It hasn’t been a good year for the whole love thing, has it? Sex is rollicking along, thank you. With the alarming rate at which babies are popping out all across the country, we don’t have to worry about whether we’re still at it. If there’s one sport we excel at, it’s bistar baazi.
Not according to the Durex sex survey though, which puts us at the lower end of the scale. This survey, which regularly publishes its findings with a straight face, says that, globally, people are having sex an average of 103 times a year, with men (104) having sex more often than women (101). (One presumes, the men are getting it off with each other a lot more than the women are.)
Then they add that the Greeks top the list with 138 times a year and India is somewhere at the bottom of the list since we go at it only 75 times a year. Now, figure that one out for a little while. If there are 52 weeks in a year, 75 times a year is about once a week on odd weeks and twice a week on even weeks. If, however, you are getting a leg over 138 times a year, that means twice a week every week and 30 times more, just for good measure. You do remember the phrase, “to lie like a Trojan”? And that the Trojan is a brand of condom? We are obviously not as good as lying as the Greeks are.
But there’s hope.
Sanjay, says a redoubtable old newspaper, a small-town businessman from Uttar Pradesh, where all the action happens, has two phalluses. They are both functional. It is rare. But no one can confirm whether he had Internet access or completed the survey.
However, Indian women are doing rather well internationally. Aishwarya Rai had one in five men on the Internet wanting to jump her bones. She was followed by Bipasha Basu, who came in second. The lack of any such poll for Indian men will tell you why we aren’t doing it as often as we should.
And when it is conducted, you will be sure that Amitabh Bachchan will be one of the sexiest men. Okay, he won’t make it to the top three, not with the King Khans parading their clout, but he will make it to the top ten and that saying something and it is not a very complimentary something.
But sex is no longer a means to an end. As far as the means go, we’ve had a bit of a problem. Various news channels seem to have been reporting with ill-concealed glee that international sizes in condoms are far too big for Indian men. If you thought we had put the whole debate of size behind us, you were wrong. Almost every educated man knows that only the first two inches of the vagina have nerve endings but the news has had men wincing.
It should have had women wincing too. A loose condom is not likely to do a man much damage, except to the ego. It is likely to cause a woman a dire disease or a pregnancy. (Both seem to be life sentences at the time of writing.)
This is the point at which I come clean and admit that I have no idea what is happening to India.
For instance, in 2006, in the wonderful new détente between India and Pakistan, sex workers from Pakistan visited Kolkata’s Sonagachi area. They did the right thing, said Swapna Gayen, who heads the city’s sex workers’ association. At least, she is reported to have told the BBC that, “They have come to the right place because we are the most organised group of sex workers anywhere in Asia.”
Then news from Meerut, but you’ve already heard that one. She may or may not be alive. She may or may not have been involved with two ministers. She may or may not. But in Orissa, the Kandhas agree that she may and she may and may they live happily ever after. A rather forward-thinking priest, much more forward thinking than old Ratzi the Nazi, has allowed Wetka Polang, 30, and Melka Nilsa, 22, to get married in Koraput.
So all in all women are doing well, which is good news. They are doing so well they may be doing as well as men. No, they may be as good as men. No, they may be men. Santhi Soundarajan, an Indian woman athlete who was found lacking the ‘sexual characteristics of a woman’ during a medical test at the Doha Asian Games, had apparently failed a similar test in India.
Will she be allowed to keep term? Wait and watch. Next year should be fun.
(The author is Editor, Special Projects, Time Out)