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Here’s why we need to openly talk about sex and gender roles

A workshop will use interactive games to help adults discuss sex and gender roles openly

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Oct 01, 2016 10:18 IST
Poorva Joshi
If adults feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues like sex, they will be able to pass down the same freedom of speech to their children.
If adults feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues like sex, they will be able to pass down the same freedom of speech to their children.

A workshop, this weekend, will use interactive games to help adults discuss sex and gender roles openly.

An ideal game of Chinese Whispers sees a message being passed around in a circle, as a whisper. Courtesy the whispering clause, the message, at times – deliberately, or organically - distorts as it is passed on. The original message almost never makes it to the end of the circle.

“Now imagine using Chinese Whisper as a tool to help understand how taboos around sex have been passed down for generations, completely skewing from the original idea,” says Nilima Achwal, 29, founder of Iesha Learning, an enterprise that designs comprehensive sex education workshops for children.

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From Iesha Learning’s previous sex education workshops. (Photos courtesy: Iesha learning )

The year-old enterprise has previously conducted similar workshops for children across Mumbai. Now, they’ve set up an interactive session for adults, this weekend. Sexpectations will see participants above the age of 25, engage in two sets of games that will shed light on the taboo around sex and sexuality in urban spaces.

“If adults reach a level of comfort to discuss sensitive issues like sex, they will be able to pass down the same freedom of speech and an open mind to their children,” says Achwal.

To achieve this open-mindedness, the session’s first game will require participants to categorise concepts of premarital sex, homosexuality, and public display of affection, among others, in three given categories – OK, Not OK, Maybe. This will be followed by a justification of their stance on the subject.

From Iesha Learning’s previous sex education workshops. (Photos courtesy: Iesha learning )

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“The exercise is designed to help participants study how their opinion is shaped – are they making an informed choice, or is their opinion on premarital sex wrong or just a product of social conditioning?” says Achwal.

As part of the workshop, Achwal hopes that people will share their personal stories – first impressions of any sexual activity, and how our parents spoke to us about sex, growing up. But, given the intimate nature of this issue, what will encourage participants to divulge secrets? “It’s a judgement-free zone. All opinions and experiences are welcome, so long as they are well-informed,” says Achwal.

Go Live

Visit Facebook, on October 1, 4pm onward. We will live-stream Sexpectations from the Ministry of New