A Century of Sex

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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Why?
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.

Why?
Because I tend to attach meaning to sex.

Why?
Because the reverse didn’t work well with me.

Why?
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.

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How so?
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.

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Chris D’Elia: There is nothing in there!

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Esther Perel: Where Should We Begin?

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Dangling Conversations

The Dangling Conversation – Simon & Garfunkel

And the dangled conversation
And the superficial sighs
Are the borders of our lives


“What I am not!”

He: I am not your therapist.

She: I am not your mother.

He: I am not your friend.

She: I am not your enemy.

He: I am not you.

The End


“I am a narcissistic addict”

He: (…)

Me: I give up on shame and embrace addiction, increasingly more these days. I am addicted to mirroring myself. It’s a paradoxical combination, of narcissism and self hatred; each growing as a reaction to the other and each getting increasingly more intense by the day.

(…)

We are so fucking narcissistic, even in love, even in sex, even in all possible human emotions and dynamic relationships. It is almost like we are getting ourselves laid and making love to ourselves. How do we live with this human condition and yet somehow decide to live until death?

He: …

The End


“Possibility of Friendship”

Me: Question 1: (…) ?
Question 2: (…) ?
Question 3: (…) ?

He: Once sex is out of the way, it creates the possibility of a healthier friendship; the relationship becomes a lot more liberated and sincere.
Of course it doesn’t work like that always and with everyone.

The End


“मूल “

He: लग्नं नाही केलं कारण मूल व्हायची भिती वाटते.
(I chose to not marry because I fear a child’s ‘being’.

Me: ‘तू ‘ मूल व्हायची’ कि ‘तुला ‘मूल व्हायची?
(You ‘having’ a child or you ‘becoming’ a child?)

The End


“Chickens are Decent People”

He: Why did we make life so complicated?
I just remembered, ‘chickens are decent people’.
And we are better than chickens all of a sudden?

Me: “All of a sudden” was so well placed! 😁

He: Chickens are Decent People – George Carlin

Me: The next video on autoplay is – List of People Who Ought to be Killed – George Carlin
Aigga! Look at my tabs! The irony of it all!

George Carlin – List of People Who Ought to be Killed

Judith Butler – Why Preserve the Life of the Other?

He: 😁

Me: 😁

The End


“Honest to Yourself ?”

He: Helping for you means that I have to amen what you say?

He: I mean I understand you.
I’m just saying that you are not honest to yourself. And maybe you will never be.

The End


“Is that it?”

Me: So we stop being friends now, because you can’t handle this?
Is that it?

He: Or we can say, we stop being friends now because you don’t make any sense and you are so arrogant thinking you are the center of the universe?
Is that it?

Me: ‘Being Relevant’ – The Birdman

The End


“Keeping in touch”

She: What happened?

Me: Too much shit. Wouldn’t know where and how to begin.

She: Begin anywhere you’d like to.

Me: Nothing to hide from you. Thanks for your kindness, I know we don’t keep in touch but nothing has changed between us.

She: It wouldn’t either. Keeping in touch ‘all the time’ is actually a thing of the past! It’s mature relations that survive and being in touch is only incidental.

The End


Confessions of a Suicide

I never wanted to exist. I hate my mother’s eggs; I hate my father’s sperms; as much as I hate their fertility. As a matter of fact, I hate human fertility in general.
What have we made of ourselves? What have we become? What have we to offer to another lost generation, and the one after that, and the one after that, and the one after that? “Copy of a copy of a copy”?
In all humility, perhaps, ‘non-existence’.

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Me: Life!
He: Fucking life it is.
Me: Can’t end it, can we?
He: Can’t end that which never started.

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Does it have to be this way?

