was worried or concerned when my daughter Tina got her first tattoos. I insisted that she wait until she was sixteen and since then I have made it clear it is up to her what she does with her body and how she decorates it. Cassie and I have tried to encourage her to save her money to get work done by really good tattoo artists, rather than go for anything cheap and quick; and I am pleased to say she has taken our advice. She has turned out to be as addicted to ink as us and these days there is less prejudice against tattoos; so while hidden from everyday view she has more and bigger tattoos than we did at her age.
While doing a bit of research for this post I was amused to find that some extreme Christians regard ALL tattoos as Satanic and I read one article that claimed that getting a tattoo emulates a Satanic blood ritual! On the one hand I find it quite comforting and amusing to think I was being a good Satanist long before I thought I was. On the other hand of course such claims are blatantly ridiculous! And of course there will be some normal Christians reading this who may well have as many tattoos as we do.
It should also be said that there are some Satanists who, for various reasons, don’t think tattoos are a good idea. Clearly we are not in that category. We take the view that we are owners and masters of our own bodies and souls, and what we do with them is our business alone. Ultimately we are the final judges.
Like most people, we started getting tattoos for artistic and aesthetic reasons. We liked the way tattoos looked on other people and imagined how we would look, decorated in a similar way. Once we got started we found we enjoyed both the process and the finished result. Vanity certainly plays a part. We like the way we look with our inked skins. In one way getting a tattoo is like having a new hairstyle or choosing new clothes. It is a lot about projecting an image; being seen in the way you choose to be seen. But tattoos can be a lot more personal and intimate; and in principle they are permanent. Therefore tattoos tend to mark important moments or commitments; while they sit on your skin, they represent what is in your soul.
Also, the process of getting a tattoo does involve a degree of pain and blood. Personally I think the discomfort of the process adds value and meaning to the finished result. Perhaps also there is at least a small element of sado-masichism as well. I have noticed that many of us with tattoos tend to, let’s say, blur the distinctions between pleasure and pain in other areas of life.
While a minority of extreme Christians may regard all tattoos as Satanic, our first tattoos were not intended to be Satanic at all. We did however reflect our spiritual leanings of the time in our tattoo choices. I have several Buddhist inspired tattoos and Cassie has several pagan related ones. We both also have some tattoos that have no obvious spiritual connections; we just think they look nice.
In the picture above however we have tried to highlight the tattoos which do have a satanic connection.
In the top left you can see Tina’s very new goat’s head tattoo which is located in her middle just below her breasts. It is large and was rather expensive and she is very proud of it. She already had a small Baphomet tattoo on her shoulder, but she wanted something more dramatic and darker to mark her more adult commitment to Satanism and her new coven. I already had something similar, but slightly more suggestive, which you can see on the bottom left. For me it symbolises the deep and intimate connection to Satan I have felt for the past few years. You can also see me in the centre picture. There is a circular mandala from my Buddhist days on my stomach and I have had the vine design coming down on to my breasts since I was in my twenties. I added a darker centre-piece to that soon after becoming a Satanist. It is actually based on a design from the Mexican “Day of the Dead” and sort of represents overcoming fears and taboos.
Cassie had the big moth design over her chest before becoming a Satanist, but we think it kind of indicates the way her thoughts were going. She didn’t want anything as obviously “pretty” as a butterfly, but something that can be seen as beautiful or ugly depending on your point of view. It is also something that comes out in the darkness and which is a symbol of metamorphosis and change. Around her waist she has a very intricate Celtic knot band with hundreds of symbols in it and a Satanic pentagram in the centre. Below that, in a fairly intimate position, she has a Lucifer sigil which she had done to mark her “conversion” to Satanism from Paganism.
Our bodies get marked by life whatever happens. Injuries, scars, pregnancy and the aging process all leave their mark together with the blotches, moles, freckles and skin tones we are born with. The idea of permanency bothers some people. Somebody once said to me but suppose you don’t like that design in a few years? And with my more spiritual tattoos people have said but what if you believe different things in the future? My answer is simple. However I may change in the future, the things that are happening now and the things that happened in the past are all part of the process of growth that result in me being me every day. I don’t regret for a second my time as a Buddhist or the tattoos that mark that period; it is still a part of me and was a significant step along the route to me being what I am now. We are all the sum of our parts and of our experiences and tattoos are a way to represent some of those things artistically.
Perhaps Tina will turn away from Satanism one day. (Although I doubt that very much). But who knows, she may give up any form of spirituality or she may become a Born Again Christian. (I’m really in the land of fantasy now!) But even in that case, the fact that she once was a very committed Satanist and has that experience in her mind and soul reflected by a tattoo on her body, will still be a hugely important factor in what makes her the person she is at that time.
There are some Satanic and other religious or spiritual groups which require significant and sometimes dramatic signs and rituals to confirm membership or commitment and I can see why such a big spiritual decision could be seen to require that. For us however, a tattoo serves that purpose, and can be much more personal and beautiful.
