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The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (Deluxe Illustrated Edition)

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The best English Kama Sutra Interpretation Sir Richard F. Burton’s translation of The Kama Sutra remains one of the best English interpretations of this early Indian treatise on politics, social customs, love, and intimacy. Its crisp style set a new standard for Sanskrit translation. This Modern #1 Seller Classic Erotic Edition The Kama Sutra stands uniquely as a work of The best English Kama Sutra Interpretation Sir Richard F. Burton’s translation of The Kama Sutra remains one of the best English interpretations of this early Indian treatise on politics, social customs, love, and intimacy. Its crisp style set a new standard for Sanskrit translation. This Modern #1 Seller Classic Erotic Edition The Kama Sutra stands uniquely as a work of psychology, sociology, Hindu dogma, and sexology. It has been a celebrated classic of Indian literature for 1,700 years and a window for the West into the culture and mysticism of the East.This Modern Deluxe Illustrated Classic reprints the authoritative text of Sir Richard F. Burton’s 1883 translation.


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The best English Kama Sutra Interpretation Sir Richard F. Burton’s translation of The Kama Sutra remains one of the best English interpretations of this early Indian treatise on politics, social customs, love, and intimacy. Its crisp style set a new standard for Sanskrit translation. This Modern #1 Seller Classic Erotic Edition The Kama Sutra stands uniquely as a work of The best English Kama Sutra Interpretation Sir Richard F. Burton’s translation of The Kama Sutra remains one of the best English interpretations of this early Indian treatise on politics, social customs, love, and intimacy. Its crisp style set a new standard for Sanskrit translation. This Modern #1 Seller Classic Erotic Edition The Kama Sutra stands uniquely as a work of psychology, sociology, Hindu dogma, and sexology. It has been a celebrated classic of Indian literature for 1,700 years and a window for the West into the culture and mysticism of the East.This Modern Deluxe Illustrated Classic reprints the authoritative text of Sir Richard F. Burton’s 1883 translation.

30 review for The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana (Deluxe Illustrated Edition)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    "Get a bigger flute!" "Increase ur Size! 6" "Don’t walk with tail between your legs." "V|agr.a, C|a.li5, and Phen.term.|ne CHeep!!" Was the Kama Sutra the original idea for spam email? "Take pomegranate and cucumber seeds, extract the juice of elabāluka (eluva, Gisekia pharmaceoides) and bhatakataiyā (Solanum indicum, eggplant). Cook in oil over a low heat. Use it to massage the penis. It will remain swollen for six months." ...It didn't sound so bad until I got to the last line... "Ram's or he-goat "Get a bigger flute!" "Increase ur Size! 6" "Don’t walk with tail between your legs." "V|agr.a, C|a.li5, and Phen.term.|ne CHeep!!" Was the Kama Sutra the original idea for spam email? "Take pomegranate and cucumber seeds, extract the juice of elabāluka (eluva, Gisekia pharmaceoides) and bhatakataiyā (Solanum indicum, eggplant). Cook in oil over a low heat. Use it to massage the penis. It will remain swollen for six months." ...It didn't sound so bad until I got to the last line... "Ram's or he-goat's testicles boiled in sugared milk increase sexual prowess." ...Can I have some more Rocky Mountain Oyster Pudding, grandma? "If a man anoints his penis with datura, black pepper [maricha], and long pepper [pippalī], crushed and mixed with honey, its use will allow him to bewitch and subjugate his partners." ...Or at least cause them to be doubled over in fiery pain. Once you're done mucking about with spicy peppers, priapisms, and testes, why not try this ancient recipe: "By rubbing one's hand with the excrements of a peacock, which has been made to take haritāla [yellow myrobalan] and manashilā [red arsenic], everything one touches becomes invisible." ...Infallable. Okay, in an attempt to save you, Dear Reader, a ton of time may I present: All You Will Ever Need To Know About the Kama Sutra* 1) There are no pictures in the original Kama Sutra, much to the chagrin of reviewers on Amazon. 2) For the naughtiest parts, go straight to Chapter Six 3) You aren't going to learn any new tricks unless you're a sweet, innocent teenager. 4) The Kama Sutra is extremely repetitive. (This explains my low-ish rating - I'd probably put it at a 2.5. And those stars are just there for the aforementioned chuckles at the insanity. Ancient people were batshitcrazy. It's a miracle we're still around.) There is a good reason for the repetitiveness - as a teaching text, a student is supposed to read the original with enlightened commentary. Unfortunately this translation includes 2 extra commentaries after every paragraph. The translator even apologizes in the intro for its "maladroitness." Even with good reason, doesn't make it fun to read. 5) A lot of the advice is violent - scratching, slapping, bleeding, etc. 6) The Kama Sutra wasn't exactly written by Vātsyāyana - he collected the "erotic science" sections of the Kama Shastra (which were becoming harder and harder to find). 7) The history of the Kama Sutra is interesting, as is the background of the three Shastras - go learn about them. Maybe I'm too dense, but I didn't learn much about history by reading the original text. 8) The Kama Sutra tries to explain all sexual practices, even those that are not recommended or are forbidden. Vātsyāyana felt it very important to be complete. Which I can get behind. *(unless you are an ancient Indian scholar, of course.)

