Sex and the 21st Century Indian Woman

I had envisioned this article as a collection of thoughts and sentiments gathered during surveys conducted on women from various parts of this country, about sex; the role it plays in their everyday life. Well, I wish to travel (extensively) throughout the country; but that’s another story, and it would take a long, long time. Also, I concluded that in the end I am going to write, just what I feel, irrespective of what those (hundreds of) women say anyways. So, though someday I do plan to conduct that survey, for now, jotting down what’s on my mind about sex and how it connects to a woman’s empowerment as it stands today with the 21st century woman would have to suffice; the understanding of it, the applicability of it, well, pretty much everything about it. Maybe I could then collect the comments that I might receive on this article, and I heartily invite those, from women, though they are welcome from the men folk too.

Some years back, someone had asked me to comment on the whole casting couch scenario. My reply (said in mirth, but maybe I meant it at some level) was that well, one gets sex, and one gets work, it’s a win-win. So there, that about, I think, sums up my views on sex. That’s one 21st century woman out of the way.

Have you ever talked to your mothers about sex? I haven’t; my mother never lets me. For my mother, it was always, and still is, ‘gandi baat’. One must never talk about it, or think about it even. Know this, the ultimate and the only truth about sex, as per my mother; it is disgusting, it is bad and it is something only men want and yearn for; so open your legs, very reluctantly, but just for your legally wedded husband, only because he needs it to become a good husband, a good father, a good provider. Now I am talking about women of the 60-70 yrs age-group. And not women who are well-read and have had good jobs and all; these women are a small, very small, fraction of the total Indian woman population. Indian women still see sex as something only men enjoy and want and never allow their bodies to truly celebrate the experience, the liberation, the relief that it can provide, to them too.

It is clearly evident in their approach to sex. Even the “modern” city-bred women. I’ll give you an example. When just out of a relationship, it is not uncommon for a man to go out and have sex or a short fling with someone and get over it. It is uncommon for a woman to do so. A woman will keep holding on to it, not letting go of the relationship that is not there anymore, letting it fester and rot her internally. Why? Because she can’t even imagine indulging in casual sex; the one thing that will definitely cure her of the heartache, in most cases; if not most then in many, definitely. One of the healthiest things to do, for the body and the mind, and she wouldn’t do it because she has grown up thinking that casual sex is only for boys and dirty, character-less women. Tell me something, have you ever got your tongue burned when you put something really spicy in your mouth? What do you do? You drink water, or put something sweet on your tongue, or bite into a sandwich, take a spoonful of dahi, anything. It’s rare that you’d just keep sitting, doing nothing about it and letting your tongue burn. Yep, it is that simple. It’s the logical and practical thing to do, for most, for many, if only they allow themselves the pleasure. Of course I am not saying that go out and have sex, it is the solution to all your problems. All I am saying is that when the opportunity of some good sex, with a reasonably nice person comes along, don’t shut it off just ‘cos you think that it’s not the right or the done thing to do. And don’t think or worry about the future either. (Casual) sex, like a movie, or a good exercise session is a temporary relief; leave it at that. Get maximum benefits, come out of it satiated and say your goodbyes. If something comes out of it, well and good, if not, then carry on living. But do think about the consequences and use protection, of course. Also, think about the emotional consequences and prepare for that, if you are not too strong in that arena. Learn to not hold on to things (not worth holding on to) just so you could feel a bit better about life.

Wake up girls, and smell the chai. Good sex is one of the key ingredients of a healthy mind, body, and soul. And there is nothing wrong in indulging in it every once-in-a-while, nothing at all. Allowing yourselves some physical pleasure DOES NOT mean that you are giving in, and the guy is gaining something, or profiting something out of you. It’s a two-way street. You too can enjoy it just as much, if you go in for the right reasons, and come out the other side with all the sense of satisfaction and “nailing it” as the guy does. Of course if you do it because you think it will “please” the other party or maybe as a tool to somehow increase or deepen the emotional connection it’s bound to lead to complications. Go in, but just for the pleasure of it. Just that attitude might bring you closer, to the right person. Your vaginas are not treasures that every (other) guy wants to rob you off. It’s an organ of your body, which has a function like any other organ, and also pleasure points. Pleasure points for you enjoy, not anyone else. Men have their own organs with pleasure points, out of which they can get maximum benefit only if you help them to it. Like I said before, it’s a two-way street. Start reading up on it, start talking about it with your friends, make new friends. It’s a very natural thing and if taken in moderation and done well, it can do wonders for you, your personality, and your life.

I have met many girls, who admit they enjoy sex immensely but are just not able to do it with someone they do not have an emotional connect with. For these girls, I have just one thing to say. Prioritize; what is it that you are looking for. A life partner, their soul-mate? Well then, quit complaining and keep waiting. If not, if you have a life that is important to you and that is keeping you happily busy then be a little bolder. And if that cute guy you met last Friday at that get-together, or at a friend’s house seems like a nice guy and makes your heart flutter, then go for it. Take tiny steps, don’t do it if you don’t want to, of course, don’t even think about it. Just that, don’t start with an agenda, and be open when/if he calls. Or take control and call him; meet for a coffee or a movie. Be comfortable, be who you are. But don’t be closed and shun physical contact due to some stone-age, illogical ideas about shame and guilt, and sex. They do not go together.

photo: Alexis Silva Fotografia

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