"18 Again" launched with much consternation and hype a vaginal tightening cream. I am not going to talk about the efficacy of the product and neither is it to ridicule the product per se. Frankly, I don't care.
This is more to do with the hypocrisies associated with a product like this.
- The positioning of the product along with the commercial
- And more importantly sexual intercourse / sex is still looked as a matter which I dare say, most people enjoy but something which cannot be talked about in the open. What the f#@* (well ...fuck!)?
Positioning of the Product
'Like a virgin' - the heroine croons in the commercial. But unfortunately this advertising reinforces the sexist view in India that pre-marital sex is something to be frowned upon, a taboo which is even seen as sinful by some.
According to the company the cream empowers women but rather than empowering women it will reinforce the patriarchal view that is held by many here that women should be virgins on their wedding night. Well , what about the guys? Actually who cares what they do!
In India and with apologies to Cyndi Lauper the guys want to have fun. The girls should have a lock over their vagina and sexual calling. The hypocrisy of Indian sexual behavior is saddening. Is it not a woman's right to have sex when she wants to? Why should she remain a virgin until marriage? It is her personal choice on when she should have sex and not be decided by the warped societal norms. Infact a man with an active sexual habit is called a stud but unfortunately a woman is called a slut!
Sex and the Indian Mentality
I remember going to watch a movie with a few friends which included some women friends. There were some sexually explicit scenes. As if on cue, these ladies had a look of disgust when they saw the scenes and voiced their opinion against sex! And these were all educated women. When I questioned them about it, they admitted that they enjoyed what they saw and would actually think about those scenes many times over.
A lot of skeletons have fallen out of the cupboard of our so called lawmakers and religious practitioners. On one hand they talk about sex in hushed tones and on the other they have had super charged libidos. This shows the startling hypocrisy of Indian society.
When the condom brand Kamasutra was launched in India there was a furore when the famous photographer the late Prabuddha Dasgupta shot Marc Robinson & Pooja Bedi (which I believe was aesthetically done) for the advertising campaign - a series of black whites which did the task well of selling condoms. There was a hue and cry about the campaign with politicians having a field day criticising it. My point is that condoms are for sex and not to blow balloons! And very frankly, things have shown a marginal improvement only.
The hypocrisy is even more blatant when India is amongst the most populated nations of the world. I am very sure that procreation did not happen through storks or holding hands. If any country deserved the ‘nation of jack rabbits’ tag – it would surely be India.
Even now, I see the Indian man asking for condoms at chemist in a hushed tone as if he was apologetic about it. The chemist in turn would give the box back neatly encased in some paper which did not show the packaging. Infact a condom brand actually highlighted this in a campaign. Even in the movies, we have two bees circling around or two flowers swaying in the wind.
While Indians are moving to the forefront in many fields their attitude towards sex has really not kept pace.
However let me assure you I do not subscribe that we should have procreative pleasure in the open. I am not recommending that people go the extreme in a free bohemian kind of open lifestyle. It is just that people need to move with time and open their minds.
On another note would I recommend “18 Again”? My suggestion would be to ask ladies to exercise a bit and forget these gels and creams. Anyway most of sex is between the ears!