Is talking about Sex a taboo? Think again! The first fact I considered while I began writing was ‘why can’t we normalize the word sex and the act in real life.’
Here I begin by asking a few questions.
What Social Media platform are you mostly hooked to?
What kind of content do you scroll though on the world wide web?
What kind of web series do you prefer the most? Romance, Erotica, Crime, History, Nature…
What are your Biggest Turn Ons And Turn Offs?
What content turns you on the most? (Yeah, you heard it right!)
And finally, how frequently does one browse porn sites?
The response to all the above questions is overwhelming. And it’s a loud YES when asked if it’s high time we normalize the term ‘SEX‘. (to whoever I have communicated to). When the answers are a big YES, why isn’t this answer heard at home or in public places as loudly? There it’s a big hush and a long silence! Oops!
Considering that the Kama Sutra was written by the great Indian philosopher Vatsyayana, our culture should have been more open and inclusive. Sadly, if at any point in time, one happens to remind our society of this ancient text (when blamed for so-called “immoral acts” like dating/fraternizing/late night outs), you will more often than not get labelled with words like “besharam” or “ashleel” (immoral/shameless) and similar words in other Indian regional tongues and dialects. So, while it is okay to browse porn content on the net or even click pictures of sexual positions in Khajuraho, it is not okay to discuss it – albeit in hushed tones at parties!
Here are my 10 Reasons Why.
1. END “GENDER BENDERS” IN SEX
There is a lot of gender bias too. For instance, a man watching porn will not be judged as much as a woman who talks openly about her sexual pleasures and desires. Suddenly she will become the “spoilt” or “corrupted” woman vis a vis a man who is just “sexually frustrated and needs an outlet somewhere because he does not have a partner to satisfy his needs”. Society has boxed us into believing sex is immoral. Religion has added to it too. If you go back to the days when people adored totem poles, I doubt if such gender parity was practiced in sex back then.
2. NORMALIZE THE WORD SEX
It is high time we (or rather moral guardians) stopped saying the “Haaye Tauba (Oh my God), Sex?!” line. Let alone the practical usage of the word sex in daily conversations, one cannot even practically enjoy having sex, thanks to the many taboos and myths floated by our society. It is okay to have sex with a stranger in an arranged marriage but bad to have sex with the one you are living in with, or someone you are dating or in love with.
3. LEGAL SEX VS “IMMORAL SEX”!
So, well-meaning elders will push you to get married so that we can have legal sex! Some elders even whine and complain about premarital sex. I even wondered (before I got married) whether the method of having sex changes before and after marriage too (I know it is a bad joke, but I just couldn’t help but wonder!) And why is there such a brouhaha about sex? After all, it is just a simple loving act of making love to the person you connect with.
NOTE: Watching porn in private spaces is NOT ILLEGAL in India as per Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Article 21 gives the right to life and personal liberty to Indian citizens. In 2015, the Supreme Court of India orally remarked that "viewing porn in a private room may fall under the Constitution's right to personal liberty and is therefore legal".
4. SEX FOR PLEASURE – NOT FOR MAKING BABIES ALONE!
So, if you think the married are living in peace (most do), with so many judgements passed about sex, even they can’t enjoy it in peace ‘coz of the next big step – making a baby. Society takes it upon itself the role of a moral guardian who decides how much and when to have sex! Of late, cinemas have released a slew of movies on the same with a sarcastic and satirical touch. Sadly, there is so much stress on couples who just want to date and have sex for pleasure. This is even after our courts have even legalized live-in relationships. As a result, couples are even resorting to being underground with their relationships despite being “majors”. For fear of being judged, many joined dating sites anonymously for hookups.
5. SEX FOR PLEASURE – NOT A PORN SYMBOL!
Masturbation and self-pleasure are considered immoral for years. So, exploration of the body is now limited to digital pleasures alone. Sex toys are also labelled in the same category as porn now! As a result, sex has become associated with soft porn and hard porn (classified by the internet) vis a vis a union between two souls and bodies.
6. PORN VS REAL SEX
The above point clearly showed how soft and hard porn websites are mushrooming as we even speak. It is equally important to be aware of the fact that many people are acting in porn films and whatever people see in that movie, is pure acting. Unfortunately, from orgasm to the mourning sounds are fake! These actions on a reel, cannot be replicated in real life! Couples must be mindful of consent and boundaries when it comes to having sex (vis a vis what is shown on-screen – aggression). Mutual respect while making love goes a long way in preserving a loving relationship! Marriages end up in disasters as one of the couples wants a scene from a sex clip to be replicated at home – minus the consent of the partner.
7. SEX EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS & AT HOMES
Most schools in India have skewed sex education – isolated teachings for both boys and girls about private parts of the body. Some schools still don’t have such lessons on sexual health, the dos, and the don’ts too! A few schools have started teaching “good touch” and “bad touch” but it is still a long way to go. There is a critical question to ask here: Why is it not encouraged to talk about sex at home (for instance, switching channels when a sex scene is happening or kissing scenes) when kids are around? Parents are always skeptical about answering doubts (either due to lack of knowledge or fear of teaching it). The first instinct of any parent is to shoo their kids away when there is an adult scene in a movie. Even if kids do watch it, it is up to the parent to give age-appropriate explanations vis a vis avoiding it.
8. BOOKS, SEX EDUCATION & KIDS
There are some amazing books on teaching sex education to children – all genders if one wants to educate their children. Social media isn’t far behind as well. Many good sex educators hold workshops for parents and all those interested to know more about sex.
A few books (there are more books) recommended for kids by experts:
1. Amazing You! by Gail Saltz
2. Robie H Harris series of books (for all kids above 4 years)
3. What makes a baby? by Cory Silverberg
4. Let’s Talk About the Birds and the Bees by Molly Potter
9. PREVENTING SEXUAL ASSAULTS
Curiosity between all genders increases when sex becomes a mystery word. Instead of giving it nicknames, if sex is spoken aloud as a word, many misdeeds can be prevented. Families and society can go a long way in nipping crimes in the buds! There will be lesser or no abusers in society once this change comes through! We have a long way to go and we need to start now to make a change on this matter. Teach good touch and bad touch without fail. Let’s start at home.
10. UNESCO SPEAKS
According to the world body UNESCO, “Sexuality education has positive effects, including increasing young people’s knowledge and improving their attitudes related to sexual and reproductive health and behaviours. Sexuality education – in or out of schools – does not increase sexual activity, sexual risk-taking behaviour, or STD/HIV infection rates.”
Let’s create awareness and talk about sex more and we will have healthier generations!
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4 thoughts on “Lets Talk Sex”
This is a much needed article. Made absolute sense and THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO SURFACE ON SOCIAL MEDIA… We are all so busy and caught up watching, reading and listening to nonsensical content. What is important is considered taboo. Pity, but this needs to change. This is so well written. Super super super !!
Thank u so much, Dinah! Means a lot! Yeah, this is something that needs to be spoken openly vis a vis shutting it behind doors!
Loved it and especially where you talk of Vatsayana ..it is okay to take pictures, or digital pleasures but not talk of it! Also that the only agenda of marriage is off spring.. Keep writing!!
ha ha yeah that is called the Indian double standard!! Thanks, sweetheart for encouraging me! ❤