Content warning: Discussion of nonconsensual sex
POV: You have to be submissive.
You find the pleasure between your young, soft thighs prematurely and start teasing it just as soon. Once, to a video of Samantha, that infamous whore who had Sex and lived in the City. She was riding a farmer in his stable in a blue cowboy hat. Blue, and that kind of promiscuous dominance, is for boys, and maybe white girls. Not for you, you know that.
She yanks him by his teats and yells “Yee-haw!” You whimper with fear; lower the volume, close all tabs and clear history. But your housekeeper heard it, and she commands you to show her, pacifying you with the promise that she won’t tell your parents.
She does though, and they whip their sense into you. You can’t be a brazen brat. You’re red hot with embarrassment. You submit your indecency to God, swearing you’ll never trail your fingers across your legs, or your lust, again.
It’s this same god, Ram, who as per Indian mythology, instructed his obedient wife to walk through fire to prove her kidnapper didn’t rape her, to prove she’s not a slut. She was suffocating and teary-eyed. But she survived the temperature play. And you survive the religious and societal power play. Choking back your curiosity, you shut your gullible legs and frail mind to your desires.
But a few years later, in middle school, you’re seduced by an alluring catalog of erotica on Wattpad. Maybe this time, in this bedroom of your life, you could switch. Control the narrative of your own sexual discovery.
But the authority of culture hovers over you, too close to your face, even through the screen, until you give in. It pressures you to take in the concept of love as the prerequisite to all sex. The plots are absurd and all over the place, but from all sides, they shove love down you.
If you’re a sweetheart with a vanilla scent until the high school alpha notices you and erects your social life, you could give your virginity to him, and the story finishes. If you’re a frail doll who was taken by a mafia boss or sold to One Direction, they might f— you first, but eventually, you’ll be domesticated into their sadistic love.
Love is fetishised as a necessity for sex until it’s all that you comprehend in this sensory deprivation of mainstream media.
Eventually you do feel it, that love. You’re sedated in it and all your firsts are deep. You are so satisfied with its arrival in your life, it’s okay that you don’t come. Still, you tease the ideas of masturbation and orgasms in conversations with your friends. They gag at it.
They exclusively like to be fingered by the boys in your school. They are content rolling their eyes at these dickheads’ conspiracy theories. An intoxicating infantilization of their beliefs and a test of their boundaries and degradation kinks, it made for great foreplay.
Domesticated as you are in your relationship, this logic of intimacy for physicality is thrusted in your mind. How ever your partner may do it, they do you. Once again, you are the bottom, as your sexual needs lie heavy under the stifling weight of the typical female experience.
During your year at Berkeley, you start edging towards sexual liberation. You microdose on casual sex, and even though there are prolonged bouts of guilt after, you’re starting to unclasp the moral bondage on your body. You know a lot of brown girls around you also struggle with it, the same collar of convention around their throats too.
But with the example of your big sisters, the white girls, you don’t think you need to stop this time. After all, it’s different here in America.
It’s not. While all the previous structures you were under flirted implicitly with breaking your consent, the Supreme Court makes a direct attack at it. It gets leaked that women, and especially those who look just like you, will be chained to the headboard once they go there.
You scream all your safe words in dialogue and in your activism. You know they can hear you too, there’s a mirror by the bed. But they continue on.
After they’re done, they leave you, and all the people of color it affects, there. You have to lay there in it, with no towel of contraceptive education, abortion access or maternal aftercare. And the psychological stigma of shame is stickier than ever.
The implication stands naked in front of you. Across countries and cultures, women cannot have a life detached from a dick. It’s a fantasy, a wet dream. Systematically, you have to stay blindfolded, sexualised in your girlhood and naïveté. You cannot embrace a womanhood of freely chosen sexual decisions.
Your retaliation now comes through an existence of indecency as a brazen woman of color, penetrating through the entrenched misogyny in and around you. It comes by simulating readers with raging, feminist columns. It comes every time you do.
If women of color are supposed to make love, you will be f—ing for the white, hot pleasure of it. You are such a Samantha, and if Ram burns you to a crisp, so be it.