An email: “Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years.”

Sharing an anonymous email. 

“I even asked my husband if he was maybe gay, in which case I just won’t tell anyone about it…”

 

Dear IHM,

I’m in a very unhappy state and so confused with what to do..

I have been married for 7 years (known my husband 2 years before that when we “dated”)… while we were dating, nothing sexual happened between us (not even a kiss, no heart racing stuff)… while I didn’t give it much thought then, now I feel I should have!

Even after marriage, he shows absolutely zero interest in me. It’s been SEVEN years and through these years, I have fought, cried, reasoned out, explained myself, allowed him to be the way he wants… basically everything that I could do.

I have told him openly I miss the “sex”, not as a physical activity but more as an emotional one.

I have told him I’m okay with doing anything and that he needs to feel comfortable and rest assured I won’t judge him incase he has weird tastes (I was thinking “fetish” or “role play”).

I even asked him if he was maybe gay, in which case I just won’t tell anyone about it, we would work on the  pregnancy thing through alternatives.

But he just doesn’t give me the input I need. There is zero cooperation from his side.

He keeps saying there is no problem (evidently there is!)… and he says “we will do this week”, “we will have sex next week” etc

And SEVEN years have passed already.

I’m am  at an extremely depressed stage. I do not know what to do.

I cry randomly, I feel sad… and I’m crying as I type this.
I’m scared that I’m getting into depression without me even realising it!

And I feel so worthless through it all. I feel like there is no one really for me (my parents are no more) and many a times I have thought about divorce.

Few things…

1. 98% he’s not gay (saw some porn details on his mobile history. Regular porn, no fetish types or gay types)
2. I’m extremely hygienic and smell good
3. Our environment is sex friendly
4. I’m a good looker and quite attractive (not to sound vain, but wanted to clear certain basic questions that might pop up)

Can you PLEASE do a topic on this, I feel like I need to see things from a fresher perspective..

Thanks a ton!

Related Posts:

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested (in marrying her) man into a responsible, loving husband?

And what would have happened if this man had declared that he was gay and hence would not marry a woman?

Denying sex to spouse on first night ground for marriage annulment: Delhi high court

A comment- ‘Reverse the gender, and it is marital rape.’Depriving wife of sex is cruelty, Mumbai court rules

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high courtQuestion about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Gird Your Loins – Aarti Sethi, Kafila

“Porn is a discourse about sex and works like an educator about sex and gender.”

An email: Also this is a genuine question and not a pornographic mail.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

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

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

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Does it hurt the first time you have sex?

Post by Boiling

My research on this topic started when K got engaged. She shared that she was scared of getting intimate and having sex with a guy she had not interacted with much. “How the hell is one supposed to do that with a guy we have known only for a few weeks?”,   she asked. I did not have much knowledge in that area so I could not offer much advice. On top of that, I had the same fears and doubts as her and was not sure how I would work out in the whole arranged marriage thing. All I knew was that it hurt the first time and because it is such a taboo topic nobody talked about it much.

  • K confided in another friend who was married: J. J said that her husband waited a week to have sex and one day when they were finally about to have it, she started crying due to sheer nervousness and he got angry. She felt sex the first time was quite painful and slightly painful for her husband as well. She empathized with women who were raped after that because if consensual sex was so painful, rape would be even more painful. J also mentioned another of their friends whose husband forced her every time into having sex.
  • I asked another married lady and she told me they had sex on the first night. All her relatives gave her only one piece of advice: “Do whatever your husband wants you to do.”  She said sex per se was not painful but she could not walk properly for a couple of days after because her legs hurt a lot.
  • Another lady told me that she felt off colour the next day and she walked a bit differently and her relatives were smirking because it showed what happened on the first night.
  • I searched online and a lady had similar fears as K. Many ladies told her it would be painful the first few times but “after pain comes pleasure 😉
  • Other sources like books and movies seemed to indicate the same thing – that sex was painful for women the first few times at least. Take for example,  ‘Fast times at Ridgemont High (1982)’. There is a scene where two girls are talking and one of them said it kinda hurt her and the other girl tells her it will get better with time. The girl just seems to be a passive participant in sex and doing it because everybody seems to be doing it.

