In the following lines, I will try to describe how love, attraction and sexuality are expressed in Serbia. I started my little research with the definition of the word Love in our dictionary. I came across an interesting definition: “Love as an experience of heightened vitality and power, which fills the individual with joy; has no root in the biological, but in the psychological need of man to solve the problem of his existence.” “Solving the problem of existence” says a lot about how love and relationships are understood in Serbia.
The Serbian Orthodox Church says: “Of course, today, when we talk about love, we are actually talking about passion. Passion is a disease of love, in fact, it is a parasite of love, so people have mischaracterized love. Love is sacrifice, love is suffering, love is showing the quality of life to others, love is fruitful”. Another horrible definition that says that passion is a disease and a parasite of love, and that love is а sacrifice! So, I sacrifice for you, you sacrifice for your wife or kid, someone else is sacrifice for parents, whole nation is sacrifice and suffering for love!?!
And further: ” Husband and wife and their children make up the family. The family, almost as a rule, is not free from sin and sinfulness, so it often takes a long time until it is completely dominated by harmony and love. Each of its members must fight hard against self-love to learn to live in community with others”. Therefore, self-love is also considered as the greatest sin 🙁 And so, on and so forth…
Serbia is a country to which it is communism brought gender equality. At least on a paper. Although women became more and more emancipated and educated and equal in the workplace with men after World War II, a deeply established attitude that woman has a place in the kitchen and that man is the main ones in the household, is still very present.
Although the sexuality is everywhere around us, in the newspapers and television, as my mother says, „we only see naked tits and asses”, there are essentially so many taboos about sexuality. There is no sex education subject in the school. It all comes down to biology, and the explanation of gender characteristics and differences, and how babies were born. Everything that teenagers learn about gender relations is through an Internet and from porn movies. The standards of big tits and inflated lips are being pushed in all directions. Girls make monsters out of themselves to get married well. The term “sponsorship” is widespread. An army of well-dressed men and top-dressed girls, competing in selfies, are dominant on the street, in cafes, popular clubs. Only appearance is what matters. Everything is sexual and nothing is sexual.
As for earlier generations, they were at the other extreme. I remember my grandparents coming out of the room if someone was kissing on TV. For me, my mom and dad were totally asexual beings. Not the letter “s” from the word sex was ever mentioned. We never-ever talked about this “thing” at home. My mom has never given me any advice about sex and relationship with the opposite sex. Nor about love. As if that goes without saying. And I knew absolutely NOTHING. I left home for college at the age of 17 with the advice “watch what you do”! Was it a warning, or a threat, or advice? I don’t know, I only know that I have dedicated a good part of my life to research my sexuality, believing that there is something else besides the fear of not being pregnant. Btw, I discovered a self-pleasuring at my age of 26!!
Marriages and relationships around me? Lots of lies, scams, everyone is silent and pretends that everything is fine, great. I don’t know anyone who is honest enough to try to be polyamorous, to be honest with the partner. It is a taboo topic, but at the same time, it is not a taboo that everyone has sex behind each other’s backs and that the packaging is perfect. Although, when a man is the one who has a relationship “on the side”, that is OK, he is a real man and it is socially totally acceptable. If a woman is the one who has a relationship on the side, she is a whore.
Marriages are held for the sake of children, for the sake of economic security, for the sake of reputation in society, etc. Working on yourself in the field of sexuality is in very low percentage. Compering to the rest of the country, in Belgrade, there are still a number of people who deal with topics related to sexuality, but mostly women.
For men, it is an absolute defeat to admit that they suffer from ED, for example. He, Shiva, would rather give up his sex life than to seek for help. On the other hand, women agree that it is normal for sex to last 5-7 minutes, the man comes and turns to the other side to sleep. And that’s it! Furthermore, through my practice, I realize that men are learned to be quiet, to reach climax without any movement, any sign that it is something going on in the body… stone face, very sad. No breathing, no movement, no sound.
Domestic violence is quite common, which I believe is the cause of sexual frustration in many cases, but this is another huge topic.
There is a lot of promiscuity around, quantity comes first instead of quality. Not to mention the idea of spiritual upliftment throughout sex!? It is a kind of a fairytale! It all comes down to some primary, animal instinct, without any upgrade.
And so, on and so forth… I hope that I have at least partially managed to get closer to the picture of views on love vs. sexuality vs. relationships in Serbia nowadays.