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    before biff and chip, before the alphabet books, this is the first book i ever read. i remember well being read this book as i nodded off to sleep, and the pleasant dreams that would follow. as a four year old this book meant a lot to me, it completely shaped my views on literature and what a book meant to people. at age 8 i killed a man. that has nothing to do with this book, just thought i'd mention it. anyway, without this book i would never have got that job as a basketball player for the det before biff and chip, before the alphabet books, this is the first book i ever read. i remember well being read this book as i nodded off to sleep, and the pleasant dreams that would follow. as a four year old this book meant a lot to me, it completely shaped my views on literature and what a book meant to people. at age 8 i killed a man. that has nothing to do with this book, just thought i'd mention it. anyway, without this book i would never have got that job as a basketball player for the detroit pistons. no homo. this book is about the human condition and what it means to be a working class youth in 16th century london. this is why this book appealed to me so. it can speak to people on all walks of life, no homo. i killed a man once. but anyway.... this book started the second world war. i have no evidence for this, yet still i believe it. but anyway, this book is awesome. my favourite part is when the nasty old witch realises we're all the same in the end, and we are all born equal. then she bones the elevator attendant. no homo. anyway, i killed a man. but yeah, this book changed my life. after reading this at the age of 213, i realised life was not a game, that we must make each day as important as the last, and that pandas are spies for Belgium. no homo. this book taught me about how a robot works. now i will apply to robot wars and design a robot that can kill all others, maybe even one day rule the world. it sounds silly, bu this book truly filled me with hope, which is what a book should not do. honestly, this book is a bad influence on everyone that reads it. i let a person live once. homo. did you ever go to sea world? it was about several sexual positions and how keith chegwin ruled monday night television. he didn't. but he wished he did. no homo. anyway, this book was written long ago, which is cool cos a lot of things happen long ago (e.g. trousers, the beubonic plague, hitler, TISWAS, the list goes on). i think people should read this book so that everyone understands the true meaning of christmas. no santa. as a toddler, this book scared me. i didn't understand. but now. the end. no homo. so yeah, this book taught me how to walk, you wouldn't believe it but its true. this book is all about walking places. it just got a bad rep for being about the murder of alsations, but no, it is about how to walk. so please, read this book and die. homo. from the reviewer of this book, Salmand Rushdie.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

