Man, woman, sex, sexuality and the truth

Dr. Aniruddha Babar *

Ami laga mota ami ke joborjost kure. Ami laga kamzori dikhikene tai takat pae. Ami laga icha, ami laga khushi ke naphapi sae
~ Straight from the heart of a Naga woman (name withheld).

Life is the consciousness of humanity; it is the perception of the world and the universe. So life is sadness; life is death. Life is suffering and destruction. But life is also happiness; life is living and loving too. Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion that encompasses a range of feelings, experiences, and expressions. It is often described as a deep affection, care, and attachment towards someone or something. Love can manifest in various forms, including romantic love, familial love, platonic love, and self-love.

While it can be challenging to define love precisely it has been understood in different contexts as well as social, psychological, cultural as well as political circumstances. However, on the ‘pinkish’ side, Love often entails a deep sense of intimacy and connection with the loved one. It includes emotional intimacy, where individuals feel safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and vulnerabilities. Love may also involve physical intimacy, which can range from holding hands and hugging to sexual expression, depending on the nature of the relationship.

Love can be expressed through various means, and one of the ways it can manifest is through sexual expression. Sexual expression within the context of love involves the intimate and consensual sharing of physical pleasure, desire, and connection between individuals. Sexual expression can serve as a way to express love, passion, and affection for each other. It allows individuals to physically demonstrate their love and desire for their partner.

Through sexual intimacy, individuals can strengthen their emotional bond, deepen their connection, and reinforce their commitment to each other. Sexual expression in love is driven by the desire for mutual pleasure and satisfaction. It involves exploring and fulfilling each other's sexual desires and needs. The focus is on creating a pleasurable and satisfying experience for both partners, fostering a sense of connection and fulfillment.

However, in today’s world it seems people have stopped giving value to the necessary physical intimacy in relationships while focusing/engaging mindlessly into ‘Mechanical Sex Processes’ which again appropriated by male dominated cultural norms where woman’s pleasure and satisfaction have been conveniently ‘rejected’.

I am a man of ‘curiosity’ and ‘observation has always been my hobby’ since childhood. Through my observations and regular open interactions with some great open minded friends I learned that even our Naga society is also not at all open about the subject of SEX and SEXUALITY. In fact, talking about sex is considered taboo.

There is a gross misconception that we normally come across, that the purpose of sex or sexual intercourse primarily is to procreate or produce the children/ the next generation, however the truth is far beyond this generally cultivated and accepted mass misunderstanding and gross ignorance.

There is a great difference between becoming Mother/Father of your child and becoming a Lover of your husband/wife. In the mechanical system of marriage and socially appropriated matrimonial responsibilities people generally fail to understand the need to learn an art to become a great lover- a devotee of love.

Ancient Indians considered sex as the truth and essence of life because it gives birth to a new life. They considered sex a mutual duty as well as emotional need between a married-couple and also a meditation process to penetrate through the curtains of utmost pleasure to finally reach to the Divinity-Liberation-Nirvana.

Knowledge on this topic was essential for the husband and the wife to keep each other satisfied and happy. India used to be one of the most open-minded and liberal societies that the world had ever known. The topic of sex, nudity, homosexuality etc which are considered taboo in recent times under the influence of ‘Victorian morality’, used to be discussed and represented in very scientific and liberal ways.

The most famous example is the Book written by the teacher, Philosopher and great scholar ‘Vatsyayana’, “The Kamasutra” which is an ancient Indian text believed to have been composed between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE. It is a comprehensive treatise on human sexuality, relationships, and the art of loving as well as living.

The Kama Sutra is revered as an important cultural and historical document. It provides valuable insights into ancient Indian society, its social norms, and its perspectives on love, relationships, and sexuality. As a historical artifact, the Kama Sutra allows us to understand the evolution of human attitudes towards intimacy and provides a window into the past.

Moreover, the Kings of the subcontinent were so liberal, that they constructed huge temples and sculpted erotic figures and sexual positions/postures exactly as mentioned and described in the Kamasutra. In that time period, sex was considered as one of the meditation practices to reach ‘Divinity’, ‘Divine Wisdom’, ‘Liberation’ or ‘Moksha’.

