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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Share Your Sexual Desires With Your Partner Or Sex Will Be Like A Dull Task For You: Artist Priya Dali

  • IWB Post
  •  October 6, 2018

“Chhup ke karo sab but when it comes to having an open mind about it, tauba-tauba!’ Even at 22 years of age, I still think twice and look around in all four directions before saying the word ‘sex’. Our society has learned to hide their sexual life with a weird intensity and to the extent that they immediately mark someone as ‘ashleel’ for their open thoughts.”

The last time we chatted with artist Priya Dali, she had, well quite effortlessly explained the plight of countless individuals (including me) when it comes to approaching the topic of sex. Centuries of mindless societal conditioning has programmed us to fear anything even remotely connected to sex. Well, its high time to ditch these rules and accept that yes, we enjoy sex, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Priya Dali

And that’s what our campaign, UNBLUSHING is all about- breaking age-old norms and reclaiming our sexuality. And who better than Priya Dali, who identifies as a queer, to tell us how to reclaim our freedom and our sexuality. Excerpts:

Priya, people often have this confusion with the word ‘queer’, does it ever hinder you
when it comes to your sexuality?
Basically, the literal meaning of the word is strange, odd, peculiar, weird. And that’s how we
have been treated by society – something that falls outside their definition of ‘normal.’ But, as we know, it is a sexual identity of people like me, who do not correspond to established ideas of
sexuality and gender, especially heterosexual norms.

Priya Dali

Priya’s mission is to take out the ‘haw!’ out of sex with her art and make an individual’s gender identity their right and not something they are ridiculed for.

The people who truly matter to me have always accepted me as I am, sans any judgment. So, with them me coming out wasn’t a struggle, I didn’t have to reclaim it for I never had to hide it in the first place. The world is a big place, Apeksha and people are entitled to have judgments, what matters is whether I let it ruin my peace of mind or not.

But the twisted mentality some people possess can sometimes undo the most patient individual. Did you ever feel that enough is enough, that you were done with people and their so-called ‘definitions’ to describe you?

Yep, sometimes. Especially when there were heated debates going around about Section 377 and people were hellbent on defining them according to their opinions. I felt the need to stand up, give a voice to my thoughts to highlight the fact that we are not different from others. We too feel pain, emotions, aspirations, hope, desires. I wanted to ask if those very people would be able to differentiate us from a crowd just on the basis of our sexual identity. Not possible, right? Then why these continued attempts to prove that we are different, alien even?

While this mentality may take eons to turn positive, what about our own reservations to accept our sexual desires?

We grew up so constricted, limited by our upbringing that the mere idea of being open and frank about sex is enough to freak us out. We are scared by our own desires, left contemplating whether what we want abides by the norms of society. It is not that people don’t have desires but the only reason we are unable to share the same with our partner is all because of what was fed to us throughout the years as we grew- that HAW! equals sex.

Working on a funzz collaboration with the amaze @kadakcollective for Gender Bender 2018 and our theme for this year is ‘Boobs’! . . P.S. Poster concept by boss lady, @kritikatrehan ji 💥💥 #boobs #kadakcollective @sandboxcollective

398 Likes, 4 Comments – Priya Dali (@priyadali) on Instagram: “Working on a funzz collaboration with the amaze @kadakcollective for Gender Bender 2018 and our…”

We are so conscious of our bodies, afraid to accept it as it is and in turn unable to truly achieve intimacy. Our sexual desires depend on how we perceive our body, on whether we allow other’s judgments and pointless body standards to shake our confidence. You need to accept that you are complete, 100% beautiful as you are, and if the world doesn’t accept, well that’s their insecurities they have to deal with.

 

Exactly! While we are on the topic of accepting our body which allows us to acknowledge our sexual desires, what are your thoughts on the next tabooed process, as per Indian sanskaar– masturbation?

I would say that masturbation is equally important as pleasure and as a body necessity like blinking, breathing. In fact, it is more frowned upon than sex, which mind you is only ‘natural’ when it is done for reproduction- this definition is courtesy is of our law and societal mentality. So, self-pleasure is far from the above compulsion.

