Gandhi: A Naked Ambition Reveals Details about Gandhi's Sex Life

When I think of Mahatma Gandhi and other historic figures, I tend not to wonder about the details of their sex life. Most of Ghandi’s biographers haven’t delved into his sexual habits either although there is supposition that his sexual ideas and habits were well known. Biographer Jad Adams, however, is unafraid to explore the somewhat controversial topic of Mahatma Gandhi’s sex life in “Gandhi: A Naked Ambition”, which specifically focuses on the great man’s sexual practices.

The book has only been published in Great Britain so far, and is expected to be somewhat controversial when it is released in India due to the reverence that a majority of Indians feel for Gandhi.

According to this article, the book paints an extremely interesting picture of Gandhi and his sexual practices. Throughout his life, in his writing and his practices, Gandhi extolled the virtues of chastity and even tried to prevent married couples from having sex when visiting his Ashram.

This is where the story gets a little weird. According to the biographer, Gandhi probably remained chaste for long periods in his life, but also put temptation in his way in order to control the powerful force of sex. His temptations included bathing with nude “nubile women” and sleeping with other women in his bed. The biographer further speculated that Gandhi would put himself in these positions so that he could “Just say no” so that he could “preserve his semen”.

Some of the “women” were quite young, which was probably more acceptable at that time considering the fact Gandhi himself got married at age 13.

To me, it sounds as if a trip to visit Gandhi may have been similar to a visit to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion, complete with Play-Bunny-like women and bathing pools. Of course, the obvious difference between the two is that there was more than likely no sex at Gandhi’s.

Gandhi’s unusual sexual beliefs must have seemed strange to his wife, Kasturba. She  is described in the book as an extremely loyal woman who was a reluctant participant in his “sexual experiments”. My guess is that during that period in time and in India, she probably had little choice in the matter.

Not everyone was totally accepting of Gandhi’s attitudes and behavior concerning sex.  Gandhi’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, did not approve of Gandhi’s unusual “sex experiments” and “completely distanced himself from Gandhi’s behavior”.