The beast is under the cover but is very much alive, in our hearts, in our lust, in our longing, in our desperation, in our muttered silence, in our connivance. I met it, face-to-face when I was having a round of drinks with a female friend in a swashbuckling ladies’ night in a bustling suburb motel. My friend and I are separated in age by a quarter of decade. With the rapid cultural shift and technological advancement, the gap between two generations has shrunk from a couple of decades to mere five years. So, in that sense, I a 34-year-old was spending her evening with someone a generation apart. I was aware of this and my inquisitive mind was curious to know from her, how has relationship changed, for good, for bad in her generation?

It depends. She remarked.

Tell me more.

I nudged her and finally got to hear, from her, a quirky one-night stand tale of her friend, that summed it all. It so happened that she and her male friend visited a pub, where it became quite late after a round of drinks, fun, gossip, and dance. Her friend stayed far-off whereas she stayed nearby. As the clock struck midnight, he got worried about getting back home and the expense it would cost him to take a ride at wee hours. Most cab services such as Ola and Uber have a night time surcharge between 12 am to 4 am.

He tried to persuade my friend to let him stay in her PG. an offer, she vehemently declined. The guy did not lose hope here and started looking around. He finally cued at a girl, who gave him an equally favorable response. They came closer and muttered something in a muffled voice. Soon after, he proudly announced to my bemused friend.

I got a place to sleep now.

The guy went with that girl, spent the night in her place, had sex, and said goodbye the next day, never to meet again. Until now, I have heard of one-night stands as a climax of heightened amorous pleasure, a bursting passion, and novelty of an unfamiliar domain. This is something which was different from the others, a one-night stand to find a place to sleep. Is it wrong? Is it right? Can we judge? Can we let them be?

Recounting a second incident with a male friend, (he had to his claim sexual interactions with three dozen odd girls) who said that sex is not important for him, but friendship is.

The paradox is, we live in a society where there is still a censorship on expression, on morality, on choice, but people have now found covert ways to lead lives uncensored and yet conform on the surface, to the popular archaic view.

As consenting adults, everyone owns a right to live a life they want, and of many choices, sex too is a choice. Sex does not hold much importance that one should restrain themselves from experiencing it for no reason other than simple pleasure. It is a normal physiological function of the body, like eating, sleeping, looking, talking and more. Perhaps because sex was linked to childbirth, it was made exclusive to avoid confusion of heir. Perhaps because sex became a means of ownership, of control of a female body, it became exclusive.

But sex is smart and has undergone a reform like others over a period.

From a symbol of commitment in a relationship, sex has grown and aged to be in the ‘moment’. A moment of ecstasy, a moment of need, a moment of impromptu, a moment of regret.

Having heard the upside of it, I’m not too sure of the repercussions, of this carnal sojourn. Can it lead to an emotional or physical breakdown after a series of frivolous affairs, where one places their genitals before their hearts? Can it lead to a questioning of one’s identity after exchanging multiple partners, with no attachments, no responsibilities towards them?

Again depends, my inner voice remarked.

Also Read: Agent Rana Normalises Patriarchy, Misogyny & Violence against Women

Pallavi Barnwal is a writer, poet, and a social campaigner. She has worked in health-tech space to de-stigmatize mental health and depression. She is a single mother of a 5 year old beautiful male child and aspires to raise him a feminist. 

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