    Arguably the hottest non-fiction book I've ever read - the translator has done a fantastic job of not only providing a translation of the original text, but also including translations of the commentaries by ancient Hindu authorities. The book is less pornographic than you would think - I have seen countless "reproductions" that merely involve couples photographed in the positions. These detract from the content of the original, as does the reputation that proceeds this book. This actually is more Arguably the hottest non-fiction book I've ever read - the translator has done a fantastic job of not only providing a translation of the original text, but also including translations of the commentaries by ancient Hindu authorities. The book is less pornographic than you would think - I have seen countless "reproductions" that merely involve couples photographed in the positions. These detract from the content of the original, as does the reputation that proceeds this book. This actually is more of a list of erotic behavior than it is a manual - anyone that reads this will never have a need to read an issue of 'Cosmo' again. (but then, anyone who has gone further than the missionary position probably doesn't need to read Cosmo either ;) Instead of a "sex manual" it is more of an insight to the sexuality of middle-ages India - there are entire chapters on biting, scratching, sexual positions, courting, seduction, quarrels and fights, "emergency cures and potions," as well as whole sections on homosexual behavior. The commentary (which was originally written a century or so after the original text) gives further advice, stating that certain behavior is not "suitable" for people of certain castes, or that women of certain regions prefer certain behaviors but shun others, etc. As someone interested in both anthropology and sexology, this volume is indispensable - but if you're someone looking for a quick, kinky read, I wouldn't recommend it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Allen

    Coming from a strong background in philosophy and the Classics, I found this book to be an invigorating read. In general, nobody has any idea what Kama Sutra means, what the books is or what the author intended it to be. Simply put, dispel yourself of any preconceived notions before you read even the first paragraph of this opus or my review. I was consistently intrigued by the exotic perspective and expansive scope of the Kama Sutra. In a sentence, the book is an exposition of the author's perso Coming from a strong background in philosophy and the Classics, I found this book to be an invigorating read. In general, nobody has any idea what Kama Sutra means, what the books is or what the author intended it to be. Simply put, dispel yourself of any preconceived notions before you read even the first paragraph of this opus or my review. I was consistently intrigued by the exotic perspective and expansive scope of the Kama Sutra. In a sentence, the book is an exposition of the author's personal experience of and his well-read study of carnal enjoyment. I found this perspective to be particularly interesting because you must set the narrative within the context of a highly stratified caste society with little to no social/economic/spiritual/political mobility. This book forced me to recognize that this society elevated, at least theoretically, carnal pleasure to a spiritual and cultural (pseudo)-science whereby these stratifications may be bent, re-interpreted and, to use a word in its literal sense, humanized. Do not underestimate the empirical and scientific level at which the author has applied his mind. I am certain that Aristotle or Aquinas would have been enraptured. Surprisingly to me, the scope of the Kama Sutra did not extend to other aspects of carnal pleasure to include among other things the culinary sciences. Perhaps, this is because the arts of cooking and the enjoyment of taste were not within the purview of the audience of the Kama Sutra. Speaking of Aristotle and the Greeks, the Kama Sutra contains an interesting comparative comment on the nature of prostitutes and their differing capacities in the Indian and Greek worlds. In the method of pre-Industrial revolution works, the author enjoys "scientific" proofs of his arguments by natural analogy. For example, the author supports his conclusions on that natural behaviors of mankind by analogies to his empirical observations of nature and animal life. This method, of course, will be immediately recognizable to any student of philosophy. The books follows a logical plan, which comprises of small treatises regarding specific aspects of the topic including the opinions of previous scholars and the author's agreement or disagreement with them. The work starts with an exhortation to the study of Kama, its benefits and its general nature. The book also includes treatises on the nature of man and woman, the nature of desire, the nature of union both carnal and spiritual, the nature of a wife and, the most unusual part in my opinion, the nature of the prostitute. Unfortunately, a collection of only a handful of the thousand of verses of this work has received notice and attention by the modern world - namely the verses, which describe the 64 arts of Kama ranging from cooing and biting to sexual positions and the appropriate setting for such sexual union. I do not understand why people believe that they will discover some sexual awakening from a book, whose focus is spiritual and philosophical in nature; if you are looking for this, there are obviously more available sources of this information. I conclude my review with a longing that the many works and authors, which are cited in this book, are unavailable and lost as far as I can tell. The book is a good foothold in Hindu culture and philosophy and has encouraged me to download the Rig Veda to my iPad/iPhone. The Kama Sutra deserves a read by any curious mind and has earned a solid 5-star rating.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    Like most children, my brother and I knew where everything was in our house, paying particular attention to the things we weren't supposed to know about. This book was contained in a shoebox in the closet of my parent's bedroom. The Kama Sutra is commonly mismarketed as a sex guide or as pornography. Although courtesans are mentioned, it is not about the sex trade but includes discussion of marriage, adultery, transvestism, homosexuality etc. Most memorable from the childhood perusal of it is the Like most children, my brother and I knew where everything was in our house, paying particular attention to the things we weren't supposed to know about. This book was contained in a shoebox in the closet of my parent's bedroom. The Kama Sutra is commonly mismarketed as a sex guide or as pornography. Although courtesans are mentioned, it is not about the sex trade but includes discussion of marriage, adultery, transvestism, homosexuality etc. Most memorable from the childhood perusal of it is the long listing of positions for coitus, many, if not all, of them named for various animals. This was weirdly fascinating, not for any erotic charge--there isn't any--but for the suggestions it implanted about how strange Indian culture must have been. I suppose Mom and Dad must have been disappointed also, neither of them having evinced any particular interest in the mores of medieval India.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    I've always wondered about this book after I heard about it in my history class in 8th grade. When I was downloading things on ibook I saw this and I felt myself enough of an adult to finally read it without being embarrassed. It was a historical guide to relations with the opposite sex in all different castes in India. So this included the beggar all the way to royalty. To be honest much of it was tiresome and repetitive, but then every once in awhile you would stumble on something interesting l I've always wondered about this book after I heard about it in my history class in 8th grade. When I was downloading things on ibook I saw this and I felt myself enough of an adult to finally read it without being embarrassed. It was a historical guide to relations with the opposite sex in all different castes in India. So this included the beggar all the way to royalty. To be honest much of it was tiresome and repetitive, but then every once in awhile you would stumble on something interesting like how the women of a polygamist should always be fighting one another unless it causes to much discomfort to the husband. Just all the women's rights just never existed and they were treated worse than cattle, since cattle of course are holy in India. It would also talk about how best to cheat on your spouse, and how you could tell if someone was cheating on you. Courtship was also very interesting with its formalities and what was permitted. Pressing with nails and biting were something that always came up in the book as something to communicate to others either by doing it to them, or by biting or pressing you nails on a gift for them like a flower. There was also a couple chapters on sex, but they can be easily skipped if that's not your cup of tea. Especially the chapter on Eunuchs, just wierd. An odd book that after reading a few choice parts to my spouse, we were left laughing out loud a few times. I am glad to say that I now have an opinion about this "historical classic".

