The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana

The Kama Sutra is an ancient Indian Hindu text considered the standard work on love in Sanskrit literature written by Vatsyayana. (See the Wikipedia article on the Kama Sutra.)

Positions Mentioned and Their Gay Equivalents

The positions mentioned in the Kama Sutra are covered in this section. If this gay guide also covers a position, the mapping is denoted by an arrow (→).

Embracing Positions

Babhravya's Lying Positions

Suvarnanabha's Lying, Sitting, and Standing Positions

Other Positions

Bottom Acting the Part of Top Positions

Mouth Congress Positions

Excerpt Foreward

The Kama Sutra consists of seven parts, but only part two covers sex positions. Although sex positions are mentioned throughout part two, only chapter VI deals exclusively with sex positions.

An excerpt of the book follows. The excerpt is from the Project Gutenberg e-book of The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana, by Vatsyayana (alternate link).

Since this site is for gay men, top and bottom are used in lieu of man and woman. Modifications from the original text are highlighted in [brackets]. Omissions are marked by ellipsis (...). Positions are highlighted in yellow.

THE [GAY] KAMA SUTRA

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PART II.

OF SEXUAL UNION.

CHAPTER I.

KINDS OF SEXUAL UNION ACCORDING TO

(a) DIMENSIONS.

...

Kinds of Union.

[The top] is divided into three classes, viz., the hare man, the bull man, and the horse man, according to the size of his lingam.

[The bottom] also, according to the depth of [his hole], is either a [male] deer, a [horse], or a [male] elephant.

There are thus three equal unions between persons of corresponding dimensions, and there are six unequal unions, when the dimensions do not correspond, or nine in all, as the following table shows:

EQUAL. UNEQUAL.
[Top]. [Bottom]. [Top]. [Bottom]
Hare. Deer. Hare. [Horse].
Bull. [Horse]. Hare. Elephant.
Horse. Elephant. Bull. Deer.
    Bull. Elephant.
    Horse. Deer.
    Horse. [Horse].

In these unequal unions, when the [top] exceeds the [bottom] in point of size, [the top's] union with a [bottom] who is immediately next to him in size is called high union, and is of two kinds; while [the top's] union with the [bottom] most remote from him in size is called the highest union, and is of one kind only. On the other hand when the [bottom] exceeds the [top] in point of size, [the bottom's] union with a [top] immediately next to [him] in size is called low union, and is of two kinds; while [the bottom's] union with a [top] most remote from [him] in size is called the lowest union, and is of one kind only.

In other words, the horse and [horse], the bull and deer, form the high union, while the horse and deer form the highest union. On the [bottom] side, the elephant and bull, the [horse] and hare, form low unions, while the elephant and the hare make the lowest unions.

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CHAPTER II.

OF THE EMBRACE.

...

At the time of the meeting the four following kinds of embrace are used, viz.:

(1). When a [man], clinging to [another] man as a creeper twines round a tree, bends his head down to [the other's] with the desire of kissing him and slightly makes the sound of sut sut, embraces him, and looks lovingly towards him, it is called an embrace like the "twining of a creeper."

(2). When a [man], having placed one of [his] feet on the foot of [his] lover, and the other on one of his thighs, passes one of [his] arms round [the other's] back, and the other on [the other's] shoulders, makes slightly the sounds of singing and cooing, and wishes, as it were, to climb up him in order to have a kiss, it is called an embrace like the "climbing of a tree."

These two kinds of embrace take place when the lover is standing.

(3). When lovers lie on a bed, and embrace each other so closely that the arms and thighs of the one are encircled by the arms and thighs of the other, and are, as it were, rubbing up against them, this is called an embrace like "the mixture of sesamum seed with rice."

(4). When a man and [another man] are very much in love with each other, and not thinking of any pain or hurt, embrace each other as if they were entering into each other's bodies, either while [one man] is sitting on the lap of the [other] man or in front of [the other], or on a bed, then it is called an embrace like a "mixture of milk and water."

These two kinds of embrace take place at the time of sexual union.

