A Lover's Guide to the Kama Sutra - book by Peter Pauper Press - review by aliceinthehole

Book by Peter Pauper Press

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Sex for Absolute Dummies

A how-to guide for sex newbies, this would make a great gift for someone venturing virginally into the world of vanilla heterosex. Though flowery in language, this book outlines a variety of sexual techniques and positions, many of them illustrated. If you're looking for something to spice up your already established sex life, the Lover's Guide to the Kama Sutra may disappoint you. The book is a bit sexist and outdated, and the style is quite awkward, if not goofy, to read.
Good for beginners, pocket-sized, includes many positions, includes 24-kt gold plated heart charm
Writing style is awkward and sexist, many tips seem to be simple common sense
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

About author

This pocket-sized guide to the Kama Sutra is written by Virginia Reynolds, and contains many quotes translated from The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, translated by Sir Richard Burton and F.F. Arbuthnot in 1883.
According to the book cover, "Virginia Reynolds is a poet, writer, love, and devotee of all things eastern. She lives blissfully with her family in a microscopic but picturesque town in New York's Hudson Valley." Upon doing a bit of research, I discovered her to be the author of more than 30 titles, mainly 'Little Black Books of...' things such as cocktails and weddings. I had never heard of her work before, and was a bit surprised to find she was so well-published. The style she used to write A Lover's Guide to the Kama Sutra was less than impressive. Word selection was quite odd, as if translated from a foreign language. The adaptation of the Kama Sutra's original texts did not flow well into a modern day, well-written English book.

The hardcover book with dust jacket removed.
    • Dull

Content / Style / Audience

This bedroom guide is no doubt geared towards beginners to lovemaking. The instructions for setting the mood, preparing your body for your partner, safe sex practice, and overview are all very basic. The Kama Sutra was originally written in India between 100 and 400 A.D. as a guide to the spiritual union of man and woman. It was originally written for a male audience, though women were encouraged to read and learn it. This more updated mini-version appears to branch a bit more into the realm of including audience members of all genders, however it does still carry a sexist overtone.

The book is sectioned into 'movements' as if a symphony of music. There is no explanation of this in the text, but the headings of each section are titled in this way.

The introduction is followed by the 'overture,' which touches on setting the mood by activating first your mind. This is achieved by appealing to each of the five senses. Sight is aroused by preparing an aesthetically pleasing space for lovemaking. The book suggests such fairytale, romance novel, cheesy spots as a setting in a garden, a tent or a woodland cabin. And be sure to have clean furnishings!

In other words, wash your dorm room's bedsheets for once and buy that girl some flowers.

Music should come into play, and the book suggests you choose a favorite CD (Michael Bolton, perhaps?), allow the sounds of the nearby waterfall to 'filter through your open windows,' or 'read aloud from Ovid... and other erotic works.' Light some aromatherapy candles and 'place a drop of... perfume on a handkerchief and slip it into your lover's pocket... he can call up sensual memories with a single breath.' This is the 21st century. Really.
The book suggests lovers share food and feed each other to arouse the senses of the tongue. This is a tip I can stand behind. It's perfectly sensual and natural to incorporate desert and the mouth as foreplay.
The sense of touch will be the last to arouse, leading into heavier foreplay. '...He should feel the whole of her body with his hands, and kiss her all over...'

In the 'First Movement' or chapter, the author skims over the acts before 'The Act.' Grooming is addressed. (Really, this is getting ridiculous. I feel I'm reading a health book from middle school, with this language and its methodical, nearly medical treatment of sex.) 'The householder... should wash his teeth, apply a limited quantity of ointments and perfumes... and the sweat of the armpits should be removed.' Yes, this is an actual quote from the book. And yes, this is really the language it uses. Massage, safe sex, and Kegel exercises are touched on, before going into the second movement...

