We exist… because of sex. It’s not something to be afraid of. It’s something to honor.

Sun Bak, Sense8

Book 2 begins by laying out the foundations of sexual union. As a preface, Vatsayana postulates a sexual classification of men and women on the basis of 3 things- dimensions of genitals, intensity of passion and duration of coitus. Each system classifies men and women into 3 classes each. Thus resulting in 18 classes and their different combinations. Some combinations, especially those between equals work best. But that doesn’t make the others any less as there are methods to make sex enjoyable for everybody.

Vatsayana discusses the various types of kisses, embraces and love positions in the subsequent chapters. He also suggests ways to bite, beat and press nails as well. The bridging of sex and aggression through these early predecessors of dominance and sadism is meant to be excitatory. It aims to build intimacy and connection. It establishes communication. It sustains through the comfort of contact. All of it narrows down to the touch, that has a memory, as Keats puts it.

There’s a detailed taxonomy of various nail marks and lovebites. These aggressive elements of sex is more about desire than about love. This works in the principle that jealousy is the greatest aphrodisiac. Apart from boosting desire, it serves as a memoir, a signature of passionate love. It doesn’t shy away from recommending artificial means for sexual pleasure, such as sex toys. Rather it focuses on creativity in the bedroom, so as to maximise pleasure, as seen in the ridiculously popular section on love positions.

A separate chapter details the dynamics of women on top positions. Kamasutra also has a section dealing particularly with female pleasure. It is suggested that rather than mere pelvic thrusts, the interaction of genitals can be made to maximize pleasure. This includes stimulating particular areas of the vagina using the penis by hitting at different angles and adjusting the pace. Vatsayana also details how moaning, hissing and purring enhances sensuality. Like every other aspect of sex, these erotic reverberations makes the act, a means for effective communication, to weave poetry without words.

The climax of this book is a chapter on auparishtaka or oral sex. Vatsayana describes 8 steps of oral sex. In this chapter, he acknowledges homosexuality as a normal form of sexuality. The importance of foreplay as well as cuddling after sex is described in a separate chapter. Thus Kamasutra places sex as a building block of bonds.

Inspite of laying out prescriptions for sex, Vatsayana acknowledges how passion could override all of it, thereby bridging the incentive and motivation of sex. The book cleverly lays itself in the narrow, grey area between conservative morality and liberal sexuality. It constantly reminds the reader of the importance of striking the balance through self regulation. As a guide to the art of blissful life, Kamasutra aims for the harmony of hedonic and eudaimonic drives.

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