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The responses of Indian men to the Durex #OrgasmInequality campaign, which aims to start a conversation about female orgasms reek of fragile masculinity and misogyny.
A few days ago, Durex rolled out its #OrgasmInequality campaign with this unsurprising (to women!) statistic, and invited Indian women to share their experiences, including talking about fake orgasms. Celebrities like Swara Bhasker, Pooja Bedi, Kenny Sebastian and Aparshakti Khurrana also lent their voice to the campaign.
The stories that started coming out from women were a testimony to the discomfort that women have been made to internalize with respect to their own bodies and sexuality.
For some Indian men and their fragile egos however, it was a bit too much to handle, and #BoycottDurex started to trend on Twitter.
Needless to say, it was perceived as an insult to Indian men, their sexual prowess, and to Indian culture as a whole. Some men, of course, decided that this would be a good forum to boast about how good they were at sex, while others questioned the validity of the data.
There was mansplaining galore about how this campaign was unfair to men, and whataboutery, and laments about the “lows that feminism has reached!”
The “outraged on behalf of Indian women” maa-behen comments weren’t far off either.
And the misogyny wouldn’t be complete if one did not blame women themselves for not having orgasms, or using some twisted logic to link the statistic to adultery!
The vile and disgusting comments directed at Swara Bhasker, Pooja Bedi, Kaneez Surka and Aditi Mittal are disturbing, to say the least.
Twitter users were quick to point out that by trending #BoycottDurex, Indian men were only revealing their own insecurities to the world, while others noted that to many men, female orgasms were irrelevant, because as far as they are concerned women are just baby-making machines! Author Kiran Manral also pointed out that stereotypes and misunderstandings about female orgasms are prevalent even in the West, as revealed by research done by Shere Hite.
Talking about female orgasms may seem like a frivolous issue on the face of it, but regulating how women experience sex, and placing restrictions on how women express their sexuality are examples of how patriarchy thrives and controls women. It goes beyond the fact that women have as much right to pleasurable sex as men, and connects to larger issues like objectification of women (women are “things” to which sex happens; they have no sexual agency) and marital rape (where the woman’s desire or lack thereof are not at all taken into consideration.)
It is time to recognize that women are neither mere sexual objects, nor are they pious goddesses that are above and beyond sexual urges. Women are human beings that have natural sex drives and desires, and every woman’s body experiences arousal and orgasming differently. Irrespective of whether one uses Durex’s latest product, what is really needed is self-awareness, patience and honest and open communication between sexual partners.
With their toxic responses to Durex’s campaign, however, Indian men have showed that Indian women have a lot to be dissatisfied about – in the bedroom and beyond.
Image source: a still from Lust Stories
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Vijayalakshmi Harish is a book blogger and writer. To paraphrase her librarian, she is a
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