Sex. One vowel, three letters, and yet, this word has the ability to tighten up an entire room. Every Tom, Dick (lol) and Harry has asked this question in the recent years: Why don’t we talk about sex? Well, we finally are – kind of. Although sex education in Indian schools is a barely touched upon topic, millennials are finding a new way to engage with this subject: through newly released, unapologetic sex-friendly TV shows – Sex Education on Netflix and Four More Shots on Amazon Prime – that are finding a growing audience in India.
Netflix and chill with Sex Education
A few weeks ago, Sex Education was all that my twitter mutuals were talking about. Intrigued and motivated by my fear of missing out, I logged on to my best friend’s Netflix account and began watching the show. It started off with a bang – and I mean this as literally as possible. The season was a parade of well written relatable characters, a few parallel plots that intertwined, some great performances, and of course, a lot of talking about sex. The show follows the life of Otis (Asa Butterfield), a high school kid who can’t get himself to masturbate, his sex therapist mother (Gillian Anderson) , a character you will immediately fall in love with and his gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa) who is depicted in a manner so fresh you wish he was the protagonist. Soon, Otis starts a sort of underground sex clinic giving advice to his classmates for money, encouraged by Maeve (Emma Mackey), another character you can never get enough of.
Although we’re talking a little bit more about sex now compared to before, through shows and memes and social media, for an Indian audience conditioned to believe that sex is a sin, this show is revolutionary, as is the fact that so many people are engaging with it. Sex Education addresses the problems, confusion and most importantly, awkwardness that we all go through, letting us know it’s normal and okay to have these issues.
A few more shots of Four More Shots, please?
As an Indian feminist, coming across a show that had women talking about sex over drinks in a bar using lingo that I often do, was quite exciting and that, my friends, is why I finished the 10 episode show in two days. Although it is a cliché in more ways than one and mostly only focused on lives that elite Indian women are privileged of having, IT WAS AN INDIAN SHOW THAT HAD WOMEN TALKING ABOUT SEX. In a manner that did not objectify women, gave them their own narrative and was healthy. From experimenting with vibrators and fantasizing about (and then getting some) from older men, to same sex relationships and losing your virginity long after your friends have, it was a much needed reflection of what a lot of Indian women in their 20s and 30s go through. And let’s just say that after watching (and hearing) the kind of orgasms these women are having, everything else we mere mortals experience is going to feel like a settle.
Since sex education in India is more often than not, limited to a half hour session in class (separate for girls and boys, of course) that explains, very vaguely, what our reproductive organs are (and menstruation, for us girls) let’s just say these shows are filling a void. Let’s hope for more such sex-friendly show that will address the ‘chill’ of Netflix and chill.