“The Kama Sutra” has become a widely discussed source for sex positions. From Cosmo magazine to The New York Times, sexual commentary in many forms of modern media often makes references to the ancient Hindu text.

Although many believe the book to be merely a manual of sexual positions, “The Kama Sutra” doesn’t just discuss sexuality. The original Sanskrit text is an Eastern ideology discussing other aspects of relationships including marriage and family issues.

Also, it did not include the raunchy illustrations often seen in modern interpretations. “The Kama Sutra” consists of a combination of many ancient texts and was assembled by an Indian sage named Vatsyayana around the third century. Today, most people are only familiar with its sexual lessons. For this, it is often referred to as “the bible of sex.”

“The Kama Sutra” provides an interesting glimpse into the Hindu religion and way of life. Some sections include a guide for proper womanly pursuits and even a male grooming guide of sorts. Although it reflects a pre-modern conception of male and female roles, it does suggest the beneficial effects of reciprocity between both partners.

For those primarily concerned with its modern connotation, many recent spinoff books, including some that offer adaptations for LGBT relationships, introduce variations of the original 64 sex positions. Even when used primarily as a sexual handbook, the act of exploring these positions builds a level of trust and respect in relationships. Partners must be comfortable with each other to build an environment for experimentation.

As a person who considers himself sexually open-minded, as well as very interested in differing philosophies, I wanted to let Eckerd kids know that “The Kama Sutra” is not just a kinky tutorial guide; it is the yoga of sex. To enter the Crane Pose (Bakasana)—a difficult yoga pose—it takes a lot of meditation and athleticism. The same is true with different positions of Kama Sutra.

I’ve found that incorporating this Eastern approach to sex has not only given me more pleasure, but the intimacy between my partner and me has become stronger. Sex is more of a team effort since, in many of the positions, we rely on each other for balance.

For those interested in exploring a new way to have, and think about, sex, I recommend A.N.D. Haksar’s translation of the original Kama Sutra. It is faithful to the original Sanskrit text that explains how to intensify pleasure and happiness in a healthy relationship.

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