July 26, 2004

Itchy Scratchy

Sometimes, in the middle of sex, I get completely confused about what is going on. What is the point of all this? Why so much energy devoted to rubbing these particular parts together? Usually I subscribe to a basic philosophy that sex means whatever I want it to, and that it is a cultural act. Just as eating or dancing can serve all sorts of purposes, various parts can be frotted for various reasons. Love, fun, apologies, ego, health, pity, revenge, duty, goodwill, trancendence, exploration, practicality, pure pleasure… The point of it all is determined by the people involved, partly purposely, partly automatically, and partly accidentally.

Very rarely do I see sex as a way for me to scratch an itch, or as a brute expression of a physical urge.

But I got this bee sting last week. For whatever reason my body reacted a lot more violently than I expected, and for about four days I was limping around on a throbbing, purple-streaked elephant-ankle. I could use a lot of qualifiers, but I'll just say that at times it was really itchy. Really a lot.

After employing various substitution tactics (putting ice on the itch, gently rubbing the itch, scratching somewhere else…), I gave in and scratched the bee sting. It felt really harmful, and not satisfying in the least, but totally irresistable. Same as scratching chicken pox or any of those things that you're supposed to leave alone. Can't stop can't stop.

The surprising thing about this itch-scratching is that it actually felt as though I were driving towards some sort of climax after which my ankle wouldn't feel itchy anymore. The more I scratched, the more it felt exactly like masturbating, to the point where I thought I might actually have a chance at a traditional orgasm if I could keep scratching long enough.

But, sorry to say, I quit when I had to admit that the scratching was starting to hurt and leave marks. I switched back to the ice tactic before discovering whether I could actually reach orgasm by scratching a literal itch.

However, I'm curious— who out there has had orgasms through un-sexual stimulation? Have any other sensory pleasures ever climaxed for you? Do tell! And especially… if any food has ever given you an orgasm, please consider sharing your story and/or recipe in the upcoming Food zine.

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