A tome from fourth-century India explaining erotic practices of various kinds, the Kama Sutra was intended primarily as an etiquette handbook, its emphasis being in form over content. It provides inventive instruction on minding your manners and doing your best on all sexual fronts, all no doubt relevant to a fourth-century Indian Brahmin, but not as practical in these times as we in the West might wish.
Granted, the book is surprisingly generous in its emphasis on women's pleasure and its humorously euphemistic instruction on homosexual pastimes, subjects now utterly unspeakable in most modern South Asian societies. However, out of its historical and cultural contexts, the Kama Sutra is not the holy erotic grail you are hungering for. All those rumors of acrobatic sexual poses and paroxysms of spiritual unity with the divine are intriguing, but once the exoticism wears off, there's not much to get excited about.
In fact, it is disappointingly unpornographic in its matter-of-fact treatment of even the most arousing subjects, and it is filled with mind-numbingly detailed catalogs regarding scratching, biting, and concubines. It is as systematic and dully explicit as a 1,000-year-old How to Do It for Dummies. Best to return this old canard to history. If you want Tantric sex, sign up at a monastery. If you want some fancy moves, go out with a gymnast. If you need literary stimulation, well, you can start with our book supplement.