Exclusive Interview with Tracey Cox - Author of Tracey Cox Kama Sutra
The Christmas Book of the Month is Tracey Cox Kama Sutra - a fantastic book by an exceptionally talented writer who has taken the original Kama Sutra, Tao and Tantra texts and turned them into something easy to read, easy to understand and even easier to put into practice.
Whether you're a couple looking to put the spark back into your sex life or someone looking for new moves to impress with, this book has it all including sections on beginner, intermediate and advanced sexual positions, oral sex, handjobs and multiple orgasms.
Written with humour and intelligence and complemented by gorgeous photographs, Tracey Cox has created a book that is easily accessible as well as highly rated.
We caught up with Tracey to find out why she wanted to revamp an ancient and sacred text and exactly what she thought of some of the more advanced positions...
What do you think of the original Kama Sutra text?
Most people think of the Kama Sutra as a book about sexual positions. It's not. It's a wonderfully quirky, marvellously eccentric, slightly barmy tome divided into seven parts, with only one of them dealing specifically in sex.
I was a late convert to spiritual sex. My initial assumption was that spiritual sex was basically a lot of hippy-trippy rubbish but I was wrong. Annoying, dippy or dreary bits aside, there's some brilliant advice buried in that dusty old textbook.
Some better sex books use models that have that 'porn star' quality about them. However, the models used in your book are absolutely stunning but in a very natural and modern way. Why is this?
I am a complete control freak about every element to do with my books but am particularly fussy when it comes to choosing the models! There's a fine line to tread when producing an aspirational sex book: the design and photographs need to be erotic and sexy but never, ever sleazy. The second you start using models that look like their day job is porn, the book shifts from being a glossy, coffee table book of beautiful erotic photography to being porn. Not that I have anything against porn, by the way, but my books are intended to be stylish and tasteful self-help sex manuals.
Fake breasts, false nails, obviously dyed bleach blonde hair, implants, lips pumped full of collagen - I try desperately hard to choose models that don't sport any of these things. While some of the photos are 'touched up' - we try to match skin tones if two pictures are facing each other but were taken on different shoots, for instance - there isn't extensive re-touching.
Are there any positions in your book that you thought were entirely impossible, but were pleasantly surprised to find out that they worked?
Yes - but you have to take off your 'western' head and remember that the acrobatic positions aren't designed for traditional, in-out-in-out thrusting. A lot of the positions were originally designed to allow couples to meditate with minimal movement needed to ensure an exchange of 'vital energies'. In plain English this means he penetrates and you both stay locked together doing nothing much other than gazing into each other's eyes and squeezing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles. The advanced positions are impossible if you approach them western style - you'd fall over the second he started to thrust - but entirely possible if you stay completely still.
In the book you share some positions which are already firm favourites. How easy or hard did you find it to put a new spin on them?
The Kama Sutra is heavy on symbolism, so while a lot of the positions actually look very similar to us, simply by pointing a toe or making a shape with the crook of an arm changes it significantly in ancient eyes. It's a lot to do with angles as well. Her lifting her bottom, even slightly, alters the angle of the vagina making it feel different for both of you. There are really only five positions - him on top, her on top, side-by-side, standing, him behind - so all positions are really variations of the five staples.
When writing, many people find that they don't know what to expect of their audience - they either feel like they're patronising them or expecting them to have a wealth of knowledge before reading. How did you get the balance just right?
I make sure there's some good general stuff in at least one of the chapters that people can refer to if they need some basic, how-to instruction, even if it's an 'advanced' manual. It's very, very easy to get things wrong about sex because although we talk about it to an extent, the basic practical stuff tends to get ignored. For instance, even though my big sister worked for Family Planning when I was growing up and I knew all about orgasms and clitorises and all sorts, I had no idea that people moved when they had intercourse. I'd managed to miss this basic fact. So it came as a horrible, horrible shock when my boyfriend moved when I lost my virginity. I don't think it's patronizing to include the obvious - it's often the obvious stuff that people most want to know and write to me anonymously about because no-one wants to admit they don't know it so there's little info out there on it!
Your books are easily accessible, beautifully written and injected with a sense of fun and personality. Do you have any plans for new books or products?
I'm a complete and utter workaholic so of course! I'm in negotiations to write a book aimed at couples in long-term relationships - a new spin on the 'how to make love to one person for the rest of your life' type thing. There's some great new research done on the topic and some amazing new ideas on how to keep it all going long-term. I'm also working on a novel which is a little quirky, sexy and hopefully funny as well! There are also lots of new products in the planning stage to add to my sex toy range, including a fantastic bondage kit! 2009 is going to be a busy year for me and I can't wait!