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Of sex and other mundane things: Are Indians still prudish?

Are Indians still prudish when it comes to talking about sex? We challenged three people across age groups to talk openly.

sex and relationships Updated: Mar 12, 2015 18:28 IST

In a recent interview, Hollywood actor Cameron Diaz spoke about the importance of sex: “It’s something healthy that we need to be doing for different reasons,” she said, adding that sex is her “fountain of youth”. She’s far from the only one in the west to speak openly about sex. Yet, in India, for all our modernity and progressiveness, talking openly about sex is still considered a bit of a taboo.

We got three Mumbaikars –– across age groups and gender –– to speak out, and explain what sex means to them.

"Our first kiss was amateurish"
Man married for 10 years, 40 years old

For me, sex is an expression of love and intimacy with my partner. My first physical encounter with a woman was with my wife on our first night together. It was also the first time I kissed a woman. Ours was an arranged marriage. Both of us hadn’t dated anyone before that. She was a bit hesitant initially, but when we conversed for some time, it helped us get comfortable with each other.

Our first kiss was amateurish. We didn’t even know how to kiss properly. We had sex post that. Things were easier and more comfortable for us after that, but there were no experiments in love-making. We started having sex every day for the first few months after marriage.

Over the years, the frequency has reduced. My wife is also apprehensive about trying out different things in bed. Our sex life isn’t as exciting as it used to be when we were younger. But, over the years, our mental compatibility has become so strong that sex is now a medium of expression of love.

"Sex brings us closer"
Unmarried, 26-year-old woman
Sex is about sharing love, friendship, and having fun. It’s like a beautiful dance between two bodies. And it makes you forget about all your worries for a while, especially if you are in love with the person you are having sex with. I need to trust and spend time with a man to get involved in a physical relationship.

The first person I dated was from my neighbourhood. I first saw him on his bike during Holi. He poured water on me and we got into a fight. It later turned out that he was a friend’s sibling. So, she introduced us, and we became friends. After that, we would look for reasons to talk to each other. It was during one of these meetings that he kissed me. It was intense. After a few days of us getting in a relationship, his brother passed away. He was going through a bad phase. I became his support system. Six months later, we had sex for the first time. There was no one at his home; we started kissing, and got carried away. I experienced mixed emotions –– love, happiness, worry and fear. It helped our relationship grow stronger. We used to visit his alternate residence which was vacant to have sex. We would even go to a hotel. I started enjoying it a lot. At times, we met only to have sex. We got addicted to it. Then, we called off our relationship after four years.

The second guy I dated was a friend. We’d met at an MBA class and I knew him for two years. He kissed me on our first date. After that, we would often kiss and make out in cabs, rickshaws and at cinema halls. Once, at a friend’s party, we were drunk and got all over each other. Nine months after our first kiss, we went to a hotel to have sex. It was like never before. Post that, we used to try different things during our sexual encounters. I would wear heels and sexy lingerie. At times, I wouldn’t allow him to touch me, just to increase the temptation. I think sex is important and it brings us closer.

"We experiment a lot"
Newly married, 27-year-old woman

My husband and I were family friends before we got married in Lucknow. Once, he came to my house to tell me he was going to Pune to do his MBA. He broke the news when we were in a room with no one around. I knew I wouldn’t see him for a year. While leaving, he hugged me tight and in the heat of the moment we ended up kissing. I didn’t know how to react. I didn’t talk to him for two days. Soon, I too shifted to Pune to do an MBA. We gradually fell for each other during our college days. After five months, he got a job in Bengaluru. I was not comfortable with the idea of premarital sex. But we used to engage in foreplay when he visited me in Lucknow. During one of these sessions, I got carried away and we had sex. I couldn’t control it anymore. It was an emotional moment. I cried after that. Later, I, too, got a job in Bengaluru. We lived separately, but we would have sex at least twice a week. We got married a few months after that, and shifted to Mumbai. As a married couple, we now experiment a lot more to keep the interest alive. The frequency is about two to three times a week. We spice up our sex lives in spite of our hectic work schedules.

Top Performers
Greece: 138 times
Croatia: 134 times
Serbia and Montenegro: 128 times
Bulgaria: 127 times
Czech Republic: 120 times
France: 120 times
United Kingdom: 118 times
Netherlands: 115 times

Bottom Performers
Taiwan: 88 times
Vietnam: 87 times
Malaysia: 83 times
Hong Kong: 78 times
Indonesia: 77 times
India: 75 times
Singapore: 73 times
Japan: 45 times
(Average numbers; Source: Durex)

First Published: Mar 12, 2015 17:33 IST