Sex is a no-no topic in our society, and its only purpose is considered to be procreation. So, we're not always given a complete picture. Schools hardly talk about sex-education, and if they do, the curriculum focuses on reproduction - which explains the population in our country. Then come our homes, which are mostly too awkward a space to discuss personal life, let alone our sexual health.

Kal Ho Naa Ho
Source: YouTube

And films, art, internet or social media literally become our major source of information. It's normal to rely on them, but it's scary when they're misleading or just as shy as our society. Bollywood films often tend to do that - where representation of sex has been very awkward, even to look at. 

Sex scenes in films
Source: Rediff

The surprising part is, for the longest time, Bollywood managed to portray sex without actually showing people having sex, or showing people at all, for that matter. We had weird euphemisms like flowers meeting, the classic suhaag raat, and the doors closing, that always worked.

Sex scenes in films
Source: YouTube
Sex scenes in films
Source: YouTube
Sex scenes in films
Source: YouTube

It's not like sex is the only form of intimacy and that's entirely what movies are about - but it is important to normalize the idea. If we can't be comfortable enough to show an honest representation, then how can we even talk about it openly? And, visual representation or even coming close to it is not vulgarity. 

In turn, these films played part in normalizing rigid and toxic belief systems. For instance, the scene from Prem Aggan where sex was considered a 'shaadi ke baad ki' activity. No people, it works just the same with or without the sindoor

Sex scenes in films
Source: YouTube

And, Kartik Aaryan's rant in Pati Patni Aur Woh on how consent after marriage is such a buzzkill for him. I mean, seriously, why is consent so underrated? On a side note, Kartik Aaryan will rant about anything, no matter the what subject is.

Sex scenes in films
Source: YouTube

The only purpose for an honest representation is the acceptance of the fact that loving our bodies, and enjoying sex are not things to be ashamed of. Slowly, but surely content is changing - wherein sex is associated with pleasure, and intimate scenes are directed more carefully. But, when it comes to appropriation, we're lacking and how. 

Lust Stories
Source: Netflix

We literally pass sex as a heteronormative idea - STILL. Even when it comes to films and shows that try to be inclusive, they somehow fail by casting heterosexual cisgender actors - who're too 'uncomfortable' to act. For instance, the scene from Modern Love Mumbai's Baai where Pratik Gandhi and Ranveer Brar kiss for the first time. Or the fact that Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga portrays intimacy as 'hand-holding' and 'hugging' - which makes romance look so platonic.

Modern Love Mumbai
Source: Amazon Prime Video
 Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga
Source: Netflix

Of course, and thanks to OTT, we have some shows and films that didn't shy away - because why should they? Made In Heaven is one example. But, the fact remains that these examples are very rare.

Made In Heaven
Source: Amazon Prime Video

Oh, and let's not talk about safe sex and contraception, because, Bollywood does not. Even the films that choose to normalize the idea forget to talk about important things like a safe experience - in more ways than one. To add on, the act is shown as something so perfect and flawless, that it ends up being toxic. 

Sex isn't always perfect and that's okay, because humans are capable of communicating their needs.

Intentionally or unintentionally, most movies end up making the subject about objectification or about an 'ideal' image. When it is an expression and a way to understand our bodies, films only talk about beauty standards, which we also see on-screen. 

Student of the Year
Source: YouTube

It is a constant debate to not blur the lines between fiction and life. But, art and media has an impact on our society, and hence sensitivity is important. Which means, to start or normalize a conversation around sex or sexual health, we should be more comfortable with the portrayal in films. Also, a flawed representation is just as careless or harmful as lack of representation at all. And honestly, if you're going to do something, might as well do it right.

Just saying, Bollywood isn't the most reliable source.