How a Polyamorous Man Adapted to Sexting Under Lockdown
In this 10-part series, we explore how Indians are embracing digital connections under the Covid19 lockdown in the absence of in-person intimacy. Here, 25-year-old S. Ghosh discusses the challenges with sexting under lockdown while living with his family.
I’m quarantining with my parents, my younger brother, my paternal grandfather, and a one-month-old puppy named Juljul. Of this group, only my younger brother gets privacy as he works a night shift at home, and everyone else shares rooms. This is complicated by the fact that I’m a polyamorous man, and my sex drive’s been too fucking high (pardon my language).
Currently I have two partners, and a best friend who I share a sexual relationship with. One of my partners is quarantined with her other partner, and my best friend has other sexual partners.
Since I live in a house with multiple people, phone and video calls are almost impossible, so our primary mode of communication is texting. Work, independent projects, and mental health issues make it extremely hard for both me and my partners to sext, so I sext and role-play with other people I meet online.
I really do enjoy detailed, descriptive and literary sexual role-playing. Sometimes, I also enjoy experimenting with kink. So I chat with people online, and prefer getting off after these chats end because I like to let my imagination build on the scenarios that played out in the chat. But, finding a good sexting or role-playing partner who is good at writing in English and has a creative mind, is difficult. I still try — even though I don’t have privacy at home to have long sexual conversations. My family is a bit nosey. If I lock the door, people start asking questions, so I take my phone to the bathroom. Still, I’ve been caught so many times I can’t keep count. Once, I’d locked the bathroom door improperly, and my brother kicked it open to find me completely naked. It was upsetting because I have needs I can’t fulfill, all due to lockdown.
A problem I face with text conversations in general is that I’m bad at initiating them. If someone interests me, I try my luck with a “Hi” or “How do you do?” and hope they respond. I also really prefer face-to-face conversations, because I miss many non-verbal cues and gestures. I’m an introvert and on the autism spectrum, which makes communication a constant worry that people may misunderstand me or my intent. Sometimes, I’ve felt overexcited about things and crossed boundaries when I didn’t mean to, and though most people are okay with my inquisitiveness, others have reacted quite rudely and called me names. My presence on the spectrum has resulted in a lot of sexual frustration and rejection, because I have specific preferences and can’t initiate well — which means most of these chats are a means to an end (getting off) and nothing more.
My partners and I can’t sext often, but we still long for each other. Whenever it rains at my first partner’s place, I always tell her I want to make love to her and she says she wishes it could happen too. My best friend knows everything about me and I know everything about her, so with her, innocuous Bengali phrases become subtle codes that only me and she understand. As for my new partner, we’re still excited to kiss and discover each other. Only a few days ago, we got talking while I was on a work break, and she told me about some sexual desires that matched mine almost exactly! I was really really happy our tastes matched, and that she felt comfortable enough to share her desires with me.
This project was done in partnership with Tinder India.