Let's Talk About Sex

09/12/2014 1:42 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Start of lyrics: "(Punch it, Hurb

Yo, I don't think we should talk about this

Come on, why not?

People might misunderstand what we're tryin' to say, you know?

No, but that's a part of life)

Come on


Let's talk about sex, baby

Let's talk about you and me

Let's talk about all the good things

And the bad things that may be

Let's talk about sex

Let's talk about sex

Let's talk about sex

Let's talk about sex

Let's talk about sex

Ladies, all the ladies, louder now, help me out

Come on, all the ladies - let's talk about sex, all right


(Yo, Pep, I don't think they're gonna play this on the radio

And why not? Everybody has sex

I mean, everybody should be makin' love

Come on, how many guys you know make love?)" - Single Salt-n-Pepa

This single from the album Blacks' Magic was released when I was ten-years-old. I heard the song much later and was drawn in by the lyrics. I remember discussing the song with my Mother and her explaining to me what the words meant... yes, my parents talked to me about sex.

They talked about the positive and negative sides of sex. They encouraged me to ask them anything I would like to know about sex. They encouraged me to confess my innermost feelings about a boy when I thought I was in love. They told me how sex was the most intimate expression of love between two consenting adults. They were never coy about answering my awkward teenage questions. And trust me, I had many questions. As I still do.

The song 'Let's talk about sex' highlights the importance of safe sex and the censorship that sex had in American mainstream media at the time. Talking about it clearly meant and continues to mean that it is perhaps the most powerful way to drastically reduce the incidences of sexual crimes against women, disease caused by unsafe sex, rise in teenage sex, abortions etc.

Sample this: an educated mother refuses to talk to her teenage daughter about sex because it makes her feel awkward; educated working parents who see a couple demonstrating affection to one another in the presence of their kids reprimand the couple with a "stop that! our kids are in the room"; and then there is that father who will never express any form of physical affection for his wife in the presence of his children.

Why do we find ourselves in such an awkward predicament when it comes to talking about sex with our children? Why do we feel so uncomfortable as a society to admit to our young and display to them how important physical affection is to nurturing a relationship?

I squirm at the thought that we are 'culturally' so deficit in imparting how important sex is to human existence. How pious, sacred and tender sex can be. How sex is pleasurable only when it is an act performed by consenting adults. How, even today, it is considered socially unacceptable for a single person to buy a condom. I squirm at the fact that the 'moral police' will charge their lathis on unsuspecting adults who are canoodling in a park or by the seaside.

According to recent studies, there is an indication that close to 90% of Indian youth is desirous to know more about sex but don't know who to approach. Another study indicates there is a drastic rise in teenage sex in rural and urban India.

I ask, if as a society we remain coy talking about sex, how will we ever be a healthier society that would not be a victim to titillation, obscene objectification and crimes against women?

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