Wednesday, August 18, 1999 Published at 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
World: South Asia
Indian women want more from their men
Tender moments are for the screen or courtship
By Delhi Correspondent Daniel Lak
Attitudes towards sex in contemporary India are changing.
There are signs in the growth of agony aunt columns and frank public discussion, especially among women, of love, sex, even orgasm.
A lot of Indian women are complaining that their sex lives just are not good enough.
One 32-year old woman, Meena, has been married for seven years, but says she has never had an orgasm.
She and her husband have a son, but she says she has never been able to enjoy sex, that making love was painful, and that she tried to find ways of avoiding it.
In India, young girls tend to learn about sex in the school yard, rather than the class room. There is no sex education at all.
A lot of people in the urban middle classes get their notions about sex from racy films like Kama Sutra, its uncensored version is widely available on videotape.
Magazines like the local version of Cosmopolitan tell women how to attain the ultimate orgasm. But psychiatrist Achal Bhagat says such advice sits uneasily with middle class prudishness and only produces confusion.
And then there are the men. Dr Prakash Kothari says Indian men are having a hard time coping with newly empowered women who are aware of their needs in the bedroom.
He says men have not been used to bothering about their partner's satisfaction and that they need to learn that "sex lies between the two ears and not the two legs".
But while such activities may not be for all the changing attitudes towards sex in India are visible in films and newly suggestive song lyrics, magazine racks, and the way that women, increasingly, are speaking up and telling the world about their problems.
Now it remains to be seen if men shed the image of their fathers and the film heroes of yesteryear and learn to cope with the new Indian woman, in bed, in the office and in the street.