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scarlett

    admittedly i did not read cover to cover, but i read enough to get a good sense. i was surprised to discover that much of it read like emily post's book of etiquette but for subjects such as kissing, scratching and biting (as in love play), how to behave toward the first wife if you are the second wife, personal adornment, and lying with courtesans.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Unable to read. Pages were stuck together.

  9. 4 out of 5

    TheSkepticalReader

    I picked up this edition today at the Art Institute of Chicago and it isn’t ‘The Kama Sutra,’ but simply a collection of paintings with some random blocks of texts—which I didn’t enjoy reading.

  10. 4 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    This is a funny book! Since the book was written in the ancient India, many of the non-sexual instructions like courtship, concubines, courtesan, prostitutes, are just passe and ridiculous! However, the sexual parts (which is just 1 out of 7 parts of the book)are still thought provoking and could still bewilder one's imaginations! This being an instruction book and an undeniably an indespensable part of classic literature is nothing but a must read piece of work of art. Thanks again Tata J for le This is a funny book! Since the book was written in the ancient India, many of the non-sexual instructions like courtship, concubines, courtesan, prostitutes, are just passe and ridiculous! However, the sexual parts (which is just 1 out of 7 parts of the book)are still thought provoking and could still bewilder one's imaginations! This being an instruction book and an undeniably an indespensable part of classic literature is nothing but a must read piece of work of art. Thanks again Tata J for lending me this book! I hope you will find more books like this, read them right away and pass them on to your equally voracious brother!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Theresia monica danis rahayu

