Monthly Archives: January 2021

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby

It could be a lot of things. Commitment. A bribe. A power game. Love? Not necessarily.

And there are things that have got nothing to do with sex. Like good looks. Religion. Rebellion. Daddy issues. Mommy issues. Alcohol.

Everybody has a problem with sex. This is because everybody has problems. We spend our lives trying to figure out how to journey through the madness that is each other. How could those not show up in our sex?

It will hurt. Physically, maybe. Emotionally, definitely. There is so much that will surprise you & continue to surprise you every minute you breathe & move around other people. The sight of someone’s forearm. The musk of a stranger as they pass. The back of a head you used to know really well. Surprises aren’t always good, even if the sex is. You’ll never realise how much your life is based on assumptions about sex, until they’re broken.

I’ve heard people describe themselves as ‘very sexual’ and mean promiscuous. I don’t like the term promiscuous because it has a whiff of judgement about it. One might say “I’m a sexual person” because there are other people who are asexual beings. And there are people who have sex but it doesn’t form a big part of their identity. I say it to mean that sex is an integral part of how I relate to another person. It doesn’t mean I have sex with a lot of people or even a lot of sex with some people. It just means that sexual awareness is an intrinsic of my identity & my connections with others.

Sex isn’t a mechanical act that can be boiled down to a precise contract or formula. It’s the very act of living & being who we are. Only living creatures have sex. How can we bring objectification into it?

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Sailing The Age Bar

I watched @netflix_in #FabulousLives. I loved Neelam as a kid & even more now. At a self-confessed 50, she exudes the understated confidence that comes from riding life’s ups & downs. But there’s also a vulnerability, the hesitation about her looks, the uncertainty of comeback roles. Unlike the brittle tantrums of the others. This is owning age well, not resisting it.



People say I look younger & expect me to take it as a compliment. I do not want to be 25. I’ve already been there. I didn’t carry myself with the same ease because my body was newer to me & it held painful things. My life was not my own. Each day was surviving the control games by men, family, authority figures & social systems while trying to find identity.

At 41, many of those battles are over, some won, some lost. I don’t bear most of the scars anymore. But I have reduced vision, longer lasting hangovers, more medicines, supplements & monitoring needed where earlier a day would run along carelessly. I am not careless anymore. It’s a new story of me so it annoys me to be force-cast into an outdated one.

I have haters saying I should ‘act my age’. It means shut up & stay invisible. It’s ageism. I also get people demanding I take care of them or tolerate misbehaviour because I’m ‘wiser’. This is ageism too because why does 41 have to look a specific way?

In the show, the daughters of the main cast seem very young to me. Not in an appealing way. Their rawness makes my interest wane. There’s a mind-numbing uniformity because after all, their youth is as yet unformed & only trying on various costumes, moods, identities. The mothers have such distinct stories, their choices, their regrets, the possibility of plot twists in their stories.

There’s a bit about the term MILF. I’ve dismissed it as an excuse for Oedipal syndrome. I stand by that. I’m not interested in being anyone’s babysitter/sextoy.

But I also believe our sexual desires carry clues to our hopes & needs. I must admit, this one implies at least recognition & admiration of the wealth of age.

At 41 I’m on the same journey I was on at 25 or 33-to write who I am in this moment. Why impose one role on me?

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Fierce Butterflies

There is something about living your best self that draws in other people. We call its wonderful parts, inspiration. The pleasure of watching someone achieve their dream, follow their passion, be happy.

But it also pulls in darker sides of humanity. Microaggressions like insincerity, barbs, sarcasm, condescension. Boundary violations like stalking, hero worship, objectification. Dangerous things like righteous rage & what I call themsplaining (which is people telling you who you are from their own limited point of view but as if that is the truth). Some people are in a hurry to impose on you, their scripts of what your life should look like & who you should be. It’s a lot easier than saying, what a joy to behold & what does it teach me about my own joyfulness? People tell you who they are, in the way they respond to your happiest self.

My dressing often brings in aggression. Workplace harassment for wearing a hair ornament. Bullying by a classmate for wearing sarees. Slut-shaming & prudery-shaming together. Don’t ask – hate isn’t logical. Last evening I sported a face painting, some people said was ‘scary’.

