Kama Sutra

Kama Sutra Summary and Analysis of Book 2


Men are divided into three classes, depending on the size of their "lingam," or phallus: shasha (hare men), vrisha (bull men), and ashwas (horse men). Women are also classified according to the depth of their "yoni," or vaginas: they are mrigis (deer), vadavas (mares), or hastinis (female elephants). The classification that a man or woman falls into determines the classification to which his or her partner should belong. For instance, a male hare can be with a female deer, but a male hare cannot be with a female mare or elephant, for fear of creating an unequal relationship.

Stamina is another factor that the Kama Sutra classifies, dividing both men and women into three categories: the short-timed, the moderate-timed, and the long-timed. True union comes when, "by union with men, the lust, desire or passion of women is satisfied." According to the Kama Sutra, women dictate the fulfillment of desire since it takes longer for their "passion" to be quenched. In an ideal union, the man and woman should produce their emissions together. In order to do this, "men and women, being of the same nature, feeling the same kind of pleasure," must begin their sexual congress with the man arousing the woman before sex begins so that she can reach climax "earlier or simultaneously with him."

The Kama Sutra describes four kinds of love:

1) Love resulting from constant and continual performance of love. In other words, love acquired by habit.

2) Love that comes from the imagination - love that proceeds from ideas, and emphasizes embracing, kissing, stroking, and scratching;

3) Love that is mutual on both sides and has been proven to be true;

4) Love resulting from experience - love that is known only to others because it is never analyzed as such (and is therefore the superior form of love).

The next part of the Kama Sutra, the Chatus-Shasti (or the "Sixty-Four"), is perhaps the best-known, largely because it outlines 64 types of sexual union. This section includes all the different types of intercourse, kissing, pressing with nails, biting, sexual vigour, and intensity. The author compares sexual intercourse to combat: during sex, the participants often feel the need to strike out in passion. The areas for striking include the shoulders, the head, the space between the breasts, the back, the middle regions of the body, and the sides. Accompanying these blows might be hissing, gasping, cooing, whimpering, or purring sounds.

When a woman sees that his lover has become fatigued by constant copulation and still has not been satisfied, then she should lay him down on his back and give him pleasure by acting his part. The author also notes that this can be done to satisfy the curiosity of the female, or to accommodate her own desire for novelty. The woman mounts the male and controls the rhythm and duration of sexual congress, thus taking on the active, dominant role. This reversal of roles will reveal the true nature of a woman, and the book offers instructions to make the congress "successful."

Oral sex is mentioned mainly in the context of the "Masseur." Neither a man nor a woman, these entities are incapable of achieving sexual satisfaction through any means other than oral sex, since their desires are kept mostly secret except in the case of their professional roles as masseurs. In this context, they can carefully coerce their subjects to allow them to perform oral sex. According to the Kama Sutra, the mouth can only be used by the "normal" male and female for nominal kissing, biting of the sides of the bodies, licking, swallowing, or even sucking a mango - all in service of foreplay.

Oral sex is also mentioned in the context of homosexual interactions - male servants who perform oral sex on their masters, women of the court who perform it on men or other women, and young masseurs who engage in mutual oral sex, known as the Kakila position, in which each participant's head aligns with his or her partner's genitals.

The Kama Sutra also outlines the ways in which sex should begin and end. After sex, for instance, the lovers should not look at each other, and should separately go to the washing room. Afterwards, they should drink and eat light foods together and carry on agreeable conversation while the female lies in the male lap. A man and a woman often initiate sex in the wake of a quarrel, when they have been apart for a long time, when their love is still in its infancy, when there is temporary infatuation, and when it is a product of spontaneous love. Sex can also begin when a man is projecting someone else onto the image of the woman he is having intercourse with, or when there is deceit involved for the purpose of achieving selfish motives.

All in all, the man who knows the 64 "divisions" of the Kama Sutra will become a Nayaka (leader) anywhere he goes, since these divisions are looked upon with love by all women, and the love of women is the key to gaining respect in any society.


The Kama Sutra does have its contradictions. At the end of the first book, a Shloka suggests that a man who is wise, ingenious, and aware of the lessons of the Kama Sutra will find the woman he desires, no matter how unobtainable she initially seems. At the start of Book 2, however, we come to find a stringent set of instructions that divide men into three classes, depending on their phallus size, and women into three classes, based on the depth of their vagina. You might end up in an unequal (or impossible) union if you have sex with someone of the wrong class. In other words, a man with a large phallus (a "horse") can only sleep with a woman with an exceptionally deep vagina (a "female elephant"), or risk an unequal, or low, relationship. The Kama Sutra certainly doesn't forbid unequal relationships - indeed, the book rarely forbids anything - but it does suggest that matches based on anatomical similarities make for the best unions.

The matter of orgasms takes up quite a bit of Book 2, with the author trying to designate exactly how the two sexes should climax in relation to each other during intercourse. A man can climax easier and earlier than a woman, so foreplay is crucial for building up a woman's pleasure enough that there is the possibility of climax together at the end of intercourse. The author implies that it's quite easy for a male to achieve satisfaction. As soon as he orgasms, he's finished - his desire is sated no matter what. But a woman achieves satisfaction much more slowly and less completely, and so it's important for a man to pay special attention to ensuring her orgasm, or risk having an unequal sexual congress.

The discussion of the four types of love is one of the hallmarks of the Kama Sutra, and each deserves careful attention. The first type of love is "habitual" love, and has been the subject of considerable recent debate by scientists. Indeed, some scientists have argued in popular journals like National Geographic that love is simply the product of habit. If you sleep with someone enough times and spend enough time with them (knowing that love must develop in order for sex and life to be fulfilling), love will eventually come to be. This form of love is practiced - a habit, something that can be consciously developed.

The second type of love, love from belief, suggests that we condition ourselves as to what we think love is: we define it, categorize it, and then seek out that which best fits our definition. This love, resulting from "imagination," becomes a way to control our feelings, ultimately leading towards tentative, if slightly awkward romance. The author implies that this kind of love is also the most dubious, for the moment that imagination gives way to reality, such love may implode.

Thirdly, there is mutual love, or "proved" love, which results from two people actually agreeing that they're in love and seeking the evidence to prove equal, mutual affection. Finally, there is love that is obvious to everyone but the couple - love that is well known to the world, because the couple is so deep inside it that they can't truly see what is taking place. There is no conceptualizing of this love - it can only be experienced, and the experience "affords a superior pleasure to the other kinds of love, which exists only for its sake."

There is little to say about the 64 divisions of sexual congress, but we should note that all of these sexual instructions do fall into fairly rigid gender roles. Indeed, there is an entire section that delineates the strict rules under which a woman can take over the man's role and control the rhythm of intercourse. The Kama Sutra does allow for other forms of sexual union, including oral sex between men, oral sex between women, and even a "third gender" between man and woman who finds principal satisfaction as a masseuse and preys upon his subjects to achieve satisfaction through oral sex. This is a strange little diversion, but suggests that the Kama Sutra is determined to afford everyone the potential to achieve true pleasure (albeit in the context of a strict hierarchy).