Premarital sex exists. Postmarital sex also exists. But to Indian parents, one of these two is an unreal peculiarity founded upon null grounds. No points for guessing which one. Premarital sex is as old as time itself. Yet, desi culture finds deep comfort in pretending it’s a fantastic concept and completely disregarding its necessary relevance. Not very unlike our perception of time and punctuality. Well, at least there’s some consistency.
It’s endemic to the West and has no place in Indian culture. Premarital sex and all that jazz deserve to be restricted from getting a free pass into our country. The youth is going to ruins. It’s making people “too independent.” Women are forgetting our traditional sabhyata and sanskaar. No no, our child doesn’t engage in such besharmi. (Son maybe, but daughter? Not at all!)
This is just the tip of the iceberg of alleged concerns the older generations and parents offer as motives for dismissing premarital sex as an ‘evil’ that needs to be exorcised. But do any of these, any at all, reflect logic?
Is there any true reasoning behind these claims save for a false understanding of what tradition is? Did the youth generation concoct premarital sex today with an intent to ‘destroy’ the cultural fabric? Or has it been around for much longer through generations before us? (Yes parents, we’re looking at you.)
Indian Parents And Premarital Sex: Why Do These Two Forces Repel?
There are a million terms and conditions to sexual relations in this country, among which the taboo attached to premarital sex ranks among the most absurd. It stems from the stock desi understanding (per my understanding goes in wrapping my head around this strange phenomenon, that sex isn’t something to be enjoyed. Most of all for women.
Sex is only a mechanical project where two married partners spread their tools on the bed and work all night for a magic creation that pops out in all its glory months later. What is the need to take pleasure in something that is just the means to an end? And why must one waste time needlessly (or if you’re a bigger traditionalist, commit moral sin) in performing that ‘project’ otherwise?
But what if one doesn’t want to marry? Must they stay celibate all their lives? Will all the sex they have then forever be called ‘premarital’?
In all this fudge about what accounts for culture – when really, culture is a movement, never stationary – basic science about the physiological needs of human beings has been conveniently neglected.
Sex is right up there with food and water. Must we then also wait till after marriage to eat and drink?
Sex being a social concept, however, does need a slightly different treatment than survival sustenances. The conversation needs to be about safe sex, ample education, self-exploration, candid parent-child exchanges and agency. Is this not a more reasonable spin on talk of premarital sex, instead of fears of it wasting away the youth?
Premarital sex is a reality there’s no reason should be ignored any longer. We know. You know. Everyone knows. It exists. It happens. It’s (arguably) even necessary. Can we take the bedsheets off the conversation now?
Views expressed are the author’s own.