Basically, every source I turned to told me that first time sex was painful and this made me dread it so much. I was scared of having sex because I was afraid that my vulva would hurt real bad. When I had sex for the first time, I closed my eyes in anticipation of the pain that would follow and laughed loudly when I did not feel a bloody thing. I waited for my legs to start hurting or see if I walked differently and I did not feel or see any changes. Life went on as normal. Not being a virgin did not seem like a big deal at all.

Everybody said it was painful because saying it was fun the first time would make them seem like loose characters. Another common thread I noticed was lack of arousal and adequate lubrication for the female. People just rushed into it even when they were tired after the wedding with expectant relatives giggling and asking questions indirectly the next day. Also, in most cases, no contraception was used on the first night.

I did not get why everybody made such a fuss about how painful it was or maybe I did. This was just a way to control women, their bodies and their sexuality. Sex is not painful the first time, if the woman is aroused and properly lubricated.

P.S: I hope this helps someone who was searching for answers like me. 

Readers, did it hurt the first time you had sex?

Related Posts:

“In my own company in a cosmopolitan city, I know women who were horrified on the First Night.”

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

Question about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Indian loses online bid to buy Brazilian student’s virginity

An email: Also this is a genuine question and not a pornographic mail.

Tightey-whitey vaginas: The boys are depending on us

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

Gird Your Loins – Aarti Sethi, Kafila

“Porn is a discourse about sex and works like an educator about sex and gender.”

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

“…if this thing comes out my husband will think my wife is after all not that ‘pure’ or is not that ‘untouched flower’”

Question about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high court

Women and their unmentionables. Understanding Objectification.

This is a rambling and unedited attempt to understand why there is so much tolerance, in all Patriarchal societies, to Objectification of women.   

Many believe, and see it as obvious, that since women (unlike everybody else?) have bodies they should expect to be discussed, commented upon, condemned, stalked, hated, adored, sexually assaulted, respected, objectified etc.

Specially if the parts of the body being discussed have been sexualised – like legs, lips, eyes, breasts, ankles, back, belly, neck, midriff, shoulders, thighs, knees, toes, ears, mouth; because, why else were these body parts created if not for men  – to view, approve, own, disown, love, hate, honor, decide whether they are obscene or graceful, whether they look more attractive (to men) covered or uncovered, and how much covered or revealed?

This belief that women (or their bodies) exist to serve some purpose in men’s lives is reinforced when we hear numerous statements, like those that imply that our Skewed Gender Ratio is a problem – not because it indicates something seriously and evilly wrong with the society, but because it means there aren’t enough women for men to marry.

So, it’s obvious that when Deepika Padukone pointed out, “Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage.”, many of us can’t quite understand what she means.

[Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily.]

Because, the point for many is just that. She should not forget that she is a woman, and has breasts and a cleavage. She is supposed to keep them covered or lose all right to dignity or privacy (for want of better word).

Here’s a TOI comment that explains the attitude better:

“If a person is not ashamed to remove his/her clothes for whatever reasons there may be, then why make a big fuss about people peeking into the pics looking for something ‘more’. Lets not let ourselves down to a level where public scrutiny might shame us”

It’s not just breasts. Women are viewed as a collection of body parts and the parts have been transformed into objects that serve to attract, delight or disgust men. What other purpose do women’s bodies serve? Women (i.e. their bodies) it seems were created for men.

Try viewing legs (women’s legs) as means for moving from one place to another – it would be considered a radical and impractical idea by many – because non-radical or default or the ‘normal’ remains how they appear to the male eye. Like – whether or not they are modestly covered, how good or bad they look, what colour, shape, texture, size, covering appeals to men.

TOI says:

Deepika Padukone SHOWS off again !!

 

‘… when her dress went too far and a part of her unmentionable were visible for a second ..although it isn’t a blooper but we definitely caught something peeping out of her dress.’

How do women’s body parts become ‘unmentionables’?

‘Some 150 years back the women in kerala launched a feminist revolt for the right to cover their breast, women in kerala were not allowed to cover their breast; mostly this rule was applicable to lower caste women, when someone from higher caste would come she should show her breast to cover ones breast was considered a sign of immodesty. Brahmin women can cover their breast while venturing out but at home they had to be topless, shatriya women cant cover breast infront of brahmins and lower cast women couldnt cover breast infront of anyone. The cloth worn on lower part couldnt be lower than the knee.’ [Click to read more]

There are contradicting ways in which women’s bodies are objectified.

One is seemingly respectful, protective and caring, another is gallant, chivalrous and seemingly liberal, and yet another one is openly misogynistic. All involve sexualising of women’s body into parts and seeing women as objects created for men’s convenience.

