Sex is NOT the only path to pleasure

Call it old an outdated idea, but the act of sex is actually really sacred and has more to do with intimacy than it has to do with pleasure. Unfortunately though, the social media generation has got it all wrong. With traditional society making sex a taboo and pop culture trying to normalize it, the message is completely lost and we are in fact left with the misconception that sex and pleasure are synonymous. There are two contrasting outcomes of this misconception:

  1. The hook-up culture – brought upon by media’s portrayal of sex, the hook-up culture promotes the idea of brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other. This has led to more and more adolescents and young adults seeking sexual gratification without really understanding the meaning of intimacy.
  2. Asexual and/or less sexually active individuals, on the contrary, feel ‘broken’ or consider themselves to be deviant in some way because they do not enjoy or seek sexual pleasure the same way. They also experience negative emotions like guilt and shame as a result of this.

In MTV Nishedh Season 2, Inaaya tries to shed light on the topic of sex and pleasure through her film. She is however met with a lot of resistance and challenges because of the people around her who have      toxic notions about sex.

It is important for today’s generation to understand that although it is pleasurable, sex is not the only path to pleasure. Research shows that, 81.6% women and 5% men cannot be satisfied with sex alone. Under-confidence, anxiety, inexperience, abusive relationships, peer pressure, past trauma from sexual abuse or just simply not feeling comfortable are a few examples of why both men and women can have difficulty finding pleasure. To top it all, statistics also state that 70% women and 30% men have faked an orgasm in their lives. Why then, do we hype sex so much? Because it is intimacy we want to feel and touch is one of the easiest ways to initiate it.

But surely there are other ways to find pleasure, right? Absolutely.

Self pleasure is the most practiced but least talked about form of pleasure. The meaning of self pleasure is to simply please oneself. There can be innumerable ways in which one can derive self pleasure – a walk on the beach, a long, relaxing bath, or even touching oneself. 

Below are some self pleasure ideas to explore in order to get to know yourself better:

1. Explore yourself

Even though masturbation is a completely normal and a common practice, it is still a taboo and has some shame attached to it. It is time to break away from the taboo and explore yourself. Masturbation allows you to not only seek self pleasure, but also gives you the space and liberty to understand what feels pleasurable to you and how. The ways in which you find self pleasure are also ways in which you can build sexual intimacy with a partner.

In today’s time, there are many ways how to self pleasure including literotica, porn, and sexual toys. Vibrators can be used for self pleasure for women as well as men.

2. Explore your fantasies individually or with a partner

There is absolutely no shame in having and exploring sexual fantasies by yourself or even with your partner. Exploring fantasies with your partner can be a great way to deepen intimacy in marriage. Experimenting alone/with a partner forces you to lower your guard and express vulnerability, but it also gives you an opportunity to feel whole, accepted, and loved for who you are. Fulfilling fantasies can be really rewarding if it is done in a safe, healthy and consensual way.

3. It is not what it looks like

The porn industry has really painted an extremely unrealistic picture of what sex and self pleasure is supposed to be. This sets a wrongful standard of expectations for most adolescents and thus makes it difficult for them to experience sexual pleasure the way it really is. For starters, real sexual encounters are not directed or scripted and bodies are not nearly as perfect as they are shown. This leads to development of self-image issues, under-confidence, and performance pressure. It is necessary to keep in mind that real sex can be messy and self pleasure is really just to please oneself, instead of chasing the picture-perfect climax.

4. Understanding love languages

Understanding your as well as your partner’s love languages plays a vital role in establishing and deepening intimacy. Self pleasure can be a really helpful tool to understand your love language while understanding your partner’s needs can strengthen the bond between you two, leading to more satisfying experiences of sex. Communication is the key for both.

There is no rulebook or a set of self pleasure ideas that anyone can recommend for you to feel real pleasure. What can be really helpful is learning the ways in which you feel pleased, communicating with your partner, focusing on feeling intimate rather than ‘finishing’. But most importantly, do not focus on the end-goal, i.e. orgasm, rather, simply enjoy the process. That is where the real pleasure lies.

Watch MTV Nishedh Season 2 to know more about Inaaya’s film and DM @MTVNishedh on Instagram to know more about safe sex and self-pleasure.

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