October 24– November 21
Scorpio man is a severe individual, strict in his behavior and belief systems. He is narrowly focused, always putting his own needs ahead of any responsibility to others. A solitary figure, if not a subversive one, he stays far from what he considers the maddening crowd. For this serious man, life is a loaded experience, not to be frittered away in superficialities— every day must be seized and squeezed to extract as much benefit as might be afforded him. He is a naturally probing character, drawn to investigating life’s mysteries, propelled to scratch beneath the surface of every situation. No wonder others find him intimidating: He is bound to provoke and often unnerve anyone with whom he comes into contact. He can’t look at bowl-of-cherries circumstance without immediately contemplating every possible pitfall. Pessimism, indeed nihilism, is his default perception, preventing him from being duped by phony appearances, while allowing him to root out hidden obstacles in his path. He takes this same approach to love, aware, first and foremost, of its inherent suffering. Reluctant to invest his feelings, he waits and studies prospective partners until he’s convinced a woman possesses inner beauty to equal the bright, sunny look and personality for which he, ironically, falls. Lavishing attention on his lover, he seeks to be everything to her, thus perpetuating an insular existence. When it comes to men, he’s attracted to someone with wealth and power to match his own, herein willing to be all-consumed by a psychologically and sexually intense bond.
Sign + Mind
Scorpio is the only sign in the zodiac to be co-ruled by two planets, Mars and Pluto, the influence of which manifest in equal shares, packing a constant one-two punch in his approach to life. Mars is the solitary ruler of the zodiac’s first sign of Aries, followed by Venus-governed Taurus. Here, in the second half of the zodiacal wheel, we see the flip side of this pattern: Libra, a masculine sign like Aries, is ruled by delicate Venus, followed by Scorpio, a feminine sign, propelled, in part, by macho Mars. So, just as in Libra where Venus’s feminine (subjective) view is cast outward into the visible objective (masculine) world of appearances— giving rise to conceptual thought, such as the branding of “art” and other ideals and aesthetics— in the sign of Scorpio the opposite is true: Mars’s masculine (objective) view is plunged inward into the unseen subjective (feminine) realm of mystery, engendering investigative thought, “science,” and other such deductive systems for uncovering nature’s secrets. Just as Libra, regardless of profession, approaches existence as the zodiac’s artist, Scorpio meets it as astrology’s scientist, philosopher, or detective. He finds it impossible to simply accept life, especially its arbitrarily assigned “pleasure,” without at least trying to uncover some inherent meaning. Little wonder that the sign presides over the 8th Astrological House, which is concerned with, among other things, regeneration, sleep (regeneration of the body), sex (regeneration of the species), and death (a possible regeneration of the soul)— some of life’s greatest mysteries. Most notably, it is also the house of one’s indwelling of spiritual being, and indeed it is at this level of self that the Scorpio “lives,” as he is concerned with the uncovering of his own secrets and hidden desires, not content to distract himself with what he considers a fatuous participation in external frivolity. He’d just as soon be alone, although he never quite manages to escape feelings of loneliness.
Like every fixed sign— the second in a trio that make up each of the zodiac’s four quadrants— Scorpio can be seen as responding to the excesses of the rather opposite sign that precedes it, Libra, in a sort of point-counterpoint relationship. Whereas Libra male is the personification of the formal Apollonian Principle in the zodiac, Scorpio represents what is best deemed the Chthonian Principle— Chthonia and Chthonios being suffixes meaning “subterranean,” which were attached to the names of goddesses or gods, respectively, to indicate their underworld aspect. In her book Sexual Personae, Camille Paglia recognizes that the Chthonian is, indeed, the opposite of the Apollonian, using the term to substitute for the Dionysian principle, itself long held to be the antithesis of the Apollonian. In astrological terms, she’s only half-right: Logic does indeed dictate that the Chthonian “subterranean” principle would be the opposite of the Apollonian precept; however the Chthonian and the Dionysian cannot be used interchangeably as they represent two distinct cosmic energies, the latter corresponding, as we’ll see, most specifically, to the male sign of Sagittarius. In fact (and Scorpio man loves this brand of discovery) our interpretation of the zodiac reveals that, contrary to age-old scholarly belief, the Dionysian principle isn’t the opposite of the Apollonian at all, but rather a synthesis of Apollonian and Chthonian energies, just as Sagittarius is an amalgam, as all mutable signs are, of the two signs that precede it on the wheel, thus wrapping up a particular astrological quadrant— in this case, the “light” and “dark” signs of Libra and Scorpio.
