Charles Rammelkamp

The Psychonaut Discusses Life’s Goals

“A quaint Victorian term
widely used in the fifties
to describe a woman who couldn’t
have an orgasm during sex,”
the Psychonaut explains to the stranger
he’s just met at the cocktail party.
Was his name Jim? John?

“So this woman, writing
under the name of Constance Newland,
describes her participation in an experiment
using LSD to overcome ‘specific neuroses.’
Her neurosis? Her self-described ‘frigidity.’”

The Psychonaut takes a long drink
from his gin and tonic,
waiting for Jim – or John – to comment,
but he stands there transfixed,
like a cat watching a squirrel
behind a pane of glass.
So the Psychonaut goes on.

“‘For the first time, under LSD,
I found pleasure in sex,
rather than terror and pain,’
she writes in her 1962 book,
My Self and I.

“Psychedelic research has demonstrated
LSD can enhance sensations,
the pleasure involved
in touching and being touched.

“Which makes me think of the Kama Sutra,
the ancient Indian Sanskrit text
that says desire, sexuality and emotional fulfillment
amount to one of the proper goals in life.”

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