Priya Dali

Image source: Priya Dali’s Blog- How To Talk About Sex

But I personally believe that masturbation is a big help as a stress-buster as it activates certain points in your body and releases certain hormones. Pleasure plus health benefits, I mean come on, see the perks here!

Well, as you earlier mentioned, accepting our sexual desires is paramount but many find it difficult to relay the same to their partner.

It is very important. Unless you share what you want and how you want it, sex will be like a chore you do. Like with my partner, I like to tell what I desire. See, obliging to do as your partner wants is great but not telling them about your need is a big NO. I agree that conversations like this don’t just happen in one go, you ease into it. You start as two strangers, unaware and unsure of what works between you two, but as it progresses let the hesitation break, don’t let years of ‘societal-mental-training’ stop you from wanting, desiring, initiating.

As you said, there are years behind how we think about sex, didn’t you find it hard to break your conditioning to discuss your sexual needs with your partner?

Of course, I did! After all, I am, like others, the product of what people taught me. So, initially I retained a bit of fear towards sex and talking about it. Even today, I sometimes get rather conscious of what I want to tell my partner, so my MO is to approach the topic with a joke, laugh about it. It eases away my uncertainty.

I’m seriously loosing my shit thanks to my project but so is everyone else which helps me keep my shit together. Also I am drowning in guilt for not making something everyday for #notsurewhat #day230 #handlettering #shitbadge #shittyandproud #type #365daysofnotsurewhat

89 Likes, 2 Comments – Priya Dali (@priyadali) on Instagram: “I’m seriously loosing my shit thanks to my project but so is everyone else which helps me keep my…”

On your list of priorities, on what number is consent on?

The first one. It is what I practice in my relationship. As I said sharing is the key and that includes respecting the “Yes, I want to do it” and “Nope, not comfortable with that.” Sexual pleasure is necessary for both partners. Better to be honest than uncomfortable.

Well, that’s one advice to follow. How about adding another for others to discover the confidence to accept their sexuality as you did?

Accept yourself, own yourself, be comfortable with your body. Start out slow, but starting is necessary. Understand your sexuality or better, embrace it. Open your senses, be aware of it.

Touchy people P.S. Forgive me for the apostrophe on passwords. I forget spellings and grammar while writing 😭 #day228 #sexyouknow #typetalks #handlettering #type #365daysofnotsurewhat

93 Likes, 5 Comments – Priya Dali (@priyadali) on Instagram: “Touchy people P.S. Forgive me for the apostrophe on passwords. I forget spellings and grammar…”

Sex is one of the most basic of human needs and yet, as our Indian sanskaars go, one tends to go all HAW! and awkward at the mere mention of the word sex. An individual, especially if it is a woman or an LGBTQIA person, is ridiculed, shamed, and insulted for freely embracing their sexuality, something that Nayana had to suffer in abundance, which led her to shut down her own sexual needs.   

So, we at IWB decided to not let someone else’s judgment bring so much shame, guilt or stigma to us. Can’t a woman/LGBTQIA+ person want, have AND enjoy unapologetic sex and God forbid, with someone of their choice? Of course they can! Raising a toast to the independence we deserve, IWB has come up with the campaign, UNBLUSHING.

With our partner Lovetreats.in,, India’s women-friendly sex toys shop, we embark on our mission to empower these individuals by inspiring them to reclaim their agency in desire and exploring it. No Shame in the Game is our mantra and, thus, for our campaign UNBLUSHING, we invite you to bring your love/lust stories, to find power in the spoken word and set yourself free. Share how you listened to your fearless sexually-liberating voice, how you rose above the burden of the so-called shame of bravely accepting your sexuality.

We seek your stories to inspire, empower, and liberate those hesitant to make the first move towards claiming their agency in sexual pleasure. Tell us how you dared not to fit in a box of social sexual taboos but instead chose to live as you will – fearlessly, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up inspiring others out there!

You can reach out to us on hello@indianwomenblog.com. You can also DM your story to our Facebook and Instagram handles. (P.S. Confidentiality would be ensured if you ask for it).

But wait, we have something more in store for you all. Lovetreats.in is offering a 10% discount to everyone who uses our campaign name ‘UNBLUSHING’ as the coupon code. Now that’s some added pleasure, right?

 

 

 

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