The kama Sutra is the world's oldest book on the pleasures of sensual living. There is no one single author for the text. It was originally compiled in the 3rd century by the Indian sage Vatsyayana, who lived in northern India. Vatsyayana claimed to be a celibate monk, and that his work in compiling all of the sexual knowledge of ages past was for him a form of meditation and contemplation of the deity. Written in a rather complex form of Sanskrit, the Kama Sutra is the only surviving textual account of that period of ancient Indian history. In scholarly circles it has been widely consulted by scholars trying to understand the society and social mores of that period. The title of the text, Kama Sutra, literally means "a treatise on pleasure." Far more complex than a mere listing of contortionist sexual positions, the Kama Sutra provides a comprehensive manual of living for the good life. Although the central character of the Kama Sutra is the citizenly man-about-town, the text was written to be read by and provide detailed advice for both men and women.
The basic tenet of the Kama Sutra is that in order for marriages to be happy, both man and woman should be well-versed in the arts of pleasure, both carnal and cerebral. The topics explored include Society and Social Concepts, On Sexual Union, About the Acquisition of a Wife, About a Wife, About the Wives of Other Men, About Courtesans, and On the Means of Attracting Others to Yourself. The book contains detailed advice on what a man must do to win over a woman, what a woman must do to win over a man, the states of a woman's mind, the role of a go-between, and the reasons why women might reject the advances of men. In terms of choosing a mate, the Kama Sutra advises on whether to consider fellow students or childhood friends. It provides charts that categorize male and female physical types and their compatibility with their lover's body. Varieties of embracing, kissing, scratching, biting, oral sex, and sexual...
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