I’ve been thinking about my relationship to school and the way I sometimes identify myself as sapiosexual. I know some people think sapiosexual is a pretentious term. I’m going to shrug that off because making any value judgements about my sexuality is so assumptive that I may assume the same power to dismiss assumption about it.
I’ve had a love affair with learning since I was very little. The moments when my grandma was giving me the most dedicated attention, praise and messages of awe, were when I was learning to read and obsessively reading. To me, that was romantic, the way my words and scribbles were celebrated, anticipated and encouraged. It filled me with pleasure and a sense of radiant self-satisfaction.
As I went into my 10’s and Tweens, reading beyond my grade level was challenging, but the epiphany of glimpsing understandings between re-readings of difficult paragraphs was sensual. I experienced a sense of getting warm and energetic when I was stuck, and relaxed into sighs of awe when I figured something out.
I began gaining weight and becoming more self-conscious at this time, so the mere fact that I felt good in my body because my mind was playing and growing, causing it to tense and relax, was exciting. Even after putting the book down. I think that this kind of reveling in my own thoughts and experiences and being able to notice the patterns of wiggling, taking deeper breaths, frowning, grinning, or curling up relaxed when I was deeply engaged in learning are the basis of my understanding of masturbation.
When I was 14, I was heavily overweight and began to worry about not being attractive and loved. I knew my body wasn’t “healthy” even for me because I didn’t like feeling trapped and afraid to move and draw attention to what I thought was my ugly, unacceptable appearance. And since I was already actively avoiding being seen as much as possible, I felt sure I would never have sex because I was also too fat to receive sexual attention and thus concluded that emotional love and thinking about a future with other people was impossible. I was my own worst enemy, and my grandma had told me enough family history of the sexual abuse inflicted by male family members within it that I also didn’t really want to risk the danger of entertaining any mens attention.
So, I asked myself what I would do if it were true that I was never going to have sexual pleasure and play with anyone and never get the deep emotional and psychological connections I felt were alluded to in conversations and music and the media. What kept me going through my youth despair was resolving to learn more about sex and masturbation than anyone else I knew.
I went hunting for information about the vulva, learning the names of things, clitoris, vagina, inner and outer labia etc, and found little websites where women shared personal strategies, techniques and fantasies for masturbating. I picked up lots of little bits of information about STI’s and pregnancy risks and could tell when my classmates were talking about something dangerous without even realizing it, and this made me feel less threatened by a life of sexlessness. When I could see the people I ate lunch near had lives full of sexual misunderstandings and immaturity, I felt less like a loser. It’s true. I felt like because I was focusing on being knowledgable about sexuality I was better than my adventurous peers. But that was only because I was full of despair that I might never have sexy fun with any kind, loving partners, and still be safe and healthy, so I had to come up with an alternate reality. And I did that well.
The masturbation research I did at 15 was fun. and I learned about the many ways I could use kitchen implement handles, toothbrushes, ice cubes, saran wrap and polished stones to play with myself. When I read someone’s account of getting off on jets in a pool I decided to experiment with my grandmothers jacuzzi bathtub, and discovered that a rushing, focused stream of water from the faucet onto my clit and vulva was, THE BOMB. And my first orgasm was something very different from the results of playing with myself beforehand.
Indeed, I think it’s important that I tell you that before I had my first orgasm, I considered most women’s descriptions of orgasm hard to believe. I wondered if they were exaggerating just because they knew someone else was going to read it. I wondered if they were just trying to get attention, or maybe even convince themselves some kind of pain was actually a pleasure. I couldn’t really fathom what an orgasm was until I was bracing against the sides of the tub, like an earthquake was trying to throw me out of it while an electric bliss was being fully conducted by every molecule of my being.
That was when curiosity became knowledge and theory became practice. Practice practice practice. I came outta there blushed and fluffed with all the awe of a scientist discovering the answer to a problem they were working on for years lay in the earliest part of their research. The answer was in my own source code.
Because I found porn kind of silly and boring to watch, (when it wasn’t just plain disturbing), I preferred images of sensual yoni massage and some segments of graphic novels with visual depictions of people I found cute. I wanted to see them being sweet to each other. Being kind and gentle were my first turn ons. I don’t think that’s feminine. I think that’s reactionary because all I ever saw before was violent and abusive and I wanted what was rare and uncommon. Even better if it was also “unacceptable”.
Whenever I found a new masturbation technique to try, I’d pair it with thinking about a relationship I imagined was sweet and beautiful and socially transgressive. I wouldn’t find socially acceptable relationships and pair-styles arousing to think about because everyone else knew them already and from what I could see, still didn’t try to integrate new things with them. So heterosexual couples were boring to me. I felt like it meant something -for me- when I imagined two boys from a popular anime who had lots of other problems (like being chased by demons or something) in addition to living in a world that might attack them, being sexy and loving with each other.
To me, they modeled a valuable kind of risk taking. A refusal to be dumb and be ignorant, even if it meant pretending they were other types of people in public, for the sake of protecting their play and relationship. Because these fantasies worked for my arousal and practicing self-care, I was open to the idea that other transgressive things would be sexually pleasing even if they didn’t look that way on the surface.
In fact. I sought images to outdo and be more honest than what seemed mainstream in porn. For example, I discovered a gruesome website called gurochan, with image boards for //illustrations// of violent sexual fantasy and bizarre, quite literally impossible sexual experiences. I found the most impossible things to be the most exciting to think about.
Some of the most violent ones held a special emotional power for me, which spoke to the terror I still held about dying before anyone would physically love me in a kind way. Seeing illustrations of women, naked, with arms and legs amputated, being led by owners on a leash, completely powerless to affect the kind of sexual experience they would be given, with expressions of yearning and desire for affection stirred the feeling of recognition: “This is what sexuality feels like in my mind. A looming threat of captivity.”
And also, the sense of sureness that this is what men wanted me to feel, even though they had amassed enough fantasy to infinitely generate denial.
And also, it kept that emotional pain which was usually held underneath so as not to disturb anyone, present.
And also, I saved hundred of these pictures because they validated my psychological pain. And also, the fact that there were hundreds of these pictures validated that there were enough people in the world who wanted these acts for real that I had to keep the evidence of why my pain made sense.
Collecting it enabled me to be both angry and active enough to think about and look for alternatives to this reality.
When i found the art of Shrink/Giantess, I was moved to think about how power dynamics looked and felt when one gender or the other could make all the decisions. Illustrations from Shrink collections often included stylized art drawn from the mans POV, so that the focus of the images was on the shrunken person, (sometimes a fairy), and the manipulation enacted on her by the body parts of an apparently giant human man. Sometimes the girl would be gripped in a palm and be getting a penis as big as her head forced up inside her. The fact that these images of an entire woman impaled on a dick existed (in large numbers btw) confirmed something about the way men and boys in my immediate culture formed their ideas of masculinity. It cultivated my craving for the opposite. I wanted images of shrunken male people being forced into a giant women’s vaginas and being crushed and suffocated to death. And I found them, and sometimes I made them, and that was very satisfying.
Whenever I found found a new fantasy idea to pair with a favored technique, bringing myself to orgasm with it I felt the same kind of illumination with confirming that I could masturbate, I could orgasm and I could invent my own kind of sexual imaginary. These discoveries and my continuing practice of masturbation and sexual imagination have affirmed my self-knowledge and creativity.
I will be writing more…about how the academic world has become a source of sexual creativity for me later… this has been… a test…