We live in times of low attention spans, where all joys of the stomach and flesh are available at the drop of a hat (or via mobile now?)! Is it just sex or is there some lingering fragrance to romance in our times? By Nisha JamVwal
Instant coffee, instant sex
We might have misunderstood the urgency to get into the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am mode for love, romance and poetry. All we want is to cut to the chase and get it over and done with. The immense pressure to make it all physical without the amorous courtship is very ‘now’. The magic of being, those lingering moments of discovery and togetherness, the brush of the hand that sends a flame down the chest is nearly extinct. Is the lingering, sensuous fragrance of romance edging toward the dinosaur age?
Life investments come before marriage goals
Is sex an expression of love? You don’t just fritter away love as a man-woman thing. Sex is as intense an expression of love and as selective and exclusive as that rare feeling for one single person you are involved with. When such a state of affairs exists, it is natural to think of it on a basis of ‘happily ever after’, as matrimony, with all its appeal of a home, children and a shared life where you are the reason d’être for your partner. Yes, there are bad times and burdens, but show me a being with a companion and I’ll show you the effect of the companion on stress and drudgery. However, here’s where I say go slow – there is a lot to be achieved before you get carried away with this. Marriage comes with a lot of responsibility and in this competitive age, it is always smarter to equip yourself with all the skills, talents and capabilities that you can access before jumping into matrimony.
The pressure of sex
If a young lady wants to say ‘no’ to anything beyond kissing and caressing, she must not believe that saying so would appear prude and then succumb to peer pressure or an over-eager male friend. On the other hand, a young man might not think it ‘uncool’ if he wishes to be discerning and take his time choosing a partner, even for the short term. This world is sexually liberated. Since social mores are increasingly tolerant and accepting, the need for educating the young on disease, unwanted pregnancy and psychological trauma on ‘being used’ is more urgent than ever .
The implications of financial equality
The financial equation between the sexes has changed. Sex without commitments or marriage is no more a man’s thing. Medical advances in dealing with unwanted pregnancies have furthered thinking. Here in India and abroad, the paramount concern continues to be to get ‘settled’. Financially stable men, successful career-women, vociferous expounders of all sorts of freedom, sex available at its beck and call, that one person to ‘love and cherish till death do us part’ – aren’t these still the USP of fairy tales?
Barack Obama said to his two daughters, “At the end of your life, when you look back, there are going to be two things you remember. It’s going to be the love you had for friends and family and those moments when that love expressed itself.” The operative word is love and the expression it makes for life’s memorable moments. That is why there is need to create awareness about the downsides of casual sex, apart from its moral aspects. However liberated times may be, society is still far from the stage where it says, “Now, that was good sex. Burrrp.”
To be loved and cherished implies sexual fidelity, not lack of restraint or lack of emotional maturity. One moment of erring and you find yourself abandoned, perennially insecure, emotionally dependent and burdened with a host of consequences. Consequences are an immense drain on the individual and are an inconvenience to family and society. Infidelity is termed cheating, not the most complimentary epithet. So, the contrary – fidelity, is seen as the more dignified, moral, aesthetic and respectable state. We see that time-honoured values endure beyond all.
It is not essential to bring about awareness regarding consequences. Is effective in promulgating right values at the age when they are likely to be ingrained better. It is also the best means of reducing sexual crimes such as rape and eve teasing. When information is just a digital click away, education could do better, emphasising aspects that enhance us as human beings.
Even the caveman realised the benefits the attachment that came with a knowing a familiar face waiting for him at home. Imagine him returning home from a day’s hunt of mammoth or boar and then looking for a lady for a dinner date, every night! That was probably when a mutual bond of fidelity was consolidated. She got the steak home delivered and he had his date for that night and all the following nights. This arrangement has seemed to have worked fine over millennia.
Read more of Nisha’s point of view at http://nishajamvwal.blogspot.com/ and follow her on Twitter @nishjamvwal