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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Problem With Sex Is

Have you ever look at someone and start enacting scenes from Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy in your head (because homie doesn't do meekly Fifty Shades of Grey)? No? Just me? Alrighty then…

Come on. Be honest. There must be once or twice moment where you feel it. The heat rising to your cheek, the palpitating heart, the burning desire inside you. After all, we are human.

Which brings us to some interesting questions: to what degree such passion is acceptable? Is it objectifying or improper? How can we stop ourselves from desiring it or to have feeling about it?

Heck, I can't even stop myself from drooling over sexy bras or board games. Yes, Saturday night with me can be very interesting. And even though I didn't end up buying them, they still make me excited.

Is it bad? Should I not have feelings like that? Is it not enough that I lowered my gaze and not look at the temptation? Am I supposed to suppress the excitement and kill the emotions? But we're humans. We're not robots.

The problem with sex is, it is scary. In that singular moment where the spark is lit, it can be either an uncontrolled wildfire that burned down everything or the warm fire of the hearth that you come home to.

Some sex are bland, nothing more than an upgraded version of masturbation. Some are supposed to be magical and the unification of soul. The last description is usually found in many women-targeted media.

Whatever you think what or how it is, the fact of the matter is, when you are in the moment, you literally lost yourself. Everything else lost its importance. And if you have a feeling for your partner, that's even more better.

Understandably, its intoxicating effect is the reason why it is considered a no-no. This is why it gets repressed. Strictly for reproduction only, please. Apparently, humans can't deal with so much excitement.

We talked about sex in a hushed voice, and for women in some part of the world, not at all. These women lose the opportunity to know about their reproductive system, their sexual rights, and the chance to bloom in spirit.

On the other side, men mostly talked about their bravado, which at times can't be confirmed anyway. They, in turn, lose the opportunity to make their sexual encounters a meaningful one, to understand more about women and about themselves.

I looked at him once again. Something inside me still stirred. That face. That body. The unsaid promise of joy and excitement. I want him to take me higher and pushed me to the edge where I will fly. And I want to do the same for him.

Maybe I shouldn't feel this way. It is objectifying. It is improper. As an old phrase go: First you think about it, then you talked about it, then you do it. I probably should stop right now.

But what if we both consent? What if we both like each other and we enjoy such passion from one another? Will it still be wrong? Will it still be objectifying and morally improper?

This is a dangerous slope I am treading because many people can use my arguments to justify their one-sided advances as 'mutual attractions' when they're actually not. Psychos are everywhere.

I don't want these psychos to defined what I am feeling. I don't want to get the nasty look of "Gluten is bad for you" because some people have bad gluten-related experience. Is it still bad even when I don't get the adverse reaction?

My feelings are valid. In a world where (some) women are still treated like objects, where sexual assaults and oppressions still happen to the weak, my feelings may sound like an insult to those who suffer. But it is still valid. 

I have the right to feel elated. I have the right to enjoy myself. I have the right to understand more about my feeling, to choose who I want to be with, to develop the connection that I want.

The problem with sex is, it shouldn't be a problem. Just as other things in life, it should be done with proper consent and equality on both side, and obtained without inflicting harm or manipulating other people.  

I, for one, am not ashamed for wanting it; nor will I be okay to be shamed for wanting it. There's nothing and there shouldn't be anything shameful about sex as long as it's done with consent and respect on both side. 

Hey, if it fits, I sits.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Self-Love dan Transformasi Impian

Foto transformasi saya dari tahun 2013 ke 2017 itu lumayan mencengangkan lho. Sekarang sih lebih ndut paling ga 5 kg, tapi yang mukanya jauh lebih segar, lebih ceria, lebih pede. Saat kita tahu bagaimana menghargai diri kita, akan terlihat bedanya.

Saya yang di 2013 penuh keraguan. Suami ganteng (uhuk-uhuk), tinggal di Amerika, kisah cinta yang seperti di dongeng, tapi tetap nggak pede. Kebahagiaan saya saat itu tergantung kebahagiaan pasangan saya. Kalau dia nggak bahagia, berabe saya.

Konyol? Banget. Kita kan nggak bisa membuat orang lain bahagia. Kalau dirinya sendiri pundung/bete atau nggak mau hepi, bukan tugas kita untuk membuatnya, apalagi memaksanya bahagia. Bodohnya saya percaya kalau dia nggak bahagia, saya yang 'kurang'.

Ini ketidakpedean yang berakar sejak lama. Di Indonesia, diledek kumel, gendut, hitam, dan segala ejekan lainnya dianggap biasa. Diskriminasi kalau kita nggak sesuai 'standar' pun biasa, padahal siapa sih yang bisa terus tampil seperti model, apalagi yang ga bermodal?