Louis C.K. : I don’t think life is that important. It’s just not. It is not. People get too excited about life. (…) Life is okay. I like life. I like it. I don’t need it. I’d be fine without it. I like life, though. I do. You know how much I like life? I have never killed myself. That’s how much I like it. That’s exactly how much I like it, with a razor-thin margin. I like it precisely enough to not kill myself. It’s an option, though. It’s totally an option. (…)
You are not supposed to talk about suicide, even to your shrink. (…) But you should be able to talk about it. The whole world is just made of people who didn’t kill themselves today. That’s who’s here.

Life is not that important

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How do we function?

Jim Jefferies: We drink because we fucking have to. (…) We drink because life is shit and you got to do whatever you can to get through the fucking day.
Why we drink?

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What makes you human?
Choice. Autonomy. Empathy. Birthing.

Seriously?
. . .

What would you like to be?
An automaton.

Why is that?
Emotions are exhausting. So are human interactions and what they call “relationships”.

You have a choice, dont you?
Yes. I do. But at what cost? It feels like an unfair deal I made with the devil, for momentary “pleasures” that help me function, one day, after another, after another, after another.

What is the deal?
Mephistopheles and I signed a contract.
I gave him depression. He gave me medication.
I gave him inhibitions. He gave me alcohol.
I gave him intimacy. He gave me sex.
I gave him relationships. He gave me socialization.
I gave him acceptance. He gave me independence.
I gave him love. He gave me menstruation.
I gave him performativity. He gave me loneliness.

Do you think this is worth it?
As worthy as it can get, as long as it can sustain. Until one day he eats me up and there is nothing left to bite into anymore.

What is the process like?
I am still alive, so, you know, it has kept me on the other side of the razor-thin margin, so far. Every day I get closer to the day when I won’t be myself.
I am a social construction, you see. I don’t exist.
I will either deconstruct or destruct.
And if I have any strength left – construct and reconstruct.
“Emigrate or degenerate”. Thats the human condition.

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”?
“You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity.

Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it’s like to live as a slave.
I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe. (…) All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

Time to die.

Distance, Distancing, Distanced, Distant

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Titus (2000)

Christopher Titus: Normal people can live with happiness. Screwed up people try to destroy it. See, all I am looking for is the perfect match. […] Fourteen months later, I realized its not an act, that’s who she is, she is great, she is the perfect girl. I don’t deserve this kind of happiness. How can I destroy it?

I have often felt emotionally myopic. I have always failed to understand emotional distance. Still don’t. Some called it being dysfunctional. Some call it being sensitive. Some call it insecurity. Some call it maturity. Some call it depression. Some call it borderline personality disorder. Some call it pain. Some call it goodness. Some call it being lost. Some call it self-victimization. Some call it a rare asset. Some call it being obsessive. Some call it misfortune. Some call it a virtue. Some call it over-thinking. And I find myself saying, “That is the only way I function. I cannot be any other way.”

Emotionally investing in relationships to the best of my capacity then becomes a habit, a value, a way of life for me. Each relationship then becomes an emotionally intense experience. Hence, exhausting. Hence, unsustainable. Hence, a cycle of involvement and uninvolvement. Hence, a cycle of feeling close and distancing. Relationships then start becoming pseudo happiness, pseudo non-loneliness. It only gets as good as it gets and as bad as it gets. It is good, only as long as it starts getting worse.

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Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2012)

Marina Abramovic: There is so much pain in their eyes. I am just a trigger, I am just a mirror and actually they become aware of their own life, of their own vulnerability, of their own pain, of everything- and that brings the crying. They are really crying about their own self, and that is an extremely emotional moment. […] An art is made of trust, vulnerability and connection.

The ability to understand and empathize with complex emotions then becomes a cross you bear for life. Pain is attractive. Lethally attractive. Pain is real. Pain is romantic. It is not love; but pain which is the highest possible honorable emotion one can share with another human being. Romantic love then asks only one question, “Can you handle, contain, absorb and forgive my pain?”

