Woman’s Modesty – Art, Science or Basic Instinct?

Womans Modesty - Art Science or Basic Instinct

The Supreme Court defines a woman’s modesty as her sex. What is it really? You decide that. But in the din of jargon, in the flux of sexuality, Rani Verma  wonders whether the Indian man has forgotten the art of making love to a woman

Men must be happy they are not bonobos. Bonobos? That’s an endangered chimpanzee that is monogamous and ‘mates for life’. Imagine if all men were bonobos… All Casanovas and Don Juans of the world would have been unemployed. No court would have had to waste time defining a woman’s modesty. No adultery. No infidelity. And one man would have loved and lived with one woman. Happily ever after.

Womans Modesty - Art Science or Basic Instinct

However, as WH Auden said, men are playboys and women realists. So, get real. Men are not bonobos; they are playboys. And if one were to believe philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer who said that the desire for intercourse is the genius of the genus, all men would be geniuses. Okay, genius? Granted! But what about women? Do men ever think of a woman’s pleasure and do they know the art of lovemaking? Let’s figure out.


PB is a lucky bloke. He should thank his stars he never met Vatsyayana, the mahamuni who wrote Kama Sutra that probably every teenager hides under the mattress. PB thinks he’s a great, accomplished lover. He believes he can seduce any woman and then tick one more on his burgeoning list of the seducible and the seduced. And on evenings when he can loosen his tie and when the vodka gives him a high, he blabbers about that night and that woman. For him every woman is a commodity, every sexual encounter a ruse to satiate his libido.

But if that night, Vatsyayana were to sit next to him on the bar stool, he’d give PB a pitiable grade in ‘sex’. PB fails to pass muster in all the 64 skills that the mahamuni says a man should acquire before even thinking of appropriating
the ‘accomplished lover’ tag.

(Dole a few sops to PB. The list is really long. Forget literary flair and music, it even includes tricky ones like carpentry and needlework!)

What Women Want

  • Women who live between the Ganges and the Yamuna do not like ‘lusty practices’ like being bitten or having men dig their nails into them.
  • Those of Baluchistan like to be physically struck by their men.
  • Women of Maharashtra like their men to use foul language while making love; however, women of Varanasi abhor men who do that.
  • The women of Patna are demure.
  • The fair sex of Avanti (central India) loathes being kissed.
  • Women of Punjab can be won over by oral sex.
  • Women of Oudh (Uttar Pradesh) make great love potions and are also impetuous in their desire.
  • The fair sex of Andhra is very ‘voluptuous’ in its taste.


Of the 64 sexual positions in Vatsyayana’s catalogue, PB can just about manage four. But PB’s worst sin is that he only thinks of his pleasure—he’s always in a hurry to ‘emit’, doesn’t think of the woman as an equal partner in the act, always ignores the erotic mood. Vatsyayana would flunk the bloke because what PB indulges in is sex, not lovemaking. You see, there’s a huge difference—sex is the mechanical art of friction, lovemaking is an art.


“Of course, it’s an art,” says bureaucrat and author Pavan K Varma, who has not only delved into the mind of the Indian middle class and deliberated on being Indian but also elaborated on the art of making love to a woman. His book takes cues from Kama Sutra and looks at this sensual art in a contemporary context where the woman wants to max on sexual pleasure without inhibitions, without guilt.

But can the modern man really handle the demands of a woman who brandishes her sexuality, instead of hiding her desires behind a diaphanous dupatta? Her need is overt, her desire brusque, her groans loud and her doors ajar (pun not intended!) “What we are witnessing is an avalanche of flesh but the degree of ignorance is in direct proportion to the exposure. Sex is everywhere—billboards, television, newspapers, books, films, cyberspace. There is so much about sex in our routine existence that we have forgotten what it is all about,” says Pavan.

So PB has company. He isn’t the only boor walking the earth. Adds Pavan, “Men have forgotten to invest themselves in their sexual partners. They don’t understand the seven-letter word called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. They are ignorant about the joys of shringara rasa. In this drifting away, sex has become coarse.” He doesn’t deride a ‘quickie’ but highlights the bliss, the afterglow of a languorous affair.