...

CHAPTER VI.

OF THE DIFFERENT WAYS OF LYING DOWN, AND VARIOUS KINDS OF CONGRESS.

On the occasion of a "high congress" the [Deer bottom] should lie down in such a way as to widen [his hole], while in a "low congress" the [Elephant bottom] should lie down so as to contract [his]. But in an "equal congress" they should lie down in the natural position. What is said above concerning the [Deer] and the [Elephant] applies also to the [Horse bottom]. In a "low congress" the [bottom] should particularly make use of medicine, to cause [his] desires to be satisfied quickly.

The [Deer bottom] has the following three ways of lying down.

(1). When [he] lowers [his] head and raises [his] middle parts, it is called the "widely opened position." At such a time the [top] should apply some unguent, so as to make the entrance easy.

(2). When [he] raises [his] thighs and keeps them wide apart and engages in congress, it is called the "yawning position."

(3). When [he] places [his] thighs with [his] legs doubled on them upon [his] sides, and thus engages in congress, it is called the position of Indrani, and this is learnt only by practice. The position is also useful in the case of the "highest congress."

The "clasping position" is used in "low congress," and in the "lowest congress," together with the "pressing position," the "twining position", and the "[horse]'s position."

When the legs of both the [top] and the [bottom] are stretched straight out over each other, it is called the "clasping position." It is of two kinds, the side position and the supine position, according to the way in which they lie down. In the side position the [top] should invariably lie on his left side, and cause the [bottom] to lie on [his] right side, and this rule is to be observed in lying down with all kinds of [bottoms].

When, after congress has begun in the clasping position, the [bottom] presses [his] lover with [his] thighs, it is called the "pressing position."

When the [bottom] places one of [his] thighs across the thigh of [his] lover, it is called the "twining position."

When a [bottom] forcibly holds in [his hole] the lingam after it is in, it is called the "[horse]'s position." This is learnt by practice only, and is chiefly found among the [bottoms] of the Andra country.

The above are the different ways of lying down, mentioned by Babhravya; Suvarnanabha, however, gives the following in addition.

When the [bottom] raises both of [his] thighs straight up, it is called the "rising position."

When [the bottom] raises both of [his] legs, and places them on [his] lover's shoulders, it is called the "yawning position."

When the legs are contracted, and thus held by the lover before his bosom, it is called the "pressed position."

When only one of [the bottom's] legs is stretched out, it is called the "half pressed position."

When the [bottom] places one of [his] legs on [his] lover's shoulder, and stretches the other out, and then places the latter on [the top's] shoulder, and stretches out the other, and continues to do so alternately, it is called the "splitting of a bamboo."

When one of [the bottom's] legs is placed on the head, and the other is stretched out, it is called the "fixing of a nail." This is learnt by practice only.

When both the legs of the [bottom] are contracted, and placed on [the bottom's] stomach, it is called the "crab's position."

When the thighs are raised and placed one upon the other, it is called the "packed position."

When the shanks are placed one upon the other, it is called the "lotus-like position."

When a [top], during congress, turns round, and enjoys the [bottom] without leaving [him], while [the bottom] embraces [the top] round the back all the time, it is called the "turning position," and is learnt only by practice.

Thus says Suvarnanabha, these different ways of lying down, sitting, and standing should be practised in water, because it is easy to do so therein. But Vatsyayana is of opinion that congress in water is improper, because it is prohibited by the religious law.

When a [top] and a [bottom] support themselves on each other's bodies, or on a wall, or pillar, and thus while standing engage in congress, it is called the "supported congress."

When a [top] supports himself against a wall, and the [bottom], sitting on [the top's] hands joined together and held underneath [the bottom], throws [his] arms round [the top's] neck, and putting [his] thighs alongside [the top's] waist, moves [himself] by [his] feet, which are touching the wall against which the [top] is leaning, it is called the "suspended congress."

When a [bottom] stands on [his] hands and feet like a quadruped, and [his] lover mounts [him] like a bull, it is called the "congress of a cow." At this time everything that is ordinarily done on the bosom should be done on the back.

