Pleasure Maps
 

The subject of rape keeps popping up in my life.

 

An interview with Ben.

 

Painting by Abigail Marsh

Ben | Age: 38 | Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Born: New Zealand | Occupation: Events organiser | No. of sexual partners: 200+


Why did you take part?

Curious to learn about myself through the conversation.

 

What events in your life shaped your sexuality? What’s your story?

I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where sexuality was frowned upon and strictly controlled. Sex outside of marriage was a sin. I was about 16 when I had my first girlfriend. We played with each other’s bodies a lot but the penetration was always a no-go for me because of the morals I grew up with. My girlfriend really wanted to have sex. At one stage she got a job at a restaurant and had sex with her boss. I found out afterwards. She had broken up with me and I was very sad and hurt by what happened. At school I was often teased. There’s one thing that stuck with me for a long time that a guy said about me: “when Ben gets married, he’s gonna be on his honeymoon bed and ask for the instructions.” 

I left New Zealand as a virgin at 18. Had girlfriends but never had sex. I lived in London for a little while and then moved on to Scotland. I met a Dutch girl there who traveled a bit with me. I had a tent and one day we decided to put up my tent in a forest above an old castle in Scotland. We had a beautiful intimate connection and had sex. She had had sex before. She was very good in creating space for that experience so it was a beautiful. That was the start of my active sexual life I guess. I had a few more girlfriends after that. At one stage I met a Swedish girl while I was living in Egypt. Long story short, I married her. When we first met, she came to New Zealand but since we weren’t married yet we had to hide from my parents that we were having sex. It was really fun. Beach, car, parties, fitting rooms. Then we got married and the sex turned stale very quickly. I was married to her for 7 years. There were periods where we didn’t have sex whatsoever. The last 6 months of our relationship got better and I found out she had been having an affair. When I found out I ended the relationship. It was very interesting. 

Then I became single again. I wanted to explore. I also had this experience of lying in my bed and deciding to masturbate and found myself not being able to be hard without porn. It made me feel very disconnected from my body. I read somewhere “how can you be a lover if you can’t be a lover for yourself.” I decided to sign up to a tantra course. That was one of the most life-changing events of my life. I realised a lot of the conditioning, a lot of the patterns, the manipulative behaviours. Also made contact with my body in a different way. After I joined the tantra school I went through a period of experimentation. Explored my feminine side a lot. Explored my bisexuality as well. I started treating sex as a sacred practice. Bringing a lot more attention to sexual interactions. The first year of the tantra practice I probably had about 100 partners. One festival I had sex with 3 new women every day for a week. A lot of exploration, and a lot of girlfriends!

About 2.5 years ago I met a girl who became my partner. This was the first long term relationship for me since starting tantra. Her name was Anna. It was an up and down relationship with drama. I loved her and was very much in love with her. We got very stuck and frustrated with each other. One evening this feeling of anger and stuckness somehow transformed into a very sexual energy and we went into a rape role play. I could feel her horniness, wanting me to force her open. She called me an asshole. I called her a bitch. She slapped me really hard on the face. I forced her open and penetrated her and slapped her really hard too. She spat in my face and I spat into hers. It lasted for about 20min or something like that and afterwards when we finished we were looking at each other blown away by what just happened. She asked if I was ok. I said yes. I asked her the same. She said yes. It brought a massive relaxation in our relationship. To show the rapist inside of me and for her to show the bitch, to not only to be accepted but to realise it makes the other person horny. And so. This subject of rape has been something that keeps popping up in my life since then. I don’t play that way with women often but sex has happened several times in a similar mode. With my partner and other people. I had always said that I didn't understand how a man could rape a woman. I couldn’t imagine being turned on by a woman not wanting to have sex with me. But now I realised there is a rapist in me that gets turned on by forcing myself on them. I’d never been in contact with that before. I integrated it and now I can use it in play. For a while I practiced showing my inner pervert. Allowing myself to do the sexual things that felt uncomfortable to myself, things that I judged in myself. It’s always been a leap of courage to do something without knowing if I would be accepted or rejected. I really listen with my body to see how things are received. It’s been very liberating. To fully embody my own sexuality and to meet other people in a space where everything is allowed. 

