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The Sanctity of Sex

Husn-e-jaanaa idhar aa, aainaa hoon main teraa,
Mein sawaarungaa tujhe, saare gham de de mujhe
Bheegee palkein na jhukaa, aainaa hoon main teraa…

Husn-e-jaanaa idhar aa, aainaa hoon main teraa…

Kitne hee daag uthhaye toone, mere din-raat sajaaye toone
Choom loon aa main teri palkon ko, de doon ye umar teree zulfon ko
Le ke aakhon ke diye, muskura mere liye
Meri tasveer-e-wafaa, aainaa hoo main teraa

Teree chaahat hai ibaadat meree, dekhataa rahataa hoon soorat teri
Ghar tere dam se hai mandir meraa, tu hai devi, main pujari teraa
Sajde sau baar karoon, aa tujhe pyaar karoon,
Meree aagosh mein aa, aainaa hoon main teraa.

[I write these Mukesh lyrics, not because they have been haunting me, but because I want to show that the sentiment that I write about is not new or revolutionary. It has been here a long time, living, breathing among us… inspiring songs. It’s traditional, it’s authentic, it’s Indian, it’s timeless.]


Our common experience is that spousal relations grow dull over the years. Some of these relations are not very bright to begin with. Even the honeymoon is a damp squib, a story of hopes betrayed and desires denied. I now understand why. It’s because we fail to take the right attitude, the right mental stance, towards each other’s needs. What I say may apply to all needs, but for the sake of clarity, let us focus on sexual needs.

Our needs are not burdens… not on us, and not on our partners. They are gifts to us from God, giving us a golden opportunity to know each other, to be known and understood (and, as Dee Vine might add, to know God in the process.)

But it’s surprising how we fail to grasp this simply stated fact, and end up handling our lives all wrong. When our partner indicates a need, our response often ranges from habitual indifference, to impatience (Oh no, not again! So soon? But we did it only yesterday) to outright rejection, gentle or otherwise (You’re crazy! You’ve got a dirty mind. No, not now, darling; we’ve got places to go, work to do!)

I find it a tragic waste that we do not make it a habit to respond with delight and tenderness to any ex-pression of need on the part of a spouse. I find myself full of sadness for all those souls who are alone, isolated in their needs. No, don’t joke and say, “One can shag and take care of that need.” Masturbation does not address the need; it addresses merely a physical symptom of a need that goes far beyond the physical.

On the other hand, maybe we do not see our own individual need in the proper light ourselves. Some of us see it as a burden, an itch, an irritation, maybe even an illness… to be cured, to be gotten over or to be suppressed until it dies its natural death. Some of us see it as the unmanifested roots of sin in ourselves and in others, and we fear it. We loathe it. At best, we excuse and forgive it.

This, to me, is at the roots of our innermost problems, our dull marriages and dull lives. Our relationships that go deep, but not quite deep enough. Not half as deep as they could go. Our relationships that are loving, but not LOVING. Our relationships that bring us face-to-face with our daily duties, but stop short of bringing us face to face with our soul, and the soul of our significant other. Our relationships that do not fail, but stop short of complete success.

Our relationships of half-measures, and our lives of half-measures. We are asked to be content with half-measures, and many of us even succeed in coming to terms with these lukewarm lives. But do we necessarily have to lead lukewarm lives? Is this the best we can do? I don’t think so.


Let us see our need as a gift, and present it gently, tenderly, gift-wrapped, to our partners. Let us learn to not thrust it at our significant other — something I think we men often do, and women usually don’t. And let us learn to not suppress or withhold it either — something I think women do pretty often.

Let us be alert to the ex-pression of need from our significant other, and regard it as a precious gift that merits our fullest attention.

And, even if we cannot immediately satisfy the urges and needs of our significant other, due to the constraints of time, space, family etc., let us learn to acknowledge it with tenderness and respect, and make a realistic promise to fulfil it later.

And when that moment of fulfilment arrives, let us learn to hold ourselves to that promise, and do so joyously, not grudgingly, with the abandonment of self that the occasion demands. Let us learn to be dependable, consistent, giving, tender. Let us give that need its due — the utmost respect that it demands.

Let me put it this way: We come face to face with our most personal manifestation of God in our needs, and those of our significant other. I think that each time we turn away from that manifestation, and fail to serve with utmost devotion in that temple that we call our bedroom, we lose a valuable opportunity to know ourselves and our partner, and we lose a treasured moment of our lives. 

The cost of our neglect? For our partner, a moment that could be cherished turns into a forgettable experience, a common experience… even a regrettable experience. Over time, many such experiences add up to a sense of worthlessness or hopelessness, or of betrayal. It turns into a reason for indifference and neglect in many other areas of our lives. And then we wonder what went wrong, why it went wrong, how it went wrong despite our having done our best.

