A decade-old corporate stint, year and half of writing, soul-searching, emotionally abusive relationships and meeting hundreds of strangers. I’ve decided what is it that I want to pursue. Finally! – Sexuality Educator. Yes. I recently enrolled in a UN-affiliated certification course in CSE (Comprehensive Sexuality Education) and as a part of scholarship assessment, they asked me why I want to become a Sexuality Educator.

This was my response –

In 2008, I, a 23 year old was in a physical relationship with a guy, who had no intent of taking the relationship to the next level. I remember yielding in just to get him attached to me. It does not work that way, I realized after he deserted me. I went into depression. I could not talk about it to my parents, nor my mother who I was very close to.

In 2007, one of our classmates invited my 22 year old friend to his house and they became intimate in the spur of the moment. The boy forgot to latch the door as there was no one in the house. Unfortunately, at the same time, a couple of our classmates who were also his flatmates arrived and barged into the room and saw them making love. The girl became the talk of the town and lurid details circulated about her.

‘Her bra strap was white colored. Her blouse was unbuttoned. Her saree was knees up.’

My friend was filled with shame and left the college for over 4 months, while the boy continued his classes as usual. I was vexed at this discrimination. Why would the girl bear the onus of what went wrong? Why were people more interested in discussing the details of her body than the boy?

This was 10 years back.

In 2018, my neighbor is a single mother of a sixteen year old adolescent girl. She runs a successful business and owns two houses. Her ex-husband is a bureaucrat and pays a hefty monthly alimony. The daughter is seen with different men who are in their mid-thirties, double her age. My maid who works at her house laments that the girl is in bad company and there is a daily tiff between the girl and her mother over this.

Were I, my friend, and the girl wrong? No, we did not know how to handle a relationship, a heartbreak, how to make right choices? All we knew in life was taught to us by the institutions we studied in, by our parents who were our custodians, by our culture, internet and media. How to brush, how to write, how to wear clothes, how to clean the room? Sexual desire and premarital relationships were not a part of this. We learnt on our own and probably not the best way or the right way.

In this self-research, I learned about CSE and its role in ensuring a strong-self, healthy relationships, and emotional and sexual well-being. It is important to learn about sex and emotion as a responsibility and not just a tool of pleasure. CSE is a curriculum that equips young people to make right sexual and emotional choices that lead to fulfilling emotional and sexual relationships, including a strong relationship with self.