Scorpio’s Chthonian nature not only dictates his scientific approach to life’s mysteries— his inherent need for proof— but it also points to his signature self-indulgence: That which is going on inside of Scorpio is truly all that matters to him. His own subjective nature becomes the prime objective, the only fact of life truly worth noting. In the fixed-water sign of Scorpio, assertive Mars energy is rigidly rooted in all realms that the feminine element of water would suggest— emotion, the subconscious, intuition, mystery Fiery Mars, locked in on the subterranean level, makes for a masked aggressive personality— and a potentially explosive one. It also points directly to the sign’s secondary ruler, Pluto. Named for the Roman god of the underworld (Greek: Hades), the planet controls unseen Chthonian forces on both the macrocosmic and microcosmic levels. Pluto is associated with the regenerative forces in the universe, such as cell growth or root functions in the natural world. The Scorpion 8th House also governs growth via elimination, which is akin to a plant losing its foliage so as to revert energy to its roots, from whence new growth might stem— Scorpio is, of course, an autumnal sign corresponding to such occurrences. The planet Pluto functions very much like the planet Mars, but on an underground level; in any case, their combination into a corulership is clearly an organic link. One sees this same connection in mythology, as Hades-Pluto, dressed in black armor and helmet of invisibility, is an underground version of Aries-Mars, the war god, war and death being thus connected. But in this link paradox abounds, revealing the kinds of mysteries Scorpio men find so fascinating. Mars, though mythically symbolic of war, is the primary life force in the zodiacal system, as if to say that life is a war of survival. Likewise, Pluto, the mythological personification of death, is astrologically associated with regeneration of life. Scorpio man seems to embrace this paradoxical understanding, as his way in life is to embody gloom as a means of transcendence. Finding positive thinking to be Pollyannaish drivel, he tramples rose-colored optimism underfoot and approaches existence from the departure point of pessimism and nihilism, on the premise that, from there, life can only get better.
The difference between Scorpio and Libra is like night and day— the often dilettantish Libran male, in particular, is always “looking on the bright side” to the exclusion, in Scorpio’s view, of life’s harsher realities and hidden land mines. He sees such “characters” as whistling in the graveyard via their superficial interests and social distractions instead of focusing on facing one’s demons, of fear, failure, and self-loathing in particular. Such remaining in light, Scorpio feels, is being blinded by optimism and only casts a wretched shadow. Just as the Libran god-of-light archetype, Apollo, has his own shadow self, Python, the god of the pit, often uttered in the same breath, Apollopython, so, too, is the Scorpion male a pure embodiment of that darker archetype. It’s the same in biblical terms, Lucifer “the light-bringer,” when cast into the Chthonian pit, becomes Satan. The serpent, the snake, the dragon, the spider, the phoenix, the sphinx, and of course the scorpion are all dark, if not outright creepy, symbols associated with Scorpio, distinguished as it is in the zodiac for having a range of totems. Fittingly, Scorpio focuses on the dark, unseen realities of life, often wallowing in outright negativity in hopes of attracting a reverse shadow— light— into his life. His sign’s motto is “I desire,” pointing not to mere want or will but deeper, often darker hidden yearnings that are daunting, if not most dreadful, to embrace. In the Scorpion view, a life of quiet desperation is the direct result of not owning up to one’s true desires or facing repressed psychological issues. The problem is, it’s painful for most people to connect with, let alone admit, what they truly hunger for in life. And yet, it is through such an absolute commitment to deep desire, shutting the doors to all the so-called easier ways in life, that one may find exaltation— glory and distinction— at least, that’s the way Scorpio sees it. Still, there’s a price to pay: This dedicated life requires blocking out all distractions, which is exactly what Scorpio accomplishes with his seemingly antisocial behavior. Still, in so doing, he runs the risk of becoming a vacuous black hole— a fate that he can never fully escape.
In what might come as news to even the supersleuth Scorpio, his main concern in life is not to create bad karma, or for that matter, any karma at all. Immediately preceding Scorpio man on the astrological wheel is Libra woman, that lady of the Scales who is the embodiment of karmic law. Scorpio’s placement after her suggests that he would seek to transcend this law of karma. And so he does: First, in his avoidance of undue personal interaction, he limits his capacity to cause and effect the flow of others’ lives, as well as their ability to influence his own. Next, by fixating on his own truest yearnings, always seeking to focus energy inward in hopes of excavating personal truths, Scorpio avoids the trap of creating increased suffering— regret, resentment, repression— as the result of having expectations from, or smilingly tap-dancing for, others. Sure, he may meet with disappointment, fear, and anguish— demons that surround his desires like a dragon guarding its treasure— but by facing such feelings, he might slay them. In so doing, he hopes to feel redeemed; and as the poets and philosophers have long had it, it is via redemption that one escapes the eternal, or infernal (depending how you look at it), karmic wheel.
Like Orpheus, the quintessential Scorpion male figure, whose descent into and deliverance from Hades’s underworld realm is the symbol of redemption, Scorpio espouses a “to hell and back” model of existence. Orphic rites, a precursor of the Christian sacraments, prescribed set ascetic rules and acts to be followed to escape the cycle of life and death. Orpheus’s rescue of Eurydice (the goddess of the karmic wheel) is an enactment of this escape in allegorical form. And as anyone intimately acquainted with him would readily admit, nobody is more ritualistically set in his ways than the Scorpio man. The whole of his existence, he feels, is a solitary journey into the depths of his own psyche, just as it is an exploration, often in ritualistic terms, of life’s greatest mysteries. This explains why so many Scorpios become adherents of organized religion or exacting philosophical systems— they believe that by dedicating themselves to one strict, formal paradigm, they have a shot at being led out of the depths of damnation they feel, unfortunately, born into. In short, they hope their adopted dogma will eat their negative karma.
