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What India Today Sex Survey 2017 tells us about our lust lives

DailyBite
DailyBiteMar 16, 2017 | 08:52

What India Today Sex Survey 2017 tells us about our lust lives

India unfolds between the sheets. India moves and shakes like a two-backed beast in heat; it's restless, it's online, it's increasingly self-confident. But is it in love? Has gender killed off sex? Is India sexually fluid, or morbidly compartmentalised? Are there sexual experiments happening in Indian bedrooms? Elsewhere?

It's 15 years of India Today Sex Survey, the annual cartography of desire and urges that began in 2003. Since then, the questions have come a long way, as have the answers. Certainly, more and more people are willing to accept certain things about their sex lives that would have made their skins crawl and leave their faces flushed even 10 years back. Things have changed and how.

There's technology and the app-based looking for love and lust. There's less taboo in your sexual orientation, whether your hormones go all over the place at the sight of a man, or a woman, or both. The questionnaire of sex is a map whose territory is the realm of passion, the body, the mind and everything in between.

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What did India Today Sex Survey 2017 reveal?   [Photo: Bandeep Singh/India Today] 

So, what did India Today Sex Survey 2017 reveal? Is there anything really new and heart-stopping? Is adultery more common that we think? Are women cheating with the same gusto as men? Are men stuck in a time warp, unable to come to terms with more sexually demanding women? Are men finding men of like passions? Are women kissing women?

Read on. Indulge yourselves a little. Mind it, this is not just for your brains, but how you treat your loins as well.

Woman and the one night stand

Caught between pleasure and principle, is the pleasure principle; between norms and needs, is the norm of need. Out of 2000 women surveyed, most belonging to upper and middle classes, about one-third said one night stands were perfectly alright. Many have had it. Many look forward to it.

There's really less hangover, less moral encumbrance weighing the woman down. She's up and about, doing late hours, staying back in a motel close to work, or at a colleague's, or someone she's picked up online. It's easier to have sex with someone who's just passing by, a long lost crush, an old acquaintance, a married friend.

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Sex and the single woman

She's not committed, or tied down, but she's having the time of her life. Often. She's sexed, very much. Not always the act of having sex, but the pleasure of knowing that she can anytime that she wants to. The single woman, usually between 20-40, is an exploding demographic segment that's etching out her own rules, carefully treading the social tightrope but flouting rotten old tradition with abandon.

The single woman is far less apologetic and frank about her sex life. She knows how to say "no", of course. But there are times she says yes with all her heart and body. She means it. Bedtime stories are written by sexually active single women who stir up the hornet's nest of what's acceptable and what's not. Teen spirit

Classrooms are brimming with students who are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and exchanging profiles on Tinder. Schoolgoers have never been more sexually active, but there's more of the digital aspect as well. Everyone has multiple profiles. Classes are about peer group evaluation of who's in and who's out. There's a plethora of information. Teen sex is on Instagram.

The love autopsy

But sex aside, is India also falling in love? How does it define love now? Has there been a paradigm shift? About 32 per cent admitted to physical touch and fondling warming them up and putting them in the mood to (make) love. Oh, are we talking sex or love? Hmm, looks like those two items are increasingly interchangeable.

Hitherto hetero

About 91 per cent of those surveyed say they are "heterosexual". Is that an accurate indicator of their sexual orientation? Or is it about who among us is comfortable talking about it? That said, 5 per cent said they were homosexual and the remaining 4 per cent admitted to being bisexual. Are there more grounds to break?

Other woman

Extramarital sex is particularly on the rise with more single women in the workplace who refuse to settle down but nevertheless want to have their share of the sexual pie. While more women say they would return the favour in kind if they discover that their partners have been cheating on them, open marriages are coming out in the open. Workplaces are teeming with affairs and flings that have a lifespan ranging from a week to months.

Casually yours

More and more, women and man are looking for a little extra in their bed and in their couch. It's perhaps to break the monotony of monogamy; it's perhaps to just savour a little more, but casual sex has a newfound acceptance that is unprecedented. Both men and women are taking it easy, not freaking out if a partner walks out, exploring more and keeping it simple. Dating is (almost) passé.

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India Today Sex Survey 2017: The Naked Truth is on the cover of the latest edition of the magazine. Have you picked up your copy from the stands yet? 

App-ology

Tinder is the night. And WhatsApp, sexy? It's really app-ocalypse now, as the smartphone and sex become indistinguishable. Pings punctuate lovemaking in the bed, in the backseat of the car, in the restrooms of restaurants, in motels and airport lounges.

Indians sex it out to the background score of other desires, coterminous, coeval, coplanar. They coexist on the app-land, coming online and going offline at predictable intervals. The blue tick determines if a desire voiced has been read and acknowledged, sometimes reciprocated. Love is waiting for the blue tick amid quickies and stolen messages.

He's still catching up

Where is the Great Indian Male in all this? "Happy with his sex life" - so says 55 per cent of those surveyed. They happen to be men in the age group 18 to 55. Pursuit of pleasure is fine, but can he explain why the rape cases are going up? Does he not understand "consent"? Is he obsessed with the size of his penis? Does he like safe sex, or does the sight of a condom takes away his hard-on?

Men are sexting furiously, 43 per cent say they do, more than women who are still coy, or perhaps more choosy. Men are also goofing it up at workplaces. Just look at the soaring sexual harassment cases coming to fore. The Indian male is still playing catch up.

Porn isn't out

Pornography isn't just a matter of banned websites. There's always the smartphone camera, and the nude selfie for selective usage. The soft porn of half naked bodies and the camera phone are the new best friends. Desires are posted, a bare torso, sweat-laced post-gym. Testosterone dipping. Short sex clips still go viral, circulate internally. Self-nude is the new porn.

Last updated: March 16, 2017 | 08:52
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