    not just sex n make love, guyzz!!..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Found this again the other day in an old stack of books I needed to box up for storage. I ended up reading this again and lending it to a friend, as all good books should end up (if you have friends that return books). I always find this book interesting and not for the commonly thought reasons. Yes it is a book about sex, but it also a book that leads up to the act by discussing social climates, moods and behavior, psychological conundrums and mindset and energy. There are bold pictures here, s Found this again the other day in an old stack of books I needed to box up for storage. I ended up reading this again and lending it to a friend, as all good books should end up (if you have friends that return books). I always find this book interesting and not for the commonly thought reasons. Yes it is a book about sex, but it also a book that leads up to the act by discussing social climates, moods and behavior, psychological conundrums and mindset and energy. There are bold pictures here, showing positions and processes that are interesting as well, and yet the overall read drew my eye to the words, with the plates and pictures as a compliment, always. This stands as one of the greatest works of relationships, in many ways. It gets talked about as taboo or as outright disgusting old adult literature, but I disagree. There are many things going on in this book and the various positions, in talking, touching and physically exercising the usages here are myriad. Make no mistake, this book gets you going in many ways, but I feel that when the mind is stimulated, the heart and body follow along and the entire experiment yields the desired outcome. Don't hear many people talk about this book anymore. There are variations of the translation out there in multitude, but this one I enjoy the most. Danny

  13. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

    The Kama Sutra handles subjects of marriage, hetero- and homosexuality, monogami and polygami alike, how to steal a woman from another man – as well as the life of courtesans, and last mot not least, how to attract a woman by extra ”medicines”. It handles things quite ”scientifically” and is in no way erotic. In fact, only one out of seven parts discusses ”Sexual Union” while the rest focuses on more cultural issues and etiquette. Most of which are clearly outdated, but hence I have a great gener The Kama Sutra handles subjects of marriage, hetero- and homosexuality, monogami and polygami alike, how to steal a woman from another man – as well as the life of courtesans, and last mot not least, how to attract a woman by extra ”medicines”. It handles things quite ”scientifically” and is in no way erotic. In fact, only one out of seven parts discusses ”Sexual Union” while the rest focuses on more cultural issues and etiquette. Most of which are clearly outdated, but hence I have a great general historical interest – I found it both fascinating and, at times, comical to read about how you were supposed to behave around, and treat a woman 2000 or so years ago – also how a woman herself is to treat males of various castes and social standing. In a way, it is not so different from those classic 19th-20th century ”house wife” books – and when taking time to reflect, it is not so much different from our woman world view before 20th century. The only difference is that in India, it’s been written down in, perhaps you might say, pure scientific matter of fact.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Come on who hasn't at some point in their life picked this up and flicked through it. Turned it upside down, trying to figure out just what is going on. Honestly if you need a guide for this stuff you're not thinking hard enough.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Harry Allagree

    It undoubtedly would've been helpful for me personally had I read this classic work as a younger man, rather than as one now approaching his 80's! Unfortunately, most Americans, hearing the name Kama Sutra, immediately think "sex manual". Here's how the 3rd cent. Indian author, Mallanaga Vatsyayanna, in the Epilogue sums it up: "...One who understands [the Kama Sutra's] essence will look to virtue, wealth and pleasure, his own faith, the world around him, and not act just out of passion... Learned a It undoubtedly would've been helpful for me personally had I read this classic work as a younger man, rather than as one now approaching his 80's! Unfortunately, most Americans, hearing the name Kama Sutra, immediately think "sex manual". Here's how the 3rd cent. Indian author, Mallanaga Vatsyayanna, in the Epilogue sums it up: "...One who understands [the Kama Sutra's] essence will look to virtue, wealth and pleasure, his own faith, the world around him, and not act just out of passion... Learned and adept in these, looking to virtue, also wealth and not seeking only pleasure with a passion excessive, he will succeed in what he does." The Kama Sutra is eminently practical, but also explains the logical reasons behind what it suggests. I noticed, too, that over & over again it makes "recommendations": recognizing that each person has to approach the subject matter in view of his/her own circumstances, locality, social norms, etc. Such a book, it seems to me, would be an invaluable aid in sex education courses in helping young minds understand that it's definitely not "all about sex". For the record, this edition, beautifully translated from the Sanscrit by A. N. D. Haksar in 2011, is not illustrated. I didn't actually notice this until I started reading some of the descriptions, and realized that probably I'd have been much too distracted from the content of the work had there been illustrations. Having read it and understood its purpose better, it could be helpful now to find a good illustrated edition for further perusal.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Soo