While the following article has a few flaws and mistakes we like it. (Even though it describes Theistic Satanists as a fringe group)!
It is a bit over simplistic and probably paints us as a bit whiter and nicer than some of us are; but it is a fairer than average portrayal of modern Satanism.
Looking back through our archives, one of the posts that still gets the most traffic is the one about Satanic Sex. Another popular post is the one in which, several years ago, my daughter Tina decided to become a Satanist. Since then she has grown up and has a blog of her own which gets a reasonable amount of visitors. One of the questions that both she and I are most often asked is how our satanic beliefs inform our attitudes to sex and love. We are both aware that there is not much written about this subject on the net; at least, not much that we would recommend! So we decided to get together to answer some of the questions we are most often asked on this subject and maybe expand on our views and experiences a bit. First; for any visitors new to this site, a very short paragraph of background information about us.
My name is Sophie. I am 40 years of age and 17 years ago I gave birth to my precious daughter Tina. At the time I was in a long term relationship with Tina’s father. We split up fairly amicably when Tina was seven when we realized we had different directions and priorities in our lives. Tina’s father has continued to play an active and supporting role in Tina’s life and upbringing. I have been sexually active since my mid teens and I suppose I was always fairly liberal and adventurous in my sexual affairs. I’d had a couple of serious boyfriends before meeting Tina’s father (and quite a lot of less serious ones) and after the split I had a lot of liaisons with both men and women before meeting Cassie who has since become my life partner. Both Cassie and I are bisexual and still occasionally have sex with men, but we knew as soon as we met each other that we were meant to be life partners and we love each other deeply.
So I am Tina. I’m 17 in two weeks time and I have been sexually active for just over a year. I was the most innocent of children and had no interest in sex or any of the things connected with being an adult until I was about 14 and in that year I changed and grew up so much it shocked even me! When I was fifteen I started going to parties, meeting boys and kissing and stuff… I decided I should get prepared for the time when there would be more “stuff”! I had a lot of conversations with my mother and then just before I was sixteen she took me to the birth control clinic and I started taking the pill. Luckily I have always been able to talk openly about these things with my mother. A few months later I lost my virginity to my first serious boyfriend. Later I split up from him and “experimented” a bit. Now I have a boyfriend who is a few years older than me and shares a lot of my beliefs and values.
Mother’s Ground Rules.
Sex should only happen between fully consenting adults. If a person doesn’t or can’t give consent it is rape and the rapist should be punished as harshly as possible. Here in the part of Switzerland we live in the age of consent is 16. I know my daughter and I know she is adult enough to have sex if she wants to. However, not all people mature at the same pace. Tina has some sixteen year old friends who, in my opinion, are still not ready for sex. It is also fair to say that some people mature at a faster pace and maybe ready and hungry for sex earlier. Even so, the law is there to protect people and it is always best to wait until you are not breaking the law. If you can’t wait, there is something wrong. In all cases, if in doubt, don’t have sex; wait until a better time.
It is your body and only you should choose how to use it and who to share it with. Never, never do anything sexually that you don’t want to do. If a partner pressures you into doing or trying something sexually you are uncomfortable with, dump that person!
Girls. You can get pregnant! This is something the men don’t fully understand because it can’t happen to them. If you get pregnant, whether you have the child or not, it will change your life completely. So ALWAYS use birth control unless you are with somebody you don’t mind starting a family with. All women have the right to have an abortion, but abortion is a big thing that can fuck your mind and body up in all sorts of ways. It is not a form of last minute birth control.
And last of the scary warnings… AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases still exist. In fact most sexually active people catch an STD of some kind at some point. Be careful. Take precautions. In all casual sex adventures it is best to use condoms.
The Satanic Perspective.
Satanists are intelligent, scientific people and so they should take all the above warnings seriously. Satanists are self-centred and self-reliant, and must take responsibility for protecting themselves as much as possible. However, with all that being said, Satanists think sex is normal and healthy, Satanists are mostly hedonistic, meaning we see nothing wrong with enjoying carnal and mental pleasures as much as possible and Satanists are self aware so learning how to achieve maximum pleasure and satisfaction through sex (and all other things) is part of our life path and meaning. Satanists tend to value and enjoy the so called darker, left hand, sinister, side of things. We feel it is important to explore and integrate that side of things into our lives in a constructive way. That may make some of us more open to certain forms of sexual expression and fetishism than some others may be.
In practical terms, in our own family, my daughter’s blossoming sexuality and sexual appetite is not something I fear or dread (although I will always be the protective mother who sometimes gives more advice than is wanted), rather it is something I welcome and encourage as I think gaining sexual knowledge and pleasure is an important aspect of personal development.
What would you say is the relationship between sex and love?
