SONGSOPTOK: Is the subject of sex taboo in your own personal family and friends circle? Do you talk freely about sex with your partner / children / friends? If no, why? If yes, what exactly do you talk about? Take this as an academic exercise, and do explain.

PHILLIP: I never find the subject of sex taboo and most of my friends usually discuss sexuality quite openly when it's germane to some discussion.  Normally I'll talk openly about any topic as long as it's interesting and done in a lively and enjoyable manner and when it comes to sex, there isn't really any aspect of it I will not discuss. 

SONGSOPTOK: In the society you live in, is the subject of sex a taboo? If yes, how do you explain it? Is it because of the religion that is practiced in your country? Or is because of your culture, or even the beliefs of the political parties in power?

PHILLIP:  I really don't know because I tend not to follow societal norms.  My simplest explanation is that sex like most conversations are based on preferences and how candidly open and progressive the audience happens to be. 

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that the society today is more permissive compared to the time you were growing up? Do you think it is a good thing? Please let us have your detailed opinion.

PHILLIP:  Again, I really don't know nor could I measure this question by any metric other than propagation is the reason everyone is present on this planet so somebody somewhere is assuredly doing it and I personally don't think it's a good or bad thing until it becomes non consensual. 

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that a permissive society is dangerous for teenagers, both girls and boys? Or is it on the contrary a good thing since it demystifies sexual acts and makes them look at it as something mundane and normal? Is that a good or a bad thing?

PHILLIP:  I'm not an alarmist and think that growing up entails knowledge and sex should be treated no differently.  Learn to become informed about social risks and become responsible for your own pleasures and vices. 

SONGSOPTOK: History tells us that sex was not taboo in ancient societies. What, in your opinion, is the genesis of this attitude? Do you think that the rise of patriarchal societies all over the world is the main reason, where man gradually started looking upon the woman as his own property? Or is it mainly religious, where woman was treated as the root of all evils?

PHILLIP:  Not really sure though I've heard the adage: be fruitful and multiply but this could just be an agenda to maintain mediocrity and the status quo and I'm not really sure if this is a patriarchal or matriarchal issue but simply a human one. 

SONGSOPTOK: Do you believe sexual attitudes and acts to be normal like all other bodily functions or do you think that there is a special significance to sexual acts? In other words, do sexual acts need to be couched in special sentiments and sanctified by the institution of marriage? What is your own experience? What is the experience of people close to you?

PHILLIP:  I think they're perfectly normal and healthy and yes, there's always the possibility that sexual acts can take on greater significance, at least certainly more so than an average bowel movement. 

SONGSOPTOK: In your opinion, does the taboo about sex give rise to repressive societies where men and women feel obliged to curb their natural instincts and take recourse to abuse, rape or incest?

PHILLIP:  Yes I do and that repression, at least at first glimpse, seems to highlight a common male fear that women are more powerful. 

SONGSOPTOK: This brings us to the issue of violence against women in different societies, where women and girls are abused and raped on a regular basis by members of their own families. Do you think that the taboo about sex is the main reason for such behavior? Would a change in attitudes actually make a difference to the position of women in such societies?

PHILLIP:  I'm really not sure but taboo is not the term I'd use because this is a cultural attitude and when someone abuses someone else, this is criminal and the only way I can confront this issue.

SONGSOPTOK: Have media in general and Internet in particular played a role in either enhancing or diminishing the taboo about sex? In what way?

PHILLIP:  My magic 8 Ball says, could be but I'll shake it again just to give this discussion its due.  Whether it's enhanced or diminished I still think all the old questions and wisdom literature remain applicable.  Technology may change but responsibility does not. 

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that ultimately sex is all about power and domination, both for men and women? Why? What is your personal experience?

PHILLIP:  I truly hope not.  Sex is only one aspect of love that should be shared freely with willing and informed participants. 

PHILLIP MATTHEW ROBERTS is a 43 year old writer who resides in Lexington, Kentucky where he spends most of his days revising poetry between sleep and scribbling away at novels.  When not engaged in these activities he also enjoys good meals shared among good friends accompanied by intimate talk that lasts long into the evening.  

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen



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