I didn’t know for a long time that it was okay to want sex. That it was fine to desire men (in the plural). That it was natural to feel the fire of passion burning inside me when my body wanted sex. That it was alright to want more sex than the man I was with.
I have always had a huge sexual appetite. I used to call it my dark side. Why the dark side? Because I didn’t know it was normal. I spent years writhing in self-doubt and guilt of cheating on my partners. It is still difficult to write about this and open myself about a past I don’t generally talk about. Yes, I have deceived my partners. I haven’t been honest to them on occasions because I wasn’t honest to myself. I also know that some of my partners weren’t honest to me either. I have lived a life of lies and pretence for close to a decade.
One day, and I still remember that day, my world came crashing down due to the weight of the guilt and lies I had woven around me. I couldn’t function properly – I lost my sleep and appetite and libido – everything. I didn’t sleep for 13 days in a row. If I’d eat, I’d vomit. That’s when I realized I needed help – not physiological but psychological – and sought help. No one else could understand what I was going through or at least I thought so.
I have always believed in the power of the written word. What changed my perspective were the words by my favourite writer – Dostoyevsky.
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.”
This is exactly what I was going through then. I didn’t respect myself, I had no self-worth. I was trapped between the reality I had created and the actual reality. My counselor told me, “You have been acting against your values because of the fears you have harbored within. You have to accept yourself first – your shortcomings, your imperfections, and your deepest desires – before you can begin working on yourself.”
What were my values? I had no clue. Because no one ever talked about values in the real sense. I was fed the notions of the morals and standards that were created by society. Being a person who always questioned established norms before accepting them, I lacked a belief system because no one had the answers to my questions. So there began my journey of finding myself. I embraced and accepted my so-called ‘dark side’.
Yes, I am a tremendously sexual person. I am full of sexual energy that emanates from my entire being. Yes, I have hurt and wronged people in the past in my ignorance. Yes, I glorified myself in my eyes, not knowing my reality. But this was then. Now, I am an aware human being with a high degree of consciousness. This has increased the quality of my life. I have plenty of self-esteem and I am one of the most confident person you’d come across. People look up to me and I still get surprised when heads turn to look at me. But I have earned it. I have put in a tremendous deal of work and been through several excruciatingly painful phases of my life to get here.
I have also learnt with much difficulty and practice to transmute my sexual energy into creative energy. I take celibacy vows at intervals to focus all my energies into living and my art. The results have been very encouraging – my focus has improved manifold, I am a much calmer person, and I am in control of myself, my desires and to some extent, my mind.
I believe sexuality is an integral part of who you are. My understanding and acceptance of my sexuality have liberated me of my fears. I am now unapologetically free and generally a blissful person. Moreover, sexual expression is not limited to the act of sex. The sexual expression for me has been through conversations, gentle touches, being with myself and be able to pleasure myself, and through my work – my stories, my poems, the food I cook, the pots I build out of clay, and everything I do. My present life is an expression of my sexuality, my art and my authentic self.
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