I am saddened to report the death of Deborah Taj Anapol, who died in her sleep while visiting friends in England overnight Tuesday to Wednesday. The circumstances of her transition were reported by her host, who said that Taj showed them a video about orgasmic death before going to bed. She then went upstairs to her room and did not awaken.
Taj was the author of a number of books and is considered one of the founders of the American polyamory movement — that is, consensual nonmonogamy. Her most famous book was Love Without Limits.
I first met Taj when I invited her to be a guest on my radio program on Radio Woodstock in 1996. She then invited me to be the keynote speaker at her Celebration of Sacred Sexuality in Harbin, California a few weeks later. You can read a memoir of that here.
I would not say we were close, but more like mutual admirers. I did her chart from time to time, which gave us an additional bond. Unfortunately her birth data eludes me at the moment; if you happen to have it, please send it to me. She was indeed a Scorpio, so she got the connection between life, sex and death — as demonstrated in her gesture of showing that video. I like to think that she went to bed and masturbated herself to an ecstatic exit from the physical plane.
Taj was a trained and licensed psychologist (in California — an accomplishment), so she introduced a dimension of reason and of understanding to the discussion of polyamory — and she gave it credibility. That was mainly due to her well thought out ideas and her clear, even speaking style. She was a bit like Julian Bond that way, in that she was a radical who spoke with the voice of reason.
Taj had a gift for holding open a space of erotic freedom. Her work is evidence of what is possible when moralism, judgment and false inhibition are checked at the door. She loved life in every way she could, but was not a giddy person. She did not give the impression that she was hanging all that loose — she was often serious and intense and highly focused.
But the purpose of that clarity, that carefully woven integrity, that keeping to the schedule and everyone knowing their job and doing it well, was to hold open a space where others could experience some freedom to move around.
Unlike today’s sexuality and polyamory movements, Deborah’s scene was never laced with political correctness, anti-maleness or strict rules except your basic notion of consent between adults.
Deb loved men, she loved the women that surrounded her, she loved sex, she loved to teach and she commanded respect. She certainly commanded my highest and deepest respect for what she said and for the space she could hold open. And she was a fantastic radio guest. It was always fun to talk to her and to read her astrology, and I’ll miss her dearly.