MW 20TH Anniversary Special: Being A Sexually Liberated Woman In 2020
I think sexuality is so much more than just the body — it’s the mind, it’s the spirit, and the heart. Sexual expression, when it is in full bloom, is far beyond just the body. Women have been commodified for their sexuality for a really long time. Between the male and female dynamic, the feminine form is one that lends itself to sensuality and sensual expression. What’s changed in the last decade is that now there’s an autonomy and a sovereignty around sexuality where a woman can stand in her own power, own her sexuality, and use it as and when she wants to — without shame, and without a man dictating how to. That, to me, is an indication of evolution and revolution
It’s also nice to observe that men are also stepping in and allowing space for their own sensuality, softness, and vulnerability, which are seemingly ‘feminine’ qualities but are also more humane qualities. I think liberal sexual expression has the capacity to awaken us, to empower us and to create greater empathy, as well as lead to lesser marginalisation of society. That idea is scary to those who capitalise on a society that is marginalised and falls in line and behaves in predictable ways, just so they can sell their products and push their agenda, because they believe we will abide. Feminine sexual expression has a certain kind of power. And that’s not exclusive to gender — it’s feminine sexual energy that can be in anyone.
The point is, when something has immense energetic power among human beings, those who want to control and manipulate will see it as a threat. We also try to bring in “morality”. I’m using air quotes because, what is “morality”? Who defines what “moral codes” are? Are we all collectively deciding what is appropriate and inappropriate for all human beings? And by all of “us,” whom am I talking about? I mean So, I think, when it comes to freedom of expression and living in a society filled with compassion, feminine sexual energy has been more morally policed for a really long time. For thousands of years, actually. And god forbid we begin to realise that we all want the same things — which is a communion. That wouldn’t help the politicians in power at all.
Doing a piece like this one is also a sign of the changing times. In many ways, Sunny Leone becoming a big Bollywood star is a sign of the times. It’s also really beautiful to see female-centric content being made on the regular with themes of sexuality and sexual preference. It’s just love in all its forms but through the lens of a woman. It’s nice to see more of it as time goes on and on. In the same breath, I acknowledge that we have a long way to go. I definitely think that the digital world and the Internet has connected us faster and plays a role in this change.
Digital content, I think, is some of the most forward-thinking content being made. In a country where it is so common and so easy to put a ban on something, it’s really nice that all these digital platforms have allowed for all this alternative content to be made. I think that’s really served in expanding the acceptance and normalisation of women of who are sovereign and empowered and owning their sexuality. For example, I was so impressed with Richa Chadda in Masaan. The film dealt with sex, longing and confusion, and she was incredible in Masaan. I did a guest appearance in Four More Shots and I thought it was lovely to be on set with so many women – not just the actors but the EP and the AD too. What’s so nice is that all of these characters depict different aspects of femininity. I’m also a huge fan of Mallika Dua who uses humour to talk about things that are so taboo in a way that is so fresh and it is received well. Also, Made In Heaven was wonderful, in this respect
I think this decade is going to be more about the masculine stepping down and creating space. When I say masculine, I mean the energy of the masculine. I see more men stepping into their vulnerability. I see more men stepping into fluidity and that will make space for feminine expression as well as sexual liberation.