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When you wear sex on your sleeve.

THERE have been many reasons for celebration lately.

The Women's Reservation Bill has made it through the Rajya Sabha, just months after section 377 of the IPC was abolished. So both women and the gay community can anticipate a new lease on life ( well, almost). While we'll have to wait a bit longer to witness the impact of the women's Bill, the legitimisation of homosexuality is already creating some waves. Gay networks have sprung up overnight on Facebook, a trend set by Celina Jaitley who used this social networking site last year to form an online petition group to abolish Section 377. Groups like Queer Delhi are hosting rocking " queer friendly" parties in prime nightclubs in the city from Manre to F- Bar. India's first gay and lesbian magazine, Pink Pages , can be read online.

All of a sudden, it's become fashionable to hang out with gay people, largely so that they can be discussed later with straight friends: How well they cook, their extreme level of sensitivity, how stylish they are, and so on. Anyone who is invited to a gay person's home is considered especially privileged, though the winner of the Most lib- Abhishek Bachchan and John Abraham pretend to be a gay couple in Dostana eral person of the year contest is the one who has dinner regularly with a guy who has undergone a sex change operation.

Pick- up lines are no longer a male prerogative. It's become fairly commonplace for one woman to approach another at CafE[umlaut] Coffee Day or a five- star hotel lobby and ask her if they've met before, or simply compliment her on her purple handbag. The only fallout of this scenario is that even if this is intended merely as a friendly gesture, the assumption is that she wants something ' more'. Debates about the causes of homosexuality -- whether this is genetic or due to an inordinately close relationship with one's mother -- have been replaced by those about whether the guy in office who wears pink shirts is gay or not. Or whether the woman with terribly short hair who strides up and down the hall is butch after all? She does wear pants that are far too flared at the bottom, after all.

Appearing broad- minded is undoubtedly the need of the hour and everyone is trying hard. Despite this, gay people manage to disconcert, just because they are so blatant about their sexual preferences.

Sex almost identifies them, even while it shocks us: For a gay man to declare his attraction towards another male is almost as scary as a heterosexual male's admission that he wants to bed his wife's best friend. In both situations, our notions about sex and sexuality are challenged. In fact, anyone who falls into one of the following categories is breaking the rules: You are bored with marital sex; you want to have, or are having sex with more than one person; you believe sex is for pleasure rather than procreation; you want sex more than three times a week; you are above 50 and still have erotic feelings; you want sex anyplace other than in the bedroom; you are attracted to a person of the same gender.

If you are guilty of any or all these behaviours, you will either be branded promiscuous, perverted or Tiger Woods. There's no escaping the label, so you may as well go ahead and wear sex on your sleeve anyway. The least you are guaranteed is some erotic satisfaction.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 14, 2010
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