1. One view claims to honor, worship, find graceful, love, adore ‘the beautiful women who give men life’ and who sacrifice their happiness and self interest for men.

They believe crimes against women would end if all men viewed all women as their mothers and sisters and if all women lived and dressed in ways that didn’t draw any attention to them (basically if women were not seen).

They don’t talk about incest or child abuse or other crimes against women and children inside their homes.

They might believe that West is the cause of all crimes against women in India. They believe sexual assaults happen because men are weak and fail to control their ‘natural’ urges and that such men should be castrated or hanged or stoned and spat upon. And they might believe that women are too good to have such ‘manly needs and urges’.

They might also believe that lesser evils in man can be reformed by the love of a good woman.

They, like others misogynists, insist that women’s bodies were created for men, the Uterus to provide male heirs (though beautiful daughters are needed too, or else there would be no one to provide loving care, tie a rakhi, wear pretty bichias and bangles, provide opportunities for kanya-daan, save the rituals, customs and culture etc. So, yes, they admit, daughters have their uses too. These are the people who would appeal to parents to have daughters but may believe that divorce and love marriages are social evils.

They don’t talk about what women in unhappy marriages should do, they believe good women know how to stay happily married and such women would rather die than bring dishonour to family.

This view urges men to ‘respect’ women like their own mothers and sisters, but says nothing about viewing women as humans – capable of feelings, failings or desires.

Those who hold this view won’t allow women to compare themselves to men. They insist that men are weak, spoilt, selfish, aggressive, crude and that’s okay because they are men. But women can’t afford to be like this and they mustn’t attempt that. Because women are special – they are mothers. (Yet they don’t think children should carry their mothers’ names and lineage forward)  They believe it’s okay for women to give up their families, names, identities and happiness for men. They are likely to admire women who suffer in silence, sacrifice and serve without complaining. And because all women are goddesses and those who are not are merely misguided, and should be still ‘respected’ and taught about their duty to ‘mankind’.

They don’t see much hope for a woman who is not found beautiful by men, which is why they feel they are being compassionate and reassuring when they insist that ‘all women are beautiful’. Occasionally they can be also be found assuring random women of their attractiveness to men, and then be hurt when women are not appreciative of their generosity.

It simply doesn’t occur to them to see women as people and not as bodies, beautiful or ugly or deserving or not deserving of men’s love. They don’t see that their view too is all about Men, because they believe it is a Man’s World and women can be very satisfied and lead fulfilling life if they made men’s convenience their life purpose.

They might also believe that everybody (not just those who can enforce it) has the right to decide what in women’s bodies is condemnable or controversial, moral or immoral, shameful or shameless, excusable, obscene, vulgar etc.

Women who ignore or disagree with this view are viewed as leading selfish lives devoid of men’s approval or worse, ‘men’s respect’ (though some of us might consider them Empowered). Which is why misogynists view women who do not wear traditional clothing as a threat to Patriarchy.

2. Another is a seemingly Modern Mindset where one hears claims like ‘I love women’.  

Why do they love women?

Because women are beautiful. Women are hot. They are perplexed when some women are not delighted (forget grateful, not even glad) to be loved by them. They admire a thing of beauty – and all women are beautiful.

This view does not see women as individuals.

But the world would be so boring (for them) if there were no women in it. They are fine with women ‘flaunting’ their bodies (the default is ‘covered’, if it is not covered, then the body it is attached to, has no rights over it). Beauty is to be beheld. So women should be free to enjoy the appreciation when they go ahead and ‘show off’. (Not covering is automatically ‘showing off’ or even consent)

Those who hold this view have been questioned by women and media for making statements like, “I love women!!” and clearly didn’t get why this was found offensive by some women. It wasn’t even about women. It was about what men loved. What kind of skin colours, hair volume and texture, clothing etc they preferred in women. What makes women attractive (to men). What women should do to win a man’s approval. Isn’t it awesome/fortunate to be born women in a world where men just can’t do without women.

This view does not talk about rights or respect and generally views male attention and approval as empowering for women.

3. A third kind of objectification is the blatant objectification where women and women’s bodies are viewed as man’s properties and dangerous for social harmony and are best kept covered, locked up, denied voices and rights. This view is generally criticised and those who hold it are viewed by all, including the other two above, as misogynists.

