My thighs have been deliciously aching for the last two days. A delicious thigh ache is usually caused either by really raunchy sex the previous night or by a new exercise regime. In my case it’s the exercise that’s the culprit; been doing some serious cardio-crunches-and-what-not for the last two days.
From weighing 37kgs in May 2008, I am now a healthy 48kgs. Only that most of the ‘health’ is accumulating around my thighs and belly. Boobs too. I have had enough of not fitting into jeans I bought some months back or my bikini bra strap snapping off because I am too heavy to be, er, ‘encupped‘. Ok, I am lying. I don’t mind the bikini bra not fitting as long as it’s the cups I’ve outgrown and not because my back is too broad for the strap (it isn’t, am still a svelte 24 inches baby!).
Knowing that I am more of a self-help kind of person - not into joining fitness clubs etc - I have bought myself a DVD and have been sweating it out with the trainers on it. Partner has been killing himself laughing and at his most-irritating, keeps imitating the way the trainers sound on the DVD. But never-you-mind, I will have the last laugh once I am in the shape I want to be in - Partner says he quite likes the way I am, what would he know? His main concern is that I would ‘shrink’ in some strategic areas (you know…). Hrmph.
The exercising apart, the Christmas season-going-into-new-year has been full of heavy socialising. Since I hardly know people here, most socialising involves meeting up with Partner’s school and college (‘uni’ here) friends. All the hello-hello with people has lead to some interesting observations and conversations. A lot of the talking-noting centres around sex -- not just me, others talk of it too, grin -- and how things are different in India and Australia.
While ‘picking up’ -- having sex with people you don’t know before you sleep with them (often not even after that) -- is common in both India and Oz, there are some significant differences. For one, unlike India where even people who have threesomes every night will pretend they don’t do it; folks are more open about things here. They don’t get into ethical and moral dilemmas about random-sex-with-strangers (or about sex for that matter, an Indian speciality I say).
Having said that please don’t assume that Australians are cool about random sex. Just like India, majority of the population here is conservative and looks down upon pre-marital sex. Virginity is considered a virtue too; though increasingly difficult to come by!
Another significant difference vis-à-vis sex is the complete ignoring of condoms or condom ads.
Going by the ads on the tele, ‘shock therapy’ seems to be the most-preferred advertising tool. From drink-driving to road safety to health issues and workplace safety, advertisements use shock to relay their message. If it can be said with a smashed head, they’d do it.
The society is also health obsessed… from ‘green TV’ ads (stupid, stupid ad by ABC with TV sets sitting on a jungle floor…what was the point?) to numerous ads on the latest tablet in the market. Yet, there is not a single ad that I have seen that promotes condoms. Given the openness about sex, given that the drinking age is 18 and is celebrated, given that the youth is allowed far more licentiousness than in India -- the in-your-face-variety, not the we-do-but-don’t-accept thing -- one would expect condoms and SAFE SEX to be a priority. Going by the ads, it’s not.
I asked the people I have been meeting about this complete lack of condom ads. The response -- by this doctor chick -- was that since the percentage of AIDS/HIV has gone down, condoms are not a priority. Yet the doctor also mentioned that STIs and STDs -- especially gonorrhoea -- are on the rise. Another girl mentioned, hesitantly, that it perhaps has to do with Catholic beliefs. The “children are god’s gift” kind of beliefs.
While I respect religious beliefs that promote having children… what religion promotes STIs? Or children who will be left to fend for themselves because the father doesn’t want them? Or maybe because the mother wasn’t ready? I don’t understand… isn’t safe, responsible sex supposed to be one of the stipulations of a developed nation/society?
One big commonality between Australians and Indians is the way both people get tight-lipped and judgemental about… Pornography. The research subject for my first term paper was user-generated pornography. The kind that has ‘regular’ people -- as against porn stars -- shooting videos of themselves and putting it up on the Internet for free. I remember it was my friend Pirate who had gleefully shared that link with me…
From snide comments to sniggers and oh-she-talks-porn looks from certain high-and-mighty classmates; I was amused by the reaction that my choice of subject elicited. But chalo, the silver lining is that developed country or a developing one, some things bother all of us. Yet… erotic magazines are displayed alongside The Age on news stands, Channel 9 advertises sex phone lines, primetime television shows have ample tits to save spending on lad-mags (read porn) and adult centres and strip bars are on the same street as the biggest shopping mall… Confused or couldn’t-care-less?
My research on user-generated pornography ‘taught’ me quite a few things… Like busting the self-created myth that I cannot be shocked. DUDE! Some of the things had my eyeballs jump out of my sockets and roll about on my keyboard. Other things though were quite, er, illuminating.
Like adding new words to my vocabulary… ‘hebephilic’ and ‘teleiophilic’; they don’t refer to archaeology. Or that there are machines for sex. No, it doesn't mean a man who goes on, and on and on. Neither does it mean vibrators. More like, er, ‘sexborgs‘! Or (still) disbelieving that women can rape men. And realising that the female orgasm is NOT a myth. There are cupfuls to prove it’s true. Or how menopause and old age does not prevent raunchy sex. Really, it doesn’t… but you don’t want to check it out! Or really understanding what exactly a she-male means (and looks like!) and er, the operational aspects.
Or realising that I will never use the phrase, "I am strapping it on" or for that matter never be able to eat 'cream pie' with a straight face. Or more educational observations like the fact that India might consume a lot of porn, but it is waaaaay behind in production qualities. Or that there is a brand of feminism called "raunch feminism". And how the most hard-core stuff does not use condoms. Real life imitating fantasy? What do you think?
Did you know? 89 % of world pornography is produced by the US.
On that note...watch this, my favourite condom ad: