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  • Writer's pictureKanika Bhatia

Who is horny, ladies and gentlemen?

Edward Cullen in a not so landmark scene tells Bella how he is a reader of minds. As an unreliable narrator, he starts describing what the bar’s patrons are thinking, “Money. Sex. Sex. Cats” The fact that sex dominated fifty per cent of that analysis surprised no one. Sex has been decidedly the reason for wars, civilisational catastrophes and successes. It’s framed history, mythology and urban legends. Then why are we suddenly not horny?

To the utter horror of my partner, I declared in a happy zone at a friend's bar, “I think we should be able to express our need for more sex freely.” With a layer of hygiene surfacing nearly every thought that we share whether on socials or at parties, lest we offend someone, there lies the fact that our nuanced world refuses to accept that people around us are horny. It’s not news, new or even refutable. But our world is drying up (pun intended) on accepting that we humans love sex just as much as the next mammal.

Back when I was single, testing the waters with dating apps, I felt my sexuality being taken away from me. Those bad pick-up lines, small talks could cuddle curds, and sexual desire was far easier. It was only when I was back in the great outdoors, that sex made a comeback. Verhoeven told variety, “Sexuality is the most essential element of nature.” Then the shyness with which modern society deals with it in the great outdoors is almost baffling. Do we have more couples holding hands, and giggling on roads than two decades ago? Yes. But while romance has been more accepting, sexuality has taken a bigger hit. A more honest representation of the 70s and 80s elite in movies will tell you how they owned sexuality with a more brave face than we do.

Thirst traps in the modern world are about six-pack abs and not embracing the man and woman as they are. Whether I paint, play or put on makeup, Instagram knows. It’s no longer about pleasure, simple honest pleasure than it’s about dumb reels. This year I have had more honest conversations with no pressure of posting who I had them with. Similarly, intimacy has become so much about Instagram romance (sadly) and honest conversations (gladly), but the sex is lost. In this lust for posting, likes, and picture perfection, we forget that we are real human beings, with real needs for pleasure that this hustle culture has snatched from us brutally.

A new Shahrukh Khan trailer shows us those perfectly trimmed abs of both him and Deepika, yet where is the basic chemistry? I see two burpees enthusiasts trying to sex up the screen and failing. And on the off chance Bollywood does show a normal body type, they will choose not to sexualise this character, because I am sorry, where are the abs?

Growing up, the eroticism of any kind was always associated with a shame membrane in my body. The 1999 movie, Cruel Intentions, was my afternoon guilty pleasure on two afternoons. While the curiosity of a teenager-to-be was rewarded, for weeks I carried the guilt of watching something that I knew wasn’t PG13. Indian families thrive on living in denial about kids having sexual curiosity. Most of us have never had “the talk.” In fact, if they learn that children after the age of 8 are counted as sexual beings whether they have hit puberty in literal terms or not, the damage to our parents’ innocent delusion will be very extreme.

Freud, in his “Three essays on the theory of sexuality”, (1905), says” One feature of the popular view of the sexual instinct is that it is absent in childhood and only awakens in the period of life described as puberty. This, however, is not merely a simple error but one that has had grave consequences.” But, we chose not to listen.

Did you feel the urge to “play doctor” with your cousins at a young age? Congratulations you’re absolutely normal. Sexual frustration is so common when your curiosity is shunned as obscenity and you consume a healthy amount of pornography with unaddressed guilt. The need to share this feeling, whether as a kid or now, is a human need. The satisfaction of learning this lasted me a full minute. Because even though we know better, how many of us will not be horrified when a much younger generation feels the need to discuss sexuality with us?

With obvious stress on the fact, that I don’t need all of us roaming streets as sexual predators, lord knows we have enough of those in this country. But, when you normalise the fact that we are sexual beings, with urges, and a willingness to discuss its nuances, you break a lot of ceilings. And if you’re not into breaking lamps on your bedside, I'd say this is a great alternative.

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writetoshreyamukta
Jan 10, 2023

Maybe it has something to do with consumption. With the options of so many different things to consume, be it food, entertainment, information, clothes, people are perhaps replacing carnal pleasures with mental ones (except food). Or maybe in an increasingly isolating world, these things bring enough distraction that people don't even realise that they are actually missing sex.

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Kirti Jain
Kirti Jain
Jan 10, 2023

Today is my first time on your blog and I did find this article refreshing!

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Kanika Bhatia
Kanika Bhatia
Jan 10, 2023
Replying to

Thank you. Appreciate it :)

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