I once read an interview with Rudyard Kipling, where he spoke of the abuse he endured as a child. He said, “That experience left me devoid of the capacity to hate.” My contentment in my body & clothes is probably terrifying for some people. It’s hard to be angry at people who are scared of you. In my experience, refusing to respond with anger kills the aggression. Bullies have returned offering timid affection. It’s hard to take seriously because a guilty compliment is a bribe, a desperate plea for approval. All I feel is sad for the smallness that humanity can also be.

I go back to Kipling. And try & keep my head when all about are losing theirs & blaming it on me. This is being my best self. Doing this in big colours makes it an adventure. I am a fierce butterfly.

📢: Watch your reaction to what impresses you

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Enthusiastic Yes

Desire is a powerful, intoxicating force. We can easily let ourselves be blinded by what we want. We assume we know better, are quicker at making decisions or are righteous in what we want. Oh yes, I know what we want can come ratified by logic, social approval, even wisdom. But none of these cancel the fundamental human right to choose. This includes the right to make mistakes & the right to be confused.



Each choice is a complex navigation of emotion, impulse, opportunity & other social rules. In a basic world, we’d all communicate in simple YESes and NOs. But most life choices are not that binary. A firm yes or no needs us to understand ourselves perfectly in that moment. Most of us are not able to do that immediately. We are not always clear what we want & how much we want it, how we want it.

Getting what one wants almost always has to do with dealing with other people’s decisions & choices. I pride myself on being decisive. So it frustrates me to deal with other people’s ambivalence. I hate to feel thwarted or confused by mixed signals. It helps me to remember how often I’m not able to express my own boundaries myself.

I think we all fear that we will never get what we want. Impatience is always a sign of that. Is what we want worth the toll we pay? I find myself asking if I would want anything that wasn’t freely, willingly given. I know how corrosive resentment is. It’s a given in any situation that didn’t have all people fully on board.

No. I would not want to go anywhere I’m not wholeheartedly welcome. It’s too humiliating & hurtful to recognise that lack of welcome in another’s eyes. It cannot be hidden. Nothing is worth that. This isn’t ego, it’s respect for the self & the other.

True, people play games because it makes them feel more powerful or secure. That’s a setup for toxicity. It doesn’t take a big personality or fancy speech to express enthusiasm. Human beings manage to convey it in a variety of ways & also understand it. I say it’s worth waiting for.

This isn’t about villifying desire. It’s human to want. The real question is in whether you’re defined by what you seek or by how you receive it.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

Crossed Connections

I met Scorpio in a chatroom. Reeling from heartbreak, I blundered into a new internet in 2000. We traded barbs, volleyed rock lyrics. When I was all cried out, I wandered back. This time we chatted. Then emailed, a song lyric here, an essay there, a letter then a poem. In a new millennium, time goes by fast.



He had a girlfriend, Gemini. Things weren’t good. Then maybe they were. When she came into our chat, things got richer. More poignant poetry, more passionate declarations. A marriage proposal. To me. I told him to breakup first, then ask me. He did in a Dear Jane email, BCC me. But I awoke to an unread chat message. “I couldn’t. Sorry.” The barbs returned. So did the poetry.

Scorpio’s best friend & Gemini’s senior was Aquarius. Scorpio would ask him to keep me company on chat when he had to work late. Aquarius & I talked mathematics & architecture. He told me about the girl he pined for. Then Scorpio would login & Aquarius would swim off with a polite bye. My nights were to hold Scorpio’s poignant heart but the waiting was made sweeter by intellectual Aquarius.

One night, Scorpio didn’t login. Aquarius & I building a connection over design, barely noticed. Before I logged off, he typed..and stopped. I was used to his keyboard fidgeting. “Goodnight or is 3AM good morning?” The reply surprised me. “I love you. I know you don’t feel that way but you should know this. Goodnight.” I never told Scorpio.

Months later, Gemini found me. She’d tracked my phone number down, something two boys who said they loved me hadn’t been able to, in a year. She was walking out on her family for Scorpio. “You have to tell me if something’s going on.” So I did. Scorpio lied. I served up the emails. Did they count? I let her decide.

Aquarius raged & called me a relationship breaker. I said it wasn’t my job to keep Scorpio loyal. I received an apology email. “What would you do if you were me?” I asked. He said, “Forgive me.” I did.

A new millennium lay ahead of us. It was just the internet.

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If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

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