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Gone Girl (2014)

Nick Dunne: You fucking cunt!
Amy Dunne: I’m the cunt you married. The only time you liked yourself was when you were trying to be someone this cunt might like. I’m not a quitter, I’m that cunt. I killed for you; who else can say that? You think you’d be happy with a nice Midwestern girl? No way, baby! I’m it. […] Nick Dunne took my pride and my dignity and my hope and my money. He took and took from me until I no longer existed. That’s murder.
Nick Dunne: Fuck. You’re delusional. I mean, you’re insane, why would you even want this? Yes, I loved you and then all we did was resent each other, try to control each other. We caused each other pain.
Amy Dunne: That’s marriage.

Marriage is personal. Marriage is political. Marriage is legal. Marriage is social. Marriage is economical. Marriage is power dynamics. Marriage is patriarchal. Marriage is self-destruction. Marriage is an act. Marriage is a performance. Marriage is therapeutic. Marriage is mutual exploitation. Marriage is dishonesty. Marriage is diplomacy. Marriage is a negotiation. Marriage is an illusion. Marriage is a delusion. Often convincing in the beginning. Marriage is a paradox. Marriage is divorce, lurking in the dark. Marriage is distance. Ever increasing distance.

Nick Dunne: The primal questions of any marriage.
What are you thinking?
How are you feeling?
What have we done to each other?

Me: I hate you enough to divorce you and love you enough to not be married to you.
He: Fuck marriage!
Me: Fuck marriage!
And we broke into a knowing laughter.

 

The Invisible Man

He has always followed me. Everywhere. Everyday. Every moment. For 19 years now and who knows for how many more. Now, he is nothingness, a non-existent entity, an irreplaceable permanent hollow in my heart, that no one can fill. No one. Never. Ever.

I remember his voice, his laughter, his handwriting, his kind, green eyes. I also remember how it felt to hug him, the excitement of receiving his letters and the joy of seeing him in person, as I felt the lump in my throat knowing he would leave in another 10 days. Time must stop. I remember how hard it was to see him off at the railway station, holding back my tears as I waved him goodbye, putting up a fake smile, for he had told me it would be painful for him to see me cry. I remember the ghastly absence I felt after I returned back home from the railway station, not knowing how to process this pain I felt and only knowing it will be a long long wait until the next time I see him.

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19 years back, this wait turned permanent, along with a lot of other feelings.
Pain.
Loneliness.
Melancholy.
Lack of faith in people and relationships.
Suppressed, exploding anger.
Absence of happiness.
Fear of rejection.
Hopelessness.
Guilt.
Insecurity.
Feeling of worthlessness.
Longing to feel safe.
Not having a sense of belonging.
Confused sexual feelings.
Need to build survival mechanisms.

Life became a performance there on. An act of hiding my pain from people. The constant exhausting marathon of running away from loneliness and worthlessness.

He will always be the most endearing invisible man to me. The never-ending search for his presence leaves an unavoidable void in my heart. I still feel caught in time. Only this time, time has stopped. I still mourn his death. I also mourn my stagnated emotions, unprocessed pain, undissolved anger, unexpressed love, masked fear and sense of fulfillment.

The Men in My Life

Why is it that you always get into complicated relationships, they ask? Is seeking complicated relationships an addiction, a handicap, a behavioral pattern, a state of mind or is it me?

Men will come. And men will go.

Men will come. And I will go.  

The former is painful in its entirety and the latter is equally painful but has the illusion of power, the illusion of being in control.

I have cheated in my relationships and have been cheated on. Cheating makes me feel guilty, being cheated on makes me powerless.

Isn’t dealing with pain (of cheating/ being cheated on) more important than the subject/ object of pain?

Yes, true.

Do you deal with the pain?

No.

What is your focus then?

Who did it? And more importantly, who is the victim?

What happens in both cases?

If I did it, I had my reasons. If he did it, I didn’t deserve this.

Do you think this is helping you?

No. It isn’t.

What is it that you want?

Vengeance.

What is it that you want?

