We learn about periods, or menstruation, in our high-school Biology class. But what our education so conveniently misses out on is its ugly side-effects, the discrimination, and the nonsensical people who ask, “PMS-ing or what?”


Let’s Talk About the Ugly

In some Indian states, a girl’s first period is celebrated as her passage into womanhood. These cultural traditions must be respected, and can be followed by whoever wishes so, but it is important to realise the subsequent sexism that comes along. These celebrations are more to do with a woman’s fertility than normalising conversations around menstruation.

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Image Credit: Youth ki Awaaz, Menstrual Festivals: Yet Another Means To Celebrate Systemic Patriarchy.

In most Indian homes, menstrual untouchability is still…

Remember when we would watch TV with our parents, and the ad of Sunny Leone running on the beach, promoting Manforce condoms would come on?

No? You don’t remember? Because that never happened!

Of course, we didn’t talk about contraceptives. The same way we didn’t talk about sex. And here we are, 1.3 billion people and growing…

Why Are We Not Using Contraceptives?

Contraception is widely regarded as the woman’s responsibility because technically, she is the one who will get pregnant. So, it is common to hear young, urban women say, “It is my problem, so I have to look after it myself.” The responsibility can…

“Sex talk among guys is mostly winks and nods, bravado and innuendo.”

— Sex: A Man’s Guide by Stefan Bechtel, Laurence Roy Stains, and Men’s Health Books.

If you’re a guy, before you read further, think about it, how many times have you had a conversation about sex beyond these limits?

Scott Gilman, a fellow writer on Medium, wrote a brilliant article on the same, ‘Men Need to Talk About Sex With Each Other’, which I highly recommend for everyone to read.

While it had a more Euro-centric focus on men’s sexuality, I hope to dig a little deeper in…

It is the start of the year. Covid has taken over the world, and you are locked in your home. Seeing your crush, meeting up with your date, making out with your partner, and all physical interactions have come to a halt. What’s the next best thing?

“Hey, wanna video call ;)?”

Sexting has become the new normal during the lockdown, but for most people, there is always a hint of anxiety and guilt attached to it. But it’s 2020, right? People are more accepting and respectful, right?

Your Nudity Is Not the Same as Mine

I talked about how female sexuality is curbed and policed by society…

I struggle with perfectionism in every aspect of my life, including my appearance. But it was not until last year that I realized the amount of pressure I put on my body to appear ‘ideal’ to others.

There were many features like my hairline, my lips, my waist, my legs, my body hair, that were mocked at or scrutinized. Some came from previous partners, friends, and relatives, and some through the media’s messaging of beauty ideals. Unaware of my critical perceptions, I was being self-destructive to an extent that affected my behaviour and my sexuality. …

In a country where sex remains controversial, consent is misunderstood, and the laws deem PDA, porn, and sex toys as illegal, kink would be the last thing on anyone’s mind. Yet there is an increasing number of Indians who are active participants in the kink community. But what exactly is kink? And from what we know of it (from the one movie everyone has watched), is kink really fun and consensual?

Defining Kink

In sexuality terms, kink means any sexual practice or behaviour that is “non-conventional”. Using the word non-conventional lightly, because, until 2018, normal only included penile-vaginal sex.

Kink can fall…

The reason why I began this series was to address how we understand sex and sexuality and how that shapes our views on consent and sexual abuse.

Every few months in India, there is a horrific rape case that ‘shakes the nation’ and there are lengthy debates about consent and feminism. I began to wonder. If the phrase ‘No means No’ is practically hammered into our minds by the media, why is it that we keep getting it wrong? Why do we still need to talk about consent?

Our Upbringing, Our Education, Our Institutions

While researching sexual abuse statistics, it became clear that the way we…

The concept of sex might have been alien to us in our homes, but abstinence and virginity were not. Early on, we learned to equate virginity with purity. Our parents, teachers, religious texts, and places of worship, etc., instilled the idea of ‘saving it for marriage’ or ‘for the right one’.

At the same time, sex was everywhere in movies, magazines, music, comics, and ads. At school, we all knew that one kid who had their first sexual experience and they would not stop bragging about it. They were considered ‘corrupt’, but still ‘cool’ and ‘popular’. Sexually-active guys were ‘players’…

(Yes, I am going to talk about orgasms!)

Growing up, I remember several moments with my girlfriends or my cousins when we giggled about ‘those scenes’, watched the pirated version of Fifty Shades at home, or went shopping to try on outfits that we were not allowed to wear outside.

On many occasions, I felt emotions, urges, and desires for which I had not known a word. I could not explain it, and I never came across any of my female friends mention anything similar. …

I remember my family movie nights; my sister and I would be huddled together in one blanket and my parents in another, and we would all be watching a rented movie for the weekend. Everything would be all fun and jokes, until … the actors started to make out on screen!

The frantic search for the remote, the ‘cheee’ and ‘close your eyes’ from my mom, and the eventual forward of the scene.

As a kid, all I did was giggle and assume it was an adult activity that was only permitted for married couples. …

Anusha G

Creative Writer | Sex Talk Sunday Series | Film Enthusiast

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