Thursday 10 June 2021

A leaf from my experiments journal...

I was a part of online communities for long before I first became a member of a community offline. This community was connected to each other because of their sexual preferences, and it was a new thing to me. A new concept. Some of them were queer, others in open relationships, and there were others who experienced with pain and pleasure. That said, I was intrigued, as always - by the concepts. More importantly by the importance of consent.

However, 10 years later, I can tell you that people can manipulate consent. And you have to live with the consequences. I can tell you that the thought of consequences was the one thing that I did not consent to most things unless I wanted to.
Know, that things are layered, relationships nuanced, interactions multi-dimensional. What you might be consenting to, isn't necessarily the same in theory, as when it happens to you, or when you do it to someone. And sometimes it will be a one-way street because it will either bring you in touch with a hidden aspect of your core, or because it will simply alter you. Thankfully I have never had to deal with anything that would cause irreversible legal ramifications, but that can happen too, if you are not sorted.
The lessons though, are not something you will forget. Ever. Here's one from my playbook:
I learnt that when people try to convince you too hard, it's never to your advantage. No matter who the people are. The real well-wishers will have one solid, decent, lengthy discussion. They will not throw parties to lure you, nor gift you conditional friendship. They will establish healthy boundaries, and not intrude unless you invite them to. 
So the next time, someone tells you that you MUST have sex in order to know who you really are, you don't have to dis/agree right there. Give it some time, see if they are being pushy.
The next time, someone tells you it's OK to drink and party, when you don't want to, err on the side of caution.
The next time, someone tells you that your autonomy on your body can ONLY be expressed through sex, ask them how different are they from those pushing you for virginity. Check their responses out.
The next time, ANYONE tells you to do ANYTHING and cannot show you a direction or clearly answer your questions about WHY, you PAUSE.
You may still do it, or not do it, but don't make a decision under manipulation. Also remember, one kind of conditioning isn't better than another. So, choose the one you feel comfortable with, that you want to live with, that you want to experiment with.
- Anupama 10.6.2021

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