They are not the same of course but they are very interconnected. Love can be wonderful and Satanists can fall in love as truly, madly and deeply as anybody else. I have had a lot of sexual partners but only a few partners that I was passionately in love with. The difference is huge. Of course the feeling of being “in love” is a huge and lovely thing in itself although when it doesn’t work out as you would like, or when it ends, it can be devastatingly painful. But how to cope with that is one of the life lessons it is important to learn and it says a lot about who we actually are. A loving relationship is the best situation in which to fully enjoy sex and explore your own needs and boundaries. Making love with somebody you are in love with is absolutely the best and safest way to discover and enjoy sex when you are “starting out”. And even later in life, sex within a loving relationship is almost always the best kind of sex there is. You know that Cassie and I have had sex with quite a few other people, and we still do sometimes, but when we are together our love adds a dimension to sex that beats everything and everybody else we have ever experienced.
But there is still a place for sex outside of love. It must still and always be fully consensual, but frankly speaking most people need and benefit from having sexual experiences outside of a committed relationship sometimes. Many religions are very much against that. Satanism treats people as adults with their own agency who don’t have to follow or pretend to follow any form of religious or societal rules when it comes to sex.
Is there sex in Satanic rituals?
Not always, and not in all covens and groups. But sometimes, yes. In our own coven there is nudity and there are some sexual moments or acts in some rituals. It is very rare for full intercourse to happen during a ritual, although because of the sexually charged atmosphere some people do have sex as soon as they can after the formal part is done. But there is sexual stimulation… I don’t want to go into details, but I also don’t want to tell lies. There are sexual elements in many of our coven meetings. They are not really the debauched orgies you sometimes read about but I suppose in some people’s opinion any kind of sexual activity outside what is normal for them is seen as bad… However, and this is really important… Nobody should ever be pressured into any form of sexual activity they are not comfortable with. There are several people in our own coven who prefer not to participate in some of the more sexual rituals. That is fine and we totally respect that. Really. I would say to any person starting out in Satanism or even those who are very experienced practitioners, never do anything sexually just to fit in with a group. If you feel pressured to do something against your will or that you find uncomfortable in any way, leave quickly. If necessary report them to the police. And it is probably worth getting to know several members of the group and what they do for a living, before attending any private group meetings.
Is there a Satanic view of things like homosexuality?
Not really. You know by now it is hard to find any two Satanists who agree on everything, or even anything! However, in my own experience most Satanists I have met tend to have more more liberal views in matters of sex than mainstream society. It is also a Satanic principle to break down taboos. So generally Satanists are open minded about homosexuality and most other forms of sexual expression and identity. Some homosexuals, especially those who have suffered and felt repressed by religions like Christianity, find Satanism a great release and may go into a bit of overdrive in matters of sex! In our own coven we have people of all shades and colours on the sexual spectrum.
So are all Satanists kind of uber-sexual?
No. I know several Satanists who have no interest in sex at all.
Any final comments?
Sex is healthy and fun but it is an adult thing which stirs deep emotions. Satanists (like everybody else really) should enjoy it responsibly. And in the excitement of sex, don’t overlook love. Love is something which binds and heals. Other religions don’t have the monopoly on love. It is as important for Satanists as anybody else.
And is there anything you would like to add?
Well I don’t really have much experience but maybe there are a few things I would add… Firstly sex does change you. It is not the thing of loosing your virginity, it is what happens after that, you begin to think differently and change in other ways… It is not something you can undo. I was lucky but I know some people whose first sexual experiences were not very good or happy. And they are a bit fucked up by that. They need to find their way back and kind of start again. Even I can say for sure it is better to learn about sex in a relationship than in a casual one night stand. So maybe if it starts off bad, people need to get back to the start and look for love more than sex.
Also the places where sex often happens first is at parties or clubs where there is a lot of alcohol and sometimes drugs involved. That is never good. I know some people who had big problems from that. Somebody I know online said if you are drinking at a party or club you should keep an eye on your drink and if you put it down somewhere where you can’t see it, never drink from that glass again in case somebody puts something in it.
I think I am luck that I have you and Cassie and Dad and I can talk to you about things. Some people aren’t so lucky but they should really try to find somebody trustworthy to ask for advice.
Here is a big rule from me. NEVER let your boyfriend/girlfriend/lover of any kind take photos while you are having sex. I can kind of see why people do it sometimes. It can seem kind of fun and kinky. I nearly let it happen once but didn’t. There is a girl in my school who found pictures of herself posted on Facebook and on some other sites. This is something which happens a lot these days and people should be careful. If it does happen though, remember the criminal is the one who took and published the photos, not the person in the picture.
And lastly, Satanists often say Hail Satan and Hail Yourself! Remember you can’t hail yourself unless you respect yourself.
In the last year I have realized I really like sex. But I also realized I like to be fully in control. I know there are some sexual games and fetishes where you give up a bit of control (maybe wearing hand-cuffs for example) but I don’t think these are the kind of things you should do when you are just starting out in sex. There are plenty of other things to experiment with before you get on to bondage and you don’t have to like or do everything straight away.