What does a depressed teenager/young adult with urges that no one explained to do? Masturbate of course. A lot. As I’ve said before I will never say anything bad about masturbation since I’m probably alive because of it. But I sort of expected to do other things at some point.
Yup, I’m a virgin. And it feels good to get that out there because I used to be sooooooooooooooooooooooooo hung up about it!
You may ask me why I never lost my virginity. I’ll ask you what makes you think I ever could!? You’ve read the preceding pages, you know at least a bit of what it was like. Living in Hell doesn’t leave a lot of time for dating. (or anything else for that matter) I never got physical beyond a certain point with any of my girlfriends and then after that there was a looooooooooong dry spell.
Oh yes, did I ever tell you how Osama Bin Laden is the reason I’m still a virgin?
You remember my third girlfriend, Allison? While we were still dating, she expressed a desire to come to Singapore and…how shall I put it, deflower me. We were even making plans to do just that (the trip to Singapore, not the deflowering) and discussing possible dates and times when 9/11 happened.
That put paid to all travel plans immediately. While the media went crazy with survivor accounts and breaking news updates, I called Allison long-distance to hear her own views on the matter, and provide what kind of moral support I could. It was nice to be able to place a voice to the girl I only knew as words on a screen.
Though she initially found my accent hard to understand, we managed to have a short, but meaningful, conversation. I remember being impressed by how she said that the whole event might be a wake-up call to America to rethink its foreign policy. If there was ever a reason to date a girl, I’m sure being unafraid to challenge the status quo and general political consensus would be one of them.
But my other head was concerned with matters altogether more worldy and prurient. However, by the time the dust had settled and normal air travel had resumed, we had broken up.
So much for the deflowering.
I also had hang-ups that I couldn’t admit to myself back then. I had no idea how one actually went out to clubs and met girls and had one-night stands. The whole thing seemed kind of tawdry and silly to me. But yet it sort of looked kind of fun…except for the drinking. I was confused, I’ll admit it. For a long time I had trust issues and I was focused on taking care of my sister and working on myself that a lot of things fell by the wayside.
I never asked any of my friends this in all those years. Then again I wasn’t actually sure how you might start a conversation of that nature. “Hey, I’m a virgin, can you help me go and get laid? What do people actually do in these club and bar things?” Actually I never talked about it with well…anyone, which probably explains how I got so hung up on things.
I actually cried about this in session once. In terms of priorities I would much rather have become an artist or musician or gone overseas…but I shouldn’t have had to choose! Even my sexuality had become yet another casualty of the war.
While growing up I had the same questions every teenager has about sex but no one to ask. I used to be SO WORRIED about them! I remember reading this old old Ranma fanfic (the Shikima Interface) and being really turned on by Ryouga raping female Ranma. (who in turn was turned on despite her resistance) I was worried if that made me a pervert. Did that mean I liked rape? But rape was wrong, wasn’t it? Of course it was but…I didn’t know what a rape fantasy was in those days.
Somehow I managed to give myself a sexual education all of my own – another minor miracle. It must have been all the erotic fanfiction I read. That and copious amount of anime pornography.
So, young boy with no sexual experience whatsoever (except his right hand of course) who wants to learn and explore and meet more people. What to do? Enter the world of hentai.
In the period after the Return of Depression in which I was just trying to find new things to do, I stumbled across the #reycava and #hentai-games IRC channels, and ah, there were strange and wonderful people there.
Afker, whose knowledge of quantum physics and mathematics was matched only for his love of elegant and beautiful anime ladies. Warblade, fine purveyor of hentai of all kinds and professed lover of acrobatic sex. faketruth, the snarkiest guy ever. Arthur-san, a Frenchman who was very specific about his tastes – only small, petite cyborg maids with green hair need apply. turbomaru, bottom extraordinaire. Eynstine, who seemed to exist only to ream turbomaru’s ass. TOMDAR, to whom Shoujo Kakumei Utena would remain a complete mystery forever (most guys I know who have watched it have this reaction) Jackstorm, fellow lover of FF6 and lightning-fast typist. Sunny-chan, a friendly and spritely girl who seemed to have endless activities with her boyfriend.
