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India has developed its discourse on sexuality differently based on its distinct regions with their own unique cultures.
The seeming contradictions of Indian attitudes towards sex (more broadly - sexuality) can be best explained through the context of history. India played a role in shaping understandings of sexuality, and it could be argued that one of the first pieces of literature that treated "Kama" as science came from the Indian subcontinent.It may be argued that historically, India pioneered the use of sexual education through various art forms like sculptures, paintings, and pieces of literature. As in all societies, there was a difference in sexual practices in India between common people and powerful rulers, with people in power often indulging in "self-gratification" lifestyles that were not representative of common moral attitudes. Moreover, there are distinct cultural differences seen through the course of history across India.
The origins of the current Indian culture can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilisation, which was contemporaneous with the ancient Egyptian and Sumerian civilisations, around 2700 BCE. During this period, the first evidence of attitudes towards sex comes from the ancient texts of Hinduism, Buddhism. These ancient texts, the Rig Veda among few others, reveal moral perspectives on sexuality, marriage and fertility prayers. The epics of ancient India, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, which may have been first composed as early as 500 BCE, had a huge effect on the culture of Asia, influencing later Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan culture and South East Asian culture. These texts support the view that in ancient India, sex was considered a mutual duty between a married couple, where husband and wife pleasured each other equally, but where sex was considered a private affair, at least by followers of the aforementioned Indian religions.[ citation needed ] It seems that polygamy was allowed during ancient times. In practice, this seems to have only been practiced by rulers, with common people maintaining a monogamous marriage. It is common in many cultures for a ruling class to practice both polyandry and polygyny as a way of preserving dynastic succession.
Nudity in art was considered acceptable in southern India, as shown by the paintings at Ajanta and the sculptures of the time. It is likely that as in most countries with tropical climates, Indians from some regions did not need to wear clothes, and other than for fashion, there was no practical need to cover the upper half of the body. This is supported by historical evidence, which shows that men in many parts of ancient India mostly dressed only the lower half of their bodies with clothes and upper part of body was covered by gold and precious stones, jewellery, while women used to wear traditional sarees made of silk and expensive clothes as a symbol of their wealth.
As Indian civilisation further developed and the writing of the Upanishads around 500 BCE, it was somewhere between the 1st and 6th centuries that the Kama Sutra, originally known as Vatsyayana Kamasutram ('Vatsyayana's Aphorisms on Love'), was written.[ citation needed ] This philosophical work on kama shastra, or 'science of love', was intended as both an exploration of human desire, including infidelity, and a technical guide to pleasing a sexual partner within a marriage. This is not the only example of such a work in ancient India, but is the most widely known in modern times. It is probably during this period that the text spread to ancient China, along with Buddhist scriptures, where Chinese versions were written.
It is also during 10th century to 12th century that some of India's most famous ancient works of art were produced, often freely depicting romantic themes and situations. Examples of this include the depiction of Apsaras, roughly equivalent to nymphs or sirens in European and Arabic mythology, on some ancient temples. The best and most famous example of this can be seen at the Khajuraho complex in central India built around 9th to 12th century.
Although the Portuguese and French had managed to set up some small enclaves in India, such as Goa, where the Catholic Inquisition forcibly converted some of the population of the small region to Catholicism, it was the arrival of the British, who managed to annex the entire Indian subcontinent through alliances with various monarchs, that had the largest effect on the culture of India and its attitudes to sex. The rule was indirect at first through the East India Company whose administrators did not necessarily interfere extensively and even took advantage of the tattered remnants of Hindu liberalism in sexual matters, for example through liaisons and by maintaining de facto wives. At the same time, there were significant number of orientalists who saw India as a great civilisation, invented the field of Indology, and advocated a more accepting point of view.
A number of movements were set up by prominent citizens, such as the Brahmo Samaj in Bengal and the Prarthana Samaj in Bombay Presidency, to work for the 'reform' of Indian private and public life. Paradoxically while this new consciousness led to the promotion of education for women and (eventually) a raise in the age of consent and reluctant acceptance of remarriage for widows, it also produced a puritanical attitude to sex even within marriage and the home. The liberality of pre-colonial India had also respected the home and relationships.
