Last week I was wallowing. The thought of being cheerful for Thursday was washed away in the need to curl up and sleep under a wave of Netflix. But, I’m back and kicking. So let’s wallow in the good a little. Things that make my list this week:
So, I think it’s hard enough to deal with your own self and your own depression. Keeping it under control for your lover or beloved, that’s a whole other kettle of fish.
How do you live with depression?
Well, that’s a big bundle of complicated right there, from the cliché of “one day at a time,” to the numerous variables of therapy, lifestyle, personality, medication, support networks, triggers, coping skill…. and it goes on and on.
What I’m really thinking about today is – how do you love someone with depression?
I love to indulge in my curiosities. Even if I can only find brief moments of them. So this week, I love those moments that I can really sink my teeth into, even when I have to quickly put them aside and get on with those other, duller, parts of life.
- Science and Psychology. Whilst I certainly don’t proclaim to know a lot about science, I will forever be fascinated by those intricate, eccentric and downright befuddling parts of our brain.
- Surprise caramel torte. Honestly, my housemate seems to sense my sugar cravings.
- I may express gratitude for this one a lot.
- Accepting “yes” for yes. My partner always astounds me in his ability to know when I really, truly, need something a little kinky… and something A LOT kinky.
What have you been feasting or nibbling on, this week? (Feel free to comment and share your own).
This week there is one thing I am loving above all else:
- Not only writing, but letting writing be the first thing I think about in the morning, the thing I’m distracted by during the day. Right now, I have clothes to hang out, work to catch up on and a bed that still hasn’t been made today. I’m surrounded by little scribblings and post ideas. This is the kind of mess I love.
- Dates with new friends.
- Speedy and affordable amazon finds, that are sure to make my partner smile.
- And running. Went for my first run in months today and it was delightful. I’ve got a long way to get back to where I was. But I dusted off my shoes. And I ran. (I might even run tomorrow too).
Hope you’ve found something to tickle you to pink this week.
I spoke recently about the difficulty of overcoming masturbation shame, with ‘Not so sinful masturbation.’ I want to continue this discussion by encouraging people to consider that masturbation is not always a solo act. That’s right Puddin’ Pops, I’m going to delve into mutual masturbation.
Whilst the phrase “mutual masturbation” lacks poetry, the experience of masturbating in front of someone can be mind-bogglingly beautiful. The way I see it, too many people still regard masturbation as that secret solo activity, or as that act that only the lonesome choose. The fact of the matter is “people who have regular sex partners are more likely to masturbate than people without sex partners.” (Masturbation, Planned Parenthood)
Let’s be clear, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with keeping masturbation as your own personal experience either. If you want to be away from prying eyes, then that’s great. Kick the dog outside, lock the doors, turn the lights off, jump under the covers and moan into those pillows. Or, if you’re like me, wait until your partner is at work and your housemates are away, blast some tunes and whimper as much as you like.
Still, if you haven’t tried it already, I urge you to give mutual masturbation a chance. At least once or twice with someone you feel that mutual comfort with.
Here are my top reasons for fucking yourself in front of someone else:
- You get to show off!
We’ve all got things we love and hate about our body, but taking a moment to truly revel in all the delights of your own flesh can help you to forget about those things you are most self-conscious about. It can become so easy to lose yourself in your own pleasure, and know that the person with you is happy to see you do it.
If you feel that exposing your most intimate areas under a spotlight (so to speak) is a high bar to clear, decide what you’re most comfortable with showing. Then practice by yourself first. Get really good at knowing your own body and think about all those little sounds and twitches that might be a turn on for someone else, or just yourself. And remember, you can always start slow. Sometimes the suggestion of masturbating in front of someone is enough to turn the heat up. Think of it this way, even erotic dancing (strip, burlesque etc.) has moments of subtle suggestion. It’s not always spinning nipple tassels, sometimes it’s just taking off a sock. With that in mind…
- Do it to feel sexy.
I’m personally a sucker for a pretty cunt or a pretty cock, but that’s not always the focus for the person or people you are turning on. I’m not talking about masturbating, just to show off your downstairs. The expression on your face, the look in your eyes, the whelp you let out as you get climax, these can be far more mentally stimulating for you and the person watching. So, if you’re feeling like you should be shaved, shouldn’t be shaved, don’t like that wrinkle, those scars, the asymmetry, the symmetry…the small mole shaped like Elvis…whatever is it! It isn’t exactly an exhibition. It’s a performance, and your lovers will want to see the show, not simply the poster for it.
