Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby: Amidst Taboo and Pleasure
-Written by Dr. Ninada KC,
Medical Officer, Namma Clinic, DHFW, Karnataka
There are two things we should definitely talk about, and two things that we absolutely refuse to talk about.
1. Mental Health
2. Sex Education
I’m pretty sure you can imagine the surprise of a 15 year old me realising that drinking haldi wala doodh on your first night is not the way to conceive! What?!! *baffled brain noises*
When it was time for the “reproductive system” chapter in school, most part was left to the imagination of the students and even more so to the courtesy of the internet!
The only time Indian parents talk about sex to their children is to enquire about the consummation of the marriage and the status on grandkids. Now you’d think for a country whose population is linearly rising we’d be open to the idea and talks of sex, but nope! We don’t do that here.
It’s 2022, and we still have no dearth for the stigma around anything that begins with ‘sex’-. The art and act of love making is a guarded secret between a couple confined to their solitude alone. We’re allowing generations after generations to grow up without a formal sexual education! Sex can get only as awkward as we make it! I remember the “sex ed” talk in seventh grade, when for the first time, boys and girls were segregated in two different rooms and “The Talk” was delivered. It led to us coming back to our classmates of the opposite genders, each of us guarding something with a new found awkwardness!
I often compare my knowledge regarding sex and sexual health pre MBBS and it makes me wonder how non medicos are even getting their sexual education from! Does the majority of the generation simply rely on porn for their sex ed? But porn won’t teach you what safe sex practices are. Porn won’t teach you regarding STIs. Porn will not teach you regarding contraceptives! Those are things that a sexual education is supposed to teach you! But at least, this generation has the internet. What was the source of sex education or even information for generations before the internet? I guess we’ll never know. Because we are not allowed to ask, talk or think about it!
According to the society, you either come from a house of values and respect or you use the s word without awkwardness! Can’t be both!
Lack of sexual education alone has led to a number of obstetric and gynecological complications. Beginning from as basic as not being able to differentiate the different orifices to transmission of sexual infections. An act of love can quickly turn into a horror cascade owing to an unwanted pregnancy, a genital rash or an uncalculated perineal trauma.
From the misplaced, inadequate, unreliable sexual knowledge we have gained over years, we form sexual expectations that are often far fetched or unrealistic. An unsatisfactory sexual experience sends one plummeting down a spiral of psychiatric and emotional concerns. Most often leaning to “is it me? Is there something wrong with me?” In one of the previous blogs by Dr. Mahajan precisely articulated how one’s body image may influence one’s sex drive. But does it work the other way round too? A poor sexual gratification (of oneself or of the partner) leading to a series of self doubts?
Between the taboo around sex, and the supposed ecstatic pleasure of sex is a lot of sexual talks that are amiss. Most Indians make the jump from Team taboo to Team pleasure overnight (read- get married) carrying to their bedrooms a load of expectations, a burden to be carried and a task to be fulfilled by an equally clueless partner!
Perhaps it’s time we set realistic sexual expectations. Maybe it’s time we spoke of sex.
After all, the probability of sexual education coming handy is way more than that of calculus in one’s lifetime! I mean, let’s talk sex, baby!