Sex as a means of gratification still remains a closeted topic in India. Therefore, an act which should strengthen a relationship ends up wrecking it instead, because of sexual inexperience, male entitlement to a woman’s body and sheer cluelessness about female sexuality. A larger section of Indian men fail to show any regard for their partner’s sexual needs. Indian women too struggle to acknowledge the fact that it is legitimate for them to have sexual desires, let alone convey them to their partners. So how can men and women overcome hesitation and sexual inexperience to be better sexual partners? How do you point out to men the difference between fulfilling an urge and making love? To shed some light on this delicate topic, we spoke to Kendra Holliday, who has been working as a sex surrogate for the past decade in the US. Here is what she has to say:

Do explain to us the concept of a sex surrogate, and what benefits can consulting one offer?

A sex surrogate, also called a surrogate partner, is a person who helps others overcome social and sexual issues through hands-on intimacy. Consulting with a sex surrogate can lead to increased health and happiness, confidence building, and better lovemaking skills.

When Indian men approach you for help, do you find any hesitancy given sex is still largely a taboo topic in India?

Certainly. Oftentimes, an Indian man will reach out to me for help and guidance, but then fear and stigma overcome him and he changes his mind about working with me. This can end up wasting my time, but I do understand where they are coming from and feel compassion for their dilemma.

Oftentimes, an Indian man will reach out to me for help and guidance. But then fear and stigma overcome him and he changes his mind about working with me.

sex education schools
Picture by Dr Gayle Friend

If they are brave enough to meet with me, they feel refreshed to be able to talk openly and honestly about sex with a woman who understands and does not judge them. If we do get to the intimacy session, they sometimes rush the process so that they can “get it over with” instead of being present and in the moment. They often feel ashamed immediately after their orgasm and want to retreat.

What role does lack of sexual experience and satisfaction play in Indian men’s aggressive behaviour towards women?

If an Indian man lacks experience in lovemaking, his frustration can manifest as misplaced anger. Subconsciously, he desperately wishes to connect with a woman but fears being vulnerable, so he dons his manly “psychological armour” and assumes the dominant role of plundering pleasure. The woman recoils from this approach, and both parties are unfulfilled.

Do you find a lack of any regard towards female sexuality and pleasure among Indian men? How do you course correct them?

I think most Indian men care very much for female sexuality and pleasure, but it is so mystifying for them, they don’t even know where to start. So, they are ignorant, which means they don’t know.

If an Indian man lacks experience in lovemaking, his frustration can manifest as misplaced anger.

I teach them how to explore a woman’s body and her anatomy as if it is a beautiful landscape. I encourage them to get acquainted with a woman’s body beyond the breasts and genitals, discover erogenous zones and pay attention to body language. I speak with them throughout the session and make them aware of their behaviour so they are aware of it and can try a different approach.

Give us a golden rule which all men must learn and implement when it comes to female sexuality.

If women feel safe, comfortable and secure, they will be able to relax and enjoy themselves. Be patient and slow with a woman. Allow the passion to build; do not force it.

Indians still largely see sex as an uncontrollable urge or a procreative duty, than a rightful pleasure. Given we were the land of Kamasutra, what could we learn from our ancients?

It is unfortunate that India was invaded and tainted with colonization and Christian moral values. You had the right ideas before you were dominated by the forces of European invasion. I like to embrace the concept of “responsible hedonism” – as long as you take care of your duties and obligations, you can have as much fun as you want, as long as you’re not hurting others. Just as our senses delight in beautiful fabrics and delicious food, we can enjoy sensual pleasure and unlock the erotic treasures within our minds and bodies.

If women feel safe, comfortable and secure, they will be able to relax and enjoy themselves.

Indian women themselves are fearful of addressing the fact that their sexual desires are valid and that there is nothing to be ashamed of. What would you like to tell them, so that they can embrace their sexuality without any hesitation?

I understand that women face consequences when they are open about celebrating their sexuality. Find a safe place to learn and talk about sex. Look for a sex educator (sex journalist or writer, an advice columnist, healthcare professional) who can be your mentor. Find other women who share your views, so you know you are not alone. With your partner, suggest a safe game in the bedroom of taking turns trying things you are curious about.

And finally, how can Indian men overcome decades of sex-negativity and conditioning about what lovemaking involves, what is the mind change needed?

To Indian men: Women are not property to be dominated and controlled. They are not your enemy or competition; it is not us vs them. We are all in this together. We complement one another – you need their watery female energy as much as they need your fiery male energy. Be patient and loving with your woman. If women are happy, then men will be happy! The change has to start somewhere, and that somewhere is with men.

Also Read: Forcing Estranged Couples To Cohabit: Law Can’t Mend A Marriage

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.