I have a right to be angry. I don’t deserve this.

What is it that you want?

I will get over him. I will date. I will get over him.

What is it that you want?

I want to forget.

What is it that you want?

I want him back.

What is it that you want?

I want love, warmth, acceptance, appreciation, permanence, safety, protection, validation.

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

. . .

What is it that you want?

For him to fulfill my insecurities, to compensate for my pain, to be the subject of my anger and to not have the right to leave me. Ever.

How does it make you feel?

Not unwanted. Not rejected. Not unhappy. Not unsafe. Not unprotected. Not vulnerable. Not lonely. Not alone.

Is this love?

. . .

. . .

No, it’s not love. It’s a not not relationship.

Is this what it means to be an adult?

. . .

Do you want to be an adult?

. . .

Men is my life, seem to me, like a suffering. And the men in my life have suffered.

I am mature. I am not an adult. I am legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually mature. But I am not legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually an adult.

I want the men in life to be legally, politically, socially, intellectually, emotionally, physically, sexually listen, understand, be available, appreciate, validate, approve, agree, want me, be interested in me. 100%. 24 x 7.

I will be in control, yet they will be responsible.

I will emotionally bully them, yet they cannot act like a victim.

I will have attention from other men, while they will exclusively be mine.

I will test them, until they fail. Every moment. Everyday.

They will be the silent subject of my anger. They will validate my pain. They will deal with my depression.

They will not reject me. Ever.

What is it that you seek?

I guess I am looking for a therapist in the men in my life.

What will you do when that does not happen?

I will look for an escape.

How?

Anger. Self-destruction. Keeping distance. Anger. Self-destruction. Not trusting people. In never ending circles.

What is at the bottom of all this?

Pain. Insecurity. Fear of loss. Fear of rejection. Fear of judgement. Fear of loneliness.

What is at the bottom of all this?

. . .

What is it that you seek?

. . .

I Can Be A Good Dog

How has your black dog been?

Its been 1 year of therapy. I haven’t learnt to manage him yet. But I have learnt to identify when he starts pulling me down. Identification makes it easier to ask for help. And help makes it easier to manage him.

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What has helped?

Being regular at therapy. Being emotionally honest. Y’s love. Non judgmental attitude. Learning to accept & forgive myself.

How does it feel seeing a therapist?

Its not the therapist that scares me. Its my own self. Being emotionally naked can be tiring. Handling vulnerability is not easy. A non judgmental safe space has certainly motivated me to be more honest. Honesty is healing.

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What hasn’t changed?

Social anxiety. Obsessive behavior. Anger. Indiscipline. Impatience. Feeling hopeless. Boredom. Feeling of emptiness. Lack of self confidence. Feeling vulnerable. Lack of control. Constant guilt. Unstable relationships. Impulsive behavior. Stress.

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What does it make you do?

Avoid social interactions. Depend on alcohol. Sleepless nights. Cheat. Act lazy. Act self destructive.

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What has changed?

Degree of self awareness. Have learnt to identify my evils. Its almost like a system reset, like laying a new foundation of self identity. Makes me question all my beliefs, morals and emotions. Most of the times it gets overwhelming. And makes me go to lengths that I have never been to.

How do you deal with it?

I talk about it, in all honesty. I am learning to let go off the shame and embarrassment. Its not easy but that is the only way that has worked for me, by talking about it.

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Do you think you are making progress?

My therapist says, it gets worse before it gets better. I feel certain about my progress, slowly but surely I will get there.

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What keeps you going?

I don’t think I am high on motivation. I have always been haunted by existentialist questions. Its just the fact that I am alive. I also disbelieve there is any inherent meaning to life.

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(You can check out my favorite blogger Allie Brosh’s blog, Hyperbole & A Half here – http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.in/

The illustrations/ comics in this blog are done by her.

Here is the link to my previous blog on Depression – https://rutugole.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/my-black-dog-me/)