The sign of Scorpio corresponds to the age group 49– 56, a time when one might feel the first chill of the autumn of life settling in. For men, especially, this becomes a time of solitary reflection when one is no longer distracted by the raising of a family or the building of a career. It is also often a time when many men divorce, start second marriages, or pursue dreams and desires long discarded. It can be a painful period, fraught with a sense of disillusionment; one seeks true meaning and, thus, redemption for wasted time or energy. In a sense, Scorpio man is this fiftysomething fellow all his life. Like Orpheus, whose mystic religion introduced the notion of “original sin” to those cursory Apollonian Greeks, Scorpio feels himself born into a damnable state of affairs, often hell-bound to a childhood upbringing where he was emotionally outcast, if not treated like an all-out pariah. Mother love, especially, is seriously lacking for the Scorpio, who is typically born at a strained time in his parents’ marriage or when the family is coping with hardship or, in the extreme case, even death. As a toddler, he may be made to feel like a nuisance, rather than embraced as a bundle of joy. And so, he feels tainted; at the same time he may take on the character others have projected onto him, becoming a “living terror” to his family as well as a tormentor to other children, more psychologically bullying than physically so. It will be a long, hard road from rejection to redemption, and often bumpiest for those who come into contact with Scorpio, particularly in his childhood and as a young adult. The good news, though, is that he only becomes nicer as he gets older, growing through the elimination of the pain he acquired early on.
The phrase “children can be so cruel” was probably first coined after a Scorpio boy, whose notoriously devilish manner twists the might-is-right framework of boyhood so nobly embodied, for example, by the Leo boy-king into a sort of Lord of the Flies survival-of-the-fittest mentality wherein the weak are to be rooted out and exterminated. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t make friends easily, incurring the wrath of kinder kids who might, if called for, still kick his ass to the curb. Of course, his harassment of others is just mislaid retaliation for the treatment he receives at home, specifically by older siblings, who tend to treat him as a nonperson, his hands-off parents offering little or no moral support. He may form minipacks with other bullies, hanging on the fringe of child society, picking on any so-called weaklings who cross his path. Eventually outgrowing such behavior, and having formed few to no close bonds, Scorpio will retreat into an ever more satellite existence. Meanwhile, his manly planetary Mars thrusts him into an early puberty: Suddenly he’s the kid, sitting in the back of class, scribbling battle scenes and growing a beard, much to the distaste of his still childlike peers who cannot help but label him “strange.” He’s eleven, he plays with G.I. Joes, but he’s practically covered in pubic hair— it’s not a pretty sight. At least not to those his age.
But older girls see what his classmates do not. Even the odd female teacher will eyeball him with carnal intent. Tabloid-magazine scenarios aside, Scorpio’s mature looks tend to invite seduction at a tender age, with some advances stemming from older boys or men. Whatever the case, early sexual behavior seems to be de rigueur for the Scorpio male, at once awakening hidden desires while perpetuating a sense of shame, if not sin. Self-loathing only gives Scorpio more of a sting; and though he may at this point in his teenage years form a few friendships, he’ll still come across as some modern-day Eddie Haskell, bullying the “little beavers” of the world, in every sense of the word. Indeed, of the male signs, Scorpio is most likely to exhibit a sadistic streak, and though he’s typically far more confrontational toward other guys, he can also be brutal to girls whom he doesn’t necessarily find attractive, sexually teasing with a sting of negative attention, while projecting a “knowing” sexual aura toward those he does.
Body + Soul
Though Scorpio is closemouthed about his libidinous exploits, of which there may be surprisingly few, he is an erotically charged individual— his very presence buzzes with sexuality— the result, perhaps, of having been so objectified, indeed sexualized, at so infamously young an age. Having already felt emotionally mistreated or outcast as a child, he is somewhat desensitized to the painful aspects of human interaction by the time he hits adulthood. Just as Pluto is the solar system’s outermost planet, men under its rule are similarly peripheral. The “loner” routine, Scorpio learns, really works for him, especially attracting women who suspect him of being “hurt” or “deep,” both typically correct assumptions. Not shy in the least, however, he’s actually a powerfully present person when pinned down, face-to-face, nonetheless retaining as much distance as politeness will allow. He makes quick, pointed connections, careful to shake the necessary hand, making social appearances only when pressed or required to do so, slithering in and out of gatherings, for the most part, undetected. Though this behavior stems from feeling socially forsaken, Scorpio’s signature stealthy comportment only serves to make him appear ever more mysterious and captivating a male figure. In a nod to his serpentine archetype, he has a sinuous physique, his torso thin but wide, like a cobra, his oblique and lateral muscles tapering to a typically narrow waist. He often boasts the lowest percentage of body fat of any man in the zodiac, except perhaps for Aries, with whom he shares his muscular Mars rule. Viewed from the side, Scorpio’s posture makes a gentle S-curve, his long neck stretching slightly forward above square but sloping shoulders whose blades jut out dramatically; his spine is strong but supple, each of its tiny muscles rippling noticeably beneath his shirt, suggesting that, when it comes to sex, he’ll really put his back into it. Scorpio’s torso can be rather elongated, his lower stomach stretching endlessly toward an outward projecting pelvis that, being bendy kneed and centering his weight on the balls of his feet, thus completes his S-shape. He has a springy bearing, like a snake, coiled but ready to strike. On average taller than most men, he is nonetheless not lumbering, ever light and slinky in his movements. If anyone can sneak up from behind to scare or tickle you, it’s Scorpio, who, in a nod to Hades’s shroud of invisibility, can seem to appear out of thin air. Most Scorpio men are swarthy, matching that signature dark and brooding demeanor. Some, however, are so pale and bloodless, often with icy white hair, as to appear downright vampiric, a startling look that is that much more dramatic than that of his more dusky fellows. Whatever the case may be, there’s a definite sheen to his skin, a waxen glow that reflects white under light. Photographs of Scorpio often develop with flash marks obscuring his face— he is unable to be captured, in any sense of the word. All such spookiness aside, Scorpio is often the unfortunate recipient of combination skin, such that his signature shine can be chalked up to a moist complexion that is often also, alternately, dry, flaky, and well, chalky. Since his coruler Mars is associated with outward, excretory functions in the body, Scorpio can also be profusely sweaty, if not hairy and greasy, the planet’s protruding glyph speaking to certain other outwardly mobile attributes of his anatomy.
