Information and Interview Material
About Us | History of Tantra.com | About Suzie | Media | Business Overview | Contact Us
To make it easier for those of you in the media to understand this topic we have included a list of Questions and Answers that might help you with your publication’s story. Please feel free to Contact Suzie Heumann for additional information or to request an interview.
Sample Questions that might help you with your article or interview:
What is Tantra? Tell us a little about what the history of Tantra is.
Why might modern couples be interested in learning more about Tantra?
Who are Shiva and Shakti and what meaning do they have in our lives?
What are the benefits of Tantra, sacred sexuality and the Kama Sutra to individuals and couples?
"Our mind is our most powerful erogenous zone." What does this mean?
What are some of the specific techniques that a person does?
Is Tantra a religion? Do I have to change my religion to practice Tantra?
Tell me about the importance of ejaculation mastery for men.
What will women learn from Tantra?
What are some of the techniques and philosophies that might not be the things that we would normally associate with sexuality?
What is the G-spot and where is it?
Does every woman have one?
What does it feel like? What can I expect?
Once I've found it, what positions are best for maximum contact?
What does my partner need to know or do to help with contact?
I've tried to find mine but I can't. What now?
What if my partner doesn't want to help me find mine? What can I do?
Does a man have a G-spot?
Sample interview with Suzie Heumann on the Kama Sutra.
-What is the Kama Sutra?
The Kama Sutra (Sanskrit for: Kama = Pleasure, Sutra = aphorism, saying or type of book) is an ancient set of writings that is part of a trilogy. There is the Kama Sutra, the Artha Sutra (Artha = wealth, standing in society) and the Dharma Sutra (Dharma = dharma work is what you give back to your community, your service to the community and family and society in general).
Of course, we in the west concentrate on the sexual stuff but we could benefit greatly from the other ‘sutras’ too! It is said, by sages and holy men, that the characters from the Mahabarata (major Hindu holy book but is made up of stories about great epoch battles and loves as metaphors for life) used to argue which book or part of the trilogy came first. Do you need Artha (wealth) before you can have Kama And Dharma, or Dharma before Kama and Artha, or Kama before Artha and Dharma. Bima, the servant and best friend of Arguna (holy son/god of first Hindu family and a Brahman by cast and a hero by story, but back to Bima) is said to have declared that Kama is the first one we must know and embrace because without love, and the desire that pleasure brings, one would never have the impetus to go and find a wife, marry and grow one’s wealth. Having ‘love’ in the coupled sense then gave one love in the agapa or brotherly love sense, which then led to Dharma work in the world for your fellow man/woman. So, Kama is the most important to get the ‘wheel’ of life going!
The Kama Sutra is a book containing short directives on all things pleasurable in life that are meant to be interpreted by a teacher, mentor, older sister, or brother (in the case of men), mother or auntie. Most girls from upper class Indian families studied the 64 arts, as did some young men. This was most important for women in a society that doesn’t value women fully, even to this day. Women needed to ‘up their value’ by being everything they could possibly be.
The other part of the Kama Sutra that is worthy to note is the vast parts about courting rituals and the use of friends and ‘go-betweens’ for making contact with a potential lover/partner. The Indian Hindu society is a formal society with structures far different than most western societies. Arranged marriage proscribed that young men and women not see each other before their wedding day. In the cases where they did get to meet they needed to be very conservative and have chaperones and follow prescribed ways of conducting themselves.
This is all in the Kama Sutras, though the ‘aphorisms’ were ‘interpreted’ by the mentor they had. It’s a good system because it relies on the family or teacher’s specific ideas that they then interpret through the Kama Sutra; it leaves things open for interpretation. Many people had the benefit of learning how to love rather than having to ‘reinvent the wheel’ individually.
This is an excerpt from the book The Everything Kama Sutra Book by Suzie Heumann. It is the outline of the actual parts of the text of the Kama Sutra.
The Parts of the Kama Sutra
The Kama Sutra is a manual on conducting relationships between lovers. Best known by westerners for its variety of exotic sexual positions, the Kama Sutra has as much to offer modern couples as it did their counterparts in ancient India. Though some of its parts aren't pertinent to contemporary lovers, here is an overview of how the original sutras were written. A majority of the sutras will be covered in detail in the body of this book.