Conservative views of sexuality are now the norm in the modern republic of India, and South Asia in general. It is often argued that this is partly related to the effect of colonial influence, as well as to the puritanical elements of Islam in countries like Pakistan (e.g. the Islamic revivalist movements, which has influenced many Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh). However, such views were also prevalent in the pre-colonial era, especially since the advent of Islam in India which brought purdah as ideal for Muslim women. Before the gradual spread of Islam largely through the influence of Sufis, there seems to be evidence of liberal attitudes towards sexuality and nudity in art. However, scholars debate the degree to which Islam, as a mass and the varied phenomenon was responsible for this shift.
While during the 1960s and 1970s in the west, many people discovered the ancient culture of sexual liberalism in India as a source for western free love movements, and neo-Tantric philosophy, India itself is currently the more prudish culture, embodying Victorian sensibilities that were abandoned decades ago in their country of origin. However, with increased exposure to world culture due to globalisation, and the proliferation of progressive ideas due to greater education and wealth, India is beginning to go through a western-style sexual revolution of its own, especially in cosmopolitan cities.[ citation needed ]
Modern issues that affect India, as part of the sexual revolution, have become points of argument between conservative and liberal forces, such as political parties and religious pressure groups. These issues are also matters of ethical importance in a nation where freedom and equality are guaranteed in the constitution.
The entertainment industry is an important part of modern India, and is expressive of Indian society in general. Historically, Indian television and film has lacked the frank depiction of sex; until recently, even kissing scenes were considered taboo. On the other hand, rape scenes or scenes showing sexual assault were shown. Currently, some Indian states show soft-core sexual scenes and nudity in films, whilst other areas do not. Mainstream films are still largely catered to the masses.
The distribution and production of pornography are both illegal in India; however, accessing pornography in private is not. Regardless, softcore films have been common since the late 1970s, and many directors have produced them. Magazine publications like Debonair (magazine),Fantasy,Chastity,Royal Magazine, and Dafa 302 exist in India, and more than 50 million Indians are believed to see porn on a daily basis.
The Information Technology Act, Chapter XI Paragraph 67, the Government of India clearly considers the transmission of pornography through any electronic medium as a punishable offence. The CEO of the Indian subsidiary of eBay was charged with various criminal offences for allowing the trading of a CD on the website that contained pornography.
While trade in sex was frowned upon in ancient India, it was tolerated and regulated so as to reduce the damage that it could do. Unfortunately, however, the stigmatisation that has arisen in modern times has left the many poor sex workers with problems of exploitation and rampant infection, including AIDS, and worse, it has allowed a huge people-trafficking industry, like that of Eastern Europe, to take hold. Many poor young women are kidnapped from villages and sold into sexual slavery.There have been some recent efforts to regulate the Indian sex industry.
Fellatio is an oral sex act involving the use of the mouth or throat performed by a person on the penis of another person. Oral stimulation of the scrotum may also be termed fellatio, or colloquially as teabagging. If fellatio is performed on oneself, the act is called autofellatio.
The sexual revolution, also known as a time of sexual liberation, was a social movement that challenged traditional codes of behavior related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and subsequently, the wider world, from the 1960s to the 1980s. Sexual liberation included increased acceptance of sex outside of traditional heterosexual, monogamous relationships. The normalization of contraception and the pill, public nudity, pornography, premarital sex, homosexuality, masturbation, alternative forms of sexuality, and the legalization of abortion all followed.
