Here are a few surprising facts about the Kama Sutra that go above and beyond the realm of sex positions.
Let’s get it straight– Indian society, even to this day, still has many restrictions when it comes to sex. That said, we weren’t always a culture that brushed sex under the rug. Long before people sent eggplant emojis to convey sexual interest, the ancient Kama Sutra was the manual to many in pursuit of pleasurable sex lives and long-lasting relationships. But the Kama Sutra is about so much more than just crazy sex positions.
While the idea of pulling off a “Splitter” or a “Three Legged Dog” does sound interesting (brb grabbing my Date Night Kit to try these out with my partner), the ancient scripture contains a multitude of fun, unconventional, and even progressive takes on pleasure, relationships and life in general.
Read on for 5 surprising facts from the holy grail of sex itself:
#1 - A Sex Ed Manual That Dates Back Centuries
The OG version of the ancient Kama Sutra is said to be written by Vatsyayana, somewhere between 400 BCE and 300 CE - a time when even European societies were still, sexually speaking, rather closed off (pun intended). The age old Indian scripture was light years ahead of its time, exploring sexuality, eroticism and rich philosophies on life, making it one of the first ever texts on sex education (coupled with the Ananga-Ranga).
#2 - An Ancient Ally For Love Is Love
While many parts of modern India still consider homosexuality and same-sex relationships as merely vestitudes of ‘western influences’, Vatsyayana devotes a whole chapter to homosexuality. With a detailed section on oral sex between men, this section is all about developing unique and loving bonds. Although the scripture is not all inclusive, it does prove that ancient Indian societies actually recognized relationships beyond the heteronormative structure.
#3- It’s Not Just About Sex
This fact about the ancient Kama Sutra still doesn’t fail to take people by surprise. Only 20% of the scripture is about sex (I know right!). Contrary to popular belief, the Kama Sutra is a collection of seven sections– and 80% of the book explores general philosophies of life, good conduct, wealth and so much more.
#4 - Pleasure At Its Peak
Rather than displaying sex as merely a physical act, the world’s oldest tome on sex encourages the pursuit of pleasure in different forms. As Seema Anand (@seemaanandstorytelling), an expert on Kama Sutra, rightly points out,
“The Kama Sutra is about pleasure and not about sex. Anybody can indulge in the physical act of sex, but pleasure is something that only the human mind can truly understand and enjoy.”
The ancient Kama Sutra even goes as far as to proudly display an array of sex toys AKA apadravya (apparatus). These were made from wood, rubber, and even gold, as is mentioned in the section titled Aupanishadika (occult practices). While most of us certainly can’t afford phallic fantasies made of gold, we can definitely apply these words of wisdom in our day-to-day life, by bringing in pleasure toys designed to amp up the pleasure.
#5 - Hot Takes Back In The Day
Now that we have established that the sage Vatsyayana was a total badass for exploring sex and pleasure in ancient literature, it’s almost obligatory to mention some of the rather unconventional stances that the author has displayed in the scripture. To be honest, the book might not be the best candidate for the most progressive literature on women’s rights. However, the author puts forth some valid (and wildly rebellious for the time) stances on choices for women, re-marriage for widows, and even polyamory.
While the ancient Kama Sutra might have laid the foundation for discussions on eroticism and some wholesome sex-positiveness, the lack of proper resources show a few inconsistencies with modern sexual health studies. So as with any piece of literature, it should be approached with careful understanding, research, and a dose of lightheartedness.
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