I am celebrating a century of sex; not a hundred orgasms, a hundred coitus. “Sex is over-rated”, he had once argued. Years of wondering and pondering over the meanings we attach to sex, have only led me to more questions and fewer answers.
Sex doesn’t interest me. The idea of intimacy does.
Am I asexual?
Yes, I often ask myself that. And no, I don’t identify as an asexual. I wish I was, sometimes in utter desperation. Because being caught in this space between virginity and asexuality is exhausting; almost like a purgatory; there is no going back and there is nothing further ahead. “Virginity is certainly over-rated”, I had argued back.
I have never perceived myself as being good in bed and I have never had had bad sexual partners.
What is “good” sex?
A simplistic answer would be it’s a healthy, satisfactory consensual sexual negotiation.
Yes, I believe it is a negotiation – with every touch and every kiss and every stroke, pre-, during and post-sex. It is a negotiation between the sexual power of sexual beings. We direct the other, literally and figuratively, such that we get the best out of the act. Its an act, a performance if you will, a genuine roleplay of our vulnerable, naked selves. It becomes a back and forth process, within boundaries of acceptability.
If so, what is “bad” sex then?
Lack of consideration for your sexual partner (simplistic answer intended).
In hindsight, almost all sex has been as bad as much as it has been good.
I still don’t feel like I have identified my sexual voice, my sexual tone. Every time it feels like I am starting from a place of unknowing.
Because I tend to attach meaning to sex.
Because the reverse didn’t work well with me.
Perhaps it was being born in a ‘land of sexual suppression’ and ironically, also the ‘Kamasutra’. Her lines stayed with me “India is a natural contraceptive for women and a natural paradise for men”. Perhaps, it was the way I learned and relearnt sex.
There is a certain incompleteness within that I am trying to fulfill through the act of sex. A lack of connection I feel with myself and with the proverbial him, before, during and after sex. Sexual grammar and sexual vocabulary wouldn’t make sense without sexual meanings. And the search for meaning in sex is a curse; meanings are varied, meanings are fluid, meanings are contextual, meanings are subjective, meanings change, meanings have to be processed, meanings have to be challenged.
I “other” myself during sexual acts, like being a foreigner in my own land. Perhaps, it is my self-hatred; I don’t imagine myself being a part of my own sexual fantasies. Pornography doesn’t interest me. Nor does erotica. I tend to minimalize the pleasure bodily sensations bring us. I often wonder if it is my Narcissistic need to fall in love with my own self, to be able to see through, acknowledge and admire my looking glass. Sex, then becomes a medium and not a destination.
Furthermore, sex is an inter-dependent act (unlike orgasm, thanks to masturbation) hence complex, hence complicated. Sharing an intimate space with him, even if momentarily, demands effort, demands comfort, demands trust, demands hope, demands vulnerability, demands the desire to please and seek pleasure and joy.
He: Once we get sex out of the system, there is a greater possibility for genuine friendship.
Chris D’Elia: There is nothing in there!
Esther Perel: Where Should We Begin?