The “Kamasutra” is one of the world’s oldest textbooks of erotic love and certainly the most famous. It was composed in northern India in Sanskrit, the literary language of ancient India, probably in the second century—a time when Europeans were, sexually speaking, still swinging in trees. Because of its explicitness about the intimacies of sexual passion, it can still make people today blush.
But the “Kamasutra” has long been misunderstood. Very little of it, in fact, concerns the sexual act, and the bits that do may or may not surprise modern readers, depending on what sort of lives they have led. But the rest of it will surprise them, because the “Kamasutra” is, above all, a profound work of psychology.
The descriptions of sexual positions may at one time have been the most thumb-worn passages, but nowadays, when sexually explicit novels, films, videos and instruction manuals are everywhere, no one needs to read it for that. The real “Kamasutra” is about the art of living—finding a partner, maintaining power in a marriage, committing adultery, using drugs and more. It tells us that anyone can live the life of pleasure—if they have money.
A modern reader might expect the book’s descriptions of sex to be familiar and the details of life in ancient India to be strange. In fact, the opposite is often true: Some sexual details are strange and even repugnant, while cultural matters are often surprisingly familiar.
The “Kamasutra” describes some sexual contortions that “require practice,” as the text puts it mildly. These are the gymnastic positions that make people laugh, uneasily, when the book is mentioned. Sexual reality may be universal—there are, after all, just so many things that you can do—but sexual fantasy seems to be highly cultural.
Did people in ancient India really make love like that? True, they did have yoga, and great yoga practitioners can make their bodies do things that most people would not think possible (or even desirable). But the extreme positions may just be the writer’s free-ranging fantasies. Be advised: Don’t try this at home.
We are in more familiar territory with the book’s psychological analysis. The acuity of the male author is still impressive today, as when he lists the sorts of married women who are likely to cheat on their husbands: a woman who has no children or whose children have died; a poor woman fond of enjoying herself; a woman who is proud of her skills and distressed by her husband’s foolishness, lack of distinction or greediness; a woman whose husband travels a lot; the wife of a man who is jealous, bad-smelling, too pure, impotent, a procrastinator, unmanly, sick or old.
Equally insightful is the list of devious devices that a woman uses to make her lover leave her, rather than simply kicking him out. She talks about things he does not know about. She shows no amazement but only contempt for the things he does know about. She intentionally distorts the meaning of what he says. She laughs when he has not made a joke, and when he has made a joke, she laughs about something else. She talks in public about the bad habits and vices that he cannot give up.
As these instances suggest, an aspect of the “Kamasutra” that has been lamentably overlooked is its strikingly modern attitude toward the role of women in sexual relations. One reason for this ignorance is that the text is known almost entirely through the flawed 19th-century English translation of Sir Richard Francis Burton.
Burton can be admired for the courage and determination it took to publish the work at all (it was banned in England and the U.S. until 1962), but he robs women of their voices, replacing direct quotes with reported speech rephrased by a man, thus erasing their vivid presence. For instance, the text says that, when a man strikes a woman, “She uses words like ‘Stop!’ or ‘Let me go!’ or ‘Enough!’ or ‘Mother!’ ” Burton translates it like this: “She continually utters words expressive of prohibition, sufficiency or desire of liberation.”
Stripped of Burton’s veils, this much misunderstood text serves both as a window into the bedrooms of another culture and a mirror for our own most intimate desires.
Prof. Doniger’s many books include “Redeeming the Kamasutra,” published this month by Oxford University Press, and a translation of the “Kamasutra” (with Sudhir Kakar).
In the 21st century many adults can receive proper information about sexual positions. Different sexual positions are used throughout the world, learned from the historical traditions, such as the Kama Sutra, to experiencing different techniques in the 21st century and could find many information on different sex positions. Many erotic sex positions get their names due to the positioning of the male and female during sexual positions. (Some sex positions are also used with female-to-female or male-to-male) But most people only find the basic sex positions through television or movies, which can be boring if only knowing one or two different types of sexual positions.
