BETWEEN THE SHEETS

Who is Sonali Khan?

Sonali Khan was holding on to her virtue, and then she fell in love... with several men. She drinks whisky, not Cosmopolitan
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On the occasion of this column’s completion of 52 weeks, answers to some FAQs

I’ve turned one! ‘Between The Sheets’ started off as a column about what being a sex columnist means—the stereotypes, the lunatics, personal eccentricities and the love-hate relationship we have with sex. Over the year, it got more personal. I’ve heard stuff about myself. Conjecture about my character, marital status and religious inclinations. Speculation over whether I’m a man, woman or an androgynous collective. The more determined whackos have made multiple attempts to hack into my email, Twitter and Facebook accounts. A couple have succeeded; some have come scarily close. No one told me that conjuring and remembering passwords that are alpha-numerical digital fortresses is a highly valuable skill for a sex columnist. Then there’s been a truckload of advice. Right from failed authors to wannabe filmmakers, CEOs of start-ups to bored infotech professionals, virgins to over-sexed men and women—everyone knows how to do my job/live my life better than I do. Perhaps it’s true. Or maybe not. I don’t know. But since it’s my birthday at Open, I’ve decided that formal introductions are in order. Who am I?

I AM A WOMAN.

No testes, no chest hair and no whipping out the equipment and peeing in public—like every other self-respecting woman in this country, I scamper around like a headless chicken, perform complex clenching exercises or risk kidney stones. Which brings me to…

I AM SELF-RESPECTING.

Every once in a while along comes a man who assures me that my sexual history doesn’t matter to him. Usually, this assurance is delivered before the real question—what’s my magic number? Kitne aadmi thhe? I like staring into space vacantly, rapidly muttering some numbers and finally shaking my head inconclusively. I’d tell you if it were anyone’s business but my own. I believe that to respect yourself, you have to respect the people in your life. Whether they’re acquaintances, friends, one-night stands, lovers or relationships, respect is a must. People are people, not notches on some narcissistic bedpost. If you must brag about a number, let it be about the number of books you’ve taken to bed. Any woman will tell you it’s a bigger turn-on than the number of inches you claim to have in your pants. As for the number, of course I know. The number is much smaller than some readers believe and much bigger than some friends think. Go figure.

I AM GOOD.

Pretty damn great, actually. On a bad day, sex is good. On a good day, it’s awesome and on a great day, it’s spectacular. That’s because I love sex and I know exactly what I like and want in bed. I’ll try almost everything once before deciding if it’s not for me. But the best part is, I’m not the only one. I’m not a lucky co-incidence. There are enough and more women out there who are equally good and better. So stop assuming BS about women’s sexuality or the lack of it. There’s plenty of it going around if you have adequate equipment. And by equipment, I mean your brain.

I AM ONE PERSON.

Maybe two or three at most on crazier days. I’m not society; I’m not its mirror. When I write about sex and relationships, it’s my perception entirely. The glasses are often tinted with my flaws, prejudices, middle-class mentality and a personal sense of right and wrong. Sometimes I write about random thoughts. Sometimes they’re patterns amongst my friends. Sometimes I’m just mad at the male species. I could pretend I understand sex the way a 36-year-old experiences it, but I don’t. I won’t know for another 10 years. I may not know it even then. There, I said it, now you can stop asking me to come back in 10 years’ time.

I AM NOT DR MAHINDER WATSA.

I’m not half as witty as he is. I don’t know any other man with such a vast repertoire of positively hilarious answers for the question that has plagued virgins since the beginning of time: can kissing cause an unplanned pregnancy? I have experiences, not scientific knowledge. So don’t ask me dumb questions like, ‘You know everything about sex, na?’ I might thwack you on the head. And please, for the love of all things sacred, don’t over-share graphic details. Unless you want to bankroll my therapist.

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