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You are here:Open notes-->sexology-->THE-KAMA-SUTRA-OF-VATSYAYANA-Part-38


Of Different Kinds of Gain.

When a courtezan is able to realize much money every day,
by reason of many customers, she should not confine herself
to a single lover; under such circumstances, she should fix her
rate for one night, after considering the place, the season, and
the condition of the people, also having regard to her own
good qualities and good looks, and after comparing her rates
with those of other courtezans. She can inform her lovers,
and friends, and acquaintances about these changes. If, however,
she can obtain a great gain from a single lover, she may
resort to him alone, and live with him like a wife.
Now, the Sages are of opinion, that, when a courtezan has
the chance of an equal gain from two lovers at the same time,
a preference should be given to the one who would give her
the kind of thing which she wants. But Vatsyayana says
that the preference should be given to the one who gives her
gold, because it cannot be taken back like some other things,
it can be easily received, and is also the means of procuring
anything that may be wished for. Of such things as gold,
silver, copper, bell metal, iron, pots, furniture, beds, upper
garments, under vestments, fragrant substances, vessels made
of gourds, ghee, oil, corn, cattle, and other things of a like
nature, the first viz., gold, is superior to all the others.
When the same labor is required to gain any two lovers,
or when the same kind of thing is to be got from each of
them, the choice should be made by the advice of a friend,
or it may be made from their personal qualities, or from the
signs of good or bad fortune that may be connected with
When there are two lovers, one of whom is attached to
the courtezan, and the other is simply very generous, the
Sages say that a preference should be given to the generous
lover, but Vatsyayana is of opinion that the one who is
really attached to the courtezan should be preferred, because
he can be made to be generous, even as a miser gives money
if he becomes fond of a woman, but a man who is simply
generous cannot be made to love with real attachment. But
.among those who are attached to her, if there is one who is
poor, and one who is rich, the preference is of course to be
given to the latter.
When there are two lovers, one of whom is generous, and
the other ready to do any service for the courtezan, some
Sages say that the one who is ready to do the service should
be preferred, but Vatsyayana is of opinion that a man who
does a service thinks that he has gained his object when he
has done something once, but a generous man does not care
for what he has given before. Even here the choice should
be guided by the likelihood of the future good to be derived
from her union with either of them.
When one of two lovers is grateful, and the other liberal,
some Sages say that the liberal one should be preferred, but
Vatsyayana is of opinion that the former should be chosen,
because liberal men are generally haughty, plain spoken, and
wanting in consideration towards others. Even though
these liberal men have been on friendly terms for a long
time, yet if they see any fault in the courtezan, or are told lies
about her by some other woman, they do not care for past
services, but leave abruptly. On the other hand, the grateful
man does not at once break off from her, on account of
a regard for the pains she may have taken to please him. In
this case also the choice is to be guided with regard to what
may happen in future.
When an occasion for complying with the request of a
friend, and a chance of getting money come together, the
Sages say that the chance of getting money should be preferred.
But Vatsyayana thinks that money can be obtained
tomorrow as well as today, but if the request of a friend be
not at once complied with, he may become disaffected. Even
here, in making the choice, regard must be paid to future good
On such an occasion, however, the courtezan might pacify
her friend by pretending to have some work to do, and telling
him that his request will be compiled with next day, and in
this way secure the chance of getting the money that has been
offered her.
When the chance of getting money, and the chance of
avoiding some disaster come at the same time, the Sages are
of opinion that the chance of getting money should be preferred,
but Vatsyayana says that money has only a limited
importance, while a disaster that is once averted may never
occur again. Here however, the choice should be guided by
the greatness or smallness of the disaster.
The gains of the wealthiest and best kind of courtezans
are to be spent as follows:
Building temples, tanks, and gardens; giving a thousand
cows to different Brahmans; carrying on the worship of the
Gods, and celebrating festivals in their honor; and, lastly,
performing such vows as may be within their means.
The gains of other courtezans are to be spent as follows:
Having a white dress to wear every day; getting sufficient
food and drink to satisfy hunger and thirst; eating
daily a perfumed tambitla, i.e., a mixture of betel nut and
betel leaves; and wearing ornaments gilt with gold. The
Sages say that these represent the gains of all the middle and
lower classes of courtezans, but Vatsyayana is of opinion that
their gains cannot be calculated, or fixed in any way, as these
depend on the influences of the place, the customs of the
people, their own appearance, and many other things.
When a courtezan wants to keep some particular man
from some other woman; or wishes to get him away from
some woman to whom he may be attached; or to deprive
some woman of the gains realized by her from him; or if
she thinks that she would raise her position; or enjoy some
great good fortune; or become desirable to all men by uniting
herself with this man; or if she wishes to get his assistance in
averting some misfortune; or is really attached to him and
loves him or wishes to injure somebody through his means;
or has regard to some former favor conferred upon her by
him; or wishes to be united with him merely from desire;
for any of the above reasons, she should agree to take from
him only a small sum of money in a friendly way.
When a courtezan intends to abandon a particular lover,
and take up with another one; or when she has reason to
believe that her lover will shortly leave her, and return to
his wives; or that having squandered all his money, and become
penniless, his guardian, or master, or father would come
and take him away; or that her lover is about to lose his
position, or lastly, that he is of a very fickle mind, she should,
under any of these circumstances, endeavour to get as much
money as she can from him as soon as possible.
On the other hand, when the courtezan thinks that her
lover is about to receive valuable presents; or get a place of
authority from the King; or be near the time of inheriting
a fortune; or that his ship would soon arrive laden with
merchandise; or that he has large stocks of corn and other
commodities; or that if anything was done for him it would
not be done in vain; or that he is always true to his word;
then should she have regard to her future welfare, and live
with the man like a wife.
There are also verses on the subject as follows:
"In considering her present gains, and her future welfare,
a courtezan should avoid such persons as have gained their
means of subsistence with very great difficulty, as also those
who have become selfish and hard-hearted by becoming the
favorites of Kings."
"She should make every endeavor to unite herself with
prosperous and well to do people, and with those whom it is
dangerous to avoid, or to slight in any way. Even at some
cost to herself she should become acquainted with energetic
and liberal-minded men, who when pleased would give her
a large sum of money, even for very little service, or for
some small thing."


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