The morality of Sex

The morality of Sex

I was 14 the first time someone explained ‘sex’ to me. And I was downright disgusted. To think that your parents did that! I couldn’t look them in the eye for many days. Why my unmarried teachers did not have children finally became clear to me and suddenly, I liked them more over all my other teachers.

That’s how the journey of sex starts for most girls, with disgust. It’s different for boys though, I think. Their hormones start governing them long before girls get used to the idea (maybe because our hormones are busy agonizing us every month).  While boys were busy comparing the size of their ‘joysticks’ (Facebook bans us from promoting content with ‘obscene’ language), we were busy mulling over the pains of our growing chests. Some of us had said our hellos to Sports Bras and the girls who had seen a sizeable progress, were already being ogled at. (Not cool). Kissing, we were Okay with. Kissing, we wanted! We had grown up watching Alladin kiss Jasmine at the end of every episode. But showing someone what’s under the uniforms! No, thank you.

And then Mills & Boons happened. Our introduction to semi-erotic literature, non-veg jokes, more discussions with friends, and finally the big question – How bad could it really be? The answer to which we found out in a few years from our other (older) friends, ‘it hurts like hell’. Well, if it hurts, why do it?

Internet was not a handy source of information back then. So we relied on other girls. On our brothers and their secret stashes of CDs. And we grew more and more disgusted, apprehensive, and at the same time, curious.

Eventually, we all had our ‘firsts’.  We called up our girlfriends, had never-ending discussions, a million-gazillion questions and we were officially ‘adults’. Most of us are married now. Some of us have children. And all of us, (I hope) rather like sex.

Unfortunately, many women in our country are not introduced to sex in this healthy, ascending graph. Pre-marital sex is still ‘unacceptable’, and so women discover it after they are married. To a man, who may or may not know how to please a woman. This means that most women do not know what an orgasm is. In fact, most women don’t know what their vaginas (bring it on, Facebook!) even look like. The art of masturbation is still lost on many and we have no one to blame but ourselves and our lack of sex-communication.

We, women, still frown upon other ‘unmarried’ women going out for late night parties, terming them ‘promiscuous’. We don’t want them to be out there, exploring their sexuality.  We don’t stand by them if ‘something goes wrong’. We question their morality for bringing men to their apartments.  Don’t even get me started on the pointed fingers at unmarried couples living together. Even Metro cities don’t allow bachelors to rent apartments in prime localities for the fear of them ‘having sex’.

Which brings me to the point of this story – Is sex immoral? Or is only pre-marital sex immoral? Or is homogeneous sex immoral? Should the morality of sex even be questioned?

The only sex that’s immoral is the one that’s done without consent. May it be before or even after a couple is tied in the holy binds of matrimony. So, the next time your daughter, your sister, your cousin or any other young woman asks you about sex, don’t shrug it off as a topic not meant to be talked about. Tell her what sex is, guide her through the process of filtering the kind of men she should get involved with and stand by her, even if your own morality meter is ringing off like crazy. Make sure she knows the rights from the wrongs and the do’s from the don’ts. Ignoring her curiosity will only lead to her losing your trust and maybe even making unwise judgments.

Because sex is not immoral, it’s the cheapness and disgust we continue to associate it with that makes it so. For a country still coming to grips with the idea of sex between a mature, consenting, heterogeneous couple, let’s leave the discussion on same-sex couples for some other time.

Sex is healthy. Don’t make it vile.  


  • Shalini Khator

    I’m doing my MBA and I am 23 years old. Coming from an Orthodox family where even asking my Mom for a sanitary napkin in front of my Dad or brother was a “Raising an eyebrow” thing. Now that I’m living in Mumbai on my own and discovered myself and the 21st century Life in this fast moving City, I realized the important of Women empowerment, feminism in its truest self and even the important of sex education. My colleagues and my friends often share there experiences but still go silent about a few important things because of the fear of being judged. So, it’s of high importance that we build an understanding ecosystem for all the men and women out there, where they are freely (with no fear of being judged) be able to talk about sex in a very healthy way.

  • Arundhuti Ghosh

    I’m a 27 yo woman and I wish I had access to articles like these while growing up so that I had better judgement about what to talk about and what not to talk about, and with whom. It’s great seeing such articles, knowing that somewhere a curious, timid teenager is giving this a read and gaining some knowledge about how to deal with the 100 questions in their mind.

  • Madalsa

    I am a psychiatrist by profession and totally agree with the discussion questioning the morality of sex. I have seen many young girls in my career suffering from various psychosomatic disorders specially after a sexual encounter, either with or without consent, cause of high morality standards taught by society or due to mental pain respectively. Well done Carmesi to destigmatise sex. It is a beautiful process and should be enjoyed and not just completed like an act!

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