Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A most likely inane post in which we ramble on about sex and its misgivings (which are many)

I think about sex a lot. It’s my favorite pastime. I think about it not always in the obvious sense of the act. But more so in the semantics of it. (Honest) So here’s a thought:

Freud divided the human life span into five stages – Oral, Anal, Genital, Latent and Sexual. They are simple enough. But for the uninitiated, I will expostulate.

The Oral Stage (ages 0 – 2 yrs) : in this phase of life, an infant gains dexterity of his oral faculties. They are his only means of understanding objects around him and he experiences pleasure through the use of this faculty. (means the little bugger will put everything in his mouth. Little sucker rather)

The Anal Stage (ages 3 – 4yrs) : in this phase of life, the toddler gains control of his anal faculties and derives pleasure from this control (getting toilet trained)

The Genital Stage (ages 4-6 yrs) : in this phase the young adult becomes aware of his/her genitals and will be able to comprehend its uses (sex ed here we come!)

The Latent Stage (ages 7 – puberty) : in this phase of life, the young adult has gained complete control of his manual faculties and begins to explore the world around him through sight, sound & touch. It is the most creative and intelligent period in the human life span. (at this stage you get to know if you’re going to be a billionaire artist or a blubbering idiot)

And finally,

The Sexual Stage (ages puberty – death) : in this phase the individual indulges in sexual intercourse with members of the opposite sex (or same sex, Freud you homophobe) and derives pleasure through mutual gratification.

Freud stopped there, but this is where Prof. Coo will make a further classification. Virginity and erm..Non Virginity. I don’t know if this holds good for men, but nothing is quite as cataclysmic in a woman’s sexual maturity as this distinction.

I got to thinking about this because of a conversation I had with a friend last week. Now, this friend has largely been living in the latent phase. The whole men and sex issues have never reared their ugly heads in her life. While I cribbed and whined about men, she listened sympathetically but really wondered what the fuss was all about. Until now, I think. She narrated an incident that had completely flummoxed her. She had got talking with a married colleague of hers who was going through a divorce. It apparently was a bitter one at that and the colleague and her to be ex were barely on talking terms and fighting over custody of their five year old. Anyway, one day my friend and her colleague were going on an outstation trip and in the cab to the station, the colleague gets an sms from the husband, which (I don’t know why), she shows my friend. It says “if you knew you were leaving on a later train, we could have had some candy ;)”.

My friend looks at her confused. ‘What? What does that mean”

The colleague blushes “Candy…um…our private word for you know what”

“Oh…’ says my friend uncomfortably.

“How…how can people sleep with each other when they’re barely talking to each other….when they don’t even like each other anymore?” she asked me exasperated.

“Um…because they can… I guess. Because it’s something they’ve done before. Because it’s just sex man” I say.

“What do you mean its just sex? I mean its Sex! It’s making love!” she says maddened.

“No man, its sex. It’s a purely self indulgent act. An itch that needs to be scratched. A hunger that needs to be fed in their case. No more, no less” I say quite irritated.

“ I don’t know…I know I haven’t experienced it yet…but it seems so…so animalistic…” she sighed.

Her virginal comment got me wondering. I thought about the time of yore. When I was innocent. When I was pure. Untainted. A delicate d’jore.

Life really was extremely different, diffident almost as a virgin. It was so easy to be surprised. It was so easy to be shocked. The wonderment and the extreme joy in recollecting even the brushing of elbows sent you spiraling with ecstacy. I remember going out to this concert with a boy and he stood behind me and put his arms around me and I knew no greater joy in the world. Now, if a boy (sorry, man) does that I worry about whether he really likes me because he isn’t facing me. Does he not want to see my face? Is my face unseeable? Did the morning kiss we shared tick him off? Was the ex better than me in bed? get the point…utterly complicated.

Back then, I remember happily staying over at this boy’s place when he said ‘hey why don’t you spend the night’ and I came over with pyjamas and socks and all and I really had no clue that he’d meant something else. Now, if a man so much as shakes my hand differently, I know.

Most importantly, back then, it was so easy to just say NO. If his hands so much as wandered to the lower part of your abdomen, your right hand immediately attained Alien hand syndrome and wacked the daylights out of his head. Stands to reason. You just didn’t miss what you hadn’t yet had. And that exactly was what my friend didn’t quite understand about her ‘colleague still fucking ex husband’ scenario.

What is it about sex that changes everything for a woman. From the way you think to the way you respond to the way you live life to the way people view you. For me it’s simply geographical. In Bombay it’s not even an issue, it’s a given. But in Bangalore, suddenly everything changes like a bad A/C. My ‘status’ hangs on me like a scythe. My friends know but choose to ignore. It’s attained Voldemort like reverence.

How did virginity or lack of become such a moralistic issue in a country that had temples educating local folks on positions of greater ecstacy…how? ! I know some people are raising their hands up maniacally saying ‘AIDS’, ‘Syphilis’, ‘it takes two hands to (get the) clap’ and all of that. But in India it certainly runs deeper. It comes from an egotistical Aryan race of virile men who want purity. Who want goddesses. Who want white nymphets dancing to their tunes in the cosmic bed. And then it comes from years of mothers worrying about catering to that demand. Of ensuring that their burden, their daughter didn’t soil herself, was clean and would make a pure bride to her ‘has probably slept with all the worlds whores and has herpes’ groom. It comes from catering to a double standard.

[And yes, my dear concerned friend who sparked off this post, many men who may be prospective husbands, may see this blog, and I do encourage them to. Because they’ll just have to accept me, psychological warts and all ;)]

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