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SextasyReview - Sextasy
Master the Timeless Techniques of Tantra, Tao, and the Kama Sutra to Take Lovemaking to New Heights
by Caroline Aldred
Delta, 2005
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Aug 27th 2005 (Volume 9, Issue 34)

This sexual self-help book inspired by Eastern practices of Tantra, Tao, and the Kama Sutra is mildly informative and entertaining.† It is illustrated with tasteful monochrome photographs of attractive couples engaged in sexual play.† The text is written in straightforward language, introducing a few Eastern words and ideas.† The explanations are so simple that they inevitably miss out complexities of actual thought, since they are making generalizations about many civilizations over many centuries.† For example, Aldred writes, "In the ancient traditions of Egypt, Greece, Arabia, India, Tibet, and China, woman was considered the initiator of love, the embodiment of sensuality, and the guardian of the creative potential."† There is probably some truth to this, but to give an obvious counter example, in ancient Greece, at least according to some interpreters, only men were thought to be capable of true love for each other.†

The book uses the terminology of "the lingam" to refer to the penis, and "the yoni" for the vulva and the vagina.† According to Aldred, the Kama Sutra has three categories of lingam: the hare, the bull, and the horse, and furthermore, it claims that penis size is correlated with body size, intelligence, character, lovemaking style, and semen taste.† Similarly, the yoni is typed as the deer, the mare, or the elephant, according to its depth, and this is correlated with the woman's body, enthusiasm for sex, character, and the scent of her "love juice."† Presumably most readers will just take this to be a bit of fun, and certainly it would be foolish to take it seriously.† But then what other parts of the book are worth taking seriously?†† For those who are prone to giggling and reading sentences from self-help out loud in silly voices, there's plenty of material here.† To take a sentence from the section on "Yoni Kissing": "When a woman's lover experiences her shrine as a meditation, touches it, tastes it, smells it, and enters it, something magical happens."† There is plenty of practical advice about how to perform cunnilingus in following paragraphs, but it seems very similar to what one would find in any other sex manual.† The list of "Love Positions" is similar very much what you'll find in other manuals, although the names of the positions, such as "Pair of Tongs," "Geese Flying on Their Backs," "Mandarin Ducks," and "Dark Cicada Fixed to a Tree" do make them sound more exotic.† Other parts of the book are quite modern, and it's a little puzzling quite where they fit with ancient sexual practices.† Presumably the Kama Sutra didn't refer to the Hitachi Magic Wand or Astroglide, and it would be surprising if it mentioned vibrating cock rings too.† That's not to say that Sextasy should not discuss these things, but it would be interesting to have more explanation of how they relate to the Eastern themes.†

So Sextasy seems light on the Eastern themes, and very ordinary as a sex manual.† Some couple may find it entertaining, but it is very unlikely to be genuinely helpful or enlightening to anyone who has previously browsed through any other self-help books on sexuality.

 

© 2005 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

 

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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