But for those who hold this view of women, there is no other way of life.Their honor lies in ensuring their cows, homes, women, crops etc are kept safe from other men. It’s all about men. Men own everything including women and their lives and their bodies.

* * *

Finally here’s a comment that comes close to what Deepikia Padukone probably feels.

I am astonished by TOI tweet. Would you react same if your genitals are being discussed in public.

I wonder if all those who don’t understand, would be fine if the parts of their bodies or lives and choices that are ‘not covered’ were to be viewed as ‘flaunting’ and were open to public scrutiny, leering, commenting and judgment. Though ofcourse their preferences are no reason for Deepika or anybody else to tolerate the same.

What do you think?

Why do societies get away with women being denied the ownership of their own bodies, covered, uncovered, attractive or unappealing (to men)?

Related:

The full extent of what urban India believes about menstruation is extraordinary

 Gujarat Police urges girls to stop wearing jeans, shorts

“So why do we wear clothes again??”

A response to: Why we think women activists should change their attitude of “wear what you like”

Why do Indian women like to wear western clothes?

What women ‘choose’ to wear…

Weird, funny facts about Misogynists.

Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily.

I think this is a positive. This simple statement makes so much sense,

“Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage.” 

It should start a much needed dialogue and hopefully influence in some small way, the way women’s bodies are viewed. As of now, everybody in India seems to know who owns women’s bodies – including the bodies of women in public spaces.

I also hope we hear more about how offensive it is to those who are directly affected, than to the brothers, fathers and husbands of some of them. We also must consider the possibility of some women not having willing male relatives to feel outrage of their behalf.

At the same time, it’s not surprising that many Indians can’t quite understand what  Deepika Padukone could possible mean. Because, the point for them is just that: She should not forget that she is a woman, and has breasts and a cleavage.

These comments on the internet should be read without anger or outrage,   because those who are saying this, probably believe what they are saying.

1. For this commentator – It’s all about Men.

Why on the first place show ur body to Men? Beauty is not skin show only . Deepika must realise it someday.

What men find beautiful. And what women must realise about men’s preference, i.e. women’s skin showing versus women’s skin covered. 

It’s not surprising that they think this way – because even when we talk about the Skewed Gender Ratio, we hear it’s a concern only because men need wives. And when we talk about protecting women from sexual assaults, it’s because they are men’s sisters and daughters. 

When do we hear about women as people with rights and feelings and Bodies of their own?

 

2.

I condemn the TOI article. At the same time, I sincerely think that by showing their physique only, most of these cine-stars make their living. So there is controversy here. I think we should condemn both.

Why do you think is this comment condemning ‘both’?

There is no doubt in his/her mind that a woman ‘showing’ her body is wrong – and that women need approval and deserve condemnation for attempting to view their bodies (and minds) as their own business.

So if a woman steps out of her home, and doesn’t keep in mind the preferences of men in the street outside, what else does she expect?

 

 

3. 

This comment is why objectification of women needs a post, many posts, maybe a tag. We should talk more about all the ways in which women are objectified. And if and how it influences women’s lives and safety.

what about item numbers ? what about leela ? dam maro dam . They show if they get money , when no mone?y. Rape and crime against women are increasing and they play a important part in that.

Also, rapes and crime against women are not increasing. The silence of survivors is ‘decreasing’. The confidence to report rape is increasing.The fear of being shamed, blamed and named is decreasing.

* * *

Many more misogynistic but mostly heart felt opinions on the links below.

Do these opinions matter? Do they influence women’s lives? I am sure those who hold these opinions do control the lives of ‘their women’ – their sisters, wives and daughters.  I am confident that Deepika Padukone’s assertion is a step in the right direction. Specially since she did get a male friend or relative to speak on her behalf.

Deepika Padukone Should Consider it a Compliment: ‘Defence’ of Cleavage Tweet

Yes, I’m a woman, I have breasts and a cleavage, Deepika Padukone slams leading daily; Bollywood stands in support

OMG: Deepika Padukone exposes cleavage!

Some related Posts:

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

That special combination of beauty and innocence, the pretty inspires men to protect and defend it.

Kangana Ranaut’s interview.

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

My skirt is not your license, pervert. – A splash of my life…

 

 

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

Patriarchy and Misogyny can’t survive without controlling female sexuality.