The sign of Scorpio rules the reproductive glands in both sexes, and this zone, both his own and that of others, becomes a burning area of interest. He can be sexually obsessive, raising his fascination from a purely physical level to a rather fetishistic one. But there’s more: Scorpio’s rulership of the sex organs seems to determine that this serpentine fellow— there’s no sensitive way to say this— looks as much like a penis as any man has a right to. His whole person, frankly, appears phallic. It doesn’t help that he tends to go bald early, often preferring to keep his hair severely short in any case. His locks are generally G.I. Joe-like— coarse, wiry, or otherwise reminiscent of pubic hair— usually reaching down into an uncommonly low hairline or Eddie Munster peak, lending him an even more “hooded” appearance. The odd Scorpio has uncharacteristically ultrathin, even wispy hair. Like a snake, his features are all flattened together high in front of his face, his bulging, signature wide-set eyes, perpetually half-shut, recalling his 8th House’s association with sleep, and often topped with a serious unibrow that requires plucking into submission. Scorpio’s mouth, a grinchy tight, lizard-lipped slit, gives no less remarkably penile an impression than do his head and neck, which form one continuous weenielike flow as if he were forever trying to touch his chin to his Adam’s apple. If only the prick-ly comparisons would end there.
Given the tormentor he can be in his youth, adult Scorpio still gets a secret thrill from winding other people up. Because of his probing astrological nature, he loves to deliver zingers to male friends or colleagues, reserving a similar, though stealthier, sting for women. He particularly delights in riding the more airheaded females in his midst, casually insulting what he considers bimbo-esque coworkers or acquaintances, albeit in so masked a manner as to be undetectable. He delights in seeing his slings and arrows soar clear over the heads of unsuspecting victims. Playing mind games is one of his favorite pastimes. Never quite outgrowing his Eddie Haskell tendencies, he charms the clueless, mainstream, cookie-cutter Cleavers of the world, forever in search of friends and lovers who’ll let none of his put-downs, often disguised as humor, get past them. Individuals who pass Scorpio’s combined test of intelligence and tolerance are allowed entry into his close association, never again forced to suffer his provocative barbs. When it comes to women, especially, he’ll fall for someone who can thus disarm him, an honest beauty who refuses to dignify anything beastly in his nature. Such a display of salt-of-the-earth character is what melts Scorpio’s cold, cold heart and is far more a factor in affecting his loving interest than is any excess of female pulchritude. Salt, as that expression suggests, is symbolic for the crystallization of internal human values upon which the fixed-water (representative of minerals, gems as well as literal ice) sign of Scorpio places so high a price. Indeed, despite the popular astrological opinion that the Snake is some sort of lecher or sex fiend, he is, in fact, one of the most, if not the most, discerning of males in the zodiac. As such, in his covert quest to find that perfect beauty on whom to unleash the beast, he remains the consummate undercoverman.
A list of famous Scorpio men, including the likes of painters Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon, photographers Helmut Newton and Robert Mapplethorpe, scientists Jonas Salk and Carl Sagan, writers Albert Camus and Dostoyevsky, behind-the-scenes political string-pullers such as Robert Kennedy, Spiro Agnew, and Nehru, and explorers of the subconscious such as Hermann Rorschach or Lee Strasberg, reveals that this is a cast of covert characters fascinated with the Chthonian aspect of life: physicists, spy novelists, war correspondents, and other such subterraneans, subversives if not outright revolutionaries. These are not your happy-go-lucky types, but rather cryptic cats with hidden agendas and the requisite attire to match. Fittingly, many a Scorpio man dresses like a spy, in trench coat, turtleneck, and dark glasses, his “double O’s and 7” often bulging noticeably from sleek, pinched trousers, his infamously mighty high-water booty filling out any fabric in back. And Scorpio doesn’t rule the sex organs for nothing: This boy tends to be healthier than most in this area; his serpent is generally thick, mighty long, and heavily veined, as are all his extremities, particularly his pythonesque forearms. And his signature smooth-talking snakiness, along with a whispering hiss of a voice, match his usual reptilian good looks, all of which seem designed for one singular purpose— seduction.
In every circumstance he approaches, sexual or otherwise, Scorpio can’t help but come across as invasive, if not confrontational, like a hard-nosed reporter or detective launching a probe. His every remark seems ever so slightly cutting, as if designed to dig ever further into the mind of whomever he’s addressing, gauging their reactions, as he does, in a search for chinks in one’s armor. Fittingly, he is not above making scatological comments or using bawdy gross-out “humor” to provoke or embarrass. He’s continually excavating for truth, the real story behind the endless sea of quietly desperate smiles. His constant searching of people’s psyches is no blind ambition; rather it is meant to serve a definite purpose: To borrow from a luminously shadowy Scorpion songwriter, he’s a perpetual “miner for a heart of gold.”
