The first lesson in politics is learned when a growing infant realizes that his or her behavior can exert control over that of his or her parents. The second major political lesson is years later when one experiences the power of sexual attraction and hormones. All the stuff that you learn in the students unions and in working committees of political parties is really about how to subvert things – baby stuff when compared to the power of controlling, dominating, possessing, abusing another – body, mind and often soul.
The politics of sexual attraction and sexual control is commonly unappreciated and rarely spoken about due to the guilt and shame associated with it. How many men would be willing to admit that if there were no social repercussions, they would have not been as controlled as they are? Perhaps not many. Given circumstances, perhaps not even me. But, science says that is how we are. Of course, science is wrong.
Most kids, at least in Indian societies, do not grow up seeing their parents be intimately affectionate towards each other. If they (the parents) are intimately affectionate, it is usually accompanied by a disclaimer – do you have no shame, in front of the kids? Some of us, if not most of us, learned about sex from our peers or from porn, both of which are terribly off, let me assure you. Took me years to unlearn some of the stuff I picked up there, with its due share of heartache and poor self esteem. There was no sex ed in our times, and my parents turned blue if I asked them how one could “plan” for a brother or sister. A large part of the rest of us, sadly, learned by being victims of sexual abuse, usually by close friends or family and sometimes by strangers. The pleasure associated with the act make the process of victimization even more shameful, and most of us grew up with deeply conflicting ideas about sex. Add to that the common interpretation of religious views on sex.
Is it any wonder that we are this messed up as a society about sex? While we try and figure out what a truly effective, rational and compassionate response to the present mess around us now should be, here is a look at what turns sex into a destructive and addictive force instead of a celebrant, life affirming one.
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