Have you read Kama SutraWhat’s Hot Survey

Is there an art of making love?
Yes: 82% No: 18%

Can this art be learned?
Yes: 67% No: 33%

Do you plan to learn this art?
Yes: 55% No: 45%

Have you read Kama Sutra?
Yes: 5% No: 82% In parts: 13%

Are blue films good ‘teachers’?
Yes: 54% No: 30% Not seen: 16%

Is the person you make love to important or the process?
Person: 75% Both: 25%

Would you like to experiment?
Yes: 87% No: 13% (100 respondents aged 18–32 years)


But isn’t lovemaking essentially about chemistry between two consenting adults? One might know the contortions by rote. One might have the prowess to perform them. But wouldn’t they all melt into theories if there were no chemistry? “Of course, chemistry is important, but perhaps more so for a woman than a man. The man might want to whisper the word ‘sex’ in the first meeting and get to the brass tacks immediately. A woman responds best when she is also attracted to the person she’s making love to,” says Pavan. Evidently, a man who oozes only testosterone, nothing else, is less likely to arouse a woman.

Grooming expert Mehar Bhasin corroborates, “Sex is very special, very sacred. I definitely need to be comfortable with the person who I make love to, otherwise I won’t.” Perhaps most women want to be soaked in love before they hit that satin sheet in a mahogany four-poster.

“I cringe at the thought of just any man touching me. I can’t imagine a one-night stand. I can’t think of sex without love. Never,” says Aparna S, believer in the one-man-one-woman theory. She smirks when she’s told that even 2,000 years ago Vatsyayana was advocating group sex, which he interestingly called “congress of a herd of cows”. “Goodness, no!” shrieks Aparna. “No. Not for me!”

So, it is love for a woman and lust for a man? “Not really,” says Pavan. “You can fall in love, you can fall in lust. Pursuit of lust is certainly not coarsening; who knows the dividends could be far greater there!”


What does a man need to attain those dividends? “You need to know the technique of lovemaking. That technique helps in the art that allows both partners, especially women, to experience the ecstasy of union,” explains Pavan. And where does the artistic process begin? Actually, much before physical contact usually.

And where does the learning begin? If you abide by what ad guru Prahlad Kakkar says, every young man of 16 must seduce an older woman and learn from her! Well, Pavan recommends that by 16 each boy must at least have read Kama Sutra (“and my book Kama Sutra The Art of Making Love to A Woman”).

‘Read’, not merely ogle at the pictures, says he! Model Muzammil Ibrahim believes that sexual experiences are the finest teachers and “the best way to learn is to discuss them with friends”. Actor Ashmit Patel prescribes a regular dosage of talking to your partner and “making love as often as one can”.

For photographer Raghu Rai, sex can lead to spirituality if one learns finer nuances, new techniques and invests oneself enough to decipher the areas of satisfaction. “There are enough theories in the world, but specifics can be understood only by the partners,” says he.


But what is Gen X doing to better its prowess? Do the young today at all understand the erotic mood? The kind that Krishna built for his gopis on a rain-drenched rendezvous, luring them with the honeyed strains of his flute, squishing red berries to gently dye Radha’s feet… Krishna’s ras lila stupefied the sky, his physical transcended the mundane and became a spiritual alibi to moksha.

Can a Gen X man decipher this gift from the gods? Can he be the accomplished lover that Vatsyayana lauds—a man who builds the right mood, indulges in foreplay, steals a kiss, gently caresses and understands what his woman wants?

Aditya Raj, 21, doesn’t know that there is something called the art of lovemaking, but peers Amanmeet Singh and Amit Kapoor keep themselves updated so that they don’t get embarrassed when their partners spew more wisdom. Aditya Malhotra stresses on the need to differentiate between sex and lovemaking. However, Achint Kumar laments his unfulfilled desires; he doesn’t know who to turn to for more insights into the art and so resorts to watching porn. None of them really understand what Freud called “the delicious postponement of fulfilment.”

For Pavan, the rule is simple. Only by giving a woman what she wants does a man receive, in the fullest measure, what he wants himself. He worships desire as much to fulfil as to get fulfilled. And if PB is reading this, perhaps next time he loosens his tie and gets high, he would not talk of that night and that woman. There would be postcoital afterglow on his ebony skin. He would natter not just about the friction but the art. And that night if Vatsyayana were sitting on a bar stool nearby, he would pat PB’s back.

Different Countries, Different Ways

  • Twice as many Britishers as Americans report having had sex on public transport and in alleyways and gardens.
  • 75% of Australians have had sex on the road.
  • The morning after, most Chinese men send e-mails to their sexual partner of the night earlier.
  • Most Italians love to flirt overtly over meals.
  • 64% of Dutch men and women are confident about asserting their needs during sex.
  • 24% Greeks believe that sex five-times a week is appropriate while 40% Europeans feels that two to four times a week is enough for a happy sex life.
  • In a global survey, 25% respondents felt that Americans have the greatest bedroom prowess and make the best lovers. The New Age Kama Sutra for Women

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