Hushing up sex talk during the growing up years may not be a good idea, but neither does it help to make it all grim and humourless with countless dos and don’ts. Make it frank, make it fun, or so seems to say Aakash through this personal account
You must be very confused reading the headline. Well, this sexy thing which made me sexually conscious is Parthenium hysterophorus, commonly known as carrot grass or gajar ghans. Wikipedia says it is a common invasive weed species in India, and it is believed to have been introduced in India as a contaminant in wheat imported from USA in the 1950s.
In 1988-89, when I was around 9 years old, there was a lot of carrot grass infestation in Salt Lake, a newly developed township where I lived. Salt Lake was then considered as the eastern fringe of the Kolkata metropolis. It had very few residents and even fewer houses, so there were many vacant plots. The roads, lined with beautiful flowering trees, had hardly any traffic. Neither was the township as concretized as it is today. There were many kaccha galis, which the residents used as shortcuts. There was one such pathway beside our house, which we used to visit some close relatives who lived in the lane behind ours.
Every afternoon, after lunch and a quick but forced siesta (my mother insisted that I take a nap after lunch), I would run down the pathway to visit our relatives. The pathway was infested with bushes and weeds, including carrot grass. I used to wear half pants, and so all that running around through the carrot grass resulted in a severe skin allergy on my legs. Later, I read that the pollen and dust of the weed caused the allergy (itchy papules and lesions). I used to constantly scratch my legs often leading to skin rupture and bleeding.
The byproduct of all that rubbing and scratching of my legs and thighs was that as it climbed higher and higher, I discovered that vigorous rubbing and rolling of my genitals gave me a lot of pleasure. With treatment, the itching on my legs went away, but the new-found throbbing of the pleasurable kind only increased with age. I didn’t know then that this was a sexual thing and that I was expected to do it only in private. So I continued with it almost every day after lunch, before the afternoon siesta.
Perhaps I was yet to reach the stage of experiencing ejaculations, but all that action, initially gentle and then increasingly vigorous, did lead to a peaking of pleasure after a few minutes, followed by a calmness.
Initially my family members were amused with my behaviour, but later some of them started nudging me that it was not a good thing to do. Someone also told me that it was a dirty practice. I didn’t stop, but as I grew older, I felt a bit ashamed of being nude before others, so I started covering myself up with a bed sheet. Gradually, the timing of my self-pleasuring shifted to the night or when I would be alone in the room.
By the time I was 11 and in the fifth standard in school, things became messier. It would be embarrassing to have strangely starched bed sheets and night clothes when I would wake up in the morning. Gradually, I restricted the practice to bath time, and at night deep-coloured printed bed sheets came to the rescue.
Gradually there was also a change in my thoughts during masturbation. The mental imagery turned more erotic. I started fantasizing about the bigger and senior boys in my class and school, leading film heroes of the time, and the male models in various advertisements (particularly those in the underwear advertisements).
My sexual realization has been evolving ever since. It may sound silly, but the fact is that carrot grass did set me on this path of self-realization. And while carrot grass allergy may not be a good thing, masturbation certainly isn’t a bad thing!
Main photo credit: Yercaud Elango (via Wikimedia Commons)