Plenty has been said about the Satanic perspective on sex, but less thought has been contributed to the subject of love. Even within Satanic literature, the prognosis is generally cynical. I would argue, however, that Satanic love represents the highest order of romance: non-possessive, respectful of agency, and free from inhibition.
Marquis de Sade on Love
From Philosophy in the Bedroom:
“You mention ties of love; may you never know them! Ah! for the happiness I wish you, may such a sentiment never approach your breast! What is love? One can only consider it, so it seems to me, as the effect upon us of a beautiful object’s qualities; these effects distract us; they inflame us; were we to possess this object, all would be well with us; if ’tis impossible to have it, we are in despair. But what is the foundation of this sentiment? desire. What are this sentiment’s consequences? madness. Let us confine ourselves to the cause and guarantee ourselves against the effects. The cause is to possess the object; splendid! let’s strive to succeed, but using our head, not losing our wits; let’s enjoy it when we’ve got it; let’s console ourselves if we fail: a thousand other identical and often much superior objects exist to soothe our regrets and our pride: all men, all women resemble each other: no love resists the effects of sane reflection. O ’tis a very great cheat and a dupery, this intoxication which puts us in such a state that we see no more, exist no more save through this object insanely adored! Is this really to live? Is it not rather voluntarily to deprive oneself of all life’s sweetness? Is it not to wish to linger a burning fever which devours, consumes us, without affording us other than metaphysical joys, which bear such a likeness to the effects of madness? Were we always to love this adorable object, were it certain we should never have to quit it, ‘twould still be an extravagance without doubt, but at least an excusable one. Does this happen, however? Has one many examples of these deathless liaisons, unions which are never dissolved or repudiated? A few months of doting and dalliance soon restores the object to its proper size and shape, and we blush to think of the incense we have squanderingly burned upon that altar, and often we come to wonder that it ever could have seduced us at all.”
This is the cynicism referred to earlier, and it stems from Sade’s atheistic perspective on human affairs. Were Sade alive today, he would be among a growing body of scholars assuming a purely biochemical stance on behavioral psychology. As I mentioned in my section on Love Spells in my guide to performing ritual magic:
Modern science has drawn comparisons between the initial bout of love – the ‘honeymoon phase’ – and highs induced by recreational drugs. To further carry the metaphor, not all ‘highs’ are experienced the same, depending on our unique biochemical makeups. Some of us fall hard and experience wrenching heartbreak; others recover quickly and ‘go with the flow’; others still fear the emotion due to past trauma and resent those that inspire it. However it manifests, this is the sensation generated during a love spell: the initial euphoric ‘high.’
Unfortunately, in real life, love alone does not a solid relationship make. Long-term commitments require maturity, honesty, flexibility, communication and compromise to survive. These traits cannot be magically produced; they only come through years of experience and personal growth.
Anton LaVey on Love
Whereas Sade urged caution against love, LaVey pointed out that the repression of intense emotions is poisonous to the soul.
From The Satanic Bible:
“Love is one of the most intense feelings felt by man; another is hate. Forcing yourself to feel indiscriminate love is very unnatural. If you try to love everyone you only lessen your feelings for those who deserve your love. Repressed hatred can lead to many physical and emotional aliments. By learning to release your hatred towards those who deserve it, you cleanse yourself of these malignant emotions and need not take your pent-up hatred out on your loved ones.”
In no other subject is it clearer where the Satanist’s imperative for self-mastery and moderation is important. Though seeking and falling in love is a natural human drive hardwired into our biochemistry, it is an intoxicating one, and it is easy to lose one’s sense of self when enamored with someone else. The Satanist must never forget their spiritual development, which is contingent upon their freedom and self-actualization. The love of Satan – and thus, the love of the Self – must exceed all others. All forms of love which are corrosive to one’s ambitions must be discarded.
“There are many who would like my time. I shun them. There are some who share my time. I am entertained by them. There are precious few who contribute to my time. I cherish them.”
“I don’t crave companionship. It stands in my way. I live for pleasure. There are few persons who can give me as much pleasure as those acts I perform myself. I would rather create pleasure according to my own whim than be subjected to the whims of others.”
A Judeo-Christian Theistic Satanic Perspective on Love
As part of my personal obligation to blaspheme against the ways of Christ, I analyzed the Christian interpretation of love and chose to do as its opposite.
A major component of Christian love is purity and fidelity. I consider these two concepts one in the same, as they are both representative of the concept of surrendering oneself to the will of God. As I mentioned in my personal metaphysics, all creatures born of sex are addled with Original Sin – that is, a component of choice belonging to an entity other than God was responsible for their creation. Thus, purity – within the marital context, meaning intimate relations solely for procreative purposes – is similar to the concept of fidelity to one’s partner – not executing the willful choice to pursue desires adulterously. One is fidelity to God; the other is fidelity to one’s partner.
As a woman, this fidelity takes on a metaphysical dimension, as wives – in keeping with Adam and Eve – are supposed to submit to the will of their husbands.
I prefer to follow the example of Lilith, who demanded equality of her husband – “Adam said, ‘You shall lie below’ and Lilith said, ‘You shall lie below for we are equal and both of us were [created] from earth.'” – and fled from him when he refused to give it!
I reject the concepts of sexual fidelity, submission and purity within my relationships. My ideal romantic partner and I respect each other’s autonomy, contribute equally (relative to our resources) to the relationship, foster open communication, and fuck for the singular purpose of pleasure. Our fidelity to one another is not based on sex, but rather, our commitment to one another’s mutual self-interest.
As with all other perspectives on Satanism, it behooves every practitioner to consider what their own ideal Satanic romance looks like.