Getting Reacquainted

Before yesterday, I hadn’t read a romance novel in three years. That’s a big deal because I used to be crazy about romance books, especially when I was a teenager. I used to read everything from PG-13 YA books to R-rated bodice rippers. I even gave the erotic stuff a try, but decided that they were not for me. Like porn movies, these books had a sex scene in almost every page and the plot was ridiculous and exaggerated. But still, they fell under romance and so I read them.

But slowly something was happening. Romance books were losing their lustre in my mind. Maybe it was because nothing much was happening in the romance department in my own life. Maybe it was because I realized how stupid most romantic books were. I started to hate romance books. I hated their formulaic plots and their cliched tropes and their misogynistic portrayal of women. Mostly I hated that reading romance books didn’t make my pulse race anymore. I hated that they didn’t make me hug a pillow and sigh dreamily anymore.

So, I gave up romance books and moved to other genres – fantasy, sci-fi, thriller, horror etc. Basically everything under the sun except romance. Sometimes a pleasant memory of me enjoying a romance book would pass my mind and feeling nostalgic, I would carefully pick out a romance book that had earned great reviews and start reading. But ultimately, they all let me down. I decided I was too ruined for romance.

Then, I came across a list of feminist romance novels on the internet. The term itself seemed like an oxymoron. How can a romance novel be feminist? It was like saying that a porn movie was a piece of cinematic art. But piqued, I downloaded a few of the books from the list onto my Kindle and started to read.

The first book I read was a novella called “Ember” by Bettie Sharpe. I have to say the book totally pulled the rug from beneath me. It was unexpected and absolutely enjoyable. I finished it in three hours and started with the next book from the list – “The Governess Affair” by Courtney Milan. At first glance, “The Governess Affair” seemed like a normal Victorian romance novel about uptight lords and ladies. But it is so much more than that. I haven’t finished it yet, but I can tell you this: I have thoroughly enjoyed the book so far.

Now, I’m not saying I’ve completely crossed over to the dark side… er, the I-Love-Romance side. I have both of my feet firmly planted on each side. Maybe the reason I hated romance books was because I was reading the wrong ones. Maybe the right ones needed a little effort on my part to be found.

On a totally unrelated note, Gerard Way’s debut solo album “Hesitant Alien” totally rocks and if you haven’t listened to it yet, you should get out from under that rock and listen to it. It’s a really fun record, I promise!

Do Indian Girls Play Air Guitar?

WARNING: This posts includes discussion of sex and masturbation. For those who claim to be easily offended by such things, I would tell you to not read this, but let’s face it. I know you want to read it and I know you’re going to, you lying hypocrite.

So, I was thinking about which euphemism for female masturbation I should use in the title and the only one I could come up with was “double clicking the mouse”. Yeah, I know. “American Pie?” Really? So, I did what anyone in my position would have done – I Googled “euphemisms for female masturbation”. And Google, my ever so trusty friend, didn’t fail me. Hidden amongst the many ludicrous ones, there were some truly funny ones like “buffing the bonnet”, “flicking through the furry purse”, “exploring the cave of infinite wisdom”,  “fingering the culprit”, “sitting on the washing machine”, “beating around the bush”, “scratching where it itches”, “the magical disappearing finger trick” and some which appealed to the geek in me like “going hands-solo” and “getting chummy with dildo baggins”. There were some which applied to both men and women like “getting to know yourself”, “having sex with someone you love” and “taking advantage of yourself” and even one hilariously irreverent one – “parting the Red Sea”. But I went with “playing air guitar” because, hey, it’s so funny I LOL-ed.

So, anyway. Yeah. Female masturbation. A topic I have never heard any Indian girl or guy discuss openly. Even I am not discussing it openly, am I? I’m hiding behind a frigging computer screen. But whatever. Maybe a day will come when I will finally grow some balls (figuratively, of course). In the meantime, allow me to hide behind my computer screen and tell you my feelings on sex/masturbation.

There are three reasons as to why I jerk off:

1. because I’m horny. And I’m especially horny around the time my monthly visitor comes a-knocking.

2. because I’m bored. This happens a lot.

3. because I’m stressed out or depressed. This happens whenever I have too much work on my hands or when I’m having an existential crisis.

And, jerking off cures me of my horniness, boredom, depression and stress every single time. So, why do some people frown upon something which, in my opinion, is doing what therapy and meds have failed to do?

First, there are religious reasons. I don’t know about Hinduism, but according to Christianity, jerking off is a sin. And Islam goes one step further and proclaims that it is okay for dudes to wack off as long as they fantasize that they are doing it with slave girls and not respectable women, but it is NOT okay for girls to wack off at all. I’m not an expert on the Koran or anything, but I read about this on some Islamic Q&A website some time back and I’m too lazy to dig the page up.

I think this would be the right time for me to divulge a secret.

Psst, hey you, come here! I’m a Muslim!

At least, I was born a Muslim. I’m not a practicing Muslim. Therefore, I have no religious qualms about jerking off.

Then, there are cultural reasons. We live in a country where a woman’s virginity is believed by both sexes to be the highest virtue she possesses; where a woman’s goodness is determined more by how unused her vagina is and less by how kind or intelligent she is. Women are expected to shy away from the topic of sex. Women are expected to be coy. Women who are open about their sexuality are labelled as shameless.

Don’t tell me this isn’t true because this happened to me. In college, one of the girls in my class called me shameless because I discussed sex with my best friend. I had a friend in high school who didn’t like to look at her own naked body. She was shocked when I told her I had fifteen moles on various parts of my body.
Would such girls be okay with touching themselves? I doubt it. If you’re an Indian girl who buffs her bonnet, I salute you, ma’am.
Is it so unthinkable for a girl to want to have sex? I mean, just because our privates aren’t external doesn’t mean we don’t get horny.
Yeah, I’m still a virgin. But at this point, I’m so sick of all this that my virginity feels more like a burden than a gift. I don’t want to marry while I’m still a virgin. And right now, I’m not even holding out for an awesome guy to have sex with. I just want a guy I’m attracted to, a non-creepy kind of guy who wouldn’t post a video of our tryst for all the Internet population to see. I haven’t met such a guy yet, but when I do, I’m jumping his bones.
Until then, I’ll be playing air guitar on my own.
(And if this post is incoherent or has spelling or grammar errors, I apologize. This was an unpremeditated post of passion.)