Sex and Sexuality in South Asian Media

Sarees on Screen

Jun 26 2021 • 58 mins

Open conversations around sex and sexuality continue to be taboo in our society, but it’s been great to see a segment of people start to chip away at that reluctance to talk about such a fundamental part of all our lives.

While we absolutely value the importance of sharing lived experiences, in this episode, we specifically looked at the media we consume - how it portrays sex and sexualities of women and marginalized people, and how it shapes the greater societal conversations around these issues.

Something we hoped to highlight in our analysis was that sex and sexuality is experienced very differently by everyone. The specific socio-economic and cultural locations that shape our identities empower and disempower us in different ways, thus also changing how we engage with sex and our sexualities.

Even in a lot of the more “progressive” feminist portrayals of sex and sexuality in South Asia, there is often a general disconnect about the material realities of women and marginalized people. Despite being less objectifying and dehumanizing, a lot of feminist portrayals still fall short in their ability to present realistic portrayals of marginalized people due to their upholding of the upper caste, upper class, and capitalistic gaze.

In this episode, we look into Lust Stories, Parched, and Rajkahini. Each of these movies claim to have progressive and positive portrayals of women, sexuality, and sex work. While beautiful cinematically and made by some of the most notable directors in India today, have these movies pushed the boundaries of healthier portrayals of sex and sexuality in our media?

Listen to find out.

Our next episode is a Saucy Deep Dive on Third Person Singular Number.

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For more on the episodes, check out the extended Show Notes for additional reading material, explanations, and videos.

More available on SareesOnScreen.com

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[Music Prod. By LuKremBo]


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