If the society stops punishing non-patriarchal expression of female sexuality, then nobody would care that chastity is romanticised and rewarded with    ‘approval’. Then rapes will be seen as crimes against people (not as crimes against honor, patriarchy or loss of virginity etc). Meaning, women will then be treated as people, and hurting them will be a crime.

We will see other changes too.

It will all begin with acknowledging that female sexuality exists.

Please read:

When women ask for it: Veena VenugopalKafila.org

“When did desire become a male privilege? There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist…..

Truth is, female desire is as much a brute force as male desire….

Some of us take risks to indulge our desire. Some of us fight it, telling ourselves why this particular one is not good for us…

We probably don’t talk about what we desire enough. But we certainly think about it. So this will probably come as a surprise to you. When you proposition us, on the road, in the bus, or at a movie theatre, and we say no, we are not saying that we don’t feel any desire. We are simply saying that it’s not you who we desire.”

Related posts:

“Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.”

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

Why exactly do we disapprove of Live-in relationships and Premarital sex?

She doesn’t feel any attraction or liking or even friendliness for the guy. No ‘Connection’

The coroner concluded that she was ‘sexually active’.

An email: Also this is a genuine question and not a pornographic mail.

13 things Indian Misogynists believe about men’s mothers and sisters.

“A clandestine, and irresponsible, affair may prove dangerous. A city girl learnt it the hard way,”

Live in Relationships: The man gets a temporary disposable wife?

Delhi Belly: Indecent, immoral, abusive language. Permitted everywhere except on screen.

Practical Paro Artless Chandramukhi (Dev D)

Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

This anonymous email from a 35 year old married woman is about the discomfort she felt when she bought condoms. Why the discomfort? Maybe because it indicated that she might be involved in what the condoms were to be used for? Or that she might be involved enough to want to make it safe for herself? She is not supposed to want, think about, preferably be too ‘innocent’ to even know about sex – to be a good Indian woman.

This email reminded me of two recent books by Indian bloggers.  In ‘A Bowlful of Butterflies’ Ritu Lalit’s heroine is confused by her attraction for her young cousin, but she is not confused or ashamed that she should feel an  attraction. Honest, Practical.

“Her giddy heart had created a love story out of a simple kiss.

Okay, her first kiss, she amended the thought. She shook her head and smiled. No, Chandu, it’s not your giddy heart, it’s your unbridled lust!”

I think young Indians and their parents might want to take a look at this simply written, lighthearted book that deals with many serious issues.
Kiran Manral’s heroine thinks her husband looks ‘good enough to eat’ in his green linen shirt, but she also has mildly sinful thoughts about other men  ‘within the range of her vision’.

“But as a respectably married woman, it was unseemly to stare at a man, specially when the husband was growling at one’s arm, therefore I contented myself with pointing him out to the spouse, and saying, ‘There,  one more early bird. Do you know him?'”

Kiran Manral is also very, very funny.

“You would think a man might be curious about why he had been roused from sleep. You would think he might even be happy being roused in the middle of the dark  night, by a loving spouse all wide awake and alert.”

But I am sure even Kay Mehra and Chandu might hesitate to buy condoms.

This is Savitri’s email.

Hi IHM
I wanted you to post this on your blog and I want to know the response.

Today I went to a super market and purchased condoms. I am a female, 35 married and I have one baby. As I did this, I was so nervous that one packet dropped off the self. I ran from that place without looking back. And when I was at the billing counter, I was straining my neck to see if there was some woman at the counter. Unfortunately no!
The young chap that billed the goods  gave me one look. As it is I was feeling very uncomfortable and I started feeling all the more awkward. Luckily there were no men standing in line after me, two very young modern women and I breathed easy momentarily.

This is my body! this is my life! I have a career, a well flourished one .
Why cannot Indian woman do this task? Why is this taboo?
I feel as if I did a sin (it is 9:30 in the night and I feel awkward !!! I am worrying if I should tell the husband. He would be very upset when he knows when I went ahead and got it !!!

Let me add that my husband and I have been using barrier protection. It is not a case where he is averse to it and I went ahead. Just that he has been busy. I have been reminding him many times !! that’s it !!
Though multiple times. he has requested me to get some other protection done, I haven’t done fearing hormonal changes on my body

I would appreciate if you just post the content w/o passing user info etc

A woman not being able to buy condoms is only one symptom. There are many others, like little children not being taught about ‘good and bad touch’, victims of sexual assaults being taught to be ashamed, Moral Police getting away with harassing young couples… what’s the real issue?