Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cyber love space

This morning’s papers carried a report on a new trend in cyber cafes in suburban Bombay: to offer “private rooms” to teenagers or young adults who lacked the space to be on their own. These rooms are apparently fitted out with tiny cameras, which record all the goings on in the cubicle (where a couple go ostensibly to surf the net but in fact for “other reasons”). The upshot is, that if you’ve been indulging in any kind of lovemaking or sexual activities it is all recorded, the various shots are put together on a CD and the CD is then circulated among or sold to customers of the cyber café or friends of the café owner, for approximately Rs. 100.

Yes it is shocking. No doubt about that. Infringement of human rights and all that. Translating into a loss of respect for the clients who happen to have had the misfortune of hiring the booth for an hour, or couple of hours. Totally damaging to one’s ego. Loss of face. I would personally not like to be in that position. Aaaarrrrrgggggh!

But then I forced myself to look at the whole thing at a deeper level and this is what I also saw. That one of the reasons that this kind of thing even takes place is that human beings in most parts of the world make such a big deal about sex. Such a big deal about a perfectly human activity, which makes anything to do with sex seem criminal or ridiculous or both. What this story further shows up is the totally screwed up usage of space in cities. The fact that young people who do need privacy don’t get it. What the hell are they supposed to do when nature whistles and hormones start to gush out in an unmanageable fashion!

Also if we could start looking at the whole topic of sex a bit more rationally, a bit more sanely, if the subject began to shake off its current red flag status and to be accepted for what it is, people would generally lose their interest in the kind of voyeurism in which they tend to indulge today. Porn would lose its significance. Maybe you have never noticed this or not thought about it. But men and women who lead genuinely fulfilling sexual lives (you perhaps?) are really not interested any more in the kind cheap thrills that today’s newspaper reported on the front page. I am not suggesting free sex. I am not suggesting the kind of mindless sexual culture which brings with it, its own hard morality and lack of sensitivity and its own pressures which are not much less difficult to cope with than the pressures of a Victorian mentality.

All I think, is that the kind of incident reported in today's papers, gets its shock value from the narrow mindedness of the society we live in. And this in turn suggests that we take the topic of sex from out of the closet and give it a good airing, to begin with! Once that happens each individual will find it easier to decide what he/she wants or is good for him/ herself. We need to rope young people and old people, rich and poor and just about everyone into a really honest dialogue on sex. Because ultimately it is a question that concerns all of society and not just a few “westernised” or “forward” folk.

Group website:

Diary of a laidback Rebel

No comments: