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The perception of sex education in India is highly challenging. When someone says the word ‘sex’ it’s automatically assumed as something very dirty and disgraceful. The majority of the people aren’t aware of basic ‘ground rules’ relating to sex. These ground rules are nothing but having basic respect towards each other, communicating to understand each other’s needs, and most importantly, understanding the concept of consent.

Sex education can help people be more informed about sex which can further help improve perception about individual sexuality, desires and eventually allow people to have safe, fulfilling relationships by taking responsibility for each other sexual health and well-being.

But these things are either majorly ignored by people or taken for granted. In our country, even having a conversation about sex is considered impure and shameful. We don’t feel comfortable having these conversations with our families because of the many stigmas related to sex. Instead, sex education can help us educate more about our own bodies and learn about consent. India unfortunately, has a large number of crimes against women, and lack of education on sex and conversations are the reason for such heinous crimes. Sex education really molds a young individual into a better and mature human being. Similarly, it does not deprive children of their ‘innocence’. Instead, giving education on sexuality that is scientifically accurate, non-judgmental, age-appropriate, and complete, as part of a carefully phased process from the beginning of formal schooling is something from which young adults can benefit.

When we talk about ‘ground rules’ what does it really mean? These imply having a basic expectation, learning to listen to your partner, engaging in respectful behavior, and understanding the importance of consent. Consent is vital when it comes to having sexual intercourse. You need to ask before indulging in with someone. Moreover, there has to be respect and understanding. Sex is an act that is practiced differently by different people. The more creative you are, the more your partner will be involved to try new techniques. Similarly, having a heart to heart conversations with each other might help you achieve an experience that is pleasurable to both parties.

Sex is about a lot of things- intimate pleasure, expressing love, fun, and more. When we talk about language in sex it could either a person’s body language or verbal language. You can use words to convey your sexual desires and other feelings in whichever way you want, such as go faster, slower, etc. If giving such instructions sound awkward or uncomfortable, you aren’t alone. Many people worry that telling their partners how to touch them would be described as “pushy”. However, just the opposite may be true. Letting them know how you want and where you want it might be arousing and helpful to all the parties. “Kitchen-table talk” is the positive discussion of things you want to try to make good sex even better. Of course, these talks literally don’t have to be held at the kitchen table, they can occur in any non-sexual venue.

There are misconceptions about women’s bodies such as, women’s genitals have an odor- which is completely natural and should not be judged. This creates a lot of insecurity in women towards their bodies and can result in ‘vaginismus’; a condition where the vaginal muscles involuntarily contract when the partner attempts penetration, the contractions can prevent sexual intercourse or make it very painful.

Having confidence in yourself and communication has a huge impact on improving the overall experience. However, many people really don’t learn to listen to their partners. There is nothing wrong with listening to your partner’s desires because it’s about satisfying not only yourself but your partner as well. In addition to this, passing out early when you had a hectic day at work which really drained your energy and unable to perform is absolutely fine, there’s nothing embarrassing about it.

How societies impose restrictions on women’s sexuality.

Women are constantly discouraged and have to face many restrictions and rules when it comes to dating or expressing their own different desires.

Women are abused by their partners, strangers, and family members. These horrible experiences are very difficult to recover from. Many times, it often leads to PTSD and can have a grave impact on their self-worth and self-esteem.

Sex and intimacy are about a safe, healthy, and transformative journey. But society tends to swaddle sex into shame and misunderstanding. We have to start thinking about consent in ways that encompass women's longing, their ability to safely feel and express their desires, and not just their ability to say ‘NO’. Patriarchy in our country makes it even more difficult for women to enjoy anything without thinking twice. It’s the most highlighted issue in our country, as the utmost importance has always been given to ‘men’ and their ‘behavior’. On the other hand, women always have to please, pleasure, and satisfy the man’s need. Addressing sexual inequality — women's right to feeling, to pleasure, and to safely and freely articulate and pursue what they want and need — is an important part of promoting equality.

Women are taught to be dependent on others than focusing on being independent and live for themselves. Similarly, men tend to believe they have an upper hand over women and can abuse women when she disagrees. But instead, he should be taught to respect her independent choices and her sexual desires. Even when a woman tries to uplift herself from the stigmas, the society tends to drag her down because they don’t want women to have an independent desire as for them a ‘’beautiful and pure woman’’ is who doesn’t raise her own concerns and opinions, and is dependent on their spouses. Similarly, women should not be forced upon men. They have a complete full right to say no to sex without protection. After all, It’s her body it’s her choice. Forcing women to have intimate relationships is a crime.

Society hesitates to talk about sex and the lack of communication on sex education makes it difficult to outgrow the stigmas. It’s time to stop being so hesitant towards sexuality and criticism towards women’s desire. Rather than restricting women to have fun, it’s high time to educate men about the concept of consent, about respecting our desires, and communicating before getting involved sexually. Likewise, women should be educated on these topics in order for them to understand their bodies, their rights, and many other things that entail being intimate and having sex.

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