How the Kamasutra Is Unappreciated as a Life Guide

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.

Source:

https://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2016/03/20/how-the-kamasutra-is-unappreciated-as-a-life-guide/

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