The review I responded to has been removed and an apology has been issued and accepted. I appreciate this, and it takes character.
I am not deleting the post, because I want there never to be any confusion about where I stand on these issues again. Before my response below the original review sparked conversations on Facebook and Reddit.
In general I do not respond to reviews. Not good ones, not bad ones, not ones where people give it one star on Amazon because their mailman left it in the rain. I cannot however let this one go unanswered, as it completely and utterly misrepresents the book and my own position on issues that I feel VERY strongly about.
The review I am speaking of is (removed) and appears to be based solely on the introduction and perhaps a perusal of the rest because the author admits she has not read the whole book. Still it has enough impact to be re-posted (removed).
Now as far as I can tell the section that this person objects to is in the introduction. For the sake of making what we are talking about here clear I am posting that entire section of the intro.
In the rest of this post I will be writing in normal font, my book will be quoted in bold, and the review that I take issue with will be in italics.
This is what I wrote in the introduction regarding Gender and LGBT issues
I am yet another straight male, in a long line of straight males, writing on sex magic. Most of what I write about in this book can be applied by anyone of any gender or orientation, some of it will have to be interpreted, and some of it may not be applicable to everyone. There will also be practices that are not covered in the book because I have not been taught them and have not experimented with them.
When it comes to gender, it is no secret that the bulk of sex magic material has been written for males. Patriarchy is certainly the over-riding reason for this, but there is also a technical consideration. Men are apt to reach orgasm faster than women – much too fast for most sex magic operations. Men release their sexual fluids and this can have a draining effect on energy. Men are not prone to multiple orgasms. In short, one reason that there is more Sex Magic instruction for men because men need more instruction.
Many books talk a lot about gender polarities as if anything and everything about men and women is completely different. This is mirrored in some traditional teachings as well but I find in reality it is not really the case. For the most part the magic in this book does not rely upon anyone having to fulfill expectations of what it means to be a “real man” or “real woman”. I also avoid speaking about “men who run feminine energy” and other terms like this that try so hard to make the multifaceted spectrum of behavior and energy fit into one of two slots. Whether you are a cisgendered or transgendered, everything in the book should be workable. You are the best judge of what you can and should do with the information in the book., not me.
During the writing of the book I have been asked several times if I am covering homosexual sex magic. The answer is that apart from a few pieces of history and tradition, and a few ideas for practice sprinkled throughout, there is not much specific to homosexual magic or sex in the book. One reason is that much of the magic is not dependent upon male-female coupling. Techniques of inner heat, of unlocking innate divinity, of riding the wave of ego shattering energy of the orgasm has nothing at all to do with orientation.
Formulas that do rely upon male female coupling, such as the creation of the elixir, are not for me to change. Just as there are specific magics to heterosexual union that may not apply in homosexual union, there are also formulas that apply in homosexual union that does not apply in heterosexual union. Not being homosexual, it is not my place to present those mysteries.
Sadly, much of the history of homosexual sacred sexuality and sex magic has been kept either underground or repressed. Thankfully I know of a few good sources for investigation as well as some promising works being released in the near future.
So lets tackle this thing piece by piece and post what I actually wrote in the book.
She begins by stating:
“In the introduction Miller basically uses derailment after derailment technique to excuse what is basically just another book where the default is a straight male using Eastern philosophies.”
I made no excuses for writing a book, and I need no excuse for writing a book. I do however note that I am yet another straight cis-gendered male writing on sex magic in a world that is ready and in need of other voices. I think it would dis-respectful and dismissive NOT to address this, no? Personally nothing would smack of more hetero and gender privilege than just to not address the issue at all.
“He tries to make it seem radical that he is sharing these details as if there aren’t already books about magic and tantra out there by Asian authors to make it seem like he must to share these secrets write another heteronormative mildly sexist culturally appropriative tome while at the same time completely ignoring the sex magics of the Southern Hemisphere as if they don’t even exist. It is as though they are below his notice as he doesn’t even mention them. This kind of just not even considering is pretty Anti-Black to me. If he was gonna make excuses for appropriating Eastern material, why there isn’t much for women and lgbt people then he could have at least had an excuse for not addressing Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Americas. Sure the scope of a book is limited.”
