I was oh, perhaps 9? the very first time I heard the word Fuck. Emmanuel, the school hunk, had cornered Caterina by the back stairs of Union School and said I want to fuck you. Fuck… Fuck… Fuck. I didn’t know what it meant but the intensity with which it was said stirred something in me that led me to ransack bookshelves with some urgency in search of that open-sesame word. Does anyone else remember when we had to read books to get the information we sought? Before the Internet and the general media made everything so accessible? Am I the only one with fond remembrances of The Medical Encyclopedia’s Human Body pages, worn beyond reason? I memorized page numbers from dictionaries and could recite entire definitions of any word with the prefix sex. I’ve memories of a schoolgirl self, with restless stirrings and yearnings, searching feverishly through books for these entrancing words. I riffled through pages, looking for sentences or passages that steamed, while I strummed and hummed…. Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s complaint became a favorite as I read and re-read the masturbation scene. Candy, the heroine of the similarly named novel who ceaselessly wriggled out of her panties, became a familiar night-time companion after lights-out. I have forgotten the characters in The Harrad Experiment, but its dog-eared pages and underlined paragraphs were proof that I had been a meticulous note-taker. These were however merely titillating readings which didn’t teach me much, and I only discovered the Kama Sutra after I had started college. I have not yet overcome the regret of this delayed knowledge (precious time wasted I feel – as it should have been required reading material – followed by pop quizzes and hands-on examinations-) Here for example is a section on Foreplay. Necessary knowledge,wouldn’t you say, for both sexes?
“In the pleasure room, decorated with flowers, and fragrant with perfumes, attended by his friends and servants, the citizen should receive the woman, who will come bathed and dressed, and will invite her to take refreshment and to drink freely. He should then seat her on his left side, and holding her hair, and touching also the end and knot of her garment, he should gently embrace her with his right arm. They should then carry on an amusing conversation on various subjects, and may also talk suggestively of things which would be considered as coarse, or not to be mentioned generally in society. They may then sing, either with or without gesticulations, and play on musical instruments, talk about the arts, and persuade each other to drink. At last when the woman is overcome with love and desire, the citizen should dismiss the people that may be with him, giving them flowers, ointments, and betel leaves, and when the two are left alone, only then should they proceed to sexual union.”
According to ancient Indian texts, man had 3 main goals in life – Dharma (duty and responsibility for your actions), Arta (gaining power through politics and wealth) and Kama (pleasure). Kama Sutra, the world’s most renowned ancient sacred text is about the art of living, the art of sensual pleasure and love, marriage and spirituality . Over 800 years of Hindu wisdom writings about social norms and love-customs were connected, compiled, and commented on by the fourth-century editor Vatsyayana. Not a lover’s guide for the masses, the Kama Sutra was written for the wealthy male city-dweller in patriarchal Northern India. It was an attempt to show how enjoyment of sexual loving could enhance one’s quality of life and to relate that to established traditions. Using a structured approach mixed with sensual poetry, Vatsyayana explained techniques of love-making in diverse situations.
Here is an excerpt of a translation by Sir Richard Burton, of one of the subjects which treats of sexual union: The embrace.
The embrace which indicates the mutual love of a man and woman who have come together is of four kinds:
Touching – Rubbing – Piercing – Pressing
The action in each case is denoted by the meaning of the word which stands for it:
When a man under some pretext or other goes in front or alongside of a woman and touches her body with his own, it is called the `touching embrace’.
When a woman in a lonely place bends down, as if to pick up something, and pierces, as it were, a man sitting or standing, with her breasts, and the man in return takes hold of them, it is called a `piercing embrace’.
(The above two kinds of embrace take place only between persons who do not, as yet, speak freely with each other.)
When two lovers are walking slowly together, either in the dark, or in a place of public resort, or in a lonely place, and rub their bodies against each other, it is called a `rubbing embrace’.
When on the above occasion one of them presses the other’s body forcibly against a wall or pillar, it is called a `pressing embrace’.
(These two last embraces are particular to those who know the intentions of each other.)
Burton goes on to describe some of the embraces used. The descriptions bear names that are both poetic and explicit and one can visualize the intimacy suggested:
The twisting of a vine.
Climbing a tree.
The mixture of sesame seed with rice.
The milk and water embrace.
Wishing you moments of inspired readings!
Spiritual Sex – Nik Douglas
Kama Sutra – Sir Richard Burton