Perk up those ears and you’ll catch whispers of sexual dissatisfied? No, these women are not frigid. They aren’t hitting menopause either. And they are not just heading to gynaecologists and psychologists. Women are talking to astrologers and lawyers. They are buying vibrators. All for some sexual satisfaction.
Count the number of human heads and you’d know how much sex is happening. But that’s procreational sex. That’s passe. Sex is for pleasure, do I hear that? Do I also hear a whisper: “Dysfunction? That’s a man’s prerogative.” The women chorus. Sexual dissatisfaction? Yes. How many? Are they really dissatisfied?
The question sets me thinking. I ask around. The psychiatrist tells me that one in five women walks out of her room, talking of sexual dissatisfaction. The lawyer says that 20 per cent of all divorces stem from sexual incompatibility. Astrologers say NO to brilliant matches because the planets are unhappy about the yoni. My male friends sulk because their women are perenially dissatified, despite Viagra and aphrodisiacs. Shopkeepers in Palika Bazaar secretly stack vibrators and ‘tongues’. Sales of sex toys for women are going up every day.
Mind it. These women are not frigid. They are not hitting menopause either. The dissatisfied bunch includes the young, the chic, the financially independent, the one in spaghetti straps, the one in a sari, the prim and the unkempt. Strange. And we all thought modern women would have men know their depth (pun intended). What’s Hot spoke with several women about this ‘modern ailment’. It wasn’t easy getting all of them to speak.
BAD SEX EVERYWHERE
Is sexual dissatisfaction the bane of Indians only or is it globally rampant? According to the Global Better Sex Survey (GBSS), as many as 35–60 per cent of marriages (depending on place) suffer from sexual dissatisfaction. But then again, because sexually dissatisfied people tend to talk less about it, this figure could be way off the mark.
Whatever happened to the Indian woman? Why is her litany so long? If you flip through the Kamasutra, women appear to be equal participants in the ‘pleasure’. So has man turned a boor? Let’s listen to the complaints:
“My pleasure? He never spares a thought. Our sex life is all about him and his pleasure. I figure nowhere. I feel I’m just a body…” — Kanchan, 24
“Much before my orgasm, the deed is done. It is timed to his peak, not mine.” — PK, 34
“He watches porn every night and then wants me to try those feats. I find it absolutely abhorrent.” — Swati, 29
“He never goes down on me. I have to do it to him ALWAYS.” — Bani, 21
And the list doesn’t end here, but we cannot include all because some of them are full of @#$%^&*!
“Women feel sexy from feeling attractive and desired. Men feel sexy from having sex. If you can strike a balance where the man is having sex a lot and the woman is feeling desired enough to have sex, then you’ve figured out the secret to a marriage that’s alive.”
— Kate Beckinsale, on her marriage
BLAME IT ON…?
“The first instinct is to blame the man. But how many women are aware of their own sexuality? They condemn their bodies. Sex can never be satisfying in a deadpan body or a mind raring to finish the act. Women are simply too conscious in bed. Sex is something that is done to them, not something that begets pleasure,” says Dr. Ritu Khanna, clinical psychologist. Yes, it might come as a huge surprise to women but most psychologists that What’s Hot spoke to pinned the blame on women themselves. “Most women who come to me for counselling aren’t even aware of their bodily needs. Not only are they ignorant, but they are also so inhibited that they actually feel guilty about their pleasure. All this is so incongruous when there’s a buzz about women’s lib,” says counsellor Dr. Vasantha R Patri.
Doesn’t this stem from social conditioning? Aren’t growing girls subtly told that sex is not about them but about the man? And those that pursue sex for pleasure are tagged ‘fast’ and to be ‘stayed away from’?
Says Alka Pande, whose book, The New-Age Kama Sutra For Women, delves into sex from a woman’s perspective, “Blame it on Victorian prudery. Look at ancient India. Women were respected and they knew everything about pleasure. There was shringara rasa, there were boudoirs. Nautch girls and courtesans taught rich princes the nuances of pleasure. A lot of sexual mores changed with the British and their convoluted Victorian ideas about sex. I would call that the beginning of the sexual dissatisfaction era for women…”