If I ask you to name one thing that happens in every home but nobody talks about it, what would you say? Did you just say ‘sex’ in your head? You are right, but no prizes for guessing the right answer here. And if you happen to be “an innocent child” who does not like to talk/read about sex, this is where you should stop reading. Still here? I am not joking, this is not for you.
Let me ask you another question: Have you ever asked anyone in your family: ‘How was I born?’ Most of us have. If there was a competition to select a question with the potential to generate the most bizarre answers, this question would be unbeatable. I will share some, yes there was a variety of answers I got from ‘unreliable sources’ of my family. One, I was found on the premise of Janaki Mandir and was brought home. Seriously? Two, children are born by the exchange of body fluids (not what you think!) provided the couple is married. That body fluid was sweat. Did you really think they would “pollute my mind” by giving me the truth? No way! (If you have similar answers to share, share them in comments!) Can you imagine how cheated a child feels when he discovers the truth behind the process? Oh, the liars! The mystery was officially unlocked only after sitting through awkward lectures on the reproductive system in grade 9. I say awkward because: One, it was too late to teach us as we had been informed, and somewhat misinformed, from ‘other sources’. Two, the teacher almost gave a statutory warning saying not to ask “too much”. In short, it was boring. And when even sex is boring, in any way, you know it is not being done in the right way, don’t you?
Maturity is realizing the difference between sex education and education on the reproductive system. Not very long ago I realised the difference and also that little or no sex education has been provided to me by the school or home. School teaches us the reproductive system, one of the reasons sex happens. Is it the only reason? You know the answer. The other reason is almost untouched by the present curriculum. It covers a few topics like contraception and STDs but nothing about different sexual orientations, behaviors, sexual rights and, more importantly, sexual wrongs. In fact topics like homosexuality are so unfindable in the curriculum that I saw a friend of mine put up the ‘rainbow filter’ on his Facebook profile picture thinking it was to “celebrate monsoon.” And the same people end up using homosexuality to even abuse (using words like gay, ‘chhakka’) others. Sadly, a ‘chhakka’ exists as the most valuable shot in Cricket but as a most derogatory word when it is used to denote your sexual orientation. Being different than the rest doesn’t imply being unnatural. It simply means they have a different nature. If we go by that belief then all the left-handers are unnatural, the whole of more than 700 million of them!
Marriage is the only kind of sexual right in our society. To put it in another way, ‘right sex’ only happens between heterosexual married couples, including marital rape. This norm has been independent of time and an established moral code of society since the time people were married off at the age of 10-12 years. Interestingly, we have fought off, and almost abolished, child marriage but kept our silence on ‘marriage as the only sexual right’ thing. The marriage age has risen from teenage to late twenties to early thirties. But we continue to live by the same old principles. This generally creates two kinds of people. One, the sexually frustrated one, those who abstain from having sex due to the fear of society. And two, the guilty section of people who feel they have broken a sacred law of society by addressing their natural urge, irrespective of the ‘protection measures’ they take. But still, according to ‘the great time-expired sex norms’ of our proud society, all practices other than ones happening in a marriage are sexual wrongs, even masturbation!
We are proud of our culture. Not talking about sex is culture too. But what I find ironic is that a huge number of such traditions are practiced which have sex or sexuality at their core. Let me give you some examples: A famous example would be “Goddess Kumari” in Kathmandu. Only girls who haven’t menstruated can be Kumari. Another one is preventing Hindu widows from wearing colourful clothes and consuming foods categorized as Tamasik food (like meat, fish, onion, garlic etc) because they, according to Hindu holy texts, may induce sexual urges in that person which would be “immoral”. Another funny one from Mithila culture is you cannot “touch” the wife of your younger brother. If it had specified a special category of touching, that is sexual touching, it would be understandable. But here, the “touch” is generalized. We touch the feet of elders to get blessings and show respect. Is that not “touching”? We hug our friends, brothers, sisters. Is that not “touching”? But, yeah, we are sexually fucked up. Sex is so disregarded in human life out of one’s bedroom, hidden folders and incognito mode in browsers! So much that I am sometimes in total awe because I see people acting as if they are unaware of its entire existence.
Sex is the reason we are born. Magically, sex is not involved in the birth of our “God(s)”. Again, a few funny examples: Rama was born because Kaushalya, his mother, ate rice pudding brought by a saint who emerged out of a Yagya organized by Dashrath! Hanuman was born because “Pawan Dev (God of air)” impregnated Anjani through the air! Remember the sweat theory that was proposed to me? Seems as if it is true because it was Hanuman’s sweat that was the reason for his son’s birth who was named Magardhwaj. And, Jesus was born to a “virgin” lady, Mary! And, I am sure you can find many more such stories. They must be stories, right? You don’t believe anyone can be borne by Sun, air, water, sweat and, of all other things, virginity! I am sure you don’t. All of this goes to show the role religions have played to humiliate human beings for involving in a natural phenomenon. And, this “great” culture has continued through time.
Sex will find its way to children. If you don’t help in making its way, porn will. And when porn teaches sex education, it teaches violence, perversions, and sex fiction for free and strengthens patriarchy, which alone constitutes for at least ninety percent of the world’s problems already. And if you let porn teach sex education to kids, there will be adults in the world who will know that Superman is science fiction but not that most of the porn is sex fiction and a very inhumane one at that.