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The 1964 publication of Sir Richard Burton's translation marked the first wide appearance in English of the Kama Sutra and was celebrated as a literary event of highest importance. As vital to an understanding of ancient Indian civilization as the works of Plato and Aristotle are to the West, the Kama Sutra has endured for 1,700 years as an indisputable classic of world literature.

Written with frankness and unassuming candor, the Kama Sutra remains one of the most readable and enjoyable of all the classics of antiquity. A work of philosophy, psychology, sociology, Hindu dogma, scientific inquiry, and sexology, the Kama Sutra's importance is so great that it has at the same time both affected Indian civilization and remained an indispensable key to understanding it.

Published: Penguin Group on Aug 9, 1991
ISBN: 9781101173954
List price: $12.99
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The collection of Indian "wisdom" regarding kama, sensual pleasure. These days there is the myth of the Kama Sutra as if it is one big book of sex positions; in reality, there are seven parts of the Kama Sutra, and only the first two provide any such information. The rest of the book discusses the means by which one might obtain a wife, perhaps multiple wives, to carry on affairs, the lives of courtesans and wisdom for them, and so on. It is interesting to note how highly favored the Kama Sutra is in our modern society despite its rampant chauvinism. Of value to modern Westerners might be the description of the different types of women and the "sixty-four arts" of a well-rounded romantic person, but that's about it. Much can be gained from the book about the history and culture of India. Odds are, it's not what you're expecting it to be.Kindle version: can't complain much in view of the price; some formatting issues, but at least the notes point to their proper places.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is more of a glimpse into the cultrual attitudes towards sexuality more than a sex manual. Intriguing, if not always intereting.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Everyone knows what The Kama Sutra is about. Right? Well, for those of you laughing at me or looking at me askance, maybe you don't know quite so much as you think you do. Yes, it is about sex, but, more than that, it is a study of pleasure, of courtship. Only one chapter focuses on sexual positions, although the other chapters do include other sexual acts.

This new edition of The Kama Sutra does not have any pictures of how to accomplish the sexual positions. Disappointed? Well, there's always the cover and the inside flaps. Reading this, I'm a bit curious how the work became known as a book full of pictures of sexual positions. Certainly, Vatsyayana does describe a fair number, but probably not as many as are in the books that have been published. My own theory is that people came up with a bunch more positions while trying to figure out the ones Vatsyayana described, with limited detail.

From a historian's viewpoint, this was a really neat book to read. One thing I read for particularly was the treatment of women. Now, considering that it's from roughly the third century CE, women are obviously property. Their role is to be subservient. Still, I was somewhat impressed with two things. 1) Vatsyayana also wrote this with women in mind, and included discussions of how a woman can come to have power over her lover or husband. 2) Vatsyayana openly says that women can have strong sexual drives. This is something that is often denied still today.

On the other hand, some of the advice is spot on, and modern males could still learn from it. For example, Vatsyayana says that "One needs to study a woman's behaviour when making a pass at her." Very true. Women are generally going to give off some hints, some signals telling you whether or not they are interested. Being able to read these signals is an art. Of course, his next piece of advice, should she for some strange reason, not be interested is that in some cases "she is available, but by force when they are alone." Not so good. Oh, ancient value systems.

Despite having been written by a celibate focused on meditation, The Kama Sutra really strikes me as the guidebook of a 3rd century Barney Stinson. Seriously, think about it. Within there are precise descriptions on how to bed women of every variety, along with consideration of sexual positions and how to be attractive. "A paste of rosebay, ginger and dried plum leaves" was probably the old school Indian method of 'suiting up.' Or not. Haha. But seriously, it is so much more awesome to read while thinking about this.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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The collection of Indian "wisdom" regarding kama, sensual pleasure. These days there is the myth of the Kama Sutra as if it is one big book of sex positions; in reality, there are seven parts of the Kama Sutra, and only the first two provide any such information. The rest of the book discusses the means by which one might obtain a wife, perhaps multiple wives, to carry on affairs, the lives of courtesans and wisdom for them, and so on. It is interesting to note how highly favored the Kama Sutra is in our modern society despite its rampant chauvinism. Of value to modern Westerners might be the description of the different types of women and the "sixty-four arts" of a well-rounded romantic person, but that's about it. Much can be gained from the book about the history and culture of India. Odds are, it's not what you're expecting it to be.Kindle version: can't complain much in view of the price; some formatting issues, but at least the notes point to their proper places.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is more of a glimpse into the cultrual attitudes towards sexuality more than a sex manual. Intriguing, if not always intereting.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Everyone knows what The Kama Sutra is about. Right? Well, for those of you laughing at me or looking at me askance, maybe you don't know quite so much as you think you do. Yes, it is about sex, but, more than that, it is a study of pleasure, of courtship. Only one chapter focuses on sexual positions, although the other chapters do include other sexual acts.

This new edition of The Kama Sutra does not have any pictures of how to accomplish the sexual positions. Disappointed? Well, there's always the cover and the inside flaps. Reading this, I'm a bit curious how the work became known as a book full of pictures of sexual positions. Certainly, Vatsyayana does describe a fair number, but probably not as many as are in the books that have been published. My own theory is that people came up with a bunch more positions while trying to figure out the ones Vatsyayana described, with limited detail.

From a historian's viewpoint, this was a really neat book to read. One thing I read for particularly was the treatment of women. Now, considering that it's from roughly the third century CE, women are obviously property. Their role is to be subservient. Still, I was somewhat impressed with two things. 1) Vatsyayana also wrote this with women in mind, and included discussions of how a woman can come to have power over her lover or husband. 2) Vatsyayana openly says that women can have strong sexual drives. This is something that is often denied still today.

On the other hand, some of the advice is spot on, and modern males could still learn from it. For example, Vatsyayana says that "One needs to study a woman's behaviour when making a pass at her." Very true. Women are generally going to give off some hints, some signals telling you whether or not they are interested. Being able to read these signals is an art. Of course, his next piece of advice, should she for some strange reason, not be interested is that in some cases "she is available, but by force when they are alone." Not so good. Oh, ancient value systems.

Despite having been written by a celibate focused on meditation, The Kama Sutra really strikes me as the guidebook of a 3rd century Barney Stinson. Seriously, think about it. Within there are precise descriptions on how to bed women of every variety, along with consideration of sexual positions and how to be attractive. "A paste of rosebay, ginger and dried plum leaves" was probably the old school Indian method of 'suiting up.' Or not. Haha. But seriously, it is so much more awesome to read while thinking about this.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Note that this doesn't include the "two essential commentaries" or whatever that Cindy read, which makes it 300 pages shorter and much much better. And look how pretty it is! need.
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