Indian society is incredibly sex-positive, once you’re married. After you’re married, you might even forget consent and treat women like objects and you will still not be persecuted. However, for the unmarried youth, sex is a taboo, it needs to be blockaded by hours and hours of preaching and the fear that permeates onto us in every sphere.
This idea of sexuality latched onto my mind when I had sex. This was back when my hang-ups about physicality were immense. I had been preyed on as a child, and that had led to me withdraw physically. Yet, there I was, in front of another person who was willing to walk the extra mile just so that he could have me.
Technically, this is where it should have ended, but the idea of sex being bad is so eternal in our society, that I kept thinking about it. I lost that man to the tides of time and anxiety. However, now when I think back, the idea seems odd to me.
Our idea of sexuality is seriously inhibited. Even men who show increasing interest in sexual relationships, want to spread it out to some sort of romantic relationship. Over the past few years, I have had many female friends tell me how a particular hook-up partner would not leave them alone, or have taken to stalking – a result of us associating sex with long-term relationships.
The idea of sexuality being a bad thing is a heterosexual narrative. Homosexuality, which evolved primarily from desires that we could not say no to, does not wish to contain our sexualities. However, the overtly straight, cisgendered populace takes an idea that premarital sex which might lead to an unstable childhood for a possible child is the worst thing ever. The consensual sex life of teenagers suddenly becomes secondary to the idea of a child that may or may not come.
The shame associated with sex leads to a lot of hang-ups. We do not see our genitalia as something natural, but, something extra to our body, a baggage that must be used sparingly. We gather our ideas about sex from porn which more often than not, demeans womanhood and focuses on a straight narrative. Also, we do not figure out our needs and desires until we are well into adulthood.
These ideas need to be inspected for their point of origin. For a long time, the idea of sex for pleasure was persecuted because it somehow stopped the single parenthood, that brought with it a thousand touches of shame and a million questions. Yet, as we move onto a new generation, it is important to inspect that marriage is not something that we should do to get sexual pleasure, as is the idea in many teenage minds. A healthy relationship often involves sexual partnerships too (it doesn’t have to), and this should be remembered as we approach the question of pre-marital sex.
My body is ultimately my property, and what I do consensually with my partner should not matter to my parents or anyone else. I can assure you that except for the anxiety brought about by shame, I have had little or no sad memories to extract from sex. Parenthood is about the child’s happiness and not about shaming them into cages. Care to see beyond your own chains for once?
Do you have an experience you’d like to share? Tell us your stories about talking about sexuality and sex, and why you think sexuality education is important! Write to [email protected] with your story, or tag your YKA article with “Know Your Body, Know Your Rights”.