*** Editor's note: We're not dead! Here's a guest post, courtesy of The Kama Mama (I with I had a name with capital The at the beginning. Sigh.) ***
Greetings DIW readers! As much as I love to read the dating stories and tales of love, heartache and general debauchery on this site, today I thought I'd offer a peek into the world of ancient Hindu dating practices.
That's right! Apparently, the folks of ancient India were really into sex, and they collected their cultural sexual heritage into this little book called the Kama Sutra. The KS offers tons of advice on general living, marriage, sneaking guys into the king's harem and, of course, its famous sexual positions (for more on my exploration of said positions, you'll have to check out thekamamama.com).
Today's discourse, though, has to do with first sex, that is, the first sexual encounter between a married couple. After courtship and wooing (and marriage, but whatever), the KS suggests there should be a waiting period during which the man is to "create confidence" in the girl before the couple gets to roll in ze hay. Keep in mind that despite their apparent sexual enlightenment, ancient Hindus lived in a patriarchal world where social norms included the caste system, marrying young and polygamy, among other practices now considered taboo (but they thought women were too good for blow jobs. Huh). That doesn't mean all of the advice offered by the Kama Sutra is bad (hello, Lotus position!), just that you have to consider it in its cultural context.
OK, on to some dating tips from the KS:
- After the wedding/wooing, sleep on the floor for three days and abstain from sex and salted foods. One KS contributor suggests the man refrain from speaking during this time. Critics say the girl might despise him as a eunuch if he does this, but I don't know ... I've never despised a guy who knows how to shut it when necessary, nor suspected he was a eunuch.
- For the next SEVEN DAYS, bathe amidst the sounds of auspicious musical instruments and decorate yourselves. Harps and vajazzling, y'all!
- Finally, after 10 days, the man should start plying the woman with his sexy ways -- embraces, lovely words. I'm all in favor of slow courtship, but seriously? Who would want to spend the first 10 days after the wedding being celibate? Oh, right, maybe the teenage girl who's afraid of the virtual stranger her parents just married her off to.
- If the girl is reluctant, the man should beg, sweet-talk and, if all else fails, get down on his knees, "for it is a universal rule that however bashful or angry a woman may be, she never disregards a man's kneeling at her feet." Finally, some good advice.
- After a little canoodling, the man should induce the woman into his lap, but if she still refuses his advances, he should frighten her by threatening to mark her lips and breasts with his teeth and nails, to do the same to his own body, and to then tell all his friends that she did it. Wait, what? That doesn't even make sense? How would he bite his own breasts? Wouldn't his friends just think he was a kinky mofo? And of course, that kind of play is definitely for consensual partners only.
- If she's feelin' it, the man should now shampoo his wife's thighs. That's right, thighs. Because what's sexier than a thigh shampoo?
- While engaged in thigh shampooing, the man should cop a feel of the woman's yoni, naturally.
- Then, after he shares his feelings of love, his hopes for the future and his promise of fidelity with her, they can get down to business. But only in a way so as not to frighten her, the KS says.
- Finally, the Kama Sutra offers some parting advice for men. It suggests men take the middle path with women, neither implicitly following the inclination of the girl, nor wholly opposing her. It suggests the man who increases a woman's honor is an object of love, whereas he who neglects a woman is thought of as a beast ignorant of the workings of the female mind. And, the KS wisely warns against rape, saying a woman who is forcibly enjoyed will begin to hate the man who has taken advantage of her.
Lots to consider in the Kama Sutra. Some if it has no place in the modern world, where women choose as much as men. But sometimes, the ancients got it right. Slow, sexy courtship with baths, music and decorating of bodies? Yes, please.
Oh, and thigh shampooing. Definitely thigh shampooing.