Living alongside with two of the biggest manufacturing giants of the world has made our clothes and others daily needs cheap and easy. Though the effect of commoditized environment on our daily lives is still beyond our gauge but perceptible signs are visible and could be easily discerned. The available choices on the market have given rise to the power and authority of commoners on matters like what to wear and what not. And the certain modicum of power over clothes means control over own body and also over the subject and the notion. Indeed what is body; if not clothes and clothes and little skin and insinuating bones? And add to it poverty our caste system (regulated society) to provide the needed materials and goods of society, forget the comfort and other things.
The sudden changes in the attire and sexual behavior of youths especially in capital and other cities have startled old eyes and minds. They do not believe what they are seeing and some have started becoming delusional. Or maybe these guys were doing too much daydreaming or watching too much porn because these are solely their matters and discursive subjectivities over present sexuality especially of capital city. Oral sex, threesome and an another guy a few weeks ago was writing in national daily about contemporary sexual practice and beliefs of city’s wannabe bride; a ritual check up of males’ sexual performance and only then yes or no on marriage. If Freud was alive today what he would have wrote on these daydreamers, better curve and carve it to artistic creations sons, masterpieces will be born.
Amidst this crap now comes the question how are we to appropriate and discuss the present liberal developments and attitude towards sexuality and body plus its image? Many are of doubtful mind and still think it’s nothing but mere façade and on the other side reality is different. Males are still patriarchal and most of our females are still in their triple burden of work from home to work to community. Very true but why not to add in these lists what Professor Chaitnaya Mishra has attributed to the rise of republicanism and secularism; the breakdown of families, massive internal and external migration and play of these global forces or the capitalism according to his belief which are now being centered our two neighboring countries India and China. And what about rise of middle class families in the urban sphere and their commodity relationship?
The question is why we are not attempting a holistic view and looking at the bright side? The males’ liberal attitudes to female sex and sexuality could turn him less patriarchal and how much it could make him malleable to new ideas like joint child rearing, housework and his efficient participation against rites and rituals like purity and pollution practice at times of women menstruation. The paucity of discourses over sexuality has indeed revealed our dearth of views and state instead; still in the mindset of procreation and overly focused on the relationship between vagina and penis.
Not a single talk over the subject of marriage though most of individuals of our society will be married at some stage of life? And without the discussing marriage how can somebody even dare to talk of sexual practices whether it’s threesome, oral, bisexual or anything? After 1999 sex survey of capital by Himal magazine over subjectivities like marriage, sex (sexual practices) and love a trend has been established to loosely talk over these matters. A doctor and a psychologist that too sometimes even without a name would be enough to provide sanction over these things. Sadly this scenario is out there borrowing the words of academician Pratyoush Onta due to the very little output of scholars and academicians over these subjects. Due to their over indulgence only in subjects like fertility rate and death rate and other United nations and UNICEF types of things.
The subject of body, its image and behavior and sexuality would be ‘the discussion’ of our everyday lives simply because we are sexual beings and also the rising middle class in the cities are quite comfortable with other necessities but not with the various topics of sexuality. Not to be forgotten along with rising middle class there’s a bulk of male population with money and power. No doubt all these fantasies and daydreams are most of their activities and outcome of their influence. Besides worlds and our own history of sexuality have informed us till it’s mainly about domination and deprivation. These two notions come into play while describing, affirming and in elaboration thus who talks matters. A family man, an old man, a teenager, a housewife, a heterosexual, a politician and a poor deprived journalist plus a box office hit and those weeklies.
Lastly the subjectivities like body, sex, sexuality and image has to be defined with post 1950 developments and events. Plus we have to be aware that we live inside a multi nationality state and their identities and culture treat sexuality in different way than the views of Manu and other Sanskrit scriptures. The ideas like democracy, equality, communism, feminism and our history with those ideas has rarely been related and tested with subject of body and sexuality and was always hidden and was kept out of reach. That seems quite necessary at present to move beyond body image fetish inundating our all forms of media.