“I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.”

Sharing an email from Anonymous. 

Subject: Link regarding a wife’s sexual past

Hello IHM,

I am a reader of your website.

I had run across a link that I thought you and your readers would find interesting (maybe). It details a man dealing (badly) with the strong possibility that his wife has some kind of sexual history.

The comments in the article are interesting from both sides of the debate.

I also wanted to include a link to a similar discussion, from a Western point of view. It’s a link to an American sex / relationship advice columnist. I don’t always agree with the advice he gives, and there are problems I have with his point of view, but I do find it interesting that his advice is quite similar to the advice given in the original article.

Incidentally, Dan Savage, the American, has occupied an interesting niche in US popular culture. The US actually has a fairly conservative view of sex; however, Dan has set himself up as a no-boundaries type of columnist. You can ask him literally anything. This has led to some really interesting questions being asked of him over the years. In that time, the questions have evolved beyond technical questions regarding sex, and more about ethics in relationships.

RANT WARNING:

Why in the world am I going on and on about this? Because, even as an Indian female who was raised in an Indian culture, in the Middle East, I never understood the hangups Indians have about sex.

Even so, I tried to be a good girl and never dated, never dressed provocatively, never drank, never smoked or did drugs, and hadn’t even kissed a boy when I got married (I had moved to North America at college age). I got out of my marriage with my virginity intact (sorry for the graphic detail), because my body rejected my husband – I simply wasn’t attracted to him. So much for the rewards for being a good girl.

After my divorce, I thought ‘to hell with this, I’m going to live!’ and I dated and did everything that went with it.

I’ve now decided to put myself on the meat, er, marriage market again, and again, I find I’ll pretty much have to go into that shell: to get married, I have to project myself as a robot, who functions to keep house, make money, and timidly accept whatever her husband deigns to give her, with no reciprocation (because after all, where did I learn *that* from? Answer: the internet, dummy).

I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.

END OF RANT

Anyway, the links are below:

http://www.loveinindia.co.in/wife-sex-before-marriage/

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/savage-love/Content?oid=889937

(the letter I was referring to is the first one)

Happy Reading!

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‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.

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The video is speaking against the acceptance of rape, acid attacks, honor killings, forced marriages etc that are viewed as normal ‘Consequences’ for women.

Madam so many rapes don’t happen in Germany coz girls don’t refuse to have sex.’

Question about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

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18 thoughts on ““I’m baffled that Indians (not just men) truly think that virtue stems from being sexually chaste.”

  1. Yes,being inexperienced in relationship and sex is biggest virtue in Indian culture.This is the major component on which we are proud of. But its applicable only on women. Sita was thrown out of kingdom when a crime was committed against her compared to that having relation before marriage is cardinal sin.
    Long live Indian hipocracy.
    End of sarcasam

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think with alot of guys its stems from insecurity, especially if the guy is a virgin, that he wont measure up to the men before him.

    I also think its because a women having desire in India is such an act of rebellion for women. I don’t just mean sexual desire. Any desire at all in a women is seen as bad. We’re not supposed have any desires, dreams, wishes, expectations. We are simply to serve men and fulfill their desires. So if a women has pre-marital sex she is showing herself as a women who has desires and is a human being. I think that scares men.

    I also laugh at men who expect virgins especially the ones that have had sex themselves before and have healthy sex drives. They marry virginal women and then complain about the lack of sex in their marriage. Because alot of the times women who have “saved themselves” for marriage have alot of hang ups about sex because of social conditioning. In the end, they reap what they sow.

    Liked by 3 people

    • This –
      “I also think its because a women having desire in India is such an act of rebellion for women. I don’t just mean sexual desire. Any desire at all in a women is seen as bad.”

      Even married women desiring sex are “so slutty”😐

      Like

  3. Its something that baffles me as well. Sorry for being crude but it is as if a woman’s worth is all tied up in her vagina. That’s all she is a big walking vag!!!! Funny thing is women at worst when it come to judging another woman’s sex life. My fiance racist aunt after finding out he was dating me complain to him in a good ole racist way that woman from my ethic group have huge sexual appetites and we aren’t virgins when we get married(gasp the horror),and that he should get a virgin girl from his community.(even though i was a virgin when we started dating and he wasn’t) Not only is that just racist it just certainly not true; but what disturbs me is that she think Indian woman are better because she believes that their hymen is intact. There is no other value placed on them, she didn’t mention intelligence ,strong will, or anything that makes a woman other than a walking Vag.

    Liked by 1 person

    • For most traditional people, regardless of race or culture, a woman IS just a collection of her sexual organs. A woman = vagina, in most traditional,patriarchal cultures.

      Like

  4. As Anony pointed out,most Indian men are raised to believe that they are superior to women in every aspect.

    However,when it comes to sex, women control access to their own bodies. This fact, coupled with the fact that sexually assertive women are as extremely threatening, makes good sex a truly difficult proposition in Indian society.

    Most Indians view sex through the prism of duty and entitlement, not as a mutually pleasurable, enjoyable activity that has nothing to do with power and entitlement.

    I’d like to know why you are considering marriage to only Indian men. Since you are already in the US, why not look for a man who meets your various requirements, no matter what his race?

    I know that inter-racial dating isn’t a walk in the park, but at least you won’t encounter these Victorian attitudes to sex as often as you would find them in men from the subcontinent.

