If you ask a foreigner what’s the one thing that reminds them of India, they’ll probably reply, in no particular order: the Taj Mahal, curry, Bollywood and Kama Sutra. That’s how popular this text is – India may be the only country in the world to be identified with a ‘sex manual’ (take that, moral police!). And don’t deny it, you’ve also had a peek, or quickly flipped the pages to the colour plates section, to see what the fuss about the Kama Sutra is all about, before your parents busted you!

So we asked our authors to tell us all about their first tryst with this most ancient text, erroneously called a ‘sex manual’ but also a text that details all about virtuous living. Here’s what they had to say:


My first tryst with the Kama Sutra was in the form of a worn-out and evidently much salivated-over copy that my older cousin brother had snitched from one of his college buddies and brought home. The explicit pictures immediately caught my fancy. I had been introduced recently to the temple sculptures at Konark sun temple during my summer holidays, and the book added to my fascination for the sexually ‘happening’ life of our forefathers!

As I kept ogling at the intriguing, almost acrobatic positions, I realised sex was not just what parents did sneakily after putting babies to sleep and turning the lights off to make more babies, but something to be enjoyed and celebrated.

As we passed that copy around among friends, the unbelievably buxom women and irresistibly endowed men set new benchmarks for prospective boyfriends and girlfriends. And for partners who would be willing and fit enough for those gymnastic positions. Well, most of us are still looking!

What we did manage to try soon after were the less-complicated but equally satisfying styles of hugging and kissing our partners, which the Kama Sutra teaches you, followed by silent thanks to our sensuous heritage for everything that happened thereafter!

Khushbu is an author of erotica in the romance and suspense genres.

Malini White

It was during my Mills-and-Boon days. I was looking for some weekend reading in a crowded library, when it fell down from a nearby rack. As I looked at the cover and then at the man who dropped the book, he hurriedly placed it back. Curious, I lingered on for him to leave, picked up the book and hid it in the philosophy rack, hoping that philosophers won’t take it away.

I quietly picked it up on a relaxed Sunday afternoon along with two other books for cover. I had heard of Kamasutra contraceptives but not of the book. Reading the illustrated translation of the original felt heady and exotic. I finished it in a single session followed by endless sessions of day-dreaming.

It didn’t matter then, though now, I would find it a bit male-oriented.

Malini White is a new-age romance writer.

Rati Banerjee 

My parents had two books hidden away in their bedroom in our North London home when I hit adolescence, The Joy of Sex and the Kama Sutra. The former was full of line drawings of a couple in various positions and the bearded man looked disconcertingly like my Math teacher; the latter had nicer illustrations, full of detailed backgrounds and sumptuous settings, and reminded me of Where’s Wally? I knew immediately which one spoke to me the most.
Rati Banerjee moved to London from Kolkata when she was seven, and spent her early teens in Mumbai, before returning to London to work as a TV script editor.
So what was your first tryst with the Kama Sutra? Tell us in the comments below.

One Comment

  1. Vinod Sharma / May 24, 2017 at 11:26 pm /Reply

    Not an author, but I think I can make a comment. I came across it during the Spring Fever organized by the Penguin at India Habitat Centre. Written by Mr. Haxar. Thankfully, having seen it, I knew it’s much more that the ‘positions’. It’s sort of a comprehensive guide on maintenance of household, love making is just a part of. I still remember how stealthily I picked it sat at a distant and isolated corner in the amphitheater at IHC. Though, I didn’t buy it and placed it back after an hour or so. Thanks Penguin.

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