You’ve heard of the Kamasutra positions, but you probably assumed that they must be awkward and ridiculously acrobatic, and that only the most limber among us would ever try them. Well, that assumption is wrong.
What is Kamasutra?
The term Kama Sutra comes from an ancient Hindu textbook on erotic love, written in Sanskrit and called the Kamasutra. Very little is known about the author, Vatsyayana Mallanga, other than his name. It was probably written sometime in the third century.
Contrary to popular belief, the Kama Sutra is not just a book about the act of love and various sex positions. It also covers other topics such as the art of living well, the nature of love, finding a life partner, and taking care of one’s love life. The sexual concepts that most people associate with the Kama Sutra became known in Western culture in the late 19th century, when a British explorer named Richard Francis Burton adapted the Kama Sutra manual.
Although in retrospect the translation is considered highly inaccurate and misleading, the sexual positions described in Burton’s version caught people’s attention. This is one reason why people to this day think of the Kama Sutra as just a book of exotic sex positions.
How does it work?
The Kama Sutra was written in an abstract and vague form of Sanskrit. This has made it difficult to translate accurately into modern English. It consists of 1,250 verses divided into 36 chapters. The entire book is divided into 7 different parts:
- Dattaka – General PrinciplesThe book begins with an introduction and history of the four goals of Hindu life. It contains advice and philosophy on topics such as living an honorable life and acquiring knowledge.
- Suvarnanabha – Courtship and Sexual UnionThe second part deals directly with the sexual content that many people associate with the Kama Sutra. There are details on 64 different types of sexual acts, from hugging and kissing to more aggressive acts like grabbing and hitting.
- Ghotakamukha – The Acquisition of a WifeThe third part deals with the life of a bachelor and the ways to attract a woman for marriage. They are mostly based on astrological compatibility and the benefits of marriage for the families involved – in accordance with the social caste system in India.
- Gonardiya – Duties and Privileges of the WifeThe fourth section deals with the traditional duties of the wife: cooking, cleaning, and providing for the husband. This section seems out of place in modern relationships and views of gender roles, but remember that it was written thousands of years ago, in a different time and place.
- Gonikaputra – Friends and FamilyPart five outlines the roles of the different genders in non-sexual relationships. It teaches how to understand emotions and discusses ways to deepen the bonds between family and friends.
- Charayana – CourtesansPart six examines a man’s use of courtesans, or prostitutes, to build confidence in his sexual abilities before pursuing a woman. It also gives advice on how to fix past relationships with friends and lovers, how to become wealthy, and what to look for in a steady partner.
- Kuchumara – Occult PracticesThe book ends with a section on sexual legends, myths and practices. This includes personal hygiene, the use of perfumes and oils, and homeopathic remedies for sexual problems.
Some Kamasutra positions
While most positions are complex and difficult, there are some that are simple enough for most people to try. Examples include:
The tigress: to begin, one partner lies on their back and the other sits upright but facing their partner’s feet. The person on top rocks back and forth, controlling the pace and depth of penetration.
The milk and water hug: One partner sits on a chair, preferably one without armrests. The other partner sits on top of him, face up.
The embrace position: this position is a variation of the missionary position. Both partners lie down on a comfortable surface with their legs extended and aligned. One partner lies on top of the other, their bellies touching, while the other partner enters from the bottom position.
The padlock: one partner sits on a firm surface such as a table and leans back slightly. The other partner leans forward, lifting the other person’s pelvis and cradling it securely. Then the seated person crosses their feet behind the standing partner’s back.
Queen of Heaven: One partner lies on his back and bends his knees toward his chest. The other partner places their thighs on the outside of the other’s bent legs and bends forward.
Splitting the Bamboo: One person lies straight on their back and shifts their weight to one side, then lifts one leg and places it on their partner’s shoulder. The other leg remains extended under the partner.
Important: How to try Kamasutra positions in a safe wayMake sure that you and your partner are physically able to try some of the Kamasutra positions. If you feel pain or discomfort in any pose, stop and try something else.