29 Aug 2020: Open, Uninhibited: How Pallavi Barnwal is eradicating sexual shame
The act of sex, and any conversation around it, is often met with stigma, shame, and disgrace.
Adults don't talk about it, adolescents are not taught about it, and the world continues to be just as resentful and misguided about sex as it was decades ago.
Now, to change this notion, Pallavi Barnwal is fostering social acceptance of sex through RedWomb.
Here's her story.
Pallavi Barnwal: Who is Pallavi Barnwal?
A TEDx speaker, intimacy coach, sex educator, Pallavi Barnwal can go by varied titles but her work is geared towards one goal: creating a world where sex is accepted as a part of lives rather than something to resent/hide.
She completed a sexuality education course from TARSHI in 2018 and has been working as an educator guiding people on their intimate journeys ever since.
Vision: "If people accept sex, many problems can potentially end"
Barnwal believes if the stigma and taboos attached to sex are removed through uninhibited education/conversations, many sex-related problems, be it physical, emotional, or social, would end in our society.
People would freely express themselves and ask for help if something is bothering them or affecting their relationship. They would also have the joy, passion, and communication that's been missing in their intimate relationships.
Redwomb: This is where RedWomb comes in
To bring this change, Barnwal started RedWomb, a platform featuring uninhibited talks of sexual, intimate pleasure.
The site posts on all things sex, starting from menstruation, orgasm, and masturbation to relationship happiness, respect, consent, intimacy, and desire.
On the whole, it gives a clear understanding of all psychological, physical, emotional, sexual changes one undergoes in different phases of their lives, relationships.
Starting: Started by "walking the talk"
Barnwal tells NewsBytes, "I started as an example of what it means to be authentic in relationships, intimacy by walking the talk. I started writing about my intimate stories and sharing lessons learned, mistakes I did."
"It resonated with many people who were fearful about their desires, their transgressions in their intimate lives, thinking coming out will subject them to judgment," she added.
Discussions: Barnwal also organizes face-to-face discussions, workshops
Along with the blog, which helps with building knowledge, skills, and behavior needed to make correct choices in sexual life, Barnwal also organizes offline, candid discussions with men and women to help them embrace their sexual vulnerabilities, desires, and fears in a compassionate manner.
On top of that, she also holds workshops/events for college students and connects online to help them make responsible decisions.
Details: Blog helps with counseling, lets people speak up
Getting women to speak up on these issues is difficult but Barnwal says that her blog, where she also shares her own experiences, resonates well and encourages people to speak.
"In India and everywhere else in the world, people look up to the people," she says. "When they saw me writing in grace, it cemented their trust that what they experience is not uncommon."
Fact: "Support builds a woman network"
"For women, it's still daunting to break the ice but thankfully, early in my journey I identified and was reached out by a group of brave women," Barnwal said. "These women supported me out in the open further building the trust of a woman network."
Challenges: However, there are many challenges for her
Meanwhile, speaking of the challenges, Barnwal mentioned, she has to face the hypocrisy where "a lot of men never support me in open but cloud my inbox with lusty messages."
She emphasized, "I am perceived as someone who can jeopardize the existing structure of the society even though what I am talking about (infidelity, marital dissatisfaction) is an open secret."
Fact: People choose to live in denial
"People know this but [choose to] live in denial because waking up to this reality would mean half of their lives had been a lie," the intimacy coach added.
Need: It is time people get to know about sex education
Barnwal noted that people should know about the work around 'sex education, intimate education - learning and unlearning' that helps us build passion and truth in our relationships.
"It is important to assign the dignity and respect this subject has deserved since long - sexuality - it is a core part of our identity."
Long-term change: People, especially parents, should not hesitate in talking about sex
For long-term change, she asserts that people should "bring this subject to their living room, with their girlies and pals."
Plus, parents shouldn't hesitate to talk about sex education to help their kids live happy intimate lives, and not fall victim to sexual assaults or manipulation.
"We have to empower our kids, not keep them living in denial or misguided from porn," she concludes.