(I will of course acknowledge that as a 21st -Century individual that's lived through things like The Matrix and Dangerous Liasons:The Movie, my reading experience might be very different from a 19th-Century reader, but, come on, 120 Days of Sodom and The Monk were published/translated almost a century before this "translation".)
What might engage our interest instead of the "acts" are passages like those concerned with the Padmini, or "feminine ideal". We read that the ideal woman should not only be beautiful and well- versed (double-meaning intended) in the "Arts/acts" of the Kama Sutra, but also skilled in many areas that transcend traditional gendered occupational roles. As we find that the Padmini should possess skill in music, carpentry, and even archery, we are not only surprised by the "progressive" assertions that the text makes ("a woman should possess these skills so that she can achieve independence without a husband/male support"), we are also forced to encounter the reality of the text's translation in words like "longsword" and "architecture". Moments like this seem to imply that the Kama Sutra, though marketed as a bit of scholarly "exotirotica", is perhaps, dare I say it, a "political" text for its "introducers" (for lack of a better word). When the translation mentions "fencing", a reader familiar with Burton cannot help but remember Burton's treatises on the sword, and his wife Isabel's "New Woman" position as her husband's fencing partner and amanuensis, in addition to Burton's own opposition to the Obscene publications act. What is at stake in such textual connections/observations? We come to realize that Burton's rendering of the Kama Sutra might offer just as much "wisdom" about 19th-Century England (if not more) as it claims to offer about ancient India.