The Kama Sutra comes from the Sanskrit word " kama" meaning desire (also the name of the god of love, the equivalent of Eros or Cupid ) and the word " sutra " which translate as being aphorisms of desire. Kama Sutra refers to an Indian book, written between the fourth century and the seventh century and attributed to Vatsyayana. This author has brought together a single summary of previous works on the Kama and put them all in one book. The author felt this was a subject that seemed essential to human joy and development. This collection is illustrated with miniatures; they offer tips for seduction so that a couple in a relationship can have a harmonious life in particularly through the trying of different sexual positions. Contrary to a widespread belief in the West, the content of the Kama Sutra is not simply limited to erotic positions; it mainly deals with marriage, as well as relationships between men and women outside of marriage. Kama consists of sensual love and the emotions associated with the relationship in question. In ancient Indian belief, Kama was seen as the stimulant of actions, and was personified by the god of erotic love. It refers to the sensual pleasures of hearing, smell, sight, taste and touch and of the pleasures that can be extracted by the mind and the soul. The sensation of pleasure derived from the experience of the senses is associated with Kama. Originally, the Kama Sutra was mainly intended for the Indian aristocracy. The book however also gives advice for women and couples and indicates that men are not restricted to sexual relations only; men are introduced to the mastery of kisses, caresses, bites and scratches with the aim to give desire to the woman.
The first Westernized version of the Kama Sutra appeared only in 1883 and was translated by the English linguist Richard Burton, who translated and adapted the language and turns of descriptive phrases to our culture. In the West, sometimes Sutra and Tantra get confused with one another. Now although the Kama Sutra is not completely free of spirituality, this collection of practical advice does not have the same spiritual dimension as Tantra. Tantra is a philosophical doctrine that uses carnal pleasure as a springboard to spiritual experiences and mystical ecstasy. The main text of reference for Tantra is the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra.
The book deals primarily with the knowledge to how to live in love and relationships. The positions of the Kama Sutra are described in the second part of the book. The rules that this book offers men and women are proposed to help them to live peacefully together in their social relations. From the Kama Sutra Vatsyayana "The Aphorisms of Love"
• Part I, General Questions I. Summary II. Observations on the three earthly acquisitions: Virtue, Wealth, Love. III. In the study of the sixty-four Arts. IV. The arrangement of a house and its furnishings; the daily life of a Citizen, his Companions, his Amusements, etc. V. Categories of clean and unclean women in congress with the Citizen; Friends and Messengers
• Part II, Regarding sexual union I. Various kinds of Unions according to Dimensions, Force of Desire, Time; and different kinds of love. II. About Embracing. III. About Kissing IV. Concerning Pressure or Marking with nails. V. Biting, and Love Processes to use with Women from different countries VI. Different ways to lie down and different kinds of Congress. VII. Different ways of striking and appropriate sounds. VIII. Women who play the role of men. IX. Introduction of the Lingam into the Mouth. X. Where to start and where to end the Congress. Different kinds of Congress, and lovers tiffs.
• Third part, the acquisition of a Bride I. Observations on Betrothal and Marriage. II. The confidence to inspire the girl. III. Of courting, and the manifestation of feelings by outward signs and deeds. IV. Things that a man must do alone, to ensure the acquisition of the Girl. Similarly, what the girl must do to dominate the man. V. Different Forms of Marriage.
• Fourth part, Concerning the wife I.
The way of living as a virtuous woman, and appropriate conduct during the absence of the husband. II. The conduct of the oldest Wife towards the other Wives of her Husband, and of the younger Wife towards the older. The conduct of a virgin widow who remarries; of a Wife repelled by her Husband; the Women in the King’s Harem; and a husband who has more than one wife.
• Fifth Part; The Wives of Others
I. Characteristics of Men and Women, Women and why they resist the pursuits of men. Men who are successful with women, and women whose conquest is easy. II. Ways to approach a woman, and the efforts needed to win her over.
III. Review of the state of mind of a woman.
IV. Duties of a Procuress. V. Love of persons responsible for other peoples' Wives. VI. Women of the Royal Harem, and concerning the care of one’s own wife.
• Sixth Part: The Courtesans I.
What Courtesans are for men; ways to attract the desired Man, and the kind of man that it is desirable to attract.
II. The Courtesan cohabiting with a man.
III. The means to earn money; Signs that a Lover is beginning to tire, and methods to get rid of them.
IV. Of being in a new union with a former lover.
V. Different kinds of gain.
VI. Winnings and losses,accessories or gains and losses, Doubts; and finally, different kinds of Courtesans.
• Part Seven, Means to attract others
I. Personal Adornment, regarding seduction of hearts, and tonic medicines.
II. Means of exciting Desire, and methods to be used to strengthen the Lingam. Experiences and Miscellaneous recipes.
At the time that the book was written, women enjoyed a certain freedom. The usual interjections of the " faithful wife " who takes care of the house can be found in the book, but alongside this are other tips for seduction and how to deceive her husband. The remarriage of widows, which would later be forbidden in the history of India, is described as being acceptable. The courtesans are like the Japenese geisha. They have a significant place in society.
They are able to procure large sums for their arts which included dance and music. It was the British authorities who forbade these " associations of prostitutes" that India generally allowed to get into the temples. where they administered important offerings. Acceptable Practices Female and male homosexuality is considered a natural part of sexual life. All sexual possibilities, even those that will be later considered deviant, are listed in the book. It was also a legacy of colonialism that homosexual practices were then considered " against nature," then banned in the Indian Penal Code (Section 377) .
The description of different types of kisses in the Kama Sutra is richly detailed. From light and quick contact to the intense and intimate penetration of the tongue, each type of kiss produces a specific emotional response of the partner. In the Kama Sutra, kissing is an art; the mouth is a kind of sacred temple that can only be shared by those whose love is true. A good kiss stimulates all the senses, savouring the lips of one's partner, the smell of their skin, the warmth of their touch, the sound of their breathing and the look in their eyes at the moment that precedes the act. The kiss should not concern only the mouth and tongue, our whole body has to focus and participate in the experience. Similarly, a kiss is to provide pleasure and titillate the libido, not to cause the choking of one of the two partners in a battle of tongues. There is a particular kiss for every situation. Thus, the Kamasutra therefor identifies four types of kisses, and according to the different parts of the body on which it is given, there is the Moderate Kiss, the Contracted Kiss, The firm kiss and the soft kiss. A few kisses were even given names, and include:
The Kama Sutra cites twenty basic positions, each of which can have many variations according to the imagination of the partners. Most of these positions apply to vaginal intercourse, but some also allow the practice of anal penetration while others cater more specifically to the practice of fellatio, cunnilingus or masturbation. Over time, the positions were classified into different difficulty levels of achievement:
• Basic position:
The missionary position and its variant the Tiger Union
The position of the greyhound and its variant the elephant Union
The position of the goddess of Union and its variant of the Pius Union
• The acrobatic positions: