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Kamasutra : Kama Sutra l About the text l On the Means of Attracting Others to One`s Self l Introductory to Kama Sutra l On Sexual Union l About the Acquisition of a Wife l About A Wife l About the Wives of Other People l About Courtesans l Meaning of Kama l Work on discourse of Men & Women
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Of Different Kinds of Gain , Kamasutra
This part VI chapter V of Kamasutra deals with the different kinds of gains.

Kamasutra suggests that when a courtesan is capable of earning money then everyday she should not be confined to a single person. Under such circumstances she should fix her rate per night. She should fix this on account of the place, the season, the condition of the people, her good qualities and in accord to her good looks. She should also compare her rate with others. After deciding she should inform everyone about the rate and do accordingly. But if there is someone from whom she can be gained she can resort to him and live like a wife with her.

According to some sages, when a courtesan gets equally benefited from the two lovers she should be stuck to one who give her gifts according to her own choice while vatsayana in his Kamasutra says that she should give importance to someone who gifts her gold because of its costing value as well as other values. According to him among gold, silver, copper, bell metal, iron, pots, furniture, beds, upper garments, under vestments, fragrant substances, vessels made of gourds, ghee, oil, corn, and cattle- gold is the most precious.

When the choice is between the persons who give same gifts or required the same effort to gain over them she should decide according to her friend`s advice or evaluating their personal qualities, or on some symbols of good or bad fortune.

When there are two persons, the sages advice to choose the generous one but Vatsayana in his Kamasutra asserts that she should consider the persons who already attached to her as because everyone gives money to courtesan whether he is miser or spendthrift but the person who is generous cannot love with passion and real attachment. He also mentioned that if the choice is between two who is rich and poor respectively she should always choose the richer one.

Again when the case is between a generous and a person who is ready to do any service for the courtesan, sages always say to choose the person who is ready to do everything while Kamasutra says that one should choose the generous one as because that person who has already done some work should always think about his ability. While a generous man doesn`t think what he has given earlier.

When the competition is between a grateful and a liberal one, some sages say to choose the liberal one. But according to Vatsayana she should not choose him as because liberal persons are generally arrogant and plain spoken. Though they keep friendship for long but as soon as they see any fault on the part of courtesan they leave abruptly without considering anything. Whereas the grateful persons never leave like this considering the pain she may have taken to please him. In both the last two cases regard must be paid to future good fortune.

If such a situation arises when complying with the friend`s request or chances of getting money comes together, according to sages the chances of getting money should be preferred. But Vatsayana in his Kamasutra is of opinion that the money can also come tomorrow but the request of a friend should get importance. Even here, in making the choice, regard must be paid to future good fortune.

The courtesan can however mollify her friend by pretending that she has some work to do and give assurance of doing the work tomorrow and can earn the money first.

When the chance of getting money and the chance of avoiding some disaster comes simultaneously, the sages says that the chance of getting money should be preferred, while Vatsyayana in his doctrine of love - Kamasutra affirms that money can be earned at any time, but a disaster can be a serious one and if avoided cannot be come again. However, the choice should be guided by the strength of the disaster.

Some of the ways in which the wealthiest and best kinds of courtesans spend their money are as follows:

  • By building temples, tanks, and gardens; giving a thousand cows to different Brahmans;

  • Carrying on the worship of the Gods, and celebrating festivals in their honour; and lastly,

  • Performing such vows as may be within their means.

  • The gains of other courtesans 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 tambula, i.e. a mixture of betel nut and betel leaves; and
  • Wearing ornaments gilt with gold.


  • According to the sages these represent the gains of all the middle and lower classes of courtesans, but Kamasutra is of opinion that their benefits cannot be calculated, or fixed in any way, as these depend on the influence of the place, the customs of the people, their own appearance, and many other things.

    The reasons why a courtesan should agree to take a small amount in a friendly way as mentioned in Kamasutra are :
  • When a courtesan 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 to;
  • To deprive some woman of the gains realized by her from him;
  • 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;
  • If she wishes to get his assistance in avoiding some misfortune or bad luck;
  • If she is really attached to him and loves him;
  • Wishes to injure somebody through his means;
  • Has regard to some former favour conferred upon her by him; or
  • Wishes to be united with him merely from desire.


  • The following are the circumstances depending on which the courtesan can make an effort to achieve as much as money from her lover:
  • When a courtesan intends to abandon a particular lover, and take up with another one;
  • When she has reason to believe that her lover will shortly leave her, and return to his wives; or
  • Though he wasted all his money and become penniless, his guardian, or master, or father would come and take him away;
  • If her lover is about to lose his position or, lastly,
  • If he is of a very fickle mind.


  • In Kamasutra it is mentioned; to secure her future life the courtesan can live like a wife with a man on account of the following conditions:
  • When the courtesan thinks that her lover is about to receive valuable presents;
  • Get a place of authority from the king;
  • If he is near the time of inheriting a fortune;
  • If his ship would soon arrive loaded with products;
  • If he has large stocks of corn and other commodities;
  • If she realizes that anything was done for him it would not be done in vain; or
  • If he is always true to his word.


  • The verses of Kamasutra on the subject are as follows:
    `In considering her present gains, and her future welfare, a courtesan 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 favourites of kings.` `She should make every attempt 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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