As their husbands work and travel, some of the city's housewives are looking to younger men to satisfy their sexual needs
MUMBAI: They may not be as hot or as well-maintained as Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross or Teri Hatcher, but when it comes to a good ol' roll in the hay — or in this case, the bed — with a man other than their husband, Mumbai's very own desperate housewives are not far behind. Duty and life-long servitude to their men be damned; this emerging breed seeks pleasure and thrills as and where it can be found, be it from the boy next door or a paid escort.
Boredom and sexual frustration, compounded by husbands who are chained to the work desk or are constantly travelling, appear to be the motivating factors. Of course, sexual gratification is the key.
Twenty-six-year-old professional escort Raj Sharma caters to desperate housewives. Most of his clients are married women, who have just one thing on their mind — sex without the strings of love, honour, et al. "They treat me like a product; there is no emotional touch to it. The only thing they want is sex," he says, in what seems to be an unexpected role reversal. "All these ladies come from decent backgrounds, and fall in the age bracket of 29 to 45."
And while the absent husband slaves away at work, back home, everyone leaves the bed happy — the women are satiated for the time being; the men with their cash. This is a lucrative venture for all involved. In fact, it's the pimps who reap the most benefits. If Raj had to share notes with Vikram Batra, a pimp who operates in Colaba, they'd find plenty in common. Batra runs, what can loosely be called, an escort agency. According to him, 80 per cent of the women who ask for a gigolo are married and over 30 years old. "They always ask for a young man because they feel, from experience, that older men are unable satisfy them," he says. "These women are fed up of their husbands' office frustration and their decreasing ability to satisfy her sexual needs."
Women enlisting the service of an escort agency, or a gigolo, is no revelation. What's gotten everyone talking, or whispering rather, is their preference for multiple partners. It looks like variety is the spice of a Mumbai housewife's life. The only criteria are youth and virility.
In fact, these Mrs Robinsons are more than happy to teach a college boy a thing or two about bedroom etiquette. And for that, Ankur Kapur, 22, is grateful. His first sexual encounter was with his mum's friend — a 35-year-old 'aunty'. "One day, she called me over to her flat. Nobody was there, and I was feeling a little awkward because I used to call her aunty," he recalls. "But she wasn't feeling bad. In fact, she told me that our society is hypocritical, and that there was no reason to feel guilty. After that, we would make love almost twice a week," says Ankur.
In a majority of cases, these housewives have good reason to be desperate. Husbands who seem to take no interest in them, or spend months on end, away from home because of work; lack of libido due to stress, and so on force many a wife to look elsewhere. Housewife Ankita Gehlot's story is one that many a woman knows and lives.
"My husband is a bank manager and he travels a lot. Even when he is at home, he continues to be in the same mood or pleads tiredness. I don't hold it against him because in the end he has the best interests of me and my children at heart. But as a woman, even I have some desires," says the 38-year-old wife who has a Masters degree in English Literature. And though she loves her 45-year-old husband, she cannot rely on him to satisfy her sexual needs. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't have a sex life," she says. "I don't know about him, but I still want to have a rocking sex life."
So when her husband is away, she calls her neighbour over. The fact that he is 15 years her junior does not matter. There is no love involved, "only pleasure". Ankita denies that she's using him in any way. "We have a mutual understanding, and he enjoys it."
It wouldn't be surprising if the husband is aware of his wife's philandering ways, but no one wants to upset the status quo. Maybe it's the adherence to the adage: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".
Either way, the lives of these women are as colourful as those in the series Desperate Housewives. The action has come to Mumbai, be it in the tree-lined Carmichael Road or amid the nouveau riches of New Mumbai.