People like sex. But turns out people like curd rice too.
I recently put out this tweet and it got me thinking about curd rice, but what does curd rice have anything to do with sex, you ask? Here’s a story…
A friend once hooked up with his neighbour’s cousin, who was from a village in Rajasthan. He kissed, but didn’t not tell. She didn’t speak any English, and he didn’t speak much Hindi either. When I asked him if the sex was good, he said “oh she just lay down doing nothing, it felt like sticking it up in a bowl of curd rice.”
I cannot get that image out of my head. In fact, now when something/ someone isn’t too exciting, we just call it “mosranna” (curd rice).
Physical intimacy is an important part of healthy relationships. But it isn’t enough. Communication is important too. If you and your partner can’t communicate, chances are that even if you’re both the greatest lovers in bed, you won’t be able to sustain a life-long physical relationship because when you enter the world of adult relationships, sex is intentional. So are orgasms.
Adult sex tunes be like …
“Okay, I am close.”
“Good, I am going for it.”
This would’ve been hard for me to understand when I was younger and we only ever analysed sex in the context of people hooking up for a night or two. Men brought size and endurance and women their screams and scratches.
The novelty and rush of doing things that are forbidden or chided by society masks the actual pleasure (or the lack) of being physically intimate with someone. But when the sex becomes legal, and is on tap, there’s a natural dip in pleasure. So, does that mean that the sex is bad? Does that mean that you are bad in bed? Does that mean you chose the wrong person? Does that mean your marriage is over?
There’s a running joke about how the onus of pleasuring a woman is on the man, and women just lie there judging you. There are also jokes about men not knowing how to pleasure women. But the jokes that haven’t yet been told are about how both men and women don’t know how to experience pleasure while sharing it with each other in a healthy relationship.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a rise in depression, anxiety and other mental health issues partly driven by extended periods of social isolation, especially during the lockdown. Despite the need for social distancing, most people aspired to expand their bio bubble to be physically close to their loved ones.
If you asked anyone who spent the lockdown on their own, they’ll tell you that there were times when all they craved for was to have their name called at home or be held really tight by a loved one or know that a loved one was at arms’ length.
People craved conversation. People craved touch. People wanted to know and feel that someone needed them. The need to feel secure is very innate to us, seen even in infants, and physical touch plays a huge role in satisfying this need.
But when we talk about touch or physical intimacy in a couple, why do we only ever view this through a single lens of lacy lingerie, a long perpetually hard penis, several hours of slow sex, endless moaning and orgasms that magically happen in unison.
People like to be desired and pleasured, it is both physically and mentally thoroughly satisfying. Different people experience pleasure in different ways. Some people like to be touched or caressed or be kissed passionately while few others feel extremely loved during the act of penetrative sex. But the only way to find out is through constantly communicating and experimenting.
There are a lot of factors that affect performance in bed. Physical vitality is paramount, but mental state is just as important. Stress, anxiety or being self-conscious can inhibit performance for people with penises.
It’s not always easy to have an erection when you want, or even keep it for as long as you like. It’s not always easy to have an orgasm. This can be utterly frustrating, in which case, support from the partner can help improve confidence, and the only way to do this is by communicating with your partner.
You may be scared that your body isn’t cooperating, you may not want to disappoint your partner, or you may be socially conditioned to believe that your performance is a reflection of your inability to be “man enough”. But these fears must be discussed, especially if you want to build a healthy, loving relationship with your partner. Trust and communication are the foundation of a healthy relationship, even a physical one.
When it comes to people with vaginas, you may not always be stimulated by penetrative sex. You may prefer to be aroused in other ways, in which case it is very important for you to communicate with your partner. Your partner cannot read your mind, especially when all the blood is rushing downwards from their brain. If you are in a healthy relationship, you would’ve built ample space for experimenting and learning about each others’ bodies to maximise pleasure.
Your sex life is your own. It doesn’t have to resemble anybody else’s. You create your own pattern. Having good sex in a healthy relationship is a work of art, and like any great work of art, it takes a lot of inspiration and patience.
Let me ask you something - how often do you and your partner have an orgasm at the same time, without any cue or coordination?
No, don’t answer that. It’s just something for you to think about.
More from Shapely Gal
Here’s a little sneak peak into some of the projects I’ve been working on…
Behind the Scenes: As part of this new project, I am interviewing married couples to discuss their relationship journeys. There has always been much said about how we meet our partners, and very little about how we build relationships. Through this audio series, I document the lives of married couples who’ve graciously offered their time and stories. I hope these conversations help normalise relationships and marriage, while celebrating the people who’ve spent years building them. I’ll soon be launching the episodes of Season 1 on my YouTube channel, so subscribe if you haven’t already.
Building Empathy: It’s easier for us to build a relationship with someone else than one with ourselves. A few months ago, I’d launched a course on Self-Love. But once you’ve managed to acknowledge and accept your whole self, building a relationship with someone else requires a fine balance of self-love and empathy. So, I am designing a course on Building Empathy, as a follow up to the course on Self-Love. But this will be a private course, open only to a select audience. For access to the course, please write to me.
M.B.A.: The other day, I was showing a friend how I organise myself at work including the Amazon-style 6 page reports I send clients at the end of our engagement. He was amazed that someone who calls themselves an “Auntie” can have such a rigorous analytical process setup for matrimonial matters, and the world needs to see this. Personally, I didn’t understand the fuss. Is there another way to run a business, what do you guys think?
Ask Auntie: I’ve been sharing snippets of my weekly Q&A series on social media, and I’ve been getting good feedback on the quality of content. However, I hear some people are starting to worry if I make any money of these videos. No, I don’t. But don’t worry, I won’t be borrowing any from you (wink).
Sneak peak into what I’m reading/ watching/ listening to:
Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich: For someone who loves stories, I never enjoyed history in school. I don’t know if it had anything to do with the way it was taught, or the fact that I wasn’t much of a reader then. Either way, I think this book is such a great collection of stories at such an important time in history, that too in our lifetime. Long but interesting read.
Seema Anand: Her work focuses on the kama sutra and the tantric philosophy. She has a lot of interesting content on her Instagram page in case you’re interested in learning more about energies and pleasure. I’ve been following her for a while now.
Shapely Gal song of the month: Outta my head by Love Harder and Julie Bergan.
Shapely Gal is a monthly newsletter that discusses love, relationships, marriage and the various markets these are traded on. This newsletter is a concoction of observations, theories, ideas, real stories, figments of imagination and sometimes just rants on romantic relationships.