Kama Sutra

Reception

Indira Kapoor, a director of the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, states that the Kamasutra is a treatise on human sexual behavior and an ancient attempt to seriously study sexuality among other things. According to Kapoor, quotes Jyoti Puri, the attitude of contemporary Indians is markedly different, with misconceptions and expressions of embarrassment, rather than curiosity and pride, when faced with texts such as Kamasutra and amorous and erotic arts found in Hindu temples.[110] Kamasutra, states Kapoor, must be viewed as a means to discover and improve the "self-confidence and understanding of their bodies and feelings".[110]

The Kamasutra has been a popular reference to erotic ancient literature. In the Western media, such as in the American women's magazine Redbook, the Kamasutra is described as "Although it was written centuries ago, there's still no better sex handbook, which details hundreds of positions, each offering a subtle variation in pleasure to men and women."[111]

Jyoti Puri, who has published a review and feminist critique of the text, states that the "Kamasutra is frequently appropriated as indisputable evidence of a non-Western and tolerant, indeed celebratory, view of sexuality" and for "the belief that the Kamasutra provides a transparent glimpse into the positive, even exalted, view of sexuality".[112] However, according to Puri, this is a colonial and anticolonial modernist interpretation of the text. These narratives neither resonate with nor provide the "politics of gender, race, nationality and class" in ancient India published by other historians and that may have been prevalent then.[113]

According to Wendy Doniger, the Kamasutra is a "great cultural masterpiece", one which can inspire contemporary Indians to overcome "self-doubts and rejoice" in their ancient heritage.[114]


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