Sex for the Ages: Exploring the Kama Sutra

by Christopher J.

February 26, 2023

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“Honey, let’s change things up a little bit this weekend. We should buy the Kama Sutra and try some of those positions. They look pretty wild.”

“Kama Sutra? Oh, no, I want to have hot sex. I don’t want to get turned into a human pretzel!”

Been there, done that? A lot of couples are too intimidated by the legendary exotic nature of the Kama Sutra to buy a copy. Others are too afraid to use the copy that’s been sitting on their shelf since they learned about the ancient sex text in high school sex education class, excitedly thumbed through to check out all of the graphic illustrations or photographs of sexual positions, then quietly slid it back onto their shelf for a decade or more.

Let’s start clearing up the mystique by exploring what is the Kama Sutra really is. WebMD’s excellent article “What Is Kama Sutra?” provides a thorough introduction to and history of the Kama Sutra.

The title of the book comes from an ancient Hindu textbook written in Sanskrit – enough to stop anyone in their tracks when trying to get turned on for the bedroom – but pushing through that is well worth it to get to the heart of this classic guidebook about erotic love. Experts believe the Kama Sutra was written sometime in the third century by the Indian philosopher Vatsyayana Mallanga. All you need to know about the ancient language it was written in is that in Sanskrit, Sutra means “thread,” and Kama means “desire, pleasure, love, or sex.” In other words, the kind of thread lovers like to follow to pursue lasting love and sexual pleasure.

“Contrary to popular belief, The Kamasutra is not only a book about lovemaking and different sex positions,” explains the WebMD team. “It covers other topics such as the art of living well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, and taking care of your love life.”

Thanks to a famous British explorer named Richard Francis Burton who created an English adaptation of the Kama Sutra manual near the end of the 19th century – indicating that he was investigating something much deeper than just the Seven Seas – the Western world was introduced to the sexual concepts associated with the Kama Sutra.

“While considered in retrospect a wildly inaccurate and misleading translation, the sexual positions described in Burton’s version are what caught people’s attention,” WebMD says of Burton’s take on the text. “That’s one reason people still think of the Kama Sutra as only a book of exotic sex positions.”

Because we know you will now go back and read the parts about living well, the nature of love and finding a life partner more on your own, let’s turn to the pages with advice on taking care of your love life and diving into those different sex positions.

In her article “Love Advice from the Kama Sutra”, Carlyn Beccia explains that the ancient text was not written purely to twist lovers into torturous sexual pretzels.

“The sex positions only compose one small chapter out of seven chapters,” she says. “In fact, much of this two-thousand-year-old text has love advice that will seem ripped straight from the pages of modern magazines or blogs.”

Here is just a sample of the advice covered:

Wait to have sex: “Despite the acrobatic positions, the focus of the Kama Sutra is not on penetration,” Beccia says. “It’s on foreplay and not the sexual kind. It advises a man to romance a woman by taking moonlit walks together, artfully conversing with her, and giving her small gifts like dolls made of buffalo horn.” Okay, you can do a 2023 update on the little gifts she would like, but you get the idea.

According to a 2012 study by Cornell University, Beccia informs, couples who waited to have sex reported greater happiness than those who did not.

Build intimate rituals: Other sage and proven advice includes the fact that seduction is about the ritual. “But you don’t have to tickle your lover’s feet with lotus petals every night to get a ritual going,” she points out. “Carving out time for an activity you both enjoy together builds intimacy. It’s very simple advice that many couples forget.”

So, what about those stimulating, and at times arduously amorous positions?

Here are some great books that break down ‘the fun parts’ of this ancient but effective erotic art:

Yes, there are some positions that would make an Olympic gymnast wince, as you can see while perusing Kama Sutra Workout. The book features 300 sensual sexercises that combine a physical and sexual workout that’s as thrilling as it is exhausting. The illustrations indicate which muscle groups are being worked so that you can customize your workout to complement your needs or your other exercise regimen, if you’re a fitness buff. If you’re not, it’s a totally fun and engaging way to get your exercise together and build your strength through many challenging positions.

However, if you’re not looking for a strenuous workout, the Press Here: Kama Sutra for Beginners book is a simple and perfect way to take that journey into millennia-proven sexual experiences. This couple’s guide to sexual fulfillment is meant for kama sutra beginners and is “filled with helpful tips and illustrations to help you deepen and intensify lovemaking.”

The Kama Sutra Mini Book is easy to carry with you anywhere and features 52 erotic positions from the sacred art of Kama Sutra, complete with illustrations. If you are a more adventurous couple, the book includes training suggestions for the more difficult positions so you can properly prepare as you make your way through the positions.

If you’re looking for a nicely illustrated but light-hearted guide to gay sex positions, Gayma Sutra: The Complete Guide to Sex Positions focuses on how to make top-bottom dynamics meet their true potential, best positions for masturbation, and also provides toy suggestions to really amp things up in your private Kama Sutra studio. 

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