Kama Sutra - by Anne Hooper
Tastefully illustrated with colorful snapshots and beautiful nude models, Anne Hooper’s sex manual brings together the teachings of various ancient texts (not just the Kama Sutra), some of which were first described as early as 4th century A.D., and re-interprets them for modern day lovers and history buffs looking for some kinkier lessons from the past.
- Full Title: Kama Sutra: classic lovemaking techniques reinterpreted for today’s lovers
- Type: Paperback; Pages: 160; Publisher: Dorling Kindersley; Year Published: 1994
- Author: Anne Hooper
- Categories: sex instruction, love, human sexuality, health, sexual positions
The Short Version
A combination of history lessons and instruction in massage, sensual touch, and sex positions, Hooper explores erotic activities like kissing, foreplay, genital stimulation and delivers it in a context that explores the historical perspective as well as her own sensitive and in-depth analysis of its relevance to lovers of today.
The book is laid out in a similar fashion to that of a modern pictorial guide to yoga, with sidebars, small captions, and every page illustrated with colorful pictures and nude models tastefully demonstrating the techniques and postures. Here’s what you can expect:
- Preparing for Love – The ancient writings saw the human body as “a vehicle for expressing spirituality” and, as such, it deserved to be “treated with reverence.” Perfumes, baths, massages oils and other such items are discussed in terms of self-care; creating the mood for lovemaking is also reviewed.
- Touching and Caressing – Hair play, grooming, Massages, physical embracing, scratching: these are all Foreplay aspects of touching and caressing the skin that Hooper - along with the help of the Kama Sutra writings - sheds some light on.
- Kissing and Mouthplay – There are many effects a Kiss can achieve: it awakens, excites, rekindles, and even turns away. The Kama Sutra recognizes the all the stirring potential that a kiss evokes, and Hooper devotes an entire section to exploring the many Oral ways to adore a lover’s body.
- Kama Sutra Positions – Vatsayana’s 2000 year old Eastern love text conjures up all sorts of visions of exotic and unusual Sex Positions, when in fact the work only describes around two dozen postures, which are “relatively easy to accomplish if a woman is reasonably supple”. Are they that easy? Yes. Sexually gratifying? Oh yes!
- Ananga Ranga Positions – Appearing shortly before the start of the Crusades and written around 1172 A.D., Hooper explores author Kalyana Malla’s collection of erotic works, which shares many of the same origins as the Kama Sutra. It is a treatise on discovering more variation in sexual positions in order to protect marriages from suffering sexual tedium. Divided into five categories, many of the positions involve the receiving partner lying back or in seated positions, and involve lots of ‘intertwining’ between lovers.
- Perfumed Garden Positions – Sheikh Nefzawi’s highly poetic and evocative exploration of eleven main lovemaking postures, some from India and some from other cultures, “Goes right to the heart of the matter”, by illustrating how to deepen sexual excitement for men and women alike.
- The Positions of the Tao – Harmony exists in the universe and can be attained by following Tao, an ancient system of religious and philosophical beliefs whose foremost principal was Lao Tzu. The Tao describes twenty six positions for making love, nearly all of which are variants of four basic poses.
- Before and After Love – Hooper takes the last section of the book to discuss the importance of Safer Sex, non-penetrative sex, and ways of rekindling both a man and a woman’s excitement post coitus.
Using clear and easy wording, Hooper he takes the time to explain how ancient techniques can still apply to the love lives of people living thousands of years after they were written. She features quotes and personal reflection on topics that her predecessors in sexual enlightenment include in their writings, and she fills in the gaps on themes they merely have cursory explanations on (such as the benefits of mutual grooming and sensual massage) … as well as a matter of most importance for present-day sexually active individuals - safer sex.
In Hooper’s version of the Kama Sutra, she has “not only selected the parts of the original text that are still relevant, she has also kept some chunks of the 2000 year old information because that are in fascinating contrast to the lives we lead today”. She makes a point of remarking on interesting characteristics of ancient sexual positions and techniques, and makes commentary on certain practices (e.g. pressure point stimulation) that are most likely to give pleasure.
Anne Hooper’s Kama Sutra probably wouldn’t be everyone’s first pick for a general go-to guide about sex. The positions that are highlighted are done so according to each sacred sexual text, but unfortunately the ones that get shown are fairly redundant and, as expected, the explanations begin to feel repetitive after a while. The organization may also rub some people the wrong way. However, the inspiration you get for new sex positions, sensually demonstrated by the tastefully chosen models, will rub you the right way!
A former Penthouse Forum magazine editor and now retired sex therapist, Dr. Anne Hooper has over thirty years of experience in counseling and has authored and/or co-authored more than forty books on topics like sexual health and emotional, personal, and marital issues. Her other published titles include: The Ultimate Sex Guide, Pocket Sex Guide, Sexopedia, and (co-authored) 269 Amazing Sex Tips and Tricks for Men.
Why should anyone care how the ancients did it thousands of years ago? Because classic texts about love and sex like the Kama Sutra, Perfumed Garden, and the Tao give us perspective, a point of view that that provides us with a valuable historical and cultural take on sex. Hooper delivers a relatable and relevant interpretation of such venerable, celebrated works on lovemaking, a long practiced and erotic art that will never go out of style! A very worthwhile read!
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