Gentle Pain

I once wrote an article about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation),
And wasn’t sure if I should publish it.
I decided to take my friends’ opinions,
Both male and female.
I was with a friend when he was reading the article.
His reaction was cold and strange.
We talked about FGM,
And he told me that he didn’t really understand what it was.
He didn’t understand how it happens,
And how it affects women.

I talked to him about it,
And told him how it felt to be circumcised,
And how I can’t orgasm,
Or how difficult it is to orgasm,
And how much that bothered me.
I was talking to him about it very scientifically.
It didn’t feel like I was talking about sex,
Or about something pleasurable.
I was telling him how much sex disgusts me,
And how it affects my mental health,
Because it makes me feel physically incomplete.

Then out of the blue,
He asked me,
“Are you a virgin?”
I was dumbfounded.
But then I answered him,
Because we’re friends,
And because we were talking about something in the abstract,
Or so I thought.
I answered him because we’re two adults,
And because I didn’t take it to heart at the time.
“Yes, I’m a virgin.”
“Then it’s because you’ve never had intercourse.
It’s definitely going to be more pleasurable for you.
The pain you experience is natural.
It’s a gentle pain.”
I didn’t like the words “gentle pain.”

Then, the conversation shifted towards something like:
You aren’t experienced,
Because you haven’t been penetrated.
That’s why you’re unable to orgasm,
Or feel pleasure.
I got mad,
Because we were supposedly talking about things in the abstract at first.
I was mad at him because he was trying to justify—or maybe not justify—
I opened up to him about my feelings,
And how painful the topic was to me.
I was talking to him about something I didn’t usually talk about.
And instead of listening to me,
He kept telling me that I couldn’t orgasm,
Because I’d never had intercourse.

I know that he didn’t mean it like that.
But perhaps I just wanted him to listen to me.
He tried to console me,
And thought that he was helping me,
By explaining to me how sex works,
And what its benefits were.

Then I remembered his question,
“Are you a virgin?”
And I got even angrier.
I found myself telling him,
“How could you ask me a question like that?
What does it matter if I’ve been penetrated or not?
What difference is it gonna make?
How will it benefit you,
When you find out whether I’m wearing a black or pink t-shirt under my clothes?”
What difference is it gonna make?
What’s it going to add?
Why think about something like that at all?”
I was so upset,
And it ended with a fight.

Do you want to know whether I’m a virgin or not,
So you could know if you’ll be able to put it in or not?
I don’t understand why anyone would ask that question.
I took a decision,
That if anyone ever asks me that question again,
I won’t let them off easily.
We’re adults,
And we’re civilized.
We could answer that question freely,
Because it’s no longer a taboo.
But the thing is,
What difference is it going to make?
It’s like asking someone whether they’re Christian or Muslim.
Tell me which category you fall under,
So I could decide whether I should treat you nicely,
And decide how I feel about you,
And whether I could get anything out of you,
And determine what kind of relationship we’ll have.
You’re not a virgin?
Then I’ll hook up with you for a while,
Fuck you,
And call ourselves friends with benefits.
You’re a virgin?
Then let’s stay friends,
Who have interesting conversations.

I’m trying to remember,
If someone has ever asked me whether I was married,
Or if I’m a virgin or not.
I’m trying to remember.

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