I coyly stole side glances to look at that ad in the newspaper, since mother was around. It showed a naked woman, covering her breasts with her right arm folded across them, and a man on top of her, facing the woman, his arms around her head to support his body. I felt a tingling sensation within myself. I wanted to get a closer look, but I couldn’t, because mother caught me.
She did not utter a word, but picked up the newspaper and began reading it. Two minutes later, she tilted the paper downwards a little, fixed her glasses that had slowly crawled to the tip of her nose, and casually mentioned to me, ‘Now is not the time for you.’ Embarrassed as I was, I scurried away to my room. I was 18 then.
Three years later, they married me off to a guy of their choice. I was not ready – emotionally, physically, mentally. But I was ready societally. And that was the only heavyweight counter to all my stupid reasons and quests and say against marriage. The night before the ceremony, my mother and a few of my aunts walked into my room, shut the door behind them, and sat around me in what appeared to me a vicious circle of people ready to bury me deep with their expectations, advises, and desires.
‘Keep your husband happy’, said my great-aunt. ‘Let him do whatever pleases him. You understand what we are saying, right?’
Of course, I didn’t. I nodded my head.
‘The relation between a man and wife is the most intimate.’ My mother continued. She paused for a while, maybe thinking of words to explain to me the act of love-making (because, well, sex is a taboo) in decent terms. ‘Just go with the flow. You will learn with time.’ She finally said.
Yes, that was all the sex ed I got a night before my marriage. Of course, I knew, but I wasn’t supposed to know. Sex is not something that good girls of reputed families should know or talk, or dream of; let alone speak of it.
‘Are you clean down there?’ the younger aunt joked. Everybody burst into laughter, except me. Then they continued with their first night stories, cleverly beating around the bush one way or the other.
After the ceremony, I was sent to my in-law’s house. Yes, I did it all. Waiting for my husband with a glass of warm milk. He was supposed to bang me the very night. Oh, sorry, I mean make love to me the very night. After all, I was supposed to give to them cute tiny grandsons and granddaughters as soon as God would allow. Yes, I, the girl who was expected to not know a word about coitus a day before was out right supposed to do the act, and produce babies with it. Hypocrisy danced again at my utter failure, as my husband slowly filled himself inside me.