I’m really considering how to relate with a partner right now. For many years I’ve been in open relationships in many different ways. It seems the longer I stay with someone the more interesting it is to have sex with her. I sometimes want to bring someone into our relationship but my partners don’t often share that interest. I wonder if women really authentically want to have an open relationship or if there is a tendency towards monogamy. I’ve been very inspired by Jordan Peterson who speaks of traditional family, the nuclear family in a very positive way. I doubt that I’m about to jump into a long-term monogamous relationship but it makes me question my current way of relating. It makes me see the benefits of a deeper more committed relationship with one person. I sometimes feel the pull towards monogamy a lot. Openness somehow takes something away for her. She can get jealous. I have a principle that my new relationships should add something to my existing relationship but it’s not always the case. Sometimes it’s the opposite in fact. I believe too much promiscuity can disconnect you from yourself and your partner. 

What were the aha moments in your sexual journey?

One of the biggest changes was the decision to not ejaculate when I have sex. It invites you to follow what is happening right now and not need to get anywhere. It’s very relaxing and brings a lot more presence. 

 

What does sex mean to you?

Communication. 

 

What’s difficult about sex?

I would say lack of clarity in communication. There is a big collective baggage around sexuality which muddles it. It’s often used for hiding or disconnection. Disconnection is difficult. I really notice bad communication or lack of communication. Purpose of sex is to bring people together but it can be also used to run away from the other.

 

What do you most enjoy about sex?

Unification and transcendence. 

 

Do you orgasm?

I orgasm regularly but I only ejaculate about once a month. Not ejaculating is a practice I’d recommend for everyone, all men. Coming reduces the energy and it’s very addictive. It’s right up there with alcohol. It’s destructive even. It disconnects people from feeling themselves, from dealing with issues, wastes their energy. It wastes men. Sexual energy is life energy. There are so many young men sitting in front of their computers wanking into a tissue, sometimes several times a day. It’s compulsive. I’ve been there. 

 

How often do you have sex?

It varies a lot. Sometimes I’ll have weeks when I’ll have it 3hrs a day and other times nothing for weeks. Normally daily. I have a partner and I have a couple of lovers.

 

Do you masturbate?

I use coconut oil. I am very soft on my cock and slow. It’s like self cultivation. For me it’s a practice to learn and appreciate my own body. I give attention to my whole body and not just my cock. 

 

What specific things (e.g. techniques) have you found, alone and with partners, that have led to more pleasure in your sex life? 

The wheel of consent is a fantastic tool. The core of the teaching is about giving yourself permission to take pleasure through touch. Touching someone can be very pleasurable. I know people who can orgasm from touching an apple. A lot of the time we’re trying to give other people pleasure. Allowing yourself to take pleasure from touching another is a lot more interesting. 

 

How do you see sexuality portrayed in the society and how does it make you feel?

It’s totally fucked up. Very commercialised. Disconnecting. Makes me feel that there is work to do. I see few examples of masculinity. Porn seems to be a rare reflection of what is now real in human sexuality. There are no strong male archetypes anywhere. I think there’s problems with porn but it is a reflection of what actually turns people on. 

 

What’s your advice to women?

Relax. Practice letting go relaxing and surrendering during sex as much as possible and help your partner to do the same. Appreciate the full range of male sexuality and own your full range of sexuality. 

 

What’s your advice to men?

Find a men’s group or make a men’s group. Talk to men about your life and your sexuality. Stop watching porn for at least a little while. Stop ejaculating. Become aware of when you’re needy or compromise. Notice when you do things to please someone. 

 

Is there anything you want to explore?

Two directions. One is very subtle connection and communication. Slow and very energetic sex. It can even be without penetration. Sometimes it can be more intimate than penetration. The other side is kink, BDSM. Both of these are endless wells of experience and expansion.

 

Up next

“The Islamic way of having sex is lights off.”

- an interview with Adi

 

adi

Artwork by Raul Hidalgo

 

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