Sex shaming, naked soul and patriarchy

Vanity is a symbol. It affects women and men in equal measure. As human beings, we get conscious on how others see, perceive and judge us? It deters our liberation as humans and sexual beings. It’s no typo. You’ve read it properly. I am speaking of the three-letter words S-E-X. No, my fingers are not trembling as I type. Sexual repression is not only a bane but deters our growth and liberation.

It all started with the controversial headlines, ‘Radhika Apte sex tapes leaked’ for the film Parched that created a furore where we were verging on  insanity. I am not doing the post to be an advocate of the actor but want to air my view on symbolism, hypocrisy or our deeply embedded patriarch misogyny. Nowadays, everyone gives free and unwanted advice on the state of nakedness and sex? I mean, aren’t we all naked souls?

In the interview to NDTV, Parched actors Adil Hussain and Radhika Apte makes very fair and thought-provocation observation on the naked body and sexuality. Forget the controversy and it’s better we ignore such sensational leak or news. I am not interested in sex tapes or leak. The discussion makes me wonder how hypocrite we have become when it comes to nakedness and sex where we not only want to ban everything but also laugh it out by making ridiculous statements, pretending to take the high moral ground. I feel that the actor is being picked for her only fault is that she is a woman. Anyway, the post is not about that.

It’s a real tragedy that we hail from the land of Kamasutra but we are still shy when it comes to the exploration of our sexuality or better still, give those flimsy or childish religious justification that sex is immoral. Excuse me, immoral? I mean, on what ground? It doesn’t mean that if we don’t speak on something that it doesn’t take place in society. Like Adil Hussain said as a man he is a by-product of male patriarchy which is so true. How many men haven’t in the course of discussion made a patriarchal comment on a woman as a sex symbol or how desirable she is on account of male superiority or ignorance. I am sure the campus observation among young dudes when a girl passes by, words like gorgeous boob or ass or she’s a good fuck has been whispered with a smile and for that matter craving and fulfilling of human desires. I mean, let’s be frank about it. Of course, it’s a very flawed ideology which is the result of patriarchy that translates into male aggression. This is just one instance. Don’t get me started on who should make roti at home, wear sindoor and bear children or quench of sexual desires irrespective of the fact whether the woman desires it or not? A male bastion who calls the shots.

The debate is not about that but the point I want to make or reflect is on our sexual complexities as human beings. It’s true that women grow up with all those complexities not just as a teenage or young girl but an adult as well. It’s the body shaming like a section of people are making Radhika Apte or many of her ilk feel. Credit goes to her for owning her work and saying with dignity how proud she is on exploring her body. Well. she is a public figure. Just imagine what the commoners or women in obscure village or middle-class houses go through. Why just women? I am sure men also feel that way but in contrasting degree about their body or sexuality and it’s a different matter that they will not come out in the open to speak about the Oedipus conflict as a teenager as depicted by Freud.

Honestly speaking, I have grown up as a child or the time I discovered sex that it is something wrong or touching my body part is a grave sin punished by Gods.  Blame it on our conservative tradition that drives us to the dark age. It is the biggest fallacy when the foundation of our culture is based on sex and procreation depicted by Vasana and Sex in the Vedas. I grow up into believing that the whole thing about sex or being a virgin is a symbol of purity till the time I tried to become comfortable with it. Hey! We are humans. Yes! My virginity was broken during the college days. I was shy of speaking about sex in public and it did give me a certain sense of awkwardness of making out with someone. You know why? The way society is dealing with sex, repression, uncomfortable gaze or our lack of education. Well, as a child I was told that one gets a baby in an airplane and was thinking that I can pick up a little baby brother or baby sister when I travel on air. No! I ain’t kidding. The fault lines on sexual and naked education which is imparted the wrong way or is not told at all.

I am still learning about my body in the 30s and I strongly feel that no person can fully claim that they have explored their sexuality or their nakedness as a human being. The interview on NDTV is pushing me to explore my sexuality and nudity bared open like a free soul. There is something called the naked soul that I come across from time to time and I know of people who as artistic souls learning about their naked souls and bodies through something called body mapping. It is something that I want to know. I want to know myself better as a sexual being to conquer my freedom and liberation.

It is very important for young girls and boys to explore their sexuality in relationships but also from a metaphysical and soulful perspective to the fullest. How many of us has taken a close look at our naked bodies? There is an element of shame or repression. Let’s face it. It is imperative that we get the right kind of education on our bodies and sexuality. We don’t realize how much risks young boys and girls are at or vulnerable for that matter to be given the wrong notions on their bodies considered to be taboo. There are vultures that makes such souls an easy prey. Let’s battle this complexity by imparting the correct education and not tread on blurred lines. Had I been an artist, I would have no problem to walk naked on screen not to be vulgar but be comfortable in my skin. It’s all about artistic freedom and personal choice.  Like the Parched actors said, it’s all about liberation.

I rest my case. It’s a post written with honesty but perhaps not explored to its full potential. I shall prepare a fresh post on naked soul and sexuality in the future. Let’s mull about our sexual liberation and naked soul for running away from it doesn’t solve our complexities as human beings.