Sekalinya kita dapat pasangan, kadang keluarga pasangan masih yang: "emang ga bisa cari yang putihan?" Padahal cuma sanggup ngemodalin motor, gimana mau terus putih. Kita negara tropis juga kali, wajar kulit gelap badan bohai.

Pas dapat bule, lagi dihina: "Ish wajar, muka pembantu. Bule kan demen muka pembantu." Yeah, tapi kalo jadi 'pembantu' yang disayang dan dihargai seperti perhiasan berlian kan lebih mending daripada jadi istri 'terhormat' tapi diperlakukan sebagai pembantu beneran.

Sayangnya, walau logika tahu dan bisa membantah diskriminasi dengan lancar, hati lain cerita. Dapat akang yang lumayan ganteng ga membantu kepedean saya. "Gimana kalau dia tahu saya nggak sebagus itu?" "Gimana kalau dia kenal yang lebih cantik?"

Akhirnya ya itu: muka penuh keraguan yang sama sekali nggak menarik. Saat kebahagiaan saya tergantung orang lain, tanpa sadar saya menjadi terpenjara. Dunia saya adalah dia. Walaupun ini terdengar romantik, namun ini sebenarnya nggak sehat.

Di buku "Dear, Mantan tersayang" saya menjelaskan tentang pentingnya self-love, mencintai diri sendiri. Saya belajar ini dengan kepahitan hahaha. Saat ketidakcocokan saya dan pasangan semakin membesar, saya dipaksa belajar untuk berinteraksi dengan diri saya sendiri.

Jangan ditanya perihnya saat itu, segala "Kenapa sih dia nggak sesayang dulu?" dan semua perasaan bersalah saat saya tahu saya bisa bahagia tanpanya. Tapi perlahan tapi pasti, bukan dia dan kenegatifan yang mendefinisikan saya, namun sikap positif saya dan tanggapan lingkungan yang positif. 

Saya nggak perlu lagi berharap dia perduli, karena ada banyak orang yang perduli. Saya nggak perlu lagi takut dia pergi, karena saya tahu saya sudah memberi yang terbaik, jadi kalau dia pergi ga ada lagi yang bisa saya lakukan. Saya tidak lagi harus hanya bahagia bila ia bahagia. 

Semua diskriminasi yang membuat saya trauma pun tak lagi melukai saya, karena saya belajar untuk nggak ambil pusing. Bawaan lahir begini, mau diapain? Saya tahu apa yang bisa saya berikan untuk pasangan saya, kalau ditolak karena mencari fisik sempurna ya sudah.

Kedengarannya egois, tapi ini masuk akal. Seperti yang saya jelaskan di buku saya, saat kita menyayangi seseorang kita pastinya ingin memberikan yang terbaik; nah kalau kita sendiri nggak merasa kita yang terbaik, berarti kita memberikan barang cacat dong?

Saat kita merasa bahagia dan nyaman dengan diri kita sendiri, saat itulah kecantikan alami kita bersinar. Kenali diri kita sendiri, berdamai dengan diri kita sendiri, sehingga apapun yang terjadi kita tahu dan mampu tetap teguh berdiri, bukannya terpuruk menangis di lantai.

Bayangkan memberikan pasangan sekeren ini ke pasangan kita, top banget nggak sih? Seseorang yang bisa ia andalkan, yang bisa ia kasihi dan puja. Seseorang yang mampu membuatnya bangga dan merasa sebagai manusia yang utuh dan sangat beruntung. Whoa…

Hubungan saya saat itu sayangnya tidak terselamatkan. Ketidakcocokan semakin membara, yang membawa ke perselingkuhan dan akhirnya perceraian kami. Kalau mau jujur, tanpa selingkuh pun sebenarnya kami sudah tamat, sebagaimana kisah perselingkuhan lainnya.

Apakah saat itu saya menangis? Banget. Satu-satunya saat dimana saya merasa benar-benar ingin hidup saya berakhir. Tapi hidup saya nggak berakhir disitu. Pengetahuan akan kelebihan dan kekurangan saya, kepercayaan diri yang saya pupuk, sayangnya saya pada diri saya dan kesadaran bahwa saya berhak mendapat perlakuan yang baik, semua ini membuat saya tetap teguh berdiri.

