Thursday, February 12, 2009


Vinita Dawra Nangia
(First published in TOI, May 6, 2007)

The kissa kiss ka refuses to die down. And, why should it? How often do we get the opportunity to legitimately focus on and replay a titillating scene except on DVD in the confines of our bedrooms? And here the courts and media are doing it for us, ensuring we don’t forget what the misguided judge issuing Gere’s arrest warrant, called “the indecent act”
Indecent? Show me one woman who wouldn’t have wanted to be in Shilpa Shetty’s shoes when Richard Gere swung her into a clinch – and I will tell you she is lying!
It’s not so much Gere, as the idea of being swept off her feet that fires a woman’s imagination. And Gere’s action when he grabbed Shilpa is the stuff a woman’s dreams are made of. Women are suckers for romance and find it incredibly sexy to be taken unawares and surprised with a quick hug, an unexpected kiss, a sudden clinch, a gift out of the blue…
Unacceptable as the thought may seem, a hint of aggression is always thrilling. Remember Raj Kapur’s near manhandling of Nargis in their love scenes? The way he pulled her hair to turn her face up to his; how he twisted her arm behind her back to bring her up against his chest? Sigh! In the act of adopting refined metrosexual attributes, men today have forgotten some caveman tactics women swooned over!
Look at the emotions Gere’s act on stage aroused. In a Times survey, every second girl in Mumbai and every third girl in Delhi expressed the desire to switch places with Shilpa as Gere recreated the screen romance when he similarly swung Jennifer Lopez to a gravity-defying angle in Shall We Dance!
Strange indeed are the ways of our titill-o-meters! Not everyone can understand another’s turn-on trigger. Expecting it to be an interesting exercise, I started asking friends and acquaintances what excited them most in love scenes.
Women predictably settled for “that look in the eye,” “a deep baritone,’ or “a lopsided smile.” Smiles and eyes remain a hot favourite with the fairer sex, with humour and a prolonged courtship not quite as desired elements as they used to be once!
However, it was the men’s response that came as a pleasant surprise. Not one of them settled for hard-core sex. Something of an eye-opener was that most men indicated mushy stuff as their big turn-on – certainly not what one expected!
Said a male colleague, “It’s the talk that turns me on – intelligent double entendres that say everything and yet leave a question mark. For instance, if I were to rub my cheek against a woman’s and suggest, “Do you think there’s something between us?” Wow. Just then another said , “No talk. That’s what excites me! Remember Falling in Love? Almost half way through the movie and the tension is palpable but Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro still haven’t spoken to each other. And then one day he does … that’s the stuff turn-ons are made of!”
Not quite yet recovered from this unexpected male mush, yet another male colleague took the wind out of my sails by referring to the scene from Desperado, going gooey over the scene where Antonio Banderas teaches Salma Hayek to play the guitar amidst a sea of candles…
Omigosh, before this gets too mush for me to handle, let’s turn to more pragmatic guys. And, there were some! Said one: “The subtle display of skin, and by this I do not mean in your face nudity. Also stolen glimpses of skin are very erotic. For example, a shapely pair of legs revealed when the wind is blowing hard or a hint of cleavage is far more erotic than the same legs on display in a micro mini or cleavage in a low blouse.” Well said!
Yet another named his erotica: “I find that risk adds a measure of erotica to things. It creates a great frisson when you're making out and there's every possibility you could get caught in the act. Anything from a stolen kiss to making out when someone could walk in at any moment is exciting.”
Wow, we do seem to have made phenomenal progress with men, if indeed exotica rather than erotica dictates their Big Os! Heigh ho!

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