Bollywood actress-turned-producer-director Pooja Bhatt, who is set to film a 12-part web series and pen a book on the female orgasm, has questions
Ever since she announced a web series on the female orgasms, director and actress Pooja Bhatt has been flooded with calls. Most of the callers are women of all ages and from different walks of life, who want to tell her their “orgasm” story.
“I am going to meet a Bohri lady, who spoke to me about genital mutilation. Another confessed to being a mistress of a man she feared, and how he would withhold orgasm from her. I want to tell all these stories,” says the 43-year-old, who is in the midst of writing the series titled, Oh!
Bhatt, who remembers reading Mahashweta Devi’s Breast Stories, a collection of stories that deal with the female anatomy, in Kolkata a few years ago, also plans to release a book on real-life female orgasm confessions.
“All the digital producers I met wanted to ‘make something bold’. I told them that their idea of ‘bold’ is skewed — showing skin is not bold. Jism was ‘bold’ because for the first time on the big screen, a woman said that a body doesn’t know love, it only knows lust. That’s why it was groundbreaking. So 12 minutes, 12 orgasms,” she says.
Bhatt is no stranger to ‘bold’ movies. In the last decade, she has produced movies like Jism (2003) and directed Paap (2003) and Jism 2 (2012), all known for their sexy female leads and for their intent of defining the Indian woman’s “sexuality”. “I find it hard to digest the fact that Indian women today are still not that invested in their orgasm. In India, the female orgasm is at elusive as the Yeti. We have been brainwashed into thinking that ‘bad girls have sex, good girls fall in love’. That’s hogwash and an attempt to control us.
That’s how men want to project us as — asexual vehicles. If I work as hard as you, I should be able to enjoy sex as much as you do. My orgasm is valid too,” says the 44-year-old.
In India, female sexuality does not hold a high value, as it would frighten the average Indian man, feels Bhatt. “Men don’t like competition. That’s why virgin brides are in high demand. No one wants to be compared to another man,” she says.
For now, the filmmaker is riding high on the response. “This has never happened before!” she exclaims. The treatment of the stories, with the first few episodes being directed by Pooja (she will pick other directors for the rest) will be sensual as she says her brand is, but not cringe-worthy. They will be stories that resonate all over the sub-continent.
“I have met some women in burqas who are more progressive than we ever will be. Being sexually progressive means knowing your body well and knowing what you will do and what you won't. I want these stories to be real and free of pretence.” The book, which came as an afterthought, will have based on her idea of sexuality. “I will handpicked stories of women orgasms from all over the country. We need to make the word ‘orgasm’ as commonplace as the word…. butter or cow! It’s going to be magical.”