    The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana is a great book that gives a detailed description on several aspects on sex, love and marriage in Sanskriti culture. There's a lot of cultural information in this collection of tales and advice that is really interesting and rather surprising. These examples are made using the highest ideal/potential one can work towards. It's not the general standard that was actually lived by but the standards a person was meant to aim for. I would use this book as a part of sexual The Kama Sutra by Vatsyayana is a great book that gives a detailed description on several aspects on sex, love and marriage in Sanskriti culture. There's a lot of cultural information in this collection of tales and advice that is really interesting and rather surprising. These examples are made using the highest ideal/potential one can work towards. It's not the general standard that was actually lived by but the standards a person was meant to aim for. I would use this book as a part of sexual education. A clean, unbiased use of the book would give a decent background to people about what could be possible in a sexual relationship. It's not enough to cram down the negative fallout of what could happen if you have uninformed, unprotected sex. People should learn the varied depth of what emotional and physical pleasure is about.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Spacaj-Gorham

    Great book on society and culture and sex...in that order. Not even 100 pages are explicitly dedicated to intercourse. More of the book is talking about what is acceptable in various cultures at that time. This ancient survey of customs and relationships that were contemporary at the time the pieces were written (it is a compilation of works from various authors) offers unique insight, going beyond the popular conception of the book. It is interesting on many levels. If someone is just looking f Great book on society and culture and sex...in that order. Not even 100 pages are explicitly dedicated to intercourse. More of the book is talking about what is acceptable in various cultures at that time. This ancient survey of customs and relationships that were contemporary at the time the pieces were written (it is a compilation of works from various authors) offers unique insight, going beyond the popular conception of the book. It is interesting on many levels. If someone is just looking for the sexual positions and tips there are illustrated versions too, but I can't comment on those because I've never read them. There's a whole shelf full at Barnes and Nobel last time I checked.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cory Gimmestad

    I read the complete original text and I found it interesting in the fact that the content wasn't what I thought it would be. Most of the reading is outdated in the sense that it was written for the culture of that time. For example, I skipped the chapters about how to acquire a wife and what should be included in a dowry. I learned more about Chinese history and culture than anything else.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    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 t 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leny (Helen) Wagner

    To be honest I feel a little ridiculous rating a book which belongs to an era and culture so removed from my own. I don't feel that any person born in the west in the twenty first century can truly grasp much of the Kama Sutra beyond its basic meaning, and we certainly cannot fathom its cultural significance in its own day and age. That being said, the Kama Sutra has probably always been a hard book for any woman to appreciate- it is overtly sexist and makes multiple claims about women being prim To be honest I feel a little ridiculous rating a book which belongs to an era and culture so removed from my own. I don't feel that any person born in the west in the twenty first century can truly grasp much of the Kama Sutra beyond its basic meaning, and we certainly cannot fathom its cultural significance in its own day and age. That being said, the Kama Sutra has probably always been a hard book for any woman to appreciate- it is overtly sexist and makes multiple claims about women being primarily money-seeking individuals while men are primarily knowledge-seeking individuals. Although it may not have seemed so clearly sexist to women at the time it was written it would doubtless have offended the sensibilities of many due to its then-controversial subject material. Let's make one thing clear though- in a post-modern context there is nothing particularly shocking and certainly nothing remotely sexy about the sage Vatsayana's work. The Kama Sutra is primarily a religious text and should only ever be approached as such. It is not meant to be a sexual guide and reference book, as it is so often purported to be, in fact only one seventh of the book discusses sex with any degree of explicity and that which it does discuss is marked by such outdated wisdom as to seem comical to the twenty-first century reader. When read in the correct mindset (ie- one that considers the historical importance of the Kama Sutra, remembering that it is one of the most valuable and detailed Hindu religious texts regarding the methods of acquiring or enhancing ones Kama), the Kama Sutra provides valuable insight to the Hindu religion and is therefore a must read for all individuals fascinated by eastern spiritual practice.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ola