Part One - General Remarks
The beginning of the Kama Sutra covers the general areas of life that pertain to the aims and focus of an upstanding citizen of the time. It addresses the three aims in life: the obtainment of wealth (Artha), the rules and morals of behavior (Dharma), and the erotic practices to assure pleasure and the existence of life itself (Kama). It also addresses the learning and the acquisition of knowledge, conduct, and intermediaries for the lover.
Part Two - Amorous Advances
This section of the Kama Sutra is the one that most of us know as the sexually detailed area. It describes positions, embraces, biting, oral sex, and caressing. Found here are the sections on scratching, stimulation, desire, the behavior of women, and concluding a lovemaking session.
Part Three - Acquiring a Wife
Courting rituals are detailed in this part of the Kama Sutra. Topics such as relaxing the girl, the forms of marriage, and ways of convincing the girl are included. Seduction becomes a fine art form to the suitor who desires the appropriate wife.
Part Four - Duties and Privileges of the Wife
This area of the book details how the wife should conduct her life. It addresses both the situation of only one wife in the household and many wives within the residence. The conduct of the chief wife and the other wives is covered along with psychological suggestions for the harem's peace and happiness.
Part Five - Other Men's Wives
Though council is against it, the conduct for having an affair with another man's wife is examined in this area of the book. The use of an intermediary is discussed along with how to set up an encounter. In many parts of India and Asia at the time, the king had the right to deflower a young bride, so this subject is also covered.
Part Six - About Courtesans
Because the arts of love were so revered, there is an extensive area addressed to courtesans for ways in which they should conduct their lives and business affairs. They were thought to be the best lovers and were highly regarded during the era. It details whom she should take as a customer and whom she should not, what she should and shouldn't do in the acts of love, and how to manage long term lovers.
Part Seven - Occult Practices
As astrology played an important role in choosing a lover or wife, so did occult practices if the object of ones desire was not willing. Aphrodisiacs, spells, and potions are covered here as well as remedies for impotency and low libido. Plants, herbs, spices, and other products of the time are mentioned. (end of book excerpt)
-Where did the Kama Sutra originate?
India, many thousands of years ago. It was written down, in its current form, by a man named Vatsyayana in about the fourth century AD.
Ancient Sages and Modern Scholars Book excerpt:
The Kama Sutra was put into written form from a long history of rich oral tradition. Writing had disappeared in India about 3500 years ago with the advent of the Aryan invasions. Around 600 to 700 BC the ancient manuscripts were again written down in the Sanskrit language. Though the original "rules of love" were attributed to Nandi, the god Shiva's companion, it was a man named Babhravya who compiled the vast manuscripts of earlier days into a more manageable work some time between the 7th and 8th centuries B.C. There were 1,000 chapters in the original work, called the Kama Shastra, by Babhravya.
A scholar named Vatsyayana is attributed with the Sanskrit version that is translated to other languages today. He edited it down from the vast earlier version. The Kama Sutra was meant as a guide to be memorized and to have the more subtle points shown through interpretation of a lover or guide.
Therefore, its structure appears as poetry and verse. The descriptions of the positions, morals, and guidelines are short and to the point. It's almost like they were meant as reminders to the couple, rather than detailed instruction. In that way they can be remembered, until they become habit, during the early years of sexual relations.
The Kama Sutra is perhaps the best known of all the love manuals. It came to modern society when an Englishman named Sir Richard Burton translated it from Sanskrit in the middle 1800s. Burton was an intrepid adventurer. He is reported to have spoken forty languages fluently and is credited with helping to discover Lake Victoria, the head of the Nile River, among other accomplishments.
The sexual mores in Victorian England during his life were very restrictive. Because he traveled extensively he may have experienced some of what is contained in the Kama Sutra firsthand. Other scholars of the subject understand that he was generous with his interpretations rather than staying within a strict translation. The Kama Sutra shocked Victorian England, and upon Sir Richard's death, his wife burned many of the other books he had translated. Most of them have not been re-translated and indeed many may be lost forever to humanity. (end of book excerpt)
-In your opinion, what do you think the general western world view of the Kama Sutra is?
It’s seen as a set of hot sexual practices and positions. Very limited understanding, really.
