For the countless millions of couples whose idea of a sexual relationship is a twenty-minute quickie every third Sunday, the overall message of there’s more to intimacy than an expedient roll in the hay (and the too-discreetly illustrations of “preliminary” activities and copulation positions) might well be taken to heart and into the bedroom. Like everything worth having in life, relationships need to be worked on and not taken for granted. Kama Sutra: Essentials for Lasting Intimacy could well become an important first step for marriages in trouble.
On the other side of the condom, those partners hoping to find some true erotic passion and inspiration to get naked then assume more than “the” position will come away disappointed with the too-pedantic-by-half approach taken by director Harry Chew and writer Radha K. Govind. Over the course of this economically packaged “how too” the quartet of beautifully coiffed, anatomically correct actors spend far too much camera time with the “naughty bits” concealed. Early on, narrator (more lecturer) Julia Jansen assures her audience that the 64 positions and philosophy behind Kama Sutra is not pornography, but illustrating such imaginative couplings as “Splitting the Bamboo, Closed Posterior” (favoured for small endowments and their receptacles), or “Queen of Indra, Pair of Tongs” (recommended for guys whose snakes measure at “twelve fingers” or more) without a bare ass in sight or even a tell-tale outline testing the fabric of the digitally enhanced men, the “desire” factor remains as limp as those who need this instruction most.
Still, the notions of taking time for kissing (“tongue battle” is such a marvelous term), biting, massage and the playful use of a peacock feather have merit on their own—dressed or not. A third party stating uncategorically that “all [body] parts can be included” in foreplay will give foot fetishists everywhere the moral authority to demand a toe-licking of the first order.
Throughout the proceedings Kevin’s camera does a commendable job, particularly in the glistening bodies as the actors begin to turn each other on (curiously, the alluring sweat evaporates entirely during the “demonstration” frames, further dousing the home-fire flames that are meant to be lit). The editing is generally slick but leaves a couple of captions too short in their flash, while the varied music track—from sitar to a cheesy chorus and breathy lead—adds much to the idea that a 5,000-year-old methodology of achieving the ever-allusive sexual pleasure for both parties is as useful today as when its authors took the time to share their most intimate knowledge. JWR