Ok, so I admit I never really had a specially commissioned time with my parents to have ‘the talk’ about sex, sexuality, gender and the many similar jargons we use amongst ourselves (the educated elite, as we pride ourselves to be). But my parents have always been open to talk about matters/jokes/issues, innuendos even, related to apparently the most dreaded topic to bring up with older folks. And I totally understand that every set of parents come with their own background (cultural & social) and baggage (good/bad experiences) and that each set is granted their own discretion with how and when (or maybe even at all) to bring “it” up!
But THIS is just way too much! What was more depressing was my reaction post reading this, “Typical Indian parent!”. This regressive attitude under the falsely socialized garb of being “protective” towards your offspring just shows how much voice, identity and individuality Indian parents give to their children (this, by the way, is quite regardless of age). Ok, so maybe I shouldn’t squarely put the blame on Indian parents, just as Indians shouldn’t do the same to Westerners for globalization and cultural transformation (read, evolution).
In my post grad days, I had put together a couple of tips for parents on how they could approach the topic of sex and sexuality with adolescents at the behest of one of my professors of Developmental Psychology aka Child Psychology. I came up with this list. Here’s a really good article on the same published on Women’s Web.
Tips for parents of adolescents in discussing matters of sexuality
1) Parents must, first, rethink their perceptions and ideas. You are not protecting children by hiding or ignoring facts.
2) To gauge through their sexuality with your words, it is important to build an open and friendly relationship in general as well.
3) Instead of choosing a specific time and place to have such talks or discussions, which makes it awkward for both parents and children, its wiser to bring it up as a part of a casual/ongoing conversation as and when an opening comes. For e.g. while watching T.V. or in light of an incident in the papers.
4) Parents can only exert so much authoritative control on an adolescent’s behavior which is why it is more useful to get through to them in making the right choices for themselves that would lead up to predicted and controlled consequences.
5) Refrain from preachy comments like, “I was a good child to my parents” or “don’t divert your mind from studies” etc. which will make the teenager feel sinful by engaging in a certain fantasy or an act. The adolescent must be made to feel as normal as everyone else and his behavior as natural a process of growing up.
6) Don’t discriminate between a son and a daughter, especially with respect to sexuality education. It may not seem like at the moment, but for the long run a daughter’s developmental changes and issues are as much a concern for the son and vice versa. So everything should be discussed with each one in the presence of the other.
7) It is alright to transmit your moral values or cultural standards of sexuality to your kids, however, in as less an imposing and dogmatic way. The idea is to inspire and persuade them.
8) It is generally acceptable to say that adolescents, in whichever context, are too young to engage in sex. The information on sexually transmitted diseases, infections and pregnancy are effective ways to prevent teenagers from indulging themselves.
However, one has to be ready to face the fact that despite these dangers, teenagers are still willing to risk it sometimes and thus, safe sex along with sex standards need to be a part of the talk. The greater danger lies in promiscuity or sex (safe or unsafe) with an irresponsible adult or peer.
9) Parents, in their effort to caution teenagers, should not scare them about their sexuality by solely giving out the gory details. Help them appreciate the beauty of it, as God given as anything else. Most of the media, in this particular aspect, is not helpful save some well crafted movies. Classic literatures like ‘Wuthering Heights’ or others by authors like Jane Austen or William Shakespeare etc. are good paradigms to explore sexuality. Moreover, art in very many forms provide good explorative opportunities with their usually strong undercurrents of sexuality.
10) Parents should also encourage their child to be sexually confident in the sense that they should not tolerate any kind of harassment/abuse or silently mind their business in seeing someone else suffering abuse.
11) It is hard to actualize this, but parents must be accepting of their children’s sexual identity. It is important for you to not blame yourself or your children of any wrong doing. It is not their will to a sexual identity/orientation, but a will to live with it which you must appreciate them for.
12) One may, perhaps, clear all doubts one has on different aspects of sexuality before beginning to educate the younger ones, however, it is perfectly okay to not be able to answer some more technical or any other questions and admit to it. It is much safer to get back with them better informed than to give out misguided messages. Also they would respect your humility in admitting to be a learner, just like them.
13) Must consistently ask them about all their activities besides studies (or encourage them to pursue some) that ensure healthy libidinal discharge for them as well as interactions with same and opposite sex peers.
14) Must ask about what’s going on with their friends and age mates at school and other places to get a feel about the attitude of the present generation from a direct source than to be misguided by the media including news channels.
