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How masturbation plays psychologist in asylum.

How masturbation plays psychologist in asylum.

Ray Mwareya 

Fifteen months have lapsed since I arrived in Canada as a refugee, all of them endured with feverish masturbation. As a refugee one has to endure loneliness, and sometimes flares of chronic back-pain.

Where I come from in Zimbabwe, Africa, there is enormous cultural stigma attached to masturbation that writing this piece alone brings “dishonor” to my family. I will go ahead anyway. Opening up is therapeutic.

Masturbation has become so central to my mental well-being (while waiting for the asylum process to conclude) that at a certain point I shelled out $500 for an iPad – solely as a tool for masturbation pleasure to heal stress. The alternative is to consult a psychologist for any stress issues. But here is the dilemma. I come from Southern Africa where because of conservative culture practices, we don’t see mental health as a clinical condition but some sort of a “spirit, demon possession etc.…” So I already have a mental block that I must remove first if I try to open up to a psychologist.

I have been so addicted to masturbation that it has gobbled part of my savings, leading me to purchase an iPhone and iPad to feed my masturbation fix. The idea is to make sure I alternate between different screen viewports as I peruse multiple porn sites. Loneliness makes me ambitious. Ambitious to be a madman. In frustration I almost lunge a foot into my bedroom window, but I stop – and fall back into masturbation. Masturbation for me has become pure art. Art of the most harmless form.   

This month, to break the masturbation addiction  – which was taking a heavy toll on my mental sex life –  I threw caution to the wind and blew my last $1000 on a first ever flight (across Canada) in a first ever Airbnb sojourn to Calgary, a city 3000km away – for no purpose other than wandering to heal my mental sex struggles.

This turned out to be such a comic experience and psychological wellness benefit for me. It was so mentally pleasing that it decreased my masturbation addiction and gave me fresh, healthy mental thoughts on sex. Fun to say this worked somehow.  

I was instantly homeless on landing at my Airbnb destination airport and ended up storing dating sites phone numbers culled from hookup posts hung on larch trees in the faint hope that I might get my first ever date in Canada.

On arrival at my Airbnb host family place, they ordered– “Remain in your room downstairs. We don’t wanna let our guests coming for dinner see you.” I froze; they noticed and made up for it with endless SMS texts: “We left so much pasta for you. Come upstairs.” I did not feel dehumanized at all.

Each night, if my own personal masturbation session was not on, I was awoken up every two hours from midnight by trickling sounds of pee. My guest family’s toilet, in the first floor, sat directly above my face and bed, in the basement where I slept!

Four days into a week’s Airbnb booking, I cancelled my stay and told the family I am booking a flights to another city, Ottawa, the capital of Canada, a city 3000km away, a reverse journey to a city I knew nothing about, and didn’t have a place to stay, apart for a couple of nights on the Greyhound bus station benches. On cancelling my $120 weekly Airbnb stay, my guest family’s father pushed so hard: “I’ll drive you to the airport for free. Please accept my honor – we’ll email you endless host review surveys.”

On arrival in Ottawa, where I have settled, I went for one week without indulging in masturbation. Quite a victory for me!

 

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