Vatsyayana and Madelyn Carol Dervos
Page Count: 176
Release Date: 2000
For the first time in 120 years, a refreshingly modern version of Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra. This 176-page book keeps the wisdom from centuries ago, but in the language of today.
Included in this Japanese silk-bound edition, are 21 graphic, hand-painted illustrations of the original Kama Sutra love-making positions. This brand new edition makes a beautiful gift for couples who want to learn about the ancient art of making love and provides a perspective on lovemaking that is often lost in the west.
Considered one of the great works of ancient Indian literature, the Kama Sutra offered the people of that time a complete approach to one of their pillars of life; KAMA, the principle of love, pleasure, and sensual gratification. It is a timeless message—those same principles apply equally today.
What Stephanie Thought: Okay, honestly, I don't think the blurb or the book cover really does this book any justice. I got the opportunity to read and review The Kama Sutra Book, which typically in our society is said with a small gasp, or in means of taboo. I know it's a sex book, you guys, but it's not just smut or pornography or anything. It's a book about love and relationships too, not solely the physical stuff.
The Kama Sutra is divided into eight convenient chapters: Love Principles, which describes dharma, artha, kama, and the types of women; Intercourse, which details on sexual union, embrace, kissing, contact, positions, gender roles, and other circumstances; Acquiring a Wife, which lists the ideal marriage and the confidence of women in relationship to men; About a Wife, which explains the virtues of women and conducts of wives; About the Wives of Other People, which analyzes gender characteristics, states of mind, and authority; About Courtesans, which is the "woman's" chapter of the Kama Sutra; Attracting Others, which construes aphrodisiacs, personal adornment, desire, and conquering hearts; and The Illustrated, which displays 20+ original love-making positions in exquisite and breathtaking detail.
So really, the only explicit stuff in the entire book was one chapter out of the complete eight, meaning it was an important, but not a fundamental portion of the book.
With an interest in relationship psychology, I found it really fun to be able to read about the feeling of attraction men have towards women. I loved being able to establish "love" principles, and the end with the detailed illustrations were helpful too ;)
The only thing that irritated me was how it was clearly originally written in a patriarchal society, demeaning women and referring them as "courtesans" often. I understand how in ancient India, that was the social norm, but it was still, from a girl's point of view, slightly insulting. For instance, there was a list from "Acquiring a Wife" containing the types of women that were ideal wives because they were easily won over (whatever that means); these women included women who hated their husbands, women who looked sideways at a man, sociable women (read, sluts), widows, poor women, women fond of sex, vain women, women with many younger brothers, jealous women, cowards, lazy women, and women neglected by their husbands. Ancient India was probably a polygamous society too—but still, that list was just awful to read. A lot of the material in The Kama Sutra was like that, purely macho and undermining, but overall, it was an informative, enjoyable reference read.
Where Stephanie Got It: Vibrator.com is an online store that sells not only sex toys, but also other sensual products such as oils, love games, and lingerie. I received The Kama Sutra book from its adult bookstore for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Check out Vibrator.com's blog for exclusive deals, tips, and information!
Radical Rating: 9 hearts: Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