Sex and the Desi – It’s all in the Mind, stupid. Chawm Ganguly           

chawm g (25)aWe are a people that wrote treatises on copulation in 400 BCE. The act of depicting explicit sexuality on temple walls and equating an orgasmic purity of the mind to become one with God dates even further. Our exploding population bears testimony to our virile ways and to judge us by prudish, jaundiced eyes of self-styled morality, is therefore not only ambiguous but also self-defeating.

On the one hand there is a demographic shift of tectonic proportions. Today, women are not only educated, working and upwardly mobile but are also increasingly vocal, demanding and getting what they want. To think that they do not want sex, or physical pleasure for that matter, is nothing short of sacrilege. Women are demanding sex for purely physical pleasure, using sex as a tool to enhance positive feelings about themselves, having sex in search of the elusive Oxytocin (the Love hormone), copulating to de-stress and increasing indulging in interpersonal calisthenics to burn calories apart from straddling for the sake of gratification that only dominance provides. All this, often with more partners than one and certainly, increasingly outside the morally “correct” confines of an institution called marriage.

The point that needs to be stressed here is that none of these basic reasons driving the sexuality in women– apart from the dutiful submission to act as a silent funnel to channelize the pent up energies of the husband and to help keep the family flame flickering – are alien to the land. Women down the ages have had reasons underlying their amorous needs, often complex psychological ones at that. It is also not, that only now, women are more open about their needs – both physical and psychological – and are neither afraid to ask for them, nor afraid to talk. That too, is old hat and the key is in the numbers. More women are paying heed to their inner urges, acting out their fantasies and are seeking out their pound of flesh (no puns intended).  Conventional social mores be damned.

With greater socio-economic responsibilities and recognition, the essential adjunct, (s)he who pays the piper, calls the tune is increasingly becoming obvious. “And why not” ask psychologists working in the area. With women storming almost every male dominated bastion, often “wearing the pants” in the family, what is wrong in their taking the pants down? As a matter of fact, to try to subjugate women based on thoughts antediluvian, is not only out of sync with the times, but also downright discriminatory.

The rapid proliferation of sites offering sex toys is a mute testimony of these changing physiological mores of the Nation. It will not be out of place to mention here that a substantial portion of these items are ordered from what we call the rural hinterland, giving just a hint of how sexual “liberation” (?) is spreading like a wildfire and yes, women are very close to outnumbering men as the ones placing these orders. It may sound a bit crazy to the chauvinistic male mind, but there are a growing number of women who are taking things in their own hands, replacing men with readily available alternatives. Sex for pleasure and sex for procreation are already distinctly different requirements for many.

This primal male instinct of subjugating women – of putting them in their place and teaching them a lesson, especially when threatened by their march forward – many psychologists point out, is the root cause of the steady spurt in not only the number of cases of violence against women, but also of rape. Even without getting into the emotional trauma that is associated with rape and the physical and psychological ignominy victims are subjected to, often for life, one is disgusted and shocked by the grossly insensitive and often criminally abusive statements made by the so-called village elders – another manifestation of society’s convoluted thought process. That too, is something that is all in the mind.

Between these extremes, however is the average male mind, which has not only accepted the mechanizations of his mate’s psychological drivers of sexuality, but is also a co-copulating participant in the crime. Sex like Tango, takes two and for every fantasy that is being played out there, there is a willing partner, either male or female. The metrosexual Indian man is not only vainglorious plumage, but to a very great extent, one who is not only aware of his own sexual needs and preferences, but also that of his partner, often willing to balance out things for the greater Earth-shattering good.

And yes, even as you read this, there is a revolution going on out there. Viva La Revolution!

The piece was originally written for the Express Health Guide, 2016