[VoxSpace Life] Why Is Premarital Sex A Taboo For Indian Women?

The Modern Woman Bound By The Age Old Ideology?

Indian women are going places. From building a thriving business empires to literally landing on space, there is literally no stopping the confident Indian women. She is modern, she is strong, and she has the ability to reach the zenith of success without any support. In short, there is little or no comparison between the Indian women of today – and I am mostly talking about the urban Indian women – and those of the bygone times, whose entire world would revolve around the husband, the children and the in-laws.

Is The Modern Indian Woman Really Free?Image result for indian business woman

The modern Indian woman is miles apart from her yesteryear counterparts. The one most important difference that needs to be highlighted is – having an opinion. While earlier women were not supposed to have an opinion, the modern woman has a strong voice and she is audible enough to let her opinion transmit through the different structures of society (and patriarchy). But are the modern women really empowered – empowered enough to think freely about the “taboos” that the society has conditioned upon us? When it comes to topics such as premarital sex or extramarital affairs, does a woman have all the liberty to talk about it openly? Perhaps not – not still.

The Idea Of Purity Of Women’s Body

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In the male dominant society of India, women might be treated as the “other”, but when it comes to her body, it is rendered as something pure, akin to a temple. Often in films and even in some literature, you might have come across lines which throws women’s body into a kind of definitive structure – it is a temple that needs to be taken care of and preserved in its utmost purity till her marriage. It must be absolutely untouched till her first marital night.

This is definitely not a new idea – it has been passed on for generations now. It is this idea that clutches a woman within the dichotomy of good and bad. The women, who are able to preserve the “purity” of their bodies, are still regarded as good women. On the contrary, the women, who give in to the “lust” of pre-marital sex, are regarded as sluts and bad women. However, what shocks us all is the fact that even today, some of the most confident and modern Indian women fall prey to this idea and pre-decisive structure.

What Is Premarital Sex To India?

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As the name suggests, premarital sex is the sexual activity that occurs between two individuals before both of them are married. Now, premarital sex is generally regarded as consensual sexual activity between two adults. While it can occur between individuals under different circumstances, in most cases in India, premarital sex emerges out of love affairs or relationships.

If we put the entire preceding paragraph in short, it means premarital sex involves a woman “revealing” herself to a man, who may or may not be her future husband. And that’s blasphemy! A woman, who has had shared intimacy with an unknown person in her full knowledge (or even without it – a woman is also looked down upon if she is raped – but that’s another story), is replete of her purity. And in a society, where modern men still dream of sleeping with a virgin wife on their first marital night, there is a constant pressure for the women to fit into the normalcy and to be accepted within the society’s approved standards.

How Society Moulds Our Thoughts

Let us be honest. Most of our thoughts and actions are still conditioned by society. We still tend to think about what society wants us to do. It is just a glimpse of the same that gets mirrored in most of our premonition about premarital sex.

Is premarital sex any different from marital sex? Any person who involves himself or herself in the same out of love or out of sheer pleasure will say no. It is a simple sexual activity, after all – a basic human behaviour and needs. However, the moral police have conditioned us to think about it as a sin. A woman is only allowed to “sleep” with her husband and even let her husband go on a complete rampage on her body – her wish, her desire does not matter. She has to love it, no matter how gross she finds it to be. That is exactly what patriarchy wants us to do. And that is exactly how most of us have come to accept marital rapes but condemn premarital sex, which probably have been a result of love.

Premarital Sex and Shaming

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To be honest, it is not that most modern women are averse to premarital sex. With time, India is envisaging a steep rise in cases of premarital sex – not just in urban areas but even in semi-urban areas premarital sex happens. The Supreme Court’s decision to not criminalize premarital sex goes to prove that it is not something bad or illegal or something that rips off the basic identity of a woman.

Yet, women are afraid to talk about premarital sex. This comes out of sheer fear – not the fear of getting ostracized from the society but the latent fear of being judged and subjected to endless shaming and trolling on a daily basis. Every other day, you will find college students and even working professionals looking down at colleagues and friends, who are engaged in regular premarital sex. And those women who are open about their sex lives, they are termed as “sluts”. At the same time, the woman, who conforms to all the standards of patriarchy, is regarded as good and someone to look up to. The equation is plain and simple.

Have You Ever Wished For A Virgin Husband?

Strange are the ways in which the society operates. In today’s time, it is quite perplexing to think that women are still treating premarital sex as a taboo but being absolutely okay with spending the rest of their lives sleeping with probably an unknown person.

Interestingly, there is not much taboo about a man having premarital sex. No Indian man is ever questioned on his virginity. Rather, we don’t think any Indian woman imagining about her husband’s virginity, let alone questioning it. This is how society works. And, as it turns out, all of us are quite okay with the ways of the world.