Most of the world (people) that even know the words ‘Kama Sutra’ don’t have a clue as to what it is. This kind of thing doesn’t go over very well in our culture/society. It is a real shame and detriment to society that we view sexuality and sensuality as bad. It was treated as part of science and health in the past. In addition, many people misspell Kama Sutra to Karma Sutra.
-Is the western world too close-minded or does it embrace the sexuality of the Kama Sutra?
This is happening slowly, very slowly, but it is happening. I have applied to make a speaking presentation in Bangkok this winter at a world sexuality conference. We shall see how it affects them. The sad fact is that the country that created this beautiful book of ideas is one of the most backward in the world when it comes to this stuff. The questions I get are sad because of the lack of even basic sexual knowledge.
Why are we Interested? book excerpt:
Our sexual nature is an important part of life yet it has been relegated to quiet, dark, behind the door furtive acts that leave us frustrated, un-fulfilled, and wanting more. As a society, we fantasize about cultures of the past and romanticize their relationship to love and the erotic arts. Not only do we not have support in learning the arts of making love, we don't have a culture that supports the sexual acts as a form of art. The sense of the spiritual nature that profound sexual intimacy has is missing in the virtuous, sex for procreation only party line that has been the motto of the western world. New generations see the Kama Sutra as the literary work that holds this promise.
Western Curiosity of World Cultures
The world is getting smaller and smaller through better communication and efficient methods of transportation. The influences of many cultures are beginning to blend borders between countries and our knowledge is increasing about things that weren't available to us before. Though the Kama Sutra was first translated in the mid 19th century it wasn't widely distributed and was actually banned in some places because of our prudish understanding of sex in the west.
Sex sells things in western cultures. The fact that we actually have sex has been kept underground until very recently in our history. We're only just now coming out of our Victorian like mindset about our sensual natures and our innate sexuality. We need a sex manual that provides us with the basic lessons by which to guide our explorations into the pleasure and bliss of sexual intimacy. But it wasn't until the 1960s that the classic love manual became truly available to us.
The 1960s Opened the Doors
In the middle to late 1960s the so-called "sexual revolution" opened the doors for many people to explore their sexual nature more fully. Indian culture was beginning to come to the west in the form of yoga, Ravi Shankar's music, madras shirts, incense, and Indian imported clothing. The Beatles were meeting with gurus in India and the Kama Sutra was being put into modern book form for the first time. The ways of the east showed a new path to an area of life that the west had pushed under the covers, literally. (end of book excerpt)
-Clearly the Kama Sutra is more than just a book on sex positions, what does the Kama Sutra teach? That is a bit too long to answer. Here is the table of contents to my book:
• Chapter 1: What is the Kama Sutra?
• Chapter 2: The Kama Sutra for Today’�s Modern Lovers
• Chapter 3: The Sixty-Four Arts
• Chapter 4: The Art of Seduction
• Chapter 5: Practices to Enhance Your Pleasure
• Chapter 6: The Art of Erotic Touch
• Chapter 7: The Art of Kissing and Oral Sex
• Chapter 8: Asanas - Beyond Sex Positions
• Chapter 9: On Women Assuming the Man�’s Role
• Chapter 10: Man Superior Positions
• Chapter 11: Rear-entry Positions
• Chapter 12: Sitting, Lying, and Standing Positions
• Chapter 13: Positions Inspired by Nature
• Chapter 14: The Lover’�s Fit - Bodies and Emotions
• Chapter 15: Orgasm Mastery
• Chapter 16: The Art of Relationship
• Chapter 17: Yoga and Meditation
• Chapter 18: Aphrodisiacs, Sex Aids, and the Occult
• Chapter 19: The Eight-Step Lesson Plan
• Chapter 20: Becoming an Exotic, Erotic Lover
-How do you feel the Kama Sutra and its teachings benefit the individual?
I think that couples should and can be each other’s guides and teachers. We just have to get over thinking our partner is being critical of us.
Some of the teachings are not appropriate for our world today with its better understanding and more wholistic ideas about gender equality and gender importance.
The Role of the Teacher or guide book excerpt:
The Sutras, whether the Artha, Dharma, or Kama Sutras, were written as aphorisms or short saying so that they could be memorized, taught and interpreted by a qualified teacher. The author's interpretations or a scholarly associate's always accompanies contemporary versions of the translations. The language that the sutras are written in is often difficult for the layperson to understand and the added help of additional teachings and commentary further the meaning of the information.
