Vulnerability – is it a condition we find ourselves in? A state of being we choose? Let’s keep it very simple: it depends on the approach we take to defining it. In the former approach, we are ‘done to’, while in the latter we are consciously ‘doing’.
To chase down our own vulnerabilities around sexuality is a short run around the corner, five minutes ago, last night sleeping alone, with a lover, a partner who lost interest, the Insta post that leaves you feeling you’re not good enough for the hug, the kiss, the cuddle and are you perhaps the A of LGBTQIA+?
Being vulnerable helps boost our self-esteem and self-worth by pushing us out of our comfort-zone. It provides us with an opportunity to overcome obstacles and reach deep down within ourselves to find strength and confidence to keep going even when the odds are against us.
It took me some time to realise how important being vulnerable or, for that matter, being vulnerable during sexual engagement was for me to have great sex and how empowering it is for my sexuality. After much thought, I decided to open up to my partner about my past experiences and other things I never used to openly talk about.
“Be yourself, Sarah. Awkward smiles, empty silences, weird laughter, and all. It’s just a part of being human. Loving someone physically is never not awkward. Even if it’s a monogamous relationship. It’s only the comfort of familiarity that makes you think otherwise.”
Through multiple maquettes, I finally came across (since I myself did not know what the result of the form or figure would be) the Reclining Lady. She represents confident femininity and vulnerability. The feeling one has after taking a bath and sitting in the nude, drying oneself in unabashed nakedness.
Her artworks illustrate discoveries, intimacies, and vulnerabilities during a time when identities are coalescing that may affect how we eventually come to become.
To be without intricacies is to be without emotional boundaries, to disregard whoever whenever. Besties save you from your shit. They are your heart, and they transcend any efficiency that the Tinderization Bestie Robot attempts to offer you in its binary fantasy.
For so long, private has meant a place that I was forced to create, claim and carve out to hide away from the public violence. And if I’ve been allowed to further wallow in it then I don’t want to – thank you very much.
Indian families rarely say “I love you” to each other. Maybe it is an extension of the fact that parents are awkward while displaying any sign of affection to each other around their kids or elders.
I was watching something recently that said it was a bad thing to be vulnerable, but I don’t think it is a bad thing. I do see that there is a certain amount of power in vulnerability, it also needs courage, in my experience.
When we are in tune with our authentic thoughts and feelings, vulnerability can be a guide-post in traversing through life, allowing us to forge deep and meaningful connections where we can hold space to mess up and get back on our feet again.
I felt naked in front of everyone when I first came out, and I can’t stress enough how much my male privilege has helped me out here. I don’t even know if people found it serious enough to consider it my identity instead of ‘a mere sexual preference’ or ‘a phase’ (always a classic dismissal).
We must all care for ourselves and be discerning about when and where and with whom we show our cards…but those who can hold our emotional and sexual vulnerability are out there, and we can find them and be all of who we are.
The largest contingent of voiceless, lonely women with limited agency in the subcontinent must be its married women. If they’re fortunate enough to be born and reach adulthood, a woman’s parents and society make sure she becomes an adult brainwashed into self-alienation and self-loathing.