During an accidental and extraordinarily long trip down the Google Book Search rabbit hole last night, I found myself reading the original text of the Kama Sutra.
I, like most people, assumed it would just be drawings of Indian people having sex in incomprehensible yogafied positions.
There's none of that. In fact, in the original text by Vatsayayana, there's nary a single sexual position sketch to be found. Just almost 200 pages of advice about relationships and sexuality.
While browsing through, one particular list caught my eye: The 11 women who "are not to be enjoyed." In other words: The Kama Sutra's guide to women you shouldn't have sex with.
And there just so happened to be 11 of them. It's like I was made to find this.
So here are the 11 women the Kama Sutra says you shouldn't get it on with. And I've put them in order, from the one I think is the best call down to the one I think is the worst call. Enjoy.
These siblings should not have sexual intercourse with each other for so, so, so many reasons.
A woman who is a near relation. I'm totally on board with this. Best one on the list. You should not have sex with a woman who is a near relation. I am interpreting "near" to mean any of the following: Mother, sister, half sister, first through sixth cousin up to six times removed, aunt, great aunt, godmother, fairy godmother, and, especially, grandmother.
A leper. Ah leprosy, the worst STD imaginable in 4th Century India. I agree with this in principle... it's probably not too sexy to be having sex with a woman and worrying that as she traces her finger down your body it might fall off.
But I ranked it below having sex with a related female simply because it'd be easier to close your eyes during leper sex and picture yourself doing a non-leper than it would to close your eyes during Oedipal sex and picture yourself doing someone besides your mom.
A bad-smelling woman. Well no one likes a woman who smells bad. And you know if a woman was considered smelly in 400 A.D. India, she smelled BAD.
No sex with nuns. Even if they can fly.
A woman who leads the life of an ascetic. What's an ascetic? Definition: "a life-style characterized by abstinence from various sorts of worldly pleasures (especially sexual activity and consumption of alcohol) often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals."
You might know it as a nun. In India, it would be one of those people who would do something unreal like holding their arm up in the air for four straight years or something.
Anyway, the Kama Sutra makes a good point. You shouldn't try to have sex with nuns.
The wife of a relation, of a friend, of a learned Brahman and of the king. I agree, you shouldn't have sex with the wife of a relative, a friend, a priest or someone who could have you killed.
I ranked it toward the middle of the pack, though, because, clearly, the Kama Sutra isn't taking adultery that seriously. Go ahead, have sex with another guy's wife... as long as he's not close to you or an important person in society, it's all good.
A lunatic. This belongs right here in the middle of the pack. Because there are huge potential benefits... and huge potential penalties... for having sex with a crazy woman.
The benefits: Possible to sleep with a girl who's too hot for you because her crazy makes her lower her standards... potential to do those things in bed that you've only dreamed about or read about including, coincidentally, Kama Sutra positions... and you can have a very clean break because, odds are, she'll freak out and decide she can't handle ever talking to you again.
The penalties: She may instantly fall in love and begin stalking you, randomly showing up at your place, rooting through your garbage... could launch a series of 50,000-word letters and daily phone calls to talk about your future together and what your fourth child should be named, Elsbeth or Mariska... and, you know, you could end up getting stabbed.
See? A total toss-up. That's why it gets the middle spot on the list.
A woman who reveals secrets.Don't talk about the details of your Ponzi scheme or about how you buried a fortune underneath a giant "T" when you're struggling for post-coital pillow talk during a one-night stand.
You stick by that axiom and there's really nothing wrong with having sex with a woman who reveals secrets.
Why procreating with an extremely black woman is a smarter bet for a white guy than procreating with an extremely white woman.
A woman who is extremely white or extremely black. I'm torn here. As black guys have known for generations and white guys learned from "Friday", the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. So I'm pretty sure there's no such thing as too black.
It's the extremely white that earned this the number eight spot. Because fornicating with a woman who's extremely white leads to high potential of ginger offspring. And that is just not acceptable.
A woman who is a female friend. Maybe once upon a time this was a problem. But these days, I think most people could knock one out with a female friend... have a sit down within a few days about how it was a one-time thing and your friendship is too valuable to be ruined by an impulsive drunk decision blah blah blah... and then basically go back to normal. So I don't think this one really belongs on the list.
It's ranked here because the two below it are flat-out wrong...
A woman turned out of caste. Basically, a woman who got ostracized by the members of her social class. In pre-industrial India, that may've been a bad thing, where castes were everything. But in modern times, who cares?
An independent-thinking rich girl who gets shunned by her wealthy friends and family so goes slumming and has sex with a poor guy from the wrong side of the tracks? That's such a non-issue. It's such a non-issue that I don't even think Hollywood wants to make any more hackneyed movies about it because it's not interesting enough.
And a poor woman who thinks she's too good for the slums so finds a way to infiltrate high society? Also, who cares? As long as she gets her fingers out of the way when her handsome dream man shuts the case of her necklace, no one's getting hurt.
A woman who publicly expresses desire for sexual intercourse. This is NOT a bad thing. Ask any man you know... we remember each and every time a woman has publicly expressed a desire to have sexual intercourse with us. We remember those moments well.
I'm guessing they're among the last things that run through a man's mind before he dies. Happy family moments... biggest regrets... times a woman publicly requested sex... and then, you're cleared to die.