While the young lovers and students of the past enjoyed the opportunity to have a teacher to work with on the finer points of the Kama Sutra, people today may not always have that chance. As you read this book, help your lover and have them help you to understand the subtler points. Act as each other's teacher so that you may both enjoy the delicious fruits of the love chamber. Guide and gently hold your lover in the arms of the gods and goddesses and the centuries of lovers before you who have traveled the path of Kama, the God of Love. (end of book excerpt)
-Do you agree with all of Vatsyayana’s beliefs? If no, which specific belief(s) do you not support?
The times were such that any one individual’s ideas weren’t really put forth. It wasn’t that safe. But Vatsyayana did say that when it came to ‘taboo’ subjects that if one’s heart and mind thought that it would be alright then one should go ahead and do it, as long as it didn’t hurt another. So he was liberal. He thought that a husband and wife should find out what they liked and do it. He was referencing oral sex, which wasn’t that popular for female to male contact (goods girls and all of that stuff), certain practices and uses of courtesans, other men’s wives (notice I don’t say other women’s husbands-a no-no), etc.
-Some say the Kama Sutra is sexist while others say it is anti-homosexual. Would you agree with either of these points of view and if so, how do you reconcile yourself with these prejudices?
Yes, some of it isn’t appropriate for today’s world. We have a much greater understanding and respect for both genders. It isn’t exactly anti-homosexual though. It was much more accepted to have male/male sex in ancient times, all around the globe. And many men had several wives it wasn’t taboo for women to have sex together. What wasn’t as OK was upper class women giving oral sex or being defiled in some way. Crossing boundaries around class structure was prohibited too. The Tantrics broke through that one, though.
Times Have Changed book excerpt:
As revered as the Kama Sutra is today, many of its parts just don't fit modern society. Most civilizations around the world, both western and eastern, don't consider it appropriate to have more than one wife. That was not true in the days of the Kama Sutra. Much of the work includes details on how to handle multiple wives and even lovers and courtesans.
Out Dated Kama Sutra Concepts
There are many things in the Kama Sutra that don't fit both our modern sensibilities and our cultural beliefs any longer. Though women did have a strong presence in some aspects of their lives in India the equality of the sexes was nothing like we know today. Sexism still exists, even today, but the line dividing equal opportunity between the sexes is thinning. From jobs to orgasms, women are claiming their territory with passion. Portions of the Kama Sutra put the man's needs first and it tends to have a male "voice". This makes sense since a man wrote it. Some of the sections, like the one on scratching, seem to imply that rather sever scratching and biting serve to "mark" the woman. The idea that she is "taken" and taken by a very passionate man, comes to mind. You can't leave deep fingernail marks if you don't have long fingernails. This means that the man is wealthy, because if he worked he wouldn't be able to maintain the kind of nails that deep scratching demands. (end of book excerpt)
-In terms of conduct, do you feel the Kama Sutra is a good ‘How to’ book?
Many parts are antiquated. I do think that there are some parts that are OK to interpret in today’s world. We aren’t nearly as ‘ritual’ oriented today. We don’t do things as ‘formally’ as they did then. And things like biting your lover and leaving teeth marks, as a sign of love, might be a little odd in today’s world.
-There are many love potions and other remedies described in the Kama Sutra. I am skeptical. Do they actually work?
Hard to say, but, yes, probably some of them do, in varying degrees. I do think that there are probably certain stinging insects that might cause vast swelling if enough of them stung your lingam at a time but…most of us aren’t Sadomasochists and we don’t live where the bugs live.
Remember our biggest sex organ is our brain so when we think something will work it often does. I don’t really want to rub dung in my hair or drink combos of honey, milk and a blend of exotic herbs and bugs all the time. Some of the stuff might work but the practical things are more important in this book than the aphrodisiacs. I do think it is interesting that sex toys and aids have been around for a long time.
-Is the Kama Sutra outdated or does it still have value in today’s society?
Most of it has value and I think that just the fact that it is touted today is important. It makes us realize that people for all of time have been interested in sexuality and that some civilizations even had a very high regard for it.
-How can the teachings be incorporated into everyday life?
Study and practice. Living, Loving, Learning - Life is a life-long learning process.