- There’s a chance to learn something!
Don’t run just yet, I’m not asking anyone to take notes here. I’m merely saying that showing someone else how you like to get off is also encouraging and teaching your lover how to please you. The old “monkey see, monkey do.” Planned Parenthood suggest that mutual masturbation is a healthy and fun way to encourage better sex between sexual partners.
- It can be a lot of fun.
At this point, I might still have people shaking their heads and saying that this “simply isn’t for me.” Then let’s be more creative with the definition here. For example, mutual masturbation over the phone is a fantastic way to help with any shame you may have about the visuals, or at least create some suspense for the next time you see a certain someone. Masturbating with and without toys might also work better. Wearing outfits for the occasion may create a feeling of pseudo anonymity. Creating an entire “scene” or role play around mutual masturbation might be fun too. If you’re into the more kinky side of things, perhaps you could (with agreed upon consent of course) order someone to masturbate in front of you and vice versa.
- Empathy and safety
Contrary to some of the scary or simply confused messages some of us received as children, masturbation is safe. As a child and a teen I genuinely feared that masturbation made me a horrible person. I still can’t really articulate why I felt this way, but it was pervasive nonetheless. When you’re in a room *with* someone who you care about, who you trust and they reassure you that all is safe, healthy and normal it eases some of that worry that you might have carried with you. When you can then make that person smile and feel excited to see you do the very thing you used to fear. Well, it does a lot to take that fear away.
- Lurrrrve yourself, to love yourself.
Once you get into the swing of it, your self-esteem may sky rocket. If it wasn’t clear from my earlier points, the most rewarding thing for me about mutual masturbation is the permission to simply be myself. With my constant battle to look and behave the “right way,” being able to put that all aside and accept myself as sexy and hot for a little while. That’s what gets me off. Well, that and the indescribable look my partner gives me as he watches.
When I first entered “the scene,” if we can call it that, I found I was not only snowballing through my own sexual liberation, I was also wading through a butt-tonne of terms.
The first one that struck me was FETISH. I will never forget the moment when I was talking to some friends about my somewhat alternative attitudes towards sex and relationships. Before I knew it, I was asked:
“So, does that mean you have…like…a fetish or whatever?”
This further prodding into what turns me on did leave me wondering: Are most people misusing the term fetish, and does it actually matter?
I’ve always assumed fetish referred to a sexual obsession with an object or body part. I imagined the person with the foot fetish, jerking off in their basement over toenail clippings and photos of feet, chaffing themselves with peppermint footcreams and starting every conservations with “Can I suck your toes?” Of course I DO NOT think like this now.
Whilst I’m sure many other people in the world hold onto a disturbing view of what a fetish is, the term itself does seem to be evolving. Colloquially, I would argue that people use the term fetish as a way of saying what turns them on. I’ve listened to friends tell me the fetishes they have, but quickly realised I seemd to be translating in my head. When someone said fetish, I simply began to hear: “something I really enjoy is X,” “Y really turns me on,” “I’m really enjoying Z.” You get the idea.
My previous assumptions considered, when I went poking about to find a solid definition, I came across the DSM* and I wasn’t surprised that ‘fetishism’ is classed as a mental illness. The DSM highlights that a fetish is finding sexual arousal in a typically non-sexual thing and having experiencing mental distress because of this. Yet, even with the clear note that “mental distress” is where the problem lies, there are still many people out there who enjoy things that are considered atypically arousing and have no distress about this. Is this still a fetish, because the things they desire may not present as typically desirable or sexually arousing? Similarly, there are people who enjoy things and body parts that fall into that ‘typically arousing’ category, but are painstakingly obsessed or distressed about this. If someone is obsessed by breasts (a body part that is sexually mainstream in its desirability) to the point it impacts their day to day functioning, does it become a fetish?
Do you feel tangled up trying to follow this logic? I do.
I think this is an example of attitudes changing and the need for the vocabulary we use to evolve with it. Just like ‘queer’ was reclaimed as a positive term (not long after homosexuality as a mental illness was removed from the DSM) perhaps we are on the cusp of an evolving sexual language, which is far more inclusive of those “atypical” desires.