Kama Sutra: Guide to a fulfilling sex life
Posted on Monday, April 9, 2012 at 9:52 PM
Author: Jacqueline McAfee (staff writer)
While taking an international cultures course last semester, I discovered a whole new world of traditions and customs. I was opened to a fresh variety of literature, religious beliefs and lifestyles. After taking such a course, I was inspired to meander through the history of other cultures. I found fascinating stories and practices that sparked an interest for my column. Many people I know would openly admit that America is one of the top nations that is constantly thinking about sex, as it is emphasized in our media, movies and advertising. While this may be true, it turns out that we aren’t the only ones with sex on the mind! Taking a look through several scholarly articles, I found that many nations and ethnic groups have their thoughts and theories about sex.
The next time you go to pick up your cosmopolitan magazine, thank the Chinese for producing some of the earliest written theories on sex. “The world’s oldest sex handbooks are Chinese,” comments Fang Fu Ruan in his book “Sex in China: Studies in Sexology in Chinese Culture.” “We do not know when the Chinese began recording their sexual knowledge and practices, but the oldest extant texts date from about 200 B.C.,” says Runn.
I feel, as modern day college students, we tend to believe sex was kept on the “hush-hush” in society prior to our generation. While sex in the media is becoming more accepted and exposed than it was even in our parents generation, it still played a vital role in societal dating all the way back to ancient times. According to the author of Sexuality in Ancient Egypt, Jane Wood says, “Ancient Egyptians believed that life, sexuality and rebirth were elements that went hand in hand.”
While there are countless examples of foreign culture and theory surrounding sex, I found Kama Sutra to be particularly beguiling. For those of you unfamiliar with Kama Sutra, it is an ancient Indian Hindu text in Sanskrit literature that was written by Vatsyayana. For many, particularly in the Western world, it is nothing more than a compilation of sexual positions simulating pornography. (Hey, teenage boys had to have something to hide under their beds back in the day!) “But for the Eastern mind,” says Mabel Iam from The Llewellyn Journal, “the true meaning of Kama Sutra reaches beyond this purely physical interpretation. For them, sex—in all of its forms—is sacred. It reproduces the ultimate creative act, the union of the masculine and the feminine cosmic principles. Sex is the cause of the creation and manifestation of the universe.” It seems pretty simple to me! In many societies, humanity has concluded that open discussion on sexual encounters is considered taboo. It seems almost silly considering sex is the basis of all life. Kama Sutra is not intended as “pornography,” but rather a guide on life and how to tune in to the inner soul through intercourse.
Kama Sutra covers three aims in life: virtue (dharma), prosperity (artha) and love (kama). There is actually a great deal of wisdom and beneficial instruction behind Kama Sutra. According to Kama Sutra, there are two kinds of embrace between lovers while standing:
First Embrace While Standing
When a woman, clinging to a man as a creeper twines round a tree, bends his head down to hers with the desire of kissing him and slightly makes the sound of sut sut, embraces him, and looks lovingly towards him, it is called the ‘twining of a creeper.’
Second Embrace While Standing
When a woman, having placed one of her feet on the foot of her lover, and the other on one of his thighs, passes one of her arms round his back, and the other on his shoulders, makes slightly the sounds of singing and cooing, and wishes, as it were, to climb up him in order to have a kiss, it is called an embrace like the “climbing of a tree.”
Next time you see that couple in the corner of the party locking lips, don’t be so quick to judge; they may just simply be practicing their Kama Sutra skills. Vatsyayana also offers advice for lovemaking:
First Embrace of Sexual Union
When lovers lie on a bed, and embrace each other so closely that the arms and thighs of the one are encircled by the arms and thighs of the other, and are, as it were, rubbing up against them, this is called an embrace like “the mixture of sesamum seed with rice.”
Second Embrace of Sexual Union
When a man and a woman are very much in love with each other, and, not thinking of any pain or hurt, embrace each other as if they were entering into each other’s bodies either while the woman is sitting on the lap of the man, or in front of him, or on a bed, then it is called an embrace like a “mixture of milk and water.”
According to Mabel Iam, there is meaning behind these positions. The woman (goddess) is supposed to be on top so she can have “initiative over the movements and controls the experience.” It also suggests that this benefits the encounter because the man can lay there still and “relax more and give in better.” Personally, it just sounds to me like guys don’t want to do any of the work, but who am I to argue with Vatsyayana? Regardless, the theory and practice of Kama Sutra is very intriguing and wise. There are very many sources out there for those of you who are more interested in Kama Sutra; who knows, you might even find some useful tips to spice up your own love life. The basic meaning behind it is for guidance in life. “Those things which increase passion should be done first, and those which are only for amusement or variety should be done afterwards.”