I have had trouble loving my feet. I have a genetic condition which means that the bones in my feet are not put together in the best way. This puts extra strain on my legs when I walk, and sometimes I feel so much pain in my feet that I have to stop and sit down until they feel better (fortunately, this has happened rarely in the past couple years).
Furthermore, my feet are wide at the balls, while narrow at the heels. Even though many women have feet just like mine, shoes manufacturers refuse to produce many shoes which fit this shape, which makes looking for shoes a literally painful exercise. My toes have been deformed by wearing shoes which almost fit for years.
Likewise, my ears also have problems. I’ve had tinnitus for as long as I can remember, though it’s still very mild and my hearing is still okay. Hardness-of-hearing runs in my father’s family. I’m nearly certain that, if I live to old age, that I’ll be hard of hearing too.
The last time I went to a hospital for something other than a routine health check was when my ears hurt so badly that I could not sleep at night.
However, while my feet and ears have brought me a lot of pain, they have also brought me a lot of pleasure.
First of all, feet allow me to walk and dance.
Second, feet are very sensitive. Our feet have to tell us about the way we are holding ourselves and the ground we’re treading on … while being tough enough to meet rough terrain with our weight bearing down on them. Because of that toughness, they do not seem sensitive right away, but when they are stroked the right way, they become deeply sensitive. It is a physical pleasure unlike any other. If I had more money, I would get foot massages frequently; since it’s been a while since the last one, I think the time for another foot massage is coming soon.
Likewise, ours ears are also extremely sensitive (it is a sense organ). When the ear doctor was cleaning my ear during the hospital visit mentioned above, I was surprised as how pleasant it felt. It is a unique sensual pleasure. I would not want to get regular ear massages because there would be a high risk of damaging my ear drums … but if I were not concerned about my ear drums (for example, if I were deaf) I think I would like to get that service regularly. When I use ear plugs, they sometimes feel uncomfortable … and sometimes trigger that unique pleasure.
What does this have to do with asexuality? When people talk about sensual pleasure, they often just mean sexual pleasure. That is one kind of sensual pleasure, but it’s hardly the only kind (of course, it could be argued that not all sexual pleasure is sensual). For example, pleasure I get from my feet and ears is not sexual.
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