i’ve been on a journey. one of the most important of my life. and a journey that is entirely invisible to everyone else in my life.
a year and a half ago, one of the closest partners i’d had in my life left me, suddenly. of course there is more to the story, but as i experienced it emotionally, one day we were partners, he had my back; and the next, he was gone, emotionally and physically completely unavailable to me, where he had been one of my primary people for over nine months.
it was one of the most severing experiences of my life, and sent me into a deep depression. i have been ping-ponging in and out of depression since then, having better weeks, better days… and worse weeks, days, months… losing him exploded my life, my concept of myself, my concept of trust in myself and my intuition, and many other things. i have been through many break-ups, and even a divorce… and none of them touched the pain i felt from this loss.
and yet, as it turns out, i needed those things to explode. to find healing, i needed to blow up some illusions i had still been grasping. i needed to see in even deeper ways the way i gave myself away in relationship, the way i set things up to explode. lately, i can find it in my heart to start to feel (rather than just think) gratitude for this experience. i am grateful i found out sooner than later that he didn’t have the emotional capacity to meet my needs in the long-term, that he wasn’t willing to work on the issues we had, to his less-balanced reactions. i know rationally it would have been much more painful, the more i had invested…
and yet other parts of me still grieve no longer being able to feel his touch, his energy… to hear his voice. i have been humbled by this break-up. never have i been so destroyed by a loss of a partner; it has made me empathize in new and deeper ways. the difficulty i have had viscerally in letting go of him has given me new appreciation for folks who have a difficult time letting go.
masturbation (that nasty, shockingly perverse word… not to mention the act of!!!) is one of my favorite activities. it defined the beginnings of my sexual consciousness, taught me what gave me pleasure before anyone else had a chance to mis-teach me, shame me, or pass over me, and has continued through my life to give me comfort, pleasure, and moments of deep realization. i wish i could teach every child (and especially little girl!!) about self-pleasure. i think this knowledge should be a basic human right. i believe it is that deep and integral to who we are and how we relate to ourselves and to others in the world.
wendy strgar spells out this connection on a theoretical level beautifully in this article on the art of masturbation.
Perhaps the best reasons to let go of all the judgment and history surrounding this normal sexual behavior is because having access to your own pleasure and orgasm teaches a profound inner lesson, which is that the ability to orgasm is your own. No one else gives it to you or has power over you having it.
in other exciting news, a study has now shown that masturbation may (keyword: may) “help” your immune system. the cover image for the article being a box of kleenex, with a number of used kleenex wadded up around it (unclear if used kleenex are cum-filled or snot-filled…), it may or may not be implying this applies more to men than women. hard to say. maybe other women have different self-pleasuring practices than i. surely they do. perhaps some that involve wadded-up tissues. at any rate, i do imagine the relaxation one derives from masturbating/cumming would lower stress significantly, and stress is a well-known strain on our immune systems.
it’s cold season; by this logic we’d best all get a-pleasuring!!!