The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Sanskrit text on sexuality, eroticism and emotional fulfillment in life. Attributed to Vātsyāyana, the Kama Sutra is neither exclusively nor predominantly a sex manual on sex positions, but written as a guide to the art of living well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, maintaining one's love life, and other aspects pertaining to pleasure-oriented faculties of human life. It is a sutra-genre text with terse aphoristic verses that have survived into the modern era with different bhasya. The text is a mix of prose and anustubh-meter poetry verses. The text acknowledges the Hindu concept of Purusharthas, and lists desire, sexuality, and emotional fulfillment as one of the proper goals of life. Its chapters discuss methods for courtship, training in the arts to be socially engaging, finding a partner, flirting, maintaining power in a married life, when and how to commit adultery, sexual positions, and other topics. The majority of the book is about the philosophy and theory of love, what triggers desire, what sustains it, and how and when it is good or bad.
Sex manuals are books which explain how to perform sexual practices; they also commonly feature advice on birth control, and sometimes on safe sex and sexual relationships.
The sex-positive movement is a social and philosophical movement that seeks to change cultural attitudes and norms around sexuality, promoting the recognition of sexuality as a natural and healthy part of the human experience and emphasizing the importance of personal sovereignty, safer sex practices, and consensual sex. It covers every aspect of sexual identity including gender expression, orientation, relationship to the body, relationship-style choice, and reproductive rights. Sex-positivity is "an attitude towards human sexuality that regards all consensual sexual activities as fundamentally healthy and pleasurable, encouraging sexual pleasure and experimentation." The sex-positive movement also advocates for comprehensive sex education and safe sex as part of its campaign. The movement generally makes no moral distinctions among types of sexual activities, regarding these choices as matters of personal preference.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu temples and Jain temples in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh, India, about 175 to southeast of Jhansi. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures.
Societal attitudes towards same-sex relationships have varied over time and place, from requiring all males to engage in same-sex relationships, to casual integration, through acceptance, to seeing the practice as a minor sin, repressing it through law enforcement and judicial mechanisms, and to proscribing it under penalty of death. In a 1976 study, Gwen Broude and Sarah Greene compared attitudes towards and frequency of homosexuality in the ethnographic studies available in the Standard cross-cultural sample. They found that out of 42 communities: homosexuality was accepted or ignored in 9; 5 communities had no concept of homosexuality; 11 considered it undesirable but did not set punishments; and 17 strongly disapproved and punished. Of 70 communities, homosexuality was reported to be absent or rare in frequency in 41, and present or not uncommon in 29.
Erotic art is a broad field of the visual arts including any artistic work intended to evoke erotic arousal, usually depicting human nudity and/or sexual activity. It has included works in almost any visual medium, including drawings, engravings, films, paintings, photographs, and sculptures. Some of the earliest known works of art include erotic themes, which have recurred with varying prominence in different societies throughout history. However it has also been widely considered taboo, with either social norms or laws restricting its creation, distribution, and possession, particularly when it is deemed to be "pornographic", "immoral", or "obscene".
Vātsyāyana is an ancient Indian philosopher, known for writing the Kama Sutra, the most ancient book in the world on human sexuality. He lived in India during the second or third century CE, probably in Pataliputra.
Hindu views of homosexuality, and LGBT issues more generally, are diverse and different Hindu groups have distinct views. Although a few Hindu texts contain injunctions against homosexuality, a number of Hindu texts have portrayed homosexual experience as natural and joyful, the Kamasutra affirms and recognizes same-sex relations, and there are several Hindu temples which have carvings that depict both men and women engaging in homosexual acts. There are also numerous Hindu deities that are shown to be gender-fluid and falling into the LGBT spectrum. Same-sex relations and gender variance have been represented within Hinduism from Vedic times through to the present day, in rituals, law books, religious or so-called mythical narratives, commentaries, paintings, and sculpture. In 2009, the Delhi High Court legalised homosexuality in India, but the Supreme Court of India subsequently overturned the high court's decision. The Supreme Court of India, in a later ruling in 2018, reversed its previous verdict and decriminalised homosexual intercourse and relationships. A high-ranking member of the influential right-wing Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has publicly stated that he does not believe homosexuality should be illegal, and that the RSS had no official stance on this issue since it was a matter of personal preference. After the Supreme Court of India struck down parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the RSS stated that while relationships between people of the same gender are unnatural, it is not a criminal act.