This concept was taken with carefully cultivated scientific temper as well as with utmost seriousness and people practiced complex sex positions as a meditation process to attain the final liberation or Nirvana from the ‘sensory material world’. In India, some of the temples where one can see these kind of sculptures are- Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, Konark Sun Temple, Odisha, Modera Sun Temple, Gujarat, Kailasa Temple at Ellora caves, Maharashtra, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Rajasthan, Virupaksha Temple at Hampi, etc.

Indian traditions of sex and sexuality have always given importance to an Art of Love making. Love is the ecstasy when the walls between two people crumble down, when two lives meet, when two lives unite.

However, today’s world- which claimed to be more liberal about sex, sexuality and physical intimacy reduced sex simply at the level of intercourse of organs rather than the spiritual intercourse of bodies, minds, hearts and souls and that could be the reason behind increasing population of ‘sexually depressed’, ‘emotionally suppressed’, ‘physically oppressed’ and ‘spiritually numb’ individuals especially women- who are mostly at the receiving end of the brutal lashes of sexual selfishness, sensual individualism, manly arrogance and carnal ignorance of the male dominated ‘Bedroom culture’.

In Indian society in general and in our Naga society in particular women do not speak about taboo topics like sex, sexuality or intimacy/satisfaction. In cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi a good number of frustrated, miserable couples and individuals are turning to sex counselors and sex therapists to solve their complex bedroom issues. Though they have access to expert-, however, existence of ‘unsolvable issues’ is still a matter of concern.

In our Naga society women rarely share their problems. Moreover, our society never allows Naga individuals to speak openly, let alone Naga girls/women. Women in Nagaland do not have any safe and free place to discuss/share their most intimate, personal issues-the root cause of their suffering, as a result of which they are compelled to live their life in a golden cage of confusion, depression and self-condemnation.

While interacting with my friends and their family members I discovered various characters of worldwide respected play “The Vagina Monologues” written by Eve Ensler coming alive in our Naga society. During one of the research projects I discovered the same characters among my friend circle in Maharashtrian / Marathi society as well. I was not surprised. ‘Suffering’ and ‘Cultural Gag’ is something that brings the women together-be it Maharashtrian or the Naga.

Like everything else, SEXUAL INTIMACY has also lost its true meaning in todays’ world. It is unfortunate to see our society living in a dark era where people need to see Pornography to understand sexual intimacy, sex and love making.

To protect our society from further damage, I advocate a need to introduce “KAMASUTRA TEXT” for all the college going students, at least this will help us to build ideal householder men and women for tomorrow and Men will be properly educated enough to understand needs of women and an art of love making to reach an understanding that sexual intimacy and sex is not an end, but a great beginning towards the brighter, higher goal and certainly not a mechanical act to produce children.

At the close of the Kama Sutra this is what Vatsyayana writes:
“After reading and considering the works of Babhravya and other ancient authors, and thinking over the meaning of the rules given by them, this treatise was composed, according to the precepts of the Holy Writ, for the benefit of the world, by Vatsyayana, while leading the life of a religious student at Benares, and wholly engaged in the contemplation of the Deity. This work is not to be used merely as an instrument for satisfying our desires. A person acquainted with the true principles of this science, who preserves his Dharma (virtue or religious merit), his Artha (worldly wealth) and his Kama (pleasure or sensual gratification), and who has regard to the customs of the people, is sure to obtain the mastery over his senses. In short, an intelligent and knowing person attending to Dharma and Artha and also to Kama, without becoming the slave of his passions, will obtain success in everything that he may do.”

MAN of the 21st Century has been imprisoned in the shining darkness of lust, hopefully with the wisdom of Kamasutra, women of today be liberated and men of today be educated.

* Dr. Aniruddha Babar wrote this article for
The writer is at Dept of Political Science, Tetso College, Nagaland
The writer can be contacted at aniruddha(AT)tetsocollege(DOT)org
This article was webcasted on 25 May 2023.

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