Are there any sex secrets left between the sexes? Or do we already know everything about each other? Are sexual modesty and coyness gone forever? If so, is that a good thing or not?

Do we need to return sexual mystery and modesty and mysticism between the sexes — or is all knowledge better than not knowing or being too shy to ask?

If we already know everything about each other — when was Pandora’s box cracked?

Was it an explosive event or a slow leading?

Can we ever privatize released awareness once set free in public?


  1. Hi David,
    I think people have more awareness (both in terms of anatomical/ physiological science and pleasure, theory and practice) about sex in USA than in other parts of the world.
    People have a general idea about others’ anatomy and physiology, people know how it functions and there is an over simplified concept of using it too.
    There is nothing wrong enjoying the natural phenomena, as there is no harm being modest either.
    It’s dangerous going to any extreme – taking “sex” as the only heavenly bliss possible on the earth trying to gratify the needs or seeking pleasure without considering the consequences or avoiding it in the name of customs, religion or something else.
    It is a deep connection between two human beings which expresses trust.
    In my personal opinion it is definitely a biological need but a little different than hunger or toilet habit, because it involves another human being.

  2. I know my parents know less about the opposite sex than I do. I don’t know if that’s because they don’t care or don’t know.

  3. Katha —
    So you think each gender knows more about the sexuality of the other gender more in American than in India? Is that by design or interest?

  4. That’s an interesting point about “generational sexuality” you’re making, arin.
    There is a new commercial on TV demonstrating the “Durex Ring” and it isn’t a ring given in contemplation of marriage — or maybe it is…

    I don’t think we’d see that sort of product advertised on TV 10 years ago — can you imagine it airing during the first run of “I Love Lucy!” or even “The Brady Bunch?”
    My, oh, my how the times and our values have changed!

  5. I think that commercial is too much information. I understand sex is fun but I also wish there was a condom attached or something else to say safe should be fun and safe.

  6. That’s a good point, arin. I think the commercial is a little crass — you expect an engagement and you instead get a sexual proposition. And why am I watching that? Sure it’s funny on a juvenile high school level but not terribly couth for the rest of us.

  7. I don’t think Ricky would even use that on Lucy if they had it back then. Or would he? He was pretty rowdy, I guess.

  8. I think history played a significant role in it, the intention was healthy in the first place – the over exploitation or commercialization ruined it – I guess.
    Indians are on another extreme side of the field – they refuse to acknowledge the existence of it in their regular life by moral policing, and then sneak around when no one is looking.

  9. Hi David,
    I think the Hollywood film makers must have a difficult time creating a really noteworthy or Academy-worthy sex scene these days.
    In the Golden Era of Hollywood, there was so much left to imagination. Bogey could just look at Elsa and it would be stimulating.
    These days, there is not a lot left to imagine. It becomes rather boring after awhile. That’s why I like vintage films of the 30s and 40s. I tend to like the 30s films better because of the rowdy lifestyle. The 40s censors curtailed it too much for my taste. They were almost in denial.
    I don’t like gratuitous sex in films, any more than I like gratuitous violence.
    A well-done sex scene, however, is not pornographic to me.

  10. Hi Donna —
    I think the older movies had more discretion about sexuality and that informed how the rest of society bent its morality. The sexes may not have had many secrets, but they pretended they in to be polite and discrete.
    Today, with crotch shots published aplenty from the famous — it makes one wonder if the stars have changed or if the method of reporting them has?

  11. Hi David,
    I don’t think the stars have changed. Bette Davis was a nympho, but in some of her movies, quite demure on screen. She hated it, too– being “window dressing” in her early movies. Liked much more to be the brazen hussy.
    I think the pap-a-rot-zie are dogs that get way too involved in the private lives of stars for a buck. They make me sick. They invade and destroy, all in the name of the almighty dollar.

  12. Hi Donna!
    I think the taste of the editors changed. They wouldn’t publish a crotch shot of Ms. Davis even if they had it. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or if it makes the freedom of the press less important when you censor the truth of what happened.

