In our country, sexual pleasure is treated as the elephant in the room which we pretend not to see for the fear of being immoral. Sex is still a means of procreation, ie, it should only result in one consequence- a conception.
Maybe a reason why the Indian patent office rejected a couple’s vibrator that the product was “unproductive”. They felt so probably because what good is a device if it only makes you tremble with pleasure, but does nothing to improve your sperm count or help you conceive a male child?
This burden of morality makes us see sex as a dirty act. Let’s admit it, everyone in our society seeks sexual pleasure, but with a tinge of shame.
Even amidst most married couples in India – those who have society’s permission to copulate, there is a hesitation to discuss pleasure. Many people enter an alliance, especially an arranged one, with partners with different stands on this issue. While one may associate sex with pleasure and intimacy, the other may think of it just as a means to make babies.
Imagine the bedroom dynamics among such couples in a long run. Think about lying next to your loved one every night who finds your sexual desires to be morally repulsive. Who do we blame then, when couples drift apart in Indian bedrooms because they are taught from the very age, they can grasp, that sexual pleasure is morally wrong.
- The Indian patent office declined to give the patent to a couple’s vibrator on grounds that sexual pleasure is immoral.
- In India, sex is looked at as a means to reproduce. Sexual gratification is almost never discussed.
- This denial has raised sexual frustration and made us look at a physiological need as dirty.
This is one aspect of our problem. The denial that sex can be a means of pleasure has also given rise to sexual frustration. The conversation about sex in terms of gratification is always looked down upon as a mark of weakness in character or as promiscuity.
The society deems a physiological need of our body as contemptible. And women who seek pleasure find themselves at the receiving end of this criticism the most.
While the society accepts a man’s libido as his physical need, the same courtesy is not extended to women. In fact, in many communities practices like FGM are used to ensure that women never gain pleasure from the “act”, and merely let their bodies be used as a means of sexual satisfaction by their husbands.
Morality gags the conversation
This belief that lovemaking is a means of reproduction has also made sexual relationships of the substantial LGBTQ population in our society unacceptable and ‘unnatural’. It has also clipped the conversation around the use of contraceptives, masturbation and sexual incompatibility.
That sex is immoral means that whoever talks about it is also immoral.
Most Indians grow up being misinformed about sex. Some gather knowledge about pleasure from porn, which leads to false expectations. Some discover it on their own, which often leads to confusion between desires and sexual entitlement. This lack of understanding of sexual needs leads to disastrous consequences like sexual assaults, marital rape and even suicidal tendencies from ensuing shame. All this because we stifle a very vital conversation under the burden of morality.
Modern India is slowly getting there. Sex is no longer a taboo, hence neither is sexual pleasure. People are swiping left to accept their sexual needs. Unfortunately, sexual pleasure had found acceptance in a small chunk of the population. The majority of our society still prefers to live in denial that pleasure even exists. Perhaps one such deprived being made it to a decision-making post in the patent office.
It is sad that we still live in a society where others get to make a call on what is right or wrong for two consenting adults, even behind the closed doors.
Picture Credit : CBN
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.