    You won’t find any picture there ;) Book describes social norms, custom behaviors related to sexual life, relationships between men and women. For us, living in Europe, in modern times, it’s rather a source of knowledge of different culture, or a comic book, not guidebook telling us how to live. I’m not a big fan of kidnapping women that don’t want to have a sexual relationship with a man or of a thought that my spouse will have few other wives and even more courtesans. In a very detailed way au You won’t find any picture there ;) Book describes social norms, custom behaviors related to sexual life, relationships between men and women. For us, living in Europe, in modern times, it’s rather a source of knowledge of different culture, or a comic book, not guidebook telling us how to live. I’m not a big fan of kidnapping women that don’t want to have a sexual relationship with a man or of a thought that my spouse will have few other wives and even more courtesans. In a very detailed way author describes kinds of kisses and intercourses (but as I said, no pictures), 64 arts that woman should know to please a man (eg.: how to teach a parrot to talk, how to play on glasses filled in with water, she should also know everything about cocks fights, tattooing, body piercing, gardening, making bouquets, not to mention such common things like singing and dancing to name only a few), how to gain a wife and how to treat other wives of a husband if you are one of many wives, rules during quarrel of lovers including what exactly should be said, where to look, how to move a head (eg. when a man wants to make his woman to explain why she is upset he needs to embrace her with his left (!) arm and starts a conversation that way and she should pretend that she wants to leave the room still being angry - a man should try to convince her to stay...), how to treat a courtesan and lot of other things that from my point of view are just funny. Anyhow, as it’s one of the most famous books of the world I think it’s worth to read it even if probably we won’t use any of author’s advices.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    The Kama Sutra is a very interesting book, and gives a very interesting view on ancient Indian Culture. However, I can not see it as this "Ultimate sex guide" people seem to give it credit for. the Majority of the book is about how to interact with people in ancient Hindu society, and of course it's Sexual advice is truly dated. Read it if you want to read a truly classic piece of literature and gain a higher understanding of how Ancient Hindu and Indian Culture works. However, if you are going The Kama Sutra is a very interesting book, and gives a very interesting view on ancient Indian Culture. However, I can not see it as this "Ultimate sex guide" people seem to give it credit for. the Majority of the book is about how to interact with people in ancient Hindu society, and of course it's Sexual advice is truly dated. Read it if you want to read a truly classic piece of literature and gain a higher understanding of how Ancient Hindu and Indian Culture works. However, if you are going to read it thinking you are going to find some crazy erotic imagery then you will be very disappointed.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Syphax

