Relationships

These Kama Sutra Illustrations Are Naughty, Adorable And Queer-Friendly

In Bianca Tschaikner's sassy book <em>Minisutra</em>, queer couples and straight couples get equal billing.
08/31/2018 01:39pm ET | Updated August 31, 2018
Bianca Tschaikner
A sampling of some of the bedroom gymnastics demonstrated in Minisutra, artist Bianca Tschaikner’s updated version of the Kama Sutra. 

No book is more synonymous with sex than the Kama Sutra. Though only a portion of the ancient Sanskrit text actually delves into sex ― much of it is instructions on holistic living ― its descriptions of sex positions still capture our erotic imaginations 2,000 years after it was written. (Personally, we’re exhausted just reading some of the positions’ names: “the erotic carousel,” “splitting of a bamboo” ― oof.)

Still, it is an ancient text and could use a little updating for our modern times: Queer sex and nonnormative gender identities do pop up in the text, but for the most part, the assumed reader is heterosexual.

That’s why we love Minisutra, Austrian artist Bianca Tschaikner’s cheeky new take on the text. The book has 34 watercolors showing all kinds of couples doin’ the deed ― queer pairs, straight couples, threesomes happily marching to the bedroom. Everyone is invited to this party.

“I want my book to be relatable to everybody, so naturally I wanted queer sexuality to have its place in it,” she told HuffPost. “The idea was to create some kind of ‘sex circus’ full of joy, color and fun, and queerness is part of that. And there are also many illustrations that can be interpreted as both queer or straight.”

Bianca Tschaikner
A lesbian couple showing readers how to scissor. 

Prior to this, Tschaikner was best known for her book Savari, an illustrated travelogue through Iran and India. Wanderlust inspired this project too.

She started it in earnest in winter 2016, while spending a very chilly month in Edinburgh, Scotland.

“It was terribly cold and gloomy that time, and there were very few hours of sunshine,” she said. “I had just booked my flight to Delhi to spend Christmas in India and I was really counting the minutes to move to a sunnier place.”

Tschaikner began posting the illustrations on Facebook, billing the project as a “Kama Sutra advent calendar.” Her followers liked the playful watercolors so much, she decided to crowdfund and collect them in a book.

Bianca Tschaikner
A couple demonstrates the paradise position.

Now that the book is out, Tschaikner is thrilled she got the chance to contribute to the sex-positive legacy of the Kama Sutra.

“Many precolonial Indian artworks, amongst the depictions from the Kama Sutra, convey a really playful, almost innocent sexuality, which is joyful, sensual and holistic, and also often very tongue-in-cheek,” she said. “That’s so rare to encounter in our sexual mainstream culture, where sex too often is presented as something dead-serious, airbrushed to sterility and mainly focusing on male pleasure.”

That’s definitely not the case in this book. This bunny-eared woman, for instance, is clearly enjoying life and getting hers.

Bianca Tschaikner
An illustration from Minisutra showing the woman on top.

Scroll down for more cheeky (literally cheeky) illustrations. The book is available on Etsy.

Skating On Thin Ice
Bianca Tschaikner
The Gym
Bianca Tschaikner
The Love Circus
Bianca Tschaikner
The Mermaid
Bianca Tschaikner
Heaven And Hell
Bianca Tschaikner
Threesome
Bianca Tschaikner
The Gold Digger
Bianca Tschaikner
Over The Rainbow
Bianca Tschaikner
The Butterfly
Bianca Tschaikner
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