In the same way can be carried on the congress of a dog, the congress of a goat, the congress of a deer, the forcible mounting of an ass, the congress of a cat, the jump of a tiger, the pressing of an elephant, the rubbing of a boar, and the mounting of a horse. And in all these cases the characteristics of these different animals should be manifested by acting like them.

When a [top] enjoys two [bottoms] at the same time, both of whom love him equally, it is called the "united congress."

When a [top] enjoys many [bottoms] altogether, it is called the "congress of a herd of cows."

The following kinds of congress, viz., sporting in water, or the congress of an elephant with many [male] elephants, which is said to take place only in the water, the congress of a collection of goats, the congress of a collection of deer, take place in imitation of these animals.

In Gramaneri many young [top]s enjoy a [bottom] that may be married to one of them, either one after the other, or at the same time. Thus one of them holds [the bottom], another enjoys [the bottom], a third uses [the bottom's] mouth, a fourth holds [the bottom's] middle part, and in this way they go on enjoying [him] several parts alternately.

The same things can be done when several [tops] are sitting in company with one courtesan, or when one courtesan is alone with many [tops]. In the same way this can be done by the [bottom] of the King's harem when they accidentally get hold of a [top].

The people in the Southern countries have also a congress in the anus, that is called the "lower congress."

Thus ends the various kinds of congress. There are also two verses on the subject as follows.

"An ingenious person should multiply the kinds of congress after the fashion of the different kinds of beasts and of birds. For these different kinds of congress, performed according to the usage of each country, and the liking of each individual, generate love, friendship, and respect in the hearts of [men]."

CHAPTER VIII.

ABOUT [BOTTOMS] ACTING THE PART OF A [TOP]; AND OF THE WORK OF A [TOP].

When a [bottom] sees that [his] lover is fatigued by constant congress, without having [the top's] desire satisfied, [the bottom] should, with his permission, lay [the top] down upon his back, and give him assistance by acting [the top's] part.

...

The acts to be done by the [top] are:

(1). When the organs are brought together properly and directly it is called "moving the organ forward."

(2). When the lingam is held with the hand, and turned all round in the [hole], it is called "churning."

(3). When the [hole] is lowered, and the upper part of it is struck with the lingam, it is called "piercing."

(4). When the same thing is done on the lower part of the [hole], it is called "rubbing."

(5). When the [hole] is pressed by the lingam for a long time, it is called "pressing."

(6). When the lingam is removed to some distance from the [hole], and then forcibly strikes it, it is called "giving a blow."

(7). When only one part of the [hole] is rubbed with the lingam, it is called the "blow of a boar."

(8). When both sides of the [hole] are rubbed in this way, it is called the "blow of a bull."

(9). When the lingam is in the [hole], and moved up and down frequently, and without being taken out, it is called the "sporting of a sparrow." This takes place at the end of congress.

When a [bottom] acts the part of a [top], [the bottom] has the following things to do in addition to the nine given above, viz.

(1). When the [bottom] holds the lingam in [his] hole, draws it in, presses it, and keeps it thus in [him] for a long time, it is called the "pair of tongs."

(2). When, while engaged in congress, [the bottom] turns round like a wheel, it is called the "top." This is learnt by practice only.

(3). When, on such an occasion, the man lifts up the middle part of his body, and the [bottom] turns round [his] middle part, it is called the "swing."

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CHAPTER IX.

OF THE AUPARISHTAKA OR MOUTH CONGRESS.

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There are also the following verses on the subject.

"The male servants of some men carry on the mouth congress with their masters. It is also practised by some citizens, who know each other well, among themselves. Some [men] of the harem, when they are amorous, do the acts of the mouth on the [lingams] of one another...The way of doing this (i.e., of kissing the [lingam]) should be known from kissing the mouth. When a man and [another man] lie down in an inverted order, i.e., with the head of the one towards the feet of the other and carry on this congress, it is called the "congress of a crow."

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