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Trend alert: Female masturbation, sex toys and the Indian cinema

From Veere Di Wedding to Lust Stories, is desi cinema just discovering the dildo?

Nairita Mukherjee Noir_Memoir 14 June 2018, 4:37 PM
Kiara in Lust Stories

Kiara in Lust Stories Image: Netflix

The first time I learnt about sex toys was when Katherine Heigl climaxed before a crowd in a restaurant in The Ugly Truth (2009), thumping her hand on the table calling out to God and wanting more. Of course, I knew about masturbation but vibrating panties or plastic joysticks for, well... your joy, were new to me.

Hollywood has since then educated me well on matters such as these, even gave me an update as and when required. But the 100-plus-year-old Indian cinema has only just discovered the dildo and it feels exactly how we feel standing outside the giant gates of Hamley's. And there's a vicious pattern.

It is no coincidence that Veere Di Wedding, the film that will go down in history for two things —staging a real-life wedding (Sonam Kapoor-Anand Ahuja) for its promotions and the maximum number of product placements from bhujia to banks, and the Netflix original, Lust Stories, both feature a dildo and women who aren't afraid to use it. 

I'd go on — how both Kareena Kapoor Khan and Radhika Apte are named Kalindi in the film, how the films are both essentially stories of four women — but we're going to narrow down our discussions to Swara Bhaskar and Kiara Advani.

Swara in Veere is modern, independent, born with a silver spoon and calls a spade a spade. Kiara is her exact foil — she's a small-town girl, docile and often submissive. She knows she's missing something but she doesn't know what. Both, in an unusual turn of events, find themselves masturbating with a dildo until all hell breaks loose.

While Swara herself terms the act as 'half-cheating' and lets her ***hole husband blackmail her, Kiara is thrown out of her husband's home by her mother-in-law after the shameful show. But eventually, it's happy ending (in more ways than one) for Swara, Kiara and the films, as both women hold the symbolic message: There's nothing to be ashamed of. Bravo! A thunderous applause echoes across the theatre first congratulating the actors on their performances and then the directors for pushing the envelope.

And I'm sitting there wondering why do the dildo bearers of female masturbation have to be both married and ashamed for a bit until they can rise from the ashes with a message? 

Both Veere... and Lust... will tell you how there are plenty of women out there who go through life without experiencing lovemaking, and that it is finally time to reclaim your sexuality, one orgasm at a time. But the films also tell you that women owe an explanation.

They tell you that a husband like Vicky Kaushal (Kiara's in Lust Stories) who doesn't understand the importance of foreplay will understand a woman's need to climax after being sex-deprived for a month. But if he doesn't (like in case of Swara in Veere...), your parents will. 

Don't forget, we are Indians. So if you are feeling shy or embarrassed about it, in spite of your fluency in profanities (Veere...) and the dangerous low cut of your blouse (Lust...), it only means you haven't forgotten your sanskars. 

And the message, ladies, is simple: If you are unhappy in your life, it's probably because of lack of orgasms. Not because of the warm breath of regression you feel on your shoulders. It's basically how the guys say it, "She's a stuck up because she's not getting any." Only even when you do get it thanks to technology, it must bring with it women's empowerment. 

When Hollywood climaxed with Katherine Heigl, it was just a climax. When Bollywood climaxes with the likes of Swara and Kiara, it's a movement. Is it a shocker then, that women aren't orgasming enough? What with the burden of decades worth of feminism movement throbbing into that last gasp? 

Read more: 

Movie Review: Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar, Dibakar Banerjee and Karan Johar's Lust Stories are about anything but lust

What Veere Di Wedding can learn from Lipstick Under My Burkha

Veere Di Wedding Review: Sonam Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan's film is like candyfloss — pretty with empty calories

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