On January 14, the Aziz Ansari incident surfaced on the internet and before we knew it, the world was talking about the issue of ‘consent’. A 23-year-old woman was sexually molested, and just like every other brutal atrocity, this one went through a social media trial as well. The verdict was in complete extremes – one that blamed the victim and one that blamed the accused. The only takeaway was the dialogue it opened about an issue no one was talking about.
In this particular incident, clearly, the perception of consent that Ansari had was different from what ‘Grace’ had. It was a date that went terribly wrong, and honestly, it can happen to anyone. The question here is not who to blame – but understand the situation at its grassroots level and question why it happened in the first place.
Sex – How Men Define It Vs How Women Define It
Time and again, it is said that men perceive sex differently than women and while, it’s absolutely okay to have a difference of opinion – it is also important to understand certain things from the opposite sex’s perspective. It’s necessary to talk about sex with your consenting partner. Not understanding the general differences between men and women in how they view sex can cause certain expectations that might lead to misunderstanding, frustration, disappointment and even molestation.
The Conversations We Should Be Having
1. Bad Sex
We asked men how they define bad sex and while most answers were hinted in the direction – “When I don’t reach climax, it’s bad sex,” for most women, bad sex is painful. Studies show that 30 percent of women report pain during sex, and don’t tell their partners when sex hurts. The degree of bad sex ranges from ‘no climax’ to ‘it was painful’ and that just says so much about the different perspective men and women have.
2. Good Sex
While we were interviewing people, we also asked them what good sex is and while again, it was simple for men to straightforwardly say, “It’s when I am completed satisfied,” for women, it was more about the intimacy and of course, whether they reached climax. The difference here is how men and women approach sex, in turn, to make it satisfying for themselves and for their partner too – and it’s important both partners understand that.
3. What Makes People Uncomfortable In Bed?
This was a subjective question – there are different things that make men and women uncomfortable in bed and that’s exactly why it’s important to know what might or might not make your partner uncomfortable. The lack of sex education has created a block, which doesn’t let you open up and discuss these things and it goes for both men and women. We are ready to compromise our sexual experience, but we are not ready to say, “No,” or “Stop.” We’d rather stay quiet than be embarrassed, right?
4. How To Know If Someone Isn’t Interested?
The very first time we started to communicate after coming into this world was through emotions, facial expressions, and actions – and that’s exactly we know how to assess if someone is interested or not. it’s extremely important to make sure that your partner is having a good time.
When we asked this question, the answers were that the partner might cringe, or their facial expression will reflect they are not interested, they might push back, etc.
5. How To Respectfully Back Off?
So what next then? Once you know your partner is experiencing discomfort – how do you deal with that? It’s simple, actually. You ask for permission before doing anything first, ask them if it makes them uncomfortable. If it does, back off and respectfully apologise. Make sure they are okay and when the situation lightens up, talk to them about what went wrong and try to fix it.
So, Let’s Bridge This Gap, Shall We?
It’s the 21st century and while, we are all on a rampage to remove the stigmas attached to sex, we need to start back from basics and bridge the gap between men and women when it comes to perceiving sex. Sexual awareness is important and clearly, what sex is to men, it’s not to women. Now that we have identified this problem, let’s head towards finding a solution – which starts with these conversations. The question now is, are you ready to bridge this gap?
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