    The translation is absolutely flawless. Not only does it provide the original Sutras, but the reader is also provided with descriptions and advice from other parties. It's not just a book to give to your friend at her bachelorette party. It's a fabulous and educational read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    I can't believe it took me so long to remember this one. Didn't everyone in the 50's & 60's read this? I mainly remember the part about how to enlarge the ole lingum. No idea what edition I had and the date read is a guess.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    No need to feel mortified reading this book! Blessedly free of awkward 60s-ish drawn illustrations, Cosmo-esque cartoon figures, or really disquieting photographs of therapist/lovers modeling the poses, this edition of Kama Sutra offers the original, notorious, and famed work in a clean, straight-forward translation. I'll be honest: until now, I was actually unfamiliar with the Kama Sutra, other than the usual teenaged interest in checking out the naughty pics. So I was thrilled to see Penguin's No need to feel mortified reading this book! Blessedly free of awkward 60s-ish drawn illustrations, Cosmo-esque cartoon figures, or really disquieting photographs of therapist/lovers modeling the poses, this edition of Kama Sutra offers the original, notorious, and famed work in a clean, straight-forward translation. I'll be honest: until now, I was actually unfamiliar with the Kama Sutra, other than the usual teenaged interest in checking out the naughty pics. So I was thrilled to see Penguin's new translation -- I've been dubious of the infamous Richard Burton version The Introduction opens with an explanation of present perceptions of the Kama Sutra, including the fact that more than half the titles in the US Library of Congress are non-academic translations. The Kama Sutra has come to represent, simply, sex, and the spiritual, ethical, and literary merits of the work ignored or forgotten. Vatsyayana -- a celibate cleric! -- wrote his guide as an educational tool to shape the whole person. From straight-forward tips on sex, it also includes information on hygiene, managing a harem, and the fiscal challenges facing courtesans. Obviously, some of the sections rang ludicrous for me, but I was fascinated by the very pragmatic and practical attitude toward sex, sex workers, and sexual partnerships. Haksar, the translator, uses lovely, clear language for the passages, and the work is readable and titillating! A super fun gift for Valentine's Day or an anniversary, this is a wickedly delicious read that is edgy without being embarrassing. Plus, there's something to be said for reading such a notorious work and knowing what it's actually about!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Loveliest Evaris

    I didn't know what I was getting into reading this. Very, very... er, well thought out and .. ah, specific. Those Indians really took care to make sure everyone who picked up this guide would pleasure her man or his lady (or his man or her lady) in bed with the skills of a master. Everything from sexual positions to foreplay to erogenous zones to "match-ups" of the penis and vagina (some are "shallow" and some are "deep", I should say... .__. ) and all this other stuff you need to know. This book I didn't know what I was getting into reading this. Very, very... er, well thought out and .. ah, specific. Those Indians really took care to make sure everyone who picked up this guide would pleasure her man or his lady (or his man or her lady) in bed with the skills of a master. Everything from sexual positions to foreplay to erogenous zones to "match-ups" of the penis and vagina (some are "shallow" and some are "deep", I should say... .__. ) and all this other stuff you need to know. This book is very old. Thousands of years old, if I'm not mistaken. The names may have changed, but these techniques and know-how have never been completely expunged from the population. It is what everyone "knows". Nothing new under the sun, in other words, lol.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephan Frank

    My (wild?) guess is that probably less than 1% of the people who have heard of the book have actually taken a look at it. And of this already small minority, I do not think that more than again about 1% have read it completely. A shame, because it is an interesting treatise rather on being a well-rounded man in almost all social circumstances, and has much more recommendations than the ones usually highlighted in popularisations of the ancient classic. A bit tedious at parts, hence I cannot give My (wild?) guess is that probably less than 1% of the people who have heard of the book have actually taken a look at it. And of this already small minority, I do not think that more than again about 1% have read it completely. A shame, because it is an interesting treatise rather on being a well-rounded man in almost all social circumstances, and has much more recommendations than the ones usually highlighted in popularisations of the ancient classic. A bit tedious at parts, hence I cannot give it the highest ratings - but this edition here is indeed very nice, with quite a bit of background information, which proves often vital to even grasp some of the details (at least for me as a "modern day" Westerner).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cody

    I just wanted to see what this was about, basically. I'd never had a solid grasp of what the Kama Sutra was. This text was really one of the more academic ones, no pictures and all the references, while straightforward, are couched in the metaphorical language of the translation. Still, this had a lot of interesting things to offer.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Crap. All from the man's perspective. They cannot figure out how a woman orgasms. No matter. Not their problem. Oral sex is prohibited and dirty. And if you are a woman, watch out. Your only purpose is to be conquered. I had no idea that I was being propositioned each time a guy stepped on my foot.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    So, this is the best translation by the experts. It reads like a dry history text and figuring out any useful information is rather wearing. I suspect the Burton translation, while less reverent, is probably more useful.

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