Kama Sutra of Sexual Positions - erotic book by Secret Garden Publishing - review by Fierce Like Tiger

Kama Sutra of Sexual Positions

Book by Secret Garden Publishing

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A Journey Into the Garden

If you are looking for some SHORT explanations of positions and artwork this book is great. But, a large portion of the book is devoted to poetry and a textbook style history of sex. The photos are not matched up with any of the positions described, so you really have to take your best guess as to if you are doing it right, then again, in sex, is there a wrong way? If you do better with seeing the positions, if you need in depth descriptions, or hate textbook style reading look elsewhere.
Published:
Pros:
-great photos/artwork
-105 positions
Cons:
-reads like a textbook
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review

About author

The author of the Kama Sutra of Sexual Positions: The Tantric Art of Love, Kenneth Ray Stubbs Ph.D. seems very knowledgeable about all things related to the history of sex. He is a certified sexologist and masseur. According to the "About the Author" section in this book he taught as a adjunct faculty membor at the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. This book says that he is the author of eight other books, and a quick google search seems to confirm that the number still holds at 9 total. His website is www.sexandspirit.com
From reading the book we found that he is also a poet, as many of his own poems (most of which are inspired by "poets and mystics through the ages").

Kyle Spencer is the illustrator of this book, and in my opinion is quite gifted. Her art also appears in "Erotic Massage", "The Essential Tantra", "Erotic Passions", "Kiss of Desire", "Ecstasy Journal" and "Tantra: The Magazine." Her illustrations in this book are very detailed and very beautiful.
    • Historical

Content / Style / Audience

"Kama Sutra of Sexual Positions: The Tantric Art of Love" is really separated into two main sections (history and sexual positions) in my opinion and interspersed with dozens of photos of ancient sexual art, reproductions of ancient art, and beautiful hand drawn depictions of couples. The book itself is a short 63 pages, though it takes longer to read than one would expect, since it reads almost like a history textbook.

Firstly, there is a "Word of Caution" on the page before the Table of Contents. It warns readers that the book is meant to "educate and inspire" and not "give medical or psychological therapy." It states that many of the positions depicted can only be accomplished through years of yoga. Then there is a legal disclaimer saying that the author, illustrator, and publisher are not liable or responsible to anyone that injures themselves or damages property due to the information or lack of information in this book.

In the introduction the author, Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph.D., discusses the very beginnings of written or depicted sexual history going back to thirteenth-century India. It discusses the Ishimpo, the Bible, the Perfumed Garden (an early North African Arabic text) as well as the Kama Sutra and Ananga-Ranga. Again it is mentioned that many of the positions are only going to be achieved after many years of yoga and/or meditation. Dr Stubbs then expresses that the poetry is his own expression and interpretation of writings "from poets and mystics throughout the ages." The Bible as well as many biblical persons are mentioned throughout the book many times. I found that a little odd, but since a large portion of this book is the history of sexual texts it didn't necessarily surprise me.

The next chapter is called "Ancient Lovers" and discusses more historical sexual writings, drawings, and depictions.

The next 4 chapters are "Kama Sutra," "The Perfumed Garden," "Ananga-Ranga," and "Ishimpo." All of these chapters consist of short descriptions of various sexual positions adapted from those historic texts. My husband and I found that some of these were not descriptive enough to actually attempt the positions, especially in the "Kama Sutra" section. For example: "Widely Open Position: When she lowers her head and raises her middle parts". Some of the descriptions are, however, great. For example: "The Tiger's Tread: The female is faced downward in a crawling position, her buttocks up and head down, the male kneels behind her and embraces her belly. Then he inserts his jade stalk and penetrates deeply." There are photos depicting some of the positions, but none of them are labeled, so you have to "guess" which one it is, which is especially hard on pages when there are multiple similar positions. As warned in the "Word of Caution" many of the positions require advanced yoga training. As neither my husband or I have that, there were many we simply cannot do, but were nonetheless fun to attempt, and interesting to read. After a quick count there are 105 different positions listed in these 4 chapters.


The last chapter before the "About the Author" and "Acknowledgments" is called "A Chronology of Sexual Embrace." It is, quite literally a time line of sex, starting at 3500 B.C.E (before common era, equivalent to BC) with the possible beginning of the Inanna legend in Sumer area (which is discussed in depth in the first chapter), and ending with 1970 CE (common era, equivalent to AD) with the Masters and Johnson's "Human Sexual Inadequacy" being published. It is interesting to read, and highlights things such as the Kama Sutra being translated to English, Jesus and Mohammed being born, the Japanese shunga art style, and the popularization of the birth control pill.

The last few pages hold the "About the Author" and "Acknowledgments" sections.

The writing style, for the most part is VERY reminiscent of a college historical textbook, and therefore does take some concentration. There are MANY MANY references to walking through a garden, or the parts of female and male anatomy being referred to as different flowers or plants. Many of the poems are sprinkled with verses about flowers and higher powers, which I did not expect.

If there is one reason to purchase this book it is for the illustrations and photos. They are gorgeous and show many couples of different races, ages, sizes, and body types looking deeply in love, and totally at peace with each other. The photographs and drawings of ancient carvings, sculptures and paintings are also amazing and so interesting! Almost every other page is devoted to drawings poems, or photographs. I found looking through them so very interesting just because of the similarities and differences in the ancient cultural artwork.

One thing this book does NOT have is anything for same gender couples. Everything is entirely heterosexual, though a few of the positions describe threesomes or more with several women and one man.
  • Who / How / What
    [ ? ]
    Who might this product be best for? How is it best used? What are the best circumstances or situations for using this product?
    • Couples
    • Informational
  • Where
    [ ? ]
    Where / what types of places can this product be used?
    • Home
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Gorgeous artwork
    • Hetero
    • Text book style

Design

I was initially thrilled when I got this book. The cover is so intriguing! Now...perhaps I found it to be so because the couple illustrated on the cover looks stunningly like my husband and myself, but I think it comes together nicely and looks very sexy.It is NOT a discreet cover, but I like it. "Kama Sutra of Sexual Positions" is a paperback book, and very thin, being only 63 pages in length, it is 8.5 inches wide, 11 inches tall, and only a hair over 1/8th of an inch thick.

It is reasonably well put together, but definitely has the potential to break down over time. The cover seems like eventually it will come unglued from the other pages eventually. The pages, however, are thick and glossy. The book does not lay flat when opened, which honestly would have been SOOOO HELPFUL when attempting positions!

The table of contents is helpful in navigating the book, but not entirely necessary because of the short length. The pages themselves seem like a mishmash of photos, poems, and text, though easily understandable, it lacks the structure of an instructional book and the flow of a historical one. It seems like a book that was designed to draw you in when you flip through it, but once the content is discovered is less interesting. If I saw it at a bookstore, I might buy it because of the photos and pictures drawing me in, but the text by itself never would.
    • Diagrams / photos included
    • Not very discreet cover
    • Soft cover

Personal comments

I do like the book, but purely for its photos, illustrations, and graphics and then positions. The history section is interesting, but not something I would read again. The positions are helpful and numerous (105 to be exact), but it would be so much MORE helpful if they were matched up with the photos and you didn't have to play guessing games about if you are doing the right thing. It was a fun/interesting read with the hubby, but due to the historic "textbook" like nature of the book didn't result in increased libido for either one of us after the first read through (going through the positions there was definitely a spark...and then came the chronology of sex...). I am sure we will use it as a guide in the future, whenever we "want to try something new," but the intro, the "Ancient Lovers" and "Chronology of Sexual Embrace" sections will almost certainly not get any further face time.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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