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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:02 AM
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No nudes? Playboy alters look for India

MUMBAI, India: In this, the land of the ancient Kama Sutra, the holy temples are sexually explicit and the dirty magazines are clean.

In a little-noticed milestone for the world of adult entertainment, Playboy said in December that it would seek to do in India what it had never done before: publish a magazine with its usual fare - except for its name and its nudes. The Indian version of Playboy would be Hugh Hefner meets Henry Ford: You can have any bunny you want, so long as she's clothed.


Sex is bubbling. In an attitudinal sea change, one-quarter of urban, unmarried women have sex, one-third read erotic literature and half go on dates, according to a survey by AC Nielsen and India Today magazine. Bollywood, that mirror of the Indian zeitgeist, now does what it refused to do five years ago: depict an on-screen kiss.

But India has yet to have its own 1960s, in which sexual change accompanied broader upheaval. Despite the transformation within the bedroom, the country outside it is in denial. The police in the city of Madras recently shut down a nightspot after local media published photographs of clubgoers kissing. Then came a judgment by Mumbai's highest court that films not rated "U," for "universal," cannot be shown on television; among the disqualified are the "Harry Potter" movies. More generally, Indian conservatives, including conservative Hindu political leaders, say the country should resist Western sexualization.


But India embraced recreational sex in antiquity, producing the famed Kama Sutra and sculpting many-positioned orgies into the faades of Hindu temples. The Indian law against prurient material makes a special exemption for "any ancient monument" or "any temple."

Reminded of the Kama Sutra, Abdev chuckled, reflected for a bit, then said, "We do not admit to that."
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man4allcats Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:28 AM
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1. Playboy with no nudes?
Remind me never to go to India.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:36 AM
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2. I like the Cd's over there. (just a blank with no music)
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 01:45 AM
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3. Everyone buys it for the articles, anyway.
Jsut how did they go from the Kamma Sutra and sexually explicit temple carvings to being such prudes, anyway? I've read they won't even allow a kiss in Indian movies.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 02:10 AM
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4. Sedentary Society, the Mughals, and the Brits
Edited on Tue Jan-03-06 02:14 AM by liberalpragmatist
A lot of the open sexuality came from a society in touch with its tribal past. You see that in reading the Mahabharata in which every character sleeps casually with literally dozens of others, even the women. As the society became more sedentary, that became less emphasized and sexuality for women, in particular, came to be seen as indecent (mirroring other sedentary cultures).

Also the periods of Islamic rule and especially British rule suppressed the expression of sexuality. Most of India's decency laws and marriage laws that are in the book date from British rule. Those statutes have never been repealed. The British viewed Indian society as WAAAY oversexualized (also, way too addicted to pot in their view). For Victorian Brits, sex was something that needed to be controlled. Indian sexuality was a symptom of immaturity and a lack of self-control. Indian and Hindu reformers who rose into the Indian elite during this time obtained a Western education and embraced British conceptions of sexuality. They led social movements to eradicate the hypersexuality of much of Indian culture, including traditions like the devadasis - sometimes termed "temple prostitutes," although the closest analogy would be geishas (not that there isn't demeaning about that either, but still). Homosexuality was repressed, despite a long tradition of transgendered communities in India known as hijras. Gandhi played a role in this too. While Gandhi didn't believe that sex was bad, he did view it as something with a great potential for weakness. He embraced celibacy in his 30s and afterward led a lifelong effort to suppress all sexual desire. Many of his followers did the same.

Of course, the idea of a "chaste" India has always been a myth, even in the past century. Infidelity is rampant among men, prostitutes are easy available, and even the movies, while not depicting kisses and sex, would instead substitute it with extremely skimpy saris and long song, soaking song sequences in the rain.

Kisses are being shown now, and nonmarital sex is now hinted at in some films. Read the whole article, as it discusses how there's been a quiet sexual revolution in India, although public acknowledgement is very tentative.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-03-06 03:17 AM
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5. Wow! That was very informative. Thanks! n/t
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