Kama Sutra guide to safe sex
By Subir Bhaumik, BBC correspondent in Calcutta
The government in India's West Bengal State is supporting a
offers prostitutes an ancient solution to modern concerns
about safe sex.
"Kama Sutra has many postures that can give men the
without consummation and that is what the prostitutes are
taught. "They are learning something very useful,"
Choudhuri, chief of the Institute of International Social
(IISD), who designed the project.
Until now, thousands of Calcutta's sex-workers have tried to
customers to use condoms. Their powerful organisation, Durbar
Samannoy Samity, has decreed that all their members perform
safe sex and
customers trying to force sex workers to have intercourse
are thrown out of brothels.
Three hour session
But what happens if a customer refuses to use condoms? The
lose business, which they can ill afford. That is a situation
the IISD is
teaching them to avoid. In a conference hall in the posh
of Gariahat, the IISD is running its "safe sex"
workshop, with backing
from the West Bengal AIDS Control Society.
Sex-workers from the city's major red light districts are
joining up in
"We will back any programme on safe sex. The number of
HIV patients in
West Bengal is increasing and we want to control it at any
Sachinanda Sarkar, assistant director of the AIDS Control
year, 1,137 HIV cases were reported in the state. More than
600 cases have
been reported this year.
Dozens of prostitutes turn up for the workshop and are taken
voluminous Kama Sutra, India's most famous ancient treatise on
training lasts for two to three hours.
"They are specifically taught foreplay and other poses
that will give men
a high degree of pleasure," said Rajyashree Choudhury.
"We teach the girls
the art of ensuring a premature but very satisfying discharge
avoiding intercourse. The Kama Sutra is a treasure house for
A large percentage of HIV/AIDS patients in India acquire the
Source: BBC News, Friday, 8 August, 2003