15) Listen to them with an open mind and at the same time, respect their privacy with as much they are comfortable to share with you at a given time.
Parents are naturally protective about their kids. Its discouraging to know how many parents would take literature or philosophy as a proof of ‘reality checks’ but nevertheless, for all the sceptics my M.A. class did a small scale study on sexuality education and its impact on the students of a Delhi school, the abstract of which is given below -
‘Adolescent Education Programme (AEP) & Emotional Coping Style’
In the present research practical it was undertaken to study the relation between students’ interest and receptivity to Adolescent Education Programme in a private school in Delhi and her/his emotional coping style. This study was carried out in Sri Ram School with the help of the School Counsellor. To fulfill this objective, 42 students (22 boys and 20 girls) aged 14-15 years of class 10 were asked to fill up a questionnaire. However, due to quantitative errors only 28 of the students’ responses were analyzed. It was hypothesized that the higher the receptivity level, the more adaptive the emotional coping style will be. Pearson correlation using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) was used to find the correlation between the receptivity level and the emotional coping style of the AEP participants. The correlation was found to be significant that accepted the hypothesis. Moreover, results showed that boys displayed a slightly higher receptivity level than girls. And although boys varied from confronting to adaptive style of emotional coping, girls only came under the category of confronting style of emotional coping.
For more, you can read the full report here - Sexuality Education & Emotional Coping
Cross check, debate and question/challenge me wherever you feel and feel freerer to share any good suggestions that have worked for any of you out there or think could or have some kind of study/article supporting it.
Its time we acknowledge this elephant long breeding in our rooms!
So “apparently” men (or boys) are either gay or straight in closed brackets whereas women’s sexuality is so lucid to oscillate from men to women (and vice versa).
You’d think, to a feminist, it’d be a pleasant surprise to find that a societal conception of sexuality is more favourably fluid towards the “fairer sex” than the gender, they are supposedly biased against. However, it isn’t simply so.
What society, a.k.a the male mind, has sanctioned is for women to dwell in a lustful sexuality, so long as it pleases them. That is, in a way, women’s lesbian “ventures” are welcomed so long as they entertain and excite male fantasies and hormones.
However, when it comes down to a woman loving another in a deep connection, then its balderdash! The word out there is that women “experiment” with other women, although their hearts and hopes are ultimately tied to men while men just DO, either a man or a woman depending on that single defined sexual orientation.
Even the emotions and hormones within sexuality are supposed to be all about perpetuating the male archetype of masculinity, which is authority in business or pleasure, and the female objectification of her body and sexuality, as only defined by what pleases men.
This brand, not in my knowledge, had been around in the market long enough to gain enough recognition to finally launch a steamy ad on television. Despite their best efforts, the ad still lacked the cinematographic class akin to the (in)famous Kamasutra ad of long ago, which many marvelled for its sensual appeal and most condemned for making their sets fume.
Its true (and apt here) what this columnist named Anna Strongin has honestly admitted in her article,
“For whatever reason, when I’m trying to avoid studying I frequently find that my mind trails to the subject of sex.”
Now whenever I’m on vacation (which is pretty much ‘routine’ for someone who’s still a student), I usually plan my time in a way that I spend it most productively. Not that I resent or repent this attitude for its got me a lion’s share of experience in the field, yet i truly and utterly never had a mental vacation. This season i’m having my first and yes, i’m absolutely loving it. Yet, my traditional need for productivity, my only excuse of my neuroticism, still needs to be sublimated, channelized.
And while I usually fantasize all the REALLY dirty stuffs, surprising to my inherently unromantic nature i found myself romanticizing those small yet significant gestures that we participate, unfortunately, only in the commencement of our new found love.
It is my earnest effort to bring focus (through my writings and other postings) to the less spoken about or heard of. And I don’t suppose “getting to first base” is anything to glorify to your peers or co-workers yet we all know how wide is the gap between social displays and intimate reality.
Ahhh…the chill that runs down your spine when that special other just slips his useful hand (especially if that is his working hand!)into yours as a full and final acknowledgement of his feelings to you and as an acclamation that there’s nothing better he’d like to do with it (although it shouldn’t be because he has nothing better to do).
