I LOVE the Kama Sutra. A portion of Little Lady Jane includes and portrays the teachings found in the Kama Sutra. This required some research. As I studied it, poor John was privy to the passages that caught my interest. Some made him shudder (remember, the medicinal understanding of how the physical body functioned was quite different in the 2nd century world), but others brought him to awareness of his responsibilities as a lover.
Vatsyayana says, “In the beginning, the Lord of Beings created men and women” (I. p. 15) and pointed out that humans, regardless of gender, have similar needs. It was important that “even young maids [should] study this Kama Sutra along with its arts and sciences before marriage, and after it they should continue to do so with the consent of their husbands” (I. p. 21).
Even back then, it was deemed important to remove the stigma of shame and teach a girl confidence in herself as a whole person, as well as her sexual and sensual self. How things have changed over the centuries! Our modern world is filled with young girls suffering to obtain the false sense of beauty dictated in the social conventions illustrated in fashion magazines and television. The extreme to obtain this beauty are deadly- from starvation to plastic surgery, and woman- young and old- have forgotten that beauty starts from within. ‘Pretty is as pretty does’ has a significant impact in our relationships. A stunning woman who is cruel, crude, deliberately ignorant, and vindictive will destroy her happiness. Guaranteed. Look in the mirror. How does life define the way you see beauty?
The selfishness of the modern world has extended to the bedroom, forcing many to seek pleasure elsewhere. The Kama Sutra delves into a long discussion of whether the female sexual response is the same or different from that of men and concludes “men experience the same kind of pleasure as women do” (II. p. 41)! Yes, both men and women have orgasms and ejaculations, and a woman’s passion can be as intense, if not more, than that of a man. Because of this, Vatsyayana persuades men to learn the arts of pleasure, because “So many men utterly ignore the feelings of the woman” (II. p. 42). Sounds good to me, ladies! What do you think?
I was fascinated when I discovered that, despite the cultural nature of the society in the 2nd century, the text is very pro-female and strikes a chord with so many of us as women, both past and present. It is specific that, at no time should a man force sex with a woman which may cause depression and frigidity. It also warns a man that he must keep his wife happy and that he can gain the best wife by “marrying that girl to whom one becomes attached, and that therefore no other girl but the one who is loved should be married by anyone” (III. p.75). It says NOTHING about finding the prettiest, the youngest, the thinnest, the wealthiest or the most popular woman. In fact, if you read between the lines, it actually suggests that the couple be friends! What a concept, right?
It also comments that the girl should “marry the man that she likes, and whom she thinks would be obedient to her, and capable of giving her pleasure” (III. p. 85). Whoa! Yes! What do you think of that, my dears? No, it does not say that we are to dress in latex and leather and demand he serve us (although, we can’t rule that out). It simply means that she can feel free to communicate her needs and that he is willing to meet them.
The section concludes with, “he only is her true husband who possesses qualities that are liked by her, and such a husband only enjoys real superiority over her, because he is the husband of true love” (III. p. 85). Wow. But isn’t that the truth? Let’s face it, we turn to rubber when the right man, one who we respect, trust and love, takes control in our lives. Ladies, this is the heart of true submission.
The fictional story of Little Lady Jane encompasses the essence of the text in a real life scenario, and shows how possible true transformation (in the heart, mind, spirit and body) can be achieved, even the stringent society of the Victorian era. Sensuality and sexuality replaces the rigid rules and uncompromising dictates of Victorian society, and a story of passion and adventure blooms from the depth, like the lotus flower arises out of the darkness of a muddy pond.
The message? Enjoy your life. Whether your lover or your friends- Respect and honor one another; learn and grow together in the body, mind, spirit and soul; and embrace the blessings that life flows upon you. Happiness is there for all to partake as long as we learn to find harmony moment by moment.
P.S. Be on the look out for Little Lady Jane this week and check out that Kama Sutra!