By Rhea Yadav
If that heading makes you look around uneasily and ensure that nobody is there watching you read about sex, you are just one of the many people who think of sex as a taboo.
For most of us born and brought up in typical Indian households, sex is one subject which is never mentioned, let alone discussed. It’s like that unacknowledged phenomenon which everybody indulges in but is too awkward to be talked of publicly.
Some of you may also be shaking your heads in disagreement believing that you’re very liberal and that you’re perfectly normal with discussing sex. You’re a part of the small minority who see the normality in sex but read on to further cement your opinion.
So, let’s talk about sex.
What IS it that stops people from talking or discussing about sex? Is it because of the belief that it’s a private bedroom affair? Or does it stem from the assumption that sex is against Indian ‘culture’? Also, could it be the belief that if we talk about sex, we are indirectly promoting sex?
I’ll try and debunk these arguments one by one.
1) To those who believe that sex is a private affair and should remain one need to understand that sex is just like any other physiological needs of man like food, sleep, water and air. If we don’t hesitate in talking about the others, why do so for sex? Moreover, though sex happens privately, its implications spill out in the public domain and thus, it is imperative to break this whole hush-hush bubble about sex.
2) As for sex being against Indian culture, a nation doesn’t get a population of 1.2 billion people by simply eating samosas. It’s ridiculous to overlook ancient Hindu texts like the Kama Sutra and claim that we, as a nation, are against sex. Families in rural villages have five, eight, ten, and sometimes even more children in one house all thanks to repititive reproductive intercourse. If there is one thing which binds the nation and is common to every single person of every race, caste, class and gender is sex. Shouldn’t it be glorified by that logic instead of being sadly looked down upon?
3) Talking about sex promotes sex, is what some believe. So are they implying that if we don’t talk about sex, sex isn’t happening? Well, more and more people of younger age groups are experimenting these days and due to lack of awareness and open dialogue about sex, indulging in sexual activities out of curiosity. In no way does talking about sex promote sex. What it does, in fact, is ensure that whatever sex is being indulged in is safe and healthy. And even if it does promote sex, who ever said that it’s a wrong thing? Sex is actually good for health and its health benefits exceed even what basic light exercise provides. Moreover, eating chocolate gives satisfaction to some people; listening to music gives pleasure to others; in the same way sex gives pleasure to people too! An acceptance of sexuality, especially when it comes to women, needs to be inculcated because no, it does not make a woman bad if she wants sex.
Having said that talking about sex is perfectly normal, what question comes up is what is to be done. It is almost unanimously agreeable that parents play the primary role when it comes to talking about sex. The practice of parents explaining to their children the phenomenon of sex and various hormonal and emotional changes when they come of age is almost non-existent in India. It is expected that a child will himself know what sex is via media or via his friend circle or via the internet. But this information is almost always corrupted. Because there is no formal direct flow of information from parents to their children, a child is exposed to the world of pornography and erotica which gives him unreal notions about sex in general.
Further, schools play an extremely pivotal role too given that they can be providers of good and wholesome sex education to students but such a subject or provision is only restricted to very few top-notch schools in metropolitan cities.
So here’s what you need to know. Sex is natural, sex is fun. Talk about it, discuss it and enjoy it. Your parents might be uncomfortable talking about it but you have no reason to be given that you’re an educated and empowered person who realises the rationality behind sexuality and pleasure.
And the first step towards that is reading this article openly without hesitance.
Because obviously, reading about sex does not mean you are having sex.