We’ve marched against discrimination. We’ve fought for equal pay. As we sip our well-earned Cosmopolitans with our fearless female friends, where does an ancient (and some would say archaic text) like the Kamasutra fit into our lives?
Because we all know that the Kamasutra is about hundreds of impractical, impossible sexual positions, right? Wrong.
In fact, sexual positions form only a small part of the actual text. Instead, the book is a joyous celebration of the glory & poetry of sex. Pleasure for the sake of pleasure. And nothing else.
You’ll find pages devoted to every form of foreplay from kisses, love bites, love marks and more. (A handy little book to dip into when things get stale between the sheets, perhaps?) And there are pointers on how a man should conduct himself when initiating sex with a less experienced woman. (Tenderness says the author, will take a man a long way.) And what I personally find rather sweet, pages devoted to how a man should get himself ready for his lover. Like this extract:
“In the pleasure-room, decorated with flowers, and fragrant with perfumes, attended by his friends and servants, the citizen should receive the woman.
He should then seat her on his left side and holding her hair, he should gently embrace her with his right arm.
The lovers may sit on the terrace of the palace or house and enjoy the moonlight, and carry on an agreeable conversation….”
Now I find that much more romantic than some bloke’s much-used pick up line in a bar.
It’s not just about the poetry & the pointers though. Despite being written between 400 BCE and 200 CE, the Kamasutra is an incredibly liberal text. A woman’s sexual pleasure is mentioned as an essential part of the act.
However, it’s important to keep this in context. Today, we expect our men to be able to find our G-spots without any signposts and even your mum reads ’50 Shades of Grey’ at the local library. But in 400 BCE…that sort of focus on a woman’s sexual pleasure was a revolutionary idea.
To sum up, attitudes to sex were far more open during the times of the Kamasutra. In fact, sexual expertise was expected to be part of the repertoire of any intelligent, cosmopolitan adult.
Perhaps if that same attitude carried on in modern-day India, sexual violence against woman would not be as commonplace as it is today.
So sit back, pour yourself a chilled glass of Chablis and pick up a copy of the Kamasutra. You’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. Cheers…