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The Magic of Pillow talk: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships

The Magic of Pillow talk: Deepening Intimacy in Relationships


The Kama Sutra says that you must tell your lover stories, before and after sex, to create the mood. It was the man’s role to tell these stories, to seduce and pleasure the beloved. Before sex the stories should be naughty, gossipy and suggestive to arouse and excite and get the juices flowing. They could be reminiscences- ‘remember when we went to such-and-such place I did this to you’, etc. to make them blush or feel aroused with the memory of the event. They could be gossipy stories that would make the woman giggle and join in. If she was very shy and very nervous, the man would tell stories of how beautiful women are very wicked and how the poor men don’t stand a chance—these were calculated to make her gasp in indignation and deny these accusations. The idea was to get a reaction. You picked the stories according to the character of the person you were with. It was a great technique—the man was talking to her the whole time so his attention was entirely on her, and the purpose was to entertain her and make her forget her inhibitions, so that by the time he was ready to start kissing her in earnest, she was in the right frame of mind.

On the other hand, after-sex stories had to be sweet and romantic, of happy endings and successful romances, to make your lover feel secure, happy and cherished. What you say and how you say it will determine the mood of your lover and the quality of the sexual experience.

Why Communication is important?

And with all the weird and wonderful positions that the Kama Sutra is most renowned for, all the strange traditions of love scratches and the detailed explanations of oral sex, this is the most revolutionary tool of seduction in the Kama Sutra— communication. The conversation, the teasing, the give and take of ideas, the hide and seek of all of your fantasies —the stories that you tell each other. Utterly obvious to the masters 2,000 years ago and yet what most of us in the twenty-first century still haven’t understood is just how important communicating is to your sexual success.

The level of excitement with which your lover approaches having sex with you depends on

the banter, the chat, the flirtation, the mental stimulation, the frisson of the verbal battle that has gone on just before— that’s what really gets the juices flowing. And the eagerness with which they return to your bed again—that too depends on how it was for them the last time.

When we say ‘before and after’, we mean the absolute beginning (at the start of foreplay) and the absolute end (after the orgasm).

Sex itself is generally more blurred, what we remember vividly however is the build-up—the arousal, the mounting excitement and even more, the calm down—was it the gradual ‘sigh-worthy’ simmering down of a delightful experience or was it the sudden thump of an anti-climax (which is the fate of most excitement).

This is what colours our idea of the sexual experience and is extremely important. If the ‘before’ is good, the sex will be fabulous, if the ‘after’ is brilliant, it will lay the groundwork for next time—the ‘end’ is just the beginning of the next time.

As a man, how do you begin foreplay? Do you just jump into it—you have your partner with you, you know it’s going to end in sex so let’s just go at it? And how do you finish? Do you have an après-sex routine? Or do you feel that you’ve done lots beforehand, and now is your chance to roll over and go to sleep while your partner washes herself?

The Kama Sutra says that the success of the before and after depends on really good communication—what you talk about and the degree of attentiveness.

The Kama Sutra says that after sex, the lovers should put some distance between themselves briefly. They should go to different bathrooms to wash. It advises against the couple bathing and washing together after sex—a brief separation is necessary because after orgasm there is a dispersal of energy that can cause a disconnect and can lead to emotional distance. This disconnect needs to be healed. So, one should bathe and wash separately, and after bathing and getting into fresh clothes, the couple must come together one more time where the man must practice attentiveness and good conversation.

Taking her to the terrace (if it is too hot indoors), he must arrange a nice dinner of an assortment of dishes—the Kama Sutra says there should be kebabs, vegetables, breads, different types of sweets and chicken broth (this was particularly recommended as an energizing dish for tired courtesans, to recoup their strength after sex). He must offer her a drink and hold the cup to her lips with his own hands. After she has finished eating, he will place her head on his lap and show her the different constellations and point out the stars and tell her stories.

Showing the constellations (another of the sixty-four skills which will be touched upon later in the book) was about making astrological predictions—the man telling his lover how the stars were aligned for them and all obstacles removed from the path of their love.

What should you do before sex?

Vatsyayan tells us that the evening begins when you invite the woman to your home. To show her how much you have been looking forward to her company, decorate the house with flowers, perfume the rooms etc. Her first impression should be of how beautiful everything looks. As the evening progresses, the surroundings will fade into the background but the perfume will remain in her subconscious as a memory of the night.

Drinks should be offered but the book is very particular that it should be no more than a couple of drinks—enough to shed a few inhibitions but not enough to make her drunk. Being drunk never leads to good sex.

Do not serve dinner—just a few small snacks. Food was to be consumed afterwards. Eating and drinking heavily beforehand leads to unsatisfactory sex. The body uses a lot of energy to digest the food and it also needs a lot of energy to get the sexual juices working—it can only do one thing at a time.

Sit near her but not next to her. Move closer to her gradually during the evening. The touching should be kept to a bare minimum to begin with —just a couple of feather light kisses dropped casually, a quick flick to her hair, brief touches to the edge of her sari—talking to her all the time, ‘telling her your stories’, making her laugh, while getting little bit closer and more intimate and so on, till finally she is ready for the kissing to begin.

It has to be very carefully done because, says the Kama Sutra, a woman will love a man who does not push intimacy on her too soon, but she needs to be completely aware how desperately he wants to do so. If he takes the time to arouse her, to indulge her hesitations, ostensibly holding his own desires in check, he will have won her heart for always.

How you behave after sex is even more important than your behaviour before. Before sex we are all heading towards excitement, there is a build-up of adrenaline and hormones, we know there is going to be a reward waiting at the end of it, therefore many of us are happy to work a lot harder to make it happen. After sex, there is a tendency to roll over and go to sleep because ‘it’s all over anyway’. For the time being you have had what you wanted, one can deal with ‘next time’ when you get to next time.

However, the Kama Sutra says that the man who can understand the importance of après-sex stories is the lover of every woman’s dreams. This is the time to be even more communicative, to show even more attention and caring.

Peppy's advice

After sex is the time to make your lover feel loved. It’s the time to lay the foundation for the next sexual encounter. Being more attentive and loving after sex means you get more brownie points for the same amount of effort and will have your lover waiting impatiently for next time.

Another name for Kamadeva is Smara or Memory. Memories can be happy and pleasurable or full of anger and discontent, and this will impact all future lovemaking. It could bring your lover back to your bed in an excited frame of mind, wanting to be with you, it could chase them away altogether or (if they are stuck with you and have to come back to your bed) it could bring back a reluctant lover. The power of the subconscious mind is tremendous. Not only will it impact this relationship, it will also colour all other sexual relationships, so it is very important to get this right.

No relationship survives without effective communication and sex needs constant freshening up to stay exciting.

The Kama Sutra has hit the nail on the head when it says that great conversation is the ultimate tool of seduction. It recognized 2,000 years ago, in a society of culturally well-versed men, at a time when men agreed that seduction was an art form, that communication between lovers is a fragile thing, difficult to understand at the best of times and not a skill that everyone has.

And so Vatsyayan developed a formula—stories—a manner of communication that would meet all the diverse demands of occasion and character.

Does that all sound like a lot of work?

They say a woman loves a man who will not try to bypass the seduction process, a man who will not hurry her into sex even though he really wants to, someone who will take the time to arouse and excite her even if his own desires are really intense—that is the man who will win her in the end.

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