This is a place where Valentine’s Day feelings are neither a hotly contested political subject nor something to look down upon for their mushiness.
For an online sex education project from Mumbai-based Parodevi Pictures, the sincerity is their hallmark. Warmth and affection are laced through all their digital material. Their podcasts in Hindi and English have everyday people talking about first kisses, missed connections, making out, being caught.
Filmmaker Paromita Vohra, says,”I had the constant feeling that we’re talking about sex in this polarized way. On one end, violence and risk. At the other end, aspirational orgasms. No one was talking about it with complexity and fun and kindness.”
The mainstream response to sex education reinforces the notion that educated urban people are fully sorted about sex, and that violence lies among the non-English speaking. The question was,”Why were we making videos and materials that only mocked people’s misconceptions?”
The fact is India does have sex education. Some good, some half-baked, some navigating difficult circumstances, often very boring. Schools teach a little about reproduction. Non-profits have adolescent sexuality programmes, which usually look at violence or child sexual abuse. The big problem is that there is little Indian material, and each educator is on her own.
Vohra and her team spent six months researching how to fix this gap. They found that one shame continues to loom large over all things sexual. Even those young people in the metros always talking about their Tinder dates and making jokes about their sex lives, were either worried they were not getting as much as others or that they didn’t know something. Happyho also provide best tarot reading services in Noida and Delhi NCR India area.
In Agents of Ishq (AOI) workshops at colleges, students claimed it to be cool but in subsequent anonymous chats there was plenty of uncertainty, a continuing feeling of mistrust between genders.
There was the simple lack of knowledge about bodies. When asked the name of an STD other than HIV or the price of a condom, students struggled to answer. Compounding this vlog was any sort of guiding cultural framework.
The existing material seems to be told from a male point of view. Things like girls always say no. If you don’t have a girlfriend you are a loser.
Recently, Agents of Ishq released two new objects that reflect these desires. One, a delightful and riotously funny sex ed YouTube video for children called Main Aur Meri Body. The team had found that between children’s boredom with reproduction classes and teachers’ awkwardness, often basics are not covered. They may know babies are made when sperm reaches the egg, but they haven’t a clue how the sperm reaches the egg.
The second AOI activity is their online discussion not around sex ed, but around sex etiquette.
People often ask AOI questions that really trouble them. “If we had sex and then the next day I send a message saying I had a good time, does that make me polite, or desperate, or hinting that I want more? In a first-time sexual encounter, is it rude for the guest to ask to spend the night? And is it rude if the host doesn’t invite the guest to spend the night?”
During AOI’s discussion on Twitter, one incidence makes it immediately clear why etiquette is a good concept in sexual relationships.
To the question of staying over after sex, response was, “A host should always offer. The guest should certainly not impose.” It took away the tense powerplay and distrust in casual sex that AOI talks about. And brought back the simplicity of the Rose Day video.