Sexuality

Na men and women both appear to believe that sexuality is natural, healthy, and private. Once a Na comes of age, by custom she or he is free to choose or abandon lovers. This has been mitigated by Chinese policies, which in the late 1960s and early 1970s increasingly demanded that Na marry and cohabit. Na saw this as a destruction of their households, and an undesirable control of their sexuality. Reform in the 1980s allowed Na to return to the practice of visiting relations, sese, again. Currently, Na may marry or pursue visiting relations. However, birth-planning policy requires women to register a father for each child born. Class did not and does not constrain Na sese relations. Na culture has a strong restriction against sese relations with people closely related matri-lineally. Children of the same father but different mothers are not prohibited from having relations, nor are children of two brothers or a sister and a brother.

Because marriage was atypical in Na society, the ideas of premarital or extramarital sex are not directly applicable. Na men and women in the past were admired for the number of lovers they may have had. Many Na would engage in short secretive relations when young. Na may choose to make public more stable relationships, which often occur in their twenties. While Na women and men in established public relationships may take secret lovers, they risk anger, jealousy, and abandonment by their established partner, but they are not generally censured for such actions by the community at large. In fact, the betrayed lover generally makes no public display of anger or jealousy. Na do not believe that romantic love is necessarily enduring; rather, passion is fleeting. It may last one evening, or it may combine with friendship to bond a couple together much longer. Much of a Na's emotional life is lived through the household, and so Na are not dependent on romantic relationships for emotional fulfillment. While Na women as well as men enjoy sexual relations, the community at large seems to believe that children are a natural and desired result of sexual relations. Many older women in Na communities are much more interested in whether or not a younger female relative has a child than in who her lovers are.

Neither women nor men (including monks) are expected to remain celibate, although a substantial number of Na appear to have few or no sexual relations (by their own choice). In addition, lovers are not expected to spend every night together, even if they live a convenient distance from each other. One story about visiting relations is that obstacles were set by a god to test who would be more determined reach a lover—the man or the woman. Because the woman showed so much more determination than the man, it was divinely decided that men would visit women. The implication is that woman are more determinedly passionate than men, and too much time might be spent in pursuing lovers if women were the pursuers.

Na generally keep their bodies covered from the intense sun and wind of the winter and the rain and dampness of the summer. Modesty about the body is not expected in front of members of the same sex, but seems to be uniformly practiced in front of members of the opposite sex. Expressions of sexuality such as joking are enjoyed in single-sex groups, and in mixed groups the most traditional display of sexuality is through song. Individual public displays of affection between members of the opposite sex almost never occur. When engaged in sexual relations, lovers are generally quiet and discreet. Taboos prohibit Na from verbally or otherwise referring to sexual relations in front of relatives of the opposite sex.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment