Written by the Vedic sage Mallanaga Vatsyayana, the Kama Sutra is the world’s oldest text dealing with courtship, the secrets of eroticism and the attainment of sensual pleasure. Above all, it is the first scientific account of the art of love, from the psychology of sex to the physical routines of accomplished lovers – a detailed manual that records countless ways for men and women to give and enjoy sexual delight.
Arranged into six parts, the topics covered include the postures of love-making and the techniques for maximising pleasure; how to attract the opposite sex; what to look for in a spouse; the wiles used by courtesans; and recipes for achieving enhanced virility. Ancient Indian society knew neither prudery nor vulgarity. In everyday life there existed four aims: material prosperity, virtuous living, and aesthetic and erotic pleasure. Vatsyayana believed that contentment in marriage would only be strengthened by mastering love-making techniques, which would in turn make people more virtuous. The sensual enjoyment attained through good sex could only add to the sum of happiness in the world. Although social manners and customs may have changed over the centuries, the arts of love remain timeless.