01 February 2023 10:31

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Women who want sex are labelled easy: Leeza Mangaldas at Sahitya AajTak 2022

Sex-positive content creator Leeza Mangaldas and beauty editor Vasudha Rai talked about self-love, sex and a lot more at Sahitya AajTak 2022 in a session titled The Rituals of Self-Love.

Author and beauty influencer Vasudha Rai and India’s leading sex-positive content creator Leeza Mangaldas spoke at length about self-love, sex and their respective books, Ritual and The Sex Book, at Sahitya AajTak 2022. In a session titled ‘The Rituals of Self Love’ moderated by Chaiti Narula, Leeza addressed a question about why women do not communicate about pleasure with their partners and said how women are sl**-shamed if they talk about sex.

“It is one of the big reasons that I do the work that I do. Women should be able to assert their preferences. The reality is, unfortunately, many women are not given any information about their own bodies or pleasure,” Leeza Mangaldas, who has over 8 lakh followers on Instagram, said at the event.

“I wish women could easily communicate. But it is important that we recognize that these roles have been scripted such that the woman who communicates is a sl**, is easy. A woman who is sexually confident is judged. It feels dangerous for women to be sexually assertive. That’s a problem and the whole system needs an overhaul,” she said.

“The system needs a reboot on the types of expectations attached to how a gender should behave when it comes to sex. It is also not actually favourable for men in terms of the labels attached. A man who doesn’t want sex is a ‘loser’, a man who wants sex is a 'creep'. On the other hand, a woman who wants sex is called a 'sl**' or 'easy'. Otherwise, if you reject advances, you are called a 'b***h' or 'prude'. There are labels attached to both being sexually assertive or not wanting sex. Why are we attaching these labels? We should be able to navigate our sexualities without any sense of external pressure of judgment,” she said.

During the session, Leeza Mangaldas also talked about the importance of sex education.

“There is a misconception that many people have that if you provide young people with information about sex, they are all going to go rush out and have sex. But in fact, research indicates that young people who have access to sex education are more likely to delay having sex and less likely to take risks with their own or another person’s health. It, really, is in our best interest whether we are parents, educators or young people living with our parents, whatever we can do to initiate these conversations at home or school. It really is so much in keeping with progress and well-being and a more gender-equal society and healthy society,” she said.

Leeza also added that watching free, mainstream and large-studio-produced porn as the first visual reference point for sex can be very confusing for young people, as it is violent and misogynistic.

As for Vasudha Rai, whose book Ritual has launched recently, she also talked about sexual well-being. She added that massages are a great ritual when it comes to sexual well-being. “Massage is definitely one of them. You can give a massage to your partner. You can always indulge in the ubtans, she added.

She added that massages, in fact, are a beautiful act of self-love.

“Massage is very important. It is one of the many rituals (cited in her book). The thing is that massage takes time and motivation. And massage, especially, comes from a place of self-love. That’s why people don’t have time for a massage. But once you get used to it, it is about forming a habit. Which is why Ritual comes in,” Vasudha Rai said.

Vasudha Rai is a beauty editor, author, columnist and podcaster. Her debut book titled, Glow: Indian Foods, Recipes and Rituals for Beauty, Inside and Out, was released in 2018. Leeza Mangaldas is a sex educator who aims to normalise conversations around sexuality, sexual health and gender.

Read 332 times Last modified on Monday, 21 November 2022 02:00
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