I meet R at a New Year’s party in the Balinese jungle. We dance our way into ecstasy together. At sunrise, we cruise home through the villages of Ubud. The streets are lined with drunken dub-stepping Balinese. The street dogs feast on yesterday’s offerings. My arms are wrapped around her waist to maintain the intimacy of the night. We share a fascination with life and death. Without death, we would not be alive and hiding from death is also hiding from life. A few days later, I tie her up, and the bond of trust grows in strength. I am convinced that embodied trust is more important than consent. Be that in a dominant or submissive role. Trust in our shared love. Without it, I can’t go deep. 

A few more days pass, and we are sitting naked across from each other in the large four-poster bed. Smeared in lemongrass and coconut oil to keep dengue at bay. Outside, the colourful nature is impossible to ignore, as always in Bali. R’s house is in a small garden on a quiet back street in Ubud. Mango trees, coconut palms and flower bushes create an almost impenetrable wall. The rain from a few hours ago still dribbles in streams and canals. Toads, geckos and roosters maintain a constant carpet of sound. There are still a couple of hours until sunset. Between us lie two dozen small purple-grey long-stemmed mushrooms. We take turns eating them while comparing our past psychedelic drug experiences. 

We lie side by side. Waiting. As in hypnosis, time begins to stand still. Small details fill my entire consciousness. The scent of her hair. I close my eyes and imagine her hair growing and weaving around my whole being like a pupated caterpillar. The feeling is reminiscent of floating in my vacuum bed. But stronger. All reasoning and analysing thoughts have stopped with time. From the cocoon, I was born with crossed legs and a bare chest. A newborn vibrating baby. R’s body has transformed into the colourful caterpillar with a ring of eyes around her large mouth. The mouth sucks a pulsating greenish glow into my throat. Each pulse propagates through her body and grows like gilded threads out of her back and into the nature around us. Suddenly I hear her voice asking if I’m scared. I haven’t even thought about it, but I’m thinking about it. No, I’m not afraid. I feel the trust. In her. In Bali. In life in general. She says I’m beautiful.

Then I feel her hands sink into me. Through my flesh and skin. Into the vibrant green. And she fills me with a blue-purple light. I continue to vibrate as an ecstatic feeling spreads through my body. A thought strikes me. I haven’t lost control. I have handed it over. My image of reality has been replaced by another. And a strong sense of submission has set in. To the life manifested in her. About then, I open my eyes, and the room with the four-poster bed is back. R sits next to me with her legs crossed and her hands on me. She sings a song without words or meaning. 

Darkness settles outside, and the rain falls heavily. We go out into the garden and lie down under the mango tree. I curl up next to her. My mouth and tongue find their way between her legs. I lick, bite and tear her sex. Like an animal. More and more excited. Every now and then, she grabs my neck or hair to calm me down. And again, her hands sink through my shell and touch my soul. Her fingers form beautiful patterns inside me. Patterns that soon grow bigger than my body. Soon she painted the whole sky with our union. Around us in the shadows, little devils dance in circles, around and around they go. Celebrating us, protecting us from the surrounding world.
Afterwards, we drink coconut water and eat raw food desserts in bed. Unclear if the spirit of the mushrooms has yet to leave us. Our conversation is about trust, symbolism and submission. But they are only words that are inadequate to capture our shared experience. When I walk out into the night, I’m no longer afraid of the dark. The little devils are still there, dancing to keep me safe. To remind me of the embodied trust we shared.