4 tahun setelah foto itu diambil, saya berfoto sekali lagi di depan pohon natal. Senyum lebar penuh percaya diri, kebahagiaan dan rasa tak sabar untuk memulai petualangan baru, itu saya. Saya yang percaya dunia penuh kebaikan dan kebahagiaan, saya yang siap membagikan kebaikan dan kebahagiaan pula, apa lagi yang kurang?

Bagi yang saat ini masih terpuruk, apapun alasannya, tegakkan punggung anda dan angkat dagu anda. Percayalah, semua yang buruk akan berakhir. Lihat kedalam diri anda dan jadilah teman terbaik diri anda sendiri. Ingat, teman yang baik akan memberitahu kelebihan dan kekurangan anda, menjadikan anda 'penuh'.

Karena pada akhirnya, hanya diri kita yang bisa kita andalkan, bukan orang lain. Karena mencintai dan menghargai diri sendiri membuat kita terlihat begitu berharga, dan jelas sangat menarik. Karena kita berhak bahagia tanpa merebut kebahagiaan orang lain, atau tanpa kebahagiaan kita direbut.

12,800 km jauhnya dari rumah, dan saya masih bisa tertawa lepas. Semua yang pernah saya miliki, semua impian saya, semua hilang, namun saya tetap tersenyum. Karena saya sekarang memiliki impian baru, saya memiliki pengalaman baru, dan yang lebih penting: saya memiliki diri saya sendiri.

Angkat dagumu dan tersenyumlah, teman terkasih. Kita masih punya Tuhan, dan kita masih punya diri kita sendiri. Jangan terhempas dan terserak. Kita lebih kuat dan lebih berharga dari yang kita kira. Salam sayang dari Los Angeles.

Btw, jangan lupa beli bukunya ya hihihi. "Dear Mantan Tersayang" tersedia di toko buku besar atau via Gramedia Online. Lumayan banget untuk yang mau belajar self-love dan membina hubungan yang sehat. Stay strong! I

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Hello Boy

I wrote, read, delete, then wrote that damn text again for so many times. I paused for more than I should before hitting the send button. I reread the text again, deleting it, revising it again, and still paused. This is too hard.

I have always been lucky in love. It was never hard or a chore for me. Dates that matter, the ones worth remembering, those were always swift. Often times it only took a week or so of intense texting before we met and sort of hit it off. 

And we will hit it off. I am the epitome of Taylor Swift's "Blank Space", minus the crazy part. Well, some say that too. It's easy either because the people I dated know what they want, or because I know what they want. Maybe even both.

I look at the phone again, frustrated and unsure what to do. This is a child's play, I cuss. I ain't got time for things like this. I told my friend: "This is not normal! Why does it take so long?!" She gave me a weird look, "What are you talking about? This is the normal dating procedure."

Apparently 'normal' is the courting period where each will exchange text now and then, trying to look like we're not too desperate for each other. Normal is probing each other gently, to gauge interest so to speak. Normal is actually getting to know each other before committing to anything.

As someone who was in a relationship after 2 weeks of talking, and pretty much confirmed to get married by the end of the 3rd month, I was shooked. I have no idea that that's how dating work. For real. Apparently, this is 'normal', and my speedy relationships were not. 

All of them were pretty darn impressive, mind you. I learned a lot from each of them. I have had a fiery love that will burn the world down, a loving love that will shield it, and even a trusted love whom I feel I can take over the world with. 

Within the last 12 months, I have learned a whole lot more. I learn that I am attractive. I learn how to divorce and how to dump a guy. I learn how to have preferences and how to stand by my standards. I learn how to love myself. And now, I am learning how to do 'normal dating'. 

Which, apparently doesn't involve getting proposed by the first week. Or have daily texts at least once a day. I finally understand why my friend was all aglow when she talked about having a two-hour phone conversation with her crush. Back then I was like, "Wait, that's not normal? I did that every day with [insert name here]…."

I checked my phone again. No reply. This is frustrating. Yet at the same time, this is exciting. Does he like me? Does he not like me? Is he playing hard to get? Do I come across as too desperate? It feels like standing on the dance floor with a stranger, not knowing what song will be played next. And dammit, it feels so good.

I have had the luxury of experiencing loves that were pretty much straight out of novels or storybooks; not only once, but several times. Heck, one was made into two books. By this time, I am not looking or worry about happily ever after because I know can always make my own happiness. This is yet another adventure, which I am thrilled to go through.

An Instagram message popped up. I repressed a smile, which inadvertently turned into a silly grin. We're dancing in the dark, full of expectation, threading with caution, with invisible butterflies around us. Come what may, I will remember this feeling. Come what may, I will cherish this experience. 

Hello boy, wanna dance?

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