Sex + Sexuality
Just as the Scorpio is continually performing a profound exploration of self, embracing instead of ignoring his deepest fears and desires, so, too, does he snap a searchlight on his metaphoric Hades helmet and delve into the hearts, minds, and indeed the souls of others in a subconscious attempt to inspire a rooting-out process. Scorpio cannot trust anyone he suspects of hiding from his or her own self. As a result, he tends not to trust many people. Indeed, his signature sting, he realizes, can only hurt those who have dark secrets they wish to protect. Liars, cheaters, cowards, closet cases, or any such individuals tapdancing as fast as they can to avoid certain truths in themselves… beware! In adolescence, when other boys were desperately seeking to sully their innocence any which way, the Scorpio was already trying to heal the “damage” he had sustained both on the home front and/ or from his premature sexual experiences. Compared to others, he lives inside out, not so much seeking to make his mark, but to erase the marks he feels have unfortunately been impressed upon him. In regard to creativity, Scorpio will approach art, as he does life, antithetically to the Libra, who generally seeks to impose order if not an aesthetic veneer upon the world, beautifying the surface of experience. The Serpent, in contrast, likes to wriggle around in the dirt, burrowing beneath the surface, and when it comes to art, specifically, uncovering, often dissecting nature, or allowing its mysteries to work their magic.
The ironically named character Ricky Fitts in the film American Beauty seems the consummate Scorpion character. He is a social outcast, disdainful of superficial societal shenanigans, having to cope with a dearth of domestic love, channeling his attention into the probing art of film documentation that borders on voyeuristic invasion of privacy. Of all he’s witnessed on film, what strikes him as most beautiful is a lengthy scene of a plastic bag being blown around by the wind— nature itself captured as art. This is the Scorpion view in a nutshell: Life and art should be about nature revealing its beauty secrets, as well as its uglier aspects, not the imposition of human ideas onto nature. And the same goes in love; one mustn’t seek it based on a predetermined agenda of perfection, but rather allow it to be revealed by silently waiting and watching. This, after all, is the exact dynamic of the Hades myth: Alone in his underworld realm, this gloomy god had his eye out for the perfect mate; then, with one fell swoop, he plucked the springy Kore-Persephone from her hilltop, plopping her on the throne he had prepared. The fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast picks up from there, the willingly captive Belle’s love bringing redemption to the hairy beast who thus, via her affection, turns into a handsome prince. Scorpio man’s love life, for better or worse, follows these precise thematic lines.
Damned to shame and isolation, most Scorpio males “act out” in youth in destructive ways— going through some form of compulsion or addiction early on, whether it be drugs, sex, food, rage, or marathon games of Dungeons & Dragons. Still, his regenerative Plutonian energy is already sending him, while yet at a tender age, on that road to redemption. Barely emerging from his teens or twenties, he may feel he has already experienced the depths of human despair. So, like any individual “in recovery,” Scorpio vehemently focuses on his own self-preservation, often becoming so completely self-absorbed as to perpetuate his accustomed alienation from others. Fine by him. Being “a bad seed,” he finds, has its perks, as it piques the curiosity of women who expect nothing more from him than sex, providing him with no-strings release while he continues to search for his own innocent and unsuspecting Kore, whose name suggests inner substance worth its salt. Indulging in this sort of near-anonymous sexual interaction wrongly wins him the reputation for being some sort of predator or unfeeling fiend— in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s simply this: Until Scorpio meets “the one,” he feels he can’t afford to be distracted by imperfect relationships for fear of missing the real thing when it reveals itself A man as naturally libidinous as this Mars-ruled chap is compelled to engage in purely sexual experiences— in and out— before going back to lying in wait for love to rear its lovely head. So totally hands-off is he with these temporary sexual partners that he mightn’t do more than unzip and be serviced, say, orally, otherwise remaining utterly composed if not completely dressed. This do-for-me “position” is very Scorpion indeed, part and parcel of the infamous distance he insists on having from others. It’s his particular dual dynamic: to be totally dominant over those whom he cares little about, while longing to lavish attention on a one true love. Still, on either side of the spectrum, Scorpio will always end up asserting his signature control.
