Sexuality

A heterosexual model is hegemonic. The Balinese acknowledge male homosexuality, but have a hard time imagining what lesbian sexuality might consist of. Male homosexuality is often regarded as a frivolous and passing whim, and is often associated with Westerners— Balinese partners often being regarded as just in it for the money. However, banci (effeminate males) have an anomalous identity which is accepted but never desired, for instance, by parents for their children, not least because of the probability that no marriage and therefore no children will be produced.

Sex is ideally initiated and controlled by men. Men talk of conquest in love; the usual expectation of young men is that women have to be pursued for some time until finally worn down by persistent flattery, cajoling, threats, etc. The model is of male activity, female passivity. There is almost no discussion of female sexual desire, orgasm, or of what women want in sex. For young women, passion-lessness and chastity are ideals, though they talk extensively of their sweethearts and of love, and express erotic desires. Their great need is to find a marriage partner; hence there is a need to flirt and "shine," but this is dangerous as it might send the wrong message of sexual availability and spoil a reputation for modest marriageability. On the other hand, young women are afraid that if they say "no" the boy will leave for someone who will say "yes."

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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