The Kama Sutra, Part 5, CHAPTER 1:

OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MEN AND WOMEN. THE REASONS WHY WOMEN REJECT THE ADDRESSES OF MEN. ABOUT MEN WHO HAVE SUCCESS WITH WOMEN, AND ABOUT WOMEN WHO ARE EASILY GAINED OVER

THE wives of other people may be resorted to on the occasions already described in Part I, Chapter V, of this work, but the possibility of their acquisition, their fitness for cohabitation, the danger to oneself in uniting with them, and the future effect of these unions, should first of all be examined. A man may resort to the wife of another, for the purpose of saving his own life, when he perceives that his love for her proceeds from one degree of intensity to another. These degrees are ten in number, and are distinguished by the following marks:
  1. Love of the eye
  2. Attachment of the mind
  3. Constant reflection
  4. Destruction of sleep
  5. Emaciation of the body
  6. Turning away from objects of enjoyment
  7. Removal of shame
  8. Madness
  9. Fainting
  10. Death
Ancient authors say that a man should know the disposition, truthfulness, purity, and will of a young woman, as also the intensity, or weakness of her passions, from the form of her body, and from her characteristic marks and signs. But Vatsyayana is of opinion that the forms of bodies, and the characteristic marks or signs are but erring tests of character, and that women should be judged by their conduct, by the outward expression of their thoughts, and by the movements of their bodies.

Now as a general rule Gonikaputra says that a woman falls in love with every handsome man she sees, and so does every man at the sight of a beautiful woman, but frequently they do not take any further steps, owing to various considerations. In love the following circumstances are peculiar to the woman. She loves without regard to right or wrong,1 and does not try to gain over a man simply for the attainment of some particular purpose. Moreover, when a man first makes up to her she naturally shrinks from him, even though she may be willing to unite herself with him. But when the attempts to gain her are repeated and renewed, she at last consents. But with a man, even though he may have begun to love, he conquers his feelings from a regard for morality and wisdom, and although his thoughts are often on the woman, he does not yield, even though an attempt be made to gain him over. He sometimes makes an attempt or effort to win the object of his affections, and having failed, he leaves her alone for the future. In the same way, when a woman is once gained, he often becomes indifferent about her. As for the saying that a man does not care for what is easily gained, and only desires a thing which cannot be obtained without difficulty, it is only a matter of talk.

The causes of a woman rejecting the addresses of a man are as follows:

  1. Affection for her husband
  2. Desire of lawful progeny
  3. Want of opportunity
  4. Anger at being addressed by the man too familiarly
  5. Difference in rank of life
  6. Want of certainty on account of the man being devoted travelling
  7. Thinking that the man may be attached to some other person
  8. Fear of the man's not keeping his intentions secret
  9. Thinking that the man is too devoted to his friends, and has too great a regard for them
  10. The apprehension that he is not in earnest
  11. Bashfulness on account of his being an illustrious man
  12. Fear on account of his being powerful, or possessed of too impetuous passion, in the case of the deer woman
  13. Bashfulness on account of his being too clever
  14. The thought of having once lived with him on friendly terms only
  15. Contempt of his want of knowledge of the world
  16. Distrust of his low character
  17. Disgust at his want of perception of her love for him
  18. In the case of an elephant woman, the thought that he is a hare man, or a man of weak passion
  19. Compassion lest anything should befall him on account of his passion
  20. Despair at her own imperfections
  21. Fear of discovery
  22. Disillusion at seeing his grey hair or shabby appearance
  23. Fear that he may be employed by her husband to test her chastity
  24. The thought that he has too much regard for morality
Whichever of the above causes a man may detect, he should endeavour to remove it from the very beginning. Thus, the bashfulness that may arise from his greatness or his ability, he should remove by showing his great love and affection for her. The difficulty of the want of opportunity, or of his inaccessibility, he should remove by showing her some easy way of access. The excessive respect entertained by the woman for him should be removed by making himself very familiar. The difficulties that arise from his being thought a low character he should remove by showing his valour and his wisdom; those that come from neglect by extra attention; and those that arise from fear by giving her proper encouragement.

The following are the men who generally obtain success with women:

  1. Men well versed in the science of love
  2. Men skilled in telling stories
  3. Men acquainted with women from their childhood
  4. Men who have secured their confidence
  5. Men who send presents to them
  6. Men who talk well
  7. Men who do things that they like
  8. Men who have not loved other women previously
  9. Men who act as messengers
  10. Men who know their weak points
  11. Men who are desired by good women
  12. Men who are united with their female friends
  13. Men who are good looking
  14. Men who have been brought up with them
  15. Men who are their neighbours
  16. Men who are devoted to sexual pleasures, even though these be with their own servants
  17. The lovers of the daughters of their nurse
  18. Men who have been lately married
  19. Men who like picnics and pleasure parties
  20. Men who are liberal
  21. Men who are celebrated for being very strong (Bull men)
  22. Enterprising and brave men
  23. Men who surpass their husbands in learning and good looks, in good qualities, and in liberality
  24. Men whose dress and manner of living are magnificent
The following are the women who are easily gained over:
  1. Women who stand at the doors of their houses
  2. Women who are always looking out on the street
  3. Women who sit conversing in their neighbour's house
  4. A woman who is always staring at you
  5. A female messenger
  6. A woman who looks sideways at you
  7. A woman whose husband has taken another wife without any just cause
  8. A woman who hates her husband, or who is hated by him
  9. A woman who has nobody to look after her, or keep her in check
  10. A woman who has not had any children
  11. A woman whose family or caste is not well known
  12. A woman whose children are dead
  13. A woman who is very fond of society
  14. A woman who is apparently very affectionate with her husband
  15. The wife of an actor
  16. A widow
  17. A poor woman
  18. A woman fond of enjoyments
  19. The wife of a man with many younger brothers
  20. A vain woman
  21. A woman whose husband is inferior to her in rank or abilities
  22. A woman who is proud of her skill in the arts
  23. A woman disturbed in mind by the folly of her husband
  24. A woman who has been married in her infancy to a rich man, and not liking him when she grows up, desires a man possessing a disposition, talents, and wisdom suitable to her own tastes.
  25. A woman who is slighted by her husband without any cause
  26. A woman who is not respected by other women of the same rank or beauty as herself
  27. A woman whose husband is devoted to travelling
  28. The wife of a jeweller
  29. A jealous woman
  30. A covetous woman
  31. An immoral woman
  32. A barren woman
  33. A lazy woman
  34. A cowardly woman
  35. A humpbacked woman
  36. A dwarfish woman
  37. A deformed woman
  38. A vulgar woman
  39. An ill-smelling woman
  40. A sick woman
  41. An old woman
There are also two verses on the subject as follows:
    `Desire, which springs from nature, and which is increased by art, and from which all danger is taken away by wisdom, becomes firm and secure. A clever man, depending on his own ability, and observing carefully the ideas and thoughts of women, and removing the causes of their turning away from men, is generally successful with them.'

Footnotes
  1. On peut tout attendre et tout supposer d'une femme amoureuse. - Balzac

< Part 4, Chapter 2

Chapter 2 >

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