His attraction to that salt-of-the-earth female he seeks to capture is a double-edged sword— a taste of the Serpent’s forked tongue. On the one hand, he prizes such an untainted soul, whose pure expression of femininity is just as nature, not society, intended. As a rule, he loves bouncy, voluptuous, or even suggestively bottom-heavy, pastoral creatures with a blissful ignorance of urbane affectation or jadedness. On the other hand, as sexist as it sounds (macho Mars is his coruler, remember), he feels that such a guileless rustic of a girl will be vulnerable to his often compulsively controlling nature. As his so-called opposite axis sign of Taurus, with its motto “I have,” is one of material possession, watery Scorpio, whose alternative motto is “We have,” is one of emotional, if not spiritual, possession. After all, he is the Serpent, a son of Hades; and his devilish nature is nothing to be sneezed at. The mythic lord of the underworld didn’t politely escort Kore-Persephone to his subterranean realm. He pounced and pulled her down, body and soul, in one deliberate move. Subconsciously, Scorpio feels he must trick that “innocent” woman into wanting him, a symptom of his being treated as a pariah in his past. He does this by behaving opposite from the way he usually does— he treats her like absolute gold, sympathetic and administering to her every need. Sometimes he becomes so much the “Mr. Sensitive” man, it’s sickening; there is a breed of Scorpio guys— though all of them are guilty of this behavior at some point— who become so absorbed, indeed attuned, to a woman, you’d think this former macho man had turned into a girl himself. He is an example of how ease with the Chthonian feminine nature can go too far: Before you can say “menses,” this man is sautéing tofu, arranging crystals, and crocheting tampon totes, all for the benefit of his woman’s comfort and wellbeing. Just as the Libra gal is astrology’s gay man trapped in a woman’s body, Scorpio man is the zodiac’s male lesbian. However, in laying himself at his “lady’s” feet, seeking to fulfill her every whim and be “everything” to her, we glimpse Scorpio’s ever-present ulterior motive: He doesn’t want the woman in his life to need anyone else but him. Hades, whose Roman name, Pluto, means “riches,” if we remember, tried to compensate for Kore-Persephone’s abduction by showering her with jewels and other underworldly goods. Indeed, she becomes like an embedded gem herself, cold and isolated in his subterranean experience. He is often referred to as the narcotized god, as he, like the animal scorpion, induces a sort of suspended animation as befits the sign’s 8th House association with sleep as well as death.
To be fair, Scorpio himself desires such a state of total absorption in a relationship that he doesn’t even entertain the possibility that his partner wouldn’t be likewise inclined. Fixed-water connotes a concentration of emotion, and Scorpio, in expressing his feelings, tends to freeze his lover in her tracks, making her a permanent fixture in his life, if not paralyzing her into a rather limiting role as his everything. Scorpio expects his mate to be his link to the outside world and, often, to take up all the slack— better known as the house, the kids, all administrative duties— in what will undoubtedly become an increasingly rooted relationship, so that he might go even deeper into his own, trademark solo-career pursuits. What, she might wonder, happened to the man who prepared homemade aromatherapy treatments for her cramps? Lest we forget, that same Scorpion songwriter also wrote the lyrics “a man needs a maid,” which, on some level, can’t help but become the Serpent guy’s natural anthem. As the sting of the scorpion paralyzes its prey, the male of this sign can unnerve his cherished victim of love. In the extreme, Scorpio, like his fellow fixed-sign Leo man, may be a controlling Archie Bunker-type— his name seems a nod to the sheltered life he leads— expecting his Edith to anticipate his every desire, but to otherwise “stifle” herself. And yet, since he only reveals his true self to her, Edith sees in Archie what nobody else can. Likewise, Scorpio man only lets the one person he truly loves glimpse his own deep vulnerability. This scary monster that the rest of us see actually needs to cuddle; starved for affection, he requires a dash of mother love mixed into the adoration his lover offers. Conversely, in the bosom of a true-love relationship, he begins to express love as well, a painful process for him as he was discouraged from doing so in his youth. In the Scorpio’s defense, he knows life with him isn’t easy, and he almost has to fight the urge to apologize to his partner upon waking each day in advance of the difficulty she may have to face. Sometimes, this hardship takes an extreme form as, like Persephone, Scorpio’s partner is often removed from the usual surroundings of her upbringing and relocated to parts unknown. Being naturally disposed to gloom, he can only do so much to brighten her existence; and in any case, she generally won’t see much of him. A die-hard workaholic, Scorpio starts his day early and ends it late, rarely taking time for the ritual of regular meals. But a bond with Scorpio is mainly an unspoken one, based on trust, typically devoid of constant discussion or over-analysis.
Sex plays an enormous part in reinforcing a relationship with Scorpio— something that also goes without saying. Indeed, what often transpires in bed with Scorpio is too lewd to discuss in the light of day. He may prefer to make a distinction between the bouncy, sunny figure he wakes up next to and the licentious lady (generally, of his own creation) he cavorted with the night before. In one respect, sex with a Scorpio man who’s in love can be a sappy affair, the absolute flip side of his former draconian dalliances with what basically amounted to faceless orifices. With the woman he loves, he dives in headfirst, reveling in every inch of her body, squeamish about nothing and eager to leave no possible approach to pleasure unexplored. The challenge for this man, though, is to reconcile his more obsessive, often fetishistic sexual desires with a need to maintain a pristine vision of respect for his partner. No easy task, for instance, if you get off on your girl wearing a leash and barking like a dog. Luckily, for most Scorpios’ sakes such requisite turn-ons aren’t so extreme. Still, a gulf typically needs to be bridged between his fantasies and his fear of expressing them to the one person he most loves. He only feels more beastly; but, not one to repress his desires, he’ll deal with them one way or another. As it is, he will have introduced his partner to his “lighter” prurient pleasures such as anal sex, the focus usually being, but not limited to, her posterior alone. As well, a bit of bondage generally makes its way into the Scorpio’s bedroom, first perhaps as an off-the-cuff suggestion (pun intended); soon, however, like so many other turn-ons he stealthily introduces, it becomes a rotating staple in their repertoire. Both in and out of the bedroom, a relationship with the Scorpio feels something like being body-snatched. Just as, over time, he may systematically isolate his partner from as much outside social interaction as possible— unconsciously, he fills her dance card with his own needs— so, too, does he (re) program her sexually, slowly acclimating her to sharing his desires. His hope is that she’ll come to crave them of her own free will, and whether she does or doesn’t is eternally debatable. With Hades, after all, Kore, the goddess of spring, becomes crystallized into the goddess Persephone, queen of the underworld, a female carbon copy of her controlling hubby. (At least she gets six months off for good behavior, which is more than can be said for the bride of Scorpio.)
