Sex in the city – and beyond

Hi Everyone

Last year I read an article about a survey done in India Today regarding the sex life in India. When I read that article, I didn’t really know that this is a survey that the magazine has published every year for 10 years. But why not, sex sell, also in India, so it is an interesting read. This year’s survey got published just the other week.


From a foreigner, it is quite interesting to read about some of the findings in this survey. Previously, it was only conducted in the metro cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata). The latest survey also included what in India is called tier 2 cities (Ratlam, Moradabad, Jamnagar, Asansol and Kottayam). I can easily admit that I didn’t know much about any of these places. Some research on Wikipedia showed that they are cities with a population ranging from just over 100.000 (Kottayam) to more than one million (Asansol). In Indian terms, they are then all small cities, while in Norway some of them are bigger than our capital.

The main finding in the survey is that peoples view regarding sex is not much different in the smaller cities than in the metros. Pornography, pre-teen sex, wife swapping. Small town India is experimenting like never before. And at the centre of this are women. 49 % women enjoy watching porn with their spouse/partner in small towns, while only 34 % of women in the metros do the same, according to the survey.

52 % men and women in metros and 33 % in small towns think sex is used as a shortcut to professional success. Previously I wrote an article about Bombay strugglers. Given the huge affection that Bollywood have, I’m not that surprised to see such a high number for the metros. Naomi also writes some really interesting articles about Bollywood and the strugglers there.

Have the attitude towards changed in India during the 10 years India Today has done this survey? The answer to this is a clearly yes. And that women are in the centre of this is also very much the case. I have been told by a friend (not colleague) that has experience from the Indian IT-sector that the two biggest issues in that industry are the burn-out syndrome and divorces. The pressure today is so high on people working in that sector. Many people also stay away from their spouse for a long time. This can off course lead to more situations like this.

As a survey for the purpose of selling more magazines, I think this is great! And it is absolutely fascinating reading. But in terms of being some serious survey that really shows trends, I must admit that I think it has some weaknesses. According to the magazine they had 5246 respondents across 16 cities, equal number women and men. I don’t know if they have asked the same number in each city, but this gives an average of 327 people in each city, which again are just about 150 of each gender. They say that the women were invited to “a central location” for interviews, while men were interviewed at street corners. If you think about a city like Mumbai with more than 18 million people, interviewing 327 is not really much. And I strongly believe you will get very different answers if you ask people just outside a nightclub in Bandra than what you will get if you interview people in a residential area in Byculla or Borivali.

What do you think? Do you have any experiences with this survey or some insight that can say anything about its validity?

Talk to you soon!



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