Thursday, June 20, 2013

Navigating the sensitive topic of sex and intimacy on the teardrop island

I was very surprised to learn from Google Trends volume index data for 2012 that Sri Lanka was the most savvy (or you could also say, excessive) country to google the word "sex" in 2012, with the highest volumes focused around Colombo. Sri Lanka was closely followed by India, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Pakistan.

It made me contemplate the perceptions, attitudes and, the reality of sex in Sri Lanka. To understand this it's critical to get a snapshot of the religious and cultural base of the country.

When I moved here it was apparent that things don't work the same way in Asia as they do elsewhere. There is a strong religious foundation and culture in most Asian countries that shapes the social fabric and value system of each place. Sri Lanka is not an exception in this regard, so the excessive trending of the word "sex" is highly interesting.


Religion and Culture on Sri Lankan society

 
The effect of religion and culture on Sri Lankan society can be evidenced by how people dress, interact (verbally and non-verbally), and the attitudes and social norms that exist.

Sri Lanka could be generally regarded as a conservative country. On the whole people dress modestly, there is a noticeable physical distance between male and female in social forums, and a higher degree of restraint. However, the exception to this is in tourist areas (particularly hotels, resorts and beaches) and at social functions or venues that have a more western theme...





** Please note, the full blog post has been removed as parts of the blog content will be edited for inclusion in an upcoming publication by the author. More information will be made available on the Adventures in a Tuk-Tuk Blog in due course **






7 comments:

Kip said...

An interesting fact I've come across is that the hardest time to get a hotel room in Colombo is over weekends. In most cities this is not the case. Normally, business travelers fill up beds on week days. After being frequently kept awake by noisy neighbors in Colombo hotels on weekends, I've come to the conclusion that they are mostly married men having affairs or using prostitutes. I don't think this is the norm for the rest of the country....Another point is that for sex tourists Sri Lanka is the gay sex mecca in Asia (mainly in the West Coast beach resorts), while heteros go to Thailand, and pedos go to Cambodia. I hasten to add that none of this knowledge is gained through my direct experience.....One of the biggest problems of young men learning about sex through porn, in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, is that most of these videos are male fantasies and have no relation to how a man actually pleasures a woman he loves. As a result, I'm sure many Sri Lankan honeymoons are brutal disappointments for the bride and result in ensuing confusion for the groom.

Anonymous said...

Robert Knox's book on Sri Lanka has some insights on the infidelity aspects in his contemporary society. As everything else in Sri Lanka this is a bit of a paradox too. While infidelity is slowly being accepted as a norm in the upper and middle classes, in the rural areas it is rampant. However, if you get caught, and not surprisingly this happens often, it immediately becomes a bad thing. It's like a secret that everyone knows. You are not supposed to say it out loud.

Just found your blog today. I certainly enjoyed your interesting view on our culture.

Eva Stone said...

Will have a look at the book you have mentioned. I haven't come across it. Thanks for the comment

Eva Stone said...

Well Kip, your comment is definitely an interesting one! I have heard similar re- asian destinations for sexual preferences/activities. Thanks for your insights ;-)

Maryanne Kooda said...

I have also heard and observed that expat women are not viewed as serious dating material, but only for "casual" dating.

Eva Stone said...

Thanks for the comment Maryanne. Yes, I have heard the same as well as been approached with that in mind. I've also found that once you bridge the cultural gap (a little) and overcome at some of these views, it's different on the other side.

Anonymous said...

I am not at all surprised that Sri Lanka topped the list when it came to Googling the word "sex". I believe it comes down to a lack of English vocabulary on porn-related matters. So perhaps, "sex" is the only porn-related word that most Sri Lankans know.

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