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Indian society shies away from discussing women and sexuality, keeping women unaware and ashamed of their own bodies. Embrace and explore your sexuality, says this post.
I recently addressed a group of college students and asked them – “If you had to tell your daughter something about sex, what would you tell her”?
After a brief awkward silence, the answers I got ranged from being safe, avoiding rape, to learning self-defense in order to not get sexually assaulted.
And then I said something that made almost half of them squirm.
I said, “Won’t you tell your daughter that sex is natural and that it is something that she should enjoy”?
I said this because I had asked the same question to a group of boys, and the first answer I got was – “I will tell my son to get some condoms and have fun.”
I then asked them, “How many of you are comfortable with picking up condoms from the pharmacy if you need them?”
A few hesitant hands went up.
I was not in the least surprised by these girls looking at sex as something they needed to be ashamed or secretive about.
Just like them, I grew up in a social setting where unmarried women are not even allowed to be around a bride who is getting ready for her wedding night, as it is believed that it will corrupt their minds. In fact, women are discouraged from sexual exploration of any kind or even understanding their own sexuality.
As the first hints of puberty hit girls in the form of growing breasts, we are taught to fully cover ourselves up with a duppata. Some colleges even say that it is provocative to be seen around without your duppata, because, nobody, not even you, are allowed to recognize that you are sexually maturing. We never tell a girl that she is beautiful, and that she should love her body. We keep telling her that it is something which is best kept hidden, lest it invite trouble.
We never tell a girl that she is beautiful, and that she should love her body. We keep telling her that it is something which is best kept hidden, lest it invite trouble.
How can we expect girls to feel comfortable about sex if they cannot even appreciate their own bodies without feeling guilty? The same goes for covering up sanitary napkins in black covers, or feeling shy to buy a condom. If you don’t believe me, how many of you are aware of, or would cringe at the thought of a woman pleasuring herself?
Why do we keep female desire in the dark and believe that good women only need love? History, and at most times this society, has made us view sex as something a woman “offers” a man.
Irrespective of your gender, odds are that the word “porn” will automatically bring to your mind a naked woman before you think about a naked man. We have “item songs” which feature women dancing in skimpy clothes. A perfume advertisement showcases the bare back of a woman, but the whole world goes mad if Aamir Khan is almost naked in a poster.
We are used to hearing statements liked “Don’t give him sex too soon or he will lose interest in you.” Is that supposed to mean that I am not supposed to want sex before him, or is sex something that only he can “want” and I can “give”? This may seem like a harmless statement but it shows how deeply we believe that sex is something a woman simply offers.
Women are desired, and they are looked at as the epitome of love and lust. What about the things that they seek and desire? Are we losing out on the very concept of female desire? Even Indian media has time and again shown us that a good woman is someone who is very different from the woman who is sensuous and recognizes her sexuality.
A woman also has this strong craving towards nature’s most basic need. Even the Kama Sutra recognizes female desire as something that takes a longer time to be quenched than that of the man. Sex is a primal need that needs to be enjoyed by both men and women. Let’s face it – procreation would have long ceased to exist if sex was as boring as accounting. So, why should women shy away from something that we learnt long before we were created?
If you think that sex is a favour, a weapon that you can use to get your way, a spousal duty or something you do to help a man quench his desire, a serious thought-adjustment is required! And guess what? Women don’t just fancy jewellery, chocolates, and cuddling. We enjoy sex, too. We have desires, and we feel burning hot lust too.
Sometimes in the middle of a boring work day, sometimes when we see an attractive man, and sometimes just out of nowhere. We may sometimes fake it, sometimes deny it, and sometime shy away from it. But, it exists, and it is as vivacious as a man’s sex drive!
Embrace your sexuality because desire is not something only men are entitled to. Recognizing this desire does not make you a woman with loose morals.
It just makes you human.
Pic credit: Image of a woman in bed via Shutterstock.
Nandhitha Hariharan is a writer with a love for anything that is pretty or covered
Your write up brought back my college days memories. We used to have a lot of discussions on women sexuality in our value education classes.
Its ironical that the land which created kamasutra has made its women folks so demure. The society has made its code of conduct especially sexual code of conduct for women. It’s a good write up.
Kudos to you, for bringing this up. Very true, and men actually dream of being with a westerner, as they know, or are sure, she will have mutual please, not one way , forced favor, as Eastern women have been programmed to believe. The hindi word for Srx is = sam bhog or pleasure for both people involved! Why then women married over 8- 10 yrs don’t even know,what’s it like to experience the big O! Time to educate, explore,and empower our women!
What I have found out about about Female sexuality in over 50 years. BTW, I am a male.
No means no. As much as you would like a blow job, it’s her choice. What you see on porn is not what she wants. She wants someone to understand her and accept her for who she is.
Love is more important than sex. Trust is even more important.
A most important thing that worked for me; When she says yes, make sure she is satisfied before you try anything.
I am saying this because I love my partner (wife seems too possessive.) of almost 42 years. We are both imperfect, but together we are perfect. We are equals.
If only more women would come out and say it like you did.
But oh well our lovely society would call it inviting trouble or inviting rape.
Neverthless, you stated what we all think, but just shy away from admitting to.
Well done 🙂
Speechless! You Know I just cant gather my thoughts about what you have written. I have felt this many a times , a desire to be kissed or loved but then as I am single I felt this is not good, I cant even share my feelings with my friends either male or female,as I am afraid what they will think of me,that I am a loose character ,the another fear that I do not share my feelings and thoughts is that few people may try to take advantage of this. But then we think that all feelings are not shared with all people ,but then if we are restricting ourselves to share what we feel is same as keeping the feelings to ourselves. All of us women know that we want to be loved. But hatsoff to you brought this topic, there are many such topics that needs to be discussed .
And I am sorry for the language errors I have made here and there. I lost my mind after reading this. That could be the reason
Your previous comment has been deleted – not because it disagreed with the author (you’re welcome to do that) but because it was personal in tone and violated our comment guidelines.
Great work… Kudos… 🙂
“We never tell a girl that she is beautiful, and that she should love her body. We keep telling her that it is something which is best kept hidden, lest it invite trouble.”
Is that so?
Did I come and tell you that I never appreciate my daughter for her pretty face?
Think before you write something. Every morning, I tell my daughter that she is very cute and she should love her body than anything else. I never tell her to hide/show her body. She does it as per her wish.
I have a friend who works in a women’s rights group (for rural areas) She expresses her happiness usually about how much Indian parents have changed. She has more experience than you do. And I wonder what makes you write so.
I didn’t want to comment but my heart felt heavy for some reason, after I read this. This is a sensitive issue. Don’t mess up with it.
Well…..this article is a story of every other girl, who at some or the other point of time feels the urge to open up, but as we are quite aware of the society we live in, for the same deed, guys are called man and girls are called charaterless….
Well written. Very true.
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