  1. Awesome post. We love in a country where practically anything related to sex and sexualities is a taboo…. probably that’s the reason we are such an overpopulated nation. We want everything keep in shroud or behind for walls and expressing any sort of sexualities feelings is a grave sin. Education is what shall change the way our apologist looks at sex and sexualities. We need to change at the grass root level. Top then… the taboos shall remain.

  2. Indian society is hypocritical…that is universal truth.Having said that women like Radhika Apte Sunny Leone Chitrangada and even Smita Patil needed to be applauded for the stand they took for the passion they have for their craft and being unapologetic about it. You must watch nterviews of Sunny Leone who never backs off from questions about her past life and one interview in particular by some guy who tried to push her on a backfoot,it was a terrible display of shameless journalism…
    In the land of kamasutra where temples depict outright sexual poses…it is sad to note the regressiveness of our society.
    But I think the winds of change are slowly blowing and there is definitely a change in attitude in the present generation….
    Nice post Vishal….

    • It’s really sad when hypocrisy gains an edge at sensibility. I agree on the ladies you mentioned who are not apologetic of their choice in life. Yeah, i remember that interview and even wrote about. Isn’t an irony? We are the land of Kamasutra yet we are so regressive, citing morality or religion. I am positive when I see a handful of people echoing attitudinal change. Let’s hope for change. Thanks for sharing your insightful views, Haseena.

  3. Very honest and thought-provoking post! It is a shame that we are still caught up in multiple layers of hypocrisy even today in spite of the advances we seem to be making in every other aspect of our lives! We need to mature as a culture I think and learn to talk responsibly which is sadly not going to happen in a while because creating a mind-shift and a culture change involves changing people’s attitudes and we are terrible in making those shifts.

    • Thanks Esha. I strongly feel we need to evolve as mature beings and oppression or making a child feel ashamed for discovering something about his or her body is the biggest sin we commit. We need this change and learn the proper functioning of our bodies. This hypocrisy doesn’t help. Those so-called savior of society who makes moral statement would themselves speak bad about women, visit red light areas and preen on young girls in the most pervert manner. Our culture needs to evolve, learn, unlearn and grow I feel. This mind-shift, like you said is the most important thing if we want to progress as a culture. Thanks for your insightful views on the subject.

    • That’s the point. i don’t understand why sex should be just about glamor or given a sensational color. Sex education is the dire need but taught in the most real and correct way not something to scare people out. I feel rape is one of the outcomes of sexual repression. Like you said Lata, brushing things under carpet, something we are experts at.

  4. An open and honest post you got there, Vishal. Hypocrisy is in the blood. We have seen it all around. Almost like, don’t eat chocolate it’s bad for your teeth yet buying it as a gift for neighbor’s kid. Making a story out of something that’s open is a gift that we have got. Haven’t we? We think no communication will help us deal with the issue but that’s never right.

  5. A lot of thoughts in here. Not surprising. Given how repressed we are by social taboos and conflicting (sometimes wrong) ideas, it’s all a messy tangle. I hope you will consider writing more, exploring each idea in entirety.

    I’ve had a lot of the same thoughts so absolutely no debate there. But I’m also starting to see changes happen, in slow but sure ways.

    My family is the average middle class urban Indian family with their desire to do well and give their kids the best, but also bounded by heavy social norms. Recently my mother and I were talking and she said, “I’ve started thinking why should I judge someone for wearing jeans even at a later age? Why should I think badly of someone if they’re wearing a fitted top even though they’re heavy? It’s their body, their life. If it makes them happy, who am I to judge?” This struck me as both a brave and an uplifting thing for her to say. Of note, this was something she said completely independently (not because we were talking about it or because anybody had forced her to think about it).

    India is changing and speaking up like you are doing is what is letting it do so. So keep it up!🙂

    • Idea Smithy!!! I didn’t expect to get a comment from you so fast. It made my day. It’s a happy day. It’s vibes. I just connecting with a fab lady after eight years and sensing awesome things unfurling. We get so much wrong ideas on sexuality. It is so flawed the way things are and how repressed we are as human beings, our views blurred by so-called society and morality. Sometimes, I’d go mad. I am also positive in the way people, the youth, are speaking about things. Like you I come from a middle-class family where I grow up with such conservative and dark mindset. My studies in Philosophy where we discussed at length on sexuality helped me a lot, so were my Pune and Mumbai days. It’s good to know the words of your Mom. It carries so much power. Very brave. India is changing and how! Let’s speak up. I intend to write the frustration of growing up, sexual complex and what’s not, how my views on such things altered. Your views always bring clarity. Cheerz to that.

  6. This is an important post Vishal. Every single line is true, I loved many a sentences which made great sense to me, it resonates.

    //Honestly speaking, I have grown up as a child or the time I discovered sex that it is something wrong or touching my body part is a grave sin punished by Gods. // — I did nod here.

    Thanks for writing this post!

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