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Sexual ethics in Hinduism
The world over, sexual conduct is often linked to religious beliefs and societal norms of sexuality. There is no doubt that sexuality and reproduction are fundamental elements in propagation of human race and most religions have seen sex as a basic human urge and tried to address the question of appropriate and desirable role for sexuality in human interactions and social relationships.

Hinduism has a code of sexual ethics assigning normative values to sexual thoughts and actions. Hindu religion per se emphasizes sexual self-restraint before marriage, and pre-marital sex is seen as an anathema. However, after marriage, sexual variance and pleasure with the spouse in private are seen as a creative expression of sexuality.

As I have understood, with regard to sexuality among the Hindus, the Kama Sutra by Vatsayana is regarded as the guidebook for providing insights into sexual pleasures, ethics and code of sexual behaviour for the married couples.

In fact, the event of Saptapadi in the Hindu wedding for the bride and the groom is that of mutual promises and joint prayers to understand the real meaning of a happy married life as a sexual ethic. It is not merely what the man will do for his wife. There is a sense of mutuality and equity in the Hindu wedding vows. This point is often missed.

Saptapadi consists of seven different promises which the Hindu bride and the groom take as an oath during their wedding. The couple takes vows and pledges for their commitment towards each other for their entire life.

Seven vows in the Hindu wedding mean:

-that they (the couple) will take care of each other

-that they will take responsibility of physical and mental well being of each other to lead a healthy married life.

-that they will earn through proper means.

-that they will share happiness and sadness together.

-that they will be equally responsible and care for their children.

-that they will live together always.

-that they will be truthful and trustworthy to each other and be united always in friendship and harmony.

Nonetheless, the ultimate aim in Hinduism is moksha. Though, the sexual act between consenting adults or a married couple is not inherently sinful but with the advancement of age sexual behaviour has be regulated and to get detached from sex ultimately.

The scriptures say that being attached to sex delays or aborts attainment of Moksha. For married people, there is a prohibition on seclusion with a person of the opposite sex who is not a spouse or close relative.

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