Kama means "desire, wish, longing" in Hindu and Buddhist literature. Kama often connotes sexual desire and longing in contemporary literature, but the concept more broadly refers to any desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, desire for, longing to and after, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, enjoyment of love is particularly with or without enjoyment of sexual, sensual and erotic desire, and may be without sexual connotations.
The social construction of sexual behavior—its taboos, regulation, and social and political impact—has had a profound effect on the various cultures of the world since prehistoric times.
Homosexuality in India has been a subject of discussion from ancient times to modern times. Hindu texts have taken positions regarding the homosexual characters and themes. Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says Vikriti Evam Prakriti, which some scholars believe recognises homosexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities. The ancient Indian text Kamasutra written by Vātsyāyana dedicates a complete chapter on erotic homosexual behaviour. Historical literary evidence indicates that homosexuality has been prevalent across the Indian subcontinent throughout history, and that homosexuals were not necessarily considered inferior in any way until about 18th century during British colonial rule. On 6 September 2018, a 5-judge constitutional bench of Supreme Court of India invalidated part of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, hence making homosexuality legal in India. In striking down the colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, one judge said the landmark decision would "pave the way for a better future." This ruling also applied to Jammu and Kashmir state under Article 141 of the Constitution of India and Delhi Agreement 1952, as section 377 of IPC and Ranbir Penal Code is prima materia and Judicial Pronouncements were extended to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Ratirahasya is a medieval Indian sex manual written by Kokkoka, a poet, who is variously described as Koka or Koka Pundit. The exact date of its writing is not known, but it is estimated the text was written in the 11th or 12th century. It is speculated that Ratirahasya was written to please a king by the name Venudutta. Kokkoka describes himself in the book as siddha patiya pandita, i.e. "an ingenious man among learned men". The manual was written in Sanskrit.
Human sexuality is the way people experience and express themselves sexually. This involves biological, erotic, physical, emotional, social, or spiritual feelings and behaviors. Because it is a broad term, which has varied with historical contexts over time, it lacks a precise definition. The biological and physical aspects of sexuality largely concern the human reproductive functions, including the human sexual response cycle.
Sex: The Revolution was a four-part 2008 American documentary miniseries that aired on VH1 and The Sundance Channel. It chronicled the rise of American interest in sexuality from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Sexuality in Japan developed separately from that of mainland Asia, as Japan did not adopt the Confucian view of marriage, in which chastity is highly valued. Monogamy in marriage is often thought to be less important in Japan, and sometimes married men may seek pleasure from courtesans. Prostitution in Japan has a long history, and became especially popular during the Japanese economic miracle, as evening entertainments were tax-deductible. Decreased sex drive in the 21st century has been blamed for the low Japanese birth rate and declining growth of the Japanese population.
Kirtu is a word that, by association, has become synonymous with sexually explicit comics or animation originating in India, which depict modern Indian sexuality. The common noun is derived from the domain name of the popular erotic comics website Kirtu.com, although as a proprietary eponym it is often used to refer to Indian cartoon pornography in general, much like hentai is used to denote sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation from Japan, particularly anime, manga, and computer games.
Sex in film is the presence of sexuality in a film. Since the development of the medium, the presence in films of any form of sexuality has been controversial. Some films containing sex scenes have been criticized by religious groups or have been banned or the subject of censorship by governments, or both. In countries with a film rating system, films containing sex scenes typically receive a restricted classification. Nudity in film may be regarded as sexual or as non-sexual.
Tamil sexual minorities are Tamil people who do not conform to heterosexual gender norms, although the term can be expanded to refer to women as well. They may identify as LGBTQIA. It has been estimated that India has a population of 2.5 million homosexuals, though not all of them are Tamil, and not all Tamils live in India.
This further reading section may contain inappropriate or excessive suggestions that may not follow Wikipedia's guidelines. Please ensure that only a reasonable number of balanced, topical, reliable, and notable further reading suggestions are given; removing less relevant or redundant publications with the same point of view where appropriate. Consider utilising appropriate texts as inline sources or creating a separate bibliography article. (November 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)