Ever since we reached the age of puberty, our minds have been buzzing with a gazillion questions about SEX. When you ask a bunch of young adults about their source of sex education, majority of them will give you two answers, ‘Porn’ and ‘Sexpert’ – Dr. Mahinder Watsa’s column in Mumbai Mirror. Why? Because it is highly likely that when you ask your elders, the reaction you would expect on uttering the word ‘sex’ would be ‘shush’.
But now, there is a startup that wants you to stop shushing – Knowlex.
Knowlex is a one-stop destination on your journey to sexual awareness. It is a start-up, founded by Nikhil Lokhande, that aims to lift the heavy curtain on sex in India. Knowlex, also has an app on that has its very own doctor’s panel called ‘Ask The Expert’ that will answer all your questions pertaining to sex, contraception, positions and what not! You can choose to remain anonymous while asking the question.
They also have daily blogs, curated by their various columnists. And as they state of their website, they have taken ‘a leaf out of Vatsyayana’s book of Kamasutra and created the Sexual Positions Cards’.
Today, in this interview with its CEO-Founder, Nikhil Lokhande, we get to know a lot about how Knowlex provides a 360 degree view of sex and is an attempt to educate people in a country that is unwilling to get sexually educated.
Cocktail Zindagi : Tell us a little about Knowlex. What does the name mean?
Nikhil Lokhande : Knowlex is a mobile application and an informative website which gives you detailed knowledge about various aspects of sex and its relevant topics. We’re a few good men and women banding together for change. We believe in a golden, enlightened age of free knowledge and sexual transformation.
The name ‘Knowlex’ comes by merging ‘knowledge’ and ‘sex’. Our tagline is ‘More Than Just Sex’.
Cocktail Zindagi: How did you get the idea about such a start-up?
Nikhil Lokhande : From a very tender age, one of the first questions that popped into my mind was; Do the mantras and chants said during weddings have so much power than after marriage couples automatically conceive children? That was when I did some research and came across a few things which were quite confusing from a child’s perspective. Luckily, being in a prestigious convent school meant that I received Sex Education in tenth standard.
I started reading stories. Novels, magazines, websites, and so on and so forth. I researched on this ambiguous topic and eventually ended up on the all-consuming entity that is porn. Thanks to my Sex-Educator, my learning curve was healthy, as we were frankly told that porn is not how one can express your love, it is just wild, animal sex put on for the quick benefit, relief and pleasure of the viewer.
I was thankful and glad to know what love is – or rather, to at least know what it isn’t!
One fine evening, I was busy contemplating a plethora of random thoughts, when I was struck by the question; Why is sex such a big issue in our society? Why is an act so inherently pure and associated with love considered as taboo? Are not our parents the ones who taught us love? Then why is lovemaking considered as vulgar? These were the questions which would plant the seed for what would later become Knowlex.
Cocktail Zindagi: Tell us a few anecdotes about times when you’ve experienced the ‘hypocrisy of Indians about sex’.
Nikhil Lokhande : People slap each other in public. They stab and even rape freely and get a bail or are set free with the right contacts or with money changing hands. But if Valentine’s Day is celebrated openly, or if someone is seen kissing, or hugging, or in some cases, even holding hands with the opposite sex in public, the moral police come out in force!
Why can’t they be allowed to express a bit of love and affection for each other?
Cocktail Zindagi : Do you think India needs sex education? Why?
Nikhil Lokhande : With changing times, the needs are changing drastically. We are not only sexually uneducated but also susceptible to various STIs which are real. There are multiple threats and cases recorded all around us. Some are kept in secrecy while some are discussed openly.
Beyond that, let’s accept it.
You need it, so do I, You and I were born because of it. Our entire planet is thriving because of it, and it is, in the end, an act of pleasure and love. So why deny this fact and not open our arms to accept this wonderful, irreplaceable and important part of life?
Cocktail Zindagi : Do you think that the sexual needs of Indians, especially women, are suppressed?
Nikhil Lokhande : I believe up to a certain extent, yes, but communication and knowledge are key aspects, a lot of women have no clue how to satisfy their men either. Rather than an act of pleasure, it becomes a chore for most to bear children. With widespread of knowledge and a better understanding of this topic, we can tackle some grave issues of the society on the contrary than just satisfying each other.
Cocktail Zindagi : What features do you have in the Knowlex app?
Nikhil Lokhande : Currently, we have blogs that are updated on regular intervals, positions, ask experts which covers all your curiosity and enhance your knowledge by anonymously asked questions by our panel of doctors, psychotherapists and lawyers.
In later versions, we will cover entire sexual well-being and give our users daily tips and articles to enhance it further for better sexual well-being. It will also have some features like STI analysis.
Cocktail Zindagi : Do you have a doctor’s panel? What do they do?
Nikhil Lokhande : We have a team of doctors who help us in understanding the biological and psychological aspect of sex. They also answer user questions anonymously, thereby also helping us create a database for Frequently Asked Questions in this field.
Cocktail Zindagi : How many people, approximately, have you helped so far?
Nikhil Lokhande : Currently, we are a strong community on social media and many have directly messaged us about our initiative and how helpful the articles were. Some of them also helped us in blogging about their experiences or reproducing some important articles which are cross-checked and corrected by our doctors and are posted. Right now, we have been lucky to be blessed with users who have liked our app and spread information about it to others via word-of-mouth to help them. Thus, we believe we are doing something right.
Cocktail Zindagi : If there were 5 tips about sex you had to give to the people out there, what would they be?
Nikhil Lokhande :
1. I would say Communicate. Only through communication will you know your partners better.
2. Experiment until you find that sweet spot and never let go of experimentation to keep up the spice in your relationship.
3. Be loyal, except for using condoms, wet dams, contraceptives and other methods, you are very prone to STI’s.
4. Stay healthy, this will in turn affect your sexual performance and libido levels in case of conceiving.
5. Use condoms/contraceptives, with 7 billion plus worldwide and 1.2 billion in our country, it is time we conserve our resources and control the exponentially growing population.
6. As a brownie point, how about not using someone for sex and not indulging in acts of eve-teasing? It only harms the other person and is a failing on your part. Your pleasure shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else’s pain – unless the both of you are into BDSM.
Cocktail Zindagi : If you had to define the relationship between India and sex in one word, what would it be?
Nikhil Lokhande : Complicated.
You can visit their website here: Knowlex
Also, you can download their app here : Knowlex App