tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

On relationship etiquette and being a wanker

So you might have noticed that I sometimes demonstrate fear of being perceived as a wanker.

"But Tats, you are a wanker! Just accept it!" I hear you say.

I reckon there are two kinds of people in the world - wankers and liars. Although in this enlightened age, I've only ever met one person who claimed to never wank. Which is an improvement on the 'deny at all costs' attitude of my teenage years, that led to plenty of people (particularly women) not really knowing anything about what gets them off.

Life without getting off sounds bloody miserable if you ask me.

So anyway, relationship etiquette. It's a Thing.

You see, somehow *insert a bunch of stuff about societal indoctrination here* growing up I managed to internalise that oh-so-common idea that girls don't fart. Obviously I do fart and I'm a girl, but I had to somehow hide this fact from the rest of the world lest they see me as dirty and crass. I was perfectly aware that other people fart* but for some reason it was ok for them to do it but I couldn't possibly let them know I did.

When it came to relationship time, a whole bunch of other things suddenly became Things It Is Polite To Hide. Like peeing. Periods and their related paraphernalia. Even toenail cutting. I have this list of things that you don't do in front of other people and god forbid you do them in front of someone you really like, like your partner. It's weird because considering that sex is noisy, squishy and undignified, you'd think that'd make us ok with sharing other intimate things we do with our partners, but for me it doesn't seem to work that way. When you're dating you can keep a lot of this stuff to yourself, but when you start to live with someone everything changes.

For example, I use a menstrual cup. Anyone who uses one of these will know there are certain rituals you go through between times to keep it clean and make sure it stays fresh. For me, this includes soaking it in a glass with apple cider vinegar after washing, then letting it sit in the sun on the windowsill for a couple of days. The sunlight helps freshen it up in the same way it does for washing on the line. When I lived alone I just put it on my bedroom windowsill and thought nothing of it. But as soon as I started cohabiting, I started feeling the need to hide it. I don't know why and I'm aware it makes no sense, but there you go. That little bit of plastic is loaded with messages of Things That Must Be Hidden. I guess I fear that this thing that's been inside my body might gross my partner out if it's seen in an incongruous place like sitting on the windowsill. Or maybe all those ads that imply that periods are icky actually got to me.

Anyway. You get the idea. I've had to come to terms with letting my partner know** that I fart, have periods, cut my toenails, occasionally get tinea, and am generally human rather than the perfectly poised, classy, non-gaseous android that I'd been trying to pass myself off as for the sake of my own self-image.

So what does this have to do with wanking?

Well, that's another one of those things that you do without compunction when you're living alone - but when you share all of your private space with someone else, what do you do? There's a school of thought that believes the solution is to stop wanking. Frankly I reckon that's right up there with expecting you to stop breathing. But there do seem to be some emotional weirdnesses attached to it. Do you do it in front of your partner? Sometimes, probably - but it's not the same as getting down with your bad self in private, right? And frankly, private self-love is as important as shared intimacy in a balanced sex life IMO.

Weirdly, there's this idea that having a wank is somehow betraying your partner. And I'm sorry to say that this seems to be more common among women. I get the impression that many men find tearing one off to be perfectly natural and normal and doing it while in a relationship is no big deal. And I get the impression that many men also assume that their female partners are doing it too. But it seems many women find the idea of their partner having a wank to be disturbing, and having a wank themselves is something to feel guilty about. Personally, I don't feel guilty about it and I have no qualms whatsoever about my partner doing it, but to admit it? Suddenly, up goes the fart/period/toenail barrier. Huh.

I mean, I get that private wanking is an 'extracurricular' activity, and if it wasn't done in private then it wouldn't be the same, and what we're after when we do it is only got by being alone. But there's a difference between acknowledged private matters and pretending we don't do things, or trying to hide them. It's got to be healthier to acknowledge, right? So why don’t we talk about it***? Why do we persist with this not-saying that maintains a small deceit, then feeling vaguely guilty about it?

And personally I wonder, why am I more ok with talking about my private wanking habits than I am about putting that cup on the windowsill?

* There is a theory that farting is one of the few things that is found universally funny across all cultures.
** Of course he already knows but while I could hide it I could pretend he didn't right?
*** Yes we have talked about it. I wouldn’t be posting about it here otherwise.

In other news, as part of the Steam sale this weekend, Dr Wheel bought me Secret of the Magic Crystals. I’m not sure if he knew exactly what can of worms he was opening when he did this, but I’ve been a horse game nutter since horse games were invented. I haven’t played all of them by any means, but in the past I’ve spent time seriously addicted to Howrse, Virtual Horse Ranch, and Horsez. Of those, VHR was the most involved, being the most customisable and also massively multiplayer (I kid you not, thousands of people play it), but it’s a grid-based maths game with no graphics so no pretty ponies dancing.. Anyway, you get the idea. I will probably play this game obsessively till I complete my quest to breed a rainbow-coloured Unicorn Pegasus. Even if everyone else who played this to the finish was five. I have no shame.

Despite this, I did actually read two articles about Durkheim and start sketching out my first essay. Turns out Durkheim is like Foucault in that if you read articles other people have written about his stuff, he’s much easier to read. Thank fuck.

[edit] Haha ok this thread is cracking me up (in which someone attempts to play SOMC without instructions because it doesn't give you any).
Tags: relationships, unicorn pegasuses will be mine!, wankers
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