Random Thoughts: May 30, 2010

This post is devoted to explaining a paradox about sexuality in the indian subcontinent.

The paradox is:

How could a culture that celebrated sexuality become so prudish.

Many people like to blame muslim and british influence for such an attitude. This is only partially true, in that these influences had some effects. The real story is however much more complicated.

First let us understand the context and preconditions of sexuality in India.

For most of history, right untill the late 1930s, Indians were far less prudish than the caricatures you see around you. Whether you lived in a village, small town or city- you saw a lot of skin and more growing up. Prepubesent nudity was never a big issue in India, nor was situational adult nudity. This might surprise many of you, but it is true. Adult sex was also not a taboo issue though it was not discussed in public fora, as we are accustomed to. Even Indian films until the late 1930s were often risqué and showed more skin than their western counterparts.

So what happened?

To understand the problem you must understand how teenagers in India used to have sex. For most of Indian the following arrangement was the norm (and yes, there were other less common arrangements).

Kids were often betrothed/’married’ to each other between ages 6-12 and then slept together after puberty OR they were married in their mid-teens (and sex followed). Either way, almost every teenaged boy and girl ended up sleeping together by 16-17 at the latest. The usual age difference between spouses was anywhere from 3-6 years (boy older than gal).

You see, for most of history teenagers were encouraged to have sex, albeit in a marriage. Since the couple was usually matched for other criteria and mutual non-repulsiveness, the rest was easy. The social mores were such that parents were happy to know that their married teenage children were getting it on with their teenage spouses.

However all this was done with a high degree of discretion, and was never talked about outside the house or immediate family.

Now this does not imply that adultery, cuckolding or homosexuality did not exist. It is just that they were discretely tolerated, rather than openly encouraged.

The real problems started with an increase in the age of marriage, especially in the more educated classes. Since the primary mechanism for getting horny teenagers together was marriage, an increase in the age of marriage effectively squelched this outlet. Prostitution (pro and semi-pro) filled in the gap, however even that became more risky for a variety of reasons, ranging from general social disapproval to the need to be seen as progressive.

Slavish adoration and aping the mores of a protestant west (circa 1900) by the ‘leaders’ political, legal and cultural certainly did not help. The reluctance to separate marriage and sex by senile twits was also not helpful.

A combination of conditions, and an unwillingness to adapt, are therefore the true reasons behind the prudery and dysfunction seen in India.

Note that the worst prudery and dysfunction occurred in the educated middle classes, who formed the first wave of indian immigrants to the west in the 1960s-1980s. Subsequent generations have reverted to a less fucked up attitude.

However, remember that a weak-willed Indian geek is a weak-willed geek first, and will not do much better with the ladies than his white counterpart. Moreover, stereotypes will hurt his prospects more than an equivalent white geek who can still get yellow pussy.

Things started changing in the 80s-90s, courtesy coed-education, affluence, VCR porn and urban living. Many of you might not realize it but a lot of things happen behind closed doors in India. While people may not admit it, the sales of condoms, contraceptive pills and steady business for abortion clinics says otherwise. Note that contraceptive pills are usually bought in India without a prescription.

The two groups who have traditionally stood in the way of such changes have fat older middle class women and senile men who still ‘live’ in another age. It is satisfying to see that their efforts ave been largely unsuccessful.

However there is another dysfunction still seen in India.

Obviously non-virgin men and women in the late 20s-early 30s agreeing to traditional arranged marriages to satisfy their parents. Or maybe it is the fear of being lonely after a few unlucky forays in dating, some of which lasted a few years.

Expect an exponential growth in the rate of divorce, a tend that has already begun in earnest in the more well-off classes.

  1. Kevin
    May 30, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    What is this research / post based on? Are u east Indian?

  1. June 6, 2010 at 2:21 am

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