    Like

  5. True … I have always been baffled about the whole institution of marriage, sexuality and love in our Indian Context. In the name of culture, we are all conditioned to think and behave in a certain way.

    Invariably the rules apply more strongly to women.

    Like

  6. The husband’s obsessive fixation on his wife’s past sexual partners seems really creepy especially the part where he wants to post on facebook to find out who he is.

    However, on the other hand, I’m a woman who was lied to by a boyfriend about how many people he had been with. He made it seem like he was totally inexperienced and lied that he was a virgin. I could care less if he had been with and slept with a hundred women but it was the lies that really bothered me. I felt betrayed and deceived. I felt like I couldn’t trust him anymore and started to wonder about what else he was lying about and what he was trying to hide.

    He said he thought that if he told me the truth I wouldn’t want to be with him anymore so he lied. But I honestly didn’t care. I ended up finding out from someone else and I was just shocked and felt so betrayed by someone I thought I could completely trust. It really messed up our relationship and caused a lot of problems because I lost my trust in him.

    However, in an arranged marriage situation how would one go about telling the truth. Especially with how much stigma there is for women who have sex before marriage. Its not exactly something she can tell potential suitors about without the new getting around and her being ostracized. However, my belief is its wrong to be dishonest about it because honesty is the most important thing for me in a relationship.

    Like

    • Also, the chances of any man in an arranged marriage scenario being ok with a non-virgin wife are really slim.

      Virginity (women only) is part of the deal in arranged marriages.

      Like

      • But I don’t think that makes okay to lie. Lies and deception is no way to start a relationship or marriage. Thats something else that bothers me about arranged marriage. The lies and deception, the assumption being that the person will find out after marriage when its too late because divorce is not an option. Lying about virginity, education, health etc just seems so wrong.

        Like

  7. To want a bride who is a virgin is a matter of preference, much like wanting a stay-at-home spouse or working spouse, or a woman wanting a man who has a job. Marriage is a very personal matter, and the person can have his/her requirements, without having to justify them.

    If the man is himself not a virgin but wants to marry a virgin, that is his prerogative, and the imbalance of sexual experience up to him and his spouse to manage.

    Do we criticize or question a woman who wants to always be a home-maker but wants a husband who makes a certain amount of money?

    If the man is not imposing his views about chastity and virtue stemming from it on his sister, daughter and women in general, good enough.

    Like

  8. It’s not just India (or Indians)–it’s pretty much every conservative society on earth. Even the West used to think this way until the last 40–80 years. This may be just me, but I think one of the main reasons why the West and some East Asian countries have moved so far ahead socio-economically is because they’ve moved past outdated ideals.

    This doesn’t so much have to do with sexism, but one of the things that skeeves me out about some wealthy/educated Indians is that they really don’t seem to like that the economy is growing because one of the side effects of a growing economy is raised wages. Another effect is that raised wages = some form of education/ living standard rise that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise = less of a ‘gap’ between the rich and the poor. ‘These people’ are ‘now expecting so much’ is a standard conversation I’ve heard whether it’s regarding domestic staff, factory workers, small business employees etc.

    Like

  9. In both the cases , I think problem is not with virginity of the wife , but more of the fact that there has been some element of insecurity and dishonesty. I am not sure how much information is enough , but If I am entering into a relationship I would like to know what was the level of relationship my partner had with his exes , how many of them are still in his contact and at what level . I am best friend with my ex , and his fiancée’ is my friend as well . we made conscious effort to get over the past and maintain boundaries if friendship now . I am not sure if my future partners will be comfortable about it , but I its important for us to discuss and agree at some level. insecurities destroy relationships and different people handle past relationships differently . Someone said , sex is for few minutes , and marriage for life .. A small lie was enough for me to break a relationship 10 years ago , now i give more benefit of doubt , some space to reasoning and some allowance for mistakes that are not deliberate . At times , even when we have past and very strong relationships , we react to the past of our partners . Is the current relationship not strong enough to stand these insecurities , or the insecurities are because of our own past rejections and relationship failures.

    Add to the confusion ,the entitlement men have over women and their past , taunts of everyone who can talk and general middling with other people’s business . we all live a life to impress and want spouses who are equally impressive .. In terms of character , qualification , body , face , money , house , etc etc ..

    Like

  10. Yes indeed, a woman’s complexion and sexual experience, or rather the lack of it, are deemed more important than whether she is a good human.
    Long live Culture!

    Like

  11. Imo, virginity is between the woman and her body, no one else needs to know of its status. Men can want a virgin wife, expect one and ask and so can the women. But I usua go with the simple ‘not your business logic ‘
    When 2people get married, you star fresh, it has nothing to do with the past, it’s all about the future and the way they build their lives together. But most seem to forget this and are hung up on past that doesn’t concern them.

    Like

  12. Please help.
    I’m American and grew up in USA. I made the mistake of sharing to much about how many men I’ve slept with.. with my Indian boyfriend whom we had love with. And because I made this stupid mistake and opened my big mouth he changed his mind and told me that he couldn’t take me to his mother.😦 I immediately broke up with him. He’s quite traditional and 42 never married, virgin when we met. I want to know if there is ANY chance he will change his mind about this and accept me as a wife. Will an Indian man ever change his mind about this? If he really loved me wouldn’t he get over it? Help.

    Like

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