I learned more there than I could have imagined, and none of it was about sex or anything remotely related to it. (ok there was ONE discussion about KY jelly…but let’s not go into that) Afker attempted to explain how quantum physics meant that fate could be made or manipulated, but it flew right over my head. Kaede (a nice girl who spoke Japanese and wielded a mean axe) taught me how to do a pinch harmonic. XiahouDun taught everyone how to make Ecstasy. Eynstine completely and thoroughly thrashed a Brazillian about his knowledge of Brazillian politics.
We discussed the Iraq War and the national policies of several countries, the Japanese economy, and Harry Potter. I said that Dragonball Z had a better plot than FF7 (BTW I still think this) and promptly got involved in a huge flame war. Not your normal perverts, that’s for sure.
I spent a lot of time there, enough to be made a moderator at one point. I even wanted to start a Singapore Hentai Organization (or SHO for short!)
It was…peaceful. Perhaps a strange word to describe things, but there in that world of catgirl maids and demons (and demonesses) in bondage was another oasis from the tumult and struggle of my everyday life. Ripping CG sets from games, finding save game files, (sagaoz.com! the savior!) comparing artists and their disparate styles…it was another shield against the pain.
I had so much hentai at one point that I even considering starting an online hentai sharing site and charging people for it. (this was back in the early 2000s where you could do that and make money) But that was another idea that I had no idea how to implement.
As time passed hentai of all shapes and sizes became easier and easier to find online, and so I collected more and more. Bible Black, probably the best hentai ainime ever created. The old classics like Urotsukidoji and La Blue Girl. A bunch of other forgettable titles.
I also discovered the world of hentai doujinshi. Doujinshi are basically the graphical equivalent of fanfiction – fan drawn comics. As an ancient blog post (CheapBastard’s guide to Japan I think) said, the difference between hentai manga and hentai doujinshi was that the former was more fucking and higher quality, whereas the latter was that you got to see your favorite characters fucking. I always liked the former more but I collected the latter as well.
What hentai doujinshi? Evangelion of course. And lots more besides. Man I used to collect everything. Well, everything that wasn’t seriously freaky of course.
Oh yes, and hentai games too. I had been playing them since the day in my late teenage when I discovered the existence of video games with explicit sex in them. And nice art. And good stories (sometimes) To a teenage boy it was a dream come true. Plus the fact that I could understand Japanese meant that I could play all the untranslated ones! (and there were a lot of those)
I didn’t just want porn, I wanted erotica. As in, I wanted a PLOT. Well sometimes I just wanted to jerk off of course, but I had higher standards than that most of the time. I always searched specifically for those doujinshi that managed to retain the character and feeling of the original series. Not to mention being drawn well. And the games that were works of art as well as having great sex scenes. I was a fucking connoisseur of this stuff man.
And then one day ehentai came along and the world was changed forever. Like almost everything in the Internet now, hentai is no longer hard to find. Translations of doujinshi pop up in days whereas in the past they would take ages – or not exist at all. There’s even bespoke porn and hentai now. Ain’t it grand? At least virtually you can fulfill your every desire. Just be careful with how deep down the rabbit hole you go.
Don’t dismiss hentai out of hand if you haven’t tried it. Some of the most beautiful, touching, heart-warming and enlightening stories that I’ve ever read have come from that realm. I remember playing Daiakuji and being so amazed by the quality of art and language that I stopped masturbating halfway. I’ve read doujinshi so good that my desire to understand the story had me reaching for the dictionary instead of for…you know. I laughed so hard at some of the jokes in Metal Princess that I stopped jerking off (try laughing and jerking off at the same time, it’s harder than it looks!) Hanachirasu had more swordfighting than well…swordfighting, and a grand total of four sex scenes compared to more than a hundred pages worth of sword techniques and fictional Japanese history.