Foreplay. This is where this book really loses me. It begins labeling positions and love making 'moves' with some really goofy-ass names. I understand they probably came from a place of good intention - the original Kama Sutra written in Sanskrit with all its poetic language, etc. However, out of context, and in this strange little mini-book, it just doesn't fit. We're given names for kisses such as 'the straight kiss,' 'the bent kiss,' 'the kiss that kindles love,' 'the kiss that turns away.' It's all just too goofy in its attempt to be flowery.

The same dissection of methodical lovemaking 'moves' is applied to 'embracing,' cunnilingus, fellatio, biting/scratching, and then the finale, the actual sexual positions. These positions are given such super sexy names as 'the Twining of a Creeper,' (and yes, with the capital letters like that) 'the Congress of a Cow,' 'the Trunk of an Elephant.' Give me a break.

Honestly this book could at points create a bit of arousal, but I found it overall rather useless. The wording was simply too mechanical or medical to be sensual. The guide truly seemed to be a 'Sex for Absolute Dummies.' I learned nothing I didn't already know in my younger days of strictly vanilla sex, which is all this book outlines.
  • 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?
    • Beginners to lovemaking
  • General
    [ ? ]
    Other tags that are useful and descriptive for this product.
    • Instructional / educational


The cartoon illustrations were simple, and the background of the scenes a bit exotic in design. One thing that bothered me though was the facial expressions of the male character throughout the illustrations. He had an odd smile on his face. He reminded me of a smiling stick man, or a child's cartoon, yet he was simply smiling, while demonstrating sex positions. A bit disturbing.
Other than that, the designs used throughout the book are artistic and pretty.

The book comes with a little blue ribbon bookmark sewn in. Attached to the end is a small 24-karat gold plated heart charm that the book suggests you remove to use as a charm for a bracelet or necklace. You certainly could if you'd like.

There is a space in the first page with a



box for dedication to that special someone who happens to be a total dunce when it comes to doing the dirty.

The actual print quality of the book is quite high. It is bound with a hardcover, with 96 thick, high quality, full color pages. The book is so small you can grab the entire thing in one hand.
    • Diagrams / photos included
    • Well made

Personal comments

If you yourself are new to sexual experiences or know someone you'd like to gift with a back pocket full o' sex tips, definitely pick this up. It's very simple even if flowery, and I can see a young feminine person getting a bit of mileage out of this book.
Anyone who falls out of the realm of the above mentioned population should look into kinkier, more advanced reading.
Follow-up commentary
This book simply did not have enough useful information for me whatsoever. I ended up giving it away to a friend. For a newbie I would still vote for it, however... it's simply a stretch to say it's useful to someone who is sexually confident.
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This review was edited by
  • Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
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  • Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
    All I can say is . . . holy crap. This is an amazing review!
  • aliceinthehole
    aw shucks, thanks miss D. you're really too kind. honestly!
  • Yaoi Pervette (deleted)
    Your review made me giggle throughout. I read the Kama Sutra many years ago, and I have to say that a lot of the odd language in this book is lifted directly from the English translation by Sir Richard Burton. I even remember the rather goofy position names.
  • The Curious Couple
    Awesome review, thank you!
  • meitman
    Awesome review! I loved the humorous comments throughout the review!
  • Kindred
    The font size and pictures reminds me of a childrens book. Pass. Thanks for the review.
  • Antipova
    Definitely a fabulous review... the Kama Sutra wasn't hard to understand, why did it need to be dumbed down?
  • ~LaUr3n~
    Your photos have been removed
  • aliceinthehole
    i fixed it! thanks for the heads up lady!
  • Ilovelingerie
    This is a really great review! I havent read one this great in a while
  • Ilovelingerie
    Oh and also wanted to let you know that your pictures helped awnser any questions I would have had about the book.

  • aliceinthehole
    you are so nice! i'm really glad you liked it, and thanks for taking the time to say so. i love including pics in reviews, they really help tell the story, and give you a better idea of what you're getting into when you buy the product. thanks for reading!
  • geliebt
    Great review, thank you!
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