By Anvi Mehta:
Yes, I am a 22 year old who just lost her virginity to a guy I kinda am in love with. I used the word ‘kinda’ not because I am not yet sure of spending my life with him, but because I am not yet sure of what love is exactly. It has changed a lot I feel. Not the warm, melt-your-heart, go-weak-in-the knees sort of stuff that Mills & Boon sold us on. Or when we were younger still, that what we called love in those frog-turns-to prince fairy-tales.
Today perhaps, love is more of a practical bond strengthened by physical intimacy.
Yes, we do live in a time where many choose to believe virginity is no big deal and it is a personal decision to share it with whomever and whenever. But it comes as no surprise that even talking about sex or virginity openly is awkward and still taboo in many places in our country. Though on one hand India is known for its liberal history which allowed women to have intercourse with whomsoever they wished, these days, a woman is blamed even if she is a victim of rape. A survivor in fact. Why are we being such hypocrites here? This question has been raised so many times even before this, but it continues to baffle me.
When I discussed this with a few friends, I realized that however ‘modern’ we might become, we will never be able to change our views about a woman who has lost her virginity before marriage. One of my friends, Sal, who is very forthright and outspoken about her views believes that it is the woman herself who is ashamed of talking about sex. “Why can’t we talk about it? Everybody has it and yet we are afraid of talking about it! Though women in metros like Delhi and Mumbai are possibly more open about it, India however is not just these cities”. She shared with me how she was completely taken aback by the reaction she got when she chose to speak to her friends about her first sexual experience at the age of 20, “I was shocked when all my friends started discussing how I was the first one to lose her virginity in the group. Especially because I knew for a fact that these women had done the deed long before me… I had even helped one of them buy contraceptives! But here they were, lying confidently, exhibiting the same kind of rampant hypocrisy”.
While Sal chose to laugh off the incident, another friend Pia spoke to me about the time she was proposed to by a guy — “He was handsome and intelligent too. We were in the same class in college and slowly we became friends and got attracted to each other. One day he came up to me and in between our normal conversation asked me in a whispering tone if I was ‘pure’? I had no clue of what he was talking about initially. But then he asked again if I was a virgin? I said ‘yes I was a virgin’ and thought he was just asking me this out of curiousity. But it was after a year into our relationship that I got the real shocker. He told me he proposed to me only after I confirmed I was a virgin.! I am happy to say that I’m no longer with that guy who judged me based on my virginity.”
These are just two examples where I feel the question of sexuality, especially pertaining to women and their virginity seems to confuse the youth. Of course there are men who don’t love women purely based on their virgin status. And yes there are women who are quite open about their sex life, but that’s I feel a very small percentage of the majority. What about the rest?
We go on and on about women empowerment but are quick to judge a woman who loses her virginity of her own free will with a man of her choice. There is a deep confusion between the so called modern lifestyle we’ve chosen to adopt and the traditional belief system that still narrows down our thinking.And the only way I see out of this is that we stop judging others so that we can inspire others to stop being judgmental.