I even tried “normal” pornography for a while. I still vastly preferred hentai, video games, and hentai video games. I didn’t see what the big deal was. Though in my later years due to wanting to try new things and the lack of jerkoff material as my sexual needs grew (which was actually due to more and more stress being placed upon me rather than any marked increase in horniness) I did actually become mildly addicted to hardcore pornography at one point. Definitely not my finest hour.
But hey, sex isn’t everything. (and yes I thought this even through my hangups) During the long nookieless years, I would look at people and wonder why they seemed so sad and desperate when they were getting all the action I wasn’t. Sexuality is part of the expression of who we are as human beings. It’s not just one thing alone. It impacts many parts of our nature that most people don’t even realize.
What really pained me in those years (my twenties and beyond) was that I was really hitting my stride socially and emotionally. Sure I still had hang-ups and problems. But on some occasions I was beyond them and I thought of actually doing something. I loved women. (still do and always will!) And yet here I was sitting in my room at home wanking furiously instead of finding a real-life girl to talk to and hopefully…you know.
Why am I even writing this chapter? It’s not for cheap thrills, I can assure you of that. It’s just that sexuality is an important part of anyone’s life (even monks…it’s important that they don’t do it) and what I’ve learned is that sexuality is rarely about just sex. It’s often about everything else. It’s about being connected to your body and honoring it and yourself in many different ways.
Life can surprise you. In reading everything I’ve written I realize that wow, hentai really was my salvation back in the day! I used it as an escape valve and it served its purpose magnificently. I often needed some way to cut through my own ruminations and brooding and for a long time, masturbation was my Go To device. All those times I couldn’t sleep and I needed to desperately, I jacked off to exhaustion. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It literally saved my life once back then in the dark times. As Florence said when I once shamefacedly discussed this with her, all that energy had to go somewhere.
Still, it was more than a little sad. Sexuality should be a wonderful thing to explore with a loving partner, not some kind of anti-OCD and trauma aide. My addiction and compulsions probably stemmed from having to use masturbation as a shield against pain for so long. Like so many things in my life, it shouldn’t have had to be that way. At least I survived and managed to deal with my hangups. I had fun with and learned so much from hentai but it shouldn’t have been the only thing that I got off on, or have been needed to be used the way it was.
Also in writing the chapter on sexual abuse I also got in touch with how that must have seriously fucked up my own sexuality even as I didn’t realize it. My God it was terrible. No one should have to discuss their mother’s nipples with them. No mother should be looking at her son’s junk past a certain age either. A lot of my issues probably came from there and I never really dealt with them even in therapy because like I’ve said before…there was always something else in the way. Plus for a while it was really embarrassing to talk about, even when I trusted Florence as much as I did.
In the course of writing this chapter I even tried masturbating to my old hentai (for you know…research purposes?) and I was amazed and humbled to discover the deep sadness and despair behind it. I wanted to do more but couldn’t (story of my life!) but all this time it was there, in its own way helping me to deal with whatever my body was unable to deal with at that time. I felt a great sense of gratitude as well, and perhaps even…love.
I have absolutely no problem with pornography of any kind (though personally I draw the line at certain things) but it’s once again the question of use versus abuse. And to be honest I think I never crossed that line. I learned what I could from it, I had fun, and I used it as a safety and escape valve for all the stress I was subjected to. Now I don’t need to do the last anymore and that’s great.
So now that I’ve not only bared my soul but my sex life to you how do I end this section? Well it may sound strange coming from a virgin but…if you have any hangups with sex, please don’t. I’ve been there and it’s not a good place. Love yourself, and love others. That should be the basis of any relationship, sexual or otherwise.
Where does that leave me? I’m still a healthy heterosexual male so I still have needs and urges and…there is no problem with that! I don’t think I’ll ever look at hentai the same way again but I doubt I will give it up entirely either. There is a lot of good there (and I don’t just mean of the catgirl variety) But there’s also the whole world outside to explore.
Wish me luck! (though I don’t think I’ll need it!)