-Besides reading the many books on tantric sex and the Kama Sutra, what other educational services are out there for people who are interested?
Our site, other sites, DVDs, workshops it is a growing industry and I think has huge potential. People are getting more interested in what is normally thought of as fringe subjects or niche subjects.
Be a life-long learner. Remember, we are all living a lot longer than the folks were when the Kama Sutra was first thought of. You married at 8, had sex upon your first menarche, had kids, got old at 35 and died at 50. That’s rough but you get the picture.
-Is the Kama Sutra popular in today’s society? Is there a resurgence of interest in the Kama Sutra?
It is a buzzword. People are interested. Anything sexy is interesting to most of us. Anything new that can be exploited seems to be how this pop-culture of ours works. Yes, there is a renewed interest. I’m glad because it means we’re being open minded about other cultures and times. When people start looking beyond the Kama Sutra and more toward Tantra then there is the possibility of transformation in all corners of one’s life.
-Do you feel the Kama Sutra is a good technical guide to sexual enjoyment?
It can and should be a part of a person or couple’s studies. I just think it is good and healthy to study love and sex period. ‘Gona study Love instead of War! There is information that is known today but wasn’t in more ancient times. And, conversely, knowledge has been lost about healthier ways of living and loving.
We all have to ‘reinvent the wheel’ so to speak with sex. No one teaches us. It is sad because it has such power to transform our lives when we have to be very real about sexuality and spirituality and sensuality and communication.
-Why are the 64 arts important to an individual?
Inner Beauty - Charm, Wit, and Intelligence book excerpt:
Vatsyayana, the Kama Sutra's author, reveals that the cultivation of inner beauty was just as important as outer beauty. Attractiveness comes from a refined and imaginative mind as much as it does from darkened eyes, ruby lips, and a fine figure. Cultivating as many of the arts other than the art of lovemaking was of great importance to society.
You will remember that it was thought that the aims of life were four - wealth, moral standing, pleasure, and enlightenment. It is understandable that to be good at sexual pleasure one would need to study the arts of love. It is also easy to understand that to be excellent at your job or in your community you would need to know certain things to be able to be a citizen of honor.
Most of us do indeed follow life pursuits or interest that are as varied as the number of people in the world. You may play an instrument, or write poetry, or paint, or sing, or participate in any number of personal interests that fuel your creative side. It is those pursuits that the ancient Sutras believed made us all more expansive individuals.
Men, and especially women, were encouraged to learn as many of them as possible. Refinement and accomplishment were important and many of the arts were not gender specific. These arts included music, singing, sciences, lovemaking, homemaking, poetry, dance, shooting of the bow and arrow, conversation, sewing, art, games, magic, chemistry, perfumery, and rituals.
The Arts in Your Life
Cultivating and developing your self, in many different ways, adds to your quality of life and will enhance your sense of self. Artistry is in everyone. Improving your dexterity and your sense of sight, sound, taste and touch, while in the creative mode, helps improve neural function and cognitive abilities.
If you are inclined to learn a new art, don't censor your first tries. Be open to taking the time to create and develop in your new art form. The point is to have fun, even in the lovemaking arts, and not to do it perfectly.
You may want to try a new type of artistic endeavor with your partner. Consider starting a garden together or landscaping a section of your outdoor living space as a joint project. Design and implement a new tiled entranceway to your front door or run a race for charity together. Create something together and see how you do with it. Find ways to be partners rather than a leader and a follower. Create Kama, pleasure, and enjoyment in the activity. (end of book excerpt)
-The Kama Sutra was also a lifestyle magazine ( I wouldn’t call it this, it was considered a holy text) of its day, recounting techniques, recipes for aphrodisiacs and lots of advice on seduction, courting and marriage. Do you feel everyone should learn and embrace the Kama Sutra?
Not this old one but a new one for society that is actually taught to young people. Doesn’t have to be the taboo stuff like the sexual teachings for young people but more the attitude teachings. How do you treat your potential sensual/sexual partners when you have one in the future? How do you see and treat yourself with honor around your sensual nature. Stuff like that should be emphasized. Then we wouldn’t have the negative things like diseases that spread because of a perpetuated ignorance.
About Us | History of Tantra.com | About Suzie | Media | Business Overview | Contact Us