So my therapist, who’s really quite up to the minute with trendy new terms, asks me if I have FOMO. And I say I no longer do. I did for the longest time, but then slowly realized that for me it was the fact of missing out rather than the fear of missing out.
What was I missing out on: well, the fact that I haven’t had as much sex as I should have!
My very shy Punjabi father never taught me about the birds and bees. So shy was he that he may have thought he would get arrested for even talking about it. Then there was my mother, brought up by prudish German nuns. She, of course allowed me to believe that her very best bundle of joy (me!) had been handed to her by the heavens. I had no siblings, no older brother to enlighten me. I grew up in a snooty neighbourhood and since I was also a shy kid, I never went out and met or made the kind of friends that could have at least told me this was something I needed to know about.
So the fact of sex just went over my head.
So much so that when a bunch of classmates solemnly swore to a 12-year-old me that a blow job is when you take off all your clothes and lie on the bed with the fan on full, I followed it religiously, And very proudly told them after the summer vacation got over that I had had a “blow job” every day!
Then I went through a phase where I just wasn’t feeling attractive enough. I wasn’t secure enough, I wasn’t sure enough. By the time I lost my virginity, I was 26 and that was after Kuch Kuch Hota Hai when I felt mildly famous. And so fame took the place of some of the shame. But again, since I didn’t grow up in a sexually informed, involved or enlightened atmosphere, by the time 26 rolled around, there were all kinds of silly notions that had crept in my head like having the lights off.
In fact, I remember politely asking the person I was engaging with if we could “start the process”! I didn’t like watching porn because I didn’t find it sexy. I couldn’t understand how others got excited watching other people having fun. Porn made me feel worse. It only reminded of my own, well, shortcomings.