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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Dr. Nisha Khanna On The Dichotomy Of Sex As A Physiological Need And The Emotional Aspect Of It

  • IWB Post
  •  December 10, 2018

Women’s agency and their stake in sexual pleasure is the last thing that we want to discuss or even pay any heed to as a country. It’s invisible, insignificant, and also inconvenient. The idea of a woman wanting, having, or enjoying unapologetic sex strikes so many as downright revolting, an abomination of the highest degree. We think it’s high time this skewed and deeply flawed narrative is changed for good.

Constantly striving to be a wholesome voice in contemporary feminism, IWB has thus come up with our latest campaign “Cuntry” to stand up for sexual choices of women for pleasure and not just for procreating.

Our campaign partner Kamasutra has joined us in our quest and will help us in taking you across the length and breadth of the country as we navigate the dynamics of women’s sexuality in India and attempt to free it from the confining fetters of repressed ideologies.

In a recent interaction with Dr. Nisha Khanna, we tried to find out the relationship between an individual’s emotions and sexuality and tried tracing the right way for women to take the conversation forward so as to reclaim their agency.

Here are some excerpts from the chat: 

Is there a connection between emotional and physical relationship amongst couples. Can we discuss a few cases of the same?

When you talk only about sex then it is a physiological need which has no connection with emotions but when we talk about intimate relationships like the one between a husband and wife then, of course, the emotions get involved and in fact play a huge role.

I will explain this with an example. I was once visited by a married couple. It was a love marriage and the couple had a healthy sex life before the marriage. However, things quickly fell apart once they were married, started living with each other, and started observing each other’s behavior. They had contrasting temperaments and this made them drift apart and lose sexual feelings for each other.

We are living in a pre-conditioned society, which also happens to be patriarchal in nature. And unfortunately, women tend to abide by the same ‘patriarchal’ rules even in the bedroom. What’s your take on the same?

I think patriarchy governs the bedrooms dynamics in our country to a large extent. This is very apparent from something as basic as who makes the first move. A woman, when she makes the first advance, is instantly judged for doing so.

Also, women are hardly informed about their own orgasms and what works for them which I think is a huge problem. I remember once counseling a woman who wanted to have sex in a certain way but when she pitched it to him, he immediately repudiated in a way that she felt like she was being called characterless. So that also is a big problem.

In your professional opinion, how does one break that framework to restore balance to any relationship?

The women should know about their orgasm and they should be aware of their bodies. If you are clueless about it all then using sex toys and masturbation would be a good starting point. I can’t stress this enough, you need to first understand your own body and get comfortable with it.

Once you have developed an understanding of your own body it’s very important for you to sit with your partner and talk about what you want, what makes you comfortable and what not and what you want them to do in bed.

Also, men need to understand that women have needs just like they do and thus they should participate in the sex talk instead of running away from it.

Why is it so hard for us to accept that women can have sexual needs just like men?

It is because we fail to understand that sex is a physiological need and has nothing to do with anything else whatsoever. I think the need is to develop a strong and sustainable conversation around the same.

Could you talk about a favorite mythological liberated woman character who can be an inspiration in today’s day and age for women about embracing their sexuality?

I think I’d name a fairly lesser known character here, i.e. Pallavi who was Bheema’s wife in Mahabharata. Despite the fact that Bheema clearly told her that he’d live with her only till they have a child and she could lay no claims over his life or the property, she readily agreed and had a son with him. She just followed her heart sans any expectations or inhibitions and I really think that it is a story to look up to. She in a way reminds me of Neena Gupta who has single-handedly raised Masaba while paying no heed to what the society has to say. More power to these women!

Follow the entire chat here:

Indian Women Blog

FacebookLive: Earlier today IWB engaged in conversation with Psychologist Dr Nisha Khanna to talk about breaking out from the cliched nuances of slotting women for her personal choices. As a part…

We invite you to bring your love/lust stories to find power in the spoken word and set yourself free. We’d love to know how you rose above the burden of stigma that the society so liberally throws on our shoulders. We seek your stories to inspire, empower, and liberate those hesitant to make the first move towards claiming their agency in sexual pleasure.

You can reach out to us on 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 to get you excited. Kamasutra is offering a 10% discount to everyone who uses our special campaign coupon code ‘CNTRYKS’. This discount is over and above current discounts /offers running on the KamaSutra range. (Approx. 15% discount is offered on all their products on the platform.) Now, how exciting is that! Click here to avail our reader special discount.

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