Article: Reconciling Global Turmoil With Personal Pleasure

For those who have come to this article hoping for absolute solutions allow me to apologise.

I have no magic wisdom or all-encompassing solution to the extreme amount of heartbreak that we’re feeling on a global scale right now. But I do have thoughts, a lot of thoughts, and I hope some of them can help. And remember – no matter what has come to pass and what you may be feeling right now, you matter.

 What the heck is going on with the world recently? Has it always been this incredibly, extremely depressing? To be honest, it’s hard to know. Perhaps it has. Perhaps life will always include violence, despair, and extreme stress in some form and the only difference between now and previous times is that we can all witness it almost all the time, thanks to the net.

Whether this visibility is a good thing or not is debatable (and, I believe, variable) but one thing is for sure: It makes it pretty hard to seek physical pleasure without feeling some form of guilt, shame, or, at the very least, a sense of poor timing.

How can one hear about a mass shooting and then masturbate?

How can one see a family torn from their home and then get intimate with their partner/s?

Heck! All one needs to do is look at the face of pretty much any controversial political leader right now to feel pretty much as aroused as a cold fish, and that’s without hearing the details of that they’ve done now to be in the news.

It’s all rather dismal.

Why Is This So Difficult?

But why is this the case? Why do we feel so crumby, so utterly undeserving of our own joy and happiness, after a tragedy? On a simplistic level it really is a matter of empathy.

Being connected so closely to the rest of the world (well, our, world, at least) means that, in addition to the common communities of family, friends, and geography, we also feel a sense of global community and, thus, global emotional connection.

As such, when a great tragedy happens, such as an act of terror or nature, we feel invested in it. We see people’s plight and we consider it as partly our plight.

We are no longer spectators of tragedy but have become active participants – as we donate, lament, and tweet about the situation. Because of this we relate the incident much more strongly to our own personal feelings and, as such, feel a certain amount of guilt if we decide to go against the obvious horror and sorrow of the situation.

Because of this, seeking pleasure in the face of global tragedy can feel just as ill-placed as doing so just after a horrible break-up or the death of a family pet. It just doesn’t sit right. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to pursue some form of pleasure, emotional, physical, or otherwise.

Seeking Joy Amidst Tragedy

There is no way to justify or even make sense of many of the horrendous things that are occurring in the world today. To be frank, I don’t think I’d even want to be of a mind to understand the motives behind what some people have done as of late. But, just like we hope to see new flowers sprouting after a forest fire, it’s important, perhaps even vital, to reclaim and keep hold of any positive energy we can after tragedy.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you must jump in to bed straight after a massive loss of lives, but it also means that you shouldn’t feel guilty if that is your response. When faced with horrendous loss, why should one ever feel bad for seeking comfort, conveying intimacy, and sharing their feelings of love in whatever way they see to be significant?

How can one hear about a mass shooting and then masturbate?

Because refusing to give the horrific actions of a spiteful individual control over one’s mood and body is something that some people absolutely refuse to allow and they continue onwards with caring for themselves in defiance of that asshole.

How can one see a family torn from their home and then get intimate with their partner/s?

Because such situations offer perspective, and to hold the people you love the close in such situations is only natural.

How can one do anything after seeing that political leader doing one more absurd thing?

Because fuck that person. No, actually, fuck yourself (or the one you love). It’s the better option by far.

Pursuing pleasure in such times may be difficult, conflicting, and, yes, maybe even guilt-inducing, but it might also be loving, carefree, and just what you need to remind yourself that not everything is doom and gloom.

Self-love in such situations can even be political if you wish – an act of radical recovery to help you recharge your battery and allow you to group together effective forms of activism to confront the tragedy that has just occurred. The old saying is true, after all: We have to take care of ourselves before we can effectively take care of others.

But maybe, deep down, you just want to forget, or turn away from the troubles of the world, just for a moment, and take care of your own life, and that’s completely fine too. There is a lot going on in this world. You may want to help, but there is only so much that anyone can do. Never put the weight of the entire world on your shoulders and recognise that it’s okay if you don’t want to step up for every single tragedy. Doing so doesn’t make you any less valid as an individual, nor any less thoughtful. It just means you know your limits.

Final Thoughts

No matter the feelings behind your sexual desires post-tragedy just remember that a bad event occurring doesn’t mean that we should feel bad, cultivate only negative emotions, and focus on nothing but the worst of the matter. That’s the exact opposite of what we should do!

Whenever London gets hit by a terror attack (and, no doubt, many other places) its typical reaction is to brush itself off and keep on going. Any less and the cause of the tragedy wins, and that is simply unacceptable.

So, if you want to find joy in your body after turmoil then do so. Your actions, though they may not feel like it at the time, are part of the healing process and, as such, are beautiful.