Echoing the eccentric orbit of his planetary ruler Pluto, Scorpio man takes a woman on an unconventional journey into the depths of sexual desire— drawing out her profound, hidden yearnings— as a means of reaching the heights of ecstasy and, indeed, self-discovery. His partner should set aside a good amount of time, as sex with the Scorpio is rarely rushed or simply a matter of physically getting off. On the contrary, he seems to have mastered the lessons his early, far more experienced, lovers taught. Scorpio takes total control of the proceedings, fucking with his partner’s mind from the outset; building her expectation, he sets a mood of anticipation that sends her wriggling in excitement and frustration. He loves for his mate to lie perfectly still while he ever so slowly caresses and kisses her, not allowing her to take his own pressing matters into her hands. He may even remain dressed, purposefully putting his partner at a disadvantage, using his notoriously large, long fingers to probe and pinch, tracing his suggestive digits along the length of her body. To the Scorpio’s mind, restraints or blindfolds may only help to keep the focus on pure sensation, as well as intensifying the atmosphere of his wielding all the power. Egging his partner on, the Serpent hopes to force a declaration of her urgent desire. The buildup of sexual ardor to an ever-increasing crescendo is more important to Scorpio than the advent of release. Even once he has freed the beast, he may make his woman beg for it, rubbing it around her face, breasts, or pussy, teasing and “torturing” her with the tip.
By approaching sex from this angle Scorpio is exonerating himself from the responsibility of being so naturally overpowering in bed. As mentioned, he is generally well-endowed and possesses a good deal of staying power; if anything, it takes him too long to reach a climax. Also, as befits his nature, he likes to go deep, often only being able to get off when he’s sure to have hit bottom. He puts his whole self into the act, seeming to crawl all over a woman. Though he’s rarely rough in bed— he moves as smoothly as his serpentine association would suggest— there is a strongly psychological edge to the Serpent guy’s sexual relationships. A most poignant symptom of his fixed-water status, representing not just focused feelings but also stuck or blocked ones, is Scorpio’s infamous development of fixations. In fact, all emotion, including love, cannot help but smack of obsession for this fellow. And he expects his mate to match that intensity. In the process, or rather as the process, he employs a bit of mind control, even if it only amounts to a Disney version of The Story of O. Sometimes, given his more lascivious fixations, Scorpio realizes that his partner will never “go there,” nor would he expect or even want her to. A bit of bondage, role-playing, or a few toys is one thing, but his lurid needs don’t always end there, and he’s right to keep them out of the usual bedroom mix. These fascinations may manifest in a secret porn stash or through cyber sex in which he can explore hands-off games of master-and-servant. However, if Scorpio is drawn to more elaborate “scenes,” ones that might even require a leather wardrobe or whips and chains, he’s perhaps better off remaining a bachelor. And he knows it: Never one to lead a double life, the Serpent guy is nearly incapable of hiding something so heady as an S& M lifestyle from someone he loves. In such cases, he might consciously take a pass on the shiny happy women he feels a love connection with and find himself a female denizen of the night who shares his fetishistic fascinations. In such extreme circumstances, Scorpio’s need for control only increases, and he definitely plays the lead in this theater of psychological sex games— one that might include enslaving willing females in a dungeon of his own design or at after-hours clubs that provide such chambers of sexual commerce. Acts of degradation and humiliation directed toward self-declared submissives are radical examples of his need for psychological worship and utter obedience to his powerful will.
Scorpio man’s sexuality is black-and-white, decidedly straight or gay, with no room for gray guesswork in between. He doesn’t believe in bisexuality, for men, that is— another symptom of that sexism that he projects, regardless of his particular sexual preference. Being born into so powerfully feminine a sign, straight Scorpio puts women on a pedestal (if not binding and gagging them there), despite his domination fantasies or, indeed, as a twisted result of them. He can, thus, easily entertain attraction shared between two women, gay or straight; however, he can’t quite make the leap when applied to his own sex. By the same token, gay Scorpio commits to his sexual identity completely, and often at an early age— he invites the same sexual seduction in adolescence as does his heterosexual counterpart— in signature Scorpion manner, accepting his homosexual feelings as fact, not so much coming out of the proverbial closet as never stepping into it in the first place. To him, sexually ambiguous males are actually no such thing: They are simply fence-sitting cowards whom he’d like to see knocked off. In keeping with the Chthonian ideal that people are defined by their subterranean forces, not capable of mentally choosing whom they want to be, but rather bound to commit to who they already are, Scorpio chalks homosexuality up to simple biology. That his sign is steeped so deep in nature, and thus the feminine-subjective experience, mostly manifests as a need to surround himself with fierce female friends, rarely one to even pal around with another gay-male friend or, worse, a group of such buddies— he’d sooner have the odd straight male friend; indeed, he often does.
