14 June, 2021

Fidelity Isn’t Boring Any Longer

Modern couples are more aware of the impermanence of marriage in India’s transitioning culture. Yet, monogamy is not out of style, writes Smita Deshmukh

Fidelity Isn’t Boring Any Longer

‘Chastity is the most unnatural of all sexual perversions’. It’s a line made famous by Aldous Huxley, and couldn’t hold more truth in India today—more than half a century after the death of the English writer-philosopher. There seems to be an explosion of adultery in this ancient land. A flurry of no-strings-attached, casual sex-oriented, convenient dating apps, Tinder and Grinder, to cite two examples, encourage (like its peers) a popular trend of open relationships, where both partners explore other people, sexually as well as physically, with the tacit consent of their partners. More and more people seem to be venturing outside the stringent and sacred lakshmanrekha of their sacred marriages—an institution increasingly being viewed as an outdated, safe and boring business arrangement, predominantly based on procreation and patriarchy.

So, whether we like it or not, in morally high-handed and chaste India, which still places a huge premium on a woman’s virginity and the birth of a male heir, many couples are increasingly far less...

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