For a small-towner, my relocation to Delhi was almost an identity crisis in many ways. Moving to Delhi in 2006 has shaped me in so many different ways. Some of my readers might actually wonder why I emphasise it so much. Well simply, because it was a defining incident in my life. Here’s one more insight from that time of relocation.
I was sexually a late bloomer. All my discovery, explorations, experiments and sexual journeys that came in the following decade and more, and my understanding of nuances of emotions began only in 2006, when I first relocated to Delhi.
Till then, I was a small-towner, a virgin, a die-hard monogamous almost judgmental person. Not to say that I no longer have biases; but simply that at that time, I had no concept of pleasure. I had the concepts of joy, of fun, of happiness, of accomplishment, of sex, of attraction, of love, but not of pleasure.
I used to masturbate, yes, but I didn’t particularly understand the mechanism. I was a silent masturbator, as are a lot of us who live in shared spaces are. I was once told by a guy who I hooked up with, that he found it surprising, how I’d turn around and sleep after I had masturbated, and he said, ‘Aise to aadmi karte hain, mazaa lete hain, aur karwat le ke so jaate hain’ (This is how men behave, they enjoy themselves, get pleasure, turn around, and go to sleep). I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him. Or, maybe it was. However, in retrospect, I now realise that relief, contentment, and a feeling of being relaxed was what my body sought, when I pleasured myself.
My first experience with pain was something similar. A floaty high, a weird sense of feeling grounded when I was all but, a space where I felt safe and was able to let go. I wasn’t aroused, but my feeling was similar to that of a post-orgasmic glow. To this day, I do not get aroused by pain, I do not orgasm through pain and yet, there is an immense sense of pleasure in it.
Over the years, my understanding of pleasure has changed. However, much of it is thanks to external inputs. It is thanks to people of all gender identities sharing how they feel pleasure in different ways. Some get their pleasure from sex, some derive pleasure from having their erogenous zones stimulated, others from power, control, pain and in various other ways.
I have tried some of these ways, not tried some others. I have liked some of these methods and experiments, not liked others. From time to time, I give into my craving for the physical sensations related to pleasure, sure. However, generally in life for me, pleasure is ultimately a function of intimacy. As a demisexual person (the current label that I feel has defined me for the last four or more years), I do not feel pleasured fully unless I’m deeply connected with the person.
Perhaps that’s the reason why masturbation is the most pleasurable activity for me. For whom am I most deeply connected with, if not with myself? After all the years of confusion, guilt, doubt, frantic exploration, who can I truly be vulnerable with, if not even with myself? In this vulnerability, in this self-acceptance, in this self-care lies the deep sense of pleasure, comfort, as well as calmness for me, both sexual and otherwise.