Has the topic of female pleasure peaked? Are researchers and magazine covers still hot and bothered about it? The Big O can be the smallest lower-case 'oh'. Men count on women not bringing it up and women wait for men to bring it up.
Consummation itself can get routinely stalled in hetero unions. In the Japanese film My Husband Won’t Fit, the plot hinges on Kumiko and Kenichi not doing it. And in the film/book On Chesil Beach, Edward and Florence annul their marriage because there's no future between the sheets. With ‘naughty’ tied up in conditioning and conservative, the panting woman becomes porn while the panting man is par for the course.
Konkana Sen in Lipstick Under My Burkha and Nimisha Sajayan in The Great Indian Kitchen play characters who do attempt to mend their coitus, but to no avail. With the men either playing the field or fixated on family matters, these wives have matters far more urgent to settle. Not every woman is an Anais Nin, who went to town about her erotic urges, writing many texts about her experiences both real and unreal. Despite the bohemian lifestyle attributed to her, she was still capable of tying up lust and love for that perfect physical union: "Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy."
In the age of throuples, previously described as ménage à trois that sounded satisfyingly dirty, and hook-ups, former one-night stands that sounded as business-like as their new name, sexual gratification is fast acquiring the status of destination - no longer a small, unknown station where the train may not stop.
Emma Thompson, in her latest flick Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, is the film’s non-eponymous heroine, Nancy, who engages a sex worker to know what the hullabaloo is about. A woman in her 60s game enough to locate her G spot – one can see the film wondering which path to take, tragic or comic. In real life, as in reel, women, especially women who think of themselves as older women, are apt to be tongue-tied when having to describe what gets them going.
The story of women like Nancy, who go from blush to flush, can be game changers. Women experimenting and exploring as a route to self-discovery stand taller when divested of guilt and shame, carrying the confidence of maturity.
Tina Turner, who passed away recently at the age of 83, made her comeback as a singer with the hit ‘What’s love got to do with it’ in 1984, following the end of an abusive marriage with singer Ike Turner. She mentions an early meeting with Erwin Bach, whom she married when she was in her 40s, in one of her interviews: ‘I said to Erwin when you get to California, I want you to make love to me. Because I did.’
Knowing what you want is the first step. And if the way people sneeze is any indication of how they climax, as Nancy suggests in the film, mind your ‘achoo’.