Zen Sex: The Way of Making Love

Philip Toshio Sudo, Author
Philip Toshio Sudo, Author HarperOne $20 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-251679-4
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 07/01/2000
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Journalist Sudo (author of Zen Guitar and Zen Computer) says that Zen and sex are two ways to attain ""true wisdom."" What could be better than marrying the two together? Zen sex, Sudo promises, ""is the best sex you can possibly have."" While Sudo warns that the book ""is not a modern-day Kama Sutra"" containing techniques and exercises, it offers broad principles to augment sexual pleasure. Familiarity, Sudo says, is essential: good sex requires knowing your own style and preferences and those of your partner. But to ensure that sex doesn't become routine, he suggests having sex to an offbeat piece of music or in the middle of the day. Another sine qua non to Zen sex is acceptance: lovers can diet, exercise and wear slenderizing black outfits, but they also need to accept their bodies. This sex guide is more zany than Zen-y, however; while it is sure to delight lovers, its grounding in Zen Buddhism is often superficial. Sudo acknowledges, for example, that most Zen monks are celibate, but argues that ""pure"" Zen allows nature to express itself in all possible ways, including sex. Sudo's slanted views on the Zen tradition to suit the (albeit loving) purposes of this book should give serious Zen enthusiasts pause, even while they appreciate the frank wisdom--and the lovely Japanese shunga images--that grace these pages. (Aug.)
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