First I would say that the manner and frankness in which I wrote about eastern techniques, and the ways that I applied them was a little radically different, but if you don’t think so then fine. The rest of this argument is basically that because I am not an expert in ALL THINGS EVERYWHERE I must think that they are not worth noticing.
I am also sure that my African-American wife and children, as well as African American Alchemist and Palero Christopher Bradford who helped enormously with the book, will find it pretty funny that this author has decided that I am Anti-Black.
“He says that there aren’t many books about sex magic techniques for women because they don’t need them. Poor men have to retain fluid to protect their energy, don’t easily have multiple orgasms and usually cum really quick so that’s why they deserve more books.”
Actually that is NOT what I said. what I said, and what I posted above is that Patriarchy is certainly the over-riding reason for this, but there is also a technical consideration. Again I am not writing about who DESERVES or NEEDS books. I am pointing out two reasons that there are NOT ENOUGH OF THEM! The whole point is that there needs to be more.
“Besides he jokes in the past women would have fainted over the mention of sexuality. That read as pretty unexamined sexism and entitlement to me.”
Ok again, THIS IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT I WROTE. Below is the paragraph that has the comment she is referring to. I specifically state that the idea that women would have fainted at sex magic is a SILLY idea from the VICTORIAN ERA.
To those who feel that Sex Magic is somehow shocking or provides an excuse for “immoral acts” I would point out that the world we live in today is not the world of 100 years ago. People today are having sex outside of marriage as a norm. Gays, Lesbians, Transexualsm and Bisexual people are able to express their love with increasing openness freedom and acceptance. Books that would make the Marqui DeSade blush are now NY Times bestsellers, and the internet serves up a cornucopia of images and movies that show every type of sex act conceivable. It seems silly the idea of Sex Magic would be so shocking that ladies would collapse with the vapors at the merest mention of it.
Our reviewer goes on to write:
“As if women weren’t in those orders being the other side of sex magic all throughout history? As if we easily achieve orgasm may multiple orgasm out of the box without learning. Especially when our needs aren’t attended to? As if there were not sexist forces like the Comstock laws preventing women from selling their actually popular sex magic manuals?”
Yes, Precisely the point I made. Precisely the point I made two times later on in the book that you apparently cannot be bothered to read. I specifically mention the terrible time that Ida Craddock had with the Comstock laws and go into detail and provide references…
“Then he says he didn’t include homosexual mysteries simply because he isn’t homosexual and doesn’t know any. So he just excuses not doing hardly any research. As if the lgbt community should just write their own books”
Wrong again. In the acknowledgements I thanked several people Gay and Transgendered people for weighing in LGBT ideas in the book. Not only do I know MANY homosexuals and transgendered people, but I asked them to read the book and make comments.
Ultimately though you have to ask yourself – is it the place of a cis-gendered hetero-sexual male to speak for women and LGBT people on how they should have sex? I think not. I think that as a member of the group that receives the societal privilege it is up to me to be a supporter for other peoples leadership on this. So YES she is right about exactly one thing: I WANT the LGBT community to write more on Sex Magic. I was appalled at how little there was and how hard it was to find some titles that were out there. I want there to be more of that yes I do. Don’t you?
To this end I make several points throughout the book to state where I think there are serious holes in scholarship that need to be filled, and offer encouragement. In the Bibliography there is a section specifically on LGBTQIA sexuality and magic.
So now our reviewer breaks out the outright attacks. Attacks that, I hope by this time, you will KNOW are unfounded.
“The unspoken feeling is that gay isn’t normal so they should have their own section. Even if that’s not his intent. It feels badly to me as a bisexual woman reading all his excuses why I am not getting more than a page or two in the book.”
Actually you are getting pretty much the whole book. The reason I say this is that very few operations are effected by orientation and gender. Someone plunging the experience of the orgasm as a meditation does not need a special book for their specific orientation. In places where I think that there are specific mysteries here I say so. But that does not mean that Hetero-mysteries or fluid combinations are normal, and others are not. It means that they are different. Too many people try to paint everything as the same, as if gender and orientation do not matter at all in anything. This is its own type of bigotry, and one that I will not engage in.
Again, I do not normally comment on reviews, but the idea that people are reading the outright lies and misrepresentations in this review and re-posting it makes me ill. I am a full and vocal supporter of LGBTQIA rights, activism, and issues. Anyone that has bothered to find out the least bit about me will know this.