Are Indian women having more sex?
Honestly, we don’t know for sure. There’s no scientific epidemiological study detailing the current situation, and it’s unlikely we’ll have any from the past to compare numbers.
However, we can speculate from a number of indirect measures if this is indeed true. Increased sales of contraceptives, for one. But if it’s true then what are the reasons? And remember, we are talking about all women of reproductive age in India, marital status no bar. And we are talking about consensual sex with a partner.
Women today have an idea about what exactly they are talking about. It’s covered in school, even if in a very prudish way. Sex is blatantly displayed in media, even though more often than not it’s a romanticised, assets-exaggerated version. It’s hugely available on the Internet, in all forms: educative, sensual, Bollywood, Hollywood, porn, real life, heaven, hell.
Yes. There is a way, in fact, many ways, to escape at least the unpleasant biological consequences of intercourse. Condoms prevent pregnancy and STDs. Others will take care of pregnancy at least. There are emergency contraceptives. And for those who wake up late, early abortions. These are, barring condoms, a bad idea. But they are available to cover up your hour of passion.
Casual sex comes with its own barrage of problems but that’s a topic of discussion in itself.
Related reading: Some women crave sex and not lemons during pregnancy
The feeling of ‘it is okay’. The guilt is absent or if there, it’s not so overpowering. The superego or what we have traditionally known as ‘values’ in a warped way is losing its hold. It’s no longer taboo to have sex for recreation. No longer jaw-dropping to initiate. No longer eye-popping to express a desire for more. We have been exposed to it so much on the Internet, films and even television, that those opposed to it now just turn a blind eye.
There is more availability in terms of a willing partner, space, time, opportunities. There are office romances, premarital and extramarital affairs, nuclear families that give privacy to couples, a generation fed on Western ideals that believe it’s fashionable to hook up casually and a sense of inadequacy or embarrassment if you don’t. Age limits have stretched. Dating and socialising scenes have progressed. Marriage as an institution has changed. Old fixed definitions of sexuality, fidelity, role boundaries have been junked. Relationships increasingly are using newer, customised paradigms to view the ever-changing reality.
Related reading: Sex, then and now
We aren’t saying that the desire has suddenly increased. It’s always been there. It’s just being expressed more.