Self Pleasure: A Freedom Yet To Be Known
Written By – Saumya Khatri
Most parts of our lives are engulfed with binaries, good and bad, angelic and satanic, hot and cold and many others. It leaves almost no room to think otherwise. It forces us to perceive ourselves in these binaries and others too. One such binary strategically and structurally maintained is the gender binary, between men and women, male and female entirely for the purpose of procreation, centred upon wealth inheritance and social division, to break free from this binary which treats sexual intercourse only as a method for procreation puts many questions, alternative choices and re-imagination of societal concepts in front of us. To search for the answers, re-imagine the said concepts and examining alternative choices is a way of liberation, sexual pleasure achieved without a heteronormative child centric activity, therefore, becomes an act of liberation too.
Sexual Pleasure In Cis-het Sexual Intercourse
One of the fallacies of human beings and the structures that we have historically created has been to think of sexual intercourse, sexual intimacy in terms of a relationship between men and women. It grows on the idea that two people involved in this act are indulging in it just for the sake of giving birth to a child. We assume these two people two be cisgendered heterosexual male and female, the offspring that they give birth to is also a cis-het child. Any assumption beyond is taken as a threat to social structures of gender, class and caste. Even sexual pleasure attained just for the sake of pleasure, hardly comes into the picture, which again becomes an act of sexual liberation.
Gender binary thrives on patriarchal concepts, masculinity and femininity of which are an intrinsic part. The masculine, macho man is sexually dominating and open to sexual intercourse. He has the right to demand, dominate and attain sexual pleasure. His sexual drive and ability to impregnate makes him a ‘man’. Woman on the other hand remains submissive, unknown about her own ability to claim sexual pleasure and valued on her ability to birth a child.Claiming right to sexual pleasure, indulging in sexual intercourse just for the sake of it is therefore, not an issue belonging inside closed bedrooms, it is social, it is liberation.
The Need To Claim Liberation
Intercourse reserved for procreation not only limited our understanding of gender, sex and intimacy but also restricted our right to know our bodies. It has not only limited men and women to go beyond the mainstream boring narrative of sex where it is pleasure for men and pain for women but also altogether ‘othered’ the talks around sexual intercourse in which the entire LGBTQIA+ community indulges. The need of the hour remains to dismantle patriarchal binary concepts and delink sex from procreation.
More conversation, knowledge dissemination and inclusivity while discussing sex, sexual pleasure and intimacy is one way to embark upon the journey of sexual liberation. While we as individuals can only guarantee our part, the other side managing how we perceive sex vis-a-vis sex i.e. the media, mainstream as well as porn industry. We all know the flack Swara Bhasker received after one masturbation scene portrayed in one movie. A woman, indulging in anything remotely related to sex without any intention to appease me, without any intention to contribute towards is next to impossible, not acceptably explicit for our society, which is why we need a liberation in what we prefer to do indoors.
A liberation attained within oppressive structures is never really a liberation. A sex positive movement which doesn’t mention liberation from sex as perceived in classist, gendered and casteist structures is no good for the society. A pleasure reserved for all who are bestowed with sexual desires deserves a liberation which is inclusive and leaves room for human flaws and incompleteness.