Your Body, Your Choice

Boy: What do you say? Tonight?

Girl: Umm, I am not ready yet…

Boy: What do you say? Tonight?

Girl: I have a headache.

Boy: What do you say? Tonight?

Girl: No, we can’t. You see, we have to feed 500 people first and unwrap 10 tea sets and 14 wall-clocks, plus 23 disgusting sarees and 12 china bowl, before we can make love.

This could very well be the end of my post, because I believe I have already made it abundantly clear how ridiculous I think it is to relate sex with marriage, and the staunch refusal of many to treat them as separate entities, where one can take place without the other closely following it. Sex is about when and whether at all a person is ready. Period.

Virginity was never really applicable to men in the marriage scenario, it being a solely feminine issue. A bride had to be chaste and a virgin, “pure”, untouched and not “deflowered”. The entire concept of pre-marital sex being out of bounds probably rose from man’s insecurity and ego pertaining to marrying a woman who was not a virgin. Women have come a long way from that. She has earned her respect for what is between her eyes, and not be judged by what is between her legs.

What about…?

What about the people who have decided to never get married? It would be technically wrong to call any sex they indulge in as “pre-marital sex”, so maybe we can call it “no-marital sex”. If pre-marital sex is “wrong”, no-marital sex should be wrong too, considering both exist outside of marriage. So, going by that logic, now they are faced with two choices:

  1. Never have sex
  2. Decide to get married after all

Which of the two options is more stupid? The first option stops those people from experiencing something profoundly natural and beautiful, and forces them to curb passions and desires every man and woman is born with. The second option robs them of the right to choose their life course, say bye-bye to independence or whatever it is that they hold dear enough to say No to marriage to, only so that they are allowed by the society to have sex. Though I love both options, I am inclining a little towards Option A as the more stupid one. My mom would frown and want to know why anyone should refuse to get married in the first place, but then, that’s another issue…

Also, what about those who are in-between marriages – separated, divorced or widowed and bracing themselves for the next innings? It implies that they are people who have already experienced sex in marriage. Is pre-marital sex for second (or subsequent) marriages wrong too? Does it make sense to expect them to turn celibate after months/ years of experiencing sex?

Test Drive

A lot of people (especially parents, if they know about it) seem to believe that marriage is a “cure” for impotency, and likewise, don’t think it necessary to mention this little shortcoming while fixing up (or committing) to a marriage. It isn’t. If it were, doctors would jot down “a dose of marriage” in prescriptions and marriage would be sold in little bottles in pharmacies.

Wife: Why on earth didn’t you tell me you were impotent before we got married, you fool?

Husband: I did.

Wife: When???

Husband: You asked me “Hey, what’s up?” and I said “Nothing”.

***

There is another sorry situation that is more common than we care to admit. Two individuals – even those who get along famously with each other and/or might be wonderful, attractive people in their own rights – might be disastrously incompatible in bed. They might have grossly different levels of stamina, their preferences might be poles apart, and their definitions of sexual enjoyment might be as different as possible. If they realize this after they are already married, they are once more faced with two choices:

  1. Go through life dissatisfied and unhappy
  2. Get a divorce

Neither of the options sounds like fun to me. And for those who would be daring enough to choose B, would be risking doing “wrong” if they decide to have pre-marital sex the second time around to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

***

Being gay/ lesbian has traditionally been regarded as some sort of a disease, or at best, a confused or rebellious phase, and which, again, marriage can cure. More often than not, the gay themselves may go ahead and commit to a marriage, being too shy or scared to admit that they are different. The result, as is easy to imagine, can’t be very gay.

There is only own way of drastically reducing the number of unhappy marriages belonging to the above three categories – pre-marital sex. Just think of it as test-driving a car before buying it.

A word for the culture police

Pre-marital sex is very often denounced as being a blind imitation of the West and against the finer culture of the East, especially that of India. Well, it was once a part of Indian culture to burn a little girl alive on a pyre because her 80-year-old husband had died. Till more recently, women working outside of the house didn’t feature in India’s tradition. In a certain culture, it might be acceptable to shoot a girl who wishes to pursue her education.

A traditional belief system or long-existent cultural values need not always be right. It was when we rescued the little girl from the pyre and sent her back to her dolls, it was when we invented daycares so that the educated woman could go out and make an identity for herself, it was when we applauded when the girl’s wound was healed and she was handed the Nobel – it was then that what we did was right, it was then that the rich culture of the East evolved and became richer.

Culture needs to move forward with time, keep an open mind to bend and change when it realizes that it might not have been right all along, be able to adopt nuances of other cultures which might seem beneficial and progressive, and still retain a unique character of its own.

Pre-marital sex is not even a fraction as dramatic as the above examples. It is only an individual’s choice of a lifestyle. It is a person’s right to decide what to do with his or her own body. And freedom to choose was never against India’s culture, or it shouldn’t be.

A more worthwhile job for the moral police

If we want sin, we don’t need to dig it out in an unmarried couple’s bedroom. We only got to look at the newspaper, or worse, look around us – at murders and injuries, thefts and robberies, embezzlements and frauds. If we want to condemn and raise our voices against sex, let it be against rape and molestation, sexual abuse sexual trafficking. And yes, let’s also speak up against post-marital forceful sex instead of denouncing pre-marital sex between two consensual adults.

Get it out of the way

Pre-marital sex long stopped being an issue in the West, and is slowly being practiced and accepted in the East as well. When this was not the case, an astounding number of people got married only to gain access to sex. The thing is, once the initial excitement of sex wore down, many of these couples found themselves with nothing else in common than the diminished desire for sex.

Pre-marital sex ensures that couples get married because they genuinely want to spend their lives with each other, and feel emotionally and physically compatible enough to commit to marriage.

Disclaimer

I can’t stress this point enough – when I support pre-marital sex, I define it as consensual sex between two adults. Sex with or between minors is illegal, and it is so for a reason. Minors are not usually emotionally ready for this overwhelming phenomenon, and in case of accidental pregnancies, are biologically ill-equipped to deal with the massive bodily change that follows a pregnancy or abortion.

Also, It is never wise to give in to peer pressure and take the plunge before one is physically and emotionally ready for it.

I am also very much against unsafe pre-marital sex, which can lead to unwanted pregnancies or diseases. Also, my definition of pre-marital sex doesn’t include prostitution or adultery. Furthermore, indiscriminate and too frequent pre-marital sex, though it is an individual’s choice and probably should not be questioned, robs the experience of at least some its charm. Sex can be fun and exciting, but when it is between two individuals in love, it is truly beautiful. And to retain its special charm, discretion and discrimination to some extent might be in order.

Check out Poonaam Uppal’s True Love – A Mystical True Love Story on Flipkart.

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