I just finished reading the book Cyber Sexy (rethinking pornography) by Richa Kaul Padte. It was recommended by Rohan Joshi in his IG stories few weeks back and I put it on my must read list. Honestly, I didn’t think a book about sex would have any new ideas. I thought I knew everything. How wrong was I. This fantastic book is refreshingly non moralistic, feminist, non judgemental, open minded, has lots of research and is based on interviews with real people in India. Certain aspects of the book I wanted to elaborate upon.
The easy access to internet has empowered women to express themselves. From sharing selfies to nudes, sex and sexuality aren’t restricted to the bedroom alone. A male friend called me “attention seeker” when I posted another pic of my legs on IG. He immediately apologised but it made me think. Do we judge a man’s feed when he posts pics of his calves, thighs, bare chest etc? No, we don’t. In this country, we are used to seeing half naked men even on the streets. Why is it a shock when a woman posts similar pictures? Which line has been crossed? Who makes the rules? Is the pic offensive or are men just shocked by their response to the pic? Maybe my pic is hurting their morality and the lines they have drawn for themselves and the women around them. Am I this confident in person? No. The anonymity of the internet gives me that freedom. The validation from strangers and acquaintances encourages me to post more such pictures. Is it a bad thing? Not in my eyes. Someday these pictures will stop shocking the men around us because they will get used to them.
The first nudes I saw were my friend’s neighbour’s when I was in college. Considering he lived in the outer suburbs of Ahmedabad, his parents were quite progressive and gave him privacy with his DSLR and internet connection. He was (still is) a good looking guy with an average body but the nudes weren’t about his body. They were art and beautiful. He used lighting to focus on certain aspects of his body and the mood. He offered to click my nudes but I turned him down with “I don’t have the body confidence to get naked in front of you and pose for pictures”. I was 18 years old, skinny af and had a flat tummy. I guess confidence has nothing to do with body shape and size. Today, nudes are all around us. There are accounts on IG where women and men post nudes. They get shared in private chats. Internet has made us proud of our bodies and we are not embarrassed about sharing them.
(I did take him up on his offer when my parents wanted pics clicked for matrimonial purposes. This was my form of compromise. They get the pics but who clicks them is my decision. They would get a heart attack if they knew I asked a photographer whose nudes impressed me to click those pics).
Who decides the age of consent? Nobody is waiting to turn 18 years of age to have sex and definitely not to share nudes and sext. According to Indian laws, anyone below 18 years who indulges in sexual activity can be imprisoned even if it is by mutual consent. Richa raises a very important and relevant question. Indian parents will have to deal with these issues in a few years. Should consent be the only decider for what is acceptable and what isn’t? So, if a 13 year old is sharing his/her nudes, that is perfectly ok because he/she is doing it with his/her free will. Maybe it should be a crime only if consent doesn’t exist.
Unsolicited dick pics are a big issue on the internet. If your DMs are open, you are sure to deal with this problem. Let me just say what other women aren’t saying openly – there is nothing sexy about a dick. It isn’t an organ that looks erotic or arouses women. The only gender getting aroused by the size/shape and pics of dicks… are the men sending them. It does nothing for the women. Leave something to the imagination.
Rules to follow when sending a dick pic:
- Unsolicited dick pics are a NO NO. Absolute No. There is no woman on this planet who will reply to the dick pic. If you are not sure the dick pic is wanted, don’t send it. Just don’t.
- Send dick pics only when asked for it. Else, it is a NO NO. Absolute No.
- Basically, wait for the woman to say “Send me your dick pic”. You should re-confirm her intentions by replying with “Was this message meant for me? Are you sure?”
Also, men, if we have to explicitly tell you this, it raises major questions about your gender in my mind.
Overall, this book covers a range of topics and important questions related to sex, porn, sexuality, feminism in porn and how the internet has given us access to explore our minds and bodies and not get limited by morality and society’s shitty rules for us.