The Kama Sutra

April 5, 2005

The Kama Sutra

Imagine if the licensing rights to the Kama Sutra were bought by Hallmark Greeting Cards. Sounds ludicrous, sure, but like Christmas, Easter and Valentine?s Day, the Kama Sutra is as commercialised as any other hitherto spiritual celebration.

What began as a series of teachings about how to live one?s life in terms of sexuality, marriage, love, society, courtship and family has been distilled through the ages so that little remains but the most overtly sexual of the Kama Sutra?s content.

Before pornography became main-stream and before the internet made it infinitely possible to obtain it, the Kama Sutra was the ultimate manual for lovers and pubescent fantasisers. Generations of Indians over the last two thousand years have coveted it as a richly historical sexual bible, and although the myriad contortions illustrated within its text are a feat unto themselves, the overall titillation factor has been the driving force behind its appeal. Having said that, however, never underestimate an Indian person?s respect for the Kama Sutra for it is a valuable piece of ancestral folklore mixed with passion and romance from the days when elaborate carvings of lovers engaged in erotic liaisons were created in stone.

What is the Kama Sutra?
Today, those with the greatest understanding of it seem to be scholars and western alternative life stylers who make it their business to know and appreciate the lessons behind what most people see as a set of fascinating but impossible lovemaking positions. It?s not all about contorting one?s body into unrealistic poses in gratify-defying attempts to impress and amaze.

The Kama Sutra (?Aphorisms on Pleasure?) began life in India between the third and fifth centuries A.D. and is attributed to a sage named Vatsyayana. It was one of seven general philosophical writings on life, including society and love; methods of courtship; aspects of marriage such as running a household; how to have an affair with another man?s wife (including how to break into a harem); the life of a courtesan; and love magic. The Kama Sutra itself regards the techniques of physical love and this is the only one to have survived the passage of time. It outlines in great detail specific techniques for kissing, penetration, oral intercourse, love bites, embraces and more. It provides recommendations on how to behave towards one?s lover and even classifies eight different kinds of scratch that can be left by the nails!

The Kama Sutra?s relevance in today?s world of sexuality has diminished immeasurably, but the interest in it continues to grow. Unfortunately, however, like a game of Chinese Whispers, its true spirit has been compromised so that it now means whatever people choose for it to mean.

In the quest for an advanced understanding of our own sexuality, and how to enjoy it with a partner/lover/life mate, a visit to the historical beginnings of the Kama Sutra is highly recommended. If, on the other hand, the pretty pictures summon delicious sexual energy and allow you to indulge in unbridled, and somewhat uncomfortable, passion… be my guest!

By Gina Luca.

* Gina is a freelance writer whose passion for talking to people on the Internet provides much inspiration for her writing. Check out her website

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