  13. Bollywood movies are basically Indian mainstream cinema, which is also known as “family movies” where everything ends up being utopian and fairy tale-ish, you see two people get attracted to each other and then what they do is a mystery –
    There is another phenomena which doesn’t fall in this category and known as “parallel cinema or art film” – it addresses some serious issues and conveys deeper message, you can expect at least some realistic sexual expression but those issues are extremely complex – so it fails to attract the mass.
    Bollywood fears to portray sex as something enjoyable.
    Fortunately, now a days movies are pretty realistic – even the mainstream ones – but in lesser numbers.

  14. Hi David,
    Yes, the taste of the editors changed– but who’s driving the camera? If the American people had wanted lusty action, they probably would have gotten it. \
    The movies of the 30s were all parties and martinis and people having extramarital affairs.
    By the 40s, we had good girl Ginger Rogers.
    In the 50s, escalation of morality, with a little sin thrown in.
    The 60s movies embraced the culture of anti-establishment.
    And on with the 70s, 80s, 90s and today. I think the movies reflects our societal values and preferences.
    If it won’t sell, the producers won’t make it!

  15. So you don’t think movies set the cultural standards of behavior?
    You think movies reflect society’s values instead of creating them?

  16. Hi David,
    Maybe some of the avant-garde films do but, generally speaking, I think the movies follow and reflect our values, as any cultural art form does.

  17. Hi Donna —
    I think I’m going to have to disagree with you. I think the movies set cultural values because their reach is so great.
    I look to James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Diane Keaton, and Sinatra and Elvis and I see their style reflected back into the culture as icons of style and presence. They are originals and the world copied them, not the other way around.
    Beyond mere stars, one only needs to look to children’s movies to see how the movies embed values and wants in children via advertising and fast food tie ins — those values are created and sold not imitated and propagated.
    Other types of movies create buzz and wants and even health officials realize the cultural power of cinema by asking the characters in the movies not to smoke because the influence on the audience is so great and imitative.
    We wouldn’t need a movies rating system unless people were seeing on the screen something new, dangerous and influential.
    Movies are culturally reflexive, not reflective.

  18. Hi David,
    I’m going to stick my neck out on this one.
    I do see Sinatra and Elvis and Audrey’s presence in the movies, but not as a defining moment on values or culture. Sure, we copied them and imitated them, but the plots of their movies, the “essence,” so to speak, reflected our values and culture and mores and not the other way around.
    James Dean was a rebel, Audrey was a beautiful and intelligent gem, but the dramas they portrayed were not of their own making. They did not write the scripts. They did not produce the movies. They were but pawns, although influential pawns, in the game. The producers reigned. The producers are not going to put money, generally speaking, into a film that is so off the wall that it won’t go.
    Of course, it does happen. There are the sleepers.
    Art is reflective. It may be innovative, like Picasso’s cubist style, but it ultimately reflects our deep sense of reality. We did not follow him, we merely embraced his forward thinking.

  19. Hi Katha!
    I’m glad you’re joining in the conversation about reflexive or reflective!
    What is is about movies that makes them culturally reflexive in India?

  20. Donna —
    One need only look at the movie newsreels to realize the effect on movies from a culture. Those edited images set the tone and expectation in towns and in people. The Nazis knew the power of the cinema on a culture and that’s why so much money and effort was dedicated to costuming, semiotics and parading: They were setting the culture in stone via celluloid.
    How do you explain the explosive influence of Star Wars in a culture?
    You can’t cleave the star from the plot and I disagree producers reigned. The stars reigned when it came to setting cultural standards and values and that is why their personal lives were so diligently protected –- if the illusion of the façade was broken, then their cultural influence could not be maintained.
    Art is not reflective. Art is reflexive. That’s one of the first lectures I give to my theatre students. Reflective is dead. Reflexive is alive and eternal.