It’s easy to fail. Life gives us a thousand reasons to fail at any given point of time. It gives us a thousand wrong turns to take on any given decision-tree. And it only gives us a couple of reasons to make the right choices. But let us care enough to make the right choice, nonetheless. Let us make a habit of caring enough.

[Postscript: One cannot liberate those who feel no inner need for liberation. Maybe so. On the whole, I agree: HOW can you awaken those who think that they are already wide awake?

And yet, I’m driven to write by the hope and the belief that people are corrigible. That people have the ability to reflect upon their own behaviour, and make deep changes to their ways of living, thinking and believing.]

Posted in Marriage & Love.

23 Responses

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  1. sathya narayanan says

    Sorry since i had time and even patience forced by chickungunya, I read the first part. I couldn”t gp further. FG you have a sharp wit generally but here I find many contradiction. Sex is not about one person”s need it is two people sexual urge merging!! in one word, physical chemistry. Soul bonding I almost fell off the chair laughing. In any relationship, one “evolves” faster while the other might be left behind. There is only one thing which is true: My MIND and everthing else is incidental. I am born alone, live in the midst of people and then croak (alone). So I better evolve myself first, and fast for yama is just round the corner. (that is my illness speaking).

  2. sathya narayanan says

    I used to think of myself as reasonably intelligent but after a browse of this article not sure. First the Mukesh song is undecipherable for a tamilian who are born with anti hindi handicap from the genes. To the English part of the series, I am still wondering because I have become dumb now. If you are interested to contact me for my views, they are available at my mail id. (read pernicious effects of advertising for that and leave a comment there!!!)

  3. sreelatha chakravarty says

    Found many converts in ur fold & equal no. of non-believers but the crux of the matter is half are dreamers like you and the other half are accepters like me who know the soul one possese is uniquely one”s own & no-one can match it equally ever so if you really need a soul-mate look inside not outside of YOU!But dream on Dream-lover coz that is a blessing & the secret of life-long youth!

  4. buddy menon says

    Now, Ghosty – has your mind ever contemplated the possibility that, at the very core, this great search is nought but the individual’s cry for GOD, the river’s continuous yearning for the ocean ….?? That you and I and sundry others are committing the basic mistake of searching in the wrong place?

  5. buddy menon says

    Ghosty……In this search you talk about for a person who understands you totally, warts and all, who isn’t judgemental at all, who is prepared to selflessly meet every need of yours – the perfect mate – have you considered the possibility of it being an endless search ? You enter a new relationship, revel in it for a while , discover gradually that it’s been no more than a leap from one imperfection to another – and then convince yourself that it’s time to move on….And the search resumes with added vigour only to culminate in yet another far-from-perfect liaison. Even in the happiest of marriages, there are definitely areas of not-too-happy compromise, grey areas – the difference lying only in the partners having gracefully accepted that to expect perfect understanding is wholly unrealistic…

  6. meenal kannan says

    Your post has, I”m sure” struck a familiar chord with most married couples who have spent a while together. It is unfortunate, though, that having a settled house, a couple of kids, and a standing in society is the only measure of accomplishment in our society. it is a rarity to find an individual who aspires for …and is willing to give in…to get a more complete satisfying and rounded life… let alone find a couple, in that frame of mind. the determination to rise above the mundane requirements of life, fails most of us, till such a day that it becomes an overwhelming sense of personal failure..the recovery from which seems almost impossible…and therefore the partners quitely lapse into a silent and incomplete compromise that leaves no one fulfilled…but with a feeling of resigned resentment. how i wiSh ..couples were able to identify their needs..and place the other as a priority in selfless..and thereby enjoy the feeling of joy…and more importantly..COMPLETENESS

  7. dee vine says

    You”re right Ghost. Libido is a ”gift”. Not a duty/job/chore or such. And guess what? It can be worked upon! I constantly urge my friends, both men & women to not give up. They argue that its like an ability to draw…or sing…you either have it or you dont. But I beg to differ. Its just about finding your rhythm…and a partner in tandem… Maybe I will write something about sex lives of my pals…like a ”Sex in the City” convo. Where they”ve fucked up and where they could”ve saved it…what makes men so pissed and women so ticked…why women say sex is OKish and why men cant figure…. I”m in no way an authority but I”m a people watcher …so maybe……..

  8. amit khanna says

    Hey ghost how are u today? Seems as if u have stirred some kinda hornets nest. Good for u. Will try to post my comments after i have assimilated the contents of this post. Will take some time though. Hope u dont mind. Bye. Take care.

