Picture this: a couple comes up to me at a party and asks me how to go about having anal sex. Before I can even comprehend that statement, they cut me off to tell me to keep in mind that the girl will be wearing a strap on, and the man wants to be the one on the receiving end. I stare at them for two minutes straight, my mouth full of quiche, before I wrap my head around the idea. As I remind myself of how I am a free thinking, liberal man, I go on to tell them how they can work it out.
And that's when I realised that we have now reached a point where most of the people out there, no matter their sexual preference, are starting to dive into new shades of this great spectrum that we call sex.
It is 2017, and Indians are having way more sex than we did before, definitely more than our parents did.
Hell, even more than our elder siblings did probably. Thanks to more exposure, the internet, hooking-up apps, dating websites, mutual needs, exploration of one's sexuality and so much more, we are embracing the fact that the residents of the land that gave us Kamasutra are finally exploring themselves as sexual beings.
"Sex, at least, in urban areas is not a taboo anymore. It isn't just for procreating anymore. People lose their virginity by the time they're done with college and as time goes by, the concentration is on trying something new. Sex, for the urban Indian millennial, is for for pleasure and not just for procreation anymore."
said a 22-year-old Delhi-based journalist who wants to remain anonymous.
No longer is sex just a mean to an end. It is the exciting ride that can go via many routes to your desired destination, it is that bag of candy where in lies a mix of treats (all of which will make you happy but may surprise you as well), it is everything your parents didn't tell you about, but is as delicious as every forbidden fruit ever.
From bondage, discipline, threesomes and role-plays to kinks, role switching, having sex with a person from the same sex and dominance & submission, everyone is talking about or going ahead and trying out something or the other.
In some cases, there are two very enthusiastic partners that come together; in other cases it requires a certain amount of persuasion (and a lot of reading up on Google).
"Honestly, if I speak for Indians as a collective, it would not be fair. But I can tell you that some of the people I've met, have been up for getting dirty. There are men who want to be rimmed, and women who want to try girl-on-girl action. Even I have started experimenting a lot. I wasn't into bondage that much, but with my boyfriend, I'm open to a little kink from time to time. Till now, we've tried a vibrating penis ring, handcuffs, blinds, and what not. So I would say that it's an upward moving chart."
said Padma Iyer, 28, from Kottayam.
And why should we not explore our deep desires anyway?
In these times when individualism is thriving and there is so much 'finding who you are' going on, why should such an innate side to us be left uncharted. I mean, think of yourself as a house, this great big house with all these rooms and beautiful artwork lining the walls, quaint snug cushions and yellow walls.
The more you explore, the more the house surprises you, the more rooms you find. But there is a room in the basement that you are scared to explore only because it's dark, scary, and you do not know what to expect. But you will never know if you never go in there now, will you? Plus, you get to decorate it as you like, you can make it anything you want. Use your hands, use your fingers, use your tongue...dive into the unknown.
There are studies that show how women started having more sex than before after reading books like 50 Shades Of Grey. Not just that, they also started experimenting with what they did in bed. Inspired by fantasy novels, couples spice up their bedrooms.
Then there are teens who are no longer under the purview of their ever watchful parents, armed with the internet, they are out to explore their newly-found hormones. Studies suggest that the age bracket for people to lose their virginity has gone down drastically.
We are sexy(-ual) and we know it!
The 15 years of India Today Sex Survey makes a point to say that casual sex is "more popular than ever" in India, with 41% men being okay with one-night stands, as are 29% women.
The same survey in 2014-15 revealed that 25% teenagers said they had had sex even before they wrapped up schooling.
But not everyone believes that is how things are rolling.
"I don't think Indians are having sex as much as they like. What else explains increasing viewership of porn and random comments on social media? It just shows how sexually frustrated people are. Even if they get sex, they are not getting the kind of sex they want because they don't explore their sexuality. There is still a huge part of the crowd who will balk if I talk about how I have had a threesome."
said Mumbai-based Kabir Oberoi, 29.
While the mobile applications, websites and what-not have made it easier for humans to be connected with each other better than ever before, and sex is a little more on the plate, a lot of caution needs to be exercised even as the hook-up culture is growing.
I mean consent is still a concept a lot of men do not get, and that saying "Lady in the streets, freak in the sheets" is just plain dumb.
There needs to be a fair knowledge of what two people are getting into to make sure that it doesn't get dirty even if it gets dirty. Because if the statues in Khajuraho, and Kamasutra are anything to go by, there is a LOT of dirty to be done for all intents and purposes.
But as we chart into the shades of our passion, it is also essential that our minds grow with other things, if you know what I mean.
You know what they say: with big libido, come big responsibilities.