Information about sex positions can be written in a book, that you can purchase at a local bookstore or could one could rent a book in the library. The Internet is also a good source to find different sex positions. The Internet provides webmasters to post their feelings and knowledge about sex positions and how it could provide a better sex life. Or, with a sex partner, a person can experiment different techniques with positions, learning which different sexual position they find fun and stimulating.
Many people find their information facts in a certain book that has been written in the 4th century. The book is called The Kama Sutra. In the Kama Sutra, there are over 50 different sexual positions and 15 oral positions. The Kama Sutra was written and was believed to bring the man closer to heaven if he used more sex positions from the Kama Sutra book. Also, the bigger penis’ the men had, or smaller vaginas women had, would make their gods believed they were powerful and stronger. Many different authors from A.D. 100-400 wrote the book. The Kama Sutra is no different from the present day; to help us improve and enhance the sex life. The original Kama Sutra readers were not different to us. Only difference is through centuries.
The Kama Sutra had many stimulating oral positions as well that we still use today. The famous 69 positions were called “In the Congress of a Crow” as both partners work together to give and receive oral stimulations. Another exotic oral position is The Cunnilingus, (AKA Clitoral Stimulation) where the man gently inserts his tongue into her vagina, creating a more stimulating feeling to the women. The Fellatio, (AKA Sucking the penis) is where the women shall insert the penis into her mouth and tighten her checks to suck, making a pleasurable feeling to the penis. As for intercourse, the Kama Sutra book was VERY popular with modern times and in recent times. The Kama Sutra provided a lot of information about how and why we try different positions. The Kama Sutra book said intercourse was very good for one’s spirit. Some popular sex positions in the Kama Sutra was the famous Missionary position with the man on top of the women and he inserts his penis into her vagina, stroking his penis back and forth.
The Kama Sutra is now used as “Today’s Sex Manuals” calls MAXUM magazine. It is designed to appeal to men and women that want to experience joyful, satisfactory sexual relationships. And because the Kama Sutra can be purchased anywhere now, we (our group) took a survey to college students, asking which sexual positions they prefer. We all asked 15 to 20 college students each (55 in total) 50% preferred Doggie Style (rear entry position) 23% preferred the basic missionary position. (The Yawning position) 15% preferred Women on top (A Pair of Tongs) and 12% preferred only to have oral sex with the positioning of 69 (The Congress of the Crow) Thus led us to believe that many students that have sex are generally unaware of other sex positions. When we asked the students if they have tired other types of positions than their favorite, most of their response was “We don’t know any other kind of positions.”
Ideals of sex positioning may not always be taught from the Kama Sutra. In movies, such as The Devil’s Advocate, has sex sense that provides the basic sex positions, which is probably the reason why these students (or other people) are only aware of the missionary or doggie style positions. If the sexual active men or the women are seeking to find different sex positions, pornography can play a big roll in learning different sexual positions and they can watch how it is preformed.
No matter what type of sexual position a sex couple may choose, many couples may find positions that match their erotic feelings such as man-on-top positions, Positions for Ultimate Touch, Acrobatic Positions, Ananga Positions, Performed Garden Positions or Just Making Mouth Music. Many sex positions may not have as much sensuality as other positions, but the person should always try different positions to stimulate the sex partner. Perhaps this is because seeing the body in a variety of positions can visually, even if not physically stimulating
There are hundreds of different ways of using sex: to get closer to heaven or just to stimulate the partner and show them how much you adore a partner. Many sex books are not available throughout the world as a helpful guide to better sex. We, as a group, strongly recommend to many young sexual active students to purchase the Kama Sutra or any other type of sexual pleasurable books. It can help to experiment with other sexual positions and perhaps to become better sex partners and also to know a little of history about where sex positions came from. So please, to all college students, purchase the Kama Sutra or look up different sex positions in the Internet and explore different techniques with sex positions. It may be helpful later in life.