I was holding up a bottle of “Hap-penis”, an oral sex product intended to mask the taste of ejaculate, when I went on a sudden rant at the Bollywood Bachelorette party that would shape a very important life lesson for me…
I was standing in front of sixteen gorgeous South Asian women only looking for one thing, a good time at a vibrator party, when I began to rant about being caught between two cultures.
Me: What the hell is happiness anyway?
Hostess: Uh, that stuff in your hand?
Me: Our culture demands that we get married, have children, buy a big house and then move on to the next sap who is single and hit repeat. But does anyone really care if we are HAPPY?
Women in the room: (stunned silence)
Me: Why do we put so much value in having someone else make us happy? Who is really happy anyway? Why do we, as women, put the happiness of others ahead of our own?
Women in the room: (awkward, uncomfortable silence)
Me: Does someone really make you happy or is that the grand life illusion?
Hostess: So, uh, what number is that on the menu?
After deeply apologizing to them for bringing my bitterness to their samosa-soaked party, I began to see the pattern that emerged from everyone sharing the same feelings of angst about the pressure to pair up that our culture put on us. It was as though the only path to happiness was through partnership and procreation.
Often, during the many years of my singledom, I would be asked by my girlfriends if dating so-and-so made me happy. One’s mind will then travel to all the things that your date did to “make you happy”. What exactly would those include? Was it buying me dinner? Was it making me laugh? Was it paying me a compliment? Was it being on time? Was it laughing at my jokes? *I can be very funny on a date 🙂
Ultimately, I got to thinking, what did it matter what they did? In the end, the real question I needed to be asking was, am I happy?
We often put our expectations of happiness on others, as though they are the ones that should be holding the key to our joy, our bliss. That’s a great deal of pressure for any one soul to carry and quite frankly, in my opinion, a very heavy burden to bear. For when that person is gone from you, would that then mean they have removed any possibility of happiness entering your life again?
Instead, I try to focus on what it is that brings me contentment, what truly makes me smile from ear to ear, and then share that cheer with others in my life. This, of course, also extends to sexual happiness. If I don’t know what makes me scream wildly into the mid-day air, how can I expect someone else to figure it out? We don’t come with cheat sheets or guide books (unless you count my novel as a sort of “how-to” read #shamelessplug). Figuring out what makes us squeal with joy is our own responsibility, not that of our partners.
Taking the power of pleasure back for myself (some pun intended) was the start of understanding that true happiness comes from self-joy and self-love, from giving myself the evolving tool kit of comprehension on what does and doesn’t make me happy. And if that sometimes involved creamsicle-flavoured lubricants in bottles with clever puns on them, so be it.
As long as the bliss emerges comes from within.
She said, “Comes from within” …giggle, giggle…. 🙂