Gay Scorpio is that much more a loner than his straight brother: He seems to haunt the world rather than actively participate in it. Like heterosexual men of the sign, he likes to work alone, so much so that he’s not likely to be contented with a remote corner office; he needs utter solitude and is often drawn to professions that require it. Whether a scientist, cartoonist, designer, architect, or superhero of some sort, Scorpio’s private work space is of prime importance as this lair serves as a place of solace and regeneration, as well as creative output. He must be alone to function, a fact that is often lost on acquaintances who engage him in small talk. Scorpio seems to look through people, as if (he oft wishes) they weren’t there; apparently, he doesn’t have even one moment to spare for anyone other than himself And this is one of the secrets to his success: As ambitious as he is, even when young and “climbing,” he never seeks to impress or eagerly make his mark. On the contrary, he often shuns such publicity or hobnobbing as might speed the plow of his success. Rather, he’s confident that he will succeed and sees no use in feeling rushed or riled. So remember, if a Scorpio seems to be giving you the brush, it’s nothing personal— and for the gay Scorpio, this is especially true.
The gay Serpent guy doesn’t casually date. Like any self-respecting Scorpio, he’s holding out for the real thing, with little interest in interim interaction. In his youth, Scorpio seeks the company of a sophisticated man with whom he fuses on every level. While other males his age are barhopping and boy-hopping, the Scorpio might be found at his mentor’s home, receiving instruction in the finer things. Typically, with sexual overtones, the Scorpio plays a “boy” role to such a “daddy”— in the extreme, he’s trained as a slave to a fiercely dominant master. To one degree or another, this dynamic is intrinsic, a materialization of the submissive position Scorpio may have been seduced into during adolescence. In most cases, he’ll soon slip out from under the wing of this friend and/ or sexual guru and commit to the serious, solo pursuit of his ambitions. Single, Scorpio may procure a small coterie of fuck buddies who share his nonemotional, no-strings attitude to sex. Though a deeply emotional person, Scorpio can’t invest even a drop of feeling in the mechanical processes of purely sexual experience. In such instances, he ritualistically takes the top position, enjoying an oral servicing before bending his buddy over. Detachedness is key and emphasis is placed on his physical power— many a Scorpion sports the requisite cock ring to, shall we say, reinforce this impression. But his association with such individuals will rarely, if ever, see the light of day. To those with whom he interacts from nine to five, Scorpio’s personal life remains one huge question mark.
Though he’s secure in his own sexuality, many a gay Scorpio will stay completely silent on the subject if only to perpetuate an aura of mystery. Inquiring minds may find themselves frozen out of society with him should they ever have the gall to broach the subject. Others may write him off as an asexual anomaly. Then, suddenly, one might learn that the cryptic Scorpio, who for years has never so much as hinted at where his proclivities lie, is shacking up with a rich and famous man— often someone connected to his own career field. The big question answered, one may still be left wondering how such an insular guy ever ended up meeting so major a mover-shaker. In typical Scorpion logic, the question is the answer: In biding his time, unbeholden to any other distracting entanglements, Scorpio has left himself available to pounce on the “perfect” opportunity when it eventually presents itself. Unseen, he’s been laying the psychic groundwork for the inevitability of such an occurrence. Still, it can be explained away in far more nutsy-boltsy terms: Via his aloofness, gay Scorpio creates a mystique of (self-) importance; through focus on his career, he begins to receive the sort of creamy social invitations he finally deigns to accept. All he needs is the introduction to a mogul who sexually appeals, and before you can say his-and-his hand towels, these two are setting up house.
Like attracting like, Scorpio is most at ease with someone rich and powerful— his patron’s name Pluto means “riches,” remember, giving rise to the term plutocracy, rule by the wealthy— indeed, to Scorpio, money is power. To boot, the 8th House is that of both sex and in particular other people’s money, those two attributes being inextricably linked in the Serpent’s lustful mind. Face-to-face with some magnate, Mr. Aloof suddenly comes to life, fixing such a man in his suggestive icy-hot gaze. What he hopes to see in the eyes of this heavyweight is the same brand of self-assuredness luridly staring back. Unlike his straight counterpart, gay Scorpio is no fan of vulnerability— what he looks for in a man’s eyes is confidence, conviction, and courage, if not just a pinch of czarish cruelty.
Sex, cash, and mutual career interests are the perfect ingredients for the kind of relationship Scorpio can get with. This sounds more shallow than it actually is: Because he is so obsessed about career, leaving little time for a serious bond, it just makes sense to share his life with someone he might also merge with professionally, in some capacity. The truth is, he, like his straight counterpart, wants to share everything with his partner— Scorpio can be the most exclusionary gay man on the astrological block when it comes to his romantic commitments. Sexually, then, he and his lover will try to fulfill any and all of each other’s needs— and though Scorpio is the consummate top in casual carnal circumstances, love relationships often bring out his submissive side, without completely eclipsing his more dominant needs. What the bedroom menu consists of, from night to night, is anybody’s guess— nothing, from the sordid to the sublime, is beyond possibility. His Chthonian nature doesn’t preclude Scorpio from certain scatological experimentation to be sure but he only does unto his significant other what he would have done unto him. Group sex is generally out of the question, and even the odd third would need to be nothing more than a glorified rent boy who could be used by Scorpio and his mate, like two vampires tearing into their prey from either end. After all, when it comes to love and sex, the Scorpio believes one should share and share alike.