The trailer of the upcoming movie Badhai Ho was just released with the star-cast being a good mix of Ayushmann Khurrana, Sanya Malhotra, Neena Gupta and more.
The trailer was absolutely hilarious, the acting by each cast member well-done and more than anything it was refreshing to see this kind of a premise being used in a movie.
The plot centers on how Khurrana’s parents who are over 50 get pregnant at a pretty old age and the resulting twists and turns it brings.
While the plot is quite innovative, it did bring up the thought of why exactly are we embarrassed if our parents have an active sexual life?
Is Sex Only For Reproduction?
There is a certain mindset I’ve observed wherein people tend to get really harsh and overly judgemental towards parents having a sexually active relationship even after having kids.
Where a newly married couple is bombarded with questions with when they will get a kid, arrangements are made by parents and family members to leave the two alone and spend ‘quality’ time with each other, obviously referring to having sex, all that is supposed to go away once the couple has conceived.
And it is almost taken as a fact that the couple doesn’t have sex at all once their child/children have reached a certain age.
After that, parents are almost expected to be involved in other things like puja-paath, philanthropy, business/job, health and other activities.
The Varying Reactions
If the news does come out that the parents share sexual relations, the different kinds of reactions they get from people around them and their own is certainly interesting to see.
(i) If a kid walks upon their parents in such kind of a situation, the most common reaction is that of disgust and being squeamish. Most of the times, we kids will go, ‘Ewww, what are you doing’, or some variation of it.
We could also judge them for doing something so frivolous instead of doing bigger things like yoga, exercising, puja, and more.
Apparently, kids believe that their parents don’t need sex, and that stems from being a cultural thing.
(ii) The parents’ reaction to being caught doing something sexual or even romantic in nature is much more obvious.
Often the mother pushes the father away immediately and pretends to be doing something else entirely that is more innocent. If they are actually caught, they would start to do it in a more discreet manner by being noiseless from next time or putting the brakes on it altogether. If their child caught them then they might even shout and scold them which could have certain after-effects.
The reason for this is not clear exactly but mostly it can be attributed to societal thinking and how it is not #sanskari and that the kids should not see something like this, since it can harm their ‘innocence’. Most of the times, parents feel flustered and embarrassed more than even the child who caught them, since they feel that the could lose respect if caught in such a compromising position.
You’d also notice that parents keep a look out for anyone coming, so if they hear anyone approaching them, they will hurriedly correct themselves and straighten out their clothing.
(iii) Society’s reaction, however, is perhaps the worst and a line in the trailer brings that to attention. In the clip, Gajraj Rao who plays Ayushmann’s father, is walking out of his house to get to office. But a neighbour makes a comment at him at that very moment by saying ‘Shakal se to bade shareef lagte hai’.
This comment I feel perfectly captures how the society still seems to think of sex as some kind of a negative thing and not done for pleasure, even if it with his own wife. It’s alright as long as it is for reproduction and expanding the family, but once you’ve had kids, what’s the point then?
The word shareef also strikes me as odd, since it implies that having sex at an older age is some kind of crime or illegal thing one is doing.
Awareness Of Contraception
As per a survey called Users’ Opinion On Use and Wastage Of Condom In India conducted by A. M. Khan, R. Gandotra, and G.S. Karol, it was revealed that most of the condom users in the country, that was a good 61.4% were between the age group fo 25-34 years.
This was then followed by the 35-39 year old age bracket that had a decrease in usage of condoms to just 19.2%. The numbers fell down drastically in age groups beyond that with men between the age of 40-44 being only 8.1%, and a meager 2.1% for those in the 45-49 year age group.
While the condom usage is definitely high among the younger age group, it is primarily since the marketing of condom and contraceptive brands itself is targeted at those between 18-25.
It doesn’t sound so bizarre for old people to not only have no knowledge about condoms but a reluctance to use them when condoms are being shown as only something that young people use.
Single, dating couples, hook-ups, young and newly married couples, working couples who are not ready for kids and more are the target audience for most condom and contraceptive ads.
I’ve yet to see an advertisement that features an older couple using condoms when in fact it is important for them too. Not only to prevent unwanted pregnancy that can be concerning for the woman at a big age, but also for sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and more.
As stated by Dr. Wyatt Fisher, who is a licensed clinical psychologist to Bustle, “It’s good modeling for you to see that sexual vitality is a healthy part of marriage,” on the topic of parents still having a sexually active life. He then further said that, “A thriving sex life usually means the couple is happy and that should make you happy for them.”
Another statement by Dr. Leslie Beth Wish, a licensed clinical psychotherapist to Bustle admitted to how kids feel disgusted or confused when faced with the reality that their parents might still be having sexual intercourse. She said that, “Feel kind of weird at the thought of your parents still having sex?”. To this, she advised that,“Take a breath, shake off that reaction and be very, very happy that your parents are happy! Studies show that mutually happy, long-term marriages report that sexual passion is important — and still alive and well!”
One has to wonder why exactly does the Indian society behave in a very squeamish way when it comes to parents having sex after a certain age, when it seems to be setting a good example of a healthy relationship for the kids.
Image Credits: Google Images