  21. Donna —
    I don’t think culture is changed in bits. It is changed by explosive concussive happenings.
    Actors rule Hollywood. They created “Star Power.”
    Einstein did not change or influence cultural values. You’re trying to change the argument. Einstein influenced scientific thinking. He was also reflexive and not reflective.
    “Inspired admiration for acting” is reflective thinking. That is a boring and dead notion — and not terribly persuasive or interesting — the definition of reflection.

  22. Hi David,
    Enjoying our joust.
    How do actors change our culture?
    After all, they only portray what is in the script.
    They do not, unless they write the script, define the script.
    They are only pawns in the game of Hollywood.
    Okay, maybe their wondrous interpretation can somewhat alter the fate of mankind, but I believe it only serves to exalt them as actors, not movers and shakers!
    This is great dialogue, David! 😀

  23. Actors rule Hollywood and influence our culture.
    Always have.
    Look at the red carpet.
    Look at the magazines.
    Look at those who are paid to set the trends.
    Politicians court the Hollywood elite. They need their money and the shine from their star power.

  24. Hi David,
    “Actors influence Hollywood and influence our culture.”
    How true this is.
    But do they change it in big bites– no!
    If they do change it, it’s in little chunks. This is not to dimish the change. An actor that changes the course of humanity even by one degree is influential.
    i think this lauds the changes that we all effect. If we can change the couse of humanity by only a small increment, doesn’t that speak volumes about out power over mankind? It is an accomplishment, because it gives us some control over our destiny.

  25. Well, Indian film industry is probably one of the oldest movie industries in the world that dates back to 1913.
    It started featuring all the epics which were used to staged back then, revolved mostly around religion. People were fearful of super power and believed in its existence. Later, movies have a significant impact on India’s independence, later it showed how to be a social rebel…
    I am not sure about current “formula movies”, but at always emphasizes on family values, I think that is another reason of Indians believing in moral policing.
    I have a different question for all of us. I mean – you, those who are married. Is marriage all about “creating life”? Or, there is a question of trusted companionship too?

  26. Thanks for the keen history lesson, Katha!
    Marriage is mainly a business relationship and that encompasses children, taxes and healthcare — love is the cover that gets you into bed and then you’re in it to propagate wealth and wellbeing.

  27. You are welcome David!
    The difinition you provided about marriage is a bit generalized I guess, because if that was the only reason to get married people wouldn’t have stayed married – not you either.
    Though I am not married, I think shared companionship plays a significant role those who are honest and genuine – but I might be delusional – as I am yet to have any first hand experience.

  28. Katha —
    Companionship can also be found in pets and friends. 😀
    If marriage didn’t have financial/business intent — there wouldn’t be tax credits for children, marriage credits or health insurance. Society rewards married couples more than single people.
    One way to test the bonds of marriage would be to offer a flat tax not based on marriage status or children and offer universal healthcare coverage.
    Many marriages would dissolve because the financial protections and vested interests will have been rendered meaningless — and that’s why those things will never happen.
    Governments have reasons for binding people together legally — to propagate the tax base in the birth of new citizens, to prolong the taxpaying life of its citizens and to build and create new businesses by tempering supply with demand.
    Single people cannot be pinned down to a region as easily as a married couple and that’s why being single is so harshly punished in the tax code and in other life endeavors.

  29. Are you saying you were married and are still married for all those reasons above?
    You can’t share anything with your pet (starting from food to life experience or books or a good movie) and friends have their own lives. They are like cats – will be there when they want to be. 😀
    Cooking for someone close, I mean for husband or wife and share the food together is the “free” part of that business relationship I geuss! So be it!

  30. Katha —
    If you’re looking for human companionship, you don’t have to be married to have that.
    If you want to be accepted by mainstream society, then getting married is important. Single people are dangerous, mistrusted and outside the cultural norm.
    That’s why there are so many institutions set up to forge and “honor” marriages — from churches to courts to schools to hospitals.
    Society demands cohesion and form and pairing up opposite sexes is a good way to start building a social structure that can be controlled.

  31. Even though we might think we know everything there is to know, we would be wise to realize that there will always be secrets to still be discovered. Even in this day of everything goes, men and women still crave romance.

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