  9. Sandhya Suri says

    FG – “I take it as a personal responsibility to actively look for her, to find her, and, if necessary, to awaken her if she isn’t wide awake and looking for me. I dunno if that would make sense to you, or to anybody else. I’m aware that it may sound insane. But this is my truth. And I believe it may be the truth of quite a few others also.” – my truth too and I agree to most of what you have written in your article. FG “ There’s ONE person around somewhere who is the perfect complement to your needs. That one person almost effortlessly understands you identifies with you, shares activities and aspirations and activities with you (and vice versa). When you’re with that person, life is pleasurable, effortless, productive and most significantly, you both make rapid progress towards your long-term goals in life.” – What the heck. This makes such perfect sense. It”s like an echo…I don”t think I need to even touch upon this topic – you say it all. Bravo!

  10. Friendly Ghost says

    REPLY TO POCHRAN: I STAND CORRECTED! “Adultery” was a poor choice of words. I didn”t mean adultery in the sense of going about seeking a sexual partner who fulfils your needs. I meant stepping outside your marriage and actively seeking your Soulmate, with whom sexual harmony, along with all other harmonies, are automatic and natural. THANK YOU!

  11. Pochran says

    FG, a really interesting point of view. my first reaction was to whole heartedly agree with your thoughts – nothing better than a sexual relationship based around a harmony of needs. however I do feel that a search for a soulmate like-so is elusive – a never ending journey especially if you choose adultery as a vehicle to tread this journey. Adultery will only yield physical pleasure as you move from one partner to another seeking an elusive goal. As anything else in life attainment of sexual nirvana also needs time

  12. Shweta Iyengar says

    hey u have become an agony uncle….good….god bless u for making ppl aware of things they chose to repress and trying to look for solutions….ur philo perhaps says…one life be as happy as u can and do all it takes to be happy….and yes i agree u choose to center all arnd sex but can be extended to all other areas too…

  13. Friendly Ghost says

    REPLY TO SUDIPTA: Complete mind contact is more than good enough. HOwever, as Trishna has pointedly asked me in the past, is mind-contact REALLY complete without at least face-to-face meetings? Are not our boides seamless extensions of the mind? I think there”s a lot in that argument I would agree with.

  14. Sudipta Sarkar says

    FG, I have another question, what if you find your soulmate who is thousands of kms away, making it impossible for you to make physical contact, will it work? Would you be satisfied just to share your ideas, emotions and period? Or would you again search for someone with whom you can share physical intimacy?

  15. sreelatha chakravarty says

    FG, sorry! I shud have known u”ve traversed the path I”m exploring & have reached a point where u want to investigate unexplored territories;I shudn”t have got into the advisory mode-Each to his or her own!!!!!!

  16. Friendly Ghost says

    RESPONSE TO SREELATHA”S REPLY: Each of us has to find his or her own solution. If that works for you, that”s great. Me, I”ve been trying that too, and ours is NOT a loveless marriage — far from it! But it is one that is marked by complacence… being taking for granted. I”m living with that situation, adjusting myself to it, but of late, I”m asking myself whether THIS is not escapism. I”m thinking I would rather take my chances with the risks associated with an ACTIVE search of a larger world, than a passive adjustment to my present realities. I could be wrong… fatally wrong… and yet, something within me says, “Seek, and you shall find!”

  17. sreelatha chakravarty says

    FG, An inside-out approach to the monogamous relation seems a better alternative to me as long as there is love invested in between two people-rather than look outside,look inside you for peace and I am looking-deep down to see whether I can have my cake & eat it too!

  18. Friendly Ghost says

    REPLY TO SREELATHA”S QUERY: The answer to that question, my friend, may not be universally acceptable, but I”ve decided to let universal acceptibility go for a toss. That”s why, in my earlier blog, I so strongly, vociferously support ADULTERY… the freedom to step outside marriage. I may not court popularity for suggesting this, but there you are — my solution.

  19. sreelatha chakravarty says

    ” Killing me softly with his song, Telling my whole life with his words….Killing me softly with his song,killing me……killing me….”
    FG, ur writings are our mirrors and what u wrote today is everybody”s reality(if I may speak on everyone”s behalf).AGREED! but where”s the solution?We”ve the power to change only ourselves and till we get the equivalent response we either force or suppress!

  20. sahil banga says

    beautiful song

  21. JESSICA SINGH says

    de nial of sex not only comes from the insipidity of the familiar , but also from the inclination of our society to enforce ” marriafes of convenience” rather than marriages of consent.

  22. Sudipta Sarkar says

    Your post touched the core of my heart. I agree whole heartedly with you on this. Sex is a manifestation of love for our partner. When we do it wholeheartedly we are displaying our unconditional love to them.

  23. buddy menon says

    Yes, the crying need to give does indeed run through most of ghosty”s outpourings. This ability to look beyond our individual concerns and sincerely adress others” needs is such a rarity in this day and age when such a premium is placed on the ruthless, coldblooded pursuit of individual goals and desires….

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