Scratching with the nails should be performed sparingly and not at all by people whose sexual appetites are mild.
It’s appropriate when passions are running high: your first time together, when you’re taking leave of each other for a long journey, or when you are reunited after a long absence.
The places on which nail marks may be made are the breasts, neck, back, armpits, torso and thighs.
Suvarnanabha says: ‘For people on the fast-spinning wheel of sexual ecstasy, there are no places or non-places’.
If you and your partner both have strong sexual appetites, you may trim the nails of your hand so that each nail has two or three sharp points, like the teeth of a saw.
For people of average appetites, you may trim your nails to a single sharp point, like the tip of an almond or the beak of a bird.
If your passions are less intense, a half-moon shape is best.
You should shape the nails of your non-dominant hand, so you’re less likely to chip or break them in the course of everyday life.
Here are the different ways of making marks with your nails.
Draw your nails lightly across the chin, lower lip or chest of your lover so that you leave no mark but the thrill of contact gives them goosebumps.
This is the curved mark left by a single nail indented into the flesh.
Two half-moons, opposite each other, forming a circle.
A short, linear scratch mark.
A curved scratch mark.
With an open hand, held in the shape of a claw, press down and twist slightly with all five finger nails to leave a broken, circular mark on the chest or hips of your partner, resembling the shape of a lotus leaf.
Grasp your lover’s breast with an open, clawed hand and draw all five finger nails up towards the nipple, leaving five striations, radiating from the nipple, like rays from the sun. This requires a great deal of skill and is designed to impress!
When you are about to depart on a long journey, scratch three or four lines on your partner’s chest or thighs, so that they may remember you by them.
You can, of course, make scratch marks in many other shapes, modeled after birds, flowers, leaves or other objects.
Scholar’s say: ‘Because the imagination is infinite, dexterity without bounds, all skills learnable through practice, and passion at the heart of it, who could enumerate all the forms of nail marks?’
Vatsyayana says: ‘Passion demands variety and variety inspires desire. It’s through their infinite diversity of technique that the best lovers remain desirable to each other.’
But you should not make such an assortment of marks on other people’s partners. In such trysts, leave only furtive marks in secret places.
Nail scars in hidden places
Reminders of lost loves
Make the heart as tender
And the lust as fresh as new.
When lovers are discarded
The feelings fade or fail
Unless we are reminded
By scratch marks red and raw.
On strangers seen remotely
Such scratches light a fire.
But nothing drives a person crazy
However sane they seem
Than marks left by another
Upon their partner’s frame.
No sharper means exist
Of escalating passion
Than ferocious acts inflicted
By loving tooth and claw.