We are often told how unique we are as individuals and this is backed up by scientific theories. Most of that uniqueness occurs in the mind, and some of our thoughts are so unique that we dare not add voice to them, especially if we have seen others victimized (by family, society, or else) for daring to ventilate such. In our everyday life we learn to keep a watchful eye for persons who display behaviours that reflect what were are thinking. Once one is spotted, we gravitate, and being in their presence brings us fulfillment. We are not alone – in thought and action – and we spend time sharing our thoughts and doing things together without experiencing the criticisms we may have had before. When the doing of things eventually initiates physical relations there is little or no need of defensive behavior because it is through intimacy at the thought level that obstacles to intimacy at the physical level are removed. Sex comes naturally. The concern of many of our elders is that the intricacies of this game are being played out too soon, and children are not being children long enough.
That is my mental attempt at an introduction to the institutionalized teenagers my cousin is working with. I don’t know that I will ever have conversation with the relevant authorities to initiate workshops with them, but I am testing myself to see if I could relate. I’ve decided that it can be called: Peers-in-Pairs Massage Workshop, and given the nature of their situation, less I come across as pretentious I guess I’d have to stand before them and bare my soul. So I plan to wrap my teeny-weeny knowledge of dating into a neat bundle and hand it to them for the testing and proving.
I would also want to open floor for comments and questions so that we learn from each other’s dating experiences and hear opinions on what would have been done differently if they had more or less pressure from parents and society. I’d want to encourage them try and try again at love, as love is independent of us, but works through us, so they need to keep a watchful eye to see who it will show up in next. Love comes into our lives and tectonic plates are shifted, and our relationships can be defined by major push and pull factors which sap our energy and causes our investment to greatly outweigh the pleasurable benefits. But love has no one definition. There is a version of it that sees no need to sweep us off our feet. It softly creeps up on us and patiently awaits our acknowledgement. It is the kind of love that sometimes waits for years, because we have a tendency not to see what’s under our nose.
And please, don’t you worry if the guy you have been noticing never seems to notice you. Men are hunters, we like to say, but we don’t seriously consider how the predator/prey game works. They go back and forth silently observing us, then one day they show up with a proposal…I would like to enter into (a contract with) you. And while the guy with the long term contract is preferred to the guy with the more immediate version, either way we see that their apparent disinterest was really deep interest. If you agree to be entered into, you soon realize that the hunting trait pervades relationship and it is totally unromantic. You ask them to do a task, and they go back and forth, silently analyzing and strategizing. When you request a progress report, they let you know that they’re working on it. More time goes by and you check in again, and they decry your impatience and nagging. When you eventually get it done yourself, they are disappointed at losing the opportunity to execute their strategy and a rush of cold air enters the relationship because you lacked confidence. So to sustain a relationship with these hunters, you have to sing their praises and know that everything you want them to do will be done by the 25th anniversary.
The entire session might be spent hashing and rehashing, and I imagine that if a management representative is in attendance, he/she might be curious as to when exactly the massage teaching will get started. I might have to defend the first session as being an icebreaker. The students need to feel understood and validated, not judged and guilty. This is not a campaign about Less Sex, More Sex, Yes Sex, No Sex. This is about understanding the driving forces behind their early sexual involvement. Massage being injected into the equation becomes a tool that uncovers causes on the one hand, while simultaneously bringing them benefits on the other. It would be a slow process with ongoing evaluation as the therapy will eventually bring about emotional releases which can get explosive if the process is hurried or not properly handled.
Should I have to specifically attend to an ‘emotional releaser’ I’d have whispered conversations with her. No. Not about God. I’d whisper about the importance of touch and how it has long been acknowledged that the stimulation and sedation derived from prolonged foreplay reduces, and often eliminates, the need for a climax because sufficient time would have elapsed to allow the necessary hormones to saturate the body, satisfying it on many levels. But some folk are busy, and others are exhausted from the daily grind of life, and can ill afford lengthy conjugal exchanges. So to avoid the Cliff Hanger experience, they approach sex with a preoccupation with the climax, then engage in sexual aerobics to make themselves feel better. But guess what? If the body is sufficiently stimulated, the mere act of penetrative produces an orgasm. Really? Really. And did you know that marriage is not the ceremony and/or legality, but rather the consummation of the relationship? It means that every person you’ve been sexually involved with, you were literally married to. How does that make us feel? And tell me, if you were to add ceremony and legality to the process, which of the marriages would you keep?
Not that I want to know the answers. The idea is to get them to take responsibility for the choices they made which got them institutionalized, while keeping hope alive so that they know that they can choose again and have a better experience. Using massage to facilitate rehabilitation would give them opportunity to revisit touch in a mental and physical space where they can experience comfort, healing, security, etc. without having to deal with sexual obligations. They get to feel their feelings and remember that those feelings are not exclusive to the sexual experience. And for all my whispers and good intentions, I hope I don’t spawn a set of lesbians. I will try to assess as early as possible whether my help is any help at all or whether they prefer to continue their rebellious lives, which would continue the cycle of punishment. If we consider that punishment is related to penalty, which is related to penal, which brings to mind penis, we could see that their being glutton for punishment subconsciously allows them to get what they want anyway.