This is an excerpt from the unabridged Kama Sutra, a sacred Indian text about the art of love and eroticism.
In his Nagarasarvasva, Padmashri mentions 16 feminine states of mind during the preliminaries of love. A woman can be tender, restive, contemptuous, excited, perplexed, mocking, relaxed, seductive, importunate, disagreeable, vain, bored, complaining, incapable, anxious, or charming.
These sixteen states of mind appear when a woman is in love. It is in understanding them that the man must practice the embraces, kisses, etc., that are the prelude to copulation.
If he does not perceive the woman’s emotional state and, when he is burning with desire, begins his effusions without worrying about a woman’s reaction, a man will always meet with failure.
Neither he nor the woman will experience true satisfaction.
In the Ujjvala Nilamani, agitation and the desire to seduce and gestures of affection are a young girl’s charms.
Beauty, courage, bloom, radiance, perspicuity, gentleness, and wiles are the qualities that make a woman attractive, to which are added ten attitudes or states of mind, which are as follows:
Feeling: When one is seized by the taste for love and desire awakes, the first confusion the god of love sows in the heart is called amorous feeling. The implementation of the feelings established in one’s consciousness is called experience.
Affection: When a woman embraces a man forcefully, drawing him toward her, begins to twine around him, and lays her trembling thighs on those of the stretched-out man, showing that her state of mind is disposed toward erotic activities, this is called affection.
Refusal: When a woman is angry with her lover, throws away her ornaments, and spurns his love, this is refusal.
Contempt: Even if her lover brings gifts that please her, she rejects them with contempt.
Excitement: Seeing her lover return from a journey, the woman is full of joy and weeps without shedding tears, or even starts laughing.
Perplexity: When the woman sometimes smiles, sometimes loses her temper, throws away the flowers she asked for, then picks them up again, goes to sleep at a girlfriend’s house while her lover is looking for her, or walks about here and there.
Amusement: Imitating all her lover’s words and making faces.
Flirtation: Approaching her lover, then going away, getting angry when he calls, then smiling at him, turning away with a grimace when her lover calls, pointing the finger of scorn at him, pacing up and down.
Seduction: Fluttering her eyelashes, making her eyes dance, laughing, talking, and interrupting herself, feeling a deep love for her lover and behaving accordingly.
Inopportunity: When her lover is not in the mood, approaching him and showing all signs connected with desire.
Boredom: When, while talking, the woman yawns on several occasions and stretches herself.
Moaning: The woman feigns pain.
Stupidity: When difficulties in sexual life are due to ignorance.
Anxiety: When her lover is late arriving, contesting her friends and weeping.
Charm: Moving her lashes, eyes, hands and feet artfully is called lalita bhava. Such behavior is frequent in women, with the aim of exciting the man.
A man must not let himself be led by his desire, but take into account the woman’s mood. In the presence of such behavior as described, a woman’s state of mind can be easily understood and met. In order to understand these states of mind, it is necessary to interpret the slightest signs. Padmashri explains that, for a man possessing every quality and expert in the 64 arts, a woman will drop her unmannerly husband without subtlety, like a garland of faded flowers.
According to Padmasri, however expert a man may be in arts and science, however famous and important, if he is scorned by women in the art of love, he is a dead man.
Image from The Daily Loaf. Information from The Complete Kama Sutra, translated by Alain Danielou.