While we’ve all gotten pretty jaded about using the “F” word, there is still some hesitation when it comes to using the “D” word. We are talking about the dildo used so skillfully by Swara Bhaskar’s Sakshi in Veere Di Wedding and Kiara Advani’s Megha in Lust Stories. While the two women grabbed and gasped their way to sexual fulfillment, many women in the country still find the dildos out of reach. You can’t just wander into a store and buy one and while the ever-so-useful World Wide Web can create a few relevant sites, having a sex toy delivered to your door can be a daunting prospect.
With directors choosing to introduce them into scripts, could the cinematic portrayal of sex toys encourage women to argue, and even actively seek them out? According to Shashank Khaitan, director of the film Veere Di Wedding, “I think the context in which the dildo was used in both films was emotional rather than trying to market or sell a sex toy.”
“I really think it’s important that we accept and recognize the reality that women also have desires. And we must also be able to fulfill them. It’s a healthy conversation that has started and I’m really happy these movies are made.
Author Meghna Pant thinks India could do with more stores selling sex toys. She says: “All the countries that I have visited have had sex shops; in New York, Europe and Singapore as well. The stores were accessible and easy to find. What they have done is normalize sex as part of human discourse. I think if we have more stores selling sex toys, on the road or inside stores or malls, it will help normalize the conversation. So masturbation will not be seen as something obscene or cheap, but normal.
While it might not be very easy for Indian women to embrace the idea of sex toys or start looking for them right away, movies like these encourage conversations on the subject. “This is very important because when we talk about empowering women, especially from the Indian perspective, sexual freedom becomes a very important part of it,” says author Aditi Mathur Kumar.
Amer Jaleel, President and Chief Creative Officer of Mullen Lintas, thinks that while it is possible that some people are outraged by this, because we are a fairly conservative company overall, on the other hand, it could also bring out sex toys. out of the closet as people who have only heard of such things can now see them.
Surprisingly, there is no law explicitly prohibiting the sale of sex toys in India. What retailers seem to fear is the obscenity law. Senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde sheds some light on the matter: “To my knowledge, there is no specific law banning sex toys in India. What salespeople fear is getting arrested for obscenity. No one wants to risk the long legal process in India, even if you are assured of acquittal after many years, ”he says.
Well, while we still have a long way to go when it comes to selling sex toys, people can at least vicariously enjoy its on-screen portrayal.