Sthraina Kamasutra: A sex manual for women
Sthraina Kamasutra by KR Indira rewrites the ancient text as a quasi-feminist manual that will help women 'win the battle between the sheets.' But do its intriguing suggestions go far enough?
It's billed as a sex guide for women. Sthraina Kamasutra by KR Indira rewrites the ancient text as a quasi-feminist manual that will help women "win the battle between the sheets".
Featured in the latest issue of India Today, this feminine Kamasutra penned by an All India Radio executive from Kerala offers a variety of intriguing prescriptions. For instance, Indira advocates sex with married men in order to "help destroy enemies, to acquire assets owned by the person with whom one gets into a sexual relationship, to prevent one's secrets from being divulged, to get work done and to settle scores with an unfaithful husband." [Read the article here]
She also defines a desirable man as "one who is able and knowledgeable, not ugly, not too poor or sick, is well-behaved and of sound character. He should not have unworthy friends or a large family." And he should be either of the same age or younger.
The manual only approves of four of 64 sexual positions outlined in the original Kamasutra: man on top, woman on top, standing face to face, and woman on man's lap. The rest are too painful for women, and do little to enhance their pleasure, claims Indira.
Contrary to popular wisdom, Vatsayana's text does not reflected more enlightened sexual mores, she says, describing it in a Times of India interview as "a book written by a male for males on how to seduce women and get the upper hand over them." Except for a chapter on prostitutes, the manual is also silent on female sexual pleasure. Vatsyayana also mistakenly assumed women were physically incapable of reaching orgasm through intercourse.
Sthraina Kamasutra is Indira's attempt to redress this age-old wrong: "These suggestions may cause many raised eyebrows. But I thought I owe it to women, to goad them to seek sexual independence."
While the book will not be available until mid-June, it may end up raising eyebrows for the wrong reason i.e. not being radical enough. The manual, for instance, specifies only two legitimate reasons why a woman should have sex with a man: "For love, but confirm that he deserves your love. Don't be blind in love and then be surprised at a betrayal. For material reasons. But sleep with him only after you get what you want from him and not before. Make sure you inform him in advance."
Not a word here about women having sex just for pleasure.
The 50-year old divorcee also opposes promiscuity and live-in relationships for surprisingly old-fashioned reasons. "Prostitutes are often better placed than persecuted wives. In marriages, wives suffer even after they bring dowry for their husbands. But prostitutes can claim legitimate payment from men for their services. Men who say women have the right to free sex are actually doing them a disservice. It's just a ruse for them to sleep with them without having to pay," she tells India Today.
As for live-in arrangements: "Men enjoy relationships for some time and then break off at will. The woman will be left alone to take care of children born from these relationships after the man leaves."
The unintended message of Sthraina Kamasutra may be this: we've come a long way, baby, but perhaps not far enough.
Read why can't a woman have sex like a man on the India Today website.
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