Yes, its absolutely 6th grade level romance yet it has this infantile charm of innocence with a slight bit of a Devil’s streak. Sure ‘adult’ style, you can take your foot far upwards to base 3 ;)
This is my personal favourite which is why I like my men big and soft :). But it expanses into various kinds in different settings and situations. The suggestion may seem fluffy yet creates an intense emotional orgasm. So whether in the car seat, naked in bed, on the sofa while watching your favourites or just even looking out the window or next to the fireplace, its a total tenner. But avoid getting too comfortable in a restaurant or a party.
Keyword: SOFT! Because the agitated ones swiftly and directly lead to sex. Not that those are undesirable but simply not the point of this piece :)
Interestingly there’s something called a kissing sex, a union only of the lips and tongue and take it from me, it is more than satiating! :P
‘Hickies a.k.a. love bites’
The first trademarks of sexual liberty and our naive stamp of love. I have to say, though, more than anything we derive a sense of social pride from it. Either way, its fun to leave evidences of the moments of the night/day before.
‘Dancing’ (…in the moonlight, ideally I suppose)
Yes, more than anything, its a purely romantic gesture. But then we all have seen or at least heard more than enough about ‘Dirty Dancing’. Taking dancing classes together is God awful romantic without question and a healthy way of spending that ‘quality time’ couples’ counsellors endlessly rave about. My simple suggestion would be to just set your itunes to ‘Flightless bird American mouth’ by Iron & Wine and float away in each others’ arms.
Somehow hand jobs alone aren’t given much credit. Its another one of those ol’ naughty ways of passionate lovers to do each other, minus the hassle of getting naked or on each top of each other. Its thrilling to have a private time discrete from public knowledge and speaks volume of the understanding and chemistry between the two.
This may sound too forward to be added to such a descriptive directory of sweet “nothings” but eventually we all like to move (if only slowly) towards our destinations, although it not being the ultimate point of it all.
I have consciously evaded ‘serenading under the sky’ in the list as i’m not a personal fan. Nothing more touching than someone dedicating a number to you and hitting it in the best chords they can. However, it has an equal potential to turn out corny or plain crappy. Besides, its also more of a courtship gesture of a more one sided effort to please the other. In my own opinion, the worst from the Victorian ages.
I hope to have rekindled memories and the tingling joy of these gestures that in social science has been reduced to ‘first base’ of sexual intimacy. But sex is just an overrated experience if the built up to intimacy, that lays the foundation of a psychological even spiritual connection, is underrated.
Reposted from theunpopularantagonist.blogspot.com
This power point presentation was my first intellectual foray into the topic of sexuality – its meaning, its development, its dynamics in culture etc. It’ll help to put the whole idea of sexuality in perspective with theories from Foucauldian, Freudian or Evolutionary school of thought, stages of sexual development in our lifespan, gender identity and sexuality, sexuality in the Indian cultural context, the need for sexuality education etc. I wouldn’t say its a one stop shop for all you need to know under the heading. In fact, sexuality is too broad an umbrella to be summed as easily. However, one can contest to add relevant points on sexuality in the pop culture, media depictions of sexuality and the list really, as I said, is endless.
I would strongly recommend any reader to look up the references and personally read them and understand the ‘given’ as per their own interpretation.
It would be lovely to have a debate/discussion over this.
You could be anyone.
Who you are or even what you are doesn’t matter much (except if yo’re a bot or a spammer/advertiser). What matters is if you are a person who can think and would like to explore the horizon to the topical debate of sexuality, then I WANT YOU…to share your queries, confusions, experiences, knowledge, literature, research etc. on this blog.
I realized that sex and sexuality is shredded in so much shame, secrecy and stereotypes (largely false!). Thus, I’ve always attempted to bring it to the mainstream foreground to force people’s attention to it in a manner that would interest, engage and empower them.
I certainly will be sharing some of my past work as well as many random, but contextually placed, thoughts as well as upcoming materials on the topic. And I will be keenly checking for comments and feedback from you, yes you!
But what I would be most keen is to have a whole lot more guest posts, maybe even shared users, on this blog. So if you have ANYTHING credible and relevant to share on this blog, feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, I will be moderating content (to an extent) but I wouldn’t shut someone out for reasons of my personal bias. Raw energies, libidinal frustrations, artistic rants are all welcome.
And for the reader critics, this blog is meant to be informative besides just reassuring or engaging (*high hopes*) . Facts will always be cross checked as well as welcomed to be criticized or cross checked by any reader with the right incorporations being made, thereafter.
Can we just begin now? :)