Masturbating for its sake.

Consider this:

B: These young boys have strange butts. Big, feminine.

P: Yeah. I’ve noticed. They should’ve exercised.

B: I think it’s something else.

P: What? Bad, fatty food?

B: Not really. They should’ve found ways to masturbate.

P: Master Bate? Who’s that? Why?

B: Masturbate.

P: Master… masturbate? (laughs) Why?

B: With all the sterile, familial upbringing they’ve had, where was the chance to find their sexuality? To get testosterone? A more masculine physique?

You will have noticed that we, B and I, have the ability to have strange conversations. This is a part of the most recent one. The young boys we were discussing have been exposed to a life challenged with a highly interactive extended family where all the rooms of the house, every part of the day can be expected to be invaded at any time. Nothing is private — you get visitors and family and celebratory bullshit day in and day out. And you are expected — forced — to participate. Where is the time, or the privacy, to explore the deeper instincts which demand a little intercourse just with yourself and your fantasies?

While B’s logic may be far-fetched, it certainly merits some consideration in the light of the reports we regularly get about the weird ways in which hormones find balance — and imbalance.

The last time I picked up Fritjof Capra’s Tao of Physics, I read his thoughts on the erotic sculptures in some of the temples in India. The sculptures have long been the topic of endlessly cheeky, or nauseatingly pseudo-intellectual discussions. Many believe they indicate the obscenely decadent lives of the rulers of those times. Some argue they were meant to be a visual sexual instruction manual. Some, perhaps pertinently, reason that these were meant to titillate the senses of people who had increasingly begun to show leanings towards a Buddhist monastic life. Mr. Capra, much to my delight, talks about the possibility of these images of copulation and intercourse being suggestive of the union of the Masculine and the Feminine — the completion of a concept. The ultimate — balanced and reasonable — outcome of any process. This logic appeals to me.

The amalgamation of opposites make a whole. A whole doesn’t exist by itself. It needs to be assembled, much like that contraption you bought last from your favourite supermarket. Interestingly, unlike the material wholes, the abstract ones don’t come with instruction manuals. Which is perhaps why wise people suggest possible means to achieve suitable assembly. And, don’t we know, suitability changes from one person to the next; so, an absolute solution is far from achievable. To merge the fantastic qualities of masculine and feminine elements within and without is probably the only way to ensure a functional balance within and without.

If you’ve been thinking that this essay is weird, consider this — I strongly feel that it is possible to experience the (excuse the cliche) orgasmic joy of a creative achievement even when there is no means to find an appropriate external ‘partner’. It will be like creative masturbation. Weird? Sorry.

Too many people have too often lamented the absence of an encouraging or motivating factor in their lives . It must be so. Or it must be an excuse. But the fact remains that this is not a problem — it is simply a situation where the owner of the room forgot to turn on the lights after sunset.

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I’ve been sitting with this piece for more than 6 days now, waiting to find a logical end to this mental jog. It just occurred to me that probably there is no logical end here, only either a change of track or an endless road, seeking. So, I am posting.
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14 thoughts on “Masturbating for its sake.”

  1. I like the effect pregnancy has on you, Priya. And, I think you ended the post beautifully, though I wish I were sitting at a table with you and others to explore this in dialogue.

    1. I’d like to know the effect you’re talking about, Lenore. Is it my new gravatar you mean? The picture was taken 2 years back!
      I agree about the wishing that we were all sitting at a table and discussing. This is precisely why it felt all right to leave this piece hanging in the air — for someone grab it and take it forward.

      1. Your ‘new’ Gravatar image is beautiful. The picture of you is excellent, but I was referring to a more playful tone to your posts. Then again, maybe I’m just reading your posts with a different lens. Either way, I like it.

      2. Ah, so you’ve noticed. The reason behind the ‘sudden’ playfulness is that I am now comfortable with blogging. It takes me time to get used to being me in company. With real life people, it might take years; sometimes, it might never happen. With blogging, the revelation has been quicker, perhaps because I am not worrying about the sounds, smells, gestures, eyebrow raises… 🙂

        So, in short, this ‘new’ me is the real me. That too-serious me was also me, though.

  2. Those erotic sculptures: Because they were so well done and so beautiful, people couldn’t accept that they were just – ‘sexy!’ – so they had to theorize and invent stuff to put around them like clothes… They are SEXY! Thanks Priya – a nice piece!

    1. “invent stuff to put around them like clothes..” Hadn’t heard of this analogy before. I must say it sounds quite possible people did that, and continue to do so. Sexiness is usually found embarrassing.

  3. Priya, I’m so glad I figured out how easy it is to get to your blog. I absolutely love this conversation. Jim and I have these sorts all the time. I’m always thinking of life in turns of the penis and the vagina, not in the analytic way, but more the energetic way. Copulation is everywhere, it is all around us!

    I want to visit India and take a close look at those sculptures! But hopefully I won’t sound like one of those pseudo-intellectuals 😉 That would be tragic.

    1. I am glad you figured it out, too! It is always good to hear from you.

      I hadn’t thought of life in turns of the penis and the vagina in the energetic way. But you’ve started a thought process…

      You will never sound pseudo — intellectual or zen.

  4. It’s interesting how this private blog has allowed you to be more open — yet another example of “the amalgamation of opposites.” I’m glad you didn’t change tracks, Priya. Keep seeking.

    1. My first reaction was to say, “I’ve always been open.” But I won’t say that because it really is true that I wouldn’t have used the language and the topic in my previous blog, which was open for public consumption and Google search. That does make a difference.

      Having said that, I do speak my mind and thoughts, however embarrassing or weird. You know that.

  5. I love this post, Priya! The title does get one’s attention! 😉 Love Capra. Love.
    The points you make are those I have often thought of, myself. When growing up, I granted my daughters absolute privacy. No reading their diaries, no rummaging through their rooms to get a sense of who they were. What they wished to share of themselves, which was often quite a lot, they did. My husband’s mother on the other hand gave him little to no privacy. She would barge into his space without knocking. It would seem to me to be unnerving, especially mother-to-son. Awkward. Stifling. Embarrassing. Disrespectful.
    Ratchet that up a notch, and I can imagine a culture where extended families could definitely become overbearing. But your generation is changing this, is it not? Times are changing, even if it seems not quite fast enough.
    Love to you, dear.

    1. I didn’t want it to look like it was seeking attention, Bela. But it sure is an attention grabber. 🙂

      I do not know how much these matters of privacy at home depend on the culture and how much on parental guidance. Extended families can be intrusive, but not always. Nuclear families based on the current Western culture might also be suffocating. Parents play a huge role in that, I think. Whatever the case, a respectful distance is essential for any individual. And yet, I do believe a little familiar ‘intrusion’ is helpful, where the child or the teenager knows there’s a helping hand just outside the “Keep Off” door. I can see you provided that security to your girls!

  6. I also love your new photo and noticed and loved your new “cheekiness” and put it down to your feeling “free” with a private blog. It must be freeing that you don’t have to worry about google searches and all that dreadful “spam”.

    I’ve seen photos of the erotic sculptures in the Indian temples and I look forward to seeing them for myself. I love that they’re outside in full view not hidden in darkened rooms like they’d be over here. The murals in Pompeii show a similar openness towards sexuality.

    1. What makes me wonder at the condition of our intelligence and intellect here in India is the state of sexuality and sexual expression (for that matter anything aesthetic and inherent to human expression) in the current times. We are lewd, cagey and rotten. This coming from the land of these sculptures with possible spiritual teachings is such a huge shame.

      Cheekiness is something I thrive on, Rosie.

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