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Synopsis

This is the unabridged original english translation (with all the comments and annotations) made by Sir Richard Francis Burton and first published in 1883.

The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text widely considered to be the standard work on human sexual behavior in Sanskrit literature written by Vatsyayana. A portion of the work consists of practical advice on sexual intercourse. It is largely in prose, with many inserted poetry verses. "Kama" which is one of the three goals of Hindu life, means sensual or sexual pleasure, and "sutra" literally means a thread or line that holds things together, and more metaphorically refers to an aphorism (or line, rule, formula), or a collection of such aphorisms in the form of a manual. Contrary to popular perception, especially in the western world, Kama sutra is not just an exclusive sex manual; it presents itself as a guide to a virtuous and gracious living that discusses the nature of love, family life and other aspects pertaining to pleasure oriented faculties of human life.

Content

Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra has 1250 verses, distributed in 36 chapters, which are further organized into 7 parts. According to the Burton translation, the contents of the book are structured into 7 parts like the following:

1. General remarks
Chapters on contents of the book, three aims and priorities of life, the acquisition of knowledge, conduct of the well-bred townsman, reflections on intermediaries who assist the lover in his enterprises (5 chapters).

2. Amorous advances/Sexual union
Chapters on stimulation of desire, types of embraces, caressing and kisses, marking with nails, biting and marking with teeth, on copulation (positions), slapping by hand and corresponding moaning, virile behavior in women, superior coition and oral sex, preludes and conclusions to the game of love. It describes 64 types of sexual acts (10 chapters).

3. Acquiring a wife
Chapters on forms of marriage, relaxing the girl, obtaining the girl, managing alone, union by marriage (5 chapters).

4. Duties and privileges of the wife
Chapters on conduct of the only wife and conduct of the chief wife and other wives (2 chapters).
5. Other men's wives
Chapters on behavior of woman and man, how to get acquainted, examination of sentiments, the task of go-between, the king's pleasures, behavior in the women's quarters (6 chapters).
6. About courtesans
Chapters on advice of the assistants on the choice of lovers, looking for a steady lover, ways of making money,...

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