Sex is the evergreen elephant in the room. People aren’t ever comfortable discussing it, everyone knows it is one of the most natural occurrences and yet it is the one thing everyone is in denial of. To some, consent was the paradigm change in 2018, and perhaps it was. But it was the very act of sex that was redefined- from opening up conversations about consent, to women coming out as people who have desires. The man no longer took the reins of sexual behaviour, the man no longer owned sexuality.
Women no longer were hushed up about sex. They needed it, they had sexual urges, and they wanted the world to know it. Sexual power and prowess was taken away from the man, and they weren’t the only stakeholders when it concerned sexuality. That sex was a carnal need that didn’t oscillate in and out of a man’s willingness and choice, women were active subjects who manifested their physical needs. This was almost a surprise, not because people realised that after such a long while, but that this was an end-product of a long struggle women had to go through to being subservient when it came to sexual assault. Women didn’t want unwanted advances because they weren’t to just be silent spectators in the dance of sex, they were to be members who enjoyed it when they wanted it and made no qualms by calling it out when they didn’t want it. Sex became a woman’s bastion.
Thanks to the much- needed acknowledgement and furore around #MeToo and #TimesUp the conversation around sex and consent changed tremendously. People were openly talking and discussing the differences between voluntary sexual intercourse and that done through force. The conversation of what happened under the guise of unwarranted sexual advances finally was heard. And everyone was talking about it. Everyone. In offices, at homes, amongst friends -the conversations were about reclaiming sexual equality and it was cathartic to all womenfolk.
People were distinguishing between the ideas of desire and lust. The difference between desire and lust, is the same between erotica and porn. Well at least superficially. Desire is a two-way street, it entails the existence of dignity and respect and isn’t a one dimensional entity. It is only when one removes the idea of coercion and the hedonistic implications of physical intimacy that one can carve a way out to understand the presence of desire. Removed from just being an unabashed dalliance, it became something that has the undertone for a strong need and a stronger want. Much like the difference between porn, which is overt and voyeuristic in nature, as opposed to the idea of consuming erotica which doesn’t titillate for misbegotten reasons but to give your emotions a physical need.
Sex, like most pleasurable things, leaves a lot of scope for creativity – one that is full of newness and ingenuity sans judgment. Whether one is asexual or pansexual or bisexual or hetero-normative -one could have a sexual hunger that is not bound by norms. The idea was to open up a discourse that involved a bevy of narratives around sexual gratification! This went from practicing it with others, to that with self. Sex was now experimental without the perversion, and with some evolution and revolution!
And finally it became a tool for equality. Sex was something that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, their gender, their creed or their type enjoyed. Sex was a unifying element in our lives and we celebrated it. We celebrate the idea of sex being a unanimously vouched for tool to achieve the ultimate satisfaction. Sex was no longer in the hands of the dominant perspective, but rather midst the cackle of the everyday person who wanted it, who claimed it, and who ultimately enjoyed it.