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Book Review - The Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra
The Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra
by Mark Schoen (Director)
Sinclair Intimacy Institute, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Sep 29th 2005

The Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra includes a 60-minute CD of Eastern-flavored music and a DVD of sex instruction. The main feature on the DVD is a 50-minute demonstration of twelve positions from the Kama Sutra, along with some explanation of the ideas in the work. There is also a shorter "making of" film that explains how the couples in the main film were chosen and instructed, and how the whole film was made. The DVD has high production values and is obviously aimed at heterosexual couples. It is explicit, but is very different from most pornography.

The instruction is set in a nicely furnished studio, with curtains hanging around the set, a large circular bed, flowers and ornaments used for decoration, and many candles creating a softer atmosphere. The lesson is introduced by a woman speaking calmly and thoughtfully, and there are occasional cuts to Professor Prakash Kothari, from the Department of Sexual Medicine Seth GS Medical College in Bombay, who cheerfully explains a few things about some of the positions. The camera work is professional, showing the couples in whole body, without focusing on the genitals. The camera is often moving slowly, shifting its perspective around the couple to it is possible to see how the body parts are placed for the different positions. Soft music plays in the background. The DVD is split up into separate chapters, one for each position, so it is possible to select a particular position to learn from.

The guide includes several attractive couples, probably in their late twenties or thirties. While they all have slender healthy bodies, they do not have obvious artificial enhancements and they look quite normal. One of the most startling and pleasing parts of the editing is the way it gracefully cuts from one couple to another practicing the same position, at least for some positions. (In the "Making of" part, it explains that it was not always possible to more than one couple to accomplish some of the more challenging positions, and different people have different strengths.) The shifting from one couple to another, especially at the start, is quite unusual and helps to focus more on the position than any particular couple.

Some of the positions require flexibility and body strength, and a few of them are illustrated performed with additional apparatus, such as a swing hanging from the ceiling to hold the woman in place. However, there's no reason why those of us with less perfect bodies and without special contraptions could not also try most of these positions.

The DVD spends little time on the more general philosophy concerning the relationships between men and women that guides the Kama Sutra, and so it is very "action-oriented." Couples wanting to know more about the system of thought behind the sexual positions will have to look elsewhere.

For those who are looking for a relatively tasteful and well-informed DVD demonstrating new positions, The Better Sex Guide to the Kama Sutra is worth considering. As an explanation of sexual philosophy of Eastern cultures, it is extremely light with very little detailed information, and there's hardly any attention paid to emotional issues, but as a tasteful demonstration of sex, it is done well.

 

2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

Link: Sinclair Intimacy Institute

 

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island, and editor of Metapsychology Online Review.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.

 

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